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 | 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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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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Things I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik

Things I Should Have KnownThings I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Blurb: From the author of Epic Fail comes the story of Chloe Mitchell, a Los Angeles girl on a quest to find love for her autistic sister, Ivy. Ethan, from Ivy’s class, seems like the perfect match. It’s unfortunate that his older brother, David, is one of Chloe’s least favorite people, but Chloe can deal, especially when she realizes that David is just as devoted to Ethan as she is to Ivy.

Uncommonly honest and refreshingly funny, this is a story about sisterhood, autism, and first love. Chloe, Ivy, David, and Ethan, who form a quirky and lovable circle, will steal readers’ hearts and remind us all that it’s okay to be a different kind of normal. 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

Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys

Dead Girls SocietyDead Girls Society by Michelle Krys

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 
Goodreads Blurb: You are cordially invited to participate in a game of thrills and dares. Tell no one, and come alone. If you dare.

Hope is sick of everyone treating her like she’s breakable. Sure, she has cystic fibrosis (basically really bad lungs), but she’s tired of being babied by her mom and her overprotective best friend, Ethan, not to mention worrying about paying for her expensive medication and how she’s going to afford college. And she’s bored with life in her run-down New Orleans suburb.

When an invitation arrives from a mysterious group that calls itself the Society, Hope jumps at the chance for some excitement. This could be her ticket out. All she has to do is complete a few dares and she might win some real money.

But the Society isn’t all it seems . . . and soon Hope finds that playing the game isn’t a choice—it’s a requirement. Continue reading

Between Two Fires by Mark Noce

Between Two FiresBetween Two Fires by Mark Noce

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Goodreads Blurb: Saxon barbarians threaten to destroy medieval Wales. Lady Branwen becomes Wales’ last hope to unite their divided kingdoms when her father betroths her to a powerful Welsh warlord, the Hammer King. But the fledgling alliance is fraught with enemies from within and without as Branwen becomes the target of assassination attempts and courtly intrigue. A young woman in a world of fierce warriors, she seeks to assert her own authority and preserve Wales against the barbarians. But when she falls for a young hedge knight named Artagan, her world threatens to tear itself apart.

Caught between her duty to her people and her love of a man she cannot have, Branwen must choose whether to preserve her royal marriage or to follow her heart. Somehow she must save her people and remain true to herself, before Saxon invaders and a mysterious traitor try to destroy her.

Reminiscent of classics like The Mists of Avalon and A Game of Thrones, and newer popular titles like Hild, Branwen’s story combines elements of mystery and romance with Noce’s gift for storytelling. Continue reading