June 11th, 2017

books

Book Reports (62-65)...

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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***-
Whiskers of a Chance, by Tempeste O'Riley -- recommended for those who like shape-shifter male/male romance, those who like dual-POV, and those who like family drama -- Dreamspinner Press, 9/15

(I don't love shape-shifter books, but this one sounded interesting from the blurb. Sadly, for me, it didn't live up to the premise. One major reason why it didn't work for me is because the dual POV was poorly handled. A problem would be introduced in one character's narrative and then resolved off-screen while the other character was narrating. :( It made the entire tale really disjointed, and after just a few chapters, I honestly no longer cared about either character's struggles.)

****
Spiraled, by Kendra Elliot -- recommended for those who like the series (Vanished), those who like law-enforcement/FBI tales, and those who like psychological drama -- Montlake Romance, 9/15

(I'm still a fan, but I had to take a break after this segment. The characters continue to intrigue me, but I don't enjoy reading about people struggling with depression and other mental disorders -- just my own preference. Because Ava, one of the MCs, really 'spirals' quickly in this book, it was hard for me to read. I'm hoping the 4th and final book gives her a chance to recover and move forward.)

****+
Obsession, by Karen Robards -- highly recommended for those who like romantic suspense, those who like CIA tales, and those who like amnesia tales -- Signet Book, 5/08

(I liked the suspense here, and the tension between the two romantic leads was pretty good. It's a fun and quick read.)

****+
Shattered, by Karen Robards -- highly recommended for those who like 'cold case' mysteries, those who like romantic suspense, and those who like complicated families -- Signet Books, 4/11

(I especially liked the various characters in this one. The setting also played an important role in both the mood and the tension. Very enjoyable!)
books

Book Reports (66-68)...

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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***
Whenever I'm With You, by Lydia Sharp -- recommended for those who like sweet romance, those who like less familiar settings (Alaska, in this case), and those who like tales of healing -- Scholastic, 1/17

(This was sweet, and I liked the characters. It was a little slow-moving for my taste, which is why I ended up skimming the last half.)

***+
Split the Sun, by Tessa Elwood -- recommended for those who like sci-fi, those who like angsty circumstances, and those who like teen romance -- Running Press Books, 12/16

(This was mostly enjoyable, though the world building was weak. It also was a little annoying that Kit had everyone (and everything) completely against her. It simply didn't seem even slightly realistic...but the romance made up for some of it, though it was kind of instalove -- and not always well defined. I suppose that's why I did some skimming.)

****
Antisocial, by Jillian Blake -- recommended for those who like books about social media, those who like teen drama, and those who don't mind overly shallow teen depictions -- Delacorte, 5/17

(The premise here was pretty interesting -- and mostly realistic, I'd say. I also liked the main character and sympathized with her. However, her inner dialogue/personal narrative didn't really jive with statements regarding her past actions, including older texts by her. I didn't think someone with her sympathy and perception would be so mean to her friends. In fact, that was a weakness I found with most of the teen depictions here: all of them were mean or shallow or even cruel. It was like the author is trying to say that teens can't be thoughtful or careful or circumspect in their actions. It's very possible that the goal was to show how all that gets thrown out in social media or texting...and that's probably realistic. Many, many people text things or use social media in ways they would *never* do in person or to someone's face...so all in all, a thought-provoking tale.)