My favorite book of 2016 was an even better re-read! Tackled in preparation for A Court of Wings and Ruin (more on that below), I also used April to finally check out the Nesta/Cassian short story Wings and Embers, which was good but not ACOMAF good. Let’s be honest though, is anything ACOMAF good? [READ FULL REVIEW] [WATCH BOOK CLUB DISCUSSION]
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour (★★★★☆½)
My first book by Nina LaCour, We Are Okay was the perfect story to get me out of my post ACOMAF reading slump. An intimate and honest look at grief, We Are Okay bounces between Marin’s life pre and post-tragedy, and the family who is desperately trying to make her feel whole again. Get your hankies out, because this slice of life contemporary novel will give you all the feels.
Literally by Lucy Keating (★★★☆☆)
Lucy Keating’s sophomore novel may have the exact same premise as Stranger Than Fiction, but trust me, it’s no Stranger Than Fiction. The story revolves around Annabelle, a teenager with a perfect life who realizes she’s trapped inside a novel written by author Lucy Keating. It could work, but it doesn’t. Super contrived and over the top, there’s nothing worse than Lucy Keating writing about how great Lucy Keating is.
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After a brief struggle with the first 100 pages of Sleeping Giants, I found myself fully committed to Neuvel’s plot involving ancient aliens and a giant robot. Told through a series of interviews and journal entries, the first book in the Themis Files is an exciting tale full of science, mysteries, mythology and a touch of humor, all collected by the enigmatic man at the center of it all. [READ FULL REVIEW]
Sarah J. Maas has really stepped up her game with the second book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. A Hades and Persephone retelling, ACOMAF has tons more world building, even more amazing characters and a beautiful slow burn romance that will have you experiencing every possible emotion. I didn’t think I was going to survive the ending, and I don’t know how I’m going to wait a year to find out what happens next. [WATCH BOOK CLUB DISCUSSION] [READ FULL REVIEW]
Even though reading every short story tied to a young adult series seems like a chore, I keep torturing myself anyway out of some weird sense of obligation. As with most short story/novella bind-ups, I liked some of the tales in Happily Ever After and suffered through others. I did however appreciate the illustrations that went along with each story — even the ones I loathed.
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Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
Format: Galley provided by Ballantine Books through NetGalley
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Genre: Fiction, science fiction, robots, I’m not saying it’s aliens … but it’s definitely aliens
Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars
Summary: Seventeen years after 11-year-old Rose falls into the earth and is found cupped inside a giant metal hand, she heads up a top secret team to try and figure out the secrets of this mysterious artifact, whose carbon dating places it at 3,000 years old. In the vein of Illuminae — with less space stuff — Sleeping Giants is told through a collection of interviews, journal entries and other sources which finally answer the question: are we alone in the universe?
Not gonna lie, I almost gave up on Sleeping Giants. I’m not sure if I just wasn’t in the mood for science fiction or the format of the story threw me off, but after reading the first 100 pages, I almost DNFed this … But I’m really glad I didn’t.
So what got me to keep going aside from already spending time reading 1/3rd of the book? It was the origin story of how Neuvel went from self-publishing his novel to getting a movie deal with Sony in a mere month.
Also people really seem to love the story. And how could you not get engrossed in a tale involving ancient aliens and giant robots?
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Loosely inspired by Snow White, The Shadow Queen follows power-infused mardushka Lorelai and dragon-shifting king Kol, who has been sent by the pretender queen to hunt her down. Full of characters I could care less about, too much action and dialogue that tried a little too hard, this is one fractured fairy tale a had a lot of problems with. [WATCH BOOK CLUB DISCUSSION]
I’m so happy I finished the beautifully written Winner’s Trilogy this month! While The Winner’s Crime is filled with horribly exciting twists at every turn, The Winner’s Kiss is the perfect conclusion to Kestrel and Arin’s epic star-crossed love story. Although the final book had a little too much action for my taste, the last 100 pages were absolute perfection.
Two more shorts stories meant to tide us over until The Rose and The Dagger, Renee Ahdieh’s second prequel follows sassy handmaiden Despina as she falls into a dangerous love affair with the charismatic Captain of the Guard, Jalal al-Khoury. While this is a more fun and lighthearted story, the final short is meant to bridge the gap between the two books in the duology and is told from Khalid’s point of view.
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