This month, I read a total of 16 books. Below, I’ve listed them and added my Goodreads reviews.
Stephanie Garber – Caraval (Caraval #1)
Read my review of Caraval following this link: Unboxing: FairyLoot January and Caraval review.
Marissa Meyer – Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1)
Overall, I really enjoyed this book! It was a fun, quick read, and it was definitely an original take on the Cinderella story, with a lot of interesting additions. I especially loved the world building. However, the book was really predictable. The first part provided an interesting introduction, and then the second basically gave you all the information necessary to connect the dots. Parts 3 and 4 felt completely unnecessary in that way, because they held exactly zero surprises. I think this book would have been better had it either been shorter or if part 2 had been a little less obvious, leaving something to the imagination. I do hear the series get better from the second book on though, so I’m looking forward to reading more.
William Golding – Lord of the Flies
Warning: unpopular opinion! If anything, I feel completely indifferent about this book. That’s the worst thing you can feel about a book, so I feel pretty bad about that. And I really tried, but the book didn’t speak to me at all… I don’t even really know why, because it’s definitely not a bad book – it’s well written and it holds some strong ideas. It just didn’t work for me.
Alwyn Hamilton – Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands #1)
During the first half of this book, I thought I would end up not liking it. The characters were flat, the storyline was very predictable, and some events weren’t at all believable, like the possibility of the main character to pose as a boy for the entirety of two months. However, something changed in the second half that made things more interesting, and especially a certain plottwist got my attention. Overall, this is a promising debut, but not a great one.
Katherine Blakeney – Digging in the Stars
Archaeology in outer space! That’s such a fun concept for a novel, and it makes for a really original sort of combination of sci-fi, historical fiction and detective.
Reading this, I loved it at times, but disliked it at other times. The main plot was certainly interesting and surprising, and the Throrians were a funny but also scary sort of aliens. Also, there were some great characters, especially Professor P. She was bad-ass and independent, but also never short of sassy comments. That way, she sent a really strong feminist message. So did Carter, the main character, for being bold and turning around the damsel in distress sort of storyline, trying to find and rescue her friend Conrad. But the book was hard to get into and kept being difficult to follow, because a lot of the time the details were all over the place and there were a lot of sidetracks that were distracting from the plotline. Also, most of the characters were quite flat, making it hard to really identify with them. They were quirky and loveable, but there wasn’t much visible character growth.
All in all, this is a really fun read if you’re looking for something that’s mainly focussed on an adventurous plot and sassy remarks.
Daniel Smith – How To Think Like Sherlock?
The premisse of this book is a fun one: apparently Sherlock Holmes has won popularity over the last few years, so why not jump in on that and write a book about how he worked and how others can do that too? In the end, however, this consisted mainly of fragments from the Sherlock Holmes stories, and already existing tests (I already knew multiple ones from other quizzes). The only thing the author added, were a basic structure, and some interpretations. Reading this was entertaining, but nothing spectacular or very instructive.
Alwyn Hamilton – Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2)
Usually in series, the second book is less good than the first. Here, it’s exactly the other way around. Rebel of the Sands was entertaining, but nothing amazing. Traitor to the Throne was a lot better from the start! It’s great to see Hamilton living up to the potential she showed in the first book. This second book was fast-paced and exciting, and it was pretty immersing. It becomes especially great when Amani arrives at the palace, because of the intrigue. Also, there’s room for Amani to doubt her alliances, as some people in the palace doubt whether the rebel prince would even be fit to rule. The ending was pretty thrilling and unexpected, so I’m looking forward to the next installment!
J.R.R. Tolkien – The Lord of the Rings
To read my review of The Lord of the Rings, follow this link: Review: J.R.R. Tolkien – Lord of the Rings
V.E. Schwab – A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1)
This book was remarkably well written and original. It had a quite new, refreshing take on magic, and there were a lot of quotable, insightful lines and fragments. Lila made for an interesting character, being messed-up, but also bad-ass and sassy. However, she wasn’t the main character, and I didn’t really connect to Kell, which made the story feel somewhat distant to me. Furthermore, I felt that not enough happened in the first part of the book, and then in the second part of the book so many things needed to be resolved that it felt like they were resolved too easily and it was hard to keep up as well.
Gabriel Lea – The Guardian’s Heart (The Lost Souls #1)
Follow this link to read my full review of The Guardian’s Heart: Review: Gabriel Lea – The Guardian’s Heart (Lost Souls #1).
Marissa Meyer – Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2)
This book made for a pretty exciting read! I’d heard it was better than Cinder, but I was a little wary of that. But that definitely proved to be right! This book was suspenseful from the start, it was structured well, and there were quite a few surprising plottwists. And more importantly (to me, anyway): there were some amazing new characters (Scarlet!! Thorne!). If you like ya sci-fi, I’d definitely recommend this one:) The only criticism I can think of, is that at the end of the book, I didn’t feel like a lot had actually happened. I’m hoping Cress will solve that!
V.E. Schwab – A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2)
This second book was definitely better than the first! Both Kell and Rhy really grew on me, and Alucard Emery made for a great new character. But again, it took quite a while for the story to get started. The Element Games are the central event of the book, but it isn’t until well over the first halve of the book that they actually get started.
J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4)
From this book on, the series is really maturing. Always love rereading it! Also, the whole Quidditch world-cup is so much more fun than in the movie.
Stephanie Perkins – Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss #1)
I didn’t really know what to expect of this book. I usually don’t like ya contemporary, and especially when it involves highschool drama, but Anna and the French Kiss was recommend to me by multiple people telling me it was a lot better than your average ya contemporary novel. I picked it up because I was in the mood for something light and cute and funny, and I wasn’t disappointed, because it’s exactly that – and more. Because this book turned out to have pretty realistic characters, all with their own problems. It’s really not another empty book, but it definitely adds something more: how to stand up for yourself, how to take responsibility for your own life, etc. Granted, it’s really predictable and it follows the chicklit/romcom format, but it’s still a cute book, and I think it would make a nice movie too.
My favorite read of the month was the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I hope to read a lot more of Tolkiens books this year, continuing with The Hobbit in March. I’ve also started a few series, and I especially can’t wait to continue The Lunar Chronicles.