Recently Read v.8

Book Reviews and Recommendations

All of the books I’ve read recently are based on Amazon’s recommendations of books based on Station Eleven. I loved Station Eleven (review here) and while it was a little slow at times, it is exactly my ideal genre – post-apocalyptic dystopian future sci-fi. If you told 16-year-old Nadine that she’d be super in to sci-fi someday, she’d never believe you. In fact, I remember being hesitant to read Harry Potter because I thought I wouldn’t like something so make-believe. Boy, was I wrong.

Here’s what I’ve read recently:

The Girl with All the Gifts

I don’t want to give too much away but I really loved this book. Melanie is a very special girl who adores one of her teachers – Ms. Justineau. Each day Melanie is strapped into a wheelchair and wheeled to a classroom for instruction. She does not leave her chair. You have to read it to see why.

They also made it into a movie which did a good job of sticking to the book. How I pictured some things is slightly different from they are portrayed but I still think they nailed it, Melanie’s role especially. If you decide to read the book, don’t watch the movie trailer just for kicks. You’ll ruin it for yourself.

Dark Matter

I put these books in the order that I read them but if I put them in order of must read, this would be at the top of my list. Sure, a physics based thriller doesn’t sound like it’s going to keep you up late at night. Oh but it will.

Jason is a physicist living a normal, albeit slightly boring life in Chicago with his wife and son. Professionally only moderately successful, Jason wonders what he could have accomplished but is comforted by his solid home life.

One night, Jason is kidnapped and taken to an abandoned warehouse by an unknown assailant. What happens next will keep you reading way past lights out. Trust me.

Go ahead and download the sample on your Kindle (it’s the button on the right side) or send it to the Kindle app on your iPhone. I got to the end of the sample and immediately ordered the hardback. I had to know what happened. When I finished I gave it to my brother and he read it in a day. Just do it. Download the sample.

Ready Player One

Fresh off my binge of Dark Matter, I was on a search for something to hook me the way it did. Once again, the sample for Ready Player One got me and I ordered the book in paperback (Seeing a theme here? I don’t have a Kindle and only use the Kindle app on my phone to read samples and then order the paper version of the book once I decide what I want to read next).

Don’t be turned off by the video game elements of this book, even if you aren’t a gamer. This book is praised for it’s 80’s references, most of which went right over my head as I left the 80’s under age 2. You don’t have to have knowledge of either of these things to enjoy this book. On the back cover it says “a grown up’s harry potter” which I find a little offensive because HELLO HARRY POTTER IS TOTALLY FOR GROWN UPS TOO but also found it to be true. Gross oversimplification: Orphan teenage protagonist has the skills necessary to save the world.

Wade Watts lives in a world of economic and societal collapse. Due to the deteriorated conditions of daily life, most humans choose to spend the majority of their day in Oasis, a virtual reality world. When the creator of Oasis dies, he leaves easter eggs throughout the universe of Oasis and promises his entire fortune to the one player who can find them all. Ready?

On Pause:

The Dog Stars

Truth be told, I started The Dog Stars before I read Dark Matter or Ready Player one. I read the sample of Dark Matter on a whim and immediately had to finish it. That said, I like The Dog Stars but struggle with the way that it is written. The author follows a slightly less traditional format and I sometimes struggle to differentiate between what a character is thinking in his head and what he is saying out loud (quotation marks aren’t used). I would say read the sample of this book before you buy and decide if the formatting would be too distracting for you. That said, the story is fascinating but I’m at a point where I’m not sure where it’s going and it’s slowed down a bit. I’m still planning to go back to this one.

 

Currently Reading:

The Night Circus

Emily has been raving about this book for years and every time I see it I think of her. I finally picked up a copy and I’m so glad I did. I’m only about 100 pages in but so far I’m enjoying it. I think I was a little turned off by the circus idea but the circus described is not a circus in the traditional sense. The book does jump back and forth in time a fair amount, something I didn’t pay attention to at first but should have (read those chapter titles). I can’t wait to see where this story takes me.

I’d love it if you left me a book recommendation below! What books have you loved recently? 

Also note, this post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and buy anything from Amazon, I make a teeny tiny bit of money. Thanks for supporting my reading habit!

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  • I’m so glad you’re loving The Night Circus so far!!!!! The Circus is definitely not your “typical” circus. It’s all so lovely and wonderful, and I can’t wait to hear all of your thoughts when you’re done!

  • I love the way you write your reviews! I’m going to have to check out “Ready Player One.” When you say that people compare it to Harry Potter, I have to recommend another series that is compared to HP: “A Darker Shade of Magic” and the following two books of the Shades of Magic series. I completely fell in love with everything about it, even proclaiming it as my favorite series in the past five years. Also, loved “The Night Circus.”

  • Rebecca

    I loved all of the books you’ve mentioned (especially Dark Matter), but I hated The Night Circus! I just couldn’t get into it at all. I finished it, but it was such a struggle. As far as recommendations go, I just started Red Rising (dystopian, sci-fi that takes in space are the Earth is no longer habitable). I really like it so far. Are you into urban fantasy books at all? I loved the Dresden Files on audio. You can probably get them from the Philly library on the Overdrive app for free.

    Other recommendations:
    Pure (series) by Julianna Baggott
    Close Your Eyes Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian (homeless teen living on the streets of Burlington after a nuclear meltdown)
    Saga (graphic novels) by Brian Vaughan (They’re amazing)
    The Dublin Murder Squad series by Tana French

  • Oh I’m sorry you’re having a hard time getting through The Dog Stars! I read it a few summers ago so I have to admit I didn’t remember the style when I recommended it. Jon read Ready Player One and loved it – and I’m going to put The Girl With All The Gifts on my list 🙂

  • I’m usually not a big sci-fi reader, but I looooved Dark Matter too and read it so fast because I was so anxious to find out what was going to happen next. I’ve heard good things about Ready Player One, but wasn’t sure if I’d like it, but definitely think I’m going to bump it up on my TBR list now after reading your review.

  • Pingback: 8 Perfect Books for Your Summer Reading List - Nadine Rebecca()

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