Circe by Madeline Miller
The story of the world's first witch told as never before. Follow Circe's harrowing journey from the halls of Helios to Aiaia and beyond as she discovers the power in her veins, the arrogance of gods, and the strength of the mortal world. Told from a feminist perspective, Circe makes the gods and heroes of old into relatable, multidimensional figures you'll love and love to hate.
10/10 be still my mythology-loving feminist heart.
A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
Welcome to the Scholomance - the most dangerous school in the world. Here, young magicians risk their lives to master their mana and the craft of spellcasting, all while facing down hoards of Malificaria, the monsters that come for their very souls. Written by acclaimed fantasy writer Naomi Novik, A Deadly Education is incredibly fun. Oddly realistic in its approach to adolescence and seriously innovative in its magical world, it's the first book in a trilogy and I can't wait to read the next books!
10/10, PLEASE give me the rest of the series!!
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
It's the dawn of the 10th annual Hunger Games, and Coriolanus Snow has a front row seat as one of the first Mentors to the kids in the arena. This is his last chance to secure his family's future and save the family name, but will his Tribute be able to deliver? I've already done a full review of TBoSaS on The Bookshelf, but I'll just say that it's so strange to not be able to put down a book about a character you hate. Evil never looked so unnervingly understandable.
YA Dystopian Fiction
9/10, would panic and cringe again!
My Favorite Books
The Host by Stephenie Meyer
A beautiful, heart-racing, mind bending, painful, and amazing exploratory novel into what it means to be human.
Wanderer is an alien known as a Soul, one of the aliens that has taken over the Earth and is aptly named for being the "invisible source that guides the body." She is "hosted" by Melanie, a rebellious human who by all logic should not still have been without a Soul this late into the invasion. But this isn't the only reason that this human is both interesting and terrifying to Wanderer, because most "hosts" disappear when a Soul takes control. Mel refuses to be erased.
The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny
A classically fantastic series brought to life with beautiful, colorful imagery and intense, suspenseful plot in between the magic and monsters and political intrigue.
Corey wakes up in a private hospital in New York after what seems to be a serious car wreck with no memory. This doesn't keep him down for long, though, as he reunites with his brother Random in a tenuous truce to find out what happened to him, who he really is, and why the name Amber brings him such intense joy, and intense pain.
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
By far one of the most heartbreakingly beautiful books I've ever read, which has the interesting story mechanic of getting extremely difficult to read in the very beginning, very middle, and very end due to it flowing between writing and reading levels as the story progresses.
Charlie is a man with developmental delays, who works at a bakery and attends classes for reading and writing at a local college. There, he is discovered by two scientists who choose him to undergo an experimental surgery, previously only performed on a mouse named Algernon, designed to increase his intelligence. Flowers for Algernon is his diary of his experiences and all of the successes and painful failures that come with increased intelligence and awareness of the world around him.
Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
The world of the zombie post-apocalypse genre has never interested me, but Marion manages to blow away all expectations in his gorgeous reworking of a Shakespearian trajedy full of philosophy, moral quanderies, and zombie Sinatra solos.
R is dead, but it's not so bad. He "lives" in an airport, has a friend in fellow zombie M, and only occasionally eats people (which he feels bad about). The days blend together until he meets (and nearly eats) Julie, a human from a nearby final hub of survivors. She is the color in his otherwise grey world, and may just be the spark he needs to hear his heart beat once more.
The Xanth Series by Piers Anthony
This hilarious series is built on puns, magic, romance, and the state of Florida, what more could you want? Anthony's world gets crazier the more you look into it, so it's best to just enjoy the oddness that is the magical world of Xanth.
Bink is rapidly nearing the age of manhood, which should make him proud, but instead terrifies him, because he cannot display a magic talent, and that means he'll be banished from his beloved Xanth into Mundania, a world with no magic. So how will he save himself from a fate worse than death? With the help of a chameleon, an evil king, and a castle with a mind of its own.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
This novel has been one of my favorites since I read it in school for the first time. Twisted, dark, and yet morbidly fascinating, Shelley is rightfully given the title of mother of modern science fiction for her daring examination of what it means for a mortal to play God.
17--. Aboard a ship that is bound for the North Pole, Captain Walton writes to his sister back home in London. In his letters, he describes the unlikely and unnerving appearance of a man who is as pale and thin as a shade, found floating adrift on the ice among the long-frozen bodies of his sleddog team. This man is Victor Frankenstein, and how he came to be in the Artic circle is a harrowing tale of men, monsters, and science gone too far.