As I mentioned a little bit ago, I managed to get myself in not one but two different slumps: a reading slump and a blogging slump. I have no clue how I managed that particular feat, but I really excelled it. However, while I was in the blogging slump, I did manage to read quite a few books and now some time has passed…and I really can’t remember too much about the books and/or don’t have too much to say about them. I figured instead, I would just pile them together in one post so we can get all the book feels together.
Final Girls by Riley Sager
*I won this in a giveaway from a blog tour – it didn’t impact my reading in any way*
Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.
Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.
That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.
I first read about this book over at YA and Wine, and if this book was interesting enough to break Krysti out of her YA bookshelf, then I had to see what it was all about. I was so intrigued by the summary and premise as well, and I couldn’t be more excited when I managed to get win a copy thanks to Krysti’s post. However, a couple of things went wrong for me.
The issue with this book lies with the characters for me. I didn’t really like any of them. I didn’t feel any connections for them. I didn’t care what happened to them. Quincy, Sam, Jeff, Coop…nobody stuck out to me – especially Quincy our main character who I was supposed to root and love. I dreaded coming back to this book because I wanted so much more.
The best parts and the ones that I was most enthralled with were the Pine Cottage parts. Those were five crowns worthy, but they only made up a small amount of the book. I skimmed through a huge part of the middle chunk of the book, because I was so uninterested. Maybe it’s because I’ve been in YA so long or perhaps it was just the book, but I found the lack of connection to anything and anyone a huge issue and I totally lost interest until the very end when the revealing starting happening. At least I didn’t call the killer on this one? Yay team?
A Cinderella rating, and two crowns for this book!
Winter by Marissa Meyer Audiobook
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.
Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.
Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?
The audiobook was amazingggggggggggg on this one. It had me enthralled. Some of the voices didn’t quite fit for me, but I definitely think Soler did a great job overall. Definitely would give a 4.5 to the audiobook.
As for the actual book, definitely 4 crowns. I love this series dearly, and it will always be my beloved. However, there were some issues that I had with the execution of this story and with some of the decisions that were made (um, *minor spoiler alert: everything that had to do with Wolf’s storyline – I thought it was totally unnecessary*). And truthfully, I felt bad for Winter and Jacin, because I do think their story suffered because I just wanted to know about the rest of my beloved babies and their stories. I think if there wasn’t so much going on, I could have focused on their story, but I just wanted to see what everyone else was doing. I do love, love, love Winter, though. So brilliant.
But in the end, everything was amazing and I love it and the feels are so real. And like, half of my favorite moments in this series are literally in this book. SO. MANY. CRESSWELL. FEELS. *fangirl screaming for life*
SO glad that this is not the end for them, and we have more graphic novels coming out. Because Meyer has done such a remarkable job with this series and I can’t even deal with saying goodbye to my babies forever. Four crowns and an Ariel rating – thankfully not a Snow!
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
I’ve been meaning to read this since the moment I heard it was coming out, but every time I went to go to my library, it was always checked out or some ARC got in the way of reading it. I was determined that July would be the month that I read it, and nothing was going to stop me (even when my library gave away my hold D:). Anyway, I got finally got it in my hands – and this book so lived up to the well-deserved hype. Angie Thomas has left her mark on YA with this book, and I seriously can’t believe she’s a debut author.
Starr Carter easily is one of my new favorite protagonists. She’s got heart; she’s so ridiculously realistic; she’s fierce and strong; and she stands up for what she believes in. What more could you want in a main character? I loved reading her story, and she is one of the best defined characters that I’ve seen in a while in YA.
Her familyyyyyyyyyyyyy. Omigosh, I loved the family dynamics. They were brilliantly done. Each family member had their own lovable quirks and nicely defined characteristics. I remembered all of their names and could describe them easily. There were no mysteriously disappearing family members in this YA novel – just a loving, caring family that brought so much to this story. I loved every second with them, and you could just feel the love they felt for each other pouring off the pages.
The plot line was so engrossing and heartbreaking. This is a problem that we’re facing right now in the United States, and it’s so eye-opening to see it from Starr’s perspective. It’s a coming of age story, but with so many more powerful and important themes included in it.
This story is easily going to become a staple in YA literature, and I certainly can see why and how it should be there. Thomas easily has earned her title as a YA queen, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. This story has so much heartbreak, but it also has so much heart. Of course, five crowns, and an Aurora rating because this clearly is a classic.