What I Read: April 2014

someone, a discovery of witches, shadow of night, mini book review, book review, what i read in april

Someone

About- An unremarkable, Irish-American girl growing up in Brooklyn.

Why I picked it– Recommended to me by my friend Babe.

Grade A- In most cases, I probably wouldn’t like a book like this. It’s slow and quiet, and not really plot-driven. In fact, when Babe was describing the book to me, she said something along the lines of, “It sounds really boring, but I promise, it’s good!” She was right. In this novel, we follow the life of Marie as she grows up and navigates various obstacles in life. While I was reading this, I felt like I was peeking through a window into Marie’s life. That’s a strange way to describe it, but it did feel a little voyeuristic. The story flashes back and forth in time (sometimes she’s reflecting back on her life) but I didn’t find it too difficult to follow along. I definitely enjoyed the writing as well- simple and quiet doesn’t necessarily mean boring.

A-Discovery-of-Witches

About- A young woman named Diana tries to resist her heritage, but can’t ignore it any longer when a mysterious manuscript threatens to upset the magical balance of power.

Why I picked it– I think one of you lovely readers recommended it to me, so I added it to my to-read list. I can’t remember who it was, but thank you!

Grade A About 10 pages in I knew I was going to love this book. I’ve always enjoyed fiction about witchcraft, I think in part because it was sort of banned from me as a kid and it’s always felt a little forbidden. Once I started this book, I could not stop. It’s not short (500+) but it was so interesting that I felt like I was flying through it. This book has vampires, witches, magic, history, and a love story. What can I say?! I’m a sucker for this stuff.

Shadow-of-Night

About- This is the second book in the series, the sequel to A Discovery of Witches.

Why I picked it– Since I loved the first one, I had to read the second one. In fact, I had to wait a few days for the library copy of this book, but I wouldn’t let myself finish the first book until the second one was available so that I could start it immediately.

Grade B It pains me to say it, but I don’t think this one was as good as the first. A couple problems that stood out to me:

1. The main characters travel back in time and suddenly we get bogged down in all this history. Don’t get me wrong- I generally enjoy historical fiction and history has an important role in the novels since Diana is a historian, but in this book I felt that the historical details weighed down the plot.

2. While I felt like the action was racing forward in book one, there are large chunks in book two where nothing happens. I think part of the problem was that there were so many new characters. It felt like the author wanted to squeeze in some historical figures that really did nothing to advance the plot.

3. I think I wanted a bit more character evolution. The two main characters began to morph people that I liked less than I did in the first book (no bueno).

Overall it was still enjoyable, but not nearly as much as the first one was. You know me- I can’t leave a series unfinished- so I’m hoping that the third book gets back to the excitement and pacing of the first book.

Tell me: Have you read anything good lately?