#1). Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – Outlander turned out to be unexpectedly well-plotted and thoughtful; I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Though I won’t continue with the saga (there’s just so much to read!), it’s definitely a notch in my belt.
#2). The Winter Prince by Elizabeth Wein – I picked this book up because I love Elizabeth Wein’s historical fiction, and I was intrigued by the idea of a retelling of the Mordred myth – one of my favorite elements of the Camelot legend. However, the detached, lyrical voice detracted from the story, in my opinion, and is my main reason for deciding not to continue with the series.
#3). All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven – This was a beautifully told story, with rich and full characters. In some ways it felt inconclusive, but perhaps that’s the best solution, given the subject matter.
#4) The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon – This book was a lot. I was definitely impressed with the sheer amount of lore and world building, but it seemed to impede the plot in a lot of respects. Also, the blend of sci-fi and fantasy didn’t particularly appeal to me.
XX. Shelby Jo
November is over! The world officially has my sanction to begin listening to Christmas carols, congrats.
This past month turned out to be a fairly productive reading month, despite the crushing weight of finals and wintertime despair. Yay!
1). Seraphina by Rachel Hartman – I snagged a used copy of this book and, though I’ve heard of it, had very few expectations; all I knew was DRAGONS and that was plenty. In the end, I really enjoyed it, even thought the voice wasn’t my typical fare. The characters were well developed and the mythos – especially the political elements – was engaging.
2). Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith – I’m at such a loss with this book, because the voice and the narrative were literally spellbinding. The way motifs wove in and out, through the main character’s very intentional narration, was fascinating. But everything in between was so sexualized that I couldn’t enjoy it.
3). A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab – Look at me, finally getting caught up on popular books! The world building here was so well developed and interesting that it completely out weighed the cliche characters. The pacing was slow for most of the book, but seemed deliberately so. The book’s ending is so conclusive, that I’m somewhat hesitant to read the sequel, but I don’t know if it’s enough to stop me.
4). Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland – I assumed this book would be ridden with cliches and – though it was, somewhat – it grew on me quickly. It was a lovely expression of the power of language.
5). Uprooted by Naomi Novik – This was possibly my favorite book I’ve read this year! The magic was interesting, the plot was well paced, the characters were engaging and surprisingly sexy, and just – ugh. I loved it. Obviously.
XX. Shelby Jo