Hey book nerds, welcome back to the TGS book review. Summer flew by so this specific review is going to cover both August and September, let’s get into it.
- Truthwitch by Susan Dennard // I had very high hopes for this book (witches, YA, badass duo of chosen sisters) but unfortunately it fell short. The idea was fantastic but the writing didn’t dig deep enough. I wish I could have gotten a bit more background on both Safi and Iseult because the overall plot was difficult to follow. It wasn’t great but it was good enough for me to pick up the sequel and hope for some redemption. 3 out of 5 stars.
- Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh // Another super high hope YA fantasy novel and it just didn’t deliver for me. For this book there wasn’t one specific thing that bothered me, I just overall I wasn’t super into it. The premise is amazing, a young Japanese woman has to fight her way though extenuating circumstances and learn how to survive. I loved the action sequences but the first half of the book was a bit of a trudge to get through. Goodreads lists it as a Mulan retelling but compared to my beloved Mulan, it missed the mark. 3 out of 5 stars.
- Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave // I finished this book in two days and wow it was a big ol’ NO from me dog *Randy Jackson voice*. The protagonist (if you can even call her that) is beyond insufferable. The author kicks off the books admitting the lead character’s wrongdoings and then proceeds to attempt to make her a salvageable human being but never succeeds. I loved Laura Dave’s previous novel Eight Hundred Grapes but this was a hard pass. 2 out of 5 stars.
- Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo // After a string of so-so and legitimate bad reads, Warbringer brought me back to life. I actually went to Leigh’s signing of Warbringer at The Grove in LA on release day and got to meet her (she is a DELIGHT). Through the audience questions I really got a good sense of what she tried to accomplish with this iconic character. Leigh’s Diana is a seventeen year old girl whose adventure leads her to New York. The book is very female focused (Diana’s newfound best friend is a fellow seventeen year old named Alia) and really drives home the importance of female strength and support. I loved every second of this book, Leigh did Diana very proud. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
- Too Much and Not the Mood by Durga Chew-Bose // TMANTM is a collection of beautiful essays that reflect on everything from growing up to losing someone you love. The very first essay takes up nearly half of the book and to be completely honest, it was took me a while to get through but once I did the back half of the essays were glorious. I devoured them and enjoyed every second. 4 out of 5 stars.
- Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris // This was my book club’s pick for September. I breezed through this in about four days but found myself hardly retaining any of the short stories. Because they were more memories than anything, they flew in one ear and out the other. This was my first Sedaris book and unfortunately it wasn’t my favorite. 3 out of 5 stars.
- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman // I’ve had Eleanor on my “to read” list for months and was so excited to dive into it. Eleanor was one of the most unique voices I’ve read in quite some time and I was captivated by the story. The plot is revealed in small glimpses through Eleanor’s own offerings and reactions which makes it almost a mystery as to how she became the way she is. After reading the book I found myself looking at my own habits and routines and how they can be perceived by people in my life. Eleanor gave me a newfound appreciation of the realization that not everyone is as they appear. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
- Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas // This book was originally supposed to be a novella but in typical SJM fashion it turned into a 660 page brick (not that I’m complaining). ToD takes place at the same time as Empire of Storms, following Chaol’s journey to the Southern Continent while Aelin & Co kick ass up north. I’ve been looking forward to this book for months on end as the entire Throne of Glass series is one of my all time favorite YA fantasy series and IT DELIVERED. Maas has such a fabulous way of world building while still keeping you on edge waiting for the action sequences you know are going to blow the roof off. After year’s of waiting, Chaol finally got the justice and time he deserved. SPOILER ALERT I cannot WAIT for the much anticipated Aelin/Yrene reunion. 5 out of 5 stars.