February 11th, 2017

books

Book Reports (14-17)...

For those of you who happened to Google your title and ended up here, please know that one star is not a bad thing in Robin's world -- just the fact that I picked up your book and started it means that somewhere it's getting good buzz (or that your blurb was really cool).

* I didn't make it beyond the first 20 pages.
** I made it to the end, but I either skimmed or skipped large sections.
*** I might have skipped/skimmed, but I liked it and might read it again.
**** I read at least 95% of the book and it was good -- probably will be reread.
***** I read every word, and I loved it! A favorite and definite reread.

This year, I'm only going to list the stars and a brief recommendation for the type of readers I think will enjoy the book [(R) means it's a re-read; [] means it's an ARC].



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***
Kiss CAM, by Kiara London -- recommended for those who like friendship-to-love stories, those who like vlogs, and those who like teenage angst -- Swoon Reads, 10/16

(I found this book frustrating. It was realistic, I'm sure, but the constant waffling from each of the MCs -- male and female -- drove me crazy. "Do I love him? Do I not?" "Does she love me? Does she not?" It was really annoying, and I ended up skimming most of it to get to the end where they finally figured it out.)

***
Disruption, by Jessica Shirvington -- recommended for those who like YA sci-fi, those who like clever heroines, those who like sweet romance, and those who like an easily hated villain -- Harper Collins, 10/16

(I liked the premise of this, and I liked the MC...I just didn't have the patience to read through all her actions. I skipped to the end and read the last chapter(s), and I was able to figure out the majority of the story from there. I will mostly likely pick up the next one, however, as I think I'll have more interest now that I have the set-up down.)

****
[As You Lay Sleeping, by Katlyn Duncan -- recommended for those who like YA suspense, those who like sweet teen romance, and those who like intricate mysteries -- Harper Collins, 2/17]

(I really liked the mystery portion of the book. I thought it was realistic and convincing. I didn't love the characterization nearly as much. The MC started out seeming pretty self-centered...and then, without any real work or self-reflection on her part, she suddenly became a better person. And although the love interest was sweet and smart, he was also a little one-dimensional. The ending was...a little cliche too. Still, it was entertaining, and I read it all.)

*****
Illuminae, by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff -- highly recommended for those who like YA (traditional) sci-fi (meaning not dystopic but a space drama), those who like realistic but not overly angsty teen romance, those who like unusual and varied formats, and those who like strong heroines -- Alfred A. Knopf BFYR, 10/15

(I really enjoyed this one. I love space dramas, and this had all the adventure, the high action, the personal touches -- plus, it was written as if I was watching it unfold on a screen in front of me, and I really liked that. I already have the second one on my TBR pile...)
books

Book Reports (18-23)...

For those of you who happened to Google your title and ended up here, please know that one star is not a bad thing in Robin's world -- just the fact that I picked up your book and started it means that somewhere it's getting good buzz (or that your blurb was really cool).

* I didn't make it beyond the first 20 pages.
** I made it to the end, but I either skimmed or skipped large sections.
*** I might have skipped/skimmed, but I liked it and might read it again.
**** I read at least 95% of the book and it was good -- probably will be reread.
***** I read every word, and I loved it! A favorite and definite reread.

This year, I'm only going to list the stars and a brief recommendation for the type of readers I think will enjoy the book [(R) means it's a re-read; [] means it's an ARC].



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****+
Thick & Thin, by Charlie Cochet -- highly recommended for those who like the THIRDs series, those who like male/male romantic sci-fi, and those who like law enforcement tales -- Dreamspinner Press, 2/17

(This was a novella, and that was my only real complaint -- too short! :D I like the characters, I like the complex world and the mysteries surrounding it, and I can't wait to see what happens next.)

****+
[Danced Close, by Annabeth Albert -- highly recommended for those who like dancing, those who like male/male romance, those who like dual-POV, and those who like triumphant personal tales -- Lyrical Shine, 3/17]

(I really enjoyed this, as well. The two main characters are both so sympathetic, and I really like how matter-of-factly they're portrayed. I also like the underlying feeling of humanity here: we all want to love and be loved, regardless of minor differences in how we view gender and sexuality. I think Albert does a great job illustrating this in her stories.)

****
Old Loyalty New Love, by Mary Calmes -- recommended for those who like shifter tales, those who like male/male romance, and those who like first-person stories -- Dreamspinner Press, 12/13

(I enjoyed this. I mostly liked the more peripheral story of Quade's alpha role in his tribe, though the love story was nice.)

****
Fighting Instinct, by Mary Calmes -- recommended for those who like the first (see above), those who like shifter tales, those who like male/male romance, and those who like mythology (Hunter/British/Welsh mythology) -- Dreamspinner Press, 12/14

(I enjoyed this was more than the first, mostly because of all the mythology surrounded the stags. As someone who has read Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series numerous times, I found that aspect fascinating. The rest wasn't as thrilling but still enjoyable.)

***+
Frat House Troopers, by Xavier Mayne -- recommended for those who like cop tales, those who like male/male romance, and those who like 'gay-for-you' tropes -- Dreamspinner Press, 12/12

(The mystery in this one was definitely on the periphery, which weakened it a bit for me. Plus, although I don't doubt this is realistic, the idea that someone can be straight -- not bi at all -- and decide to be gay because they fall in love with their best friend...well, that isn't something I understand that well. It didn't seem convincing to me, so I had a hard time with that basic idea here.)

****+
[As I Am, by A.M. Arthur -- highly recommended for those who like Arthur's other books, those who like male/male romance, those who like dual-POV, and those who like triumphant personal tales -- Carina Press, 2/17]

(I really enjoyed this one, as well. I like all the books in this series. I think Arthur does a good job portraying those who are struggling and how they overcome their pain and challenges. I like the love stories, and I like the dual-POV. The main reason this didn't get 5 stars from me was because it seemed like Will's story was told more sympathetically than Taz's...and that kind of bugged me throughout. But it's a minor complaint. :) )