I'm still tending more toward adult novels these days -- especially as my library tends to take their sweet time uploading new YA audiobook titles -- though I have actually managed to read (and review - gasp!) a few YA copies received for promotional purposes recently. I've just been pickier with those of late. But it's really worked in my favor because the ones I have read have been pretty phenomenal, including Wintersong and Daughter of the Pirate King.
And without further ado, here's what I've been reading lately...
Y O U N G A D U L T
RoseBlood - Well, that was mildly disappointing. After loving everything I've previously read of Anita's, I fully expected to love this one, too. Especially since it's a Phantom of the Opera retelling. But alas, it was too slow and long and drawn out and I was just boredboredbored. Also, I think that having read her new adult historical romance, I was ready for the need to fan myself when it came to the romance but was left unsatisfied by a couple who were more adorable than steamy when they got together. It was creative and beautifully written but it just never captured my attention the way I'd expected it to. 🌟🌟🌟
The Replacement Crush - I really, really wanted to like this one. The premise sounded so perfect for me. But the main character kind of ruined it for me. She even refers to herself as TSTL (too stupid to live) and writes a note to her blog readers about how she's the idiot girl you're always screaming at "to stop the crazy." Sure, the book had its moments, but those were far and few between. And I kept having to check when this story was written because the text speak and phrasing made it feel OLD. Plus, I didn't like the subtle digs at reviewers who aren't "nice" when they don't like a book. 🌟🌟
Bloody Jack - After reading Daughter of the Pirate King, I was in the mood for more high seas adventure. Featuring a cross-dressing girl trying to escape a life on the streets by getting hired on as a ship boy on a royal vessel, Bloody Jack definitely fit the bill. But it was funny, too. I about died when Jacky thought she had contracted some plague and was going to die a horrible death because she didn't know what her monthlies were. Bahaha. Yeah, it starts out young, but by the end of the book she's about 15, so I know future books in the series will likely be less on the middle-grade side. Though, I did enjoy her child-like demeanor and the levity it brought. Oh, and Katherine Kellgren as narrator was perfection. 🌟🌟🌟
R E - R E A D S
The Hating Game - This is my third re-read/listen and it won't be my last. Probably not even my last for the first half of this year. Dark times call for happy reading and this book sparks ALL THE HAPPY FEELINGS. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Caraval - I read this WAY early and never reviewed it. And I still don't think I can. The story was just as fabulous and mysterious -- I forgot some things even though this was my second "reading" -- as it was upon my initial reading, though I'm not sure about the choice in narrator. I love Rebecca Soler's narration of The Lunar Chronicles. But her voice just didn't fit what I had in mind for Scarlett. Anyway, even after a second reading, I still want to visit Caraval and uncover all of its secrets. I'm still madly in love with this story and it will undoubtedly go down as one of my top ten reads this year. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
A D U L T
Marrying Winterborne - I'd been on the holds list for this one at the library for over a month and a half...ever since I finished Cold-Hearted Rake. And it was definitely worth the wait, though I do think I preferred the first book just a bit more. Maybe because this romance just seemed so easy, whereas most in this genre are so fraught with tension (sexual and otherwise) and Helen and Winterborne just came together so easily. I am looking forward to the next book, though I'm starting to wonder if I need to read her other series (plural?) to know the characters and whence they come from? 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Act Like It - Oh, this was fun! I love the fake relationship trope almost as much as I love the hate-to-love trope, and this book features both! The banter is amazing. And the swoons...the swoons! I loved how the relationship progressed, how they hit bumps in the road but it never truly derailed them...that they acted like adults. Most of the time. Oh, and it's set in the West End so I got to use my gawd-awful British accent while reading. Like I said...FUN! =) 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Dying for You - I borrowed this audio anthology from the library because a friend lent me her bind-up of the first four Betsy the Vampire Queen books and I wanted to get a feel for the author's work before starting that massive thing. It's funny. Kinda quirky. I may like the longer series. But I didn't care over much for this series of short stories based in worlds she's previously written in. I liked the amorous ghost. The psychic story kinda left me scratching my head. The witch/witch-hunter story was my least favorite and just bleh. And the werewolf/vampire story I listened to while distracted but I know it wasn't a favorite either. Ugh. I hate when someone foists a book on me like this because then I feel obligated to read it. And that thing is a flippin' doorstop. And unfortunately, my library doesn't have the audio. Waaaahhh. 🌟🌟
Always - This is one of those stories where you're just sitting there, screaming at the characters to effing communicate because that would solve all their problems. That, and the hero not acting like a jealous arse the entire time because his previous betrothed couldn't remain faithful. Also, I knew who the culprit was almost from the start. I hate that. 🌟🌟
The Switch - Yay for gender-bending and cross-dressing and twins switching places! This story was so fun and I honestly don't think I've read anything like it. I preferred Charlie, the twin who was more adept at playing the brother -- and the one who got herself into predicament after predicament. And, sure, it would have been easier -- and more realistic -- had they simply informed Lord Radcliffe of their situation, but it would not have been nearly as hilarious. 🌟🌟🌟🌟
The Countess - Apparently, I'm on a Lynsay Sands kick. I tend to do that with this genre, especially once I find an author I really enjoy. And for once, I started with the first book in a series! Go me! And while I do usually love series that focus on a particular family and all of their romantic dealings, I feel like I already know where this series is going. Who's going to end up with whom, what troubles will plague them, etc. It's fine to allude to it, but it's so clearly obvious from this first book. That said, I'm still here for all the trials and tribulations along the way to the alter because it's all just so amusing. 🌟🌟🌟
Austenland - I've seen this movie a few times and quite adored it. And I've kind of been itching to watch it again but just haven't gotten around to it, so while I was between audiobooks, I thought I'd check this one out. The movie doesn't alter too much from the original book, which is pretty great since the book is kind of adorable. I could seriously identify with Jane's obsession with Pride & Prejudice and all things Mr. Darcy. And the actual romance is kind of perfect for her. But I'm still so happy with how things turn out for Jane that I don't think I need to pick up the companion novel. 🌟🌟🌟
A Good Debutante's Guide to Ruin - I've only read one of Sophie Jordan's YA novels before, though I've heard her romance novels are better. And I'm inclined to agree. This story was fun and decadent and forbidden. As all good romance novels ought to be. :) I know some feel squicky about step-sibling romances, but I'm not one of them. There is some icky business in this story that did turn my stomach, though. So, be forewarned. 🌟🌟🌟🌟
All the Ways to Ruin a Rogue - As soon as I finished the first book, I started on this one. As I've stated many times, I love a good hate-to-love romance, and you could see the blossoming of one for this couple in the previous book. Though the hate is all a matter of misunderstanding and circumstance - which I tend to loathe - it all outs, though that only complicates matters. I did hate that it took this rogue soooo long to realize what I knew from the very beginning, which made me like it a little less than the first book. 🌟🌟🌟
Have you read any of these? What did you think? Find any new titles to check out? ;0)
(More on why I've gone to this format here.)
Until next time! Happy reading!