Beast by Katee Robert – This one follows Isabelle (Belle), Gaeton (Gaston), and Beast. I like the reappearance of multiple characters from the Wicked Villains series. That’s always fun to see how they are after their story. I liked Beast and Gaeton realizing that they like each other. The thing about these books are some have more plot than others and this was one that didn’t seem to have much of a plot except them working on their relationship. It was enjoyable but when a random conflict is thrown in and hurried at the end I felt like I was missing something. It’s the setup for the next book, but felt like it was forced. I’ve realized this is something that Katee Robert does with most of her books.
It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey – Piper is cut off from her rich stepfather and is sent to run this bar that her deceased father owned. It’s very Schitt’s Creek vibes. Piper is a lot like Alexis from Schitt’s Creek. I can just picture her in this book with her cluelessness and not knowing how to do simple things and Brenden looks a lot like Mutt. It also reminded me of Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker because she’s in this new place, becomes friends with the locals, and a boyfriend that makes her wonder if she should stay or go back to her old life.
This made me so excited for Fox (Brenden’s friend) and Hannah’s (Piper’s sister) book, Hook, Line, and Sinker.
The Dragon’s Bride by Katee Robert – My first monster romance. It was a little weird, especially trying to remember that he’s a dragon when he seems very human. I liked Sol’s protectiveness of Briar. Once again a fast ending where my mind is trying to catch up. Seems like a normal ending for her, so I’ll have to get used to that, but you know it gives her a lot of room for steamy scenes.
I don’t think I’ll keep reading the series. I don’t think monsters are my thing.
A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane – Ahhh! New favorite genre is fantasy romance. I love a good fantasy book and a romance book, so squish them together, yes please. I like the trope of a woman that might be frail in body, but she’s strong, intelligent, and commanding. Yvenne was a queen, but had a warrior heart. I liked this way more than I thought I would. At first, it threw a bunch of names, territories, and weird animal monsters at me, but I quickly picked up what was happening and understood the world. It was interesting to read about their different gods and goddesses who actually intervened in their lives by talking and showing themselves. I was very confused by the Destroyer because when they describe him he sounds like a giant or maybe he’s like a demon. Anyways, the plot is that Yvenne’s father murdered Maddek’s parents, so Maddek kidnaps Yvenne planning to kill her, but then she persuades him not to and I’m not sure how much I should say after that in case of spoilers, but it’s so good. I actually wasn’t going to read it just from the cover and I thought it was historical, but it’s not and I’m glad I picked it up.
I loved how Yvenne wasn’t afraid of Maddek and they just fit really well together. I loved that he wanted to kill her at first, but is totally falling for her. He takes care of her on their long trip back home and it’s so sweet.
One thing, though, there was so much grunting, like he grunted an affirmative. I’m just like what does that sound like?
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Also they say things that I think are metaphors and then am surprised when they actually do it like [he really brought her her brother’s head and her father’s head and heart!
I also really loved the final battle scenes and the Syssians joining them. The townspeople coming out wielding pots and sticks. I also liked that Yvenne was this great shot with the arrow and how she shattered Zhalen’s knee! Retribution!
Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – This was the finale to the Illuminae Files. I liked it and thought it was a great way to end the series. I think I like sci-fi adventures. Aidan is so morally gray but he’s a robot so can you blame him? Everyone was going to die, it’s a sophie’s choice but I knew something like this would happen bringing him back online, I hated Aidan in the first book buuuut I like him in this one. It’s the whole is he bad or good? I’m into the morally gray. I loved Hanna’s drawings. For some reason I am still surprised when people are killed even though I know the authors are ruthless.
The Forest of Vanishing Stars by Kristin Harmel – This is set during WWII and it’s about a girl, Yona, who has grown up in the woods and ends up helping Jews that escape from the Nazis. It had a great pace that kept me reading. I’ve read multiple WWII books and I’m surprised by how many different perspectives and situations there are still to be written. This is just another that I had never heard of: Jews hiding in the forest. Yona’s story was so interesting and the way she thought was intelligent and she cared so much for having been so isolated. It wasn’t just a survive in the woods story, there was some drama. There’s also a lot of death and just heartbreaking history.
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Aleksander! It literally made me like bad shiver that he cheated on her. Also that he fell in love with her so quickly, that seemed to happen with Zus too. But I think more time passed than I realized because there were parts where it said months later that I could have easily missed. And I had a feeling that her dad was going to be a Nazi. That part sucked.
Between Shades of Gray: The Graphic Novel by Andrew Donkin, Ruta Sepetys – Honestly, I feel like graphic novels are the cliffnotes version and now I don’t need to actually read the book, although it did make me want to watch the movie. Maybe because of the visuals. A sad story that gives another perspective of WWII.
Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks – This was fun. Didn’t quite understand the title, I guess because her only friends were her brothers? I really liked the characters. There was humor. I liked the ghost but I wished there was something more to her or she talked. I really liked the family relationship. Also, Faith Erin Hicks created half of my favorite graphic novel, Pumpkinheads.