23 October 2019

Books - September 2019

I apparently got too busy reading in October to go back and recap my September reads. Sorry about that! Here they are:

No Judgments by Meg Cabot

I got this one through NetGalley and read it for Books I Think You Should Read, where I gave it 3 out of 5 stars. I'm sort of glad I put off this post, because I brought a dish to pass to an event over the weekend, and I kept thinking, "Everyone likes a cheeseball!" This was straight from the quirky main character in No Judgments. I wish we could be friends in real life.

Here's the official Amazon summary:

"The storm of the century is about to hit Little Bridge Island, Florida—and it’s sending waves crashing through Sabrina “Bree” Beckham’s love life…

When a massive hurricane severs all power and cell service to Little Bridge Island—as well as its connection to the mainland—twenty-five-year-old Bree Beckham isn’t worried . . . at first. She’s already escaped one storm—her emotionally abusive ex—so a hurricane seems like it will be a piece of cake.

But animal-loving Bree does become alarmed when she realizes how many islanders have been cut off from their beloved pets. Now it’s up to her to save as many of Little Bridge’s cats and dogs as she can . . . but to do so, she’s going to need help—help she has no choice but to accept from her boss’s sexy nephew, Drew Hartwell, the Mermaid Café’s most notorious heartbreaker.

But when Bree starts falling for Drew, just as Little Bridge’s power is restored and her penitent ex shows up, she has to ask herself if her island fling was only a result of the stormy weather, or if it could last during clear skies too."

The Collector's Apprentice by B.A. Shapiro

This was another review for Books I Think You Should Read. It was an enjoyable read, and I gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars. The Amazon summary can tell you a bit more:

"In this surprising, noirish page-turner, B. A. Shapiro once again takes readers into the world of art, glamour, and mystery. Accused of helping her fiancé steal her family’s fortune and her father’s art collection, Paulien Mertens has fled to France. To protect herself from the law and the wrath of those who lost everything, she has created a new identity. Paulien, aka Vivienne, takes a position working for an American art collector modeled after real-life eccentric museum founder Albert Barnes and quickly becomes caught up in the 1920s Paris of artists and expats, including post-Impressionist painter Henri Matisse and writer Gertrude Stein. From there, she sets out to recover her father’s art collection, prove her innocence, and exact revenge on her ex-fiancé. B. A. Shapiro has made the historical art thriller her own, and once again she gives us an unforgettable tale about what we see—and what we refuse to see."

Unnatural Magic by C.M Waggoner

I received this one from NetGalley. It isn't actually published until November 5, but I'm already hoping another will follow it. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. While it took me a while to get fully sucked into the book, I think the level of detail that slowed me down was necessary to the later development of this book and any that follow it.

I love fantasy books that treat something we've all heard of (like the trolls in this book) as something way more central to the world. I enjoyed learning about trolls - the stereotypes about their population, as well as which perceptions held true and why, vs those that had been made up. I also enjoyed the portrayal of magic as a field of study and career. The author presented a fascinating world centered around two populations that only the author could claim to be an expert on. I hope there are more books in this series, as it's easy to imagine the stories of the characters going further than they did in this book.

Here's how Amazon summarizes it:
"Onna can write the parameters of a spell faster than any of the young men in her village school. But despite her incredible abilities, she’s denied a place at the nation’s premier arcane academy. Undaunted, she sails to the bustling city-state of Hexos, hoping to find a place at a university where they don’t think there’s anything untoward about providing a woman with a magical education. But as soon as Onna arrives, she’s drawn into the mysterious murder of four trolls.
Tsira is a troll who never quite fit into her clan, despite being the leader’s daughter. She decides to strike out on her own and look for work in a human city, but on her way she stumbles upon the body of a half-dead human soldier in the snow. As she slowly nurses him back to health, an unlikely bond forms between them, one that is tested when an unknown mage makes an attempt on Tsira’s life. Soon, unbeknownst to each other, Onna and Tsira both begin devoting their considerable talents to finding out who is targeting trolls, before their homeland is torn apart…"

Mad Dog by Kelly Watt

While I didn't enjoy the story of this one, the writer's style kept me reading, so I suppose that's a sort of recommendation? I gave it 2.5 out of 5 stars on Books I Think You Should Read. Here's the Amazon official summary:

"It's the summer of 1964 and the Supremes are the reigning queens of radio. Sheryl-Anne MacRae dreams of running away from her home on an apple orchard in southwestern Ontario to find her missing mother. But the teenager's plans are put on hold when her uncle and guardian, Fergus, the local pharmacist and an amateur photographer, brings home a handsome young hitchhiker. When Sheryl-Anne meets the guitar-toting Peter Lucas Angelo, she falls in love. But life in Eden Valley is not as idyllic as it seems. As the summer progresses, Peter is pulled deeper into Fergus's dangerous underworld--a world of sex, drugs, pornography and apocalyptic visions. Through the naïve eyes of the ethereal 14-year old Sheryl-Anne, Kelly Watt explores themes of child abuse and sexual deviance, and the secrets, dissociation and denial that allow it to flourish. A Gothic tale told in vivid, often hallucinogenic prose, Mad Dog was a 2001 Globe and Mail notable book and Watt's first novel."

That was it for September. For whatever reason, I've been reading like crazy in October! NINE books finished so far - I may have to break it into two posts.

Until then, I've got to go read some more! :)

1 comment:

Liz Parker said...

Thanks for reviewing for me, and for the links! You have been busy reading, per usual :). I FINALLY finished a "fluff book" I was reading, so hopefully will write a review of it soon, and soon I will start one that I will be reading for the book club I'm in.