Hey, y’all! Sorry I’ve been a little sparse with the book reviews lately, but life happens and unfortunately, reading is not always my #1 priority. To alleviate my time between reviews, I decided I’m going to jump on the meme train! This will be my first one, and I am very excited. WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @Taking On A World Of Words, where I have to answer three simple questions: what am I currently reading, what I have recently read, and what I want to read soon. Sounds like my perfect kind of list!
What am I currently reading?
So, I’m that person that some bibliophiles cringe when they think about, who keeps three books open at a time and piled on top of each other to boot. My interests are always changing, so my book choices do as well.
- First off, I’ve got my nonfiction choice of the week: Hidden America by Jeanne Marie Laskas. Each chapter of the book follows some misunderstood or underrated occupation, ranging from coal miners to air traffic controllers to Bengals cheerleaders. It’s an incredible commentary on how there are so many things that we take for granted, and that someone, somewhere, is tasked with doing. I’m only about halfway through, but I already think it’s going to be a four or five star review.
- Secondly, I’ve got my YA choice: Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare. I love the Shadowhunter world, but unfortunately, I kind of read them all out of order. This is the last of the books I have to read to finish up all of the separate series, so I am very excited to see how it ends (although the Mortal Instruments kind of already ruined it for me).
- Last but not least for my current reads, my sci-fi choice: The Lost World (Jurassic Park #2) by Michael Crichton. I’m about 75% through with this book and am finding that it suffers from the same issues the second Jurassic Park movie did. I struggle to connect with any character, wondering why they are stupid enough to go back to the island and go through everything all over again. Crichton has obviously spend a good amount of time researching everything for his story, but I often feel like he tries too hard to use the dialogue to explain the deep science of the story. Either way, I’m interested to see where this story goes, because I still think Jurassic Park is an incredibly unique idea.
What did I recently finish reading?
- Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. I’ll likely be posting a review of this within the next week, but I gave it four stars. It’s an amazingly beautiful story of two different lines of the same family, rooted in Africa, after one sister gets sold into slavery and the other marries outside of her village in the early 1800s. Each chapter is told my a new member of the family in the next generation, expressing the differences between the two cultures and the different eras, and finally connecting beautifully in the end.
- Hard Eight (Stephanie Plum #8) by Janet Evanovich. I love this series. This series follows a hot mess of a bounty hunter named Stephanie Plum who lives in New Jersey and constantly gets herself into all sorts of trouble, having her cars blown up, getting stuck between her two lovers, and refusing to have a gun with her even though she’s constantly getting shot at. The books are all incredibly easy to read, and one of my guilty pleasures.
- The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling. I’m planning on posting a review of this within the next week as well, and it’s about a 3.5 / 5. It took me an incredibly long time to get through this book, but once I picked it up again about two weeks ago, I rushed through the last 200 pages or so. Rowling, unsurprisingly, is an incredible writer, but this is even further accented by the fact that she made me even be interested in local British politics, of which I have no previous knowledge. If you wanted to ever try it out, I’d definitely recommend it.
What do I think I’ll read next?
- Faithful Place (Dublin Murder Squad #3) by Tana French. This has become one of my favorite series, as it is a complex and well thought-out crime set of books, and French, at the helm of it, has become one of my favorite writers. Each book follows a minor character from the book before it, which is such an interesting idea. I can’t wait to read about Frank, who I wanted to learn so much more about in its predecessor, The Likeness.
- Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo. I loved her Grisha Trilogy series, and was immensely excited when I heard she had another series, and in the same universe to boot! I’ve also read a lot of good reviews of this book, so I’m eager to start it.
- Callings by Dave Isay. I’m on a selection committee for my university to choose book for incoming first years next year, and this is one of my assignments. I love StoryCorps videos, and am looking forward to reading this book, with excerpts from all the best interviews about people discussing what they do and why they love it.
Written by: Sarah J. Maas
# 1 / 5+ in the Throne of Glass series
Review: 3 / 5 stars
Summary: After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.
Written by: Erin Morgenstern
Review: 3 / 5 stars
Summary: Beyond the smoke and mirrors of a magical circus, a fierce competition is under way–a contest between two young illusionists who have been trained since childhood irrevocably bound by mercurial masters. Unbeknownst to the players, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. But when Celia discovers that Marco is her adversary, they begin to think of the game not as a competition but as a wonderful collaboration. With no knowledge of how the game must end, they innocently tumble headfirst into love. Their masters still pull the strings, however, and this unforeseen occurrence forces them to intervene with dangerous consequences, leaving the lives of everyone from the performers to the patrons hanging in the balance.
Written by: Frank Beddor
Book #1 / 3 of The Looking Glass Wars
Review: 3.5 / 4 stars
Summary: When Alyss Heart, newly orphaned heir to the Wonderland throne, flees through the Pool of Tears to escape her murderous Aunt Redd, she finds herself lost and alone in Victorian London. Befriended by an aspiring author named Lewis Carrol, Alyss tells the violent, heartbreaking story of her young life. Alyss trusts this author to tell the truth so that someone, somewhere will find her and bring her home. But he gets the story all wrong. Fortunately, Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan knows all too well the awful truth of Alyss’ story – and he’s searching every corner of our world to find the lost princess and return her to Wonderland, to battle Redd for her rightful place as the Queen of Hearts.
Written by: Maureen Johnson
Book 2 / 3 of the Shades of London series
Review: 2.5 / 5 stars
Summary (** DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT READ “THE NAME OF THE STAR”**): After her near-fatal run-in with the Jack the Ripper copycat, Rory Deveaux has been living in Bristol under the close watch of her parents. So when her therapist suddenly suggests she return to Wexford, Rory jumps at the chance to get back to her friends. But Rory’s brush with the Ripper touched her more than she thought possible: she’s become a human terminus, with the power to eliminate ghosts on contact. She soon finds out that the Shades–the city’s secret ghost-fighting police–are responsible for her return. The Ripper may be gone, but now there is a string of new inexplicable deaths threatening London. Rory has evidence that the deaths are no coincidence. Something much more sinister is going on, and now she must convince the squad to listen to her before it’s too late.
Written by: Tana French
Book #2 / 5 of the Dublin Murder Squad series
Review: 3 / 5 stars
Summary (a la Goodreads): Six months after the events of In the Woods, an urgent telephone call beckons detective Cassie Maddox to a grisly crime scene. The victim looks exactly like Cassie and carries ID identifying herself as Alexandra Madison, an alias Cassie once used. Suddenly, Cassie must discover not only who killed this girl, but, more importantly, who she is.
Written by: Marie Lu
#1 / 3 in the Legend Trilogy
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Summary: What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.