I was in a massive reading slump for a lot of last month, but eventually I managed to read a total of 8 new books and reread 3. Once the slump was over, I was going through books like crazy!
I think I’ll do a separate post on the books I’ve been rereading, so I’ll just talk about the new ones today.
1. The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory.
Premise: This is about Henry VIII’s sixth wife, Catherine (Kateryn in this book) Parr, who was the one to outlive him. (I’m not calling this a spoiler as it’s historical fiction!) Henry is still
as spoilt as ever and the whole book is about Kateryn’s cleverness in how she survives marriage to a mad king whose previous wives have either been divorced or died.
My Rating: 4/5
As a big fan of Gregory’s other works, I had high expectations for this book. My mum had already warned me that it takes a little while to get into, more so than her other books, so I was prepared for a bit of a slog to start off with. Eventually it picked it up and I really enjoyed this novel, though not quite as much as her other books – probably because I knew Kateryn was never in any real danger.
2. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness.
Premise: We’ve all read stories about the Chosen One, but what is life like for those on the sidelines? Ness plays with this idea as the characters go about their daily lives, worrying about school and prom, with the odd apocalypse thrown in.
My Rating: 2/5
It did pick up a bit in the second half, which is why I haven’t given it 1/5, but this book was pretty boring and took me a long time to get into. (I can literally remember not a single character’s name now, and barely anything that happened.) When I read the blurb, I thought it was going to be about the Chosen One’s best friend, but these are people who are just going to the same school. This could be interesting, but for a lot of the book, you completely forget anything supernatural is going on, so when it does happen, it feels like the book has suddenly jumped genres.
3. Dare Me by Megan Abbott.
Premise: A new coach comes to a cheerleading squad and whips them into shape, whereas before they have been under the thrall of Beth, their Regina George-esque leader. The girls get mixed up in murder.
My Rating: 0/5
I was so disappointed with this book. The beginning promised something amazing, but I had to force my way through the entire things. I HATED all of the characters and none of them felt realistic (except, maybe, Matt French). I’ve written a review if you’d like to hear more reasons not to read this book.
4. War Horse by Michael Morpurgo.
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Premise: A drunken farmer buys an unworkable horse and immediately regrets it, but his son Albert takes a liking to the horse. When the war starts, his father sells the horse to the army, and Albert joins up to try and find him.
My Rating: 3.5/5
I really wanted to give this book a higher review because the story is so poignant, but sadly, I just didn’t enjoy the writing enough. I was pushing myself to get to the end all the way through, though there were some really well-written scenes in there. Something was just missing. See review for more details – you might enjoy the book more than me.
5. The Hogfather by Terry Pratchett.
Premise: Discworld inhabitants celebrate Hogswatch, similar to Christmas, and they receive presents from the Hogfather. However, on one Hogswatch, Death has been dressing up as the Hogfather and delivering presents, causing his granddaughter Susan to embark on a quest to discover what has happened to the real Hogfather.
My Rating: 4.5/5
This was my first Discworld novel and I absolutely loved the character of Death and all of his scenes. I definitely want to try more Discworld. The sad thing is that I still can’t quite work Terry Pratchett out – I want so much to love his work, and I did really enjoy this book, but I haven’t felt that rush of love that I get with a series that really speaks to me. I’m trying Equal Rites next to see if that one helps. (I WILL become a Discworld fan if it kills me.)
6. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.
Premise: Set in 2044, Ready Player One is not even a dystopian future – it’s what will probably happen to humankind. We have run out of fossil fuels and most people are living in poverty. To avoid reality, everyone logs in to a virtual world called the OASIS, within which an Easter Egg hunt is going on to win billions of pounds.
My Rating: 5/5
EEK. Go read it now if you haven’t already. This was such a good book. I’ve already raved enough about Ready Player One, so here is my review if you’d like to read it.
7. I Was Here by Gayle Forman.
Premise: Cody’s best friend Meg has just committed suicide, and Cody must go to Meg’s college room to clear out her things. While there, she meets the boy who broke Meg’s heart and uncovers secrets that suggest Meg did not act alone.
My Rating: 2/5
My reaction to this book was ‘meh’. I love Tree, Scottie, Tricia and Harry, but these were all side characters and none of the main characters held any interest for me.
I’ve mentioned before that I’d love to read a YA novel with no love interest at all in it, and this book is a prime example why. The romance was entirely necessary and was only there for filler. It would have been much more interesting if it had revolved entirely around the mystery of Meg’s death.
Speaking of Meg, I get the feeling I would have hated her if she’d actually been in the book.
8. The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories by Tim Burton.
Premise: A collection of short stories/poems about weird children, e.g. born as robots / look like oysters / eyes all over their faces.
There’s not a lot to say about these poems, just that they were very good and funny. I laughed out loud a couple of times (which is unusual for me when reading). Burton should forget about filmmaking and write poems instead.
Thanks for stopping by! ❤