November 28th, 2017

books

Book Reports (108-111)...

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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****+
It's Not Me It's You, by Stephanie Kate Strohm -- highly recommended for those who like YA romance (mostly sweet), those who like hidden attraction stories, and those who like independent heroines -- Point, 8/17

(This was fun because I liked the main character and the interview-like set up. It made for a fast, fun read, even if you could see the ending coming pretty early on. Plus, the romance is very sweet.)

***+
A Week of Mondays, by Jessica Brody -- recommended for those who like teen drama, those who like stubborn and somewhat clueless heroines, and those who like friends-to-more tales -- Square Fish, 8/17

(I honestly got a little tired of the repetition and the MC's stubbornness pretty early on -- and I skipped to the last third. She just wouldn't see what was right in front of her, and that got old. But the ending was pretty satisfying.)

****
Little Monsters, by Kara Thomas -- recommended for those who like YA mysteries, those who like kind of crazy teens, and those who like family drama -- Delacorte Press, 7/17

(The tension in this was good, and I found the overall mystery pretty engaging. I wasn't a fan of Bailey or Jade, which made character sympathy an issue in places. I also felt like everyone was so screwed up that it was almost unrealistic. But the resolution was pretty realistic, though not as satisfying as it would have been with a few more answers. ;) )

***
Meant to Be, by Julie Halpern -- recommended for those who like dystopic romance (in the sense that mates are destined suddenly), those who like teen drama, those who like stubborn heroines, and those who like good friendship and family stories -- Feiwel & Friends, 10/17

(My favorite part of this story was the mom and the uncle and how they handled their 'meant to be' partners. Agatha's story was tougher to take, for me, because she tried so hard to force things. Of course, her BFF's story was just as tough to take because she just went along with everything. I think the underlying premise (of your soulmate's name appearing on your chest -- only in the past 6 years, however) didn't work that well for me. I like the peripheral aspects, though -- Agatha's mom and uncle and her friendship with her bff. Agatha simply wasn't my favorite person, and I felt like she didn't deserve (ha) her MTB (who seemed really cool, though we barely get to know him at all).)
books

Book Reports (112-117)...

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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****
Low Pressure, by Sandra Brown -- recommended for those who like adult romantic suspense, those who like complicated family relationships, and those who like planes (ha) -- Grand Central, 9/12

(I enjoyed the mystery here, but the chemistry between the MC and Dent didn't work as well for me. *shrug* Actually, many of the characters didn't work for me, and I finished the book with kind of a 'meh' feeling (though I liked the mystery resolution).)

****+
In the Waning Light, by Loreth Ann White -- highly recommended for those who like complex characters, those who like adult romantic suspense, and those who like gritty resolutions -- Montlake Romance, 11/15

(The premise of this story is almost identical to Brown's book -- the previous review. But the characters in this one are so much more interesting. Their interactions, their struggles, their secrets -- all of it comes together to form a more realistic and compelling read. If you want to read a mystery about a girl writing a book about her sister's murder years ago, I'd choose this one!)

****
The Timpanist and the Stagehand, by Ava Hayden -- recommended for those who like low-angst male/male romance, those who like interesting jobs, and those who like quick reads -- Dreamspinner Press, 4/16

(I really liked the premise of this, but it's very low tension. Every time I thought something might be happening to ratchet it up, it deflated before that happened. Still, it's a sweet love story.)

***+
Joy, by C.S. Poe -- recommended for those who don't mind somewhat rushed love stories, those who like an atmospheric setting, and those who like shy love interests -- Dreamspinner Press, 4/17

(I really liked Silas, and I thought the relationship between Gideon and Silas was very sweet. But perhaps because it's a novella, it happened very quickly, and I wanted more depth. However, the setting is awesome -- and might have been my favorite part of the book. :D)

****+
Charlie's Hero, by Nic Starr -- highly recommended for those who like sweet male/male romance, those who like realistic and enjoyable supporting characters, and those who like loyalty in love -- Dreamspinner Press, 6/15

(This was a sweet and feel-good read, though again, the tension in the story is almost non existent. It's mostly between Charlie and his parents, who are -- to me -- horrible parents. But the rest of the cast is wonderful, and I enjoyed being a part of their lives for the duration of the story.)

****-
Andrew's Promise, by Nic Starr -- recommended for those who liked the first one (see above), those who like loyalty in love, and those who don't mind sadness and struggle -- Dreamspinner Press, 8/15

(It was nice to continue with the characters, but the resolution of the story is given away at the end of Charlie's Hero, which eliminates any chance of tension. *sigh* Still, I enjoyed the read, for the most part, and if I'd read it first, I think it might have been better...?)