Book Reviews

End of Days by Susan Ee – Book Review

End of Days

When I finished World After, I wasn’t thrilled to read End of Days. I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I was terrified of what this conclusion would bring. I admire Susan Ee’s writing style, and I consider her to be merciless when it comes to her characters. That is an amazing quality in an author which I one day hope to own. On top of that, there’s always so much pressure in the final installment of a series. But this book? It was glorious.

Penryn Young remains the same kickass female character in the world, and although there isn’t much character development, I do think she had some significant growth. I feel like she had a weight lifted off her shoulders after the final events. I really have nothing negative to say about Penryn. She was a badass from the start to the end.

Raffe, my goodness, that fucking archangel. I swear I don’t know if I should hate him or love him. Mostly love him. He showed a lot more of his soft side and that only added to my obsession. This guy, he kept giving Penryn these corny speeches about what type of nice guy Penryn should be with because ‘our love is forbidden’ yadda yadda. He clearly watches too much television. It’s just so hard to be mad at him. So hard.

Penryn’s Mom was my favorite thing in the world! I absolutely love her. Every time she showed up, I smiled. And Paige? Well, that girl proves that badass runs in the Young bloodline.

But what really got me in this book was Beliel. I won’t get too much into it, but another reason why I respect Ee’s writing is because she can make me change my mind about a character in a matter of pages.

Ee knows exactly what she’s doing. She gives us beautiful characters to love, and incredible conflicts to face, and then she chooses the perfect words to convey the right image in our minds. I know I’ve just described a reading experience, but I’ve had some terrible ones in the past. And I am just so happy this was a great one.

End of Days was an amazing conclusion to this batshit crazy story of a post-apocalyptic world involving angels. It was everything I’d wanted and nothing I’d expected.

Book Reviews

World After by Susan Ee – Book Review

I waited a long time before reading the sequel to Angelfall which is one of my favorite books of all time. Maybe it was my own fault. I went in expecting too much. I had formed this idea of what I would get to see happen. Regardless, I am slightly disappointed.

World After picks up right where Angelfall left off. There were many action sequences. It was just as thrilling as the first one. We get to see Penryn and her family trying to fit into the Resistance camp for a while. I just didn’t like how much it relied on flashbacks from significant scenes of the first book. All it did was repeat what I had already read without adding anything to the story, without moving it forward.

However, the writing style was on point. I got to read about Penryn again, who is an incredible character. It was because of her that I got through it, even though I wasn’t enjoying much of her journey. I flew through the book, but I hated that I wasn’t getting anything I had wanted. Again, that’s probably my own fault.

I have not yet given up on this trilogy. The characters in these books are all so amazing that I have to keep reading, no matter where their stories take them.

Book Reviews

He Forgot To Say Goodbye by Benjamin Alire Saenz – Book Review

Saenz is one of my favorite authors. He crafts his stories with heart. His words convey so much. I adore his writing style. But this novel was not one of his best works.

He Forgot To Say Goodbye follows two boys, Jake Upthegrove and Ramiro Lopez. They have one thing in common: they grew up without their fathers. This book deals with family issues, drugs, depression, politics, and friendship. It’s always emotionally draining to jump into one of Saenz’s stories because they feel so real and relatable.

“We think there’s a reason for everything, as if life was supposed to make sense. It’s not exactly math. People aren’t numbers. Everybody knows life doesn’t make any sense at all, so we just better deal with the whole mess. Have a beer. Have a cup of coffee. Have a piece of cake. Go out to a movie. Enjoy the popcorn.”

In here, Saenz portrays beautifully strong female characters. Women that deserved all my respect. It’s something I continue to find in his novels. Strong women. And equally strong men. He gives us feminists. He writes his characters so perfectly that he places them all–in their uniqueness–on the same level. Despite their gender, social class, ethnicity. What a wonderful thing.

“When you write things down, it feels like you can stare at the words and they become mirrors–and you can see yourself.”

I loved relating to so many passages from this book. I did. It’s scary how much Saenz knows me. But sometimes his writing style got repetitive. It became hard to tell the difference between Jake and Ram. Although I did like them both, neither of these characters were memorable. They didn’t have much of a story keeping them going. They had problems. Serious problems. But nothing was truly resolved. It was shoved under a rug. I guess that’s life.

I wish this could have been better. It had a strong beginning. I marked up all of my favorite lines. I was ready to fall in love with these characters. It never really got there. I lost interest in both of their lives. But I still enjoyed most of the journey.

This was worth the read. Anything by Saenz always is.

“And then, there was this storm inside me. And there was thunder and there was rain. God, there was rain.”