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October Minireviews

Sometimes I don’t feel like writing a full review for whatever reason, either because life is busy and I don’t have time, or because a book didn’t stir me enough.  Sometimes, it’s because a book was so good that I just don’t have anything to say beyond that I loved it!  Frequently, I’m just wayyy behind on reviews and am trying to catch up.  For whatever reason, these are books that only have a few paragraphs of thoughts from me.

Technically, these are actually September minireviews still, since I’m THAT far behind haha

Bloodlust & Bonnets by Emily McGovern – 3.5*

//published 2019//

The internet is a weird place for artists and authors and creators of all kinds.  It can be an amazing way to let others see your work, but everyone expects everything on the internet to be free.  I’ve really been making a conscious effort the last few years to find ways to financially support internet people whose creations I regularly enjoy, and my preferred method of showing that support is by preordering books they create.  Emily McGovern’s webcomic,  My Life as a Background Slytherinhas brought me a great deal of laughter over the years, so even though her book didn’t look like my normal cup of tea, I preordered it nonetheless.

As I suspected, Bloodlust & Bonnets, a graphic novel set in Regency times that involves a great deal of vampire stabbing and a little too much gender identity questioning, wasn’t really my type of book.  But it was honestly a very fun one-time read.  The artwork is stellar, the story was actually quite hilarious, and there were several good zingers throughout.  So while it doesn’t get my wholehearted recommendation, it was still a lot of fun.  And, if you’ve ever read Harry Potter, you should definitely check out McGovern’s comics, as they are A+ hilarious.

The Clue of the Broken Wing by Margaret Sutton – 3.5*

//published 1958//

I’m still reading my way through the Judy Bolton books, although I’m almost at an end, as I only have one or two left that I own. I’m missing the last five or six of the series, but they are too expensive for me to justify purchasing them, so I think I’m just going to have to hope Judy and Peter ride happily off into the sunset.  At any rate, Broken Wing was another pretty regular addition to the set, although there was a rather odd scene where she stops by someone’s house to ask them some questions, and they basically lock her in the attic?!  I was so confused.  And what is up with Judy’s face on this cover?!

The Fugitive Heiress by Amanda Scott – 3.5*

//published 1981//

This was one of those random Regency novels I’ve acquired, and it was another fun one-time read, although the two main characters were a little too volatile for me to really get behind them as a couple.  Still, it was an overall fun book with decent pacing.  However, Georgette Heyer sets a high standard for witty Regency tales and has consequently kind of ruined me for these types of stories – this one was just felt like it was taking itself a little too seriously.

Me, You and Tiramisu by Charlotte Butterfield – 3*

//published 2017//

This is one of those books I’ve had on my Kindle forever.  It started out alright – Jayne is a quite, introverted type who has recently reconnected with a boy from her high school days.  She and Will always had a special connection then, and in the present day their dating relationship feels completely natural and happy.  When she moves in with Will, Jayne’s twin sister, Rachel, moves into the spare bedroom (and no, that isn’t the source of drama in this book THANK GOODNESS) and the three of them have a seemingly idyllic life.  Will owns a small deli/bakery and loves cooking.  Through a series of events, he becomes a YouTube sensation, and soon has his own agent, is appearing on national television, and has the potential to have his own cooking show.  He gets practically mobbed in the streets and is absurdly popular.  Meanwhile, Jayne feels a bit left behind and hates being in the spotlight.

This was a book that needed to be at least 25% shorter.  The middle dragged on for so long I thought I might not ever finish it.  Part of the problem was that I felt like all three characters were contributing to the miscommunications and issues, but in the end, it turns out that everything was Jayne’s fault, so once SHE apologizes and starts acting “right” then everything is okay.  But I actually thought Jayne had some valid points about how both Will and Rachel were acting, so it really annoyed me that they got to be all self-righteous and act like they had never done anything wrong ever.  Meanwhile, Will really was blowing off Jayne’s legitimate concerns about privacy and their personal relationship, while Rachel was hiding a huge part of her life from her sister under the extremely annoying guise of “if you really cared about me, you would notice without me saying something.”  URGH. It was especially annoying because part of what was bothering Jayne was that Will’s agent thought he “sold” better as a single guy, so he was basically not particularly publicly acknowledging his relationship with Jayne, but everyone acted like Jayne was the one being unreasonable by saying that that made her feel unloved!  I mean seriously!

Overall, the story had a lot of potential, but it just fell flat for me.  It was one of those books that I wanted to like a lot more than I actually did.

The House of a Thousand Lanterns by Victoria Holt – 2.5*

//published 1974//

Do you ever read a book that can’t quite decide what it wants to be?  This book was too not-romantic to be a romance, too slow to be a thriller, and too narrowly-focused to be historical fiction.  I picked this one up all the way back in 2011 at Salvation Army for a quarter, and now that I’ve finally read it, I think it’s headed back to Salvo’s shelves.  I read the first half, hoping that maybe this was the kind of book that was just slow to get started but then went somewhere.  But it was actually just the slow part.  Part of my problem with this book was the big romantic story just didn’t seem that romantic to me.  The guy that she loves (sorry, I’ve forgotten everyone’s names) has to be presented as somewhat untrustworthy in order for the plot of “maybe he killed his uncle” to work, but all that really did was just make me not like this guy as he’s super irresponsible and annoying.  Consequently, I really never could get behind her pining away for him for years.

So I skimmed the second half, thinking that maybe something would happen, but I didn’t really regret my decision to not thoroughly read each page, as it was still a whole lot of super slow and a kind of ridiculous ending.  This one is heading to the giveaway pile for now, and maybe my next 25¢ read will be a better one!!

9 thoughts on “October Minireviews

  1. Hi! Nice group of mini reviews. I actually prefer the shorter reviews on blogs because opinions come out better. I’ve read a couple graphic novels. They are not my go-to genre, but, like you, I’m always impressed with the artwork.

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    • I really use my book blog as a way to remember what I’ve read and whether I liked it, so I try to do at least a paragraph review for every book I read, but sometimes life is just too crazy to do full involved reviews haha And yes, sometimes all I can say is “THIS BOOK WAS FABULOUS GO READ IT IMMEDIATELY” and really that’s a full review, I think. :-D

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Sarah, can you get the rest of the Judy Bolton series through Inter Library Loan? You should be able to check on WorldCat and see if they are available through any of the libraries in the U.S.

    As always, I love your blog posts. (Also, I meant to comment a while back when you were reading Swallows and Amazons and Swallowdale but I love those books. My childhood.)

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    • Oh, I didn’t even think to check that! They aren’t super common books (the later ones in the series apparently weren’t as popular or something).

      Swallows & Amazons was definitely one of my favorite books of the year, and I loved Swallowdale just as much. I have Peter Duck on my shelf and am kind of waiting until I have a lazy Sunday so I can just read the whole thing!

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      • I would definitely give ILL a shot and see if you can find some of them that way!

        Nancy was my favorite character so I was in love with all of the books where she had a principle role.

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