Tag Archives: reread

Mini Reviews #3: The Romance Edition

Here’s another batch of my mini reviews. They’re dead useful for whittling down my massive pile of books to review and I love them for the books that I didn’t love – those mediocre books are always the hardest to review. But there are a couple of jewels in here as well, so take a look! Check out my NA romance mini reviews!

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entice-enchantress-karen-hawkinsHow to Entice an Enchantress (The Duchess Diaries #3) by Karen Hawkins, published in 2013 by Pocket Books. Goodreads. Author.

Source: purchased (paperback).

My rating: 4.5/5.

My mini opinion: This was actually a re-read. I lovelovelove Karen Hawkins’s books, she’s one of my auto-buy authors, and How to Entice an Enchantress is one of her best. It’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling (though in a very loose sense), and is the quintessential comfort read. It has fluff, it has banter, it has a grumpy-but-swoony hero and a smart heroine. What more can you ask for in a romance? :)

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viscount-lived-down-lane-elizabeth-boyleThe Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane (Rhymes with Love #4) by Elizabeth Boyle, published in 2014 by Avon. Goodreads. Author.

Source: purchased for Kindle.

My rating: 3/5.

My mini opinion: Ahh, romance covers… Always with the improbable abdominal and pectoral muscles… He looks like he’s in pain. This was a fun read with the usual “dark and damaged hero doesn’t want to be saved by quirky and unpopular herione” twist. It also features a rather bleak view of the London society at the time (what with the vicious rumors of Louisa’s mother’s behaviour marring her debut) – but I imagine the people were quite cruel in this regard. Especially since the upper classes didn’t do much beside dancing and gossiping. But yeah, this is a good one-evening entertainment if you run out of light stuff to read!

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secrets-sir-richard-kenworthy-julia-quinnThe Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy (Smythe-Smith Quartet #4) by Julia Quinn, published in 2015 by Avon. Goodreads. Author.

Source: purchased for Kindle.

My rating: 3.5/5.

My mini opinion: Well, Julia Quinn is one of my favourite historical romance authors but this one fell short of my expectations. I mean, it’s ok and all, but not the witty, funny prose I usually encounter when I read her novels. Let me just say: I would murder Sir Richard in his bed if I was Iris and he kept a secret like that from me (now you all have to read it to see if you agree with me, HA!). But I loved returning to the known characters (the scene with the play that the kids put on is hilarious) and I understood Iris’s actions. She’s one of those quiet heroines that’s not quite a wallflower but likes to listen more than she likes to talk if that makes sense. See Quinn’s and Lark’s reviews if you want more info on the book!

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talk-of-the-town-karen-hawkinsTalk of the Town (Glory NC #1) by Karen Hawkins, published in 2008 by Pocket Books. Goodreads. Author.

Source: purchased for Kindle.

My rating: 3/5. 

My mini opinion: This is the first contemporary novel by Karen Hawkins that I read and I have to say I prefer her historicals. I do like a good small-town romance (Jill Shalvis owns my heart), but this one just didn’t speak to me. Maybe it’s because I didn’t connect with the heroine, Roxie, who is on a sort of a bender to revolutionise herself after a nasty divorce caused by her finding her husband in bed with his cross-dressing lover. She returns to her home town (with her older brother in tow – hello book #2) to take care of her ailing mother and meets “the one that got away”, Nick, the town sheriff. She takes on her mother’s charity work, which throws her into a murder investigation, helped by a bunch of geriatric busy-bodies. Maybe it was all a bit much for me (there’s a really silly scene with the mayor’s girlfriend that involves showing off their boobs). Hawkins is the queen of historicals for me and that’s that.

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master-kresley-coleThe Master (The Game Maker #2) by Kresley Cole, published in 2015 by Gallery Books. Goodreads. Author.

Source: purchased for Kindle.

My rating: 2.5/5.

My mini opinion: This is straight-up erotica, no doubt about that. This book doesn’t even pretend it’s anything else, because the heroine takes her first job as a prostitute in chapter one and meets the hero, a Russian mobster who likes to play rough. She doesn’t follow his script, which is, of course, hugely entertaining for him, so he wants her back. And then things spiral a bit because he thinks she wants to entrap him by having a baby, becomes a controlling freak, and basically imprisons her (but leaves her the use of his credit card, naturally). Eh. I really liked Cole’s If You Dare and her Immortals After Dark series, but this is just a bit too much (not the sex parts, the story that goes with it).

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Have you read any of these romances? What did you think?

Do you have any good recommendations for me? I’m always looking for new stories! :)

Angelfall by Susan Ee

angelfall-susan-eeAngelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1) by Susan Ee, published in 2011 by Feral Dream.

Author. Goodreads. Amazon. Book Depository.

Source: purchased (e-book).

Genre: YA urban fantasy (also postapocalyptic? Hell, I have no idea.)

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back. Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel. 

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl. 

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again. (Goodreads)

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My rating: a solid 4/5.

This was a re-read due to an almost complete blank in my memory when I tried to remember what happened. I first read it in 2012, I think, and I wanted to get on to World After, but never got around to it. After a first chapter or so, it all came back and I enjoyed the book very much the second time around. I think it counts as book 0 for my Re-Read Challenge and Flights of Fantasy (I re-read it in 2014 but the review will be published in 2015 so this is a sort of a test run).

Best quote: I was about to go with this one: “I’d always found kissing nice and pleasant, like smelling roses or laughter on a summer day.” And then I realized it completely misrepresents the novel, so I chose one that fits much better: “I’ve never killed anyone before. What frightens me isn’t that I’m killing someone. What frightens me is how easy it is.” Yes.

The first thing I want to mention is the absolutely gorgeous cover. I think I read the book just for the cover the first time and I still love it. Sometimes, the cover designers just get it right.

I love how dark the story is, what with the apocalypse and the angels obliterating millions of people. I’ve been reading way too much fluff lately and this book provides some very nice change to that.

The characters are morally ambiguous – both Penryn and Raffe have their fair share of flaws and questionable decisions. I like that angels are mostly seen as the bad guys – and that they are more human-like than most humans would like to admit (this reminds me of Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy). Both humans and angels can be monsters sometimes and none of them are exactly sure what they’re doing on Earth.

I enjoyed Penryn very much because she’s a far cry from helpless and meek. Her primary concern is her family and she does what she has to in order to save her younger sister, Paige, who’s been abducted by the angels. Raffe, the angel with a corny sense of humory, is probably one of my favourite boy-characters of late because he’s nothing like the typically overbearing alpha-males that seem to haunt the pages of every YA and NA novel out there.

I didn’t particularly like the parts with the demon children – I have something of a weak disposition when babies and children are involved (I wrote about this here) and I felt that maybe the story could do with less gruesomeness sometimes. But it wasn’t bad enough to make me put the book down so I guess it’s just a matter of preference.

Overall, this is a really good beginning of a postapocalyptic YA fantasy series. I already started reading part two, so you can expect the review soon! :)

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If you liked this, you might like to check out my review of Dreams of Gods and Monsters or The Archived.

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Have you read this book? Did you like it?

Do you have any topics that you’re particularly sensitive about? 

I’d love to hear from you!

Challenges

This coming New Year is the first that will come to pass since I’ve started this blog in May. And while I’m very satisfied with how it’s been evolving, I’d like to sign up for a couple of challenges – not so much in order to read more books but to do more social stuff and connect with other bloggers. The book blogging community is wonderful and I’d like to use this chance to find more cool blogs to read. I’ll be completing this post with one on New Year’s resolutions, I think.

All of the challenges are meant for the entire year, so I have lots of time to fulfill them all. They might sound like a lot, but I think they won’t be too much as there’s bound to be some overlap and I’m not choosing the highest categories for each of them. I won’t be setting a Goodreads challenge with a number of books, I’ll just try to complete these:

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(Unless you are Snow White)_thumb[3]The Fairytale Retelling Challenge 

Hosted by Mel of The Daily Prophecy (rules on her page!). The goal is to read fairytale retellings in whichever genre / age group you desire. I’m aiming for the Magic Mirror level (5-9 books) but I might re-evaluate my goals a few months later.

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flightsoffantasyThe Flights of Fantasy Challenge

This one is a no-brainer for me given how many fantasy novels I read anyway. The challenge is hosted by Alexa Loves Books and Hello, Chelly and the basic rules are pretty simple! I’m setting a goal of 24 books – I think I can manage that! :) There are additional options with books recommended by the hostesses (is this the right word here?) and they look great!

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Re-Read ChallengeThe Re-read Challenge

I’m always saying I should re-read some book or other, and I actually re-read a lot. This challenge is hosted by So Obsessed With and Belle of the Literati and I feel like it’s perfect for me. I’ll use this post as a sort of guideline, but I may re-read other books. I’m going to set a tentative goal at 12 books, so I should read and write a review for one book each month, allowing me to keep up with the other bloggers who will participate in the challenge.

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dusting-off-the-shelf1-e14189491207621Dusting Off The Shelf Reading Challenge

This challenge is great because I’m a compulsive book buyer (I suspect a lot of us are) and I never manage to read all the books I buy, because there’s always something new and shiny to get to. It’s hosted by Emily at Books & Cleverness and is pretty forgiving with details and rules. These are some of the titles I’ve had on my shelves for over a while now and really want to read in 2015:

  • My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher
  • Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
  • Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green
  • The City and the City by China Mieville
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
  • The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
  • Le Combat d’hiver by Jean-Claude Mourlevat
  • Tomorrow when the War Began by John Mardsen
  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.

These ten titles are something of a guideline, but I’ve got other books languishing around that I might read and add to this category. Again, a goal of 12 books sounds good.

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Apart from these three challenges, I’d like to read more classics (from this list, for example, at least 5 novels), and finish more series – I’m terrible at this.

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As some of these might overlap, I think these challenges are doable in one year. We’ll see if I’m too ambitious by the same time next year! :)

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Are you participating in any challenges?

Or are you a mood reader and want to read whatever the hell you want?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

Top Ten Books I Want to Reread

top-tenTop Ten Tuesday is a hugely popular weekly meme hosted by the lovely people of The Broke and the Bookish. I sometimes participate when the topic strikes my fancy – and it did this week, as I’m supposed to list the top ten books I want to reread. I reread a lot. I’ve even written about it here – but this is a list of books I haven’t reread yet but will do so in the future if I find the time!

The first five are all books in a series that have a sequel coming up (or it’s been a while and I want to continue the series) so I’m hoping to reread them in order to freshen my memory; the rest are those that are simply so good I want to go through them again.ttt-rereads1

  1. The Wise Man’s Fear (Kingkiller Chronicle #2) by Patrick Rothfuss. I reread The Name of the Wind before The Wise Man’s Fear came out and it turned to be a really good idea because the story is so detailed (and wonderful).
  2. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman – Shadow Scale is coming out this spring!!
  3. Sabriel (Abhorsen #1) by Garth Nix – I read this one years ago and can’t even remember what it’s about. I’ll have to change that soon!
  4. The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastards #3) by Scott Lynch – I know the next book won’t be out for a while, but I *love* Lynch’s writing.
  5. Linger (Wolves of the Mercy Falls #2) by Maggie Stiefvater – I’ve had Forever on my bookshelf for a while now and I want to finish the series, but I can’t really remember what happened. I want to read more of Stiefvater’s books, because I’ve read really great reviews lately.ttt-rereads2
  6. A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon – this is one of the few “family sagas” I’ve enjoyed. It’s brilliant, funny, and tragic and I cannot recommend it enough.
  7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – I’ve been wanting to reread this one because of the movie. I haven’t seen it yet, so maybe I’ll manage to get it read before seeing it.
  8. Les Aurores Montreales by Monique Proulx – these are perhaps the best short stories I’ve ever read. So beautiful.
  9. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami – I really like Murakami’s novels and this one was a favourite when I read it. I remember the awesome weirdness of the story and some great quotes (I read it in English translation, of course, not Japanese!).
  10. Watership Down by Richard Adams – I enjoyed this one very much as a kid (in Slovenian translation!), so I want to see if the impression still holds.

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Do you reread? Which books?

Which ones are on your TBRR (to be reread) pile? :)

Share your TTT links or just your thoughts, I love to hear from you!