Here we are with my next round of most recent reads. Today’s selection is even stranger than normal—I have an anthology, a graphic novel, a historical romance, a literary fiction and a fantasy. A weird mix for sure, but let’s get into it.
Fools In Love: Fresh Twists on Romantic Tales edited by Ashley Herring Blake and Rebecca Podos
It’ll probably not surprise any of you to learn that I’m really bad at keeping up with my NetGalley reviews to the point where I was pretty proud about getting to this only about six months after it was published—whoops? I really enjoyed how this anthology was set out—each story has the title and then the trope written underneath i.e. fake dating, second chance etc. I liked that because it meant I could skip the two or so tropes I knew absolutely didn’t work for me. Unfortunately, there was a lot in here that didn’t work for me even when I liked the tropes or authors. I think in the end I enjoyed about three of the stories, but those three were all new-to-me authors so at least some good came of this. Even though I didn’t love this, I think it’s a great way to test out a few different YA authors and tropes to see if you enjoy them.
Power Born of Dreams: My Story is Palestine by Mohammad Sabaaneh
This was one of my picks for this round of Amplify Bookstore’s Discovery Pack—I’ve talked about this a few times so I’ll just leave the link here for today. I’ve been trying to keep up with the books so that they don’t end up sitting on my shelves and since this one is just over 100 pages, it seemed like the perfect one to read almost straight away. This is a really simple graphic novel, but I really enjoyed it. All of the pages were linocut printings and I really liked that style—I loved the intensity of the black and white images and I thought it went really well with the story that is being told. I do wish it was longer because I wanted to know more about Sabaaneh’s story and the others as well, but maybe it wouldn’t have felt as impactful if it had been longer. I know that Sabaneeh has another book about Palestine in this same style and I’m definitely interested in trying to get my hands on that one as well. All in all, this was definitely a successful pick from this round of the Discovery Pack, crossing fingers that the second book is as well!
Daring and the Duke (The Bareknuckle Bastards #3) by Sarah MacLean
I just talked about this one in my post about series I’m close to finishing and then decided I should just bite the bullet and do it. Well, here we are with a series completed! Right off the back I have to admit that I did not enjoy this one bit. I really loved books one and two, but this one just wasn’t it. I’m not sure if it’s because I waited too long between reading them and therefore I couldn’t remember what had led up to all of this. Or maybe it was because I didn’t really like Grace or Ewan—I’d thought they were interesting in previous books, but now that it was about them I was bored out of my brains. Unfortunately for me, I seem to have a really hit or miss relationships with MacLean’s books—I either absolutely love them or I’m totally bored by them. I’m moving onto her newest series now, so I’m hoping I end up liking that one better than this.
The Mothers by Brit Bennett
Brit Bennett’s second book, The Vanishing Half, was probably my favourite book of 2020 and definitely has its place among my all-time favourites, so pretty soon after reading that, I ordered myself this one. Of course, as per usual, it sat on my shelves for a year and half before I finally got around to it. I struggled a little with this one—it feels very heavy and so I felt like I could only read small parts at a time before I felt a little emotionally overwhelmed. I had a pretty similar experience with both of Bennett’s books—she has a way of making you feel as if you’re a part of it all. I loved how this one was told with little interjections from ‘the mothers’, that really added to the story. On the whole though, the story didn’t really do anything for me. It was by no means bad, but lacked the spark that The Vanishing Half had for me. This felt like a bit of a warm-up book so Bennett could really hit it out of the park with The Vanishing Half. I need whatever Bennett’s next book is going to be ASAP.
For the Wolf (Wilderwood #1) by Hannah Whitten
I went into this with very, very low expectations having seen the Goodreads average rating of 3.67. By now I really should’ve learnt that those rarely mean anything, because I actually kind of loved this. I’ve been reading a lot of contemporary things lately—whether it’s romance, YA, literary fiction etc. and very little fantasy, so I was definitely in the mood for this. I loved the atmospheric feeling of this—it’s cold, kind of creepy and unsettling and utterly fantastic. It also gives off a mix of Red Riding Hood and Beauty & The Beast to me, which I also really enjoyed. I will admit I read the first quarter or so while I was really tired, so some of it when completely over my head but I enjoyed the writing and the characters so the fact I didn’t understand some things didn’t feel that important. I honestly can’t wait to get my hands on book two, especially as this is only a duology.
That’s it for today. Have you read of these? Are any of them on your TBR?