October Reading List

Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth – What’s not to love about Roth’s foray into adult fantasy/science fiction? Anti-hero? Check. Interdimensional travel? Check. Magic and science merge in this gem, and I consumed it over just a couple days. If you enjoyed Roth’s Divergent series and are looking for good, smash-up-the-world action with complicated characters, you’ll like this one. Highly Recommend.

Carve the Mark & The Fates Divide by Veronica Roth – So, after I read Chosen Ones, I found I wasn’t quite done with the world of Veronica Roth and charged right into her Carve the Mark duology. These books contain plenty of action, but the focus is more on character and setting, making the pace more saga-like (think Lord of the Rings) than her other works. I loved the first one, but was slightly disappointed by The Fates Divide. Good news, though: you can read Carve the Mark as a stand-alone. The ending ties up enough loose ends (and doesn’t introduce too many more) that it works on its own. (If you’re like me, though, you’ll care too much about the characters to let it go. You’ll read it.) Mostly Recommend.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – This book was so well written, but SO. ICKY. I love a complicated main character. I don’t squirm at much gore or depravity. But this book read like a fever dream to me – a train wreck I couldn’t look away from. The overarching plot was smart, and the characters are fascinating and complicated, but watching the main character make some of her choices was… horrifying. In the end, I don’t regret spending my time on this one (like I said, very well written), but ultimately… Don’t Recommend.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn – After my experience with Sharp Objects, I wanted to give Flynn another go at earning my loyalty as a reader. This book was great, one of the best mystery thrillers I’ve read in ages: hard to predict, well written prose, multi-dimensional characters. I also appreciated how Flynn flipped back and forth through time, switching view points deftly. Not an easy thing to pull off! Do Recommend.

Stepping Stones by Lucy Knisley – This little graphic novel (almost memoir) by Knisley definitely lived up to my expectations. I preordered a signed copy before it released earlier this year, and I saved it for a rainy day (no, not literally). The storyline is well told by both Knisley’s art and writing – a balance hard to find in the graphic storytelling world. Her characters are very real. I felt a lot of angst for young Lucy Jen and the life she didn’t pick for herself. Do Recommend.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager – I’ve become a bit of a fan of Sager’s work, and I ordered his newest book with my Book of the Month box last month. No time like October to enjoy a good “ghost” story. This thriller was fun, but not my favorite of Sager’s oeuvre. I must admit the book lost several points for me simply because the line edit was pretty sloppy. I found multiple mistakes, including a misused word – it sounded almost like the word he wanted, but meant something else. Oops. Especially in a book that is supposed to engross and transport you the way Sager’s is, those little mistakes made a big impression, jarring me out of the experience. Hopefully they will be fixed in later editions, but for now I can only Mostly Recommend.

Have you read any of these books? Which one might you pick up yourself soon? Let me know in the comments!

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