Participating in StasiaLikesCakes’ Read Women Month was a really fun, fulfilling, and enlightening experience. I did both the Instagram challenge (see that wrap-up here), and the reading challenge, and in the process read 9 books, reacquainted myself with reading fiction regularly, and learned a lot about my reading preferences and habits. I realized how much I miss just reading for the sake of entertainment, and discovered some great series and authors.
So what’d I read? Well, because I ended up going through so many books, I’m not going to review each and every one here. I will be doing full reviews on a few of them in the future (I’ve got the Throne of Glass series reviews already written), but I thought I’d quick run-down what I finished, and give you a general idea of what I thought.
So here goes nothing!
Book 1) Japan – 1941: Countdown to Infamy by Eri Hotta – 4/5 stars – Super informative and unlike anything else that I’ve read on the subject so far. Pretty groundbreaking, and certainly shocking in many ways, this gave insight into the inner political workings of Japan as they inched closer to war with the United States. Ultimately it becomes a cautionary tale of a failed political structure and the impact personality can have on decision making within governments. Honestly, I will probably read this again at some point in the future, complete with highlighter and note-taking pen.
Book 2) Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas – 3/5 stars – The third book in the Throne of Glass series was good, but just not as good as its predecessors. This book was very much a “set-up” for the next, and that created some pretty significant pacing problems.
Book 3) Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas – 3/5 stars – The fourth book in the Throne of Glass series has the opposite problem of its predecessor. It’s got great pacing and plot, but the character development gets a bit strange in this one. Some characters that have been so brilliantly established in the prior installments just don’t feel like themselves in this one.
Book 4) Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas – 2.5/5 stars – Like Queen of Shadows, the fifth Throne of Glass series has a gripping plot and break-neck pacing, but in many other ways feels extremely unpolished. Once again I was very disappointed with the character development, and in addition to making me wonder how this series is still categorized as YA, all the cringey sex scenes were extremely disruptive to the narrative.
Book 5) The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi – 4/5 stars – This was a really fun read, with wonderful world-building and gorgeous imagery, but it loses just a little of its “oompf” in the second half, feeling rather rushed through the end. My god would I want to see this as a movie though. Think of the sets, and the costumes!
Book 6) Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh – 4/5 stars – An engaging ride from beginning to end. I sped through this in about 10 hours and I loved every second of it. The world, the characters, the story, the cliffhanger at the end… My word. While it’s certainly not perfect, from an enjoyment point of view, the only serious problem I have with it is that it’s first in a series, and because it just came out I won’t be able to get my hands on the next part for a long time.
Book 7) Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard – 3/5 stars – Definitely not the most original premise – and Mare read a lot like Katniss Everdeen, but with electricity magic and a libido instead of a bow and arrow and fear of babies – but overall it was quite fun. But I’m also the kind of person who doesn’t mind reading the same premise a thousand times told in different ways if I enjoy it. And I enjoyed this one.
Book 8) Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon – 3/5 stars – Very predictable, but overall well executed. I enjoyed the formatting, and even though I saw the twist coming a mile away, it didn’t take away anything from the reading experience because it was believable that Maddy didn’t. The biggest issue is that the fallout after the twist seems like an afterthought when it should be so much more considering the magnitude of it, so as a result the ending felt rather abrupt.
Book 9) Flash and Bones by Kathy Reichs (Technically finished July 2nd, but I started it before the month was over, so I’m still counting it!) – 3/5 stars – Not the best Reichs novel I’ve read, mostly because I am 100% uninterested in NASCAR, and in Reichs’ style there’s a lot of learning about the subjects surrounding the murder. But that didn’t take as much of a toll on enjoying the mystery as I thought it would, and the mystery ended up being pretty engaging. I did quite miss Detective Ryan though. I also think I may have missed a couple books before this… I can’t quite remember exactly which book was the last one I read. Luckily, as a whodunnit kind of book, it didn’t cause too much confusion.
Did you participate in #ReadWomenMonth this June? Read anything you’d recommend?