Wrap-Up

August 2017 Wrap-Up

In August I read 12 books:

  • 2 short stories
  • 1 novella
  • 1 graphic novel
  • 1 reread
  • 7 new novels.

Didn’t like

TheReluctantQueen

The Reluctant Queen by Sarah Beth Durst – ½ (review on goodreads)

This is the second book in The Queens of Renthia series. I liked the first one, The Queen of Blood, but The Reluctant Queen was just boring. This is a matriarchy where homophobia doesn’t exist but every single woman is straight, and racism doesn’t exist, but there is only one relevant character of color. It would have been bad even without all the clichés in the writing and in the plot.


Could have been better

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho – ★★★ (review on goodreads)

This is a historical fantasy book from the PoV of two characters of color. While I loved both Zacharias and Prunella (Prunella is awesome) it took me four days to finish it, and I had to force myself. I hated the writing, it was unnecessarily heavy.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han – ★★★¼ (review on goodreads)

This trilogy is the perfect summer read and nothing more. I wasn’t disappointed by this book just because a three star was exactly what I expected it to be. If you like light contemporary romance, you’ll probably like this more than I did. And the MC is Korean-American, which makes the series stand out among all the other summer contemporary books.

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh (reread) – ★★★½ (review on goodreads)

When I read this last year, I hated it. This time I didn’t, but the romance still felt forced to me. I love the atmosphere, but I have mixed feelings about the writing, and the translation (I read the Italian version, La moglie del Califfo) didn’t help. I kept forgetting Tariq existed, and he’s one of the two main PoV characters.

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody – ★★★½ (review on goodreads)

I love reading circus books, and this was no exception. The atmosphere was beautiful and I really liked most of the characters. I didn’t find the mystery aspect too predictable, although I did see some things coming. However, I hated the romance and I have mixed feelings about the aro and ace rep.

Monstress – Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu & Sana Takeda (graphic novel) – ★★★½ (review on goodreads)

This is more of a “it’s not you, it’s me” situation. While reading about blood, gore and violence doesn’t bother me, seeing it does. In this graphic novel there is a fight scene every two pages. The art is stunning, anyway.

Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popović – ★★★★ (review on goodreads)

This book has beautiful, whimsical writing and an atmosphere I loved – it’s the first book set on the northern coast of the Mediterranean Sea I’ve ever read. The plot, inspired by Eastern European folklore, surprised me multiple times. I would have loved it if it weren’t for the main character and the “curse-forbids-me-to-fall-in-love” trope.


Liked

 

Now I Rise by Kiersten White – ★★★★ (review on goodreads)

While I rated both this book and its prequel And I Darken four stars, I liked this one more. The writing improved and the character deveolpment was great (RADU). Lada is still my favorite, because she’s terrible. What brought the rating down this time was the lack of research. Now I Rise never mentions Genoa, when Galata was the Genoese quarter of Constantinople. (I have… feelings about Genoese history.) No, “Italian” isn’t the right word – Italy did not exist in 1453.

Hammers on Bone by Cassandra Khaw (novella) – ★★★★½ (review on goodreads)

It’s Lovecraftian Noir, and yes, it’s as good as it sounds. I thought I didn’t like horror, but I was wrong – well-written horror is great. The side characters were a bit flat, but this is a novella.


Loved

TheGalleryofUnfinishedGirls

I Built This City For You by Cassandra Khaw (short story) – ★★★★¾

Last month I read Khaw’s These Deathless Bones and I really liked it, so I decided to try more by this author. This is a paranormal story about a really unhealthy f/f relationship and people turning into cities. It’s weird and definitely not for everyone, but I loved the writing.

The Gallery of Unfinished Girls by Lauren Karcz – ★★★★★ (review on goodreads)

I can’t believe this is a debut. I loved every second of it, and this is definitely one of my favorite books of this year. The writing, the characters, the atmosphere – everything was the way I wanted it to be. While the synopsis hints at a f/f ship, this is not a f/f romance – and I knew that before reading the book, or I would have been disappointed.

The Knight of Chains, the Deuce of Stars by Yoon Ha Lee (short story) – ★★★★★

Yoon Ha Lee is my favorite writer, so I wasn’t surprised when The Knight of Chains, the Deuce of Stars became one of my favorite short stories ever. The writing is stunning, and it flows so well. It’s a space fantasy story about games and war, and I was almost in tears by the ending. Short fiction never makes me cry.

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