March 2016 Reads

Before I start, a few Bookish achievements that happened this month:

  • Won my first GoodReads Giveaway! For a comic book, but WHO CARES. I totally think they’re rigged.
  • Got my first (and possibly last) Bookish Box! It was ok. Although I do love throw pillow covers.

Anyways, onto the roundup! This month, I… thought I slowed down. Apparently I didn’t. I definitely felt like I read less, time wise, but… what?

Total books read this month: 10
Favorite book: Tie between The Hero of Ages and The Name of the Wind
Currently Reading: The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. A huge, almost 1000-page continuation of the Kingkiller Chronicles. I’m excited. And scared. And am returning the rest of my library books now.

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
Rating: 5/5

So there’s this Lord Ruler dude who’s really bad set in a world where there are Mistings and Mistborn. This book is about trying to overthrow this ruler dude by rallying the submissive sect of people that have been slaves/gutterscum for CENTURIES. Anyways, Mistings and Mistborns have special powers that allow them to burn certain metals and use that energy to perform a specific magical skill. Yes, they ingest these metals. Powers include sense-heightening, strength, pushing and pulling metal (which sounds lame at first, but that means they can drop metal and jump off it, aka fly).

I seriously can’t get over this book! I broke my book-buying ban in order to get not just the entire trilogy, but the entire trilogy in the UK edition. This means that I just bought brand-new books and the last time I bought brand-new books was before I discovered what a giant waste of money that is and that I could get just as beautiful used books instead.

It is because of this book that I got out of my romance reading slump (not one where I refuse to read romance, but one where I ONLY read romance. Yikes). This took me 3 days to finish, but the time between putting down the book and picking it back up again was TOO LONG. I would be antsy at work, counting down the minutes until I could crack open the spine and pick up where I left off. Needless to say, if you like anything remotely fantastical, you’ll like The Final Empire. 

My only regret… is that Brandon Sanderson came into our one indie bookstore last Monday. And I didn’t go. Because I hadn’t read this book yet. Gah!

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks
Rating: 3/5

This is a little complex to explain. There’s a society where certain people are able to control colors of the spectrum; each color has a different characteristic that is somewhat tied to your emotions (aka, red=fire=angry person). In this world, the spectrum of possibly controllable colors (7) are imbalanced. This is where the Prism comes in; the Prism is a person that can control all 7 colors (which is rare, but for some reason, I’ve read about 3 at least so far) and there is one of these a generation. Prisms are Prisms for years in multiples of 7 and since Gavin has been Prism for 16, he has 5 more years until he starts dying, or losing the control of his colors. This is the year he finds and gets his bastard son; this is the year that satrapies (regions of the empire) start rebelling. Insert political/emotional/romantic intrigue. Obviously, this is going to be an Epic.

After Mistborn, I had to dive into yet another fantasy novel to keep the high going while I waited f or the rest of Sanderson’s trilogy to make its way to my door. As of writing this on the 16th, I still have yet to get it. This… worked. But it was nowhere near as absorbing as the last one. And nowhere near as finished! I’d say this is an apt start to a world where I’d be interested in delving deeper into. As long as I know where it’s going…

Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare
Rating: 4/5

Oh goodness, I should really write something immediately after reading. I don’t remember this at all. *checks GoodReads* Ok, I’m good now. This is your typical HEA book featuring a destitute heroine with a father that spent all of their money and an injured, hermit hero (blind). She inherits his castle because of his hermit-hood following his injury but he refuses to move out. Which is a recipe for romance (for some reason?). There’s one twist in this book.

This was enjoyable.

In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins
Rating: 4/5

“Burly” Policewoman-tomboy character falls in lust with Nice Guy/actual Hero hero when he agrees to be her date to her ex-fiance’s wedding. Yeah, you’re interested already, aren’t you? Said ex-fiance used to be MASSIVE and policewoman used to have a horrible stutter. They bonded through their less-than-perfect human experiences. Until he fell in love with sadistic gym trainer and discovered he was a little masochistic. And now he’s Hot. But not as much as her Nice Guy/Hero guy. Oh, also there’s an annoying, clingy Southern Belle of a wife that returns after hearing about his heroics.

The best part about this book was discovering that there was a whole Higgins series I hadn’t read yet.

The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks
Rating: 4/5

We continue from where we left off on the first book. And now I realize that writing non-spoiler summaries of non-first books in series is quite hard. Let’s see… Kip, the bastard son from before now goes through training to become a Blackguard. There are trials and tribulations that follow his storyline, including the making of friends and enemies, injuries galore, and magical development. On Gavin’s end, he delves deeper into the twist that happens at the end of the last book, but is largely absent from Kip’s life during this. The Lightbringer prophecy is mentioned and then dropped, much like many plot points throughout the entire book, to my exasperation.

Of course I had to discover what happens next. There’s no way I can’t NOT finish a series, especially when the following book is already out for grabs at the library. This one was definitely better than the last one because I LOVE magical school premises! But why always the cliffhanger at the end of the book?? Why can’t you just resolve it like Sanderson did in Mistborn? 

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
Rating: 5/5

We continue a year after what happened in the first book. And, like always, second books of series are so hard to talk about without giving everything away so I’m just going to avoid it. Characters live, characters die. Yada yada.

I completely LOVED this book (besides not knowing how I feel about a particular thing happening at the end of book 2. Those who have read this book–WHO WANTS TO DISCUSS??). There were so many twists and turns and SLOOOOWWW unfolding of a plot that I was insanely curious about!! He has this skill of only letting you know what you really need to know for the plot to move forward so he can use your curiosity to create tension within the plot. Even though much of it is a standstill (there’s a siege), there was enough action and enough tension in the plot to make me speed through. Honestly, I don’t think I really savored it the way I should’ve. I sped through and definitely need a reread sometime in the future! Needless to say, I dove right into the third book.

The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
Rating: 10/5

It’s yet another year after the end of the previous book. This time, we waste no time in diving into all the action because, let’s be honest, in order to satisfactorily tie up all the loose strands floating around this series, this one’s going to need to move pretty fast.

I learned from my mistakes and I savored the heck out of this book. I was halfway done after the first day and was going to stay up like I do Sunday nights before the work grind to get it out of the way, but I didn’t. I went to bed instead (gasp). But now I’ve finished and all I have to say is… HOOOOOOLY shit. What just happened. I truly think Sanderson could’ve delved so much deeper into the world, in Tolkein fashion, but appreciate that he didn’t for the sake of movement of the plot. At the end, I just had goosebumps everywhere. Man. Now I’m unsure if I want to continue reading Sanderson, which will be literally a hole that I will never climb out of, or finish the expiring, repeatedly-renewed library books on the shelf. I think I’m going into the hole, guys.

For a full review, click here.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Rating: .5/5

This is the prequel to the Mortal Instrument series (City of Bones, etc) and is the first book of the Infernal Devices trilogy. The book follows Tessa Gray as she journeys to London to follow her brother who had been working there for a while already. Once she arrives, she’s immediately captured by these twins and is introduced into the Downworld and the Shadowhunters.

Ok…. where do I even begin. First of all, classic YA stuff: quotes from classic literature, the heroine who loves classic literature for some reason (even though I have never heard a teenager ever say that other than to be pretentious), a love triangle, broody teen boys… need I say more? This was my first Cassandra Clare book and I have to say that it’s probably going to be my last. Maybe I should’ve read the Mortal Instrument series before diving into this one, but I feel like series –even prequel series–should be able to stand alone. There was real world building or explanation of how this world works. I was also not at all invested in any of the characters or where the plot was going. Just nothing about it interested me. I almost didn’t finish it MULTIPLE times and eventually plowed through only because there were 100 pages left. 30 min of my time, why not?

For a full review, click here.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Rating: 5/5

This is a tale of the classic fantasy hero–unusually strong, unusually smart, and humble. What’s different about this is the perspective of the narrative; it’s told as if he’s talking directly to you, starting from childhood to the present, where he is currently an innkeeper in a no-name town. The narrative follows him from 9 years old to his years as a student at the University. It’s essentially a bildungsroman in a fantasy format.

I really enjoyed this… but not as much as the hype said that I would enjoy it? There were some slow moving parts, mostly because I didn’t exactly know where the plot was going or why the detour was happening, but I read on anyways! I really liked how the narrative is framed and how jumping in and out from past to present nicely built up some tension to resume the actual story.

What I think my favorite part about reading this was admiring the language and the skill in which Rothfuss applies to tell this story. Apparently he wrote this as an English student in college (props to you, Mr. Rothfuss, for having time to create an amazing story while surviving college), and I believe reading many classics and literary works influenced the unique way he approached this novel. Full review here.

Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare
Rating: 4/5

Girl has been waiting 8 years for her finace to finally marry her; when her uncle dies and leaves her a castle in her will, she decides to cut her losses and support herself instead. Boy’s brother thinks this is unacceptable and moves in with her for a week to try to convince her to plan the wedding. He’s excellent at convincing himself that he isn’t falling in love with her.

Cute, quick, 2-hour read on a Sunday morning. I liked that both of them had some insecurities rather than have the girl with the insecurities and the hero be completely infallible. Full review here.

What were some of your notable reads this month?

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  • Kelly

    I love the writing style of The Name of the Wind, but that series just isn’t the sort of thing I read over and over again. I think I heard they were making it into a tv series or something sometime…? Shrug. I’m on another historical fiction binge with things like The Moon in the Palace and stuff by Donna Thorland – but it’s so annoying how the heroines are always innocent/stupid. I’d love a novel where the intelligent manipulative chick wasn’t the one-dimensional villain who sleeps around because sexuality = evil. Haha, Regency and romance plot tropes are the BEST. I kind of like Julie Anne Long’s Pennyroyal Green series, because she at least covers the tropes with some beautiful writing.

    • Michelle @ Mishfish13

      I can see that. It’s kinda like one of those movies that really moves you but never want to experience again hahaha. They’re always saying something about some fantasy book that they’re going to turn into a TV series. It would be interesting, but I think BBC would do a better job as long as it’s produced by Steven Moffat or something. The tone of Sherlock seems to fit.

      HAHAHA. I hate stupid heroines. Who enjoys reading them?? I’ll have to check some of these out, even though I haven’t touched a non-romance historical fiction novel in a while!

  • Marcella ~ WhatAWonderfulWorld

    Ten books in a month is so impressive, miss! :) Is it bad that I haven’t heard of many of these at all, but I really like the sound of several of them!

    • Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Thanks, Marcella! I should probably get a life sometime hahaha. If you end up reading some, tell me what you think! :)

  • Kerri

    Oh, you had an epic reading month! You read so many books that I want to read! I need to get my hands on the Mistborn Trilogy, they don’t have it at the library so I might just have to treat myself to the kindle version. It’s so confusing that the first book is called The Final Empire though! I’m going to have a look around for The Black Prism too, that just sounds interesting – and I like your taste in books so I might like that too. I need to pick up Patrick Rothfuss from the library too.

    I think I managed to read 12 books in March, I’m really pleased with myself haha. I read Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson, which I loved! I also read Red Rising, which was really good and I’m going to start the second book today :)

    I FINALLY finished The Series Of Unfortunate Events too!!! HELL YEAH! Now I’m going to tackle Narnia, because I have some gorgeous hardback books that I was given years and years ago but I’ve only read the first 2/3 in it. Plus, it’s part of my purge my bookshelf goal!

    • Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Man, it was wild! How could they not have the Mistborn Trilogy?! Yeah, I was really confused when I first started because of the title as well… I think they recently changed it to “Mistborn” to avoid the confusion? Haha I think we have similar tastes in books :) Speaking of which, I noticed you read a lot of Patrick Ness–I have to try some of his books!

      12 books, that’s awesome! Did you become a monk and swear off everything except books? Haha. I need to read Steelheart/other Sanderson series! I’m just taking time to recover from finishing my first trilogy, and then I’ll dive back in. For a moment, I thought I was going to run out of books to read, but now I’m drowning in fantasy. I’ll have to pick up Red Rising then, since you ended up enjoying it!

      How was the ending? Satisfying? Maybe I’ll just google it to find synopses haha…

      • Kerri

        They have a limited selection of English books, so they have a bit of everything. Mostly one book of a series, or about three copies of Twilight haha (in the adult and young adult section too!).

        I really enjoyed the Chaos Walking trilogy, so I’m looking forward to reading some more Patrick Ness.

        I think I did, but weirdly, I felt really productive in other places. About 5 of them were The Series Of Unfortunate Events though and they are really short, I’ve moved onto Narnia now as I never finished that series. After all my short books are done, I think I’ll be reading less.

        I’m reading Golden Sun at the moment and still enjoying it. It didn’t start off as good as Red Rising but I’m half way through and it’s getting really good. I have heard some negative things about it and that’s it too similar to other books, but I liked it all the same. I tend not to compare books to others, I just enjoy them as they are.

        Nah, not really. It was all a bit bleh.

        • Michelle @ Mishfish13

          Haha it’s nice that they have English books at all! I think my library is just getting around to adding sections with books in other languages.

          Yeah! I feel more productive when I’m in a reading phase too. Maybe because I realize how much I can do in a few hours? Otherwise the whole day gets spent on random Netflix or internet browsing… which is a huge waste of time.

  • bevchen

    I have never won a Goodreads giveaway and I am also convinced their rigged… to make sure only people in the US win them and save on postage since most are US-based.

    You read so many books in March! I only managed 4! The Name of the Wind is on my list, so I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    • Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Haha, seriously! The word on the street is that they usually give it to people who have more reviews?? I dunno, but I have thrown a few more reviews in there since I started reading more seriously… And yeah, it’s predominantly for the US, which blows.

      Thanks! 4 is still a book a week, which is way more than a lot of people read per YEAR! You should pick it up sometime, it’s a good read :)

  • laurenonlocation

    Wow! Good for you! That’s a lot of books! I’m trying to get back into reading lately, but I’m trying to read in Spanish. Which just makes it that much harder! Just have to stick to it! I’ll use you as inspiration! :D

    • Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Ooh, that’s a good goal! I always say I’m going to read in French, but as a quick English reader, I’m frustrated at how slow I read.