So fun! A great mix of romance, mystery, and espionage.
My July reading recap. Not pictured, Watching You by Lisa Jewell (out in January). It was a slow-ish month, but I loved all of these.
Dyl and Caden are Love Interests. They're assigned a girl. It's their job to get to fall for them. The winner gets the girl. The loser dies. But what if they don't want the girl? #TheLoveInterest is a super fun, fast-paced thriller. It's a great twist on the YA love triangle trope, and also deals with coming out and discovering your sexuality in a genius way. #lgbtreads #gayya
Out in October, this is the fun start to a series! Rose longs for adventure, and she gets her chance for some when her boss goes missing. Investigating his disappearance opens her eyes to a world she didn't believe in, the world of the paranormal. Lindsey balances the historical and paranormal elements wonderfully, and introduces a solid supporting cast that I hope we get to know better in upcoming installments.
I‘m mostly enjoying the book, but this line...
Roehrig really delves into stories of people who have learned their lives are changed, and they need to solve the mystery in front of them to start putting things back together. Both of Roehrig‘s books are some of the best thrillers I've read in a while. That's not even getting into the added bonus that both of his books are thrillers with queer protagonists. And that feels almost revolutionary to me as a reader. #lgbtreads #gayya
This book is beautiful. The storytelling is so lush, and you‘ll immediately fall in love with Caroline. You‘ll love her spirit, your heart will break for her, and you‘ll want to just hold her close to you as she navigates her first crush and trying to find her lost mother. #lgbtreads #gayya #gaymg
This is my first contender for book of the year. Every time I started reading I felt like I was going to have a panic attack. The way Oshiro can switch between the horrors of police brutality to the sheer joy and excitement of a first crush is incredible. I think the last time a book destroyed me like this was Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan.
March 2018 reading recap.
I usually don't do the culinary cozies, but this was the first one that really tempted me to try the recipes. Alexander writes about pastries in a way that makes your mouth water. I really loved that while Jules is trying to help with a murder investigation, she's really bad at it. Really bad at it. I also really loved her friendship with Thomas. Alexander nails that old flames who are now friends but still flirt banter perfectly.
Auntie Poldi has moved to Sicily because she wants to drink herself to death, and wants a sea view while she does it. Her other hobbies include taking pictures of hot policemen, and inserting herself into official police investigations. She's never seen without her wig, and I love her! I can't wait for her next adventure.
I bought this from Avid Bookshop after they were told to remove it from a school book fair, so they pulled out of the event. What a beautiful book. It's funny, touching, and beautiful in the simplicity of its message. That love is important, and worth celebrating. It's great to read a MG book with LGBT representation that's not about coming out. It's about getting to know the people in your life and looking up to them. I was completely charmed.
I picked this up after an EW story about the author not getting invited to schools because of the content. Evie‘s evolving relationship with her faith was interesting. Everything centered around her sexuality felt hollow and inauthentic.
This one is really everything I love about cozies. Great characters, lots of humor, some ace amateur sleuthing, and it's refreshing to read a cozy with a diverse cast. We need more cozies like this! Lana Lee is one of my new favorite characters. I'm thrilled a second book is coming later this year. Instead of a small town, Chien creates a great sense of community in the Plaza of shops, where gossip spreads quickly and everyone has their secrets.
I'm really disappointed. This book is beautifully written, the concept is intriguing, and I was immediately pulled into the world. Unfortunately, it fails when it comes to queer representation. I'm really bummed. This book is luscious, and it has a lot of important things to say about beauty and appearance. But once again, we're "treated" to another round of the "bury your gays" trope. Complete with onscreen torture and murder.
I caught Biscuits mid-yawn! Imagine 1920s Chicago, but at the foot of a volcano, and instead of illegal booze, it‘s illegal magic. Daisy is a Modern Girl, and her new job as a typist is about to get more complicated as word of her unusual magic spreads. Gower‘s world is interesting, and queer (in both senses of the word). Daisy is equal parts naive and tough as nails. Moonshine is a gem in the urban fantasy world. Not perfect, but refreshing.
Just wrapped up a little mini #gayya binge this morning. I loved all three books, but WHITE RABBIT (out in April) was probably my favorite because it was a YA novel featuring a gay character where coming out or dealing with bullying wasn‘t the main focus. Solving the mystery was the focus. That was so refreshing. Roehring creates a real sense of danger for his characters as they try to piece together this well-plotted mystery.
I had some reservations going into this one, but I loved it. I loved Simon‘s sense of humor, and his angst rang true. I think Albertalli nailed the frustration of wanting to feel known and coming out. I do think things were a little too easy for Simon and the book felt a tad naive in places, but I was willing to forgive it that because it‘s the kind of book I‘d want to read as a teen, and I think would give LGBT teens hope when they read it.
I really liked this one. A MG heist novel with a gay character? Sign me up. The heist? Sneaking into the high school prom so Marco can tell his crush he likes him. I liked that Stephen, the straight character, was Marco‘s side kick. Some of Marco‘s reactions to homophobia didn‘t quite ring true, and that bugged me but not enough to stop me from reading. It had a bit of a Nick and Norah‘s Infinite Playlist feel to me.
This started out fun, but it quickly becomes clear that things that work in a gothic novel from 1938 don't work in a contemporary romance. The author REALLY doubles down on the Maxim character being controlling and condescending. The heroine needs to be a little naive for this to work, but she was too naive. Plus, once the author said our heroine had a "maggot of doubt" I was out.
I don't care if it's the start of a series or not, you don't write a mystery novel with a past and present mystery and refuse to solve either of them!!! 😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡
ETA: I actually thought maybe the last 10 pages were missing from the ARC.
My favorite reads of 2017. #bestof2017
A young girl goes to a carnival, and ends not just cursed, but one of their newest additions. I loved the world that the author created. It‘s a little Cirque du Freak in a great way. You‘ll immediately fall in love with Benjamin and Emma. Questell builds real tension here. A great debut novel.
This might be one of my favorite entertainment autobiographies ever. I'll admit I'm a very casual EBTG fan, but I hard good things about it. She discusses her successes and failures in a way that feels like visiting with a friend. She also interjects a lot of humor into her narrative. She really gets into what it means to stay true to yourself while trying to create. I found myself sad as I finished it because our time together was over.
An appraiser discovers a rare manuscript about a tarot deck saved from the flames that destroyed the Library of Alexandria. As she translates, she learns that the author predicted she would find it. It has a fantastic Katherine Neville feel to it. While nothing will top The Eight, this is a worthy successor in the line of fun treasure hunts. If you're a fan of Neville or Anne Fortier's books, you should definitely check this one out.
1. Spellwright by Blake Charlton
2. The Lost Language of Cranes by David Leavitt
3. Savannah Blues by Mary Kay Andrews
4. Life Is A Banquet by Rosalind Russell
5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
6. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
So this was good, but not great like I wanted it to be. I was kind of hoping for more of his life in San Francisco, more about how he created his own logical family. The end become all about name dropping, and while I love a good, "I blew Rock Hudson" story, I was hoping for a little more. The insights into the inspiration for Tales were wonderful.
It's incredible to be in this world again. Before the end of the first chapter you're immediately back in it. The League of St. Alexander was chilling. And the pacing? Pullman has basically written a thriller. I couldn't put it down. Malcom is so fully realized that I miss him already. I was so worried about reading this, but Pullman puts you at ease right off the bat and has written a worthy addition to the series.
The Kitchen God‘s Wife and The Joy Luck Club are 2 of my all-time favorite books. Tan‘s last few novels have been underwhelming, and after reading the first 40 pages of this it makes sense. She‘s really playing heavy on the tortured artist stereotype.
I'm so glad Jaye Wells is continuing this series. She's a master at blending genres. Her elevator pitch for this series is, "The Wire with wizards." She expertly blends elements of a top-notch police procedural with urban fantasy. If you were a fan of the first few Anita Blake books, you need to give Jaye Wells a shot. If you burnt out on UF (I know I did), this series will rekindle your love of the genre.
I knew this would take me out of my rut. Mary Kay Andrews succeeds in the details. For instance, she writes so passionately about Quixie, a regional brand of cherry soda, that you find yourself nostalgic for something that doesn't exist. And she does it while tugging at your heartstrings and making you laugh. She's a master at what she does. (And here's another gratuitous picture of my adorable cat being adorable)
In a reading rut. Between Hurricane Harvey, some personal stuff, and worn stress (also Harvey related) I haven‘t really been loving most of what I‘m reading. So I‘m going back to a sure thing. If anything can break this rut, it‘s a MKA book.
It's inevitable that this book is going to get the Girl book comparisons (Gone Girl, Girl on the Train), and they're wrong. There's no unreliable narrator here. It's The Talented Mr. Ripley meets Big Little Lies. I couldn't put it down. It's bonkers and delicious. It's been a while since I had this much reading a book.
Hmmmm... I'm not sure. It was a compulsive read. Gerritsen's characters aren't cardboard at all. There's real depth here, but it's so "women in peril." It never feels quite gratuitous, but it gets close. It's kinda nice to see the crusty, unlikeable cop be a woman. And Jane Rizzoli is not a pleasant woman. It's also interesting that it's the first in the Rizzoli and Isles series, but there's no Isles yet.
Tess talked about this one at her event at my store a few weeks ago, and it sounded intriguing. I loved it. It made me curious about the characters and their backstory so I went out and bought the first three in the series today. It was better written and less of a procedural than I expected, and I loved that all of the characters have messy lives. Great pacing too. I got 60 pages in and didn't want to put it down.
I love this series. (So much so that I've got the original self pub version of the first one). They're just really fun treasure hunts, and I appreciate that they've got a diverse cast which is something that's sorely missing in the cozy mystery genre.
I can't decide if I want to stick with this or not. I'm halfway through, and I just don't care about the romance. I like everything else about the book, but it's a little too teen angsty for me.
I admit the so-so rating has a bit to do with my expectations. I expected this to be a little more Mary Kay Andrews, and it ended up being more Karen White. It's an enjoyable read, but there wasn't much joy or humor to it. I think it just took itself too seriously. I'll give the second book a chance at some point, but there wasn't much here to separate it from other books like it.
When an 8 year old comes into the bookstore and tells you a book is bloody and funny in the best way, you listen! She was right. What a fun (and bloody) little adventure.
What an adorable little read! These are out in the UK and will be released in the US later this fall. Rose and Violet team up to recover a stolen pearl when no one believes their eye-witness account of the theft. Cute characters, darling illustrations.