I’ve read twenty-one books far this year and I’m not quite sure how I accomplished that. (I apparently have no life.) I kind of made a resolution this year to spend more time reading than doing other things (like aimlessly scrolling on social media or something). Here are some of the books I’ve read so far and some of the waffles (and other snacks) I’ve eaten.
The Death Cure by James Dashner
I read The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials about, oh, three or so years ago? That made reading The Death Cure a bit hard since I couldn’t remember anything significant that happened. (If anything significant even happened, that is.) I’m not sure that mattered, though, because nothing significant happened in The Death Cure either. The ending was a bit of a disappointment after the build-up of the entire trilogy and a lot of the moments that felt like they should have been dramatic twists were predictable and bland.
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
I’ve heard so many people rave about this book, and while I loved certain elements—the chapter titles, references to A Wrinkle in Time, and the time-travel aspects—but the rest of it dragged and was disconnected from the main plot. I wasn’t a fan of the main character, Miranda, either, but that may be because I’m not twelve years old. I think this book would work best for the audience it was intended for.
Everless by Sara Holland
The concept of this book sounded amazing, so of course I read it. I liked a lot of what Sara Holland did with the story. While some of the aspects felt standard for YA fantasy, there were also a lot unexpected twists. I thought the book was going to be super predictable, but it was actually the opposite. It’s by no means a perfect book, but I was definitely entertained and I’m looking forward to the sequel!
Doctor Who: Time Lord Fairy Tales by Justin Richards
The best part of this collection were the gorgeous illustrations. While the book is advertised as fairy tales that were passed down from Time Lord to Time Lord on Gallifrey, it’s simply retellings of well-known fairy tales but with Doctor Who twists. Instead of the Big Bad Wolf, Little Rose Riding Hood encounters a Zygon. In place of the three little pigs, there are three Sontarans. Some of the twists were better than others, but I think I would have enjoyed it much more if I knew it was just fairy tale retellings.
Cobalt Squadron by Elizabeth Wein
After watching Star Wars: The Last Jedi, I knew there had to be more to Rose’s story. So when I learned of a middle grade novel by Elizabeth Wein about Rose and her sister before the events of The Last Jedi, I had to read it. And for the most part, I enjoyed it. It’s by no means the best book, but it’s a good Star Wars middle grade book. It has action, intrigue, witty dialogue, and a wonderful sister relationship. It delves into a different part of the Resistance than shown in the movie. Overall, it’s a simple and straightforward story.
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
After listening to the first three books in The Mortal Instruments series, I didn’t think I’d ever enjoy a book by Cassandra Clare. Her books, while good for the genre they are, always include elements that make me wince. But Clockwork Angel was different. Maybe it was that the steampunk setting fit perfectly with the Shadowhunter world, but this story was much more enjoyable than her other series. While some of the plot was teeny bit predictable, the characters are what truly make the Infernal Devices memorable. And yes, I love both Will and Jem.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
I read this book because I saw a trailer for the upcoming movie and thought it looked awesome. And I think the movie will be awesome, but this book was not. It had a lot of cool references and elements, but the writing style and the main character bogged down the story. Some of the events were also predictable and I skimmed the last fifty pages without missing out on anything.
The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
This was probably my most unexpected read of the year so far. This book was beautiful in the most heartbreaking, gut-wrenching way. The simplicity of Ada’s narration paired with the backdrop of WWII in Britain made this story thrive. The portrayal of abuse and anxiety felt suffocating, devastating, and all too real. I knew going into the story it would be emotional, but the levels of story woven through the simple narration was a complete and wonderful surprise. The only issue I have with this book is that the ending felt rushed and there were a few threads that the story never came back to. There is a sequel though, so I’m hoping that book will get back to some of those elements.
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
By far my favorite read of the month and possibly the year so far, The Lies of Locke Lamora was a wild ride. I absolutely love the characters and I don’t know if I’ll ever be over Locke Lamora and his sass. Scotty Lynch has crafted a masterful story involving thieves, conspiracies, and a whole lot of violence and language. It’s an incredible fantasy story that I cannot recommend enough.