What I Read This Week: May 16, 2021

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I finished three books again this week and they were all pretty good!

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Literary fiction/Magical realism

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I love the overall message of this book and its general hopeful tone. The last 30 pages or so were my favorite part, as Nora pieces together everything she’s learned from her many alternate lives. It’s hard to describe what I didn’t like about this book without spoiling anything. I was able to suspend my disbelief for just about everything except for the way Nora exists when she is in her alternate lives. I didn’t like it and it took away from the parts of the story I loved. Overall this is a well done work of magical realism. It’s a fun idea and a powerful message. I recommend this one and will read more from this author.

American Royals by Katharine McGee

Young adult fiction/Alternate history

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This is a fairly long book, though it never felt like it and I didn’t want it to end! It’s so juicy, dramatic, and emotional. It’s the first alternate history novel I’ve read and I wasn’t sure I’d like it. I ended up thoroughly enjoying this look at what our country might be like if things had gone differently way back at the start. I liked the glimpses into what royals likely face in terms of expectations. I loved Beatrice, she’s such a strong young woman who is in an impossible position of being the next in line for the throne, which will make her the first ever Queen of America. While the writing isn’t particularly strong, the storytelling and world building are stellar. This is a unique story that makes for a fun read that tackles serious subjects. I highly recommend it. 

Majesty (American Royals II) by Katharine McGee

Young adult fiction/Alternate history

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These are not romance novels, despite being labeled as such. There are multiple romantic relationships throughout the book and they influence the characters’ decisions, but they aren’t the point of the book even though it feels like they are at times. This is a coming of age story. Beatrice has become the first Queen of America. She is also a 22-year old woman who is trying to figure out who she is.  This book is grittier than the first, as each of these women come to realize they are the only ones with the power to make themselves happy. This is also a story about family and figuring out how to separate from them while still loving and them. I respect that the author didn’t take the easy way out with this book. I imagine it would have been easier to take these characters in the obvious directions the reader was imaging at the end of the first one. But she didn’t and I liked this route even more because of that. I highly recommend this series for readers of young adult fiction and women’s fiction.

Currently Reading

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