It’s been a hot second since I’ve done a reading wrap-up, I know. And most of these books I read MONTHS ago, so hopefully I’ll remember most of my thoughts on them lol. (Super big yikes, yes.) Let’s get into it!
Rilla of Ingleside by Lucy Maud Montgomery
This is the final book in the 8-book-long beloved series Anne of Green Gables. This ending focuses on Rilla Blythe, Anne’s youngest child and shows her and her family as they struggle with all that came with WWI. This book is much darker than the rest of the series and rightfully so. Rilla deals with young love, loss, sorrow, and many other things. It reminded me much of the atmosphere and sad air of Montgomery’s other series Emily of New Moon (which just so happens to be some of my favorite books.) While this book was beautiful in many aspects, I found myself skimming quite a bit of it. Much of it dragged on, though there were certainly some heart-breaking points I would read over and over and over again. I’m just glad I have finally finished this series.
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
THIS. BOOK. WAS. SO. GOOD. I read this book months ago but I still remember exactly why I loved it. It is one of those modern classics that is so character-driven it becomes atmospheric in such a wonderful way. I relate very little to the main character in his experiences and relationships, but his journey throughout the book is so captivating and beautiful. This is not a happy book by any means, but one I needed to read at this time in my life. It has made me rethink everything I know about writing main characters. Every writer should read this book.
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
I was told I HAD to read this book by the close friend. Turns out I didn’t enjoy it as much as she did which is a very sad thing. I wanted to like this book so so much, but I think that I would have loved it a lot more if I read it when I was younger. Still, the characters and their banter were engaging and entertaining. I just don’t think I’ll continue the series.
Vicious and Vengeful by V.E. Schwab
V.E. Schwab is a master story-teller. Her style and manners in which she writes and develops characters always awe me. These books are no different. Each character in this eulogy was so captivating and interesting. And so freaking messed up. So messed up. I loved messed up characters. In the end, I didn’t find the ending all that satisfying and skimmed a good portion of the latter half of Vengeful. Still, a pretty good duology with interesting, scientific-based magic and ruthless characters.
Not Yours But Forever by Ruth Morse
I had the honor of receiving a free arc of this book from the author (who is a fellow indie author !!!)
This novella is an emotionally-charged story about friendship and identity. It is a quick read but not necessarily an easy one and in a good way. I don’t normally read novellas or short stories because I often find that the characters are not fleshed out in such a small amount of words/pages, but Ruth proved that she could do it with these characters.
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
I was recommended this by the same friend who recommended Percy Jackson and boy was this GOOD. I haven’t read much sci-fi but have been dying to get into the genre. I feel like this was a pretty good introduction (aside from the Lunar Chronicles.) I was rather overwhelmed at the number of characters and lack of connection I felt with the mc, but I found the world-building, plot and conflict superb and will definitely be reading the next book!
Love and the Sea and Everything Between by Brian McBride
I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with Brian online quite a bit as he is an indie author like myself. I read his debut a few months ago and discovered that though the themes are important and poignant, that his style at this point in time wasn’t really for me. I do look forward to reading his other work through sometime soon. (You can find my full review here AND a post where he talks about his WIP Sons of Slaughter.)
Muse of Nightmares by Lainie Taylor
I read the preceding book Strange the Dreamer last year and adored it. Strangely (lol…no pun intended, I promise) I did NOT read Muse of Nightmares as soon as I could have and was pleasantly surprised at how much I did enjoy it after forgetting almost everything in Strange. The entire ending of this book was phenomenal in execution though rather predictable in some aspects. The romance was rather plush for me in this book between the two main characters and the pov’s (or lack thereof) seemed scattered and unorganized therefore throwing me off. The relationships otherwise were beautifully written and the BACKSTORY WAS SO GOOD. You learn so much and it is some of the most interesting stuff I’ve ever read. And as always, Taylor’s writing style is gorgeous.
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
This was a reread I needed. I loved it. Every single page and word. That is all.
The Truth Is We Are Perfect by Janaka Stucky
This was a poetry collection I picked up at random at my local used bookstore. I enjoyed it a lot, finding the imagery to be far superior to that of most modern poetry I’ve read. I feel like this author actually tries technique-wise and stylistically. Some of the poems were a bit graphic sexually for my taste, hence the lower rating.
What’s Your Worldview? by James N. Anderson
I was given this book last year for my graduation so it wasn’t really the first choice. I found the layout to be really interesting and effective. (It’s like a choose your own adventure book but with worldviews.) However, this book seems unbiased at first (sort of sells itself that way in the introduction) but then ends up telling you you’re wrong when you “discover” your worldview. I found it handy as a quick rundown of different philosophies and world-views but ultimately too biased and differing from my own beliefs to really be worth a recommendation.
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
This is one of those books that eyes me around a corner for years before I finally pick it up. Whether that is on Goodreads, youtube, or my local used bookstore where I finally bought it. I am so, so glad I did because this book was marvelous. It is a futuristic, dystopian, sci-fi, adult book that is done RIGHT. There are so, so many characters in and out of the story that are really hard to keep track of but I found the mc to have a strong voice, the world-building to be layered, controlled and interesting, and the plot was so freaking good. I didn’t care for the romance much at all, but fortunately, it takes up a very small percentage of the story. Definitely reading the next books.
Villette by Charlotte Bronte
It is my goal to eventually read every book written by the Bronte sisters. This would be only number 3 lol. (I am behind, I confess.) Written with an unreliable main character, a spooky Jane-Eyre esque atmosphere, and a romance that I found I was 0% on board with, this made for a different reading experience than the first two Bronte books I’ve read. I still thoroughly enjoyed it and found that this book wasn’t about appealing to the reader but about style, characterization, the atmosphere among other things. I enjoy an unreliable narrator as it made this story surprising and interesting to me in ways that Bronte’s other books have not. It is my least favorite of the 3 I have read but definitely something I enjoyed and admired.