“A girl is running for her life.”First line in The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab
Somehow 2020 has ended, although I’m still checking the calendar quite often just to be sure. Not that 2021 is just magically going to solve everything right away, but it feels like we’re closer to an end to this pandemic.
My December was pretty much all work. As a postal worker, December really hits hard, and this year was even crazier than usual. I’m so glad it’s over! Right now, I could sleep for a month.
I still got some reading done, but, as has been the trend the last couple of months, less than what I consider average. Here are the stats:
The number of pages read was greatly helped by the fact that I finished a book of 1,000 pages that I had started in October (The Wise Man’s Fear). I had one reread this month, which was Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and I won’t be reviewing that one. That leaves three books to get mini-reviews, and I think the headline for this month should be “Line doesn’t like popular books”. Enjoy!
Return of the Thief (The Queen’s Thief #6)
Author: Megan Whalen Turner
Published: October 6th 2020
Genre: YA Fantasy
Go to Goodreads to read the synopsis for the first book in the series, The Thief.
What can I say about a sixth and final book in a series without spoiling you? Well, I can say that was a very satisfying conclusion. All of the five previous books in the series work as standalones, but this final one still managed to use something from all of them to bind everything together. My only critique is that I wanted a little bit more from the ending to this book. We spend a lot of time building up to the end when the conclusion itself is quite brief. I would have liked to see some stuff wrapped up more nicely.
However, this last book confirms that the series belongs among my all-time favorites. I love Turner’s writing and the way she shapes her characters. It is unlike any YA fantasy I’ve ever read. There are also so many hidden meanings in her writing, meaning it’s a series I expect to love even more when I reread it someday.
The Wise Man’s Fear (Kingkiller Chronicle #2)
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Published: March 1st 2011
Read the synopsis of the first book, The Name of the Wind on Goodreads.
No. Just no. This book was unbelievably boring. I refuse to believe that every single scene was necessary to do whatever it is that Rothfuss is doing. So much of it is repeating the same stuff over and over and over again. It was interesting in the first book with the plot also visibly moving forward, but here in the second one, we’re just walking in circles.
There are still important scenes in here which make this book worth reading. Whenever I came across those, I was fully immersed in the story, however, they were very far between.
Finally, I will say that I almost gave it a better rating because I still really enjoy the writing, but the last third ruined that. Without going into spoilers, I’ll just say that it suddenly became very clear that this book is written by a man. The cringe! So much cringe! I’m still working on erasing images and conversations from my mind.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
Author: V. E. Schwab
Published: October 6th 2020
Buzzwords: Deals with the devil, romance, immortality,
Synopsis: France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever-and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.
Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.
But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore, and he remembers her name.
Those 3 stars might be a bit generous, and they’re more a reflection of how I can see this book working for other readers. Just not me. It so didn’t work for me. It’s funny because I see this book being recommended to people who love slow, atmospheric, character-driven stories, which is usually right up my alley. It just requires a better execution than this book had (please, don’t kill me).
The writing is very ambitious and very lyrical, but it’s just not done well. I didn’t feel the atmosphere. I didn’t feel her characters. Schwab was too busy coming up with 20 different ways of saying the same thing. And that’s why I think I didn’t connect with the characters. They had about three characteristics that Schwab kept telling us about over and over again. They didn’t have any depth. This kind of writing also hindered the plot as a huge part of each scene was dedicated to Addie walking around thinking up metaphors. It’s actually possible for writing to be beautiful AND progress the plot and the characters at the same time.
Finally, I was also quite disappointed with the plot that we did get, but then we’re going into spoiler-territory. I also know a lot of people love this book, so I’m going to stop my ranting.
Those were the last few books I read in 2020! I’m ready for 2021 to start and for it to be filled with amazing books. What was your favorite read of December?