My Year of Rereads: April/May Review

Oh hey, I’m back! Imagine that!

Doubling up here because I never posted a recap for April. I didn’t read as much in April because I was Camp NaNo-ing, but four books in a month is still a dent in my list, so I’ll take it. Even slowing down on my reading, I still didn’t get as much done in April as I would have liked, and as always that was due to poor planning on my part. I’ll be spending June working on planning for July Camp NaNo, and I’m hoping that will mean more progress next month. (I’m also hoping that I will remember to do status updates.)

April
30. The Astonishing Color of After* by Emily X.R. Pan

This is a little outside my usual fare, but Emily is a good friend and this is her debut novel, so I knew I would be reading it no matter what. And I’m glad I did! Emily is an excellent writer (and has been since we first met nearly 15 years ago). I don’t usually read YA because of my various hangups with the most common tropes, but it was interesting to me see how she used or didn’t use the tropes of the genre. Definitely recommend this book, even if it might be outside your usual fare too.

31. A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quartet #1) by Madeleine L’Engle
32. Many Waters (Time Quartet #4) by Madeleine L’Engle

I didn’t realize until rereading just how much A Wrinkle in Time scared me as a child. I’m not entirely sure what did it—possibly the 2 dimensional space that nearly kills them, or possibly the mind control/assimilation—but whatever it was, it somehow meant that I hadn’t reread that book as often as I thought I had. Many Waters, on the other hand, I’ve probably reread more than any of the books in this series because it is my absolute fave. Sandy and Dennys and seraphim and nephilim and the Noah’s Ark story were right up my alley as a kid, and a reread of this only served to remind me of just how much I love this book. It’s interesting to read “children’s books” (Middle Grade, I guess?) as an adult from a writing perspective, because it seems like a completely different style. You can leave things out that adults would insist be explained, and you can just say something is without explaining why it is. It might be interesting to see something like that used in writing geared towards adults, and how you could use that. I ended up not rereading the middle two books because… I just didn’t feel like it, honestly. I started A Wind in the Door and then reading it felt like a chore, so I put it down again. I expect I’ll go back eventually, but maybe not this year.

33. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

This book remains a favorite of mine. No other book has quite captured the magic I felt in high school being a part (in my small way) of the Harry Potter Fandom in what I like to think of as its Golden Age, and the various things—friendships, writing skills, stigmas—that come with that. The other parts of the story—Cath deals with crippling anxiety, coping mechanisms that may or may not be working, as well as her sister’s addiction problems, her father’s own manic depressive episodes, and the trauma of a mother who walked out on her family—have all been parts of my own life at various points, and somehow seeing all those pieces together always makes me remember that Things Will Get Better.

May
34. Cold Magic (Spiritwalker Trilogy #1) by Kate Elliott
35. Royals (Royals #1)* by Rachel Hawkins

This book is a delightful little romp that I devoured in half a day. I might not have read it if I hadn’t been following Rachel Hawkins on Twitter for her #SexyHistory threads (which are amazing, go forth and read, if you haven’t already), and you may not know this, but European Monarchical History is one of my fave things. Relatively straight forward YA, but with a Royal Wedding twist. I laughed out loud a lot while reading this.

36. A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.5)* by Sarah J. Maas

The A Court of Thorns and Roses series remains one of my favorite series, and I’m so excited to see where Maas goes in the second trilogy in this world. In the meantime, this novella bridged the gap, and gave us something to look forward to. And it looks like the other two Archeron sisters are going to be taking center stage in the next series!

37. Cold Fire (Spiritwalker Trilogy #2) by Kate Elliott
38. Cold Steel (Spiritwalker Trilogy #3) by Kate Elliott

This was my first time rereading these books. I read them a few years ago and absolutely loved them, but hadn’t gotten around to a reread before now. The first thing I really noticed is that there were definitely things I skimmed over—exposition that I still remembered from my first read, or slower parts. I suppose rereadability is a thing that an author might consider when actually writing a book (though, honestly, I have no idea how one might make things more rereadable, I’d have to think about that) but I think these are the first books that I’ve felt like I skimmed through large-ish sections. (These are also the first of the larger books on this list, so I’ll have to see if I end up skimming through things in some of the other longer books when I get to them.) The second thing that I noticed was that I still love these books. There’s a lot of twists and turns that I was expecting my second time through, but got to watch for signs of this time, and they’re very well done. It helped me to think about the various twists and turns in my own current WIP, and how I want to set those things up for the reader. I’ll definitely be adding hard copies of these books to my shelves in the near(ish) future.

39. Dealing with Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles #1) by Patricia C. Wrede
40. Searching for Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles #2) by Patricia C. Wrede
41. Calling on Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles #3) by Patricia C. Wrede
42. Talking to Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles #4) by Patricia C. Wrede

This series got added to my reread list shortly before I actually picked it up and worked my way through it. I’m not entirely sure why it wasn’t on there to being with, but I was reminded of it because I’m reading another writer’s book right now and some of the main characters are dragons, so I wanted a refresher on how that could work—both for characterization, and for physics. (How big are dragons anyway???) Morwen and Cimorene remain my faves, and I would someday like to be as cool as them. And also I want a dozen talking cats.

Summer will officially begin later this month, and we’re busy busy little bees at my work right now which means less on-the-sly reading time for me. I have some manuscripts that I’m working on for other people, too, which always takes precedence over reading, but I’m still going to try and up my numbers for June. (Especially since I anticipate lower numbers again for July.) Summer finally feels like the right time for a little Patricia A. McKillip reading, and I ought to be able to get through a bunch of her novels to boost those numbers before Camp NaNo steals my time. This way I can save the other large books for the cooler months later in the year, and hopefully make a big dent in my list before we cross into the second half of 2018.

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About Sky

I'm a: 20-something, fantasy writer, deep thought thinker, sometime knitter, bookstore browser, amateur cook, journaler, cat owner, cheap wine connoisseur, ancient and medieval history lover, occasional philosopher, avid reader, museum wanderer.
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