Book Reviews

Book+Reviews

Reading has come to be polarizing in a way. Some confidently state that they haven’t read an entire book since third grade, and those who just as confidently will tell you they’ve read 30+ books so far this year. Being an avid reader myself, when boredom strikes I often look for new books to read and enjoy to fill the void. I’ve decided to compile a list of books that brought me joy and to demonstrate them to you. 

 

Book 1: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

 

(This is a continuation of the Grisha trilogy, however, it is not necessary to read them to understand this).

 

This is one of my favorite books of all time and I do not say that lightly. The plot follows a group of misfit criminals in a grungy, fantasy world of magic. These criminals are coerced into planning a heist by the government to capture someone who knows the formula to an illegal wonder drug. 

This book is very atmospheric with a unique vibe not usually seen in Young Adult Literature, containing very complex characters with interesting backstories, motives, ethics, and views on morality. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a riveting fantasy read. It has one sequel titled Crooked Kingdom.

Complaints of this book often have to do with people taking a long time to adjust to this universe and all of its rules, but I assure you that if you can get past this and get into the story, you won’t regret it. (Also it has a map inside the front cover! How exciting is that!?)

 

Book 2: The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians book 1) by Rick Riordan

Genres: Middle grade, Fantasy

 

The Lighting Thief follows twelve-year-old (yes I know he’s young but bear with me) Percy Jackson who finds out that he is the son of Poseidon, god of the Sea. He discovers a magical camp for demigods, who are the product of gods and humans, and it is there where he learns that Zeus has lost his lightning bolt and will declare war if it is not returned to him by the summer solstice. Percy, along with two friends, sets off on his journey to return the lightning bolt and save his mother.

I’m aware that this is old, but it is, and I cannot express this enough, gold. This series is often compared to Harry Potter, and while I definitely can see the inspiration, I believe that Percy Jackson tackles some of the fantasy elements even better. Percy is an extremely charismatic and instantly likable protagonist with a distinct personality (which is more than I can say for Harry if I’m quite honest). 

Most who dislike this series often point towards the juvenile sense of humor that author Rick Riordan sometimes employs, but I believe that it suits the story as well as the characters. (There are several spin-offs and sequel series and Rick Riordan’s writing only improves over the years)

Overall it’s a fun story and introduction to this (quite expansive) universe.

 

Book 3: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult 

 

Hundreds of years in the future, humanity has spread throughout the galaxy. Unfortunately, not everything is perfect and our protagonists, Kady and Ezra, find themselves having to flee their planet to escape an attack.

This is one of the most uniquely written stories I have ever had the pleasure of reading. This is not a story told through typical narratives and inner monologue, but instead through interviews, case files, instant messages, and secret file reports with commentary. I won’t get into spoilers but the tone carries an eerie weightiness to it that I believe is missing often in the Young Adult landscape. This book has so much incredible suspense and build-up that it will practically force you to want to find out more about what’s happening. Almost all of this book takes place on a spaceship hurtling thousands of miles an hour through the galaxy as you try to figure out what’s happening.

I have heard of some people becoming annoyed with this book for its choices in style and the lack of inner monologue from the main characters, but I think that these narrative choices and the originality and tone of the story contribute to the intrigue. Everything still feels cohesive and adds up to an engaging, overarching story.