Weekly Recap July 2017 #4

Weekly Recap July 2017 #4

Seven books in seven days! I participated in the Booktubeathon 2017 challenge, where I had to read according to seven challenges. I chose books based on a combination of those I wanted to read RIGHT NOW and those that have been sitting in my TBR for WAAAAYYYY too long (looking at you Karen Memory)! Most of the books I read were pretty good, but nothing was a total standout!

Dear Martin – Nic Stone (4 stars) – Finish a book in one day.

Justyce is a good kid. He’s an honour student, destined for Yale. But then he tries to help his white (drunk) ex-girlfriend get home safely. But then he ends up in handcuffs. This moment in his life makes him reconsider his place in his mostly white school, and society in general. He begins to write to Martin Luther King Jr., asking questions about race relations in America. It is a powerful novel. There is a major turning point two-thirds of the way through that just broke my heart into a thousand tiny little pieces. Warning: I cried A LOT! A short book, but incredibly powerful. Perfect for fans of The Hate U Give, and important for everyone to read.

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Funny Kid for President – Matt Stanton (Australian author)(4 stars) – Finish a book completely outdoors.

I chose this one for my outdoors read because I didn’t want to have to stay outdoors for too long! 😛 Max isn’t the smartest or the most athletic or the most handsome. But he is the funniest. This is his selling point as he runs for class president. But it isn’t easy – his teacher, the scary and massive Mr Armstrong, hates his guts, there is a duck stalking him, and his best friend doesn’t seem to understand how to be a campaign manager. Incredibly funny (I mean, it starts with a poo!) with great illustrations, Funny Kid for President is the children’s book I will be telling all parents about!

Karen Memory – Elizabeth Bear (2 stars) – Read a book with a person on the cover.

A book about a group of prostitutes with hearts of gold. I liked how inclusive the book was; it showcased many different kinds of people, of different races and sexualities. However, I wasn’t completely sold on the story. It was a sort of steampunk Western, but sometimes it went too far to either side instead of achieving a good balance between the two genres. There were a lot of weird moments, but also some very good ones. I received this book in a subscription box, and still managed to like it more than I believed I would!

There’s Someone Inside Your House – Stephanie Perkins (3 stars) – Read a hyped book.

This book is a slasher YA novel about a murderer killing teenagers in a small American town. I don’t actually watch horror movies – I really really hate jump scares – so I can’t tell you how good it was at sticking to the slasher genre. What I can tell you is that I really enjoyed the first half but found the second half a little weak. Makani Young, the main character, has some enormous secret which no one can know – while it was a bit distressing, it was rather anti-climactic. I was also a bit disappointed with the murderer’s motivations… But it is still a highly entertaining, fast-paced read. As someone who doesn’t know much about the slasher genre, perhaps I just don’t understand the tropes!

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Forest of a Thousand Lanterns – Julie C. Dao (3 stars) – Read about a character who is very different to you.

Xifeng is absolutely stunning. The cards tell her that she is destined to be the Empress of all Feng Li. But only if she embraces the darkness within her soul. This was a really interesting story, but it was a little slow at times. Xifeng is ambitious and ruthless; she is determined to follow the fate foretold for her, even if it means breaking moral barriers. It was much much darker than I was expecting, but it was the darker moments I enjoyed most. Definitely persevere through the first half – the second half is significantly more exciting!

Trick – Natalia Jaster (4 stars) – Read seven books.

My friends have been telling me to read this book for ages, and I FINALLY relented. And how pleased I am that I did. Trick is told from two perspectives, that of Poet, the court jester, and that of Briar, an Autumn princess on a diplomatic mission. The world is split into four courts – Spring, Summer, Winter and Autumn. Every year the kings and queens gather in the court of Spring to discuss diplomatic relations. Briar hates being in the kingdom of Spring – it’s where she lost her father many years ago – and is resentful that she, as a princess and not a queen, is not permitted to sit in on the diplomatic meetings. She is not happy. And then she meets Poet, a total flirt with secrets he keeps very close to his heart. The two detest each other at first, but they begin to thaw. It was a masterful story which kept me on tenterhooks. What I wasn’t expecting from this novel were the sex scenes which I got – while there weren’t many, they were definitely more graphic than I was expecting from a book which I received from the YA Chronicles. (Still loved those scenes though! *wink*)

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The Book of Lost Things – John Connolly (4 stars) – Read a book you bought because of the cover.

I absolutely bought this book because of the cover – JUST LOOK AT IT! The story itself was a little bit dense, but still totally marvellous. It revolves around David, a little boy who has lost his mother and is struggling to find his place in his father’s new family, with his new half-brother and stepmother. The backdrop to the story is World War II, but we spend very little time in the real world. David is pulled into a messed-up fairytale world where he meets a woodcutter, seven dwarves and a demanding Snow White, and a knight on a quest to find his lover. I loved the stories that the characters told him – weird and twisted versions of well-known fairytales with an important moral. An incredibly interesting story that I would definitely recommend, especially for anyone who loves fairytales in any way, shape or form. Although not a book I would have picked up without this particular cover, I’m so glad I did!

What did you read this week? Do you ever participate in challenges?

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