Recent Reads: The New and Notable

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I have been super negligent on the book reviews lately…

So here’s a bunch all at once! A listing of everything good I’ve read since my last round-up,.

The Nine Stars:

One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus

I’d heard the hype, and as usual, I ignored it for a bit. Then I gave in, bought the book, and read it in two days, and that’s including the times I consciously put it down to make it last longer (and try and figure out who the murderer was!) This is about five students to go into detention together. One of them dies, and the other four are the main suspects. It’s very Breakfast Club: the jock, princess, brain, and criminal are the ones on the line. You get the story from all four points of view, and they’re all equally compelling. The writing was awesome, the characters were awesome, I genuinely had NO IDEA whodunnit. Overall just a really, really great read.

You Don’t Know Me But I Know You by Rebecca Barrow

Full disclosure: I know this lovely author. But I’m not exaggerating when I say this is a really wonderful contemporary to read for when you need something upbeat and hopeful. This is the story of Audrey, a mixed race girl adopted by a white mother who discovers she’s pregnant by her long-term boyfriend. The subject matter–teen pregnancy, abortion, adoption–is quite heavy. But this story is told in such a way that it never feels bogged down, and you just keep reading because you want to spend more time with these characters. Go read it.

The Eight Stars:

A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor

Oh, this was savage and lovely. It’s the story of two sisters stranded on a deserted island off Puerto Rico with a boy they just met. It’s a dual timeline story, with every other chapter flashing back to how close the sisters used to be and why they’re barely talking to each other now. It’s super well-written, really tense, and just a great story overall, despite the somewhat cliche deserted island setting. I wish the ending would have been a bit more … but no spoilers. Read it and let’s discuss.

Dragonfly in Amber and Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

Yes, I went back through the stones. After having made my way through Outlander and being both enamored with the love story and historical detail as well as horrified by the violence, I watched the TV show, downloaded multiple podcasts, and boom, I was hooked. Dragonfly in Amber and Voyager both have their ups and downs, and I feel both really could have done with a more stringent editor, but like I said, hooked. I’ll move onto the next book at some point, but the end of Voyager was taking a turn toward the melodramatic, and I’ve heard the rest of the series continues on down that bend. We’ll see how far I get.

The Seven Stars:

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Of course I picked up John Green’s latest, given I love his writing. This book was not my favorite of his, in terms of enjoyment: it’s about a teenager with a severe anxiety and OCD who has these spiraling thoughts she can’t escape. Having suffered from a much milder version of things like this, I could 100% relate to Aza and her troubles. The love story was sad and sweet. What lowered the rating a bit for me was because it was just so uncomfortable at times. Which isn’t a bad thing at all! But it does tend to hamper my enjoyment a bit.

This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab

Speaking of hooked, I will read everything this woman writes. She’s made it up on that list for me. This book I didn’t love as much as Vicious or the Shades of Magic series, I think because it just got quite gory in places, and I’m not a fan of gore. It’s the story of a city where violence breeds monsters; as in, when an act of violence is committed, an actual monster manifests. There’s a lot of lovely shades-of-gray characters: monsters who seem human, humans who are monsters. And shades-of-gray is my favorite. I haven’t read the sequel yet–need a break from the gore–but it’s definitely on my list.

Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson

So I went into this with a very different idea of what this story would be like. I thought it would be more boy-meets-girl, they undergo some trials and tribulations, and then have a happy ending. Well, boy does meet girl, but things go horribly, disturbingly wrong quite quickly, and the rest of the story is dark, man. Good, but dark. Read it, but be warned.

Everything else I’ve read lately I don’t love enough to review. And the book I’m in the middle of now I’m so bored with, I quit and picked this lovely series back up again 🙂 First reread of the year, so I don’t feel too bad about it.

How about you? What are you reading? Give me recs!

Photo by Aga Putra on Unsplash

 

 

4 thoughts on “Recent Reads: The New and Notable

  1. OMGish — I finally gave in and started Outlander.

    My issue with the book was …
    – its a show now, too commercialized
    – I heard there was so much violence in it
    – 8 books with 800+ pages, I don’t want to commit like that

    But I was really craving an epic tale. I’ve not really sunken into anything that I’ve read this year. I think subconsciously I was trying to beat last year’s count and there were lots of book clubs and things.
    So I finally gave in and started this hoping that it will engross me completely.

    Part II of book one, I am enjoying it so far.

    However, now that I read this blog — I wanna read One of Us is Lying and Twisted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I was also craving epic, and it is EPIC. The end of book 1 almost put me off reading the rest, it was so violent — but I did enjoy books 2 and 3, as you can see, so I’m glad I kept going. I also really like the show, they’re doing a great job with the adaption, though of course I always recommend reading the books first. I’ve heard the later books get kind of insane, and if that happens, I have no problem not finishing the series, I’m not one of those “must-finish-til-end” people if I don’t like something.

      And yes read those too!

      Like

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