My Summer Reads!

Even with my crazy busy summer I still managed to squeeze in some reading time. I read some really great books and discovered a whole new series that I fell in love with. Here are some of my favourites from the past couple of months!

Vanessa and Her Sister – Priya Parmar

vanessa-and-her-sisterThis was an absolutely beautiful book. The writing and imagery are just wonderful and I enjoyed drinking it in. Parmar did some major research for this one and it felt as though I got a true window into the lives of the Stephen sisters in a style that echoed that of Virginia Woolf herself. Definitely check this one out if you’re a fan of Virginia Woolf or this time period.

 

Mechanica – Betsy Cornwell

mechanicaI really enjoyed this Cinderella re-telling. Nicolette is smart and I loved the descriptions of the different machines that she made. She loved her work – and that made me love it too. She was very hands on with her work and I loved watching her plan out her creations and how every little piece went together. What I like most about this retelling is that Nicolette is driven to save herself and to make her dreams come true. She may get a little distracted by a good-looking boy, but she still wants to build a future for herself, by herself, and that solid determination is what I love about this story.

 

The Dresden Files – Jim Butcher

storm-frontThis summer I actually read the first 9 books of this series – which shows you how much I enjoyed them! These books have amazing action, awesome magic fights, and tackle hum-drum fantasy creatures like vampires in utterly refreshing ways. The books are absolutely gripping, but carry a genuinely satisfying amount of character building and big picture plot lines that made these the ideal package for me.

While the books don’t necessarily need to be read in order, it certainly is better for the usual reasons: world building; context; etc. Still, I’m going to highlight two of my favourites from the series:

 

Summer Knight (The Dresden Files #4)

summer-knightIf you are a fan of faeries, this is the book for you. This story has some serious bad ass, utterly terrifying, gorgeous faeries that are fighting an all out war – and I love them. Additionally, this book is full of some of the most beautiful imagery I have ever read. Butcher’s use of colours was staggering, and I am so in love with the scenery alone in this book.

 

Dead Beat (The Dresden Files #7)

dead-beatThis book for me was just an utter delight. Not only did this book have some solid bad guys, it had some serious big time magic that was absolutely thrilling to read, and showed me just how effing bad ass Harry Dresden is. Not to mention how many times this book made me laugh, and showed that no matter how ridiculous an idea is, Jim Butcher will do it and make it awesome.

 

To check out what other books I read this summer, visit my Goodreads page! What about you? Did you fall in love with any great books this summer? Leave them in the comments!

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Son – Lois Lowry

SonOn the Cover: They called her Water Claire. When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn’t exist. That she had become a Vessel at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product at age fourteen. That it had been stolen from her body. Claire had a son. But what became of him she never knew. What was his name? Was he even alive? She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. Now Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice.

Published: 2012

Why I Chose It: I’ve been making my way through The Giver Quartet and was excited to finally read the last installment!

Other Books in the Series:

The Giver
Gathering Blue

Messenger

 


The Review:

I was really excited when I realized this book went back to the original community found in The Giver. It feels like we come full circle and that we truly complete the story. Old issues of that community are revisited, but new ones are introduced too, and it’s lovely to see how complex Lowry’s world has become as she has added on layer after layer of the story. This is probably my favourite book in the series because it does show the best summation of the world that she has created.

Claire is an amazing character. From the beginning, I was drawn to her and was eager to see what her adventure would be. She is incredibly strong and determined, and I love how much we get to see her evolve through the different stages of her life. Each of the different challenges that she goes through are so distinct from each other, but they really allow Claire to come out stronger on the other side.

Son Turkish Cover

In addition to the new character of Claire, I really like how this book brought together all the characters from the previous books. We get a glimpse of how they’ve been living and how their stories have played out. Seeing these previous characters further down their story lines really adds depth to Lowry’s creation, as it really does feel like a well-rounded world where time passes and characters have lives outside of what’s captured within their respective books.

Although I loved the ending for this book and we leave the characters in a really good place, I do have a sort of mixed feeling about the conclusion of this book. This one community is a safe and happy place. But we are left with the knowledge that there are really dark, bad communities that still exist, and I could not help but continue to think about all the places that the characters left behind.  And yet I loved those lingering thoughts because it shows that this world is not perfect, and that the end of the book is not the end of the story.

I think Son is a great conclusion to the series. It really does bring us full circle with all the characters and the settings, and left me with a beautiful picture of one of the most interesting fictional worlds I’ve ever read. If you’re iffy about The Giver quartet, I recommend pushing through, because this final installment is well worth it.

Rating: 4 / 5

Son English Cover

Quotations:

“For Claire’s entire life, her feelings had been those of – what? She searched in her mind for the right descriptive word. Contentment. Yes, she had always been content. Everyone was, in the community. Their needs were tended to; there was nothing they lacked, nothing they… That was it, Claire realized. She had never yearned for anything before. But now, ever since the day of the birth, she felt a yearning constantly, desperately, to fill the emptiness inside of her. She wanted her child.” (Overdrive, 2012)

“Claire was aware that all the other workers took a pill every morning. And that was why, she realized, their conversation was always lighthearted, superficial, essentially meaningless. They were like the Vessels in the pill-taking time between births – without feeling. She was the only one, she could see now, who did not take a pill each day – and she guessed that it was simply a mistake.” (Overdrive, 2012)

“Claire closed her hands around the mug and breathed the tea’s steam. ‘I don’t know.’ She whispered, after a moment, ‘I feel so sad.’ Alys watched her, and knew that the herbs in the mug would soothe the panic that had afflicted her, that soon she would calm and likely sleep for a bit. But they would not heal her. It would be hard to heal a girl as desperately wounded as this one.” (Overdrive, 2012)