Mel Bossa can write her ass off, and The Witchin' Canoe was another example of her fine work. Though i wish some things were different, it*3.5 stars*
Mel Bossa can write her ass off, and The Witchin' Canoe was another example of her fine work. Though i wish some things were different, it was a lovely, atmospheric story that you'll remember for a long time.
I really, really wish this story was a regular historical romance with a Gothic flair instead of a supernatural romance. The beginning of the story was incredibly lovely, and the romance really sang. I love an opposites attract story, and the tension between the two MCs was palpable. I think there was enough there to make a complete story without the twists and turns at the end.
I loved most of the story so much, and I really enjoyed Mel Bossa's skillful and powerful writing. I got a great sense of the whole setting of the story, and I felt transported to that gloomy and somewhat hopeless time.
However, I didn't love the ending. There were too many POV (we didn't need the butler's), and the Witchin' Canoe lore felt convoluted. I never really understood it, and I thought it detracted from the romance, something I don't often say because I love sci-fi and paranormal romances. There was also so much drama at the end that it felt like the story lost some momentum.
Still, my take away is that of a lovely story about two special characters, and I think all Mel Bossa fans should try this one.
The Cliff House was my first book by RaeAnne Thayne, and I would read another book from her any day of the week. The way she wove together*3.5 stars*
The Cliff House was my first book by RaeAnne Thayne, and I would read another book from her any day of the week. The way she wove together three separate romances was very well done.
There is a lot of family drama and angst in the story, but I didn't feel overwhelmed by it all. I'm actually very surprised at how I was able to focus on the love stories with all of the side plots happening, but somehow I was. Part of me wishes the story had one fewer romance so we could have delved even deeper with the other two, and part of me admires the hell out of RaeAnne Thayne for trying something so ambitious.
I liked the small-town romance vibes, and I liked the writing style, though I wish the author had her character's communicate more. A lack of basic communication in romance is always something that irks me, and parts of this story edged towards melodrama and relying on misunderstandings.
Though the story felt a little busy, I enjoyed reading it a great deal. I fell in love with the characters and the scenic seaside town, and I can't wait to read another RaeAnne Thayne book in the future.
I read the blurb, and I assumed that the story was about a quirky girl, perhaps on the autistic spectrum, who makes some friends and comes out of her shell. I was very, very, very wrong.
There is a reason that I primarily read romance, and that's because I don't enjoy sad. I get tired of people telling me that I need to read books about war or violence or loss for it to count. I get enough horrifyingly sad stories just reading the news or seeing what happens in our world every day. If I had truly knew exactly what Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine was about, I think I would have avoided it. I think it's important for readers to know that the story involves past emotional and physical child abuse.
But, to be honest, I'm glad I didn't know what the story was truly about and that I went outside my comfort zone, because this book was bloody brilliant.
I listened to the story for hours on my day off. I spent the day in Ikea, and I felt lost in my own head, my own world of Eleanor and her bravery and fumbles and struggles. I wandered for hours (typical for Ikea), and the story kept me company, even though I cried at times.
Unlike some readers, I didn't find the story at all funny. I found it tragically, tragically sad, though I took comfort in Eleanor's progress over time and her support from her new and growing circle of friends.
If you have a chance to listen to this book in audio, take it. The audiobook narrator, Cathleen McCarron, was a wonder, and deserves an award for her work. It was a full-body experience listening to this story.
Eleanor Oliphant isn't at all fine, and neither was I while listening to this story, but maybe that's okay sometimes. Especially when a story can move me like this one did.
Whenever I go to a book convention, I try to read as many of the attending authors as possible. I'm going to Book Lovers Con in May, so I'm checking aWhenever I go to a book convention, I try to read as many of the attending authors as possible. I'm going to Book Lovers Con in May, so I'm checking as many new-to-me authors off my list as I can.
I basically went into this book blind, but I love paranormal and the plot sounded fun. However, I had issues with To Catch Her Death.
The story wasn't a romance, which surprised me but wasn't a big deal. I actually liked the basic set up for the story, but I had a lot of content issues, some of which will sound a bit nit-picky.
I had problems with the way the gay side character was depicted in the story. It was a small thing, just a few scenes, but as a gay romance reader and reviewer, I didn't appreciate the way the gay hairdresser was shown. Plus, no one, and I mean no one, would go for a spiky blond cut with two pieces hanging down long around the face. I was getting bad Kate Gosselin flashbacks.
The plot became predictable and boring, the editing needed a LOT of help, and though I think the author had some really interesting ideas, I don't think she is the author for me.
Parallel Larry was bizarre, and not in an enjoyable way. In fact, I found it to be disturbing and lacking any form of a believable romance.
I was surprised at the direction in which the author took the story. The alternate world was strange, and the alternate Larry was violent and deranged, and not in a fun way. I didn't even understand the premise for the alternate world. Was it supposed to be funny? I was so weirded out that I almost DNFed, but I decided just to buck up and finish it.
The romance came out of nowhere. I get that Larry wanted to be with Greg, but Greg was asking Larry to set him up with another dude after he left, and then Larry is declaring his love for him and risking his life? The romance made my head hurt.
Parallel Larry didn't work for me at all, which was a big disappointment after I adored Just in Time. You win some, you lose some.
I pretty much know what I'm getting from an Erica Ridley book: low steam, uniqueNever Say Duke is one of my absolute favorite books from Erica Ridley.
I pretty much know what I'm getting from an Erica Ridley book: low steam, unique female MCs, and, usually, a very sweet, easy story. Never Say Duke took me by surprise because I really, really liked it, and I had a hard time putting it down.
I adored the female MC. Though it isn't explicitly stated, Virginia Underwood seemed neuro-atypical to me, which was an unexpected pleasure. I love a unique MC, and Virginia's gentle, blunt nature and her quirks made her memorable and special to me. She had great chemistry with Theo, and also great chemistry with Duke, her feisty cat, who made the story even more fun.
I also love an interesting hero, and Theo's injuries, limp, and myriad of facial and bodily scars only increased his appeal for me. I felt very invested in his recovery, and I loved his gruff and grumpy demeanor and seeing how he softened to Virginia over time.
The story had a lot of weight to it, but it was kept light by Duke's (the cat) antics and the delightful banter between the MCs.
There was a little unnecessary drama in the last part of the story, which irritated me, but the author pulled it out in the end. It was a grand romance-y romance ending that all historical romance readers will swoon over.
Wow, more books should be written about asexual stoners, amirite?
I really enjoyed How To Be A Normal Person when I read it ~3.5 years ago, but I loved it on reread. First of all, Derrick McClain just smashed the narration out of the park, which made it an absolute joy to listen to. I wasn't sure about his narration in the first hour, but it seemed like Derrick got better and better as he went along as he got a feel for the characters, and by the end... whew, he was on fire.
It is interesting reading this now after reading a good number of books with asexual/demisexual/gray-asexual characters versus when I first read it years ago. I think I get asexuality a whole lot more, and I spent a lot less time pondering what it meant for Gus and Casey's relationship and more time just enjoying the romance. The book felt really romantic to me this time around, and I treasured and cooed over each kiss and touch. It was slow, slow burn and very satisfying. I loved it.
I also was blown away by the killer writing. Man, for me, funny writing is where T.J. Klune shines. I had forgotten how awesome T.J.'s writing was in this book. Even though this wasn't as over-the-top as he can get, this book was smartly funny... just so freaking funny. I laughed out loud while shopping at the grocery store at 10 pm tonight (not even because of book-related-munchies, I swear!), and got the strangest looks from the nighttime shoppers. Dude, *they* were the ones missing out.
Sweet, funny, emotional, and with a great narration- this audiobook has got it all! It was awesome in ebook and even better in audio. Glow-up, baby.
My reading experience was simply me laughing, crying, or swooning in a continuous cycle. Sometimes all three at once. It's been a long, long time since I've wanted to melt into a puddle of goo on the floor because the romance!!! Holy god, this story was the romancey-romance of your dreams.
I'm a sucker for a few things in a romance book, and this story has nearly all of them. We get a sexual awakening (can I get a halleloo?!), an enemies-to-lovers (with all the glorious damn, your face, bruising kissing that I could dream up), witty banter for daaaaaaaaaaays, and a romance with a literal (okay, fictional... but still) PRINCE OF MOTHER FORKING ENGLAND. Did Casey McQuiston worm her way into my brain and pull out my deepest fantasies?!?!?!
I wanted to take a nap inside these pages. I took pictures and screenshots of my Kindle of the uber-romantic email exchange to swoon over later. I cried and laughed like a lunatic on my couch, huddled in a prison of tea and reading of my own making. I fell asleep with the imprint of my Kindle on my face at 3 am.
Even though I don't like reading about politics or political games, even though present tense makes me feel itchy (did I mention that yet??), and even though the sex scenes are suggestive but still fade-to black I wanted to read this book FOREVER.
The dialogue is something I will remember for a long time. The humor was absolutely everything and elevated this book from good to unbelievably amazing. The feelings were so intense I felt like my heart was going to jump out of my chest.
Red, White & Royal Blue is worth all the hype and more. It's worth your time and your money, and it's worth it to read something so fun and heartfelt and rare that it made it's way on to my elusive favorites list. With literally thousands of romances under my belt, this one still stands out.
And nothing will matter but just we two, we two longing loves at last come together.
The story read like a T.J. Klune book, if his comedy books are to your taste. I was actually snicking out loud while reading in bed (my husband was not pleased), and I couldn't put it down. At only 70 pages, I blew right through it, and I left the story wanting MORE.
The family dynamics were adorable, the cast of characters was perfect, and the chemistry was squee-worthy. It was a light, fun, pick-me-up read that will not disappoint. My only complaint is that I wanted 200 more pages. Carole Cummings did something very right.
A surprisingly good offering from new to me author, Elliot Joyce.
Make a Circle is more than meets the eye. It's only 33 pages long, but I*3.5 stars*
A surprisingly good offering from new to me author, Elliot Joyce.
Make a Circle is more than meets the eye. It's only 33 pages long, but I was pleasantly pleased at how much I enjoyed it, though if the story had been even longer, I think I would have really loved it.
Though the blurb doesn't state it, the story is about the Dongzhi Festival, which is the Chinese winter solstice festival. My daughters have many Chinese classmates (we even have no school on Chinese New Year), but I've never heard of the Dongzhi celebration until this story. I was really interested, and I wish I learned a little more from the story, but I was intrigued nevertheless.
I liked both MCs and I dug their chemistry, which is rare for me in an established couple story. However, because this story was so short, I appreciated the fact that the author didn't try to introduce two people and get some sort of relationship going in such a short span of time.
I always, always like a trans MC, which, again, wasn't stated in the blurb but was a pleasant surprise for me. I actively seek out books with trans main characters, so I enjoyed discovering this one a great deal.
Though this story was just a hint of something greater, I'm hopeful I'll see a lot more from this author in the future.
I was curious and excited to read a Kwanzaa story, but we don't get too much Kwanzaa feeling in this short. There are some references and a few remarks, but we don't even get to see the MCs celebrating, which was disappointing for a holiday story.
I sort of liked the gibbering of the younger MC, but I found him to be a bit too scattered as a character. I also found the older MC to be a bit inconsistent. One minute he was mourning his deceased husband and the next he was asking a guy out on a date. It didn't feel authentic.
The story was a short, easy read and I liked that we got two POC MCs, but there wasn't enough Kwanzaa or enough finesse for my tastes.
I read Exit Plans for Teenage Freaks in one day (well, one day fused into one night because I stayed up way past my bedtime reading). I just couldn't put it down. I loved the diversity, the excitement, and the *squee*-factor of it all.
I loved how we got one POC MC, the other MC has a deaf father, and a whole group of friends that span the breadth of the queer spectrum. Plus, these kids were imperfect, impulsive kids, and I loved that in YA.
I really, really dug the premise of the story. At heart, I'm a huge sci-fi nerd, and the teleportation and the way it was described really intrigued me. I wanted to know MORE, and I actually wish we had a sequel or more meat to the sci-fi aspects of the story because I found them to be fascinating and under-explained.
I also liked the sweet romance, which was just getting going at the end of the story. I related to the awkward, excited, nervous feel of the beginning of their dynamic, and they were so adorable together by the end. Though, to be honest, I could have used a little more romance-y romance, but that's just my preference.
I think Exit Plans for Teenage Freaks will appeal to all YA fans. It was fun, funny, exciting and a whole lot more. Nathan Burgoine has a winner on his hands.
I hated Beautiful Bastard, a book that most readers love, and haven't read Christina Lauren since. And, to make matters worse, contemporary romances are my least favorite subclass of romance, and get my consistently lowest ratings. As a result, I was shocked at how much I enjoyed My Favorite Half-Night Stand .
The book was funny, like really funny. I was highlighting and laughing out loud for so much of the story- just funny, witty banter that put a smile on my face. I wasn't expecting that.
I usually feel wishy-washy about friends-to-lovers. I don't like when the emotional bond is already there prior to the story's start, but in this case, it really worked. I related to both MCs and I loved the duel POV.
My Favorite Half-Night Stand was just simply a really, really good read. It made me happy, and I believed in the main couple, and, for me, that's what reading romance is all about.
Bump by Matthew J. Metzger was a very powerful book, and one that I shouldn't have started late at night. I thought I might just read a few*4.5 stars*
Bump by Matthew J. Metzger was a very powerful book, and one that I shouldn't have started late at night. I thought I might just read a few pages, but then I actually couldn't put it down. I stayed up for hours reading, and I'm still thinking about it today. Powerful.
Trigger warnings: homophobic and transphobic language, references to suicidal thoughts and depression.
I've read a number of Matthew's books in the past and have enjoyed them all, but Bump felt different to me. For one, it's a romance... but not totally a genre romance. The book has an established couple in it, and while we do get a lot of their relationship and all of it's complexities in the story, the focus of the book is centered around David and his personal journey through pregnancy. And there is no sex content at all, just an FYI to readers.
The story is both straightforward and complicated. I can't even imagine what David went through in this story, and what pregnant trans men have to go through if/when they get pregnant. The dysphoria felt so real and so well described that I started to feel uncomfortable in my skin.
The plotting of this book is perfect. The book moves so well and the writing is so fluid that you will have a hard time putting it down. I've read a number of books that haven't grabbed me recently, and this was a book that grabbed me and didn't let me go.
I loved that we had two POC MCs and one in a wheelchair. It took me a little while to figure out those details as they aren't explicated stated at the start of the story, but the diversity of this book was very lovely to read. I loved the fact that David's partner was in a wheelchair but none of the story centered around any difficulties that he faced, though we get to see him struggle through some aspects of his physical therapy and recovery. It was all about David, and that really worked for the story.
At times, Bump was difficult to read, but I found it to be an extremely rewarding, balanced story. There is angst and pain, but there is so much more. Though I don't have much in common with David, I found myself relating to him and I felt a small hint of what it was like to be in his shoes. Matthew J. Metzger created something powerful with this story.
I like darker dystopian books sometimes, and All the Dogs are Dancing really fit that bill. I think it's important to know what you are getting into with this one as it is no steam and light on the romance, though the romance was still a central part of the story.
The world-building had so many interesting elements, I just think the author moved too quickly over the details at times. I often left scenes feeling a bit confused, but as the book went on, I found that I just rolled with the confusing parts because each page held something new and more and more intriguing. It felt, at times, that this book was a sequel where I missed the first in the series, and though that usually bothers me a lot, I was too swept up in the ultra fast-pace to linger on it for too long.
The romance was sweet and there was lots of buildup to it, which I always enjoy. I think many fans of queer dystopian books will enjoy this one. I know I did.
I don't read that much YA, and this book reminded me of why. I found the MCs to be a bit immature for high school seniors, and a bit too innocent. However, I thought the story was, in turns, both sweet and heart-breaking.
I liked the ghost aspect, but I think Jennifer Cosgrove could have taken it even further. It was strange how people didn't ask him to talk to the dead more or do more stuff with his abilities. I was hoping for a more intriguing adventure or mystery with the paranormal stuff, but it all ended up being very hum-drum.
The story was cute, but a bit... boring? Nothing much happened. I liked it at first, but my attention waned a bit as the story went on. Also, the depiction of high school seemed very "90s movie" and not very realistic, IMO.
I enjoyed the narration from Lawrence T. Lewis, though his voice for James' brother was a bit "valley-boy"-ish. I'll definitely listen to him in the future.
Overall, a pleasant listen, but the audiobook did not live up to my (high) expectations.
I wasn't sure that I wanted to read Boy Shattered, and, to be honest, it was a tough read all the way through. I picked a bad day to start it, a day wI wasn't sure that I wanted to read Boy Shattered, and, to be honest, it was a tough read all the way through. I picked a bad day to start it, a day when I already felt bleak, and it did not make my mood any better. However, I think Eli Easton wrote an important book, and a really moving love story.
I'm going to start off with things you should know before attempting this book.
If you've read the blurb at all, you'll know at least some of these things. It's important to know that the story is painfully angsty and sad. It is also YA, so there is little-to-no on page sex. Eli Easton can write some steamy stuff, but this isn't in that category. Also, trigger warnings: gun violence, children dying, homophobia, PTSD.
I really fought with myself over this story. I have school-aged kids, and gun violence is something that keeps me up at night in cold sweats. Did I really want to subject myself to a fiction story surrounding that very topic? Turns out, I did.
I loved the heavy, atmospheric style of Boy Shattered. It is a weighty story, but one that has moments of lightness, and the overall feeling is of something that is really powerful. After reading a number of fluffy stories, it felt good to sink my teeth into something real, even though it was my worst fears come to life.
The romance was also truly lovely. It was a pure, sweet first romance mixed with all the pain and terrible angst born of tragedy. It was a bright spot for me in the story, and I loved the innocence and weariness of these two MCs. The pacing of the romance was also just spot on.
There was also a mystery aspect that I didn't love, but I, in general, hate suspense and mystery. I always read who the killer is before watching any movie where people die, and so not knowing who was behind the shooting was torture for me, and I don't enjoy torture.
All in all, if you have the emotional fortitude to read something painful but beautifully gripping, you should try this one. Just go into it knowing what to expect and you'll reap the rewards.
Enjoyable and entertaining, Lord of Vice was another good book by Erica Ridley.
I had a little bit of trouble in the beginning believing th*3.5 stars*
Enjoyable and entertaining, Lord of Vice was another good book by Erica Ridley.
I had a little bit of trouble in the beginning believing the whole set up. I couldn't picture Bryony having the level of freedom that she did, sneaking around London with ease and without anyone from her house knowing she was missing. I also didn't buy that Max would be cool with her breaking into and chilling in his study. No, not him. I just couldn't see it.
I also thought that the romance was too fast. They were feeling these deep feelings way too quickly. I like a really slow burn where emotions and romance take a long time to develop, so the speed of their romance took me by surprise.
However, once I got past my initial obstacles and made it into the second half of the book, I couldn't put it down. I still don't think this story was very historically feasible, but I was too swept up in the romance to care. The second half of the story was very lovely and totally enjoyable, and I stayed up WAY too late to finish.
Though Lord of Vice started off a little shaky, it ended beautifully. A very nice read in the Rogues to Riches series.
Have you ever wondered if the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were circumcised while stoned?
Wait... I don't mean while they were stoned, or like while tHave you ever wondered if the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were circumcised while stoned?
Wait... I don't mean while they were stoned, or like while the doctors (or mohel, could be Jewish??) were stoned, I mean have YOU wondered these things while YOU were stoned? Well if you have or if you want to read about people who ponder those same types of things while partaking in some Mary Jane, How to Be a Movie Star is the book for you. Or if you don't smoke, that's cool too, Josiah doesn't judge.
I was expecting it to be epic, and while I really liked it and I got those squishy feelings by the end, I had parts of the story that I struggled with a bit.
In my mind, Josiah and I have a lot in common. We both are amazingly awesome at winning radio contests (I've won between 25-30, I'm not sure of the full count), have irrepressibly sunny dispositions, and have been known to partake in some herbal refreshment from time to time (as my fellow GRL attendees who ran into me at the Colorado meet-up will probably remember), and... well, that's about it. Okay, yeah... we might not have that much in common...
I really liked Josy (love that nickname) and I enjoyed reading about his demisexuality. I consider myself fairly well-versed on asexuality by now, but Josy gave me a new perspective. To me, it seemed like he was both demisexual and demiromantic because he doesn't get romantic feelings without friendship and an emotional connection first. I thought demisexuality was more about just sexual feelings and attraction, but Josy's was a bit different than I was expecting. I loved seeing how his brain worked with friendship and romance, and I was excited to be in his head for the entirety of the story (it's single POV, like How To Be A Normal Person).
However, maybe because Josiah was all over the place with his thoughts, I struggled to keep engaged in the first half of the story. It took me six days to finish this one, which is a long time for me. If I love a book, I'll read it all night long, and I just didn't get that urge here, which was unexpected. Josiah's thoughts were scattered and lots of things were happening in the beginning, and I just wasn't as fully into the story as I was anticipating. The friendship between the two MCs doesn't get going for awhile, and I felt eager to start things more than anything.
Thankfully, as the second half neared, I got more and more into it, which relieved me to no end as there is nothing I don't like more than not loving a book that I fully anticipated loving.
I think what really turned this book around for me was, Gus. Gus is Josiah's BFF, and I ADORED any scene with Gus in it. Combining Gus with Josiah, the internet, and telecommunications help lady was nirvana for me.
The romance crept up on me, and though it was slow-going, I was really feeling it by the end. It takes a LONG time for Josy to realize his romantic feelings, and that was okay with me as a reader, but be prepared to WAIT. There was one scene that was so sweet and so moving that I cried in public (as one does, naturally), so, rest assured, you will catch some major feels from this one.
How to Be a Movie Star has a lot of important lessons about mental health, sexuality, and self-care. It will resonate really strongly with readers who have struggled with depression, isolation, or feeling different, which is an important gift that T.J. Klune gives to his readers. I thought the book was a great combo of fully, sweet, and didactic without being over-the-top, and I know that his fans will LOVE this one.
So light up a (only if legal!) joint, sit down and relax, and get to know these characters. You'll be happy you went along for the ride.
It’s the mind. It’s the most complex and astonishing thing there is, that there’s a world inside each of us that no one else can ever know or see or v
It’s the mind. It’s the most complex and astonishing thing there is, that there’s a world inside each of us that no one else can ever know or see or visit.
The audiobook of Strange the Dreamer is currently my favorite book of 2018 so I had BIG expectations of Muse of Nightmares. Sometimes expectations that are unrealistically high can ruin a sequel, so I tried to keep my hopes in check (unsuccessfully, I'll admit). I kept thinking, where could Laini Taylor take the story and would all of my questions be answered? How could she compete with such a glorious first book?
Answer: she took it to all the right places, AND most of my questions were, indeed, answered.
First of all, let's talk about how amazing Steve West is. I mean, he is a true master narrator, and I sat in my car and on my couch, quietly staring off into space for hours, letting his voice just transport me into this alternate world.
The plot of this story is... indescribable, even more so than Strange the Dreamer. How the author came up with these ideas and plot twists will continue to amaze and astonish me for many months to come. I was completely invested in this story and these characters, and I simply didn't want it to end. I had a hard time letting these characters go.
Though, if I'm being perfectly honest with myself, the conclusion of the story wasn't my favorite. It felt draggy and over-explained, like the author didn't know where to stop the story. However, I could easily look past that flaw.
The author left the book open for more stories in this world, and I hope she continues, because Laini Taylor did something special here.
Sometimes I DNF a book because I didn't enjoy it or I found it boring, but here I am DNFing because I'm just not clicking withDNF at ~40%. No rating.
Sometimes I DNF a book because I didn't enjoy it or I found it boring, but here I am DNFing because I'm just not clicking with the writing style and I don't want to be the ass who gives it a bad review.
I really struggle with third person, present tense (present tense, in general, actually), and when I saw that that's how the story was written, I immediately got worried. However, I was determined to press on. I mean, that cover(!), queer rep in sports(!), a book with many YA, POC characters (!)- I just couldn't pass that up.
However, it just never gelled for me. Maybe it's because YA isn't my usual thing, though I have LOVED and favorited many YAs in the past, or maybe it's because I just didn't connect with the characters (there are a lot, and I had difficulty growing close to any of them). I really, really struggled with the choppy transitions between scenes and whose POV it was at any given time, and I never could sink into the story.
Again, I think this book and books like it is just what we need, but the writing style didn't work for me. Sometimes it's just better to throw in the towel.
*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review* ...more
I'm really torn about Detour from Reesa Herberth and new-to-me author Michelle Moore. On one hand, I see why so many of my friends rated it 5-stars, bI'm really torn about Detour from Reesa Herberth and new-to-me author Michelle Moore. On one hand, I see why so many of my friends rated it 5-stars, but on the other hand, I just didn't emotionally connect the way I thought I would.
I'm not a huge YA/NA reader (these guys are 18, so just on the cusp of NA), but I like a meet-cute story and I figured a road-trip would be a great setting for one. I really had no idea how incredibly angsty this book was going to be. I mean... real trauma here, folks.
For some reason, it was hard for me to focus on this story. It took me ages to read, and I had no issues putting it down. I enjoyed it when I read it, but I wasn't glued to my Kindle. I wish I felt that spark of empathy instead of sympathy and really connected to the characters more.
The romance also was a little iffy for me. I enjoyed these two together, but I really wanted to send them both to therapy more. There was so much... well, MUCH happening with both of them in their personal lives that I wanted to hug them more than see them find love.
I loved that we got a POC MC (hispanic, I think), but I wish we had more descriptors of the two guys. There was a vague reference to one having darker skin and then a brief Spanish-speaking part later on, but I had trouble picturing each of them. I like really vivid descriptions of my MCs. To be honest, what we did get a lot of detail on (the buildings, the road-side sights) bored me a little.
Overall, I enjoyed the story and I can see why people loved it, but it wasn't a home-run for me.
*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*...more
I loved, loved, loved Femme by the very witty Marshall Thornton, but Masc didn't quite have the same effect on me, though I enjoyed it overall.
LionelI loved, loved, loved Femme by the very witty Marshall Thornton, but Masc didn't quite have the same effect on me, though I enjoyed it overall.
Lionel and Dog are a great couple. They are complete opposites, and they really balance one another. There is always that great wit and humor between them, especially from Lionel, however, this book was a lot less funny and a lot more serious than Femme.
Just a couple things to get out of the way:Masc cannot be read as a stand-alone. It just can't. It's a continuation of Femme, so you really need that background information. Also, those who don't like their HEAs messed with in any way might not like the ups and downs in Dog and Lionel's relationship in this story. Finally, trigger warnings for sexual harrassment and unwanted touching.
There were a lot of deep parts in Masc, mostly about being true to who you are, similar to the messages from Femme. I liked the overall story, but I was really hoping for something more funny and light and less intense, though there were some really amusing moments.
I enjoyed this book, but, if I'm being completely honest, I almost wish I stopped at Femme. I like my HEAs to stay undisturbed.
*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*...more
I can sort of see why people like this love story (and yes, love story NOT ROMANCE), but I had issues.
There is no plot. None. It is sort of a meandering, wandering story through the basically boring lives of two teenage boys. Lots of boring, boring stuff filling the page-time. Sure, there were amusing moments, but the cuteness, the humor, and the squee-factor wasn't there.
Romance lovers: this is not a romance. A romance has a HEA and this just didn't. After all of that melodrama and discussion... just not satisfying.
I don't usually feel too old to read YA, but but I felt old reading this. It was full of silly drama that I just don't care about anymore, and I don't care to read it.
Despite some sweet moments and a decent narration, I wasn't in love with this audiobook. It took me nearly a month to finish, which is not a good thing. Disappointing.
Though the audiobook was well narrated, I had to push myself to listen. I hate the "I know what's best for you"-types. Issues with the plot dragging, lack of chemistry between the two "supposed" love interests, and just... blah. I don't really like Charlie, though her humor actually works at times. Just not what I wanted it to be....more
This is a book of nightmares, fantasies, love, and loss. There are no good guys, no bad guys, just people and those that are more than people, with all of their intricacies and flaws. The prose is just shy of purple, and the story will sweep you away with its wonder and horror.
I can't describe the book and I can't leave the world. I'm devastated that I have to wait months for the audio to come out for Muse of Nightmares. I don't know how I'll do it.
For those wanting to try Strange the Dreamer in audio, go for it. The narrator was a revelation, and I thought it was a perfect fit.
I love urban fantasy/paranormal books, so I was interested in The Witch Stone by newbie author Jasmine Hong. However, this bWhat an odd little story.
I love urban fantasy/paranormal books, so I was interested in The Witch Stone by newbie author Jasmine Hong. However, this book wasn't quite what I was expecting.
First of all, I wouldn't call this a romance at all, so if you are expecting a romance you are reading the wrong book.
The Witch Stone reminded me of an underdeveloped, rushed version of an Ilona Andrews story. It had a similar magic family, magic world-vibe, but it was so sloppy and confusing that it lost much of the positives.
The writing had a frenetic pace that kept me reading but also left me scratching my head. I felt like I was missing a prequel story or something. There was too much going on and not enough information.
The actual language also felt messy at times, and I think it needed a few more rounds with an editor. There were sentences that I needed to read multiple times for meaning, and characters that seemed erratically conceptualized.
The good news is that there is a whole cast of queer people representing a chunk of the QUILTBAG spectrum with a strong showing from queer POC, which is sorely needed in literature. There were also some strong concepts that could have really been something special with more time and energy spent on developing the story. The book needed to be novel-length, with more world-building, more explaining of basics in order not to confuse readers.
I hope to see more from Jasmine Hong in the future, and I hope she really pushes herself because I could see her coming up with something special. Unfortunately, The Witch Stone wasn't it.
*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*
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This book is for all of you out there who like prickly MCs who start off hating each other. For people who like MCs who are all piss and vinegar and who have to WORK at each other. Over and over again. If you MCs who are all snark and bite and fire.
But then, underneath, you start to see hints of vulnerability. Just hints. And they make the whole thing worthwhile.
This book is in no way perfect. I forgave the MCs for some pretty crappy things they said (some questionable thoughts about whether men could rape one another - YES- and some other stereotypical, icky other things). There is also absolutely no sex. Not even fade-to-black. Sure, sex is implied, but it is implied like in a PG movie. Like they leave and go into a room and shut the door cut to the next day. However, I didn't mind that much.
When it comes down to it, though, this book gave me oodles and oodles of feels. I LOVED the snark and banter, and I ADORED the chemistry between the two MCs. I even got that tightness in my eyes and throat at the end of the story, I was so happy, and that tightness, that emotion, usually equates to 4+ stars in my book.
And the next Thing You Know . . . won't be for everyone, but people who connect to the writing style and the MCs will love it. Oh, and although this book is part of a series, it also works well as a stand-alone so don't be afraid to dive in. I was so happy that I did.
*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*...more
I like Molly Harper, though admittedly she isn't my favorite author, but I always find her stuff to be light and nice. Sweet Tea and Sympathy, however, simply bored me to tears. Clutches those pearls!
This book is certainly more women's fiction than romance. In fact, I kept waiting for the chemistry and romance to develop, and well into the last quarter of the story I STILL felt like nothing real was happening. If you are looking for romance-y romance, this isn't it.
Sweet Tea and Sympathy is all about family and family dynamic. I liked that part of the story, actually. The quirky Southern family, the estranged father, the weird fishing shop/funeral home-thing was entertaining. However, a few little punchy details didn't carry the story for me.
My overall impression of this book is that it is well-meaning. The messages were there, it tried to be funny-ish, but it feel just shy for me. It took me over two weeks to finish, and for me, a reader of 4-5 books a week, that is unheard of.
I think many readers will enjoy this story, but it just didn't connect for me.
*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*...more