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text 2017-02-28 23:09
Some of My Most Unforgettable Black Fiction Reads
Perfect Peace: A Novel - Daniel Black
The Darkest Child - Delores Phillips
32 Candles: A Novel - Ernessa T. Carter
Glorious - Bernice L. McFadden
Wench - Dolen Perkins-Valdez
By Lauren Francis-Sharma 'Til the Well Runs Dry: A Novel - Lauren Francis-Sharma
Forty Acres: A Thriller - Dwayne Alexander Smith
Sula - Toni Morrison
The Book of Night Women - Marlon James
A Deep Dark Secret - Kimberla Lawson Roby

This is just a quick post of my most memorable reads. I highly recommend all of them and do suggest them to anyone who will stand still long enough to listen. I'm passionate about them and own them in several forms.

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review 2016-03-16 23:08
The Imperfection of Swans by Brandon Witt
The Imperfection of Swans - Brandon Witt

It's been weeks and I still can't find all the words I'd need to express my feelings about this book.

 

It went on my all-time-favorites shelf immediately and will stay there until the cow comes home.

 

Brandon Witt writes beautiful prose. His words always make my day brighter, he always finds a way to touch me, to transport me right into his world, and he always, always makes me smile. But that isn't the reason - or not the only reason - why I loved this book so damn much.

 

In the end, it was Kevin who stole my heart. Don't get me wrong, I liked Casper! I enjoyed his POV and I loved his gentle, patient and kind nature. But Kevin was everything to me. His anxiety rattles him to the core on an almost daily basis. His body is not helping, but most of all it's his personal demons that practically force him to take control of the one thing that makes his mind bleed and weep, the one thing he can't let go despite having almost everything he wished for in a partner and a wedding dress shop: His weight, his eating habits, his eating disorder.

 

But he knows - as well as we all do - that nobody else can fix your self-esteem and self-worth issues for you. Nobody and nothing can give you a sense of peace and accomplishment and content - when you yourself can't see or acknowledge it first. And I have to say, Kevin's mothers were not exactly helpful. They were fascinating, loving and supportive in their own way, but at the same time their expectations and actions had some serious negative effects on Kevin in a way neither wanted to acknowledge. Sometimes they reminded me so much of my own family, it was painful.

 

And that's pretty much my story with this book. It was so damn painful, but in all the right ways. I found myself a tiny little bit in there, in a weird but wonderful way. I could understand it all, I could feel the pain and the anxiety and the healing. I felt it all. And while I had to stop at one point or the other, just to close my eyes and savor the experience - it was all so worth it. In the end, it was all so worth it. For Kevin, and for me as a reader.

 

This book was for me. It made me hurt, it made me cry, it made me laugh, and it put me back together in the end. And didn't let me go. Even weeks later I still find myself thinking about it now and again. That's the biggest plus for a book there is. I loved it all. I loved this book so damn much and I'm not afraid of shamelessly fangirl about it for years to come. Sure, this book probably isn't for everyone. There is no copious amount of sexy, smutty scenes. There is a lot of internal conflict going on, a lot of things you don't "see", only feel. And I can understand where that isn't everybody's cup of tea. Also, the final "meltdown" and climax might be hard to swallow for some readers. Just a fair warning.

Anywho,

 

I'll stop now or I'll ramble on and on about how fabulous and wonderful and amazing this story was for me. Just... Read it. That's really all I've left to say.

 

Just read it.

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text 2015-06-01 17:19
Best reads of May 2015

most of this month's books came from the Recently Added shelf at the local library.  You guys know the story; you go in to pick up a couple of books from the waiting list, and you find a few more you can't leave without.  I ended up with thirty.  Didn't get them all read but made a good stab at it.

 

I'm only going to talk about the ones which rated four or more stars.  There were still plenty of them.

every one of these is a new--to-me author, and I will be looking for further works by each of them.

 

Jo Walton's The Just City and Ian Tregillis' The Mechanical are each the beginning of a series and I will be purchasing both of these plus the subsequent volumes for my own library.

 

 

i talked about these in another post, but I'm going to go ahead and show you my favorite Historical Fictions of the month:

 

 

 

and Kindle Unlimiteds:

 

 

i read 24 books this month and 17 of them were 4 stars or more for a percentage of 82%. Really High.  I know.

but for the months prior to May, the percentage of four to five star reads was 32%.  The book gods were smiling on me.  Hope they stick around awhile.

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text 2015-01-07 18:48
Favorite reads of 2014!
I know i'm late. Sigh. But that's okay because I'm posting it now anyway. I only read 53 books this year which might not seem like a lot to some people, but to that's 20 more books than I read last year as well as the previous one. My goal was fifty and I accomplished thank the laaawd. 
 
Weirdly enough, I had a hard time choosing more than five books. I read a lot of good books and only a handful of great (probably less than a handful actually. let's be real) ones, but I don't know. When I went through my list, I just couldn't choose. Some books though blew me out of the water and made my favorite all time books list.
 
Anyway without further ado, here's the list. I'm also adding a few series that I've read and counting them as one book because I can. The list is in no particular order except alphabetically :).
 
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
 
First off, this book was absolutely beautiful. The writing was beautiful, the story line was beautiful, the growth of the characters was beautiful, and the ending was fracking amazing. I cried to it that's how good it was. I'm actually not a fan of books like this though (perks being an example and god did I hate that book despite the excitement I had building up before reading it) and I tend to stay from books in the contemporary (realistic fiction?) genre. But I saw that it had a slight LGBT theme and I just had to. I didn't care that it wasn't something I usually read, I just had to.
 
And damn it I'm so glad that I did. 
 
Briefly explaining what it is about. It takes place mid-80's, about two Mexican teenagers essentially finding themselves. It's told in Aristotle's P.O.V from the day he meets Dante and the growth in friendship that happens after that. To me, there was so specific plot. The message this book gives was so powerful that to  me that was the plot. 
 
God. It was was just soooooo beautiful. I tell everyone that read/wants to read Perks that they should read this one instead. 
 
The Assassin's Curse & The Pirates Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke
    
What's better than a magic wielding assassin that is sent to kill a bad ass female Pirate? At the given moment, I have no answer. 
 
Ananna-the pirate-is to be wed off to another pirate clan but she does not want to and runs away.The clan she is supposed to marrying into sends Naji-the assassin-after her, but due to some unfortunate events, they are cursed and bound together. Naji is cursed to protect Ananna and the only way to break the curse is to accomplish three impossible tasks. 
 
I was sold on these books the minute I heard pirates. This duology was so intriguing (especially since I started it when I was on my 'historical' fiction reading binge) and all the characters were so sassy and awesome. The romance in these books deserves an A+. The growth of their relationship was so well written, despite that the fact that it wasn't an in your face romance. The romance happens in book two which I thought was different in a good way. The adventure aspect of the book overshadows the romance with I really enjoyed. 
 
However, I'm almost positive that the publishing company to these books has closed down, so if you're interested in these books, get them now before they're all gone!
 
Cress by Marissa Meyer
Cinder will still forever be my favorite, but I enjoyed Cress 10000x more than Scarlet. (Even though I could have done with the only main character being Cinder and Kai....) 
Anyway, most of you already know that this is the third installment to the Lunar Chronicles and this book focuses mainly (though the other Cinder and Scarlet still have their moments) on Cress, the retelling of Rapunzel if she was a Lunar stuck on a space pod. (Unfortunately I can't remember the exact name of where Cress lived.)
 
I love the world these books are set in and how Marissa Meyer describes everything was just so good.(I think I need to find more words than just good and enjoyable.) The characters in this one great, especially Captain Thorne. I was glad there was more of him in this book. Cress was also such a cute character. She fangirled over Captain Thorne. I mean... I would too. 
 
I especially loved it when Cinder and Kai finally met up again. Sigh. Does anyone else listen to kpop and imagine Prince Kai as Kai from EXO because I do. 
 
These books are just so much fun and compelling that it really is a must read.
 
The Covenant Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. 
Well really only the first four books and the two novellas as I'm currently reading the last one. This series has officially sold me on the author and I must read all her books. Seriously. I will be doing another post on this series once I'm finished but in short, this is one of my favorite series of all times. 
 
It's based around Greek gods who have mated with mortals creating demigods and their (demigods) pure blood children called the Hematoi and the Half Bloods, children of the Hematoi and mortals. The story is told from the half blood Alex's P.O.V and the things she has to deal after her mom was killed by an evil Hematoi or Daimon as their referred to in the book. 
 
Alex was one bad ass character and Seth and Aiden were awesome love interests and like I said, I'll be making another post soon so I don't have to ramble about this series right now. 
 
The Curse Workers trilogy by Holly Black
 (Though I have the original covers of the first two...I prefer these more)
This was the first series I've read by her as well as my first more mature male p.o.v. I found this series to be really interesting and I loved the way Holly Black writes. 
 
First off, the main character's name is Cassel Sharpe and he lives in a world where curse working is illegal. Curse working in a way is a form of magic that some people can do like, one of his brother's can erase memories and his mom can manipulate emotions, his grandfather can kill people etc. However, there is always a blowback when someone curse works. His mother went crazy, his brother is losing his memories and has to write everything down, and his grandfather is losing his fingers. 
 
Everyone in his family can do some type of curse work, except him. He feels like the outcast of the family because he can't do anything special and he's not into conning people like his family is. He has a messed up life because his mom's a famous con artist and his brothers aren't the greatest and there's also the fact that he is under the impression that he killed his best friend. He becomes haunted with memories of her and that night.
 
The first book actually starts off with him sleep walking onto his school's roof after being lured by a white cat. I was sold on the series with that first chapter.
 
I really enjoyed reading about the art of how to con people and Cassel's p.o.v as well. The plot to this story was very different and flew through them. 
 
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
This was my second Rainbow Rowell book and it just made me want to read more. I already loved her writing from reading Fangirl but hoooooommmg it made me love it even more. This book again was so beautifully written I literally couldn't put this book down. I did a harry potter to this and read it under my blanket at night with a flashlight, that's how much I loved it. Eleanor and Park's relationship was just beautiful and I cried so much when they finally got together to when shit hit the fan and at the end. I wasn't the hugest fan of the ending but in a way, I also loved it. It was the perfect way to end it.
 
This book also showcases character growth with Park, the male protagonist. At the beginning of the book, Eleanor was the laughing stock of the school. She was new, looked different, and came from a poor family. Park was the typical teen, with popular friends and a good home life. On Eleanor's first day of school, the only seat available was next to Park and at first he didn't want to let her sit next to him because not only was everyone already laughing at her, he thought she looked like a mess. He obviously did anyway and it becomes a routine every morning for her to sit next to him and then eventually they start talking and he gets to know her and just ugh. The feels. He starts to realize what he did was wrong and how messed up his friends are and how appreciative he is of his family and what not. Ugh. More feels. 
 
This book was so sad and so good that everyone needs to read it. 
 
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. 
Yet another book by her. What a surprise. Not really. I need to read her other books. I have yet to get them but hopefully this month I will. 
 
The story is about twin sisters Cath and Wren who are off to college. The two were very close growing up yet when they get to college, Wren wants to go separate ways and do her own thing, leaving Cath to basically fend for herself. She did everything with her sister and not having her right next to her sets her a little off. 
 
Cath was so relatable because like a majority of people she is a fangirl (heh) and writes Simon Snow-which is based off of Harry Potter-fanfiction which plays a huge role in her life and I absolutely loved the little snippets of the book with the actual fanfiction of Simon and Baz. She also has to deal with a new and strange environment and I know what she felt like when she at a new school and having to make friends. There's this scene where her roommate asks her if she knew where the cafeteria was and Catch says no, which actually happened to me. In 11th grade, I never stepped foot into my new school's cafeteria. 
 
Levi was also an awesome and funny love interest. I would get so excited when he showed up.
 
This book made me feel all warm and fuzzy. It was adorable and a must read for all fangirls like myself.
 
Ink & Rain by Amanda Sun
  
 
Once I found out that these books were set in Japan-I was sold. It's no secret I really enjoy anything that has to do with Japan (I'll save that story for another day) and once I read the plot I just knew I had to read them. And my god did I enjoy these books, though not many people actually did. I guess some people thought they were too typical YA or JDrama-ish. 
 
This story follows Katie, an American, who had to move to Japan and live with her aunt after her mom passes away. There she has to deal with being a foreigner, learning a new language, and a new way of living with new customs and different food. There she meets a Tomo, a typical J-Drama bad boy, as he's breaking up with his girlfriend. But while that's happening, she sees something strange. She sees his artwork move. Things progress from their when his abilities start to go out of whack and the two try to find answers. 
 
I loved Tomo's and Katie's relationship too and how that progressed. One of my favorite literary couples right there. There was the immediate attraction to one another (not instalove) but the Tomo's abilities were reacting to Katie in a bad way so they had to stay away from each other. I'm a sucker for forbidden romance, sue me.
 
The way Amanda Sun wrote about Japan shows just how much she loves the country as well and the words she used to describe everything was authentic. It wasn't like someone just threw words in there and tried to write about something they didn't know about.
 
Also the art was an A+. There were pages showing Tomo's art and I really liked that.
 
These books made me want to visit Japan and learn the language even more. 
 
Legend by Marie Lu
This is the only dystopian book that I like. Really. It was the first book I read of that particular genre that didn't have a boring plot. 
 
We've got June, The Republic's Prodigy, and Day, The Republic's most wanted criminal. June's brother is murdered and Day is blamed and in order to capture him, June goes under cover and finds Day and shit hits the fan afterwards. 
 
For one, the characters were great. I love characters like June-if that wasn't obvious-where she is a very strong female lead. Smart, knows how to defend herself, doesn't take any crap.
 
And on top of that, the actual plot to the story was amazing. There's a plague that goes around the city and how that was interwoven into the plot and what's really going on with the Republic and the warring Colonies was so good that I finished this book in two days. 
 
The only thing that I wasn't a fan of was the romance, but it was such a minuscule thing that was forgiven because the actual plot was so amazing.
 
Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
I'm pretty sure everyone and their mom has heard about this graphic novel. But can I say I read this without the persuasion of booktube. Booktube always makes me read stuff that I do not like. Why I insist on listening to them, I will never know.
 
This was my first graphic novel I've read that wasn't manga and holy crap! It was sooooo good. It's about Alana and Marco who come from warring planets-except that Marco comes from a moon. Alana is a soldier and Marco gets captured with Alana having to watch over him. Within the span of (what i believe) is 24 hours, the two run away together. 
 
The story actually starts with Alana giving birth to their daughter and the story is actually told in her-the daughter's-p.o.v
 
I absolutely love the universe, the characters, the art style, the story line. Everything. To me there is literally nothing wrong with this series. Some people might think it's a bit graphic...which it is. Only for 18+ eyes only. Regardless, it's so good and if you're going to read a graphic novel, start with these. 
 
Shadow Falls series by C.C Hunter
I've never actually heard anyone talk about this series before and when I picked up the first one day I didn't have very high hopes. 
 
I was mistaken. 
 
The writing of these books was meh and the romance got a bit annoying, but I was still thoroughly into these books that I read all of them in the same month. The actual plot and how it developed was really good.
 
It's starts off with Kylie, and her arguing parents. They're getting a divorce and Kylie takes it hard so for some reason Kylie's mom sends her to a summer camp for troubled teen. Only it's not for troubled teens but the supernaturally gifted. Kylie sees something strange on the bus but she just thinks she's bugging out. When she actually learns about the supernatural world, she freaks out but she gets used to it and learns to live with it. Through out the first two books, she's still learning how to deal with the new world and I enjoyed that. It made it seem "real" that it took time to adjust. The story got better with each book. A darker theme comes into play and they were really enjoyable. 
 
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
This is another one of those beautifully written books that will just leave you in awe and wanting more. This was another book that gave me the feels. How the romance in the book was written and the relationship between Kestrel and Arin was so beautifully written and I loved the progression of it. The romance was one of those that when it happened, it was like a slap in the face. It wasn't something that happened quick, it crept up on me and when they finally kissed man. I got the feels hard. Best way for me to describe it. 
 
Besides that, Kestrel was a great protagonist as well. She wasn't physically strong, but she was a great strategist and bad ass in her own way. There's a particular scene in the book where Kestrel is involved in a duel and she wins it by her keen observations. 
 
Let me not forget to mention the plot. It was interesting because Kestrel's country had taken over Arin's and all of his people become slaves. That's how Kestrel meets Arin by purchasing him on a whim. I won't go into more detail because of spoilers but let's just say it was all a set up and the turn of events was very good. 
 
That damn ending though. I put the book and sat there like "Marie Rutkoski...why". What a damn cliffhanger that was.
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text 2015-01-01 09:25
Rose's Favorite Reads of 2014 - Part II: Superlatives

It's that time again. =)

 

A continuation of my favorite reads post for 2014, here are my superlatives for the year. Just in case you missed the previous posts of former years, here they are for your perusal:

 

Rose's Favorite Reads of 2012: Part I

 

Rose's Favorite Reads of 2012: Part II

 

Rose's Favorite Reads of 2013: Part I

 

Rose's Favorite Reads of 2013: Part II

 

Rose's Favorite Reads of 2014: Part I

 

***

 

To start this list, I should note that since I didn't read *as* many books this year (though I certainly wouldn't consider 168 a low number, it's just low for me), my choices were more limited as far as books were concerned.  So fewer categories and selections this year than previous years.  

 

Best Audiobook Narrator: Male and Female

 

        

 

It was very easy for me to choose one favorite male and one favorite female for audiobook readers this year.  For male audio narrator: R.C. Bray takes the title for his superb narration in Andy Weir's "The Martian".  Truthfully, I think his humored voice and candid portrayal of Mark Watney made the book even more enjoyable for me personally.  I'll give an honorary mention to Tim Gerard Reynolds for his narration of Pierce Brown's "Red Rising", because he gave such a potent performance in Darrow's voice, and I found that really enhanced my enjoyment of the story - both his narration and vocal performance in the work (he sings, man!  Very well in fact!)

 

My favorite female audio narrator was Kathleen McInerney for her performance of Jennifer Brown's "Hate List".  I'm really late picking this book up for reading, but having read it this past year, it blew me away.  I didn't have a dry eye finishing this book, and I thought her delivery emotionally and narratively fit the book very well.  Special mention goes to Julia Whelan for her joint audio narration with Kirby Heybourne for Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl" (both of them were superb, but I give the mention to Whelan because she got Amy's voice spot on in the narrative.)

 

Best Food for Thought Reads:

 

       

 

I have three mentions for the food for thought reads I picked up this year.  First is "Vital Face" by Leena Kiviloma, who did an excellent articulation of various facial exercises for health benefit as well as cosmetic - I learned/reaffirmed so much through this read and give it high recommendations.  Carlen Lavigne's "Cyberpunk Women, Feminism, and Science Fiction" was a book I picked up after researching various academic literature in the cyberpunk genre, and I loved it.  It was such a thorough examination of issues pertaining to portrayals of women in cyberpunk literature, as well as female writers who were key to cyberpunk's movement (Pat Cadigan included).  My final mention goes to Brett Weiss's "100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1977-1987", as it was an enlightening list on the history of the videogames featured, as well as an interesting compilation to see in sequence and for Weiss's preference.  I'm looking forward to reading more of that compilation as they are released.

 

 

Best Couple:

 

      

 

I'll feature three couples from adult lit reads I've perused this past year.  First is from Cara McKenna's "Her Best Laid Plans."  It was a very short read, but Jamie and Connor made an impression on me, and I loved watching their brief chemistry.  Probably also because I have a thing for Irish guys (Psst, I'm part Irish in heritage).

 

For full novels, I'll cite Kristen Callihan once again for crafting two very strong characters in Will Thorne and Holly Evernight in "Evernight", part of her "Darkest London" series.  It wasn't my favorite book of the series, but I did enjoy watching their chemistry and banter throughout the book.   And lastly - this is a surprise even for me - I'll cite K.A. Tucker's "Five Ways to Fall" as an honorable mention.  Yeah - shocking because I don't often mention couples from New Adult as being those that are strongly asserted, but Reese and Ben actually worked for me.  I know!  I'm surprised too - I didn't expect them to click as well as they did - for development or chemistry.  If you had asked me the same of the previous books in Tucker's series, I wouldn't have said the same, but something about that book worked for me in retrospect.

 

 

Best Sci-Fi:

 

 

 

I mentioned it before, and I'll say it again - Andy Weir's "The Martian" was a fun journey into space exploration on Mars if I've ever seen it, very well researched and written.  And with a charismatic, intelligent, and hilarious leading character to boot.  The collective cast of this novel is so much fun to watch and well developed.  I love the science in it.  I still say Mark would be my BFF if he were a real person.  Maybe even a character crush because I like smart, funny characters - and he fits it to a tee.

 

Book that Made me Weep Buckets in 2014:

 

 

 

I've mentioned "Hate List", but I'm going to give a special spotlight mention to Jody Casella's "Thin Space".  This book hit a nerve with me because it not only features a character grieving over the loss of his twin, but features a very effective twist that stayed with me long after I closed the book.  Casella's one of my favorite newer YA writers, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of her writing in the future.

 

Reading this hurt, man.  In more ways than one.

 

Favorite Covers of 2014:

 

                                       

 

Self explanatory.  I decided to give myself a break considering I didn't get to many of these reads this year, but the ones I was able to peruse, I did enjoy.  And many of these are reads I'm highly looking forward to reading quite soon.  

 

Favorite Series of 2014:

 

    

 

Hands down, Kara Taylor's "Prep School Confidential" is my favorite series for the year. I love the intelligent, funny heroine, I love the overarching mysteries, and I adored these books overall this past year.  It's one of the best YA series I've picked up in a long while.  I still have yet to read the last book in the series, but man - to me this is what the best of YA represents, and I'd like to see more YA authors take after Taylor's example.

 

Miss Congeniality of 2014:

 

 

 

So, in light of the previous mention, I choose Anne Dowling from Kara Taylor's "Prep School Confidential" as my Miss Congeniality character for 2014.  She's smart, she's hilarious, she might've accidentally burned down part of her previous school and gotten the boot into another private school, but she made it work for her.  I love her narrative voice and eye for detail.

 

Most Disappointing Reads of 2014:

 

              

 

 

So you guys knew this was coming.  So I have several disappointing reads on my list this year, probably not up to ten titles, but enough to convey my dismay over some books with potentially great premises, but ended up dropping the ball harder than expected (while others just never got off the ground for me).

 

I'll mention one book off the bat that's not featured in the cover array: Jamie McGuire's "Apolonia".  Dude, I don't know if that was an instance of author trolling or what - but there was so much wrong with that narrative that it's hard to know what to point out in this brief summary.  The sexism, racism, glorified NA stereotypes coupled with a dull love triangle and mix of dull sci-fi and romance made me wonder where on earth this was going.  It was just a complete miss and bad call, man. The title's namesake isn't even a primary focal character in the book, that should tell you something.

 

"Dorothy Must Die" by Danielle Paige was unfortunately a disappointing read for me.  It had such a cool premise and imaging of "The Wizard of Oz".  Problem for me was that it was trying to do too much and force its hand.  I don't think it came together well in the end, especially with many parts of the narrative that dragged on and on, despite some very interesting depictions and moments.  It's unlikely I'll pick up this author's other work because of her support of another author stalking a blogger in real life (i.e. Kathleen Hale), but this was one series I think had the potential to move and grow in more ways than one, despite its stumbles.

 

I really wanted to like Colleen Hoover's "Maybe Someday" much more than I actually did, in retrospect for this year. At least for the promises of what it offered.  A music/lyrical theme? Check.  Depicting a character with a disability in a positive light? Double Check.

 

Subtly making fun of said character's disability while following common NA cliches? Absolutely NOT cool.  I did like the fact that the book linked its featured songs with an actual person singing them, though I don't know if I liked how that was incorporated in the work itself.  Nonetheless, I think Hoover could've done a better job with this one.

 

Amanda Grace's "No One Needs to Know" really disappointed me this past year. WTF man? For a love triangle with a same-sex theme, I thought it was sadly lacking and even offensive the way the couple was portrayed.  I found it hard to sympathize with either character, especially with how entitled the teens seemed to be, and it had the potential to have so much more depth than it actually had.  I guess it was one book that made me realize that Amanda Grace/Mandy Hubbard is not my cup of tea stylistically as an author overall.  I may still try her work in the future, but dude, I'd like to see more depth in her narratives for a change, and while I'm okay with reading about unlikable characters - the portrayal of those particular characters and themes wasn't cool at all.

 

On Claire Wallis's "Push" - worst ending and portrayal of an NA narrative I've seen so far. It already tested me for its over-the-top problematic characters, which I didn't think were portrayed with enough sensitivity or maturity to be able to carry them, but then the ending's congratulatory portrayal of violence against women and non-ending (pretty much looping back to its inconclusive beginning)?  No thank you. 

 

"Rellik" by Theresa Mummert had the potential to be a decent thriller, but you know, it's New Adult, it's a genre/age group that has more misses than hits.  It disappointed me in more ways than one - with poor editing, poorly constructed characters, and contrived scenarios. It was my first read from the author.  I'm not sure if I'm picking up another title by her, but I'd hope that the next work I'd actually bothered paying $4.27 for on Amazon has less than 100+ grammatical and spelling errors in the final copy. (For the record, I returned the book after I finished it.) That was a shame and inexcusable, dude.

 

Finally, Becca Fitzpatrick's "Black Ice" - I've seen premises similar to her's that have the potential to be awesome thrillers.  Unfortunately, considering this is the same author who thought a selfish, stalker/killer angel like Patch is a romantic hero - doesn't surprise me that the romance in this features a girl loving one of her captors.  In YA, this is not the kind of idea you want to glamorize.  Granted, Fitzpatrick might've made mention of how wrong it was, but the depiction wasn't very well done at all.  Plus, much of this book came across as very silly for suspenseful reveals, with very few instances of actual tension that was done well.  I will give credit to the audiobook narrator, though.  She was very good.  Unfortunately, the story was little more than D-grade horror movie fare.

 

That's all for my superlatives this year.  I'm hoping 2015 is a more fruitful year for reading in terms of the diversity and amount of books I'll get to peruse.  It's been a long year (2014) and an eventful one, but I totally enjoyed the experiences I've had in my reading journeys, and have learned much from them.

 

See you in the new year, guys!

 

Best,

Rose

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