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January Book Reviews

28 Jan

Hello, fellow literature lovers! I’m back with some book reviews, and I’ve been reading a lot. The grand total for the month of January will be 7 books, if I finish the book I’m reading now before Thursday (which I definitely will, do you even know me? :)). So here are reviews on the past five books that I’ve read.

 

Deborah Harkness – A Discovery of Witches
Goodreads stars: four

I can’t give half stars on Goodreads, so I’m going to do that here. I give his book 4.5 stars! I loved this book. It is wonderfully written, but the first half is a little long-winded. It took awhile to get into the good stuff. I also think the first half is geared towards a certain crowd (people like me that enjoy literature about literature). The protagonist, Diana, is a witch. But she tries to suppress her witchiness by becoming a scholar. But she realizes, after meeting a stunningly handsome vampire, that she’s been practicing magic all along.

This novel reminded me a little of Twilight (yes, I’ve read Twilight. I was curious; we’ll call it scholarly interest. And yes, I hated it), because of the mingling between different creatures in the supernatural world. Of course it is a hundred thousand times better and Harkness writes very well. She tells a better story, too (I mean, that’s not hard to do; Stephenie Meyer writes like a high schooler in a mandatory creative writing course).

When I finished this book, I wanted to immediately read the next one. But I was warned that the third one isn’t out yet. I looked at Harkness’ website and she said it’s not even finished! Oh my. So, I decided against immediately devouring book #2. I am very much looking forward to reading the rest of the series, though.

 

Rick Riordan – The Sea of Monsters
Goodreads stars: four

This is the second novel in the Percy Jackson series. It was another really fun read. I’m drawing a blank on anything more analytical than this. It’s just a great series and I already have book #3 lined up in my queue. One great thing about these books, they’re really cheap ebooks. They’re all between $4 and $6 (roughly).

 

Paula McLain – The Paris Wife
Goodreads stars: five

This has probably been my favorite book this month. I had no idea what it was about, but I knew it had great reviews. To my most certain pleasure, it’s a fiction piece (based very closely on real-life events) about Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley, told from her point of view. I’m a big fan of early 20th century American novelists, so this was a great read. Hadley meets and becomes friends with a few major literary stars of this time period, like Gertrude Stein and her partner, Alice B. Toklas. They travel all over Europe, sometimes on a whim, and Hadley goes through the pain and torment of loving an artistic soul. The way that McLain describes their love is beautiful and heart wrenching. This was one of the few novels ever that has made me cry.

 

Ally Condie – Crossed
Goodreads stars: three

This is the second book in the Matched series. I wasn’t as impressed with this book as I was with the first one. The first half of the book felt like a lot of wasting time, not much happening, just running through deserts and canyons. And I’m not impressed with Condie’s prose. It seems like she’s trying too hard to be poetic. I’ll still read the third one though, to find out how it culminates.

 

Gail Carriger – Soulless
Goodreads stars: four

I just finished this one yesterday and I’m torn. Carriger has a way with words, that is certain, but sometimes her prose is cloying. When I first picked up the book (figuratively – I have a Nook), I had trouble getting into it. It felt like her words just didn’t flow, especially considering some of the character’s names, like Lord Akeldama or Miss Ivy Hisslepenny. If a character has a strange name that I have trouble saying, then I tend to just glaze over it and have a difficult time keeping track of that person.

Overall though, the story was great. It was a really fun read once I was able to pick up on her style. I like that she involved a person without a soul, with a man that’s a werewolf. It was great that by the end of it, one knows that being soulless doesn’t necessary mean one is without soul. The main character, Alexia Tarabotti, is a firecracker who speaks her mind, which I love. I definitely plan to read further into the series, but this book definitely took some time to become invested in.

 

I am also currently reading the first installment of the Lorien Legacies series by Pittacus Lore (or, James Frey and Jobie Hughes), I am Number Four. So far, I like it, but there are a lot of little contradictions in the story that I’m having trouble getting past. That’s all I’ll say on that one for now 🙂

Tell me: what are you reading?

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