Reading wrap up / April 2017

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Reading wrap up / March 2017

 

Statistics 

(star rating)

Average rating of the month : 3.9 stars

 

(genre & page count)

  • Manga : 1 (279)
  • Contemporary  YA: 2 (320 & 260)
  • Fantasy YA : 1 (470)
  • Historical Fiction (Adult) : 1 (440)
  • Fantasy Adult : 1 (400)
  • Contemporary Adult : 1 (346)

Total page count of the month : 2515

Average page count of the day : 81

 

TID : Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare ,  Hye-Kyung Baek

  • Manga (2 stars)

This was clearly not my cup of tea. I really didn’t like the art style , everything was in black and white. All of the male characters looked the same and I couldn’t distinct them properly. I skimmed the ending because nothing kept me wanting to read the rest. I am in the minority here so I would recommend reading it if you like this kind of art style and TID series. This was sadly a miss for me.

A List of Cages by Robin Roe

  • YA Contemporary (4 stars)

I am not a fan of YA contemporary (I didn’t like Fangirl), I don’t find a lot substance in contemporary for some strange reason. The characters are my age but I can’t relate to them at all. Again, I couldn’t relate to these characters but I loved the 2 main characters. Julian is a cinnamon roll who is shy and still a child (he also has dyslexia). He has some dark secrets at home (trigger warning : physical , emotional abuse). Adam, Julian’s former foster-brother , has to hunt down Julian who keeps avoiding the school psychologist. Julian has ADHD. Julian and Adam rekindle their relationship. Slowly, Adam peels off Julian’s layers and discovers the truth. They become friends and it’s an adorable progression. The side characters are flat and stereotypical for YA contemporary which was my only problem with this book.

 

Heart of Betrayal (Remnant Chronicles #2) by Mary E. Pearson

  • YA Fantasy (4.5 stars)
  • sequel to The Kiss of Deception

I have been wanting to read this sequel for ages because The Kiss of Deception ended on a cliffhanger. This was an excellent sequel for me. It’s a set up for the final book but it’s never boring. The political intrigue becomes the main focus in this book. This book shows that politics are not black and white. Lia is a fascinating main character. She is not a warrior but she is smart which is very refreshing. She has to make difficult decisions and you keep guessing her motives. Throughout this whole book , you keep guessing character’s motives. The love triangle is still present in this book but it’s well done. I look forward to reading the final book.

 

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

  • Historical Fiction (5 stars)

“If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: in love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are.”

I cried like a baby reading this book, I am not a book crier so this was unexpected. My short review will never do this book justice so please read it. This book follows 2 sisters that are not very close, they each react differently to WWII. Vianne has a daughter so her priority is to keep her daughter safe in the French countryside. On the other hand, Isabelle who is much younger wants to fight back. Isabelle goes on an adventure and becomes part of a secret rebellion that saves fallen British pilots. Vianne has to live with a German soldier in her house and starts developing feelings for him. Things get complicated when Isabelle and Vianne’s stories get tangled. These sisters grow closer and form this incredible bond. The story explores women’s roles in WWII and it felt empowering. This is such a beautiful story with a few small inaccuracies but still a must read!

 

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

  • Adult Fantasy (4.25 stars)

A great beginning to an epic series. Kell is a traveler who travels between 4 different parallel Londons. He is secretly a smuggler. He is officially The Red Traveler for the royal family. He mysteriously comes in possession of a strange, magical stone that is very dangerous because it comes from Black London. Lila Bard, a thief steals this stone and their adventure starts from there. This story was action packed from the beginning till the end. Lila Bard is a spunky, arrogant character. I loved all of the characters. The world building was a little heavy in the beginning which was why I didn’t give it 5 stars. Looking forward to reading the next installment.

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

  • Adult Contemporary (3.5 stars)

Wavy is a young girl with an intelligence of an adult. She is smart and has to live with a mentally ill mother , cheating & drug dealer father and younger brother. She has a very difficult life for such a young girl but she tries to make the best of her situation. The setting of the book is very well described. I felt like I was living in this small American town where it’s constantly hot. Wavy meets Kellan a tattooed, ex-con with a heart of gold. They have a peculiar bond/relationship that is very wrong but so fascinating. They take care of each other. You have to read this book with an open mind. Their relationship is taboo but you can’t help but support it. It took me a while to read it but I didn’t regret it.

The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic

  • YA Contemporary , lgbtq+ , sport (4 stars)

I have become obsessed with this series. We follow Neil Josten , the son of a crime lord called The Butcher. He has been on the run with his mother for a long time. He gets recruited to this sport team called The Foxes. The Foxes are a sports team full of delinquent boys and girls. Exy is a made-up co-ed sport that is a mix between lacrosse and racquetball but as violent as ice hockey. Each player has his/hers issues so because of that there are a lot of trigger warnings (alcohol , drug sport abuse , depression , murder, suicide , homophobia , rape , violence). You get easily attached to all of the characters. Their story is so sad but intriguing to read. It’s also action packed.

Reading wrap up / February 2017

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su & Kate Rorick

(400 pages)

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet expands on the web series phenomenon that captivated a generation and reimagines the Pride and Prejudice story like never before.

This was so much better than I could have ever expected. I have watched the series on YouTube and fell in love with the story and the characters. It introduced me to Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. P&P is now one of my favorite books of all time. I am very thankful to this book & video series. The book adds a lot to the videos. You get to read the letter that Darcy wrote for Lizzie (it was so cute). You get a lot of bonus moments between Darcy & Lizzie. I loved this book as much as I loved P&P (which means a lot!). Please read this modern retelling of P&P (and watch the videos on YouTube!).

 

The Summer Garden by Paullina Simons

(742 pages)

Through years of war and devastation, Tatiana and Alexander suffered the worst the twentieth century had to offer. Miraculously reunited in America, they now have a beautiful son, Anthony, the gift of a love strong enough to survive the most terrible upheavals.

I have a lot of mixed feelings about this final book in the epic romance trilogy called The Bronze Horseman. I fell in love with The Bronze Horseman 2 years ago. It was my introduction to Historical Romance but since then I have read way more books. I saw/read over these years a lot of negative reviews about The Bronze Horzeman trilogy. I started to see all of its faults. I am a more critical reviewer and I am really scared to re-read this trilogy because I will probably see all of its faults and hate it. This conclusion was a huge disappointment. Alexander (Tatiana’s husband/love intrest) was abusive. He almost cheated on her for ridiculous reasons. Alexander always tried to stop Tatiana from working. He thought that he should be the only one making money for the family. He wanted Tatiana to stay at home , be a good housewife , raise their son and breed more children. He got enraged when Tatiana didn’t get pregnant and worked hard. My feminist self couldn’t deal with this novel.

Prince’s Gambit & Kings Rising & Summer Palace by C.S. Pacat

(404 pages) & (352 pages) & (30 pages)

Forced to hide his identity, Damen finds himself increasingly drawn to the dangerous, charismatic Laurent. But as the fledgling trust between the two men deepens, the truth of secrets from both their pasts is poised to deal them the crowning death blow…

I continued reading this strange fantasy series. I read the first one a long time ago. I was kind of disgusted by a lot of graphic scenes in this fantasy world. There are only M/M relationships which was great but the first book was about an abusive, disturbing M/M relationship between a slave from its enemy country and the “master” , the prince. The second and third book were wayyy better than the first book. There is a lot of political intrigue and the story line gets very complex and twisted. There were no graphic, disturbing scenes in the second & third book. The last book was my favorite in the series. The novella is a great addition to the series. I highly recommend it if you are okay with reading a mediocre first book.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

(406 pages)

Alina Starkov doesn’t expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, she is sure of only one thing: her best friend, Mal–and her inconvenient crush on him. Until the day their army regiment enters the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. When their convoy is attacked and Mal is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power not even she knew existed.

This first book was kind of a disapointment but it’s my own fault. I set myself up for failure. I had way too high expectations for this book. Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom were my favorite books of last year and I wanted to read the Grisha trilogy because apparently you get a lot more of the world. The plotline was nothing extraordinary , the characters were bland (but I loved the Darkling). I didn’t get attached to anything to make me want to read the next book in the series. The story was a lot of fun to read and didn’t bore me a single moment. There was always some action or something happening. The worldbuilding was really good and that was what I was looking for so I cannot complain. I hope that series gets better. Please tell me if that’s the case.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

(407 pages)

Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world . . .

One of my anticipated releases of the year and I enjoyed it a lot. One of my only faults with this book were the characters. They were one dimensional so they didn’t stand out for me. Characters are incredibly important for me to get attached to the story. If the characters are bland , the story won’t matter to me. But the story was very intruiging and kept me guessing. The caraval setting was magical and I really liked this book. For some reason I thought this was a standalone but this is apparently a series. I don’t think I will continue the series because this first book was satisfying for me even though it ended on a cliffhanger.

Reading wrap up / January 2017

The Mortal Instruments #3 , #4 , #5 , #6

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare (541 pages)

It’s clear that this could be the “final” book to the first trilogy in TMI. It was an action packed book , full unexpected turns. I really enjoyed this installement and the ending was very intense. Sadly enough, I can’t go in depth with my thoughts because it could spoil a lot.

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare (424 pages)

This was definetly a set up for the second trilogy. There is a “new villain” and the secret is finally revealed so we can develop the relationship between Clary & Jace.

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare  (535 pages)

My favorite book in the TMI series for sure! There is such a strange dynamic between Jace , S. (spoilers) , Clary. It was fascinating to see them interact with each other.

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare (725 pages)

Such a satisfying conclusion to TMI! It contains everything that I want to see in a final book. It resolves everything. It has its action packed and slower moments. Cassie is a genius at conclusions.

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare , Sarah Rees Brennan , Maureen Johnson , Robin Wasserman

FULL REVIEW (SPOILERS)

The Host by Stephenie Meyer (620 pages)

Wow this was on my TBR for my Throwback Book Club  (a book from your favorite author you haven’t read yet) and it was so unexpectedly good. This is my new favorite book by Stephenie Meyer. The first 100 pages are hard to get into. You get a lot of information about the “alien invasion” and what these “hosts” are. The book is not focused on the sci-fi, the book is very much focused on the characters and their development. The book has a great balance between the action and the characters. I read this book in 2 days because I was so intrigued by everything. A new favorite. I wished I had notes (I tried while reading) but I couldn’t stop reading it so I will try to write down everything that I remember. If you want to give Stephenie Meyer a second chance , pick up The Host!