Overall I had a pretty solid reading month, I ended up completing 14 books! I pretty much loved all of the books I read, there were a couple that were just ok but I’m really happy with what I ended up picking up!
Its 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again.
Sophia’s character was likeable. She wasn’t like a new all-time favourite or anything but I appreciated her for what she was. She’s very spirited and grounded in her beliefs and won’t be compromised by what the societal expectations are of her, even though it is very dangerous. I think she was still just a little naïve in her approach, not listening to reason and just flying off the cuff with no plan at the start. I think over the course of the story we see her evolve and become a lot more patient and willing to see other perspectives than her own.
I would have liked to see Sophia and Erin’s relationship a little more before the opening scene if that makes sense. We are just kind of thrust into the story and we see Sophia bearing her soul to this girl get rejected and then the next girl that comes along Sophia falls for her. Sure we see her battling with her emotions and she has to go and say goodbye to Erin closing off that relationship but I just thought her rushing into the next romance was unnecessary. I don’t think she needed to be in love with Constance at all, it didn’t really add anything to the plot and I think I would have liked it a lot more if she was just friends with Constance and didn’t just write off Erin.
I thought the concept of the story and the retelling aspect to be compelling; I just thought the execution was a little underdeveloped. I would have appreciated going a lot more in depth with all of the characters and their backgrounds. I felt it was a little lacking in the atmosphere of the story, it was quite bleak and one dimensional for me. I never really made a connection to anyone I just kind of along for the ride.
Overall I just think the novel as a whole read a little younger. The characters are all pretty juvenile and one dimensional. The twists that were thrown in were entertaining but still predictable. There was nothing in there that really took me by surprise and shocked me in any way. I appreciated the diversity in the characters and the topics that were discussed but I wasn’t wowed in any way by this story.
I have decided that for the rest of 2020 I am banning myself from buying any more books! I have done some calculations and I have purchased over 70 books so far in 2020 and I have only read about 40 of them and have spent quite a lot of money this year on books alone (all my fellow avid readers/book collectors would know just about how much that would be). I definitely have the means and am privileged enough to be able to afford to purchase that amount of books, but currently my shelves are completely full and I have taken to storing a good majority of my collection in my cupboard so I figure it was high time I quit adding to the pile. I have a few pre-orders for the rest of the year but until I get that number down to single figures I will not be purchasing any more physical books.
I had a lot of fun during the course of this readathon. Unfortunately I didn’t end up completing the four books I had picked that corresponded to the path that I ended up taking I only read three…. I went backwards and started from 9: Black SailstoA: Washed Ashore and then 6: Bawdy Songs I just didn’t have enough time to finish off with 1: Captain’s Cabin! I did end up changing my TBR a little from what I posted but I completed some great books!!
9: Has a black cover-The Weight of Stars by K. Ancrum
A: A book published 3+ years ago –Binti by Nnedi Okarafor
6: Has Romance – Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
The Weight of the Stars revolves around Ryann who is used to taking new kids at her school under her wing and helping them out. So when her teacher asks her to try and get through to Alexandria she takes on the challenge. Since Ryann is kind of a space nerd she recognises who Alexandria is, the daughter of an astronaut who volunteered for a one-way trip to the edge of the galaxy.
Ryann is a joy I absolutely love her. The way she takes care of her brother and his kid and how she just accepts all her friends for who they are and vice versa. She really has had a lot happen to her in her life and regardless she still gets up everyday and makes an effort to show up for those around her.
The way Alexandria came across for the majority of the book was very broody and angry. I can understand how her life would have been a struggle growing up knowing her mother chose to leave her and never see her again. But I think she definitely evolves over the course of the storyline and we see her soften and become more calm and sure of herself. After being offered what she thought was her dream and realising that it’s actually not for her at that time I felt showed how much just her friendship with Ryann and the others altered her perspective.
I think all of the characters in the book were distinct and diverse. I think it covers a range of very heavy topics that a lot of kids in high school have to deal with that is very relevant in todays society. I love the fact that each of them has their own personal journey they are undertaking and how each of them will drop whatever they are doing to help each other out.
I loved the build up of intensity to the storyline. It starts off quite innocuous and kind of innocent and it really morphs into this poignant tale of friendship and heartache. The scene after Tomas spills to everyone what happened at SCOUT and James runs off with Ryann chasing him was honestly so moving. I teared up multiple times throughout and left this book feeling impacted by what I just read.