I’ve read and listened to a total of thirty-six books and audiobooks this year. I always feel like it’s crazy how fast I go through book sometimes, but I have been listening to shorter audiobooks and some of the books I’ve read aren’t crazy long either. Here’s what I’ve been reading since January.
The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
I picked up a used copy of this at the library book sale last year and finally decided to read it. I loved The Names They Gave Us so I’ve been looking forward to reading more of Emery’s books. The story was good, and I liked the friendship dynamics. Max is adorable, and the romance was cute, but I’ll admit I already don’t recall that much about the book. It’s a good, fluffy read, though.
Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell
I was absolutely blown away from Lisa Maxwell’s The Last Magician and its sequel The Devil’s Thief, so I wanted to read something else by her. I’m always hesitant to read Peter Pan retellings because they usually don’t live up to my high expectations. And this is one book I wish I would have skipped. The mythology of Pan didn’t make sense, the romance was insta-y and unbelievable, and the ending made everything feel like it was for nothing. I’m so disappointed
Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne
I read this as part of Mary Weber’s book club. I wasn’t planning to read it, but I downloaded the ebook from the library just in case I ran out of reading materials on a trip to California and I decided to start it. It was a good story with an interesting concept. The writing isn’t the most fabulous I’ve read, but I enjoyed the story and I want to read book two at some point.
Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
So there’s a reason most people talk about The Wizard of Oz movie, not the book. Because the book isn’t that good. It was fun to read to see what they decided to keep for the movie, but the movie has better pacing and brings the story to life in a more magical way.
King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
Definitely one of my most anticipated of my life the year. I have a hard time describing my experience with this one because I didn’t hate it but it wasn’t what I was expecting either. It’s very different than Leigh’s other Grisha books and it dives into aspects that are more high fantasy than YA fantasy, but my biggest disappointment was that the book isn’t really about Nikolai: it’s about Zoya and Nina. Which is fine because they are both wonderful characters. I just wish that I would have known that before starting and being hyped about getting a book about Nikolai. Also, I can’t believe Leigh Bardugo put a freaking talking dragon in the Grishaverse. Bless her!
Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee
I’ve been meaning to pick up the Rick Riordan presents books since Aru Shah and the End of Time came out a year ago. Dragon Pearl sounded right up my alley with outer space and Korean fox-magic, but it was so boring. There were aspects I liked and other aspects that felt more YA than MG. And I just couldn’t connect to any of the characters or events. I’d recommend it to the right kid, though.
Evermore by Sara Holland
Last year, Everless shocked me when it took typical YA fantasy tropes and turned them upside down. I expected a lot from Evermore that didn’t pull through. It’s not a bad book, and I think fans of Everless should read it to wrap up the story line, but it wasn’t as compelling as the first book.
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
I’ve been telling myself to read these books for a long time now, and I wish I hadn’t waited. I’m not usually one for paranormal romance, but this doesn’t feel like your typical paranormal romance. (Plus, I guess I’m okay with werewolf stories? Just don’t add vampires and witches and whatever else.) I love how atmospheric Maggie’s writing is though, and I think that, more than anything else, sold me. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.
First & Then by Emma Mills
I didn’t plan to read the rest of Emma Mills books within a month, but I did. First & Then is probably my favorite book by her, though. I love how the main character talks about Jane Austen all the time and that the story sort of parallels Pride and Prejudice in a way. But the character relationships are what really cinched it for me. Devon’s relationship with Foster, her cousin/adopted brother, her friendship with Cas, the aggravating tension between her and Ezra, and more. Emma Mills can write teenagers in a way most YA authors don’t, and I need more.
This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills
This book is almost so ridiculous to be published, but it is. Again, I love the relationship dynamics Emma Mills writes in this story. Sloane and her father, Sloane and Vera, Sloane and Remy (gosh darn it Remy!), and of course, Sloane and Gabe. The conversations and actions feel genuine, and while the adventure doesn’t end like she wanted, it makes sense.
The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
The ladies at my church have a book club, and this is the book for March so I finally read it. It’s an incredible, heartbreaking true story of someone who helped hide Jews during World War II and was caught and sent to prison and later a concentration camp. The ups and downs Corrie went through over her life is extraordinary and to come out on the other side not only with her faith intact but stronger than ever is mindblowing. I’m not sure I would have her fortitude. Highly recommend to anybody who wants to read a story of survival paired with faith.
Wings of Fire by Tui T. Sutherland
Currently, there are twelve Wings of Fire books published with the thirteenth set for June. If I read one every single month this year, I will catch up by the time the fourteenth book is published next year. I freaking love this series. It’s middle grade, it’s about dragons, and it’s so much fun. I would usually never read a series with this many books in it because who has time for that, but I am too invested now to give up on these dragonets!
Grisha trilogy and Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo
One of my goals for 2019 is to try and reread at least one book per month. In January I was went overboard and reread all of the Grishaverse books in preparation of King of Scars. (And after reading King of Scars, I’m glad I did because there was so much I wouldn’t have remember from the Grisha trilogy.) I was happy to find I still enjoyed the books and characters. They are by no means perfect, but I like them.
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
I apparently read this book at one point in high school, but I would never be able to tell you what happened in it until I reread it. At first, I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy this because the writing has that distinct style from the late 90s, early 2000s that is so odd compared to YA fantasy writing today. But I pushed through because it’s not a long book, and boy, oh boy, that ending made it worth it. Gen, you sneaky little…
Dreadfully Ever After by Steven Hockensmith
I’m not sure why, but I wanted to finish reading the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies series, but I listened to Dawn of the Dreadfuls so I figured I might as well finish Dreadfully Ever After that way too. The two extra books connect better together than with PPZ , other than Elizabeth is now married to Darcy. They aren’t anything special, and they’re completely ridiculous and over-the-top. But I do like that they focus on Mary and Kitty, giving them a chance to be in the spotlight for once.
Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter
I teach a group of middle school girls at church, and two of them have been begging me to read the Gallagher Girls series. I never thought I would, but I decided to try the audiobook of the first book and I surprisingly enjoyed it. I’m listening through book four now, and I will admit I’m hooked. I like the characters and the friendships and just Cammie’s loyalty and determination to do the best she can. Plus, it’s about a spy school! How cool is that?