February 2015 reads

>> Sunday, March 01, 2015

The list this month looks a bit longer that it really is. I'm still reading a fair few, plus I had a couple of DNFs. An ok month, no more.

1 - Out of Control, by Suzanne Brockmann: B+
review here

Reread. I picked it up after struggling with a few too many ho-hum books that I was having to push myself through, and it delivered exactly what I wanted. There's exciting action, as our protagonists get stranded in the jungle and must get to safety, and some lovely romance. Romances, actually, as we get several different plot threads simultaneously.

2 - The Queen of Attolia, by Megan Whalen Turner: B+
review coming soon

When the kingdom of Eddis goes to war with its neighbours, due to Attolia's mistreatment of the Queen's Thief, he must decide whether he can still do his job. This was much bigger picture than the first book, and I loved it just as much. I had no idea where it was going.

3 - I Want It That Way, by Ann Aguirre: B
review here

New Adult. I liked it because it had regular people dealing with regular (but interesting!) issues. It also had a great cast of secondary characters.

4 - As Long As You Love Me, by Ann Aguirre: B
review coming soon

Second in the series, the heroine has some issues that mean she can't cope with college, so she goes back to her home town, where she gets close to her best friend's brother. I'm really enjoying these books. Again, we're talking regular people with regular issues.

5 - The Dancing Floor, by Barbara Michaels: B
original review here

Reread of an old favourite. The heroine is doing a tour of old English gardens as a sort of homage to her late father, with whom she'd originally planned the trip. There's one that's not open to the public and her request to see it is turned down, so she decides to have a peek over the fence in the early morning. She ends up falling through the foliage and invited to stay and help the new owner with the project to restore the garden. She accepts, but immediately gets the feeling that there's stuff going on below the surface. It's very gothic, but in a modern way, and with the trademark Barbara Michaels humor and interesting characters.

6 - A Right Honourable Gentleman, by Courtney Milan: B-
review coming soon

This is an anthology with loads of stories, but I only read this one. It's typical Milan, so I liked it, but it did feel a bit too short.

7 - Famous Last Words, by Katie Alender: C+
review coming soon

YA. Willa's mum has married a big-shot Hollywood director, and they move into his LA mansion. It turns out to be haunted, but only Willa sees the vision, which seem somehow related to a serial killer currently operating in Hollywood and targetting actresses. Interesting premise, but the execution was a bit clumsy and predictable.

8 - Radio Silence, by Alyssa Cole: C
review coming soon

Post-apocalyptic romance. It's merely weeks after the lights have mysteriously gone off, and the heroine and her best friend take refuge at his family's isolated house. His hot doctor brother and teenaged sister are there. It sounded good (not least because it's an interracial romance, with an African-American heroine and a Korean-American hero), but it didn't work so well. The chemistry was all tell and no show, and the tone felt weird and a bit off.

9 - Scandal of the Season, by Christie Kelley: DNF
review here

Random historical from my TBR. Big pile of WTF, with ridiculous plot points and a hero I detested.

10 - The Huntress, by Susan Carroll: DNF
review coming soon

Continues on from the Silver Rose, which I read ages ago. Everyone's out to get a young girl with the potential to be a super-powerful witch, and mercenary Catriona O'Hanlon is sent to protect her. But her father doesn't think he needs any help. Great sense of place, but the romance and characters felt so old-fashioned that the story just didn't engage me.

11 - The Dark Heart of Italy, by Tobias Jones: still reading
review coming soon

A collection of essays about different aspects of Italian life. Not an idealistic, sun-drenched portrait, but more focused on the dark underbelly. Interesting so far.

12 - Beautiful Game Theory: How Soccer Can Help Economics, by Ignacio Palacios-Huerta: still reading
review coming soon

The author uses data from football to test economic theories and insights. So far it's a lot more technical than I expected, so I'd only recommend it to football lovers with some formal economics training.

13 - The Young Elites, by Marie Lu: grade
review coming soon

Paranormal YA, set in a Renaissance Italy-inspired world. The premise is that the survivors of a dangerous "blood fever" some 15 years early have developed dangerous powers. They are now persecuted, and have created a sort of secret society. I'm not loving it so far. It feels very melodramatic.

14 - The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, by David Mitchell: still listening
review coming soon

Fiction set in 18th century Dejima, a little island off Japan where the Dutch East Indies Company was allowed to operate. Loving it so far; Mitchell's writing immediately draws me in every time.


Sun,  1 March 2015 at 11:12  

Ohhh I loved The Queen of Attolia! But I LOVED The King of Attolia even more!! The author writes so slowly. It's been 15 years I've been biting my nails anxiously waiting for each of her new books. They come like every 4 and 6 years. *dies* Can't wait for the final two. They're going to be so awesome! Something big is going to happen and I have every faith in MWT to bring a satisfying conclusion to the series...... Sorry I rant. Was my inner fangirl showing? *sheepish*

Li 1 March 2015 at 15:46  

Oh hey, a Barbara Michaels I don't own! Must go hunt it down now.

Agree with Sun that QUEEN / KING are really good. It took a while for me to get into THIEF, but the next two books worked right from the start.

Rosario 2 March 2015 at 07:57  

Sun: I can't wait to read that one. I mean, I haven't checked what it's about, because I loved not knowing even who this book was about, but I think I can guess. Sounds like we're due a 5th book soon? It's been like 5 years since the last one.

Li: I remember trying to hunt down all books by Barbara Michaels before the internet and while living in Uruguay. I think this was pretty much the last one I found, when I thought I had all of them. It was a great surprise :)

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