Scythe, the first book in the Neal Shusterman trilogy, Arc of the Scythe, first came out in November of 2016. The second book, Thunderhead, just came out in January of 2018. I first heard about Scythe when it came out, it was a PW Best Book of 2016 and a SLJ Best Book of 2016 for teens. Exciting, right? I checked it out when I saw this and posted about the Best Books lists but didn’t read it. Then, an old friend from when I lived in Tennessee messaged me on Goodreads and said, read this book. So I did. Interestingly, she also said that she teaches Unwind (also a Shusterman book) to her high schoolers. So maybe I’ll investigate that too.
In my mind I had kept Scythe on the back burner for the same reason I avoided reading The Hunger Games. Now, I don’t want to compare these books to The Hunger Games, other than to say there’s violence and that’s why I avoided them. They are nothing like The Hunger Games. At all. I enjoyed Scythe and Thunderhead SO.MUCH.MORE than The Hunger Games. So much. They are so good.
Possible spoilers ahead. Quick setting explination. The cloud (yes, like Apple) has become something called the Thunderhead. It knows everything and has basically figured out how to run the world and keep people from dying. Therefore, a new occupation was formed called Scythes, people whose job it is to kill people in order to control the population etc. In book 1, Citra and Rowen are chosen to be Scythe apprentices. You quickly learn that this has apparently never been done before, having two apprentices, and it is decided that only one will survive. Moving on to book 2. I have inner feelings about the middle book in trilogies. That is not the case with this book. Book 2 might even be BETTER than book 1. No joke. I won’t tell you much about it other than to say, Citra has won the fight to be a Scythe, Rowen has turned into a semi-bad guy to everyone but Citra, and the real bad guy has taken over the world. It is the best.
I cannot wait for book 3. According to his timeline of release for books 1 & 2 it apparently takes him about 1 year and 2 months. Which means I have one more year to wait.
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book about death or grief (Scythe)
Modern Mrs. Darcy 2018 Reading Challenge : a book by an author of a different race, ethnicity, or religion other than your own (Thunderhead)
More Lit Chat! It’s something I’ve talked about a lot.
Do you listen to audio books? Why or why not? Who would you choose to narrate your favorite book?
I listen to audio books all the time! Since last August I’ve had an Audible account that I got on Amazon Prime Day. I love them. I’m in the car about an hour a day so I can whip through them pretty quickly. Right now I’m listening to Thunderhead, the second book in the Arc of a Scythe trilogy. Apparently I never wrote about book one, so I’ll do that soon. It’s very good. I listen to audio books because of my time in the car and because the narrators make the books feel more immersive. I often listen to audio books that are very long because I don’t like holding the real book or the book feels too daunting in it’s page length. As for who would narrate my favorite book, it would have to be Jim Dale. He is the best.
I finished the Precious Stone trilogy. I had no idea it was called that until two seconds ago but I wrote about book one, Ruby Red, last week and I finished books two and three this week! I actually read Ruby Red in 2011 but went back to read it recently because all 3 books are out now. They weren’t back then and I don’t like waiting.
Aren’t these covers divine? I adore them. Sapphire Blue is book 2 and Emerald Green is book 3. I read them both within a few days so I can’t remember what happens in each individually but basically, Gwyneth has found out she’s a time traveler in book 1. In book 2 she starts traveling with her cohort, Gideon, the male time traveler with the gene. Their alliance is run by a man named Count Saint-German, someone Gwyn has been told not to trust. She soon finds out why, with the help of her time traveling cousin (or is she) and her best friend. I won’t get into specifics of what their goal is because it’s too complicated to explain but eventually Gideon and Gwyneth work together to sabotage the Count’s plan, and they also fall in love. Of course. Because it’s a YA novel. Thankfully, there is not a love triangle. I highly recommend these books to anyone who likes YA and wants a good time travel / historical feel. I listened to them on audio, one from Audible and the others from Libby / Overdrive / Hoopla. The reader is great.
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : the next book in a series you started (Sapphire Blue)
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book about time travel (Emerald Green)
I just finished Ruby Red, again. It was on sale on Audible for $4.99 a few weeks ago when they were having a sale for first books in a series. I had previously read it in 2011 (post here about how I was excited for book 2) and I received the advanced reader copy at ALA that year so I even own book 2!
Ruby Red is a German translation about Gwyneth, a sixteen year old in London who finds out she’s a time traveler! Her cousin, Charlotte, was the supposed ‘chosen one’ for the time traveling gene in her family but it turns out that was a mistake. Gwyneth knows nothing about time travel or the circle of time travelers she’s meant to meet in the past with the help of her traveling companion, Gideon. Everything in this story happens within the span of 2-5 days and book 2, Sapphire Blue, picks up exactly where book 1 ends, which I like. Because it’s so quick in time it also reads very quickly. I’m shoving on to book 2 right now, immediately so I don’t stall and crash like I did in 2011. I’m listening and have the print book at my house as a back up if I become enthralled. On a positive note, book 3, Emerald Green, has already been released whereas if I read them in 2011 I would have had to wait.
Modern Mrs. Darcy 2018 Reading Challenge : a in translation
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book with alliteration in the title
For some reason I decided to read Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz. I don’t typically like formulaic mysteries so I can’t remember why I picked this up. Now, try to keep up while I explain how this book works. There are two stories. The first 4 pages of the book are of an editor explaining that the last book she read changed her life. The book you are about to read is the second story – the book she is supposed to be editing. We will call the editor portion story 1 and the book she’s reading story 2. Now, the novel story she’s supposed to be editing, story 2, goes on for 200 pages and then doesn’t tell you who the murderer was. It then goes back to the editor, story 1, while she tells you how that book changed her life. Then, at the very end of the whole book it goes back to story 2 and tells you the who-dun-it. Got it? I read some reviews of people I know who said they skipped to the end of the book to read the last chapter of story 2 so they could get the whole picture. I did that. I followed their advice. But THEN, I realized I didn’t care how that story changed the editors life. I had only met her for 4 pages. So I did a bad thing. I only read story 2. And I feel fulfilled. Judge me.
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book with an animal in the title
I heard from a fair amount of people that this was one of their top reads of 2017. It was pretty hefty (576 pages!) so I used one of my Audible credits for it back in November. It took me two months to get through it and I can honestly say it was not one of my top reads for 2017. Its not that I didn’t like it. I did. But it was so loooong. And there were so many stories. Stories within stories within stories. Good God. The current day story is about two scholars who find papers from the 1600s hidden in an old house. Then you follow the story of the woman who wrote those papers in the 1600s. Then each person has their own story within those two stories. The stories were good, they were just long and intricate. So many words. I can’t say I was very invested in the letters and papers of the woman in the 1600s which was half the book. I kept wanting to get back to the scholars. Usually I enjoy multiple POVs but this was too much. I would suggest this book to people who really enjoy rich historical novels.
Modern Mrs. Darcy 2018 Reading Challenge : a book that’s more than 500 pages – I did get it on Kindle in order to get through it faster so technically I read some of it
BookRiot 2018 Read Harder Challenge : a book with a female protagonist over the age of 60 – I’m not sure it ever says Helen Watt’s age but she’s retiring so I assume she’s over 60
I had been meaning to read Caraval ever since it came out last January. It had a lot of press hype before its release and I ended up liking it a lot. It reminded me a little bit (just a little!) of the Night Circus (which in case you didn’t know – I adore). There was way too much dialog and angst though, but it is YA so that should be expected. Night Circus was often times a lot more about the setting than what was happening with the characters. The ambiance seemed to be its own character. Caraval was very character driven, but not in an overwhelming or annoying way. I could’ve done without the epilogue set up. Book two could’ve told us what the epilogue did in its book jacket summary without leaving such a cliff hanger in book one. I will probably read book two though, but since it took me a year after book one’s publication to read it I wouldn’t count on it happening any time soon. Book two is titled Legendary and set to be released May 2018.
BookRiot 2018 Read Harder Challenge : the first book in a new-to-you YA series
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book you meant to read in 2017 but didn’t get to