Thursday, October 1, 2015

What I Read in September...

I try and review the books I read on this blog, but at the moment I'm a little burned out to do full reviews for every one. So I'm trying out a monthly wrap-up style post like a lot of other book bloggers. I do have reviews for some of these books, so I'll link them.

Here's what I read in September!

HEIR OF FIRE by Sarah J. Maas

I reread this in preparation for the QUEEN OF SHADOWS release, and I enjoyed it SO MUCH MORE than the first time. HEIR OF FIRE is the book that really widens the scope of the Throne of Glass series (we meet new characters, introduce new plotlines, see other countries) and I was very overwhelmed when I first read it. I read all the books quickly up to that point, so I didn’t have as solid a grasp on the world as I could have. This time, I understood it better and really loved HoF, even though my favorite characters don’t interact much in this installment.

OH. MY. QUEEN. So much goes down in this book! Without spoiling anything, let me just say: so many things I wanted to happen…they happened! Out of all the ToG books, I’d say this one has the best plotting and pacing, with constant action and stakes. I grew to love characters I didn’t used to care much about (especially Manon. First time I read HoF I was bored by her sections, but in QoS I looked forward to them). Everything that went on in this book made me a little less gloomy about a certain character whose story arc veered off on a completely different (and sort of disappointing) path, ship-wise. I posted a bit more of my thoughts in my QUEEN OF SHADOWS tour post (also non-spoilery). Favorite book of the month!
SCARLET by Marissa Meyer

This was a reread in preparation for WINTER in November. SCARLET was my least favorite of the Lunar Chronicles the first time I read it, and while I still like the other books better, I enjoyed Scarlet as a character much more this time. I reviewed the book the first time I read it, if you’re interested.
THE SCORCH TRIALS by James Dashner

For those read-book-before-seeing-movie people (like me), let me save you the trouble: THE SCORCH TRIALS book is NOTHING like the movie. There is one plot twist from the book that the movie keeps (and that might spoil part of the book if you see the movie first) but it’s executed in a completely different way. I’m not torn up about the movie’s changes though, because I didn’t like the book much. I have trouble investing in the Maze Runner series because of how plot-driven it is. Crazy things just keep happening to the characters without much explanation, and as a reader, there’s no way to figure out the mysteries without being spoon-fed by the author. Even after I finished THE SCORCH TRIALS I was still a little confused. I own book three, THE DEATH CURE, and curiosity will probably drive me to read it at some point. The movie was fun, (gross at some parts, but fun) and staring at Dylan O’Brien’s face for two hours is anything but torture!
CRACKED UP TO BE by Courtney Summers

This was part of a Courtney Summers bind-up called WHAT GOES AROUND. Parker used to have it all together: popular girl with popular boyfriend, head cheerleader, great student. But suddenly she starts drinking and skipping classes. Her school counselor, parents, and the new guy in class try to figure out what’s wrong, but Parker won’t talk. Something bad has happened…and it might just be Parker’s fault. Courtney Summers writes AMAZING high school stories. Spot-on dialogue, a hint of mystery, and stark portrayals of real issues.  
SOME GIRLS ARE by Courtney Summers

This is the reason I bought the WHAT GOES AROUND bind-up. SOME GIRLS ARE was banned from a school reading list, so fans of the book donated hundreds of copies to local libraries. I wanted to see what the book was about, so I bought myself a copy. It’s an intense look at bullying and mean girls. Regina was a member of a Plastics-esque clique (like the Mean Girls, they coordinate their outfits and adhere to certain rules) until false rumors spread around school about her and Anna the clique leader’s boyfriend. Now she’s the victim of harsh bullying, and the only person who (sort of) gives her the time of day is the boy she bullied at the height of her mean girl status. Some of the bullying in this book is so cruel it made me gasp out loud. Such an important read.
BROWN GIRL DREAMING by Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson tells the story of her childhood growing up African-American in the 1960s and 70s. The entire book is written in verse, and the poems give such a vivid picture of her childhood. She tells about living in the South vs. North, how her grandfather was more of a dad to her than her biological father, and how she fell in love with writing. Race is a factor of the book but not the focus—it’s about all aspects of Jacqueline’s childhood. Here’s my favorite poem from the book:

WHAT WE SAW by Aaron Hartzler

This book is based on the Steubenville rape case of 2012. A girl at Kate’s school accuses four varsity basketball players of rape, dividing the town as everyone makes up their own mind about the events that occurred at the party in question. Kate attended that party but left, drunk, before the alleged assault, and the knowledge of “That could have been me” drives her to find the truth. I did a full review of this book and think it’s such an important commentary on society’s victim blaming tendency. Full review here.
CRESS by Marissa Meyer

I continued my reread of The Lunar Chronicles with CRESS. My favorite book of the series so far, it was just as fun the second time. So many lines had me laughing out loud, namely: “We’re on a spaceship, Cinder! In space!” My full review is here.

Overall, I had a solid reading month. A lot of rereads in preparation for new books in some series, but I really enjoy finding new tidbits in books I've read before. Also a lot of heavy subject books with the Courtney Summers bind-up and WHAT WE SAW. I'm in a let's-be-conscious-of-how-society-views-women mood lately. 

What was your favorite book of September?

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