Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Books Lately

Happy Show Us Your Books day with Steph & Jana!

The Forgotten Home Child - Genevieve Graham
based on the true story of the british home children
This reminded me of another historical fiction book but couldn't put my finger on it. Very emotional, as books told in that old-person-recalling-their-youth way tend to be. I honestly had no idea this all happened, so I appreciated learning and thought it was very well written.
An Ember in the Ashes - Sabaa Tahir
ya fantasy dystopian, slave + soldier

I used to read books like this all the time, I'm sure I would have loved it even more years ago. The fact that I still really enjoyed it even though it's not my preferred genre anymore, makes me feel like it must have been really good. It's action packed and fast paced, but not confusing - the world building is fantastic. Very unique, liked all the characters, felt all sorts of emotions, can't wait to see where this series goes.
Our Darkest Night - Jennifer Robson
couple must pose as married couple in world war two 
I really enjoyed this one. It was very emotional, of course, but also inspiring. I absolutely loved all the characters in this book, from the main characters to the supporting, they were all fantastic and felt so real to me. I thought it was written really well, definitely recommend to historical fiction fans. I will say, not quite sure how to word this, but even though it was set in WWII, it seemed... light compared to other books like it. Which I wasn't mad about.
court of thorns and roses series but different main characters 
This was.... great because it was SJM. Buddy read with Heather, which is always fun. It was written well, paced fantastically, familiar characters I knew and loved, grew to love the characters I didn't necessarily like in the previous books... didn't really feel all the feelings between the two MCs romance wise, maybe that's because I'm used to SJM dragging stuff out over several books and this was just one book? It was good and fine, but not the star of the show in this book. I liked the friendships and sibling relationships better actually. It was good, I'll read everything she writes, the end. Hate the cover.
Today Tonight Tomorrow - Rachel Lynn Solomon
young adult, hating game meets nick and norah
This was entirely predictable, adorable, delightful and thoroughly enjoyable. Really not much more to say about it.  I got a teeny bit sick of being beaten over the head over things I already agree with, it was a bit heavy handed. But overall, it was very cute.
The Survivors - Jane Harper
body shows up on beach, buried secrets, guilt
I really loved the lost man by this author, and enjoyed the dry well enough. I love the australian-ness of her books, and how much she can do with so little (like in the case of the lost man, so few characters and such a deserted place) and I expected the same in this book.. Instead, I had a lot of trouble keeping the numerous characters and storylines straight. In the end it all made sense, but it was also a very anticlimactic ending and I was kind of disappointed. I'll still read her next book, she's still an auto read for me. Just didn't love this one.
Received from Netgalley.
A Vow So Bold and Deadly - Brigid Kemmerer
third in cursebreakers series
The problem with feelings about books in series is it's very hard to look at them on their own, objectively. On its own, this book is good. Good writing, interesting, complex characters. Compared to the first two.... what? How? Hard to connect to. Kind of slow. So much left unresolved. Maybe it's a series that needs to be read back to back, I don't know. I didn't hate it, my expectations were just probably a bit too high. I'll still pick up more from this author, just kind of bummed about this one. 
Quiet in Her Bones - Nalini Singh
socialite vanishes, turns up dead 10 years later
You do not understand how much I adore Nalini Singh and therefore how much it pains me to put this book in this category. I love all her romance books, contemporary and paranormal, and I was prepared to pretend to love her first mystery/thriller just because of how much I love her, but there was no need because I thought it was fanfreakingtastic. So yeah, high expectations for this one. I wouldn't say I was disappointed, but. Blergh. I feel like the meat of the story was good but the pacing was a bit off. I didn't see the whodunnit coming, but it was all just a little convoluted to me.
Received from Netgalley. 
This Is How You Lose the Time War - Amal El-Mohtar
two women on opposite sides of time war fall in love over love letters

Fully admit I picked this up because of the title even though I was 99% sure it had nothing to do with Doctor Who. I was right. This is one of those books that is written beautifully and all, but a bit dull. Lots of words about emotions but not making you feel any of those emotions. Also, took me ages to work out what was going on, which isn't the most fun when reading a book. Maybe I just wasn't the right audience.
The Lucky Galah - Tracy Sorensen
narrated by a galah, australia in the 60s
I came across this one when looking for more aussie authors and when I saw it was narrated by a galah, I was like um, yes please. I think I thought it would be kind of an adult's version of the one and only Ivan? But, meh. It's certainly unique, and I enjoyed some parts, but it felt a bit disjointed and a little too descriptive rather than plot driven. Also, while I could get behind a galah telling me a story, I couldn't get behind it communicating to a satellite dish. Bit of a bummer, really.
Thunderhead - Neal Shusterman
sequel to scythe
Oh, what a disappointment! I really don't even think I had high expectations, I just don't understand how Scythe could have been so unique, so interesting, so unputdownable, and this was a big steaming pile of blah. Gah. The ending was slightly intriguing, but not enough for me to pick up the third book.

The Forever Girl - Jill Shalvis
I liked this. It was not my favourite Shalvis, probably 3.5 but enough to round up to 4. I liked all the characters, I liked how everything went, it made me laugh and smile and it was an enjoyable time. It took me a long time to read, but that was me/covid life and not necessarily the book, but it was hard to feel connected because of that. Anywho. I liked it, I like the series, I love me some Shalvis. can't really complain.
Received from Netgalley.
Chasing Lady Amelia - Maya Rodale
Didn't enjoy this as much as the first in the series, which I read back in 2019. It was fine, I laughed a few times, didn't really connect with the romance but that just might be me these days rather than the book. A solid historical romance.
Only When It's Us - Chloe Liese 
College + sports = not my jam. But everyone kept talking about this series, including my book bestie Heather, so finally gave it a go. It was super cute and definitely not too much with the college and the sports stuff. I laughed, I felt feelings, I think a couple tears spilled out. What was said about grieving really hit me. I can understand how it would be hard for someone to read if it was a little too close to home for them. I do think there was a lot packed into this book, maybe a little bit too much? But it was good, enjoyable, sweet, cute. looking forward to the next one.

The Four Winds - I've heard it gets better in the second half, I'm waiting for that to happen...

Linking up with Steph & Jana

Life According to Steph

I also read The Ordinary Princess, which was thoroughly enjoyable and definitely recommend if you like kids books.

TL;DR - I would blanket recommend The Forgotten Home Child and Our Darkest NightAn Ember in the Ashes if it sounds like your jam. 

Read anything decent lately? 

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Books Lately

Happy Show Us Your Books day with Steph & JanaVery disappointed in myself for missing last month's SUYB - I haven't missed one since the beginning. Am I even a SUYB-er anymore?

I didn't mean to be gone for so long, mix of being busy, covid life and feeling like I had nothing to say. Well, I still don't have much to say in general, but can always talk about books, right? 

So, here's what I've read since the last link up. 

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue - V.E. Schwab

a girl makes a deal with the devil and is forgotten by everyone she meets
I fell in love with this book immediately. The writing was amazing, Addie completely captivating, the story fascinating. I liked the twists and how unique the story was. I read the first 40% or so in a day or two, then didn't pick it up again for a few weeks. That was me, not the book, but I do wonder if that is why I wasn't as invested in the second half. I was a bit meh about the last quarter/ending - mainly because I kind of lost the emotional connection to the story, not because of the actual ending itself. I just feel like the first part of the book packed such a huge punch that the last bit of the book felt like it was missing the oomph or something. Anyway. I was mostly satisfied with the ending - I won't lie, I'll always prefer a neater ending - but I wasn't mad about how it ended.
Hollowpox - Jessica Townsend
third in the nevermoor series
I really don't have much to say about this book that I haven't said about the first two in the series - freaking delightful. This world is fantastic, I adore the characters, I'm so intrigued and can't wait to see where it goes. Loved it, hate that I have to wait for the rest of the series.
elderly woman who wants to embrace death on her own terms
Took a bit for this book to worm its way into my heart, but it eventually did. Definitely reminded me of Ove. It was a quick read, I liked the characters, I felt feelings. Liked it a lot.
a library between life and death, every book shows you a different version of your life
Good lord. This book. It's our next book club book though I read it last year. I'm curious to see what they all think of it - I know I loved this book because of how much I could relate to a lot of it.. I'm curious to see how other people feel about it.. not that I think you need to experience depression or anxiety to feel feelings about this book, but I do wonder if that's why it attached itself to my heart. I loved it. I did a mix of the audio and ebook and Carey Mulligan was a fabulous narrator.
Dear Emmie Blue - Lia Louis

emmie is in love with her childhood friend who is about to marry someone else
This book. Heather had been... reminding... me to read it for quite some time because she flew through it and I'd say we have about 99% overlap in books (hold on, let me check goodreads - ok, goodreads says 92%, so close lol). Anywho. I wish I had written a review soon after I'd finished it so I remembered more, all I remember is that I adored all the characters, it made me feel lots of feelings, very emotional but very enjoyable. Someone else compared it to a Mhairi McFarlane book and I'd have to agree.
The Blood Heir - Ilona Andrews

spin off of kate daniels series
Yeah, this isn't a book I'd recommend to just anyone, I think you should read Kate Daniels first, but goodness. I loved it. I loved being back in this world with this family and am dying for more. Julie reminds me of Jane in Miss Fishers, I don't know why. Anywho. I'd been struggling with actually reading books (mostly listening lately) but read this in about 24 hours. Just shows Ilona Andrews can do no wrong in my mind.

You Have a Match - Emma Lord
teenager discovers she has a secret sister via one of those dna services
Ugh, why don't I write reviews as soon as I finish books? My memory is horrible. I really liked Tweet Cute by the same author but I enjoyed this one much, much more. I don't read a ton of YA anymore and I think it's telling that I enjoyed the portion of the story about the grown ups more than the youngens. But it was very good, funny, quick, enjoyable. Kind of parent trap-y.
Received from Netgalley.
We do a fun little book club gift exchange for christmas and I ended up with The City of Dreaming Books - which super sounded like my jam, but I'm incapable of reading books in a series out of order, so made myself read these two... and am now officially cured of that. These books were SO LONG and such a slog and I still had to read the one I was gifted that came highly recommended. I wish I had not read these, because even though so far I am enjoying the third, I might have enjoyed it more on its own since I can't get these two out of my head or stop associating them with the third. Anywho. If you're into fantasy, maybe. I love fantasy but these two weren't for me.
Crazy Stupid Bromance - Lyssa Kay Adams
I did not love the second book in this series, but everyone said the third was better so I'm glad I gave it a go. It was very entertaining and cute, the friends to lovers trope was done well (it's not my favourite, so hard to connect to). I have issues with previously absent fathers in books, but I'm used to them being handled somewhat unrealistically (in my opinion). It was definitely enjoyable and I quite liked it.

An Ember in the Ashes - got it for christmas, loving it so far!

Linking up with Steph & Jana

Life According to Steph

TL;DR - I recommend any of the books up the very top, but especially the midnight library I think.

Read anything decent lately?