Rereading Books That Missed The Mark

I realize that rereading is not for everyone. Particularly if that includes tackling books that missed the mark the first time around. We tend to reserve rereading for those few lucky favorites. I personally like to pick up The Hobbit and Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland each year, and it is a rewarding process where I always discover something new. Over the past few years my tastes have evolved incredibly. I still attribute most of this to blogging in a large part. It’s through constant discussion and comparison that my own thoughts and experiences are continually challenged and expanded on. I truly enjoy this aspect of the book community. Since I feel I have changed as a reader, I felt that it would be fun to revisit some books and see how I feel now. And I have to admit, I am thoroughly enjoying this decision so far!

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What I Have Re-Read So Far

caraval
Caraval (Caraval #1)

By Stephanie Garber

My Original Rating: 3/5

This was a miss for me originally due to multiple hangups. I struggled with Garber’s color association and my failure to connect with the characters. You can read my full thoughts here.

However, I recently completed this as a buddy read with Debby at Always Booking and found myself more inclined to just enjoy the “show” and my overall experience was significantly improved! Which has me feeling positive about the decision to reread a few of these books. New review soon.

Coming Up

the bone witchThe Bone Witch (The Bone Witch #1)

Rin Chupeco

My Original Rating: 3/5

This is a heated discussion with many friends. I understand the love for this book. However, had it not been for an amazing concept and some beautiful prose, I would have DNF’d this. I struggled tremendously with the constant need to describe everything down to the smallest detail. I am hoping that my tastes have changed enough now, that I will appreciate this, in the same manner, everyone else seems to. My original review can be found here.

DrownDrown
By Esther Dalseno

My original rating: 3/5

Drown was a truly mixed read for me, and since fairy tale retellings are my favorite, I am looking forward to revisiting this twisted take. It has been a while since I read this darker and more dismal approach to the classic story, but I will enjoy seeing how it compares now to some more current retellings.  Here are my first thoughts.

 

 

Strange the DreamerStrange The Dream (Strange the Dreamer #1)
By Laini Taylor

My Original Rating: 2/5

With Muse of Nightmares soon upon us, I have planned on a rereading for some time. Strange the Dreamer was the rare case of failing to hit the mark but providing just enough to let me know I should pick up the sequel. It is also a book that the more I reflect on it, the more I feel maybe I did not dislike it as much as I initially felt. You can read my buddy review here.

Your Thoughts

Do you reread books? And if so, is this something you reserve only for titles you enjoy? I plan to continue with this list and expand on it, but I will not force it. If I find any of the books I am attempting to reapproach are still not to my liking, I will put them down again. How do you handle rereading?

Let’s Chat,

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The Wild Dead by Carrie Vaughn

the wild deadThe Wild Dead (The Bannerless Saga #2)
By Carrie Vaughn
Publisher: Mariner Books
ISBN: 9780544947313
Pages: 272
Genre: Mystery/Dystopia

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A century after environmental and economic collapse, the people of the Coast Road have rebuilt their own sort of civilization, striving not to make the mistakes their ancestors did. They strictly ration and manage resources, including the ability to have children. Enid of Haven is an investigator, who with her new partner, Teeg, is called on to mediate a dispute over an old building in a far-flung settlement at the edge of Coast Road territory. The investigators’ decision seems straightforward — and then the body of a young woman turns up in the nearby marshland. Almost more shocking than that, she’s not from the Coast Road, but from one of the outsider camps belonging to the nomads and wild folk who live outside the Coast Road communities. Now one of them is dead, and Enid wants to find out who killed her, even as Teeg argues that the murder isn’t their problem. In a dystopian future of isolated communities, can our moral sense survive the worst hard times?


My Thoughts

I actually requested The Wild Dead not realizing it was a sequel. This worked in my favor, however, as I immediately picked up and savored the unique post-apocalyptic mystery that is Bannerless (<– start here). My experience with the sequel was one very familiar to its predecessor but somehow even more gratifying.

The skinny..

The Wild Dead continues life on the Coast Road with Enid after she has returned home to Haven (I am omitting a description of the setting as I recommend reading Bannerless first, and if you have then you are familiar). She has recently solved her first murder case and her home is now expecting their first child. When she is called to an investigation with her new partner Teeg to help settle a dispute in a small settlement, another body surfaces. This time it belongs to a young female, an outsider. Teeg is convinced that this is not their case to solve, but Enid sets out to find answers.

“They shifted from investigating one structure at one household to investigating the whole community. This was like expecting a drizzle and getting a typhoon.”

What I appreciated..

  • Vaughn continues to deliver readers a solid mystery in what I can best describe as her own signature style. She serves the post-apocalyptic setting distinctively with the absence of grotesque monsters or beasts but still explores humanity and civilization to rewarding depths.
  • The frontier setting strips away many of the familiar comforts and luxuries we have come to know, immersing the reader into a world that has regressed but not without a retained culture and sense of refinement. Coast Road residents have fought to hold onto certain commodities and materials, and Vaughn successfully tackles the implementation of each (i.e. birth control, vaccines) into this new life.
  • Enid’s character growth is a slow and steady process that evolves at an appropriate and viable pace for the plot and setting. We find her as we would expect her, making the same decisions we have come to anticipate. However, there is also a newfound strength and courage that seems to drive her and for that, she is perhaps even more admirable and memorable.
  • Vaughn’s writing remains succinct and effective, creating a fluid pace that while not fast does succeed in an effortless read.

“Starting a brand-new house can be an adventure. Even when you’re picking up the pieces of an old one.”

Challenges some may encounter..

  • This is a murder mystery, a true whodunnit it at its heart. If you are expecting a high action dystopian story, you will not find it nor the usual sci-fi elements here.
  • There are small moments of graphic material in terms of the actual victim and the topic of miscarriage if briefly discussed.

The Bannerless Saga is a refreshing twist on one of my favorite genres, dystopia. It offers readers something unique in the promise of hope after an economic and environmental collapse. Vaughn dares to explore a positive outcome that shows mankind learning to thrive and live again as a civilization. Enid is a beautiful example of that realization and one that I hope we will see again.

*I would like to thank Mariner Books & Edelweiss for this advanced copy. The quotes included above are from the advanced copy and subject to change. This review is my own, unbiased and honest opinion.

tea cup

 

Enjoy this unique whodunnit dystopian read with your favorite mint green tea.

Grab a Copy: Amazon.com Book Depository

*Disclosure: I use affiliate links and may earn a small commission for purchases made through them. Click here for details.

Happy Reading,

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Sunday Sum~Up

Sunday Sum_Up (1)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer that I am linking my Sunday Sum-Ups with. Stop by and say hello!

This has been a long but quiet week. I say long because on the working end, even though my days are shorter, it feels like I am cramming more into them. However, my daughter is away for a few days and soon flying to Ohio to see my mother, while my son is still visiting his father, so it is also very quiet. My plan is to start unhauling my bookshelves, as soon as I am cleared to move around enough. Although I admit I picked up several new additions this weekend. The nonhubs and I cheated on my activity restrictions and snuck out for crepes and a trip to BN. I have no regrets.

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I started watching Pose on FX. If you have not seen it, you really should. I was quite saddened to finally catch up to the current episode and have my binge session come to an abrupt halt. I also discovered that the nonhubs picked up tickets to finally see The Nutcracker in December! *queue fangirl squees of delight* This was to be an early Christmas surprise, but I had a moment of tears over being so isolated and lonely so he told me in an effort to help perk me up. I cannot lie, it did.


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Reading This Week

the wild deadThe Wild Dead (The Bannerless Saga #2)
By Carrie Vaghn

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A century after environmental and economic collapse, the people of the Coast Road have rebuilt their own sort of civilization, striving not to make the mistakes their ancestors did. They strictly ration and manage resources, including the ability to have children. Enid of Haven is an investigator, who with her new partner, Teeg, is called on to mediate a dispute over an old building in a far-flung settlement at the edge of Coast Road territory. The investigators’ decision seems straightforward — and then the body of a young woman turns up in the nearby marshland. Almost more shocking than that, she’s not from the Coast Road, but from one of the outsider camps belonging to the nomads and wild folk who live outside the Coast Road communities. Now one of them is dead, and Enid wants to find out who killed her, even as Teeg argues that the murder isn’t their problem. In a dystopian future of isolated communities, can our moral sense survive the worst hard times?

i am still aliveI Am Still Alive
By Kate Alice Marshall

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After
Jess is alone. Her cabin has burned to the ground. She knows if she doesn’t act fast, the cold will kill her before she has time to worry about food. But she is still alive—for now.

Before
Jess hadn’t seen her survivalist, off-the-grid dad in over a decade. But after a car crash killed her mother and left her injured, she was forced to move to his cabin in the remote Canadian wilderness. Just as Jess was beginning to get to know him, a secret from his past paid them a visit, leaving her father dead and Jess stranded.

After
With only her father’s dog for company, Jess must forage and hunt for food, build shelter, and keep herself warm. Some days it feels like the wild is out to destroy her, but she’s stronger than she ever imagined.

Jess will survive. She has to. She knows who killed her father… and she wants revenge.


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Other Happenings

I am working on finding that ever changing balance between blogging, social media, reading and life. I am quite comfortable with my current routine but also learning that as some accounts evolve, my focus tends to be shifting. I have to remind myself that unplugging is so important.

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
~Neil Gaiman in Coraline 

What books are you excited to tackle this summer? Do you plan to pick up my current reads?

Let’s Chat,

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