An Update on My Latest Reads. . .

You know those times when you read a book and you’re upset because it’s not very good but maybe not quite terrible enough to stop reading and you think, “Life is short. I really wish I’d read one of those hundred other promising books on my TBR”? Well, I’m happy to report that NONE of the books I’ve read recently has made me feel that way–thanks to A) all the great books being published and B) excellent recommendations from fellow book lovers.

Recently Read

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

What everyone says is true. Throne of Glass is a great read, and Sarah J. Maas is a brilliant fantasy writer. Calaena the assassin is unforgettable. World-building, yes. Intriguing history and ancestral secrets, yes. I’m especially enamored with the character, Princess Nehemiah of Ellwye, and her friendship with Calaena. (Want to know how to pronounce ‘Ellwye?’ So did I. Note: there’s a pronunciation guide at the back of the book, but I didn’t know about until someone told me after I returned the library book. *sigh*)

Throne of Glass copy

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

As much as I adore young adult fiction, sometimes a non-YA book comes along with a concept too intriguing to ignore.  Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, for example–I mean, a story set in an old bookstore with a mysterious owner, Mr. Penumbra, watching over ancient texts? Yes! The protagonist is an affable, loyal guy. The story is pleasant and smart, especially with its eye-opening insights into the brain trust that is Google. Worth reading for the unforgettable scene inside a vast, high-tech subterranean vault of lost historical items called “Con-U.”

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Melanie Noell Bernard’s YA dystopian work-in-progress

I won’t reveal much about Melanie’s story because she’s still working on it, but this talented lady is going to be published someday—just watch.

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Thank you to Carolyn @ A Hundred Thousand Stories for recommending The Diviners. Entertaining, scary, and very well-written, the rich 1920s setting took this paranormal YA to a whole other level. Memphis and Theta were, by far, my favorite characters—I hope they have bigger roles in the second book, The Lair of Dreams, which I definitely plan to read. I’m a bit whiny about super long books, so of course I wondered why The Diviners had to be 578 pages long, but the good news is the story never dragged.

the diviners

Currently reading

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

Magonia has been on my TBR a while, but Beth @ Betwixt These Pages encouraged me to read it  sooner rather than later.  As I move into the last 2/3 of the book and mind-blowing plot twists are revealed, I totally get why. Kudos to writer Maria Dahvana Headley for her Wild Imagination–yes, those words are capitalized because, well, you have to read the book to find out. I’ll just say that the beginning does not prepare you for what comes.

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–Eve Messenger

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24 comments

      1. Oh, a good narrator can make all the difference. I wonder how she sounds doing Evie’s lines. Now I want to take a road trip just so I have an excuse to listen to the audio version of that book.. . or maybe I just want to take a road trip, hehe.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand now why a lot of people have a hard time expressing how they feel about this book. It’s just so unexpected. There are things I really like about it that definitely make it worth reading. The world-building is just. . so different, I’m pretty sure in a really good way. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s the reaction I keep hearing about this book–it makes me want to read so much! I love unexpected stories and world building.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. An great selection here, Eve. I love the cover for Magonia and your review tempts me to look closer at this. I must look up Robin Sloan’s book – this sounds right up my alley. So far this month I’ve read The Snow Garden & other Stories by Rachel Joyce (she’s terrific), Stephen King’s Mr Mercedes, The Memory of Running and currently reading The Versions of Us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Woah! My name is on your reading list. Not gonna lie, I did a double-take. I was like: ‘Wait. *scrolls back up* WHAT?! 0.o’ That is SUCH a weird feeling to see your name in regards to a novel… *is still in shock* *can’t get off this screen* >.> *twitch*

    Okay, but really, though, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE AMAZING PRAISE! I can’t thank you enough for the lovely comment. (But really though. Go easy on the compliments. I already got a big ego the length of royal woman’s wedding dress train* *totally just came up with that analogy*… *and loves it* :p

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Diviners is on my TBR too. I loved Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty when I was in high school, so I’m looking forward to revisiting her writing.
    I didn’t really like Throne of Glass though. :/ I’m one of the few who didn’t I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ack, I totally get how you feel. I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t been able to get into the Cinder series. I read about 30 pages in, and it just wasn’t doing it for me. But, of course, it seems the rest of the world is crazy about that book.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I haven’t read Cinder yet, but I’m afraid I won’t like it. So many people love it, but I haven’t been motivated to actually read it.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s good to hear that you liked Throne of Glass as much as I did, it only gets better with next book when you find out what Celaena’s life is like after the events of the first book. And Nehemiah, oh my gosh she is awesome. Also a warning, the next book just might make you cry and want to tear your eyes out and curl into a ball. It’s still absolutely amazing though!
    Also thanks for those book recommendations, I’ll bee looking those up and putting them onto my to be read list!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seriously, thank you for the tear-your-eyes-out, curl-into-a-ball warning about the next book. I definitely need to steel myself. Please tell me Nehemiah still has plenty of scenes in the next one.

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      1. I don’t want to give to much away but Nehemia has a huge part in the next book and later in the other books as well. Just be careful not to Google much about the other two books before you’re done with the second because the book summaries and reviews have a major spoiler for the Crown Of Midnight.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. You are truly the fairy godmother of book recommenders. Thank you for the warning– I hate spoilers so much I’m probably physically allergic to them.

      About Red Queen…that book seems like something I’d really like, so it definitely used to be on my TBR, but after reading many, many lukewarm reviews I took it off! Should I put Red Queen back on my TBR again? What did you like about it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I really like the book. It is set in a dystopia, though I think it’s similar to the time period we live in now. The summery that the book gives is a little vague but it is about a girl, Mare, who was born and raised in a place where people like her are no better than servants.
        I always like this book because it takes Mare away from the place that she know so well and puts her in the exact opposite situation and forces her to make hard decisions. The plot twist at the end really made me like the book because I didn’t see it coming. I was so shocked!
        I would suggest putting it back on your TBR. It’s a relatively quick read taking me only three days reading between classes and homework.
        I’ll be posting my review for Red Queen probably on Saturday so I’ll try to add a little more about what I liked about the book in that!

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