sarah j maas

January Reads – End of Month Wrap-Up #amreading

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Hello, fellow book junkies! I’m afraid in January I only managed to read five books. It was kind of interesting, though, how my two favorite characters  both turned out to be animals. Sure, there were lots of interesting fae and human characters–like complex Rhysand from ACOTAR and saintly Joan of Arc from Mark Twain’s book–but the real stars of January were:

  • Corr, the feral, ferocious mythical water horse from Maggie Stievfater’s The Scorpio Races (check out what he does at the end of the book–it’s amazing); and
  • Mischievous, smiley, long-suffering Rosie the elephant from Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.

JANUARY FLASH REVIEWS

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas-YA Fantasy. I finally got around to discovering what a rich, fascinating, magical world Sarah J. Maas has created with this series. I found myself really liking protagonist Feyre Archeron for her bravery, hot temper, and resourcefulness at teaching herself the skills she needs to survive and keep her impoverished family alive. Oh, does Feyre hate the Fae, which of course makes for great drama when she is forced to live among them. I’m not sure if I loved the plot decision at the end, but I am definitely down to read book two. 4.5/5 stars

Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc, vol. I  by Mark Twain – This classic novel is the first of hopefully many more e-books I’ll be downloading for FREE from Project Gutenburg If you haven’t already, check out Project Gutenberg. You’ll find tons of old books that have fallen out of copyright and can be downloaded right onto your eReader. Apparently, of all of Mark Twain’s books, Recollections of Joan of Arc was his personal favorite. He spent twelve years researching it! Joan of Arc is, of course, an unforgettable character. In this fictionalized account of Joan’s life told from the POV of a childhood friend, Twain weaves in his trademark sarcasm and ingenious insights into human nature, as well as some of the best dialogue of any writer ever. We learn about elusive, earnest, mystical Joan of Arc, and shake our heads at the antics of her friends and countrymen who come to believe, like Joan does, that God means for the French–against all odds–to win against the English. 4.25/5 stars

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater-YA paranormal – The Scorpio Races is a song of a book that’s flowing and lyrical, and maybe just a touch slow-paced. The love story is enthralling because each person in the relationship is their own brave, utterly competent, strong-willed soul from an island that breeds them that way. The mythological water horses are haunting and memorable, especially Sean Kendrick’s mount, Corr. 4.25/5 stars

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick-audiobook – Cute, humorous, and unflinchingly honest, this autobiography was read by the author herself, Anna Kendrick, who reads really, really fast. 4/5 stars

The Abyss Surrounds Us (The Abyss Surrounds Us #1) by Emily Skrutskie – This YA post-apocalyptic pirate adventure is one of several YA books I’m reading that feature f/f and/or fem bi characters. I found myself much more drawn to pirate girl Swift than to the main character Cassandra Leung, probably because Cassandra’s motivations weren’t always believable. Still, there’s no doubt Emily Skrutskie is a skillful writer. The Abyss Surrounds Us is one of those debut novels that noticeably improves as it goes along, and I look forward to seeing what Skrustkie comes up with for the next installment in this series. 3.75/5 stars

–Eve Messenger

“How I Read” Book Tag #amreading

Thank you to Beth @ betwixt-the-pages for this tag AND for her fabulous book blog, which is an endless source of fantastic recommendations.

How do you find out about new books to read?

Most of the books I gleefully add to my TBR come from book blogs. I’m especially likely to try out a book that’s rated all over the place with five stars—case in point, the book I’m reading now: Throne of Glass. I’m only 50 pages in and already loving it.

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By the way, does anyone else think this depiction of Celaena looks a lot like author Sarah J. Maas?

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How did you get into reading?

My dad and his parents were big readers, so I just remember always having books around. Growing up as an only child, books made excellent companions.

How have your tastes in books changed as you got older?

This may seem counterintuitive, but as I’ve grown older I’ve gotten more into young adult fiction. I went from the classics, to science fiction (because that’s what my dad’s shelves were filled with), to horror and suspense, to literary, upmarket, and women’s fiction, to YA.

How often do you buy books?

I buy books when they’re not available at my local library, maybe three times a month.

How did you get into reviewing books?

I’m not one to shy away from expressing my opinion. This is doubly true of books and movies.

How do you react when you don’t like the end of a book?

This is me when I don’t like the ending of a book because it’s badly written:

chris-rock-huh-wtf

This is me when I don’t like the ending of a book because it didn’t go the way I hoped it would:giphy

How often do you take a sneak peek at the ending to see if there is a happy ending?

Never, ever. The thrill of discovery is one of the most delicious things about reading a book. Not only will I never peek at the ending, I’ll even cover upcoming paragraphs with my hand if I sense something big is about to be revealed.

Your Turn!

It was kind of fun to think about how I read. If you’d like to do the same, please consider yourself tagged.