The more I think about it the less sense it makes, but I am still going to try and be objective. Also I am thinking that maybe I am done with hyped up books, I am just so tired of being let down. Not that this is a bad book, it just didn't work for me.
What is up with the cliffhanger? How dare I even hope for a standalone novel?! I should have known that this was going to be series. I wasn't prepared for the end with no ending.
At a first glance the plot for Strange the Dreamer seems very unique and interesting, but take away the whimsical and weird writing - and it's really nothing new. I figured the ending when I was about 80 pages in.
A guy goes on a quest, finds out that the hero he's been worshipping is not who he seems he is, there is a girl, they fall in love and the main character takes girl's side and then it's them against the world. That is the premise of this book (more or less), plus few very interesting twists and turns.
Also why did they have to have blue skin? I see blue and I think of Smurfs. Or of James Cameron's Avatar.
Speaking of the whimsical and weird writing. I am all for that! I love dreamy, beautiful prose. But it has to make sense. And more often than not, in Strange the Dreamer it doesn't make any sense.
'The timbre of his voice sent a thrill through Sarai. It was deep, low, and raw - a voice like woodsmoke, serrated blades, and boots breaking through snow.' - I'm sorry, WHAT? How is the voice compared to the boots breaking through snow? Sure it is a beautiful sentence, but it doesn't make any sense. There were many, many eye rolls while I was reading.
Lazlo Strange is one of the main characters of this story. I liked Lazlo for the sheer notion that Lazlo LOVED books.
'The books were his, and they were all that was his. He'd made them, and he loved them in the way one loves things that come of one's own hands, but even that wasn't the extent of it.'
Lazlo was a librarian's assistant and for the most part his journey was a beautiful one. I also adored the simplicity of things he wanted from life. His dreams were bigger than big, but he had no notion for material things.
'Not luxury, which was beyond his ken, but simple comfort: a wash, a shave, meal, a bed.'
And one of my favorite lines of the whole book:
'He didn't need to be told that "dreamer" was not a qualification. It wasn't enough to want it more than anyone else.' - I really LOVED this part. And I loved even more that for him it was enough to be a dreamer. How much better life would be if "just a dreamer" or "just a reader" were full pledged qualifications.
So I enjoyed Lazlo. For half a book. But then he abandoned all he was after he met a girl. One glimpse of girl's bare collarbones and Lazlo has forgotten all about his books, his dreams and his duties. There was only one mention of his love for books after he met his "love", and it wasn't nearly enough. It's like the librarian-Lazlo we knew for 300 pages of a book just vanished. I say love with quotation marks, because the romance was quite ridiculous. It was beautifully written, goodness YES! But it was ridiculous nonetheless. More on the romance later.
Sarai is the second character whose point of view we read through. I liked Sarai. I felt for Sarai - trapped and manipulated, with a gift that felt like a curse. I also thought that her gift was very original - I loved the aspect of it.
Her story was a tragic one, even more so at the end.
'And that's how you go on. You lay laughter over the dark parts. The more dark parts the more you have to laugh. With defiance, with abandon, with hysteria, any way you can.'
Feral, Ruby and Sparrow. I group them all together, because to be honest if they were absent from the story nothing would have been different. They were just there. They didn't seem to have minds of their own, and were so easily controlled. Just talking props. Even more so in the end, which ENRAGED me so much! If you read this book already you know what I am talking about. How could they have nothing to say? How could they just stand there and take it?
Feral was the worst of them. So bland and so uninteresting. Unable to make easiest of decisions for himself.
Sparrow I liked. I felt for Sparrow, such a gentle and innocent soul. She alone seemed to be Sarai's friend. Also I wouldn't have minded having her gift. Maybe that's why I love her so much, because in my eyes she is just a little garden girl.
Ruby, a little spitfire, so completely opposite of Sparrow, and I liked her too. She brought some needed fire to the blandness of it all. I didn't think I would have liked her sexual explorations, but I did. If there was nothing else to do - I would have chose kissing as well. At least for her it made sense.
Minya was a very hard character to judge. Every time I was ready to hate her with passion a reason was brought up and I was pitying her, feeling bad. And it just went on and on, in circles. To be honest it was like that with all of the characters. I kept looking for the evil, bad character, but there was none. Well, not truly evil. Because every time something horrid was revealed about somebody - a reason as to why they did those horrid things was brought up immediately, so I would feel bad for them. Which is good, because it showed that nobody is truly good or bad, but in the end I felt like - well if nobody is bad, what are we even doing here??
That changed in the last 10 pages though.
I also should mention that it took me ages to read this book. For about 280 pages nothing really happens. I just kept slugging through, not able to read more than 30 pages in one sitting. It was the weirdest thing. I was liking what I was reading, but I didn't care about it at all.
The only thing that gave me life was the BANTER! The dialog was truly magnificent in this book.
'I didn't like to mention it last night, but today is your new beginning. Ten silver every time you say you're sorry."
Lazlo laughed, and had to bite his tongue before apologizing for apologizing. " It was trained into me," he said. "I'm helpless."
"I accept the challenge of retraining you."'
'You don't" she returned. "Did you forget to sleep?"
"How dare you, he said mildly, taking a seat at her table. "Are you suggesting that I look less than perfectly fresh?"
"I would never be so uncivil as to suggest imperfect freshness."'
Now onto the thing that truly bugged me - the romance. As I mentioned above it was beautifully written. Incredibly so.
'Tonight she and Lazlo had sought solace in each other and found it, and they had hidden in it, blocking out reality and the hate they were powerless against. They had no solution and no hope, and they'd reveled in what they did have - each other, at least in dreams - and tried to forget it all.'
!!!BIG SPOILER ALERT!!!!
They met about 4 times. In a dream. They fell in love. In a dream. In the end Lazlo decided that nobody else mattered, Weep didn't matter (granted the city wasn't what he hoped it would be, but still you don't abandon life-long commitment overnight), Eril-Fane didn't matter anymore, his research and love for the city didn't matter anymore. All he cared about was this girl that he met in a dream. And he was ready to sacrifice everything and everybody for her? And it gets even worse. She's dead, so he's sacrificing everything for a dead girl he barely knows? How morbid and creepy is that?
I could not buy this 'romance'. Even if they have truly fallen in love in a dream, they fell in love with their dream-versions, which were not really themselves. They were both bold, and direct and adventurous in dreams. They even said that if this wasn't a dream they would have never approach each other so directly in a real life. So this is basically an internet romance turned into fantasy! As I said before, at first the idea of this novel seem different and new, but once you strip the sugar coating it's just two people hitting it up in a google chat room.
However, Strange the Dreamer did have a romance I could get on board with. The love story between Azareen and Eril-Fane. Now that is LOVE, that is romance, that is real LOSS and real PAIN. They were together for 18 years, even if they got to only enjoy 5 days of it. She survived him being abducted. He heard her being raped, while being a powerless sex-slave to a cruel 'god'. He did unspeakable things for her. She was the push he needed to break free from Isagol. My heart really broke for them. Their side story was my favorite thing about this book.
And in the end when Eril-Fane dropped down to his knees and wept... My eyes finally welled up from all the feelings I felt for them.
Will I read the second one when it comes out? Maybe. There were many interesting questions left unanswered and I would like to know how it would play out. I am also hoping that the second one would be better paced, and maybe less weirdly written.
Would I recommend Strange the Dreamer? I would say yes. A lot of people adore it, and I see the reasons for it. Just because it didn't work out for me, it doesn't mean it won't work out for you. I had a lot of issues with the book, but I also had many things that I really liked. Eril-Fane's life story and the conversational banter alone are good reasons to read it.
I enjoyed answering bookish questions so much that here I am again with another tag. As always feel free to copy and answer those questions on your blog, or just answer in the comment section. I would love to read your answers!
1. Book boyfriend? - Nikolai Lantsov from the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. "wink wink. Stud". And also, Thorne from Lunar Chronicles, because he is so precious.
2. What character would be your best friend? - This one is hard. But I feel like me and Cimorene from Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede would get along very well.
3. What character would you invite for a sleep over? - Nina Zenik from Six of Crows. We would eat waffles and talk about how boys are idiots. And then we would braid each other's hair.
4. With who would you rob a bank? - Well, first of all, I wouldn't rob a bank. But if I were...I would assemble a small team. Sherlock Holmes from the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by A.C. Doyle. Who is better to rob a bank with than a mastermind that can solve all robberies without ever leaving his comfy chair? Kay Brekker from Six of Crows, because sometimes things get crazy and we need a badass gang member to orchestrate it all. I mean why stop there, how about I just bring the WHOLE Six of Crows? Yes, I would do that. And lastly, Fred and George Weasley. I have a feeling they would be good at robbing a bank.
5. Your ultimate "ship"? - I don't think I have one. Yet. I just haven't found a book-couple that swept me off my feet with their awesomeness.
But Lark and king Tiras came pretty close (from The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon). She is so strong, independent and stubborn. And Tiras is probably even more stubborn, tough, but with the softest heart. Their romance was so beautiful.
I also enjoyed Jon Snow and Ygritte's relationship (from Game of Thrones by George R Martin). It was not proper, wild and short lived, but somehow they took my heart. I was DEVASTATED when...Oh wait, no spoilers.
I also really loved Jasper and Wylan's relationship (from Six of Crows) Their dynamic was amazing!
And just to mention it I enjoyed Cinder and Thorne's friendship (from Lunar Chronicles). You know, she's rubber and he's glue.
6. What book made you cry ugly? - From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon. Not ugly, but tears were definitely present.
7. Vampires or fairies? Werewolves or zombies? - Fairies. I feel like vampires are a thing of the past now. Werewolves! (hello, Remus Lupin!!) So much cooler! And there is no rotting flesh smell, ya know...
8. Best fairytale retelling? - The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. So far I am on book two and it's pretty darn good. I love the diversity and I love that about 90 percent of the material is original. Very enjoyable read.
9. Book you wish was made into a movie? - This one is a very hard question. On one hand I would love for Six of Crows to be turned into a movie. On the other hand I am way too scared for that book to be ruined by a movie. What if casting is wrong?? what if they don't follow the script?? What if there is no chemistry between the gang?? Ohhh, the horrors!!
10. Drink of choice while reading? - Coffee. It's always coffee.
11. Author you want to interview? - Leigh Bardugo! Although I don't even know what I would ask her. "Hey, you...Book writing mastermind..." I guess we could just get some coffee. Coffee makes everything better.
12. Do you write in your books? - Goodness, no!
13. Book that took you ages to read? - The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. I got about 400 pages in. Two years ago. Still "reading". That book is in a perpetual limbo. I like to think that I am reading this second book at the speed that Rothfuss is writing his third one.
14. Three all time favorite books? - The Book and The Sword by Amy Harmon, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, Six of Crows duo logy by Leigh Bardugo, Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I'm sorry did you say three? I couldn't stop..... hehe.
15. Latest book purchase? - All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Haven't read it yet. Very excited to.
This was a book from my "Books mentioned on ‘Friends’ reading challenge".
I took my time reading this novel. At one point I just had to stop and pick up something lighter. Something that didn’t make me want to bury myself in a hole, because of how horrid the human race is.
“He makes the same mistake as the others when they look at a feeble-minded person and laugh because they don’t understand there are human feelings involved”
Flowers for Algernon is a heartbreaking journey of a man who was born deficient, but with the help of science was made into a genius. From a retarded person to the highest level of intelligence.
This book deals with a lot of issues (which can pose as triggers to some readers) bullying, domestic abuse, anger issues and sexual mentality.
There seems to be no perfect solution for Charlie, the main character. Before the operation he was eager to learn and eager to please other people, he always smiled and loved everybody (even if the people treated him horribly), but he was retarded. Charlie wanted nothing more than to learn to read and write, for he believed that it would make him into a normal person. That he would be just like everybody else.
After the operation, Charlie rapidly gains intelligence and his IQ surpasses the IQ’s of those who “created” this new brain for him. Instead of becoming just like everybody else Charlie becomes even more isolated.
“I find no pleasure in discussing ideas any more on such an elementary level. People resent being shown that they don’t approach the complexities of the problem – they don’t know what exists beyond the surface ripples”.
Charlie realizes that everybody he ever thought of being smart are actually very uneducated, and that the doctors he used to look up to and worship, have very limited knowledge even on the subjects they call themselves experts in.
But it is not an intellectual journey of Charlie that makes this book. It is his emotional one. As his intelligence grows he starts to realize how unfairly he was being treated, how he was always taken advantage of because he was retarded. And the worst of it all? His oppressed childhood memories start resurfacing.
Charlie spirals into a journey to find who he is and who he was his whole life, while trying to adjust to his new life as a “lab-rat-genius”.
There are many horrid characters in this book, but nobody is half as bad as Charlie’s mother. A mother, who is abusive of her son. A mother, who grows to resent him because he is not normal. A mother who is so desperate for the good opinions of other people that she hides her son in shame. A mother who picks up a knife and says that he is better off dead, than alive and not-normal.
“He tries to scream again, but all that comes out is a muffled choking that makes him want to throw up. He feels the wetness and the stickiness around his legs, and the odor tells him that his mother will punish him…”
Through many painful flashbacks we realize that if Charlie was only given a chance. If only his mother didn’t abuse him, if only he wasn’t raised in fear. If only people gave him more time to understand, to try and learn on his own time and terms. If only he wasn’t pushed into the mold of “normal”. Charlie might have turned out different.
For the doctors might have given him new intelligence, but he was left to his own devices when it came to the psychological trauma of his childhood. Trauma that left him emotionally damaged.
Alice was another character, besides Charlie's mother, that I absolutely couldn’t stand. Alice was Charlie’s first and only love. She took pity on him before he went to the operation and was with him through it all as a friend, and at some instances more than a friend. But once his intelligence took off and very quickly surpassed her own she decided that it was not good for her to see him. Because he was making her feel stupid, and she didn’t like that.
What kind of a horrid human would tell a person, who was retarded and felt stupid his whole life, that she can’t be with him for those reasons? It gets better…She comes back and begs to be with him when his brain starts declining and he is back at her intelligence level once more. Maybe I got the whole point of Alice’s character wrong. Maybe she had a bigger purpose. I just couldn’t see it over the hatred I felt towards her.
I felt bad for Charlie all throughout the book. Even when his intelligence made him a jerk. Even when his morals went out of the window. Because at the end of the day all he wanted was to be normal. He wanted to please his parents. He wanted them to be proud of him even if just once in his lifetime. He wanted to understand himself.
Before the operation he was treated as a half human, because of his disability. After the operation he was treated as a lab rat. He just wanted to be treated as a human being.
The thing that angered me the most was how none of the people who claimed to be helping Charlie, and the likes of him, were actually doing it to help. They were doing it for their own selfish reasons: in the name of science, or to feel better about themselves. The only good Samaritans in this book were the people from Warren hospital for retarded. While many people donated money, or did research to “help” the problem. Those workers did it from the love in their hearts. They took on a job that not many people would dare to do. They had an understanding that all those disabled people needed were attention and love. I really wish that there was more about the Warren hospital in the book. As that is the angle this issue should be addressed from.
This is a novel that will speak differently to different people. It will anger some, it will sadden some and it will shed light of understanding for others. It is one classic that should not be passed by.
I think we all have those books that call to us from the shelves. Books that we read already, but are itching to read again (no matter how big our current TBR is). This is the list of books that I want to re-read hopefully in the near future.
Please comment down below books that you love so much that you can't help but read multiple times.
1. Six of Crows dulology by Leigh Bardugo.
If you love fantasy as much as I do, these two books will probably change your life. I have read them in the beginning of February of 2017 and I am ready to read them again, barely 3 months later.
So what is it about this duology that makes it so good? Well, besides excellent writing, witty humor and mind-blowing twist and turns of the plot? This book contains six fantastic characters. Six amazing points of view. You would think that six might be a tad much. A little too cluttered. But somehow, it's perfect. They all are so incredibly different and reading their points of view is like hanging out with each of them in turn. With some you laugh, with some you grieve and with some you are terrified for you don't know what the heck they have planned for you (ahem-ahem, Kaz Brekker!).
The world building is fantastic. It's a completely different world that you let yourself emerge into. At moments it feels so real that you can almost smell the dirty streets of Ketterdam.
Leigh Bardugo is quite the mastermind.
2. Dealing with Dragons series by Patricia C. Wrede
Staying in the genre of fantasy, but switching to some middle-grade literature, we have Dealing with Dragons series. There are four books in the series, but I mainly want to re-read the first three, as they are the bomb. The fourth one is good, just not as good I guess.
If you are thinking that you are too old for middle-grade books, think again. All the best books are written for children (HP series, Percy Jackson...to name a few).
Dealing with Dragons has the best female protagonist EVER. If you need a role model, look no further. Cimorene is spunky, smart and takes no crap, be it from a dragon or a prince who is trying to "rescue" her. She stands up for herself. Bonus perk, her job title is basically a librarian, for a dragon.
But amazing characters don't end with Cimorene, as series progress we meet a phenomenal (and quite a feminist) witch Morven, and later on a king, who doesn't act like a king, Mendanbar.
I should read some more of Wrede books. For I read these series three times already, but what can you do?
3. Life of PI by Yann Martel
I read Life of Pi a few years back, and I loved it so much I wanted to cry. I think I am ready to read it again.
Life of PI is a story of spiritual journey, a tragic event and an unlikely friendship with a tiger, named Richard Parker.
There are three parts to the book, and narration switches now and then, but it is done so seamlessly, and by then you are so immersed into the story that you don't feel it at all. The ending is left to readers interpretation, which I know many readers don't like. Me included (I need facts, not musings!). But, surprisingly, in Life of Pi, I didn't mind that at all. I just chose to believe the "better story".
There is also a film. I would recommend both. Go read it. Go watch it. Just do. It's so good.
4. A study in scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Sadly, I don't own a physical copy just of this story, so here is an internet image.
Ahh Sherlock Holmes. There was a time when all I read was "The adventures of Sherlock Holmes". I can't tell you how many times I have read each story, but I can speculate that it was no less than five. I was obsessed. I couldn't understand why none of my friends shared this obsession with me. Granted, my friends weren't avid readers, as I was, but still.
Doyle has two novels of Sherlock Holmes, that are more lengthy and more complex than all of his other short stories. The Hound of Baskerville and A Study in Scarlet. I adore both of them, but A Study in Scarlet has always been my favorite. It's also quite different in its composition, as it consist of two parts: a present time and the past. The present is full of Holmes' awesomeness and his deduction methods, while the past is a heart wrenching story of love and revenge.
If you never read any of Sherlock Holmes stories, I don't know what you are waiting for. It is one classic that will never be beat and will always be my number one.
5. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Impossible to put down? Check.
Agatha Christie at her best. No wonder this book is the sixth-best-selling single-volume book of all time! It is also very different from all of her other works, so if you don't care much about Hercuile Poirot or Miss Marple, try this.
I need to get a hardcover copy of this, because it is a book to keep and cherish forever.
Ten strangers, apparently with little in common, are lured to an island mansion off the coast of Devon by the mysterious U.N.Owen. Over dinner, a record begins to play, and the voice of an unseen host accuses each person of hiding a guilty secret. That evening, the first victim is murdered. Nine to go?
The tension escalates as the survivors realise the killer is not only among them but is preparing to strike again… and again...
6. Locke and Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez.
I only own four of these books and want to re-read them before I go out and buy the last two.
It's hard for me to explain these books, because you just have to read them, and see them. For it is a graphic novel.
It is brutal, it is creepy and it's pretty darn good!
The comic follows three siblings of the Locke family returning to their ancestral home in Lovecraft, Massachusetts, after their father is brutally murdered. There they explore a house with doors unlocked by magical keys that bestow powers...and a malevolent demon determined to steal them all for itself.
Also let me nonchalantly mention that Joe Hill is Steven King's son. Now, I am not comparing him to his dad, or his work to his dad's work. For he is his own, super talented person. Is just, you know that mind numbing and heart wrenching string that tugs on you when you read King's books, well he's got it too. So prepare to be creeped out, it is a horror graphic novel, after all.
Based on my books of choice I guess you can tell that I love a good (and hopefully a scary) mystery. I also love a good fantasy equally as much.
I am always open to recommendations in those genres, + historical fiction. So recommend away.
15 easy and quick book related questions. Feel free to answer them on your blog, and make sure to comment your link down below, so I can check your answers out.
1. What is the last book that you read? - Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
2. How often do you read? - Lately I have been extremely lucky to be able to read every single day. I try to do at least 100 pages daily.
3. Last book you read and didn't like? - I have few books that were just mehhh, or barely alright, or didn't do anything for me, but it has been a while since I really disliked a book (thankfully). I guess The Gunslinger by Steven King was the last one I didn't like. I love King's works, but that book was so boring to me I barely had the will to finish it.
4. Do you wish to be a writer? - It has been on my bucket list for a long time now. But I never thought of it seriously till recently. I have been having so many ideas lately that I had to start writing them down. Hopefully it will turn into something good.
5. Current favorite book? - This one is hard. I will go by genre.
Historical fiction : From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon (available to purchase at Barnesandnobles.com)
Fantasy: Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo
I have way more, but these two are at the top right now.
6. Do you prefer physical copy or an ebook? - Physical. Always and forever. I am very old fashioned when it comes to books.
7. Did you always love to read or did you pick it up recently? - I didn't learn to read till I was 7 years old. I guess that is considered extremely late for a child. But once I did I was not able to stop since.
8. Favorite book genre? - Mystery, historical fiction (mostly WWII) and fantasy.
9. Do you read on the toilet? - No, but I used to. A lot. When I was pre-teen I would sit on a toilet for so long my bottoms would go numb. I remember reading a lot of mysteries on the toilet. I guess it's a good place to solve crimes, ha.
10. Do you read in the car? - Sadly, I can't. I get extremely carsick if I try to read while the car is moving.
11. Do you read in bed? - Yes. It is my favorite place to read. Cup of mint tea, cozy blankets and my 65 pound dog snoring right next to me - perfect.
12. Do you read magazines? - No. I find no use for them - too much commercial material, too much of people telling you how you should look and such.
13. Favorite authors? - When I was growing up Arthur Conan Doyle was my everything. I read and re-read his books and I could never get enough. Sherlock Holmes was my hero, and he still is (I just haven't reread anything in a while). C.S Lewis is one of my dear favorites too. He has so much hidden wisdom. I have recently discovered Leigh Bardugo and she quickly became one of my favorites. I adore Amy Harmon. And Patricia Wrede will be on my favorites shelves forever just for her Dealing with Dragons series.
14. Pet peeves concerning book plots? - Love triangles (this is so overused, please stop writing love triangles, thank you.) When authors borrow lines and quotes from other authors without crediting them (paraphrasing and making it sound "yours" doesn't help! It's not school paper you are writing, it's literature).
15. Next book to read/ currently reading? - Just started Strange the Dreamer by Laini Tylor
And the next one to read is The Queen and the Cure by Amy Harmon.
April reads have treated me well. I have read 7 books and two short stories this month (7th book and the short stories are not pictured on this photo).
1. A court of thorns and roses by Sarah J. Maas
This book has so much hype around it, it's really quite ridiculous. I checked it out of the library because I wanted something quick and something that I could be sure I was going to like. Boy was I wrong! The hype on this one did not hold up for me at all. I am happy for all the people who adore it, but I saw no appeal whatsoever.
To start off, I think this is advertised in a wrong genre. I was expecting a high action ya fantasy with a badass heroine and some romance woven throughout. What I got instead was - a very slow, soft-erotica new adult romance based of Beauty and the Beast, sprinkled with some action.
Now let me tell you about all of the books that this book has reminded me of.
1. Beauty and the Beast (somehow I did not know that it was a retelling of it, of sorts, so it came as a surprise).
2. When Feyre was given a riddle I instantly thought of Gollum from The Hobbit.
3. Her sisters? Straight from Cinderella, or just any fairytale that has three sisters in it. HOWEVER, their redemption was very satisfying. Especially Hesta's!
4. Feyre is thrown into the labyrinth to fight the worm. Hmmm, where have I read something like this before? Percy Jackson, The Goblin King and lots of greek and roman mythology.
5. There was an event at the end of the book which reminded me very strongly of Twilight (although I haven't read that, I just know what happens).
6. Rhys and the dark that surrounds him. Anybody else thought of Darkling (Shadow and Bone)? No? Just me? Alright then.
7. Fae world and their descriptions. There was nothing new here. If anything I was instantly reminded of book 4 of Dresden Files: The Summer Night, in which Spring Court, Summer court and other courts are present. Fae are not real. So when you build a world with Fae in it, you could make them anything you want them to be. Why go the beat route of what other books have already done?
I thought that ACOTAR seriously lacked in the originality department. But where it lacked in that, it made up in brutality of the fight scenes.
2. Dying to read by Lorena McCourtney
I picked it up at a library because the name caught my eye and I was in a mood for a quick book.
This turned out to be a clean and cozy little mystery novel. Nothing new or spectacular, but very pleasant and easy. With a few laugh-out-loud moments. I did figure out the twist with the first hint though.
The main character, Cate, had few of very relatable qualities, so I liked that. I can see this book being a staple in a mystery-book-club of sorts, as it had that cozy feel that older ladies would enjoy a lot.
3. In other lands by Sarah Rees Brennan
As I already did a full review on this book, I will keep it very short. To read the extensive review please follow this link :
In other lands was not at all what I expected it to be. Instead of a high adventure fantasy book it was a fantasy surrounded coming-of-age-story. The book touched a lot of important issues: racial, gender,political, sexual and even though I did not care much for the execution of these issues, I liked the book for being blunt and fresh about them.
4. Ruin and rising by Leigh Bardugo
For me Ruin and Rising was a perfect end to the Grisha trilogy. I guess I always have a slight fear that the last book of trilogy will suck (as it often does for many series), but this one delivered.
I would recommend this series to anyone who loves fantasy. As a bonus, Grisha trilogy is sprinkled with slavic traditions. I loved that so much, as I am slavic myself.
This is now my favorite trilogy up to date. I enjoy Bardugo's writing immensely, and at this point I will read pretty much anything of hers.
I wrote a review on the whole trilogy and you can access it here:
5. The Tailor by Leigh Bardugo
A short story that focuses on Genya and the reasons behind the choices that she makes in Grisha trilogy. As I adore Genya I really liked this insight on her character.
Wouldn't recommend it on its own, as it meant to be an addition.
6. A darker shade of magic by V.E.Schwab
I really loved about 75 percent of this book. Have to say that the ending disappointed me a little bit. It just felt too easy, too rushed, too optimistic? The whole book was very brutal (so brutal!) So having everything work out perfectly in the end just felt unnatural. But I am definitely curious to see what will go wrong in the second one.
I also liked Lila a lot in the beginning, but as the book progressed she seemed less like a thief and more of just a kleptomaniac. With an unexplainable thirst for killing.
Would definitely recommend, I enjoyed Schwab's style of writing a lot.
7. From sand and ash by Amy Harmon
This book I cannot rave enough about. I think this was my favorite read this April. Historical fiction is my favorite genre and this book is as sad as it is beautiful.
From sand and ash is set in WWII, Italy. It follows lives of two people, Eva and Bianco from the time that they were children. Eva is a jew and Bianco is a catholic priest. Their journey and the journey of those around them in such tragic times is completely riveting.
For me it was a magnificent, although heartbreaking, 5 star read. If you are not big on romance, don't worry, I am not either, but From Sand and Ash has so much more to offer.
For full review please go here.
8. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
I loved the fact that even though this is supposed to be a retelling, about 90 percent of the material was original.
I enjoyed reading Cinder a lot. I did feel like there should have been more explanation about the race of Lunars, why they are on the moon and why they are not friendly with Earthens, but since this is only a first book of the series, I am sure that more answers will come with time.
I enjoyed Cinder as a protagonist. She was funny, she was strong, and most importantly not whiny (as for some reason a lot of teenage protagonists are). Iko was a nice little addition as well.
The writing is very pleasant and there were few very nice plot turns and the ending obviously left me wanting more.
9. Glitches by Marissa Meyer, a short story.
Glitches is a short story that gives the reader a look into Cinder's first days of life with her new "family". It is pretty sad, but provides a few nice insights. Once again, wouldn't recommend it on it's own, as it meant to add to the story, but as an addition it's perfect.
Freelance BETA reader.