Written by: John Boyne
Rating: 5 / 5 stars
Summary:Cyril Avery is not a real Avery – or at least that’s what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn’t a real Avery, then who is he?
Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from – and over his three score years and ten, will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country and much more.
Written by: Kevin Kwan
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Book #1 / 3 of the Crazy Rich Asians series
Summary: When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick’s formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should–and should not–marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider’s look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.
Written by: Andy Weir
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Summary: Jazz Bashara is a criminal.
Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.
Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.
Written by: Blake Crouch
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Summary: “Are you happy with your life?”
Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”
In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.
Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.
Written by: Hanya Yanagihara
Review: 5 / 5 stars
Summary: When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity.
Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.
!Reader warning!: This book contains scenes of sexual abuse, self harm, suicide, drug addiction, and other potentially triggering themes. If you want to know if this book is safe for you to read, please feel free to reach out to me.
Hey, y’all! I wanted to ease back into the blogging by starting with one of my favorite memes. 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. I am always reading multiple books at once and queueing my next choices right on my nightstand. So, here we go!
What am I currently reading?
- A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara: Am I reading this because Antoni Porowski from Queer Eye seems to be obsessed with it and I’m convinced we’re kindred spirits? Maaaaaybe. Honestly, I bought this novel before I ever knew Antoni existed, but his obsession with it inspired me to take it off the to-read shelf it had been collecting dust on. I’m about halfway through at this point, and I have to say: the first half was INCREDIBLY slow, with a lot of detail and character/plot building that is finally starting to pay off, 50% of the way through the book. I normally was reading it in 50 page increments, but I just read 150 in one sitting before having to put it down because I was crying too much. Is this a good sign? Stay tuned.
- Roseblood by A.G. Howard: If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times – I’m a sucker for a good retelling. Phantom of the Opera will always have a special place in my heart, as it was the first real musical I ever saw performed by professionals on a top tier theater (West End). I also went into it thinking I’d hate it, and ended up leaving with tears streaking down my cheeks, so. Anywho, I loved A.G. Howard’s Splintered series, even if the ending wasn’t my favorite, and I’m excited to see how she retells the tale of the Phantom!
- 2nd Chance (Women’s Murder Club #2) by James Patterson: I am also a sucker for James Patterson, even though to be honest, his writing isn’t the best. I’ve read most of Alex Cross and the Private series, mostly because they’re just so easy to read! I didn’t even know that Women’s Murder Club existed until my grandma told me about it, honestly. She said I would love the strong sense of feminism the main characters all display, as the book revolves around a group of four women whose jobs bring them into contact with some of the most atrocious homicides their city of San Francisco has to offer. The four women – a detective, a medical examiner, a lawyer, and a journalist – all work together to help solve the mysteries because GIRL. POWER. I read the first book and it felt a little rushed to be honest, but the premise is promising and I’m excited to follow Detective Lindsay Boxer (the main character)’s next move.
What have I finished recently?
- The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3) by Richelle Mead
Rating: 3 / 5 stars, review coming soon
- Vicious (Villains #1) by V.E. Schwab
Rating: 2 / 5 stars, review coming soon
- War Storm (Red Queen #4) by Victoria Aveyard
Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars, review coming soon
What do I think I’ll read next?
- Dark Matter by Blake Crouch: I got this novel as part of my Christmas haul two years ago, and I was so pumped to read it… and it’s been sitting on my to-read shelf collecting dust ever since then. The plot follows a man named Jason, who wakes up to a life that isn’t his, although everyone around him swears it is. In this alternate reality, he is left to decide whether the life he thought he had is the real one, or the one he woke up in is. COUNT. ME. IN.
- The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court #1) by Richelle Mead: I always promised myself I wouldn’t read Vampire Academy, but I somehow got sucked into that, then Bloodlines, and now… this. Although it’s unrelated to the VA universe, I’m sure that the writing is the same quality/caliber – and that’s to say, a bit amateurish. However, I’ve been craving a high fantasy book for a while, ever since I finished the ACOTAR series – and this might be what I’m looking for. It follows an aristocratic girl named Adelaide who enters what basically sounds like high quality prostitution to escape an arranged marriage… which doesn’t make a ton of sense to me, but sounds interesting enough that I’m willing to buy into it. Mead usually has pretty good world building, so I’m hoping that this new universe will be intriguing and fulfill my fantasy needs.
- This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab: Again, this is another attempt to fulfill my fantasy needs, as the book follows a duo escaping a failed assassination attempt in a dark, dystopian, futuristic city where monsters run amok. Just that sentence alone checked off multiple boxes for me, it also helps that it’s written by Victoria Schwab. Although I obviously didn’t enjoy Victoria/V.E. Schwab’s foray into adult fiction as seen above, I still love love LOVE her A Darker Shade of Magic series – and I’m hoping this new young adult series will be similar to that type of writing, which she excels at.
Well – that’s it for this week, folks! Hopefully I make some headway off the “currently reading” and into the “what’s next”!
Written by: Emma Cline
Rating: 2 / 5 stars
Summary: Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence, and to that moment in a girl’s life when everything can go horribly wrong.