It’s WWW Wednesday, a tag hosted on Taking on a World of Words It’s easy to do, just answer the three questions below! My post is coming to you a little bit later than I hoped because I finished two things yesterday, so I had to amend all of my answers.
What are you currently reading?
Like I predicted last week, I wanted to continue on with one of the series I started. I’m buddy reading the Divine Cities series by Robert Jackson Bennett, so I’m just starting the final book in the trilogy, City of Miracles, after (spoiler) I finished the first two books last week. Didn’t get very far into it so I don’t have initial thoughts. I’m liking this fantasy series so far, they just aren’t quite 5-star for me because it’s a bit drier and slower than Foundryside.
After the Kavanaugh hearing last week I, like a lot of women in the US, were so pissed that we funneled that bad energy into feminist nonfiction. I’m reading Rage Becomes Her by Soraya Chemaly, part of the #ragealong hosted by MrsMurphyReads on Instagram (I’m just not following the schedule because I have to finish the audiobook before it’s due at the library). I’m enjoying it, but I do wish it focused on the anger aspect more. After the first couple of chapters it turned into “here’s all the things women could be mad about” rather than how women use anger and how anger affects them. Still a good gender studies text, especially if you haven’t read a ton of it before.
And finally for my train read, I’m just starting I Hate Fairyland Vol. 4, which is a fantastic graphic novel series if you’re in need on one.
What did you recently finish reading?
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (★★★★☆):
I dropped the book I was listening to from Monday to pick this up as soon as it became available from my library. I wrote a pretty rambley review about it here, but overall I think it was a fun, fast-paced novel that’s both a first-contact story but more importantly an interesting examination of internet fame and media obsession. (Audio via Libby)
City of Stairs (★★★★☆):
This is my second Robert Jackson Bennett book so it’s too soon to say it’s a trend, but I think he might be a great mimic. This could be my imagination or it could be a coincidence, but Foundryside reminded me so much of several of Brandon Sanderson’s books, and now this series reminds me of China Mieville’s books. They are great books, don’t get me wrong, but as soon as I noticed the beginning of the pattern I’m like “Hm, I wonder what other fantasy writer he’ll mimic next!” (Audio via Scribd*)
Dry (★★★★☆):<— I’m on a string of 4 star books. Meh, could be worse.
Dry is an apocalyptic-esque thriller, multiple perspective story on the desperation that follows when Southern California runs dry. It starts from people stealing cases on water from each other at CostCo and quickly devolves into doing absolutely whatever it takes to survive.
All of the main characters are teenagers, which means there was a good chunk of the middle where I had to stop reading, turn to my S.O. and say “THESE KIDS ARE SO DUMB!” or “Listen to the 10-year-old! Your plan is stupid.” But hey, I’ve watched a lot of disaster movies so I’m pretty judgy.
This is also my first Neal Shusterman book, so I’m not sure if this is just his style or not, but there were a lot of heavy-handed metaphorical or “deep thought” statements that you’d typically see at the end of an important passage or at the end of books, but that were just thrown around every page or so. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at the “momentous” moments these 16-year-old kids were internal monologuing about. (Oh god the more I type, the more I want to lower the rating).
One more gripe. This book had real stakes and bad things happen. But I couldn’t help but feel at the end that none of their decisions actually mattered? Like if they had decided to stay versus go or this way or that, it seems like the ending would’ve been the same. The main characters didn’t bring about the end of the book, so the deus ex machina element to this made the ending a bit of a let down for me.
Ok, so let’s say it’s a 3.5 star that I’m rounding up. If you like Neal Shusterman’s style, you’ll likely enjoy this more than me. I’m still going to give Scythe a chance to see if I like his dystopians more. (Advance Reader Copy found at library, so not-sponsored)
I had to DNF this book. I started the audio on Monday but dropped it for Hank Green’s book. But when I picked it back up on Wednesday I just could not get into this story. It’s either the book or it’s me. The storybook style made me feel like I was being kept at a distance from the characters and I couldn’t make heads or tales of the plot. I gave up at 50% in to the audio. I think my mood on Thursday/Friday might’ve contributed, so I’ve checked it back out so I can try again in a few weeks. (Audio via Libby)
Saga Vol. 9 (★★★★★):
This was one of the better volumes in this already great graphic novel series. Some of the panels and spreads in this are just incredible. And that cliffhanger… This hiatus is going to suck. (eBook via Hoopla)
City of Blades (★★★★☆): (~4.5)
See above for City of Stairs. A lot of the same feelings apply for this installment of the series, but the ending on this one was so good that it earns the extra half-star. I liked having Mulaghesh as the main character this time around. I’m going to do a series review once I finish.
What do you think you’ll read next?
First book that I have to get to that was on last week’s list is The Book of Joan. I have 4 days left on my audio loan so wish me luck! Ha. I’ll turn to Lethal White after that. For my buddy read, I’ll probably start my next book in the Wheel of Time series as I’m reading one of those a month. After I finish I Hate Fairyland, I’ll probably pick up Good and Mad by Rebecca Traister as my next train read. It’ll be interesting to compare that one to Rage Becomes Her.
Also next week I’m hoping to do the Charms Extra Credit from Book Roast’s Magical Readathon but still have to decide on my TBR.
What I’ve acquired: I bought both Good and Mad by Rebecca Traister and Vox by Christina Dalcher (which I listened to in August) from my local bookstore Solid State Books; then I was in a witchy mood so I bought An Unkindness of Magicians and A Discovery of Witches from secondhand charity shop Carpe Librum.
What I’ve unhauled: I unhauled two DNFs (An Association of Small Bombs, In Cold Blood), two thrillers I won’t reread (You, Emma in the Night) and two YA books, one read (The Rest of Us Just Live Here) and one unread (The Dazzling Heights). All of those went to Little Free Libraries near me.