Achilles is a legendary hero. Patroculus is a prince who is a disgrace to his family. After one accident leave Patroculus an outcast he is forced to find his way in a new world. Achilles is looking to make his name known and for someone to understand him. Together they begin an epic love story that can only end in tragedy.
“He said what he meant; he was puzzled if you did not. Some people might mistaken this for simplicity. But is it not a sort of genius to cut always to the heart?”Pg. 44
I read Circe by Madeline Miller a few years ago and adored it. I loved the way she brought a little known myth to life. I loved the way I was captured by this story. I knew that I had to eventually read Song of Achilles as well.
I think the first thing that impressed me is that I was so enthralled by the story even though I knew how it ended. While I am not as versed in the Troy story and Achilles as I am in other mythology stories, I did know the way this story went. I am not someone who enjoys knowing the ending of a book while I am reading. I like the surprise and the suspense. I like not knowing if someone is going to make it or not.
The reason I liked this book so much was the way Miller was able to give so much life to both Achilles and Patroculus. Both of them were deep and well rounded characters. I felt connected to both of them right away. Patroculus was lost and looking for purpose. Achilles was looking to matter and for someone to care enough about him to help him. I loved the way they played off one another.
I also liked that they were distinctly different characters. I was afraid at first that Patrolculus was going to be forced to be a solider even though that was not his skill set. I was afraid I was going to read about a reluctant solider and constant battles where he was trying to hide and survive. Instead we see them find their distinct paths and find a way to be themselves while also being with each other.
The love story was done really well. I thought the way they connected and fell in love with each other was great. I liked that it wasn’t instant. It was an understanding and a friendship that became more. I also liked that there was no long discussion trying to determine what they were to one another, if they should be together or not. They realized they loved each other and life went on. I loved that.
I also found it interesting that Miller didn’t use the normal aspects of Achille’s story. There was no River Styx and invincibility. He was strong and a half-god but the rest made him more human. I liked playing with the myth. My favorite mythology stories play with the myths and make them new and fresh and I though that was done really well in this book.
“This is what all mortals ask first, in disbelief, shock, fear. Is there no exception for me?”pg. 166
I think the middle got a little dragged down. Once they get to Troy there were 10 years to play with and not much happens. You know they have to build up to the end but there is a lot of back and forth that gets a little tiresome.
I also was a little thrown off by Achilles attitude to a certain incident in the second half of the book. He was always a bit pompous but I felt like he acted too bratty during that portion. I felt like he fell into this type of person he was supposed to be instead do the person he truly was. I did like that Patroculus pointed it out and showed the reader that Achilles was acting out of character
“Whichever you choose, you are wrong.”pg. 299
There was nothing that truly threw me out of the book and put me in a spot where I hated what was happening. I didn’t get lost in the story at all, didn’t think anyone was way out of character. I read through the story quite quickly and highly enjoyed it.
I gave this book five stars because in the end I loved the story, the characters and the love story. It just all worked so well and gave me new appreciation for a story I know.
“What is admired in one generation is abhorred in another.”pg. 363
Kin is a time traveling time cop. He is tasked with keeping the time line intact but a malfunction stands him in the past. Eighteen years later he has a wife and daughter and his future catches up with him. He his torn away from his life and forced to return to his old life.
He finds out that his departure caused issues for his daughter. In an effort to help her he put a target on her back. Now he must go where and whenever to save her.
“I need more time.”Kin, pg, 78
I was impressed with the way that time travel was done in this book. Sometimes time travel becomes one of those concepts that you have to have a science degree to understand. I love time travel but if I can’t follow how it works I get bogged down and taken out of the story.
I felt like this book did a good job of explaining the idea and how it worked in this world. While there was science that I can’t verify or full understand I felt like I knew enough to follow what was going on. I understood why the decisions were made that were made. I got the consequences of the actions made. It all flowed nicely.
I also liked how the future was presented. I felt like it fit in well with our time period. While you have flying cars and museums with fried food you also have standard jobs and homes. It wasn’t made to seem like the whole world changed in a century. Sometimes I feel like the “future” becomes this huge monster that you can’t even relate to in this books. In this one it kept us grounded.
“Impossible tasks don’t have happy endings, just burdens.”Markus, pg. 195
I had a bit of an issue with the way actions or behaviors was talked about in this book. While I am not someone who thinks show don’t tell is the bible for writing stories I felt like this one did a lot more telling the showing. There are ways to make sure the reader understands that a certain action is a nervous tick without having to be told it is.
It then becomes a recurring thing. If we are told once that a certain hand movement is a result of nerves, all of a sudden we are remind of that over and over again. It becomes something that bogs down the story. It would have worked fine to just tell us what they were doing and let us as a reader figure out what it means.
“My life is different now. It’s the same, yet different.”Penny, pg. 286
My biggest issue with this book were the characters. I am a character reader. I need to be attached to someone, if not multiple people. I have occasionally found a book where the plot is so fascinating that it makes up for the characters being lackluster. Unfortunately the book was not one of those.
I found that by the end that I did not have any attachment to anyone. I didn’t care if Kin lived or died. I didn’t care what happened to Miranda. I sat with the book for a while trying to determine why I didn’t care and I think it was because there was no true depth to them. They were all very surface level.
Kin almost loses his daughter and I never felt like he was too scared. I didn’t feel any desperation from him. I also didn’t feel any real love between him and Penny. They were all just there. They moved through the plot doing what they had to do but never did I feel like they left an impression on the story.
I think a few more intimate moments with them might have made me feel more connected. I needed them to have a true and unique voice and in the end they all sounded the same. If I can’t pull out their speech and actions from each other I feel like they are all the same person.
I have this book two stars. Without being attached to any characters the book left little to no impression on me. I walked away without wanting to know more or even thinking about the characters.
Adian wakes up each day in a different body. He is charged with one task, find out who killed Eveyln Hardcastle. The issue is that he doesn’t remember much when he wakes up and his hosts aren’t the most savory of people. The mystery begins to unravel and he realizes this is more than a simple murder case. What if the answer to this mystery destroys more lives then is saves?
“Live doesn’t always leave you a choice in how you live it.”Page 120
“Every life has such weight. I don’t know how anybody carries even one.”Page 396
I picked up this book merely for the summary. I had not heard of it or seen it anywhere until I found it in the bookstore. I then began seeing it more places later on. I liked the idea of him switching bodies, that is what drew me into the story.
I am not the biggest mystery fan. I like them but they have to have more to them then just being about a murder and putting the pieces together. I watch a lot of shows like Bones and Criminal Minds and I think that makes it hard for me to read these book because I can predict them too easily. I like when I don’t know what is coming and have to put the pieces together.
The mystery of this book was fantastic. It was so intricate that you really need to pay attention as you read or else you will miss pieces. It was well- laid out. Sometimes these kind of stories will be hard to follow or else the clues are super obvious. Or you get that moment where all the information is dumped onto you in one minute. This spread it all out well, the pieces fell naturally into place and weren’t forced.
I thought too the vast difference in the hosts was extremely interesting. They were all very specific people and you realize quickly that everyone is showing one face to the people in the house and hiding secrets of their own. It becomes one of those stories where it is not as much about the murder but all the issues being hidden by everyone else. I also like that everyone’s tales intertwined with each other. There was no line left hanging.
The ending of his book and the twist is what made this book for me. I had an idea there was something more coming but not to the extent of what was revealed. It reminded me of the “White Bear” episode in “Black Mirror.” (Which is one of my favorite Black Mirror episodes). It threw the whole thing to a whole new level. The ending made you question everything and I found myself thinking about it days after I closed the book.
“…what use is rearranging the furniture if you burn the house down doing it?”page 150
I think the only part that tripped me up a little was keeping the characters straight at times. As I stated above they all have their own stories and their own pieces to the puzzle and I found myself a little lost at times. I was trying to remember what one person did and who they were related to. I think maybe even including a form the reader can fill out and track the information would have been fun and helpful.
“These masks we wear betray us. They reveal us.”Page. 277
There was nothing in this book that was not acceptable to me. I thought the mystery tied up well. The overall story tied up well. The characters were engaging. The setting was fun, if not a little generic. It was a fun read.
I gave this story four stars. I loved the way it was written, it was a well woven mystery and I was enthralled with the whole story. Just a few more ways to keep things straight would have made it a five star read.
Life is a bit insane right now, so posts are going to be infrequent for a minute. I thought it was time for another trip through my TBR shelf. Should be interesting this time because my birthday is in a week, so I am going to be taking notes for my usual bookshop buying trip!
This was originally created by Lost in a Story and seems like a good way to go through some of my TBR on Goodreads and see what is there and what I can get rid of or push me to start reading.
Links will be on the titles for the books Goodreads page. (I am going to do ten for this round of this tag).
It works like this:
- Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
- Order on ascending date added.
- Take the first 5 (or 10 or 15 or 20, if you’re feeling adventurous) books
- Read the synopses of the books
- Decide: keep it or should it go?
- Keep track of where you left off so you can pick up there next time!
TBR Total – 247
Attrition of the Gods – P.G. Burns – Vague but still interesting. I like the idea of a force influencing all major things throughout time.
The Wrath and the Dawn – Renee Ahdieh – I have this book on my physical shelf. I want to read it because it sound interesting but I also am trying to not get into series at the moment. I am one of those people who has to finish a series once I start and I haven’t wanted to dedicate the time to a whole series yet.
The Achieved (The Archived #1) – Victoria Schwab – Another one I really want to read but again don’t have the time to get into a whole series but I do think I am going to read this one soon.
Broken Fate (Threads of the Moirae, #1) – Teenage Fates from mythology, I love the idea.
The Night Watch (Watch #1) – Sergei Lukyanenko – Sounds alright but generic, nothing is standing out as unique.
The King Must Die (Theseus #1) – Mary Renault – Sounds alright but hard to discern if it is supposed to be factual or fiction.
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops – Jen Campbell – This sounds fun.
Forget Tomorrow (Forget Tomorrow #1) – Pintip Dunn – Sounds like a YA version of Minority Report. I loved that movie so I am curious how this will be.
The Thirteenth Tale– Diane Setterfield – I got this book at a bookshop. I will pick it up someday soon.
How They Met, and Other Stories – David Levithan – I really like his storytelling and I like the idea of a various types of love stories in this collection.
Total TBR – 245
Didn’t do the greatest at removing this time but there are quite a few on this list I really want to get to soon.
Starr and her childhood friend Khalil make their way home from a party. The night takes a tragic turn when Khalil is shot and killed by a police officer. Starr is the only witness. Starr must decide how she wants to handle the situation. How she wants to speak out about what happened and who Khalil is as a person. She learns she has to use her voice, her weapon to make the changes that are necessary.
I have had this book sitting on my physical TBR shelf for a long time. I knew it was going to be a tough read, one that I had to be in the right mindset to read. It was just recently that I decided that I was in the right head space to be able to read this book and take in everything it was presenting.
Starr was a great narrator. I felt like I was close to her. I felt like I could easily understand her and her choices. We are presented with a young woman who is stuck in-between worlds. She lives in an impoverished neighborhood but goes to a wealthy private school. Her parents are making ends meets. They hold a devotion to their neighborhood and culture but also want to keep their children safe.
Starr states multiple times that she has to wear different masks depending on where she is. At her schools he has to be careful of how she speaks. She can’t use certain slang or a certain tone. She doesn’t want to be labeled as one type of person. She is very conscious of how she presents herself in that world.
At home she has to do the same thing. She is careful of what she says and how she acts, trying to not let out anything she talks about at school come out. She knows she has to be a certain person in this neighborhood too. She can’t be fully herself anywhere.
This was a tough part for me to read. She is always oscillating between different forms of herself. Reading about her trying to contain her emotions at school because she doesn’t want to be labeled as the “angry black girl,” was tough. I felt sympathy for her. No one, especially a kid, should have to always be watching themselves so people don’t label them as one way.
One of the things this book does so well is show you that there are so many different sides to a person and story. We have seen this story so many times in the news in the last few years. We always get the same way of interpreting the situation. The media gives us one story and doesn’t gives us the whole picture.
One of the things this book does so well is force to remember that you don’t know anyone in these stories. You don’t know these people and thus you do not get to pass judgement on them. A life is lost and that deserves to be respected. A few pictures do not tell a whole story. A few actions do not determine who a person is. What this book does is remind us that those who have been killed in these tragedies are human, just like anyone else. They deserve the same respect and dignity, period.
I also found the storyline with Hailey interesting. I know people who are similar to her. They make jokes, make comments not thinking about what they are saying. They think that if they don’t “mean” it, it doesn’t matter. They frame their actions through their own lens. They see their comments from their side but refuse to listen to the other side. They refuse to ask if what they said may hurt, refuse to see that they might have to change their thinking.
I thought this storyline was well done. You see Starr try so hard to make exceptions for this girl. You see Starr do all the work and finally realize that she doesn’t need to be the one doing the work. She doesn’t need to keep around a person who is narrow minded and refuses to realize that changing their thinking is needed.
There as nothing in this book that didn’t feel like it didn’t fit. It was a full story, it flowed well. I felt like I was sitting on the edge of this family’s life, watching as they navigate this complicated world. Their bound was strong and great to see. There was no forced happy endings. There was no forced ways of fixing the issues that weren’t realistic. You felt the connection between not only Starr and her family but also the neighborhood.
There nothing that did not work in this book. It was done so well.
I am white. I don’t live this life but I do work with kids who do. I work in an inner city at the schools. I hear these stories from their lips and this book helped me understand them even better. I gave this book five stars because it is one of those books that everyone needs to read.
“….people like us in situations like this become hashtags, but they rarely get justice.” (pg. 59)
“It is easier to find some crack than it is to find a good school around here.” (pg. 169)
(This line hit me hard. As someone working in after-school programming in these schools in order to try to help these type of situations this one really did hit hard).
“My bad. I didn’t know shoes determined somebody’s race.” (pg. 235)
“I wish people like them would stop thinking that people like me need saving.” (pg. 246)
“We let people say stuff, and they say it so much that it becomes okay to them and normal for us.What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?” (One of the main points of this whole book)
“They with a capital T. There’s Them and then there’s Us. Sometimes They look like Us and don’t realize They are Us.” (pg. 343)
Blue has found somewhere to belong. She has found friends that mean everything to her. They are getting closer and closer to find Glendower and waking him up. They are on the verge of making the ultimate discovery. There are just a few things in the way such as mysterious sleeping king’s daughters and a missing mother. Can Blue and her friends find a balance and end their hunt once and for all without losing themselves in the process?
Blue and Gansey’s growing relationship was one of my favorite aspect of this story. It is very subtle. There are no huge declarations of love or feelings. It is explored in a simple easy way throughout the story.
I am used to YA stories where the romance is overwhelming in the story. The characters are constantly thinking about each other. They are obsessing about if they should or should not end up together. You begin to wonder how they function thinking about anything or anyone else. For me, it always feels a bit unrealistic.
Here we saw how they became a couple without ever having this huge moment about it. It felt more real to me. They both know that their relationship can cause issues but there is no denying the way they found comfort in one another. I loved the way Gansey would anticipate the calls from Blue. We didn’t need him to go on and on about how important those calls were. We saw it and felt it right beside him.
I think this way of allowing the romance to grow organically let us concentrate on the rest of the stories and characters. It kept Blue and Gansey’s romance from taking over the story.
I also thought the addition of Gwenllian was fun. She was a good way to keep the plot moving and giving us more connection to the Glendower story. She is hilarious and I liked the way she talked about the world around her. I thought she gave the story and interesting perspective.
I still enjoyed the character growth throughout the story. I liked seeing Adam come into himself and Ronan begin to find a purpose for his dreaming. I thought we started to see what Gansey wanted an how he felt about the world. I was still invested in them as much as before but I started to wonder if the plot was going anywhere.
I still felt like we were heading somewhere but the story didn’t quite know where. Characters were thrown in hoping to almost distract us from the fact that things weren’t moving anywhere. The hunt for Glendower was still on but I almost wondered why it mattered at this point. I was just expecting for the plot itself to solidify a bit more in this second to last book.
Malory’s character seemed to have no point for the story. He came to visit and I expected him to really push the plot forward. I almost expected him to have some huge connection to Glendower himself and for his revelation to throw Gansey into turmoil. I wanted him to mean something to the story.
Instead he came, gave a bit of new information and then just hung out for the rest of the story. What he revealed he could have revealed over the phone. His insights into the ley line wasn’t anything we didn’t already know. I forgot he was even in the story for most of it. When he left at the end I didn’t care. He was jus there for another person to talk to, it felt.
I gave this installment 3 out of 4 stars. I liked how it continued the growth of the characters. I just wished that I felt more connected to the plot and that some of the characters had a real purpose.
“Lonesome means a state of being apart. Of being other. Alone-some.” (pg. 28)
“It was so impossible to live life backward.” (pg. 115)
“How unfair she’d been to assume love and money would preclude pain and hardship.” (pg. 242)
I decided I wanted to start doing monthly wrap-up posts. I will go through the books I managed to read throughout the month as well as the posts that I did as well. I might occasionally add movies and tv-shows.
During February I only managed to read three books. I think this was because one of them was slower and also because I did a lot of writing. I also did some rearranging of my apartment that took time away from reading.
Books I read:
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee – This was a quick read. Fun, funny and interesting. Eager for the second book!
Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Beck Albertalli – I adored this book. My favorite of the year so far. Made me so happy.
Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang – Short stories but took me a while to get through. Some were better than others. I will do a full review soon with my thoughts.
I have been trying to post more often. I have a back-log of books to review which makes it easier. I am hoping to be able to keep up a steady posting schedule.
Down the TBR Hole #1
The Art of Racing in the Rain – Garth Stein- Review
Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli – Review
The Everything Box – Richard Kadrey – Review
Down the TBR Hole #2
New Writing Space
The Book Feels Tag
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue – Mackenzie Lee- Review
Queer Eye – I have been obsessed with the reboot of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” on Netflix. I binged all the episodes in a weekend. I loved the original but I think I love this reboot even more. The guys are great with all separate personalities, and every episode just has such an air of positivity and happiness. I can’t wait for more episodes!
What was your February like? What were some of your favorite reads, movies, tv shows or songs?