Hello everyone, and welcome back!
So I promised I would replace Weekly Reads with some other form of roundup, so here’s attempt #1: Monthly Reads. Here’s hoping it satisfies my need for listiness (whatever, I never promised to not make up words) and doesn’t expand infinitely like Weekly Reads did.
This is obviously not a ranking, but actually just the books I read in chronological order. (Not reviewing order, though, since I tend to put upcoming/new releases reviews first. Yeah, we can’t all just make sense all the time.) Without further ado…
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
This is the third and final (?) book in a fantasy trilogy about faeries living alongside humans. And now that’s it’s been some time, I’ll just say it: this disappointed me, especially in comparison to the second book. I feel like this book dwelled on not-great sex scenes and skipped over spending time with stuff that could’ve been really interesting (more of Feyre’s spy machinations!), among other issues.
Around the time this came out, I wrote out a few points to talk about it, because it is pretty hard to write non-spoilery reviews of books in a series (and the guilt of spoiling people pre-release is too real; I’ve done it accidentally before), but also because I didn’t know how to express my disappointment diplomatically.
Geekerella by Ashley Poston
This is a fandom contemporary/fairy tale retelling of Cinderella but with cosplay and a Trek-like show.
This was really cute and one of my favourite reads of the month. It ran a little short, which is probably why it didn’t rate higher (although let’s be real, a 3.5 on my blog is 5 stars in a lot of places; adjust for brutally high expectations) but other than that, yeah. I’d suggest checking this out.
Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed
So this book represented an important issue (forced marriages), and for that I recommended reading it, but the writing was…kind of messy. If it wasn’t representing the kind of problem I think we should be aware of, I think I’d have dropped it. But it’s pretty short, so it’s likely worth the time to be educated a bit.
Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
This was another cute book, but it kind of fell short of its premise and didn’t totally wow me. It’s basically a You’ve Got Mail situation, but with no perspective flipping and less…mail, and more California vibes. (Also some past trauma the protagonists went through.) Worth a summer read if you like Vespas and churros and classic films.
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
This is a fantasy offering about a girl sentenced to death who is offered a reprieve if she becomes the commander’s food taster.
This had a great premise and an interesting plot with intriguing characters, but the magic system was underexplained and the switch-flip to romance awkwardly sudden. The writing also went visibly from not good to better as I went, which was weird? This one was middle of the road for me; I might try a sequel.
The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
This one was a little bit historical (set in 1970) and very much about Alaska. (Setting love!) A lovely set of stories from four different perspectives that could’ve used a bit more backstory (another short book, of course), but overall this was a good read with great imagery.
Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton
If you want to read Black Swan as a book about teens (plus more diversity), this will work for you, complete with obsessive mothers, mean girl ballerinas, some unreliable narration, eating disorders, etc. If those stereotypes will start to bore you, then probably no: this offers just the barest of character development outside of ballet ambition.
Zodiac by Romina Russell
So this is a sci-fi/fantasy kind of thing where there are twelve houses of people across the galaxy (astrology-style) and they all do future-telling and there’s an Evil that has come and a Chosen One, etc.
The worldbuilding was more fun than I expected, but the romance (love triangle) is so awful and the plot stilted by the protagonist’s inability to act, so it was…not really great. My review for this one is coming up; I’ll link it when it’s available! (ETA: It was a wild ride.)
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Dimple’s parents haven’t told her that they’ve been working to arrange a marriage for her with Rishi, who she meets at an app development seminar pre-college. And despite her loathing of that idea, this is, of course, a contemporary romance.
The premise of this one is neat, and I wanted to love it more than I did, but characters weren’t as fleshed out as I hoped they would be, and this drifted a little from scene to scene. Still, it’s fun if you love that premise.
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Oh hi here’s another fandom contemporary romance for you, featuring a webcomic artist and a fan she meets who happens to be the new guy in town.
A la Alex, Approximately, this is cute from the premise on, but also deals with character trauma/mental illness. Unlike that book, though, I felt not 100% confident about how those issues were handled in this one. I did love the work to immerse us in the world the fans care about, though. Enjoyed this one overall, with some concerns.
Ten books for this month is not too shabby, but I’m going to have to get in gear if I want to catch up with my reading goals! What books have you been reading lately? How are you doing with your reading goals for 2017? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll speak to you soon!