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jmtrivera

jmtrivera

Joined September 2016

Co-host of Eclectic Readers Podcast!
review
jmtrivera
Purl Up and Die | Maggie Sefton
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Mehso-so

This book is so very slow and takes its time getting anywhere, and the solution is pretty obvious from at least the halfway point. At the same time, I really like the camaraderie between the characters, and I find the slow pace comforting when I'm anxious. Not my favorite mystery series, but worth visiting from time to time.

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jmtrivera
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Pickpick

I found many of the essays interesting, though I can't say I always agreed with his ratings! Regardless, I actually learned many new things and found other things that I'm interested in learning more about. Other essays didn't land as well, and I've got to admit, I found it stressful to read about the pandemic while we're still in the pandemic, but it wasn't a bad collection overall.

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jmtrivera
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Pickpick

Aliche outlines ten basic areas of finance along w/a step-by-step to improve those areas. She presents this information in a manner that's clear & simple to understand. While some of these concepts & plans might be logical (at least, I thought they were), I found it reassuring to know I'm on the right track. I also found it helpful to read about the areas that I'm less familiar with, and I plan to revisit them again. A helpful & worthwhile read.

14 likes1 stack add
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jmtrivera
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Pickpick

This book builds so well off the first one, with Tarisai both growing and also confronting her mistakes and shortcomings. It's fast-paced, thought-provoking, and incredibly satisfying.

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jmtrivera
Skinny Dipping with Murder | Auralee Wallace
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Pickpick

This was a really fun cozy mystery with some great humor in it. Was it a bit silly and convoluted at times? Yup. Was that exactly what I needed? Yup! Very enjoyable beginning to this series.

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jmtrivera
Empire of Storms | Sarah J Maas
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Pickpick

It felt a bit like most of the book was more getting people into places than advancing stories, but that meant spending time w/new characters that I enjoyed (like Elide & Lorcan) and revisiting returning characters like Aedion & Lysandra (side note: Aedion delivered my fave line in this book). Even Rowan was less annoying this time. The stakes didn't seem stressful, but I didn't mind, and the ending was excellent. I'm looking forward to the next.

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jmtrivera
Very Good, Jeeves! | P G Wodehouse
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Pickpick

This was another collection of fun and chuckle-inducing stories by Wodehouse. While none of these were really memorable stand-outs, I enjoyed them and found many of them pretty amusing. It was a nice return to these characters and I am going to try not to wait too long before doing it again.

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jmtrivera
In the Woods | Tana French
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Pickpick

This was a hard story for me to get through, as it hits every button in terms of things I have a hard time reading about. I probably wouldn't have made it through at all if French hadn't set up such an intriguing story. It's complex, wrapped w/secrets & misunderstandings and of course amnesia. I struggled w/the pacing a few times, Ryan is an immature (& icky) jerk, and I did want a SLIGHTLY neater ending. For the most part though, interesting.

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jmtrivera
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My #BookSpinBingo with #BookSpin and #Doublespin marked! I'm going to start catching up on reviews again this weekend and double-checking to make sure @TheAromaofBooks is tagged! Trying to get my reading life organized again!

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! Looks fantastic!!! 5d
10 likes1 comment
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jmtrivera
Knit One, Kill Two | Maggie Sefton
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Pickpick

While I didn't love the writing in this mystery and the pacing ebbed and flowed, I really enjoyed the focus on friendships and finding community. Some of it was really charming and funny, and some of it was a little slow as the series set its foundation (for example, the true murderer was obvious from the moment he appeared on the page). Still, a sweet little mystery.

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jmtrivera
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Panpan

While this poetry collection had a number of interesting lines and ideas, overall it was not my jam.

16 likes1 stack add
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jmtrivera
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I know I haven't been around much, but I'm finally climbing out of my reading slump, thanks in part to some really fun October reads. I'm still struggling a bit, but I'll get there. What did you enjoy this month?

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jmtrivera
Hooked on Bingo | Alice Andrews
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Here's my #BookSpinBingo board, though I forgot to mark my #BookSpin and #DoubleSpin. Life has been a bit crazy lately, guys. I miss my book people.
@TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 2mo
11 likes1 comment
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jmtrivera
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September Remember! Thanks to audio rereads I got through the first four books of Narnia - forever faves - and I also did John Green's essay collection by audio (I treated it like podcasts and that worked!). I really liked both Ifueko's and Aliche's books, so overall it was a great month of books! I'm still not reading much in print which has me very stressed, but Narnia's making me feel better about it. #SeptemberWrapUp

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jmtrivera
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My #BookSpinBingo card with #Bookspin and #DoubleSpin marked! My current read is also my Book Spin, so that's a good sign. Wish me luck!
@TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! Good luck!! 3mo
15 likes1 comment
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jmtrivera
Skinny Dipping with Murder | Auralee Wallace
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This is probably my worst reading month in recent memory. And it's not that I'm not reading fun books because I am. It's just a lot right now. With work & family, I'm getting no time to myself. I have no time to just breathe by myself, much less read, and when I do, my attention is shattered.

I'm still here though! Missing you Littens!

#AugustWrapUp

Bookzombie I‘m glad you are still here. Hoping you find more time for yourself soon. 🙂 3mo
jmtrivera @Bookzombie Thank you! 😊 3mo
17 likes2 comments
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jmtrivera
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Pickpick

This was even more funny than I remembered, and I think I understood the end better this time, though it still gets a bit frantic. Revisiting Adams made me happy.

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jmtrivera
The Dream Thieves | Maggie Stiefvater
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Pickpick

I continue to enjoy Stiefvater\'s writing and I like the characters and want to know where they\'re headed. At the same time, the pacing was super slow and I got very frustrated. I want to read the next one, but at the same time I\'m not ready to rush into it.

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jmtrivera
My Antonia | Willa Cather
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Pickpick

While I really loved reading about Antonia, the pace of this story ebbed and flowed for me and I wanted more about Antonia herself. I liked where it eventually went, though I don\'t know that I\'d be excited to read more Cather.

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jmtrivera
Blackout | Dhonielle Clayton, Nicola Yoon, Tiffany D Jackson, Angie Thomas, Nic Stone, Ashley Woodfolk
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Pickpick

A sudden blackout hits all of New York City on a summer evening. These six interconnecting stories tell of six different romances in different stages happening across the city. As with any collection, I preferred some stories to others, but overall I\'d say it was worth the read.

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jmtrivera
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TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 4mo
16 likes1 comment
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jmtrivera
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My list for #BookSpin and #BookspinBingo... Again, a lot of free spaces to allow for series and book clubs.
@TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 4mo
14 likes1 comment
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jmtrivera
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June and July threw me off my game again, but here we go:
📖 6 books
🏋‍♀️ Start and follow my new workout schedule 6 days a week
Wish me luck!
@wanderinglynn #BFC21

wanderinglynn Great goals. You got this! 🙌🏻 4mo
13 likes1 comment
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jmtrivera
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I'm having book attention issues again (lack of sleep and recharge time will do that). So July was not a great month in that I didn't read a ton and I DNFed at least one book. But I did read a couple of things I had fun with, and I'm going into the new month with 3+ books started, so who knows what will happen? #JulyWrapUp

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jmtrivera
Tandem | Anna Jarzab
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Pickpick

It took me a while to really connect with Sasha and Thomas, but once I did, this was a fun read. Jarzab does a great job of creating a character who is just curious and stubborn enough to root for and not enough to be foolish or annoying. The romance also built really well. The twists and reveals aren't anything life-changing, but I enjoyed it.

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jmtrivera
Bridge to Terabithia | Katherine Paterson
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Pickpick

This was a sweet and moving story that I probably would have really enjoyed as a kid. I didn't completely engage with the characters, but I loved their friendship.

GondorGirl I remember reading this in school and having to be sent into the hallway because I was sobbing. 5mo
jmtrivera @GondorGirl I suspect I would've been the same way had I read it as a kid! 5mo
annahenke This is such a SAD one 5mo
jmtrivera @annahenke It was! 5mo
27 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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jmtrivera
One by One | Ruth Ware
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Pickpick

This book was so atmospheric and fun to read. I read this in June in Florida & still felt the cold isolation Ware built into the story. It wasn't exactly a difficult mystery to figure out, but I liked following the trail to the end. A little paranoid, a little silly - this hit my mystery/thriller itch just right.

Bklover I liked this one too! 5mo
jmtrivera @Bklover It's my first by this author, and now I want to try her others! 5mo
24 likes2 comments
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jmtrivera
A Vow So Bold and Deadly | Brigid Kemmerer
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Pickpick

It all seems par for the course, then Kemmerer starts mixing it up & that's when I really engaged. It's when the characters dig into themselves & each other for the truth that this series is at its best, b/c they are better than sitting around sulking at their mistakes & fears. They dive into (sometimes ill-advised) action, ask hard questions & it all leads to a really satisfying, if a bit obvious, conclusion. Really enjoyed this book & series.

17 likes2 stack adds
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jmtrivera
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Pickpick

Sweetie & Ashish are just the most charming characters (and the Patels are the most delightful matchmakers). Each hurdle they take, both together & apart, just builds a sweeter connection between the two of them, while making valid points about loving who you are. And of course, like Menon's other books, there's just enough comedy & poignancy sprinkled throughout to really engage the reader. This is now my fave of all the Menon books I've read.

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jmtrivera
What Jesus Saw from the Cross | A. G. Sertillanges
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Pickpick

There were a couple of things that stood out to me, specifically Sertillanges's focus on women and the way he spoke about the Apostles. Most of it wasn't exactly a new perspective though, which is what I'd hoped for, and I didn't love the style. Still, it was a really interesting series of reflections and would probably be really well suited to a Lenten series of reading.

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jmtrivera
Sixteen Scandals | Sophie Jordan
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Pickpick

Prim has a fun adventure through Vauxhall Gardens in this book, though her birthday scheme inevitably goes awry. As she explores the infamous venue & learns that society & its so-called delights are not as anticipated, she also contemplates her upbringing, what she does & doesn't know. Of course, she also meets the mysterious Jacob who both annoys & intrigues her. The characters were flawed but also sweet & fun, making for a charming romance.

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jmtrivera
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Pickpick

This book sounds like a light romance, but it explored a number of surprisingly hard topics on the way. Both Evvie & Dean are dealing w/grief, managing others' expectations, & balancing that w/their own needs. The questions they have to ask themselves are hard & real. I like how Holmes keeps that foundation of reality, having characters call each other out on odd or hurtful choices, while also keeping the overall mood light, fun, & readable.

22 likes1 stack add
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jmtrivera
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Pickpick

This story felt short & quick-paced, but it was a welcome return to Mercy's world. The characters still feel like old friends and it's nice to see how they grow & change (especially Jesse in this one), and how they stay exactly what I missed. After all the obstacles are set up so well, the solutions almost felt a little too neat. At the same time, they were clever & used the characters at their best. I always come out of these books wanting more.

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jmtrivera
The Heir Affair | Heather Cocks, Jessica Morgan
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Mehso-so

Once again, this book wasn't what I expected. It was more serious than I would have anticipated, centering on trust issues & infertility, which made for a heavier & less fun story than the first. On top of this, the characters were disappointing & didn't make a whole lot of sense given where they ended the previous book (although the Eleanor plot was super funny). Both provide some really good emotional payoffs, but I probably wouldn't reread.

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jmtrivera
The Rose & the Dagger | Rene Ahdieh
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Pickpick

While the end of this duology was satisfying and fun, I found it paced a lot slower at first. I also feel like there were more unanswered questions than in the first one - like why didn't Shazi tell everyone the truth about the curse? Still, the characters were just as engaging as in the first one and the ending just what it should have been. I'll definitely try more from Ahdieh.

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jmtrivera
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Pickpick

Cary Elwes does more than reflect on his time making The Princess Bride; he also shares the thoughts of his fellow cast-mates & others who played a role in the making of the film. Hearing the stories of these actors, writers, & directors made me feel as if the experience making it was as magical for them as it was for me to see. I don't often get a lot out of audiobooks, but this one was so much fun & made me want to revisit the film immediately.

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jmtrivera
The Wrath & the Dawn | Rene Ahdieh
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Pickpick

I love how fierce a heroine Shahrzad is throughout this story. She speaks her truth & holds her ground, but despite her stubbornness she's also open-minded enough to learn. Because of that, the romance doesn't feel forced. The tension builds nicely & doesn't feel like a classic love triangle, which was also nice. Once I put it down, I was ready for the next!

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jmtrivera
Gods Behaving Badly | Marie Phillips
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Mehso-so

While the satire in this story was a lot of fun sometimes, at other times it was a little over-the-top for my taste. I'm glad I finally got it off my list, but not something I'd revisit.

#BookSpin for April @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Great progress!!! 5mo
16 likes1 comment
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jmtrivera
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Pickpick

While some of Dan's steps and the plot twists didn't seem quite believable, it was still engaging. I found it super quick-paced and fun to read.

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jmtrivera
Mrs. Dalloway | Virginia Woolf
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Mehso-so

The stream-of-consciousness style is an interesting idea, and I've enjoyed Woolf's writing in other works of hers I've read. Here though, I found it exhausting to follow and difficult to engage with this style. I think if I were to study this novel in a class, I'd probably come to at least appreciate it, but in general, it was not for me.

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jmtrivera
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Here's my #BookspinBingo board for the month! I guess I'm finishing Adams this month since both his spaces are marked as #BookSpin and #DoubleSpin! Here we go!
@TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! 5mo
16 likes1 comment
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jmtrivera
Untitled | Unknown
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So I guess June is finished? What a crazy quick year! I finally finished a series for my Series Summer project, and knocked multiple things off my TBR. And I DNF-ed a book (not pictured), which we know is good progress for me! (No Bingos on my BookSpinBingo Board, though, oh well!) Not to mention, I liked all of these! What did you enjoy this month?
#JuneWrapUp

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jmtrivera
Untitled | Anonymous
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For July, most of the books I want to read are in series, so I'm making my #BookSpin and #BookspinBingo list full of doubles again. Then, if I read a sequel to one of the books, the doubles can act like a free space on the Bingo Board. Hopefully, I can finish one or two series this month!
@TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! I also have a few series I need to wrap up!!! I read Stiefvater's Dream Cycle earlier this year and the two spin-off books as well - I quite enjoyed them!! 5mo
jmtrivera It's so hard to stay on top of all these series, but I'm really hoping to check off the Stiefvater and the Maas! 5mo
16 likes2 comments
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jmtrivera
Blackout | Dhonielle Clayton, Nicola Yoon, Tiffany D Jackson, Angie Thomas, Nic Stone, Ashley Woodfolk
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I've still got many reviews to catch up with, but here's my current read while I do!

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jmtrivera
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Pickpick

If I'd known that this was where this trilogy was headed, I might not have put off the third book for so long. It was fast-paced, interesting, and emotional in ways that I didn't expect. June and Day's choices are difficult, but they've grown into characters that handle those choices gracefully. Despite the fact that the ending made me ask a lot of questions, I found it satisfying and enjoyed it far more than the previous two.

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jmtrivera
Hamnet | Maggie O'Farrell
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Mehso-so

I liked this imagining of Shakespeare's family life before & away from his playwriting days. This is really Agnes's story, and she's particularly engaging w/her clever but independent streak combined w/maternal fierceness. Particularly poignant is the portrayal of grief that makes up the last third of the book. Long as it was, I appreciated a lot of it, but didn't always feel it was the best told story.

SamAnne Agree with your review. I finished yesterday. I loved the writing and the characters but it could have been shorter frankly. The story really captures grief. (edited) 6mo
jmtrivera @SamAnne So true. The grief was so real, it hurt. 6mo
24 likes2 comments
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jmtrivera
Conquistadora | Esmeralda Santiago
Mehso-so

I enjoy Santiago's writing, but I was torn about the story, which summarizes my whole experience w/this book. Ana is flawed, but her manipulative & selfish nature contrasts w/her awareness of the horrible truth of slavery & using people (though of course that changes nothing). Other characters' perspectives enriched my understanding of the history, but not always the story itself. At the end, I felt both relief & like something was missing.

jmtrivera Annnnnnnnnd this was April's #DoubleSpin. @TheAromaofBooks 5mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 5mo
8 likes2 comments
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jmtrivera
Leah on the Offbeat | Becky Albertalli
Pickpick

As exasperating as Leah can be, how well do I recall those feelings of not quite knowing what to say or wanting to blow something up if you can't get it just right. But Leah has a great group of friends she can count on & a loving mom who's got her back. It's reassuring for her & the reader as she learns to let them support her, and her journey was sweet & understandable. It wrapped up a bit neatly, but very light & pleasant.

jmtrivera Looking back to see where I needed to catch up on reviews and realized this was a #DoubleSpin back in March. Oops! @TheAromaofBooks 5mo
TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! 5mo
12 likes2 comments
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jmtrivera
Tooth and Claw | Jo Walton
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Pickpick

This take on Victorian novels is the most unique thing I've read in a while. I enjoyed all the satire of the novels of the time, though I've never read Trollope and presumably would appreciate this more if I had. Still, this was funny, interesting, and I kind of wish there was more of it.

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jmtrivera
A Vow So Bold and Deadly | Brigid Kemmerer
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Minisaurus is in bed and Tinysaurus wants to be with her Daddy until she falls asleep, so I'm reading while I wait for my next load of laundry. Everyone wins!

britt_brooke We take what we can get. Enjoy!! 6mo
24 likes1 comment