This month, I’ve read 9 books, my favorite being End of Days, and my least favorite Openly Straight.
1. “Heir of Fire” by S. J. Maas
“She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.”
Heir of Fire is the third book in the YA fantasy Throne of Glass series. Given how much I loved (and hated) Crown of Midnight, I had high expectations for this book.
But I was just so bored during 80% of this book : the characters’ perspectives changed in a way that made it hard for me to get into the story, and some perspectives simply didn’t interest me much. But I did really liked the characters, new and old, in this instalment.
That being said, I did love the last 20% of this book. The story finally started moving forward! And now I’m excited about Queen of Shadow‘s release in September.
I ended up giving this book a 3.25 out of 5 stars rating.
2. “A Darker Shade of Magic” by V. E. Schwab
“You know so little of war. Battles may be fought from the outside in, but wars are won from the inside out.”
In A Darker Shade of Magic we follow Kell, who travels between dimensions, from one London to another (there are 4 Londons : Red, White, Grey and Black).
This was fascinating. To me, it is by far Victoria Schwab’s best book so far. It was magical, the writing was absolutely beautiful, the dialogues were very well done and I absolutely loved the characters, and the way the story was told. The only reason I didn’t give this 5 stars, is because I was so in love from the start, at the end, I was not freaking out as much as I usually do with 5-stars-read. It’s similar to Vicious in that way. I think that makes sense.
I gave this book 4.75 out of 5 stars.
3. “Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda” by B. Albertalli
“It is definitely annoying that straight (and white, for that matter) is the default, and that the only people who have to think about their identity are the ones who don’t fit that mold. Straight people really should have to come out, and the more awkward it is, the better. Awkwardness should be a requirement.”
Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a contemporary YA book, basically about Simon’s experience as a not-so-openly-gay teen (and a nerdy one with that).
I absolutely loved this book. I started this book with a faint smile, appreciating the Harry Potter references and Simon’s sense of humour, but I finished it with the most goofy grin plastered on my face, and I have no idea how or when it got there. This story was everything I expect from a contemporary book, with the cutest romance, diverse characters and a not-too-predictable plot.
I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.
4. “Sex Criminals, Volume 1 : One Weird Trick” by
This fucking guy.”
Sex criminals is about a guy and a girl who discovered that when they have sex, they can stop time for a while. So they rob a bank together.
One Weird Trick is one of the best graphic novels I have ever read; it was funny and interesting. I enjoyed this first volume a lot.
I gave this graphic novel 4 out of 5 stars!
5. “A Court of Thorns and Roses” by S. J. Maas
“I was as unburdened as a piece of dandelion fluff, and he was the wind that stirred me about the world.”
I feel conflicted about this. A Court of Thorns and Roses is the first book in a new NA fantasy trilogy, and a retelling of The Beauty and the Beast.
I feel conflicted about this book. I loved some parts, thought other parts were really basic, and I didn’t love the story overall. Three characters interested me, the love story didn’t convince me, and I fear a love triangle coming… But I enjoyed this more than Throne of Glass and Heir of Fire, so gave it a slightly higher rating.
I gave this book 3.75 out of 5 stars.
6. “End of Days” by S. Ee
“That’s the whole point of a talent show. It’s illogical, chaotic, stupid, and a whole hell of a lot of fun. It’s what sets us apart from monkeys. What other species puts on talent shows?”
End of Days is the third and last book to the Penryn and the End of Days trilogy.
This book was bloody perfect. It is exactly what I expected from the third book in the Penryn and the End of Days trilogy : the writing is straight-to-the-point, very witty, the dialogues are hilarious, the characters are endearing as heck, the romance is great and the protagonist is as kick-ass as ever. I smiled and laughed all my way through this book.
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars!
7. “Saving Francesca” by M. Marchetta
“People with lost personalities will suffer a great deal more than those with lost virginities.”
Saving Francesca is about a girl in an all-boys school in Australia, and this is the story of her junior year, I believe, in which we see her struggle with her mother’s depression, her school’s friends, her family in general… Having read Jellicoe Road, I did expect something more spectacular, but it still felt very real and was agreeable to read.
I gave it 3.25 out of 5 stars.
8. “Openly Straight” by B. Konigsberg
“We were dancers and drummers and standers and jugglers, and there was nothing anyone needed to accept or tolerate. We celebrated.”
Openly Straight is a YA stand-alone about Rafe, who, in his new all-boys high school, wishes to be more than “the gay kid”, and therefore pretends to be straight.
That was a disappointment. The characters felt shallow, the writing was redundant, the humor didn’t really get to me. Depression is also mentioned in this book as a disease as a result of general sadness caused by living circumstances, which irked me a lot. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy this book at all, however, and I did like the fact that it talked about LGBT matters : I just didn’t think it was smart or very well-written.
My rating for this one is 2.25 out of 5 stars.
9. “Half Wild” by S. Green
“I always thought a person’s Gift reflected something about that person and all I can think is that my Gift reflects my desires, and my desires are to be totally wild, totally free.”
Half Wild is the sequel to Half Bad. And it is glorious. I liked the first book, but I remember that it was quite hard to get into, and I wasn’t really attached to the characters.
Half Wild was different. This time, I loved the writing, the characters and their wit, especially Nathan, who gets to know himself better in this one. Nathan is a cynical, sarcastic character, and the only explicitly bisexual protagonist I know in YA fantasy literature. I also liked the pace of the story : the 400 pages simply flew by. And I won’t get into the oh-so-lovable love interest in this. I am currently dying for Half Lost.
I gave this sequel 4.5 out of 5 stars.