What John’s Been Reading, Week of August 30th
This past week was a blur of family vacationing and getting ready for school. I just had my first day today as well, so my reading is already taking a toll with my energy. High school throws punches like that. My reading is going to hopefully continue at a semi-similar pace, and I’m going to be attempting to keep up more with reviews once I get organized. These were the books I read during the last week or two of summer.
Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan
This was one of those books that I’ve picked up in my yard-sale searches (which are the main way I find romances anymore.) I heard good things, and the author blurbed Ernessa T. Carter’s 32 Candles, which I loved. It ended up being a read that I really enjoyed. It’s set in the 90’s, so it deals with a lot of current issues of the time, and the commentary on male/female relationships and black male/black female relationships in particular was interesting.
Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by David Levithan and Rachel Cohen
Love David Levithan. Love his first collaboration with Cohen, which is Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Was disappointed in this book. There was some nice usage of complex relationships and fluid teen sexuality, but it all got bogged down by a lot of narrator hopping that made all of the problems (Ely and Naomi’s friendship, Naomi’s love for the gay Ely, Ely’s boyfriend’s image issues, ect.) feel like they were resolved too quickly. Not to mention it strained credibility when it wasn’t just two but six or more protagonists that were speaking in incredibly observant narration for a teen mind.
Guily Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton
I shouldn’t have read this one, but I did. It was fun, but there was some repetitive language that was noticeable and a lack of focus in the middle. I have made it a goal to see how far I can go into Hamilton’s series without throwing in the towel. Anita was already sexually charged in a subtle way, so I’m looking forward to seeing how that changes. Even if it’s for the worst.
Arise by Tara Hudson
A sequel to the YA PNR Hereafter that came out this summer. I was asked to look over the manuscript. I enjoyed the first book but felt it had a lack of oomph to the drama it would realistically show. This one had some pacing problems in the first third, but it showed a lot more of the drama that would go on. Not for everyone, but if you like YA PNR like I do, you’d find the series pleasant.
Vixen by Jillian Larkin
This one felt like a meeting of the Private series with the 1920’s flapper fad. It totally worked, too. There’s a lot of drama and angst involved, but I love this setting. All of the flapper outfits and attitude is fun to read about. The pacing was a little slow for my taste. It satisfied my historical fiction urge and gave me some brain candy to work with.
Vacations from Hell – anthology
This I picked up as another breather book. Five short stories of amusing but limited entertainment. Claudia Gray and Sarah Mylnowski balanced out the best. Libba Bray and Maureen Johnson had good ideas but needed more room to work with them. Cassandra Clare pretty much wrote a whole lot of nothing. I’ve found Clare’s short stories cannot even go into amusing territory for me, and I was annoyed by some factual errors. About video games. From the past few years! Kingdom Hearts 2 is primarily if not completely a signal player game, and it is not on the Xbox. (I am a gamer on the side, if you couldn’t tell.)
Safe Harbor by Christine Feehan
Feehan is a guilty pleasure. I forget about her books soon after I read them, and the romance is primarily the same thing over and over again. Her males border on far-too-alpha at times, and her females always end up retiring to be alone with the kiddies. I find her writing fun if overly descriptive, and Safe Harbor was at least a fun addition to the series. I’d read Dangerous Tides and hated the hero and his romance with the heroine. I think I’ll have better luck with the Carpathians in the future.
His Wife for One Night by Molly O’Keefe
The author sent this when I mentioned I was looking into trying Harlequin Superromance. I found the main couple to have a good chemistry, and I liked the idea behind it quite well. The lack of interaction between them in the first half and the lack of clarity on some issues from their past and present made it difficult for me to love the book, but I read through it quickly and enjoyed it.
I also read a few books for school like O Pioneers!, Ethan Frome, and The Awakening. I found them good reads, but I had problems fundamentally with The Awakening and O Pioneers. I have a few books I’m going to read over the next few days as well, or that I’m reading right now.
The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen
This is one that is fun to read, but the fundamentals of the text are ridunkulous. The book starts out that way without easing you in, and it has yet to stop. I’m on page fifty and can already tell it’s pretty similar to Twilight and the BDB books. (Seriously. The group of guys/warriors called the Lumina all wear leather and have mated-trope things with this other race and it’s…yeah.)
Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
I’m going to be reading this while I read Mephisto. It seems to be pretty short, and I have an essay on it that is due in a few days. Yes, I procrastinated over the summer. At least I picked the play for last.
Where Demons Fear to Tread by Stephanie Chong
Picked this up hearing mixed things. I’m a sucker for angel books (see Mephisto), so I’m hoping that I’ll like the read. If not the romance. My experience with MIRA books has been conflicted, but I will deal with a lot of crap to read about angels. Probably too much crap, but it’s worth a shot.