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?
- Dark Matter by Blake Crouch:
This has been at the top of my to-read pile for far too long, and I need a good sci fi book in my life right now after binging on some YA and serious fiction books. Dark Matter follows Jason Dessen, a physics professor from Chicago who leads a normal life beside his wife and child… at least, in this world. Following a night out, Jason is abducted and sent to an alternate reality where his life is not his own; he is told that he created a device that allows for people to jump between realities, a device so top secret that those close to him are killed or are killing to protect its secrets. The book follows him as he tries to figure out how to return to his world, and how to survive the one he is currently in. I’m about 50% through this one and while the premise is enticing, and the writing moves so smoothly I barely feel like I’m reading, I still have way more questions than I do answers – and I hope I get them before this book is over.
- Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians #1) by Kevin Kwan:
One of the biggest pillars of my personal philosophy is that I always read the book before the movie/TV show/other adaptation, and that holds true for this series as well after I saw the trailer pop up on Facebook last week. Crazy Rich Asians follows Rachel Chu, an American-Chinese woman, who goes to Singapore with her boyfriend, Singaporean Nick Young, to attend his best friend’s wedding and – more importantly – meet his family. What Rachel doesn’t know is that Nick’s family is essentially royalty in the Asian world – CEOs of international businesses, lawyers of the highest calibers, designers and actors, and their globetrotting/spoiled dependents. She also doesn’t know that Nick’s family doesn’t know about her – at least, not really. When she arrives in Singapore, she is thrust into a world she only distantly knew existed, and expected to thrive in the center of it. I’m kind of low-key obsessed with Asian culture, so I’m so pumped to read this book. I’m 25% in and so far nothing too crazy has happened yet, but I have high hopes.
- Kingdom of Ashes (A Wicked Thing #2) by Rhiannon Thomas:
Oh, look – another YA series and retelling! No surprises here. I read the first book in the series (A Wicked Thing) almost three years ago now, so my summarization may be a bit off BUT… The series follows the Princess of a far-off land called Alyssiana, a girl named Aurora who was cursed by a witch shortly after her birth and put into a deep sleep from which she can only be awoken with true love’s kiss. So far, this sounds exactly like Sleeping Beauty, right? Like, they didn’t even change the princess’ name. But fret not, for this is where the story starts to diverge. When Aurora finally wakes up, her “true love” is a man she harbors no strong feelings for and who’s kind of a spineless prince unable to help her reclaim her kingdom – that has moved forward in time one hundred years without her. A tyrannical, egotistical king is the new leader of her country, and she attempts to fight him in small ways throughout the book while attempting to reintroduce herself to the world. In Kingdom of Ashes, the story continues after Aurora has left her kingdom in flames behind her and attempts to find support elsewhere to claim back what is rightfully hers. To be honest, I didn’t particularly enjoy the first book, but I didn’t hate it either – so I’m hoping the second book will impress me more than the first.
What have I finished recently?
- A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Rating: 5 / 5 stars, review posted here
- Roseblood by A.G. Howard
Rating: 1.5 / 5 stars, review coming soon
- 2nd Chance (Women’s Murder Club #2) by James Patterson
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
What do I think I’ll read next?
- Artemis by Andy Weir:
I love space stories, and I especially love when Andy Weir is telling them. The Martian is probably one of my top 5 favorite books of all time, because the writing is spot on, and the humor is so natural and prevalent throughout the book. So when I heard that Weir was composing another novel taking place in space, I had to pick it up… and then put it on my to-read pile for monthsc as it glared at me. Artemis follows Jazz, a lowly porter on the planet of Artemis, where truly only the rich succeed. She is a small-time thief in order to get by, but when a more promising score presents herself, she can’t pass up the opportunity to make a little more money. But one little job turns into a whole conspiracy, and Jazz gets caught up in the wildness of Artemis and the political strings intertwining it. I am so pumped to see where this story goes.
- This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab:
Still at the top of my to-read shelf, and featured in last week’s WWW. I just got distracted by Kingdom of Ashes instead – whoops!
- The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court #1) by Richelle Mead:
Still at the top of my to-read shelf, and featured in last week’s WWW. I just got distracted by Crazy Rich Asians instead – whoops!
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: 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.
Written by: Pierce Brown
#1 / 3 of the Red Rising trilogy
Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars
Summary: Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.
Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.
Disclaimer: I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway literally like almost two years ago. Whoops.
Hey, y’all! Sorry I’ve been a little sparse with the book reviews lately, but life happens (AKA I GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE Y’ALL), and reading is (unfortunately) not always my #1 priority. To alleviate my time between reviews, I decided I’m going to jump on the meme train! 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 did this for the first time last week and really enjoy this meme, as I am always reading multiple books at once and queueing my next choices right on my nightstand. So, here we go!
Written by: Yaa Gyasi
Review: 5 / 5 stars
Summary: Effia and Esi are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.
Written by: Emily St. John Mandel
Review: 4.5 / 5 stars
Summary: One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur’s chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night a terrible flu begins to spread. In one week, it is estimated that 99% of the world’s population is dead. Twenty years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave.
Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all. A novel of art, memory, and ambition, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.
Written by: Victoria Aveyard
#1 out of 2+ in The Red Queen series
Rating: 4/5 stars
Summary (from Goodreads): This is a world divided by blood – red or silver. The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change… that is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.
Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime. But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.