Sunday, May 3, 2020

April wrap-up: still inside!

April is over. How did that happen? It felt like March slogged on forever. And April felt incredibly short. Perhaps I'm getting used to quarantining? I do go outside but only for groceries or laundry. Trips outside almost feel like a vacation -- except for, you know, the face mask, gloves, and hand sanitizer.

In the before times, I loved to read. I read on the way to work, at lunch, and on my way home from work. But now I work in my apartment. When the workday is done, and even on the weekends, I find it so hard to concentrate on reading. I usually end up scrolling through social media or, my favorite palate cleanser, watch Grace & Frankie on Netflix.

Reading has taken a bit of a back seat during the past several weeks. Even though I still find myself buying books online. But I did slightly better in April than in March. I read two books, Winter by Marissa Meyer and The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang.

Winter is the fourth and final book in the Lunar Chronicles series. I read the first book about four years ago, but I didn't return to this series again until late 2018/early 2019. Each book got longer and longer. Winter is 800 PAGES -- many of them, in my opinion, could have been cut. The series has the time-honored YA trope of the chosen one, in this case Cinder -- a half-human cyborg. She has to save Earth and the planet Lunar from an evil queen. Most of the time she came off strong, but once that romance angle came in her character was totally ruined for me. She spends much of the series taking command of situations but when she meets the handsome prince, Kai, she turns to mush. I don't mind romance in books, I just hate forced romance. And a lot of the romantic moments in this series felt forced. Series rating as a whole: Give it a try.

Moving on, this was my second attempt at reading The Poppy War. The first time around, I made it about 250 pages before I gave up. I hit a boring/slow part and I just didn't feel like continuing. This time, I was determined to finish. And that was a good decision. The action does pick back up. What's the premise? A peasant girl rises to the challenge, making it into an elite military academy. She discovers she has the power to raise the gods. When war breaks out, will she use this power for good or evil? The beginning of this book is very engaging, but it slogs a bit in the middle. But once I got past that, I enjoyed the book -- so much so that I ordered book 2 before I finished book 1. Rating: Superb.

I don't know what May will hold, but here's to good health and happy reading!