May 10, 2016

Books, Books, Books!

Back from vacation and ready to talk books!!!  I read tons of great fantasy and dystopia this month and hardly any self help type stuff.  I should probably be embarrassed, but instead I'll just admit that I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Here's my reads, from favorite to least (I actually had a "did not finish" which is pretty rare for me).

♥♥♥♥♥ - 5 Star


Fire/Bitterblue (the rest of the Graceling Series)

I think Fire might have been my least favorite, because I was so tied into Katsa's story and I didn't want to read about anyone else.  So maybe about half the book I was whiny about that, and the fact that Fire wasn't a particularly compelling heroine.  But then at some point she really starts to come into her own and I finally (grudgingly) admitted that she was pretty awesome and got into her story.  By Bitterblue, I had accepted that each book featured a different character, and it bothered me much less.  It was kind of fascinating how the books are tied together not by the protagonists, but by the villain (former protagonists do make an appearance, but the focus is very much on the bad guy and either defeating him or dealing with the aftermath of his tyranny).  To sum up: fantastic books BUT be prepared to read about different characters.

I Am Malala

Sooo good.  I had so many emotions while reading this and I found her story incredibly powerful and inspiring.  I think, if nothing else, this is a great story for people to read (or listen to) to get a better sense of what's going on in that part of the world.  The message of the book is that education is the best defense against terrorism and ignorance so educate yourself and give this a listen!

The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller series)

Just gonna copy pasta my Goodreads review for this one: "The story was told by one of the characters so every so often you get a chapter with the storyteller and other characters talking. Sometimes it seemed important and sometimes I wished the author didn't bother with it. Storytelling method aside, this book is awesome! I love the Kvothe character. He's kind of a cliche "child prodigy" but it really didn't bother me because the things he does with it are fascinating. I like the world, the "magic" system, and thoroughly enjoy all the characters and their interactions together. Definitely getting the next one!"

♥♥♥♥ - 4 Star


Divergent/Insurgent/Allegiant (Divergent Series)

I actually read these as a direct result of chatting about them with someone after the last book linkup.  I'd been on the fence about this series for a long time and after watching the movie decided not to bother.  HOWEVER, I am extremely glad I gave them a chance, because they were a solid 4 star.  Yes, I did get annoyed by Tris and Four's "will we/won't we" relationship, BUT for the most part it fit the story and I felt like they did finally grow as a couple at the end of the second book and unlike most of the rest of the world, found them less annoying in the third book.  ALSO, third book was my favorite.  Everyone else was upset about the ending, but it shocked me, made me cry, and I found it to be more realistic than your typical ending.  The second book is my least favorite, but the beginning and end are quite good and the first book is miles better than the movie.  The details make more sense, Tris has more depth and emotion, and you get more details about the world, which I liked better than the characters (at first - they grew on me).

The Crown (last of The Selection series)

The Heir was a 3 star.  Switching from the original story to their child was unexpected and I felt almost cheated, like I'd been tricked into starting a new series that, frankly, wasn't that good.  I could not stand Eadlyn, but for some reason I preordered this one (probably my need to finish stories), and I was quite surprised when it downloaded itself to my Kindle this past weekend.  In any case, I'm glad I did, because it was better.  Eadlyn finally has some much needed personal growth, and the royal family deals with problems by talking to their subjects instead of continuing to charade a perfect situation while remaining completely oblivious.  I will say that the plot still seems a little thin, somewhere in between an actual YA dystopia and a romance story, but it was better than the previous book and the ending was unexpected and left me completely satisfied, which bumped it up to 4 stars at the last second.

 - Did Not Finish

Yes My Accent is Real

After going through some of the most popular comedian style memoirs, I was looking for something else to listen to while I do some of my mindless work tasks, and this was available with no wait at the library.  I didn't care much about Kunal Nayyar (Raj from Big Bang), and I think that, combined with the fact that he's pretty young and doesn't have a whole lot to talk about, really set this up as a disappointment for me.  The tone is kind of self-deprecatory humor, which I normally like, but it's mostly just stories about girls - his first crush, his first kiss, his first girlfriend, etc, and the way he describes it is so awkward it made me cringe.  He goes on and on about "milky skin" and "intoxicating perfume" and I just couldn't do it.  I returned this a third of the way through and switched to podcasts.  Disclaimer: I did give it 2 stars on Goodreads, because I felt like there was nothing inherently wrong with the book, but it was definitely not for me.


I'm trying to be better about using the library instead of buying books, so I'm going to finish the Inkheart series before allowing myself to buy the rest of the Kingkiller books (which I'm pretty sure I want in paperback).  I'm also considering purchasing physical copies of the Mistborn trilogy, since I successfully convinced Brother-in-Law AND Ryan to read them, and talking about the books with them has me itching for a reread.  I know I'll be reading some less-exciting stuff in June for Dani and Erin's challenge, so I figure I'll indulge myself now with all fun fantasy reads!

What have you been reading?  Have you read anything from my list and what did you think?  Do you have a stack of "should read" books that you ignore while you read fun ones instead?

Linking up with Steph and Jana
Life According to Steph

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  1. I think I put I Am Malala on my list a while back, but if not, I need to. I was all anti-Divergent series but you're making me reconsider...

  2. In the last year I've really been using the library more instead of buying books, my only frustration is when they don't have books I want to read.

    I have lots of books in my to-read pile but I constantly bypass them for library books, I'm looking forward to trying to read my to-read pile in June with Erin.

  3. My library doesn't have The Crown yet, so I was hoping to wait but I think your review convinced me that I need to pick up the conclusion to this series sooner rather than later :) Great thoughts on the Divergent series. I might have to re-read Allegiant sometime. I felt so mad at the conclusion of it and then I thought about it a bit and felt less mad, so I can see where you are coming from with your thoughts. I agree that book 2 was my least favourite.

  4. I am typically always annoyed by will we/won't we relationships in books and movies.

  5. Hmmm I think I have seen something about I Am Malala when it came out, I need to add it to my list if I haven't already. That stinks about Raj's book! I really love that show but I could see how what you are saying about the book would get old.

  6. I haven't read The Heir yet because I was so disappointed with reviews, so I'm glad to hear The Crown is better!

  7. ooh i didn't know the crown was out yet! gonna buy it.
    so.... i hated allegiant. lol. glad you ended up liking fire/bitterblue, i definitely thought it was interesting that the books were tied together by the villain, that's different for me. i have seen the kingkiller series, but i've heard it's not finished and it's been ages, so people are cranky. i'm gonna try and wait for it to be finished before i start it!

  8. I have Graceling on on my TBR due to your recommendation and I'm glad the series overall was good. And that I know we're not following one character throughout a series. I only read Divergent but I didn't love it enough to continue, especially when I saw how mixed the end was (and I did read spoilers so I know what upset them). I am Malala sounds really good and adding it to my TBR.

    1. I feel like being prepared for the protagonist to shift is so important for being able to enjoy a sequel! Because usually you read when you love the characters and want to know how they'll be doing, so if they're not going to be in it, you have to know ahead of time. :P

      I have only good things to say about I Am Malala and I think the whole world should read it so I'm glad!

  9. I read Divergent (even though it is completely different from most books I read). I can see why it has all the hype surrounding it. It's one of those times though that, for me, I actually think I'd enjoy the movies more. Still haven't watch it yet.
    I Am Malala is definitely a book I will read at some point, but I feel like I need to be in the correct frame of mind for it.

  10. I will probably wait until Erica is a little older and read I Am Malala with her. I know it's an important book but I want her to read it as well. Seems like a good thing to do together.

  11. I felt cheated as well when I read The Heir. I wanted more on America and her king. I wasnt sure I wanted to read The Crown but maybe I'll give it a chance.

    I never did start the Inkheart series but I really should..

    I have been reading all kinds of new genres so I can't wait to wrote about them at the end of the month!

  12. I felt cheated as well when I read The Heir. I wanted more on America and her king. I wasnt sure I wanted to read The Crown but maybe I'll give it a chance.

    I never did start the Inkheart series but I really should..

    I have been reading all kinds of new genres so I can't wait to wrote about them at the end of the month!

  13. I cannot WAIT to read I Am Malala. Of course I feel silly for saying that because I'm the only reason I haven't read it yet, but my reading mojo has been so off, I'm waiting until I can really feel like I'll dive in and get everything out of it.


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