Hello my loves,
I read 9 books within the first 3 weeks of January and feel like I burnt myself out because by the last week of the month I was in a huge reading slump and didn’t want to read another book for the rest of the year.
A little exaggeration, but you get the idea.
In February I still had 2 books that I was part way through, a huge tome of a book (Wolf Hall) and a really dense classic (The Waves) and so I thought I’d spend February basically finishing those, because I didn’t feel like reading point blank period but knew that at least if I did things this way I could still tick some books off the list and finish them up.
I also read some graphic novels! I’d been wanting to read the Paper Girls comics for a really long time and I realised that they’d brought out actual volumes now that you could buy instead of buying the comics individually (which are super expensive), so I asked for the first volume for my birthday and well, I’m obsessed. I decided to read the first volume to ease me out of my reading slump and it definitely did the job!
Paper Girls: Book One – Brian Vaughan
As I said, this “book” got me out of my reading slump, I really just fancied reading something fun that didn’t require a lot of concentration and this was it! I read a little bit each day and really loved the story. We follow four newspaper delivery girls who essentially get sucked into this alien invasion time warp thing and it’s just…really cool. The illustrations and colours are beautiful and I ordered the second volume (book two) as soon as I was finished with this one. This version includes volumes 1-10!
Illuminae – Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
The layout of these books is ultimately what made me want to read them and so I bought the whole trilogy at once which is something I never do. This book (or series) follows Kady and Ezra, two teenagers who have just broken up and suddenly find themselves in the middle of a planet invasion where they have to escape and end up on separate fleets. The only person they have is each other as they try to uncover what’s really going on and all of the things that aren’t being said – a plague has broken out and their enemy might be closer than they think.
This book was…okay. Nothing special. It was just a 3 star YA really. The content was a little dense and hard to understand at times due to the amount of different names etc. you have to learn so it can get confusing, but overall it was fine. The last 25% of the book was really gripping but I suppose that makes sense as that’s usually where most of the action happens in these things. I didn’t really care for the relationship between Kady and Ezra even though that’s kind of the point of the book, it felt a little awkward and weird and a bit…false? Some of the emails / IM conversations between them were also weird as the text language used was just…not correct at all. I think if you’re going to write electronic communication between teenagers it has to at least be accurate, but certain segments were just really off and I remember wondering why these authors were basing the book on teenagers from 2009.
My favourite part was definitely the epistolary-type layout of the book (there’s probably an actual word for it which I can’t remember off the top of my head right now) but in terms of actual content the story was just…okay, and the characters were just…okay. I wasn’t really all that bothered about them, my favourite was probably Ezra. I didn’t like Kady as much as I think the authors want you to, if that makes sense. She was a little eh for me. Saying all this though, I will however be continuing on with the series and hope that it only gets better from here.
One of Us is Next – Karen M. McManus
This book may be a surprise to some of you if you saw my ranting review for One of Us is Lying back in 2019 due to it’s ridiculous sexism and white feminism however, the writing and content in this one was such an improvement in comparison, in the sense that we essentially this time got a story and none of the extra problematic things that come with it . My ratings for these books make no sense either and don’t correspond at all but…what can you do.
One of Us is Next is the second book in the Bayview High series and it was on Kindle for 99p so I thought why not. You don’t actually need to read the first book (One of Us is Lying) in order to make sense of what’s happening in this book either, if you are looking to read it. One of Us is Next follows three high school students who get caught up in a truth or dare phone game that gets sent around the whole school, and lots of truths are revealed…with consequences, and lots of dares are performed…with consequences. The truth or dare game was the plot point of book one and essentially it resurfaces again in this one but again, you don’t have to read the first book in order to understand what’s going on.
I did actually quite enjoy this book, I was intrigued to keep reading and find out what was going on and I don’t really have much to say about it other than that – it was a fun, quick little read and I’d definitely consider reading more of Karen M. McManus’ work in the future. I probably will if it comes about.
The Mothers – Brit Bennett
My first book by Brit Bennett! An author I’ve been dying to read for the longest time and I finally got round to it…and I was not disappointed. I absolutely loved this book, it was such a beautiful piece of writing. The whole thing is very whimsical and lyrical and so it’s hard to just give a black and white synopsis but essentially we follow a girl called Nadia Turner, a teenager who’s mourning her mother’s recent suicide and is getting lost trying to navigate life along the way. We follow her as she grows up and encounters many ups and downs…until it all comes full circle when she’s an adult and we’re wondering what her life would be like now if she had made different choices back when she was younger.
This book was just beautiful and I absolutely loved it, Brit Bennett is magic. The Vanishing Half has been on my TBR for the longest time now (I’m waiting to buy the physical version of it that I like before I read it) and so The Mothers ended up coming onto my radar first as it was on Kindle for 99p and there was no way I wasn’t going to buy it. I’m so excited to read The Vanishing Half next – hopefully I’ve found one of my new favourite authors!
The Waves – Virginia Woolf
A book that has been near and dear to my heart for the longest time and I finally got around to finishing it after having had it on my shelf for probably 4/5 years now. I wish I could just take this with me everywhere as it’s like a little comfort for me.
This book makes absolutely no sense, it’s one long poetical monologue and nobody knows what’s happening or why yet they’re still reading it and enjoying it anyway. The story follows six characters – three men and three women, as we follow them from children into adulthood and beyond (my favourite character was Susan if anyone cares). Each character goes off and does different things but they all (sort of) annually come together again in order to reminisce and also talk about their dear friend Percival’s early death (not a spoiler – it’s in the synopsis). People say Woolf based Percival lightly on her brother.
As I said, the book basically makes no sense, it’s very whimsical and lyrical and kind of puts you to sleep in the best way. I really loved it and I love Virginia Woolf. That’s all.
And there we have it loves!
All my love,
Goodreads – ChloLuna