Book #82: Dragonfly in Amber

Diana Gabaldon, Dragonfly in Amber, 2001, 743p

Hello giant beastly huge book with a giant beastly huge Scotsman! Hubba.

This one took me A LOOOOONG time to read.

a) Because of said mentioned beastly length
annnnnnd
b) Because this one was harder to get into than Outlander. Like seriously, it took me like 300 pages to be like ‘okay, this is aight’

I get it. I get it. We sort of need all the historical backstory to get to the spoilery ending. But, my new Outlander motto is: MORE JAMIE, LESS ERRRYTHING ELSE.

We met Claire again in present day – well as present day as 1968 is – with her fire-haired daughter Brianna (hmmm…I wonder where she gets that from…) as they head back to Scotland. Claire plans to reveal to Brianna once and for all the unfathomable details about her heritage. Told through present day Revelations and beautiful, Highlander-filled flashbacks, we learn more about Claire and Jamie’s quest to change history and where it led them.

The cliffhanger ending somewhat made up for the slow start. I have yet to pick up Voyager, cause I’m worried it will be much the same. I feel like this a series that is going to take me a decade to read, but I’ll slog through it one giant tome at a time.

Cause Jamie.

Book #76: All the Rage

Courtney Summers, All the Rage, (2015), 321p

Gasp. There are some times where the library hold gods do not shine upon me. I am finished a book and stuck waiting for another. Yeah, I could pull one of the hundred TBR books from my bookshelves… OR I could creep through the eBooks that are available online until I find on that I can read right then and now that sounds remotely interesting.

Which is exactly how I fell upon All the Rage.

We meet Romy – a girl from the wrong side of the tracks. We don’t meet Kellen Turner – but we learn a lot him. The town’s golden boy isn’t so golden after forcing himself upon Romy. But no one believes her, so Romy is left to build up walls around her and continue on with high school. Romy creates a secret life for herself working at a diner in another small town, where no one knows her story. But when a popular girl, who is linked to both Romy and Kellen, turns up missing after the annual high school bush party – the town takes notice.

So. This book tackles a pretty tough subject. Does it do it well? Maybe…

This entire book is filled with bullying – bullying of Romy for having a drunk dad, being a slut, being a liar. Bullying of Romy’s mom’s new boyfriend because he has a disability. These people are dicks. The whole idea of people not believing a rape victim isn’t new. The whole idea of the separation of classes isn’t new.

I don’t know how I feel about it. The ending of the book is touted as shocking – but I almost want to call it lazy. Summers leaves a trail of breadcrumbs throughout the story which doesn’t pan out. Maybe it was trying to be twisty. I feel like it was blah. The characters weren’t super developed. You never really get a good sense of Romy – she is too busy applying her armor of red lipstick and nail lacquer.

I give some shits about this book but not a ton. It’s okay. At best.

Book #73: Grave Mercy

Robin LaFevers, Grave Mercy, (2012), 550p

Welcome back, teen fiction. I have missed you a little, while trying to be a quasi adult and read adult-like things (well, not adult like things, cause I haven’t read anything really dirty in a while).

Ismae is only a young pup when she is sold to a disgusting, abusive man to be his wife. When he discovers her secret (a nasty red scar on her back that marks her as Death’s daughter), he flips his shit. Ismae is whisked away to safety and brought to the coolest convent ever – St. Mortain’s, where they serve Death. Ismae is trained to become an assassin to serve Death however is deemed necessary and is given a smattering of murderous goodies, including garrote bracelets (Bad ass!). Her first mission: spy on Duval, a handsome dude smackdab in the center of a political uprising. The catch? She also may have to assassinate him. The other catch? She kinda digs him.

I don’t think I’m too keen to read the other two books, which are both told from another girl’s perspective. It works for the Lunar Chronicle novels, but I don’t know if it will work for these ones. Not really wanting to know anything about the other girls – kinda itching to see what goes on with Ismae and Duval… cause I’m a creep, yo.

This one is wordy and long. It’s worth a read though, if you can get past some of the predictable cheesiness. Cause seriously, you should read it for the garrote bracelets and various other concealed weapons alone.

 

Book #70: Dime Store Magic

Kelley Armstrong, Dime Store Magic, (2004), 414p

If you remember, I devoured Bitten and Stolen like, well, I guess a werewolf would devour a small forest creature. Sex, violence, werewolves, other super natural beings, YES PLEASE.

I wasn’t too sure about continuing on with the Women of the Otherworld series, because the draw to me was Elena (well, mostly Clay, really…) and she isn’t the focus of this one. But I gave it a try.

Paige Winterborne is thrust into the role of coven leader AND thrust into the role of guardian to Savannah, a young witch with dark powers. When supernatural beings fight to control Savannah, Paige loses the support of her coven and puts herself in peril and danger.

Paige annoys me. There, I said it. She is whiny and childish and annoying. But I still managed to get through this book. I REALLY want to continue on with this series, but I’m not sure I can.

For now, I am going to just enjoy the cheesy Canadian tv remake of the series. They have made a ridiculous amount of changes to the series, but I think I like it better. And Paige is less annoying.

 

Did Not Finish #2: September Girls

Bennett Madison, September Girls, (2013), 352p (I got maybe half way thru…)

Even the lure of mermaids couldn’t persuade me to finish this garbage. (Note: this is a sentence I never thought I would ever write.)

Filled to the brim with sexist, conceited young boys and young, vapid, blond mermaid-turned-earthy girls with busted feet, I don’t even know why I got as far as I did. I’m not sure what I expected when I started reading this one, but it wasn’t this.

Barf.

Book #66: The Girl in the Steel Corset

Kady Cross, The Girl in the Steel Corset, (2011), 473p

Guys, I like mindless teen fiction. In case you haven’t picked up on that. While dystopian love triangles are typically my jam, I figured I would try some steampunk teen fiction. I devoured the Infernal Devices series quicker than I would like to admit. This one kept popping up so I figured I would give it a try.

It was not like Infernal Devices at all. Le sigh.

Finley Jane isn’t your typical 1800’s girl – she is filled with darkness. When Finley fights back against a handsy lord, she fights back a little to hard and flees. She is taken in by Griffin, a duke with a penchant for taking in the downtrodden and damage. Finley must try to harness her darkness while helping Griffin hunt down the Machinist, a villain unleashing violent automatons on the city.

This book was blah at best. It was painful to get through, predictable, and not very entertaining. I typically would have just thrown it aside, but I really tried to give it the benefit of the doubt. Seriously, don’t read it.

Back to dystopian goodies for me.

Book #64: Sweet Surrender

Maya Banks, Sweet Surrender, (2008), 344p

Sometimes all I want to read is mindless smut. Maya Banks EXCELS at this genre. Yes, I am going to classify mindless smut as it’s own genre – because I think “erotica” can be better written than this.

Sexy cop Grey Montgomery’s partner was killed in the line of duty and he is making it his mission to hunt down the cold blooded killer. Montgomery tracks down a hunch which leads him directly to Faith Malone – small town girl working for her father’s security firm. Montgomery plants himself in the firm to keep an eye on Faith, but soon becomes too close for comfort. When Faith is put in danger, Montgomery realizes he will give up anything to protect her.

This is a blah dom-inspired read which did little to keep me interested. Grey and Faith were both such underdeveloped characters and the plotline was much more “Mary Higgins Clark” than I was expecting. (Don’t get me wrong – I will never shit on MGH – she was one of the first adult authors I read as a kid).

It was mindless and not really even entertaining. I don’t really even know why I continued reading it.