I started a new job in September, which is why I simply don’t have much time to update right now. I hope to be able to write full reviews again once I got a bit more used to my working hours. But until then I will have to content myself with short reviews and monthly wrap-ups. My new job requires me to read at least three books a month; so this is also a nice way to check if I managed my requirements.
Here it goes, my September wrap-up!
Shadow and Bone –
3 out of 5 stars
Siege and Storm –
2 out of 5 stars
I read book one and two of the “Grisha Trilogy” by Leigh Bardugo. I started “Shadow and Bone” at the end of August and it took me only two days to read. However fast-paced this book is I had a feeling that still not much was happening. But, hey, this is the start of a trilogy! Those books are meant to establish the world and characters and give you a taste for the rest of the series. So I kept going with “Siege and Storm”. But, alas, it didn’t pick up. I know quite a lot of people love this trilogy, but book two had even less plot than book one. There’s a lot of talk by the characters about what is to be done next but in terms of action the story is rather weak. And then there is this pseudo-love-triangle. I was pretty disappointed. Especially since the world building and the magical elements in this series are awesome! I also love Alina as a strong female lead and the Darkling is a really cool villain / conflicted character. Which is why I wanted book two to be good. Sadly it wasn’t. I probably will read book three just to find out how it ends. But right now it’s not at the top of my list.
Stone Mattress – 5 out of 5 stars
I had been looking forward to new material from Atwood. I pre-ordered a copy and started reading right away. This is a collection of nine short stories or “tales” as Atwood calls them. If you have ever read any of her prose you know that Atwood is an absolute genius when it comes to creating characters and settings out of thin air. It only takes her a few sentences to suck you into that world. These nine tales give you snapshots of various characters and make you wish that every single story was a novel. The first three stories are actually connected and reminded me of “Moral Disorder” by the same author.
The themes touched upon in this new collections are sometimes quite similar too – grief, old age, magical realism, sadness, ghosts, the past, hope. Every single tale explores a character and their motives, their past, their personality. Simply beautiful and haunting! Once again a masterpiece.
The Shock of the Fall – 5 out of 5 stars
This came as a surprise to me. I was expecting some kind of ghost story about the death of a little boy. What I got was a story about guild and grief. About mental illness and about the private inner workings of a family that deals with loss. I also got an unreliable narrator to go up on my wall of best narrators ever. I loved the style and the message and I loved to hate the narrators parents even though their reaction to the events were quite simply only human. And this is all I am going to say because I want this novel to remain a surprise. Just one thing: read it!
Rooms – not yet rated
I still have about 70 pages to go but I’m going on a one hour train ride later today so I’m quite optimistic about finishing this today.
This is the first novel aimed at an adult audience by Lauren Oliver of YA-fame. I really like her YA-stuff; especially the first book of the Delirium trilogy. Oliver has a beautiful writing style and is able to create emotions with her words unlike any other YA author I know. Very poetic and touching. So, I was really looking forward to her attempt at adult fiction. And I was not disappointed. This is a ghost story told in parts from the ghosts’ point of view and partly from that of the haunted. This is also a story about family relationships (I seem to be really into those right now…) and about what we choose to remember and what we choose to forget about the people in our lives.
I still have to see what the ending will bring but so far Oliver’s writing is still everything it was when she wrote YA – it is poetic and invoking. The fragmented storytelling makes the plot more intriguing than it probably is but this is what good storytellers do, in my opinion. Hope Miss Oliver will keep up the good work and write more material like this.
All in all, September was a good reading month and I managed to met my quota. 🙂
Looking back I see that I’ve chosen quite a few darkly-themed books to read, which is typical autumn/winter reading behaviour for me.