Fun story. My family is moving in less than a month. What this means is oh God, I have to put all of my books into boxes and pray that nothing happens to them. It also means I have to carry my very heavy bookshelf to a new apartment. Joy.
The reason I’m telling you this is because this has made me realized that over the course of two or three months, I’ve gotten a decent amount of books. As much as I love to read, I frankly cannot afford to constantly buy books. Plus, I own a ton of books that I have not read. This doesn’t really stop me from buying books, but it means that sometimes I’ll months without getting more than one or two books. It sounds so bad but hey, that’s the life of a college student.
Enough of my tangents. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you guys about the books that I’ve gotten recently. This will include, books I’ve bought in December/January as well as Christmas presents. So let’s get to it.
First, can we discuss that I finally got myself a bookshelf with my Christmas money? Like look at this glorious thing (please ignore my unmade bed and pile of scarves and hats). I’ve actually organized it a certain way because I’m such a freaking dork. So bottom shelf is classics (i.e. Jane Austen, Steinbeck, Bronte, Hugo, etc.). The next shelf is adult fiction. The middle shelf has two things. Stacked on their backs are my nonfiction, children’s, and humor books. It’s so random but they didn’t fit anywhere else. Next to them are my YA contemporaries, with the exception of The Book Thief which is (obviously) historical fiction. The shelf above that are my YA Fantasy, Supernatural, Dystopian, and SciFi. This isn’t such a weird mix; my general goal for this shelf was “Stories that are not set in our world as we know it.” The top shelf is my favorite. It contains my two favorite series. It had the Vampire Academy series (with the first bloodlines book) on the right. Next to that is Harry Potter with my wand, my chocolate frog box (the card was Godric Gryffindor), and a Harry Potter candle that I have yet to light because it’s so pretty.
On to the books! If I haven’t read them, I’ll just include the blurb to the book. If I have read it, I’ll give you the tldr version of what I thought of it.
Books I bought myself:
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
Shots rang out in Savannah’s grandest mansion in the misty,early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares. John Berendt’s sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction. Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case.
The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coehlo
How do we find the courage to always be true to ourselves—even if we are unsure of who we are?
That is the central question of international bestselling author Paulo Coelho’s profound new work, The Witch of Portobello. It is the story of a mysterious woman named Athena, told by the many who knew her well—or hardly at all. Like The Alchemist,The Witch of Portobello is the kind of story that will transform the way readers think about love, passion, joy, and sacrifice.
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
I really really really liked this book. It was so different from anything I’ve ever read before. I love the alternate story format. I loved the characters. I loved the mystery of it. I loved the scifi elements. I just really loved this book. I love the idea of telling a story through documents, transcripts, emails, chat logs, flyers, blueprints, etc. I thought It was a really creative way to tell a story. I was really invested in the characters, which is odd because there’s barely any narrative in here. Also, the book is just really really pretty. The dust jacket is pretty. The cover is amazing. The pages are so detailed. I just love this book. I love it so much.
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.
Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.
Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.
In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.
Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was a really good start to a series. It had me hooked from beginning to end. I particularly liked the beginning of the book. Starting off with Karou in the human world really set up the scene really nicely because you were immediately forced to ask yourself, “What the hell is up with this girl?” It made me keep reading. I needed to know more about this world. The writing style was really good. Overall, an excellent start to a series.
Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor
After the end of the first book, I needed to just jump into the next one. I could not leave it at that ending. I needed to know what became of Karou and Akiva after that huge plot twist. I just needed to know. Overall, the book met my expectations. Sometimes, the middle book in a trilogy can be disappointing or feel like its just there to fill space, but that wasn’t the case with this one. It had its own story to tell, and it drew me in. The end was a bit of a shock and it set the scene for the next book nicely.
Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor
I recently shared my views on this book in my January Wrap-Up. I liked the overall story in this book. It kept me engaged. I just had issues with the ending and the storyline attached to it. I just felt like goddammit Akiva and Karou just could not catch a break. It was an interesting plot twist, don’t get me wrong. I just felt it wasn’t absolutely necessary. I can see why someone would disagree because there could be a plot hole left if that subplot didn’t run its course, but I disagree. I can’t get into it because I want to avoid spoilers. Essentially, love the book, love the series, a little miffed with the ending.
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
I’m in the middle of reading this. So far it’s good, but here’s the blurb. I’ll let you know what I think in a Wrap-Up.
After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.
The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey
How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.
Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.
Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.
Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)
Cormoran Strike is back, with his assistant Robin Ellacott, in a mystery based around soldiers returning from war.
When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg.
Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible – and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.
With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them…
Career of Evil is the third in the series featuring private detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott. A mystery and also a story of a man and a woman at a crossroads in their personal and professional lives.
That’s it! Those are all the books I’ve gotten recently. I’m really excited to read all of them and I’m really glad my family is starting to realize that I like books and they’re a totally acceptable Christmas present for me.
I’ll talk you later, loves!