“And, I suddenly understand, I do want to be Vassa–or technically I want to make Vassa into somebody worth being. The only way to become that somebody is to live in a real, substantial world: a world that doesn’t follow orders, that’s just as willful and independent as I’m going to be. I can only become a whole girl in a place that offers resistance; a place that makes me fight for what I want.“
Ugh! I’m so sad about this book. I was ready to love it, despite the mixed reviews surrounding it and the incredibly weird plot I had been hearing about. It was a Russian-inspired YA retelling of Vasilisa the Beautiful! Of course, I was going to like it! At least, that’s what I thought 😢
“Only here’s what I really, really want someone to explain to me. What if one happens to be possessed of a heart that can’t be trusted–? What if the heart, for its own unfathomable reasons, leads one willfully and in a cloud of unspeakable radiance away from health, domesticity, civic responsibility and strong social connections and all the blandly-held common virtues and instead straight toward a beautiful flare of ruin, self-immolation, disaster?…If your deepest self is singing and coaxing you straight toward the bonfire, is it better to turn away? Stop your ears with wax? Ignore all the perverse glory your heart is screaming at you? Set yourself on the course that will lead you dutifully towards the norm, reasonable hours and regular medical check-ups, stable relationships and steady career advancement the New York Times and brunch on Sunday, all with the promise of being somehow a better person? Or…is it better to throw yourself head first and laughing into the holy rage calling your name?”
I finished it! I feel so accomplished. Wow wow wow, this book was a masterpiece! So good. 4.5 read for sure, with just a few very minor hangups.
“Did perpetual happiness in the Garden of Eden maybe get so boring that eating the apple was justified?”
Funny, biting, harsh, satirical, absurd, poignant, real, nonsensical, dark, humorous, genius! This is what I love from Chuck. This is the Chuck that I look for when I want a slice of razor-edged, existential pie for breakfast. He soothes that ragged, sometimes consuming dread that most people feel from time to time. He just slaps on a balm of laughter and violence, and tells you to buck up and, honestly, it totally works. I love his books and Survivor is one of my new favorites for sure.
“Every time you take one path, you must live with the memory of the other: of a life left unchosen. Decide as seems best, one course or the other; each way will have its bitter with its sweet.”
This was a fantastic second installment of the Winternight Trilogy! I really liked the new story and characters we were introduced to, and the new details we were given about familiar characters. The scope of the novel got quite a bit bigger, too, which was really enjoyable to read. I was a big fan!
“Telling the truth wasn’t sufficient power. As consolation the remaining journalists convinced themselves that no absolute truths existed. This new untruth they propagated as the new truth. The entertainment value, the ability to titillate or provoke, came to be the litmus test of any new truth.”
Guys. Is it bad that I love this cover? It’s a freaking pop art cover with severed ears. I loveeee itttt.
I really liked being back in Chuck’s mind and getting to explore another satirical future of his. There was everything you would expect here, including biting humor, absurd vulgarity, grand ideas, and controversy. I enjoyed the book for sure, but compared to his other novels, it wasn’t my favorite.
“The only way to influence another’s fate is by destroying them. It’s the only thing that can be done permanently and by an action within your control. To try to protect someone is to try to intervene in the actions of the world against them but that’s something you can’t face alone or entirely because if fate has bullets for them you can only take one.”
This was a really interesting book! I was excited to read it ever since I started following Rae on Instagram. She seems like such a cool lady, with her beautiful horse and cow rustling and reading Faulkner in woods. Her debut novel was very much what I was hoping it would be and, despite some flaws, turned out to be a solid 3.5 star read! I would warn you, though, that this novel is extremely violent, not just to people (cause who cares about them?), but also to animals, so keep that in mind before picking it up.
“All my life,” she said, “I have been told ‘go’ and ‘come.’ I am told how I will live, and I am told how I must die. I must be a man’s servant and a mare for his pleasure, or I must hide myself behind walls and surrender my flesh to a cold, silent god. I would walk into the jaws of hell itself, if it were a path of my own choosing. I would rather die tomorrow in the forest than live a hundred years of the life appointed me.”
Ayyy another 4 star book!! I am loving this streak!
This book has been on my radar for a long time now, since it came out just about, and I was so excited to finally get around to reading it. And for a bargain price of $5, no less! It is a beautiful hardcover copy with deckled edges, so I was very very happy about that. And, to top it all off, the book was freaking awesome! I loved the writing here, the story, the mythology. It was very well done and definitely a 4 star read for me.
“Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers. How delightful if that were true.”
Whew! Well if that ain’t the longest title of all time 😆. Keeping that straight is going to be the most difficult part of the review!
So, I really liked this book! It was not quite what I was expecting to read (in a good way) and I enjoyed the unusual format, as well. Overall, it was very enjoyable, informative, and I loved the tone (parts of it were surprisingly hilarious!).
“It occurs to me that maybe desire isn’t something overindulging helps. Maybe it is not unlike mithridatism; maybe I took a killing dose when I should have been poisoning myself slowly, one kiss at a time.”
I was soooo excited for this book!! Right after reading the first book in the series, The Cruel Prince, I searched for this one and was devastated when I realized it would be a whole year before it was released. Well now I have read it and I am in the same damn boat waiting for the third book! The Wicked King was so good, a little short, but still extremely enjoyable!