Reading roundup 27/10/21

This has been a really interesting week in terms of reading. Whilst the real world has been very tense, upsetting and fraught, my reading has taken my mind away from all of that!

A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas

My first book was the fourth in Sarah J Maas’s series A Court of Thorns and Roses: A Court of Silver Flames. Here is the blurb:

“Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she’s struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can’t seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.

The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre’s Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta’s orbit. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.

Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.

Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other’s arms.”

After the first three books, I was really looking forward to immersing myself in this one. This is the review that I wrote on Goodreads:

A ​Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #4)A ​Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well, I almost gave this two stars, but decided on three in the end. There were some interesting and exciting parts to the book, after all, but far too much that was annoying, boring and whining!

I found Nesta a really irritating and negative character and disliked the way that Maas seemed to turn her previously positive and good characters into unpleasant unlikeable monsters. I don’t know where this series is heading, but I will struggle to continue with it. This is so disappointing after the promise of the first two books.

Can Maas’s editors please help her out of this Mire of Misery?

View all my reviews

I expect that all of the young fans of this series would probably shoot me down in flames for this response! Anyway, I decided to try a completely different genre for my next read…

We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza

Browsing through the Library’s ebook catalogue, I came across a book that intrigued me: We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza. First we have the blurb:

Told from alternating perspectives, an evocative and riveting novel about the lifelong bond between two women, one Black and one white, whose friendship is indelibly altered by a tragic event—a powerful and poignant exploration of race in America today and its devastating impact on ordinary lives.

Jen and Riley have been best friends since kindergarten. As adults, they remain as close as sisters, though their lives have taken different directions. Jen married young, and after years of trying, is finally pregnant. Riley pursued her childhood dream of becoming a television journalist and is poised to become one of the first Black female anchors of the top news channel in their hometown of Philadelphia.

But the deep bond they share is severely tested when Jen’s husband, a city police officer, is involved in the shooting of an unarmed Black teenager. Six months pregnant, Jen is in freefall as her future, her husband’s freedom, and her friendship with Riley are thrown into uncertainty. Covering this career-making story, Riley wrestles with the implications of this tragic incident for her Black community, her ambitions, and her relationship with her lifelong friend.”

It was really interesting to read something so different and difficult. I must admit that I struggled to write a review and actually read a few others first. I don’t usually do this as I find that other people’s responses sometimes override or re-shape my own. Anyway, this is what I eventually wrote:

We Are Not Like Them: A NovelWe Are Not Like Them: A Novel by Christine Pride
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a difficult and interesting book and I found myself immersed in the story to the point that I couldn’t stop reading. I like the idea of alternating points of view and feel that this worked well. However, I am not sure about the main characters. I definitely learned something about black people’s experience of racism by reading the parts from Riley’s point of view. The chapters from Jen’s side were more problematic as she seemed to be so blinkered. Surely, growing up with a black friend would have given her more insight?

I also agree with many of the comments on here that the whole book felt as if it had been written to be used as a teaching guide. It would probably be useful for the discussion points. As to how authentic it is I cannot comment as a white woman from the UK! Well worth reading, though, despite my reservations.

View all my reviews

I am now reading another book from a different genre! But you will have to wait until next week to see my response.

Until then:

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,



About The Librain

Retired School Librarian
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