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.
Most of these books were from the very beginning of October, so the details may be getting hazy…
The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shallcross – 3*
Look at this gorgeous cover! How can anyone resist this cover?? This book had some potential, but the pacing was sooo slow. I also felt like the actual reason/purpose behind the Beast’s curse was rather muddled and not explained particularly well, so it made it difficult to bond with the tale. There were a lot of aspects of the story that I enjoyed, but it definitely wasn’t one that leaped onto my bookshelf forever.
Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson – 4*
I really do like Swanson’s writing. The pacing here was excellent, especially in regards as to when to switch perspectives/introduce a new perspective. Anytime a story is based on someone else being in your house when you are there, but you don’t know they are there, I’m completely creeped out. (Yay small houses with multiple dogs; someone would be hard-pressed to hide in here haha) Even though the police didn’t get the whole story, the reader does, and that’s what counts to me. I also liked the little hint of a happy ending, because I’m a happy ending kind of girl. This may have been my favorite Swanson yet.
Double Folly by Marnie Ellingson – 4*
Years ago I purchased a book by Ellingson at a thrift store (The Wicked Marquis), which I absolutely loved. Not so long ago it occurred to me that, with the power of the internet, I could probably find some of her other books, and this is one of them. It was quite the adorable story, and I enjoyed every page. I will say that at one point the hero was in a carriage accident, and it felt like the heroine’s feelings underwent too much of a change to quickly, but other than that the story hummed right along in a delightful fashion. It’s one of those little stories that is just plain good fun, although it’s possible that Ellingson lifted part of her plot concept from Georgette Heyer’s False Colours…
Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid – 3*
I got this one for free on Kindle and thought I would give it a try. While it was an alright contemporary romance, Janie annoyed me SO. MUCH. Like, I get it. She babbles when she’s nervous. It was bad enough to have to hear what she said out loud; having to listen to all of her babbling thoughts was even worse. This book would have benefited a LOT from having Quinn’s perspective as well, because his actions really did seem inconsistent a lot, so if we had known his thoughts, it would have helped the story a great deal. As it was, this was a fine one-off read, but it definitely didn’t inspire me to finish the series. I was also expecting there to be a lot more about the knitting club, but they only appear a couple of times and don’t really become individual characters, so I didn’t care enough to read other books and find out about their stories.
Your Perfect Year by Charlotte Lucas – 2*
This was a classic case of the book not being what I expected. The synopsis definitely makes this sound like a lighthearted, romcom type of story. Jonathon is a super rigid, scheduled, Scrooge-ish kind of person. On New Year’s Day he comes back from his morning run to find an appointment diary hanging on the handlebars of his bicycle. Inside, every day has been already filled in with assignments, and all of those assignments are about embracing and enjoying life. According to the synopsis, Jonathon begins to follow the directions, which change his life, and throughout the course of that he falls in love with the author of the diary. That’s all technically true, but instead of it being lighthearted and fun, it’s quite serious, verging on sad. The suicide of one of the characters plays a major part in the plot, as does the residual grief and guilt of the people left behind. One character has terminal cancer, another discovers that the death of a loved one was due in part to a letter he wrote. All in all this just wasn’t a book for me. It wasn’t a bad story, but it was definitely a downer. Consequently, the romance part didn’t feel like it fit into the rest of the story at all. Having Jonathon fall in love with the diary’s owner was weird instead of fun because of everything going on in Hannah’s life. I kept waiting for the tone of the story to go up instead of down, and it just never did. I was already feeling a little depressed when I started this one, and I felt even more depressed when I was done, despite the technically “happy” ending.
In the Forests of Serre by Patricia McKillip – 3.5*
I’ve found McKillip’s books to be a mixed bag of magical, bizarre, and mysterious. This was the type of story where I didn’t quite “get” everything, yet still found it enjoyable. As always, her language is lovely and world-building excellent. I would have liked to have seen some more character depth, but overall this was still a book I liked reading.