December 29th, 2017

books

Book Reports (118-120)...

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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****-
Perfect Ten, by L. Phillips -- recommended for those who like dramatic teen love stories (male/male), those who don't mind a confused MC, and those who like a happy ending -- Viking BFYR, 6/17

(I liked many of the characters here, but the MC annoyed me because he kept doing to others exactly what he hated done to him (namely, he kissed one boy while 'dating' another). Plus, he was really fickle, and after supposedly not finding anyone to date for a couple years, he suddenly finds all kinds of boys...so it wasn't that realistic. Still, even though his fickleness really annoyed me, I like his main love interest enough to read it all anyway.)

****
This Mortal Coil, by Emily Suvada -- recommended for those who like dystopic thrillers, those who like mind-bendy twists, and those who like sweet romance -- Simon Pulse, 11/17

(This was a fascinating story! I thought the plot was stellar, but it did drag in places (for me). Still, I will definitely look for the next one -- the final-ish twist is truly wild.)

**
[Before I Let Go, by Marieke Nijkamp -- recommended for those who like angsty tales, those who like loyal friends, and those who are okay with not-so-happy endings -- Sourcebooks Fire, 1/18]

(This wasn't really my cup of tea, but the writing is good, and for those who like more somber and realistic teen books, this could do the job.)

Book Reports (121-127)...

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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****
The Switch, by Sandra Brown -- recommended for those who like romantic suspense, those who like twin tales, and those who like cults/power struggles -- Warner Books, 8/01

(This was fun, though I did find the whole cult side of it pretty unrealistic...but definitely entertaining.)

****+
Color of You, by C.S. Poe -- highly recommended for those who like male/male romance, those who like brief but intense angst, and those who like synesthesia -- Dreamspinner Press, 12/17

(I really enjoyed this, even though the tension was pretty mild throughout (other than one brief moment). But the music and synesthesia combined made it especially enjoyable for me.)

****+
Kairos, by Mary Calmes -- highly recommended for those who like police stories, those who like strong families, and those who don't mind novellas -- Dreamspinner Press, 11/17

(This was good, as many of Calmes' books are, and it falls into a similar story-telling vein. It was a little short for me, as I wanted to see more of their lives -- but supposedly we'll hear from these two again, so that's promising.)

****
Regret Me Not, by Amy Lane -- recommended for those who like male/male romance, those who like short-but-sweet tales, and those who like holiday stories -- Dreamspinner Press, 11/17

(This was a quick and mostly sweet read. There was some angst, but for Amy Lane, it was pretty mild. Again, it's a novella.)

****-
Sounds of Love, by Susan Laine -- recommended for those who like cop stories, those who like male/male romance, and those who like characters with disabilities who live strong -- Dreamspinner Press, 3/12

(I really liked Sebastian in this, but Jordan was truly annoying (and he was the narrator). His words and actions rarely fit together, and I found his blustering irritating. So it was kind of a toss-up for me, in the end.)

****+
Tried & True, by Charlie Cochet -- highly recommended for those who have enjoyed the THIRDs series, for those who like male/male urban fantasy, and those who like cop-like stories -- Dreamspinner Press, 11/17

(I enjoyed this conclusion to the series, without a doubt. My only complaint was that a good third of the book (the first third) had no real plot and was simply about Dex and Sloane and their upcoming wedding. But once things started moving (almost the halfway point), the book really picked up speed.)

****
His Needs, by Kris T. Bethke -- recommended for those who like family tales, those who like male/male romance, and those who like a holiday emphasis -- Dreamspinner Press, 12/16

(This was a sweet novella, but the tension wasn't really strong enough for my taste. Plus, things were resolved pretty easily, and I will admit that the imbalance of emotion between Travis and Noah bothered me a bit.)
books

Top Reads of 2017...

First, the top 9 (-ish -- two series) five-star Young Adult:


(These are such a fun series, and I'm hoping more will come. Jack is a great MC, and I love the thriller feel -- but mostly the relationship between Jack and Leo, GLBT.)


(Best fantasy of the year, hands down -- second only to Tamora Pierce, imo)


(I especially like the unusual eclectic style in these sci-fi thrillers, and I'm looking forward to number three (coming out in May).)


(This was a very enjoyable contemporary drama.)


(A great mystery -- GLBT romance)


(Another great mystery)


(Great humorous book -- GLBT)


(Very sweet romance)


(Another great mystery -- GLBT romance)

Five-star reads seem to be rare these days, but all of the above were truly excellent books, imo!

And here are my adult five-star reads (only 4):









(You probably noticed a trend in my favorite adult reads -- all romantic suspense! And three by one author...hm.)