Recent Reads, December 2021

My reading always dips this time of year… I get sucked into watching TV and movies and lean into just relaxing and tuning out. I do hope to make it through a few books while I’m off, though! I have some new books that I’m really looking forward to getting into. As always – leave me your recommendations in the comments!

Collage of book covers: The Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab, Dava Shastri's Last Day by Kirthana Ramisetti, The Baddest Girl on the Planet by Heather Frese, Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner, and The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

The Shades of Magic Series (A Darker Shade of Magic, A Gathering of Shadows, A Conjuring of Light) by V.E. Schwab

Part of the reason that I didn’t read that many books is that one of the things that I did read was this trilogy, which was quite long. I loved The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue so much that I wanted to read more books by V.E. Schwab immediately. This series was definitely more fantasy than Addie LaRue, which isn’t always my favorite, and it took me a little bit longer to get into it – but by the third book, I was washing there were three more! The series follows Kell, an “Antari” magician who can travel between parallel Londons. He meets Delilah in another London, who ends up saving his life (after robbing him). He takes her back with him to his London, and while the two part at first, their paths keep crossing as they fight together to save their city. There’s magic, some fighting, some piracy, and of course, romance.

The Baddest Girl on the Planet by Heather Frese

I really wanted to love this book, but I ended up being very medium on it. Part of it was the way the story was written – it jumps around a lot, showing us all these different moments of Evie’s life – the intent was to show how each of these moments and decisions led to the Evie of today. But for me, it just ended up being disjointed, and I felt like Evie’s character was never fully developed. I also found myself really cringing with some of the decisions that she made! But it’s quick, easy read if that’s what you’re looking for.

Dava Shastri’s Last Day by Kirthana Ramisetti

I liked this book, but you definitely have to remove any and all sense of reality to really get lost in it. Dava is a self-made millionare, and when she finds out that she’s dying, she invites her extended family to a private island enclave, has them surrender their technology, and announces her death publicly while she’s still alive so that she can find out how the public reacts. If you can accept this, then you’ll enjoy it and get lost in the family drama that ensues as they all deal with the news in their own way. I thought the relationships were all well done, and I loved learning about how Dava came to be the woman that she is. I sped through this one in about a day!

The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

I got this book as an ARC through NetGalley – it will be released on June 7, 2022. I loved this book! It sucked me in almost immediately – it was written in a way that I’ve never seen before. There’s a book within a book – a writer is writing a thriller / mystery about four strangers who meet in a public library in London, only to find out that they’re witnesses to a murder. But the author is also sending chapters back and forth to a fan for his thoughts and comments (sometimes wanted, sometimes not). The framing was interesting because it allowed the pandemic to be in the story without it getting in the way of the plot. And the story within a story was nice and twisty, too!

Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner

I got this as an ARC through NetGalley – it will be released on January 25, 2022. (CW: Pregnancy loss) Another great, twisty book! In this one, Hannah lives with her husband in the fancy Greenwich Park neighborhood of London. After multiple miscarriages, she is finally pregnant, but has lots of anxiety around carrying the baby to term. She meets a woman in her childbirth class and the two become fast friends, but Hannah begins to think that all is not what it seems with her new friend… and then she disappears. Honestly, every time I thought I had this book figured out, there was a new twist and I was thrown off again. I highly recommend pre-ordering this one!

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