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oblue

Obsidian Blue

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

Currently reading

Tyler Johnson Was Here
Jay Coles
The Wedding Date
Jasmine Guillory
Dread Nation
Justina Ireland
Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life
Laura Thompson
Red Clocks: A Novel
Leni Zumas
The Astonishing Color of After
Emily X.R. Pan
Progress: 13 %
The Seven Dials Mystery
Agatha Christie

Reading progress update: I've read 35%.

Head On - John Scalzi

Managed to get a good ways with this one. So good. Love the banter with Vann and now the title of "Head On" makes sense based on what this book is about. We have a sport that just Hadens play that has caused one of them to mysteriously die. Vann and Chris are looking into the case and it already has a lot of twists.

When All Your Holds at the Library Pop up at the Same Time

Image result for too many books ecard

Reading progress update: I've read 45%.

The Worried Man - Lisa M. Lilly

Trying to finish this, but it's hard. I am only able to read it via my Kindle app on my cell and it's slow going.

 

Interesting still, but getting a bit repetitive. We have Quille still trying to investigate what happened to her boyfriend Marco. I am just finding myself a bit bored here and there.

Great Prequel to The Star-Touched Queen

Death and Night - Roshani Chokshi

Not too much to say here besides how much I loved the beginning to Death and Night or how we know them, Amar and Maya.

 

We read about both of these characters in "The Star-Touched Queen" but we get to read about how they met, how Death courted Night, and how she loved him. We know what will happen next (I read the first full book and only came back to read this prequel now) but it was great to read about how they came to love one another prior to Night choosing to leave him in order to be re-born. 

 

Death is cursed to fall in love with a woman who will leave him. So he decides to just marry, but now love his wife. Until he meets Night and knows that she is the right person for him. They have a great dynamic that consists of challenging each other as well as realizing that the other person is truly who they want to be with.


I did like that we got some backstory on the friendship between Night and Nritti. You get to see why Night loves her so much. She's one of the few who is not afraid of Night. 

 

I also loved how we got to see how playful Gupta was with Death. I maybe laughed at him trying to teach Death how to properly court. 

 

The writing was lyrical and made me laugh at times. You can easily see why Death and Night fell for each other. 

 

"We turned our gaze to the heavens and waited. There was beauty in the night, if you chose to see it. Some did. Some didn’t. For some, night was the time of dreams and rest, of balance reasserting itself. For others, the hours crowded between dusk and dawn belonged to the ghosts. I knew what they feared: the uncertainty of nighttime, the lightlessness of those hours that were not the black comfort of sleep but the shadows at the bottom of a monster’s throat. I glanced at my reflection and saw their fear staring right at me. Why could I not be dreams and nightmares both?"

 

“That I think she would make an excellent consort. I want a companion. She wants recognition. It’s a victory for us both and sound reasoning too.” I started walking toward the door when Gupta jogged up to me. “That will be your opening statement? You need to make a good impression. Bees are drawn to flowers, not rocks, for a reason. And that is a ridiculous number of assumptions about someone you don’t even know.”


We get to see how things go in the Night Bazaar which was fun to follow-up with as a setting in this book.  

 

Not too much more to say since this is a novella, but definitely a welcome addition to "The Star Touched Queen" series. 

Officially Over Thrillers With Terrible People-You Cannot Achieve Gone Girl Status! Stop it!

You Were Made for This - Michelle Sacks

Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not impact my rating or review.

 

Huge sigh. This book was a mess. At first I was momentarily intrigued because the book seemed to be setting up things with the husband in this story (Sam) to be sinister. All of his rules for mothers/wives seemed to be playing that way. But then you get further into the book, and when Merry's "best friend" Frank comes to visit, the book just goes freaking dark. I just needed something to break up this mess. There was nothing redeeming about a single character. You don't even get a semblance of characters getting their just desserts. Instead you know that it seems that the cycle will continue again in maybe 10 or 20 years. This book gets one star for taking place in Sweden. That's about it. 

 

"You Were Made for This" is about a husband and wife (Sam and Merry) who move to Sweden to live in a house that is left to Sam. There are some allusions to something happening that caused the family to move. But you never get the full details. Just other characters blurting out things later on dozens of pages later. 


Sam is happy in Sweden, but struggling to make ends meet. He used to be a professor at a university in New York. And now is trying to be a filmmaker. 


Merry used to be a set decorator (that sounded cool and wish we had gotten more details about) but is now a full time mother to her son Conor. Merry is not feeling seen anymore as a stay at home mother. Instead she is trying to follow the rules for motherhood that Sam seems to think she needs to do (which includes making homemade baby food and scrubbing the whole house with organic ingredients). Merry I was initially sympathetic to, but Sacks blows that away pretty quickly when you find out about the darkness in Merry. Merry is dreading, but also wants her best friend Frances (known as Frank) to come visit.

 

Frank and Merry have a toxic friendship. There is no other word for it. I just could not with Frank once you saw everything she had done in the past, and what she currently did in this book. Her talking about being the only one to "see" Merry was just head shaking to me. 

 

Merry wants to show off for Frank to show her "that she's won" and Frank is not worth as much since she's not married and has no children. That could have been an interesting dynamic with two women who chose two different paths. Heck even show the dark side of motherhood and talk about post par-tum depression. Instead we don't get that at all.

 

Sam is obviously awful, you don't really get why Merry wants to be with him. You do get why he wants to be with her though. He has someone to mold into whatever he wants. There are some hints there that something dark happened to Sam. Once again though, you don't know since the author doesn't like to spell things out. I for one got really tired of people talking past things. 

The secondary characters that we get (there are barely any) don't figure into this book at all really. We have Merry and Sam's closest neighbors who are there merely to move the plot along. 

 

I really didn't like the writing. The multiple POVs with Merry, Sam, and Frank didn't help. They all started to sound the same after a while (psychopaths with the need for instant gratification). And the book started to feel endless after a while along with being repetitive. 

 

The setting of Sweden was the only reason why I gave this book a star. I was intrigued about the location, the mention of the lakes, the ability to be truly alone if you want to be in the place that Merry and Sam lived. 


The ending was a mess. I think that Sacks should have changed the ending. It felt like such a waste to me to have to wade through this book for no reason in my opinion. I think she was going for a Gone Girl twist, but it didn't work. I just sighed really loudly at this point because you are given enough context clues that it seems the cycle would just continue for all parties. 

That's a No From Me

Rush - Lisa Patton

Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. That did not impact my rating or review. 

 

First off, this book promised to be laugh out loud funny, it wasn't. I guess in 2018 I don't find racist white people (even if fictional) hilarious. It also talks about exploring the relationships between mothers and daughters and friends (sure, at a very superficial level). I do think that I was officially done though when we had a black character not only bash Obamacare and claiming it made poor people poorer, but when that same character did a well both sides are at fault here when discussing racism in America. You just got the Beyonce "Boy Bye" middle finger wave from me here. "Rush" seemed like a funny send up of sorority life in America. Too bad it was not. 

 

"Rush" is mimicking "The Help". We get multiple POVs. We got a black character talking about taking care of her babies (she's only 44). We got a white character who is going to do what she can to make things better not only for the woman she has supposedly grown close to after speaking to her I think twice at this point in the book, but for all of the staff (the help) that work at the sorority. We also have another character who is foolish as the day as long. 


"Rush" starts off with Miss Pearl talking about her babies and taking care of the girls of Alpha Delta Beta for 25 years. Miss Pearl is going nowhere fast. She works the sorority, but does not get paid during the summer when the school/sorority is closed, and is struggling to make ends meet. When a possible promotion arises to House Mother, Miss Pearl is encouraged by her aunt (who is also a cook at the sorority) but the current House Mother as well. 

 

The second POV comes from Wilda. She's nervous about her daughter going to Ole Miss since that means she is now officially an empty-nester. When an opportunity comes up that will allow her to keep an eye on her daughter and also volunteer for Alpha Delta Beta she jumps at the chance. 

 

Cali Watkins is struggling to fit in at Ole Miss. She has a secret she is hiding from not only her roommate (Jasmine) but also her new best friend Ellie (Wilda's mother). 


The three POVs did not work together very well at all.

 

Miss Pearl's voice was way too subservient to me. Even when she was having problems with a fellow worker, she just seemed way too passive. There is even a scene where one of her "babies" touches her hair without permission and instead of telling her not to touch her hair, goes to herself, well some of these girls parents didn't teach them manners (eyeroll). I also really really hated this character talking about racism and giving one of the secondary characters (Lilith Whitmore) a free pass for her racism and outright hatred towards her at the end of this book. You can't be forgiven for something if I don't really think you even absorb what you did. The book fast forwards to two weeks later so I guess that's enough time for people to just not be racist anymore. 

 

I was bored by Cali's POV from beginning to end. Her supposed close relationship to Miss Pearl didn't even work since they don't meet until around the 60 percent mark. Cali saying she felt close to Miss Pearl on bid day just didn't ring true. You all talked for maybe 10 minutes. When Cali and Ellie decide to fight Lilith Whitmore the book just didn't ring true at all. I have not been part of a sorority. I was chased after during my undergraduate years to join, but I was not in the mood to be part of something where the majority of the sororities were predominantly white. Even girls who joined who were African American were very very light skinned. This was all back in 1997 by the way. So though I have not been part of the Greek life as they say. I have a hard time with the way the events in this book are portrayed. I don't want to spoil things for potential readers, but a few times I went, yeah sure that doesn't make any sense at all, but whatever. 

 

Wilda's POV should have been in a separate book. Frankly I was more interested in her POV. Dealing with two sons who are grown living their separate lives. She has her youngest daughter at Ole Miss. However, she gets caught up with keeping up with the Jones's and agrees to have her daughter room with Lilith Whitmore's daughter. That is the beginning of a disaster of her own making. When it comes up that the girls should split the cost of a dorm room decorator (yeah I was nonplussed myself) Wilda goes behind her husband's back to make sure he has no idea what she has done. Wilda has some backbone here and there. She actually calls out Lilith's racism to her face, but she still like all other characters in this book were so passive. 


The secondary characters were not developed very well. We have uber racist Lilith Whitmore who does remind me of so many white people I have met in my life. When she tries to explain later about why she is the way she is I rolled my eyes a thousand times. Go kick rocks.


Wilda's daughter Ellie would have been a better POV or at least a better additional POV. I really didn't get much a sense from her besides she really liked Cali, and could not stand rooming with Lilith's daughter (Annie Laurie). Speaking of Annie Laurie, she was just nasty for nasty sake and once again got a redemption that was not deserved at all. 


I will say that Wilda's husband was interesting and they seemed like a pretty happy couple. I wish that we had seen more fall-out discussion between them after all the secrets Wilda was hiding comes out. 

 

The writing was okay. I can at least say you will definitely know the characters voices are separate. I just didn't care for all of the characters. I also thought the flow was up and down too much. We would have Cali talking to Miss Pearl and then the book would jump to the next chapter that was still Cali's POV. The POVs I don't think were evenly distributed. I can't tell in my ARC version very well, so will say that it seems that Wilda and Cali got more POVs than Miss Pearl did.  

 

This book takes place in 2016 and I love that the author does not only mention the Presidential election, but manages to get some digs at Obama in there. Taking place at Ole Miss, which is obviously in Mississippi just about killed me. I guess we are not going to talk about the atrocities that have occurred in that state. That state had the murder of James Craig Anderson in 2011 by a group of white teenagers. But you go ahead and tell me how black people need to let go of things that have happened in the "past" and move forward instead of blaming white people. 


The ending was more white savior nonsense. I just couldn't even get spun up about it at this point. Was glad to be done with this book. 

Reading progress update: I've read 27%.

The Worried Man - Lisa M. Lilly

Provided this book by the author for an honest review. At 27 percent the book is holding my interest. Not going to lie though, don't get why Quille (otherwise known as QC) was even in love with Marco. There was no there there for me. Once you find out about his past (recovering alcoholic who left his ex in debt and ruining his medical career) I don't see what the attraction was. Quille is now looking into whether Marco could have committed suicide or is something else going on. 

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

You Were Made for This - Michelle Sacks

A book about terrible people doing terrible things to each other. 

Reading progress update: I've read 40%.

You Were Made for This - Michelle Sacks

Everyone is terrible. The husband (Sam) the wife (Merry) and her supposed best friend (Frank). With friends like these, who needs enemies.

Reading progress update: I've read 27%.

You Were Made for This - Michelle Sacks

Good grief the wife is just as bad. Literally thought of her best friend as peasant stock and talking about keeping her in her place when she visits.

 

I'm wondering how the wife hasn't murdered hubby yet though?

 

Reading progress update: I've read 7%.

You Were Made for This - Michelle Sacks

Yikes. This couple sounds broken. Moved to Sweden where the wife (Merry) has turned herself into a domestic goddess that makes homemade baby food, scrubs the grout with homemade grout cleaner, etc. Sam seemed to do something to get dismissed from his academic career in New York.

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

Rush - Lisa Patton

I was officially over this book when the black character, Miss Pearl, said that there's been hurt on both sides between black people and white people and black people can't keep blaming white people for all their troubles. And forgives someone cause they must have learned racism from their family.  This book was white feminism to the 10th power.

Reading progress update: I've read 29%.

Rush - Lisa Patton

Eh still not feeling this. Besides the housemaid, we have POVs from one of the mom's and now a girl that wants to rush. There's also been some well you know how black people are comments from characters too.

 

I cleaned the house, ran errands, and soaked up the sun today. Ate a not great pulled pork sandwich in Del Ray and came home and cleaned my upper deck. It's supposed to rain tomorrow though. Next weekend is my vacation to Seattle and Portland. I cannot wait!

Reading progress update: I've read 10%.

Rush - Lisa Patton

Not really feeling this one. So far reading about the black workers at an almost white girl sorority in Mississippi. The first character we follow is Mama Pearl who cleans the house who all the girls and mothers run to. She doesn't seem to much money but enthuses about her babies. Please don't let this be like The Help.

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

Death and Night - Roshani Chokshi

Wonderful!

Reading progress update: I've read 36%.

Death and Night - Roshani Chokshi

Yeah happy to be back here reading about Night and Death.

 

“I am rarely a guest. Merely an inevitable occurrence.” Her husband did not stir in her arms. His breath had grown soft. While the woman had kept her eyes trained on me, I had taken away his pain, siphoned it bit by bit. I was in a generous mood. “You have come for him.” “As I will for you, one day. I could tell you the hour, if you wish it.” “No.”

 

Yeah I am good Death.

 

"He may not even come back as a human. Believe me. I’ve remade emperors into cockroaches and cockroaches into kings. You seem like a reasonably intelligent woman. Would you truly like to keep house for a bug?"

 

....damn. That's a no from me.

 

"We turned our gaze to the heavens and waited. There was beauty in the night, if you chose to see it. Some did. Some didn’t. For some, night was the time of dreams and rest, of balance reasserting itself. For others, the hours crowded between dusk and dawn belonged to the ghosts. I knew what they feared: the uncertainty of nighttime, the lightlessness of those hours that were not the black comfort of sleep but the shadows at the bottom of a monster’s throat. I glanced at my reflection and saw their fear staring right at me. Why could I not be dreams and nightmares both?"