Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

I’m Not Missing [review]

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I’m Not Missing by Carrie Fountain
To be published by Flatiron Books on July 10, 2018
my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Goodreads avg:
4.00 (as of 2018-06-14)
cw: underage drinking, consensual sex, sexual assault
disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for review consideration. All of the opinions presented below are my own.

Spoiler-free Review

Goodreads | IndieBound | Author’s Website

When Miranda Black’s mother abandoned her, she took everything—the sun, moon, and stars—and Miranda found shelter in her friendship with Syd, who wore her own motherlessness like a badge of honor: Our mothers abandoned us. We won’t go begging for scraps.

When Syd runs away suddenly and inexplicably in the middle of their senior year, Miranda is abandoned once again, left to untangle the questions of why Syd left, where she is—and if she’s even a friend worth saving. Her only clue is Syd’s discarded pink leopard print cell phone and a single text contained there from the mysterious HIM. Along the way, forced to step out from Syd’s enormous shadow, Miranda finds herself stumbling into first love with Nick Allison of all people and learning what it means to be truly seen, to be finally not missing in her own life.

I’m Not Missing is a beautiful contemporary YA romance that also tackles a handful of serious topics. From the beginning, I found it to be a compelling read and worked my way through it pretty quickly. I started it while I was on vacation and finished it soon after returning home. This will definitely make a nice summery beach read!

I really liked the main character, Miranda, because I related to her a lot. I’ve always been a bit of a hopeless romantic and her endless fawning over her crush reminded me of myself in high school and college. It seemed to me like a really accurate portrayal of teenage romance. Miranda also had her own unique quirks, like reading a book of saints every night before bed and reciting the Gettysburg Address when nervous. The book also demonstrated a really nice relationship between Miranda and her father. Miranda is latina and her father is white, so the story also delves a bit into how that has impacted Miranda’s life. The romance itself was cute and I enjoyed it. The love interest, Nick, was a nice boy and treated Miranda well. The author also wrote in a lot of affirmative consent, which I thought was fantastic.

Miranda’s best friend, Syd, is an interesting character because we get to see her in so many different lights. Before Syd runs away, Miranda holds her in such high regard. She seems to rely on Syd in a plethora of ways and thinks that Syd always knows what to do. After Syd leaves, this begins to change. Miranda is able to take a step back and to see Syd as she truly is. She’s also able to rely on herself more and to grow more independent as a person, making her own decisions instead of depending on others to make them for her.

Overall, this was a really great story and I loved reading it. I’d recommend it to all YA contemporary readers, in particular to folks who enjoy books that hit some serious issues alongside the fluff.

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(Blurb and cover courtesy of Goodreads.)

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Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

The Winter People [review]

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The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon
Published by Random House Audio on February 11, 2014 
my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5
Goodreads avg:
3.77 (as of 2018-06-19)
cw: child death, grief, gore, underage drinking/drug use

Spoiler-free Review

Goodreads | IndieBound | Author’s Website

 

West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter.

Now, in present day, nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara’s farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that has weighty consequences when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished. In her search for clues, she is startled to find a copy of Sara Harrison Shea’s diary hidden beneath the floorboards of her mother’s bedroom. As Ruthie gets sucked into the historical mystery, she discovers that she’s not the only person looking for someone that they’ve lost. But she may be the only one who can stop history from repeating itself.

 

Much like A Head Full of Ghosts, The Winter People is another audiobook I happened to pick up that I found myself completely enthralled by. My new methodology for finding audiobooks is to sort my TBR by random and to go down the list until I find a book that a) is available on audiobook and b) has a narrator that I like. I listen to the sample and if I like it, I download it and take off. It seems to be working fairly well for me.

The Winter People doesn’t fit neatly into any box. It’s a bit of horror, a bit of fantasy, a bit of historical fiction, and a bit of thriller. It actually has two narrators, as it switches not only between past and present but also between POVs within each time period. It’s hard to nail down, and the reader can’t even be entirely sure what’s happening until close to the end. I will say that it does a pretty good job of answering all your questions, though, so if you hate ambiguous endings you’ll probably like this one.

There are a fair amount of characters, but Jennifer McMahon does a good job of giving them all their own unique voices (well, the narrators probably help there too). I never really found myself mixing them up, and felt like they were all distinctly different people. My favorite is probably Sara Harrison Shea herself, in part because her narrator was unbelievably good. Both of the narrators were great, in fact. I also loved the setting. I have a soft spot in my heart for books set in New England, particularly when I know a lot of the places mentioned. This book took place mainly in Vermont, with a few flashbacks to scenes in Boston.

My biggest (and only, really) issue with this book was the ending. There was a scene that I was positive was the end and I was almost entirely satisfied with where it left off — but then it continued. In my opinion, this kind of caused the book to fizzle out and made for an awkward finish. It meandered just a bit too long. I also felt like things weren’t wrapped up entirely well. There were reasons given for everything that happened, but some of them felt so artificial. Like, it felt like the author couldn’t come up with an organic way to incorporate some stuff into the story but decided to keep it in anyway. Those minor reasons were why I knocked off half a star, they kind of pulled me out of the story I was until that point so invested in.

Overall, I thought this was an incredible read. Halfway through, I started adding more Jennifer McMahon books to my TBR and will definitely prioritize picking up something else by her. I highly recommend anyone with any interest pick this up. If you enjoy horror stories, particularly those with a historical setting, you’re going to love The Winter People.

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(Blurb and cover courtesy of Goodreads.)

Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Horns [review]

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Horns by Joe Hill
Published by William Morrow on March 1, 2010 (originally 2009)
my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Goodreads avg:
3.92 (as of 2018-06-05)
cw: homophobia, racism, rape, pedophilia, torture, pretty much anything you could think of

Spoiler-free Review

Goodreads | IndieBound | Author’s Website

Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with a thunderous hangover, a raging headache . . . and a pair of horns growing from his temples.

At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural about the horns, which were all too real.

Once the righteous Ig had enjoyed the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned musician and younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, he had security, wealth, and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more—he had Merrin and a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.

But Merrin’s death damned all that. The only suspect in the crime, Ig was never charged or tried. And he was never cleared. In the court of public opinion in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ig is and always will be guilty because his rich and connected parents pulled strings to make the investigation go away. Nothing Ig can do, nothing he can say, matters. Everyone, it seems, including God, has abandoned him. Everyone, that is, but the devil inside. 

 

Y’all I had NO idea what to expect going into this one. I got this as a gift in a recent exchange and had been meaning to read it for a while (I’m hoping to get through all of Joe Hill’s work within the next year or two). I hadn’t reread the blurb and hadn’t even seen the trailers for the movie, so didn’t really know what the plot would be, just that it involved, well, horns. Let me say right away that this book is not for the light-hearted. There are some… pretty messed up things going on. People do and say the most heinous things you can think of. So, keep that in mind if you’re thinking about picking this one up.

He threw the bible into the trumpet case as well. There had to be something in there, some useful tips for his situation, a homeopathic remedy you could apply when you came down with a bad case of the devil.

That said, this is incredibly well-written and compelling story about a man trying to solve the murder of the woman that he loves. He runs into a few snags — namely the fact that he’s the main suspect. Oh, and the horns growing out of his head. Which do come with a few side-effects that I don’t want to spoil for you. I liked how the story was layered, switching back and forth between past and present. In some books this ends up being jarring, but Joe Hill does it well here. He knew how to time it and used it to slowly bring the full story to light.

If you were in a boat and did not save a drowning man, you would burn in Hell for certain; yet God, in His wisdom, feels no need to use his power to save anyone from a single moment of suffering, and in spite of his inaction He is celebrated and revered. Show me the moral logic in it. You can’t. There is none. Only the devil operates with any reason, promising to punish those who wanted to make earth itself Hell for those who dare to love and feel.

If you’re a Joe Hill fan, you’ll probably like Horns. This was one I just couldn’t put down and I finished the last portion in a two-hour binge. I’d also recommend it for fans of horrors, thrillers, and mysteries, as it contains a little of each. The horror isn’t as much outright scary as it is unsettling, but I’d say that’s the most appropriate category to place it in.

She was innocent. All snakes were, of course.

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(Blurb and cover courtesy of Goodreads.)

Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Mini-Review Compilation #6

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Emergency Contact
cw: alcoholism, racism, sexual assault, parental neglect.

This was exactly the kind of fluffy contemporary romance I’ve been needing in my life. Watching Penny and Sam’s romance blossom via text was heartwarming and anxiety-inducing and so, so relatable. I loved both of the MCs so much and literally could not put this book down. Unfortunately, I tore through it so fast that I didn’t really take enough notes for a proper review and all I can do is gush about how cute and wonderful it was. The writing was excellent and I enjoyed the plot. There were serious topics, which were all good to see and which were handed well, in my opinion. I loved loved loved this book and cannot recommend it enough if you’re looking for a cute NA contemporary.

Rating:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Quiet Rumours: An Anarcha-Feminist Reader

I’m pretty new to anarchism and political theory in general, so this was my first foray into a book dedicated to the subject. I found it really informative and a good jumping-off point, it helped me to compile a list of further reading materials. It was sort of loosely put together and probably could have used a little more context for each of the essays/pamphlets and seemed a bit outdated, so that’s why I knocked off one star. I definitely plan to check out some more AK Press releases, though!

Rating:⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Gone Girl
cw sexual assault, domestic abuse, many many many things

I almost DNFed this, but everyone told me to hang in there. I hated both of the MCs, but things really picked up after a plot twist about halfway through. It was worth reading, but I still didn’t end up loving it. [SPOILERS] I can appreciate unlikable characters, but I can’t get behind anything that reinforces the stereotype that women lie about being raped and/or abused just to punish or get back at men. A small thing, but Amy also states as fact that she doesn’t get catcalled at all after the gains weight and there’s no way that would be true and is really telling of what the author thinks of fat women. [/SPOILERS] Yeah, anyway I didn’t really find this very special and thought it was fine.

Rating:⭐⭐⭐

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(All covers courtesy of Goodreads.)

Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Mini-Review Compilation #5

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Would You Rather?

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me an eARC in exchange for my honest review.

Would You Rather? is a lovely memoir about a woman who grew up in a sheltered, moderately conservative area coming to terms with her sexuality. The reason this is so revolutionary is because, as Katie herself says, there are so few widespread stories about adults realizing they’re gay. So many people say that they always knew, it leaves little room in the narrative for people like Katie, who didn’t always know. Overall, it was an enjoyable read that I’m glad I picked up! My only complaint was that it does meander at times and that the end kind of trails off for me instead of ending strongly.

Rating:⭐⭐⭐.5

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The Body Is Not an Apology

Systems [of oppression] do not maintain themselves; even our lack of intervention is an act of maintenance.

This was a nice read that focused on what Sonya has dubbed “radical self-love.” The messages embedded in it are deeply important and focus on breaking down “the belief that there is a hierarchy of bodies.” It was quite inspiring to read and made me want to work harder on changing the belief systems cemented within our culture. At times, the book felt a little too structured and, well, self-help-y, but it wasn’t really much of an issue. It’s also an extremely fast read. All-in-all, I’d definitely recommend this book as a jumping off point for leaning more into body positivity.

Rating:⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Children of Blood and Bone

This pretty much lived up to the hype for me and I’m really glad I picked it up! I don’t remember the last time I lost myself in a book like this, I ended up reading for 3 hours straight to finish it and I literally couldn’t put it down. The half star loss was because it took me a bit to get invested in the characters. But once I did, ooooh boy, I was INVESTED. Highly recommend.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

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(All covers courtesy of Goodreads.)

Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

A Head Full of Ghosts [review]

 

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A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay, narrated by Joy Osmanski.
Published by William Morrow on June 2, 2015.
hours, 49 minutes.
my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Goodreads avg:
3.81 (as of 2018/03/28)
cw: menstruation, explicit sexual content, demonic possession, homophobic slurs

Spoiler-free Review of an Audiobook

Goodreads | IndieBound | Author’s Website

The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia.

To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight. With John, Marjorie’s father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.

Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie’s younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface–and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.

I think this is the first audiobook I’ve ever listened to in its entirety! I was doing busywork at my job and had run out of new podcast eps (which never happens to me!), so I sorted my TBR by random and went through until I found a book that a) had an audiobook format, b) was available to listen to now through my library, and c) had a narrator whose voice I liked. Usually it’s a struggle to find something that fits all three of these, but A Head Full of Ghosts nailed it!

This was such a compelling read and I will probably end up purchasing a physical copy later on to re-read. The narrator, Joy Osmanski, did a phenomenal job and I felt pulled right into the story. The point-of-view is that of an adult reflecting on her experiences as a young child. I thought this was really well-done, because we get a really innocent perspective that realistically contains more mature insights. It also switches a lot between past and present in a way that I think really worked with the story.

I was a bit anxious starting this out, because it explicitly states in the blurb that the MC’s older sister is displaying symptoms of schizophrenia. While I can’t speak directly to the rep (which may not be great, especially considering some stuff that goes on toward at the end that I can’t discuss without spoilers), I do want to address the concern that this links mental illness and demonic possessions. Because it doesn’t. I thought it was clear as a reader that this was a commentary on the danger of ignoring science in favor of superstition. To me, the implication was that, had Marjorie’s experience been treated seriously and as a medical concern, things would have turned out a lot differently for the Barrett family.

While this certainly had its spooky bits and while I would probably file it under the horror genre, it wasn’t outright scary, so if you’re easily frightened (like me) you could still enjoy this! There were some unsettling graphic bits (both involving gore and sexual content), so I’d pass on this if you want to avoid anything of that nature. But overall, I think this is a book that horror lovers (particularly those who like to deconstruct the genre) will enjoy and I recommend it highly.

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(Blurb and cover courtesy of Goodreads.)

Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Ask Me About My Uterus [review]

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Ask Me About My Uterus by Abby Norman
Published by Nation Books on March 6, 2018
288 
pages.
my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Goodreads avg:
3.74 (as of 03/11/2018)
cw: assault, eating disorders, attempted suicide, domestic abuse

Spoiler-free Review of an eARC Provided by the Publisher and Netgalley

Goodreads | IndieBound | Author’s Website

For any woman who has experienced illness, chronic pain, or endometriosis comes an inspiring memoir advocating for recognition of women’s health issues

In the fall of 2010, Abby Norman’s strong dancer’s body dropped forty pounds and gray hairs began to sprout from her temples. She was repeatedly hospitalized in excruciating pain, but the doctors insisted it was a urinary tract infection and sent her home with antibiotics. Unable to get out of bed, much less attend class, Norman dropped out of college and embarked on what would become a years-long journey to discover what was wrong with her. It wasn’t until she took matters into her own hands–securing a job in a hospital and educating herself over lunchtime reading in the medical library–that she found an accurate diagnosis of endometriosis.

In Ask Me About My Uterus, Norman describes what it was like to have her pain dismissed, to be told it was all in her head, only to be taken seriously when she was accompanied by a boyfriend who confirmed that her sexual performance was, indeed, compromised. Putting her own trials into a broader historical, sociocultural, and political context, Norman shows that women’s bodies have long been the battleground of a never-ending war for power, control, medical knowledge, and truth. It’s time to refute the belief that being a woman is a preexisting condition.

 

It’s kind of strange: when I enter into conversations with medical professionals outside of the office, they ask where I went to medical school. When I was in the office as a patient, however, I just got asked if I ‘Googled a lot’ before coming into the office.

I knew I had to request this the moment I saw it on Netgalley. The incredibly gorgeous cover drew me in right away and the blurb cemented my decision to give it a try. And I am so, so glad that I did. This memoir follows Abby Norman in her experiences with endometriosis. I don’t know about y’all, but I knew next to nothing about endo before reading this. I had no idea what a difficult, debilitating disease it was or how little is known about it by modern medicine. To say that this book is extremely educational feels like an understatement.

Was being sick making her depressed or was depression making her sick? How many of us have asked the same question, or ask it almost daily as we slog forward in time? It’s the ouroboros of pain from which we cannot escape, no matter how hard we try, unequivocally felt by us and questioned by everyone else — until we, too, are forced to doubt the veracity of our reality.

Abby specifies right from the start that this book is meant to be a jumping-off point for readers, and not their sole source of information regarding endometriosis. She makes it clear that this is her story, and not meant to speak for anyone else. This explanation includes acknowledging that she comes from a place of relative privilege and urging the reader to seek out more diverse experiences. She also points out that calling endometriosis a women’s disease is a misnomer, as both trans men and cis men can suffer from it.

If history had been told by women, would we not be so in the dark about a disease that has, theoretically, always existed?

Her own experiences are downright heartbreaking to read. When symptoms begin to appear, Abby ignores them as long as possible before going to the hospital, something I can certainly relate to. Her voice is repeatedly silenced by medical professionals, mostly male, who downplay the severity of what she is going through. She is able to intertwine her own story with facts and figures, as well as historical parallels.

First-person accounts by women throughout history are limited by a peculiar social paradox: menstruation is both mundane and wildly taboo.

Abby’s voice comes through strong and clear in her writing and I found this book difficult to put down. She is a strong, sympathetic character and you’re forced to keep turning the pages in the hopes that things will get better. This book feels like a vitally important read, not only because of the information relayed, but also because it is relayed in such a way that the reader can’t help but take it all in. This is not a dry piece of nonfiction, but the compelling story of a woman fighting for her diagnosis.

(All quotes have been taken from an uncorrected proof and may have been changed in the final publication.)

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(Blurb and cover courtesy of Goodreads.)

Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Tempests and Slaughter [review]

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Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers on February 6, 2018
480 
pages.
my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Goodreads avg:
4.16

Spoiler-free review of an ARC provided by the publisher via Goodreads giveaway.

Goodreads | IndieBound | Author’s Website

Arram. Varice. Ozorne. In the first book in the Numair Chronicles, three student mages are bound by fate . . . fated for trouble.

Arram Draper is a boy on the path to becoming one of the realm’s most powerful mages. The youngest student in his class at the Imperial University of Carthak, he has a Gift with unlimited potential for greatness–and for attracting danger. At his side are his two best friends: Varice, a clever girl with an often-overlooked talent, and Ozorne, the “leftover prince” with secret ambitions. Together, these three friends forge a bond that will one day shape kingdoms. And as Ozorne gets closer to the throne and Varice gets closer to Arram’s heart, Arram begins to realize that one day soon he will have to decide where his loyalties truly lie. 

In the Numair Chronicles, readers will be rewarded with the never-before-told story of how Numair Salmalín came to Tortall. Newcomers will discover an unforgettable fantasy adventure where a kingdom’s future rests on the shoulders of a talented young man with a knack for making vicious enemies.

I have been a Tamora Pierce fan for as long as I can remember. My first read by her was Wild Magic and I’ve adored just about everything I’ve read by her since (for some reason I can’t get into the Circle of Magic series, but I guess that’s a personal problem). When I saw that Tempests and Slaughter, the first in a series detailing the youth of Arram Draper (later known as Numair), I almost died of excitement.

I was lucky enough to win an ARC through a Goodreads giveaway, which I practically inhaled. It was wonderful to get to see a different side of Numair and to see his beginnings. I loved finding the characters who I knew would continue to play a role in his future, and who I recognized from the other Tamora Pierce books I’ve read.

In my opinion, this does lean a little more towards MG than YA, mainly due to Arram’s age at the outset of the book (around 11, if I remember correctly). While I’m not usually a MG reader, I love the world and characters that Tamora Pierce constructs and didn’t have much of an issue with it. In fact, when I finished it, I pined over the fact that I would have to wait for a sequel and almost immediately picked up Wild Magic to reread.

Tamora Pierce fans will love dipping back into the world they’ve already grown to love, and I recommend Tempests and Slaughter wholeheartedly.

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(Cover and blurb courtesy of Goodreads.)

Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Annihilation [review]

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Annihilation (Southern Reach #1) by Jeff VanderMeer
Published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux on February 4, 2014
195 
pages.
my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Goodreads avg:
3.64

Spoiler-free Review

Goodreads | IndieBound | Author’s Website

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.

This is the twelfth expedition.

Their group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.

They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them, and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another, that change everything.

When I saw the first trailer for the Annihilation movie several months ago, I immediately added the book to my TBR-ASAP shelf on Goodreads without even reading through the description. I put in a hold at the library, waited patiently, and then devoured the book immediately after checking it out.

The effect of this cannot be understood without being there. The beauty of it cannot be understood, either, and when you see beauty in desolation it changes something inside you. Desolation tries to colonize you.

It’s been a while since a book has hooked me so strongly from the first page, but Annihilation did just that. The writing was just gorgeous, and I was instantly pulled into the world of Area X that VanderMeer had created. From the outset, I didn’t want to put it down, but I forced myself to work my way through slowly and to savor every page.

But there is a limit to thinking about even a small piece of something monumental. You still see the shadow of the whole rearing up behind you, and you become lost in your thoughts in part from the panic of realizing the size of that imagined leviathan.

I adored the narrator and loved the style in which the book was written: a journal penned carefully by the biologist, detailing her experiences on the expedition. The reader’s awareness of Area X, and the events taking place within it, relies completely on what the biologist is willing to share. I loved that she could be a bit of an unreliable narrator, and that she was able to outright admit to intentionally manipulating the reader with what she shared.

But soon enough I banished this nonsense; some questions will ruin you if you are denied the answer long enough.

If you’re the type of reader who wants all of their questions answered, this book isn’t for you. There is no omniscient narrator to share the secrets of Area X with us. There is only the biologist and what she knows, or what she thinks she knows.

I can say without a doubt that Annihilation is now one of my all-time favorite books, and will certainly be on my top 10 list at the end of 2018. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the Southern Reach trilogy has in store for me.

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(Blurb courtesy of Goodreads.)

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The Dream Thieves [review]

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The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater
Published by Scholastic Press on September 17, 2013
439 
pages.
my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Goodreads avg: 
4.27

Spoiler-free Review 

Goodreads | IndieBound | Author’s Website

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

As I mentioned in my review on The Raven Boys, I first started this series several years ago. It lost my interest and I moved away from it, until this past year. In October, I decided to reread TRB and to attempt to continue the series in a more timely manner. I gave TRB five stars and waited a bit before moving on to The Dream Thieves.

The last time I attempted The Dream Thieves, it had been some time since I had read TRB. Because of this, I had forgotten a lot of the plot and the characters and it just didn’t hold my interest at all. This time, I didn’t wait too long to jump into it, and I latched onto the story.

This was such a good sequel!! I absolutely adored the characters and the storyline. Stiefvater broke my god damn heart repeatedly and I had to keep texting my friend Grace whenever I had something to yell about.

This book focuses a little more on Ronan than the other characters, although of course they all play relatively large roles. I never thought I would like Ronan, but this book made me adore him. My love for Noah stayed strong. Adam has definitely dropped a couple places in my heart, unfortunately. Gansey is adorable and precious and I want to squeeze him to death. And Blue continues to be just wonderful.

I’m trying to breathe a little before moving on to Blue Lily, Lily Blue (aka my library lost my hold  so I’m forced to wait a little longer regardless), but am hoping to continue the series this month!

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(Cover and blurb courtesy of Goodreads.)