As you can see, I read a lot of books this month – Dewey’s readathon took place and that always makes me read several graphic novels in between other fiction books in order to stay awake. 24 hours are long!
The Underground Railroad (Colston White) ♠♠
Ugh! The more I think about this book the less I like it. I just cannot fathom why one would bother to re-imagine the Underground Railroad as an actual railroad and then not make it the main focus or at least an extensive focus of the story.
Jane Eyre (Stacie King) ♠♠♠♠
This was my first manga story and I loved it. The drawings were really fun and I think the author brought the essence of the story across without loosing too much of the important details.
The Woman in Cabin 10 (Ruth Ware) ♠♠♠♠
This read like a total ‘laying poolside’ book to me. It was suspenseful and had fun characters without too much depth to bog you down with details unnecessary for that guilty-pleasure read. The ending was a bit of a let-down but I didn’t even care. I just loved the yacht and the main character.
Hillbilly Elegy (J.D. Vance) ♠♠♠♠♠
Andrew Luck recommended this book for his April book club read and it was well worth my time. The author made his experiences personable yet educating. I found myself wrapped up into his family and started to care for them to do well. He is witty with a keen eye for detail, and this book lives off of detail.
Good Omens (Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett) ♠♠♠♠♠
Neil Gaiman for the win! This was my first Terry Pratchett experience and the two authors worked great together. I felt like they had fun writing this book and that made it even more enjoyable. The characters were relatable, flawed, good-natured, and intelligent. They tried their best within their abilities – I always like reading about people like that. And the premise of the book was just plainly hysterical and so damn smart.
Leviathan (Scott Westerfeld) ♠♠♠♠
I read this for my Popsugar Reading Challenge. I needed a Steampunk novel and this one was mentioned multiple times in the Goodreads group. I am glad I chose it as it really entertained me a lot. I loved all the descriptions of the machines and creatures – the contrast between the Darwinists and the Clunkers was smartly done and I appreciated each group’s worldview to a certain extent. I also really enjoyed reading about the conflict between various nations in a way that was re-imagining World War I. The book is listed as YA, but I’d say it would be suitable for middle-grade readers as well. I think this trilogy is fun and I am already reading the second book in the series.
Americanah (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie) ♠♠♠♠♠
I loved this book. It was interesting and mind-opening, novel but also familiar, at times crass and at others lovely. It read like the author’s memoir rather than fiction. I wonder how much personal experience actually made it into the story. I highly recommend this author and I think this would be a great introductory novel into her writing and ideas. As an immigrant, I found myself relating to several of the overarching themes. Nevertheless, I often was confronted with interpretations and situations that I had not thought about.
It Ends With Us (Colleen Hoover) ♠♠♠
This was meh. One of my favorite book reviewers rated this one highly and I generally agree with her but for some reason, this one just didn’t click with me. The theme is very important and I think you should read it but it is not as eye-opening as I had expected.
Lumberjanes (Noelle Stevenson) ♠♠♠♠♠
I love, love, love this series. I had downloaded three issues to my Kindle to help break up some of my Dewey’s readathon readings and promptly fell in love with the writing, the characters, and the illustrations. I went ahead and downloaded two more and read them the next day. I now really would like to buy the actual print issues to marvel over whenever I want to.
Grave Suspense (Charlaine Harris) ♠♠
I was disappointed in this one. I loved all the Sookie Stackhouse stories and had somewhat high expectations. Charlaine Harris normally keeps me entertained and the topic didn’t seem something that would not get better with illustrations. I don’t know exactly what it was. The drawings were fine, the story was suspenseful, but it just wasn’t entertaining or even interesting enough. This could be because this is already the second book in the series and I obviously didn’t read the first or it could just be that I don’t care for the story and its characters. I don’t think I am going to seek out any of the sequels.
The Impossible Fortress (Jason Rekulak) ♠♠♠♠
This was one of my readathon books. I received it a few week ago as part of my Book of the Month subscription and figured it would be the perfect readathon read – and it was! The story was endearing and the characters well-developed. As a coming-of-age novel, this hit all the major points without being cheesy or too formulaic. Read it. Plus you can actually play the game they develop in the book!
A Gathering of Shadows (V.E. Schwab) ♠♠♠♠♠
Um, yasssssss! I also read this one during the readathon. I tried it before as an eBook and couldn’t get into it at all and was worried it was the book and not that it was on Kindle. BUT, thank goodness, that didn’t hold true. I reserved it through the library and flew through the hardcopy. Sometimes, real books just win over eBooks – sorry Kindle! Schwab has a knack for sucking you in – within the first few (actual!) pages I was invested into the characters and the story – an arena-style competition between different magical nations with several surprises. Of course, there was a little romance, but it didn’t overpower the progress of the story and mostly just added depth to the characters. I cannot wait to read the final book in the trilogy.
Sandman (Neil Gaiman) ♠♠♠♠♠
I can’t even! I waited so long to start this graphic novel series! Why? I haven’t the faintest clue. It is so, so, very good! The drawings are beautiful and Neil Gaiman just does his usual magic with words. I am going to savor this series, buying one issue at a time!
Bad Arguments (Ali Almossawi) ♠♠♠
Short and sweet. I mostly enjoyed the old-timey feel and illustrations. It’s a coffee-table-book.