Tuesday, May 6, 2014

april books

April started out slow for reading, but then mid-month shined down happily.  Or something like that.

I read a beta version of a book about werewolves that a friend wrote.  I very much enjoyed it, and it seemed to help push me out of my book funk, yay!  Thhheeeeeenn, I read other YA paranormal-type books.  These included:

Desert Tales by Melissa Marr - This is a companion novel to the Wicked Lovely series. It's the story of Rika, a former winter girl, and the journey of reclaiming her strength, uncovering her will to be a part of the world around her. I found the book enjoyable, but not strong in all aspects (the romance, the character development of those beyond Rika, etc). * "What she wanted was something brief, intense, real for awhile. She wanted to burn up under the wanting."

Seven Weeks to Forever by Jennifer Farwell - This is the story of Cassidy. Her first life ended before it was meant to so she's sent back with a job to complete. She has to succeed because that's her ticket to the Life-After, and she even knows the exact date that she'll return to the happy glow of that life. The catch? She has to help Riley overcome an emotional obstacle, and she wasn't expecting that to involve dating him. * I really liked this book overall. I found the writing (& editing!) solid, the story engaging, the main characters likeable, some of the conversation to be infused with great humor. It made me care.  * There were a couple of things that ended up being murky for me though. I never really understood the logic behind the consequence she would endure if she didn't succeed. It's not like she was the personification of "evil" in her first life, so why the harsh parameters? The ending itself, while emotionally fulfilling for me, left me a scratching my head a bit to get everything lined up in a way that completely made sense mentally / intellectually. * "In those moments after you open up, do you also take a step back?"

Starbound by J.L. Weil - I wanted a light YA read and this delivered that. Katia and Seth are destined to be together. Only problem? A curse has plagued their families for centuries set to keep them a part. * I didn't like the drunken kiss, mind erases, over-cursing (I don't find cursing to be offensive, but I think there's a tasteful balance), and the need for better editing. Though I knew how it would end, I was hoping for more details, a stronger climax. * Still, it kept my attention and ended up being fun entertainment. * "The smells of firewood and his skin and the sound of his laugh will be tattooed in my memory." 

And finished technically the first day of May, but started in April - Entangled by Nikki Jefford - Fun, fast-paced, solidly written (and edited) book. It's about twins who are having to time-share a body when one dies. Add in magic, good vs oh-so-bad, a little love, and tada. The only thing that wasn't clear to me was the last spell performed, but maybe that will be answered in the following book. I liked this one enough to purchase the sequel. * I will note (based on some other reviews), I don't think this book is meant to be carefully analyzed in a PC kind of way. It's light; it's just a couple of teenagers' inner workings mixed with para-magic. It's not a treatise on how to be a perfect politically correct non-offensive teen. But, you know, whatever. :D * "Foolishly, Raj had let down his guard and allowed himself to fall under the spell of a girl - the kind of spell any normal was in danger of tripping headfirst into."

In addition to the light YA, I read what can only be described as... smut?  Oooh lala.  They ranged from penthouse style (ie. edited fine, not written beauty, simply having a certain... uh... appeal) to literary nightmares that made 50 Shades seem like it had good editing (which is very, very sad).

No, I didn't only read about magic and sex since those things are quite obviously wicked (:D).  I also read a book of poetry called Come, Thief by Jane Hirshfield .  I discovered that I'm not a huge fan of most of her poems, but there were a couple that I absolutely adored, that wove themselves into me.  One was "When Your Life Looks Back" and included the lines: A few times, you stood on your head. / A few times, you chose not to be frightened. / A few times, you held another beyond any measure. / A few times, you found yourself held beyond any measure. // Mortal, your life will say, / as if tasting something delicious, as if in envy. / Your immortal life will say this, as it is leaving.

And finally, there were a couple of books that I read a reasonable amount before returning them to the library.  For example: Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano had an interesting dystopian-type premise, but I just couldn't get into it.  It could have been other factors, but it ultimately seemed like the pacing was just too slow.  The Springsweet by Saundra Mitchell had lovely writing, but it was a historical romance type book and just not my style.  (I thought I would be able to get into it since it's set in the land of my heart, Oklahoma, but nope.) 

I love that I can read mainstream books still but also read more independently published authors now that I have a kindle. :)

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