Persuasion by Jane Austen
I’m not a huge Austen fan (I know, absolutely sinful) but I have to say that after finishing this book, I am (hesitantly) optimistic for my Summer of Austen. Charting the return of Frederick Wentworth, who Anne ended her engagement with due to the interference of others, this is a book about past regrets. I really enjoyed Persuasion, though that’s not to say that it didn’t have it’s dull points. Still, had it’s dramatic points, it was full of angst, and had a really nicely written letter. I am a character focused reader, and while I did feel a little bit indifferent toward Anne, Captain Wentworth kept me interested. Would I read it again? Definitely!
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas
In case you haven’t realise by now, this is one of my favourites series’, so don’t expect me to be critical, especially since this is my 5th time reading this book. Even though I know the plot like the back of my hand, I still found myself falling in love with everything, and everyone, in this book all over again. What I do notice, having recently read the 6th book, is the sheer mountainous amount of character development between the two. While it is an immense pleasure to join these characters on their journeys, this book also sands excellently on it’s own, though I can’t imagine you not wanting to continue with the series.(In other news, Dorian is bae, but you should know that already)
A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
This book is most definitely on my favourite books of all-time list, and I knew that when I first read it back in December. In this first instalment of this stellar trilogy, we are introduced to Kell, and Antari, a magician with the rare ability to move between worlds, and Lila, thief and would-be pirate. I love everything about this book, from the witty dialogue to the intricate, and beautiful plot, to the beautiful depiction of magic. This is a book that will take you on an adventure like no other, and you’ll dread having to return to Grey-World. If perfection exists, then it exists here in book form. All hail Queen Victoria!
This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by V.E. Schwab 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Yes, my second Schwab of the month, and, obviously not my last! You may have noticed that this was not on my TBR, but I started reading the sequel and I realised that I didn’t really remember the first book. Honestly, it’s really stage for me not to re-read, so I don’t know why I didn’t. Anyway, do I need to say how beautiful this books is? I’m not just taking about the writing, though it is stunning, but also the intricacies of the plot, and of the way that this fantasy manages to relate so accurately to our own world. The stunning parallels, and fascinating concept (violent acts breed physical monsters) work together to create this masterpiece.
Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1) by Renee Ahdieh 🌟🌟🌟🌟
“A Mulan retelling set in feudal Japan”. That’s really all you need to know about this book, that and it is an excellent retelling. Like all retellings, at least as is the case for my favourites, this doesn’t simply follow the Disney film, which, incidentally is the only version I know. The plot is much more interesting, and complex, as were the many characters. With subplots of revenge, grudges and, my old favourite, love, this exceeded my expectations. Of course, the Mulan part of the story definitely hit the spot, but also the setting of this book, a fantastical version of feudal Japan, was gorgeous, and makes me eager for the conclusion to this duology.
All That Man Is by David Szalay 🌟🌟🌟
A decent, an diverse collection of nine short stories, each one a snapshot in the life of the modern man. Each story follows a different man, in a different country at a different point in his life. There were some really great stories in this collection, and it was clear that Szalay has a really lovely writing style. However, as is often the case with short story collection, it’s nearly impossible to have every single story similarly brilliant. Overall, the collection managed to subtly come full circle, but personally hasn’t not had a lasting impact.
How to Love by Katie Cortugo 🌟🌟🌟
You know when you’re just really craving an easy, romantic, contemporary? This is the perfect book for that. Told in alternating chapters of Before and After, this is Reena’s story, of love, heartbreak and an unexpected pregnancy. The plot itself id very character orientated, something that I love, giving not only Reena, whose POV dominates the book, and Sawyer, the love interest, but also the supporting characters like Shelby and Soledad. That’s not to say that it’s a perfect book, but it is a nice summery contemporary that may just make you cry a little.
The Sellout by Paul Beatty 🌟🌟🌟🌟
So, this is the winner of the Man Booker Prize 2017? Even though, I haven’t (yet) read the shortlist, I can see why. The Sellout is satirical, but not in a way that just goes over your head, but rather in a way that manages to include the reader, even as a 20-year-old white femal, who has nothing in common with the protagonist. I’m not quite sure how to explain the plot, for me it wasn’t until the final section that the plot came full circle and started to feel like a plot rather than a series of incidents. But it’s this final section that relayed raws your attention the the beauty and subtly of said plot. All in all an excellent book, and it reminds me a lot of Percival Everett’s Erasure, which I’d also recommend.
Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2) by V.E. Schwab 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
After a bit of a slow start, which was completely my fault, I read the vast majority of this book in a day, which, I guess, isn’t that surprising for a V.E. Schwab book. Despite the fact that there is a war going on between monster and human, this is a strong character driven book, from out main protagonists to supporting characters, the characters were truly exceptional. Both in terms of new characters, like Alice and Soro, the latter of whom has no gender (if that’s the right way to phrase it?), to the return of a certain someone who really came into their own. I was hopping for a bit of romance, and, despite my expectations, I got it, right before Victoria tore my heart out and stomped on it. Overall, an exceptional book!
Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Continuing with the preparation for Tower of Dawn, of as I like to call it, Throne of Chaol, this, ladies and gentlemen, readers and writers, is how to write a sequel! As someone who isn’t the greatest fan of the sequel, colour me impressed. Crown of Midnight once again follows Celaena, Chaol and Dorian as they are faced with new challenges in the Castle. Not only is this and excellent continuation of the story in it’s own right, but this is essentially the set up for the main plot line of the rest of the series, especially the next two books. It’s in this book that we begin to piece together the bigger picture, and what a picture it it! Bring it on!
So all in all I’ve had a really good month, very hectic and disorganised but I got there in the end. Stand out of the month? Flame in the Mist and ADSOM (even though it’s a re-read). What was the best book you read this month? What was your biggest disappointment?
Thanks for reading!