August ended up being a pretty good reading month. Looking at the books I realized all of them were from the library, three out of seven being e-books. The number of YA titles are pretty high this month, 3/7. I have one non-fiction (yay!), one classic and two contemporaries. Here is the list, in no particular order of reading.
- ‘The Nix’ by Nathan Hill
- ‘Truthwitch’ by Susan Dennard
- ‘Jamaica Inn’ by Daphne du Maurier
- ‘Everything Good Will Come’ by Sefi Atta
- ‘Jane Austen and Marriage’ by Hazel Jones
- ‘Six of Crows’ by Leigh Bardugo
- ‘A Court of Wings and Ruin’ by Sarah J. Maas
Let’s start with ‘The Nix’, the last book I finished. It is the story of Samuel, a college professor abandoned by his mother, Faye, when he was a boy. Samuel cannot get over the fact of being abandoned by Faye and his life seems to have gotten sidetracked ever since she left. Now she appears in his life again, due to an absurd crime she has committed, and he goes on this journey of discovering Faye’s mysterious past. And as expected throughout this journey he will rediscover himself.
I didn’t expect much of this one and didn’t know anything about it other than it’s worth the read. I was not disappointed. I loved the writing style. It was funny and witty, and at times I could not get enough of it.
The storyline in itself did not captivate me. First of all, the story runs in different timelines. We go back and forth between Samuel’s childhood, Faye’s youth, and the present. This, I guess, was necessary in order to understand the whole picture but at times I felt it unnecessary. It made the story too long. The author seemed to be trying to build up momentum for the big finale, which, in my opinion, did not come…it all kind of fizzled out into this simple and unimaginative ending.
There were whole sections with side characters which could have been left out, as they didn’t seem to add to the plot. It made the story quirkier, yes, but seemed kind of unnecessary. I feel like there was just too much packed into this one story. So instead of adding that whole subplot with Laura Pottsdam and Samuel’s job, I would have welcomed a whole story on her for example, with Samuel as a side character. She seemed interesting and would be interested to see how she ends up. Another unnecessary subplot was that of Samuel’s gaming friend, Pwnage, could have been made into a book on its own. His failed marriage and unsuccessful attempts at a normal life made impossible by his gaming addiction was another interesting subject which I feel was started but never developed to its fullest.
I don’t want to talk too much about the YA books, as I think I will do a separate blogpost about them. I will just say that I LOVED ACOWAR, as expected, despite its many flaws. There’s something about that world that captivates me, or maybe it’s the plot/world. What bugged me were sentences like this one: ‘I lifted my head from his sculpted chest at last, my fingers digging into the hard muscles of his shoulders as I peered into his concerned face.’ I get that Lucien has a sculpted chest and hard muscles, I wouldn’t imagine it any other way, but please, leave those facts up to my imagination! Or the superfluous ‘Rys crooned’ and ‘his words were a silk covered scrape of nails down my mind’ and their endless variations drove me made. BAH!
I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Truthwitch’. Loved the world, and the strong female characters and female friendship but I felt that this book too had its flaws, in a way many YA books are flawed. Just to give an example, the love interest was not that well developed and too sugary for my taste.
The last YA book was ‘Six of Crows’. And let me tell you, it was a letdown. How I suffered through The Grisha Trilogy just to get most out of this one! I completely understand now why everyone said that I don’t need to read that trilogy in order to understand this book. So true! My expectations were high as everyone on Booktube raved about this book and said it was much better than The Grisha Trilogy, which is true. It is better in the sense that the trilogy was simply awful and this was bad. If bad is better than awful then yes, ‘Six of Crows’ is better. I think I’m done with Leigh Bardugo. Sorry, if you love her books, her writing is just not for me, I guess. L
The non-fiction book I read was about Jane Austen. To know more about my thoughts on ‘Jane Austen and Marriage’ go to my post Library Haul: Jane Austen.
After reading Daphne du Maurier’s the ‘Frenchman’s Creek’ and thoroughly enjoying it, I was sure to love ‘Jamaica Inn’, especially because I saw a TV adaptation of it a couple of years ago and I remember how caught up in the story I was. For a mystery book I felt that it lacked in action. It is about this young woman, Mary, who after her mother’s death moves to her aunt’s inn which I ‘haunted’ by her aunt’s husband and his mysterious nocturnal activities. For a mystery book, I felt it too slow paced. There was too much focus on scenery for my taste and too little happened in terms of action. I love Daphne du Maurier’s writing style but I felt this style did not go well with this particular plotline. I will not give up on her books just yet, as I really enjoyed ‘Frenchman’s Creek’. Plus I gravitate more towards romance than mysteries so this just might have been the wrong du Maurier for me.
And the last book was an impulse library loan. I saw it on the shelves and just said, why not. ‘Everything Good Will Come’ is the story of Enitan Taiwo, an eleven year old girl living in Nigerian under military rule in the 70s. It is the story of her life with Nigerian politics in the background. A story about family, relationships, culture and politics. Overall I enjoyed the first part of the book better, the childhood of Enitan and her friendship with Sheri, the outspoken girl from next door. My interest declined steadily afterwards all the way to the end. The book addressed issues I was interested in, like how women are perceived in Nigeria. But I feel that I have read much better books dealing with the same subject much better. See my review of ‘Stay with Me’ by Ayobami Adebayo or ‘Americanah’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Overall I am happy with this month’s reading. For September I haven’t planned out my TBR but I know that I want to read Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ because I am dying to watch the series on HBO and I must read the book before I do that.Follow me: