I did not end up posting as much this month as I usually do, but I have still been reading! It turns out that some of the books I read this month I simply didn’t feel the need to review. Which is odd for me, BUT I’ll explain in some of my mini reviews below. I did hit a tiny reading slump before Easter (I’d just finished the Captive Prince trilogy and my brain was not ready to move on), but then I got into the Lunar Chronicles and I got out of that slump VERY fast.
Unlike last month, which gave me a real mix of good and bad reads, this month I enjoyed a mix of good and great! Nothing was hard to get through, and some were so great I died a little inside at times, which is truly the most I can ask for out of a book.
Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones • ★★★☆☆
This book…was different. Diana Wynne Jones is a pretty beloved author, and reading reviews of this book made me feel like I was committing sacrilege when I closed it and felt pretty underwhelmed. I think this book went a bit over my head, and for that reason I didn’t feel entirely adept enough to write a full review of it. It’s a retelling of a Scottish ballad, “Tam Lin,” which I had never heard of, and I think if I’d known it I’d probably have enjoyed this more and understood it better. For the most part, I did enjoy it, I liked oddness of it and I liked the characters – particularly the main character, Polly, and her feisty spirit – and I liked the rather straightforward writing style. I liked the relative creepiness of it, though I wasn’t entirely sure how I felt about the child/adult relationship that takes place, but I think it is supposed to make one feel slightly weird? I’m still a little confused. I liked it, but overall I felt a bit out of my depth with it.
The Princes of Ireland by Edward Rutherford • ★★★☆☆
This book is one I’ve actually been listening to via audiobook for like…the last 5 months. It’s over 700 pages and I maybe listened to like, 30 or 40 pages at a time, usually while going on walks and whatnot, so it was pleasant enough to drag out. Basically, it tells the history of Ireland from earliest beginnings of land formation to about the 1500s, through the stories of several fictional families. I’ve read several of Rutherford’s other books that are like this, including Paris, New York, and Serum, and loved them, but I just wasn’t into this one as much. Unlike the other books, there were no characters that really stood out to me, and I didn’t find the presentation of the history particularly interesting. It’s my least favorite Rutherford novel I’ve read, unfortunately, but I did still find it enjoyable enough. Because I’d dragged it out for so long and because I didn’t love it, I didn’t feel the need to write a full review for it.
Kids of Appetite by David Arnold • ★★★☆☆
This was a quick, overall enjoyable read, but it wasn’t really my style. I liked the mystery it presented, and I liked the themes of friendship and family, but I found it trying to be quirkily profound, which came off as a bit pretentious to me, and I’m not a huge fan of that style. Full review.
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor • ★★★★☆
This book is so unique and imaginative, beautifully written, and is a grand, epic tale. I loved getting lost in the world of book, and exploring the conundrums of human nature it presented. It has a slow pace, and it is definitely a book you need to fully immerse yourself in to get the full experience. Lovely and heartbreaking. Full review.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #1) • ★★★★☆
This book is the first in the Lunar Chronicles, a series of fairytale retellings, and it was fantastic, pure fun. I found it to be a wonderfully innovative retelling of Cinderella, and a really gripping story that never dulled or slowed for a moment. I adored the characters. Full review.
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #2) • ★★★★★
The sequel to Cinder, I liked this second Lunar Chronicles book even more than the first. Scarlet, based off of Little Red Riding Hood, gave me more characters to love and a plot that I found much more action packed than the first. I loved it. Full review.
The Captive Prince Trilogy by C.S. Pacat • ★★★★☆
Um, WOW, this series was incredible. But first let me explain why I wrote no reviews for it. Mainly, it has to do with the first book, which…I was not prepared for. I don’t usually find myself to be a very sensitive reader, and I was aware of the warnings* for this series, but I did find myself disturbed by the sexual nature of this book, and because of that I didn’t feel comfortable writing a review for it. But I was too intrigued by the characters to stop, so I made the leap and went on to the second, which was waaay more mellow, and enjoyable, and fun, and I loved the second and third book so so so much. These books were amazingly clever. Laurent and Damen, our princes, were such brilliant characters, and their development was FANTASTIC. They have my heart, which shows just how much these books progressed as a series from the first book (especially Laurent, dang). So I just let myself enjoy these and not worry about reviews. But before I go, the warnings*: Rape, pedophelia, master/slave relations, extreme physical violence, explicit sex.
So, all in all, it was a very good month of reading! Trying to decide on a favorite book for this month was very difficult…but I think I’m going to have to go with the last Captive Prince book, Kings Rising. My oh my. It truly had some contenders, though.
I also took part in the Versatile Blogger Award tag. Now, onto May…the rest of the Lunar Chronicles! And we’ll see what else comes my way.
Have you read any of these? What do you plan to read this month?