It has been a great reading week thanks to the readathon this past Saturday. I used it to delve in my library rather than catch up on review copies and was able to finish one beloved series and read the next book in another series. I enjoyed everything I finished this week and hope to keep the streak alive as I approach future reading selections.
FINISHED SINCE THE LAST UPDATE:
Molly Harper breaks away from her adult paranormal romance stories with this adorable young adult novel about witches and magic. Ms. Harper does away with her trademark snark in favor of teen angst, but she uses the anxiety to create a highly credible and relatable young woman who captures your attention and earns your respect. The setting is equally charming. With the typical boarding school antics as well as Victorian socio-economic differences, Ms. Harper can build a lot of tension and create ethical dilemmas for our heroine without delving into melodrama. All this to say that Changeling is adorable and refreshing in its simplicity. I did not want the story to end and am going to be impatiently waiting for the second story in the series!
Deborah Blum’s novel about the fight to develop food safety regulations and the beginnings of the Food and Drug Administration is fascinating if gruesome. To all the people concerned about genetically modified foods, I say that after reading this book, GMOs do not concern me anymore because our food could be SO much worse.
Kiersten White is my new hero. In her final novel of the Conquerer’s series, not only did she provide a compelling story, she did so while remaining faithful to her switched gender characters AND history. I was so worried about this, and I read most of the novel with my heart in my throat as a result. However, it is the type of story that upon finishing caused me to sit and revel in its perfection.
I swear that Kendare Blake is an evil genius. Her Three Dark Crowns series has more disturbing plot twists than would seem possible, but they all work so well. This latest novel is just as dark and gruesome as the previous novels, but it has the added benefit of allowing readers the chance to learn a bit more about the island’s history and the queens’ lineage. This glimpse into the past is fascinating, but it is the ending which made me shout with glee. While it would be easy to get upset with Ms. Blake at yet another cliffhanger, the possibilities the cliffhanger implies makes me way too excited rather than angry. I ended the story with such an adrenaline rush that it took me a good hour to settle after finishing it. That, to me, is always a fantastic sign of an excellent novel.
I adored Jennifer Wright’s snarky Get Well Soon and hoped for the same magic with It Ended Badly. Sadly, while it has its moments, lightning did not strike twice. Some of my issue with it is the narrator of the audiobook. Hillary Huber does a decent job capturing the stream-of-conscious-like asides and jabs with which Ms. Wright punctuates her storytelling. However, she is not as good at this as Gabra Zackman is. With Ms. Zackman, I feel like she is telling a story and interacting with her audience. With Ms. Huber, I feel like she is narrating someone else’s story and is uncomfortable with directly addressing the audience. This makes a big difference, especially with Ms. Wright’s writing.
Moreover, the subject matter of It Ended Badly is not quite as hard-hitting as in Get Well Soon. At times, it did feel like I was reading a tabloid magazine, something I try to avoid. I can see the target audience for It Ended Badly being someone who just broke up with his or her significant other and is seeking solace. For that reader, this is an excellent read because it shows just how crazy people get when it comes to break-ups, and there is a good chance he or she is doing much better than the thirteen couples in the book. For everyone else, they are amusing but tragic stories of love gone wrong that serve to provide you with interesting but useless trivia with which to impress others on trivia night.
DID NOT FINISH:
I love Gail Carriger. I adore the Parasol Protectorate series. I was in stitches over her Finishing School series. Her Custard Protocol series was already running third as a series, but I was still interested in continuing with it. Then, I hit this latest book in the series. It is the same cast of characters as in the previous books in the series; however, in this novel, Ms. Carriger chooses to tell her story through two other characters who have primarily been supporting characters rather than hero fodder. It is not that they are bad characters. It is that there is a reason why they are supporting characters. Their personalities are too one-dimensional to be anything but secondary characters. At the 25 percent mark, I found myself not caring in the least what happened to any of them, and the thought of continuing to listen to their story held no interest for me. With plenty of other audiobooks with which to while away my time, I decided to cut this particular one as a loss and find something else to occupy my ears while I work.
I think one day I will get back to Christina Dalcher’s novel, even if it is to skim to the end to find out what happens. I have been on a good run of books that have made it easy to forget the news and the increasing overt misogyny that is happening in the country that I am not sure I want to subject myself to reading it altogether. Skimming should work, I hope.
I have been looking at the images from the SkyOne television series and anxiously awaiting when the series would arrive in the United States. Since we have to wait until 2019, a second re-read is in order.
I find I like waiting to see what catches my eye when going to select my next book.
So, what are you reading?