What Annie Read // Mini-Reviews

Today’s review is going to look a little different because I’m going to discuss all the books I read on hiatus (or all the books I read a long, long time ago and didn’t feel like reviewing) in nice, condensed little packages.

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City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Find On // Amazon // Goodreads // Cassandra Clare
Even though it feels like a sin to admit this, I’m not a huge fan of the Mortal Instruments Series.  I know, I know.  I can objectively recognize that it’s a well-written series and that Cassandra Clare has a way with words, but something about this series doesn’t sit right with me because I don’t like the books, not because there’s something wrong with them.  I have read City of Bones and intend to give the rest of the series a chance, but I enjoyed City of Bones much more than City of Ashes.  The romantic plot gave me the creeps and Clary’s narrative voice felt ingenuine.
My rating: 4/5 stars

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The Circle by Dave Eggers
Find On // Amazon // Goodreads
The Circle is another book that I can objectively recognize is incredibly well-constructed even though I didn’t enjoy it.  This book was dense and because there are no chapters, I felt that I was trudging through the pages rather than delighting in the story.  The concept of an overbearing Internet company prompted me to consider my digital footprint and how I’m letting the Internet interact with my identity and presence, which is always a plus.
My rating: 4/5 stars

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Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Find On // Amazon // Goodreads // Kami Garcia // Margaret Stohl
Beautiful Creatures, the first book in the Caster Chronicles series, is my go-to when I need a slightly trashy but well-written read.  Beautiful Darkness had the same Southern Gothic vibe that I love, but the plot was a little more willy-nilly than the first book.  Toward the middle of the book, I was somewhat frustrated by the apparent simplicity of the plot and was looking for a narrative with higher stakes.  However, Ethan and Lena remain one of my favorite YA couples and I enjoyed seeing how their relationship developed.
My rating: 4/5 stars

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The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
Find On // Amazon // Goodreads // Nicholas Sparks
The Longest Ride was my first Nicholas Sparks book and I liked it: not too gooey, not too cliché with just the right amount of history to keep me intrigued.  The trio of narrators kept me intrigued, but I greatly preferred Ira, an elderly man recounting his life with late with Ruth, than lovebirds Sophia and Luke as narrators.  In truth, I greatly preferred everything about Ira’s sections because they were so tender and raw that I felt like I was watching his life flash by with him.
My rating: 3/5 stars

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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
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The fact that I made it to nineteen years of age without reading To Kill a Mockingbird is astounding.  I loved this book with every fiber of my being: it’s spunky narrator Scout, its colorful cast of authentic Southern characters, and the innocence and cynicism with which Scout explains the world around her.  Reading this book felt like being eight years old and running barefoot, smiling not because I don’t see the bad in the world but smiling in spite of it.
My rating: 5/5 stars

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Find On // Amazon // Goodreads // Mackenzi Lee
I listened to this book on Audible at the exact right time: amidst heavy coursework and a busy schedule, I needed this sarcastically funny read to lighten the mood.  Protagonist and narrator Monty was flamboyant as all get out, but was kind and caring and protective and absolutely everything you could ever want from a protagonist.  The romance was sweeping, the adventure was extravagant; what more could you want?
My rating: 5/5 stars

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Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Find On // Amazon // Goodreads
I didn’t write a full-length review for Persepolis because it’s the first graphic novel I’ve ever read, and I’m not sure what criteria I should use to judge it.  (If you have a review of a graphic novel, I’d love it if you’d link it below so I can get a sense of how these things work!)  Regardless, I loved who childlike and anecdotal Persepolis was even as it discussed heavier things.
My rating: 5/5 stars

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Requiem by Lauren Oliver
Find On // Amazon // Goodreads // Lauren Oliver
Requiem was a fantastic conclusion to the Delirium trilogy.  With this set of books, I was pleasantly surprised that the books got better as the series went on.  Each new installment raised the stakes for protagonist Lena and drew me further into the twisted world that she inhabits.  I would’ve liked the ending to be fleshed out a smidge more, but other than that I have no complaints.
My rating: 4/5 stars

Related Post: My Review of Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Have you read any of these books?  What did you think?

Related Post:My Spring Book Recommendations

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20 thoughts on “What Annie Read // Mini-Reviews

  1. Norrie says:

    I quite liked the Circle. It was scary as hell tho.
    The Gentleman’s Guide is on my list for quite a while and recently bought a copy. Want to read it soon, but as a mood reader it’s not always that simple 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mai says:

    I’ve actually not read any of these – but I am glad to see Lauren Oliver on here! My best friend basically forced me to read her book Before I Fall and I am so thankful for that, it was a great read! I really want to explore more of her work!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. hopewellslibraryoflife says:

    Interesting point about the Circle not having chapters. I listened to the audio so didn’t notice. I think of it daily though as we have a new discussion board at work that is mandatory for 15 minutes per week! [Cue the scary music].
    I was over 40 when I read TKAM! It IS great but the hype is suffocating. It was not assigned in schools when I was a student. I did thoroughly enjoy it when I finally got to it though.
    I really enjoyed these reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sophie Li says:

    Hi Annie!
    I’ll have to read To Kill A Mockingbird as well- it’s such a classic and I’m embarrassed to not have read it yet! The Gentlemen’s Guide has been on my TBR for a while and I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed it!

    Liked by 1 person

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