Hi, everyone! Hope you are all doing well and had a fabulous reading month. It’s been a bit slow for me this month, which was too be expected as I returned to university for my final semester. I’m soooo looking forward to going on a reading binge (which I usually do in January) when university is over.
Anyways, this month I read a total of 4 books. Overall, it was quite a decent reading month, with an average rating of 3.6 stars.
- The first book I read was the first in the Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians series (the first book is titled the same) by Brandon Sanderson.
The novel follows Alcatraz Smedry, who was found by his Grandpa Smedry shortly after his thirteenth birthday. Alcatraz begins to discover his family history, and his ‘talent’, which is to break things. I will avoid saying anything else, because this book is just so adventurous, and so fun, that I think you should just discover it all for yourself.
I loved the narrative style! Again, hard to say much without giving it all away – but Alcatraz’s awareness of him writing a novel (sorry, an autobiography) was brilliant. The fourth wall breaks, the occasional break in the linear narrative – it made for a really fun, and somewhat interactive (sometimes you had to rotate the book to read) reading experience.
I gave this 4 stars.
2. The second book I read this month was The Scrivener’s Bones: Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson.
This one was just as fun as the first! We began to delve more in to the mythology behind the Smedry Talent’s, featured a (sort-of) heist. Again, it had such a fun narrative style, and was incredibly witty. I also awarded this 4 stars.
3. The third book I read this month was The Knights of Crystallia: Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson.
I was feeling a bit wary going in to book three, as I had loved the first & second, and I was feeling worried that the things I loved would begin to get tiring OR the book just wouldn’t have that same ‘magic’. However, I worried for nothing. With each and every book, we dive deeper in to the ‘conspiracy’ of the Librarians, the Smedry talents. In this, we got to see more of Bastille’s life, as we found out who she is, and what forces she has working against her. Getting to see more of this world was wonderful.
Again, I awarded this 4 stars.
4. My fourth read this month was my book group – A Book Nirvana on Goodreads – monthly read along. We had decided to read, based on Emer’s recommendation, This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada.
I have had this book on my shelf since early on in it’s release, but never got around to reading it. I think I picked it up once before, read a couple pages, and then put it back down because I was not in the mood for it. However, I was excited to read this for our January selection, and oh wow. IT WAS AMAZING! I can’t talk about this book without giving spoilers – but let me tell you, the blurb to this novel does not capture how fabulous, how complex, this book is.
5. My fifth read for this month was a novel I read for my contemporary fiction class at uni, The Circle by Dave Eggers.
I was intrigued by this novel, as is looks at the impact of rising technology and the power of corporations, with human rights implications, etc. Also, when the film came out a few years ago with Emma Watson, I wanted to watch it, but ultimately never got around to it.
This book was decent. Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it. I felt like it had so much unnecessary exposition, without any real reason. For example, the plot would finally be moving somewhere and then it would feel the need to rehash an earlier idea, which had already been thoroughly explained in the beginning of the book. And it was like yes, I get it.
The ending was dismal. Everything came to a head in maybe the last 20 pages? And even then, it didn’t feel like a proper conclusion.
My other complaint is that you can tell this was written by a man. The way Mae was written, weirdly sexualised, and her opinion on sex and men…just no. It was weird. And this book had so many handjobs in it?? Like, why??
Ultimately, I gave this book a 2 star rating, but am considering lowering it to 1. And, I’m unsure on the general consensus, but I much preferred the film adaption to this.
That was my January 2020 in books! Not a bad month at all. I’m excited to continue on with Sanderson’s Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians Series, and Suvada’s This Mortal Coil trilogy. Hopefully I’ll get to some of them over the course of February.