books of the month: november 2018

Hi, I actually still use this blog, yay! Honestly, I have so many things I’d love to talk about on here but I just never find the time. There are so many things I’d love to do in my free time but there’s only so many I have time for so something always falls behind, and often enough that’s blogging.

I did read some good books this month, though, and I want to share them as always. I read four books which is an okay amount but as I had started two of these in October it’s really not that much. This is mostly because it took me forever to read City of Broken Magic AND I’ve been reading a lot of newspaper articles this month which takes so much more time than I had anticipated. But I really like reading about all kinds of topics so I guess I’ll have to live with it.

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TBR Wrap-up

I thought I’d manage to read Ironside too but otherwise I’m really okay with this. I did not expect to read a ton this month anyway.

  • City of Broken Magic by Mirah Bolender [ARC]
  • We Set The Dark On Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia [ARC]
  • Ironside by Holly Black
  • Bitter Eden by Tatamkhulu Afrika (maybe)

Favourites

We Set the Dark on Fire (We Set the Dark on Fire #1)We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

My rating: ★★★★☆

Daniela, a girl from a lower class family, has worked for years to do her parents proud and to succeed academically. Now she’s about to marry the most eligible bachelor of the country. But then a bunch of things go very wrong and she’s both stuck with her friend/enemy Carmen for (possibly) life and the question if she will fight towards a revolution or ignore her people’s suffering.

4.5 stars

We Set the Dark on Fire is a wonderful story about growing up, facing difficult choices and trying to determine what on earth to do with all those emotions (and knowledge about all the things that are wrong with your country).

At first I was wondering if the premise of this novel is actually not that original but honestly – I love the world-building and mythology behind this story so incredibly much. This reminded me a bit of The Handmaid’s Tale, but it’s also very different and incredibly unique, both in how the world it’s set in works and in what the main characters go through.
Just like The Handmaid’s Tale, though, it’s a very important story that says a lot about current important topics that are relevant to everyone. I loved that very much about it, it would have liked some more examples of it, though.

This story isn’t full of action, it’s relatively slow paced in the first half and while I didn’t mind that the second half was still more my thing and I couldn’t put it down at all. The style of writing is really beautiful, though!

Daniela is a fascinating character. She’s quite smart and I love that she gets to use that intelligence but she’s also thrown into situations she’s very new to and it’s very interesting to see how she deals with them.
Her relationship with Carmen is adorable (yes, this book is sapphic) but at first it’s very cliché and I had hoped it would develop more before properly getting started. I found that a bit off. But I’m still happy about it.

I can’t wait to see where this story goes and I’m really excited for more of Tehlor Kay Mejia because this is certainly a very promising start to a great series.

No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We NeedNo Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need by Naomi Klein

My rating: ★★★★☆

This was such an interesting book. It basically contextualises and analyses the current political situation, mostly in the US but also around the world. The author is from Canada so there’s more about this country and activism there.

Naomi Klein draws the connections between neoliberalism, climate change, how Trump got elected, why Trump does what he does and so many more facets of the political and social landscape.

To me, this was super fascinating and I learned a lot, it’s not even all that depressing as Klein also shows where activism can succeed or has succeeded and what kind of movements are necessary nowadays.

Good stuff

 The Miseducation of Cameron PostThe Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

My rating: ★★★★☆

After Cameron’s parents suddenly die in a car accident, she has to navigate life as an orphan, living with her religious aunt and old-fashioned grandmother. She is not just grieving but also full of guilt as she kissed a girl just hours before she received the news of her parents’ deaths.

“Maybe I still haven’t become me. I don’t know how you tell for sure when you finally have.”

I had heard a lot about this novel over the summer but I’m not sure if I had read this book had it not been available on NetGalley. I love reading LGBTQ stories and YA but this is a surprisingly long book with a not quite so linear and concise plot as usually read. But it certainly made for an interesting read.

Cameron lives through a lot in this book. It chronicles her life from age 12 (which is when her parents die) and her first kiss to her entering a very religious school that is supposed to help her realise the sin of her homosexuality and cure her of it.

This book is a stunning literary debut, just like the blurb says, but I’m not sure I can pinpoint exactly why. I do think it would have been just fine a little shorter and more focused but I still couldn’t get enough of the story and even as I had to put it down for a while I kept thinking about it.

The plot was fascinating, very original and incredibly thoughtful. This story made me contemplate my own relationships to parents or friends and to religion and I was both fascinated and horrified by the stark differences between Cameron’s upbringing in the 80s and 90s and my own just 20 years later.

Most characters are fascinating people who seem quite realistic and especially in the second half of the novel they really made me love this story more. Most of all Cameron, though. She isn’t necessarily what I’d call a relatable character but she is written so well and all of her choices make so much sense.

Generally, this book is so well-written and while it slightly annoyed me that it took so long for the pace to pick up it was worth sticking with it. The ending alone made me want to cry so much.

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley/the publisher.

I really want to watch the movie soon, by the way, and I certainly hopes it’s good as well!

City of Broken Magic (Chronicles of Amicae  #1)City of Broken Magic by Mirah Bolender

My rating: ★★★☆☆

In this novel, dark magic is on the rise. In the form of infestations growing out of broken amulets, they kill without a thought and it takes a lot of skill to get rid of them. Laura is one of the few people who try to do this in the city of Amicae. She is new, her boss is kind of rude and she isn’t taken as seriously as she should be.

This story is interesting. That’s the best way I can combine my conflicting feelings about this book in one sentence. My most accurate rating would be 3.5 because there’s a lot I like but also a lot I wish could have been… more.

Laura, her boss Clae and her new colleague Okane are fascinating and complex people but I didn’t feel connected to them until the end of the story.
The plot is interesting and quite original but I felt like it could have been even more original and some twists didn’t feel that twisty at all and more like they were the only option left (but ohhh I love family drama!).
The world this novel is set in is unique and I would love to see more stories about it, the author certainly carefully crafted this beautiful but dark place with myths and a long history but I felt like the exposition was done rather clumsily at some points and I just don’t enjoy info-dumps for a whole page.

The lack of romance and focus on lower class people and magic in very different ways than I usually see were really refreshing and I’d love to see more of that.

Still, I feel like this story has a lot of potentials and while I hoped for something more I do think a sequel could provide just that. The story can go some interesting ways and honestly, the last 50 pages or so of the book were really good so I certainly hope for more of that.

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley/the publisher.

Re-reads

I again didn’t reread a single book which annoys me because there’s a bunch I’d really like to read again. Maybe I have time during Christmas holidays though.

December TBR

Half of this is just books from last month.

  • Ironside by Holly Black
  • Bitter Eden by Tatamkhulu Afrika (maybe, not sure yet if this is something for me)
  • Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare [the last of my most anticipated books of the year!]
  • The Ingenious by Darius Hinks [ARC]

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See you soon ❤

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