Hosted by La La in the Library
I hadn't done much reading in the past couple months because between work and audition prep I was just too exhausted, but I made up for it by binge reading like crazy in the past two weeks! The Goodreads Choice Awards are also out, and it's made me want to start reviewing books again - until this week I hadn't read a single one of the YA options (and at that I've now still only read one and it didn't make the final cut so I still won't have read any). All I'd read any of....were the picture books hahaha! Anyway, I'm hoping to play catch up and thinking of picking up reviews again (but then I think of all the books I have to read and...well we'll see.)
I just finished rereading the Newsflesh Trilogy, which I obviously love since I've talked about it like a zillion times since I read it last year. I have to say that on a reread there were plenty of things I'd forgotten enough for me to be shocked/heartbroken a second time, things I appreciated even more with foreknowledge, and that there were also things I remember feeling a bit off about the story, and on a reread they bothered me more. Particularly in the third book - there's these quippy characters with animal names that feel really two sided - it feels like there was more to the story with them, but the parts of that story were cut out so it feels both overly flippant and like they're just caricatures. Bah. But all in all, I would still recommend these in a heartbeat and given some time will almost certainly reread them again (but I wish I could read them for the first time all over again!)
In the car I've been listening to The Magicians, and oh man has this been a rocky book for me. It only resembles Harry Potter in that it has a magical school and if you removed every likeable trait in every character (except Alice I liked her). This wouldn't condemn the book on its own (but fuck you everyone who thinks it's better because the characters are all shitty and therefore "more adult". That you being a universal one and not a specific one since 99% of my readers are YA readers so you know what I mean). Unfortunately on top of all of that, the pacing is ridiculously bad. It's divided into three "books". The first book? Over half of the book and as far as I can tell it had no plot at all. The second book? Maybe like 3 or 4 chapters full of predictable things that the characters do because they're "adults" and in "adult books" and also because they're freaking terrible people. It's only in the third book that any action happens, and that it takes it's overt references to the Chronicles of Narnia (while it does also reference Harry Potter, I'd say it's clear that CoN is what it is modeled after most explicitly) and made it adult in a way that is believable to me - i.e. there are real consequences, and putting a bunch of people straight out of college into fantasy battle scenes doesn't suddenly make them badasses. There are real consequences in a way we don't see in CoN, which I appreciated.
That being said I may also have been greatly mollified after Wikapedia-ing what happens in the next two books because I was hating this one so much I wasn't sure I was going to be able to finish listening to it even though I only had a few discs left. So basically the last "book" and the narrator were the only redeeming qualities here.
I'm not gonna lie, if I knew more about More Happy Than Not, I almost certainly wouldn't have read it (or at least not for another 5 years since that's my going rate for preparing myself for emotional trauma). In an effort to be able to vote for anything other than a picture book for the Goodreads Choice Awards, I picked this up because A. The library didn't have a copy of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda wasn't there yet and B. Because all of the authors at the Baltimore Book Festival YA booth recommended this like crazy (as well as plenty of bloggers I follow). Like....I knew it was going to have some heart wrenching moments, but the ones I thought they were going to be about? TOTALLY NOT AT ALL. And I spent the first third/half of this book going...well this is pretty good, but what's all the fuss about? And then this THING happens and all of my problems I'd been having about certain things in the first half suddenly totally made sense and there were all these clues laid out but I swear NOBODY would have seen the THING that happened coming!
Basically, it destroyed me.
Speaking of Goodreads Choice Awards books, Nimona is heart-warming, heart-wrenching, witty, funny, well-drawn, and diverse in representations of gender roles, race, and sexuality. Basically I definitely recommend it for anyone and everyone because I absolutely LOVED it. All of the above can basically be said for Kate Beaton's The Princess and the Pony as well (not particularly heart-wrenching, but the rest stands). I loved it so much (and laughed so much reading it) that it's definitely going to give Red: A Crayon's Story a run for it's money for my Goodreads Choice Awards vote.
So what's next on my reading agenda? Well after More Happy Than Not, I'm going to need something cute and fluffy in my arsenal, and The Royal We looks like it will fit that (as well as give me something I will have read in the fiction category of the GRCA. Although it's a surprisingly big book so I'm hoping this isn't going to go terribly wrong on me and end up being horribly depressing). I had planned on reading A Darker Shade of Magic, but since it didn't make the final cut, I'll probably be read ACoTaR or The Wrath and the Dawn instead. (Shut up I know I have owned ACoTaR since May, and I STILL haven't read Queen of Shadows but....I'm scared gahhhh!!!)
In any case, wish me luck! And happy reading to all of you :)