Laura’s January Reads

Pony by R.J. Palacio

★★★★☆

A sweet (and surprisingly deep), middle-grade book about a boy and his companion, a ghost named Mittenwool, who set out to rescue the boy’s father with help from a pale-faced pony that seems to have some “mystic qualities” of its own. I really enjoyed this one. I picked it up after hearing Meredith recommend it on ‘Currently Reading’ podcast, and I was so pleased that it lived up to the hype. If you are looking for an easier read that will keep you guessing and *may* still make you shed a tear, I’d say you should add this one to your TBR.

Knife of Dreams by Robert Jordan

★★★☆☆

The eleventh and final installment of The Wheel of Time series that was solely authored by Jordan. I made it! I finally got through “the Slog!” I came into this book with really low expectations, but was pleasantly surprised that this book is not nearly as dull as the book before it. Things are actually happening and the plot is moving forward again! We are starting to see the results of some characters actions (good and bad) and getting some interesting buildup to the final battle. While I still find some issues with how the women characters have been written thus far/their character arcs, I found this book entirely more entertaining and fun than Crossroads of Twilight. You can listen to Hannah and I go in depth in OWWR Pod episodes.

The Rise and Fall of Dinosaurs by Steve Brusatte

★★★☆☆

I feel conflicted about this book. It’s almost two books in one. The first being a book where the author provides background on different eras of dinosaurs, their habits, prehistoric climates, and evolution. The second being a “shout out” to the author’s friends who have helped him throughout his career. I enjoyed the first, but could have done without the second. I’m open to reading more of the author’s works, because I felt that he made topics that could be called “dull” very interesting with his writing, but I’m far more interested in the prehistoric world and fossil discovery than learning about which paleontologists dated each other and had drinks together in 2003.

Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki

★★★★★

Hannah and I read this book because it won our February “Standalone Showdown.”  I had heard Light From Uncommon Stars being compared to Good Omens and The House in the Cerulean Sea, books I love, so I had high hopes. Really, I don’t think there’s a book to compare it to. It’s entirely unique and wonderful on its own, but also not for everyone. It’s weird, heartfelt, clever, dark, honest, and atmospheric, with a random assortment of genres, characters, and worlds that all come together and just seem to make sense. I found this to be a fun and important book that gives readers a glimpse into topics/cultures/people that we don’t see often enough. Have some donuts nearby when reading, otherwise you’ll have to go get some.TW: abuse; rape; sexual assault; misgendering; transphobia; racism

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