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Obsidian Blue

Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

Currently reading

The Paying Guests
Sarah Waters
Now Not to Die Alone
Richard Roper
Lisey's Story
Stephen King
Shelter in Place
Nora Roberts
Stephen King
The Drawing of the Three
Stephen King
Sleeping Beauties: A Novel
Stephen King, Owen King
Progress: 20/720 pages
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My game board!

Reblogged from Moonlight Reader:



1. Author is a woman

2. Genre: mystery

3. Set in the twentieth century

4. Published in 2019

5. Published in 2018

6. Title has a color word in it

7. Author's last name begins with the letters A, B, C, or D.

8. Author's last name begins with the letters E, F, G, or H.

9. Author's last name begins with the letters H, I, J, or K

10. Author's last name begins with the letters L, M, N or O

11. Author's last name begins with the letters P, Q, R, or S

12. Author's last name begins with the letters T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z

13. Author is a man

14. Author is dead

15. Genre: romance

16. Genre: fantasy

17. Genre: horror

18. Set in a school

19. Set in the UK

20. Set in a country that is not your country of residence

21. Set in Europe

22. Set in Asia

23. Set in Australia/Oceania

24. Set in Africa

25. Snake - go back to 5

26. Part of a series that is more than 5 books long

27. Set during WWI or WWII

28. Written between 1900 and 1999

29. Someone travels by plane

30. Someone travels by train

31. Road trip

32. Genre: thriller

33. Set in North America

34. Snake - go back to 1

35. Has been adapted as a movie

36. Set in Central or South America

37. Has won an award

38. Newest release by a favorite author

39. A reread

40. Characters involved in the entertainment industry

41. Characters involved in politics

42. Characters involved in sports/sports industry

43. Characters involved in the law

44. Characters involved in cooking/baking

43. Characters involved in medicine

44. Characters involved in science/technology

45. A book that has been on your tbr for more than one year

46. A book that has been on your tbr for more than two years

47. Snake - go back to 19

48. A book you acquired in February, 2019.

49. Recommended by a friend

50. Has a domestic animal on the cover

51. Has a wild animal on the cover

52. Has a tree or flower on the cover

53. Has something that can be used as a weapon on the cover

54. Is more than 400 pages long

55. Is more than 500 pages long

56. Was published more than 100 years ago

57. Was published more than 50 years ago

58. Was published more than 25 years ago

59. Was published more than 10 years ago

60. Was published last year

61. Cover is more than 50% red

62. Cover is more than 50% green

63. Cover is more than 50% blue

64. Cover is more than 50% yellow

65. Snake - go back to 52

66. Part of a series that is more than 10 books long

67. Set in a city with a population of greater than 5 million people (link)

68. Something related to weddings on the cover

69. Something related to travel on the cover

70. Something related to fall/autumn on the cover

71. Involves the beach/ocean/lake 

72. Involves the mountains/forests 

73. Categorized as YA

74. Categorized as Middle Grade

75. Set in a fantasy world

76. Set in a world with magic

77. Has a "food" word in the title

78. Set in a small town (fictional or real)

79. Main character is a woman

80. Main character is a man

81. Ghost story

82. Genre: urban fantasy

83. Genre: cozy mystery

84. Genre: police procedural

85. Written by an author who has published more than 10 books

86. Author's debut book

87. Snake - go back to 57

88. Comic/graphic novel

89. Published between 2000 and 2017

90. A new-to-you author

91. Snake - go back to 61

92. Reread of a childhood favorite

93. Author's first/last initial same as yours (real or BL handle)

94. Non-fiction

95. Memoir

96. From your favorite genre

97. Title starts with any of the letters in SNAKE

98. Title starts with any of the letters in LADDERS

99. Snake - go back to 69

100. Let BL pick it for you: post 4 choices and read the one that gets the most votes!

Ocean's Whatever

The Gilded Wolves - Roshani Chokshi

I don't have much to say except this is my least favorite Roshani Chokshi novel. I have loved her other works and have no interest in reading anymore about "The Gilded Wolves". Chokshi shines when she follows one character through a story and has them meeting others along the way. Heck, I loved her book "A Crown of Wishes" since in that one she followed a young man and woman. In this latest we follow I think 5 people. Every chapter lets us know who we are following now. This whole book was really about a heist and made me think about the Ocean's franchise (not in a good way) with two characters fighting feelings for each other. And we get information dumps galore to you want to beg for mercy to make it all stop. 


So we have four characters we follow in this book. They are: Severin, Laila, Enrique, and Zofia. I will praise Chokshi for including diverse characters with different sexual orientations. However, after a while it started to fill like she was filling out some unseen card to make sure that she had every ethnicity and religion represented and that's all the characters were for most of the book. I couldn't even tell you anything about Zofia besides  what her ability is and that she's Jewish. There was a lack of development with all of the main characters in this one along with secondary characters. 


It's a lot to read and take in and it seems the first part of the book is just devoted to how Severin found everyone and brought them together. And of course Severin is a tortured hero because he was denied his place in ruling his House. Everyone seems to have undying loyalty to Severin and be in love with him. Some reviewers noted that Severin and Laila are similar to characters who appear in Six of Crows. I can't comment on that since I haven't read the book, but a lot of people called it out in their reviews, so make of that what you will. 


We also have side characters like Tristan and Hypnos who were confusing by far, but don't merit (well Hypnos gets one) their own standalone chapters. Hypnos gets the last chapter in the book and it's only for someone to reveal something to him. 


I needed the characters to come alive a lot more in this one. And can we please stop with characters not being together for whatever stupid reason it is in YA books? Angst is getting old. Just have them be or not be and move on from it. 


The writing was so-so. All of the dialogue/banter was just eye-roll inducing after a while. Chokshi kept cutting away if one character (or two) were in peril to jump back to another character who would just go on about something and then wonder where characters one and two were. It kept messing with the flow of the book from beginning to end. 


The world building was beyond confusing. We read about forging, the Houses, different races/religions,rings, the Babel fragments, about how houses are inherited, and I just felt my eyes glaze over. Also this is a pet peeve of mine, if you tell readers how magic works in your book, you don't get to change it and or make it be unclear. I am still lost on how most of these people's powers work since at one point I think Laila had two separate powers. 


The book being set in Paris in 1889 was initially intriguing, but I quickly lost any love for that since it seemed to just be a means to an end. Unlike with the "The Star-Touched Queen" none of the places the characters go to seem real. I felt like I was in the Night's Bazaar when I read about it. It seems it should have been easy for Chokshi to bring Paris to life. Especially a Paris of her own imagining with magic. In book two, Chokshi really needs to explain the backstory to the Houses, people, governments, etc. much better. And I don't know if information dumps is the way to go or just have someone go "And in the beginning..." and go from there. 


The book included some illustrations of things the characters were seeing, and I just hard passed it all after a while. I just didn't care and wanted the book to be over already. 

The ending was a surprise though. We find out that one character's belief about themselves and what was done to them was totally wrong. That's still not enough for me to continue to read this book. 

The Murder Subplot Didn't Work

The Last Time I Was Me - Cathy Lamb

Yeah, I know you are like well this looks like a good book, well it was except for a whole murder subplot that put it in a different category in my mind. It also at times didn't feel realistic with what I would imagine would happen in real life with regards to Jeanne's trial for assault of her ex boyfriend. I think I was highly amused by certain parts of the book and at times thought that Lamb had some bad messaging in here. 


"The Last Time I Was Me" follows Jeanne Stewart who packs up her life in Chicago. She has just blown up her career by giving a talk telling the audience that their lives are meaningless she travels west towards the ocean. She has it in her head maybe she is ready to end things, but she stops in at The Opera Man's Cafe in Weltana, Oregon and ends up staying there for days drinking and eating pancakes. 

Lamb rolls out Stewart's story slowly. I liked Jeanne a lot, though at times I found her selfish. You read about the fact that she had something horrible happen to her which turned off any thoughts of marriage or children. That her mother was the one light in her life and when she died, things got dimmer. But, I didn't like how Jeanne avoided her brother, his family for years due to her loss. I can't imagine doing that. We also see Jeanne dealing with the ramifications of assaulting her ex-boyfriend (Slick Dick as she calls him) and the realization that he was never the love of her life, but she kept seeing him because it was a way to pass the time.


What was intriguing in this book is that Jeanne is going to anger management training for assaulting her ex and through that she meets a lot of other misfits. And we even get a love story in this one with Jeanne opening herself up to something new. 


Jeanne deciding that Weltana is a good place to stay and buying a home that she plans to fix up brings her into contact with some migrant workers that live in the area who are being taken advantage of by the local slumlord who has the workers living in really bad conditions and abuses them in other ways. I don't know how realistic it really is that no one would have reported the guy or that so many in the town would have just watched from afar as it all went on. 


The other characters all had quirks. If you have read a Lamb novel before it's a given. So I just rolled with it. I thought Jeanne's romance with the Governor was realistic, but wanted more of it though. It seemed at times that it wasn't that developed. 


The writing was good though at times I had a hard time with it. For example, we find out early on there's a murder that Jeanne is involved in and even though I disliked the character and what they did, the whole thing didn't sit well with me. Lamb writing it though that you should be okay with it and trying to make it funny felt a bit off. And the civil trial that Jeanne had to deal with I thought was funny, but once again was highly unrealistic on how a jury would find things in the end. The flow was good though at one point I was wondering how many things were going to get thrown at Jeanne in this one. 

The ending I thought was pretty sweet. Jeanne gets a HEA and she even steps up to be more involved in her brother's life. 

A Strong 3.5 Star Book

'Tis The Season to Be Single - Laura Ziepe

This is a very strong 3.5 star book. It could have been higher if one of the story-lines (Grace's) had been a bit tighter and actually full of tension. Most of her story-line was self-inflicted and I thought her hiding what she was up to was beyond ridiculous. I really loved Amber and Rachel's storyline. I always get a kick out of romance novels set during holiday events so this one was a nice pick me up due to the winter blues that I have going right now.


"Tis the Season to Be Single" is about three women (Rachel, Grace, and Amber) going through singledom during the Christmas and New Year. 

Rachel expects her long term boyfriend Mark to finally propose. Too bad she finds out he wants to break up with her and also is seeing her best friend.


Grace is tired of her husband Simon ignoring all that she does for him (cooking, cleaning, etc.) and is starting to realize that the romance in their marriage has gone. She finally decides to tell him she wants to be separated while she thinks about what to do next. 


Amber is a commitment-phobe. After having her father leave her and her mother when she was younger, Amber would rather meet a hot guy and immediately set him free again. Things change though when Amber comes back from holiday to find out her childhood best friend Jack is now engaged. Amber is starting to realize that maybe what she feels towards Jack isn't sisterly love at all, but something more. Once all three women realize that they are now single, Amber pushes them to embrace the single life with a pact to stay single and be each other's dates for their company's annual holiday party. 


Rachel's story leads things off and starts the book off strong. I felt for her and wanted to smack her boyfriend and her so-called friend. I think that  Ziepe does a good job of showcasing how one-sided her relationship and friendship really was. And I did love the fact that Rachel wasn't a doormat just waiting to be walked on again by her so-called friend. I do wish though that Rachel had realized that being single was more than okay. We get to see her do just two dates in this one and I wanted more of her having funny dates or out there dates with men. 


Amber's story was very good too. There is a sub-plot about her father that actually kind of worked in the overall story. Amber realizing that she is in love with Jack was nice to read about. And I loved that she didn't try to do anything to wreck his relationship. I hate young adult or new adult books that show two people emotionally cheating or one of the main characters trying to do their best to wedge in between the two people who are dating. Ziepe does a good job of showing Jack's picture perfect fiancee and how initially Amber couldn't find fault with her.


Grace's story annoyed me for some reason. I think it's because she acknowledges things in their marriage got hard when they tried for a baby and failed and doesn't see that maybe that's what is going on underneath things. I also am never on the side of passive aggressive characters which is what it sounded like Grace was at times. I do wish that Ziepe had shown her family's reaction more to her being separated from Simon. That didn't ring true to me at all that she would just be moving in Rachel and not a peep from her sister or other relatives about it.


I did love that all three women worked together which allows them to be in more scenes together. Also all of them do make-up and we get to read about how Grace does extra work at weddings. I was pretty curious about what the other two women did too. Amber seems to be a I will do this job until I get bored person. 


The writing was good though I wish the book was longer. Ziepe could have added even more character development to this book by including in characters that are spoken of and never seen such as Grace's family. We get lots of Rachel and Amber's family and other important people in their lives. Grace seems to only have Rachel, Amber, and her estranged husband. Also as I said above, it would have been nice to see Rachel go on even more dates before her HEA that came. 


The flow was good and Ziepe manages to balances all of the stories. I just felt somewhat bored by Grace's after it becomes apparent where Ziepe is going with it.


The ending was very sweet and I liked that all three women got what they needed and all got a HEA. 


Reading progress update: I've read 20 out of 720 pages.

Sleeping Beauties: A Novel - Stephen King, Owen King

This book has a page and a half character list. What have I done? 


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Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

'Tis The Season to Be Single - Laura Ziepe

Cute story. Could have been longer and I thought the whole subplot with Grace and Simon was a bit of a non-starter, but loved Amber and Rachel's plots.


Grace feels as if her husband doesn't see her anymore and finally asks for a separation. She quickly finds out being single isn't exactly what she needs or wants.


Rachel instead of getting engaged for Christmas gets dumped for her best friend. This was a messy sub-plot and I really liked it especially because Ziepe touches a bit on toxic friendships too. I don't know if I liked how Rachel's plot resolved itself though. I am calling her story a HFN instead of a HEA because I didn't really like how her love interest went about things.


I really enjoyed Amber's dawning realization she was in love with her long time best friend Jack. Think "My Best Friend's Wedding" but she's not shitty like Julia Robert's character was. 


The writing was good, I think it could have been tighter in places. The pact was a non-starter (they are all too old to make single pacts) though I like how Ziepe made it not really a thing in the end. The flow was also good though the story revolved around three characters. I think Ziepe making them co-workers was smart since the three women did have lots of scenes together. 


I can see reading this around the holidays to get you in the Christmas mood.

Reading progress update: I've read 20%.

The Gilded Wolves - Roshani Chokshi

So I thought I would never say this, but I am not enjoying this. This may end up a DNF. There is too much going on and we keep getting hit with information bombs throughout this. And there are so many characters and they all have unique abilities due to something called Forging. I am going to stick with it for a bit since I have loved her other works, but this seems like way too much information being thrown at readers with very little character development which makes me sad.


The book is going for a steampunk vibe taking place in the late nineteenth century Paris. I am usually down for that, but with the weird subplots for some characters, and I guess the main plot of Severin trying to get back his house's ring, I just find my mind wandering. And I don't want to smack Chokshi down for include diverse characters, but after a while it felt a bit forced. 


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Peter's Adventure Continues

Lies Sleeping - Ben Aaronovitch

So this was okay, I just thought that parts of the book didn't land. Lesley has always seemed jealous and angry to me and I am honestly sick of the whole thing with her and The Faceless Man. Parts of the book dragged though to me. When Peter is captured (I swear this happened in another book) you just want the story to get moving because you are tired of him being shown as being a moron when it comes to Lesley. Maybe I am too murderous because I would have dusted her by now.


"Lies Sleeping" is the 7th book in the Rivers of London series. We have Peter growing stronger by the day and happily in love with Bev (one of the rivers). This seems to be the book that is going to be the ultimate showdown between Peter, Nightingale, and the Faceless Man based on the beginning part of the book which shows us an excerpt that is part of an operation. 

I do love Peter, but boy oh boy he needs to start being developed a bit more and not just rushing headlong into stupid things. Most of this book felt like he was talking at people more than being on the defensive since he gets captured and keeps thinking that he can turn Lesley from the dark side or whatever trip she is on.

Not enough Nightingale for me (per usual) in the longer novels. I enjoyed the bits we got with him in "The Furthest Station". I really wish we could finally get more of his backstory, or have him give Lesley a smackdown. 


Chorley seems very stupid in this one. I seriously laughed at one point when he fell for Peter's throaway comment and got punched. He doesn't seem like a big bad and one wonders why Lesley is dumb enough to follow this guy.


Lesley is and continues to be the worst. 


The writing dragged in places. I love that Aaronovitch includes history, science, etc. when we have Peter recounting his story, but at times it takes you out of things. I also think the flow was not that good from beginning to end. I found myself bored at times while reading this and didn't find things exciting again until Peter confronts Chorley and Lesley. 


The book ends on a different note than I was expecting. I don't know how I feel about it though because it seems as if Peter is at a crossroads personally and professionally. 

Not Every Essay Resonated

Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture - Roxane Azimi

I feel like a bad person for not totally loving this book. It was just hard to get through and some of the stories didn't really move me one way or the other. I ended up just feeling sad while reading and finally finishing this book off with some wine. I think also that looking at rape culture is a huge undertaking, and so the stories could have flowed a bit better between them to the next story. Also I wish that things were not left vague in a few stories. A few times I went wait what happened when we had someone recounting their story. 


Fragments by Aubrey Hirsch (4 stars)-the story begins when she is being harassed for taking birth control by her supposed friend James. Apparently birth control equals putting out a certain signal (blech). Hirsch begins telling stories about her time in college and the one disturbing story is about how after a night of drinking too much she woke up in a friend's room (where he put her to keep her safe) and took out her contacts while she was unconscious. I full body shuddered. 


Slaughterhouse Island by Jill Christman (5 stars)-Christman tells what sounds like a typical college story (which makes me sad). A young girl meets a guy she feels meh towards, but still keeps hanging out with and one night things get ugly and he rapes her. She sees him again because part of you hopes for a different outcome. Nope, the outcome the second time is him attempting to rape her. At this point I put the book down and went to the gym to work out.


& The Truth Is, I Have No Story by Claire Schwartz (2 stars)-This one was so weird after reading Slaughterhouse Island. We have Schwartz telling her about everything "after" which I assumed to be her rape. I just found the whole essay to be more spoken poetry and it just jumped around a lot. Which I imagine was done to show how confused and separate a person feels after being raped. 


The Luckiest MILF in Brooklyn by Lynn Melnick (1 star)-I loathe the word MILF and this story was about catcall culture which is still a form of rape culture. I don't know. This one seemed off to me in a way. Melnick tells how she started giving blowjobs for attention and was led to believe that her body was her only thing to offer the world. At the end of the essay I don't know if she doesn't get that is not all she has to offer. 


Spectator by Brandon Taylor (3 stars)-this was hard to read. Recounting memories of their rapist (who was also their uncle). The story flits around a bit though with Taylor remembering their mother who also died and seems to segue into how Taylor is judgey towards his brother who is judgey towards them. 


The Sun by Emma Smith-Stevens (5 stars)-Stevens recounts tales of being objectified at an early age (13) by older men her whole life. And then the story gets even scarier if possible when she tells how she got invited to a party with 5 other teen boys (she was the only girl) while they watched porn. She chose one in order to not be raped by all and was called "whore" and "slut" at school. I think at this point I took another break from the book.


Sixty-Three Days by AJ McKenna (3.5 stars)-I was confused by the timeline in this one which took me out of the story. I felt for McKenna and loved the essay overall. I just couldn't understand when the person this essay was written for was in McKenna's life and also the other people who were named after. 


Only the Lonely by Lisa Mecham (2 stars)-This was confusing. A woman at a Yankee swap gets a vibrator and somehow it signifies something about her marriage. I don't know. I was just left confused.


What I Told Myself by Vanessa Martir (4.5 stars)-A hard story to read. Martir ties in her mother's own history of rape with her history of rape which happened when she was 6 years old. I just hated how everyone kept telling her that what happened to her wasn't as bad as what happened to her mother. I just died a little inside while reading this essay.


Stasis by Ally Sheedy (5 stars)-Yup that Ally Sheedy. Sheedy talks about being a young actress in Hollywood and being told she was "fat." I grew up watching Sheedy in films, I am gobsmacked that a director would even think this. She recounts discussions with other young actresses who got typecast and told to lose weight, be more sexy, or told they were not seen as sexually desirable. 


The Ways We Are Taught to Be a Girl by xTx (5 stars)-a girl's friend lures her (she won't say it, I will) to be forced to be alone with her and her brothers and how they kissed their sister with their tongues and told her to do it too. And the story is the first lesson on how to be a girl. How to keep things inside, to not tell everything horrible thing that happens to you because you don't want to be blamed (you still will be blamed by some though). There are five more lessons xTx imparts.


Floccinaucinihilipilification by So Mayer (5 stars)-How you survive being raped. Mayer's rapist was her father. 


Rape was where my rebellion started. His small sense that--small as I was, an infant--I needed to be controlled was my hint that I had power that had to be curtailed.


The Life Ruiner by Nora Salem (3 stars)-Salem recounting being raped when she was 8 by a 18 year old boy who lived with her and her family. Salem's family was doing with the death of her brother and she didn't want to break her family apart by telling them what was done to her. This one didn't grab me as much as the story before it which is why I gave it 3 stars. I do think it would have worked better if this one was up front and the stronger stories anchored the ending. 


All the Angry Women by Lyz Lenz (3 stars)-Lenz discussing what I think is a rape survivor's group. She dances around it. I thought some of the comparisons she made about how women are not allowed to be angry but men in the NFL who are abusers are let back in was an off comparison. Just state flat out women are not allowed to be angry. Shoot, I am a black woman and can't even show a grimace without being told I am being an angry black woman. It's been that way my whole life. 


Good Girls by Amy Jo Burns (4 stars)-

The truth no one told you is that, in order for a good girl to survive, she make some things disappear. You know because you used to be one of the good girls; you used to know how to forget.


Utmost Resistance by V.L. Seek (2.5 stars)-there are a lot of foonotes and quotes in this. I think Seek was trying to show this as a case of law, but it didn't work for me.


Bodies Against Borders by Michelle Chen (3 stars)-This reads as a scientific article more than an essay. Chen goes into violence against women worldwide and it definitely made me sad. 


What We Didn't Say by Liz Rosema (5 stars)-This was in comic strip form and I really loved it. This was my favorite essay in this collection. 


I Said Yes by Anthony Frame (5 stars)-Terrible story (all of them are honestly) of a man recounting when he was raped by his friend's father. I think the part that will grab at you is that his wife realizes he was raped when she sat and watched their wedding video which showed the change in his eyes after he got older. Then Frame recounts how he was raped and then the toxic masculinity he experienced as he got older in school and college.


Knowing Better by Samhita Mukhopadhyay (2.5 stars)-I have never heard of Mukhopadhyay who apparently wrote a book about love and dating. This one was pretty short so it didn't stay with me when I finished it. 


Not That Loud by Miriam Zoila Perez (2 stars)-I thought this one was pretty lackluster too after reading Knowing Better.


Why I Stopped by Zoe Medeiros (4 stars)-Why a rape survivor finally stopped telling people why she was raped.


Picture Perfect by Sharisse Tracey (5 stars)- A woman relaying how her black family wanted to be perfect, but ignored what Tracey's father was doing to her. Starting off from a photo shoot that becomes sexualized to physical rape later is hard to read. The whole story is pretty heart wrenching. Tracey tells her mother, who does believe her, but her father stays. Also there is some BS about a counselor coworker of her father's who tells her mother that if he leaves it will damage the family. I hope that counselor is somewhere sitting on sharp tack. This is in my opinion, one of the second strongest stories in this collection.


To Get Out from Under it by Stacey May Fowles (5 stars)-Recounting the many times she said no while raped. Fowles does a good job of showcasing the many sides to being raped. Telling yourself that what happened wasn't that bad. Then Fowles recounts the many questions that are asked.


Did you know him? Did you invite him in? Did you go willingly? Did he hurt you? Did he have a weapon? Did he force you? Did you wear something that provoked him? Did you want to have sex with him? Did you cook him dinner beforehand? Did you put on makeup? Did you tell him you liked him? Did you tell him you loved him? Do you regret anything you did that night? 

How bad was it really?


Reaping What Rape Culture Sows by Elisabeth Fairfield Stokes (5 stars)-Weirdly Stokes telling us when she first was told about rape was when I also heard about it too. Watching Little House on the Prairie and seeing the Sylvia episodes. And then the sadness when Stokes takes her father's definition of rape and doesn't understand that it's not the only way to assault and harm a woman. Stokes blames herself after she is raped anyway because she had been drinking and hurt her left making herself vulnerable. The whole essay just like the two preceding it was very strong. 


Invisible Light Waves by Meredith Talusan (3.5 stars)-pretty short and I honestly didn't feel as engrossed in this one as I should have.


Getting Home by Nicole Boyce (3 stars)-This jumps around and doesn't really land in the end for me.


Why I Didn't Say No by Elissa Bassist (3.5 stars)-Bassist recounting the many ways in which she didn't say no while she was raped. I think the main reason why I didn't rate this one higher was because it was kind of a stream of consciousness thing that didn't work for me. 

A Nice Peek at Peter & Nightingale

The Furthest Station - Ben Aaronovitch

Well this was a nice look into Peter and Nightingale that for once did not involve The Faceless Man or Lesley. There is still something hovering over this book though that makes me think they may be trying to turn or did turn another character to their side and that's getting a bit old to me. We do have Bev appearing in this one, but not center stage. We actually have Peter investigating mostly and worrying about his cousin Abigail who keeps pushing to learn magic. 


"The Furthest Station" has Peter investigating when people start calling in about ghosts attacking them while traversing London's underground. Of course many of the people seem to forget what they report minutes/hours later. And though many people would dismiss it, Peter knows that ghosts are weird and starts looking into things with his cousin Abigail and Nightingale. We also have the character of Jaget Kumar in this one who is there to call Peter when anything weird AKA a Folly matter is brought into his purview. There's a side plot about another river god (seriously how many river gods and goddesses are there?) that just tacked onto me which is why I gave this four stars. 


Peter seems more centered in this one and self-assured. He knows what he is doing and I love his "voice" in these books. He is always thinking of how to make things better and keep people from harm. Why he is so worried about Abigail becoming involved with magic. I also loved his thoughts about what happens after death. I do wish we had gotten some scenes with his parents. His mother is one of my favorite characters. 


Nightingale shows up a lot more in this one which I was happy about. 


The overall mystery was very intriguing and I loved the writing in this one. The flow tends to be up and down in these for me. Sometimes the book can be cooking along and others times I feel like I just read something that added nothing to the story. It just feels like Aaronovitch via Peter likes to flood readers with history, science, and pop culture every few sentences and I just want him to tell the story and get on with it. 

I thought the ending was a bit sad (not for Peter) but for the realization behind what caused the ghosts and where do they go after. 


One thing I have to say since this was a library book was that this was signed by Ben Aaronovitch! It had the number and let you know what print it was from too. I told myselt not to steal a library book and thought about just getting this series into my permanent collection. 

Not Worth the Price

The Wedding Shop on Wexley Street - Rachel Dove

So I have been more diligent about reading samples before buying a book. I also need to start checking the book length. This one was just a little over 200 pages. 200 pages is not long enough to resolve some of the many messy plots in this book. Everything felt rushed. It didn't help that the author decided to have things magically get resolved because of love or something. I relayed the plot to a friend last night and she was the one who called it the Jerry Springer show. She's not wrong. Disappointed because the cover and premise sounded cute and I hoped I found another read to read that wouldn't bankrupt my purse.


"The Wedding Shop on Wexley Street" is about wedding planner Maria Mallory. Maria is apparently the go to wedding planner in Westfield. That is until she is left at the altar by her rich and famous fiancee Darcy Burgess. Moving in with her best friend Cassie, Maria is trying to keep her business from folding after many people start to avoid Maria and her business. The book follows Maria, Cassie, their love interests, and even Darcy. 


Maria wasn't my cup of tea. I thought the situation she got herself into was up there when I used to watch Days of Our Lives and Marlena somehow was pregnant or possessed by the devil. I hated that Dove just didn't have Maria and Darcy actually talk. The whole freaking book is people telling Darcy to stay away from Maria and not let them talk about why he left her at the altar. I was so annoyed. It didn't help that Dove hints at the real reasons why Darcy did it and why he feels bad and it gets completed brushed away because you are supposed to be rooting for another love interest. It just left a huge plot hole in the story. Darcy bad, Maria good, is not that interesting to read about. Dove doesn't even go into how Maria and Darcy met. Marcy can't apparently do anything (and I mean eat, take care of herself) without someone rushing to her rescue. It got old after a while. 


Cassie was much more interesting. A very good attorney who is reluctant to date anyone long term, she meets a guy (Tucker) who isn't going away no matter how many times she pushes him. Cassie is of course worried about her best friend and is doing what she can to keep Darcy away from Maria. 


Dove made a mistake IMHO when she included Darcy, James, and Tucker's POV's in this. There's another character too, Mark, but I don't want to get into spoilers. The whole book was just too many people and I started to get irritated with us taking segues into another characters it felt like every 5 pages. Jill Mansell can juggle multiple people, a main storyline (couple) and side characters very well. I compared this to the last Mansell book i read and felt like this was lacking in every way. 


The writing wasn't that great either. I think because Dove has you just jump into the wedding day, leaving at the altar, and Maria going out with Cassie and trying to run her business that you don't get a chance to just settle in. She also leaves out characters like Darcy's mother, father, and sister (you hear about them via Darcy, but no scenes) that would have made the story a lot more believable. I already said that Dove made a mistake by just having Maria avoid Darcy the whole book. There had to be something lovable about him and Dove should have shown that. 


The flow was bad from beginning to end. Dove just skipped whole months to get to the ending that she apparently wrote first before writing the beginning of the book. 

The epilogue actually made me laugh. If only we could all be so well-adjusted (eyeroll). 


This is true though.
This is true though.

Seriously though. 

Reading progress update: I've read 150 out of 320 pages.

Lies Sleeping - Ben Aaronovitch

Not going to lie. This one isn't moving me as much as the other books. At least Peter seems to have a plan to track down Faceless Man II and Lesley. I just wish they get on with it. There just seems to be a lot of filler going on. 

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

The Wedding Shop on Wexley Street - Rachel Dove

This was a Jerry Springer show via book. The book was too short to develop anyone. The whole plot point with Maria was dumb. I had no idea why it was even included. You already had her in a love triangle thing and this turned it into a rectangle that no one asked.

It didn't help that Dove thought it would be a good idea to give every character (almost) their own third person POV. It didn't work and nothing held together.

It was only 208 pages long so at least I didn't waste that much time on this. Still just annoyed that the sample didn't show me the flaws that were coming down the pike with this one. 


Hard pass.

Been listening to this on repeat as I ran errands. If you don't think I was dancing in my car, you don't know me. 

Reading progress update: I've read 144 out of 144 pages.

The Furthest Station - Ben Aaronovitch

A nice little peek into Peter and Nightingale. Other than that, it didn't grab me as much as the longer stories do. We have Peter investigating ghosts and coming across what appears to be a lot of ghosts who appear and then dissolve.


Peter is still troubled about teaching his cousin Abigail any magic and I did crack up about Nightingale not being bothered by it. I have to say though, it appears that Abigail may be on the bad guy's side (the Faceless Man) or working with Peter's ex-partner and friend. I am tired of Peter and Nightingale being stupid when it appears someone is up to no good. 


We also have another river god appearing and at this point, London seems lousy with river gods.