July 30th, 2017

books

Book Reports (77-80)...

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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****
Wesley James Ruined My Life, by Jennifer Honeybourn -- recommended for those who like YA romance, those who like Anglophiles, and those who don't mind a slightly predictable read -- Swoon Reads, 7/17

(This was fun, despite the predictability. I did find the main character's childish insistence that Wesley had ruined her life (the basis of the book) to be a little annoying, but I still sympathized with her struggles.)

****+
The Ends of the World, by Maggie Hall -- highly recommended for those who've read the rest of the series, those who like YA intrigue/suspense, and those who like sweet YA romance -- GP Putnam & Sons BFYR, 7/17

(This was a solid wrap up for the trilogy, and I liked both the plot and the character development. It did lose a little intensity for me in this final book, but it still had good pacing, and I liked the twists and turns throughout Avery's journey.)

** (DNF)
Six of Crows, by Leah Bardugo -- recommended to myself for future: even though I only read the first couple of chapters, I think I would really enjoy it when I'm in a different frame of mind -- Henry Holt, 9/15

(I didn't get far into this, but I like the characters. Right now, the world building is a little too complex for my summer-break state of mind. ;) But I think this is a book I'll really enjoy at another time.)

*****
Bait and Switch, by MC Lee -- highly recommended for those who've read the rest of the series, for those who like YA spy/intrigue, and for those who like sweet YA (male/male) romance -- Harmony Ink Press, 7/17

(I've enjoyed this series, even though it's hard to read at times because Jack is treated so poorly by many of the adults in his life. Still, the situations Jack finds himself in and how he gets himself out is intriguing and engaging. Plus, I like the romance. :) )
books

Book Reports (81-84)...

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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*****
A Merciful Truth, by Kendra Elliot -- highly recommended for those who've read the first (A Merciful Death), those who like slow-building mysteries, and those who like familial and romantic relationships as strong side plots -- Montlake Romance, 6/17

(This was just as good as the first, imo. I liked the building relationship between Mercy and Truman, and the mystery here was also very intriguing with a surprising twist (that I kind of guessed at, but still...). I can't wait for the third!)

****-
The Layered Mask, by Sue Brown -- recommended for those who like historical male/male romance, those who like novellas, and those who like happily ever after (even when slightly unrealistic) -- Dreamspinner Press, 7/15

(This was a quick read, and I liked the characters. For me, though, it just needed more...the ending could have worked better if we saw more about what happened after. *shrug* It was fun but not great.)

****
You Never Know, by Mary Calmes -- recommended for those who like Calmes' style, those who like contemporary male/male romance, and those who like 'first love return' stories -- Dreamspinner Press, 7/17

(I enjoyed this, even though it happened awfully quickly (the romance). I also thought the MC protested a LOT throughout the book that he wasn't in love with his first love still...and I wanted to see more about why Mitch gave up on Hagen in the first place (and how he ended up with a woman). Still, it's a sweet love story.)

****
Michael, Reinvented, by Diana Copland -- recommended for those who read David Renewed, those who like contemporary male/male romance, and those who like strong friendship tales -- Dreamspinner Press, 5/17

(I enjoyed this quite a bit, but it was more because of Gil and David/Jackson than Michael. It's just a personal annoyance of mine when a character stubbornly and continually refuses to admit to their own feelings, and that was part of the premise here. Still, I really like the idea behind the group of friends, and I will definitely read another book in this series -- maybe about Manny?)