Thursday, 27 July 2017

June 2017 - Reading Wrap Up

I was super motivated to read this month, I read twelve book in total which is a lot for me. Sadly over half were rated three stars and below but there were some good ones too. I have been a bit lazy compiling these wrap-ups as they are a bit of a chore to do when they are this long. I am never organised enough to split them up either. Such is life.

Anyway, my July reads were:

★★ - Beck by Mal Peet

A young adult historical fiction about Beck, a young mixed race orphan who is shipped over to the USA to do hard farm labour by the catholic church. It was boring, unremarkable and I don't remember much about it. Essentially I was not impressed.

★ - American Housewife by Helen Ellis

This is a collection of satirical short stories. I feel like I missed the mark on this one. Were the stories supposed to be funny? I didn't get the satire, it just read as really bizarre to me. Maybe it's because I'm not American? Does that make a difference? I have no idea but this short story collection was dull as dishwater.

★ - Lover Revealed by J. R. Ward

The fourth book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. It was my least favourite thus far, and for some reason I just found it insufferable to read. This series is full of machismo and cringe, the sex scenes are all the same and it has the pure virgin trope. I just was over it whilst reading this book to be honest. I don't feel any desire to continue on the series unfortunately.  

★ - Second Glance by Jodi Picoult

Yet another underwhelming read, I used to read a lot of Jodi Picoult's books but this one wasn't too great. It's about paranormal activity, Indian burial grounds and a terrible crime that occurred in the past and its lasting effect on future generations. It should have been epic, the ending was terrible. Not her best in my opinion.
A translated fiction, I initially picked this one up because the summary sounded a lot like Room by Emma Donoghue, a book I loved. It's about a family who are living in a basement and it is told from the perspective of the little boy. Its mysterious and dragged out way too long. When everything was revealed it made absolutely no sense and was pretty bizarre.
This is quite a complex book to explain in a short paragraph. It is about Harry August as he lives his life over and over again. Think of it as a time loop, and he is part of a community of people throughout the ages who are also stuck in time loops. The world changes depending on their actions. The concept was really interesting but the execution felt a bit lacking. It turns into a chase for a mad scientist which I wasn't a fan of.

 - The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes

This is a historical fiction about Australian war brides who married British servicemen during the war and are now travelling to live with their husbands back in England after the second world war. It was pretty interesting and I did enjoy this story overall, but it wasn't anything too special.

 - Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

I really enjoyed this latest offering from Laini Taylor. After loving The Daughter of Smoke and Bone,  I was excited to start a new series by her. I was not disappointed, this is a wonderful fantasy focusing on librarian Lazlo Strange who sets off on an expedition to find the lost city of weep. There is another narrative focusing on a group of blue skinned children of Gods as they try to stay hidden. Beautiful story, the writing style was breathtaking.

 - In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park

This is Yeonmi Park's story of how she escaped Korea and started a new life in South Korea. This book really opened my eyes to the horrors of the North Korean dictatorship. It was an unputdownable read and I would highly recommend it.

 - The Colour of Milk by Nell Leyshon

A teeny novella about a poor farm girl in 1830. It has no speech marks or capitalisation as the main character is barely literate and is writing the book to tell the reader of the event that changed her life. I became so involved in this story, I could not put it down and the ending shocked me. A page turner.

 - Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀

One of the books that I still think about, it is the story of Yejide and Akin as they struggle to conceive in Nigeria. They both receive immense pressure from their relatives for Akin to take another wife so he can have children. It is raw, honest and a fascinating look at Nigerian culture. It is strongly reminiscent of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

 - The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin

This is another book that is quite hard to explain but it is a blend of the fantasy/sci-fi genres. Its about a mono-continent that is constantly plagued by natural disasters, with some that have nearly wiped out the human population. What's interesting about this book is that there is a sub-group of people within this world who have magical powers over the natural world. These people are feared and subjugated. The story essentially follows three of these people, and initially it was really hard to get into but once I got my head around it, I really enjoyed it. Highly recommend. 

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