May Summary

May felt like a really slow month for me, but I still ended up knocking back almost 3,000 pages, so definitely nothing to feel bad about. My summary for May is:

Books read: 7
Pages read: 2,750
Main genres: Fantasy and Mystery
Favourite book: Children of Blood and Bone

I started the month off with an advanced reading copy of The Death of Mrs. Westaway from netgalley. I’m a little bit obsessed with Ruth Ware, so I was super excited about this one. Unfortunately it didn’t end of being one of my favourite Ruth Ware novels, but I did still enjoy it and I will definitely still be reading all her books.

After that I finally picked up a copy of Children of Blood and Bone, which I have been hearing SO MUCH hype about since it came out. I was worried it might have been over-hyped, but it definitely was not and I really liked this West-African inspired fantasy novel. It had several different perspectives and while I thought it was a little predictable, it was so fast paced and thoughful that I loved every second of it!

I went back and forth between fantasy and mystery novels this month. I really like mystery novels, but I don’t tend to read that many of them. I had 2 winners in May though! First I read Sometimes I Lie for my book club. I admit, I didn’t really want to read this one because it sounded kind of boring with the main character being in a coma. But it ended up being super compelling and have a million twists that I never saw coming.

The other mystery novel I picked up was Kristen Lepionka’s second book in her Roxane Weary series, What You Want To See. I loved Lepionka’s debut novel and I think Roxane Weary is a great PI/character. Her second novel did not disappoint and just made me love Roxane even more.

I had a few new fantasy releases that I just HAD to read in May. Sarah J Maas’ novella, A Court of Frost and Starlight, and the third book in the Ruined series, Allied, both came out on May 1. I wasn’t expecting much from A Court of Frost and Starlight, which is supposed to bridge the gap between the original series and a new spinoff series, and I got a story just as underwhelming as I expected. I have a whole ton of opinions on why this book was so bad, so read my full review for more. Allied was definitely better, although still a little underwhelming for the final book in a trilogy. I did like it, but sadly it didn’t have the same flair as the first two books.

I finished off the month with a great book though! I picked up The Astonishing Color of After on a whim and ended up loving it! It’s about a teenage girl who in her grief at losing her mother to suicide, believes she has come back as a bird. It’s full of magical realism and gorgeous writing. It took me a while to get through, but I thought it was a fabulous debut novel.

You’ll notice I didn’t complete a monthly challenge in May, but I have set one for June that I am very excited about!

A Court of Frost and Starlight

Rating: 
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genres: Fantasy
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses (Book 3.5)
Pub Date: May 2018 (read May 2018)

Self indulgence at its finest. This is why you don’t write books about after the characters have ridden off into the sunset. Sure, I know the last book ended with the conclusion of a bloody war and that there was bound to be further conflict and a long healing time, but it’s not engaging and I don’t want to read about. What was the plot in this book? Does anyone know, because I sure don’t.

First off, I’m just going to say it, the sex scenes in this book are cringe-y. Especially anything from Rhys’ point of view. I know everyone was super excited to get some new POV’s, and I was too, but like from Mor, Amren, and Azriel. The Rhys in ACOMAF is like my one true love, but reading his POV was like reading Twilight from Edward’s point of view – his love is too perfect and all consuming – it felt fake, it made me cringe, and it was boring.

I do understand that Sarah wants to introduce a whole new storyline in subsequent books, focusing on more characters, and honestly this won’t deter me from those books because I trust they will have a plot, but this just felt unnecessary. Nothing about solstice was engaging. It kind of felt like fan fiction. I mean, you love thinking about your favourite books and characters and what might have happened to them after a beloved series ends, but this is why some things need to just end and why I appreciate authors who are able to walk away from a successful story. To decide they’ve said what needed to be said and move on. It’s one of the reasons I didn’t like Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, because I thought Deathly Hallows ended perfectly and that revisiting the story can sometimes just cheapen what came before.

I don’t think Sarah knows how to walk away from her characters. She’s literally never done it and always has to revisit them. I didn’t like Tower of Dawn either because I felt it was just way too overdone for a side story and that we didn’t need 700 pages on Chaol. He could have come back in Kingdom of Ash and I would have been fine just knowing that he healed himself and brought back a nice healer with him. Likewise I feel like 80% of what happened in this story is going to be totally irrelevant at the end of the day in the next book. I’ve also been very disappointed in Sarah’s editors for her last 3 books because I feel like they’ve stopped actually editing her now that she’s become so popular, but someone needs to cut out some of these extras. It’s just over-indulgent and I don’t want to read about it.

I don’t even really want to talk about the plot in this book. What’s the point. If you care at all about this series, you know what’s going on. If you haven’t read this series, it is worth your time just to read the second book in the series, A Court of Mist of Fury because it is in my opinion the best book Sarah J Maas has ever written and has the most wonderful blend of character development, plotting, and romance.

In conclusion, I did not like this book. The only real new POV in this book is Cassian’s and to be honest I didn’t really see the point, it didn’t seem to add that much to me. She did have a few random chapters from other POV’s, but it was mostly Feyre and Rhys, which really seemed counter-productive to me. I’ll still be here for the next book, but I really hope it’s better than this disappointment.

Sequels I can’t wait to read in 2018!

I love and hate series. I love them because there’s nothing quite like returning to a set of characters that you already know and love – but I hate them because there’s always so much waiting! Here’s the new books I’m looking forward to reading this year:

Throne of Glass Book 7 by Sarah J Maas
Release Date: September 4

This one isn’t titled yet, but nothing could steal the top spot away from this book! I thought I would be getting this book last year, but Maas postponed it to instead release a full standalone novel about Chaol, so I was forced to wait another year for this one. Throne of Glass is my favourite of all the YA fantasy series out there (except HP duh) and the last novel (Empire of Storms) ended on the most outrageous cliffhanger! So I am desperate for what Sarah has said will be the conclusion of the series!

My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, and Brodi Ashton (The Lady Janies #2)
Release Date: June 26

The second book in the Lady Janies series, but I’m pretty sure this one could also be a standalone. Three YA authors are releasing 3 books about historical Janes. The first book, My Lady Jane, was about Jane Grey who was queen for 9 days in the 15th century. It was pretty much the funniest book I’ve ever read and I’m anxiously awaiting My Plain Jane, which will focus on Jane Eyre and the Bronte sisters.

Saga, Volume 8 by Brian K. Vaughan
Release Date: December 27, 2017

Okay this one was actually released at the end of last year, but close enough. Saga is the weirdest graphic novel series, but I can’t help but love it and I love getting a new volume every year! I love this little ill-fated inter-galactic family and the artwork is fantastic (although a little graphic, made the mistake of reading the first one on public transit, LOL)!

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee
Release Date: October 2

This is another sequel/standalone novel. Similar to My Lady Jane, the first novel in this series, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue was hilarious! My favourite character was easily Felicity and I was so thrilled to see that she would be getting her own spin-off novel! Lee said that some of the same characters would be present in this book, but I’m not sure if you need to read the first one or not. But you should read it either way because it’s hilarious!

Bright We Burn by Kiersten White (The Conqueror’s Saga #3)
Release Date: July 1

I’m am obsessed with this series! I totally thought it was a fantasy series when I picked it up, but it actually doesn’t have any magical elements and it’s more historical fiction than anything else. Like My Lady Jane, I would again place this in the “re-imagined” history category. Kiersten White has re-imagined Vlad the Impaler as a teenage girl in this series and it’s all about Romania and the Ottoman Empire in the 1400’s. It is dark and intense and so so good!

What You Want to See by Kristen Lepionka (Roxane Weary #2)
Release Date: May 1

I don’t read mystery/thrillers all that often, but I picked up the first one in this series, The Last Place You Looked, last year and thought the main character, Private Investigator Roxane Weary, was fantastic! She’s a classically flawed PI, but I really enjoyed how the book goes just as in depth to the PI as it does to the case she’s trying to solve.

All The Wandering Light by Heather Fawcett (Even the Darkest Stars #2)
Release Date: September 4

The first book in this series definitely had some flaws, but I LOVED the setting and I definitely want more. It’s set in a Himalayas-type fantasy world and involves lots of hiking, camping, and exploring mountains. Pretty much all my favourite past-times, so I’m very excited to continue on with this story.

Other Notable Sequels:

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.5)
Release Date: May 1
I can’t decide if I’m over this series or if I want more….

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes #3)
Release Date: June 12
It’s been so long since the last one that I’m not as excited about this one anymore, but I’ll probably still read it.

Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel (Themis Files #3)
Release Date: May 1
Not my favourite series, but I suspect this will be the last book and I want to see it through.

Sequels I’m dying for but don’t have a release date yet:

Warcross Book 2 by Marie Lu
I NEED THIS ONE SO MUCH!!

Lethal White by JK Rowling/Robert Galbraith (Cormoran Strike #4)
Seriously, when is this book finally going to be released? Enough with Fantastic Beasts, she left the last one on the biggest cliffhanger and I need it. I need it now!