Friday, July 22, 2011

I read this (June 2011)

Sorry about the dearth of reviews. My Kindle broke and I've been busy transferring everything to the new one. I have been reading but a lot of it has been middle-of-the-road, good-enough-but-not-great. And it's been 90+ degrees here and my brain is melting out of my ears. I'll get around to something sometime.

I don't know why I'm always surprised by how many romance novels I read, but apparently I read 16 of them. That seems like a lot. It always seems like a lot.

Young Adult

Impulse by Ellen Hopkins and Glimpse by Carol Lynch Williams: These 2 books are phenomenal. Both are written in free verse and deal unflinchingly with pretty dark subjects (suicide attempts and sexual abuse). I recommend but be forewarned.

The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games Trilogy): I LOVE THE HELL OUT OF THESE BOOKS. Yes, that noise you hear is a fangirl squeeing. Here's the review for the first book, I will post reviews of the other 2 soonish.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson: Solid writing, intriguing premise, but missing something? I don't know, I was a little unsatisfied by the ending. I'll read the followup when it's released, maybe that will help with the ambivalence. Readable? Sure.

Urban Fantasy

Goddess of the Sea by P.C. Cast: NO! I am so sad because mermaids, I love them. And this book was terrible. The writing was so bland, it was the literary equivalent of microwave oatmeal (the plain stuff, no apples, no cinnamon, no maple flavoring here). I skimmed the entire middle third of the book. Actually, I skimmed over so much, I practically didn't read it at all. It's the first of a series, I don't know why you would care.

War for the Oaks by Emma Bull: Oddly enough, Dani and I were reading this at roughly the same time. It was good, especially for a first novel. Not much in the way of world-building, the writing is occasionally inconsistent, but over-all, it was fun. Read it or not, whatever.

Burnt Offerings by Laurell K. Hamilton (AB:VH, Book 7): God no. You should love yourself more than that.

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews (Kate Daniels, Book 1): I've only read this first book, but it seems to land pretty solidly between Mercy Thompson (whom I love) and Anita Blake (see above). The heroine is mostly likable, but she is super-special. However, her extra-special-snowflake status is alluded to several times and is not just because... something. I'm withholding full judgment until after I've read the next book. I will say that I am cautiously optimistic.

The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde (Thursday Next, Book 3): So I loved the first book. I loved the second book. I only liked this one (a lot), which is odd because I liked the premise of this book the most. I like alternate universe theories and I LOVE books, so the idea of an alternate universe existing within books should be magic. But I thought this was a little whuh?. Don't even bother if you haven't read the first 2 in the series. (It's not actually UF, I have no idea how to categorize it.)


Indiscreet by Caroline Jewel: Sweet, a little melancholy, utterly enjoyable. Read this one.

Unveiled by Courtney Milan (The Turners, Book 1): The premise is improbable, but it was fun to read. Watching the heroine grow a backbone was especially gratifying. Read it, why not.

Proof by Seduction and Trial by Desire by Courtney Milan (The Blakeleys, Books 1 & 2): I enjoyed them, but meh? I liked the 2nd one better but I could take or leave either one.

The Charm School by Susan Wiggs (The Calhouns, Book 1): An ugly heroine in a romance novel? Sign me up. I'll probably read the 2nd book, I like stories of redemption.

Mine Till Midnight and Seduce Me at Sunrise by Lisa Kleypas (The Hathways, Books 1 & 2): Okay, so I love Lisa Kleypas. Even though she uses the word "voluptuous" inappropriately and far too often. I've read nearly all of her books. More than once. A lot more than once. YOU SHOULD READ ALL OF THEM TOO.

The Golden Season by Connie Brockway: Yep, read it. Good character growth, believable romance.

My One and Only by Kristan Higgins: Actually, I would like to recommend this but I don't think the resolution was believable. It kind of soured the whole thing for me.

The Indiscretion and Beast by Judith Ivory: Nope for the first and yep for the second. The Indiscretion was just not cohesive. Plot threads kept being introduced and then nothing. And I rarely feel guilty for liking books, but Beast is definitely on that list. It's problematic on so many levels and the ending was so rushed, but still. Le sigh.

A Little Bit Wild by Victoria Dahl (The Yorks, Book 1): Nope, no, sorry, the heroine was so spoiled that I couldn't care about anything she did. I finished it but only because it was short.

The Wild Marquis by Miranda Neville: I'm going to say yes here. Not just because the heroine was a rare book dealer.

Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn: Fluffy and light-hearted. It's readable and fun, but actually, I had to read the synopsis at Amazon to remember what it was about.

The Spymaster's Lady by Joanna Bourne (Spymasters, Book 1): Really well-written, strong characterization, lots of intrigue, but it went on and on and on. If it had been even 50 pages shorter, I would recommend it unreservedly.

Impostress by Lisa Jackson: NO. No, no, no. Although, honestly, I went into this knowing it was going to be bad. It was a HABO at SBTB and sounded so ludicrous that I had to read it. I regret this. I skimmed this one too.

Believe by Victoria Alexander: I couldn't make myself finish this. IT WAS SO TERRIBLE. I have no idea why I even wanted to read it.

Graphic Novels

The Great Fables Crossover and Witches by Bill Willingham, (Fables, Volumes 13 & 14): I loved this series wholeheartedly until War and Pieces (Volume 11). I actively hated The Dark Ages (Volume 12) and I seriously disliked Crossover, and barely tolerated Witches. Once the major story arc was resolved in W&P, the stories stopped making sense. If you only read until Vol. 11, you'll be in good shape.

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