I wrote this title as a way to convince myself this is going to happen. I want to get through at least two more Outlander books, finish Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens, and read all the books I want to pre-order that are coming out this year (however Rainbow Rowell hasn’t revealed the release date yet so that one is still up in the air). I did however start out the year strong by reading The Wicked King by Holly Black (the Queen of Faeries). I have loved Holly Black since as a shy awkward middle schooler I discovered her books in the high school library. It opened a whole new world to me one where I soon discovered Melissa Marr, my favorite author, and from there reading about the world of fey was never the same.
I wasn’t even aware Holly Black was even writing a new series until a colleague of mine had the book in her classroom and I stole it and read it in an entire day and was so miserable when I found out the next book didn’t come out for another year. And then I read The Wicked King in an entire day so that didn’t help either.
The Wicked King pretty much starts off where the last book ended (for the most part, there really is no back story or any information we need to start the story off where it starts). Jude is using Cardan as her puppet and I must say for a while there I was convinced that everything would be ok for a while but we must be aware of two things while reading this book 1) it is part of a series so obviously it can’t be perfect because there are more books coming 2) it’s Holly Black and when have we ever known Holly Black to ever leave us, the reader, satisfied and happy? So now that you have been warned you really should read these books. Fey in the world of Holly Black aren’t Tinkerbell, though sometimes they do have her attitude. They are evil, at their core, and love to toy with humans and their emotions. You cannot absolutely under any circumstances trust Fey because they will betray you at the first chance they get. Jude clearly hadn’t learned her lesson and sadly by the end of the book she does but I still don’t think Jude deserved the hand that was dealt to her. She is trying to protect her baby brother, put him on the throne and in the meantime it seems like everyone else wants to be King of the Fey (which really doesn’t seem that appealing). She is a human trying to navigate the world of Fey and it is not easy. Plus the slow burn love story is so my kind of thing.
Before Christmas break I read the Hate U Give which is the book of this generation. No other book fully encompasses what this generation is about than this book. Which today I discovered that The Wicked King has displaced The Hate U Give from it’s #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller list before it made it to a 100 weeks. Which was an impressive run and says a lot about Holly Black and the power of Fairies. So most people have probably already read THUG and I am late to the party but it’s never too late to read such an amazing book. If anything it teaches what it is like to navigate two worlds while being someone of color and what everyday life is like for people of color/minority. I have yet to see the movie because I have no time to do anything but it is on my list 🙂
So that is what I have read recently. Over Christmas break (while trying frantically to finish my Goodreads challenge 😦 didn’t happen), I did however manage to read quite a few books and watch a lot of Netflix. I read a whole slew of romance novels because they are easy and steamy and just what I needed after surviving my first ever semester of teaching. I also finally finished reading Outlander. I found my copy, that had fallen behind one of the guest beds at my parents house, and read the last 100 pages in one night and I realized then and there I was going to commit. I honestly have no idea how many books are in the series or how long it will take me but I am already on book three and book two was over 800 pages and I managed that over Christmas break so I am going for it. I bought the first one because a friend told me I would like the TV series and I didn’t realize they were books until I started looking into it. I was powering through the first book until I finally gave in and started watching the TV show and sadly that is when I stopped reading the book. So no TV show until I am at least done with all the books that have been adapted and then I can watch the show.
The Outlander series is amazing because yes it is a romance but it really is so much more than that. It is a story that goes beyond the romance but is still romance. Some romance books are literally all about the romance and when the story is done, it is done. That is not the case with Outlander because it is a saga. It is an epic tale that goes on and on and is amazing and so detailed and engaging. They are extremely long books but so worth it in my opinion.
The last two books are lesser known books, one of them being a book I kept telling myself I should read but kept finding a reason not to. I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak was definitely not what I expected at all. I loved The Book Thief so of course I got my hands on a copy of his other book. It sat on my shelf for a really long time until he came out with his newest book. I bought a copy at Target, my favorite place to buy books, and realized I never read his other book.
I don’t know what I was expecting because it has been a really long time since I read The Book Thief but his style of writing mirrors the style of writing of another favorite author of mine so it didn’t take long to get into or realize how gifted he is at writing. It started out slow, which is not unusual and by the end you just feel good. It was just such a wholesome book, not in a PG kind of a way, but the story just made you happy.
I can never remember character names so we will just call him guy. It’s about this guy who drives a cab and has a rather boring, nondescript life who one day he stops a bank robbery in progress. Then these playing cards start showing up in his mail box and his life is suddenly changed. He’s been selected for this mission, a purpose and he doesn’t get it at first and honestly neither did I but the story was so interesting and the style of writing so intriguing that I kept going and I am so glad I did. Because what our narrator discovered and what we discover at the end is so amazing. It’s like that beautiful song at the end of a great movie that sums it all up and all you want to is keep listening to that song and remembering how great that movie was. That is what I was feeling when I finished that book like I never wanted that feeling to end.
The last book I am going to write about is a graphic novel called Sheets. It’s about ghosts, and laundry matts and a girl who feels very, very alone. It is sad, and sweet and the perfect amount of words and pictures for a graphic novel and I am so glad I bought it. Marjorie is trying to keep her family Laundromat business afloat after her mom died and her dad is still grieving. Marjorie has to care for her little brother, go to school and come home and make sure her livelihood is ok. Wendell is a ghost who makes up stories to fit in with the other ghosts but it isn’t until he ends up accidentally in Marjorie’s laundromat that he discovers something about himself and helps Marjorie along the way. This is a delightful middle/high school grade read.