Images taken from my personal bookstagram account
Here we are, almost at the midpoint of 2017, and I’m enjoying reading just as much as I did at the beginning of the year. Not to jinx it, but I’ve successfully avoided reading slumps and I’m ahead of my challenge which means I can now pick up heavier books. That being said, I do love an occasional adult romance novel these days, so there will be few of them mentioned here and in the future. Also, for this month I wanted to shake things up a bit and I added visuals to my post. It took me ages! Like, honestly, it took me less time to actually write the reviews than to pick the images to accompany each book! That being said, here is my newly refreshed reading wrap up of all the books I read in May.
PUBLISHED IN 2015 / WRITTEN BY SARAH J. MAAS
This series is about Feyre, a human girl living near the fae borders, who feels responsible for her sisters and father, and has learned how to hunt in order to keep them alive after their family fortune is gone. On one of these hunting trips she kills a wolf, knowing deep deep down that the wolf was not exactly a wolf but something much more dangerous. So when a beast bursts into their small cottage, reveals himself as high fae and demands a dept to be paid for the life she took, Feyre must leave her family against her will to live in the faerie lands for the rest of her life.
For those who have been following me for a while might remember that I had already read this twice before I decided to pick it up for the third time. The reasoning was actually simple. I was curious to see how this book holds up against the second one, since I hadn’t read it after I binged on A Court of Mist and Fury for the first time last year. So I picked it up again and I can’t deny, it didn’t hold up as well as I thought it did the first two times around. But because it changes itself in the context of the second book, I love it a little bit more.
Filled with controversial themes and some explicit scenes, A Court of Thorns and Roses is exactly the sort of book you will either hate or love. But have no fear, even if you hate it for the message it delivers, trust me when I say that you need to continue with the series to understand this book fully. It has hidden meanings and messages, and its impact changes over the course of the series.
PUBLISHED IN 2016 / WRITTEN BY SARAH J. MAAS
Feyre’s story continues after the events that took place in the first book, and the story itself takes an unexpected turn. Not totally herself anymore, Feyre must live with the consequences of her actions, face her biggest fears and pay another dept to no other than the deceiving Rhysand, the High Lord of the Night Court. With so much happening around them, Feyre’s biggest challenge is the one within.
The second book of the series, A Court of Mist and Fury, is by far my favourite! I’ve read this twice now and it’s still as great as it was the first time around, if not better, since I went into it knowing what to look for and having the pleasure to read those little hints in between the lines. Together with the first book, this follow up does something that no other sequel, as far as I know, has done before – it surprises the reader. With so many sequels falling into the trap of repeating the first book, prolonging the story just because it’s part of the trilogy. A Court of Mist and Fury stands on its own, stronger and better than the first book of the series, and I’m not going to lie, there’s a very yummy reason for that. A reason everyone seems to agree upon.
Without giving away any spoilers, which I find hard to do, I must say that I adore this book so much that it hurts! There are so many elements to it that I love, there are new characters that are introduced, there is a lot of things happening at once, and it delivers a very strong message in regards to the serious theme the first book explores. It is, if I’m brave enough to say, the perfect book!
PUBLISHED IN 2017 / WRITTEN BY SARAH J. MAAS
Alright, it’s difficult to talk about this book without giving away any spoilers from the first or the second book, so I’m not going to attempt to write a summary for this one. I must say though, having read all three books this month, the third book doesn’t stand as strong and independent as the second. There’s just something a bit off with it, it’s almost like there’s no clear focus. The story tries hard to emphasis the importance of a big storyline while it takes forever to get there, and looses itself so many times along the way, yet still finds solutions and answers. The plot just doesn’t progress smoothly and logically, nor did it thrill me as much as I would have wanted to in the end.
That being said, I fucking love this book! Sorry, but I mean it. Because, while the main character of the story we’ve come to know, Feyre, does her things and ends up annoying me, the real bright light of the whole book are the supporting characters. They are amazing. I’m not going to name names, otherwise I will sort of spoil the plots of the previous books, but there is this one character, fearless as hell, and it infuriated me not to be able to read her point of view in the third book. Which brings me to the main issue about this book, something that I’ve heard from others – the single point of view becomes tiresome.
With three books we follow only Feyre, and while she is completely fine and actually not too bad as a leading character, the supportive characters are far more interesting! Maybe they are interesting because we aren’t allowed in their heads, who knows, but I’m glad to hear that this series is getting spin-off books with these supportive characters because yes, please, I want to read them all!
PUBLISHED IN 2017 / WRITTEN BY JENNY HAN
I experienced another sad moment this month when I picked up the third book to a series that was planned at first as a duology called To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Many of you might know that I’ve named the first book of the series my favourite young adult contemporary, but sadly I can’t call it my favourite series.
We follow again our main character Lara Jean, now facing another important life moment, this time her own soon looming departure to college. Faced with another set of difficult decisions, and having to face these decisions not alone, Lara Jean struggles to find the right answers. Or is there such a thing as the right answer in these situations?
For me, the third book was a lovely conclusion to the series, but again it didn’t really capture me entirely into its pages. There is this one storyline that emerges and even though it was eventually nicely tied into the whole point of the book, it felt tiresome to me. It felt like the second book but with a different plot. But oh, there were moments of joy throughout this book as well, and I can’t deny that I am a sucker for those types of moments. So overall, since I do still love the first book to bits, and will gladly reread this entire trilogy again, I enjoyed Always and Forever, Lara Jean a lot.
PUBLISHED IN 2017 / WRITTEN BY PATRICK NESS
An award winning author Patrick Ness has released another supernatural infused book, which has left me wondering. The main story is about Adam Thorn, and his single day full of finding answers. The other story is about a Queen, followed by another supernatural presence, since she has to return back before she dies and ends life all around her.
The book features a lot of dark themes and it all revolves around different ways of letting go. Letting go of the anger, the fear, the addictions, the people we think we want, the people we want to want us, and letting go of things we don’t understand. Again, just like Ness has always done, he writes these themes through effortless style and the story just flows off the pages. And I’m not surprised I read it so quickly.
For me the problem that Release suffered with was it’s over used symbolism in the second narrative. While I loved Adam’s storyline, and the fact that this whole book took place during a single day, I would have maybe preferred another person’s storyline to be accompanied with it. Maybe another narrative backwards, or maybe the same narrative, but the story leading up to the moment when we are introduced to said Queen. Just something more obvious, more clear, because it felt so cryptic – even though part of the fun of reading is realising these meanings yourself.
PUBLISHED IN 2017 / WRITTEN BY BECKY ALBERTALLI
It seems this month was all about fresh releases, as I picked up another young adult novel that was published this spring. I’ve read Becky Albertalli’s debut novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and now her second novel, and I’ve come to a realisation – I don’t necessarily love Albertalli’s story telling.
While the characters are enjoyable, and the main character doesn’t come off too naive and too reckless, the connection to them, for me, was somehow weak. I was supposed to believe our main character Molly, a complete opposite to her twin sister Cassie, is the sort of girl who has crushes a lot, but I didn’t feel that. Also, there were two different story lines going on, some of it felt absolutely rushed, and the conflict felt forced.
Now, I say all of that, but I do have some positives because the main character Molly is described as curvy. I love that! I like how The Upside of Unrequited isn’t trying to force that knowledge onto us a lot, and quite frankly, it’s easy to forget this fact, which is exactly what I love about it. Weight shouldn’t be the main focus, it shouldn’t be even something note worthy, but simply a statement of fact and that’s that. Plus, the representation of the LGQBT community was simply beautiful as well.
PUBLISHED IN 2017 / WRITTEN BY PENNY REID
Leave it up to me to mess up everything including the proper order of a series by starting from the last book. But I’ve accidentally done this before, and both times I’ve ended up enjoying the book, despite where I have started off. Either way, if the title of the book doesn’t give it away, the following will leave no room to question: it’s an adult romance novel.
Earlier this year I read a lot of these, considering I’ve never read them before, and now I’m back at them because spring time is here and I feel all needy for some romance! Dating-Ish is your stereotypical slow burn romance book that might cause some headaches because you keep wanting the main characters to end up together. Luckily, as it is with most of these novels, Dating-Ish isn’t all about the romance and actually raises a lot of intelligent questions as well. The dialog is smart, quick, witty and definitely gives the reader other things to wonder about than just sexy times. And for that, I applaud Reid, and continue to pick up her books.
PS: Knitting in the City is a funny way of calling this series, since the ladies who participate in said knitting club do hardly any knitting. They drink wine, talk about things, NOT JUST MEN, and discuss various topics.. including men.
PUBLISHED IN 2013 / WRITTEN BY PENNY REID
So after I devoured Dating-Ish, I decided to start from the beginning and picked up Neanderthal Seeks Human (such a difficult word and title for me, I’m a little disappointed just because of it), and liked it a lot at first glance. But now as I’ve started to read, and struggling to get through its companion novel, I’m starting to hesitate a little. So I’ve changed my rating from 4 cups to 3 at the moment but I think I might lower it a little after more time passes. The reason? Well, I’m starting to hate the male protagonist.
With such a quirky leading lady as Janie, I expected the sort of leading male that would break her out of her shell. Which he did, wonderfully, and obviously through sex, but it’s what these romance novels tend to do. What I now just realised is that there’s something that has been bothering me since I finished this book – it’s the forced male dominance. Now, I’m completely alright if said dominance is strictly bedroom/sex related, I’m all for it, but I don’t like it when it’s brought to everyday scenarios. I know the first book doesn’t highlight this so much as its companion book does, but it all makes much more sense to me as I’ve continued on with these characters.
I’ll say this though, at least they have sophisticated conversations. And there are moments when this dominant man, Quinn, is shown to have his weaknesses etc, but the bottom line is, he is bossy, demanding and overprotective, and not in a good way.
There you have it, my newly refreshed reading wrap up that took me longer than I anticipated, and is longer than I would normally prefer. But sometimes a girl has to ramble on, and I guess it was my time to ramble about books. Now let me know what books have you read recently and which of these books caught your attention?