November has flown by, right? I feel like I was *just* helping my daughter into her Princess Leia costume for a night of trick-or-treating! Here’s what I read…
(As always, book covers link to Goodreads pages.)
The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider – I liked this one a lot. It was witty and thought-provoking and highly entertaining. Protagonist Ezra was a fantastic narrator who I found very endearing, and Cassidy, while erratic, also had a certain charm that was hard to resist. I didn’t love this story’s conclusion, though. Not because it wasn’t well written, but maybe because it’s a little too realistic. It left me feeling empty and rather sad.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black – I almost didn’t read this one. It’s a novel about vampires and that’s not really my thing, but I’ve heard wonderful things about Holly Black’s writing, and this standalone totally lives up to the hype. For me, it was all about the worldbuilding. The not so distant America and its creepy, depressing Coldtowns felt incredibly real and oddly relevant, and the details layered into the story are awesome. Also, Tana is a total badass.
Unteachable by Leah Raeder – This story is emotional and raw and so intense. Protagonist Maise is strong and witty, and Evan… I didn’t know what to think about him until the novel’s final pages. Leah Raeder’s prose is absolutely gorgeous; what would be considered smut when penned by most authors reads as lyrical and lovely in the pages of Unteachable. This story was unputdownable, and even though I sort of hated myself for rooting for Maise and Evan, I did. (Incidentally, my friend Kari pointed me toward this interview with Leah Raeder at The FlyLeaf Review, which I found interesting and quite insightful.)
Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas – Aaah! This one was all kinds of fantastic! I hesitate to say too much for fear of spoiling its amazingness, but know that it’s reminiscent of the Amanda Knox case that’s been big in the news over the last few years. Dangerous Girls is ruthless and none of its characters are quite what they seem; it’s like a Courtney Summers novel merged with a fast-paced crime drama. Seriously, my jaw dropped repeatedly. Recommend!
Reclaimed by Sarah Guillory – Another novel that’s not at all what it initially seems. Young adult author Mindi Scott mentions that it “inspired an immediate reread” in a cover blurb, and I felt the same way. While I initially questioned the behavior of a few of the characters, it all made sense by the time I was through the truly twisty conclusion. A good read if you like mind-bending YA.
Fire by Kristin Cashore – I cannot say enough about the amazingness of this book. I adore it for the many reasons I adore Graceling and Bitterblue — and then some. Fire, while unnaturally gorgeous and capable of influencing minds, is incredibly relatable. Her story is quieter than those of its companions, but it’s no less intriguing or profound. The slow-burn romance was perfection, and the world of beautiful monsters was breathtaking. Loved this one so much!
Tell me… What’s the best book you read in November?