It’s Grace here, ending a bit of a sick day. Luckily, I recently decided to head to New Orleans next week for ALA Annual. Check out some reads, spend some time wandering in a city with lots of character. So planning that has occupied some of my time. Additionally, I finally got my art blog up and running, so I can more efficiently carve out a space for my calligraphy (which I’ve always done on the side.)
Still though, I’m fundamentally a reader. I’ve been trying to avoid reading so much, just because I know I’ll be doing a ton in July. But I can’t resist.
Since I’ll be drastically changing my to-read list in approximately a week — tell me what I should be looking for at ALA in the comments! — here are some of the books I’ve read this month or am currently reading.
Novel: Wither by Lauren DeStefano | Goodreads
Release Date: March 22, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.
When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape–before her time runs out?
Together with one of Linden’s servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?
I loved Wither when it first came out. It’s eerie and atmospheric. You adore Rhine (and even characters like Linden), and also she plucks out these scenic details that make the desolate world building even seem colorful.
I won’t include a synopsis for its sequel, Fever, because of spoilers, but I remember loving how the dystopia got even more sinister. Even the covers seem to convey it — glittering and terrible.
Truthfully, I can’t remember whether or not I read the third book, Sever, but the fact that I’m blanking means that it’s probably time for a refresher. For one, I could use a solidly enthralling series to occupy my time. For another, everyone’s been obsessing over The Handmaid’s Tale lately and this could be the perfect trilogy to sate your thirst for a similar, YA tale.
Novel: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han | Goodreads
Release Date: May 5, 2009
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Reader
Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer–they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.
Next up is a book I’m currently digging into while reading Wither. I’m a firm believer in always having a phone book. By that, I mean a book to flip through on my Kindle app while I’m waiting in line or in an office or something. I like a book that I can chip away at every once in a while. I want a wholesome beach read and I’ve already reread Moonglass more than anyone person should.
To be honest, I didn’t completely understand the hype over this one. I thought it was good, but a little plainspoken, a little unremarkable for my taste. But I was feeling it: something quiet and coming-of-age that wasn’t trying to blow my mind. Also recently, I’ve felt like delving into books from about 2009-2013 to satisfy my sporadic reading taste. It feels a little more unpredictable than the recent releases that I’ve been into this year. A little nostalgic.
Novel: Royals by Rachel Hawkins | Goodreads
Release Date: May 1, 2018
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her to join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond.
While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself.
I want a good, giddy book. One with a bright pink cover. (This book feels like its cover.) One with ridiculous scenes and glitz. Like the book equivalent of the movie Wild Child. And if you’re a fan of all-things Royal Wedding, have I got the book for you. Any heroine written by Rachel Hawkins is guaranteed to have spunk; add in the scenario and I’m sure (despite only being about fifty pages in) that it’ll have me laughing.
It reminds me a bit of All-American Girl actually, which is a positive considering I used to check out that book nonstop from the library when I was in middle school. Being home and bored, I want to indulge. Side note: I also have a tendency to go down topic-related rabbit holes and read books exclusively about the same thing. A series of boarding school books, or mysteries, or surfing books. Maybe my next tangent will be royal books.