Quick Lit: November 2019

Hallelujah, I'm all caught up before the end of the year. It's a Christmas miracle! As I mentioned in October's post, I'll probably get behind again in 2020 after the new baby is born but we shall see. I was in the hospital with my son at the beginning of the month and got zero reading done while there. Then Kelly came to visit for a week, and I'm proud of myself for actually reading a bit during her visit. That rarely happens! All in all, it was a solid reading month for me. I finished 15 books, and I'm reviewing 13 of them in today's post. The other two are briefly mentioned at the end of the post! If you enjoy this feature, check out out over at Modern Mrs. Darcy.

THE REAL DEAL BY LAUREN BLAKELY – I randomly requested this from the library based on the summary. A girl hiring a a guy to pretend to be her boyfriend for a family reunion weekend? I do love a good fake dating story! The hero and heroine felt like a real couple from the very beginning, so I did question that while reading. They have an easy banter and communicate well with one another, but the hero has a secret that provides the main source of conflict. That particular storyline really didn't work for me because it was so dramatic and didn't fit with the overall feel of the book. Otherwise, this one was cute. The relationship and associated emotions felt too instant for my taste, but I So Liked It overall and don't regret reading it. It's definitely steamy, however, so I skipped past a bit.

THE SEASON BY SARAH MACLEAN – Now that I've read all of MacLean's historical romances, I figured I needed to pick up her only young adult book. It definitely felt like a teenage version of her romances – a strong-willed, independent heroine falling in love and, in this case, solving a mystery. And it's not a steamy read, which is fitting for the genre. I turned on this audiobook while cleaning my house one day, and it was a pleasant listen. It's light on the mystery, and I did predict its resolution from the very beginning. So I'd be mostly likely to recommend this one to someone who wanted a fun, mostly frothy historical love story. It wasn't standout read, but I don't have any significant complaints about it either. I So Liked It but will probably forgot that I read it within a few months.

THE CLERGYMAN'S WIFE BY MOLLY GREELEY* – As a huge fan of Jane Austen, I have read a lot of books inspired by her novels. This book is a follow up, set after the events in Pride and Prejudice, and focuses on a secondary character: Charlotte Lucas, now the wife of Mr. Collins. We see her in Hunsford, making the best of her life as the vicar's wife, and patiently enduring her awkward husband and his obnoxious patroness. The story is very introspective and has very little action. Charlotte goes about her life and muses on what she's gained and lost in marrying for practicality. It was quiet and somewhat melancholy, but it was still refreshing to read a book that represents a reality for so many women of that time. It's not Austen, by any means, but I So Liked It.

SOMEONE TO REMEMBER BY MARY BALOGH* – This novella was an unplanned addition to Balogh's Westcott series, and one that I hadn't planned on reading. I've enjoyed the series overall, but wasn't very interested in this character or her potential love story. But when a copy arrived for review, I figured I'd give it a shot. Y'all, I was pleasantly surprised! The hero and heroine had their romance thwarted 36 years ago, so they're much older than the typical historical romance couple. I don't typically enjoy second chance romances, but it worked overall here. There was a sense of how much they'd lost by being apart (a reason I don't love this trope), but it was sweet to see them finally together in the end. There isn't a lot of plot or conflict in this short story, but I still So Liked It

THE BEST YES BY LYSA TERKEURST – I joined a small group through my church back in August, and this is the book we've been studying. By the end, it felt very repetitive – but I wonder if that had more to do with reading it so slowly over months. That being said, I did like some of the things TerKeurst had to say. I don't struggle with people pleasing, but I appreciated her thoughts on making wise decisions. Here's my biggest issue: a lot of the anecdotes/examples provided felt so silly and were geared towards moms (and wives). I wondered how readers wading through heavy decisions or different stages of life would be able to relate. This felt like a better choice for a book club than a church small group, but that's a personal preference. I was So Okay With It overall.

THE BOY, THE MOLE, THE FOX & THE HORSE BY CHARLIE MACKSEY – My mom absolutely loves Charlie Macksey's Instagram account, so I became familiar with his artwork and the precious characters he created through her. When she found out he had a book coming out, she pre-ordered a copy for herself – and me and my sister, too. I think this qualifies as a graphic novel, even though there isn't really a plot to follow. Inside, you'll find pages of whimsical artwork paired with simple but profound words. It reminded me a lot of Winnie the Pooh. It took me less than half an hour to read, and it felt like I was being enveloped in a warm hug. It's short, sweet, and I So Enjoyed It. It's a little collection of wisdom being shared by unlikely friends who will steal your heart.

AMERICAN ROYALS BY KATHARINE MCGEE – Combine royalty and alternate American history, and I'm sold. This was exactly what I wanted it to be: dramatic, creative, romantic, and so much dang fun. I loved the relationships between siblings, romantic interests, friends and frenemies. There are four POVs, and they all worked for me. They had distinct voices, and each served a purpose. I had a favorite, of course, but I never wanted to skip past any of them. I loved how McGee invented an entirely different history for America, including how that would affect the present day. It explores the concept of a monarch's private vs. public life, including the sacrifices made out of a sense of duty to one's country. I So Loved It and hate that I have to wait for the second book after that ending!

THE CLOCKMAKER'S DAUGHTER BY KATE MORTON – I'd sworn off Morton after I hated The Forgotten Garden, but Kelly has been diligently chipping away at my resolve. I finally decided to give her another chance, and I'm so glad I did! This book was lovely. Morton's writing was gorgeous and was the highlight of the reading experience. My initial confusion over the point of views was quickly resolved, and it was nice to see all the various threads of the story come together quite seamlessly in the end. Gothic fiction will probably never be my favorite, but Morton did it really well. The setting came to life in my mind, and I loved the slow reveal of what happened all those years ago (and how the people we met were connected to that legacy). I So Loved It and will read more from her backlist.

HUSBAND MATERIAL BY EMILY BELDEN* – I randomly requested this on NetGalley one day, hoping to find a new favorite contemporary author. When I went to start reading it, I realized that I'd just recently enjoyed the author's previous book, Hot Mess. That made me really hopeful! Unfortunately, this one didn't work for me. I struggled with the heroine and hated the guy who ended up being the hero. He did two things that would have been unforgivable for me, regardless of his motives. The numerous references to the heroine's Apple Watch + other trendy places/brands grated on my nerves. It didn't truly go downhill for me until after the first half, which is why I stuck with it until the end. By then, I was So Over It. I wish there'd been more depth to the characters and story!

A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES, A COURT OF MIST AND FURY, A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN, AND A COURT OF FROST AND STARLIGHT BY SARAH J. MAAS – What is there to say about this series that I haven't already said several times over? This was my fourth read of ACOTAR, my third of ACOMAF, my third of ACOWAR, and my second of ACOFAS – all within the past four years. I think that speaks for itself! When Kelly was here, we'd sit in my library every night and play silly bookish games. For example, "If you had to swap a character from the Throne of Glass series with one in the Court Thorns and Roses series, who would it be?" And so on! Yes, I know how nerdy that sounds, but I promise it's so fun. Since we kept talking about this series, I started to feel the urge to re-read. 

After I dropped her off at the airport, I downloaded the audiobook of the first and started listening. I told her it was my emotional coping mechanism. Within a week, I'd finished the whole series. I just adore this world and these characters so much! They feel like friends, and I never get tired of going on these adventures with them. My only dislikes? Knowing what's to come, the series feels like it gets off to a slower start upon re-read and I'm always counting down the minutes until Feyre goes under the mountain. And, predictably, I find the sexual content too graphic for my taste and wish I could remove those parts. It's always the biggest hesitation I have in recommending this series. But that being said, I really do love this series and am So Obsessed With It. Take me to Velaris!

In November, I also re-read two books. The first was Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas, the final book in the Throne of Glass series. Since I just reviewed this past February, I decided not to write another mini review of it. But I can add two updates: 1) the audio was excellent, as I've come to expect from narrator Elizabeth Evans and 2) I didn't notice any of the nitpicks that I'd initially had on my first read. So, I suspect my love for it will continue to grow with each re-read! I'm So Obsessed With It. The other book I re-read was Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Everything I wrote in my review from March still stands, including the fact that I'm So Obsessed With It. But I can add that the audio – which had a full cast – was wonderful and the perfect way to experience this book.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review.

What have you been reading lately?

1 comment

  1. I've actually been contemplating a reread of the ACOTAR series! It's been a while since I was so immersed in that world, and I think it's definitely time to revisit it. I also now have very high hopes for American Royals! I honestly expect to enjoy that one, but it makes me feel even more excited to know you loved it.


© So Obsessed With • Theme by Maira G.