fall / winter reading update

A Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

I highly enjoyed this novel and am looking forward to reading the next in the series.

Kell is one of the last of his kind, a magician able to travel between the parallel universes. Red London, Grey London, and White London co-exist side by side, with very few aware of the existence of anything but their own city.

The story follows Kell on his adventures, as he tries to protect the magic, and the cities, from the evil that has escaped from what remains of Black London.

A Man Called Ove by Fredik Backman

This one is hard to write about. Ove is a man who is hard to love, and certainly easy to dislike (if not hate) at the start of the novel. He is cantankerous, ornery, and quite rigid in his ways.

The novel paints a picture of a lonely, sad man. He’s just lost his job, and he appears to have no family or friends. Throughout the story, we learn more of Ove, his life, how he lived, and his neighbors.

Ultimately, this is a moving story about community and showing the reader that not everyone is what they seem at first glance. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but my friends have said it’s very good as well.

A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest

A Shade of Vampire is the first of many in an ongoing saga. I didn’t realize how many there were until after reading the first (39 and still coming??!)

The series is fun, and a great way to take a break from reality. The first 7 novels tell the story of Sophia and Derek, and after that the series introduces a new set of main characters. I’ve only read the first 7, and may continue in the future. I’m holding off for now, because I don’t want to be sucked in for another 7 books!

The main story is about Sophia, a moderately normal 17-year-old girl, who’s kidnapped and held hostage by vampires. The vampire coven is living in secret, hiding from humans. Sophia and Derek (a leader of the coven) fall in love, and the series follows what happens.

YearYear of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

I loved this book. Shonda writes openly about her insecurities, weight issues, and shyness. She transformed her life by setting a goal to say yes for one year. The goal was to say yes to things that were outside of her comfort zone and that she would normally avoid.

This is a motivating look at how simple decisions can drastically change your life.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Inheritance, #1) by N.K. Jemisin

This was one of the best books I read in 2016. Jemisin takes a unique approach to writing fantasy, and it’s refreshing to read a book that’s different and creative.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms centers around Yeine Darr, and what happens when she is mysteriously summoned to the ruling city of Sky by her estranged grandfather after her mother dies unexpectedly.

When Yeine arrives, she is pitted against her cousins in a battle for the throne. Having grown up far way from Sky, in large part due to being biracial and considered beneath or less than the “pure” Amari, she is out of her element.

Sky is a bright, shiny, ethereal place, full of light (and worship of Itempas, the Bright Skyfather). And yet, the ruling class is malicious, racist, and quite evil. It’s a great juxtaposition, and there’s many other things that follow along with this within the series.

There’s lots of mythology, intrigue, and plot twists in this novel and the 2 other books in the trilogy. There’s a plethora of gods and godlings, and between them and the humans, it’s a wonder anyone is alive.

Love Warrior: A Memoir by Glennon Doyle Melton

Glennon Doyle Melton has written an emotional, riveting, and raw look into her life and struggles. She touches on many sensitive subjects like eating disorders, alcoholism, drug abuse, and marital issues.

This is a story about finding oneself, rediscovery, and ultimately acceptance and forgiveness. I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading, but I was soon captivated by her story and her willingness to reveal such intimate details of her life. Melton has received a lot of criticism about just how much of her life she shared, and about events that happened in her life after the book was written. However, in my opinion, none of that detracts from the book.

This is a memoir that you read and you think “huh, this could have been fiction and it would be have been interesting, but it’s REAL and it’s fascinating.”

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