Monday, March 5, 2018

Monthly Book Picks: The Month of January and February 2018

Hey, if you have read my blog the last month or so you may have heard me talking about starting a Monthly Book Picks where you select your favourite reads of the last month; so here it is. Since I missed January, I'll be doing both January and February picks this month. If you want to join in do leave a link using the inlinkz gadget below. Monthly Book Picks will go up every first Monday of the month.

January 2018

“There are no good men in this game.”
Vicious (The Villains #1) by V.E. Schwab (2013)
The Gist: College roommates become vicious enemies after developing superpowers through their science experiments. Ten years later, one of them has come back to execute his revenge.
Imagine The Prestige movie but instead of magicians it's people with wicked superpowers. I had high expectations going into this because it has a high rating on Goodreads which was definitely met and Vicious has become my one of favourites. It has great writing, plot, pacing and fascinating characters. If you're tired of the usual superhero fare, as the quote above implies, there are no heroes here.  I can't wait for the sequel and the film adaptation which I'm surprised has not come sooner.

February 2018

“There was a small part of me that was still childish, stubborn in her hope, thinking I could somehow have everything. ...That I could be all the versions of me, stacked inside one another, and find someone who would want them all. But that's childhood. Before you realize that every step is a choice. That something must be given up for something to be gained. Everything on a scale, a weighing of desires, an ordering of which you want more--and what you'd be willing to give for it.” 
All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda (2016) 
The Gist: Nicollete has returned to her hometown for the summer to help her brother fix their old house so that they can sell it to use the sale money for the father's nursing home expanses. Then her father, who has dementia, starts saying that he has seen the disappeared girl on their porch, only he has not been to their house a year since his nursing home stay and which girl was he referring too? Nicollete's best friend who disappeared ten years ago or the latest girl that has gone missing, their neighbour. Told in reverse, the link between the girls is slowly revealed as the past resurface.
This is actually my second reading, I loved it on the first read but it being a mystery told in reverse and with a first person narration,you know how unreliable they all are, I knew I was missing a lot of the breadcrumbs the first time around. And yes this is definitely one of those stories/books that you'll continually discover new things you missed before. I also love the writing and the narrator's voice that has a certain reflective wariness to it. Overall just a satisfying suspenseful mystery, one of the best I'd say that I read the last year or so.

“Power. What men like best for themselves and least in their women.”
The Queen of Attolia (The Queen's Thief #2) by Megan Whalen Turner (2000) 
This is the second book in the YA fantasy series The Queen's Thief. The first book The Thief is about a thief who claims he is able to steal anything so he is recruited and goes on a journey with the king's scholar, a soldier and two apprentices to recover a treasure. The first two thirds of the first book, for me, was boring. But the last third was excellent. In the second book, The Queen of Attolia, the thief this time is enlisted more for stealing information and that really is all I can say lest I spoil the first book. Also that, unlike the first book, it is great from the start. It has action, drama, political intrigue with plenty of twist and turns and even has a little romance. I love The Queen of Attolia more, but you definitely can't jump to reading this without reading the first book and all the essential world building.


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  1. I haven't read any of these. I've been such a slacker when it comes to reading lately. I need to pick it up.

    1. I have periods of slacking too, where I just don't read at all.

  2. None of these are familiar to me but The Queen of Attolia sound like something that would interest me. I enjoy medieval mysteries which is what this sounds akin too.

    The best book I read in January was A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch which was an Edwardian mystery.

    The book I'm currently reading which I started last month is Hollywood's Children which looks at the phenomenon of child stars starting in gold camp days with a girl named Lotta Crabtree and up through the 50's. What makes it stand out is that it was written by Diana Serra Cary who was a huge silent screen child star named Baby Peggy-she was a star from 2-8 but has a very clear memory of the time. It seems amazing but she's still alive since her main period of activity in film was from 1921-1926. She'll be turning 100 in October of this year.

    1. The Queen of Attolia - Not really a mystery. More fantasy adventure in a medieval sort of Greek inspired world.

      Not familiar with A Beautiful Blue Death so I looked it up, I think I have come across some of the later books in the series before. While I love mysteries, I'm not a fan of detective series. I don't mind reading series in general, I just prefer series that have a planned end. Detective series tend to be a crime of the week sort of thing which have no end.

      The Hollywood book sounds interesting. Not familiar with the actress. If she is still able to recall memories as an adult from the time she was 2-8, she must have photographic memory.


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