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With the new year starting, I fell into a book-shopping frenzy. Even with that, I haven’t gotten/read many books in these three months. Luckily, we are in the Pisces season, and you best believe I will be using all my birthday wishes on books. I promised myself that I would go through my TBR pile this year. Even though I’m not happy with my results so far, there’s still more than enough time. While I’m slowly going through that pile, I wanted to share some of my favorite books so far.
The best books I read from January to March 2023
Three months, three different countries. All that moving, plus the new year slump, left me kinda lazy and unmotivated. My reading schedule isn’t going to plan. I don’t force myself to read, I really love books, but I just feel like I’m wasting my time overall. My focus is horribly bad. Still, I’m not giving up on my love, and I’m not done talking about it. Of the books I’ve read, here are my favorites.
I tried to explain this book to my sister, but I confused myself. The writing style is simple. On that level, it’s easy to go through the book. The story takes place in an apartment where Aki and Hiro – our two protagonists – spend their final night together before parting ways. The story jumps to an event from a year earlier when everything started and broke. The two were on a hiking trip. While there, their guide had a fatal accident. So, that plotline is the main one, and the mystery of the guide’s death would be fun to try and solve throughout the reading if it was the only mystery.
But, the biggest mystery turned out to be our two protagonists. The closer I got to the end of the book, the more shocked and confused I was. The author built their emotions and thoughts in such a clever and nuanced way. I love how she played with the details and allusions. I enjoyed reading this book. At first, I wanted a different ending, but that one was the most fitting. The limited plot, time, and space left plenty of room to develop the characters’ inner world, so that’s the main focus. But, the author still managed to surprise me with the plot twists.
“By the time Alex managed to get the blood out of her good wool coat, it was too warm to wear it.”Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Leigh Bardugo knows how to get the reader’s attention! Ninth House had me hooked from the first sentence. It wasn’t a quick read, though. It took me some time to read it, and it took some time to get into the story. A lot was going on.
Alex Stern is such an interesting character. I loved her dynamic with the other characters, especially with Dawes. But, her relationship with her roommates could’ve been better. They only served to further the plot, and considering the specific execution, it would’ve been better if the author had left them out. Just give Alex her dorm room, and that’s it. The story brushed off the matter, which sounded so weak and unbelievable. There was a better way to write that part of the story.
The rest of the plot was great. I liked the long descriptions followed by impactful two-word sentences. I love Bardugo’s ability to set the tone, stun the reader or emphasize something with those short sentences. I also love how she leaves the clues in plain sight. All the puzzle pieces are in front of us, but with the time jumps and the flashbacks, so much going on, we can’t recover quickly enough to start connecting the dots. She keeps us occupied with the long descriptions and not directly related events or people and slowly – very slowly – builds the story.
TW for this book: murder, rape, violence, drug addiction, death
I will be dedicating a separate post to this series, but OMG! The best YA fantasy I’ve ever read! These two books, especially the second one, held my attention from start to finish. Usually, my focus drops, and I need a break from a book, but the brilliance of these two didn’t allow me to stop reading. And those five stars? Read – a thousand!