Here we are, the end of my third Bout of Books! Probably could’ve gone better, but I still got a lot of pages read. I have promised myself that from now on my TBR list will be between 1,200 – 1,400 pages, since I was overreaching with my goals for this week.
Life just doesn’t seem to understand my need to read. 😉
Below are the three books I completed this past week and my overall thoughts on all of them. (I’m about a third of the way into Serena).
Red Rising – Pierce Brown
Darrow has spent his whole life part of the Red class on Mars, mining below the surface in order to terraform the planet. After a lifetime of hardship and oppression from the upper classes, Darrow defies his overlords and is saved by the resistance group, The Sons of Ares.
The resistance group reveals the dark secret the Gold class has been keeping from the Reds, and Darrow joins them for a risky plan.
Oh boy. I touched on this in my daily updates, but Red Rising and I didn’t not gel well. At all.
This is pretty much like every other YA Dystopian novel: Hunger Games on Mars with a dash of Divergent and Roman mythology. I’m so tired of reading the same book over and over again. Down to ridiculous single-focus factions, a resistance with questionable methods, and a ‘chosen one’ protagonist.
I think I had it though when the ‘institute’ was brought up and Darrow is transformed. I’ll confess and say that at that point I read the wiki page to see if the book was worth continuing. The Institute wasn’t an academy, but in this series version of the Hunger Games, at that point what little interest I had evaporated.
DNF @ 120 pgs.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here – Patrick Ness
There are plenty of books about The Chosen One, but what about the ones who have to live with the backlash of whatever supernatural entity decided to wreck havoc? Mikey and his friends would just love to graduate high school and hope the Indies (‘the chosen ones’) don’t blow up their school… again.
Like many of you, I loved A Monster Calls and I really wanted to check out Ness’ other books. I’m glad that I ran across this quirky book, which is VERY different from A Monster Calls. The Rest of Us is both a dry satire and coming of age story about Mikey, a teenager with a lot of his plate.
I really enjoyed Ness’ sense of humor and poking fun at the ‘chosen one’ tropes that are popular in YA Fantasy. I was surprised that I cared about Mikey’s story, and him learning how to cope with mental illness.
For me the only negative was Henna, Mikey’s love interest. Both make some bad decisions, but the book seems to acknowledge that Mikey was in the wrong and not Henna. Mikey’s jealous antics were bad, but Henna leading Mikey was too. I wish I could go into details, but then I would be getting into spoilers. It just ended up leaving a bad taste in my mouth about the character.
I would recommend The Rest of Us Just Live Here if you like your humor really dry and are interested in this twist on an old trope.
Total: 200 pgs. (I was 117 pgs in before the readathon started)
The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
Narrated by Death itself, comes the story of Liesel Meminger, the book thief. Orphaned at the beginning of WWII, Liesel is taken in by her new foster family, the Hubermanns. As she heals from losing her old family, Liesel finds comfort with her new family and the books she has stolen.
I actually tried to read The Book Thief a few years back and got about 200 pgs before I lost interest. I really wanted to give this book another chance because it shows up on plenty of favorite lists.
There’s a lot of elements that I liked about The Book Thief; the narrator, the relationships that Liesel has, and the descriptions. The biggest downside for me was the length of the story, the novel was about 200 pages too long. Due to the length, some sections were difficult to get through, as it felt like the story was just meandering.
Despite the lack of focus (and book thievery), the ending the very moving and really got to me. I can understand why readers loved this book, especially with the imagery that the writing brought forth. I just think in the end their was wasted potential in the premise, and would have been way more interesting if cut down.
Total: 550 pgs