“Thorngroves shrouded Greenhallow Hall.”First line in Drowned Country by Emily Tesh
A little over a year ago I wrote a post about some books I expected to give 5 stars, and I have finally read them all. This is the second time I’m doing this after I did very poorly the first time. So poorly that I didn’t even give a single one of the books 5 stars, which I was determined to change with my second attempt. Did I succeed? Keep reading to find out!
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
Rating: 4 stars
I’m glad I read this one. It was cool to read about a version of New York I haven’t come across much, and I loved all the multi-cultural aspects the book wove into the story. Everything else about it, though, (plot, characters, writing) was just alright so I couldn’t give it 5 stars.
The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
Rating: 1.5 stars
Seems like I missed the mark a bit with this one… I think I was blinded by the few people I had seen compare this to The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, which is a book I love dearly. Both are portal fantasy books and both have this book-within-a-book element, but that’s also where the similarities end. The characters in The Ten Thousand Doors of January were extremely whiny and over-dramatic, so not much happened in the book. They were simply too busy complaining, and it was making me annoyed.
The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
Rating: 3 stars
Well, everybody else was giving this book 5 stars so how was I to know that I would be the weird one?! I’m even thinking that 3 stars was a bit generous. It’s a book for adults but it felt like it was written for children with its simplicity. None of the conflicts were actual conflicts and all had very simple and easy solutions. All of the children in this house are literal angles 24/7, and I’m left wondering whether the author has actually met a child before.
Drowned Country (The Greenhollow Duology #2) by Emily Tesh
Rating: 5 stars
HA, I got one! After loving the first novella in this duology (Silver in the Wood), I also felt Drowned Country was a pretty safe bet. It leaned even more into the fairy-tale-esque atmosphere and took advantage of the original meaning behind fairy tales. It was beautiful, all the characters own my heart and I have zero complaints about these novellas.
Firestarter (Timekeeper #3) by Tara Sim
Rating: 4 stars
I was blown away by the second book in this trilogy, so naturally I had high hopes for the last book. Unfortunately, it ended up as my least favorite book in the series mainly because the plot felt a bit messy. It didn’t use what the previous books had built but introduced a lot of new (and in my opinion worse) plotlines that made it all a bit confusing. And it employed a trope that I really don’t care for.
So how did I do?
Books given 5 stars: 1
Books I’m also counting as a win: 0
Hey, one 5-star book was better than the first time I did this where I had zero. However, I did count two other books as wins in that one, so I honestly don’t know if this is progress. Still, like last time I want to learn something from this about my own tastes. Here are my lessons:
- I’m really, really not into fluffy, feel-good books. I’ve given this a lot of thought recently so there might be a post about it at some point about why that is.
- Award nominated books aren’t necessarily for me. This was also a lesson in my previous post where I didn’t like some literary fiction, but I guess it also includes award nominated fantasy books.
I really don’t know if I should do this again since I’m clearly not very good at it. However, I do feel that I’m learning something about what works for me, so maybe I just need to keep doing it. I also don’t give a lot books 5 stars, so maybe that’s the problem. What do you think? Do you like seeing me fail or do you think posts like these are pointless?