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It’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these self-indulgent posts! The entrepreneur in me tends to look at all the books I’ve read and shun monthly summaries because, “oh, I can make nine posts from that content instead of one!” But I’m gonna be honest with myself this time around — there’s no way I’m writing separate reviews for all of these. (I started typing out the list and realized I had, in fact, written reviews on a fair number of them. So, good job, Grace.)
In other media consumption honesty, I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts. I don’t think that’s a surprise to anyone. Alongside the normal weekly lineup of podcasts like Redhanded and Small Town Dicks, I’ve been listening to a few blogging podcasts and some in the commodities space, though I won’t bore you with that. Surprisingly, I’ve relistened to a couple of podcasts, which is unusual for me, but they’ve been more background while doing another task that requires a bit more attention. Both are highly regarded but never really sparked a lot of interest in me before, so I figured it might be worth giving them another shot.
I’m not normally a big TV person (I don’t watch anything on my own anymore) but my boyfriend and I have been rewatching Game of Thrones over the past few weeks and I’m loving it, so that really takes up my evenings. I’ve been playing Terraria on my phone while watching. (Gotta ease y’all into the idea that in addition to being a book girl, I am also a game girl lite.)
And now, the books.
Imagine Me by Tahereh Mafi
This book was the tail end of my Shatter Me kick in October, an indulgent nostalgia read that I loved. You can read more about the entire Shatter Me series here.
Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
I’m late to the game, but I liked this Moriarty book even more than Apples Never Fall. I can see why people appreciate her so. I have full reviews on both Nine Perfect Strangers and Apples Never Fall, so you can read more of my detailed thoughts there. (Also, “nine” is such a lovely number, isn’t it? 🙂 )
Skyhunter by Marie Lu
Another rare reread! I wanted to read Steelstriker, but all I could remember about the first book was that I liked it, so I convinced myself I needed a refresher. I did a short and sweet review on Skyhunter by Marie Lu as part of my Best Of 2020 post, and think I liked it even better the second time around.
Steelstriker by Marie Lu
And the follow-up, which I again enjoyed but as I’m typing this I can’t really name any particular way it endeared itself to me. What is it with me and Marie Lu? I’ll definitely read the next one, but I’ll also need a refresher. (Am I losing it? Let me know in the comments.)
Thank You for Listening by Julia Whelan
Thank You for Listening is another one I did a full review on. TL;DR: I loved it.
Redemptor by Jordan Ifueko
I searched the blog for any posts on Raybearer and was shocked to find I had never mentioned it before. I suppose though that the Jordan Ifueko book is so often talked about that it doesn’t really need my opinion? But for the record, it’s fabulous, and of course I very patiently waiting in line for my library copy.
Flash Fire by TJ Klune
I truly don’t know how this one escaped me when it was released, because I adored The Extraordinaries. I had been waiting for news of a sequel release, but never actively searched it out, assuming this fabulous series would fall into my lap when there were more books. I was wrong! There have been two books released since! Two! I immediately grabbed this one and placed a hold on the next. And it was wonderful. Truly. Sometimes the characters are frusturating–the protagonist is certainly flawed–but I think the key to reading these books is remembering what you’re reading. These books are a fun, campy romp reminiscent of the early Marvel movies and intended for a younger crowd. Keeping that in mind, they deliver.
A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
This one’s been on my list for a while now, and obviously I’m on a bit of a series kick at the moment (see above), so when it showed up on my Libby app I snapped it and the sequel up. Enjoyed the book itself, although it felt a little slow on the plot. The narrator, however, further proved my point that only female voices should be used in audiobooks when there is a female main character. The British male narrator doing Kell’s voice is all well and good, but Lila’s voice . . . dear god. She sounded like some kind of Dickensian street urchin. I know, I know, I’m usually not that blunt, but bad narration gets me a little riled. And it isn’t the narrator’s fault: Men just can’t do female voices, and I will hold that opinion high until someone points me towards an example proving otherwise. I reread some of Lila’s lines in my head and realized that in the voice I would have ascribed her if reading words on a page, I don’t entirely hate her.
If you want more V. E. Schwab, I wrote a Very Spoilery review of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue.
A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab
Okay, so I haven’t technically finished this one as of writing, but I plan to by the end of the day. Although this time they used two readers (thank god) and the book is narrated by a female voice for Lila’s parts, I am finding her slightly more bearable but unfortunately still not my cup of tea. I’m taken with the world, and that’s what keeps me going, but the story isn’t grabbing me as much as I had hoped. I think my expectations were set a little high going into the series, so maybe that’s the culprit. Otherwise, it’s a good fantasy read in my opinion, but nothing particularly special. Despite this, another V. E. Schwab series remains on my TBR list because of the fabulous review my friend wrote on Vicious.
Since I want to give you an honest look into a book person’s reading life (we seem to be falling victim more and more to the idea of reading and Goodreads counts), I want to say I also started and dropped a couple of books. Not necessarily because I didn’t think they were good–they just weren’t what my heart wanted at that particular moment. Obviously, you should read outside of your comfort zone and I think I do a pretty good job of that myself, but also, reading should mainly inspire joy. Let’s all keep that in mind as everyone begins to post about their 2022 reading stats.
And that’s it for the month! Not terrible considering how busy I’ve been with other stuff — and probably much better than those who participated in NaNoWriMo. Bye for now to my favorite month!