I swear, every year seems to fly by faster and faster... How is it time for this again already??
Last year I saw a trend on TikTok, the “mid-year reading check,” and thought it would make for a good blog post. (It ended up being two posts, which was great for getting me more content, heh.) This year I’m continuing the pattern!
So, checking Goodreads to refresh my memory... Okay, here’s the first part of the list of (fiction) books I’ve read so far this year, in chronological order, with a bit of commentary about each book:
A House Like a Lotus by Madeleine L’Engle
Didn’t know what I expected from this book, but it’s different from her Time Quintet. It’s literary, so it’s rather slow-paced, which isn’t my usual preference, but I adore basically anything I’ve read by L’Engle, so I wanted to read more of her novels and picked this one for Reasons. ;) It’s a beautifully written book with deep thoughts about many subjects, revolving around a young woman (Polly O’Keefe) coming of age and going on her first trip by herself far from home – to some really gorgeous places in the Mediterranean, which were lovely to read about!! But amid all this beauty, Polly is feeling confused and betrayed for reasons that slowly unfold throughout the story. So if you like that kind of thing, I recommend this book!
Marco Swift and the Mirror of Souls by D.E. Cunningham
This is a middle-grade fantasy adventure that goes deeper than just a quest for items that are needed to solve a certain problem. (Even though parts of it do read like a video game or like an RPG.) Main character Marco is struggling with anger and grief over his dad’s death, while watching his mom slide deeper and deeper into depression. Young Marco of course feels helpless, and he’s also upset by the fact that his mom, sister, and he had to move from America to Italy. Not to mention there were bullies on the ferry, one of whom ends up being...oops, no spoilers! Anyway, the book is fine; I wouldn’t not recommend it. It just didn’t “wow” me as much as I’d hoped.
The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh
This is a lovely retelling of a Korean folktale. A girl (Mina) sacrifices herself to the Sea God in place of the woman her brother loves. A dragon takes her down to a magical, mysterious realm. She’s supposed to be the Sea God’s bride, but when she meets him, things are, um, quite different than she expected! And then some mysterious guys show up and threaten her, and she’s on the run with some kids helping her, and then she and Those Guys have to come to an understanding, and she has to figure out what’s really going on, and who’s really who...so many spoilers to avoid! ;) Anyway, a very enjoyable book with great atmosphere and a quick read. I did guess most of the twist. But I still loved the book!
Black Marks by Pete Aldin
An indie (self-pubbed) werewolf book! I’m trying to read more books from both of those categories, so yay! I discovered this book on Shepherd.com. It’s pretty good, though unfortunately, it needs a better edit/proofread. But the story itself held my attention and kept me turning pages. It’s a little more toward the dark side of werewolf tales, but there’s not too much gore (I don’t like that kind of thing!) and it’s more action-oriented like my book is. One aspect of what was going on, I guessed, but at least the main antagonist ended up being a little different than I expected. Overall, a fine read if you like werewolf books with action.
Myth and Storm by Megan O’Russell
Last year, I read the first book in this series, Inker and Crown, and loved it! This follow-up was just as good, and I will definitely read books 3 and 4 at some point! (Trying to rotate through authors and get a taste for a bunch of them.) The series is self-published and has good editing, few typos. It’s accurately advertised as “for fans of Six of Crows” and has likeable characters and plenty of intrigue! I can’t wait to see what happens next, whether the dominating Guilds will ever be brought down by the oppressed commoners!
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
I know I’m late to the game reading this, but better late than never! I’m SUPER glad I read this book, even though parts of it were so sad and really hard to get through. But that’s the point, isn’t it? To show people who don’t know what’s been going on in America, and give us more empathy and urgency. You come to love Starr and her family, and you just see them as people, not their color. I’m not going to write an essay here about what this book should inspire us to do, because I don’t have too many answers, and this is a book-review post. But definitely read this book and more like it!
This post is very long, so I’m breaking it in half. Next month, I’ll post Part 2 with the rest of the books I’ve read so far this year!
P.S. I can’t fail to mention another book I read and loved this year, which was just published this week! The Taskmaster by Katherine Vick is the epically hilarious finale to her Plot Bandits series. (These books do need to be read in order, so start with The Disposable, the e-book of which is only 99 cents this week!) If you love Terry Pratchett and other British humour, don’t miss these books!!
Sarah Awa lives in Ohio with two hairy guys and writes books about werewolves.