June 2013 reads

>> Monday, July 01, 2013

June wasn't a great month. Some good ones, but too many Cs.

1 - Borrower of the Night, by Elizabeth Peters: B+
review here

Audiobook. Prequel to the Vicky Bliss series, one of my favourites. Caper's aren't usually my thing, but they are if they're written by Peters and feature the inimitable Vicky chasing objets d'art in exotic locations.

2 - The Girl of Fire and Thorns, by Rae Carson: B+
review coming soon

Audiobook. Really cool fantasy, set in a world clearly drawing inspiration from Medieval Spain. I loved the way the heroine grows from a scared girl to a strong woman in a way that feels organic, and that there is very real danger here. Just one thing, though: in Spanish, Rosario and Belén are female names. Having two relatively important male character with those names kind of drove me nuts.

3 - The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce: B
review coming soon

A man leaves his house to post a letter to a dying friend he hasn't seen for years, and this turns into a walk to her, right across the country. Suprisingly moving and funny, and my favourite was the development of the relationship between the man and the wife he leaves at home.

4 - Ember, by Bettie Sharpe: B
review coming soon

Novella, a wonderfully subversive version of Cinderella. There's the fun of seeing how Sharpe can follow the bare lines of the traditional fairy story quite closely, while changing the spirit of it completely, but also a really satisfying romance. Best of all: it's still available for free at Sharpe's website!

5 - Carolina Home, by Virginia Kantra: B
review here

I picked this one up because I was told it was reminiscent of some of Nora Roberts' trilogies, and it was. I loved all the family drama stuff. The romance between the single dad hero and the heroine who's his son's teacher didn't work out quite that well (nice enough, but not much chemistry), but I still mostly enjoyed this.

6 - The Perfect Hope, by Nora Roberts: B
review coming soon

Last in the trilogy. Very much like the others in that it was nice and inoffensive, but pretty unexciting. I did like the romance here more than the previous one. It was fun to see prickly Ryder fall for Hope.

7 - All Night Long, by Michelle Jerott: B
original review here

I adored this book when I first read it, about 8 years ago. The heroine is an author and photographer who comes to the hero's dairy farm investigating the disappearance of an ancestor of hers, which took place on that land some 150 years earlier. It's a very character-based romance, with the added interest of the historical mystery. I liked it this time, but there were elements which haven't aged that well, and I didn't love it.

8 - Simply Perfect, by Mary Balogh: C+
review here

Sigh. I loved the development of the relationship between the nobleman hero and the school-owner heroine, but the hero showed a curiously weak spine when it came to marrying a woman he knew would make him miserable. Add to this severe seriesitis, with every character Balogh has ever written parading around showing off how happy they are, and this was quite frustrating.

9 - The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, by Lauren Willig: C
original review here

I loved this when I first read it, but not so much this time around. I found the main characters (Amy and Richard, but also the heroine from the contemporary framing story, Eloise) silly and immature instead of charming, and frankly, rather stupid. I also found the politics of the book infuriating. Amy goes on and on about restoring the monarchy, and the hypocrisy of everyone (including the narrative) condemning actions of the French which are apparently fine if done by the English is staggering. I almost lost it when that rude, horrible Miss Gwen (whose rudeness I did not find  funny) upbraids Napoleon for going into countries where he's not invited. Er.. woman, you're English. Seriously? The text seemed completely oblivious. And of course, every single French character is caricatured completely. They're all ridiculous and/or revolting, and stupid. Their actions in trying to apprehend English spies operating in their own territory are characterised as cowardly and somehow evil. I know I'm supposed to take this a lot less seriously and just enjoy the swashbuckling and adventure, but this time around, I couldn't do it. I did like some bits of the romance, as Richard and Amy (silly as they are) do have chemistry, and I also liked Amy's cousin Jane and enjoyed her part of the story, but that's it.

10 - And She Was, by Alison Gaylin: C
review coming soon

This is a mystery about missing people, with a heroine who's a PI and suffers from a rare psychological disorder which means she remembers everything, every single detail of what she experiences. That last aspect was interested, and well-rendered. The mystery was initially intriguing, but the resolution ended up feeling a bit unsatisfying.

11 - Watchmen, by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons (artist): C-
review here

Read for my book club this month. I guess it's just not for me. I've seen it called an examination and deconstruction of the superhero concept, and I suspect you need to have a bit more of a grounding in that concept in order to appreciate it. It left me nonplussed.

12 - Dangerous in Diamonds, by Madeline Hunter: DNF
review here

It tends to get my back up when the text is screaming one thing at me and I just don't agree. In this case, Hunter seemed very insistent that the hero, the Duke of Castleford was oh-so-sexy, but I found him sleazy, pathetic and an assholic bully.

13 - The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson: still reading
review coming soon

Non fiction audiobook. The author tells the stories of the Chicago World Fair in 1893 and of two men: the architect who built it and a serial killer who operated at the time of the Fair. So far, it's moving slow and has mostly concentrated on painting a picture of what Chicago was like at the time, but I'm very interested.

# - Day of Fire, by Kathleen Nance: still reading
review here

Part of a series I first read ages ago, called 2176 after the year it is set in. This one takes place in Canada, which has been quarantined and isolated after devastating bioterrorism attacks. The heroine is part of the Mounted Police and the hero is a 'plague hunter'.


Post a Comment

Blog template by simplyfabulousbloggertemplates.com

Back to TOP