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Author: Celeste

The Chemist

The Chemist

The ChemistThe Chemist by Stephenie Meyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a book I honestly had no intention of reading.

I really enjoy Meyer’s YA books. They’re a little trashy, but they’re fun and addictive in a teenage soap opera kind of way. Twilight will always be one of my guilty pleasures. But I honestly didn’t think she could handle writing an adult spy thriller. I mean, it requires so much more research and finesse than a vampire/werewolf love triangle, right? The foreshadowing that was so present in the Twilight Saga would have to be done away with, because a thriller with no surprises isn’t really a thriller. The characters would have to be radically different from those she’s known for. I didn’t think she could do it.

I was wrong.

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City of Stairs (Divine Cities #1)

City of Stairs (Divine Cities #1)

City of Stairs (The Divine Cities, #1)City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Time renders all people and all things silent. And gods, it seems, are no exception.”

I have a confession to make. I purchased this trilogy in February of 2017, even preordered the final installment though I hadn’t read the first two. I just knew that it was a trilogy that I would love based off of the synopsis. There is nothing in the realm of fiction that I love more than unique religions and overt philosophizing. While setting and characterization and plot and prose are what make a book function, the books that make me happiest are those in which religion and philosophy play a vital part. However, even though I was almost positive that I would love Bennett’s trilogy, I kept putting it off for some reason. Petrik finally convinced me to give in and read it, and I’m so thankful that he did. It was everything I hoped it would be and more.

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Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World #1)

Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World #1)

Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World, #1)Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

Representation is so important in fiction.. It’s much easier to sink into a character’s story when they resemble you in some way. For centuries there was very little healthy representation of anyone outside of heterosexual white males of European descent. Characters who fell outside of these restrictions tended to be only secondary characters, and were often portrayed as two-dimensional caricatures of the race or sex or religion they represented. There were exceptions, of course, but they were few and far between, and were often authored by women using male pseudonyms. That still left many groups utterly unrepresented, though. Thankfully, in the past few decades this lack has been addressed, and the variety of representation in literature has skyrocketed.

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Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children #3)

Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children #3)

Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children, #3)Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s sad when a perfectly decent story leaves you disappointed, but that’s how I feel about this little novella. I absolutely loved Every Heart a Doorway and Down Among the Sticks and Bones. They were both deep and meaningful and had important things to say about accepting yourself no matter how different you are and finding your place, whether it’s in this world or another. They spoke about how adults don’t see children as their equals, and undervalue their experiences and opinions and value just because of their age.

Because I was so moved and inspired by the first two books, I was expecting some of the same from this third installment. But that’s not what I got.

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My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies #2)

My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies #2)

My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies, #2)My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book so much.

Seriously. So. MUCH.

There aren’t enough comedic novels out there that don’t edge irritatingly into silly. This book, and the preceding book, are two of the funniest things I’ve ever read. They don’t take themselves too seriously, but the humor doesn’t overwhelm the plot. Both have made me laugh out loud with their pop culture references and plethora of awkward moments. I hope the authors write one of these on every famous Jane from history and literary, and that they move on to another first name from there. Maybe Elizabeth or Lucy or Alice or something. I wish that, some day, there would be dozens of these books, just lining book shelves and waiting to brighten someone’s day.

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The Muse

The Muse

The MuseThe Muse by Jessie Burton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

Is there anything that holds as much sway over humankind as art?

Whether it takes the form of music or a painting or a sculpture or the written word, nothing speaks to our souls like art. This gives artists a power over their fellow men and women. But no one doubts art so much as its creator, and so an artist’s audience holds within themselves the approval and praise that said artist craves, and thus artists rely on their audiences for the affirmation and reassurance needed to create their next work of art. However, if an artist isn’t careful they begin producing cheap imitations of the art that first garnered them attention, and so artists must be careful regarding how heavily they rely upon and value the opinions of others. They need something else to feed that need and fuel their creativity.

They need a muse.

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The Good Girl

The Good Girl

The Good GirlThe Good Girl by Mary Kubica
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

Wow. I definitely didn’t see that ending coming.

Have you ever read a book where the last chapter completely changes the entire book for you, and how you view all of the events that preceded it? That’s what happened to me with this book. Before that final chapter, I found the book compelling, but honestly kind of predictable. This is the story of a kidnapping, told from the perspectives of three people: the mother of the kidnapped girl, the detective on the case, and the kidnapper. Each chapter is from one of these perspectives, from either before or after an unspecified event.

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American Gods

American Gods

American GodsAmerican Gods by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mythology has always entranced me. Greek or Egyptian, Norse or Celtic, any myth I’ve ever come across has interested me, especially considering what each myth says about the culture it stems from and how said culture sees the world. Myths are man’s way of explaining the world and its phenomena to himself. How the world was created, why there are droughts and floods, how the tiger got its stripes or the elephant its trunk, are all things that man has attempted to explain through myths.

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