I have read quite a few books since my last review and I haven’t really had the desire to write up ANYTHING about a lot of them. Despite this, I feel the need to get my feelings about these books OUT OF MY BRAIN. So here I am, throwing all of my thoughts into the ether. I would like to apologize first for the fact that these mini reviews are truly all over the place. I tried!
Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke, translated by Anthea Bell: I finally picked this one up off of my bookshelf, became a bit bored by it, and decided to switch to the audiobook. It’s a cute fairytale adventure that I would pass along to a child. I think I would have loved this in middle school. The audiobook was also fun since it was narrated by Brendan Fraser, my favorite actor as a kid (The Mummy anyone?). He basically voice-acted the story, which was a bit difficult to understand, but anything Brendan Fraser does I’m down with. ★★★☆☆
Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper: This was such a good middle grade read! It was a solid 5 stars until I got to the end and realized that there were some lose ends that were never tied up. I appreciate that it didn’t end particularly neat and tidy considering the subject matter of racism, but a few of the storylines were never resolved and the book ended more abruptly than I would have liked. I would still truly recommend it to anyone. ★★★★☆
Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer: I am just going to say that I did not buy this book or contribute in any way to its profits. Instead, I donated to the Quileute Tribe’s Move to Higher Ground Project because of Stephenie Meyer’s plundering of Quileute culture and racist handling of the Quileute characters in the series. I did read it though, because I was obsessed with Twilight as a tween and needed to see what was up with this latest installment. I liked seeing the Cullens (minus Edward) interact and that was about all that I liked about it. The underlying racism was SO prevalent in certain aspects of Edward’s thought processes and I HATED IT. Bella also grew a personality in this book and I was stunned. She likes Star Wars??? She likes MONTY PYTHON. 😬 Um…excuse me Stephenie??? Where did this come from??? Also, the long khaki skirt disappeared in this book…thank you very much for giving us this ONE THING.
*The gif above was me throughout the book*
At one point, I gave up trying to get through the slow rehashing of Twilight and finished almost all of it in one night. I ended up having a really weird vampire car chase dream and I regret exhausting my brain trying to get through it all so quickly. I’m not going to lie though, the nostalgia of Twilight still holds a place in my heart when I don’t take into account the actual story (um especially because I actually went to Forks and La Push in 2010 and loved it), but I will never give another cent to Stephenie Meyer. That’s all. I’m done.
The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi: I read this in 2019 and gave it 5 stars. This time around, I gave it 4 stars, which is mostly because I was still as confused about the details of the heist as the first time I read it and initially assumed it all just went over my head. It’s pretty confusing and I don’t know if I will ever understand what really went down in this book regarding the heist. The villain is also super weak, but the main cast of characters is what keeps this in my list of favorites. I love them all SO much. They are all everything to me and that’s enough to keep this as a 5 star read in my heart. The audiobook for this also has two great narrators who use the appropriate accents for each character-loved it! ★★★★☆
CW: Death, violence
Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo: I listened to this book on audio and enjoyed it, although it was not as impactful as I thought it would be based on the subject matter. Written in verse, Acevedo tells the story of two sisters who previously had not known one another and find each other after their father dies in a plane crash. The premise was interesting, but the pacing was off and the characters’ reactions to all the life-altering things they were experiencing seemed a little flat to me. Maybe I was just expecting way too much. It was still worth the time and I will continue to read anything that Elizabeth Acevedo releases! ★★★☆☆
CW: Death, plane crash, sexual harassment, sexual assault
We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Goddess in the Machine by Lora Beth Johnson: I’m not going to say much about these two. I know some people really liked We Set the Dark on Fire, but both of these books just missed the mark for me. One major flaw in both was the world-building and it negatively affected each story overall. I think I need to take a break from YA books for a little bit. They just aren’t doing it for me right now. I need some space. ★★☆☆☆
Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars by Kai Cheng Thom: This is a short book that mixes the memoir of a trans woman with the fantasy of magical realism. The lines between fact and fiction are completely blurred and it’s kind of beautiful and definitely fierce. It’s pretty easy to tell that this is a debut since the author tends to “tell” more than “show”, but if you are interested in checking out magical books by trans authors, I would recommend trying out this short read. ★★★☆☆
CW: Violence, transphobia, murder
Educated by Tara Westover: I FINALLY read this memoir after a couple years of seeing it everywhere and I’m so glad I did. It was so moving reading about the author’s traumatic childhood through a lens of tenderness despite her awful experiences. The audiobook for this was also really great. ★★★★☆
CW: Physical abuse, emotional abuse, violence, domestic violence
That’s all I’ve got for now! I really feel the blog slump coming, but I’m fighting it. I’ve been getting into reading romance (buying way too many historical romance mass markets), so look out for something related to that soon!
Have you read any of these books? Do you have similar and/or different opinions? Share them with me in the comments. I always love some differing opinions! Thanks for reading and hope you have an awesome weekend.
“Bella also grew a personality in this one” omg what!!!! I might actually have to consider reading it now?? I tried to read the first book a few months back and she was like piece of cardboard in the original books and I just couldn’t. I also read Educated and thought it was just harrowing, but such a unique experience and something I never thought I’d read about!! Hope you’re able to fight off that blog slump, fingers crossed!! ♥
YES! She does! 😆 I tried rereading the series, but her lack of any personality made it so boring. Midnight Sun made her so much more interesting. It was definitely a wild ride and I’m glad I experienced it. Yeah, maybe just try out Midnight Sun instead of reading the actual series. Still not the best, but written much better imo!
Thanks, I’m trying!! 💗
Haha your review of Midnight Sun has been my favourite so far. I won’t lie I considered reading it for two seconds when I first heard it was being released but honestly, I cannot do another Twilight. I think I’m just going to leave the series with teenage me in the past!
Great reviews- I also agree with We Set the Dark on Fire. I wanted to love it but the book just wasn’t as good as I expected.
Thanks so much!
Yeah, that’s probably a good idea. It truly exhausted me…I was getting a cold sweat sitting there at 2 am trying to finish the neverending last 10% 😄
I also really wanted to love We Set the Dark on Fire, but I’ll just skip the sequel and give the author another shot with her other releases!