Five Most Recent Reads | July 9th

Here we are with today’s wrap up of my five most recent reads. Today is all about Indie Accords with my first four books for the readathon, plus a straggler from June! Let’s just get right into it.

We Set The Dark On Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

I was really interested in this one at the beginning—it gave me Only Ever Yours meets Girls With Sharp Sticks (which are two books I absolutely love) but with queer and Latinx representation. Sadly, it just didn’t work for me. For the most part, I was just bored and slightly confused. I was expecting something more from this, and maybe I would’ve found it later in the books but I ended up DNFing this about 150 pages in. Usually at the point I’d keep reading, but nothing in this inspired me to keep going, not even the beginning of the sapphic relationship. While the stories and characters are all different, sometimes it can be hard to read things that are similar to things you’ve loved. Both Only Ever Yours and Girls With Sharp Sticks had such profound impacts on me that I’m not sure anything will live up to them.

As always, I don’t give DNFs star ratings.

Fortune Favors the Cruel (Dark Maji #1) by Kel Carpenter

I’m honestly feeling pretty conflicted about this one. For one, I like the protagonist, Quinn—she’s a total badass and I love to see it. I also really enjoyed the other characters and I’m interested to see where the rest of the series might take them. But on the other hand, I kind of felt as if we were dropped into the middle of the book—there’s very little set-up or world-building and even now, I still don’t really know what a ‘maji’ even is and that’s the name of the series!!! That being said, I am going to continue the series, or at least the next book to see whether we get some answers or some exciting character developments. There’s also basically zero romance in here, so I’m hoping we’ll get something in the next book.

The Beast (Wicked Villains #4) by Katee Robert

I’ve honestly had such a mixed relationship with the Wicked Villains so far, and that definitely hasn’t changed. I’m going to admit right off the bat that I didn’t like any of the triad—they worked as a relationship, but individually, none of them really interested in. And now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t know that I’ve liked any of the characters from this entire series apart from maybe Hercules? Anyway, the point is that I just wasn’t overly fussed by the characters. I do want to say that I felt like there was a huge difference between the writing in this one and the previous ones. I already knew that Katee’s writing had improved a lot because of the Dark Olympus series, but this was the book in this series that I really noticed how much she’d improved. With the earlier ones, I struggled a little with the writing and would’ve given up if it was not Katee Robert but this one just flowed better. Well, it’s time to move onto book five now!

Teach Me (There’s Something About Marysburg #1) by Olivia Dade

You might remember that I fell completely in love with Olivia Dade earlier this year and I’ve just been waiting for an excuse to get to this one. And boom, Indie Accords! It was really, really great to slip back into a contemporary romance after reading a few fantasies. It’s become my new comfort genre and it was just a really nice break. I love the way Dade writes—her banter, her romance, her smut, her characters—it’s all amazing. One of my favourite things, both about this one and her others, is the way she writes complex families and found families. I really didn’t expect this book to make me cry, but the way she explores difficult topics and makes sure that those topics are dealt with respect is something I really admire. Dade always makes sure that her readers know that all of her characters, no matter their trauma or past experiences, finds love and learns that they are worthy of love without it ever seeming sugar-coated. I’m sure I’ll finish up this series this month as well.

Hands Down by Mariana Zapata

It literally pains me to say this, but this is one of the worst books I’ve read this year. Last month I was literally crying over All Rhodes Lead Here and now here I am with this mess. I really don’t know where Zapata was going with this one but I was SO bored throughout this entire book. For me, neither of the characters felt like they had any depth beyond Zac is famous and Bianca is in love with him. Sure, they had pasts and hobbies and things but it all felt so one dimensional. The plot was a straight up mess—I still don’t know what the point of 95% of the things that happened. Also, there’s this whole reveal of this thing that happened (try to avoid spoilers here) and it was honestly the weirdest thing I’ve ever read—it didn’t add a single thing to the story and honestly just made me stare at my Kindle like ‘wtaf?’ for ages. I’m so glad I didn’t choose to start reading Zapata with this book because if I had, I would’ve never read her again. But I’m excited to put this one far, far behind me and move onto my next read of hers!

And there we are for today’s post. Have you read any of these? Are any on your TBR?

3 thoughts on “Five Most Recent Reads | July 9th

  1. Thank you for this. I enjoyed reading your post. Sometimes authors with one successful book come under a lot of pressure from their publishers to produce another one quickly. Maybe that’s what happened with Zapata. I love your teacup ratings.


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