Saturday, September 17, 2016

Summer Reading List: The Epic Conclusion

In THIS post, I shared with you my summer reading list and the likelihood that I would finish each book. I had lofty goals—fourteen books. I finished... (wait for it... wait for it...) ...three books.
Three books from my list, that is. I actually finished sixteen books between May and the end of August. So, even though I didn't complete my reading list, I would still count myself successful.
Let's recap, shall we?

MAY:

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman


2/5 stars.
A human mining operation on a faraway planet is attacked, but several ships escape before it's Too Late. Unfortunately, they are plagued with a biological weapon and are chased by the bad guys. Can teenage lovers Kady and Ezra hack into the computer and save everyone??

The format of this book is fantastic, as it is told through transcripted conversations, transcripted surveillance videos, instant messages, and ships logs.
That was, however, the only thing I enjoyed about the book. The plot was okay, I suppose, but the characters were all the same smart-mouthed, crass person. Would not recommend.

 
The Adventure of the Treasure Seekers by E. Nesbit


4/5 stars.
The Bastable children try to solve their family's financial troubles by coming up with several ludicrous schemes to earn money.

This is exactly what you would expect an E. Nesbit book to be like... fun, sweet, and slightly adventurous. I would recommend her books as before-bed reading for the whole family.

JUNE:

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (audiobook)


4/5 stars.
Demon-in-training Wormwood and his Uncle Screwtape converse via correspondence on how to corrupt human souls.

A fantastic book, though I missed parts of it because I listened to it on my way to work. I want to read it so that I can soak in every word. Once I do that, I'm sure the book will become 5/5 stars, rather than 4/5 stars. I would recommend The Screwtape Letters to Christians who enjoy being challenged in their faith and who enjoy satirical storytelling.

The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien


5/5 stars.
The history of Middle Earth.

The Lord of the Rings has so much more meaning now that I know the history of the world it takes place in! I loved The Silmarillion, even though I had to wade through the prose at times (I think one of my shoes is still lost in the mire). Recommended to passionate Lord of the Rings fans.

Heap House by Edward Carey


4/5 stars.
Every Iremonger is given an object when they are born. Clod Iremonger is the only one who can hear the birth objects whispering, though. When a new serving girl starts working at Heap House, the objects whisper nervously and even start to move on their own. Are the two events somehow connected?

Heap House is, without a doubt, the most unique story I have EVER read. It's so unique that I don't know how to describe it, so I will say: go read it if you are looking for a distinctive plot!

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (audiobook)


5/5 stars.
A mysterious boy appears at the house next door. The four March sisters befriend him and, together, all five of them have many adventures and grow into strong adults under the tutelage of Marmy.

I'm so sad that I never read Little Women before this summer! I enjoyed it immensely and I can't wait to read it again in the future. I recommend this classic for anyone who enjoys friendship stories about people being people.

Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl


2/5 stars.
Princess Una has come of age and has suitors from many different lands vying for her hand in marriage. Unfortunately, she has also gained the attention of an evil being called The Dragon.

After hearing many bloggers rave about the Tales of Goldstone Wood series, I read the first book. I didn't enjoy it, and I feel terrible for it, because I know that it is a well-loved series. I disliked it for two major reasons: 1) I felt that the pacing didn't work, for the first half of the book focuses on Una and her suitors and nothing really happens... Then, the story takes a drastic turn from romance to allegory and action. 2) The plot doesn't work without the allegory. This may be a personal preference, but I think that if an author writes an allegory, the plot should still make sense if you take out the allegory.
I did enjoy Ms. Stengl's prose, and her world-building seemed well-fleshed out; the world seems much bigger than we read about on the page, which leaves plenty of opportunity for exploring in the sequels.

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (audiobook)


I listened to the entire Narnia series on audiobook this summer. My least favorite Narnia book is The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe because I'm so familiar with the plot. I also know Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader very well. I was happy to read the other books in the series as it has been a long, long time and I had forgotten a lot.

JULY:

Into the Vast by D.J. Edwardson


5/5 stars.
Adan awakes in the Institute with no memories. When he is broken out of the Institute by Will, he must learn about the world around him and he must decide whether or not he wants to help Will destroy the technological superpower of the city of Oasis.

To quote from my Goodreads review, "Into the Vast is everything I enjoy in a novel: great setting, wonderful prose (my favorite chapter was Chapter 35: On the Threshold), characters that you can feel for, adventure and action, and all with a slight sci-fi undertone (even if the novel is supposed to be more of a dystopian)." If you enjoy that kind of book, check out Into the Vast!

AUGUST:

Hidden Pearls by Hayden Wand


3/5 stars.
Constance, one out of six girl cousins raised by their grandparents, is called across the Atlantic ocean to visit her ailing, aging great-aunt. Along the way, she faces storms and privateers and learns many a lesson.

Again, a book that I had high hopes for, but it ultimately disappointed me. My biggest complaint about this book are the romances. There were five couples in this book and they all seemed to fall into their relationships too easily. I found them clichĂ© and they overwhelmed the plot.
I did love the author's humor, though. She's very funny and has many a clever sentence. I also enjoyed the quotes she included at the beginning of each chapter.

And there you have my summer reading list of 2016! Right now, I'm reading Frankenstein for school, the sequel to Into the Vast, and an Edgar Allen Poe short story here and there. I think I will start The Fellowship of the Ring tonight. I miss reading Tolkien.

What have YOU been reading lately?

12 comments:

  1. "Lost your shoe in the mire." lol!! Some good books on the list. I look here for recommendations.

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  2. {Hey, that BigEeh guy stole my comment!}

    "Lost your shoe in the mire." LOL. You are, and always will be, ultimately creative!

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  3. Wow, congratulations on reading 16 books this summer!

    I didn't like Heartless, either! I also felt weird about it, since every other blogger out there seems to adore the series, so I read book two just in case . . . but I liked that one even less. I'm sorry you didn't like it, but I am glad to know I'm not alone!

    Serena | poetree

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    1. It's good to know that I'm not alone, too. Thank you for your comment!

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  4. Wow, some great books there (hehe). Seriously, to see my book on the same page as Little Women and The Silmarillion is so wonderful. Thank you for the kind words and high rating. So glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. Hee hee. I'm glad my post made you happy!

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  5. Lovely stack of books and reviews. Heartless is not my favorite of the Tales of Goldstone Wood, either. I liked it, but I didn't LOVE it the way some of the Imps do. However, I can tell you quite definitively that the stories get better with each sequel. Every one of her books is better than the last so far. My favorite is Shadow Hand, though Golden Daughter and Goddess Tithe are also high up on the list. And if you want, you can always skip to later books in the series, because they can all be read pretty much as stand alones. Golden Daughter, specifically, can be read completely out of order... though I would recommend reading them in order anyway... because that's how I like to read books.

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    1. Maybe I will try one of the later books. Kendra told me that the later ones are good, too. Thank you! I don't want to give up on this series.

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  6. That's a lot of reading! And I love that you posted reviews on Goodreads. So many people don't do that. I try to review every book I read--although if I don't like a book, I stop reading, so those never get reviews!

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    1. I try to write at least a few thoughts on every book that I read so that I can remember it if I go back to it.

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