This month I read my first Colleen Hoover novel, finally finished A Throne of Glass series and continued my complicated relationship with the American Royals series. Reviews below…
Verity by Colleen Hoover
Totally honesty, almost skipped this book because of a TikTok that did not recommend this book. Literally a day or two after I saw that TikTok my friend, Lauren, reached out and asked me if I had read Colleen Hoover. I trust Lauren, so I decided to give Verity a try.
I read this book in 36 hours.
It is very much in a style I’ll call Gone Girl-esq. We follow Lowen, a struggling writer in her early 30’s asked to finish Verity Crawford’s blockbuster series of novels that focus on the antagonist’s POV. Verity was in an awful car-wreck a few days after losing her second child in 6 months and is pretty much bedridden in the home she shares in Vermont with her husband, Jeremey, and their remaining child, Crew. Lowen is invited to stay at the house for a few days to go through Verity’s office and begin piecing together a manuscript for the last 2 installments of the series. Yes, there are plot-holes, but the book is twisty and suspenseful and I couldn’t put it down.
Slight Spoilers Ahead: There are some very disturbing scenes in Verity’s autobiography manuscript that Lowen finds and the ending really forces the reader to grapple with who they believe when everyone seems a little sus. if I’m being honest. You’ll see floating around the internet if you are “Team Manuscript” or “Team Letter.” I think an interesting follow-up question would be; are you a certain team because the alternative is too horrifying to consider?
Rating: 4.5 Lindsey Buckingham’s (I knocked off half a point because E.L. James is thanked in the Acknowledgement section and and I cannot wrap my brain around that). Also for some plot holes.
Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass Book #6)
This book is a big reason I read less this month – it’s nearly 700 pages. Tower of Dawn switches gears and catches up with Chaol Westfall and Nesryn Faliq – Hand of the King and Captain of the Guard respectively – who travel to the beautiful seaside city of Antica to seek an alliance with the khagan and his adult children as well as find a healer at the Torre to heal Chaol – still chair-ridden thanks to the magic attack by the former King of Adarlan who was controlled by a Valg at the time. The healer assigned to him is Yrene Towers, who it quickly becomes clear is being hunted by someone – possibly a Valg-controlled individual, which means Erwan – the Dark King – has already infiltrated Antica.
Overall it’s a really good book with a lot of interesting side-plots. One of the reveals about a powerful character felt a bit – convenient perhaps – but I’ll go with it. What I wish this book did was give us a little synopsis of what happened last book. I’ve just started the seventh and final book, which brings us back to Aelin and her Court, and completely forgot some of the plot points. The audience could have used a little “previously on Throne of Glass…” type TV-esq preview.
Rating: 4 Lindsey Buckingham’s
Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass Book #7)
After the 6th book I had to finish the Throne of Glass series. I had to know what happened to Aelin and the crew. This book is almost 1000 pages (on Kindle) and I’d say about 500 of those pages are battle scenes.
I hate battle scenes.
So, needless to say, this was my least favorite book of the series – unfortunate as it’s the last. There were so many moving parts and geography to remember that I just found myself lost a lot of the time. Spoiler: It was also pretty clear that none of the beloved main characters were going to meet their end, so the stakes felt low. It just felt like we were marching to a slow, inevitable finale.
This remains my favorite series from Sarah J. Maas and maybe the ending couldn’t be anything but a letdown, because it’s the end. It just fell flat for me.
Rating: 3 Lindsey Buckingham’s
American Royals III: Rivals by Katharine McGee
Is the problem Katharine McGee or is it me?
Honestly it might be me. Spoilers ahead: In my ripe old age of 34, married for almost 11 years, I cannot with unrealistic love. Maybe 18-year-old Meredith would be swept off her feet by the fact Samantha is toying with abdicating her title of Princess to be with her boyfriend of a couple of months (who she is in lurrrrveee with), Marshall, Duke of Orange, but I couldn’t stop rolling my eyes. You’ve known him for a few months and you’re like 19. Simmer down.
What I do like is the growing friendship (?) alliance (?) between Daphne and Nina. Although it unravels at the end of the book, I’m enjoying getting to know Daphne better. She is one of the most interesting characters in the book.
American Royals is a series I don’t love, but I also don’t hate despite some of the clunkiness. The characters are easy to like (and get frustrated with) and the concept of a Washington dynasty in an America that never becomes a democracy is a fascinating premise.
Naturally I’m still going to read the dang fourth installment because McGee always gets me with those cliff hangers! I must know what happens next, however reluctantly.
Rating: 3 Lindsey Buckingham’s (It won that 3rd LB because of the twist at the end)
That’s all she wrote! See you next month with more reads.