I wasn’t doing a great job reading books this winter. I read that amount of books per month, usually, not a whole season!
I could say, that I haven’t had enough time, or something like that, but deep down in our hearts we all know, that that’s not the case when it comes to reading. It’s either you choose the wrong books, that you don’t really want to read, but feel like you have to finish them, and then you go to a reading slump, or you set the wrong priorities –my case.
I watched so so many youtube videos and scrolled so many miles 🙂 on my phone. That was such a time suck! I could have read at least few more books instead. Books never make me feel like I’ve wasted my time, I could not say the same about YT and phone…
Well, let’s get to the books I’ve read:
- Crave the Mark by Veronica Roth. A girl, Cyra, has a “super” power to bring physical pain to people. Her brother, the ruler of their nation, is using her as a weapon of torture. One day he brings her a servant – a captive boy from the enemy country, the very opposite of Cyra – gentle and kind spirited. They start to fall for each other when they should be on different sides, but that was the thing that made this book interesting for me. 🙂 I enjoyed reading it very much. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
- War Storm by Victoria Aveyard . The 4th book of Red Queen series. Oh boy, that was my favourite book of the winter. I just couldn’t put it down. So much action, tension between characters! And I have to give credit to a non-perfect, realistic ending, although I… kind of hated it, but that didn’t make this book less interesting 😆 Overall, it’s one of my favourite dystopian series of all times. Team Maven 😭 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
- Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst. About a girl of the wyverns (people who can transform into dragons) family, whose mother got missing while doing a heist. She decides to finish what her mother has left unfinished – steal a big jewel which her ex-boyfriend’s family are keeping at their home.
I love YA fantasy, but this was a bit too much for me. A little bit too childish for a 28-year-old :), and the story itself just didn’t convince me. The text was easy to read tho. I had a fun time reading it. ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
- Cold Summer by Gwen Cole. About a teenage boy, Kale, who has a time travel ability, but he can not control it. He disappears every few days. And when he travels from the present to the past, he always goes to the same time – 1945, active WWII zone. His father has a hard time believing that his son really does this time travel thing. It’s way easier to believe, that he’s just a trouble seeking kid. That’s one of the reasons, why Kale finds himself wondering if maybe he doesn’t belong in the present, at least he has some kind of a mission in WWII where he’s needed.
His friend/crush, a girl – next – door, Harper, finds Kale’s name in an old article which names him as a war victim. So… can Kale escape the past? Maybe his destiny is to go to the past and never come back?
I think, the book idea is awesome, but not developed enough! The story itself has disappointed me a bit. It was too simple and predictable to me. I felt really sorry for Kale, but couldn’t quite connect to any of the characters on a deeper level. I don’t regret reading it tho. ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
- Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan. Each year, a group of girls (from the lower casts of the country) are chosen to serve the demon king as his lovers. Some of them think it’s an honour, some of them take it as a duty, but at least one of them, the main character named Lei, is not happy about the whole reign system and tries to at least refuse the king at his bedchambers. Of course, that brings her a lot of trouble. 🙂 Oh, and she falls in love with a girl who’s also chosen to be one of the king’s lovers, which is very much forbidden. Do I need to say more about this YA fantasy book?
The first chapters were very promising, intense action, I loved it. But the more I read this book, the more I wanted to get over with this story and move on to another book. It became a chaos, a mess. So many details, which I thought were important, were left unexplained, like Lei’s golden unnatural eyes. The main characters acted quite stupidly, without any thinking, in my opinion. The Demon king was just lost and desperate, not as powerful as the book wanted me to believe… I’m kind of frustrated about his book. Not sure if I’m going to read the sequel.
- Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. About a teenage girl, Lina, who’s torn away from her comfortable life in Lithuania, put into dirty animal wagon of a train, taken to the North of the Arctic circle, and forced to live in a work camp in Siberia. It’s set in Joseph Stalin’s reign years, WWII.
I feel like everybody knows something about german work/concentration camps and their cruelty, but there were so much damage done to different people during WWII, which people know nothing about, because, I guess, it’s not in the history lessons program at schools, idk. Or maybe our Baltic countries are too small in the topic of communism and World War II, to be worth more than just a short mention?
The story touched me on a very personal level, because my grandparents were once taken to the work camps of Siberia, when they were young teenagers. And I have a real trust in this book, because Lina’s story at some points was very similar to my grandma’s stories which I’ve heard from her myself. I think it would be a very useful and interesting read for somebody who wants to know more about communism, WWII, or someone who had only read about WWII german camps. It’s a heart breaking story which seemed very real to me. BUT as a person, who knows many things about work/prison camps of Siberia, I wanted it to be a bit more gripping. Maybe it was a bit too short and undeveloped for my taste. It would have been really cool to read more about something that was only a subplot in this book, like Lina’s love story. I gave it 3,5/5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5