Hello Sondra this is your life. Stress, sickness, and not being able to read much. *Sigh*
1) Violent Ends collected by Shaun David Hutchinson (ARC)
Brief Summary: A school shooting shown through the perspectives of seventeen different people.
My Thoughts: While a relatively small amount of the stories hit as hard as I had hoped, there were no stories I disliked either, which is relatively rare for an anthology. In addition, hearing so many different voices throughout the book made what the characters went through much more real for me. I also liked that we never got to hear the shooter’s perspective, and instead got to piece his story together from the experiences of others.
2) Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
Brief Summary: Emily’s best friend disappears and leaves behind a list of things for her to do, setting her up for a life-changing summer.
My Thoughts: I enjoyed this book a great deal. Emily’s character growth was real and believable, the main romance was adorable and had the perfect slow build-up, and I was really happy that Emily’s friendship with Sloane played such a big role in the story. Basically everything I love about cute summer contemporaries. Bonus points for the references to Amy and Roger and Morgan Matson’s amazing playlists.
3) The Evil We Love by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman (novella)
Brief Summary: Simon and co. learn the history of the Circle, and we finally get to meet Michael Wayland and cry about him.
My Thoughts: So far, all of the TSA stories except the fourth one have followed the same pattern of enjoyable-but-forgettable. I didn’t really feel like I learned anything new, and Isabelle’s character didn’t ring true to me even after her characterization had been explained. The thing that worked best was the relationship between Robert and Michael in the flashbacks–a certain scene broke my heart just as much as I had anticipated.
4) Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
Brief Summary: Aelin Galathynius is better than you (and so is Manon, and Lysandra, and Kaltain, and Elide, and Asterin, and Nesryn).
My Thoughts: I wrote a REALLY FREAKING LONG REVIEW on this book, so here I’ll just say that I screamed a lot and all the ladies were amazing.
5) Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover (novella)
Brief Summary: Daniel falls in love with a girl he met while hiding in a closet. Only one problem–he doesn’t know her name.
My Thoughts: I was really looking forward to this novella because I enjoyed Hopeless and loved Six’s character, and I was disappointed. I would have thought a story that focused on Six would be more interesting, but it felt like the same old story I’d read a hundred times. I also didn’t appreciate the slut-shaming (Six used to be such an awful terrible slut but it’s okay! She’s better now!) and it really bothered me that at one point Daniel said something terrible to Six, and he never actually apologized for it. People talk about how good Colleen Hoover’s dialogue is, and I think she can do witty banter pretty well (though honestly not as good as some authors) but during serious romantic scenes the dialogue just sounds so forced I can’t take it seriously.
6) The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Brief Summary: Call’s adventures at the Magisterium continue, but his discovery at the end of the first book has made things quite complicated.
My Thoughts: After the amazing twist at the end of the Iron Trial, I kind of expected The Copper Gauntlet to take things up a notch from the first book, but I don’t know if it did. I still enjoyed it; Call’s friendship with Aaron and Tamara is adorable and I was very happy to see Jasper play a bigger role in the story and the ending was great–but I was expecting a little more.
7) Sinners by Eka Waterfield
Brief Summary: A day in the life of an asexual sidhe drug lord.
My Thoughts: I mostly read this for the asexual representation, and I was really pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The portrayal of fae is the best and most inhuman I’ve seen in a long time, the worldbuilding is intricate and interesting, and I really enjoyed Niavin and his perpetual annoyance with everything. I think it may take me a couple of rereads before I can keep track of the plot, thought.
8) Serpentine by Cindy Pon (ARC)
Brief Summary: Girl friendship and snake demons, my two favorite things ever.
My Thoughts: I would have liked less insta-love and more detail toward the worldbuilding and mythology, but I still loved Skybright’s quite strength, and her friendship with Zhen Ni was just beautiful.
9-11) Cinder/Scarlet/Cress by Marissa Meyer (reread)
Brief Summary: Fairy tales in space!
My Thoughts: I love this series so much! The compulsively readable writing style, the awesome and varied heroines, the unique ideas in blending the sci-fi and fairy tale aspects of the stories…basically, The Lunar Chronicles are amazing and I can’t believe there’s only a little more than a month until Winter.
Rating: 4.5/5 for Cinder and Scarlet and 5/5 for Cress
12) Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older
Brief Summary: Sierra learns about a world of art-related magic that her family is somehow involved in.
My Thoughts: I loved this book a lot. The magic system was really original and made for some excellent imagery; I love when books incorporate art as part of the magic in their world. I also really appreciated just how important Sierra’s racial and cultural identity was to her and to the story. The plot was fast-paced and exciting, and Sierra’s world was incredibly vibrant and fleshed out.
13) Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (audiobook)
Brief Summary: Two sisters and their complicated love lives.
My Thoughts: I think this was a case of “it’s not you, it’s me”. Sense and Sensibility had everything I love about Jane Austen–the astute humor, the lifelike characters–but it ended up being my least favorite Jane Austen book so far. I’ll figure out why eventually.
1) Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
Brief Summary: So much plot. So many fantastic ladies. So many feels. So many tears.
My Thoughts: I took my time reading this and it was so worth it. Every moment just sunk in and it was beautiful and everything I had hoped it would be and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
2) Cinder by Marissa Meyer (reread)
Brief Summary: Cinderella retelling with so so much more than anyone will ever realize.
My Thoughts: UGH THIS SERIES MAN. This is my all time favorite series. Yes, this goes over Harry Potter. I’ll say that. HP holds a special place for me but not like this series. I can’t even tell you what it is exactly but this series is just that once in a lifetime series that you can’t live without and you cry over all the time.
3) The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows (ARC)
Brief Summary: Things get worse. Yes. It’s possible.
My Thoughts: I can’t say much here since this one comes out in APRIL, except I’m so thankful to have gotten the chance to read this one so early. And guys it’s gonna be everything you’d hoped for and SO much more!