My Year in Reading: Cassie-la’s June 2018 Wrap Up

The Elizas by Sara Shepard (★★★½)

Sara Shepard’s latest adult novel is a thriller that features some of my favorite writing mechanisms, including an unreliable narrator and a story within a story. Unfortunately, like the majority of Shepard’s young adult novels, there is a heavy reliance on doubles (no more doppelgangers or twins ever again, please!), and the novel doesn’t get really interesting until about a third of the way through … before completely losing the plot again shortly thereafter.

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows (★★★½)

Historical fantasy meets alternate history in this much happier and way more fantastical re-imagining of the life of Lady Jane Grey (AKA the Nine-Day Queen). Told by the trio now known as the Lady Janies, My Lady Jane follows book-loving Jane Grey, who lives in a world where some people can turn into animals. Unbeknownst to Jane, she’s going to be named next in line to the throne by her dying cousin, and she’s about to be married off to a man who is sometimes a horse. Sure it’s super wacky, but it’s also really funny and charming.

Frostblood by Elly Blake (★★★½)

I had a lot of trouble with the first 75% of Frostblood. Despite being blessedly fast-paced (the only thing that kept me going), the beginning of Blake’s book has a predictable plot that I’ve already read a million times over. Spoilers: the magical girl who can control fire is going to be the chosen one who falls in love with the attractive yet damaged man who can control ice. Thankfully, all that turned around when I got to meet the real villain of the story. Thanks for saving this entire series evil frost king!

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My Year in Reading: Cassie-la’s November 2017 Wrap Up

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (★★★½)

John Green is back with another touching novel that deals with the tough stuff. This time around Green tackles mental illness, dealing with his own OCD through the lens of Aza, a 16-year-old girl who struggles with crippling anxiety and obsessive compulsive tendencies. A thoughtfully written contemporary tale, Green’s latest work is an unflinching and occasionally difficult to read exploration of mental illness.

Saga Vol. 8 by Brian K. Vaughan (★★★)

After a heart-wrenching Volume 7, Brian K. Vaughan has gifted us a slightly (take note of the term slightly) more lighthearted arc, exploring our heroes most recent trauma and throwing some social commentary in for good measure. The only downside to the continued greatness of the series after all these years? We’ll have to wait until 2019 for Volume 9.

Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill (★★★)

The first book in a fantasy duology, Erin Summerill’s Ever the Hunted is a predictable tale about a girl with incredibly rare magic powers she’s unaware of and an unlikeable love interest who may or may not have killed her father. While Ever the Hunted had some bright spots, it suffers from incredibly slow pacing and an insufferable love story.

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