Recent Reads, (belated) August Edition

Hello world! And welcome to another round of, “let’s play catchup, shall we?”

I’m FINALLY getting around to all those posts I had planned / half-written. One of them had to do with two of my favorite subjects. Books! And reading! So many yays.

 

So here’s what I’ve read since the last recent reads:

 

Blog---August

And here’s the breakdown.

 

Series I’m in the Midst Of:

Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter, Gallagher Girls #5

The Titans Curse by Rick Roirdan, Percy Jackson And the Olympians #3

These were both fun reads, but at the same time, I realized I’m starting to plow through these series less for the book I’m reading at the moment, and more for the drama of the series that I’m hoping to absorb simply by reading it. If that makes sense. There are a crazy set of fans for the Percy Jackson series, and I know a big part of my motivation is to try and get a little bit of what they have when reading it.

So basically I realized that I need to slow down and start absorbing these series more, devouring less. I think I might set them both aside for a while and pick up later when I’m able to enjoy them more 🙂

 

Books With Buzz & First Books in a Series:

 

The Archived by Victoria Schwab, The Archived #1

Pivot Point by Kasie West, Pivot Point #1

Freakling by Lana Krumwiede, Psi Chronicles #1

I can’t believe I finally read these! I feel very, very belated about it, but am so excited to have finally checked out for myself what everyone else was raving about.

And I can say it was well-deserved. The Archived was certainly unique and interesting. I wonder if I would have enjoyed it more if I didn’t devour it so quickly (yes, this is an issue with me.) I’m not a big fan of any kind of ghost story, and I don’t like creepy, but I did enjoy this. Am waffling just a teensy bit about whether to follow this series or not (like a lot of other people, I have series burnout right now.) But at this point I definitely plan on giving book #2, The Unbound, a try.

As for Pivot Point–holy bleeping goodness! I was so glad I gave this one a shot. Sometimes a book is good, and sometimes it’s great, and sometimes it’s rave-worthy. I’m not sure what it was about Pivot Point, but I just LOVED it. The main character was likeable (even if her falling for mr. superpower guy was annoying) (but that gets explained in a REALLY satisfying way later.) I loved mr. normal guy and her relationship with him. I loved the concept, and especially how that concept was explored and how you see it breaking down to everyday life, and holy smokes, the way the two storylines began entangling together and finally resolving just kept the tension amping up and up until that twist at the end–which I was not expecting at all. Except I had the deliciously horrible uneasy sensation that something was wrong. I was missing something. And I was right.

Great book, and am definitely on board for the sequel. I want to see how Cassie can manage to recapture the life she had explored with her abilities and see how all the new elements play out.

As for Freakling, I loved the premise for this MG, and loved the book even more. The concept was really well explored and I found myself seeing little hints of Enders Game mixed with The Unwanteds, but somehow better than that combination might sound. It was fun and very mature without being too dark or intense, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. As a series though? I’m not sure. It read very much like a stand-alone, and I’m curious but a bit hesitant as to how the author could continue the premise through the series, given how it ended. Definitely plan on checking book #2 out, uncertain how I will feel about it.

 

Last But Not Least:

 

Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

Lottery by Patricia Wood

Ice by Sarah Beth Durst

 

 

So, I was excited to read Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal because she is one of the amazing Writing Excuses podcasters. I’ll be honest. I love those guys. I’ve been waiting for them all to get published books in genres I enjoyed, and it’s finally happening — Dan Wells has Partials and the sequel Fragments, Brandon Sanderson now has a YA sf/fantasy coming out that sound AWESOME (it’s called Steelheart and it involves normal humans banding together to fight superpower villains. What!!!) So. Yes. Anyway. Shades of Milk and Honey. I quite enjoyed it although, as a rabid Pride & Prejudice fan, I have to admit I was comparing nearly every plot movement to the original story. Am planning to read the continuing books in the series and am hoping for more shenanigans 🙂

 

Lottery by Patricia Wood — What a cute story! I picked this up because the author got published around the time I was very active on Absolute Write, and she was an active member as well. Plus I’m a sucker for any kind of developmental disabilities or learning impairment stories. And Lottery did not disappoint. I admit, I really hoped his relatives would get their just end, and not a single cent of his money. But despite all the ups and downs, it had an excellent ending and I was so proud of him by the end. Definitely worth the read (despite some sexual language and scenes and a bit of swearing, which I could have done without.) If you haven’t given it a try and you don’t mind skimming the rated parts, it’s a fantastic story 🙂

 

As for Ice by Sarah Beth Durst — I’d heard this is one of the best East of Sun, West of Moon and Tam Lin retelling out there. But Sarah Beth Durst is such a hit or miss for me. I LOVED her Drink, Slay, Love and I enjoyed Vessel, but found myself pretty disappointed in Enchanted Ivy and now in Ice. Her voice is so different from book to book, and Ice didn’t have the maturity of writing style I had honestly expected. Durst has another YA coming out soon, Conjured, so hopefully this will be another one to love.

 

In conclusion! I had a pretty decent reading month. Not as exciting as I’d hoped, since I really only felt Pivot Point and Freakling were rave worthy, and I had been hoping for multiple raves this month. But I definitely enjoyed the books I read, and it was GREAT to have something to read when I got home after those long days at work.

Well. Phew. That was my belated reading in August. A lot of new books come out this month, so hopefully/maybe I’ll have a really exciting Recent Reads for you in a few weeks.

What have you guys read recently?

Truly and always!

-Mandy

 

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