This past fortnight hasn’t been my best for reading. I’ve managed to finish four books and am currently 30 pages towards the end of a fifth book.
I finally finished Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston. I was so incredibly disappointed in this book. I loved her previous book, Geekerella, but Heart of Iron failed to be as charming to me. This kind of put me in a bit of a slump and is the reasoning behind why I read so little.
I then read To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo. This is a Little Mermaid retelling that I ended up enjoying throughly. I am not much of a mermaid/siren fan, and it has been quite some time since I’ve read a book where the main character is one. I really liked the writing, and for the most part the characters. My major complaint was that at times I felt the two voices of our alternating main characters were not different enough and that it was a bit of a struggle to pinpoint whose perspective I was reading.
Next up were two books I read for work. The first was Sam & Ilsa’s Last Hurrah by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn. The premise of this sounded incredible; two twins each invite three guests to a dinner party only they’re not to reveal to each other who the guests will be until they arrive. This book ended up being filled with insipid and awful characters and I really did not like it in the slightest. The next book for work is an Australian YA novel called Paris Syndrome by Lisa Walker. This was okay, but nothing more than average for me.
Currently I am rereading Dream a Little Dream by Kerstin Gier. The Ruby Red trilogy (also by Gier) is one of my all-time favourite series, and recently I was feeling like I was in the mood for a reread. Instead I chose to reread Dream a Little Dream, which is the first book in the Silver trilogy, in order to then continue on with the sequels that I have yet to read. I am absolutely loving this and will definitely be finishing the remaining thirty pages once I have finished this post.
Next up I’m aiming to read Dream On and Just Dreaming to finish the Silver trilogy, but I will also need to read some more works for book including Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein, Clean by Juno Dawson, Munmun by Jesse Andrews, and Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi. With the Easter long weekend being just days away I am hopefully going to be able to get all this reading done!
I didn’t do all that much reading in the first week… I was sleeping too much! But with two sick days this week, that picked up a bit! I finished two audiobooks – The Belles and Stalking Jack the Ripper. I really enjoyed both, and scared myself silly with the latter. I have jumped straight into Hunting Prince Dracula, the sequel, but am not making the mistake of listening to it in the dark! 😛
I slipped into Wires and Nerve Volume 2: Gone Rogue – I don’t think it was as good as the first one, but it was still enjoyable. I particularly liked the questions it raised about the humanity of artificial life (ie. Iko the robot). Another short, speedy book was The Witch Doesn’t Burn In This One by Amanda Lovelace. I liked it, but didn’t feel the same emotion I did for The Princess Saves Herself In This One. This new offering is almost a call to action, encouraging women to embrace their anger at the world. It was good, but not great.
I devoured The Solo Travel Handbook in a few hours, trying to gauge some tips for my next adventure. It was a quick read, but I’m glad I won it in a competition and didn’t purchase it. There were a few useful tidbits, but not enough for me to rave!
Terra Nullius was my favourite book of the week, I think. It is a brilliant debut from an indigenous Australian author. It takes the horrendous history of our country and displays it in an entirely new way. I can’t say too much without giving away spoilers, but there is a brilliant twist that changes the novel’s direction. I almost want to reread it now that I know the twist so I can see all the things I missed at the beginning!
Because I am in the middle of so many books, I made an effort to finish Circe. It was good, but not as good as The Song of Achilles. It took me way too long to get into Circe’s head. Once I was there, I really liked her perspective, but the story didn’t flow smoothly and anything could have jolted me out. After that, I dove straight into The School for Good and Evil which is a pretty fun middle-grade. I was annoyed at some of the insinuations in the novel though – that fat is ‘evil’ was a major burr in my side. Not an appropriate sentiment to be espousing in a kids’ book. But I did like the overarching theme of friendship and the story was fun if a bit trashy. I really enjoyed reading Tin Man by Sarah Winman. I did not expect to like it but the writing is absolutely beautiful! It’s about grief and friendship and it made me feel a lot of things. I might have to give When God Was a Rabbit another try. (I think I read this one waaaayyyyy too young and have a skewed view of Sarah Winman!)
I was lucky enough to have an early copy of Amelia Westlake find its way to me. I devoured it on a sick day (summer flu is the WORST) and it is my FAVOURITE YA of the year, hands down. It’s about a private girls school and the students’ fight against the patriarchy – ERIN GOUGH HAS NAILED THIS STORY; IT IS AMAZING. (I CANNOT SCREAM ABOUT IT ENOUGH!) I also read Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein, another fabulous Australian YA. This is a thriller and it was SO MUCH BETTER than all the adult thrillers I have ever read. The twist was amazing and I highly, HIGHLY recommend this book! Another big favourite was Young Jane Young, a truly excellent contemporary novel set in America, following the people affected by a political sex scandal long ago. It was gripping, intelligent and just totally fantastic!
I finished the week off with two pretty sad memoirs. Wasted is the story of Elspeth Muir’s brother, and his death. It is also a reflection on alcohol culture in Australia, something I find incredibly interesting, given that I have just hit three months sober. It is a somber read, but fascinating. Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig was a short memoir, but it is the closest I have come to being inside a depressive’s head. His book inspired empathy in a week I needed a reminder about how (and why) to feel it. This is a good book to understand what someone close to you might be going through.
What have you been reading this week?