Agh! Republishing because this got deleted randomly..
I think I read a good number of books this month. Here is the list with the summary (non-spoiler) and brief comments. I read the books in this order, which is why it’s kind of random. Also, let me know if you want me to review any of these books, and I would be happy to do so! The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon This book is the first in a series set in the year 2059. Many major cities are controlled by a mysterious organization called the Scion. The protagonist, Paige Mahoney, works in the criminal underground of Scion London where she uses her special abilities to aid a criminal organization called the Seven Seals. Her powers are the rarest of all the other powers relating to the aether, a magical substance. The voyants, those with rare abilities, are committing treason just by being alive. Paige is captured and sold into slavery in a voyant prison and controlled by otherworldly creatures called the Rephaim who have dominated humankind and plan to turn the voyants into an army. I gave this book 3 stars on Goodreads. Overall, I enjoyed it, but it didn’t live up to the massive hype. Also, if you are planning on reading this book, be aware of the glossary in the back! It’s infinitely helpful, and I had a hard time with this book until I found it. The worldbuilding was good but really complicated, so the diagrams were necessary. Scatter, Adapt, Remember by Annalee Newitz This book is nonfiction. It discusses mass extinctions, their implications, what causes them, and how humanity is impacted. The first part details the different mass extinctions caused by a combination of evolution and natural cycles. It conjectures that near decimation of Earth every billion years or so is completely natural and necessary for the planet to keep spinning. Along those lines of logic, we are overdue for a huge natural disaster. Newitz speculates on the roles humanity plays in expediting the planet’s death and how we can survive. How can humans possibly live through something so unknown and dangerous? Annalee Newitz says it’s simple: scatter, adapt, and remember. I gave this book another 3 out of 5 on Goodreads. I really liked the premise, and the book was interesting, but I wish the author did a better job of organizing it. This book went on several tangents, and I took several breaks from it while reading. Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley Seventeen-year-old Cullen Witter is extremely bored in his tiny town in Arkansas. He works at a general store, and life is monotonous. The only thing that keeps him going is his brother Gabe. When Gabe disappears, Cullen’s life is destroyed. His days become a blur of police officers asking questions and trying to coax his mother out of Gabe’s room. Meanwhile, a depressed birdwatcher spots a species of woodpecker thought to have gone extinct in the 1940s in Cullen’s town. Lily, Arkansas becomes a tourist area. Cullen ignores the excitement and tries to focus on finding his brother. In Africa, a young missionary loses faith in his religion. He wanders, trying to bring more meaning into his life. These two remarkable stories take a dark turn and intertwine perfectly. I gave this book a 4 out of 5 on Goodreads. I really liked it. It was well-paced and compelling. It made me feel emotions. I was pretty confused at the end, though. To Alll the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han This book tells the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes. Instead, she writes, seals, and addresses letters to them and then hides them away in her room for nobody to find. One day, Lara finds that someone has mailed all the letters, and she has to deal with the embarrassing repercussions while trying to figure out who betrayed her. You may hate me for this, but I gave this book 1 star. I went into it excited and with an open mind and was just thoroughly disappointed. The main character, Lara Jean, is 16, but she acts like a preteen. It annoyed the crap out of me. I had to push myself to get through it. The second half is more interesting, but I just could not get past the bad characters. Killer Instinct by S.E. Green Lane is a typical teenager. She’s 17 years old and has a loving family, good grades, and a part-time job at an animal hospital. She loves martial arts, but her real passion is studying serial killers. She understands them. Lane channels her dark impulses by hunting criminals and getting revenge on them, bringing them to justice. When a beloved preschool teacher goes missing, Lane is consumed with finding “The Decapitator” and avenging her. As she investigates, the Decapitator contacts her directly. As she continues with the case despite all the threats, Lane unravels her mysterious past. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads. I’m not really sure why. I guess I just really liked the ending. This book kept me very engaged, but I was not happy with the slut shaming. That was a very prominent theme in this book, even though it had nothing to do with the plot. We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo Ten-year-old Darling lives a hard life. In Zimbabwe, Darling and her friends run around and steal guavas to survive. She has never known anything else. When she gets the chance to fly to America and live with her aunt, she takes the opportunity. This book discusses themes of American culture, integration, and alienation. Darling’s friends in Zimbabwe see her as a traitor, and her American classmates ignore her. I gave this book 4 stars. NoViolet Bulawayo does a great job of portraying Darling’s character as it changes. At the beginning, she is a child who plays games and innocently goes about her life trying to forget her traumatic memories. When she moves to America, she starts trying to assimilate herself, meticulously perfecting her American accent. She neglects her old friends. Her innocence is ripped from her by her new friends. At the end, she is stuck between two identities: the child who is used to suffering and laughs at those who pamper themselves and a teenager who skips school for the mall and has lost all naïveté through the internet. This novel is a powerful reminder of the suffering of others and that perspective can change everything. Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer A young man named Jonathan Safran Foer sets out on an adventure with only a yellowing photograph in hand. He is traveling to find the woman who saved his grandfather’s life. On the way, he gets help from a Ukranian translator who butchers English, his grandfather, and an obnoxious dog. I gave this book 3 stars. I really enjoyed the premise of this book and loved the butchered language. This made it so much more interesting, although I could not fully understand some of the words as they were so randomly misused.. However, I felt that it couldn’t keep my attention constantly. Of course, this is partially due to the fact that I spent much of my time reading this in 1. Loud environments and 2. Surrounded by so many other books I also want to read. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein A British spy plane crashes in Nazi Germany containing two female spies who happen to be best friends. One of them is captured and forced to divulge the British plans for the war or die. Read my review of it https://wordpress.com/read/post/id/69694419/64/