January 22, 2018

Quick Lit: November 2017 (Part 1)

I'm two months behind on my Quick Lit posts, so I'm finally catching up this week. November was my most active reading month, but my slowest blogging one. I'm sure the two things were related! I finished 19 books, and I'll be reviewing 17 of them. To cut down on the length of the post, I decided to split it into two parts. This post has reviews for the three series I binged in November. You can find reviews for the other books I read in November in Part 2. If you're looking for more book recommendations, check out the linkup at Modern Mrs. Darcy


TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE, P.S. I STILL LOVE YOU AND ALWAYS AND FOREVER, LARA JEAN BY JENNY HAN | Oh man, where do I even begin with these delightful stories? I fell in love with Lara Jean a few years ago, and I'm so delighted the intended standalone became a trilogy. I will never turn down more time with this heroine (and her sisters)! I don't want to spend too long talking about the first two books since I've read and reviewed them before, so click those titles for more of my thoughts on them. Here's all I will add this time around: 1) I re-read via audio and loved the narrator, so I can highly recommend that format and 2) the second grew on me even more after re-reading, partly because the ambiguous ending is now followed by the third and final book. So, let's chat about the last one!

Always and Forever, Lara Jean was everything I hoped it would be and more. At one point in the book, I thought I saw where the story was headed and appreciated the fact that it was realistic (if a little sad). But Han surprised me, and I loved that it was ultimately so sweet and hopeful. Very fitting for a heroine who is a true romantic! I loved the new developments with the family, but you'll have to pick up the book to find out what I mean. I appreciated the college search, the disappointments, and Lara Jean's realization that she has to do what's best for her. But most of all, I loved that her journey came full circle. Peter once told her, “You'd rather make up a fantasy version of somebody in your head than be with a real person.” Well, this finale gives us Lara Jean embracing life in all its messiness. I'm So Obsessed With It


THE KISS OF DECEPTION, THE HEART OF BETRAYAL & THE BEAUTY OF DARKNESS BY MARY PEARSON | I'd been meaning to read this series for ages and even purchased all three books in the hopes that it would motivate me to get started. It was nice that owning all three made it easy for me to binge the series, but I'm not entirely sure I would have read past the first if I'd only owned that one. Ahhh, the consequences of being a book hoarder.

Of the three books, The Kiss of Deception was the weakest for me. I wasn't very invested in the romance at that point, but it seemed to be the only thing happening in the first book. Instead of a story of personal growth, I was immersed in a love triangle that was somehow boring. Nothing happened! The world building seemed weak, and I was honestly debating quitting the series at that point because I was just So Okay With It. But the last quarter convinced me to keep going...

The Heart of Betrayal, thankfully, was lightyears better. The world was fleshed out, there was a gripping plot, and I was finally interested in the conflict. I don't know if it's because the stakes felt higher, but I know that the introduction of more secondary characters helped me feel more invested in what I was reading. The romance improved, too, with identities finally being revealed and choices being made. I raced through this one, So Enjoyed It, and excitedly picked up the third.

The thickness of The Beauty of Darkness didn't intimidate me, but the saddest thing happened: it felt as long as it looks. I liked the story, but there was SO MUCH build up for a conflict that's resolved in a few pages. Plus, the relationship drama got old. There's only so many times you can have the same conversation about a situation that hasn't changed! I'd still say I So Liked It, but the series overall was uneven (though I'm more of the black sheep with this opinion). 


THE WINTER BRIDE, THE SPRING BRIDE AND THE SUMMER BRIDE BY ANNE GRACIE | I read the first book in this series, The Autumn Bride, back in August. It was a gift with Kelly and was my third read from Gracie. When I reviewed it, I talked about how I loved the friendship between the four girls but felt the romance needed more development because it took such a backseat to the other storylines. But I liked it enough to pick up the next book in the series, The Winter Bride, and hoped that I'd enjoy it more since it wouldn't have to spend as long setting up the backstory.

Well, y'all, I wasn't prepared for what happened next. I was swept away by The Winter Bride and am now obsessed with Anne Gracie! I was immediately invested in Damaris and wanted to learn more about her past. As for Freddy, I think Gracie specializes in very lovable rakes. I adored the marriage of convenience storyline and the way they brought out the best in one another. I can still vividly remember my favorite scenes, and that's rarely the case for me months after I've finished a book. This was definitely a So Loved It that just might be bumped up to Obsessed when I re-read it. 

After falling in love with Freddy and Damaris, I immediately moved on to The Spring Bride. Jane was an interesting heroine. She's probably my least favorite of the sisters, but I did love that she wasn't ashamed of the fact that her past made her want a safe, sensible marriage. But, of course, running into a mysterious stranger upends her best laid plans. I think the drama lasted just a bit too long in this one (and felt a little contrived), but I'm generally not a fan of storylines that hinge on people keeping secrets from one another. But I still So Liked It in the end!

And finally, it was time for The Summer Bride. I'd been eagerly anticipating this one because I had such a soft spot for Daisy! She was so different from the other sisters (primarily because of her upbringing), and I loved her passion for making beautiful clothes. She dreams of being a business owner, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching her pursue that goal. The hero was quite dashing and exactly what I'd want for Daisy, which made it a delight to read. And the best part of it? Seeing all the different couples happily settled in the end! *sigh* I So Enjoyed It - and loved the series overall!

What have you been reading lately?

1 comment:

  1. I loved the Lara Jean trilogy so much! Rereading the first book before moving on to the next two made it even more enjoyable. I still need to read Kiss of Deception and I'll definitely keep what you mentioned in mind- it's a shame when the first book is the weakest, makes it hard to want to continue!

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