Monthly Wrap-Ups

October 2017 | Wrap Up

Hey friends,

I can’t believe it, but October was another fantastic reading month! I managed to read 19 books! This is going to get long, so let’s just dive in!

If you rather just hear my ramble about the books, you can check out my YouTube video here:


Books I Read:

The_Hammer_of_ThorMagnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Book 2: The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – 5/5

Review: These books honestly get better with each one. The humor is some of Riordan’s best. Magnus is almost funnier than Percy and the story is a lot of fun. I like how these ones are less formulaic than the Percy Jackson books, but still a lot of fun. Highly recommend for Riordan fans!

Ship of the DeadMagnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Book 3: The Ship of The Dead by Rick Riordan

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ – 4.5/5

Review: This was a great conclusion! Nothing felt rushed, but it also didn’t drag. Here’s to hoping we see more of Magnus in the other books! Also, YAS RICK ON YOUR REP! This was also true for the last book, but Rick includes a gender fluid side character that gets a lot of book time, a Muslim (super important) side character, and one of my new favorite ships (THAT BETTER SAIL, YOU HEAR ME RICK #BLITZSTONE 😍). Bonus points for Percy cameo.

deadly proofDeadly Proof by Rachel Dylan

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ – 3.75/5

Review: You can read my spoiler-free review here!

 

 

OriginOrigin by Dan Brown

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ – 4.5/5

Review: Spoiler-Free Review here, Reader Rambling Book Talk here.

 

 

Hidden OricaleTrials of Apollo Book 1: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ – 4.5/5

Review: Apollo (Lester?) is one of my new favorite narrators. Rick Riordan does an amazing job writing hilarious/sassy characters without making them seem entitled. Also, this concept is great and the big baddy they are going to fight comes book 3 is clever. Riordan also does a great job making meaningful villains without being too repetitive. Bonus points for Percy cameo.

speak

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ – 4.75/5

Review: Spoilery review here.

 

 

Dark ProphecyTrials of Apollo Book 2: The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – 4/5

Review: Great follow up to book 2. Watching Apollo grow as a character is adding so much to these books. I’m counting down until book 3 coming out this summer, I can’t wait to see how these series concludes. Rick Riordan’s characters are beyond gripping and hilarious.

small great thingsSmall Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – 5/5

Review: This is on the short list of becoming a new favorite book. Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors and she’s no stranger to tough topics, but the rawness of this book helped make it so great. A conversation about racism was approached in an uncomfortable, but careful way. The multiple character structure for this book was helpful in understanding the nuances of the character’s life experiences and the plot.

TRIGGER WARNING: Due to the inclusion of a neo-nazi character, there are several racial slurs that are used and scenes where violent acts towards minorities are described. One of the POVs is this character and these chapters were not easy to get through, though they added so much to the strength of the story but highlighting the stark contrast between the three characters. Also prompts to Picoult for making you hate and sympathize with this character (not a spoiler, he loses his baby pretty earlier on and his POV chapters included his grief, hence the sympathy part).

Wink Poppy MidnightWink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ – 2.5/5

Review: This book was such a letdown. I was expecting more. There were times where the whimsical storytelling style helped sucked me into this bizarre world, but it just wasn’t what I thought we were getting. From the cover, I thought we were going to get three versions of a story and the role of each character would be revealed by the end. That was definitely not the case. The writing style also worked against this book too. While there were times I really liked what it did for the story, there were some parts where it took me out of the story entirely.

Study in CharlotteA Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – 4/5

Review: Sherlock Holmes retelling with a female Sherlock character? Sign me up! This retelling was so much fun for fans of Sherlock or people that want to be exposed to the stories in a modern way! I was not expecting to enjoy these stories so much and they make me want to go and read the original adventures so much.

You Caroline KepnesYou by Caroline Kepnes

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – 4/5

Review: This book is NOT for everyone. It’s one of those taboo books where you feel bad for giving it a good review because of how yucky the book makes you feel until you remember that that was the point. This book is told entirely in second person, so the reader can believe the narrator is talking about them. It didn’t help that the MC of this book went by Beck (which is what my mom and boyfriend call me), so it really felt like the narrator was talking to me. I listened to the audiobook of this one which really upped the creepy factor. This book did everything it promised and I’m seriously considering picking up the sequel.

Cinder
Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ – 4.75/5

Review: FINALLY. I FINALLY READ THESE BOOKS AND I’M NOT READY FOR THEM TO BE DONE. I loved these retellings so much. Marissa Meyer has a gift of reimaging classic stories and putting her unique spin on them. One thing I liked about the series as a whole is that nothing felt like it happened just because something happened in the original fairytale. Everything worked towards the plot and had a clear motive.

By Your Side
By Your Side by Kasie West

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ – 3.5/5

Review: This was my first Kasie West book and it was pretty cute. Some aspects of the story felt a bit cliche and tropey, but overall the premise was cute and the story didn’t go exactly where I thought it was going to. My biggest complaint is that even though the story was cute, it was super forgettable. There are some parts I remember, but key details were hard to remember after a couple days. This is a book that would be translated into a super cute rom-com though!

Scarlet
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – 4/5

Review: So, actually reviewing this will include some MAJOR spoilers for Cinder, no matter how spoiler-free I try to go, so I’ll just say it’s good. It was a fun sequel and I liked where the story went. This book did feel like it was just moving the overall plot along at times, but the character introductions in this book were amazing. Also, the interpretation of the Little Red Riding Hood/Wolf dynamic was so unique. I’ve been sick of the same old “twists” and seeing the story go in a drastically different direction than what I was expecting was super refreshing.

Cress
Cress by Marissa Meyer

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ – 4.5/5

Review: Cress is the cutest thing ever and Thorne’s sass is everything. It was around this point where I was starting to recognize the pairings and deciding on the aspects of the retellings that I really liked. I loved how these were mostly based on the original tales, as clear by certain things that happen to the characters. It was fun having those aspects incorporated into this plot. As mentioned in the Cinder review, there were several plot points that were definitely paying homage to the original tales but weren’t shoehorned in there because they had to be.

Fairest_Cover
Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ – 4.5/5

Review: This was one of the first times I was actually looking forward to a novella because of how little we knew about the main villain. By this point in the series we knew what the protagonists thought about the main villain and saw her be, well a villain, but actually getting her full backstory in novella form really added to the narrative. While this story is not needed to enjoy the story, I highly recommend it to get the full experience. I read it between Cress and Winter and it really helped due to both books included references or parallels to things that happened in Fairest.

Winter
Winter by Marissa Meyer

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ – 4.5/5

Review: This was such a satisfying conclusion. There were so many storylines that needed to wrap up and give us a fairytale ending (at least so we hoped) that didn’t lose the audience. This is what killed Heartless for me. The conclusion part was just not done well (at least not in my opinion) and I was a little worried that something similar would happen here. This was not the case. I also liked how the endings were simultaneously staggered and dependent upon each other. There were some creative ways that Meyer incorporated key moments of these tales into this conclusion, one, in particular, I really didn’t see coming but I loved.

Stars_Above_CoverStars Above by Marissa Meyer

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ – 4.5/5

Review: I wanted to review these individually, but at the time of writing this, a little too much time has passed. I know the last story and Thorne’s story were my favorites, but honestly, all of six of the stories were good. Though, The Little Android being a Little Mermaid retelling took me WAY too long to figure out. I do want to reread that story though as there were some parts I feel like I missed. The final wedding story was a great epilogue to Winter and was a great way to say goodbye to this world.

Dorothy Must DieDorothy Must Die by Danelle Paige

Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️ – 3/5

Review: I really wanted to love this one more. Coming off of the retelling high that was Lunar Chronicles, I wanted this one to be another retelling series I could fall in love with. Two big things really turned me off of this one though, 1) I HATED Amy. Here slut shaming and descriptions were starting to piss me off after a while. Like there were hundreds of other ways some characters could have been described. 2) The big reveal was ON THE BACK COVER. Do you know how disappointing it was to watch the Wizard character set up this great grand quest that was ruined before I even purchased the book?! Despite this, I have hope that this character can grow and that the story can get better. I might actually pick up the next books to see if they get better, they have some potential.


How did your reading this month go?

Let me know in the comments below!

 

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