Summer Reads

margin notes

Well. Apparently I’ve neglected to blog any book reviews since April’s. Let’s catch up, shall we?

Short Stories + Novels

» Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling — ★5
This was a re-read. As you might remember, I’ve been going through the entire Harry Potter series. I had intended to blog all of this individually… but stopped at book 3. Kind of bummed that I let it slip. Anyway. As to be expected, the books are, and always will be, amazing.

» The Maze Runner by James Dashner — ★3
» The Scorch Trials by James Dashner — ★4
» The Death Cure by James Dashner — ★4
Ok. So. Hm. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the first one. But I also read it after seeing the movie. And a few of you had asked me which I preferred. Honestly, parts of both were strong. The grievers in the movie? Definitely better than what was described in the book. There’s also elements they left out… I mean, the movie is kinda better in certain ways. But once you get deeper into it, into the series, well, you come to appreciate the books. Although, spoiler alert Thomas passes out A LOT. Like, it’s completely laughable. Anyway, there’s a 4th book — a prequel — but I kept thinking it was a continuation. Like I was expecting more story. But yeah. It’s an interesting story, and worth checking out. I’m curious how the interpret the others for the screen, though.

» Hunter by Mercedes Lackey — ★3.5
I totally picked this because of the cover. (I received this as an ARC.) So, premise: Dystopian future where monsters are waging war again the remaining human population — because thanks to something that happened in the past (our future), our world was opened up to the Othersider and all sorts of nasties came through. Think goblins, fae, wyverns, drakken (dragons)… This book has been described as a Hunger Games/Divergent mashup, and OMG I HATE when people do that to books. It makes it harder to appreciate it for what it is. Yeah, it’s Dystopian set in a city (Divergent) where the Hunters are set up as reality tv stars and all the Cits (city people) watch them with this sort of detachment of reality (Hunger Games)… But it’s NOT either of those two. I will admit, though, the first 20-25% of this book is hard to get through. There’s just so much info dumping it’s tedious. But there’s some things you need to know in that area. I also took issue with the book in how inconsistent it felt with the dumbing down of history/past language. The protagonist, Joyeaux (Joy), doesn’t know about ballet, but knows all about Shakespeare. Also, rather than spending time describing her Hounds, the author has Joy knowledgeable about Pedro Linares and Alebrijes. It felt like cheating. Like here was the author poking through the story saying “HEY, here’s my inspiration for these creatures! Just google it and you’ll understand so I don’t have to write it out. THANKS.” Just felt lazy. And again, inconsistent on how some things were remembered, but others weren’t. Others have criticized this book because it’s another “Mary Sue/Special Snowflake” girl saves the world YA… but meh. We’ll be getting those for a while. I thought the premise was interesting, and will be continuing with the series despite any other issues I had with the story.

» A Court of Thorn and Roses by Sarah J. Maas — ★3
I had to force myself to ignore all the em dashes and ellipses. And you know me. I love me some dashes and ellipses. I use more than I need to. But in this story? Yeah, it was most definitely overkill, and not really used properly. I definitely thought more than once that a comma would have been better if just no punctuation at all. Also, for a story about faeries, maybe don’t give your main character a name that sounds remotely like that. Yeah, Fayre is pronounced fay-ruh, but yeah no. I ended up reading this story in two days-ish. Which basically means that it was just entertaining enough and easy enough to read that I breezed through it. You get the “I’ve got to be strong” female who hates dresses but will wear one because OMG CUTE BOYS/FEELINGS, the brooding protector romance interest, and a couple douchey do-gooders. And the scorned lover villain. Am I spoiling it? Or just describing a lot of other books too? I’m just going to leave you with Marines’ review. I can’t say that I share her opinion completely, but she makes some very good points.

Comics + Graphic Novels

» Black Widow #1 by Nathan Edmondson
I meant to do a Pull or Pass on this one. So I think I’m going to hold off on thoughts until I reread and go through the first arc to review.

» Ms. Marvel #15: Crushed, part III by G. Willow Wilson
Wilson never ceases to be an amazing writer and I LOVE what she’s doing with Kamala. Also, <3 Bruno.

» Ms. Marvel #16: Last Days, part I by G. Willow Wilson
A new arc! Crazy things are happening in Jersey City. (And some of that might be from the protections Loki put on the high school…) But a planet looming over New York? (Also: HELLO Majora’s Mask feeling.)

» Ms. Marvel #17: Last Days, part II by G. Willow Wilson
OMG. READ IT. TRUST ME. Someone special drops by…  That’s all I’m going to say.

» Hawkeye #8 by Matt Faction
» Hawkeye #9 by Matt Faction
Ok, so these two over lap some with the whole Penny thing… and the story goes around with the different women in Clint’s life… and… I just… I’m just not sure how I felt about the whole thing. But yeah, bro, holy dudes in tracksuits, bro.

» Hawkeye #10 by Matt Faction
I definitely left this one with a “wait, what just happened here?!”

» Hawkeye #11 by Matt Faction
LUCKY/PIZZA DOG! So, since this has been out for a while, I knew this issue was coming. It’s all Pizza Dog and well, done pretty great.

My goal this year is to read 50 books. I’ve read 30; according to Goodreads, I’m 1 book behind schedule.