I have so many feelings.
I finished both books on my TBR list, so let’s just jump into that.
Last week I read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling and Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff. And I enjoyed them both so much.
So, Harry Potter. As I mentioned last week, I am reading the Harry Potter books for the first time and I cannot explain just how much I love them. J.K. Rowling’s world building skills are phenomenal and the characters are fantastic. I was obsessed with books on magic when I was younger (and still am) and I can’t believe I didn’t read this series sooner. Because I am loving being in the HP world of adventure, friendship and magic and I don’t want to speed through the process, I’m trying to pace myself. So the goal is to read a HP book and then three other non-HP books before reading the next HP book. It’s hard, because I want to immediately pick up the next book after I finish one, but I know that my patience will make this whole thing more fun.
The Goblet of Fire is my favorite HP book thus far. **SPOILERS WILL FOLLOW** I always liked Harry, but I think this is the book that made me really fall in love with him as a character. All the tests that he goes through were great, and the book was a perfect blend of action and character development. The final battle scene between Voldemort and Harry was perfect and I had to go back and read it several times because it was that good. The fact that Harry stood his ground and decided that he would rather die standing up straight, like his father, made me cry way more than I was prepared to. I was out in public, reading at a local coffee shop, and I had to hide my face as I silently sobbed. Cedric asking Harry to take his body back, Lily talking to her son, UGH. It was heartbreaking. That whole scene was beautiful and a great end to a great book. The Goblet of Fire was SO good that it made me excited to finish and reread the entire series just so I could reread this one.
HP & The Goblet of Fire: 5/5
Now, on to Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies. I need to preface this by saying that I went into this already loving Lauren Groff. I read her first novel The Monsters of Templeton last year and I would easily recommend that book to anyone. It was an incredible debut novel and it’s one of my favorites books of all time. It blends historical fiction, folklore, magic, and hyper-realism into a great tale about family and the mundane life issues everyone faces. Fates and Furies got so much more attention than her other works, but I have to say, I was slightly disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed the majority of the novel, but the ending, which I will not spoil, left me pretty unsatisfied. I felt like it was a cheat, an ending that’s shock-value wasn’t earned. I don’t like to feel that I was manipulated by an author, and the twist of the novel left me sort of feeling that way.
Lauren Groff is a prose master. Fates and Furies gave a realistic portrait of the ups and downs marriages face, and the characters were so human in their highs and lows. Both of the main characters are brilliant and highly talented people who are deeply flawed, and if I separate the first 95 percent of the text from the ending, I think they are incredibly believable.
Here is a a quote from the book. Mathilde is contemplating her marriage:
“Great swaths of her life were white space to her husband. What she did not tell him balanced neatly with what she did. Still, there are untruths made of words and untruths made of silences, and Mathilde had only ever lied to Lotto in what she never said.”
Groff beautifully and precisely writes about the way that people can never truly know other people, at least not fully. Despite my distaste for the book’s ending, reading Fates and Furies left me with so much to contemplate and damn, Groff’s prose. So it’s hard for me to not recommend this book to people. I’m torn between rating this book a 3.5 and a 4, but I have to make a decision, so here we go.
Fates and Furies: 4/5
Now, on to what I will be reading this week:
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. This book is a YA high fantasy novel about a teenage assassin who lives in a tyrannical kingdom in which magic has been wiped out. I’ve heard a lot of my kick-ass feminist internet friends praise this book and I’m so excited to read it.
Purity by Jonathan Franzen. This is a novel that came out in Sep of 2015 and it’s about recent college grad named Pip, who is $130,000 in debt with and she is increasingly becoming aware of how far from “normal” she is. Her mother has never been honest with her about who her father is or what her real name is. I’m ready to dive into this world.
If you can’t tell, I’m trying to read a wide mix of things. There will be YA, contemporary lit, sci-fi, fantasy, memoir, and whatever catches my eye. Feel free to send me recs! I love them.
Catch you next week 🙂