October 6, 2016

Review: All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

Content warning: child abuse, rape, domestic violence, discussions of suicide. 


I started this book two weeks ago, because I saw a review written by a critic whose opinion I value and respect, saying it was one of the best books of the year. Then I saw other reviews, both positive and negative, that made it sound a bit sketchy, but curiosity killed the cat.

The story is pretty engaging, but then we see where it’s headed and, yeah... This is a book about an abused, neglected little girl who progressively becomes dependent and romantically and sexually involved with the only adult person (other than the grandmother who dies early on in the book) who ever shows her love and care, but more importantly who understands her. This is a girl so traumatized that she won’t eat when people are watching, won’t speak, and can’t stand to be touched. And this man, Kellen, sees what’s going on and works around it to the point where she talks to him, lets him touch her, and even eats in front of him.

September 28, 2016

Review: Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

Cover description: Kate stands against a red, fiery background with a lion just behind her.
Source: review copy provided by the publisher.

Warning: all the spoilers for previous books AND this one, so avoid if you haven’t read the book or don’t want to know. I have not marked the spoilers, so proceed with caution. 

First, yes, I’m still alive! This blogging mojo is not coming back no matter what I do, but I’m not quitting even if that means one review every three *cough*or six*cough* months.

Second, I’m feeling lazy, so I’m not going to describe the plot. Plus this what, book 9? So I’m sure at this point anyone interested in the book knows what’s up.

Let’s get to it! I didn’t love this book, I’m not sure I even liked it, but bad Ilona Andrews is still pretty good, so I’m not saying this thing was good, but it wasn’t terrible either.

June 15, 2016

DNF Review: This Heart of Mine by Brenda Novak

Content Warning: Horrible, “holy shit, what the fuck?” levels of fatphobia; ableism; ignorant portrayals of mental illness; and all around shittyness. Seriously.  

Cover Description: a man and a woman walk their bikes next to each other while embracing.

Let’s play a game of “Find the Quote that Made Me Rage-Quit this Book” (the page numbers are from the kindle edition, so they may not match the paperback):

The noise of the dogs brought her mother to the door. Because of Lizzie’s tremendous weight, she moved slowly and ponderously, so Kyle was gone by then. Phoenix was glad of that. But it was never easy to contend with her mother. “What the hell’s going on out here?” Lizzie shouted, her words and tone containing the caustic edge she was so famous for.
(Page 36)

“I’m hungry,” her mother announced as soon as she was done, so she warmed up some soup, hoping her mother would eat a healthy meal instead of the cheap pizza, soda, chips, cookies and candy she normally consumed. Only when Phoenix had finished cleaning out a small section of her mother’s kitchen—the one part not buried beneath all the things her mother hoarded—did she feel free to return to her own place, and by then it was after two in the afternoon.
(Page 38)

March 8, 2016

(not quite a) Review: Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs

Cover image description: Mercy Thompson wears a blue tank top and jeans while holding a spear. Behind her there's a menacing-looking dog made out of cooling lava.
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Warning: Mild spoilers for previous books in the series, but no spoilers for this one. Seriously, you don’t want to know what happens in the book, so avoid spoilers and reviews if possible (including this one, just in case I’m not as good at not telling things as I think I am). 

I have a weird reading history with this series. The first book I read was Night Broken (that’s the eight one, for those who don’t keep track) and as weird a choice as that sounds, I really liked it. I had no idea who any of the characters were, but I was pretty hooked regardless. And yet, I knew the previous books had rape, and I’m tired of the rape-as-rite-of-passage trope that seems so present in UF books, so it took me until last year to sit and read the whole series in order. But it only took me ten days to read them all. That’s how much I loved them. Yes, there’s rape and some unnecessary and surprising sexism, but I couldn’t put it down.

December 17, 2015

Holiday Hiatus

Someecard: A red card with a drawing of a man eating a pastry. The card reads: Sorry for eating all the cookies when you offered me one cookie.
Credit/Source: someecards 

I wanted to post my "Favorites" list before the winter break, but time wasn't on my side, so it will have to wait until January, and hey, this time I'm actually letting people know I'm on hiatus instead of disappearing for 6 months!

In the meantime, here's a link to my previous post, which I'm willing to bet you never saw. Yep, it's that time of the year when I find any excuse to promote old reviews.

I wish you all the best, most amazing holidays/break/winter/summer. Be kind to yourselves and don't feel like you have to do everything and be cheerful all the time.

See you next year!

December 7, 2015

The Evolution of the Small Town Romance: Shannon Stacey’s New Series

Image description: e-card with a couple dining and a text that reads: The nice part about living in a small town is that when I don't know what I'm doing someone else always does.
Image source: someecards

It’s no secret that I have a love-hate relationship with Small Town Romance (STR) and that one of the authors on the love side is Shannon Stacey. This year she published two new series, one with Carina, one with Berkley, and I wanted to talk about them, not because I loved them, but because I admire what Ms. Stacey is doing with the familiar sub-genre. Also, I have three review books, and everyone knows that the opinion post is the lazy reviewer’s shortcut to multiple reviews!

December 4, 2015

Mini Review: Star Dust by Emma Barry and Genevieve Turner

Source: review copy provided by the authors.

Space Age historical romance, do I need to say more?

This was such a lovely, surprisingly understated (considering the setting) book, and I had a great time reading it.
Cover Description: a man and a woman embrace against a night background where you can see the sky and stars.
It’s set in the early 60’s. The hero is a bit of a womanizing hot-shot astronaut, and the heroine is a recently divorced single mother of two. They butt heads at first. They fall in love. It’s sweet and charming. What’s not to love?

My favorite part about it, though, and the subject of this mini review, is how the story contrasts these two people and their situations to say something about the historical period, society and gender roles. He is an impulsive young man about to do something remarkable and is lauded as a hero for it. She is a young woman who did something remarkable--albeit not as unique as going to space--but by divorcing her cheating husband, putting herself and her kids first, and finding a job, independence and a better partner, she’s seen by everyone else as a villain or as a potential victim of her own recklessness, even though is his recklessness that might get him killed.

On top of that, the book is atmospheric and just plain fun. It brought back memories of being a kid and watching old reruns of I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched, but with, you know, graphic sex *grins*.
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The books reviewed here were purchased by us. If the book was provided by the author or publisher for review, it will be noted on the post. We do not get any type of monetary compensation from publishers or authors.