Thursday, December 29, 2016

December Reading Wrap Up

The year is coming to a close and I like so many other people will be glad to see the backside of 2016. My reading in experiences in December weren't the best, but I did have a few reads that I thoroughly enjoyed. I read steadily this month, but with it being the holiday season my reading was a bit slower than usual. I read nine books, I DNF'd one book, and I listened to three audio books. All three of the audio books were revisits for me and I thoroughly enjoyed them. 

Happy Reading!
Monica



I had high hopes for this one, but unfortunately I didn't enjoy it. It wasn't the writing style that bothered me so much as the story itself. I am not a huge consumer of what is considered 'dark' romances and the idea of an African American woman being 'sold' to a man with ties to white nationalism and then becoming the love of his life just isn't the romance for me. June's trauma of beatings, starvation, and complete powerlessness wasn't what I could bring myself to appreciate being the foundation of a relationship with a self reforming racist. I understand the appeal of love conquering racism for some people. However, for me, there are just too many issues that I couldn't overlook or accept as being romantic or desirable. 

This one is set in my home state of Arkansas and I am really disappointed that I didn't love it. There are editing issues throughout, there are plot issues that are skimmed over, and there's a young boy that June takes care of, but isn't really parented. There was just a lot that I didn't enjoy about this one. 

I did enjoy this well written contemporary romance. It is a quick read with relatable and realistic characters. I wrote a full review for Maybe Tomorrow that you can read here

Unfortunately, this was the book that I had to DNF. I made it to page 99 and had to throw in the towel. I wanted a good time travel romance and this sounded like a good bet, it just fell short on many levels. The dialogue is bad and on the verge of being ridiculous. The reason for Darcy's failure with women is laughable and Melanie is annoying. This was a good idea that got mucked up in the telling. 

Thankfully this was one of my Goodwill bargain finds so I only paid a dollar for this less than enjoyable experience. I love Robert's writing as J.D. Robb and was excited to read my first Nora Roberts book, but Midnight Bayou just didn't work out for me. 

I'm going to admit to personal bias and a specific idiosyncrasy of mine here that has totally played into how I perceived and reacted to this particular Nora Roberts book. I HATE the term "dusky" when referring to a person's skin tone. I know it's not a racial slur, and I am sure that Roberts in no way meant for it to be offensive. However, for me, and I can't even explain exactly why, it just rubs me the wrong way. It's a perfectly legitimate description, but in my mind it somehow just feels grating. In my experience, I have only ever found dusky used in stories written by authors who are not PoC writing a story set in the south needing to describe a PoC and it's usually used to describe some exotic woman that someone is finding sexually attractive. And yes, that is the case here. So yes, I read this one with a negative attitude and probably should have just put the story down. Which is crazy since I love romance and a woman of color being found desirable should have been a bonus. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Roberts writing and still plan on reading through her back list. This is definitely an "it's me not you" situation because I'm sure that my irritation by that one small thing soured the entire reading experience. 

It was a decent story, but unfortunately I probably won't remember much about it six months from now other than the fact that Lena was described as dusky and that she enchanted Declan from the beginning with her exotic Cajun ways... 


Okay, I HATE when people say this, but in this case it is very true. If you enjoy Fifty Shades of Grey you will probably enjoy The Affair. It has a similar theme. A very wealthy, young, handsome man with a desire for sexual dominance and the inability to form emotional attachments stumbles across a young, innocent, and non-glamorous woman who, although smart and self sufficient would still be open to being dominated by said troubled wealthy man. 

I will say that The Affair is better written than FSoG, but it's still basically just a sexy romance with enough angst and drama to make the story flow. This was another Goodwill find that I am glad to have grabbed and read but it is definitely a one time read. 


The Myth Hunters (The Veil #1) by Christopher Golden

This was one of my library book sale finds and it was a good start to the series. It has an interesting world and I loved Jack Frost over all of the characters introduced. I do wish that Oliver was a more interesting main character, but hopefully he will grow as the series progresses. Oliver is a hesitant hero without a lot of decisiveness, but he does get better as the story moves along. The mythical creatures and the developing trouble really drives the story and makes me want to eventually continue the series. I'm glad that I grabbed them all at a library book sale so that I can continue the series over the next year. 
 

Immortal Danger (Night Watch 0.5) by Cynthia Eden


Immortal Danger is an entertaining paranormal romance and a very good introduction to the Night Watch series. I enjoyed that we don't find out exactly what Adam is off. The story is fully under way when we find out what his abilities are. I especially enjoyed the fact that although Adam has a strong personality, he is also confident enough to step back and have Maya in the lead in much of the action. I will continue this series over time. If you are looking for a well written paranormal romance series with lots of steaminess, I do recommend picking this one up. 

Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1) by Neal Shusterman 

This beautiful book was a disappointment. You can read my review of it here

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

I loved this short fantasy read and am now looking forward to the next book in the series. This was the only book this month that got added to my favorite reads list. You can read my review here. 

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

I just finished this one yesterday and really enjoyed it. I'm not familiar with any Russian fairy tales so I went into this one blind. The Bear and the Nightingale is a great winter read. The writing is very atmospheric and I loved that Vasilisa is willing to go against others and not give in to pressure in order to do what she knows needs to be done. If you enjoy fairy tales with female characters who aren't waiting to be saved this is a good one to pick up. It is due to be released January 10th. and I'll have a full review up soon.


Audio Books



You all know that I love this series and Davina Porter is an excellent narrator. She brings these books to life in a way that you can't help but want to keep listening. 



I then skipped to book 4 in the series and continued to enjoy one of my favorite series. Book 3 isn't one that I really enjoyed and since these are revisits for me I didn't feel bad about skipping over it.



I enjoy David Sedaris and him reading his writings just makes it all the better. Sedaris is not for everyone, but I enjoy his sense of humor and was delighted to snap this one up when it was on sale. 








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