I apologise for not writing anything new for the past couple of weeks. The problem definitely isn’t that I haven’t been reading, in fact, I’d say I’ve been reading more than ever! I finished two books yesterday, and there’s a strong chance I’ll finish another today. The problem is, that I’ve loved most of the books I’ve read recently so much, that if I were to review them, all I’d really have to say was “it was perfect!” and publishing that seems kind of pointless. So instead of trying to write a traditional review, I decided to instead just share a few thoughts on the last few books I’ve read.
Kaur’s writing has generated an almost equal mix of controversy and adoration over the past few years. If you’ve got an Instagram account and an interest in literature, you’ve probably heard of her. Personally, I’ve enjoyed following her journey as a poet. Like a lot of young women, I love the feminist themes in Kaur’s writing, and her message of female solidarity honestly warms my heart. However, as much as I love what Kaur has to say, I don’t always enjoy the way in which she expresses herself. Her brief, punctuation free style of poetry is powerful, but often after reading some of her shorter poems I’ll think, “Wait, that was the whole thing?? Where was the rest of it?”Her poems don’t necessarily tell a story, instead they offer a fragmented glimpse into a feeling or thought had by Kaur, and this style can often be a little too simplistic.
3.5 – 4 /5 stars
I’m not generally a fan of crime novels, but I feel like Manascalo is doing something really unique in bringing murder mysteries to YA literature. The first book in this series introduced readers to Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell, a crime solving duo armed with sharp wits and bountiful amounts of romantic tension. The pair’s characterisation and relationship is quite easily the best thing about the series. Audrey Rose is an absolutely brilliant character, she’s smart, progressive, and filled with an insatiable curiosity that leads her into all sorts of trouble. As the series is set in the late 1800’s, Audrey Rose’s independent nature is seen as somewhat odd by her male peers, yet in Thomas, she is able to find a sidekick / love interest who not only accepts her modern ways, but is willing to follow her into adventure.
Godsgrave is another novel gifted with a brilliant heroine. Protagonist Mia Corvere is a teenage assassin hell bent on getting revenge for her father’s murder. Like Audrey Rose, Mia is witty and intelligent, however, she also cusses like a sailor and oozes confidence in her sexuality. While Audrey Rose blushes at the mere thought of kissing Thomas, Mia is quite willing to have a threesome in literally the first twenty or so pages of the book, in order to get close enough to kill her next target. I would warn younger readers that despite Kristoff’s popularity with teens, this work is definitely intended for an adult audience. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a book that drops the C bomb so liberally, or contains quite as many descriptions of… erm… bodily fluids as The Nevernight Chronicle. Though I was a little surprised by the sheer volume of violence and swearing in Nevernight and Godsgrave, I absolutely adore this series so far. I never thought anyone could beat out Aelin Ashryver Galathynius (from the Throne of Glass series) as my favourite female character, but after Godsgrave, Mia is coming in as a close second!
**WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS IN THIS PARAGRAPH**
I don’t really want to say to much about the plot of this book, as it’s the sixth instalment of the Throne of Glass series, the synopsis wouldn’t necessarily make much sense unless you’d read the rest of the books. And if you have read the rest of the books, you already know what this one’s about. Unlike the first five books and prequel novellas, Tower of Dawn is not focused on heroine Aelin (in fact, she is completely absent from the book until the last chapter). Instead, the book follows Chaol, who I generally view as the series’ “token boring guy”. Chaol is surrounded by fae, witches, and others who wield great magical powers, and he is one of the few ordinary humans amongst the main characters. A lot of people seemed to fall in love with Chaol after reading this book, but I still feel like he’s the least interesting of the bunch (not just because of his human status, he also just doesn’t have much of a personality). However, Maas has a gift for writing immensely entertaining books and Tower of Dawn is no different, despite its dull protagonist. Her books generally have a little bit of everything: action, adventure, romance, mystery, magic . . . There’s enough going on that I’m on the edge of my seat the whole way through all her books. My only complaint is that I feel Maas recycled a few plot twists from earlier books e.g. secret weddings (also found in Empire of Storms and A Court of Mist and Fury) and the death of a major character followed by their immediate magical resurrection (also found in A Court of Mist and Fury and A Court of War and Ruin). But, for its immense entertainment value, I give this book . . .
So there we have it! Other than The Sun and Her Flowers (which even then, I still found quite enjoyable), I’ve fallen head over heels in love with the last few books I’ve read. If you’d like to discuss any of these books with me, I’m always interested in hearing different opinions, so feel free to leave a comment or send a message to my Instagram, @laurabookish