October Reads

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Book 20 of 12:
"This Savage Song" by Victoria Schwab

Verity is a city divided, North and South. In the North, Kate Harker, human. In the South, August Flynn, monster, bred from an act of violence. Their families rule each side of the city, and while a truce has allowed them to live peacefully for years, that truce is weakening. A human who wants to be a monster and a monster who wants to be human, Kate and August cross paths, curious about each other's secrets, and soon find that they will have to work together if they want to stay safe.

I don't read a lot of fantasy books, nor do I read many young adult books. Since this one is both, it was pretty new for me. A friend recommended it, so I gave it a shot. The story takes place in a fantasy/dystopian world, but one that is still rooted in reality, in a way. It's a post-United-States-as-we-know-it world. It's all based on the notion that violence breeds violence, which is definitely something to think about in today's world. I'd recommend it for any fantasy readers.

"Good and bad were weak words. Monsters didn't care about intentions or ideals.
The facts were simple. The South was chaos. The North was order. It was an order bought and paid for with blood and fear, but order all the same."

"It doesn't matter if you're a monster or human. Living hurts."

"If I have to burn the world to cleanse it, so help me, I will."

Rating: 3.5/5

Book 21 of 12:
"Big Little Lies" by Liane Moriarty

Jane, a single mom, is new to town. She's not one for attention, often dressing rather plainly and keeping to herself. But when her son Ziggy is blamed for hurting a fellow classmate at kindergarten orientation, she's thrust into the spotlight, and her reputation is immediately defined. Still, fellow moms Madeline and Celeste take Jane under their wing, not realizing the significance it will have. A story of family, ex-husbands, catty moms, and big little lies, it all counts down to the school trivia night, where one person didn't make it to the next morning.

Once again, I love Moriarty's writing style. I was hooked by page seven. Even in intense moments, she incorporates humor in a way that actually had me laughing out loud. There are also mentions of things like Facebook and texting that didn't make me cringe. You know what I mean – some books will mention social media in a way that feels forced, where you can tell the author is trying to make the story more modern. This felt natural. Moriarty makes everything feel natural and realistic. A lot of feedback I saw on this book said that it moved slowly. While I guess that's true in a way – certain details are drawn out over a couple of chapters – to me, it never felt like it was dragging. I wouldn't say it's slow, I'd say it's suspenseful. It reels you in. If you like mysteries, you can't go wrong with Moriarty.

Rating: 5/5

Book 22 of 12:
"I Am The Messenger" by Markus Zusak

Ed Kennedy is the epitome of ordinariness. He drives a cab, is in love with his best friend, and talks to his dog like he's a human. The game-changer (because you know there is one) comes when Ed accidentally stops a bank robbery. Then he receives a playing card in the mail. An ace. On it, three addresses, each followed by a time. No explanation, no instructions. Though he doesn't know who's behind it all, Ed decides to pursue it, and in turn, Ed becomes the messenger.

If you read "The Book Thief" and are expecting this book to be like that one, don't. They are so different. I went in with that expectation and was then surprised at how much of a different feel this book had. I mean, duh, this one doesn't take place during the Holocaust, so of course it's not going to be the same, but I guess I didn't expect it to be SO different. Still, it's written in such a captivating way that it makes Zusak's writing that much more impressive. It's a great story, with an unforeseen yet refreshing depth to it.

It's like I've been chosen.
But chosen for what? I ask.
The answer's quite simple:
To care.

How do people live like this? How do they survive?
And maybe that's why I'm here. 
What if they can't anymore?

You are the epitome of ordinariness, Ed. And if a guy like you can stand up and do what you did for all those people, well, maybe everyone can. Maybe everyone can live beyond what they're capable of.

Rating: 4/5

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