So today I am bringing you what I read in April. I am stunned that despite having 12 university honours deadlines (not even joking...) and my last exam at the very start of May, I still managed to read 5 books! Unfortunately, I did have a couple of bad reads, but thankfully the last book in April had things looking back up!
I'm serving these up to you in the order I read them, so you may hear the increased desperation as I tell you about them...
Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken
Never Fade is the second book in The Darkest Minds trilogy which I love. I can't say much about the plot of this as it IS the second book in the series, but oh my god...totally emotional ending. It did feel slightly repetitive in the middle, but if you liked the first book in the series, you're going to love this (spoiler alert - I did). Can't wait to see where this goes!
A tiny taste of the plot: A "virus" sweeps America, leaving (only) adolescents either dead or with epic powers. Think X-men but just kids.
(also, I think you should read this, like now!)
4.5 out of 5
Lock In by John Scalzi
Firstly, I have to say I listened to Lock In on audiobook which was narrated by Wil Wheaton (Star Trek:NG, Big Bang Theory) and I would now like him to read every single book ever written.
Secondly, this was my first forte into true science fiction and I'm so glad I started with a great science fiction writer like John Scalzi (he's basically King of Sci-Fi).
This book is set in the not too distant future when, due to a virus sweeping across the world, many individuals are using androids and virtual worlds to communicate. Our main character is one such individual, and he's just joined the FBI, which leads to a science fiction-y detective mystery type story. I loved this book, and the narration, and would highly recommend it to anyone else starting out in science fiction.
(Also, buy it on audiobook, you will not regret it!)
5 out of 5
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Ugh, this is where it all started going downhill.
I had been recommended this after finding Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell just so-so. Believe me, I so wanted to like this, because I really DO like Rowell's writing style, but it was impossible for me to enjoy that with this book because of the racial slurs/stereotypes littered throughout it! Also, a lot of this was just a tad unbelievable for me. I plan to do a full review on this because there is no way to explore all my feelings about this book here.
For anyone interested, the plot of this book is two very different, very awkward and very geeky teenagers falling in love. Props at least to all the great 80's references.
2.5 out of 5
The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion
And things just did not look up after that!
I had been looking forward to The Rosie Effect since I first heard there had been a sequel released. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book (The Rosie Project) in (what I hope is) a duology. However, I had noticed that the reviews were not so rave, so had put it off it bit. Quite frankly, I wish I hadn't bothered, and I plan to think of the Rosie Project as a standalone from now on.
This book was first of all, at least 100 pages longer than necessary. Secondly, this book genuinely felt unedited to me, and it was nowhere near as funny and cute as the first one. Lastly, (and this was a huge deal for me) the portrayal and stereotyping of individuals on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) absolutely outraged me, and I mean COME ON, a "rain man" comment?? how old is that, never mind anything else. The book states the character is not on the ASD, then goes on to ridicule and stereotype those on the ASD, then at the end it's like "oh but you're going to be ok, you're not like them" - is this because he isn't on the ASD? or because all the stereotypes about those on the ASD is bullshit? Please tell me someone else picked up on this because it drove me mad.
The plot of this, is a couple that got together in the last book, and what happens next (really, nothing else happens).
1.5 out of 5
A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
And then finally, trust V. E. Schwab to bring it and turn things back up for me. You'll know if you follow me on twitter or on here, that I love V.E. Schwab's writing (all you need to do is look at my review of Vicious for evidence of that). So I was overjoyed when A Darker Shade of Magic was released. However, I did put it off for a while because I was worrying that it would disappoint me (spoiler alert - it did not).
A Darker Shade of Magic is a magical-realism fantasy-lite type book which is the first (in what I believe?) is to be a trilogy. The book follows our main protagonist journeying through parallel universes to bring peace to his own universe (for King and country of course!), and the relationships he makes along the way (just FYI, I love Kell and Lila). I'm not a huge fan of fantasy but I found this really easy to read, V.E. Schwab's writing was delicious as always, and I would highly, highly recommend this to anyone who's just getting into fantasy, or isn't a huge fan of fantasy but would still like to find a book in the genre they enjoy (especially if you liked Vicious).
4 out of 5
If you made it through this epic post, bravo to you! Now tell me, have you read any of these? I would especially be interested in peoples opinion on Eleanor & Park and The Rosie Effect because as you can tell I was not a fan, but they still get seem to get relatively good ratings, is it just me?
Oh also, I'm not planning to do full reviews of any of these at the moment, but if you see something you fancy in full review mode, hit me up below!