March was full of very mediocre reads for me. If not for the two books of Grisha Trilogy that I read this month, I would have been in a very deep reading slump right now.
Heartless by Marissa Meyer.
I am a little bit at crossroads about this one . On one hand I really enjoyed reading about how the Queen of Hearts came to be a psychotic, mad and heartless thing she is. But on the other hand - this book felt like a dupe. I just wasn't a big fan of all this character borrowing. Taking characters out of a beloved book and putting them into another one – to me it seems like cheating. And not only the Wonderland was borrowed, but also the Raven's talk was all Allan Poe, and the most famous lullaby "twinkle, twinkle..." was borrowed too. The original content was amazing, there was just very, very little of it.
All the borrowing aside, I did enjoy this book. It was a very pleasant, prettily written, quick read. I fell in love with Meyer's style of writing - it was fluid and quite beautiful. Not to mention all of the yummy treats and deserts described in this book! I was hungry the whole time I was reading it.
The other reason why I enjoyed the book so much, was because I really felt for Cath - her fate was such a horrible one. And I am not only talking about her love interest, but her dreams, her friends and most of all her horrible, horrible parents. I actually blame them for most of the things that happened to her.
Also I enjoyed the romance - the subtlety of it was a refreshing breather after "Hey-I-just-met-you-let's-make-out" romance that is so often found in ya books.
I am number four by Pittacus Lore.
This was just an alright read for me.
I took it with me on vacation because I wanted something quick, mindless and entertaining. And it was just that. I enjoyed reading it, but I also felt like I didn't get anything new out of it. The plot and the characters felt very recycled to me:
- The main character is a supernatural with extraordinary powers, who is on the run and cannot tell anybody about his powers, or himself in general. Then a life threatening event happens and the main character has no other choice but to use his powers and risk revealing himself while being a hero and saving lives.
- A love interest of his is a typical look-at-me-i-am-so-cute-and-perfect-girl.
- Main character is not a human and the way his race loves differs from the love that human race feels. It's pure and it's forever. This straight up reminded me of Mortal Instruments (which was written 3 years before this book, so the concept is far from new).
- A jealous ex who gives the main character trouble.
- A nerdy side kick.
- An animal companion.
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.
I will write a full review of this one shortly, so I will just say that reading this felt like a school assignment, for I constantly had to push myself and try to read some more.
I read somewhere (I am not sure how reliable the source was though) that Sense and Sensibility is considered to be the weakest novel of Austen (I found that out after I got done reading it). Now I am kicking myself, for it was my very first novel by her. I really wish I have chosen something else to be introduced to the author, because this book did not work out for me at all. However, I have decided not to give up just yet and read other works of Austen.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.
I was so scared going into this because of all the mixed reviews, and I am so happy to say that this book worked out very well for me. In fact, it worked out so well that it is now going on my "favorites" shelf.
Since I read Six of Crows first, I spoiled the whole thing for myself, for now I know how the whole thing ends. But I'm not even mad about that. It was nice to see familiar names that were mentioned in Crows (Genya and Zoya).
The main character, Alina, is no tender flower. She is sassy and blunt at the most inappropriate of times. She navigates her new world grudgingly, which is very funny at times.
The main anti-hero (so to say) of the story is brilliant! He is mysterious, dark, and you can never tell what his next move might be. That is the allure of the Darkling!
The plot twist at the end? Yes please!
I found the Grisha world to be absolutely fascinating, but I did feel that the book needed more explaining on how Grisha work their magic! But since this is a trilogy I am giving it a benefit of a doubt and hoping for more information from the next 2 books.
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo.
Leigh Bardugo has my heart. I have read four books of hers up to date, and they all have been fantastic reads that I haven't been able to put down. As much as I wanted to savor this one I flew through it in a day.
I can see this book being slow for readers who yearn non-stop action, as there is a lot of diplomatic dinners, meetings and riding from town to town. I have also imagined Alina to be more powerful at this point, but oh well.
While Alina is still not as likable as you wish her to be, one quality of hers shines brighter than the sun (see what I did there?). Selflessness. Alina's patriotism might be hidden deep within her, but in the moments that count, it pours out of her like an unstoppable ocean. She would rather die than see other people suffer. She would rather suffer alone than bind anybody to her side.
Mal, on the other hand, is a complete dingus! Rarely I see a character go downhill so fast. Mal has become childish and jealous to the point that it makes him insufferable. And just as Alina is completely selfless, Mal has become as selfish as it can be. However, I see his points of view, and understand his hurting. But it's not nearly enough for him to be even a little redeemed in my eyes. I spent half a book wishing somebody would punch him in the face.
Nikolai. Who needs Mal when you have Nikolai? Probably the greatest character in the whole series, so far. Yes, I am just going to leave it at that.
There is not a lot of Darkling in this book, but when he is present he is badass, he is scary, and he is as perfect of a villain as it gets.
Freelance BETA reader.