Over the summer I read a few books that are super popular. A couple of them I even picked up because I had read so many good reviews about them on several blogs and Goodreads. I decided instead of writing full blown reviews of each book I would just write a few thoughts on each one about why I liked it so much. I have linked the titles to their Goodreads page in case you want to see their thousands of reviews for yourself.
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
This was one of the books I was most looking forward to reading this year. I loved the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series and was looking forward to another great story that was rich with world building and fascinating characters. This book did not disappoint. It was a little hard to get into at first, I saw many complaints on Goodreads about this, but once you get past the first 100 pages and start to understand the world the author has created it gets hard to put down. I loved Laszlo, he was such an interesting character that evolved and grew throughout the book. I loved the fact that he loved stories and was interested in solving the mystery of Weep. I did get a little frustrated with him at times, because he wouldn’t stand up for himself, but otherwise I thought he was a fascinating character. The seraphim were also an interesting group. Sarai was also an interesting character and very unlike her siblings. The relationship that develops between her and Laszlo was beautiful and surreal. The talents of all of the other seraphim were also different and interesting to read about. There were many other interesting characters that populate this world and some that were not so nice. A nice mixture of good and evil.
The two thing that I truly loved about this book though were the writing style and the world building. It was so beautiful and lyrical. A truly wonderful story that I looked forward to spending time with every day. I will definitely re-read it before the next one comes out. There was a lot to the plot and I am sure I missed a few things this first time around. I highly recommend it for those people who enjoy a book with beautiful writing and strong world building.
Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab
I had never heard of Victoria Schwab until this year when I started following a few blogs that were fans of her work. These bloggers had similar tastes in books so I decided to pick up This Savage Song this past spring and fell in love with it. Again this was a book that was so beautifully written even when it’s subject matter was extremely dark. It was a world that was ugly and dangerous and yet at times would seem beautiful in it’s darkness. I really felt that I got to know the two main characters Kate and August. Being allowed inside both of their heads and their hearts was something I looked forward to each time I picked up the book. The monsters that populated this world were truly terrifying and the way they were created just blew me away. Our Dark Duet was equally wonderful in it’s terrifying ugliness. Kate and August’s relationship in this book continued to develop and change. And even though I knew that the book could only end the way it did, it still made me terribly sad. I know this is only a duology but I am very much hoping that there are more books that take place in this world. It is a fascinating read and one I will remember for a long time.
A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Scwab
So once I finished the Monsters of Verity duology, I just had to pick up more books by this author. This was an amazing read that I had a hard time putting down. Ms. Schwab has created an amazing world were different alternate Londons exist, but only certain types of magicians can travel between them. Gray London is our reality during the reign of King George III, one is called Red London where magic exists and one of our main characters comes from. White London also has magic but it is slowly losing it and finally Black London which no one speaks of. Kell, a blood magician, who can travel between the worlds, is also a smuggler of artifacts between the worlds. He was a fascinating character with lots of flaws but with a passion and loyalty to his own world. I found him very endearing and likable, he always tried to do what was right, but often his choices ended up making things worse. Delilah Bard is the other main character, who steals in order to survive. When she steals something from Kell, they end up needing to work together to set things right. I’m not sure if there will be any kind of relationship between the two of them, but there is definitely a strong friendship developing that will serve both of them in the end. Lots of court intrigue and some truly nasty characters want Kell dead or under their control. I have not yet had time to delve into the next book in this trilogy, but I’m sure I will enjoy it as much as the first.
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
This was another book I picked up because I kept seeing reviews of it. Contemporary is not my go to genre but this one sounded different and I usually enjoy stories that incorporate the fandom surrounding books and the internet. This was an exceptional book, and I am so glad I read it. I was immediately drawn to Eliza and found her to be a realistic voice for anxiety in teens. I also just adored the way her relationship with Wallace developed. They were so sweet when they communicated through written words instead of speaking to each other. It is one of the few times that I have found characters texting to each work. I also appreciated that Eliza was able to communicate with her online friends better than to the people who surrounded her. I could very much relate to that. I was extremely shy as a teen and even though I had friends in school, I didn’t interact with them outside of school very much. I found Eliza’s family very realistic as well. Her parents were so clueless though that I times I just wanted to shake and yell at them to open their eyes and see that their daughter needed help. Her brothers were adorable and much more clued in than you think until they help her at the end. I also really liked all of the illustrations in the book. I miss illustrated books and I wish more publishers would include them. Beautifully written and just an all around wonderful book. Last word, I really like this cover, but it bothers me a little that she has paint on her hands. She didn’t ever use paint to create her online graphic novel, which by the way I would love to read as well.
Well those are my mini reviews of four very popular books. Have you read any of them? What did you think? Does one of these that you haven’t read sound interesting to you? Leave a comment and let me know!