Sunday, 2 February 2014

Books read in January

This was a difficult month for me. I didn't get many books read, only 10, 3 of which were graphic novels.
It being the middle of summer, we've had weeks where doing anything but lying comatose in front of the air con was unbearable, with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees (Celsius, for all you American readers. You have the polar vortex, and we have Summerpocalypse.). And at the same time, depression got in the way, making it difficult to want to pick up books, even if they're wonderful and  make me feel good. I just felt so apathetic about it all.

But whatever, we're here to talk about books, aren't we?

1. The Arrivals by Melissa Marr
As with all of Marr's books, I loved the worldbuilding and the mythos, but hated the characters with a passion. It's such a tragedy that such a great premise should be marred (ha ha...) by unlikeable, nay, boring characters. But it's worth a read. It gives off a fantastic Dark Tower sort of vibe--a sci-fi/fantasy western.
3 stars

2. Saga vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan, art by Fiona Staples
HOLY CRUD YOU GUYS, THIS IS AMAZING. It's an amazing blend of sci-fi and fantasy, to create a surreal story of love, war, and ultimately, family.
The art is perfect. Fiona Staples is an artist I'm going to be on the lookout for in the future. There are a lot of sex scenes and nudity in this book, but it's tasteful. They don't cater to the male gaze, they're not drawn to be sexy, they just are. And I love it.
5 stars plus a place in the fave shelf

3. Saga vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughn, art by Fiona Staples
This is just as wonderful as the first volume, if not better. Volume 1 was a great introduction, but now that all that is out of the way, the heavy stuff comes out. This book deals with serious issues of race and interracial relationships, war and the PTSD that can come from it. It's so real in this fantasy world, and I love it.
I highly recommend this series for anyone who loves fantasy, sci fi, graphic novels and comics, beautiful art, lyrical prose, or is simply in need of some gorgeous feels.
5 stars plus a place in the fave shelf

4. Perfect Ruin by Lauren deStefano
Maybe it's just because I don't really like 'dystopian' novels, but this just felt awkward for me. It just had flimsy reasons for the authorities being bad guys, and the worldbuilding was illogical, as well.
2 stars

5. World's Finest (Batwoman, #3) by J.H. Williams III & W. Haden Blackman
This is one of the few comics from DC that I still obsessively buy and read (though, with these two having been forced to quit, I think that'll change). This whole volume is about female empowerment. There are four (yes, FOUR! Which is huge for a comic) ladies fighting to save Gotham, and they all have their strengths and weaknesses.
Wonder Woman features in this, and the way she's written makes me wish that Williams and Blackman wrote for her, instead of the MRA in training, Brian Azzarello.
The way Kate and Diana interacted was lovely. Kate was anxious, because she thought they weren't equals--who would ever think you were equal to Wondy, right?--but after fighting together, even Diana sees that though she's a demigod, she and Kate are equals, and friends. It's a touching moment, where women aren't pitted against each other, as you often see not just in comics, but books and film. So it's a nice change.
5 stars and a place on the fave shelf

6. Hunting by Andrea K Höst
This is a fantasy that just feels so right. I wish it had existed when I was just a tiny tween, because I would have devoured it. It has everything I love in a fantasy: a girl who masquerades as a boy, a murder mystery, wonderful world building and mythos, a gorgeous romance with SEX, but tastefully done. It's just perfect, and as soon as I finished it, I bought all of Höst's other ebooks. They're priced very cheaply, too, which makes them even better.
I must thank Nafiza, who spoke highly of it on her blog. I wouldn't have been so eager to pick it up if not for her.
4.5 stars

7. Just One Year by Gayle Forman
I dunno, I must be missing something here, but I feel like I'm one of the only people who didn't find this book as romantic as everyone makes it out to be.
Will is just a complete dickhead. He uses a girl, strings her along, never telling her that he's just in it for the sex, and slut shames her for sleeping with him and for dressing all slutty and stuff. Am I meant to find someone like him endearing? His biggest problem with this girl is that she's not Lulu.
His obsession with Lulu is worse than Edward Cullen's obsession with Bella. He tries to track her down, and it's just creepy. Now, I know Lulu does that, as well, and I find that creepy as fuck. I think this duology would have been PERFECT if it had literally just focused on the ONE DAY concept. You know, instead of making these characters pine after each other for a year.
1 star

8. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
I'm surprised. I didn't think I'd like this novel as much as I did. But it's such a smart sci-fi novel, with a slow burning romance. All I can say is that this book is near perfect, and I can't wait for the next one.
4.5 stars

9. Heir to the Shadows by Anne Bishop
I don't know what it is about this series that makes it so addictive. It's so very problematic, and uses rape as a plot device, and as a way for several of the characters to grow. And so often, it is women who are evil. Any strong woman who isn't the main character is the enemy, unless they surrender their power and loyalty to her. Like I said, problematic.
But I still find myself interested in the world, waiting impatiently for the third book at the library.
Once again, recommended to me by the lovely Nafiza.
3.5 stars

10. Night Film by Marisha Pessl
I'm so torn on this book. On the one hand, I thought the first 550 pages were FUCKING BRILLIANT. Then the last 30 or so pages, the big reveal, they were a major let down. I mean, I get that in a literary sense, the ending makes sense, but I still can't help but be annoyed.
For the entirety of the book, we're thrown all these intense theories as to what could have happened to the daughter of the reclusive director, Cordova, and it is hinted at that there is something sinister afoot that Cordova doesn't want the world to know. It's all very intense, and I spent countless nights obsessively reading, trying to find the answers. The ending, it takes all those intense theories and gives us something simple and logical, yes, but it gives us the same underwhelming disappointment that the main character felt. Which, I get it, yes, it makes sense, but I just wanted something more, you know?
3.5 stars

Hopefully February will give me more reading time. I've got a stack of comics that will certainly increase the total. *fingers crossed*

Have you read any of the books I read? What'd you think of them? Agree with me, disagree with me, leave a comment.

1 comment:

  1. So I have both volumes of Saga out from the library and I can tell I am going to love it SO HARD. Ahhhh. Okay, also, I'm so glad you liked Hunting. I hope you like Champion of the Rose as well as Medair. ^____^