My name is Tanya and I am a book reader. Well, I was. Once upon a time I was a prolific book reader but lately – not so much. In fact, looking back, it looks like the last time I made an appearance on the Show Me Your Books Link-Up was almost a year ago. Gulp. But I’m back today. Fingers crossed, I won’t go away again either.
I did read last year but not much and nothing I felt super compelled to share, possibly because I am lazy. 🙂 It’s not like I haven’t wanted to read; I have. I’ve checked out books, many in fact, but they just sat on my nightstand or in a pile by the door while I crossed my fingers that my cat wouldn’t hack up a hairball on them because that is always awkward to explain to the librarian. My mojo overall was low and reading didn’t bring me the joy it once did. I felt that loss keenly. Now I’m trying to reclaim my love for books by starting with a few, comforting favorites.
The Books I Loved, Liked and Loathed
Heck, I’ve even missed loathing books because that at least means I read something. Fortunately, this month there were no hated books.
The Books I Liked
These are the books I liked from most liked to liked and would rate between 3 to 4 stars.
Shadows In Death by J.D. Robb (Book 51)
Book Description: Someone from Roarke’s past is in New York City, putting both him and Lt Dallas in his crosshairs.
Book Review: My love for J.D. Robb (you may know her as Nora Roberts) is deep and widely known. I also adore Lt. Eve Dallas who is a richly drawn character. She is tough and vulnerable. Smart, capable, strong and a good cop (which is what she would consider the highest praise any cop could earn). However, cop stories have been really hard for me to read this past year for obvious reasons, but I love Lt Dallas and always wished cops in real life emulated her, so I took a break until I was ready to read a “cop” story again. This book was, perhaps on purpose, not as violent or graphically violent as some have been in the past. (To be clear, her stories are not gratuitously violent but she doesn’t shy away from the awful things people will do to one another either). It was nice visiting old friends again (no, I’m not crazy; I’ve earned that friendship after reading 51!!!!!!!! books about them). It was nice to be reminded that there are many cops who believe the “protect and serve” motto extends to all.
To Read or Not To Read: Yup. Lt. Dallas and Roarke fans won’t want to miss it. If you enjoy murder mysteries, it’s a good series overall. And seriously, don’t let 51 (technically the 52nd book is already out) books scare you. Just think of it as a challenge or that you’ll never run out of books to read.
Smoke Bitten By Patricia Briggs (Book 12)
Book Description: One of the fae prisoners have escaped Underhill but that’s not only problem Mercy faces as Adam is keeping secrets from her.
Book Review: It had been some time since I’d been in Mercy’s world of werewolves, witches and fae, so while it was nice to be back, this book also felt like a lot filler and set-up for what’s to come. Plus it felt repetitive in too many parts, which is growing a bit tiresome. Chrissy is annoying. Check. The pack (or parts of it) still doesn’t like or trust Mercy and give her a rough time. Check. A story needs conflict to be interesting, since peachy keen is only fantastic when it happens to me in my life but would boring in a story, and I get that. It just feels like we keep dipping into the same well over and over. I do feel where the story is headed is interesting but this book was a bit slow for me.
To Read or Not To Read: Yup. Not my favorite (nor my least favorite either) and the overall series is definitely a good one for fantasy fans.
A Vow so Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer
Book Description: An old enemy lies in wait as two kingdoms come closer to war over who the rightful ruler is.
Book Review: This was the book that excited me the most to read last month and it was also the one that ended up disappointing me the most too. Sigh. I loved the first two books very much but I also worried that Brigid had written herself into a corner with Rhen because of something he did in book 2. Fear can make people do awful (and amazing) things but it does not excuse what he did. For me, it was pretty unforgiveable, especially what he did to Tycho. It felt like every main character was a shadow of himself/herself and all talky talky and full of self-doubt. Nothing really seemed to happen until about the last 85% of the book, then felt super rushed to a not necessarily complete or satisfactory conclusion. This was billed as a trilogy, so I’m not sure if she’s continuing the series or what but expect to have a few “what about this or that?” reactions. I don’t believe a story needs to wrap up every thread in a bow but this just felt a little too open-ended.
To Read or Not To Read: Well, yes. If you’ve read the first two books, you’ll certainly want to read the conclusion. While I didn’t love the ending (I didn’t hate it either but wish the last 15% had been the focus of the story), I’m not sure whether I’d continue with the series, if that is what even happens. I would, however, still check out what Kemmerer writers next because she is great at world-building.
TL;DR: The Books I Recommend
All of them. 🙂 Of course, they are not for everybody. People who love a good procedural/mystery/strong lady cop should check out the In Death series. Seriously, don’t let the 52 books scare you. It’s not like you’re required to read them all! Fantasy fans will enjoy the Mercy Thompson series and I’m not even a big werewolf fan. The Cursebreaker series is a great take on Beauty and the Beast (it barely shares DNA with it) and while the ending wasn’t my favorite, it was still an overall enjoyable read that I recommend.
To More Great Books
Last month I played it safe and read books from favorite authors to try and get my reading mojo back; it mostly worked. 🙂 This month I’m hoping to expand my horizons a bit, although I am behind in much of my series reading so who knows. And with the world still so messy and crazy and downright disheartening at times (I’m Asian-American; I live in MN – it’s not the best time right now), it’s been hard to read some of my thrillers that I enjoy the most but I’m gonna dip my toe back into the genre and see what happens. After all, what mystery lover wouldn’t want to see what happens next, especially when it involves oneself.
What was the best book you read last month?
I told you mine, now you tell me what books you loved (or loathed).
P.S. I was in the midst of an allergy attack and on allergy meds when I wrote this. Please forgive any rambling tangents, misspelled words, missing words and poor grammar (sorry Jana!). Damn Clartin always effs me up.