We are two months into the year and you can see what kind of month I had by my choice of reading material.
Shards of Hope – Nalini Singh (library book)
I went to the library to pick up a reserved book and found this on ‘the books just in’ shelves, which I can never resist having look at and this was here, as I’ve been waiting for more of the ‘book crack’ I was delighted and snapped it up. I’m at a point with the Psy-Changling series where I’m more interested in the world than the romance so this worked for me. I want to know where it’s going and although I don’t think she has an overarching plan for it (which could be dangerous given that this is book 14 and 15 is out in the summer). Singh has a particular style, the same when she’s write contemporaries or the Guild Hunter books and as I have read so many, I’m very aware of it, there’s lots of men being men and dominant and characters often have the same flaws, this can grate but I don’t feel that it interferes with the bits of the story I find interesting and given that the overarching world is moving forward (unlike say the Anita Blake books which I gave up somewhere in the middle of book 9 because I was just tired of her sleeping with everyone and everyone wanting to sleep with her!). Will I read the next one, oh yeah, I’m not bored of the world and I’m still interested in what happens next, also I get the feeling that the next book will catch us up with all of the various couples and move the plot along fast. We’ll see.
Carry On – Rainbow Rowell (library book)
After Landline last month, I put this on reserve at the library and it turned up this month (it was the book I was going to pick up when I grabbed Shards of Hope). I was a little bit worried about this one, I’ve liked all of Rowell’s books except Eleanor and Park (I know I’m a monster!) but this was set in England in a school called Watford, which I can’t quite reconcile as a place of refinement and taste given that my brother lives in a town called Watford. Anyway, I really enjoyed it. Really, really enjoyed it. It was both funny and sad and it had an ending that worked and also although the reader got the answer to all the questions, the characters didn’t which is pretty much how it goes. I liked the friendships as well as the romance, points for not being afraid to tackle the ‘Am I gay or do I just like kissing this boy?’ issue. Penelope clearly needs her own book and although there were a couple of Americanisms I found that I wasn’t really thinking of this book as set in England so it didn’t pull me out of the book. Go and read it’s fun.
Trade Me – Courtney Milan (library ebook)
Courtney Milan goes contemporary new adult and of course I read it. As a story it didn’t quite hit the heights of other books of hers that I’ve read but it was good. Lots of other reviews mention that it gets a bit melodramatic in the last quarter but I didn’t think it was melodramatic as too quick and too easy to resolve, I suspect that it isn’t because there is another book about them planned. So what did I like? I liked that Tina’s experience of poverty was honest and real, in so many books the heroine says that they are poor but I don’t see it, a lot of Tina’s issues come from having no money, really having no money. One of the things that you see a lot in NA is problem parents and this is no exception but I liked that both sets of parents loved their children and that it was obvious, even when they fucked up. I struggled with Tina’s parents more because her mother drove me bats because…..well because I lack imagination maybe I just don’t know people who behave like that. I liked Tina’s best friend and am looking forward to seeing more about her in the next book too.
The Turn of the Story – Sarah Rees Brennan (free internet story)
This is an example of an author getting carried away (long may it continue if the author is Sarah Rees Brennan!). I’ve been meaning to get around to reading it but you know, not getting around to it and saw a quote from it;
‘And he did not want to be loved as a second choice, as a surrender. He had spend his whole life not being loved at all, and he had thought being loved enough would satisfy him. It would not. He had never been chosen, so he had never had a chance to know this about himself before now; he wanted to be chosen first’.
So I had to go and read it as soon as possible, which was Valentines Day. I love most of what SRB writes, it’s funny and silly and sad and happy all at the same time. This story features gender flipped elf society where the women are the warriors and the men ‘sweet, gentle virtuous creatures’, a bi-sexual mouthy and extremely grumpy ‘hero’ and it all generally delightful. Now I need to go and find The Wings in the Morning….
Lord Dashwood Missed Out – Tessa Dare (library ebook)
A novella set in Spindle Cove. When I read the first of these I wasn’t that keen, nowadays I really enjoy Spindle Cove books because they are silly and easy to read and funny.
Make It Right – Megan Erickson (free book)
NA set in college, I actually liked this one more than the first. The H/H actually had some stuff to deal with and apparently I really like it went a character knows they’ve done badly and tries to do better. I also think that the author has a thing for teachers as this is the second book in the series and characters has decided to become a teachers in each book! I also liked that the hero was able to take instruction and direction from the heroine with no alpha male nonsense…
First Last Kiss – Lia Riley (free book)
Woman gets divorced, leaves the big city to go back to her hometown and meets the first boy she ever loved. I know what’s gonna happen, but this had some interesting issues, ie the town became the place she could live in because of gentrification I was more interested in what was going to happen to the town (cause you know it’s not going to go well for the people already there!) and more interested in the downsides of small town living than I was in the heroine’s crisis of confidence and decision making.
Blitzing Emily – Julie Brannagh (free book)
The more I think about this book, the more confused I get. The book seems to take forever to get anywhere and stuff that was supposed to be a big deal just got brushed over and not resolved, which is just annoying. I don’t mind characters not knowing but I really object to readers not knowing. My major issue is that it feels like a first draft, not a finished story.
A Duchess in Name – Amanda Weaver (free book)
I mostly really enjoyed this, but I had issues with the hero who was a whiny, whiner and needed a smack upside the head. First he needed to use his words and second I’m not sure there were enough apologies for what he did. So other than the fact that he was a git, I really liked it!
Heart’s Desire – T. J. Kline (free book)
I’m going to damn this with faint praise because I finished it but all the way through I was mild irritated by everyone in the story. It felt old fashioned and at times I was reading while muttering ‘get to the point’ and ‘use your bloody words’
Wish Upon a Star – Sarah Morgan (TBR list)
I find Sarah Morgan delightful and this is I think Mills and Boon Medical. So old-fashioned, it reminded me of being 14 again and reading these all the time, we had a chart in the library at school for repeated phrases and ‘___’ would have gone on the wall….
Made me thankful to live in more enlightened times…
Midnight at Tiffanys – Sarah Morgan (TBR list)
A novella that kicks off her new trilogy, which I will be reading at some point. Fine in that I read it in an hour and want to read about the girls in it
Among Others – Jo Walton (library book)
I cannot express how much I loved this book. It totally nails the reading teenager, the odd mix of being really clever about some stuff and totally naive about the other stuff. Ultimately, it’s about becoming a person and making friends and overcoming hard things and I just adored it.