February 2015 Reading Wrap-Up

Polina

February was a pretty good reading month for me, especially considering my classes are officially under way! I read ten books, one novella, several short stories, and what currently exists of an online series. I also read quite a bit more contemporary than I usually do, and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

1) The Queen’s Army/The Little Android/Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky by Marissa Meyer
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Brief Summary: Short stories in the world of Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles. Wolf’s backstory, Little Mermaid retelling, and teen Thorne being a little shit, respectively.
My Thoughts: The Queen’s Army is a must-read for any Lunar Chronicles fan. The Little Android is very well-written and very upsetting. Carswell’s Guide didn’t give me anything I didn’t already have, but it was a lot of fun.
Rating: 4/5

2) One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva
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Brief Summary: Sheltered Armenian boy Alek meets resident troublemaker Ethan and they go on cute-but-slightly-illegal dates.
My Thoughts: Adorable and rom-com-y, and the New York background and Alek’s relationship with his family and culture gave it a texture I really liked.
Rating: 4/5
Full Review Here

3) Fairest by Marissa Meyer
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Brief Summary: Cool motive. Still murder.
My Thoughts: Marissa Meyer does a great job developing a previously one-note villain into a complex, somewhat tragic figure who lies to herself as much as to everyone else. Meyer does all this without ever excusing Levana’s actions or letting readers forget just how terrible she is. Also, the last four chapters made me even more excited for Winter, which is saying a lot.
Rating: 4.5/5

4) The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
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Brief Summary: Murder adventures and much-needed explanations.
My Thoughts: I enjoyed bits and pieces, particularly Mara’s descent into terrifyingness and Jamie’s pop culture references, and I respected what Michelle Hodkin was trying to do, but the underwhelming plot and wasted potential of some characters made me more ambivalent than anything else.
Rating: 3/5
Full Review to Come

5) The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
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Brief Summary: Divorced alcoholic gets strangely invested in a murder case.
My Thoughts: All three narrators were both sympathetic and frustrating, which, in a book like this, is a good thing. This was an intense ride that I thoroughly enjoyed while I was reading it and social commentary I appreciated, though I forgot the details soon after I finished.
Rating: 3.5/5

6) The Key by Sara B. Elfgren and Mats Strandberg
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Brief Summary: Teenage witches try to avert the apocalypse.
My Thoughts: Like the first two books, this one took a long time getting started, but the characters and relationships were amazing and multidimensional, I cried and laughed countless times, and I got everything I could have wanted from the final book in a trilogy I love.
Rating: 5/5
Full Review to Come, Probably Closer to the US Release Date

7) Welcome to the Shadowhunter Academy by Sarah Rees Brennan and Cassandra Clare
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Brief Summary: Simon Lewis begins Shadowhunter training and tries to reconcile his two sets of memories.
My Thoughts: The authors’ voices blended really well, and I could tell they both had a lot of fun with their writing. The new and old characters were delightful; Simon’s voice made me remember how much I love him, and I would like to be best friends with George Lovelace. This was a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to future installments!
Rating: 4/5

8) The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
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Brief Summary: As everyone knows, when you live in close proximity to terrifying carnivorous water horses, the best idea is to race on them!
My Thoughts: I want to know who Maggie Stiefvater sold her soul to in exchange for her brilliant writing skills in general and her ability to craft beautiful sentences and create settings with a distinct atmosphere in particular.
Rating: 4.5/5
Full Review to Come

9) To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
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Brief Summary: Due to complicated circumstances, Lara Jean ends up pretending to date resident seemingly obnoxious football player Peter Kavinsky.
My Thoughts: Honestly, the ending made me like the book a little less; everything about the last thirty or so pages felt very rushed and there wasn’t much in the way of a conclusion. Still, the writing was good, I really enjoyed Lara Jean’s voice, and the book focused on sister relationships and the fake-dating trope, both of which I live for.
Rating: 3.5/5
Full Review to Come

10) Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan
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Brief Summary: Persian teen lesbian Leila falls in love and finds that people aren’t always what they seem.
My Thoughts: I read this in one sitting and I loved it; it was adorable and fresh and funny and Leila’s voice drew me in immediately. Definitely read this if you’re looking for a book to make you smile.
Rating: 4/5
Full Review to Come

11) Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
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Brief Summary: Three girls decide to get revenge on the people who hurt them.
My Thoughts: I liked this book more for what it promised to be than what it was, if that makes sense? There was this wonderful build-up of tension running through everything, and the ending ensured that I would be continuing with the trilogy.
Rating: 3.5/5
Full Review to Come

12) The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
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Brief Summary: Complex teenage group dynamics, mystical energy, ravens, and a lot of feelings.
My Thoughts: If possible, I loved this book even more upon rereading it. Since I had more of an idea of what was going on this time, I could slip into the world and the relationships a lot faster. I love Blue and her raven boys more than I can say. Also, see previous comments about Maggie Stiefvater’s soul.
Rating: 5/5

13) The Starkillers Cycle by Susan Dennard and Sarah J. Maas
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Brief Summary: Space opera online series by two amazing authors.
My Thoughts: Short chapters, engaging characters, really easy to get into. I don’t want to say more (or rate it) because I get the feeling it’s just barely under way, but if you are a fan of Susan Dennard or Sarah J. Maas or character-driven science fiction, I suggest you check it out here.

Sondra

1) A Court Of Thorns And Roses by Sarah J. Maas
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Brief Summary: Beauty and the Beast meets the amazingness that is Sarah J. Maas.
My Thoughts: I can’t say much about this one because it was an ARC, but I can say this for sure: pre-order this book. You don’t even know how badly you need it in your life. ESPECIALLY if you love Beauty and the Beast.
Rating: 5/5
Full Review to Come

2) Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout
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Brief Summary: Continuing drama of Daemon and Katy. This time with 50% more weirdness and government problems!
My Thoughts: I joke about this book, but no, I’m really loving this series. It’s light and easy and truthfully the plot is pretty great overall. It’s a little cheesy and a little dorky. But it’s a nice little refreshing series.
Rating: 4/5
3) The Calling by David Gaider
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Brief Summary: Dragon Age Origins prequel following Alistair’s parents. His dad is as much of a dork as he is.
My Thoughts: If you’ve played Dragon Age, you gotta read this book. It adds background and gives more lore to the world. You get to really see Alistair’s parents, and trust me you want to see that. If you haven’t played Dragon Age, you still get to read an amazing high fantasy with a world that is unique and different from other things on the market. You won’t feel left out for not playing the games, which is a huge bonus.
Rating: 5/5
Full Review To Come
4) The Conspiracy Of Us by Maggie Hall
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Brief Summary: Conspiracy theories! Paris! Following clues! Secrets and lies!
My Thoughts: This one took me a while to get into because of the main character, but once she figured out her own shortcomings and mistakes this book took off and really actually became amazing. That, and I really love conspiracy theories. A lot. So sign me up for a secret government of powerful people that run the world while we meek normal people feel like we’re in charge.
Rating: 4.5/5
Full Review To Come

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