The Reader by Traci Chee
Synopsis: "Instant New York Times Bestseller
A stunning debut set in a world where reading is unheard-of, perfect for fans of Inkheart and Shadow and Bone
Sefia knows what it means to survive. After her father is brutally murdered, she flees into the wilderness with her aunt Nin, who teaches her to hunt, track, and steal. But when Nin is kidnapped, leaving Sefia completely alone, none of her survival skills can help her discover where Nin’s been taken, or if she’s even alive. The only clue to both her aunt’s disappearance and her father’s murder is the odd rectangular object her father left behind, an object she comes to realize is a book—a marvelous item unheard of in her otherwise illiterate society. With the help of this book, and the aid of a mysterious stranger with dark secrets of his own, Sefia sets out to rescue her aunt and find out what really happened the day her father was killed—and punish the people responsible.
With overlapping stories of swashbuckling pirates and merciless assassins, The Reader is a brilliantly told adventure from an extraordinary new talent."
Review: Going into this book there were so many overlapping parts that I had to start reading pretty slowly, but this is honestly so beautifully written that I couldn't stop. This is a fantasy novel completely different to everything I've read, the plot is unique and the idea of reading being magical still translate to our world so fluidly.
Let's go over my favorite parts of this novel!
The book feels like inception at times, but that's all part of the appeal. This was definitely a great first book for a trilogy, but it's all buildup and now I'm ready to pick up The Speaker.
Also, The Storyteller is out today! so if you haven't started the series you should definitely start now!
Cover: ★★★★★ (THAT REPRESENTATION!!)
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
Synopsis: "Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future. Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check. Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).
But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life. Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?"
Review: I LOVE Morgan Matson and ALL of her books, so it wasn't really much of a surprise that I really enjoyed this one too! I just finished a Colleen Hoover book, so I just wanted to offer a quick comparison to those who have read CoHo. Both authors write contemporary romance novels, but Morgan Matson novels are more contemporary and Colleen Hoover's are more romance.
Anyways, onto the book itself, IT WAS SO CUTE. As a fantasy reader, the fantasy experts were adorable and the plot was simple yet attention grabbing. NOT TO MENTION THE DOGS. As a HUGE dog lover I was very pleased with all the cute dogs in this book! (and on the cover!)
This novel was filled with friendships and relationships and if I had to describe it all in a word it would be: sweet. It felt like a fun, summer contemporary novel and even though it was 519, it still felt like a quick read. As much as this book was unique, the vibe was a very classic contemporary romance novel, like those staple rom-coms, but a book.
Cover: ★★★★★★★★★★ + infinity because these dogs are FREAKIN CUTE
Without Merit by Colleen Hoover
Synopsis: "Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.
The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.
Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.
Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves."
Review: This was NOT what I was expecting from a CoHo book, but I REALLY REALLY enjoyed it. This novel covered so many different issues that aren’t usually ever discussed in fluffy contemporary romance novels. I think some parts of the novel could be potentially triggering, but otherwise for those who are not immersed in information about depression, suicide, the syrian revolution, mental illness, and more, her novel is insightful in a way that simple facts may not address: she includes a level of emotion that’s otherwise not really possible for a google search to show. Some may argue that this was just too many issues crammed into one novel, but I didn’t feel that way, life has plenty of issues, so why not incorporate them.
Now for the lighter side of this novel, as an identical twin this novel was strangely relatable (most just cringing from imagining being in that situation). CoHo has a way with romance that’s always amazing, so that’s definitely not lacking in this novel.
One of the biggest things I admire about CoHo novels aside from her willingness to touch upon taboo topics in society, but also her creativity with her novels. Many contemporary romance novels stick to similar plots and even similar characters, but CoHo truly finds unique situations and such detailed characters, blending into one-of-a-kind novels every time.
A fan of anything fiction, furry, & fun.