Hi! This has been another amazing reading week for me. I’ve read another nine books and finished the mage’s quest and the knight’s quest + three sidequests. This is without a doubt the most fun reading challenge I’ve ever taken part in. I’m so impressed by Aentee for coming up with it all. It’s so creative and unique.
A BOOK SET IN A DIFFERENT WORLD: The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh, 5 stars
I’ve heard a lot of mixed things about this book and after not exactly loving Flame in the Mist earlier this year, I’ll admit I didn’t go into this one with the highest of expectations. Which might have been a good thing. Cause I ended up loving it. I literally couldn’t put it down and read the whole thing in a day. The writing is beautiful, the plot is very engaging and intriguing, the characters are wonderful, the settting is magical. I love everything about it. The only minor complaint I have is that for a Thousand and One Nights retelling, it’s not as full of stories within the story as I expected. However the few that were included were so good and really added to the story. I just wanted more of them!
A BOOK WITH A RED COVER: We the Animals by Justin Torres, 3 stars
Belive it or not this is the only book I own with a red cover that I haven’t already read. I have no idea how this book ended up on my shelf, all I know is it’s been there for a long, long time. I’m glad this challenge pushed me to pick it up.
We the Animals is a coming of age story about three Puerto Rican brothers, from the perspective of the youngest. It’s told through a series of vignettes, offering glimpses of the day to day life of the family. We see the brothers’ fierce bond, the parents’ tumultuous relationship, their daily struggles to make ends meet. The story is very atmospheric and compelling. The writing is striking. And yet, something was missing for me. I think the vignettes felt a little too much like short-stories, when they should’ve felt like chapters, and it made the book a little disjointed. Still, it packs quite the punch for such a short novel.
A BOOK THAT HAS A TV/MOVIE ADAPTION: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, 4 stars
The Joy Luck Club is a story about eight women. Four women who emigrate from China and their daughters who grow up in America. It explores the relationship between mother and daughter and the challenges that come with being not only part of different generations, but also different cultures. This book really shows off the richness of Chinese culture, faith and traditions, and learning more about those subjects was my favorite part of the reading experience. I just wish it could’ve been longer, or focused on fewer characters because 330 pages just doesn’t give you the time to truly get to know eight complex and layered women. Which is a shame, cause I wanted to know them all.
A BOOK WITH A WEAPON ON ITS COVER: The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America by Thomas King, 3 stars
I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this book. People have said everyone should read this book and I understand why. It’s an important book, an account of the terrible treatment natives have suffered in North America and Canada. Everyone should know this history, and reading this book is certainly a good place to start. But I think someone who’s looking to learn about the history of Natives in North America will be left wanting more. This is an eye-opening and important account, it’s not an in depth history. (And it never claims to be.)
VERB IN ITS TITLE: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han, 4 stars
The second book about Lara Jean is just as sweet and fun and fluffy as the first one, perhaps even more so. These books have really filled a hole in my reading life that I didn’t even know was there. I gravitate more towards darker stories, but my all time favorite tv-series is Gilmore Girls, and the world Jenny Han pulls me into with these books feels just as charming, fun and safe as my beloved Stars Hallow.
A BOOK COVER WITH STRIKING TYPOGRAPHY: Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han, 5 stars
After reading P.S: I Still Love you, I just couldn’t wait to find out how Lara Jean’s story would end and picked this one up immediately. Just like the first two in the series this is perfect contemporary fluff, with so much heart. It’s Lara Jean’s turn to graduate from High School and decide what the next chapter of her life will hold. I loved getting to watch her figure it all out. I’m a little sad this is the last book. I’m going to miss the Song sisters so much! (Especially, Kitty) But at least there’s the movie to look forward to.
MULTIPLAYER: Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi, 3,5 stars
I liked this better than the first one, but it’s still too romance heavy for my taste. Maybe I’m just too old for teenage angst and love-triangles. Or maybe I’d like this more if I hadn’t read awesome dystopias like The Hunger Games and Red Rising. I do like Warner though, and I still think there’s potential for an awesome and action-packed finale. Maybe that’s naive. But fingers crossed!
EXPANSION: A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi, 5 stars
A Crown of Wishes is the companion novel to Star-Touched Queen, which I read last week and absolutely loved. This time it’s Gauri, Maya’s fierce little sister, who’s story is told and what a tale it is.
At the start of the novel Gauri is a prisoner of war in the kingdom of the Fox Prince. His job is to condemn her to death, instead he asks her to be his partner in the magical tournament of wishes and thus their wild and Caraval-esqe adventure begins. It’s an adventure brimming with magic, danger, mystery and of course – epic romance.
Roshani Chokshi is my new queen of lyrical writing. She’s already up there with Laini Taylor and Catherynne M. Valente, I’ll read anything she writes. I can’t wait to see what she comes out with next!
ANIMAL COMPANION: Hunger Makes the Wolf by Alex Wells, 4 stars
Bikers in space y’all! This is literally a book about bikers in space. Also, there’s witches. Biker AND witches. In space. I’m still not over how cool the concept of this book is. And the best part is that unlike a lot of other books with very cool concepts, this one doesn’t fail in the telling. It’s mysterious and action-packed story with a western twist that I never wanted to put down. It left me with a lot of questions I’m desperate to get answered though. So the sequel better not be too far away.
My plan for next week includes tacking the monster that is A Little Life and continuing some series I’ve abandoned, like the Caster Chronicles.