Tag Archives: the raven boys

June Reading Wrap-Up

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In June, I finished two books that I’ve been halfway finished with for at least six months (The Cuckoo’s Calling) and in the other case several years (Unaccustomed Earth); I started a great new series (The Raven Cycle); and I had yet another 5-star read (The Girl Wakes). It’s only halfway through 2016, and I’ve already beaten the number of 5-star reads I had during all of last year 🙂 Here are my totals:

# of books read: 8

#readmyowndamn books: 4

20 Books of Summer total: 8/20

Audiobooks: 2

So here’s what I read this month, ranked (as usual) in order of awesomeness:

The Girl Wakes: StoriesUnaccustomed EarthA Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)Citizen: An American LyricThe Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1)The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1; Rincewind #1)

The Girl Wakes by Carmen Lau (5 stars): This incredible book of short stories is made up of dark feminist fairytale retellings. If that appeals to you, READ THIS BOOK. The premise alone made me know I would love this book, but it turned out to be even better than I expected. Longer review to come (I’m going to try actually posting some book review posts!) but to summarize, these short stories gave me goosebumps and were absolutely what I wanted to read.

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri (4.25 stars): I’m really loving short story collections lately. The characters and stories in this book feel so fully real, and Jhumpa Lahiri is an incredible writer. My favorite of the collection was “Only Goodness,” about the relationship between a brother and sister and the brother’s struggle with alcoholism; the last story in the book, however, the third in a series of connected stories, hit me hard.

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A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (4.25 stars): Indulgent romantic fantasy that I will most likely reread several times.

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The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (4 stars): the second book in the Raven Cycle was great, especially since it focused on my favorite character, Ronan. I love that the plot just keeps getting weirder, but the lovable characters are what really keeps me interested.

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The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (4 stars): If you haven’t checked out this YA series yet, I would encourage you to do so. I went into it knowing nothing about the plot, and I think that was a good way to go.

Citizen by Claudia Rankine (3 stars): I found some of the passages in this book of prose poems to be incredibly powerful, others less so. Overall I wish I’d read it in physical form rather than listening to it as an audiobook, although I had thought it was a good idea at the time. Too much rewinding and re-listening may have spoiled the effect for me, and I think I’d have rated it higher if I’d physically read it. No more poetry audiobooks for me.

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (3 stars): I started listening to this audiobook in December and stopped about 2/3 of the way through because nothing was really happening. It took me until this month to get the desire to pick it back up so that I could finally find out who the murderer was. I feel like my expectations were too high because J.K. Rowling wrote this, and while it was a decent detective novel, I’m not interested enough to continue the series. Honestly, I wouldn’t really recommend it. Read something else instead.

The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett (2.5 stars): this one was a disappointment for me. I’ve read two other Discworld books (Mort and Small Gods) that I enjoyed, but this one unfortunately got really…boring. It started out well, with humor and an interesting setup, but then went rapidly downhill. I know that this is the first book in the series and isn’t widely considered one of the best, but I was still disappointed–particularly with the book’s treatment of female characters. I understand that Pratchett was satirizing a lot of aspects of fantasy literature, but it’s still really unnecessary, and in my opinion a turnoff to a lot of female readers, to have literally every female character be naked in this book.

 

Overall, it was a great reading month! I’m already looking forward to my reading in July (my birthday month!) and I’m hoping to find some more great reads.

 

What did you all read in June? Let me know!

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme currently hosted by The Book Date. It’s a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week, and add to that ever-growing TBR stack.

I recently finished reading:

Citizen: An American LyricA Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

I decided to branch out beyond my nonfiction audiobook niche by listening to Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine, which is a short book of prose poems about different aspects of racism in the U.S. I thought that a lot of Rankine’s writing was extremely powerful and there were several lines that gave me chills, but it seemed like some passages were just so much stronger than others. I also found audiobook a difficult format for poetry; I was constantly rewinding to make sure I was fully appreciating the words.

I also finally allowed myself to finish A Court of Mist and Fury, after savoring it for about a month. This series is so romantic and dramatic; it was a fantastic sequel that definitely surpassed the first book. Recommended for fans of romantic fantasy.

The Color of Magic was a disappointment for me. I’ve read two other Discworld books (Mort and Small Gods) that I enjoyed, but this one unfortunately got really…boring. It started out well, with humor and an interesting setup, but then went rapidly downhill. I know that this is the first book in the series and isn’t widely considered one of the best, but I was still disappointed–particularly with the book’s treatment of female characters. I understand that Pratchett was satirizing a lot of aspects of fantasy literature, but it’s still really unnecessary, and in my opinion a turnoff to a lot of female readers, to have literally every female character be naked in this book.

I’m currently reading:

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (The Neapolitan Novels, #3)The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1)

I’m about 1/4 of the way through Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (the third book in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels), which so far is surpassing the previous book in intrigue. We’re getting more and more hints toward the future of the relationship between Elena and Lila, and things are happening really quickly. Also, in a not-so-shocking turn of events, I ordered the fourth book, The Story of the Lost Child, on B&N.com.

Also! I am 100% on board with The Raven Boys. I complain a lot about my pickiness with YA, but this book is hitting all the right notes for me. I purposefully didn’t read anything about the plot or characters before starting it (I picked it up entirely on recommendations from bloggers and bookstagrammers) and I think that was a really good decision. I love all of the characters, the setting, and the fantasy elements. It’s really unlike any other YA I’ve read before. I’m about 1/3 of the way through and already putting the second book on hold at my library.

And for audio, I picked up The Cuckoo’s Calling again after abandoning it about 2/3 of the way through this winter. I wasn’t in the right mood for it before, but I’m enjoying it more now, particularly as the plot is finally starting to pick up. Finally. I’m definitely going to finish it this time, but I doubt I’ll read the rest of this series.

Up next:

Men We ReapedThe Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)The Story of the Lost Child (The Neapolitan Novels, #4)

I think my next audiobook will be a book I’ve had my eye on for awhile: Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward. I’m really in the mood for some nonfiction, and this sounds so powerful yet personal. Here’s the Goodreads blub: “In five years, Jesmyn Ward lost five young men in her life—to drugs, accidents, suicide, and the bad luck that can follow people who live in poverty, particularly black men. Dealing with these losses, one after another, made Jesmyn ask the question: Why? And as she began to write about the experience of living through all the dying, she realized the truth—and it took her breath away. Her brother and her friends all died because of who they were and where they were from, because they lived with a history of racism and economic struggle that fostered drug addiction and the dissolution of family and relationships. Jesmyn says the answer was so obvious she felt stupid for not seeing it. But it nagged at her until she knew she had to write about her community, to write their stories and her own.”

As far as print books go, I can see myself jumping right into the next books in the Raven Cycle and Neapolitan Novels next. It’s so weird–I feel like I NEVER read already completed series, and it’s such a nice feeling not to have to wait until the next book is released. Not that this will ever stop me from reading unfinished series, but it is quite nice.

 

What are you all reading this Monday? Feel free to link to your posts!