I read the most books this year than I have ever in my life and with that comes a few books that I was a bit ehh about. I didn’t hate any of these books by any means I think that most of them just wasn’t for me!
So with that being said my lowest rated/least favourite books of 2019 are:
The Wicked King by Holly Black – Jude is I think one of my least favourite female protagonists ever. She thinks she is untouchable and doesn’t need anyone’s help. There are certain instances like when she’s warned to have a guard with her at all times and then she will rides off by herself and gets ambushed. It’s just really pretentious and annoying and I just can’t warm to her at all. ⭐️2/5 stars
Circe by Madeline Miller – This I just found incredibly dry and boring. I was enjoying myself for about the first quarter of the book but then all of the excitement and action king of leaked out of the plot and I was left with Circe on an island by herself for most of the story. I found I didn’t really form a connection to any of the characters and by the end of it I really didn’t care. There wasn’t really any sort of build up of anticipation and the ending was a little too open ended for me. ⭐️2/5 stars
Geekerella by Ashley Poston – For the majority of the book Elle just got on my nerves. Letting Catherine and Chloe walk all over her and just bowing down to them and not doing anything about it. Just accepting all of the horrible things they do to her and not trying to fight back at all. Other than that the book wasn’t bad at all, it was a little tropey at times but overall pretty fast paced and entertaining. ⭐️3/5 stars
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – If I had not seen TV show first I think I would have been very confused by this book. There isn’t quite a set structure to it. We read solely from Offred’s point of view however, it jumps quite a lot from past to present and their isn’t a whole lot of information given about what is happening. I was left feeling quite unfulfilled with this book. The ending was quite abrupt and didn’t really wrap anything up or answered any questions. ⭐️3/5 stars
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers – a good majority of the book bored me. All of the spacial/sciency talk didn’t do anything for me personally and kind stilted the pace of the book. It was only 400 pages but it felt like closer to 600 to me. I picked this book up and put it down several times during the month and really the only reason I managed to finish it was because it fit a challenge in the Reading Rush. There wasn’t really anything in the book that was driving me to pick it up and finish. ⭐️3/5 stars
The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang – Some of the decisions that Rin made kind of grated me. She was definitely right when she said that the Gods have no sway over her, she made all of the decisions that led her to that ultimate conclusion and most of those decisions didn’t sit well with me. When she chose to side with Altan over Master Jiang that’s really when I knew I wasn’t feeling her anymore. She wouldn’t heed the advice of those who have had years and even decades more experience than her. ⭐️3/5 stars
The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin – It was just kind of ok…. We definitely delved a lot deeper into the story and the reasoning’s behind the study of the defect, but I wasn’t really left with any overwhelming feelings after the ending. I started to question Mara and her decisions a lot in this book. Yes I know she was tortured and has had a lot of emotional and physical trauma happen to her in a short period of time, but I didn’t really like who she became after she escaped. ⭐️3/5 stars
I am very proud of my progress this month! As I said I have been on holidays in February so I did have more than enough time for reading but I tried not to let it take over my holidays. I did enjoy myself and have a bit of a break from reading throughout the month but I did still manage to get quite a bit done!
HP and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling – ⭐️5/5 stars
King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo – ⭐️4/5 stars
A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner – ⭐️3/5 stars
P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han – ⭐️4/5 stars
Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh – ⭐️4/5 stars
Always & Forever Lara Jean by Jenny Han – ⭐️4/5 stars
The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin – ⭐️4/5 stars
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard – ⭐️4.5/5 stars
Skyward by Brandon Sanderson – ⭐️4.5/5 stars
The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin – ⭐️3.5/5 stars
The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson – ⭐️5/5 stars
I didn’t absolutely love it and I didn’t hate it either.
It was just kind of ok…. We definitely delved a lot deeper into the story and the reasoning’s behind the study of the defect, but I wasn’t really left with any overwhelming feelings after the ending.
This book really starts with a lot of tense, highly emotional scenes that set up the tone of the book very well. The stakes were very high throughout the first 100 pages or so and it really had me on the edge of my seat and turning the pages. But with that being said the rest of the book was just kind of mediocre for me. I like that the flashbacks are more in depth and we are getting the answers to a lot of questions but the direction that the book went with wasn’t a favourite of mine.
I started to question Mara and her decisions a lot in this third instalment of the series. Yes I know she was tortured and has had a lot of emotional and physical trauma happen to her a short period of time, but I didn’t really like who she became after she escaped. Sure she did save Stella and Jamie but I don’t feel like that justifies some of her actions since. I was wholly on Stella’s side after the incident in the subway and I fully supported her decision to leave and go home… I feel like I would of done the same. I think it was the fact that Mara took on the role of judge and executioner and really would of followed through had it not been for Jamie and Stella’s presence. It didn’t sit well with me and I thought she was very detached.
Daniel really shone for me in this book, his staunch support of his sister and commitment to finding the truth and uncovering the secrets of the trial was wonderful. I love the bond that they share and I really enjoyed his character and how solid and stable he is.
Noah didn’t do a lot for me in this book either. I know there was the whole mystery surrounding his death but I had no doubt that he would be making a reappearance. It was a little obvious and when he did finally show up it wasn’t all that impressive or shocking. He just kind of strolled in and it wasn’t impactful at all for me.
It was a very fast paced book and I did read it really quickly but I wasn’t satisfied with the ending. Everything was exposed and it made sense but it didn’t really answer all of the questions that I wanted and it was a very open ended conclusion. I wasn’t left awestruck or dumbfounded I was just like ok.
⭐️3.5/5 A little anticlimactic…
I think the title really set the tone of the book.
Mara Dyer has woken up in a psychiatric hospital after blacking out at the police station. She is adamant that she did indeed see Jude and he wasn’t a hallucination, but no one other than Noah believes her. How did Jude survive the asylum collapsing and why has he resurfaced now?
This was a rollercoaster ride from the beginning to the end. The pace was slow at the start but there was a gradual build up as the story continued. There was a sense of urgency and fear woven throughout the plot and desperation to find the answers to various questions surrounding Mara’s mental health.
Mara I feel did evolve a lot from the first book. She is more self aware and even afraid of herself and what she could potentially do to those around her. I like that she is trying so hard to fight through and overcome her condition and figure out what is happening even though she is terrified.
Noah again I really enjoyed. He also showed a different side of himself than what we originally seen. He is more open and unreserved and shows more emotion as he digs deeper into the connection of his and Mara’s powers. I just find him to be so engaging and captivating and I feel as if there is so much more to his story than what we’ve been given so far.
The introduction of the new characters in the outpatient clinic I felt added an extra layer of unpredictability to the story. I love that Jamie made a reappearance and I was happy that Mara had a friend that she could lean on whilst she was being evaluated at every turn. Someone who is normal and could still somewhat relate to what she is going through at the moment.
I really could not predict what was going to happen in this book and it really took a turn that I did not see coming. The last hundred or so pages was very thrilling and suspenseful and it really kept me turning the pages. I like the paranormal twist to this series and how it is not just solely focused on Mara. It has become a lot broader and expanded the plot to a point where anything can happen.
With that being said I do feel like this book was longer than what it could have been. I feel like for a good third of the book it is just centered on Mara agonising and overanalysing every situation. It could definitely have been condensed and still wouldn’t have lost any of the major points of the plot.
There are still so many questions that haven’t been answered and I am eagerly anticipating picking up the third book in this series ASAP!
⭐️4/5 stars Entertaining, thrilling & suspenseful!!
I was actually really surprised how much I enjoyed The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. When I picked it up I just had this feeling like I knew I wasn’t going to be a fan, I kind of had this preconceived notion that it was going to be slow and boring and that wasn’t the case at all. I think it’s also mostly due to the fact that I haven’t really heard a lot of good reviews for this series. I try not to let anything I hear sway my reading plans but sometimes it niggles in the back of my mind and I can’t help it. I am really glad that I did end up enjoying the book and I am really excited to continue on with The Evolution and The Retribution of Mara Dyer. The first book ended on a pretty intense cliff hanger and I can’t wait to get into all of it in the next installment in the series!!