Project Reread Update #3

Over the past few years my book collection has expanded a lot. Because I have a small apartment and as a result, limited shelf space, I decided I wanted to limit the number of books I have on my shelves with no reread value. Initially I thought I’d just unhaul books I’m no longer interested in, and one set of books that almost didn’t make the cut was The Boyfriend List. But then I remembered how much I loved that series growing up, so I gave it another chance, reread it, and absolutely loved it. Since then I started Project Reread, where I reread all the books on my shelves in order to give them a fair chance before potentially unhauling them. Here’s the latest set.

Title: Shadow of the Fox
Author: Julie Kagawa
First date read: December 23, 2018
First rating: 4.25/5 stars
Second date read: February 19, 2020
Second rating: 4/5 stars

Shadow of the Fox takes place in a world where every 1000 years a dragon can be summoned, using a prayer on a sacred scroll, to grant the summoner their heart’s desire. Because of the dangers of such a thing, the scroll is broken up into three pieces and hidden away. We follow a half-kitsune named Yumeko who lives at one of the temples guarding a piece of the scroll. After her temple is attacked by demons searching for the scroll, Yumeko flees the temple with the scroll, in hopes of placing it in safe hands at the mysterious and hidden Steel Feather temple. Yumeko teams up with a demon slayer to search for the temple, though said demon hunter does not know what she carries. 

I loved Shadow of the Fox the first time I read it, it reminded me a lot of an anime, which was a total throwback given that I haven’t watched anime in ages. It also had some of my favourite anime tropes, a rag tag group going on a quest that becomes a found-family? Love it. But unfortunately Shadow of the Fox also at one point has a creepy crawly villain and I did NOT enjoy rereading that. Since this reread and since reading and not loving the sequel, Soul of the Sword, I’ve decided Shadow of the Fox is not a title I want to keep on my shelves. I still really like this book but I don’t foresee myself rereading it again in the future, and if at some point I want to I’ll just borrow it from the library.

Title: Soul Eaters (Cracked, Crushed, Crossed)
Author: Eliza Crewe
First date read: March 22, 2017 – June 2, 2017
First rating: 4.5/5 stars (across the board)
Second date read: March 3, 2020 – April 28, 2020
Second rating: 4.5, 4.5, 4.75 respectively

Cracked follows a half-demon, half-human named Meda who believes she is the only one of her kind. One day, in the middle of one of her human meals, she runs into demons and demon hunters. Meda tricks the demon hunters into thinking she’s harmless in order to infiltrate their base and learn more about herself. 

With this reread the Soul Eaters series has solidified its position as one of my favourite series. I am so emotionally invested and connected to these characters and I look forward to revisiting their story again and again. I’m just never going to get enough of Meda’s snarky personality or Jo’s bad attitude.

Title: Stardust
Author: Neil Gaiman
First date read: December 25, 2015
First rating: 3.5/5 stars
Second date read: March 3, 2020
Second rating: 4/5 stars

Stardust follows a young man named Tristan who is tasked by the woman he loves, to catch a fallen star. Tristans love is unreciprocated and he hopes that by collecting this star he can win her over. In order to retrieve the star he needs to venture over the mysterious wall and into Faerie. 

Rereading Stardust was an interesting experience. I have thought about unhauling this book with the intention of repurchasing it because I don’t love the edition I own, but I ultimately cannot bring myself to do it because I buddy read this book with someone who meant a lot to me at the time, so I’m emotionally attached to my copy. As for the reread, I enjoyed it a lot more the second time around and I greatly attribute that to the fact that I listened to the audiobook instead of physically rereading it. Gaiman does an amazing job with the narration and now I have a newfound appreciate for Stardust.

Title: Emma
Author: Jane Austen
First date read: September 6, 2017
First rating: 3.75/5 stars
Second date read: March 3, 2020
Second rating: 4/5 stars

Emma follows an unconventional heroine named Emma who likes to play matchmaker. 

Technically I don’t think Emma should be on this list, because it was never a question of whether I was going to unhaul this book, I just recently bought a new edition and I love it and want to keep it on my shelves forever. But anyways, I’ve rekindled my appreciate for Jane Austen through listening to her stories as audiobooks and I am enjoying rereading her novels immensely.

Title: The Girl with a Pearl Earring
Author: Tracy Chevalier
First date read: February 6, 2016
First rating: 4.5/5 stars
Second date read: March 21, 2020
Second rating: 3.5/5 stars

The Girl with a Pearl Earring follows a young woman named Griet, who after her family comes down on hard times, is hired as a maid in the Vermeer household. Through Griet, Chevalier imagines the origins of Vermeer’s most famous work, Girl with a Pearl Earring.

And we’re ending things off today with a miss! I loved The Girl With a Pearl Earring the first time I read it. I thought there was something so magical about learning about Vermeer and getting into his head a bit. This second time around I started to question whether I’ve become an art snob or something because I did not feel that Chevalier did his paintings justice in there descriptions! I don’t see myself revisiting this story ever again, so this one’s in the unhaul pile.

Final thoughts: Again, my results were pretty mixed up this time around. I’m unhauling Shadow of the Fox (and Soul of the Sword) and The Girl With a Pearl Earring, but keeping the Soul Eaters series, Stardust, and Emma. I wasn’t too surprised by what I decided to keep on my shelves (I was relatively confident that I liked all these titles) but I was a bit surprised by what I’m unhauling.

If you’ve read any of these titles or plan to, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Happy reading! đź’—

Mini Reviews: Miss Understanding, Whistleblower, & Stardust

How are you? I hope your weekend is going well so far!

Title: Miss Understanding (Miss #1)
Author: Aubrey Bondurant
Date Published: December 17, 2019
Rating: 2.5/5 stars
Date read: February 23, 2020

Miss Understanding is an office romance following a lawyer named Liam and his assistant, Kendall. Liam isn’t an enjoyable boss to work for and is extremely cold to Kendall. At the beginning of our story Liam needs to visit his hometown for the funeral of his father and because he is in the process of an important case, he decides to bring Kendall along in order to facilitate working remotely. Romance ensues.

I was initially enjoying Miss Understanding because I liked the premise, but ultimately I did not enjoy the execution. At some point in the novel I felt that Liam made Kendall feel that he was embarrassed to be seen with her, or to have their relationship known, and this is just one of those things that I have a really hard time forgiving when it comes to romance. This paired with the fact that Liam was a jerk for majority of the novel made me really dislike this romance. I don’t actually have a problem with mean or rude characters, my issue was more so that I felt we were supposed to like Liam. Kendall was a bit too nice, and understanding, and forgiving, and it made her really unrelatable and unrealistic for me. My other issues were that Liam’s character development happened way too fast for me to be able to believe it and the pacing was a bit uneven, some parts felt too long and boring.

Title: Whistleblower
Author: Susan Fowler
Date Published: February 18, 2020
Rating: 4.25/5
Date read: February 27, 2020

Whistleblower is a memoir following Susan Fowler throughout childhood until after her difficult experiences with Uber.

Susan is such an inspiration, her passion towards education and her drive to get one was incredible. The hardships she faced before entering the workforce truly built her into a person capable of facing and exposing the toxic and abusive work environment at Uber. Memoirs from whistleblowers might be my new favourite thing, I mean why wouldn’t I want to read about an inspiring person who strives to do what is right and is firm in their morals?

Title: Stardust
Author: Neil Gaiman
Date Published: 1997
Rating: 4/5 stars
Date read: March 3, 2020 (reread)

Stardust follows a young man named Tristan who is tasked by the woman he loves, to catch a fallen star. Tristan’s love is unreciprocated and he hopes that by collecting this star he can win her over. In order to retrieve the star he needs to venture over the mysterious wall and into Faerie. 

This was a reread for me. The first time I read Stardust I found it quite charming, but a bit odd. This second time around I decided to listen to the audiobook and I really feel that Gaiman’s narration added a whole new layer of depth to the story and made me enjoy it a lot more. This truly is a fairytale for adults, with all the whimsy and magic you’d expect of such a story.

If you’ve read any of these books or plan to read them, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Happy reading đź’—.