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What Jia Read in March and April

Wow, has it been a long time since I last put one of these lists together! And I think I promised to be better about it in my previous post too. Obviously I need to learn not to jinx myself.

The Scholomance by R. Lee Smith.
Since lots of people were talking about Smith, I decided to give one of her books a try. While I definitely agree her work isn’t for everyone, I really enjoyed my first foray into her works. It had an intensity to it that I feel has been lacking in other books, and I liked that the demons read and acted like aliens. They were pretty inhuman for the most part. After I finished this one, I remember not reading anything else for a week because everything seemed so bland by comparison. I’ll probably give Heat a try at some point later this year.

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A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink.
Such a frustrating read! It was vague on every front that mattered and there were quite a few logic fails. Full review here.

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The Kingdom by Amanda Stevens.
I have no idea what happened. I really enjoyed the first book in this trilogy and I did like the first part of this installment. But then things started getting weird and nonsensical and I wanted off the ride. I had the final book in the trilogy in my TBR pile but after reading the first chapter, I decided it was time for me to get off the bus permanently. Sad when that happens. Full review here.

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The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman.
What an odd book. There were parts of it I really enjoyed, and parts of it that I wished had been done differently. Maybe I was expecting more of a breakneck thriller pace than what I got. Full review here.

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Doubletake by Rob Thurman.
The Leandros boys never fail to cheer me up. This book covers all sorts of (awkward) family reunions. We learn why there are only male pucks (and what that means when it comes to procreation), and we finally meet Niko’s dad. There’s a development regarding the auphe that tells me we’re launching into the next thematic arc for the series. If the previous book was sort of a breather, this one is a preview of what’s to come. I’m really intrigued by what we glimpsed. (And for those readers like me who’ve missed her, Georgie makes a brief cameo.)

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The Girl in the Park by Mariah Fredericks.
A YA mystery thriller about a girl looking into the death of her former best friend. Nice interweaving of social media and outward appearances versus secret lives. Full review here.

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Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin.
So disappointing! I was so thrilled to read a book that references Edgar Allan Poe. Unfortunately the reality doesn’t live up to the promise. The heroine makes some ridiculous choices. The love triangle makes it painfully obvious who the ultimate choice will be, and of course that choice is the asshole. Honestly, it read like someone trying to be edgy but had no actual experience with the topics at hand. Review to come.

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Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris.
I enjoyed this one a lot. I’m hoping books like this one means we’re moving away from the YA dystopian trend and more towards YA thrillers. The heroine reminded me of Veronica Mars in many respects. Actually, the book itself is something like a cross between Veronica Mars, 24, and X-Files. It is a big book, I suppose, but it reads extremely fast. Loved that the insta-love romance plot here made sense to me. Review here.

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Shadows of the Moon by Zoe Marriott.
Kind of like a Cinderella story set in a fantasy world loosely based on (what I think is) Heian era Japan. The heroine, Suzume, survived the slaughter of her family, and I thought it was a pretty realistic depiction of that sort of trauma. Her mother also survived (she was away when the attack came) and eventually remarries, taking Suzume with her. But then Suzume discovers that her new stepfather is the one responsible for the murder of her family and soon embarks on a quest for revenge. I liked how the book interwove all the different guises and lives Suzume adopts for herself, and blended the original Cinderella story with the culture and Suzume’s revenge tale. Review to come.

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What about you guys? Read any of these? What did you think? What are you reading now? I’m currently reading Spirit’s Princess by Esther Friesner, which portrays the story of the Japanese shaman-queen, Himiko.

Jia is an avid reader who loves fantasy and young adult novels. She's also currently dipping her toes in the new adult genre but remains unconvinced by the prevalent need for traumatic pasts. Her favorite authors are Michelle West and Jacqueline Carey. YA authors whose works she's enjoyed include Holly Black, Laini Taylor, Ally Carter, and Megan Miranda. Jia's on a neverending quest for novels with diverse casts and multicultural settings. Feel free to email her with recommendations at [email protected]!

5 Comments

  1. ruth
    May 11, 2012 @ 13:03:33

    the amazon link for Unraveling seems to be pointing to the wrong book

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  2. Isobel Carr
    May 11, 2012 @ 13:54:59

    The Scholomance AMZ link takes me to a baby book! Yikes!!!

    ReplyReply

  3. Estara
    May 12, 2012 @ 11:27:01

    OOOh, Himikoden retelling is already out? *goes off to browse*

    ReplyReply

  4. cleo
    May 12, 2012 @ 21:06:14

    I’ve been reading and completely obsessed with the Magic University series by Cecila Tan. I described it to my husband as kind of like Harry Potter goes to college, has a lot of sex, and then saves the world – which led my dh to make a lot of “magic wand” jokes (which made me giggle-snort of course – we share a juvenile sense of humor).

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  5. dphilblack
    May 14, 2012 @ 09:48:03

    I went to the library on Friday for a romance fix and went a little nuts, I borrowed:

    1. Quinn, Julia How to marry a marquis
    2. Brown, Sandra Smoke screen
    3. Phillips, Susan Elizabeth Dream a little dream
    4. Brockway, Connie As you desire .
    5. London, Julia Wicked angel .
    6. Balogh, Mary More than a mistress / Mary Balogh .
    7. Quinn, Julia The Duke and I .
    8. Deveraux, Jude A knight in shining armour .
    9. Garwood, Julie Honor’s splendor .
    10. Deveraux, Jude The duchess .
    11. Garwood, Julie The secret .
    12. Kinsale, Laura Flowers from the storm .
    13. Lindsey, Johanna Prisoner of my desire .
    14. Phillips, Susan Elizabeth It had to be you .

    The lady at the counter said with a twinkle in her eye: “enjoy your weekend of reading”. :-)

    ReplyReply

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