For 2023, I wanted to challenge myself to read more between writing and my various other life responsibilities (audiobooks have helped a lot). With that in mind, I thought sharing reactions between spurts of book news would be fun!
King of Scars and Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo - A solid duology, I loved the new perspectives of Nikolai and Zoya holding this duology together, along with an old favorite, Nina. The myriad of storylines tied together well, though there were one or two twists near the end of each book I wasn't sure about. It got heavy, as this world tends to do, and the fantastical perspectives and commentary on the evolution of war resonated. It's YA, but definitely not a light read. Overall, It's my second favorite section of the GrishaVerse, up there with Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom!
Book of Night by Holly Black - I wasn't sure what to expect from Holly Black's first book targeted at adults. I'm a big fan of her style, and it delivered on all the lush descriptions and character exploration I've come to expect from her. The world building and set up did drag on longer than I liked, and I like a long build up to a big climax, but I stuck with it and it inevitably got its hooks in me, with a couple big twists I didn't see coming. Also a good read, but it's part one of a duology, so I have to wait to see what happens after that strong-emotion-inducing ending.
God of Neverland by Gama Ray Martinez - In the 1920s, Michael Darling has left the secret order he joined that protects the world from the supernatural, and visa versa. But they call him back for one last mission, the youthful god Peter Pan has gone missing, and it has horrible ramifications for children all over the world. It plays with Peter Pan lore, if you couldn't tell, but also sets up this amazing expanded world of its own that borrows from different myths and folklore. Everything paid homage to something, while putting the authors own spin on it. I read this right after Book of Night by Holly Black, and Peter Pan's shadow comes into play at one point, so it was cool how the lore of one book bled into the lore of another. Full of action and fun twists, solid yet whimsical world building, I highly recommend it!
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab - A young French woman in the 1600s makes a deal with an old god to escape her dead-end future in a small village, only to find that the price of the curse causes everyone who ever sees her or meets her to forget she exists, leaving her unable to leave any mark on the world. This book covers so many heavy topics--time and mental health and love and the true meaning of art/books and the gritty ramifications of being a woman at various stages of history--in such a beautifully tragic yet hopeful way. I cannot recommend this book enough, but make sure you have tissues and a good mindset going into it, because it gets so rich and reflective. And if you can listen to audiobooks, the performance of this one is just as luscious.
Twilight and New Moon by Sephanie Meyer - This one was my vampire-themed book club's pick for the months of January and February (the two months too). It's a reread because I haven't read this series since I was in high school as it was coming out. I had no idea how much the movies were coloring my memories of this book! The first film is a great adaptation, improves the pacing a bit, but also softens a lot of the characters in meaningful ways. For Twilight, I like the book Bella better, but prefer the movie Edward, both the Cullens and Charlie Swan are all equally great in both (though I like how the book goes deeper into the Cullens' histories). New Moon, I wasn't a fan of either movie or book Bella, same feelings about both Edwards, book Jacob is so much better than movie Jacob it's not even funny (by no fault of Taylor Lautner), I like the book Quileutes mildly better than the movie portrayals of Jake's family and friends and fellow wolves, Charlie Swan and the Cullens continue to be great in both, and I have the same feelings about the Volturi in both as well.
Have you read any of these? Do you have any others you think I should add to my TBR? I always love seeing your thoughts. Until next time, that's all for now!