Sourcery, by Terry Pratchett
This was a bit of a Discworld ‘more of the same’ as an eighth son of an eighth son, a sorcerer, takes his father’s revenge on wizardkind. It was perfectly enjoyable but nothing special.
The Confession, by Jessie Burton
Another case of more of the same! If you enjoyed Jessie Burton’s previous books I think you will love this story about a woman in her thirties who has never known her mother or even what happened to her, who ends up pretending to be someone else in order to get close to someone who might hold all the answers. Like in The Muse, the story follows two characters in different time periods, but this time one of those time periods is the present day.
Spellbook of the Lost and Found, by Moïra Fowley-Doyle (proof given to me by a friend, not the publisher)
I loved this! At times I found it hard to keep all the characters straight (there are two trios, plus a duo, of friends), but I loved the story and the atmosphere. It’s about a group of teenagers, some of them runaways, who discover a mysterious spellbook and cast a spell to bring back lost things, but of course some things should stay lost…
The Poet X, by Elizabeth Acevedo
I also loved this! I started reading it while waiting for a bus on holiday and was instantly captivated. I haven’t read a novel in verse in years and I really enjoyed both the poetry and Xiomara’s story. The development and trouble in her relationship with her mother was really powerful and moving.
The True Queen, by Zen Cho
Well, obviously I also loved this sequel to Sorcerer to the Crown! It’s got magic, dragons, politics, mystery, and romance. I may have got a little emotional at the end! The True Queen is about two young women who find themselves washed ashore on Janda Baik after a storm, with no memory of anything but each other. Mak Genggang, who you will remember as a hilariously bossy and extremely powerful witch from the first book, takes them in and ends up sending them to Regency England to get help restoring their memories.
The Cruel Prince, by Holly Black
I was also expecting to love this, and I did! It took me a ridiculously long time to get around to picking it up considering I got my copy while Holly Black was touring to promote it, and I have always loved her books, but it was as great as anticipated. We’re back in the land of the fae, only this time we’re following a pair of human sisters who were kidnapped by the faerie that killed their parents and have lived there ever since. It’s full of politics and mean beautiful creatures and it was delightful.
The Summer I Turned Pretty, by Jenny Han
Unfortunately I did not love this. I was hoping I would because I really enjoyed To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, by the same author, but it was very very different and although I don’t normally mind a love triangle, I’m not into love triangles where two of the points are siblings, so it was probably doomed in my esteem from the start. I won’t be continuing with this trilogy and will go straight to PS. I Still Love You instead!
Rules of Summer, by Joanna Philbin (review copy from publisher)
At this point I thought ‘hmm, a theme is emerging in my summer project books’, as The Summer I Turned Pretty involved a long stay at a holiday home and so does Rules of Summer, but I really enjoyed this one. It has two protagonists, Rory, a ordinary girl who goes to work in the Rules’ luxurious summer house in the Hamptons beside her aunt, who is their housekeeper, and Isobel Rule, who is starting to feel like she doesn’t fit into the neat, ordered little life that’s been laid out for her. I love it when books tackle class issues and the tension between Rory, Isobel, and all the other characters, be they other servants or family members, was explored well.
The Summer of Impossible Things, by Rowan Coleman (free copy from Lush Book Club)
This was an interesting idea – woman goes back in time to try to save her own mother, possibly erasing her own existence in the process, and it was a very emotional read. However something about the ending just didn’t work for me, and that’s very hard to talk about in a review!
Sofia Khan is Not Obliged, by Ayisha Malik
This is a romantic comedy about a Muslim woman in her thirties in London, working in publishing and trying to get over the end of her last sort-of-relationship, which ended because they would have lived in a house next to her in-laws with a hole in the wall. Everything changes when she is asked to write a book about Muslim dating. I really really loved this, I found the narrator’s voice irresistible and found myself listening to it whenever possible!
Second Chance Summer, by Morgan Matson
Another holiday home book! This one involves a lake house rather than a house on a beach, so that’s a little different, and overall this was my favourite of the three, featuring a family who have gone away for a last summer together as the father has terminal cancer. Despite the sad subject matter, it was overall an uplifting book as relationships develop, and the protagonist comes to terms with loss while finding love. I really liked the setting and all the details about the town around the lake.