Book Thoughts | January 2017-May 2017

After my unsuccessful and disappointing attempt to read 16 books in 2016, I decided I would read 26 books in 2017. Obviously, I love failing at challenges. So far I’ve read 11 books! So close to that 2016 goal. In 2016, I read memoirs. Unplanned. In 2017, I’m reading YA and New Adult. Also unplanned. Many of the books I’ve read are fantasy. Some, I can’t get out of my head. Some have that diversity element I talked about in previous post. I won’t talk about all 11 books, but I thought I could highlight the ones I loved.

List of books I read:

  1. The Unhappy Wife – Dr. K E Garland
  2. We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation – Jeff Chang
  3. The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
  4. Arrow: A Generation of Vipers – Susan Griffith
  5. Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
  6. Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo
  7. Everything, Everything – Nicola Yoon
  8. Around The Way Girl: A Memoir – Taraji P. Henson
  9. Lady Midnight – Cassandra Clare
  10. Lord of Shadows – Cassandra Clare
  11. A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J. Maas

The Unhappy Wife is absolutely one of my favorite reads this year. It features a series of 12 short stories about women faced with marital dilemmas. I loved the authenticity of the writing and sometimes I could not believe these stories were inspired by real events. I don’t think we talk enough about what happens after “I do” and I appreciate this book for offering me a small glimpse into that world.

Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give is possibly the most hyped YA novel of 2017 and the best YA book of 2017. I can honestly say it lived up to the hype. I wasn’t sure I wanted to dive  into emotionally heavy topic after reading Jeff Chang’s We Gon’ Be Alright. However, I was curious about this novel. Starr Carter is not your average 16 year-old. She lives in a poor neighborhood, attends a mostly white private school, and witnessed the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend by a police officer. Although the content is heavy, The Hate U Give is necessary. Angie Thomas does a wonderful job of addressing police brutality, racism, and racial profiling. I felt so captivated by the characters. I loved the references to Harry Potter and Fresh Prince, AAVE, and Starr’s family. I identified with Starr. A rarity in YA fiction.

I’m not sure how I fell upon Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo but thank goodness I did (by the way, she’s really great to talk to on Twitter). I miss the characters, can’t stoping thinking about them, and experienced the worst book hangover after I finished second book in the duology, Crooked KingdomSix of Crows follows six teenagers trying to pull off an impossible heist of breaking into a prison that has never been breached to retrieve a hostage. The entire book is written from 5 different perspectives and each character brings an element to the team that is unmatched. The pacing, action, banter, and plot were great and well-written. The best part about this duology? The diversity. So much diversity and it didn’t feel like Bardugo was checking off a box. Mental health and PTSD, physical disability, POC, LGBTQ, learning disability, and other overlapping identities. I miss this band of misfits. I miss my favorite female character, Inej Ghafa. No mourners, no funerals.

Lady Midnight is my first Cassandra Clare novel. I’ve never been interested enough to read any Shadowhunters books. I heard about this one on social media and decided to pick it up because I needed something to get me out of my reading slump. I wish I knew I was signing up for more characters that I won’t stop thinking about. I love close-knit families and this book made me melt. The Blackthorns, headed by Julian Blackthorn, work to find the killer responsible for Emma Carstairs parent’s death that happened five years ago. This book is also written from multiple perspectives and my favorite male character is from this book. I thought I would have trouble keeping up with this book since Shadowhunters is an established world. I didn’t. Pacing is very important to me whenever I read any book. The pacing and action were well-written.

Those are my favorite reads so far. Hopefully, I surpass my goal. Thanks for reading.


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