As of today, I've read 61 books so far this year, which is roughly 25% of my goal of 250 for the year. I'm ahead of schedule, which is always a nice feeling. As always, audio is a big contributing factor in being able to get through so many books, but it also helps that my desire to read is back. There for awhile, Netflix was the only thing that really appealed once I got home in the evenings.
We've got a slumber party this weekend for Katie's 9th -- holy wow! -- birthday, so I'll be painting nails and doing makeup and won't have much time for reading. But we're on Spring Break next week so I plan to do a ton of reading then. Hopefully outdoors if this beautiful spring-like weather holds.
And without further ado, here's what I've been reading lately...
(More on why I've gone to this format here in lieu of traditional reviews.)
Y O U N G A D U L T
The Dark Days Pact - Such a great sequel! I might have even liked this one MORE than The Dark Days Club. In fact, I know I did. I also kinda maybe sorta think my theory about the Grand Deceiver is wrong now, which I'm kind of glad of because that would've taken the story in a direction that I didn't like. And I really do love the pickle that Lady Helen finds herself in at the end of the book, though I have all the hope that it'll work out in her favor. She is the Grand Reclaimer, after all... 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Stalking Jack the Ripper - I'll be honest: I went into this audiobook expecting not to like it. And I can't even say why because I know so many who've loved it, but there was just something that told me this book was not for me. I can see the appeal of a novel like this, as it reminded me of Victor Frankenstein and included a very Sherlock-esque love interest. And I'm all for a heroine who flouts decorum and society's ideals, but I felt that the feminist agenda was just a bit too heavy-handed for the time period of the story...it wasn't at all fitting. Also, I knew Jack the Ripper's identity from almost the beginning, so it was difficult to listen as Audrey Rose kept going down the wrong avenues with a theory that she did not like but nonetheless could not be objective about. This book just ended up making me depressed. 🌟🌟
R E - R E A D S
By Your Side - Often when I need a feel-good book, I turn to Kasie West, and I never regret it. I read this one last month, but my library had it on audio when I was trying to decide on my next listen. And it was just as cute the second time around. 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Penryn & the End of Days - I was looking at the list of books I read from last year and realized that I didn't re-read Angelfall at all in 2016. Which is kind of unbelievable since I've re-read it twice in previous years...and nine times altogether now. So, I had to rectify that by re-reading the entire series. And I feel much better now. =) Also, I still think that sentient sword is so fucking cool. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
The Bone Season & The Mime Order - Prep for The Song Rising. Also, kinda just wanted more time with Paige and Warden. :) 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Act Like It - Discovered my library had this on audio, so I wanted to check that out before I started the second book. The performance was good but the quality was not. Still, enjoyed it as much the second time around. 🌟🌟🌟🌟
M E M O I R S
Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between - "Does anyone else notice that the ending is really more of a cliffhanger?"
Bahaha. This was hilarious, as expected. I bought a copy of this for my best friend for Christmas, as Gilmore Girls was just one of the things we've bonded over, but then I wanted to read it, too. So, I checked my library and they had the audio but I was on hold forever. Like, seriously, something like 50 people on hold for 12 copies. I didn't even check to see how long the wait was for the ebook copy. :) But it was worth it. Because not only do you get Lauren Graham reading the book and proving what we all assumed - that she IS Lorelai Gilmore - but the audio version comes with a downloadable .pdf version of all the photos mentioned in the book. Of course, it requires the use of an Adobe program that my computer at work does not have and I'm not about to ask IT to install it, so I'll have to check it out later. Or wait for my friend to send me pics from her edition, which she has already graciously promised to do. At any rate, I don't usually read memoirs - I think the last one was Anthony Kiedis' Scar Tissue WAY back when - but I'm glad I read this one because it was seriously funny and thoughtful and it left me weirdly optimistic. 🌟🌟🌟🌟
A D U L T
The Heiress - As I said in my assessment of The Heiress, it was obvious where this series was headed and whom would end up with whom. The fun would be in figuring out what crazy shenanigans befell them before they made it to the altar. However. This book honestly wasn't very much fun at all, as over half of it was retelling the events of the previous book, only from the perspectives of Suzette and Daniel. I'm not really one for reading the same story from a different point-of-view. It's rather tedious. And the second half, which could have been more interesting, was bogged down by a kidnapping plot I saw coming from a mile away. I have the third book from the library, so I'll listen to it to see how Lisa and Robert come together since we don't really see much of them in the previous two books, but if it's the same story all over again, I may have to give up. 🌟🌟
The Husband Hunt - Oh, thank goodness this book wasn't like the previous, which was basically a repeat of the book that came before it, only from a different perspective. But again with the kidnapping plot...and still related to the one in The Countess. I understand the reasoning behind it, but it was no less tedious the third time around. The romantic pairing in this one was rather fun, though: from friends to enemies to lovers, although the thing that came between them long ago was a little ridiculous but also kind of hilarious. ;) 🌟🌟🌟
Taming the Highland Bride - I liked this one, but it reminded me too much of another Lynsay Sands novel, and so it was obvious to me very early on who the culprit in this story was. Also, I accidentally picked up in the middle of a series again, and therefore know how the first book ends now. But had I read the first book prior to this one, I undoubtedly would have guessed the attacker's identity even earlier. Ah, well...probably best to stop while I'm ahead with this series... 🌟🌟
A Kiss at Midnight - This story was a retelling of Cinderella of sorts and also my first Eloisa James novel...and I absolutely adored it. The romance was lovely and heartbreaking and utterly romantic. And the retelling aspects were superbly done. I'm excited to continue the series and see how the author handles other fairy tales, especially Beauty and the Beast, which I believe is up next. This one's narrated by Susan Duerdan, who narrated such YA favorites as Chime and The Falconer - I wish they'd finish the rest of that series on audio, I'm dying for it! - and I thought she did a brilliant job with Kate and Gabriel's story. 🌟🌟🌟🌟
When Beauty Tamed the Beast - Beauty and the Beast is my absolute favorite fairy tale. Naturally, I read every retelling I can get my hands on, but I've never read one quite like this. The beast's transformation in this story was less magical and more a general healing of the soul, but it was just as lovely. Especially since he was based on the character House from the show of the same name, whom I loved for his gruff demeanor and practical outlook. The beauty in this retelling is every bit the reader that you'd expect, and it is definitely her love for the beast that makes this story so grand. I love the aspects that the author kept and those that she changed, and I can't wait to read more of her Fairy Tales series. 🌟🌟🌟🌟
The Ugly Duchess - I did not really enjoy this one. I'm not a fan of infidelity or loooong estrangements, especially when they're due to misunderstandings that could easily have been avoided. The pirate situation was the only aspect that really appealed to me, and that was simply a plot device used to further the separation. I should have expected not to love this story since I've never really liked the ugly duckling story in general, but I thought I'd give this book a chance since I've enjoyed the other novels in this series. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 🌟🌟
The Duke is Mine - Meh. I think my enjoyment of a companion series like this always wanes after the second book, but definitely after the third. Since this isn't even a true companion series - in that the books don't follow the same group of characters, only the "fairy tale" aspect - I ended up reading the fourth book (see above) before this one, and I nearly gave up on the series then. Maybe I should have. The Duke is Mine wasn't terrible, it just wasn't as captivating as earlier books in the series had been. And it only half-heartedly tried to be a Princess and the Pea retelling.
The Chocolate Thief - Oh, this story was so cute! I legit cannot believe I started reading it right after I started trying to eat healthier, though, and prohibited all chocolate from passing my lips. Why would I torture myself like that? Also, HO-LY HELL! THAT SCENE ON THE STAIRS!!! That has got to be the hottest scene I've ever read, and I've been reading quite a bit of romance recently. Loved this one...it was perfectly awkward and perfectly adorable. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Pretty Face - Everyone in my Goodreads feed said this one was even better than Act Like It. I thought it was just on par with the first book. I preferred the love interest in this book a bit more but I also connected with the heroine a bit less. So, I liked them about the same in the end, I guess. I think I actually liked the awkward situations more in Act Like It, though, to all of the sad ones the characters face in Pretty Face. Still, a fun, romantic read when all is said and done. 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Devil in Winter - I decided to read Devil in Winter before diving into Devil in Spring since I discovered that the love interest in Spring, the third book in The Ravenels series, is the son of the couple featured in Winter, which is the third book in the Wallflowers series. I tend to not read books in HR series in order for whatever reason, and so I often find myself confused about characters who pop up later in the story and are familiar to everyone but me. But I'm actually reading The Ravenels series in order for a change, and I didn't want that same "who are you again?" situation to rear its ugly head, so I caved and actually read - read, not listened to, as I normally do with HR - Devil in Winter. And I really enjoyed it. My favorite HRs are almost always about reformed rakes and how they desperately cling to their rake status. Even better when it's a wallflower who brings them to their knees. After reading this book and the first two books in the new series, I can't wait to read Devil in Spring, especially since I'll have more of an idea of who all these characters are and who they know and maybe a little of why they are the way they are...especially in Gabriel's case. ;0) 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Have you read any of these? What did you think? Find any new titles to check out? ;0)
Until next time! Happy reading!