A review and rating of the last 5 books I read and a look into my TBR list for books to come

Author: V. E. Schwab
Publication Date: September 2013
Genre: fantasy, science fiction
Method: personal paperback

This is the story of two college friends who force upon themselves superpowers, but don’t become superheroes, unlike classic comic books storylines. Instead, villians with vicious intents.

I will admit, I was nervous going into this given how mehh I felt about VE Schwab’s The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. But this story? Incredible. Deliciously wicked, genius, and seamless from start to end – this was near perfection.

This was fun to read, probably the most fun I’ve had reading in the past 6 months. I was intrigued and invested right from the start. Personally, I’m not one for superhero movies, tv shoes, comic books, etc. But this was fantastic. A story all about villians is definitely something I can sink my teeth into. As a reader, I like cheering for the bad guys, and this book perfectly lends itself to that. My only complaint is that I lost interest in the last quarter or so. I loved the initial set up and the character backgrounds but when we got into the meat of the combat and violence near the conclusion of the book, I just lost interest, thus the 4 star rating.

Atomic Habits
Author: James Clear
Publication Date: October 2018
Genre: nonfiction, self help, personal development
Method: personal hardback

Finally a self-help, productivity book that left me feeling like I actually learned something. So much of what the author James Clear shares feels practical. I know going into 2022 that I can and will implement what I’ve learned in this book to improve my habits to achieve my goals.

In addition to the actual instructional and educational tips and tricks about productivity and habit formation, I really enjoyed the real life examples and historical references shared to drive home whatever point Clear was making. More than once I found myself discussing something in the book with Kyle. The section about climate, crops, and agriculture was fascinating! Definitely would recommend to others.

Daisy Jones & The Six
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publication Date: March 2019
Genre: historical fiction
Method: audiobook via TPL

If you will recall, I wasn’t a huge fan of this story the first time I read the ebook back in April of 2020, when my journey back into reading first began. Honestly I didn’t understand the massive and extreme hype, gave it 3 stars.

Since then, I’ve continued to only heard people ranting and raving about this story, literally everyone, everywhere – Bookstagram, Booktube, Book Tok, and even in my personal circle of book friends. Once I found out the audiobook had an entire cast of voice actors, I was re-intrigued. So when the year was winding down and I had time for one last audiobook, the time had come.

And oh my god, could I have been more wrong. The magic in the story lies inside the audiobook. For me, this story was so much more incredibly engaging and enjoyable via audio. I found the humorous moments to be more obvious and funny, especially when band members would misremember an event or details, something that I think I totally missed reading the physical book.

The TV adaptation produced by Amazon CAN’T COME SOON ENOUGH

Author: V. E. Schwab
Publication Date: September 2018
Genre: fantasy, science fiction
Method: hardcover borrowed from TPL

I didn’t know this story could get better, but with the introduction of the deliciously evil Marcella Riggins and the added layer of evil and vengeance she brings to the story, top tier excellence. Which is very surprising for me because the reveal of her connection to the mob wasn’t followed by personal dread and annoyance, as is the same reveal in a mystery or thriller story.

I think the mafia/mob angle works for me in this story, where it doesn’t in thrillers, is two fold: firstly because she’s a woman, uh hello badass, and secondly, because it actually becomes an integral part of the story (and gives context to Marcella’s backstory). There’s two mystery-thrillers I read in 2021 that once the reveal of a characters involvement in the mafia/mob happened, immediately no, I lost all interest. It’s just cheap and lazy to me.

What I love about this duology as a whole is how many different timelines, plot points, and characters with their own unique, personal missions and reason for seeking revenge. There’s just a lot going on, all the time, and I love that in this story. Similar to Vicious, I like following the trail of clues V. E. Schwab is making me chase after. And don’t get me started on Eli’s back story, the emotional roller coaster VES had me on? The audacity. Thank you.

Now how many more years until Victorious is published?

What’s up next on my TBR

Until next time, Meryn


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