This is my second installment of my quarterly reading recommendations for 2019. Every 3 months I will be looking over all the books I’ve read in that time and picking out my top 10 favourites. Then at the end of the year I will compile my lists and pick my top 10 overall from the books I’ve selected where I will be going a little more in depth! If you want to check out my first quarterly reading recommendations click HERE.
So in no particular order my reading recommendations for April-May-June are:
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard
Red Sister & Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence
Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima
Vampire Academy & Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
I decided instead of doing individual reviews for each book I would combine them all and do a series review! I was immediately sucked in to this series and the storyline and the characters. I started the first book on a Friday and by the next Tuesday I had completed the series, I was that invested!
It was nice to have a different perspective on the whole vampire genre. It is usually quite straightforward from what I’ve read in the past in terms of their powers and how they are turned etc. The fact that Richelle Mead created something that was so different and unique really captured my attention straight away. Having the three species of vampires and having differing was that they are changed and how they reproduce added a lot of depth to the books.
The characters had the perfect amount of angst that I wasn’t too annoyed by. They weren’t the most complex cast of characters that I’ve read about but there was enough distinction between them that kept me eager to read on.
Rose didn’t really show any growth throughout the books in terms of her demeanour or attitude, she stayed pretty consistent throughout; though that didn’t really bother me because she brought a lot of unpredictability and entertainment to the storyline. She acted and reacted very true to her age and I appreciated that, she read as a 17 year old and that’s why I liked her so much.
Lissa’s storyline was very fascinating; it strayed a little too close to the political side of the story which doesn’t really engage me as much as the action. It was nice that the plot went so in depth with the Moroi royal families and their many layers of political manoeuvrings, but again I wasn’t all that interested in that side of the story. She was one character that we did see a change occur throughout the series. I found her to be a little bit pretentious and entitled in the first few books, but you really get a feel of how much she appreciated Rose and her friends in her rise.
As I was making my way through the series there was definitely times when I could predict exactly what was going to happen and usually that annoys me, but this time I was actually ok with it because it made sense. The progression between each book was purposeful and each book was easy to differentiate. Sometimes when I read a series quite quickly all of the books can kind of blend together and I can have trouble picking out which event happened in which book. With this I had no such trouble, I was invested enough that when I finished one book I wanted to immediately pick up the next and did. I can see now why so many people love and recommend this series; I just wish I had read it sooner!
Vampire Academy – ⭐️5/5 stars | Frost Bite – ⭐️4/5 stars | Shadow Kiss – ⭐️4/5 stars
Blood Promise – ⭐️4/5 stars | Spirit Bound – ⭐️5/5 stars | Last Sacrifice – ⭐️5/5 stars
This week’s Top 10 Tuesday prompt is Books on my Summer 2019 TBR list. Well over here in Australia it’s winter at the moment so this is really the time of year I get stuck into more epic fantasy and series with some mystery/sci-fi thrown in. All of these books have been on my TBR for ages now and I really want to knock them all out this winter!
The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Finale by Stephanie Garber
The 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
Vengeful by V.E. Schwab
Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
The Astonishing Colour of After by Emily X.R. Pan
This month I thought I would catch up on the hype and pick Crazy Rich Asians.
I had seen the hype for the movie back when it was released last year and then it seemed like everyone was picking up the books and reading them as well but I didn’t know if I was going to like it so I put off buying the series for the longest time. That was until I seen that my local library had a copy of Crazy Rich Asians so I immediately went in and borrowed it, then I thought may as well see how the movie compares as well!
These were my thoughts on Crazy Rich Asians:
Pros: I was highly engaged throughout the course of the book. I loved the South East Asian influence of the book with the addendum’s as a great learning resource which helped to give the book more depth and realism. I loved how colourful the movie was and there was some gorgeous shots of Singapore in there as well (definitely made me want to visit). They pretty much stayed right along with the original storyline of the book which I appreciated as well.
Cons: There are a lot of characters in this book and at the start I had a little trouble keeping track of everyone and how they relate back to Nick; the family tree at the start really helped. With the movie the cut out some pretty important scenes or just merged a few scenes together which made me feel like the whole build up and eventual conflict was a little rushed. Some of the portrayals of the characters was a little skewed in my opinion as well. You didn’t really get in in depth look at any of the other family members either it just mostly about Rachel and Nick.
Overall thoughts: I was very entertained throughout the course of the book. I loved the plotting and the scheming of this one massive family and how they will stop at nothing to prevent ‘gold diggers’ from marrying into their dynasty. The movie was very entertaining as well, it just lacked a little depth in my opinion.
My Recommendation: Although the movie was fun and entertaining I have to say I definitely preferred the book!
I LOVED this book!
Ready Player One revolves around a virtual reality world called Oasis. Created by a tech mastermind James Halliday who died and left his vast fortunes to whoever could solve the mystery that he embedded within Oasis. He left hidden Easter eggs, obscure riddles and puzzles revolving around pop culture in the 80’s which was the creator’s favourite decade. No one has come close until Wade Watts stumbles upon the first clue and his name skyrockets to first on the leader board.
Everything about the premise fascinates me. I don’t read a lot of sci-fi naturally and I had been meaning to pick this book up for AGES until finally I bit the bullet and gave it a read and became obsessed!
I really enjoyed the banter between Wade and Aech and their camaraderie over their quest to find the Egg. I liked that they naturally started to drift apart once the race was really on to figure where the next key and gate are. The introduction of Art3mis I didn’t enjoy at the start. The years of dedication that Wade put in just to have his hunt derailed by a girl I thought was a little unrealistic. Though it didn’t really impact the end result and Art3mis is a very significant character in the overall plot, their relationship bugged me a little.
I thought the addition of the IOI really upped the stakes and gave the whole mission a deeper meaning. Trying to keep OASIS free from a corporate takeover and substantial fees that would be attached not allowing everyday people to be able to continue to utilise the world. I loved that Wade held on to his integrity and rejected their offer that would have set him up for the remainder of his life.
All of the pop culture references were super fun and to see them integrated into a futuristic setting was really engaging for me. The plot was very fast paced and action packed and was highly unpredictable!
There’s just something about the setting that I loved in this book. The virtual reality world and how it contrasts to their actual reality. The world building in particular when it came to OASIS was spectacular and I really enjoyed every minute of this book!