May 2016 Wrap-up

Monthly Wrap-Up (1)

In the month of May I read a total of eight books. Some of these I really liked, and some I thought were just okay.

Reading

25106755Short Synopsis: When a faerie wakes up from a long slumber it’s up to a teenage girl to save everyone.

Thoughts: My favorite aspect of this book is its atmosphere. The thought of this small town in modern times where they’re the only ones who know faeries exist was such an interesting concept.

What kept me from loving this book is that I had a hard time connecting to the main character, who I felt was too much like many other heroines I’ve read about, and thought the pacing was a little too slow at the beginning.

Rating: 3 blue jays

23308084

Short Synopsis: Sequel to a retelling of 1001 and One Nights.

Thoughts: I have a hard time deciding how I feel about this book.

On one hand, I liked how we were shown more of the magic system, and it departed more from what I know of the original story it’s retelling of. (Though I have not read the book it’s a retelling of, so someone who has read it should feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.)

What makes me so conflicted is that I didn’t care about what was happening as I read it. This distance I felt from the story surprises me because I don’t remember feeling this way about the first book. Maybe it has something to do with when I was reading it?

Rating: 3.5 blue jays

25746699Short Synopsis: A young woman named Hope is unable to be remembered for more than a minute.

Note: Advanced copy provided by the publisher, but opinions are my own.

Thoughts: I’ve written a full review of this one. There were things I really liked and things that fell short.

Rating: 

3.5 blue jays

26252859Short Synopsis: The god Apollo is cast out of Olympus and turned into an ordinary teenage boy.

Thoughts: This book was hilarious! I liked it a lot. I might write a full review, but am having trouble putting my thoughts on this book into words.

Rating: 4 blue jays

26864835Short Synopsis: The sequel to Wolf By Wolf. An alternate history World War II novel.

Note: Advanced copy provided by publisher, but thoughts are my own.

Thoughts: Really liked it. One chapter left me close to tears. Full review to come closer to the release date.

Rating: 

4.5 blue jays

24876258Short Synopsis: In a world where people live in spires and cats are intelligent a group of unlikely heroes must defend their home from invaders.

Thoughts: It took me a long time to read this book. Part of this is that I was traveling, and another part is that the book is over 600 pages long. The main reason, however, is that this book has so many elements it takes a while to understand what is happening.

The book was a lot of fun, but I’m not sure I’ve come to care about the characters enough to read the next one.

Rating: 

3.5 blue jays

227658Short Synopsis: Girl from a frontier town in Indiana must leave to find help to save the children in her town from a diphtheria epidemic.

Thoughts: This was such a fun concept, but I felt it was hard at times to care about the kids dying back at the village because the reader didn’t know them very well.

The main character, Jessie, leaves her town at the beginning of the story and their aren’t any strong side characters accompanying Jessie.

Rating: 3.5 blue jays

16131489Short Synopsis: The third book in the 5th Wave Trilogy.

Thoughts: Around half-way through I stopped reading and started skimming this book. Normally, I wouldn’t bother finishing, but since I’d already gotten so far in this trilogy I decided to see it through.

There were a lot of gaps in logic, I stopped caring about most of the characters, and the writing, particularly from Cassie’s perspective, sometimes made me cringe.

I will give it this though: the book is very addictive, and I finished it very quickly.

Rating: 

2.5 blue jays

Writing

I didn’t meet my goal of finishing my rewrite of my epic fantasy work in progress this month, but wrote around 10,000 words. I have around 20,000 words left before it is complete making it so that I estimate it is going to be around 10,000 words longer than I thought. Meaning it will be about 90,000 words in total. It’s currently 73,000 words long.

Traveling

In May I attended Bookexpo America in Chicago. You can read about my experiences in parts one and two of my blog posts.

The Sudden Appearance of Hope 3.5 Stars

25746699Title: The Sudden Appearance of Hope

Author: Claire North

Publication Date: May 17, 2016

Genre: Adult Fantasy/Science Fiction

Note: An advanced copy was provided by the publisher (Redhook), but opinions are my own.

Synopsis: Hope Arden is the woman everyone forgets. She can have an hour long conversation with someone, walk away, and if she returns a minute later the person she was talking to before will have no idea who she is.

This has made Hope a very good thief, but when one of Hope’s targets ends up dead she takes it upon herself to investigate. What she discovers could have the ability to change everything, or nothing at all.

Thoughts: After thoroughly enjoying Claire North’s other novel, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review this book. While I did enjoy this novel, my overall opinion is very mixed. 

My favorite aspect of the book is its concept. The idea of people hiding in plain sight has always intrigued me, and this book explores how being forgettable can affect someone’s life in ways I had not considered.

Our main character, Hope, has had no relationships lasting more than a day since she was sixteen-years-old. Her own parents have no memory of her. The only thing that remembers her are machines. This makes holding a job and obtaining medical care beyond complicated for her.

This novel uses Hope’s unusual circumstances to explore aspects of modern society including the idea of “perfection” through the use of an app that the author made seem so plausible it was a little scary.

This novel is fairly slow pace with repetition that comes with having a character who needs to reintroduce herself to everyone everyday. The most frustrating aspect of this book is that because of the constant reintroduction there wasn’t much in the way of prominent secondary characters. No one trusted hope because they couldn’t get to know her, and, therefore, never opened up to her. This allows the reader to understand just how alone Hope’s situation has made her, but at the same time makes it more difficult to connect to the story.

The writing style is unconventional. There were a number of bulleted lists spread throughout the text as opposed to at the beginnings of chapters like it normally might be. I’m still not sure how I feel about this technique. One one hand, some of the information was very interesting and added to the story. On the other hand, at times it could go on so long I skipped it because it felt a bit like an info-dump.

The plot structure isn’t typical either. Rather than building to a climax, the story ends on a note that leaves more questions than answers.

Rating: This book is very thought provoking, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone looking for something fast-paced. Those who enjoyed The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August might like this.

3.5 blue jays