“This is going to be a story about the Lynch brothers.”
First line in Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater
Happy New Year! I hope you all had a lovely New Year’s Eve and ready to begin a new decade. Today I’m comng to you with a very chill WWW Wednesday. It’s a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words, and it’s meant to give you all a little insight into my reading this week. I’ll answer the 3 questions:
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish?
What do you think you’ll read next
What did you recently finish?
My wrap up goes up tomorrow so I’m just going to run over these a bit quickly.
I’m currently reading 2 amazing books! My commute book is Words of Radiance (part 1) by Brandon Sanderson. I’ve only read 40 pages but it’s like I never left that world. It will still take me a while to read because it’s massive.
I’m also reading The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. I’m calling it now: it is a high probability that my first read of the year is also going to be my favorite book of the year. I’m only about 150 pages into this tome but so far it’s absolutely perfect! I can’t believe this is a real book.
What do you think you’ll read next?
It’ll be a while before I start something else because once I finish The Starless Sea, all my focus will go to Words of Radiance. I’m hoping to finish that before I have to return it to the library but it’s looking a bit difficult.
Have you read any of these books? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
“There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Strubb, and he almost deserved it.”
First line in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis
Hi, guy. In today’s post I want to share some of my most anticipated releases for the first half of 2020. There are probably more because great books are released all the time but these are the 7 I’m most excited about.
Title: Infinity Son
Author: Adam Silvera
Published: January 14th 2020
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: Book 1 in Infinity Cycle
What made me excited: Adam Silvera, LGBTQ+ representation in fantasy
Balancing epic and intensely personal stakes, bestselling author Adam Silvera’s Infinity Son is a gritty, fast-paced adventure about two brothers caught up in a magical war generations in the making.
Growing up in New York, brothers Emil and Brighton always idolized the Spell Walkers—a vigilante group sworn to rid the world of specters. While the Spell Walkers and other celestials are born with powers, specters take them, violently stealing the essence of endangered magical creatures.
Brighton wishes he had a power so he could join the fray. Emil just wants the fighting to stop. The cycle of violence has taken a toll, making it harder for anyone with a power to live peacefully and openly. In this climate of fear, a gang of specters has been growing bolder by the day.
Then, in a brawl after a protest, Emil manifests a power of his own—one that puts him right at the heart of the conflict and sets him up to be the heroic Spell Walker Brighton always wanted to be.
Brotherhood, love, and loyalty will be put to the test, and no one will escape the fight unscathed.
Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.
Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.
As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.
What made me excited: sequel to The Fever King, I need it NOW
Synopsis for the first book, The Fever King:
In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.
The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.
Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.
What made me excited: chosen one trope with a twist, Roth’s first adult novel
The first novel written for an adult audience by the mega-selling author of the Divergent franchise: five twenty-something heroes famous for saving the world when they were teenagers must face even greater demons—and reconsider what it means to be a hero . . . by destiny or by choice.
A decade ago near Chicago, five teenagers defeated the otherworldly enemy known as the Dark One, whose reign of terror brought widespread destruction and death. The seemingly un-extraordinary teens—Sloane, Matt, Ines, Albie, and Esther—had been brought together by a clandestine government agency because one of them was fated to be the “Chosen One,” prophesized to save the world. With the goal achieved, humankind celebrated the victors and began to mourn their lost loved ones.
Ten years later, though the champions remain celebrities, the world has moved forward and a whole, younger generation doesn’t seem to recall the days of endless fear. But Sloane remembers. It’s impossible for her to forget when the paparazzi haunt her every step just as the Dark One still haunts her dreams. Unlike everyone else, she hasn’t moved on; she’s adrift—no direction, no goals, no purpose. On the eve of the Ten Year Celebration of Peace, a new trauma hits the Chosen: the death of one of their own. And when they gather for the funeral at the enshrined site of their triumph, they discover to their horror that the Dark One’s reign never really ended.
What made me excited: Patrick Ness, Patrick Ness AND fantasy
An all-consuming story of revenge, redemption and dragons from the twice Carnegie Medal-winner Patrick Ness.
In 1956 Sarah Dewhurst’s father shocks her by hiring a dragon to work the farm. The dragon is a smaller blue rather than the traditional larger reds, though even the reds are now scarce. When the blue dragon, Kazimir, unexpectedly saves Sarah and her friend Jason Inagawa from the attentions of the racist police deputy, Kelby, everything changes. Sarah is part of a prophecy and she must escape the clutches of Malcolm, an assassin from a Believer Cell, the dragon-worshiping cult. When Sarah, Malcolm and Kazimir eventually converge, they are thrown into another universe, where dragons seem never to have existed. Can they save this world and the one they left?
What made me excited: French Revolution, criminal underworld, reimagining of Les Mis and The Jungle Book (I mean, what?)
A diverse fantasy reimagining of Les Misérables and The Jungle Book.
In the dark days following a failed French Revolution, in the violent jungle of an alternate 1828 Paris, young cat-burglar Eponine (Nina) Thenardier goes head to head with merciless royalty, and the lords of the city’s criminal underworld to save the life of her adopted sister Cosette (Ettie).
Her vow will take her from the city’s dark underbelly, through a dawning revolution, to the very heart of the glittering court of Louis XVII, where she must make an impossible choice between guild, blood, betrayal and war.
For fans of the gritty criminal underworlds of Six Of Crows, The Lies Of Locke Lamora, fierce alternate histories like The Gilded Wolves, And I Darken…and anyone who knows that Eponine deserved so much more.
“The kitchen faucet makes the most bizarre sounds.”
First line in Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman
Published: October 1st 2018
Genre: YA science fiction/dystopia
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Synopsis: Everyone’s going to remember where they were when the taps ran dry.
The drought—or the tap-out, as everyone calls it – has been going on for a while. Life has become an endless list of don’ts: don’t water the lawn, don’t take long showers, don’t panic. But now there is no water left at all.
Suddenly, Alyssa’s quiet suburban street spirals into a warzone of desperation and violence. When her parents go missing, she and her younger brother must team up with an unlikely group in search of water. Each of them will need to make impossible choices to survive.
Going into this book, I was a little scared. I had just finished Neal Shusterman’s Arc of a Scythe and so naturally I was afraid that his other works wouldn’t reach the same level of awesomeness. And while Dry isn’t Arc of a Scythe, it’s still a very thought-provoking and gripping read.
What I really want to complement about Dry is its structure. Yeah, I know that sounds expectionally dull but stay with me for a second. We start the book with two POV characters, Alyssa and Kelton. Those are the ones who introduce us to the world and the problem of the water shortage. As the story progresses, we get two more POV characters but those aren’t introduced until they meet our “main” characters. I loved that. Another author would have us following all of them from the beginning simply because some of them would be relevant later. Shusterman proved that that isn’t necessary.
Also, even though this book is very character-focused, we still get glimpses of how the rest of California looks like during the crisis. These very short scenes from random places are so well done and honestly remind me quite a lot of Arc of Scythe. It was a really great way to give perspective and showcase ALL of the horrible things that were happening.
I want to talk about the characters as well because I have both praise and criticism to those. I especially liked two of the characters and by liked I mean that I wanted to strangle one of them. It’s rare that I hate a character that much. However, I like it when a book give me some strong emotions, no matter good or bad. The character was still very realistic and that character work was so well done.
One of the characters I didn’t really care for was the main character Alyssa because she was honestly kind of boring. I got a little bit of a Mary Sue vibe when reading about her. She was a little bit too good all the time. So it’s not that I hated her as a character. I would just consider myself indifferent and that not the ideal feeling to have for the main character.
The writing is great. It’s very easy to understand but still manages to be emotional and draw you in. I also couldn’t tell that it was written by two authors. There were no abrupt changes in the writing style along the way which always gives a more pleasant read. What did almost ruin the book for me was the ending. I don’t want to spoil you but I do think that the ending could have been a lot stronger. And by ending, I mean the very, very end. The last 10 pages could have been left out and I would have loved the book more.
However, Dry is still a great book that I will highly recommend if you’re into dystopia and other end-of-the-world kinds of books. The book really focuses on the mental state of these characters and how it changes because of the circumstances. The Shustermans manage to make it incredibly fascinating and real. Again, it will make you think, which is also why I think fans of Arc of a Scythe will like this one. I’m definitely going to be reading more of Shusterman’s books.
That was my review of Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman. I hope I convinced you to read it. If you’ve read it already, let me know what you thought of it. Hope you’re having a great weekend!
“We moved into our flat in Littlemead, in the tiny Sussex town of Nutley, in the South of England, in 1987.
First line in Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Hi, guys. We’re very close to entering a new year and therefore I wanted to give you a list of 10 books (technically more than 10) that I want to read in 2020. This post also kind of functions as my reading goals because I have some authors and series I want to prioritize this year. I’ve excluded books that will be released in 2020 because I’ll make another post about those. Let’s get into it.
Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
I actually planned to read this about 2 months ago. However, my library had some technical difficulties and decided to delete my reservation… thanks. I’ll just try again then.
The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
This is the sort of book I just want to get out of the way. It’s book 2 in the Kingkiller Chronicle series, and I like the first one alright without completely loving it. Every review I find says the second book is worse and even more meandering than the first. I want to be ready for the eventuality that the third book is going to be published. I just have get through this one book. I can do that.
The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
This one is kind of a big priority for me. The whole series actually. It’s four books that I’ve been meaning to read for such a long time now. I’m a 100% certain that I’m at least going to start the series in 2020.
*Four Neil Gaiman Books*
I’ve decided to do a Neil Gaiman Project in 2020. What does that mean you might ask. It’s means that Gaiman is such a beloved author but I haven’t managed to get on the hype-train. That’s why I’ve decided that I really want to give him a chance this year by reading 4 of his books. Not completely decided which ones yet so feel free to help me choose if you love his books. I’ve already read Coraline, Stardust and The Graveyard Book. The only other book I know I want to read is Norse Mythology. People always seem to recommend The Ocean at the End of the Lane but I’m a little bit scared of magical realism to be honest. Otherwise, I’m very exicted about the project.
Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
This isn’t the first time Autoboyography appears on a TBR from me. Now that it’s a yearly one, I simply must have time to read it.
Book 3, 4 and 5 in The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan
I want to make some progress in The Wheel of Time but I’m not kidding myself so I know that I’ll never be able to finish all of the books. That would mean 1 book per month and that wouldn’t work for me. I need breaks when reading series so my goal is just to read the next 3 in the series.
The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
Another series I would love to start and finish in 2020. Also, it’s one of the books that has been on my TBR the longest so logically it should be the first one I pick up in 2020. We all know there’s no logic involved here though.
The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
Another case of “if I keep putting it on TBR’s, I’ll be forced to read it at some point”. This WILL be the last time this one features in my TBR lists.
The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson
The fourth book is coming in November 2020 so it would just be awesome if I had caught up by that time. It’s just two more books with more than a 1,000 pages. Yeah, I’m scared.
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
I need to know what the fuss is all about. From what I’ve heard of it, it’s not something I typically read. I’m basically just picking it up because of hype and because no one seems to be able to explain what it’s about. I’m going to figure it out for myself.
I can’t tell you how many times I wrote 2010 while writing this post. I’m clearly in denial. We can’t have reached 2020 already. But now you know a little bit about what I plan to read in the coming year. Then I can return to it next December and see how bad I failed.
Hope you all have a joyous New Year and that your 2020 will be filled with awesome books.
“At the height of the long wet summer of the Seventy-seventh Year of Sendovani, the Thiefmaker of Camorr paid a sudden and unannounced visit to the Eyeless Priest at the Temple of Perelando, desperately hoping to sell him the Lamora boy.”
First line in The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
We’ve made it to the end of the year so of course I’m doing the traditional wrap up posts for the year. Today is the best one because I’m going to be talking about my absolute favorite books of the year.
I’m not going to include the 4 books I reread this year because that wouldn’t really be fair. Just letting you know that I reread:
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
For this list, I’ve decided to group series together even though I might not have given all books the same rating. Just to make it easier but that tecnically means that there are more than 10 books on this list (no, that’s not cheating – or maybe it is).
The list is ordered of course because I love lists. It was a lot more difficult to do this time than with my worst books of the year. However, my top 3 was completely set from the beginning. Enjoy!
10 – A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin
It has taken me almost 10 years to get caught up with The Song of Ice and Fire series but I finally did it this year. This fifth one is probably the one that differs most from the tv show so I was quite surprised by a lot of the things that happened. It was nice not knowing things so I was really able to appreciate the way Martin sets up the story and the development of the characters. Let’s see when we get to read the sixth book.
9 – Gentleman Bastard by Scott Lynch
I read all of the currently published books in the Gentleman Bastard series this year and would have continued if I could. These books have some of the best friendships I’ve ever read about. It especially shows men who’s not afraid to show affection for each other. I need to see more of that in adult fantasy. These books also have plots so intricate that I can’t help but be completely captivated by them. I need book 4 soon please.
8 – The Binding by Bridget Collins
This book did something to me and I’m not sure I’m over it. That middle part is pure magic. The writing is stunning and makes the book quite atmospheric which I always love. I really felt like I lost myself completely while reading it. The characters are also the kind I would die for so The Binding definitely belongs on this list.
7 – The Queen’s Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
I read books 2 to 5 this year and I loved how unique they felt. They feel heavily inspired by classic fantasy which I normally don’t like so The Queen’s Thief was a pleasant surprise. I think the reason why is the characters and their friendships because they are deep and affectionate. How can you not love that?
6 – The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
How could I make a top 10 for the year without a Sanderson book? Not possible, and even though this took me forever to read, I loved every minute of it. Sanderson’s attention to detail is extraordinary in this one. He has created a world where he has thought of. Absolutely. Everything. I haven’t loved his characters in his previous books but that has completely changed with The Way of Kings.
5 – Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell
Wayward Son was one of my most anticipated releases of the year and basically, my only complaint was that it was too short. I can’t get enough of these characters. They are so heartwarming to read about, and I loved that this second book in the series took a little more serious turn. Apparently, I like getting my heart broken (more on that later).
4 – Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
A true case of “the hype is real”. This book was so fun and so sweet, and I think I especially loved it for being new adult. It really made me go on a hunt for more new adult books. I also really liked the alternate reality aspect of the story. I mean, wouldn’t we all much rather have that one compared to the one we actually have? It definitely was a fun reimagining.
3 – Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden
I read the entire trilogy in 2019, but it’s especially the last two books I want to applaud. The character development that happens across those two is phenomenal. Because of that, I can’t tell you about a female character I love more than our main character Vasya. We always talk about the importance of strong women in literature because of the feeling of empowerment it gives female readers. I’ve never actually felt that before I read about Vasya. It’s truly intoxicating.
2 – Arc of a Scythe by Neal Shusterman
I read some amazing series this year but none has made a greater impact on me than Arc of Scythe. The social commentary these books provide is so thought provoking and that alone is really enough for me to recommend them. On top of that, you have a unique take on an AI and a writing style that will draw you in and never let you go. Thunderhead is a clear favorite for me and that one was very close to being number 1 on this list. It’s definitely a series I’ll give a reread at some point.
1 – A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Yeah, I guess I’ve learned this year that I love the heartbreaking books. I don’t think any book will ever beat A Little Life on that front. My love for these characters is unreal. I don’t even love Harry Potter characters this much and that says a lot coming from me. On top of that, the writing is so good. Yanagihara is very good at making you feel all the feelings without being too descriptive. She just builds these characters from the bottom and forces you to care for them. For the rest of my life, I’ll be searching for books that will make me feel what A Little Life made me feel. Let’s be honest though, nothing will ever be like A Little Life.
Wow, that was hard to do. I read so many great books this year meaning I had waaay too many to choose from for this list. Here’s to hoping that 2020 will be just as amazing in terms of reading. Merry Christmas everyone!
First line in The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
Hi, guys and welcome to the first of my end-of-the-year posts. We’re starting with the worst books I read this year so we can get that out of the way. I didn’t hate very many books this year actually but I still wanted to do a top 10. That means that this list feature some 3 star books at the beginning. The proper ranting doesn’t start until you get a little further down the list. And yes, they are in order because I love lists. Number 1 is the worst book of the year. I’m also grouping series together even though I might not have given all the books the same rating. It’s just easier. Let’s get into it!
10 – The Broken Earth Trilogy by N. K. Jemisin
Firstly, I want to say that I don’t think this is a horrible trilogy. It’s won awards and everything so I clearly don’t know what I’m talking about when I’m putting it on this list. I gave all 3 books 3 stars so no strong emotions from me. I thought the premise and world was very interesting but I never connected to the characters or the writing.
9 – Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
A very recent read and not the last Leigh Bardugo book on this list unfortunately. I ended up giving this one 2.5 stars. I went into the book pretty blind because the fact that it was written by Bardugo was enough for me. I guess I learned my lesson. It was filled with so many tropes that I normally steer clear of. I especially hate murder mysteries with a passion so this was really not a good fit for me.
8 – The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
Hey, it’s Leigh Bardugo again. I honestly forgot that I read to many of her books this year. I gave Shadow and Bone 3 stars and the other two 2 stars. I didn’t completely hate them but I think it’s a case of these books not ageing well, and I read them too late. A bland main character with no personality and an annoying and ever-present romance plot aren’t things that will make me love a book anymore.
7 – The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill
A book that is recommended as similar to The Night Circus… guys, they are completely different books! Yes, The Lonely Hearts Hotel also has a circus (but very late in the book) and a soulmates kind of romance (although not as beautiful or romantic as in The Night Circus). The writing was also trying very hard to be beautiful and it very quickly began to annoy me like hell.
6 – The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green
I had so high hopes for this one because I really liked this author’s previous series, Half Bad. We follow 5 different characters which was too many for this book to handle. I also only really liked one of them. Besides that I couldn’t recognize Green’s writing style from her other books. In this one there was too much telling and less showing. I wasn’t allowed to do any thinking of my own. So even though the world and magic were quite interesting, I didn’t save the book for me.
5 – The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
Just because we reached the halfway point on this list, doesn’t mean that The Nickel Boys is a bad book. I just didn’t connect to the story or the characters at all which meant I was quite bored all the way through. It still had some great insights into the Civil Rights Movement.
4 – Catching Stars by Cayla Keenan
I honestly remember very, very little about this book other than it was a struggle to get through. The book is less than 300 pages and it almost took me whole 2 months to read. That’s not a good sign.
3 – The Witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski
I read the first 3 books in the series this year in preparation for the tv show. That made me realize that I’m just going to watch the tv show from now on. That writing style is way too dry for me and I kind of hate every character because of that. The blatant sexism isn’t doing much for me either. I’m counting on the tv show to fix these things.
2 – The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
I SO wanted to like this book! It sounded so cool with the many parallels to Six of Crows but the execution of it was a mess. It left me utterly confused. It felt like the book was missing entire passages because the characters were moving around but I wasn’t told about it. Very weird to read. It’s also a book that feature a lot of cool inventions. They all just happened to be exactly what our group needed no matter how odd or unrealistic these inventions were. I needed it all to be a little bit more difficult.
1 – Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart
My first read of 2019 and it was a 1-star. I hated practically everything about it. The characters that were trying too hard to be “strong female characters” and therefore weren’t. The “plot twists” that I saw coming a mile away. The way this feminist book kept telling me it was a feminist book. Please stop. I won’t be picking up the sequel.
Well, there you have the books I didn’t like in 2019. I’d love to bond with you over a shared dislike for these book. Also if you loved them. Then tell me what I missed when reading them. I will have a post about my favorite books of 2019 up soon. That one is a lot harder to do but also more fun. Have a great day!
“Telsin!” Waxillium hissed as he crept out of the training hut.”
First line in The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson
Hi, guys. Wednesday means that my weekly update is coming right at you through WWW Wednesday. It’s a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words, and it’s meant to give you all a little insight into my reading this week. I’ll answer the 3 questions:
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish?
What do you think you’ll read next
What did you recently finish?
The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson, which is the sixth book in his Mistborn series. I gave it 3 stars. Not bad but not memorable either. However, I’m caught up with another series and that’s always a big win!
What are you currently reading?
I’m 70% into Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde. My excitement has dampened a little for this one since last week’s update. I still like it but I think the conversations are going in circles so it’s getting a little predictable. The conversations are still important though so I’m going to keep going.
Today I also just started my new commute book which is Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman. This one is to complete one of my reading prompts for the Winter Magical Readathon because I was asked to read a book with an orange cover. I’ve only read 62 pages but so far, so good. I already like the way that it’s structured. It’s similar to his Arc of a Scythe series so I’m not complaining.
What do you think you’ll read next?
I almost did a public squeal today. My library messaged me to let me know that Words of Radiance book 1 is available! I’m picking it up this weekend and probably starting it immediately.
There you have the books I’m reading and plan to read. Have you read any of them and what did you think? Have a great week!