Reading Wrap-up: February 2015

In February I read four books for the first time and reread three. I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump and still am. When this happens I typically start rereading some books I found highly enjoyable.

First Time Reads: 

Sapphire Blue by Kerstin GierShort Synopsis: Book two in a series about a family with a time traveling gene.

Thoughts: I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the first in the series and am debating whether to continue on. The characters have really begun to annoy me, although I do enjoy the underlying plot.

Rating: 

3 blue jays

Fairest by Marissa MeyerShort Synopsis: Prequel to the Lunar Chronicles Series. Find out how Queen Lavana got to be such an evil villain.

Thoughts: If it weren’t for my reading slump I think I would have enjoyed this much more. It gives background information I suspect will be useful for understanding Winter when it is released, but those who try to skip this book in the series should still know enough to grasp events in the series finale.

Rating: Too conflicted to decide.

Born at Midnight by C.C. HunterShort Synopsis: Teenager finds herself at a camp for paranormal creatures.

Thoughts: This book had me laughing out loud on several occasions, and put me in a good mood. It was a great choice for when I was both in a reading slump and not feeling well. At the same time I felt like it was following some sort of unspoken formula for YA and middle grade novels (ie girl goes somewhere new where two boys fight for her affections). This book feels like it was very much an introduction for the future books in this series which I do intend to read.

Rating:

 3.5 blue jays

Hamlet by William ShakespeareShort Synopsis: Hamlet attempts to kill his uncle, Claudius, to avenge his father’s murder.

Thoughts: I was read exerts from Hamlet before bed when I was younger and it was interesting to see how all of those exerts came together to form a story.

Rating: I can’t decide.

Rereads: 

Seraphina (Seraphina, #1)Short Synopsis: Teenage girl tries to ease tensions between humans and dragons while keeping her own past a secret.

Thoughts: Thoroughly enjoyed this book both times I’ve read it. For my full thoughts see my review.

Rating: 

4.5 blue jays

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1)Short Synopsis: Angels leave the world in ruins and kidnap a girl’s sister. Girl nurses an angel back to heath to convince him to give her information about her sister’s location.

Thoughts: A fast pace, captivating read. For my full thoughts see my review.

Rating: 

five blue jays

World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2)Short Synopsis: Sequel to Angelfall.

Thoughts: Still enjoyed this one, and am eagerly anticipating the series finale, but I liked the first one better. This book has a much slower pace, and a certain male character didn’t have enough page time which wouldn’t normally be a problem for me, but this character and the main character have an amazing dynamic. This dynamic was part of the reason I loved the first book.

Rating: 

4 blue jays

Currently Reading: 

Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin, #2)

To see a full review of anything I’ve read this month but haven’t reviewed please comment below with a request.

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Monthly Reading Wrap up: January 2015

January was a great month for reading. I read nine books and am currently reading two. Many of them were highly enjoyable. Two were classics, six were young adult, and one was nonfiction. Books are in the order I finished reading them with the earliest completed appearing first.

The Winner's Curse by Marie RutkoskiShort Synopsis: When seventeen-year-old Kestrel accidentally buys a slave at auction she learns the price she paid for a human being was higher than she could have imagined.

Thoughts: I started The Winner’s Curse at the end of 2014, and it became my first book finished in 2015. While I enjoyed it and plan to read the sequel I don’t think I liked it quite as much as most readers seem to. This has to do with the fact that I had difficulty believing any slave would be openly rebellious like Arin after years of servitude.

Rating:3.5 blue jays

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini TaylorDays of Blood & Starlight by Laini TaylorDreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor

Short Synopsis“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.”– Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor

Thoughts: See my series review (spoiler free except where there are warnings) for my full thoughts, but overall I loved these.

Series Rating: five blue jaysThe Fire in Fiction by Donald MaassShort Synopsis: A nonfiction book to help fiction writers with the structural and characterization elements of their works.

Thoughts: I haven’t read many writing-craft books yet though I intend to read more, but it seems like many of them are about the marketing aspect of fiction. I liked that this book focused on the writing itself rather than publication. I didn’t like all of the brief exerts from other works and skipped many of them, but recognize these exerts may have been necessary to further the author’s points.

Rating: I haven’t read enough writing help books to feel confident rating them.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Short Synopsis: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” — Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austin

Thoughts: I know so many people who love this book I felt I had to read it. While I liked it, and feel I can understand why it’s a classic it was unfortunately not a life-changing read for me. Romance just isn’t my genre.

Rating: I haven’t read widely enough in novels from this time period to judge.

Firefight by Brandon SandersonShort Synopsis: Teen kills/tries to kill people with superpowers, but in the process uncovers that the solution to fighting the people he fights is nothing like he imagined.

Thoughts: I need to read more Brandon Sanderson books, that is my conclusion. Firefight is book two in the Reckoners Series that began with Steelheart. I’m loving this series so far, and think Brandon Sanderson has a great understanding of plot construction and world-building.

Rating:five blue jays

Charm & Strange by Stephanie KuehnShort Synopsis: Teenage boy deals with his complicated past and the fact that the “beast” inside might finally come out.

Thoughts: I’ve been looking for a book with a plot like this. In June I finished the second draft of a manuscript I’ve been working on with a similar plot (but more supernatural elements, less psychology). I’m not anywhere near querying it, but had no I idea how to market it if I ever got to that point. My other concern was that some agents like comparative titles in their queries and I couldn’t think of any. Now I have one. Unfortunately for this book, I guessed the plot within the first fifty pages. Once the reader knows exactly what’s going to happen the book isn’t nearly as exciting. Note that the only reason I found it predictable was that I wrote a story with a similar plot. This book is not predictable.

Rating: 3 blue jays

 

Oedipus Rex by SophoclesShort Synopsis: Classic Greek tragedy about King Oedipus.

Thoughts: Most dysfunctional family in literary history. If you thought all of the orphan characters in fiction had it bad wait until you read this! This play is extremely short, but the poetic language makes it difficult to get into.

Rating: I haven’t read enough Greek tragedy to judge.

 

Currently Reading:

3318723632998

 

To see a full review of anything I’ve read this month but haven’t reviewed please comment below with a request.

Jacqueline--Name with a Bluejay