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Friday, July 3, 2015

Mid-Year Book Reviews

Now that June is finally over, I thought it would be a good time to give a mid-year update on the books that I have read so far. As I write this, I have finished 23 books to completion and dropped another 7 after starting them. This year has been a bit difficult for me book-wise, as I have found myself either loving or hating most books I start. Maybe I’ve just turned into a tough critic, I don’t know!

Here’s a list of the books I’ve read, in order of rating. After that you’ll find a short list of “awards” to certain books.

5 stars (must read)
The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion
The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty – Amanda Filipacchi
The Queen of the Tearling – Erika Johansen
Red Rising – Pierce Brown
Golden Son – Pierce Brown
Uprooted – Naomi Novik

4 stars (recommended)
The Rosie Effect – Graeme Simsion
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore – Robin Sloan
The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
Firefight – Brandon Sanderson
Prince of Fools – Mark Lawrence
Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
The Wrath and the Dawn – Renee Ahdieh
Dar Four – Sara Lotz

3.5 stars
Shadow Scale – Rachel Hartman

3 stars (good, but slightly disappointing)
A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab
The Invasion of the Tearling – Erika Johansen
Crimson Bound – Rosamund Hodge

2.5 stars
The Young Elites – Marie Lu
Mosquitoland – David Arnold
The Perilous Sea – Sherry Thomas
An Ember in the Ashes - Sabaa Tahir

2 stars (has readability but I didn’t enjoy it)
Shades of Grey – Jasper Fforde
Delicious Foods – James Hannaham dropped at 50%
My Heart and Other Black Holes – Jasmine Warga dropped at 20%
The Red Pyramid – Rick Riordan dropped at 20%

1 star (don’t bother)
Lois Lane: Fallout – Gwenda Bond dropped at 10%
Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell dropped at 10%

The Mini Awards

The Best So Far: The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty by Amanda Filipacchi
I was reading this while traveling around Indochina. My travel partner would often hear me just start giggling like crazy to myself at the absurdity of this book. It was such a delightfully unexpected book, and was nothing like I expected. I read it very quickly given the circumstances and I still remember the joy it brought me. You have to read this! It’s the perfect example of an author not taking themselves too seriously.

The Most Surprising: Uprooted by Naomi Novik
The cover didn’t really capture my attention, the blurb was mediocre at best, but after reading a few reviews I decided to give it a try. And it ended up being one of the quickest reads of the year so far. It was such a great little gem, and I love that it’s just one book. The characters were great, and I found myself just longing to get back to reading it. I feel like this book would be much more popular if it didn’t give off such a juvenile feel.

The Most Disappointing: A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
The author’s previous novel, Vicious, was one of my favorites. I loved the characters and the unique take on the superhero genre. I came into this book hoping for more of the same and was just left feeling really underwhelmed. It’s still a good book, I just had far too high of expectations.

The Worst So Far: The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas
I’m only basing this off of the books I actually finished, and it has to be this one. Not only was it disappointing, I was barely able to make it through. It’s the second in the series. Apparently I really enjoyed the first one, though I honestly can’t recall why anymore. It was such a lackluster anything that I honestly can’t even remember a thing about it. That’s not very good….

Hope the second half of the year picks up a bit as far as books are concerned! Let me know if you have any I should read or if you have read any of the books I did with similar or difference impressions!

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