Remember way back at the end of September where I had this whole long list of books I was going to read in October? Yeah, well spoiler alert; none of those plans actually came to fruition. With a total disregard to my carefully thought out TBR I went a little stir crazy and picked out a tote sized chunk of books from the new release section of my library. If you’re interested in reading about the five books I discovered this past month, continue on! 1. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Oh where do I begin Red Queen…if one novel is solely responsible for my dismal final total of five books completed it’s this one. I spent the better half of the first two weeks of the month just chowing down on this story, which suffice to say, I could not get into. The worst part was, it isn’t even that large! I mean four hundred pages is nothing to scoff at but still, my main issue was simply the slow pacing and ridiculous characters. For one of the most hyped books of 2015 I was expecting the plot to move a bit quicker and not lag quite so badly in hundred pages stretches, not to mention the time I spent crying internally at the fate of our future if Mare Barrow is considered an intelligent human specimen. For a more detailed review check it out here…Red Queen Review.
I Am Princess X is a confusing little book indeed. Not so much that the actual plot left me with questions, though the mystery that sets the story in motion is an engaging one. No, I’m confused on what my final thoughts are after reading the final chapter. I certainly enjoyed my reading experience, Priest wrote a book that sucked me in and kept me turning the pages long after I’d figured out the direction she was taking by way of plot holes. However my expectations going in were much higher than they should have been due to some false advertising in my opinion on the publishers part. I went in expecting a young adult book, after all the main character is eighteen, but was instead greeted by a tale much better suited for the fifth-eighth grade variety. Certainly not a deal breaker, I quickly shifted my expectations, but something to keep in mind if you’re considering picking this up.
For any third-sixth grade teachers out there, know that this one should go on your shelf pronto! The latest from the award winning author of Al Capone Does My Shirts this 1900 era historical fiction follows in the same vain with kid friendly humor, great themes, a spunky protagonist, and a very well researched background. I’m tempted to say I would recommend it to both boys and girls alike, but I feel the latter demographic will have a much greater appreciation for the bravery young Lizzie Kennedy shows and the subtle details that really pull the writing together. I also think the setting, San Francisco in the midst of it’s first plague outbreak, will be a tad dull and anti climatic for young book lovers looking for a story to hold their attention. It’s a quick flip through for more mature readers, but will surely enthrall it’s intended age group.
I picked this much revered new release up specifically in October as I thought it would really get me hooked in the gloomy Irish setting. While I was transfixed by the vivid descriptions of a beautiful land, my theory did not end up making me enjoy the book any more than had I read it in May, unfortunately. This book would likely be perfect for fans of Nova Ren Suma’s writing; those realistic fiction undertones disguised as magical realism, the “WTH is happening” feeling throughout, and just a general sense of confusion at the purpose of the plot. However, I am not one of those readers. I like to have my feet firmly on the ground at all times, with a clear cause and effect domino situation at the sequence of events. I like to know the general direction the story is heading at all times. I like to actually know what I just read when I close the final page! Perhaps if all that sounds appealing to you this book might be better suited to your tastes than mine. This truly was a case of “it’s me not you” book edition.
Oh, but that cover though…it’s all my favorite colors wrapped into one perfectly presented package. Luckily, Goodbye Stranger 110% lived up to my lofty expectations. A little beyond a middle grade, but not quite at the status of young adult this book has a little something for a reader at every stage of their life. I’m not sure Stead tied all the pieces together quite so neatly as in her first two books (the story could’ve benefited from an extra hundred pages), nonetheless I admire her ambition and was still enchanted by her diverse cast of characters and the issues they presented. There’s also some great discussions topics to be analyzed in the form of a junior high read a loud, perhaps most interestingly the question of what makes us, us. My favorite book of the month, and one I’m sure you’ll be hearing about in a more detailed review!
While my reading month in October was a bit lackluster I’m ready to up my A game for a killer November. Stay tuned to see if I make that goal!