Recent Reads 2017 #2

The end of July (I can’t believe it’s already August!) means another month where I didn’t read as many books as I would have liked. Out of the ten I was planning to read, I finished six- which isn’t terrible, but I certainly could have read more. Oh well. Better luck next month. Here are the remaining books I read this month!

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo 

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The sequel to Six of Crows and the concluding novel of the duology, Crooked Kingdom did not disappoint! It was an emotional, action-packed, thrilling journey, one that left me wanting more.

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid 

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Maybe I would have enjoyed this novel more had I gone in with different expectations as to what it was about. I thought this would be the story of two people on opposite sides of the civil war that has broke out in their country, who fall in love and must escape as a result. I was only half right.

Saed and Nadia are two young people who do fall in love as their country is on the verge of a civil war, but they are not from opposing parties. There is no “us vs. them”, only the rebels and the government fighting each other, leaving the civilians to flee or die. The two lovers choose the former option, and Exit West chronicles their journey as they try to survive and rebuild their lives.

My biggest complaint with this book, is that I was thoroughly bored. My edition was 230 pages, there wasn’t that much text on each page, the writing was simple and easy to follow, and yet, reading felt like a chore. I simply didn’t care about the characters, or anything that happened to them. Nadia could be interesting at times, but Saed was bland at best and annoying at worst, and the pair’s romance felt rushed and underdeveloped. It wasn’t until the end that I felt some twinge of emotion for the two, that I began to hope they would have some form of a happy ending. And by then, it was too late.

Still, this is an important book, especially in today’s current climate. It depicts the plight of refugees, both before they leave their countries, and after. Exit West is a reminder that there are people in the world suffering in their homelands, desperate for a chance just to be safe, to not have to live in perpetual fear.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling 

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The fifth book in the Harry Potter series. I already did a full post detailing my thoughts and feelings about this novel, which you can check out here! Spoiler alert: I loved it.

In order to read more in August, and in particular to read some larger novels, I’m participating in Tome Topple! Tome Topple is a readathon during which the goal is to read as many big books (over 500 pages) as possible. The readathon starts at midnight on August 4th in your time zone, and ends at 11:59 pm on August 17th. You can find more information here. If you want to participate as well, feel free!


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