Considering that the purpose of a book blog is to review books, I’m really bloody bad at it. 

I mean, despite blogging to recommend books and all that jazz, they get the least traction and I also have to take more pictures. So I guess I’m just lazy with them (story of my life). Also, I’ve read like 105 books this year and no way do I have time to review them all. 

Anyway. Let’s get on with it, shall we? 

Goodreads

IN A SENTENCE: A Martian woman and a whole heap of cool aliens get a new worm-hole-building job across space that will net them a lot of money. 

What I loved most about this book was how incredible the characters were, and how amazing the world was. The amount of background for each alien race is phenomenal – there are aliens who communicate via colours, an AI who seems like a real person (Illuminae, anyone?), and so many more. From Dr Chef to Ohan to Pei, they’re all lovingly created and absolutely come to life on page. 

This is not a Star Wars kind of book, with action at every turn. It’s definitely very character-driven, and that ended up being one of my favourite things about it. There’s a lot of background information threaded in, lots of exploring, and I absolutely adored it. 

Goodreads

IN A SENTENCE: Ily has grown up with domestic abuse and is angry at the world – this book is about how that shapes her relationships, and it’s also about prank wars and being wanted. 

Honestly, I could not get on board with Ily as a character. Even though I completely understand where her anger comes from, I’ve never been able to enjoy reading about characters who are awful to their families and friends. BUT. What I did like was the open discussion about sex, domestic violence and not feeling wanted. I loved Max, who is an Indigenous character and so soft and kind, while at the same time really excellent at pranks. I loved the setting of Darwin, which is where my mum grew up (and she was actually there during Cyclone Tracy, so there you go).

Goodreads

IN A SENTENCE: Three teens gallivant across Europe on their Grand Tour – this book includes highwaymen, pirates and a lot of sass. 

Monty is obviously a spoiled bastard, but his banter is A+. And he does learn throughout the book, which is nice. Percy absolutely had my heart, though, and also I don’t know how Felicity put up with them (she is the absolute personification of Hermione Granger, by the way). 

There is so much to love in this book. Even though it’s long, there’s never a dull moment, and despite being historical fiction it’s really accessible. And hilarious, I might add. 

Goodreads

IN A SENTENCE: Jack and Jill walk down the hill and end up in a nightmare. 

Look, Seanan McGuire is incredible. She makes me want to write so many dark retellings, and read folklore and all that jazz, because her books just absolutely capture the imagination. Her newest book, Down Among the Sticks and Bones, follows two very different girls who are trapped by their parents’ expectations of how girls should behave. I had a little trouble differentiating the two (especially when they swap roles), but it is a really insightful exploration of gender. 

I don’t think I liked it as much as Every Heart a Doorway, but that would be extraordinarily difficult, considering I loved that one to pieces. 

Goodreads

IN A SENTENCE: a lovely story about immigration, love, poetry, science and dreams.

Given how beautiful this book is, and how much everyone raved about it, it’s a shame it took me so long to pick up this book. I think the main thing that deterred me was how everyone talked about the insta-love, which is my NUMBER ONE PET PEEVE in a book. It was a little worrying at first, with Daniel continually pressuring Natasha to talk to him. How about we not paint that as a romantic thing? 

But they talk so much throughout the book that it didn’t really feel like insta-love. And I also loved that we got other perspectives. We hear from random passersby who end up being linked to Daniel and Natasha. “Romantic” describes this book to a T, not just for the actual romance but for the romantic, interwoven ideals behind it. ALSO THERE IS A LOT OF SCIENCE WHICH I ENJOYED. 

I hope at least one of these books sounds appealing to you! I can hardly believe that only two are contemporary YA. Also, I want to know (because I’m changing the way I blog on here) whether you like reading reviews, or if there’s some other way you’d rather people recommend books? Let me know in comments!