The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
Everyone has had that book that has wrecked them so irreparably that for a while they don’t know what to do with themselves. After finishing this book, I felt as if someone had physically taken my heart out of my chest and stomped on it, shattering it in thousands of tiny pieces that don’t fit together anymore.
This is probably my favourite book of all time. As you may know, I’ve read quite a lot of books, so this is not in any way an easy task. It made me feel so many emotions so deeply, I never wanted to put it down because it was perfect.
V.E Schwab is my favourite author now. Her writing in this novel was so poetic and beautiful. While I know some people did not appreciate her use of repetitions, I actually liked it. I felt that it tied the story in a perfect knot. The descriptions of the cities Addie visited were spectacular, it was almost as if I could step into that world and forget about my own dilemmas.
Her characters were incredibly well-written, especially Addie LaRue and Henry. I loved the way the author motivated their actions by their greatest fears and their biggest insecurities. I found the characters to be extremely realistic and more than relatable. Just reading about them made you feel a little less lonely and somewhat less insignificant in the grand scheme of the universe.
Addie LaRue is a strong character that is anything but forgettable. She is charismatic and amusing, her love for humanity was blinding. Her determination to make the darkness regret ever cursing her was immeasurable. Her witty banter with Luc was captivating. I loved the constant back and forth between the past and the present. The stories of Addie’s life in the past were mesmerizing and gut-wrenching at times.
Her need to be known, to be remembered after three hundred years of new beginnings and being forgotten, was understandable. Her love for books and culture was heart-warming, she had a heart of gold that would never stop beating and yearning for love.
Henry was the most lovable character. From the first “I remember you” to the last one, you fall in love with him as Addie does. He is this emotionally man who wants more time with his family and friends. He falls rapidly in love with Addie and he accepts her the way she is. His need to be enough, as he phrases it, something any reader, any person can relate to. His love for the people in his life is larger than most people have. I loved his complete adoration of Addie’s stories.
Addie and Henry’s relationship was natural and flowed with such ease that it was fun to watch them fall into step. Their love for one another was enough to make them both finally feel at home. It was worth all the pain and the troubles each of them went through. The lengths to which they went in order to keep each other safe and happy were amazing. They were probably the healthiest relationship that I’ve ever seen in a fantasy novel.
Luc was a pain to read about, while he was charismatic and ultimately a compelling character, I didn’t want him to intervene in Addie’s happiness. I thought that he had a shroud of mercy for her and that’s why Henry remembered her. He didn’t, he was cruel and calculating. I can admire his patience, but I don’t think he is capable of love or complex emotions. He is just a darkness that wraps around the light Addie’s heart gives off.
I found the fling between Luc and Addie interesting, especially as it was compared to Henry. Luc and Addie only seemed to work because Addie was lonely enough to fall into his prey. His seduction of her only to get her soul while sleeping in the same bed was treasonous. Of course Addie got out of it and hoped to never see him again in order to forget his calculating nature.
When Luc intervened in Addie’s relationship with Henry, I hated him. I despised the fact that he wanted to take away the person who made her happier than he ever could. Luc was a Machiavellian antagonist that I loved to hate. His possessive nature was beyond frustrating.
When I think of the fact that Addie and Henry had such little time together, my heart shatters once again, my eyes tear up and I can’t exactly think straight. I wished they could have had so many more moments together, so much more love together. I wished it had all ended with an “I remember you” said at both Henry and Addie’s deathbed.
While the poetic nature of the plot and novel made the ending quite fantastical and heart-breaking. I probably will not be able to recover from Henry publishing a book about Addie with the dedication that just said “I remember you”. It was a testament to his love of her and his dedication to make sure she left a mark on the world, even if it was only possible through his writing.
That last kiss before Addie jumped into the darkness and left Henry was more than heart-breaking, it was earth shattering. It felt as if the foundation of my soul had been shaken and broken. Even now, when I think about this book, I feel as if I’m falling. I saw someone talk about this feeling as ��Post Book Depression”.
This is the best book I’ve ever read and I would give anything in order to read it again for the first time, to fall in love with these characters once again, to travel around the world and through time once more. I will be recommending this book to anyone I meet, I loved this book with my whole soul, even though it shattered me into thousands of pieces of glass.
I will most likely be rereading this book for years to come. I’m not the same person I was before reading this book, at least that’s how I feel. V.E. Schwab has wrecked me and I am thankful. I will clearly be reading all of her other books. Please read this book.
Orașul companiei by Madeline Ashby
This is a legitimately good science fiction novel, I can easily see why it was nominated for the Locus Award for the best Sci-Fi novel. It’s remarkably captivating.
While at times it was confusing and the timeline sort of threw me off. The time jumps that varied between a few days and weeks were ultimately disorienting. At times it was hard to start reading, but the cause of that could have been my severe burn out from school and anything else that felt vaguely like work.
The characters were interesting and the whole premise of the story was thought-provoking. The importance of genetically modified bodies in the society Hwa lives in is shocking, but unsurprising at the same time.
As everyone knows, western society has incredibly high standards of beauty that are mostly unattainable. The fact that in the future that the Company Town depicts humans have the possibility to change their facial features by using technology to genetically alter their genome is fascinating.
Hwa is consistently an outsider due to her lack of modifications. She doesn’t change her body, not because she particularly loves herself, but instead because her mother didn’t want to spend any money on her.
I found the relationship between Hwa and Siofra absolutely wholesome. I loved their dynamic and the way they ended up truly caring for one another. When Siofra ended up checking up on her after all of the terrible things she’d been through, the reader could easily see that the Hwa was incredibly important to him. Hwa also saw Siofra as an anchor that kept her from straying away from what was truly important.
I liked the mystery aspect of the novel and how it was revealed at the end. It was suspenseful and the whole serial killer aspect was intriguing. The lengths to which Hwa went to in order to find out who had been murdering her friends were astonishing. I loved watching the plot progress and finding more and more about the crimes.
The addition of sex workers in the novel without objectifying them was wonderful. I loved watching them interact as normal people, because too often in novels they are objectified and deemed non-essential and worthless. I liked the diverse cast of characters in the novel and the depth with which they were written.
To conclude, this is a great science-fiction book that I would recommend to anyone who isn’t squeamish when it comes to crimes. It’s a well-written book and I wish it got more hype.
Povestea mea de Michelle Obama
I started this book back in November 2020, I ended up picking it up again this month. Boy, is this an amazing book. I adored it. I loved it.
Michelle Obama is such an inspiring woman and I found her point of view rather interesting. I’m not even sure what to say about the book. It’s a memoir, an autobiography that truly manages to inspire you.
Reading about her life and her origins was uplifting. I loved the writing style, her sarcastic, yet optimistic outlook on life was refreshing. There were so many important parts of her life that were described in detail in order to get a better understanding of her mentality.
I loved her ambition and drive, she’s truly an admirable person. I loved how important education was for her and how she was formed by her education both at home and outside of her family.
Her marriage with Barack Obama has such an interesting dynamic. They both had very different dreams for their future, yet they somehow came to common ground. I loved the stories where she would constantly berate Barack for wanting to run for public office. She never had a good opinion of politics, which is understandable.
When she talked about how it was on the campaign trail, I was hooked. It was so interesting to read about the inner workings of the American political machine. I also loved seeing the years spent in the White House through her eyes.
One of my favourite fragments was when Michelle and Malia sneaked outside in order to watch the celebrations for the legalisation of same-sex marriage. It was a tale full of joy and hope, something that seems to be out of the public eye when it comes to modern politics.
The way Michelle viewed motherhood was rather interesting, obviously not something I could relate to since I’m still way too young to think about having a family. Although, it was enlightening to see the troubles she’d gone through to have her children and see how much she adored them.
The book is wonderful, but I’m not exactly what to review, I’m not exactly used to reading nonfiction. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about Michelle Obama and her life both in and out of the public eye.
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
I procrastinated writing this book review, but I loved it. This is a fantastic book and I will be reading the next books in the series.
Truly Devious is one of the only mystery/ thriller novels I’ve ever read and it does not disappoint. I never wanted to stop reading it. Keeping me on the edge of my seat, this novel was well-written and well thought out.
The whole mystery plot was more than amazing, I read this with my best friend and we kept theorizing as to who was more suspicious than the rest. Had I read this book on my own, I’m sure it would’ve been done in less than five days. It’s so good.
I loved Stevie, the main character. I found myself in her natural curiosity and her precise way of doing things. She was so well-documented and intelligent. Her determination was admirable and her resistance was amazing. She wouldn’t really let anyone get her down which was more than inspiring.
The conflict between Stevie and her parents was understandable. She couldn’t fathom how they could possibly like Edward King, a corrupt politician in her view. She never stopped criticising her parents for their trust in a man who clearly didn’t have their best interests at heart.
The relationship that forms between David and Stevie is absolutely hilarious. Their banter is like a good slice of cake, delicious and absolutely fascinating. I especially loved the line “ “The girl detective needs her breakfast.” [...] “Daddy issues needs his therapist,” she said.”
When all the angst was at a culminating point and Stevie was still shell-shocked from the death of Hayes, David and Stevie kissed. I loved the scene and how it just seemed to work in the context, Stevie looking for consolation in the arms of David. The moment when Pix barged into the room, I almost died of second-hand embarrassment.
All the characters were interesting and multifaceted which was great. The way Janelle’s relationship was portrayed was wonderful and sweet, a true teenage romance. There was no emphasis on the fact that it wasn’t a straight couple which made it all the better.
Nate was an introverted kid who didn’t really know what he was getting into. He kept trying to write his second novel and kept losing his source of inspiration and his motivation. I loved the way he did support Stevie in his own way by taking her to the dance.
David I loved, fell in love with him the moment he appeared in the book. I guess that was predictable on my behalf of course. I loved the way he ended up talking to Stevie’s parents and helping her stay more at Ellingham. He was such an enigmatic character and I loved that about him.
The whole plot of the story is captivating and as John Green said “compulsively readable”. I loved every moment of it. The intrigue and the suspense was new and I loved it. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.
I hope you all get the chance to read this novel in the future. I will be recommending this to everyone I know.
Fata care citea în metrou by Christine Féret-Fleury
I finished this book quite a while ago, it has been sitting on my shelf waiting for some pictures to be taken. I just couldn’t find the motivation to write anything lately, it’s been a weird couple of weeks.
I’ve got to admit, this wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read. It’s by no means the worst either, it was like lukewarm water. It was an easy read to start off a shorter month, I found it easy to not get attached to the characters from the book. There wasn’t any overarching important theme.
I loved the idea of the library and the travelling books, but it wasn’t properly executed in my opinion. I don’t want to create any unnecessary critiques of the novel, but it was just an average book. I was hoping for a short and sweet romance, but that’s not what happened.
The main character was disappointing and somewhat boring. I couldn’t really relate to her, other than her love for books. I also understood how she felt once she had learnt that the other book deliverer she saw daily on the metro committed suicide.
I don’t really remember much of the book, although I loved the fact that it was set in Paris. I actually liked the somewhat circular ending and the promise of adventure for the main character, who really needed to break out of her routine.
While I know this is a rather short review, I don’t see what else I could possibly state about this novel. You could read it, but I won’t be recommending this book to my friends.
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
I guess that the majority of readers sometimes hit a point where they don’t want to continue reading the same genre for the next couple of days. I’d read basically only fantasy since about the half of December onward. I have quite a few more fantasy books left on my shelf that I have to get to, but none of them made me want to read. So I downloaded an eBook and chose When Dimple Met Rishi, thinking I knew something about it, having watched the Mismatched series on Netflix.
I think that was more than enough backstory. I loved this book wholeheartedly, it was funny and sweet and so much more. The plot was actually really nicely written and the characters were so thoroughly described as three dimensional. It was a light read that forces you to remember everything you love about reading: not wanting to put the book down, forgetting about other responsibilities, and escaping the confines of your world.
The author is phenomenal, her writing is wonderful and concise. I love the fact that she didn’t really take ages to describe things, especially from Dimple’s perspective. I love how she gives her characters the motivation to do what they should accomplish. The wit in this novel is amazing and it can make you laugh so hard that you remember that your parents are sleeping.
I loved the whole ‘arranged marriage’ trope, it was perfectly structured and well-thought out. I know that this is something that still happens in some cultures, so I find it truly fascinating and on some level understandable. The way the story plays out somehow diminishes the so-called necessity for the marriage, but even so, its implications are still felt throughout the novel.
Dimple is one of the most headstrong characters I’ve met and I love her for that. She’s strong, she knows what she wants, and she’s incredibly intelligent. I find her absolutely adorable and her determination to win the Insomnia Con was beyond anyone’s possible perception. Being the naturally curious person she is, in the novel describes herself : “Dimple found herself questioning them -- and really, everything -- all the time. Mamma often lamented that her first word had been <<why>>.” In this quote we can clearly see the differences between Dimple and her mother, but also the natural inquisitiveness that she has.
I found her relationship with her mother rather interesting and intriguing. It was crystal clear that they both loved each other, but they seemed to be not only on different pages, but probably in different libraries. When they finally have a deep conversation about their feelings, they then finally come to understand one another which was moving.
You can’t not love Rishi. He’s the gentleman that every girl wants to meet. He cares about consent, he cares about Dimple deeply, he cares about being a good person. Best of all is probably the fact that he is willing to fight for Dimple, while that may not be seen as something to be proud of, it really is. I loved how he just accepted everything at face value, whenever he didn’t understand something he would ask. He was remarkably mature for a high school graduate.
Rishi’s relationship with his brother was problematic at times, but that’s what having siblings is like. Sometimes you just want to scream at them, even though you know your parents would kill you. I loved their dynamic and their arguments, they were entertaining to be honest.
Rishi and Dimple were endgame from the beginning, but it was cemented when Dimple quoted Emily Bronte in her mind “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” It was clear that she was so deeply in love with him. They were actually perfect for each other, they helped one another grow into better people which was admirable. I loved the way that they were just so wholesome and not excessive with the displays of affection.
I could go on for days proclaiming my love for this novel, but I think you get the jist. I must add one more thing though, the secondary characters were amazing. I loved the depth with which the author portrayed them, especially Celia and Ashish.
To conclude, if you are in the mood for something nice, light, and fun, you should give this book a shot. I loved it so much. I hope you guys do as well.
Cele două regine by Claire Legrand
What a book! I loved it when I finally got around to reading it, it had been sitting on my bookshelf for about a month and a half. It was fantastic and once I started reading it properly, I finished it in about three days.
The story is captivating and the world building is on point. The plot was confusing at times, but once you got used to the perspectives changing quickly and exactly on the brink of something important happening, it all started to make sense.
Following the two main characters stories that take place in two completely different time periods was disorienting. As the reader, you could easily put two and two together to figure out what was actually happening in the novel, unlike the characters. It was frustrating seeing them make mistakes that endangered many people.
I adored Eliana’s point of view. She was scrappy and confident, she reminded me of Celaena from Throne of Glass. I loved her wit and the way she would do anything just to survive and help both her mother and her brother, even after she found out she was basically adopted.
She was such a fighter and I admired that. She didn’t give up once, even when it was hard to carry on. I know that she had murdered a lot of people for money and some influence, but she didn’t seem to have much of a choice in the matter.
Her relationship with Harkan was a mystery to me and I couldn’t really tell why she liked him. I loved her chemistry with Simon on the other hand. They were constantly arguing and the witty banter was next level. All the characters in Eliana’s timeline were so intriguing and I loved them to be honest, especially Navi and Simon.
Rielle was a bit much, she felt more like a pedantic teenager who couldn’t control herself. She was selfish at times and I just found her to be so annoying. I didn’t like her attitude and her egocentric inner monologue. She constantly victimised herself which was beyond aggravating.
Audric and Rielle would have been nice together but since I couldn’t stand her, it was as if he was choosing someone beneath him. I liked Ludivine, she seemed absolutely adorable and worth fighting for. The rest of the characters in Rielle’s story I didn’t really find interesting.
I really liked the plot twist with Rielle being Eliana’s mother and the way the prophecy was going to be completed. I can’t wait to see how the story evolved and how this author continues the action.
I was skimming through some reviews on goodreads about this book and they say that the two main characters are bisexual. I just really didn’t pick up on that, I’m not very surprised that they are bi though. I’m shocked that I didn’t really read into that, I must have missed it or wasn’t really paying attention.
I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, but seeing as it comes out in Romanian in October, you guys will have to wait a while to see what I have to say about it. I can’t wait to preorder it when I can! See you guys next review, hopefully sooner rather than later.
A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green
It’s been a tumultuous week, I couldn’t find the time to write a review of this wonderful book. I’ve been swamped with assignments and tests during school, so most of my time was spent studying.
Having said all that, I would love to tell you all about this book. This is a fantastic novel. It is captivating and wondrous. The writing style is phenomenal and it’s clearly well-documented. I loved the addition of the effects of social media on the odd socio-political climate that the book describes.
The book read more as a commentary on the actual state of the world, rather than extreme science fiction. The dilemmas that the main characters face are much closer to our actual world than one of extraterrestrial intelligence and supremacy. I loved the implications that the use of social media had in the novel, both as a tool and as a release for pent up emotions.
Carl feels much more human than alien, he is actually caring and hopeful. I actually loved him so much, it was as if he was doing everything he could to save me. The novel feels very personal in its message with Carl. The belief he has in the uniqueness of humankind and the hope that could surpass any obstacles or challenges.
April May is such a chaotic character, she’s rather self-centred sometimes which is irritating. I love her endless curiosity about the existence of Carl and his brother. She is a rather odd person and an emotional person. I don’t exactly adore her mindset, but she is a compelling character.
To be honest I loved Miranda. Any reader could just tell how much she loves science and advances in knowledge. Her bravery is unprecedented, going into the Altus headquarters in order to find out what they actually are doing. I adored her chapters and point of view.
Andy was this incredibly nice person who was corrupted by the Altus Space . I wasn’t exactly surprised, but he did end up doing the right thing. I loved his relationship with Becca and how they tried to help each other.
Maya was adorable but also obsessed with finding April which I found to be a bit peculiar. She was cool but also annoying at times. I didn’t really care much for her, but she was an interesting and complex character.
I loved the plot and I remember getting so lost in the story that I didn’t want to do anything but read. I hope this book gets more hype, because it deserves it.
To conclude, this is an amazing novel and I recommend this duology wholeheartedly. Also, I know this isn’t the best review I’ve written but I can’t recall all the details of the book since it’s been so long. I loved it!!! DFTBA!
Destinul coroanei de Evelyn Skye
It’s well past midnight and I’m pretty tired, I have Wildest Dreams by Taylor Swift stuck on repeat in my head. I’m here to tell you that this is a great duology and you should really read it. I loved each book.
This second book was gut-wrenching, watching Nikolai be influenced by his mother’s dreams for him was infuriating. I loved the magical elements and the possibility of revolution present. The whole book was written with such artistry that you just sit down looking at it for a couple minutes after you’ve finished it.
The setting was just as brilliant as the previous book.The author truly did her research and her descriptions were completely mesmerizing. At times I felt as if I were in Saint Petersburg in the 1800s, utterly lost in the streets and happy.
Vika was once again fabulous and a sweetheart. I adore her, she truly just wants what’s best for the empire and for her friends. She cares so deeply about others and she is willing to accept others’ apologies when she deems fit. The way she constantly tried to encourage girls in the city was inspirational.
Her refusal to believe that Nikolai had truly changed irreparably was based only on hope. There is a Romanian proverb that goes something along the lines of: hope is the last one to die. It is clear that Vika adheres to this principle. If she could, she would force everyone to get along.
The irony of the ending was the fact that Vika was unconscious and became the reason for everyone coming together. Something in Nikolai shifted when she saw her plummet from her place in the sky which led him to talk to Pasha trying to save her one last time.
Nikolai was the most aggravating character in the novel because the reader knew how good he could be, you knew his potential. It was frustrating to see his fall from grace, to see him slumming it with whoever he deemed useful enough to carry out his plans. It became painful to read his chapters, knowing that his former self would be thoroughly disappointed in him.
Pasha was so broken and he was trying to heal throughout the novel. It was phenomenal when he finally realised his potential for being a compelling and merciful leader. Though he had made many mistakes, he did try to bear the consequences of his actions as best he could, no matter what. He clearly wanted everything to go back to what had happened before the Crown’s Game.
I loved watching all the characters interact, especially with the added subplot of the possibility of Renata changing people’s tea leaves and therefore their destinies. I think it was well-played and enticing. The whole plot was wonderful and captivating.
My favourite scene has to be the epilogue where we can clearly see the trio in good terms. The coronation of Pasha was beautifully depicted, the intricacies so clearly thought-out. The use of magic and the collaboration of Nikolai and Vika was wondrous. As I was reading this scene, I had the Wildest Dreams cover by Duomo playing and it was quite possibly the best song to fit. The unification of the three was something the reader could only hope for, could only dream of. It was only possible in our wildest dreams.
I highly recommend this series and I hope more people read it. I haven’t seen many people who’ve read these books and I can only dream of talking about this series with someone who loved it just as I did. In any case, please read this series, you won’t be disappointed if you’re anything like me.
Jocul Coroanei by Evelyn Skye
The first book of 2021 and it’s honestly fantastic. I loved it so much. I stayed up until five in the morning reading because I couldn’t stop. I had to know what was going to happen.
The setting of the novel is enchanting, Russia in 1825. I adore books where there are balls and magic, political intrigue and competitions. I felt as if I were actually in Saint Petersburg, back in the tsarist regime.
The tsar of Russia was excruciatingly annoying. He didn’t seem to care about the actual Crown’s game, it was rather something of little importance. None of the amazing creations that Vika and Nikolai happened into existence were even impressive for him. He was only looking out for his sickly wife, which sure, I get, but you decided to start the game, not the two enchanters.
Vika was such a feisty girl and I loved her for that. She didn’t give up ever, even after she was hurt in so many possible ways. When her father and mentor died, when she found out it was her fault. There was no possible way for her to resist the pain she felt, but she kept going no matter what. I loved her creativity, her resourcefulness, and her drive. It was obvious that once she put her mind to something, she wouldn’t be shaken.
Nikolai was just as determined, but with rather different motivations. His strength came from his friendship with Pasha and his love for his country. I really admired his vulnerabilities, but he and Vika could’ve probably found a different solution for the ending instead of his death. He’s a genius when it comes to engineering and building things, the benches he made on the island were incredible.
I loved the whole magical system and it felt mysterious and entrancing. Once the two began the contest, the whole story picked up and it was almost impossible to put the book down. I loved seeing how each of them decided to make their moves. The island was by far one of the most incredible, especially how they collaborated with one another to complete it. Vika’s dress at the ball was absolutely stunning.
I loved the ball scene, it was probably my favourite of them all. The best part was when Vika and Nikolai danced together, it was clear that they were falling head over heels for one another. I loved the luxurity of the ball, the politeness of Pasha. The love triangle truly flourished there, but you could only want Vika to get together with Nikolai, it was as if they were built for one another.
I wished the book hadn’t ended the way it did, it broke my heart, shattered all the pieces and threw them into the Neva river. I cried so much at the end of the Crown’s game. I couldn’t quite believe that the book had ended, I kept turning the page to see if there was some more to read.
Thankfully, when I bought the book, I got the second one as well. I’m about to start this one. I hope it is the equal to this one. I loved this book so much. I hope more people read this incredible novel. I recommend this book whole-heartedly.
Wrap Up 2020
Welcome to my first calendaristic year review of books. I know that normally I just review books and I rarely post anything else, which I find to be the right thing to do, after all this is a blog about books that I’ve read.
This year, however, I’ve decided to write a post about my year in books, somewhat like what you would find on Goodreads. I want to tell you all about my favourite and least favourite books from this year, but I can’t do a top ten list, I would much rather tell you about some of the books.
These books are in no particular order, because I find I can’t quite rank books all that well. Here are some of the books that I loved:
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake.
It’s just a wonderful fantasy book that I fell in love with, especially the fact that it is a matriarchal society. I haven’t read anything quite like it.
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
I’m not sure why I decided to start this series, but I’m glad I did. You can easily fall in love with the characters and fast-paced action.
Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin
I devoured this book and you might as well. I adore the enemies to lovers trope and in this novel it is executed brilliantly.
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
A dystopian future where humans have cured all diseases and it is almost impossible to die. Doesn’t it sound promising? It is one of the most amazing series I’ve read and I hope that next year I’ll get my hands on the last book.
Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
While the first book was hard to get through, this one was absolutely amazing. I loved the love triangle and subject matter was fascinating.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Who doesn’t love a good romance story set in Paris? This book was heart-warming and gripping. It was also the first ebook I read this year.
Again but Better by Christine Riccio
If you’ve met me in real life, I’ve probably gushed about how good this book is. I loved the author’s style and the way it was structured, I loved the travels described in the book and the life of a student learning abroad.
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
This was a light read that left me with a smile on my face. I can see why it won a Goodreads choice award in 2019. I loved the representation and the political theme.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I reread this book in December with no clue what actually happened in the novel. I loved this book probably as much as the first time I read it. The depth with which the author portrays the characters is wonderful.
Love Her Wild by Atticus
I didn’t read that many poetry books or anthologies this year, but this one is clearly the best. It gives you hope and makes you feel in love, the short poems don’t follow classic structures, therefore it packs a punch.
Sapiens. A Graphic History. The Birth of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, David Vandermeulen, Daniel Casanave
This is easily one of the best nonfiction books I’ve ever read. It is very informative but also entertaining and I loved it.
Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
This series was incredibly heart-warming, easy-to-read, and enjoyable. I really hope more people read these books because they are phenomenal and adorable.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
This was one of the most fascinating books of the year, even though it was quite short. I loved the whole premise of the portrait that changed due to the sins that Dorian committed.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
This was a reread and I finally gave this book a fair shot. I ended up changing my opinion and falling in love with Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. I loved Jane Austen’s sarcastic tone in the book, it was incredible.
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
How can you possibly forget this story? It is haunting but also hilarious at the same time. Although it is a tragedy, the play has many moments where the audience can laugh. I found the whole premise interesting and the fact that the main character being kidnapped by pirates was a minor aspect of it made the novel all the more ingenious.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I found the point of view from which it is told rather odd, but otherwise this is a solid book that should be read. The way it talks about racism in America is compelling and the intrigue with Bo is also fun.
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
I found this book to be absolutely riveting. The unreliable narrator was incredible and the way you piece together slowly, but surely what the past was truly like was unrivalled.
The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
I was supposed to go to Paris this year with my family and because of the pandemic we had to cancel. Although, reading this book did make me feel as if I were there, it had magically transported me across the continent and I loved it.
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
I loved the whole premise of multiple Londons that are linked together. The magical system was wonderful and I loved reading this series so much. The characters are lovable and relatable.
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
This is a love letter to books and I adored it. I still think about it. The worlds that we are introduced to are astonishing and the action is impressive.
On the other side of the spectrum, here are some books I couldn’t quite stand, without describing them:
It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Twisted Palace by Erin Watt
My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan
Reflecting on this year is something that is necessary before 2021 comes. I read eighty books, some I loved and some I hated. I hope that by this time next year, I will have read fifty books and loved a lot of them.
Dear reader, I hope you’ve had a year with as many moments of joy as possible. I hope that you’ve read books that have made you feel so much more than bored. I hope that you fell in love with at least one book. Thank you so much for reading my reviews this year and I hope they helped you a little, or at least entertained you. We will see each other in the new year, where I hope we read as many books as possible.
Sending love to all of you!
Orașul Mascat de Genevieve Cogman
I’m pretty sure this is the last book I’ll read this year, meaning I’ve finished this year with a fantastic book. The title may sum up how this year was, masked due to a global pandemic.
I loved this book and I absolutely adore this series and I can’t wait for the rest of the books to be translated. I love the whole premise of multiple worlds that differ in the level of chaos. I’ve found the premise of an invisible library and organisation wonderful, but as it wasn’t entirely present in this novel, nor relevant, I won’t analyse it further.
Irene is an incredible character and we delve into her psyche and her thoughts even more in this book. I loved how she kept thinking of Kai, especially when she had thoughts about them in a relationship or about them kissing. She was so strong and she knew exactly what to do in order to finish the task at hand. She managed to fool thousands of Faes and release Kai from his capturers.
I loved the way she wouldn’t give up and how she ended up taking full responsibility for her actions. She never let anyone get her down. She was so perseverent and I loved that about her. I could probably write essays about how much I adore her to be honest.
I also am very attached to Vale right now, he is so sweet and I’m not sure whether he has fallen for Irene, but I wouldn’t be surprised. I also found him rather charismatic and sweet. His affinity for the rational aspects of life and his devotion to his friends are admirable. I found him quite attractive in this novel as well, which came as a surprise.
I wish we had gotten more action with Kai, but seeing as he was locked up in a prison for most of the novel, I understand why that was impossible. I loved how he listened to Irene even when he wanted revenge, transforming from dragon to human once again. His powers did come in handy when they were running to the Train and to what they thought would be safety.
I wish the book had been a bit longer, I wanted to see what would happen to Irene, Kai, and Vale. I was curious to see how the Library would react to Irene’s explanations for the illegalities that she had committed, but after all, she did just stop a war. I hope the next book comes out soon, because I really want to read about the next adventures that Irene goes on.
The action in this book is so fast-paced which was appreciated, it made it hard to put the book down. I wanted to keep turning the pages endlessly, not leaving the worlds that I had been introduced to. I had escaped so thoroughly into this novel that I doubt anything could have possibly convinced me to put it down.
The style of writing the author uses is one of my favourites, I think Cogman is incredibly talented and she knows exactly how to describe things in order to maintain a certain level of suspense. This author is probably going to become one of my all time favourites, which is a hard title.
I hope I manage to convince more people to read this series because it is absolutely incredible. I’ve already recommended the first book in the series to a few of my friends. To you reader, I hope this makes you want to give this series a chance.
Biblioteca de la miezul nopții de Matt Haig
How many regrets do you have? What would you have done differently if given the chance? Would you change your life if you could? These are just some of the questions that the Midnight Library raises.
The beginning of the novel isn’t one of the most optimistic, after all, Nora wants to commit suicide. The first fifty pages are rather hard to read, but once you get past those and get into the library, it’s a wonderful book.
I loved the premise of the novel, especially the way Nora got to try out multiple lives where she had made different choices. I loved how she actually didn’t know what the world she would be jumping into was like. This made for some odd situations, but ultimately worth it just to see how others reacted to her sudden confusion regarding the world around her.
Nora is a complex character who feels hopeless and feels she has no reason to live. The whole library was just to show her that life is fantastic, whether it is bad or good. I loved her evolution throughout the book, she inched closer and closer to a healthier perspective of her life.
Her realisations that all the things she regretted the most (giving up swimming, not marrying Dan, not moving to Australia with Izzy, quitting the band) weren’t really her dreams, but rather the dreams of others that she decided to adopt. She saw just how much she lacked the love of her family in her childhood and how she wished for a life filled with love and people who care about her.
I loved the interactions between Nora and Hugo, another man trapped in the same circumstances as her. They were rather thought-provoking and fascinating. I also ended up thinking about the probability of them seeing each other in different universes multiple times, which mathematically is rather low.
I loved how Nora decided to live in her original life and fix her life there instead of taking over an alternate version. It was inspirational as well as courageous. I loved her somewhat awkward speeches and monologues during the novel which further documented her progress.
The writing itself is addictive and easy to read. I loved how you could get lost in the book effortlessly. The descriptions were fun and at times hilarious, the dialogue was note-worthy and amusing. I loved the way the author portrayed the characters and the different worlds.
The first fifty pages reminded me of the book “Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine”, the main characters both have precarious mental health states. I felt as if it were going to be much the same, but I was wrong. If you’d like a more optimistic book than Eleanor Oliphant, I would recommend this novel.
To conclude, I think this is a wonderful book and I will be reading more books by this author. I hope you give this book a chance, you may even find your perspective on life and its challenges changed for the better.
Sapiens. A Graphic History. The Birth of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, David Vandermeulen, Daniel Casanave
Who would’ve thought that you could make learning about the earliest humans and the human species so interesting. Once you pick up this book, beware, because you may not be able to put it down until you’ve finished it.
I’ve wanted to read Yuval Noah Harari’s books for the longest time, but when I got this book for Christmas I was so excited. I love reading graphic novels, they are just a different way of consuming a story that is somewhat easier to take in. The story of the birth of humankind also seems so hard to properly explain, but taking advantage of illustrations makes everything so much clearer.
I love the way the author and the illustrators worked carefully together to properly explain how homo sapiens is different from all the other species in the Homo genus. I found the book enlightening and well-thought out.
I’m sure all the information couldn’t possibly be put into a graphic novel of about 250 pages, but I’m surely going to buy the next volumes in this series and probably the classic books.
I loved the perspective of the author and how he managed to debunk most of the classic responses to humanity’s origins. I found the whole example with Peugeot wonderful and easy to comprehend.
I was shocked to see how humans differ from animals, which is mainly the ability to create fictions and collaborate in larger societies. Having no background in history, reading this book felt like a good warm up and starting point to read more books on the human condition and its history.
The illustrations are wonderfully drawn and coloured which makes this book so much more appealing to an average reader. The use of different text boxes and dialogue bubbles was amazing and interactive.
While I may not have much to say about this book, I do wish to encourage you to read it and learn everything there is to know.
Șarpe și porumbel de Shelby Mahurin
Reading this book was like taking a breath of fresh air, it instilled new life into my exhausted student body. I loved this book so much and it was so easy to get into and lose yourself.
I wish I could reread this novel without knowing anything that happened, it was so amazing. I loved the whole marriage of convenience and enemies to lovers trope, I think it was really well done. The way the author wrote this whole book was fantastic and the setting was brilliantly detailed.
The magic system wasn’t very detailed and it was rather confusing. It clearly could’ve used some explanations, but it was interesting nonetheless. I liked how the magic left a certain scent, I haven’t really read about anything of the sort, making it unique. I wish the different types of witches were better described and possibly differentiated. The ending with Reid’s newfound magical abilities was intriguing and I can’t wait to see how the author will logically explain what led to that situation.
I really liked the whole conflict between the witches and the Church, it was well-thought out. It was impressive how neither of the two camps were described as being ultimately good or bad, it was a rather grey zone which made the whole situation even more engaging. The leaders of each side were so clearly flawed and it was fantastic to watch them clash at the end of the book.
I couldn’t stand the Archbishop, he was so uptight and hypocritical. The plot twist that occurred around the last quarter of the book was shocking and I couldn’t believe that he and Lou were related. I wish we could’ve delved further into their relationship before the Modraniht celebration and the whole storm that happened then.
Lou is a wonderful character, she’s sassy and snarky, lovable and sweet, vulgar and hilarious. She had such confidence that I could only dream of having. She constantly evolved and was eager to learn new things about the world she lives in. I loved how she didn’t run away from her enemies, except her mother, instead she confronted them. The scenes where she would beat someone up were honestly the best ones.
Reid, on the other hand, was such a stickler and he really couldn’t see outside the bubble that he lived in. He was convinced that witches were evil and must be burned at the stake, he had no mercy for them. His origin story was compelling and when he found out who his mother and father were, it was a shock both for him and the reader. I did appreciate his ability to adapt and slowly change his mentality.
Reid and Lou’s relationship and marriage was fraught with quirky scenes that lightened the mood of the book. They were actually very cute together and I’m glad that they ended up falling in love, slowly but surely. Their love story was actually epic and I adored watching it play out before my eyes.
The friendships that were depicted in the novel were amazing, especially Lou and Coco. They were a pair that weren’t going to leave each other for anything. I admired how loyal they were to one another. I also liked the friendship between Ansel and Lou, the ease with which the two of them would speak and how he knew her true nature but would never betray her were incredible.
To conclude, I found this book thought-provoking and marvelous, I can’t wait to read the next novel in this trilogy. I would recommend this to anyone who loves fantasy novels, especially high fantasy.
The Blonde Hurricane by Jenő Rejtő
This is a shockingly short book, but it is fantastic to be honest. I really liked it, especially as an action-packed novel. I stood up until late at night to finish it which was a great decision.
This is a fast-paced action novel that takes place between the two world wars in Europe. The way it constantly changes perspectives is confusing at times and the sheer amount of characters implicated in the plot was sometimes way more than necessary.
The main character, Evelyn Weston, was such a powerful woman. She knew exactly what she wanted and she would go for it. I loved the way she was vulnerable when she felt as if she were failing, but then she would get back to her normal state in no time which was also inspirational. I loved her drive and her perseverance, she never once asked herself whether she should give up.
Her interactions with Lord Bannister were phenomenal. At first they seemed to despise one another, but as I kept turning the pages, the roots of affection were planted. I loved the way Lord Bannister would continue to help Evelyn no matter what happened, he couldn’t leave her to her own devices which was endearing at times, but sometimes it was just irksome.
The whole plot of the story I really liked, it was intriguing with the whole statuette of the Dreaming Buddha and the diamond. I liked the suspense that the writer imbued the narration with. The whole premise of the criminal who was also after the statuette was also fantastic, it added a whole new level of danger for the main character.
The narration was enjoyable, after all it was as if someone was telling you about the plot of the story, knowing all the small details that the characters in the scene have no idea about. Moreover, it was concise and clear, you never were confused as to what was happening, the exceptions may be the transitions between chapters.
This book was written as if it were a movie, I could basically imagine all the characters on the silver screen. There was one scene where there was a description of a snow storm and how two men were crossing a border which was perfectly described in order to make it seem like a movie.
In conclusion, this is a wonderful book and more people should give it a chance. I’m glad my friend gave it to me for Christmas. I will be recommending this to my friends.
Regatul Sfărâmat by Erin Watt
I didn’t really enjoy this book. I know it’s normal to not love every single book you read, but this one just felt so unrealistic and boring that I couldn’t even hope to like it. This is the last book in the Royals series by Erin Watt. I loved the first book, but afterwards it felt like the author consistently kept dropping in my view.
I found the whole amnesia plot rather weak, not because it was a bad idea, but rather because of how Hartley was supposed to have gotten it because she fell on the floor. I don’t find that plausible which got frustrating. Hartley was relatable, sure enough, even in that situation, but the whole premise I thought was flawed.
I found Easton to be a husk of what he once was, he wasn’t charismatic anymore. He just was protective and honestly so much like Reed that he just pissed me off. I don’t care about his vices, what made him my favourite character in the series was his wit and his charm. In this book he had neither of those.
The action in the story was dull. The plot where Hartley was trying to find proof that her father was taking bribes and switching the outcomes of cases was somewhat entertaining, but it was cut so short. It was only in the last hundred or so pages that this whole storyline pops back up which doesn’t really do it justice.
The scene near the end of the novel where Hartley, Easton, and Ella go to take pictures of the girls’ fathers was supposed to be this huge plot twist, this huge event. It wasn’t though, it was described in such a way that it was almost anticlimactic, I wish the author had written into it more suspense and made it much more eerie, adding in higher stakes.
The book felt as if it were written just to be done with. I know how it is to write such a thing, but I can’t comprehend what was in the author’s mind when they decided to continue writing a book they clearly had no passion for. The one plus side of the novel is the fact that it can be read quickly and without much effort, which is the reason I chose to read it after I took my English exam.
The ending of the series wasn’t what I’d hoped for in any way, shape, or form. I really didn’t like the fact that Ella and Reed got married at 18 and respectively 19 years old. I just object to such a thing to be honest. Although it may be just a personal preference.
To conclude, this was a disappointing book and I’m glad I finished the series. I hope someone else finds this book much better than I did.