February Reading Roundup
Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo
Another heist, only this time Kaz and his gang are up against the city’s powerful merchants and the target is the reward they were denied. I liked this book more than the first one. I think it was the setting. I much prefer Ketterdam to the ice prison of Six of Crows. I liked the development of all the characters. All of them grew and changed in satisfying yet believable ways. The only thing I disliked was one of the twists at the end. I won’t spoil the ending here, but there was one thing that I didn’t see a reason for. That felt arbitrary. But the rest was great. It made me want to read Bardugo’s other books in this world.
Avenged (Ruined #2) by Amy Tintera
Emelina is finally reunited with her sister and home in Ruina. But nothing is as she thought it would be. A great sequel to Ruined. I loved Em even more in this one than the first. Seeing her develop into a leader was gratifying. I was worried that there wouldn’t be enough Cas and Em, since they are on different sides in the ongoing war, but my fears were unfounded. I loved their interactions. And Olivia’s crazy was highly entertaining. I hope we get to see more of the why behind her crazy in the next one. Solidly written. Can't wait for book three.
The Gap of Time by Jeanette Winterson
Part of the Hogarth Shakespeare series, in which well known authors retell Shakespeare plays in novel form, this is a cover of The Winter’s Tale. It’s not my favorite Shakespeare play, despite having the best stage direction ever – exit followed by bear, but I loved this book. Winterson transplants the story to London, Paris, and an island off the coast of Louisiana. The plot is bizarre, just like the play, but it somehow works. Maybe it’s the language which sucked me in and set my imagination working with vivid descriptions. One of the best books I’ve read so far this year.
Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message by Tara Mohr
Have you ever attended a speech or a lecturer where everyone around you listens with rapt attention, clearly moved, while you look at your watch and wonder how much longer you have to sit there? You that what is being said is powerful, but you just can’t connect with it. That’s how I felt about Playing Big. Perhaps it was because much of the information in the book was something I had already read elsewhere, with a slightly different twist. I wanted to be inspired, but it left me cold. That said, I can see how it might inspire others. So even though I didn’t like it, I encourage you to see for yourself.
The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters
Great concept – a seventeen year old girl, a suffragette in early 1900s Oregon, is hypnotized into seeing the world in an entirely different way. Engaging writing. Well paced plot. I loved the characters. My writer friends and I have been talking about how there isn’t enough YA historical fiction. This has a fantastical bent to it, but it is firmly rooted in the early 1900s. A great, fun read.
The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black
A human girl, Jade, raised in the fairy world that she wants desperately to belong to. I am a sucker for stories about girls struggling to find their place in this world and this one definitely sucked me in. The world is an amalgamation of all the various mystical creatures you’ve heard of, and some you haven’t, but in an original way. I didn’t care for Jade at the beginning, but she grew one me the more I read. Cardan, the cruel prince, also grew on me. He reminded me a little of Rhys from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, without the magical powers. The other character I enjoyed was Jade’s twin, Taryn. The contrast between she and Jade, how they each chose to find their place in this world, added depth to their struggle. I will definitely be picking up the next one.
The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
Wow. To call this a contemporary, dark fairytale doesn’t do it justice. Alice has spent most of her life on the road with her mother, running from the bad luck that follows them everywhere. When the grandmother she never met, the author of a cult book of dark fairytales called Tales From the Hinterland, dies alone on her estate Alice’s mother goes missing, stolen by a figure who claims to be from the Hinterland. The pacing kept me turning the pages while the tension steadily increased. It’s original, creepy and twisty, and went to a place I never would have anticipated. Normally this would not be my cup of tea, but I loved it and highly recommend it.