Weekly Wrap-Up #15

It’s been quite a while since my last wrap up, so I have quite a few books to discuss today! As always, I’ll be reviewing each of my recent reads in fifty words or less.

 

1. Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas

I’m so nearly finished with this infamous series and I’m enjoying it, though there are massive flaws and problematic elements, it’s a completely fantastical soap opera with dark politics and I’m excited to see how it finishes. That being said, this was my least favourite instalment so far. Three stars.

2. Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly 🧠

I love a fairy-tale re-telling from the perspective of the ‘villains’ and this was such a subversive, feminist take on Cinderella’s stepsisters. While it never excused Isabelle’s actions, it added nuance and complexity to all the sisters’ backstories. Four stars.

3. I Know Who You Are by Alice Feeney🧠

I was absolutely loving this dark, twisty thriller, until some of the later revelations that just felt like too much and completely unbelievable. Three stars.

4. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller 🏳️‍🌈 🧠

Ok, now I understand the hype. This was so beautifully written, heartbreaking and just stunning. In particular, it just had that classical feel of The Illiad with such flowery writing, classic dialogue and metaphors. Patroclus had such a raw, honest and vulnerable voice, making him a character that I couldn’t help but love hearing. Four stars.

5. Meat Market by Juno Dawson 🧠

This was such a powerful, gritty and amazing book from Dawson. Full thoughts here. Four and a half stars.

6. We Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizal⭐️

This was everything I’d hoped it would be and more. Full review here! Four and a half stars.

7. Summer of No Regrets by Kate Mallinder 🧠🏳️‍🌈💙

I loved all four of the main characters in this fun contemporary that tackles issues sensitively and all their perspectives were really engaging and interesting. However Nell was my favourite, with her all to too relatable anxiety and the casual representation of her being an amputee. An uplifting story of the power of friendship and bravery. Four stars.

8. Under The Moon: A Catwoman Tale by Lauren Myracle 🧠

This has such a great story and stunning artwork, but I’ve dropped the rating due to severe animal and child abuse that occurs near the beginning of the story, which is just something I struggle with. Three stars.

9. The Furies by Katie Lowe 🧠 🏳️‍🌈

I’m a sucker for toxic female friendship books with a touch of mystery and magic, which The Furies has in spades. It just felt so spine-tingly atmospheric, with a current of suspense running under every scene. A well-written, haunting and evocative story. Four stars.

10. Birthday by Meredith Russo 🧠 🏳️‍🌈

This is a heartbreaking, complex exploration of gender and sexuality, creating a much needed coming of age story that deserves all the awards. I really loved Morgan and just wanted the best for her. Eric and her had such a great connection and I enjoyed seeing it change and evolve. Four stars.

Updated in December 2019: I won’t delete this review in light of the recent news about Russo, but I will no longer be discussing any of her books.

11. The Girl Who Came Out of the Woods by Emily Barr 🧠

My biggest problem with this is that I felt like the twist wasn’t really necessary, as up until that part, Barr was creating an excellent character drama that I was loving. She was conveying this whirlwind journey of emotions and experiences that Arty was having so well, so the changes just fell jarring for me. Three stars.

12. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray 🧠

This was definitely my least favourite Libba Bray book so far, which is unfortunate, as I really like her writing. I just couldn’t connect with Gemma much, though I did enjoy the exploration of magic and mystical abilities. Three stars.

13. A Tyranny of Petticoats 🏳️‍🌈 💙⭐️🧠

A historical fiction feminist anthology – sign me up! As ever, anthologies are tricky to review, as I absolutely adored some stories and tolerated others, but overall I really enjoyed this and plan to pick up the second collection. Four stars.

14. Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell 🧠

This is a very unsettling and interesting dark thriller, with a few shifts in perspective that I really enjoyed. Each speaker had such a strong narrative voice and Jewell keeps teasing out parts of the mystery, though I did predict some of the major twists. Three stars.

15. The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

At this point, I’d kind of hit a reading slump, so I may need to re-read this book at some point. I just couldn’t connect with the characters again and felt so disconnected from the plot, but that ending was excellent. Three stars.

16. Alex in Wonderland by Simon James Green 🧠 🏳️‍🌈

This was the perfect read to break me out of my slump! Funny, awkward, adorable and perfectly relatable, with such a sweet romance and Scooby Doo-esque mystery. Green is never afraid to tackle tough topics within these LGBT+, comical contemporaries that are equally adorable and touching. Four stars.

 

 

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