Hey, everyone! I’m baaaack! (Not that I really went away…it just feels like it’s been a while.) I know I just wrote a post about my March reading goals, but I want to give a recap now. Books have occupied a lot of my time this month. I didn’t realize how starved I was for stories until I started devouring them again. I have read five books this month. (Okay, that doesn’t sound like too many, but I have more lined up.)
I started with Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I was awed by the worldbuilding and plot configuration. I wasn’t able to get as attached to the characters as I wanted to, but they were still very good. The idea of a cyborg Cinderella is very unique, and I commend the author for her imaginative fairy-tale retelling. (I mean, it takes a genius to translate Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage into a gaudy orange car found in a junkyard.)
The next book, Scarlet was also pretty good. I’m obligated to like feisty, red-haired characters since so many of my own characters are like that, and Scarlet was no exception. She did have me facepalming quite a lot, though. I also just finished Cress, the third book in the series. It’s probably my favorite so far. Cress was a lovely character and having her live in a satellite was such a brilliant way to retell the story of Rapunzel in a futuristic, sci-fi world. I wasn’t a big fan of Captain Thorne at first, but now he’s growing on me. (I still don’t like Wolf. He’s unpredictable in the worst possible way.)
My favorite of the five books I have read this month was Princess Academy by Shannon Hale. I have always been hesitant to read this book since the title seemed silly. My princess phase was ten years ago, and I didn’t want to read another book about snooty princesses in an academy. As it turns out, the girls were actually not princesses; they were normal mountain girls from a quarry village who are required to learn how to be a princess because some priests decided their village was where a future princess lived. Kinda weird, to be honest.
Nonetheless, multiple concepts in the book kept me hooked. First, the main character, Miri. She’s a feisty lass, and her role as the underdog makes you root for her to succeed. Second, quarry-speech. I don’t want to say anything to spoil it, but it’s really cool.
The book works well as a standalone, which is why I was shocked that there were other books in the series. What unresolved conflict in the first book would prompt me to read the next book? There wasn’t really any. Book one was wrapped up neatly with a bow. Multiple people have said the other books are worth reading, though, so I think I will try to someday. If you’ve read these books, what do you think? Would you recommend I read the rest of the series?
Then there was The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander. Heralded as one of the best children’s fantasy books, I understood the hype but was a bit disappointed. Some of its characters were similar to characters in The Lord of the Rings. Notwithstanding, I did enjoy the dynamic between Taran and Eilonwy (her name is so pretty) and the villain was adequately diabolical—perhaps even too diabolical for a children’s book. If I read it as a kid, I would’ve been scared to death.
As I understand it, the Disney movie The Black Cauldron was based on this book, which is pretty cool. I haven’t watched the movie and don’t intend to, but it’s still cool. I must say that after reading this book, I have the desire to write endearingly sassy characters like Eilonwy. Taran was also a very dynamic, interesting character.
Anyway, the next books on my list are Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan, The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare, and Flight of the Dragon Kyn by Susan Fletcher, which is apparently the prequel of another book but has a higher rating than it. I read another of Susan Fletcher’s books, Shadow Spinner, a long time ago and remember liking it, so that is what prompted me to check out this book.
I am also still reading the books about the writing craft that I mentioned in the other post, slowly but surely. (Reading fiction is much easier than reading nonfiction, haha.)
That’s all for now. If you’ve read any of these books, let me know! What did you like best about them? See you next week, friends!