How was everyone’s long weekend? I semi-enjoyed the extra day off but I was mostly in the library studying for my midterm that’s tomorrow (wish me luck!). My sorority did have our winter formal on Friday night though, which I had a great time at. Nothing like a little dancing to rid the mid-winter blues!
Today I wanted to share with y’all what I read in January and February so far. Consider these mini-reviews!
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
If you’ve been following the most popular books of 2018 so far, you’ll undoubtedly come across Little Fires Everywhere. I solely picked this one up based on its hype, and from Celeste Ng’s prior praise from her debut, Everything I Never Told You. This story is one of those quiet, intricate, and poignant novels that keeps readers engaged the entire time. From the beginning, I felt like I was tiptoeing along an empty hallway, and every so often, there would be a creak in the floorboards. Little Fires Everywhere doesn’t necessarily have a big “twist” in the story, but there are multiple small ones all throughout the story. Ng seamlessly develops each character one by one without making it obvious when she shifts the focus of each character’s backstory.
One thing I thought was interesting was the setting, both location and time. It’s set in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and when Ng first introduces the town, I didn’t even realize it was a real place. It seemed too perfect, too quaint – but Ng captures that exact essence. Second, it’s set in the 90’s, and I’ve come to the conclusion that she chose this time period because of the lack of technology and resources that makes the story more compelling and mysterious. Essentially, the lack of technology makes it harder to track people down.
In all, I really enjoyed Little Fires Everywhere. While it was a little overhyped, I can certainly see the appeal that Ng has on her readers. I’m looking forward to reading Ng’s future novels.
Defiance by CJ Redwine
I’d say that these days, I don’t naturally gravitate toward post-apocalyptic fantasy novels, but I bought this one on my Kindle right when I got into ebooks and it was honestly probably on sale for $1.99. If you know what sunk costs are, know that I don’t believe them. I feel guilty if I don’t read what I bought!
Defiance had a lot of potential in the beginning; I forgot what it was like to be immersed in a fantasy world. As the story went on though, I was a little let down by how little world-building was involved. I think C.J. Redwine could have talked more about the history of the world and how it became.
What I did love was the dual perspective of the two main characters, Rachel and Logan. I really enjoyed reading about their character development and how their circumstances affected their decisions.
While it was an enjoyable read overall, I feel that there are better high fantasy reads out there with much better developed worlds. There are two books following Defiance, but I can’t say I’m interested and invested enough in the world and the characters to continue.
I See London, I See France by Sarah Mlynowski
Y’all know that I’ve been missing Europe ever since I came back to the States mid-September. I find something almost everyday that reminds me of my trip, and my heart is squeezed by nostalgia every time. When I heard about I See London, I See France, I jumped on it. It’s a YA Contemporary about two best friends’ summer getaway to Europe. There’s drama, romance and all of the touristy things. It’s a super light beach read, but perfect for those who miss Europe (aka me). This was just what I needed. Definitely keep this fun read in mind if you’re heading to Europe anytime soon (or read it on the plane!)
Finishing three books throughout a month and a half is pretty good, I’d say! I’m currently making my way through Americanah which I’m reading for Panhellenic Book Club and Meet Cute, which is the ideal Valentine’s Day anthology. I’ve been sneaking in 30 minutes or so every other night to read a little before bed. I’m pretty happy with my consistency so far!
What did you read in January and February?
Thanks for reading,