Last month I had Roree, my 7 year old, pick out five books from my bookshelves for me to read and the order I should read them.
It took me this long to actually finish them because I had a bunch of ARCs to read and a few readathons, but I finally did it!
And this was the result:
Book #1: Fall Back Skyward by Autumn Grey
Why She Picked It: She loved the girl on the front cover’s hair – she thought she looked like a mermaid.
What It’s About: This is a contemporary epic romance about a girl who moves in next door to two brothers who both fall for her, but from the beginning, her heart belongs to the quiet brother who happens to be deaf, as opposed to the charming, outgoing brother.
What I thought: I ADORED this book. Autumn Grey is definitely going to be an author I read more of. Much like Mia Sheridan and Brittainy C. Cherry, I’m determined to read her backlist.
This book was heartbreaking and swoony. I adored how it was told and how it jumped timelines. When you’re first introduced to the characters, it is right in the middle of their story. I love how I was immediately invested in these characters and when you do get to see how they met and how things progressed, it’s so satisfying, but also heartbreaking because you know how the story is going to end.
Or at least you think you do.
Contemporary books don’t tend to have a lot of epic romances, but man, this one did. I was so in love with this couple.
I can’t even tell you how many butterflies I had while reading this book and I’m so grateful that my daughter picked this one out for me to read. It truly makes me wonder how many great books are sitting on my shelf, just waiting to be read and continuously being looked over.
Rating: 5 Stars ★★★★★
Book #2: Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Why She Picked It: This faces out on my bookshelf and the cover drew her eye because of the metallic red on black.
What It’s About: This is a retelling of the Queen of Hearts’ origin story from Alice in Wonderland.
What I thought: Holy. Crap. Another amazing choice!
I’ve been reading Melissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles and I read Renegades as well, and I really enjoyed both of them, but, in Renegades in particular, I found it to be a little immature and I think that is what I was expecting from this book.
I was wrong.
This book is such a book hangover cure for Caraval because of the whimsy and magic that has the ability to absolutely sweep you away.
I knew how this story would end. I mean, it’s a villain’s origin story, so the sense of foreboding I had while reading this was warring with how much I was rooting for the romance.
And the romance.
It was SO good. It felt so much like the romance in Caraval. Epic and effervescent. But combined with the tinge of darkness because of who our main character ultimately becomes.
Rating: 5 stars ★★★★★
Book #3: Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan
Why She Picked It: She liked the cover of it because it looked like “Tie dye.”
What It’s About: This is about a very old witch in a teenager’s body, who is sick of how dark her life has become and decides to hide away at a retreat for magical beings.
What I thought: The premise of this is so good. I loved the idea of a witch who has grown tired of the dark privilege her so-called friends have to the point where she escapes to this tree-hugging, everyone-pitches-in-and-earns-their-keep farm.
I hated the main character. She was so immature, yet was supposed to be something like a thousand years old! Yes, she was in a teenager’s body, but she threw tantrums and was rude and acted like a 13 year old brat.
I feel like this would’ve been so much better if it was new adult and she was in her early 20s, and, yes, being reluctant in a new lifestyle is fine, but acting like a brat – I just couldn’t handle it. And it makes me so mad because I love the title of this and I really do like this author, but I couldn’t handle the main character.
Rating: No rating. I DNF’d this book.
Book #4: Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
Why She Picked It: She thought the girl on the cover was beautiful and she liked the flowers. She also liked the metallic blue.
What It’s About: This is a twist on the story of Mulan.
What I thought: This book was as beautiful and badass as the cover.
I’ve always been partial to the story of Mulan, but I love how much more intricate this story was in comparison.
Our main character doesn’t magically have all sorts of powers and though she is a badass, it’s because of her quick-thinking bravery, and resilience, not any magical skill.
The writing was also one of my favorite things about this book. It was beautiful and fit so well with the story itself. I felt like I was experiencing everything our main character did, right beside her.
Rating: 5 stars ★★★★★
Book #5: Becoming Mrs. Lockwood by KI Lynn
Why She Picked It: She liked the purple spine and the guy on the cover “looked cool.”
What It’s About: A high school girl whose mom ditches her while they are on vacation in Las Vegas, so she meets this older, rich guy in her hotel lobby who takes her out to see the sights since her mom didn’t.
What I thought: How can a book simultaneously be insta-lovey and also 500 pages. I just don’t understand.
The other thing I didn’t understand was what the heck the hero saw in the heroine. He’s infatuated with her because he sees her across the room staring at her phone for a really long time and somehow she’s “not like other girls.”
On top of that, when he does talk to her, he finds out she’s 18, but still in high school, yet he pursues her anyway.
And, of course, she’s virginal and innocent, yet super inappropriately flirty for having just met an older man.
I just… I couldn’t do it. I could not do over 500 pages of this nonsense.
Rating: No rating, DNF.