I slowed things down for May, because I was ahead with my reading challenge and because I wanted to challenge myself with a big book this month. Therefore I ended up reading four books, and listened, for the first time, an audio book. All in all, considering one of the books was over 1000 pages, I had a good reading month once again!
V. E. Schwab / 2013
Everybody was talking about the Darker Shade of Magic book series, so it got me curious, and I picked up V. E. Schwab’s first book Vicious to get myself bumped up for her series. Well, it worked, because Vicious was an amazing read with the idea of villains and superheros turned upside down. We have two main characters, Victor and Eli, who discover in college, that with right circumstances, a person can require superpowers. But when they both end up with powers, things go wrong and once friends, they are now enemies. The story is great, the plot interesting, and the reader is left to wonder, which of them is good and which of them is evil, or if they are both bad to the bone.
Themes: Urban Fantasy, Superheros, Paranormal
THE MANIFESTO ON HOW TO BE INTERESTING
Holly Bourne / 2014
A book about a boring teenager who decides to follow her manifesto to be more interesting by hanging out with the popular kids and wearing decent clothes. I gazed through the reviews and saw that some appreciated the honest portrayal of the main character Bree, because as a teenager one’s supposed to make mistakes and learn from them. Well, I thought the opposite, because the one thing I hate the most, is reading from the perspective of a naive character. Or you know what, let’s just say a stupid character, because Bree at times felt more stupid than naive. You could chuck it up to the teenage hormones, but that in my eyes isn’t a good excuse. The book had an interesting plot element though, an affair with a teacher, which sort of made it more interesting but to be honest, I was disgusted. And I have nothing against those story lines, not at all, but for some reason, the way Bourne constructed the affair in this book, felt off and weird, instead of intriguing and excitingly forbidden. Which might have been her aim, but for me it made me dislike the book a lot more.
Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Lolita
Brandon Sanderson / 2012
My first audio book I’ve ever listened to had to be something special, and Brandon Sanderson has become one of those special authors in my mind after reading The Way of Kings. Legion is a similarly great story, with multiple characters, most of them imaginary. We have a main character, Stephen, who is completely sane, except for those imaginary people he is able to conjure for specific reasons. He is like a mentally stable crazy person, who solves crimes, and the one in this short story is about a camera than can take pictures of the past. All in all, this two hour audio book was interesting and just the right length for me, because I’m not sure if I’m the kind of reader who listens to audio books.
Themes: Paranormal, Supernatural, Imaginary Friends, Crime
Haruki Murakami / 2013
This book was the biggest challenge of this month, over 1000 pages of story about two people, who were destined to be together. Filled with surrealistic elements, Haruki Murakami constructs a world that is interesting and appealing, and the writing style is so effortless, that the story flows from page to page. My only criticism would be the length of the story, that is a little too stretched out for my taste, and it could have been just as good with few chapters taken out. But despite it, I liked the characters and the story, which was a little bit crazy and just the right amount of weird.
Themes: Magical Realism, Romance, Crime, Dystopia
PERCY JACKSON: THE LIGHTING THIEF
Rick Riordan / 2006
After 1Q84, I wanted something light and easy, which is why I decided to pick up the Percy Jackson series due to curiosity. Part of that curiosity is the well talked about issue with its movies, which don’t reflect the series well, apparently. Well, I won’t agree or disagree with the book and movie difference, but I enjoyed the book to some extent. I guess knowing the outcome of the first and second story based on the movies, I wasn’t as excited after finishing The Lighting Thief. But I’m still curious to finish the series before I pick up Rick Riordan’s latest book about a God who ends up as a teenage boy, and that sounds super fun!
Im interested in all these books discussed above. Percy Jackson is one of my favorite series. The movies are not one bit identical to the magic that is this series. Great post.
I have The Lightning Thief on my to-read shelf. I read it ages ago and was sort of so-so about it. Since then, I’ve heard that the series gets A LOT better as it goes along. I want to give it another shot.