Books

Book 613: A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3) – V.E. Schwab

Disappointment doesn’t even begin to cover my thoughts on this. Did it end the series well enough? Yes. Did it inspire me to read more of Schwab’s writing? No. Am I even more concerned that she is being compared to Diana Wynn Jones? YES.

A Gathering of Shadows and A Conjuring of Light aren’t so much book two and book three of the Shades of Magic trilogy as they are part one and part two of book two of the Shades of Magic duology. All three of the books in the “trilogy” take place in incredibly short amounts of time with a four month gap between one and two/three.

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Books

Book 611: A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) – V.E. Schwab

Well, this one was stronger than A Darker Shade of Magic, but I’m still not on board with the “natural successor to Diana Wynne Jones” promo-ing in her bio. (But honestly, I can’t blame her, if someone said that about me I’d probably get it tattooed on my body.) Do I think she could get there? Probably. Is she there yet? Not yet based on these to books, but she wrote seven other books I’ve yet to read.

My largest critique of the books/series still stands: Is this an adult book or a young adult book? I honestly cannot tell. There’s no explicit sex, there’s not really that much violence, the language is pretty much G-rated, and the writing and plot are relatively simple and straight forward. There will be MAJOR spoilers in this review so don’t read past this if you don’t want to know.

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Books

Book 610: A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) – V.E. Schwab

I picked this up after seeing it on LouLouReads’ blog. The title intrigued me and then I read the official blurb and was like okay I like this idea of parallel worlds I’ll give it a go. Thankfully, my local library had the first two and I got them the next day and the third had a very short wait list.

Like LouLouReads I agree that the book was rather one-dimensional to start. I do feel that it grew, but I’m not sure Schwab’s writing deserves the accolade touted in her bio, “the natural successor to Diana Wynne Jones.” Those are some huge shoes to fill that Shwab might be able to do some day.

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Books

Book 605: Almost Like Being in Love – Steve Kluger

I knew Tim didn’t read this blog, but I didn’t realize how little he paid attention to what I read. He recommended this after I basically forced him to read Check, Please! (#Hockey! #1) and the whole time I was reading this he was worried I would think it was too corny. And I kept telling him, PLEASE, you don’t even know how much I love this shit.

Almost Like Being in Love is the story of Travis and Craig told in a modern epistolary format, including internal memos, diaries, research requests, and eventually emails. From their budding love as seniors at a boarding school to 20 years later when Travis seeks Craig out after they grew apart when they went to separate colleges on opposite coasts in the US.

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Books

Book 603: Don’t Be Cruel (#3 & #4) – Yonezou Nekota

When I returned Don’t Be Cruel (#1 & #2) to the library, I was pleasantly surprised they had this one on the shelf so I grabbed it. Sadly, it’s the last one I think the library has, but I haven’t looked at all the digital options yet.

This one was much more to my taste than the first two volumes. It was much more loving and nurturing and much less focused on blackmail and rape/sex. There were still a few blush-inducing scenes, but they were more loving and caring than in the first anthology. I was able to successfully read this without closing it and quickly putting it in my bag.

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Books

Book 602: Don’t Be Cruel (#1 & #2) – Yonezou Nekota

Similar to Tableau Numéro 20, I found this on Grace’s Books Without Any Pictures. This one, however, is much more sexually explicit than the other. It jumps in pretty quick with hands down pants and what is basically a rape scene within the first 20-30 pages.

I’m not sure how much I liked it because of this change and the subject matter. If I’m honest, I think I prefer the non-explicit sexual tension and love that was portrayed in Tableau Numéro 20 versus this explicit blackmail. I was honestly surprised the library had this after I started reading it. It was in the general “Graphic Novels” section and not teen, so maybe that’s how they don’t get in too much trouble?

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Books

Book 601: My Boyfriend is a Bear – Pamela Ribon and Cat Farris

I have no clue what blog I saw this on, but I feel like it’s been making the rounds ever since it came out last year.

I’m not sure how I feel about this one. It was an enjoyable read and beautifully drawn, but I spent so much of the time wondering if this was supposed to the bear/their relationship was supposed to be a metaphor for some under represented population or non-traditional couple. This didn’t necessarily take away from the story or the book, but it meant that I didn’t give it my full attention.

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