Title:Would You Rather Author: Allison Ashley Genre: Adult Contemporary / Romance Publication Date: August 23rd, 2022 Publisher: Mira Books Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
“Noah and Mia have always been best friends, and their friendship is the most important thing to them. Life is going great for Noah and he’s up for a promotion in a job he loves. But Mia’s life is on hold as she awaits a kidney transplant. She’s stuck in a dead-end job and, never wanting to be a burden, has sworn off all romance. So when the chance of a lifetime comes to go back to school and pursue her dream, it’s especially painful to pass up. She can’t quit her job or she’ll lose the medical insurance she so desperately needs. To support her, Noah suggests they get married—in name only—so she can study full-time and still keep the insurance. It’s a risk to both of them, with jobs, health and hearts on the line, and they’ll need to convince suspicious coworkers and nosy roommates that they’re the real deal. But if they can let go of all the baggage holding them back, they might realize that they would rather be together forever.” (Goodreads)
This book didn’t make me dislike the friends-to-lovers trope more than I do so that is good! Haha. It’s definitely not a trope I enjoy but I wanted to give this one a try because of the marriage of convenience. That is a trope I do really enjoy. I think that there were good qualities and also bad ones that I thought needed more.
The book is told from dual point-of-views, Noah and Mia. I always like to see this done when it comes to romance because I want to get into both of their heads! Give me the details! I thought this was well done, but I did like Mia’s view more.
Noah’s development felt like it only involved his career move, but was very lackluster, and his relationship with Mia. Even though he was marrying her for the right reasons, he did seem to lust over her to often than not and it kind of killed the vibe for me. I felt like I never really got to understand their dynamic because they were married for too long before they got with it and then that’s basically all it was for the rest of the book. This won’t be an issue for everyone though.
Mia is going through a lot when it comes to her health, job, and schooling. It was nice that Noah wanted to do so much for her. I did feel like she was a bit overdramatic when it came to her parents, but since I have never been in that situation maybe I would have been.
Overall, this was a good read. I did like the marriage of convenience, but I would have liked more development for their relationship.
“Florence Day is the ghostwriter for one of the most prolific romance authors in the industry, and she has a problem—after a terrible breakup, she no longer believes in love. It’s as good as dead. When her new editor, a too-handsome mountain of a man, won’t give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye. But then she gets a phone call she never wanted to receive, and she must return home for the first time in a decade to help her family bury her beloved father. For ten years, she’s run from the town that never understood her, and even though she misses the sound of a warm Southern night and her eccentric, loving family and their funeral parlor, she can’t bring herself to stay. Even with her father gone, it feels like nothing in this town has changed. And she hates it. Until she finds a ghost standing at the funeral parlor’s front door, just as broad and infuriatingly handsome as ever, and he’s just as confused about why he’s there as she is. Romance is most certainly dead… but so is her new editor, and his unfinished business will have her second-guessing everything she’s ever known about love stories.” (Goodreads)
This was probably one of the most unique romance books I have ever read to date. I feel like it will be hard top this when it comes to that category. For the most part, I liked this book but there were some things that led me to have a disconnect from the story.
The book is told from one point-of-view and it comes from Florence Day. She comes from a family of undertakers but decided that wasn’t for her and wanted to pursue writing. I did like learning about her family and they do take up a significant role in the book. Florence is dealing with the loss of her father and the grief that comes with it as well as being on a deadline for a book. It’s tough for her and it doesn’t help she can’t seem to write romance after the ending of her last relationship. The author paints a great picture of how a person’s life is never perfect and there are struggles and sometimes they just pile on and it’s hard to breathe. In this sense, and the grief, I did connect with Florence, but I also didn’t fully connect and when big plot twists happen it just didn’t grip me.
The other characters in this book were also nice to get to know as well. I don’t think that there were any that left me wanting more for. They weren’t flat, not even her dillweed of an ex.
The uniqueness of this story is that Florence sees ghosts and sometimes helps them move on. It wasn’t always easy for her to have this gift and in the past it had led to bullying. The ghost that unexpectedly showed up was a surprise but with a couple hints thrown out within a few scenes of them I knew where the book was going and predicted the end. It was still a nice ending but did lose it shock value.
Overall, this was a good book. I would definitely recommend it if you are looking for a different type of romance and one that is perfect for this season.
Title: The Great Hunt (The Wheel of Time #2) Author: Robert Jordan Genre: Adult Fantasy Publication Date: November 15th, 1990 Publisher: Tor Books Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
“The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow. For centuries, gleemen have told the tales of The Great Hunt of the Horn. So many tales about each of th Hunters, and so many Hunters to tell of…Now the Horn itself is found: the Horn of Valere long thought only legend, the Horn which will raise the dead heroes of the ages. And it is stolen.” (Goodreads)
I knew I needed to get back into this series after seeing a lot of others getting back into it or doing a reread. I usually just keep putting it off because they are so long! This time I decided to go with an audiobook instead and it didn’t disappoint. The narration was well done.
The book is told from multiple point-of-views. It was nice to have since the characters aren’t always in the same place and they are dealing with different situations but all under the same plot. There are still characters that I like more than others but that is usually expected. Some new characters were introduced and some didn’t live long, haha. It was hard to feel bad for them since I hadn’t known them for too long.
Since this is a rather long book, there are some duller moments. I do think that the audiobook helped me to stay on track since I could say, “Hey, I am going to listen to 8% today.”, but usually listened to 10% or so. I think I am going to stick to the audiobooks
Overall, it was good but I do think I liked the first more. There seemed to be a lot more going on, but there was some thrilling moments in this one. I could definitely see where some inspiration from Tolkien was taken as well. I will still continue on with this series but not sure when I will start the next book.
I finished up reading the book yesterday and am here to share that with you all! There are questions that have already been made for discussion by Jordyn @ Birdie’s Book Nook and today it will be put in a review format. Thanks for hosting this read-a-long!
Title:Sabriel Author: Garth Nix Genre: YA Fantasy Publication Date: May 1st, 1995 Publisher: Varies Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
“Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him. With Sabriel, the first installment in the Abhorsen series, Garth Nix exploded onto the fantasy scene as a rising star, in a novel that takes readers to a world where the line between the living and the dead isn’t always clear—and sometimes disappears altogether.” (Goodreads)
I have finally finished the book! It has been on my tbr for awhile now so I am glad to have another one on that list checked off.
This book wasn’t exactly like how I thought it would be, but it’s not a bad thing. I did like a lot of the aspects it had to offer and some things just fell a bit short for me. I don’t know if it has been the hype surrounding this book or if it’s just me.
The book is told from one point-of-view and it comes from Sabriel. She is a young girl who has gone to boarding school and now must find her father, the Abhorsen, in the Old Kingdom who has suddenly went missing and may be dead. It’s definitely a major task for someone so young but she pulls it off well. Sabriel is very strong willed and is very loyal to her father. She would do anything for him even if it means being a tad bit morally grey when figuring out what she would do if he was actually dead since she is a necromancer. I always like when characters walk the line because it makes them more human than just being purely good or evil.
I did some of the side characters, like Mogget. Talking animal companions will always get me! It also helps that he is a cat. I will say that some of the side characters felt a bit flat and I really wish there was more to them.
One thing I did struggle with was the world building. Although some things are explained, others were not as well established like the time periods and it made me a bit lost when trying to wrap it around my head, Luckily, it was explained by host of the read-a-long and I definitely appreciate that! It is a cool concept though to mix two different types of time periods together.
Personally, I wasn’t as invested in this book as I had hoped I would be. I don’t exactly know what it was because I don’t think it was entirely just my complaints. 🤷♀️
Overall, this was a good book. I’m still indecisive on whether to pick up the next book in the series. Only time will tell! If I do, it probably won’t be for a bit since I have other books I would like to get to first.
Title: When Dimple Met Rishi Author: Sandhya Menon Genre: YA Contemporary / Romance Publication Date: May 30th, 2017 Publisher: Simon Pulse Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
“Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family—and from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right? Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself. The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitating toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not? Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.” (Goodreads)
I have been meaning to read this one but haven’t got around to it until now. It did help that I noticed the Netflix sticker, haha. Since I didn’t have an audiobook going on I figured why not give this one a try.
The audiobook has two different narrators, one for Dimple’s chapters and the other for Rishi’s. I did like how this was done as it was easier to tell who’s point-of-view it was.
Both of the main characters had something they enjoyed doing and we get to see it flourish throughout the book, especially with each other’s help. I would say that I liked Rishi more only because Dimple was very wish-washy and it kept going on even when there was only 5% left of the book. I understand that they both had to make sacrifices but I do think that Rishi was willing to let go of more than Dimple. This could also just be how their personalities are.
The romance, which is a lot of the book, was fine. They had their sweet moments but since it is all done in a span of one summer program it does go quite quickly and the word “love” is thrown out. I would say for Rishi it was instant-love and Dimple took more to convince. It’s not bad just anything that has to be instant is not a favorite.
There are a couple side characters that stayed around for a lot of the book. Dimple’s roommate was kind of the opposite of her and let peer pressure bring her into questionable situations. Rishi’s brother was funny and I liked him. I believe the next book is for him so I may give it a go.
Overall, this was good and had it’s moments. I did like the narration and thought it was well done.
Title:Babel, or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution Author: R.F. Kuang Genre: Adult Fantasy / Historical Fiction Publication Date: August 23rd, 2022 Publisher: Harper Voyager Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ to maybe a ⭐⭐⭐✨
Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a complimentary earc to review! All opinions are my own.
“Traduttore, traditore: An act of translation is always an act of betrayal.
1828. Robin Swift, orphaned by cholera in Canton, is brought to London by the mysterious Professor Lovell. There, he trains for years in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese, all in preparation for the day he’ll enroll in Oxford University’s prestigious Royal Institute of Translation — also known as Babel. Babel is the world’s center of translation and, more importantly, of silver-working: the art of manifesting the meaning lost in translation through enchanted silver bars, to magical effect. Silver-working has made the British Empire unparalleled in power, and Babel’s research in foreign languages serves the Empire’s quest to colonize everything it encounters. Oxford, the city of dreaming spires, is a fairytale for Robin; a utopia dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. But knowledge serves power, and for Robin, a Chinese boy raised in Britain, serving Babel inevitably means betraying his motherland. As his studies progress Robin finds himself caught between Babel and the shadowy Hermes Society, an organization dedicated to sabotaging the silver-working that supports imperial expansion. When Britain pursues an unjust war with China over silver and opium, Robin must decide: Can powerful institutions be changed from within, or does revolution always require violence? What is he willing to sacrifice to bring Babel down?” (Goodreads)
I was really looking forward to this one since I really enjoyed The Poppy War trilogy. I’d say that it is one of my top fantasy series. It’s just that good! I knew that this book would be a bit different since it deals more with academia and language. Can’t say that I have read a book about language, but also haven’t really dabbled in the academia genre either. There were aspects that I liked about this new novel, but also parts that bogged it down. As an anticipated read I would say that it was a bit disappointing. I do have hopes for the sequel since this is just the beginning.
The book is told from multiple point-of-views but mostly the book is about Robin Swift. He has been given a chance to learn at Oxford, but most importantly Babel. It’s all about the languages. This chance of a lifetime does come at a price and it’s one Robin isn’t sure he wants to pay.
I did like learning about Robin because he has an interesting background of coming from nothing to living with the rich but also never feeling like he fitted in to high society. His new life isn’t what it is cracked up to be and neither is the professor he lives with. Can’t say that I ever liked that professor. Robin is a character who falls under the morally gray spectrum. He has good intentions but his means of doing things can be questionable. Not everyone agrees with the way he handles things. I will say that his actions felt very genuine and I could see him being a real character because of it.
There are a lot of characters in this book, some with bigger roles and other with a smaller one, but each one still adds to the plot in a way. I do have a few I liked more than others and I am actually quite curious who will show up in book two as well as what their plot lines will entail. Robin does find a found family and they each understand one another. I liked seeing them interact together and it’s also one of my favorite tropes.
Even though I liked a majority of the characters, I can’t say that the plot twists that involved a few were really shocking. I know I didn’t connect fully with the characters, no fault to them, and so maybe that is why.
The book’s plot does talk a lot about colonialism, racism, and xenophobia. I thought that the conversation was done really well and had me thinking a lot about how it relates to our own world. The things that some of these characters are told or have had done to them because of those things is just heartbreaking.
Now that I have mentioned the good, let’s get to the aspects I wasn’t a fan of. The beginning of the book did reel me in right away but it didn’t take long for it to slow down and kind of drag on with a lot of info-dumping. I understand why it had to be done since it is the beginning of a series as well as having an academic setting that involves language. There is a lot to discuss. I just wish it didn’t feel like a chore to get through at times. There are also some time jumps where they are just starting and then all of a sudden they are in their second or third year (can’t remember exactly). It wasn’t a terrible jump but I just wasn’t a fan of the transition.
Overall, it was a fine book. This author is a great writer and I will always enjoy that about her. I’m hoping that with a lot of the info-dump out of the way book two will be better when it comes to pacing. I am still curious and will continue to read on but with lower expectations. I know that others may not have the same issues as me and so I would say go ahead and read it to see if it is the right fit!
Title:Kit McBride Gets a Wife Author: Amy Barry Genre: Adult Romance / Historical Fiction Publication Date: August 23rd, 2022 Publisher: Berkley Books Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a complimentary earc to review! All opinions are my own.
“The four McBride brothers have their worlds turned upside down when their precocious younger sister secretly places an advertisement for a mail-order bride.
Kit McBride knows that Buck’s Creek, Montana, is no place to find a wife. Between him and his three brothers–plus little Junebug–they manage all right on their own, thank you very much. But unbeknownst to Kit, his sister is sick to death of cleaning, cooking, and mending for her big brothers, so she places an ad in The Matrimonial News to get them hitched. After Maddy Mooney emigrated from Ireland, she found employment with an eccentric but poor widow. When her mistress decides to answer an ad for a mail-order bride, Maddy is dragged along for the ride to Montana. But en route to the West, Maddy is suddenly abandoned and left to assume the widow’s name, position, and matrimonial prospects…. With no other recourse in the wilderness, Maddy must convince Kit not only is she who she says she is, but she’s the wife he never knew he needed.” (Goodreads)
This isn’t my usual romance read as it is historical fiction, but I am always trying to branch out and find more books that I enjoy. Although this had a few hiccups for me, it was a light-hearted read that did have me laughing every once and awhile.
The book is told from two point-of-views and they come from Maddy and Kit. They have both grown up very differently and even now they are opposites. I liked getting to know each one before they had any interaction together, but it did take half the book for that to happen which felt too long!
I have read a book before with the mail-order bride trope so I am familiar with it. I did like this one, but it always seems that it involves mistaken identity so I did know what would eventually happen. Other than that, it was fun and Maddy had time to get to know all of the McBrides and finally felt like she belonged somewhere.
As previously mentioned, it does take awhile for Kit and Maddy to have scenes together and so it was hard to actually feel their romance. It did have some insta-love tendencies and although I do like a slow-burn, this was way too slow which is really what wrecked the book for me.
Overall, this was a nice historical romance but I do wish that there was more romance involved. I did like the setting and would definitely check out another book by this author, especially if there were more books for the brothers.
Title: The Drowned Woods Author: Emily Lloyd-Jones Genre: YA Fantasy / Retelling / Mythology Publication Date: August 16th, 2022 Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a complimentary earc to review! All opinions are my own.
“Once upon a time, the kingdoms of Wales were rife with magic and conflict, and eighteen-year-old Mererid “Mer” is well-acquainted with both. She is the last living water diviner and has spent years running from the prince who bound her into his service. Under the prince’s orders, she located the wells of his enemies, and he poisoned them without her knowledge, causing hundreds of deaths. After discovering what he had done, Mer went to great lengths to disappear from his reach. Then Mer’s old handler returns with a proposition: use her powers to bring down the very prince that abused them both. The best way to do that is to destroy the magical well that keeps the prince’s lands safe. With a motley crew of allies, including a fae-cursed young man, the lady of thieves, and a corgi that may or may not be a spy, Mer may finally be able to steal precious freedom and peace for herself. After all, a person with a knife is one thing…but a person with a cause can topple kingdoms.” (Goodreads)
I enjoyed The Bone Houses and couldn’t wait to start the author’s latest book. The blurb mentioned a lot of cool aspects that could be found within the book and I was definitely more sold than before. Although I did like a lot of the book, there were things that were just bland and or didn’t grasp my attention as much as I had wanted.
The book is told from multiple point-of-views and I don’t know if it was worth it to have. I did like the past scenes that gave more information on the characters, but it meant less time with the main character Mer. I also wouldn’t saying that knowing more about them actually made me care about them. They kind of had their knack and that was that. When plot twists happened to the characters I can’t say that I felt any emotion towards them. I’m not saying they are bad characters because at times they were funny, but they didn’t keep me motivated.
The author does like animal sidekicks and there is one in this book who is a corgi. I like corgis but frankly, I thought the dead goat was better.
The prologue really pulls you in and is beautifully written. You feel for Mer and her situation and you want to know if she will ever get free from it all. I did like her for the most part but there wasn’t anything that made her stand out compared to other characters in the same genre. The prologue sets up nicely but there was pacing issues for me throughout the rest of the book. Nothing with the heist really happens until a bit after the halfway mark. There is more time talking about a past relationship than the relationship that is mentioned in the epilogue so I’m not really sure why it was mentioned since it felt insignificant. I could probably say that about other plot points as well.
Even though I had issues with the book, I still thought it was a good and quick read. It may not be memorable to me but it wasn’t terrible even if it may sound like that is how I felt, haha.
Overall, it was fine but just not entirely what I was expecting.
“In this medieval YA fantasy thriller, an orphan with a secret, magical sight gets caught between a mysterious genius and the serial killer he’s hunting.
Rising above the city of Collis is the holy Sanctum. And watching over its spires is Catrin, an orphan girl with unique skills—for she alone can spot the building’s flaws in construction before they turn deadly.
But when Catrin witnesses a murderer escaping the scene of his crime, she’s pulled into the web of a dangerous man who will definitely strike again. Assigned to capture the culprit is the mysterious, brilliant, and enigmatic Simon, whose insights into the mind of a killer are frighteningly accurate.
As the grisly crimes continue, Catrin finds herself caught between murderer and detective while hiding her own secret—a supernatural sight granted by the moon, destined to make her an outcast, and the only thing that might save her and those she loves from becoming the next victims…” (Goodreads)
After a few years as a stay-at-home mother and navy wife with a casual family blog, Erin upped her game and started writing her first novel in the spring of 2014. She is now the author of the Traitor’s Circle Trilogy published by Imprint, Macmillan and in several foreign languages. She and her husband have five children, two cats, and a vegetable garden and live wherever the navy tells them to go.
Let’s talk about the cover first. It is gorgeous and I love it so much! It is definitely a favorite for this year. I’m also pretty ecstatic to have finally read another book by this author. It has been so long in between her last trilogy and I knew from the beginning of seeing this book I had to read it.
One thing that hasn’t changed is her writing. It’s still something I enjoy and I like seeing what new characters she has come up with as well as the plot. This plot was much different from her previous books as this time around she tackles a murder mystery. Can’t go wrong with a change and it’s always cool to see what an author can do when they switch things around.
The book is told from one perspective and it comes from Catrin. She works under an architect and helps find flaws in the structure so that no workers will hurt themselves. I can’t say I have ever read a book with that job and it was nice to see something different. I also liked learning about the structure they were building and those who also worked with Catrin. Sometimes they could be quite shady. As the murdering begins other characters were introduced and it was hard to pin point who to trust. I’m not surprised that Cat was so wishy washy with her choices of who it could be. I would have been in the same boat!
There were a few characters that I liked more than others. This could be due to page time as well. Two I really liked were Simon and Julianne (I think that is how you spell her name but I could be wrong 😂). They both were dealing with a lot in the background and some of it is discussed on page. One’s mental state was much worse and I felt for them. It was hard to see them deteriorate over the course of the book. I did like the added author’s note in the back that discussed what she was going for when it came to that character.
The fantasy aspect of this book was pretty interesting to say the least. The reader is discovering this secret world right along with Cat and I wished I had more of it! The magic that dealt with the moon and blood was just too cool to be so short.
Even though there was a lot of things I liked about this one, I still wish I got more of certain things and that the reveal and conclusion wasn’t so anticlimactic for me. Obviously this may not be an issue for others and so it’s not really a big deal.
Overall, this was a nice read in-between all of my heavier fantasy novels I have been reading. It gave me a cool mystery to dive into and maybe one day we will get more from this world. *fingers crossed*
Title:Mistborn Author: Brandon Sanderson Genre: Adult Fantasy Publication Date: July 17th, 2006 Publisher: Tor Fantasy Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
“Once, a hero arose to save the world. A young man with a mysterious heritage courageously challenged the darkness that strangled the land.
For a thousand years since, the world has been a wasteland of ash and mist ruled by the immortal emperor known as the Lord Ruler. Every revolt has failed miserably.
Yet somehow, hope survives. Hope that dares to dream of ending the empire and even the Lord Ruler himself. A new kind of uprising is being planned, one built around the ultimate caper, one that depends on the cunning of a brilliant criminal mastermind and the determination of an unlikely heroine, a street urchin who must learn to master Allomancy, the power of a Mistborn.” (Goodreads)
This one took me awhile to get through! Partly because it is so long but also partly because I just wasn’t that invested in it.
The book is told from multiple point-of-views through third person narrating. I thought that it was done nicely as it gives us more information into the lives of the characters, especially because there are so many characters that bring something to the plot.
The characters weren’t really what I was expecting but I also wasn’t sure what to expect, haha. I think the hype definitely had me wanting to love them more but it was just hard to fully connect. When things happened to certain characters it kind of was hard to feel and I just ended up being like, “Oh, that happened. Well, alright then.” I don’t think there is anything wrong with them and did at least find them interesting for the most part.
This is a chonker and with that comes its low moments where nothing seems to happen. The beginning was very enticing but it felt like it reels you in just to slow down a lot of the time. I am sure because it’s the first in the series that the sequel will have more action. I can only hope or this series just may not work for me.
Overall, this was good but because of the hype I was just expecting a bit more. I don’t really have many thoughts on it since it took me over a month to get through and by then you kind of forget things, lol. I wasn’t going to start it over either!