Recent Reads, July Edition

 

 

Hello lovelies.

So I don’t know about you guys, but I tend to read in massive spurts. I will order 4-6 books from the library, devour them in about a week and a half, immediately order more, and devour those as soon as they arrive. I’ll repeat that, oh…say four times, over the course of two or three months. Which means about twenty books or more in that three month time period.

And then I will stop for a while *

But the stopping is IRRELEVANT because right now I am in the middle of a surge and, oh look, books!

Series I’m in the midst of:

Endlessly, Paranormalcy #3

Don’t Judge a Girl by her Cover, Gallagher Girl’s #3

Only the Good Spy Young, Gallagher Girls #4

So a while back I got into the Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter when I saw the title of the then-newest book in the series, Out of Sight, Out of Time, and read that it involved amnesia. Amnesia! I thought. My favorite. Also, friends of mine, namely Chandler Craig, had been raving about the Gallagher Girls for a while. So anyway I gave it a try. I got hooked on the series, but I’ve always been reading with that goal in mind of getting to the elusive fifth book with amnesia…and now I’m finally there! The next one I read will be it! I’m excited, because the series has been sweet but a bit light up until now, and only in the last two books has it really started darkening up a bit. I’m liking the heightened tension and stakes, and I can’t wait to read the fifth in the series. *Cue dramatic music*

Then there’s Endlessly.

So I’m ashamed to admit that when the Paranormalcy series first came out, I sort of shuffled my feet and decided I didn’t feel like it. I was tired of paranormal. And paranormal was right in the title. But the covers were pretty…So I watched how the series developed, and decided I might give it a try. Eventually. Maybe. Perhaps.

Sometime last winter I finally gave Paranormalcy a try–and I loved it. Early this spring I read Supernaturally, the sequel, and was a little less enthusiastic. So I was nervous, about the final installment of the trilogy. Would it be meh, would it be angry-making, would it be anything as good as the first? Then I read Endlessly and realized all my fears were unfounded. It recaptured the magic of the series and kicked it up a major notch. I was very excited.

Books That Were/Are Big (and I read them, yay!)
(if belatedly, boo–)

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

The Different Girl by Gorden Dahlquist

Timeless by Alexandra Monir

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

And I have to say guys, these books were well worth the read. Eleanor & Park reminded me quite a lot of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, in that it was honest and real and sweet–but also challenging, and sometimes gritty; sometimes gritty to the point that it lessened my enjoyment of it. However, it was every bit as awesome as everyone said it would be. Definitely lived up to the hype.

Timeless by Alexandra Monir felt like a tad bit of a let down; the cover was just so beautiful, that I found myself hoping for a YA version of The Time Traveler’s Wife. While Timeless was fun and easy to read–it reminded me quite a lot of Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz, and Prada & Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard–it didn’t have the intensely complex feel I like in time travels. So I think expectations spoiled this one for me.

The Different Girl, however, was a real fun surprise. I wasn’t going to read it. Like at all. I thought it looked like a creepy dystopian, but then I read a few reviews by people who had also thought it would be a creepy dystopian, and said they were disappointed, and I thought, hmm…so I read the sample pages available online. And sat up. And paid attention. Because I was hooked. I reviewed this book, somewhat, on my Goodreads, but basically it was a lot quieter and more intriguing than I had thought–it reminded me a lot of Melody Burning by Whitely Strieber in the sense that it was different, and a bit quiet, but very intense in it’s way.

As for The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making? Out of the fourty two books I’ve read so far this year, it was one of only eight that I rated a full five stars.

I LOVED it.

It was everything everyone said it would be. More. It was the Alice in Wonderland I had always wanted to read, without being as weird or creepy, and the ending was fantastic, and everything about it was fantastic. I’m desperate for the sequel. Enough said.

Then we have A Long, Long Sleep which, like The Different Girl, I had made up my mind I wasn’t going to read. Initially it looked intriguing. A while ago I ordered it from the library in one of my sprees…read the first two chapters…and thought to myself,¬†shoot. I know exactly how this is going to go. And put it down in frustration. But then, because I am stubborn sometimes, especially with books with pretty covers, I ordered it again, and this time I skipped ahead. And got hooked. And went back and read up to where I was. And phew, boy guys, I am sooooo glad I gave this the second chance. I’m not sure what it was about chapter two that had turned me off initially, but once I got past it, I loved everything I read.

A Long Long Sleep is actually a sci-fi adaption of the fairytale Sleeping Beauty, and I loved how this translated to a girl who gets lost in cryo for sixty years. One of my current WIPs is a cry story–TES, if you were keeping track–so it was a lot of fun to compare notes, and also, the book was an excellent read. I really wish it had gotten more attention than it did when it came out, because it’s so well written.

Bottom line: I was so excited to finally read so many of the books that had been lingering on my TBR list, and that I enjoyed them so much!

 

Last but not least:

Each library book run, I tend to include at least one book by Diana Wynne Jones, Robin McKinley, Sarah Beth Durst, or one of the books from each of the series I’m currently catching up on (Gallagher Girls, Percy Jackson, Artemis Fowl, and Jackson Pearce’s Fairytale Retellings series.) That way I know I’ll have at least one or two really awesome books per reading splurge.

My obsession with McKinley is the sole responsibility of her novel, Pegasus. I’m sure my obsession with Pegasus will end at some point. Maybe when she finishes the series. Who knows. Whatever. Until then, I have been slaking my McKinley-obsession by reading her backlog of previous works, and yay for me, she has a lot of good stuff to read. So far I’ve dug into some of her most popular stuff–I read Sunshine (thumbs up, it a bit creepy) and Chalice (had no idea what was going on in that story!) and The Blue Sword (hmm) and I’m also reading her online serial novel, Kes. So I thought it was about time I got into her fairytale retellings.

Spindle’s End was a retelling of Sleeping Beauty (which I guess means I read two such retellings–this, and A Long, Long Sleep in one month. By accident! Hah!) (But both were very different, so.) It was a lot of fun. It read like the non-Disney version that feels much closer to how the original story might have been. I liked it a lot, and it’s been a while since I last read any McKinley, so I’m back to having my obsession slaked for a little while.
(I’m not really obsessed.)

(Sort of maybe kinda.)

(COUGH)

So! I’m already halfway through my goal of 80+ books to read, this year.

This is great considering I haven’t been including re-reads, which would have added about 15 books or so. And I’m very excited to be close to a Barnes & Noble again which (hopefully) means I can keep up with reading the new YA releases instead of twiddling my thumbs and waiting for a library to get them in, or preordering them on my starving-student income.

Yays all around.

What have you guys been reading?

Also, afterthought: I’ve been extremely busy with the new job, and because it’s physical labor, I’ve been pretty beat afterwards. So I haven’t had much energy for blogging despite having things worth blogging about. But I’ve got a couple posts lined up, including another weekly Pinspiration, an author interview (!) and another Making Up Meals style foodie post (but with desserts, not meals. NOM.) (And PICTURES. Nom nom nom.)

So as soon as I get a weekend to myself, there should be more blog things occurring. Hopefully.

So double yay!

 

truly and always,

-Mandy

*Were you guys waiting for me to explain why I stop reading? I thought I’d save that for another time. Because, I know, the intricaciesof my reading habits are sooooooo fascinating. Ahem ahem.

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One comment on “Recent Reads, July Edition

  1. Pingback: Recent Reads, (belated) August Edition | The First Reader

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