Throughout the month of August, I finished off five books, the same as the number of books I read in July. I picked up a couple of YA (young adult) fantasy books that I’ve been meaning to read in Divergent and I Am Number Four – Divergent impressed me more. As well as these, I finally finished Oathbringer which took me about a month to read and finished the Booker Prize-winning Shuggie Bain and hit of 2018 The Tattooist of Auschwitz.
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Divergent by Veronica Roth
My summary of Divergent: “I was surprised by how much I liked Divergent. I have a bit of a problem when it comes to YA novels with how they often sacrifice any sort of deep plot to develop a cringe love story. The purpose of this book is certainly not the love story, it’s the building of an interesting premise and world.
If you’ve seen the films and were put off, I’d definitely still give the book a try. It’s not going to blow your mind but it’s certainly deeper and explains a lot more than the films are able to do. If you’re a fan of fantasy and dystopian novels, I definitely think this is worth picking up as it offers up some unique ideas.”
I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
My summary of I Am Number Four: “I wasn’t impressed with I Am Number Four at all. I read it as a quick read and it only took me a few days, so this is OK. However, the amount of potential here that wasn’t fulfilled and the lack of any conflict between any of the characters made this feel like it lacked any real depth.
I’m not saying this is a bad book by any means, Lore has great ideas here, some that I imagine are explored much more in the follow-up books that I hope to read. But in this book alone, I left felt wanting more and that’s never great when it’s YA as they’re never written in particularly fancy prose either.”
Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson
My summary of Oathbringer: I’m obsessed with the Stormlight Archive by Sanderson. It’s without a doubt my favourite fantasy series. It has everything I need in a book and more: a well-realised world, genuinely fun and enjoyable characters, fascinating lore and an intriguing storyline. Sanderson writes in such a wonderful way – it’s just technically sufficient enough to make you feel like you’re reading an adult book but not too far so that you feel it’s too much.
Being another 1,000+ page book meant that Oathbringer took me a while but despite the length, never did I feel like the story was dragging. This particular book does focus more on politics which I tend to try and avoid in fantasy books, however, due to my interest for the story, lore and characters, I enjoyed it in this book. If you haven’t started the Stormlight Archive yet, give my review of The Way of Kings a read and then go and buy the book.
Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
My summary of The Ninth Step: “It took me a while to get into at first I wasn’t sure what I was reading. However, after a couple of hundred pages, I realised this was one of those books that’s not about the small individual stories but about the journey as a whole. It’s a fantastically brutal and honest telling of the long-term effects of alcoholism. I liked that it wasn’t set in an easy setting, I liked that the author wasn’t safe and fluffy with the addiction of alcohol and I loved the characters, flaws and all.
I’d recommend Shuggie Bain for anybody who is looking for something to tug on their heartstrings; someone who has decided they need to finish off that box of Kleenex or someone who isn’t in the mood to smile. No, but in all seriousness, I’d definitely recommend picking up Shuggie Bain. It’s brutally, truthfully and wonderfully written with real, flawed but loveable characters.”
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
My summary of Baptism of Fire: “The Tattooist of Auschwitz didn’t blow me away quite like I hoped it would but I have still come away from it very impressed. The story is quite unbelievable and with every twist and turn you’re drawn not only into Lale’s personal story but the love story between him and Gita also. There are a lot of dark moments in this book but I imagine many people picking it up will expect this going in.
I’d recommend this to any romantics or those interested in the history of the subject, the events that are told are gripping and I think Morris has done a great job at retelling Lale’s story in detail whilst making it flow at the same time.”
- Read my full review of The Tattooist of Auschwitz here.
- Get your copy of The Tattooist of Auschwitz here.
August saw me pick up a couple more YA fantasy novels, of which Divergent I enjoyed more. It had much more depth to it and felt a lot tenser whereas I Am Number Four felt a little too fluffy for my tastes. Oathbringer continued my love for Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive and I’ll likely pick up Rhythm of War in the coming months. Shuggie Bain was a book that confused me at first as to its purpose but after a while, it clicked and I fell in love. And finally, The Tattooist of Auschwitz was recommended to me by the majority of people on my Instagram and Twitter and I’m glad I picked it up – though it didn’t blow me away like I’d hoped, it was a great love story during a very difficult set of events.