Three Dark Crowns, Shame is an Ocean I Swim Across, & Brain on Fire: May Book Reviews!
Spring Finals Week is always one of the most relaxed weeks of the year for me. My freshman year of college I watched all of Game of Thrones during spring finals week and my sophomore year I watched stand up comedy specials. Being a creative writing major means that most of the time, finals week is really chill. I was able to get all of my May TBR List done! Which just means I had time for other books too!
Three Dark Crowns (Book 1) (⅘)
Three Dark Crowns is a series I’ve wanted to tackle for years just based on the enticing cover. I’ve been really disappointed by other young adult fantasy in the past, so I’d been avoiding it, but I decided to finally give it a go. Happily, it did not disappoint! I actually really enjoyed this book! Three Dark Crowns follows the stories of triplet queens as they fight to the death for the crown. This novel is brutal and as someone who’s obsessed with mortality in fiction, it is for sure a looming presence in the novel. The characters in this book are brutal and I absolutely love it! It’s so great to have A violent epic fantasy done well for a younger audience. The writing also isn’t complicated and it’s a really easy read, which is exactly what I needed for finals week. I will definitely be continuing with this series (which is not something that I’ve been able to say in a while)!
One Dark Throne (Book 2)(⅘)
I just had to add on the second one immediately after finishing the first one, which is something that doesn’t happen very often for me. This was, as I said before, a good book for finals week. Once again, I chose ⅘ stars for the same reason as the first one, but I was more than satisfied with the twists and turns in the novel. The character development is interesting and the storytelling is keeping me engaged. While I’m not driving straight into the third one because I have other series to read,, I’ll definitely pick it up sometime this summer.
Shame is an Ocean I Swam Across (⅗)
Mary Lambert is probably most famous for her song with Macklemore, but this poetry collection should get her just as much attention. In SIAOIS she’s funny, witty, & relatable. She talks about tough topics in a unique way that feels honest & made sense to me. There were some poems that didn’t quite land, but that’s the nature of a poetry collection. I love a good work of body positivity & mental health awareness! This is a book for any girl that has ever felt that her body just isn’t good enough! Lambert is also an actual poet and her writing has a solid structure and sound, compared to the “Instagram” poetry of Kaur or r.h. Sin (both of whom I’m not the biggest fans of, but respect (Kaur much more than Sin). Basically what I’m trying to say is that Lambert writes modern, contemporary poetry that’s *actual* poetry. I’m glad that I bought this collection & I would buy more from her in the future. Plus the cover is BEAUTIFUL!
Brain on Fire (⅘)
My mother has been begging me to read this book for an entire year & I’m glad that I finally got around to it. Callahan’s fight for her life in the face of a mysterious neurological autoimmune disorder is relatable for anyone who’s ever been through a health crisis. So many of her experiences mirror my own and she described them well, while also explaining the medical jargon in understandable ways. I gave the book ⅘ stars because, despite it being a shorter read (250 pages) there were some sections near the end that I felt could have been taken out. I definitely would have shortened the third section, although I do understand that it was important. Her recovery is where I saw the most of myself & her insight was valuable. I would definitely say that this memoir should be required reading for anyone with health issues.