The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake (Aimee Bender) ♠♠♠♠♠
This book was unexpected – it had a supernatural weird twist that I just ate up (hehehehe, see what I did there). It also showed heart and perseverance in a way that I haven’t come across in a while. And the best part of all is that the language was so contradictory – the story was heavy and the words were airy and light.
The Siren (Kiera Cass) ♠♠♠
This one left me wanting for a better story. The characters were bland and stereotyped and the love story was predictable. The only redeeming quality of the book was the relationship between a personified ocean (a mother) and her sirens (the daughters).
When Breath Becomes Air (Paul Kalanithi) ♠♠♠♠
I read this book as part of the Andrew Luck book club (Swoon! And go Colts!). I am generally hesitant diving into non-fiction as I tend to have a hard time enjoying it, but this one was a fast and entertaining read. I just didn’t love it as everyone else did.
The One Hundred Nights of Hero (Isabel Greenberg) ♠♠♠♠♠♠
I have only fairly recently discovered my love for graphic novels. Starting with some of Neil Gaiman’s books last year, I now question myself what took me so long. And this novel right here is another reminder like that. Jeez, it was lovely. The illustrations are beautiful and the message of the story is right on point! Plus, it has this wonderful dark passages full of gloom and despair amidst a quite romantic setting, and we all know how that is right up my alley. Please read this novel! It is absolutely mesmerizing and well-worth your time.
Ella Enchanted (Gail Carson Levine) ♠♠♠
I think I might’ve been too old to read this for the first time. I can actually see how I probably would’ve enjoyed this book very much as a younger girl but reading it now just didn’t do it for me. Too much of the story reminded me of Brother Grimm Fairytales, the writing was very simple (is this geared toward middle school age?), and the characters felt underdeveloped. The premise of the book was very, very promising, though. Maybe I didn’t have the right mindset? Maybe I should’ve read it with younger kids in mind? But on the other hand, Pax (Sara Pennypacker) is written for middle graders and her book was a lot more complex and intricate than this one.
A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic Series, V.E. Schwab) ♠♠♠♠♠
Dark Londons. An obstinant woman. A very smart but unchallenged dude. Magic. Suspense. Good and evil. This is the making of a perfect fantasy novel for me. I adore this series and cannot wait to forge ahead with book number 2.
The Bear and the Nightingale (Katherine Arden) ♠♠♠ and 1/2♠
I had high expectations for this one that, unfortunately, weren’t fulfilled. Don’t get me wrong, it was magical and mystical and I loved the heroine but the author tried too hard to make side characters and side stories work. I don’t think they added anything important to the actual development of the story. I will continue to read the series hoping that I get to see a lot more of the main figures in the novel.
A Man Called Ove (Fredrik Backman) ♠♠♠♠
I did not cry, but I came close. This was a heartwarming and funny story of an old grumpy man, who may be one of my favorite characters in a long time. I want to be Ove. I want to be Ove’s friend. I want to just have an Ove in my life. Everyone should read this book.