December in Review

Eight books this month!  Pretty good, considering it was finals and Christmas!

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The Mislaid Magician by Patricia C. Wrede

3.5 cups of tea.  Better than I’d anticipated, given the lackluster reviews and the slowness of The Far West, the last book I’d read by her.  I quite like these epistolary novels, and might even consider doing them myself one day.  Nothing earthshaking, but fun in the same vein as the others.

24956528The Long, Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

5 cups of tea.  I found this book quite slow when I was listening to it, but once I was going, I LOVED it.  The variety of characters, the relationships, the cultures, the way they all got along, the little episodic adventures.  I am def going to pick up the next one!

11242306Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Did anyone else want to slap Willoughby upside the head when he was pitching his case to Eleanor for why he was a douche?  ‘Oh, well, I was just raised to be a gambling douchebag who loves the good life, so you really can’t blame me because the problem is how I was raised.’  Don’t let him off, Eleanor!  Tell him to grow up and take responsibility for his actions, regardless of his upbringing!

The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

5 cups of tea for both.  I have to talk about these books together, because as soon as I finished one, I NEEDED to read the next.  I love this series so very very much, and it was a line from The Bitter Kingdom that made me realize why.  Elisa says, “As long as I have my mind, I have everything I need.”  Carson is an excellent writer, she is careful and thinks of all the things we as readers will think of, her creates an non-British-based society for her world, she does a nice job handling some of the complexities of a religious belief, and she writes romance way hotter than the romance novels I read this month.  Swoon time over Hector!

18166936The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender 

2-3 cups of tea.  The writing was lovely, the setting in Seattle was unusual and fun, especially for anyone with local knowledge.  I thought that Ava’s story would have been stronger with a third-person perspective.  I didn’t like the looseness of time, that the author would pass a decade in a paragraph, and then go back through it for 2 pages with one character.  I didn’t understand why Ava was so special, especially to the ghosts in the story.  But the biggest thing for me, *spoilers* I am not about teenage girls being raped by creepy adult men.  I was actually really angry when I finished this book, because I felt so betrayed.  Beautiful writing doesn’t need to be paired with sexual violence. *spoilers* I enjoyed the writing, but a large part of why I DON’T read very much literary fiction is because of this.  Literary fiction, sort yourself out.

17828895Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean

3.5 cups of tea.  I liked the idea of a women hidden by cross dressing (thank you Alanna), but I found this book to be about equivalent to the first book in the series.  It was fine, the plotting and the writing was fine, it just wasn’t my kind of book.  I like some more action, and while this book was fine, it was definitely just historical romance.  A good one with historical anachronisms not putting me off–although the sex scenes in this series never seem that hot to me.  I might go back to re-read No Good Earl  but I will probably part ways with Sarah MacLean after this.

29895106Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

1 cup of tea.  I can’t do this book.  I requested it on Net Galley having heard many positive reviews of the first book, and having realized that when I like romance, it’s in the Fantasy-Romance sub-genre.  I bought the first one to read before this one and found it ok.  I quite liked the first half, with the circus, the magic, the escape, but I lost a lot of interest once they arrived at the Sinta castle.  This book starts at the Sinta castle with our hero having a big violent tantrum (I’m not into that), and the heroine being emotional and mopey and just generally selfish and stupid (not into that either).  The fantasy elements seem really clumsily handled and poorly developed.  There are some really good fantasy romances out there, so I know this balance can be done well.  I realize this is a galley, so there will be some work done, but SERIOUSLY, it’s a mess right now.  I slogged my way through 20% and was trying to work out how much of the book I needed to read since this is a book I received for review and want to give the book a fair chance.  But I decided that as I wouldn’t have read farther if this was just for me, I’m taking it as a sign to not recommend the book, nor to waste any more time on an unrewarding read.

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