Thursday, 4 August 2016

July 2016 - Reading Wrap Up

It has been a strange reading month for me as I was struggling to fight off a reading slump but I am happy that I managed to get through eight books total. Eight is a good number. 

I was most surprised by how much I enjoyed reading one of the first short story collections I have ever read this month. Most of the books I read were rated 4 stars and above which was great. I am hoping to get to at least ten books in August but we'll see!

Now on to the books:

★★ - City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

The final book in The Mortal Instruments. Unfortunately this book was a big disappointment to me. It was very underwhelming and when I compare it to the final book of The Infernal Devices which was AMAZING. One of the best things about this book was the introduction of some new characters that I believe feature prominently in Cassandra Clare's new series set in the Shadowhunter world, The Dark Artifices. Overall, I am glad that I am done with this series - I would recommend the first four books but the last two just went from bad to worse for me. 

★ - All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

A pretty standard historical fiction set during World War 2. The book follows two main narratives. Marie-Laure lost her sight at a very young age, her father works in a museum and creates wooden models of the neighbourhood to help Marie-Laure navigate. Werner is a German orphan who gets drafted into a Hitler youth academy. Both their story lines converge. There is nothing that special about this book, it was enjoyable but didn't have that extra something other books in this genre have.

★★★ - Saga, Volume 6 by Brian K. Vaughan

Not the best volume in the series. There was a lot of focus on secondary characters that I dislike. Alana, Marko and Hazel just seemed to have lost their chemistry and I don't even get me started on the 'big reveal'. It was very anti-climatic and I know Saga can do better. Looking forward to the next volume!

 - The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

A historical fiction set in World War 2 that has that special something. Narrated by Death, this is an extremely compelling story about the book thief, Liesel. Liesel is being fostered in Germany during Hitler's third reich and the story follows her and her relationships as she grows up. The power of books and how they can touch people's lives during adversity is a recurring theme throughout. Its fantastic, I am probably the last person ever to read this but I am glad I finally got around to it.

 - Sweet Home by Carys Bray

Seventeen distinct stories explore family dynamics behind closed doors and the different meanings of 'home'. I really enjoyed this collection. I go into more detail about my favourites of the collection in my full review which is linked above. I highly recommend.

 - The Butcher's Hook by Janet Ellis

I absolutely LOVE this kind of historical fiction. London, 1763. Nineteen year old Anne Jaccobs lives a boring and cloistered life with her parents where she seldom leaves the house. Anne meets the butcher's boy, Fub in a chance encounter as he is delivering meat to the house. Both their lives will never be the same. This isn't your typical bodice ripper, no soppy romance here. This book is disgusting, dark and was not what I was expecting at all. The ending let the book down for me, it was abrupt and weird. Nevertheless it was a worthwhile read and if you like macabre historical fiction, this is the book for you.

A cute and thoroughly enjoyable young adult contemporary. Hannah decides to go on a road trip to Las Vegas to meet her online friend of four years, Nick for the first time. Of course, not all is what it seems. The setting of Las Vegas really suited the story and I did not see the various twists and turns coming. This book is perfect for fans of the TV show Catfish. It was a really fun and fast paced read, I didn't want it to end.

The best book of the month. There was never any doubt that I would love The Infernal Devices. Fantasy meets historical fiction, it was just amazing. This book was just everything I wanted it to be. I can't go into too much detail because this is the last book but The Infernal Devices is a vastly superior series compared to The Mortal Instruments. Victorian London is the perfect setting for the Shadowhunter world. It just is. I am sad that this trilogy is over but it was great while it lasted.

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