Alas, Fall is my No Reading Time season. I did manage to find a few books I loved, though…
- “Black Iris” by L. Raeder
Black Iris is the one book in this list I have given, irrevocably and without an ounce of hesitation, 5 out of 5 stars. It is a poignant, toxic tale about hate, vengeance, love, addiction. In Unteachable, Raeder has shown herself to be an author who will not back away from taboo subjects, who is willing to explore sexuality and the depth of humans’ toxic feelings—and this is what we witness in Black Iris. I cannot recommend this book enough, although I must warn you—it is not a light read, and might hurt sensitivities.
- “Six of Crows” by L. Bardugo
L. Bardugo is the well-known author of the Grisha series, and she comes back with a new series set in the Grisha world—this time, with more diverse characters. And these diverse characters are exactly what has been missing, during Bardugo’s last trilogy : her writing has always been a bit magical, the world she built holds great potential, but the previous cast prevented her from exploring this world and make it a fantasy world that stands out. In Six of Crows, the diverse cast, composed of 6 protagonists from different social and ethnic origins, allows Bardugo to develop the political Grisha world.
- “The Book Thief” by M. Zusak
… And I have finished it! Knowing how famous this book is, I am reluctant to sum it up, but I will say this : the narration by death, the poetic writing, the way the narration developed—it didn’t fail to break my heart. In fact, I remember full-on sobbing at the end, when, really, I had known how it would end.
- “Carry On” by R. Rowell
Carry On is the story of Baz and Simon, the one we got snippets of in Fangirl. It could be considered as Harry Potter fan-fiction : in which Simon, the young sorcerer with a great destiny, falls in love/has adventures with Baz, his arch-enemy and roommate. The story is full of action, with a bit of romance and some humor : Rowell keeps the light, bizarre narrative that fit so well to the contemporary novels she has delivered thus far. Consequently, I do not know if I should classify this as fantasy—if you are expecting an unpredictable plot, an original and complicated world, you will be disappointed. I hesitate to recommend this to everyone, for this reason : Carry On is an in-between, a book that is not quite fantasy, not quite contemporary, with adorable, funny characters, the way only Rainbow Rowell writes them, but nonetheless a book that is hard to take seriously and that does not quite fit in any given category.
- “November 9” by C. Hoover
This came as a bit of a surprise : Confess, Hoover’s latest release before November 9, had been a huge disappointment for me. November 9, though, tells a bittersweet story—in which I didn’t find the slut-shaming I dread in Hoover’s books—which follows this concept : two young people meet, fall in love, decide to meet only once every year and see if their love lasts. In true Colleen Hoover fashion, complications arise soon enough that you won’t think you’re reading a NA version of One Day. November 9 is, to me, Colleen Hoover’s best book to date.