This month I read a grand total of nine books! Although most of them aren’t books I had outlined in my May TBR, I’m super proud that I finished that many in a really busy month. I started a new job, had a bunch of family stuff come up, and generally was exhausted. However, I’m super pleased that I managed to discover a new series (for me) that I absolutely adored, and some interesting upcoming releases.
1) Fallen by Lauren Kate (Fallen, #1)
What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?
17-year-old Lucinda falls in love with a gorgeous, intelligent boy, Daniel, at her new school, the grim, foreboding Sword & Cross . . . only to find out that Daniel is a fallen angel, and that they have spent lifetimes finding and losing one another as good & evil forces plot to keep them apart.
Get ready to fall . . .
I LOVED THIS BOOK. Like loved it to the ends of the earth and back. When I picked it up, I’m not going to lie, it was 100% because of the cover. It drew me in. The synopsis on the back of the book sealed the deal and I was ready to go. I was trying to pull myself out of a Sarah J. Maas – hole and oh my gosh did this ever do the trick. It’s completely a guilty pleasure read (think Hush,Hush or the Twilight series). I would 100% recommend the series. My review for Fallen (Book #1) can be found here.
2) Torment by Lauren Kate (Fallen, #2)
How many lives do you need to live before you find someone worth dying for?
In the aftermath of what happened at Sword & Cross, Luce has been hidden away by her cursed angelic boyfriend, Daniel, in a new school filled with Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans. Daniel promises she will be safe here, protected from those who would kill her. At the school Luce discovers what the Shadows that have followed her all her life mean – and how to manipulate them to see into her other lives. Yet the more Luce learns about herself, the more she realizes that the past is her only key to unlocking her future . . . and that Daniel hasn’t told her everything. What if his version of the past isn’t actually the way things happened . . . what if Luce was really meant to be with someone else?
The second novel in the addictive FALLEN series…where love never dies.
Book #2 in the Fallen series was just as good as the first. You get to see the relationship between Luce and Daniel develop, as well as seeing Luce expand on who she is and why she is so drawn to Daniel. I loved this book and read it in three hours. You can find my review for Torment here.
3) Passion by Lauren Kate (Fallen, #3)
Luce would die for Daniel. And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn’t need to be that way . . . Luce is certain that something – or someone – in a past life can help her in her present one. So she begins the most important journey of this lifetime . . . going back eternities to witness firsthand her romances with Daniel . . . and finally unlock the key to making their love last.
Cam and the legions of angels and Outcasts are desperate to catch Luce, but none are as frantic as Daniel. He chases Luce through their shared pasts, terrified of what might happen if she rewrites history. Because their romance for the ages could go up in flames . . . forever.
Book #3 in the Fallen series was so, so good! I absolutely loved this book. We follow Luce on a journey through space and time as she hunts through her past lives to discover who she is, why she matters, and why Daniel has never given up on their love. This book made me cry, it made me laugh; but above all, it made me want Daniel to exist in real life, even more than I had wanted him to before. He’s basically what I’m looking for. You can find my review for Passion here.
4) Fallen in Love: A Fallen Novel in Stories by Lauren Kate (Fallen, #3.5)
Unexpected. Unrequited. Forbidden. Eternal. Everyone has their own love story.
And in a twist of fate, four extraordinary love stories combine over the course of a romantic Valentine’s Day in Medieval England. Miles and Shelby find love where they least expect it. Roland learns a painful lesson about finding and losing love. Arianne pays the price for a love so fierce it burns. And for the first and last time, Daniel and Luce will spend a night together like none other. Lauren Kate’s Fallen in Love is filled with love stories . . . the ones everyone has been waiting for.
True love never says goodbye . . .
Fallen in Love: A Fallen Novel in Stories is technically Book #3.5 in the Fallen series, even though it was published post-Rapture (book #4) in 2012. It’s a series of short stories, making up a novella, about a Valentines Day experienced by the main series characters, in Middle Age England. It was super cute and gave some insight into other characters that was potentially needed to understand context of major plot holes. You can find my review for Fallen in Love here.
5) Rapture by Lauren Kate (Fallen, #4)
The sky is dark with wings . . .
And time is running out for Luce and Daniel.
In order to stop Lucifer from erasing the past, they must find the place where the Fall began. Only Luce can break the curse, and it is her choice alone that will decide all of their fates.
But as Dark Forces gather, great sacrifices will have to be made in this final, epic struggle . . .
In the fight for Luce, and for Love, who will win?
The astonishing conclusion to the FALLEN series. Heaven can’t wait any longer
This finale of this series had me sobbing. It was so beautiful and perfect. I love the ending to this story and I really hope that Lauren Kate continues with Daniel and Luce’s story moving forward in their “new direction.” You can find my review for Rapture here.
6) Unforgiven by Lauren Kate (Fallen, #5)
High school can be hell.
Cam knows what it’s like to be haunted. He’s spent more time in Hell than any angel ever should. And his freshest Hell is high school, where Lilith, the girl he can’t stop loving, is serving out a punishment for his crimes.
Cam made a bet with Lucifer: he has fifteen days to convince the only girl who really matters to him to love him again. If he succeeds, Lilith will be allowed back into the world, and they can live their lives together. But if he fails…there’s a special place in Hell just for him.
Spread your wings and cry as bad boy dark angel Cam finally reveals his anguished heart in the epic new FALLEN novel, UNFORGIVEN.
This fifth book in the Fallen series, in my opinion, should not be considered as a follow-up to the series. Instead, it should be considered a spin-off. I really didn’t like this as an attachment to the Fallen series. I think it would have stood out more as a series, instead of a single book. That being said, in my opinion, book #5 in the Fallen series should have been a contemporary novel about Daniel and Luce following the events described in the epilogue of Rapture. Overall, I liked this book but it’s not my favourite. Cam was the character I least liked in Fallen (seriously, I liked the devil more), so this one wasn’t high-up on my radar. If you’d like to read my review for Unforgiven, you can read it here.
7) Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain
In 1914 Vera Brittain was twenty and, as war was declared, she was preparing to study at Oxford. Four years later her life – and the life of her whole generation – had changed in a way that was unimaginable in the tranquil pre-war era.
‘Testament of Youth’, one of the most famous autobiographies of the First World War, is Brittain’s account of how she survived the period; how she lost the man she loved; how she nursed the wounded and how she emerged into an altered world. A passionate record of a lost generation, it made Vera Brittain one of the best-loved writers of her time.
I re-read this book for research purposes, as the focus of my degree is V.A.D.’s during WWI. This book is an amazing look inside what war time must have been like, and what a women’s experience at the front entailed. I wish more women had kept record of their time in service in Europe. I wrote up a WATCH IT! Wednesday on Testament of Youth and it’s film adaptation, which can be found here.
8) On the Spectrum by Jennifer Gold
Growing up in the shadow of a famous mother, Clara has never felt good about her body. Now, at sixteen, she has an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating. After a social media disaster, she decides to escape for the summer to Paris to stay with her estranged dad and her six-year-old brother, Alastair, who is on the autism spectrum. Charged with his care, Clara and Alastair set out to explore the city. Paris teaches Clara about first love and gives her a new love of food. And Alastair teaches Clara about patience, trust and the beauty of loving without judgment.
This book is super lovely and diverse! It features a main character with an eating disorder, and a supporting/main character on the autism spectrum. It follows their adventures around Paris, while learning about each other and accepting themselves through each other. This was super cute and I’m super happy I got access to an e-galley. On the Spectrum comes out on September 12th, and you should most definitely pick it up.
9) Plank’s Law by Lesly Choyce
Trevor has known since he was ten years old that he has Huntington’s disease, but at sixteen he is informed that he has one year to live. One day while he’s trying to figure stuff out, an old man named Plank finds him standing at a cliff by the ocean. It’s the beginning of an odd but intriguing relationship. Both Trevor and Plank decide to live by Plank’s Law, which is -just live.- This means Trevor has to act on the things on his bucket list, like hanging out with real penguins, star in a science fiction movie and actually talk to Sara–the girl at the hospital who smiles at him.
With the aid of Plank and Sara, Trevor revises his bucket list to include more important things and takes charge of his illness and his life.
This book wasn’t my favourite. I think it probably had something to do with the fact that it was very short (179 pages), lacked character development, and played on tropes that I really am not a fan of. Thanks to Orca Book Publishers for sending this my way! You can read my review for Plank’s Law here.