Well, I am not going to lie. I am reading much less this summer than I thought I was going to. Wedding planning has taken over my life. With that said, I have read 10 books since school let out and 43 books in 2012, so I am proud of that overall! I have read a few other books in the last few weeks that I want to share my thoughts on.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
My amazing co-teacher Jacqueline, one of my go-to book people, told me about this book. Veronica Roth raved about it on her blog and Jacqueline was looking forward to reading it. The price was reasonable on my Nook so I downloaded it. I am torn on this book. There are things I loved and things I was not too crazy about. I love that this book is set in Russia. I am so intrigued by Russia and love books from there. I am really not sure why; I just do. I was also very interested in Alina’s world and learning about the ways of the Grisha. It was incredibly fascinating to dive into this brand new world. I was also impressed with the writing in the book. However, some things did bother me. First of all, Alina’s excessive whining about herself – she is not pretty enough, she is not good enough, there is some mistake about her. That was a bit much. I know she is a teenage girl, but she honestly had nothing to positive to say about herself. I also would have liked to know more about her and Mal’s past but I supposed there could be more revealed in later books. There was also a lack of action for me…too much build up of the main conflict. However, I overall enjoyed the story and am interested in reading the rest of the series.
Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo
I downloaded this book last summer for a beach read but fell into Divergent instead. I wanted something fun and light-hearted to read so I went back to this. Overall, I enjoyed the book. First of all, anything in London will have me hooked. I like the information I learned about Austen and references to her books. I also appreciated the ending as it was not what I was expecting and not what is usually found in “chick-lit.” I gave this 3/5 stars of Goodreads because ti was fun and I enjoyed it but there was really nothing that blew me away.
Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
This is another books that has been sitting on my TBR pile for over a year and was also recommended by Jacqueline. I was hooked throughout most of the book. I had never heard of Vel d’Hiv before, so this was educational in that respect. I also think it could be a good title for some readers for my historical fiction project. I really liked the book when it alternated between Sarah’s story as a young girl – heartbreaking as it was – and Julia’s life in 2002. It was fascinating learning stuff about the even as Julia did and I wondered if it is viewed with as much passiveness in Paris as the book suggests. I was starting to lose interest in the end and wasn’t sure how it would end up. It was very different than I expected but overall I am glad I read it to learn more about WWII history.
What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
It is hard to be reading YA and teaching high school without hearing about Dessen. With that said, I only ever read one of her other books Just Listen. I have three of her books in addition to What Happened to Goodbye in my classroom and they do get checked out on a somewhat regular basis by my female students. Something was really pulling me to this book over the others. I absolutely loved it! I love the character of Mclean. She seems so real and likely to be in my classroom. Her struggle to find out who she really is definitely speaks to high school students – or even me when I was a college graduate! The other characters in the story were likable as well. Of course Dave was fun but I also had a strong connection to Deb; must be the type-A personality. Many of the characters were rather complex which made them very fun to read and get to know. I can see this one being popular next year in my classroom.
I have a number of books sitting on the TBR pile still for the summer. Currently, I am reading The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I also cannot wait to sink my teeth into Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness, the sequel to A Discovery of Witches. I hope to be sharing my thoughts about these and other titles soon!