Monday, May 9, 2016

Books I Read in April 2016

I have gotten so behind on blogging because of school, but this is my last week and I'm officially done with the semester and I'll be able to catch up on my blogging. So I'll get right to it, here are the books I read and some of my thoughts and opinions on them: 

The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski - This is the final novel in The Winner's Trilogy, which around a well respected general's daughter, Kestrel, and the consequences of purchasing a slave. I read the first two books of this trilogy last month and absolutely loved them, and I was not disappointed with the finale. Throughout the whole book I had no idea what Rutkoski was going to do next and I was extremely satisfied with how this trilogy wrapped up. 

Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky - This book follows a group of four girls after they kidnap a member of their favorite boyband. This book was absolutely crazy and I really enjoyed it. I liked how it took a satirical take on being a fangirl, but I think elements were taken a little too far and some of the plot points were a little to out there. 

First & Then by Emma Mills - This book revolves around Devon in her senior year of high school, and is a Pride and Prejudice retelling meets Friday Night Lights. I loved this book, it's got some great family elements and I loved how the romance and the characters developed. I did have some problems with the ending and I wish it had been a little bit more conclusive, but this book really reminded me of why I love to read contemporaries so much. 

The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo - The basic premise of this trilogy surrounds Alina after she discovers that she has a rare magical power and has to collect three objects to save her world from a dark figure. I had heard a lot of mixed things about this trilogy going into it, and I actually liking it more than I thought I would. I did have some problems with the world building at the beginning of the books, but I think the world became more fleshed out as the story progressed. Now that I've finally read this trilogy, I'm looking forward to picking up Six of Crows which takes place in the same world, and I've seen so much hype surrounding this book and I can't wait to see how it is. 

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz - This book is a coming of age story that follows the friendship of Ari (short for Aristotle) and Dante. This book is actually a reread for me, I first read it last year and it ended up being my absolute favorite book that I read in 2015. I decided to listen to the audiobook after I learned that Lin-Manuel Miranda (the genius behind the musical Hamilton) narrated it, and I really enjoyed how he brought the characters to life. There were also two instances where Ari mentions Alexander Hamilton and I freaked out each time. Hamilton aside, I absolutely loved this book the second time around and I know that I will continue to reread this book in the future because it's so beautifully written and developed that the ending has me sobbing each time. 

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell - This is a short story that follows Elena as she waits four days in line to watch the newest Star Wars film. This was such an enjoyable read, Rainbow Rowell is one of my favorite authors and I will read anything she puts out. I love how even though it was a short story, I still managed to form an attachment to the two main characters and I loved the twist at the end of the story, but I just left this wanting more. 

Mosquitoland by David Arnold - This book follows Mim as she runs away and takes a Greyhound to meet her sick mother. I enjoyed this book, there were some really strange parts and I think everything tied together really well. I enjoyed the main character and the friendships she developed on her journey. I had a love/hate relationship with the ending, there were aspects that I really enjoyed and I liked how those builded up and came together, but there were aspects that I wasn't satisfied with how they wrapped up, particularly how the friendships played out and the tiny romance that I didn't find realistic. 

Avatar The Last Airbender: Smoke and Shadow Parts 1-3 by Gene Luen Yang and  - These are the newest graphic novels that pick up right after the TV show. I absolutely love this series of graphic novels, they read just like an episode of the show and they have the same integrity as well. It had been almost a year and half since I read the previous volumes, and I did forget quite a bit of the material but I picked up on them pretty quickly while reading these. 

The Raven King by Maggie Steifvater - This is the final book in The Raven Cycle, which follows five friends as they search for an ancient, lost king. Since this is the last book in a series, I can't reveal too much of the plot and what I loved without spoiling anything, but I really loved this finale. I was really satisfied with how everything wrapped up and what happened in this book. 

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - This book is told from Death's perspective as he tells the story of a girl, the Book Thief, who lives in Germany during WWII. This was another reread for me, I originally read this book when I was 13, but I had forgotten a lot of the plot and the ending since then. It absolutely loved reading this book the second time around, the story is so beautifully written and moving. Since I had forgotten the ending, it truly made the experience seem like I was reading this book for the first time, even through I wasn't. I definitely think I'll be rereading this book again in the future because of how brilliant the plot and the narration is. 

Half Lost by Sally Green - This is the final book in The Half Bad Trilogy, which centers around Nathan, a witch who is a descendent of a black (evil) side and a white (good) side. I had enjoyed the previous two book in the trilogy and was looking forward to reading how Green would wrap up story up. This book started out so good, a solid 4/5 stars, and then the ending happened and I absolutely hated it. The ending just made me so angry and I have ranted to several people who haven't read this trilogy about how much I hate the ending. I'm really upset with how things wrapped up and I think that Green could have done a lot more with the ending. 

And those are all the books I read last month and my thoughts on them. I have a lot of books I want to read this month, so many books came out last week, I'm making a dent through those and I intend to continue my rereading streak with the Percy Jackson Series. - Jessica

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