I consider a number of factors when it comes to rating a book that I’ve read. I think about the characters and their development, the progression of the plot, the author’s success (or lack thereof) in discussing or challenging certain themes, and much more. Over the past couple of years, I’ve tried to be more critical in my reading and to not hand out 5-star ratings to every book that merely keeps me entertained. However, I sometimes get an inkling when I read the synopsis of and reviews on a book that I am going to thoroughly enjoy it and thus give it 5 stars. This does not happen often but I always find it interesting how my gut instantly knows that I’ll love a book before I have even opened it. Here are a few books that I feel I will be giving 5-star ratings!
A Bundle of Books Posts
My “to-read” list gets longer and more daunting with each passing day. I am always coming across books that I want to read, whether that be in the bookstore that I work at or on social media. There is no rhyme or reason when it comes to adding books to my “to-read” list – I just add whatever piques my interest. The problem with this is that there is simply not enough time to read all of these books in the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, some books take priority over others, leaving a few hanging on to the threads at the very bottom of my list for dear life (*cough* A Game of Thrones *cough*). But, there are some books that no matter how long they have been on the list, I know I will get to them someday. In today’s case, there are a few I want to read as soon as possible. All three of these titles have been on my list for ages and I am so excited to (hopefully) read them before 2019!
Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publication Date: 5 May 2015
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Sarah J. Maas is one of my favourite authors to read in the Young Adult Fantasy genre mainly owing to her Throne of Glass series. Whilst I’m not completely caught up on the series, I do thoroughly enjoy it and find her writing style easy to read and her stories multi-layered and spellbinding. A Court of Thorns and Roses is different to Maas’s first series in that it is marketed towards an older audience what with its mature content. Being a Beauty and the Beast retelling, I was interested in reading the novel but was not looking forward to the New Adult take on the romance since I am not one for steamy/sexual content. It’s safe to say that the latter definitely impacted my 3-star rating of the novel, but I did not expect the problems with the pacing and romance itself. Whilst I enjoyed A Court of Thorns and Roses enough to want to pick up the next book in the series, it is not a groundbreaking retelling by any means and I was left slightly disappointed. What ultimately saved this novel from a lower rating was its gripping ending, despite the issues I had with the pacing and romance.
At the beginning of this year, I set a challenge for myself – to read all of Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter novels. There are over ten books within this world, separated into a collection of three series and a few short story bind-ups. I have always been fascinated by the Shadowhunter novels but also quite intimidated since there are so many of them! Seeing how much other people love these books made me even more interested. But what ultimately sold me to the idea of reading them was how the books interlink. I love following an author’s work when they weave their various books together, whether via Easter Eggs, characters, or plot lines. An example of this would be Brandon Sanderson who has many Easter Eggs scattered throughout his Cosmere universe. Despite being a bit hesitant about vampires, werewolves, and the like coming together in this world, I wanted to give the Shadowhunter novels a try.
In this challenge, I will be reading Cassandra Clare’s three Shadowhunter series – The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, and The Dark Artifices – as well as one short story collection, Tales of the Shadowhunter Academy. The only two books I decided to leave out of the challenge are The Bane Chronicles and The Shadowhunter’s Codex, both of which I have been told are not entirely necessary to read. Clare recommends reading the Shadowhunter novels in a peculiar order, starting with the first three books of The Mortal Instruments. Today, I will be discussing my experience reading these books, marking the start of my journey into the Shadowhunter universe!