The whole month I had a quite a few books sitting on my nightstand. Did I read them all? No. Did I read some of them? Yes. And I’m calling that a victory! Even better, I really, really loved one of them. That I’m calling a freaking miracle! Or a tale as old as time.
The Books I Loved, Liked and Loathed
A love book, a couple of like books and no loathe books, so a pretty good month for me!
The Books I Loved
I read a book and I loved it. Woo-hoo!
A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
Book Description: Break the curse, save the kingdom. It’s that simple or not in this classic retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
Book Review: I love this book SO MUCH. I’ve had several people suggest this book to break my reading slump. They were right and I regret not reading it sooner. It’s immensely enjoyable and while it looks like a long book, it just flies by. I love Harper. And Rhen. Plus Grey. Zo, Jamison, Freya, Jake and Noah too (and look forward to getting to know them better). They are all great characters, even the smaller side characters who were thankfully not written as red shirts (throw-away characters). While it certainly has Beauty and the Beast DNA, it’s very much it’s own story too, which I appreciate. I like that the romance, while important, is also not the sole focus of the story so it’s not an icky, overly sweet, insta-love story. Plus, no freaking love triangle. And that might be the greatest miracle of all.
To Read or Not To Read: Yup. This is a great choice for fantasy YA fans. Lots of solid world-building and I can’t wait for book 2.
The Books I Liked
These are the books I liked, from most liked (4 stars) to liked (3 stars) and everything in-between.
Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling)
Book Description: A troubled young man begs Strike to investigate a murder he believes he witnessed as a child.
Book Review: This runs about 650 pages and it could be at least 150 pages shorter. The detectiving (yes, it is too a word, WordPress) was fine, slow but true to real life. But the more personal stuff going on between Strike and Robin got old fast. We know they are suppose to be together and all this dithering around is annoying. I sincerely shouted at one point, “Ron was a less a git when Hermoine went to the Yule Bull with Krum.” Seriously, it got annoying. It just felt both weirdly basic (the relationship) and complex (the case). I never feel it’s a good thing when a character basically has to explain point-by-point (to the killer too!) what they did for the audience’s sake. Greedy douche bags is an acceptable enough explanation for me.
To Read or Not To Read: Fans of the Strike series should find this pass-the-time (trademark Steph) fine. I plan to continue the series because I like Strike and Robin (more their detectiving (yup, still a word) and less the romance possibility)) and I have great faith in Rowling too.
Past Tense by Lee Child
Book Description: Jack Reacher begins another cross-country journey but gets sidelined by something stupid.
Book Review: I’ve read every Jack Reacher book (the movies are not like the book. Tom Cruise is NOT Jack Reacher) and they are not remotely believable but cathartic for me. Yup, I derive deep pleasure from Reacher meting out justice against bad, no good and definitely not fine people (he may have killed a bunch of Neo-Nazi’s in Night School) because a lot of bad people get away with bad things in real life. His books tend to move at breakneck speed but this one was soooooooo slooooooooow. It toggled back-and-forth between Reacher doing ancestral research (YES, I said ANCESTRAL RESEARCH!) and a couple being held captive at a nearby motel. It finally got good in the end when the two stories connected but that was about 75% into the book.
To Read or Not To Read: The Jack Reacher series? Yes. And by the time you get to this one, it will make a you a tad grumpy (ANCESTRAL RESEARCH!) but you’ll have enjoyed enough Reacher to forgive an okay book.
TL;DR: The Books I Recommend
A solid month overall. If you love fantasy, re-tellings of classic stories (Beauty and the Beast) and YA, then you should definitely give A Curse so Dark and Lonely a try. It’s earned those rave reviews! Lethal White and Past Tense are fine, pass-the time reads for fans of each respective series. Neither are my favorite books in the series but still enjoyable.
To More Great ReadsI’m actually moving in the next couple of weeks so I’m not sure how much reading I’ll do this month. But I’m sure I’ll find time to read a book or maybe even two or three or none. 😀 As usual, I’m linking up with Jana and Steph for the Show Us Your Books link-up and this is SUYB’s 5th Anniversary. Congratulations ladies for creating such an amazing link-up! I am honored to be a part of this wonderful community of book lovers and have read so many fantastic books, thanks to my very favorite link-up and its super cool participants. Please be sure to visit Jana and Steph to see what everyone read last month.
Your turn! Tell me what great books did you read last month?
Nancy @ NY Foodie Family says
A Curse so Dark and Lonely has been on my to read list. Since it’s YA, it sounds like a book my daughter would enjoy as well! I’m going to have to check it out sooner than later.
I really, really enjoyed it. It’s got some Beauty and Beast DNA running through it but it also very much it’s own story too. I’m excited to read book 2, which says a lot because I’ve felt so meh about so many books lately!
YAY I’m so glad you loved A Curse so Dark and Lonely! I am reading an ARC of the second one at the moment and it’s been slow to start but I hope the story is (at least almost!) as good!!
Lethal White might have been my favourite in the Galbraith series so far!
Oh man. The second book is often the roughest, in my opinion, especially if this is meant to be a trilogy (I am not sure how many books it is supposed to be either). Fingers crossed it picks up because I really loved book 1. I enjoy the Strike series but I have a terrible time remembering everything from the previous books. Getting too old, I guess!
I need to read Lethal White, so hopefully sometime this Fall. I do love the series! Glad to hear you loved A Curse So Dark and Lonely- I have heard good things!
It’s a good book but loooooooong. I actually somehow managed to get it right when it was first released but a huge book just didn’t appeal to me at the moment! But if you’re a fan of the series, you should really enjoy it. I really loved A Curse So Dark and Lonely and the fact that it didn’t feel super twee, which some YA does for this old coot.
Brittany Always says
A read A Curse So Dark & Lonely and enjoyed it! Looking forward to the next installation.
Me too. And it’s been some time since I’ve felt super engaged with a new series so that also makes me really happy!
kathy @ more coffee, less talky says
LMAO your summary of jack reacher made me laugh. isn’t it always like that, though? there’s another series similar to that which I read for a while but like you said, it got so boilerplate that i had to abandon it — it’s the Mitch Rapp series (American Assassin).
Yeah. I like me some Jack Reacher for all his kicking ass and not bothering to take names attitude, but this one was not his best. I mean seriously, ancestral research? WTF!! And I really hate it when a series gets so boilerplate that everyone (including the author) is bored. I’ll give J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts a lot of credit. Her next book in the In Death series is #50 and while some I love more than others, they don’t feel formulaic to me. I’ve quit once beloved series (looking at you Stephanie Plum) because they grew so boring and tiresome.
Kay R.D. says
Havent read any of these but I have heard good things about a curse so dark and lonely. Im not big on fantasy or YA but the last couple fantasy YA books I read I really enjoyed.
I didn’t find A Curse so Dark and Lonely very twee, which was really nice. I like YA but when they get too twee or angsty (which is obviously appropriate for the age group but I’m an old coot), I don’t enjoy them very much.
Nice to clear some space on the to read shelves!
Yes, it is. Sometimes unread books make me guilty because I am weird.
Rebecca Jo says
You sealed the deal for me – buying A Curse so Dark & Lonely right now… I hear all the rants about it but didnt know it was Beauty & the Beast centered story idea. SOOLLLDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!
I really think you’ll love it, especially being a diehard B&B fan. It’s not really a true “retelling” but just has some similar DNA running through it. And that makes me like it better because I’m finding that I just enjoy the original more than the retelling. I really hope you love it!
I totally forgot that JK Rowling writes under a pseudonym for other books 🙂
Yup. She seemed to take a really long break between this book and the previous one and I almost forgot about the series to be honest. 😀
You didn’t pick up on a love triangle ish vibe in A Curse So… ? I kind of did… I did not like it so I ignored it. Hahaha. Glad you loved it, though! I really liked it, too!
Yeah, I did but it wasn’t in your face so it didn’t bother me. Plus, I thought book 2 was already out so when I looked it up on Amazon, I read the synopsis and well …. there you go.
I’ve heard a lot of good things about A Curse So Dark and Lonely, but I’m not sure if I’d enjoy a fairy tale retelling!
I will say it’s not a strict retelling, just shares some bones or DNA with Beauty and the Beast (mostly around there being a Prince with a curse and the curse works differently than it does in the Disney Beauty and the Beast movie). I really enjoyed it but I also like fairy tales too!
Visiting from the linkup!
I genuinely laughed out loud at your reference to Harry Potter about Ron and Hermione… hahaha I hate when books just dance around relationships and stuff like that… haha
Also, I added A Curse so Dark and Lonely to my TBR because it sounds like a book right up my alley! Thanks for the suggestion!
Thanks for stopping by Ashley! Seriously, I found it so irritating that teens somehow managed to be less immature than adults! You like them then freaking say something!!!!! Ugh. She’s normally not like that so it made it even worse. I highly recommend A Curse so Dark and Lonely and hope you love it!
Jana @ Jana Says says
I’m going to say it. I’m sick of JK Rowling. I mean, I love how she hates trump but her pseudonyms are just annoying at this point.
Pseudonyms don’t really bother me but I don’t like it when authors are super coy about it. I get why they use them but when you get outed, just confess.
Any time we move, I pretty much stop reading. It’s understandable if you do too!
I haven’t read any of these but it seems like having a dependable author who is always cranking out books, like Lee Child, can’t be a bad thing.
I definitely did not read during the move but now that I’m getting settled, I find myself craving familiar, favorite books as comfort. New is always nice but I do love having a few tried-and-true authors that I can depend on to deliver good books. Plus, I’m weird. After reading some series as long as I have, the characters become friends in their own, weird way.
it gives me so much joy that you enjoyed a curse so dark and lonely!
i have the ARC of the sequel on my kindle and i’m scared to start it in case it isn’t as good lol
I loved it so much Kristen. It was right up my alley and hit all the right buttons. Plus it didn’t feel super twee to me. I’m getting to be such an old grumpy coot! LOL! Man, I hear you. Sometimes I get so nervous reading book 2 because I hate possibility of it being bad too. Fingers crossed it’s just as good or even better!
Definitely need to read A Curse So Dark because I’ve heard such great things about it!
Yes! Give it a try, Kasey. I think you’ll really enjoy it!
Jill K says
I read A Curse So Dark and Lonely a few months ago, and I’m thinking it’s time for me to find the next book in the series.
I don’t think it’s out yet … maybe early 2020? I’m kind of grumpy about it because I want to read it now, although 2020 isn’t that far away. Patience isn’t always my best virtue!