Heartthrobs: A History of Women and Desire by Carol Dyhouse

Heartthrobs: A History of Women and DesireHeartthrobs: A History of Women and Desire by Carol Dyhouse

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a great little novel about heartthrobs throughout history, and what this tells us about women and society at the time. I had a lot of fun reading this even though it got a little repetitive at times. Overall quirky and enjoyable read that can easily be read in one sitting.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Borrow

 

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Land of Hidden Fires by Kirk Kjeldsen

Land of Hidden FiresLand of Hidden Fires by Kirk Kjeldsen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Goodreads Blurb: Occupied Norway, 1943. After seeing an allied plane go down over the mountains, headstrong fifteen year-old Kari Dahlstrøm sets out to locate the wreck. She soon finds the cocky American pilot Lance Mahurin and offers to take him to Sweden, pretending she’s a member of the resistance. While her widower father Erling and the disillusioned Nazi Oberleutnant Conrad Moltke hunt them down, Kari begins to fall for Lance, dreaming of a life with him in America. Over the course of the harrowing journey, though, Kari learns hard truths about those around her as well as discovering unforeseen depths within herself.

My Musings: Land of Hidden Fires was an interesting story about a young Norwegian teenager who helps a downed American soldier travel to safety. I found the narrative of the young teenaged girl to be authentic and interesting, however while I enjoyed the story it felt a little sparse at times.

A lot of the journey (which is essentially the entire story) was a bit vague. I wanted more details of the beautiful Norwegian wilderness, and the gritty realities of trying to survive in harsh conditions, both emotionally and physically. Basically I wished everything was more “fleshed out”, but the base of the story was still an engaging read.

The narrative is told through four perspectives, and normally I am not a fan of the multiple narrative, but the author made it work. Everyone’s voice added meaning and intrigue to the story. Despite my qualms I did like this overall, but I generally prefer more expansive and detailed writing.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Borrow

 

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2)Gemina by Amie Kaufman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Goodreads Blurb: Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.
Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

My Musings:

Very, very unpopular opinion.

This sequel was action packed, but nowhere near as entertaining as the first book. Maybe it’s just me, but I was confused during parts of it, I didn’t understand what was going on or specific motivations people had. There was a ton of technical mumbo jumbo… I don’t know if the writing was lazy or if it was just my mind. Either way I found this book so hard to get into, the action scenes, while numerous felt like I was reading a court transcript of the event. “And then she did this,” “ And then he did this…like a ninja”. And the dialogue was on the lower end of YA.

Overall not a terrible read by any means, but a disappointment after the amazing first book in the series. Doubt I will read the next book, but that is mainly because I read almost exclusively on my kindle and holy crap the formatting for this book on Kindle is GARBAGE!

Essentially you have to hold your kindle sideways the entire time, and even with max font size and double spacing, a quarter of this book is unreadable. I’m guessing because so much of the book is basically pictures with tiny font on them the kindle can’t really edit it much…. so you’re just S.O.L if you don’t have a hard copy of this.

Shocked they would charge full price for such a hot mess, feels very greedy on the publishers part that they wouldn’t even make it a priority to put out a readable kindle version. Anyways rant over. Decent book but nothing special.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Borrow

P.S- The crappy formatting doesn’t affect my rating, it’s just mentioned as a heads up.

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Big Kid Books | Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Me Talk Pretty One DayMe Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My first foray into the world of David Sedaris was “Exploring Diabetes with Owls”, which is arguably one of his lowest rated books. I, however enjoyed it, and when I saw a kindle daily deal of all his books I decided to grab a bunch. I figured if I enjoyed his low rated book than subsequently his older books would only get better and better for me.

And it seems like my random haul paid off because I really loved this book. I feel like reading this in public would be a great idea for shy people who want more social interaction because strangers will undoubtedly go up to you to ask what has you laughing so loudly.

While at times the writing feels a little overly embellished, for the most part I adored this collection of stories and essays that mostly focused on David’s attempts to learn the french language and his holidays in France. It was hilarious and I can’t tell if it has made me more or less likely to try to attempt learning that language myself in the future.

Overall fun read, loved the bite sized chapters and would recommend this to anyone who enjoys dry and slightly dark humour. 4.5/5

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

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Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie

Burning Glass (Burning Glass, #1)Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Sonya is an Auraseer, which means she can sense peoples emotions and intents. After a devastating loss, she is conscripted into the service of a tyrant king. There she must navigate the complex emotions of complicated nobels and servants alike as she tries to control her wild gift that often leaves her overwhelmed.

This book started off really strong, the relationships between Sonya and Pia were always charming and fun, and the complex dance between Sonya and the King was well choreographed. However the pace was very slow, by the 50% mark not much had happened, and there was a lot of repetitiveness regarding a will-they-won’t-they romance. Any who hate love triangles, beware.

Despite the slow pace and slightly juvenile love triangle, I was still enjoying this for the unique settings and interesting relationships, but sadly the nail in the coffin ended up being the finale. It felt very rushed after the meandering pace of the first 75% and while I am not against neat endings this felt…disingenuous.

Despite my grumblings, overall this was a decent story and there were large parts of this that I did enjoy. I got this as a kindle daily deal for $2 and for that price I have no regrets with this book. I think that this author has great potential and in time could be an amazing writer.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Borrow

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Until It Fades by K.A. Tucker

Until It FadesUntil It Fades by K.A. Tucker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

*imitates the most interesting man in the world* I don’t often read romances, but when I do I read KA.Tucker. This was once again another great offering from the queen of New Adult. Young mother and waitress Catherine, is thrust into the limelight following her heroic actions which saved a famous hockey players life. They soon find themselves falling for eachother, but Catherine’s dark past threatens to undo everything.

The book is split between the past and the present, and I definitely preferred the present sections. The past was a bit of a downer. I loved the romance between Catherine and Brett, even if at times their issues were purely a result of Catherine’s stubbornness, which was a bit frustrating. While I have yet to find a romance novel that isn’t at least a little predictable, I did have a lot of fun reading this and felt that it was a well done, relatively light read. 3.5/5

 

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Big Kid Books | Extraordinary Adventures by Daniel Wallace

Extraordinary AdventuresExtraordinary Adventures by Daniel Wallace

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Socially awkward semi-hermit wins a trip of a life time, but the catch is that to redeem his vacation prize he must bring a companion with him! And so begins the Extraordinary Adventures as Edsel goes out of his comfort zone to find the girl of his dreams…or at least a girl to bring on vacation with him. Sounds interesting right? Well…sadly this was me for much of the novel.

I had high hopes for this romantic comedy. The blurb had me hoping for something along the lines of The Rosie Project, you know socially awkward guy searches for love and finds it in equally weird but perfect girl for him. Unfortunately this just felt like the poor mans Rosie Project.

The main character Edsel, was always just slightly too odd to be realistically whimsical and quirksome. I feel like there has been this trend lately, with socially awkward characters becoming very popular (I think the popularity of Sheldon Cooper is what ignited this trend). However not every author can find the right balance between quirky and serial killer creepy. The main character in Extraordinary Adventures straddled that line rather precariously.

The novel started off strong in my opinion. With Edsel being a somewhat relatable character with a bit of a boring existence, which was levied with strong side characters. However it quickly teetered to the unbelievable when we got to the love interest…or I suppose I should say love interests. Which in itself was a bit unbelievable as well, since Edsel was far from a catch. And while his inner monologue was at times interesting, all these other women certainly were not aware of it. I just find it hard to believe that three women would be giving googly eyes to a watered down Don Tillman (The hero of The Rosie Project).

Maybe it is unfair of me to compare this so much to the Rosie Project but I can’t help but recognize so many knock offs of the same variety that have been released since its debut. The love interest herself was so annoying that I had trouble enjoying any aspect of this. The moment when the awkward nerdy guy with a heart of gold finally meets the one special woman that really “sees” him is a trope that I am a true sucker for. But this only works if the love interest is actually worthy of such love.

Sheila was intended to be this cardboard cutout of the popular manic pixie dream girl, but she turned out to be more of a (view spoiler) The annoying part is that if she wasn’t so hot no one would consider putting up with this shit! Guess its like Barney Stinson Says…

Overall while just interesting enough to keep me reading, I can’t in good faith recommend this book. There is just so much better writing out there. Extraordinary Adventures is a decent time killer, but not much more than that.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Bin

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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