Thursday, September 7, 2017

July & August | Reading Wrap Ups

I ended up reading 8 books over the course of the past two months! (Although one was a reread and one was a collection of short stories...)

JULY:

  1. Tales From The Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare (and others) - There were a lot of people who helped out with writing this book, but I didn't feel like listing them all... whoops! My individual ratings for each story are linked above, but as a whole I felt positively about this bind-up. I wasn't the biggest fan of The Bane Chronicles, so my great like for this book came a bit out of left field for me! Out of the ten stories featured, my favorite was probably Nothing But Shadows. It makes me so excited to read The Last Hours trilogy when it comes out...
  2. Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson - This one is the sequel to Walk On Earth a Stranger and follows a girl who can sense gold... during the time of the California Gold Rush. I've always loved reading about the Oregon Trail (and similar scenarios) just because it's something I don't see too often. I loved the last book, and this one was amazing as well. I liked how it delved into more sensitive issues - such as the treatment of women, Chinese immigrants, and Native Americans during this time.
  3. Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda & Jeremy McCarter - This was a shameless reread but NO REGRETS. I love-love-love this book (thing?) and I listened to the soundtrack while reading the book (thing) this time, which only heightened the experience for me. Hamilton - while one of the only musicals I've listened to - is definitely my favorite musical, and I have so many memories with it already that I know I'll hold on to for a very long time.
  4. Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst - When a book makes you want to write, you know it's good. I loved the atmosphere of this one. The world and characters and mystery all just positively screamed "fantasy" to me (to be fair, it was a fantasy novel. And a great one, at that) and I just loved it. I'm not usually a huge fan of romance in books, but I adored the romance in this one and thought it was so cute! It was trope-y in places, but I didn't mind in the slightest.
  5. Tokyo Heist by Diana Renn - Oh boy. Such mixed feelings on this one, honestly. I love a good mystery, and my experience reading this was great. I participated in Twitter's "reading sprints" and interacted with other readers and generally had a blast. The actual book was just okay to me. I felt like a lot of things were sort of convient, because the characters were so young. Also, the writing felt a bit too tell-not-show for my tastes. It was fun to read and very quick, though!
AUGUST:

  1. The Murderer's Ape by Jakob Wegelius - A novel translated to English from Swedish, featuring a gorilla protagonist named Sally Jones. This was absolutely lovely. It takes place in many different settings, as Sally Jones tries to prove the innocence of her human friend after he's sent to prison for murder. The characters were strong and the writing was skillful. I realize it was translated to English fairly recently, but it deserves way more reads than it has. I enjoyed it immensely!
  2. On Writing by Stephen King - I have a confession: while I enjoyed this book, I didn't love it as much as everyone else seems to. A lot of the stuff I'd been lucky enough to have learned in English classes of the past! However it was cool to get to know more about his life and who he is, and I appreciated the tips on editing!
  3. Now I Rise by Kiersten White - The sequel to the Vlad the Impaler gender-bent retelling And I Darken. But oh man, And I Darken seems like backstory for this novel. It was dark, riveting, opposing, action-packing, intriguing, political, and just overall epic. I love both of the characters - Lada and Radu - although I enjoyed Radu's chapters a bit more this time around. I really can't wait for the conclusion of this saga, although I'm dreading this trilogy's end at the same time.
TOP THREE:

My top three books of these eight were probably...
  • Hamilton: The Revolution
  • The Murderer's Ape
  • Now I Rise
Although I read lots of good books these past couple of months! Happy Autumn (or... almost Autumn) everybody! I'm excited for hot cocoa, sweaters, rain, Halloween and - of course - NaNoWriMo!