A Week of Reading #3 [January 15th – January 21st] // Weekly 2020 Book Reviews

As mentioned in A Week of Reading #1, this series is a weekly wrap-up series of the books I’m reading and finishing each week. Each post will pick up where the last one left off, in terms of the number book I’m on for the year.

Book Seven: Dominicana by Angie Cruz (4/5 stars)

This is definitely a solid, character-driven story about a 15-year old girl who sacrifices her childhood by marrying a man twice her age and moving to America for the promise of providing for her family back in the Dominican Republic. There were some dry moments, but the author keeps you interested. Our main character Ana is so interesting and so naïve, but this all makes sense given the context of the story. I’d be interested in reading another work by this author.

Trigger Warnings: domestic violence.

Book Eight: Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren (5/5 stars)

We follow Macy and Elliot on a dual-timeline: one where when they are younger/teenagers and one in the present when they are now adults. Macy and Elliot were best friends-turned-partners until something major broke them up, causing them to lose contact for…drumroll please…10 years. When they bump into one another unexpectedly, Macy is engaged and Elliot is in another relationship. They are undeniably pulled back into each other’s orbits. Once again Christina Lauren weaves together a touching romance that leaves your heart both pounding and breaking at the same time. I’ve always been a sucker for the “reconnected lovers” and “besties to lovers” tropes, and BOTH of these are present in Love and Other Words but in different ways.

Book Nine: The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #3) by Rick Riordan (5/5 stars)

Woohoo! This is my first re-read of The Titan’s Curse, and I’m excited to continue re-reading the rest of the series for #Demigodathon! This definitely wasn’t my favorite of the PJO series (that honor remains with The Battle of the Labyrinth, which I’ll get to in a sec), but this book definitely holds crucial information and plants a lot of seeds for the rest of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, plus the Heroes of Olympus series. I do wish we had more time with Thalia, though; she’s so spunky and complex. Rick Riordan does a great job of creating these differing and dynamic characters that mesh so well together and have you rooting for them the entire way.

Trigger Warnings: death of a family member/grief.

Book Ten: City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake, #1) by Victoria Schwab (4.5/5 stars)

City of Ghosts is part of my journey of reading more Middle Grade books, specifically MG Fantasy. Coincidentally, this is my first Victoria Schwab book (even though I own both Vicious and A Darker Shade of Magic and have for a while). We follow Cassidy Blake, whose parents are ghost-seekers and she herself can see ghosts and cross over to the other side because of her brush with death. Oh, and she has a sassy ghost bestie, Jacob! This first book follows Cassidy as she journeys to Scotland because her parents are shooting a documentary, and some ghosty things happen and Cassidy’s soul is put in danger. That’s really all I can say without spoiling it, and I found that it was pretty awesome reading the book without knowing too much about the plot before going in. This was definitely a pretty solid read and fast-paced. Jacob is a favorite character of all time, and I’m excited to see where we go next in the world of Cassidy Blake!

Book Eleven: The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan (5/5 stars)

We are four books into the original 5-book series, and things are picking up! In The Battle of the Labyrinth, Camp Half-Blood is gearing up for the impending fight with Kronos’ army. That is essentially all I can really say without the possibility of spoilers, so yeah. I have yet to re-read The Last Olympian at the time of writing this review, but as of right now, I think The Battle of the Labyrinth is my favorite book out of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. We see a tremendous amount of character growth in Percy, Annabeth, and Grover. The book (as well as the entire series but this book really hones in on it) really dives deep into idea that we are all propelled and/or haunted by the sins and choices of our parents. This book brings up big questions like: Will we outrun our fate and our parents mistakes? Can we be more than our parents’ worst attributes and ambitions? We see this especially prevalent in the characters of Percy, Nico, and Annabeth, who are constantly and simultaneously running away from and towards their parents’ expectations of them. The book also starts to explore the idea of depression and grief in children and how this can fester and spread when left unchecked. Riordan plants the seeds for a much larger discussion in The Battle of the Labyrinth that he then dives deeper into in the series after this one, The Heroes of Olympus, where we meet Nico again.

That’s it for this Week of Reading! Look out for my next one, which will be posted sometime next week! Let me know in the comments what books you read in the third week of 2020!


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