What Jia’s Been Reading in February
It looks like my reading’s slowed down a bit compared to last year but I’m determined to keep putting these together on a monthly basis. Last month I discovered I hadn’t read any books not for reviewing purposes, which is rather sad, so I aimed to fix that this month.
Blackout by Rob Thurman
This is the sixth book in the Cal Leandros series. I realized I’d fallen behind and that the next one was coming out soon! It was pretty good and delivered what you’d expect from the series. In this installment, Cal has amnesia and as readers, we get an interesting double vision: what Cal knows (the books are told in first person POV) and what we know from previous books. After Roadkill (book 5), this was a needed breather book and I think it might have been the rare series novel in which new readers could pick up with no problem. (Thanks to the vehicle of Cal’s amnesia.)
Legend by Marie Lu
Another book from the crowded YA dystopian genre. This takes place in California, which has since become a totalitarian state. It’s about a girl prodigy who’s the darling of the regime and a boy who’s the regime’s #1 outlaw. A decent read if you don’t think too hard about the worldbuilding. There’s not much explanation and while I’m not a fan of overexplaining, a little information would have been helpful regarding the different factions of the U.S.
Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould
This one’s about a girl getting inducted into a Venetian secret society of women. Given the premise, I expected there to be more intrigue than there actually was. A disappointing read overall. Full review to come.
Starters by Lissa Price
I think this one is being called a dystopian but its premise is more strongly rooted in science fiction than what you normally see. The basic idea is that a genocidal war engulfed the world and the result was that in the U.S., everyone between the ages of 20 and 60 is dead. Technology has allowed lifespans to be increased but this has also caused a massive rift in society between Starters (people under the age of 20) and Enders (people over the age of 60). Essentially, Enders have all the power and Starters, especially Starters with no living relatives of Ender-age, are treated like slave labor. (Yes, this is YA. Why did you ask?) Anyway, the protagonist (an unclaimed minor named Callie) chooses to rent out her body to Enders. This means that an Ender is given control of her body and can experience being young again. Except Callie’s renter wants to use her body to commit crimes, not go partying. This is one of those books where I wish it had been written for adults rather than teens. I think more could have been done with the premise had it not been constrained by the genre. Full review to come.
Lips Touch Three Times by Laini Taylor
After reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone last year, I wanted to read more of Taylor’s work. This one is a collection of three novellas – all about girls and their run-ins with the supernatural. None of them are quite up to the level of Daughter of Smoke and Bone but you can definitely see that book’s beginnings in this one.
What about you guys? Have you read any of these? What did you think? Or if you haven’t read any of these, have you fallen behind on a series? Do you find it strange to pick through an author’s backlist to read their early work? Let’s chat.