This Week, I Read… (2019 #18)


55 - Their Fractured Light.JPG

#55 – Their Fractured Light, by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

  • Read: 4/23/19 – 4/27/19
  • Challenge: Virtual Mount TBR (18/48)
  • Rating: 5/5 stars

I am so full of feels right now.

My mental palate has been blown out so many times by big, sweeping, angsty save-the-world/galaxy/universe stories that it’s amazing to me that this ending feels earned. I care about these six idiots and their three happy love story endings. I’m invested in their ultimate fates. I cried a little. It was glorious.

About this book specifically, I definitely think it’s the strongest of the three, even separated from its being a great ending. Gideon and Sofia are vibrant, believable, and deeply conflicted characters, and I felt the story spun between them was the most deeply realized.

I’m so, so glad I came back to finish this series after letting it idle for over two years!

A Darker Shade final for Irene

#56 – A Darker Shade of Magic, by V.E. Schwab

  • Read: 3/27/19 – 5/2/19
  • Challenge: Mount TBR (38/100)
  • Rating: 3/5 stars

Good but not amazing. I loved the world-building, I loved the magic, I loved the descriptions of setting and style–I could visualize this story easily, it’s definitely a movie-in-my-head kind of book.

But I wanted stronger characters to fill this world with. Kell and Lila are great at keeping the action moving, but I don’t feel that I ever really got to know them. Both characters get thin back stories that don’t give them much depth because the consequences of their histories aren’t ever really explored; and Lila especially is only one step up from a stock character, “Tough Girl Desperately Wants to Be a Pirate.” Without that depth, even though the stakes were obviously high in the climax, I didn’t feel the sense of connection I needed to be invested fully in those stakes.

57 - Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes

#57 – Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes, by Denise Grover Swank

  • Read: 5/2/19
  • Challenge: Mount TBR (39/100); The Reading Frenzy’s “Try a Chapter” Mini Challenge
  • Rating: 1/5 stars

DNF after the first three chapters, 15%. Mysteries aren’t generally my thing, but I’ve made exceptions before for romance-mysteries. However, this far into the book, the love interest has barely been introduced, and if I hadn’t bought this book because it was listed as a romance, I would most certainly think it was just a straight-up mystery.

And sadly, not a good one. The grammar is noticeably bad, and I’m honestly not sure if that’s unintentional (the author’s fault) or intentional as a way of making Rose, the narrator, seem stupid or poorly educated, which wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing in and of itself. However, this is set in the South, and Rose is both sheltered and emotionally abused by her terrible Momma. So piling the dumb hick Southerner stereotype on top of Rose’s situational trauma is just too much for me; if that’s the case, I believe it to be a poor choice. (And if it’s not intentional, it’s just poor writing.)

Oh, and she has visions. Because why not? But there’s nothing else in the story so far to develop this as magical realism, so it feels like a gimmick, and not an interesting one at that.

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