At the end of July and in early August, I have a tendency to slack off in the reading department because the beginning of the school makes me a crazy person. I’m going to count these last 6 weeks as a victory though because I read fourteen books, and some of them were gargantuan. I read both The Outsider, which is over 550 pages, and Beach Music (about 630 pages). And I also read the A Court of Thorns and Roses YAL series, and y’all, those are rather tome-y as well. The last one in the series is a page shy of 700 pages. I just don’t understand why any YAL book needs to be that long, especially if it’s one in a series.
Here’s what I read:
A Court of Thorns and Roses (Book One)–Sarah J. Maas–In this novel, a mortal girl named Feyre gets kidnapped to the land of faeries. It’s Beauty and the Beast, all-of-the-popular-teen-yadayadayada fantasy, and borderline pornographic. This is pretty damn trampy for YAL, but hell, it was compulsively addictive to read.
A Court of Mist and Fury (Book Two)–Sarah J. Maas–Book two’s plot is so much better than the first one, and it’s even more fanta-nasty than the original. Seriously, this is not for a middle grade reader. I would even be uncomfortable recommending it to high school students.
Born a Crime–Trevor Noah–If you want to read an autobiography, read this one. I wasn’t a huge fan of the way it was written, but his story is unreal.
Mrs. Fletcher–Tom Perrotta
Circe–Madeline Miller–I’m going to be honest. I could care less about Greek and Roman mythology, and I have a tendency to despise retellings of classic stories. Both are just not my cup of tea, but Circe was worth it.
A Court of Wings and Ruin (Book Three)–Sarah J. Maas–Book three is long, war filled, and boring. Half way through, I couldn’t wait for the book to end. It was a let down in relation to the other two. Maas is going to release at least three more in this series, but I won’t read them.
Future Home of the Living God–Louise Erdrich–Read The Handmaid’s Tale or Never Let Me Go instead. This is essentially a copycat of both and contains major plot holes. Erdrich’s sentences are super intricate and pretty though.
Every Note Played–Lisa Genova
When Life Gives You Lululemons–Lauren Weisberger–Did you read The Devil Wears Prada but not the sequel? Even though this is a Prada book, you don’t have to read the second one to enjoy this one. I kind of hate to admit that I had tons of fun reading this book. It’s a perfect guilty pleasure beach read.
The City of Lost Fortunes–Bryan Camp
The Cruel Prince (Book One)–Holly Black–Oh, guess what? Here’s another YAL fantasy read that features a mortal girl living in a faerie world. (Please feel free sing the last ten words in the previous sentence to the tune of “Don’t Stop Believin'” because I did when I wrote it.) Truly, it’s a decent read for YAL, but gahhhhhhhhhh, I get tired of the same storyline over and over again.
The Outsider–Stephen King–Generic. Bland. He tried to achieve that spooky horror effect that he’s known for, and I adore him for, but this fell pretty flat.
Children of Blood and Bone–Tomi Adeyemi–Will YA readers like this book? Yes. And don’t get me wrong, I admire the fantasy world Adeyemi created and her anti-racism allegorical narrative, but I didn’t like her choice in point of view narration. Three of the four main characters alternate telling the story in the first person perspective, and all three narrators sound like the same character to me. I kept forgetting which person was narrating while I was reading. Also, I habitually questioned why the fourth main character wasn’t a narrator as well. This makes me think he’s going to die in the next book, which I won’t be reading.
Beach Music–Pat Conroy–Damn you Pat Conroy and your ramshackle, unconventional syntactical brilliance.
The Chalk Man–C.J. Tudor
Any discussion is welcome, and I’m always looking for recommendations.