Hello, everyone! It’s time again for another wrap-up of my five most recent reads. In today’s post, we’ve got a lot of romance because apparently, that’s the only thing I’ve been able to finish lately. So without further ado, let’s get into them.
Knot My Type (All Access #1) by Evie Mitchell
Ooof, this one was a doozy. Look, I had high hopes for this—a romance with a physically disabled woman? All of my hopes and prayers had been answered! But this was a straight-up mess. Before we do get into that, I want to say the rep was pretty good—while I don’t have the same disability, I could see parts of my own experiences in Frankie’s, so points for that. But on the other hand, this is perhaps the cringest thing I’ve ever read in my entire life. A lot of dialogue is just awkward as hell and not in like a cute ‘building up for the story’ kind of way. This also just moves super quickly—they have sex once (after knowing each other for what, a week?) and then they’re like ‘oh we’re dating now’, because yeah it definitely happens like that. The thing that’s sad is with some editing or perhaps a few rewrites, this could’ve been really wonderful—all the elements are there but the writing just lets it down. A few months ago I would’ve said this was partly because it’s a contemporary romance and that’s not my thing, but in the last few weeks I’ve read some incredible ones, this just wasn’t one of them.
Fine Print, Volume 1 by Stjepan Šejić
The thing about graphic novels/comics is that sometimes you’ll spend months waiting for them to arrive, read them in thirty minutes and then have to anxiously await the next volume which currently has no release date. Or at least that’s what happened with Fine Print for me. I used to be much more into comics and graphic novels (I don’t really know which this constitutes as) and I always found the first volume hard to review—it’s almost like the first chapter to a novel, it could really go anywhere from here. With that, I like what Šejić has set up in this one—the world is interesting, his art is beautiful and I’m intrigued by Lauren and the characters around her. But this is really just the build-up to the actual story—I think I’m going to like where it goes based on those things I just mentioned but we’ll see once volume two is released. But also, now I want all of the books by Stjepan and his wife, Linda.
The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (Mackenzies and McBrides #1) by Jennifer Ashley
I was originally extremely hesitant about this book—any word to do with ‘madness’, ‘craziness’ etc makes my haunches go up because of the ableist connotations, but once I learnt this featured a hero on the spectrum I was more excited. I’m not personally on the spectrum but I’ve heard from other people who have Aspergers that the representation in here is pretty good. Of course, this book is set in 1881 so there is a lot of ableist terminology and responses to Ian’s behaviours—that made this book rather difficult for me at times, this definitely has a counter-narrative to those things but Ian suffers a lot of injustice and abuse before and during this book. Anyway, the romance was sweet and I really enjoyed the plot. But I don’t know that I care enough to continue with the rest of the series—I wasn’t blown away by it and right now I have a lot of other historical romances waiting for me. Maybe if I were to come across them secondhand or in my library I’d consider picking them up, but right I wouldn’t purposefully look for them.
Spoiler Alert (Spoiler Alert #1) by Olivia Dade
I actually started this probably about two weeks ago, read the first 60% in about two days and then put it down. I was really enjoying it but I just got distracted by all the other books I’ve been reading, or trying to read. This is a really sweet romance—I love Marcus and April together. I also really enjoyed the fanfiction aspect—back in the day I used to write fanfics too, and while I stopped doing that, I still read fanfics every few days. I made a lot of friends through that community so I loved seeing that in here. I think my only complaint with this was that it’s quite long—it’s over 400 pages which feels like a to for a contemporary romance. There was this whole side thing about the relationships that both MCs had with their parents which seemed kinda irrelevant and just kind of tacked on there to be like ‘look, depth!‘. I’m all for conversations about complex family relationships but it just didn’t really fit in with the rest of the story. All in all, I did really enjoy this and I’m excited to continue on with Olivia Dade’s books.
When You Look Like Us by Pamela N. Harris
My only non-romance read for the month so far and thankfully, it was a good one. This book covers a lot really, but at its heart, it’s a really beautiful story about a brother/sister relationship and how complex and strong those can be. I loved the relationship between Jay and Nic and how they’d stuck together through some really bad things. Siblings aren’t always easy to deal with and you don’t always like them and I think that came across really well in this—there were parts of their relationship that I could relate to my brother and I, both the bad and the good bits. On top of that, the mystery element to this is really interesting too—it reminds me a little bit of a cross between Monday’s Not Coming and Sadie, in that aspect. I loved the way Harris bought everything together, so I’ll definitely be looking out for any more books she releases in the future.
And that’s it for this post. Have you read any of these?