My summer reading list so far has been…
I am behind on my reading goals (of 1 book per week) for the year, even with the extended reading time that comes from summer and lying on a beach. Lately there’s just been too much conversation to be had, children to chase, and ocean waves to be diving into to get much reading done on the sand at all.
Or maybe I just need to find a more secluded beach.
If you’ve had better luck than me and need some more good reads, here’s a list of what I’ve been reading this summer and what my thoughts are…
Vicious, by V.E. Schwab. I’d already read this incredible author’s Darker Shade trilogy but those books were so long and involved I decided I need a break before diving into any of her other stuff. I gotta say, even though the Darker Shade books were the ones that got Schwab all the hype, I liked Vicious more. Vicious is a story about revenge. An ex-con with a peculiar ability escapes from prison and goes off in search of his former roommate and current nemesis who also has a peculiar ability. The story jumps around in time, showing us how both men came to be what they are. They also meet some very interesting people along the way. This is a story without a clear-cut good guy and bad guy, and I love those. Is it dark? Yes. Is it brutal? Yes. Does it have amazing characters and beautiful writing and all the tension? Yes, yes, and yes. So even though there are no beaches to be found in this book, I consider it a prime summer read. 9/10 stars
On the Jellicoe Road, by Melina Marchetta. I’d heard a lot about this book. It’s not usually a good thing to go into a new author with high expectations. Don’t get me wrong–this book was good. A teenage girl abandoned by her mother attends a boarding school in the Australian outback and makes some interesting friends. Meanwhile in an alternating timeline, five friends also attend this school, amidst some tragedy. This book was lovely and heartbreaking and compelling. But I think my main problem with it is it felt like it was missing chapters. The beginning is so confusing and disorienting I nearly put it down. Important moments in both timelines felt glossed over (show us the kissing! Don’t just tell us “they kissed”!) Several things the reader is left to intuit, which isn’t a bad thing, but I just wanted more. More of the past, more internal feelings, more description. MORE. 7/10 stars
Uprooted, by Naomi Novik What a weird little book. Based on Polish lore, this is the story of a girl who’s stolen from her village by “the Dragon”, a powerful sorcerer. It starts out very Beauty and the Beast but doesn’t end up that way. There’s magic and royalty and friendship and epic battles and an evil, sentient wood. The plot is quite difficult to summarize, but it’s best to know less going in. 7/10 stars
How to Break a Boy, by Laurie Devore. This book, about a mean girl in a small town whose brother has just died, is engrossing. I haven’t read enough books from the mean girl point of view — I’ll always prefer the nerdy outsider, because that is me — but I loved this one, so perhaps I should read these kinds more. This was a great YA read, but some of the decisions the protagonist makes are inexplicable, and the ending was far too cheesy for me. Plus, there was not enough comeuppance for the true bitch of the story. 7/10 stars
Lord of Shadows, by Cassandra Clare aka the book that got me behind on my reading challenge because it is 1 million pages long. This is the sequel to Lady Midnight and like its predecessor, I can say I liked it; I didn’t love it the way I did The Infernal Devices. In this book, Emma and Julian continue their will-they-or-won’t-they friendship-romance, Cristina has something approaching a threesome with two hot bisexual fairies, there are more battles and family angst, some beloved characters from former books appear (Jessamine!) and of course, some tragedy. I made the dumb mistake of looking at the last page to see how long the book was and got spoiled on how it ends. Don’t do that. 7/10 stars
I skipped over some books I read that I didn’t like enough to review. So overall it’s been a 7/10 summer for me, though with Vicious maybe I’m on an upward swing!
What have you been reading? Anything I’ll like? Let me know!