Wrap Up: May 2018 or Finally.

I had a really good reading month, especially compared with the last two. I read 10 books which I mostly enjoyed.

Books read in April:

  1. An Abbrevitaed Life by Ariel Leve: 2,5 out of 5 stars
  2. Not That Bad eNotificationsdited by Roxane Gay: 5 out of 5 stars
  3. The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh: 4 out of 5 stars
  4. Florida by Lauren Groff: 4 out of 5 stars
  5. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor: 3 out of 5 stars
  6. The White Book by Han Kang: 4 out of 5 stars
  7. Women & Power by Mary Beard: 3 out of 5 stars
  8. Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries #2) by Martha Wells: 4 out of 5 stars
  9. My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferries: 4 out of 5 stars
  10. Caliban’s War (The Expanse #2) by James S. A. Corey: 3 out of 5 stars

Continue reading “Wrap Up: May 2018 or Finally.”

Review: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

36187690Verdict: I don’t even know.

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Published by Hodder & Stoughton, 2017

Genre: Fantasy, YA

Find it on Goodreads.

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.

I am in two minds about this book: for the first 200 pages or so, I was in love. After that, not so much. Therefore, here are my thoughts, first in list form then more elaborate:

Pros:

  • Prose
  • world-building
  • Lazlo

Cons:

  • Pacing
  • Plot
  • Insta-love.

Laini Taylor has created a wonderfully vivid world here. The glimpses she provides are mesmerizing and exciting, however, I did not find that she took the world to the necessary conclusions for it to really work for me. Lazlo Strange (named that way like all other orphans with no name) is a librarian and dreamer: he has always dreamed of the unnamed city whose name has been stolen. Ridiculed and with his head in the clouds he seems set on an ordinary life when one day a convoy from that lost city arrives and his dreams of visiting become true. The world Laini Taylor conjures is brilliant but not always quite cruel enough. I could not stop comparing it to N. K. Jemisin’s Inheritance trilogy with similar themes which is much stronger. I am super intrigued to see where Laini Taylor takes her story next though and the potential for this world to become a favourite is there.

You can tell that Laini Taylor constructs her sentences with care and they are a thing of beauty; in the beginning I found the prose lush and intoxicating until suddenly it did not work for me anymore. The plot suffers from the wordiness of the prose and her pacing is off because every single little thing needs to be described with very many words. Beautiful words, as I say, but sometimes unnecessary words. I think the book would have been much stronger had it been at least 100 pages shorter.

I adore Lazlo though and loved to spend time with him; he is steadfast and loyal and most importantly kind and genuinely good in a way that characters are not often allowed to be. I adored this and my heart hurts thinking about where his story will go next.

One of my main issues will probably be only an issue for me: the book becomes romance heavy in a way that I don’t enjoy in my books. I fundamentally did not believe the progression of the love and that is a problem; especially with regards to the ending.

PS: I have also found a new pet peeve: this book’s (and the second book’s) title are used ad nauseam here and it drove me up the walls. If I have to hear either the phrase “Strange the Dreamer” or “Muse of Nightmares” one more time, I will scream.

Impromptu “I am three books behind on my reading challenge”-TBR

The last few weeks have been rough, reading wise. I am as of today three books behind on my Goodreads reading challenge and I really want to change that. Luckily, it’s a bank holiday tomorrow, which means I have a whole day I can dedicate to reading and hopefully catching up at least a little bit.

I am currently in the middle of six books, which is also stressing me out, so I will try and finish at least one, hopefully two of those books in the next 26 hours. I will prioritize the books I am actually excited to read and see from there.

My TBR

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

36187690I am a bit further than half way through this book and enjoying it immensely. It is not perfect (sometimes the characters behave a bit too prop-like for my taste) but it is beautifully written and very readable.

 

 

Not That Bad edited by Roxane Gay

35068524This is brilliant. I adore everything about this anthology. I have around 80 pages left of this, so I will definitely be finishing it.

 

 

It by Stephen King

36320307There is no way I am finishing this any time soon but I am hoping to at least make a dent. I am currently around 11 hours into the 44 hour long audiobook and while I still think that the book is too long, I have found my rhythm with it and am actually mostly enjoying it.

 

Monstress, Vol. 2: The Blood by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

33540347I have not been as good at reading graphic novels as I would like. It is a genre I enjoy while I read them but somehow I am never compelled to pick one up. I love the art and the story of this though and I will definitely be picking this up during the next hours.

 

I am also allowing myself to pick up anything else that I might be interested in because I think part of the reason for my slump is that I am trying to structure my reading too much. (I mean the main reason is that work has been ridiculous, but that I cannot change.)

I will try and update my reading progress over on Twitter, so do join me over there if you would like to see me fail miserably or succeed wonderfully (not sure what it’ll be).

How is your reading month going? What do you do when you happen to be behind on your reading challenge?