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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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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Big Kid Books | The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion

The Best of Adam SharpThe Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Goodreads Blurb: From the #1 bestselling author of The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect, an unforgettable new novel about lost love and second chances

On the cusp of turning fifty, Adam Sharp likes his life. He’s happy with his partner Claire, he excels in music trivia at quiz night at the local pub, he looks after his mother, and he does the occasional consulting job in IT.

But he can never quite shake off his nostalgia for what might have been: his blazing affair more than twenty years ago with an intelligent and strong-willed actress named Angelina Brown who taught him for the first time what it means to find—and then lose—love. How different might his life have been if he hadn’t let her walk away?

And then, out of nowhere, from the other side of the world, Angelina gets in touch. What does she want? Does Adam dare to live dangerously?

My Musings: The best of Adam Sharp is another interesting offering from the author of the Rosie Project. While a story of multiple adulterers is certainly not as heartwarming or whimsical as the The Rosie Project, I still found it to be a unique and introspective read.

The protagonist, who seemingly wakes up one day and realizes how stale and boring his life is as he pines for the lost love of his youth, is certainly relatable to an extent. I found him to be a likable character, although admittedly as the novel continued on I found myself less fond of him.

There is a lot of inner dialogue in the book, and for a novel about infidelity and lost love it became tedious at times. For characters nearing half a century old I found them to all be rather frustratingly fickle. The back and forth, and back and forth started to grate on my nerves.

Overall though this was a decent read, but I’m not sure if I would recommend it. What drew me to the authors previous works is not found here, and the characters inability to sort out their lives (however relatable) was still annoying. Worth a read but I wouldn’t recommend a buy. Middle of the road 3/5.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Borrow

 

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

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A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

A Quiet Kind of ThunderA Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Goodreads Blurb: Steffi doesn’t talk, but she has so much to say.
Rhys can’t hear, but he can listen.
Their love isn’t a lightning strike, it’s the rumbling roll of thunder.

Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life – she’s been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He’s deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she’s assigned to look after him. To Rhys, it doesn’t matter that Steffi doesn’t talk, and as they find ways to communicate, Steffi finds that she does have a voice, and that she’s falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it.

From the bestselling author of Beautiful Broken Things comes a love story about the times when a whisper is as good as a shout. Continue reading

Mad Miss Mimic by Sarah Henstra

Mad Miss MimicMad Miss Mimic by Sarah Henstra

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Goodreads Blurb: Jane Austen meets Arthur Conan Doyle in a historical fiction debut for fans of Ruta Sepetys and Elizabeth Wein.

Born into an affluent family, Leo outwardly seems like a typical daughter of English privilege in the 1870s: she lives with her wealthy married sister Christabel, and lacks for neither dresses nor trinkets. But Leo has a crippling speech impediment that makes it difficult for her to speak but curiously allows her to mimic other people’s voices flawlessly. Servants and ladies alike call her “Mad Miss Mimic” behind her back… and watch as she unintentionally scares off every potential suitor. Only the impossibly handsome Mr. Thornfax seems interested in Leo…but why? And does he have a connection to the mysterious Black Glove group that has London in its terrifying grasp? Trapped in a city under siege by terror attacks and gripped by opium fever, where doctors (including her brother-in-law) race to patent an injectable formula, Leo must search for truth in increasingly dangerous situations – but to do so, she must first find her voice. Continue reading