There have been a lot of books over the years that I’ve just been at an utter loss of how to review, and it’ll be really fun to tackle them in this week’s That Artsy Reader Girl topic! I’ve definitely tried to review all of these books, but whether or not they were coherent reviews is an entirely different story, so let’s dig into them now.
Don’t @ me for putting Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo on here, I recognize that I’ve definitely reviewed this book, and I’ve talked about it at length, but my original review of it is literally just me yelling. There’s a meme in there, I wax poetic about Wylan for several sentences, and there’s just no coherency going on except that I love everything. Although, I am now realizing that I wrote another review for this duology when I reread everything, and that’s definitely coherent, but alas, this duology still crushes me.
Admittedly, The Cruel Prince by Holly Black doesn’t really belong on this list because I didn’t actually love it. I gave it three stars, and, well–I was about to say that I stand by that rating, but I should probably reread it before I do that given that I loved the second two. However, this book is on this list because I can’t explain why I read The Wicked King after really not liking TCP, so it very much feels like a book that I don’t know how to review. Why did I keep reading this series if I didn’t like TCP? No one knows!
To Love and Let Go by Rachel Brathen absolutely wrecked me, and I’m still not sure how to really talk about it. I did review this in a separate post, so I have technically reviewed it in a way that’s coherent, but every time I think about it, it feels like reading that book happened to someone else. Most of this is because this book hit some really personal wounds that I’m still dealing with, and likely will be for many years to come, and though I don’t think I’ll ever reread this (not sure I’d be able to), I’m going to think about it for the rest of my life.
I love Mary HK Choi’s books like you read about (ha), and Yolk was no exception, but it was also one that hit me so much harder than her previous two books. Emergency Contact is still one of my top favorite romances of all time, and Permanent Record made me sit back and just breathe several times, but Yolk hit me in a way that I still don’t really know how to explain. It was so poignant, and so distressing to think of with my own sister, and it has sat in my heart, weary and heavy, every time I think of it.
Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly opened a black hole in my heart that I was never sure I was going to fill. This trilogy was one of the first times in a long ass time that I’ve gone to a bookstore the second it opened so that I could pick up the sequel, and then immediately went home and started reading. I wasn’t really sure how to move on with my reading after I finished this trilogy, and I’m still not sure sometimes. I’ve found other books like it, but I still can’t quite describe what it is about this book that gets me so much.
I would really like to reread The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller at some point in the near future because it feels like a book that I’m only going to be well and truly wrecked by on a third read or something. Because while this did really destroy me the first time I read it, I could see, as I was reading it, that it’d get me even worse the next time. There’s something about the language of this book, the aching agony threaded throughout each scene, that makes it something beyond description, and I usually just apologize when I recommend it to people.
There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool is another one that probably shouldn’t be on this list, given that, not only have I talked about this trilogy more than any other book on the blog, I’ve written an extensive review for all three. But honestly? No amount of reviewing is ever going to accurately describe how much I love these books.
Although The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley was not the book that pulled me out of my Amberlough black hole–that was The Watchmaker of Filigree Street–this one is the one that I still don’t really know how to review. Obviously, there’s a lot of soft love and heartbreaking angst in Watchmaker, but the weight of both of those in Bedlam is next level, and I found myself continually inhaling loudly like I couldn’t get enough oxygen for the grief that I was wading through. Gosh, that ending. The ending alone is beyond review.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor is on my list of books that I want to reread this year, and I am so curious to see if my review is going to be anymore coherent than the first one. I mostly just shouted KAROUUUUUUUU throughout my first review of DOSAB, and I am under no impression that I won’t be doing something similar in my second one. Most of Taylor’s books are beyond coherency for me when it comes to reviewing, but this first one? This initial meeting of Karou? Deceased.
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong is not a book I apologize for when I recommend it to people, but one that I say you’re welcome for even though both would definitely be appropriate. This book is a journey, one that you will never walk away from as you were when you started, and there is no other way to describe it. It will ruin you for all other books, and you will never stop thinking about it, but you also won’t be able to describe why.