Books & Movies

February in book reviews

So I read 7 books in February, which is pretty good. I read some all time favorites, but also some disappointing reads. So from least favorite to favorite, here are some short reviews on the books I read this month.

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. Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel. 3 stars. This is a science fiction about the discovery of a giant robot that dates from centuries before but has more advanced technology than in the present. This book has a gorgeous cover and is written in interviews and documents. I was really disappointed in this book because it has been everywhere! It has been raved about, everyone giving it 5 stars, favorite status.  And I just don’t get it. It was okay, the plot was interesting, but my issue with this is the character building. I literally did not care for any of the characters. It was enjoyable enough to keep reading, I finished it pretty quickly, but this book has not been memorable to me. Like I can hardly remember what happened. And I had a similar experience with the next book on my list which I read earlier in the month.

. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. 3.5 stars. This is a science fiction about a rescue spaceship running (or rather flying) away from an attacking spaceship, and about the relationship between two characters who broke up the day of the attack. Similarly to Sleeping Giants, this is written in interviews and documents. And similarly to Sleeping Giants, this is raved about. Firstly I wasn’t keen on the format. I didn’t mind the interviews, documents etc, and I really enjoyed having the plans of the spaceship so I could see where the characters were, but some of the pages had things like the outline of a spaceship made of just one word over and over. I just found it annoying and unnecessary. I would roll my eyes each time I got to one of those pages. This has the same issue as Sleeping Giants, where I just didn’t care for the characters. I had originally marked Sleeping Giants higher than Illuminae, but after a few days, I realised that Illuminae was much more memorable to me. There are some plot points that have stayed with me and that I enjoyed. And I think that the main character in Illuminae is SO MUCH more likeable than the one in Sleeping Giants. However from my experience with these two books, I have realised that I enjoy character based books rather than plot based ones. Also a large majority of the people raving about these books seem to have listened to them on audiobook, so I am thinking of giving the sequels a try on audio to see if I enjoy them better.

. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. 3.75 stars. I admit I am reading this series only so I can read Six of Crows which is based in the same world. This is a typical plot of the normal, plain girl who then realises she is the only person with a power that can save everyone. I read this on audiobook, which I enjoyed, but the .25 taken off to get it to 4 stars may have been for the number of times I heard “Mal!” in a whiny voice. I enjoyed this book, it isn’t a favorite, but I really liked some of the characters (the Darkling, Genya) and the plot and the world were interesting. I don’t really have much to say about this book, it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t amazing. However I am currently reading the sequel which I am really enjoying.

. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. 4 stars. This is the sequel to Cinder, which is a retelling of Cinderella, with the main character being a cyborg. I loved the first book, the main character gave me Rey from Star Wars vibes.  It has political intrigue, loveable characters, a deadly plague… Everything to make me enjoy it. The sequel was not at the same level as the first book in my opinion, but I think the main reason for that is that after the ending of the first book I really wanted to read about Cinder and what happened to her, but we are introduced to a new character and a new plotline. Scarlet’s storyline is based on little red riding hood. I really enjoyed the new characters, once I had gotten over the need for more Cinder. Also when the characters meet and form a kind of rebel group, it was giving me star wars vibes again which I am LIVING FOR.

. Jadina by Patrick Sobral. 4.5 stars. This is a french graphic novel series. The original series “Les Légendaires” is about a group of legendary characters who protect the kingdom but after a curse that affects the world, everyone is turned into children. I love the original series, and this is the second book of a companion series about each character before forming the group. This was about Jadina, a princess with badass powers. We got to see her evolve from a spoiled teenager to a warrior. I am really enjoying seeing the past of these characters, and it is refreshing to see the art with adult characters rather than only children. I am really excited to continue with this series.

. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. 5 stars. Yes I am one of the people who loved this book. I know some people think it is overrated, but I am absolutely obsessed with this book. We follow Jude, who was taken away from her home as a child, along with her two sisters, and brought up in a world of faeries by her parents’ murderer. Firstly, since I was a child, I have been obsessed with Faeries, and reading a book about dark faeries was amazing for me. After finishing it, I immediately went to check out Holly Black’s other books based around Fae. Like I have said already, I like character based books, and it has been a while since I have been so invested in the characters of a book. I was sold from the first page and already cared about the characters. Also there is a love interest in this that I am obsessed with. This tackles a lot of issues, politics of course, but also bullying, and trying to fit in. And seeing Jude battle with her love for her adopted father when she knows what he did is fascinating. I am so annoyed that I have to wait so long for the sequel. And the only reason this is not at the top of my list this month is that I think the next book will stick with me my whole life, but I enjoyed these equally.

. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. 5 stars. Do I have to say more? You have probably already heard of or read this book. This is about Charlie, his life in highschool and trying to make friends, despite his personal issues. I actually saw the film adaption of this book a while back, but I don’t remember it. I think the reason behind that is that this isn’t adaptable. It is perfection as a book. It is written in letters that Charlie address to someone he just calls “Friend”. So because of this format, we really get to be inside Charlie’s head, and it makes us discover mental illness in a completely different way. This was so emotional, funny, heart-wrenching, exciting… And the Rocky Horror Picture Show references were just a bonus. I actually feel a bit emotional just writing about it. It went straight on my list for a re-read.

 

So 7 books, 2 379 pages. some disappointments, some all time favorites. Overall, an average reading month.

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