Books

Book 610: A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) – V.E. Schwab

I picked this up after seeing it on LouLouReads’ blog. The title intrigued me and then I read the official blurb and was like okay I like this idea of parallel worlds I’ll give it a go. Thankfully, my local library had the first two and I got them the next day and the third had a very short wait list.

Like LouLouReads I agree that the book was rather one-dimensional to start. I do feel that it grew, but I’m not sure Schwab’s writing deserves the accolade touted in her bio, “the natural successor to Diana Wynne Jones.” Those are some huge shoes to fill that Shwab might be able to do some day.

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Books

Book 608: Worth Fighting For (Heart of the South #3) – Wendy Qualls

I’m going to go back on my word and say this might edge out Worth Waiting For as my favorite of the Heart of the South trilogy. As I said, I got this with a bunch of others last month when they went on sale.

Even more so than Worth Waiting For, this one seems to have more of an “agenda” (and I mean that in the least anti-politics way possible) of social acceptance. There was one line in the book that really summed it up for me: “God, was Jericho some kind of sexier, trans-friendly Mary Poppins?” (30)

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Books

Book 607: Worth Searching For (Heart of the South #2) – Wendy Qualls

I grabbed this, along with eight other romance novels Qualls wrote or co-wrote, when Amazon was having a sale in February. I enjoyed Worth Waiting For and figured why not. They’re usually pretty short, under 200 pages, and engaging enough to read pretty quickly, especially when laying in a lounge chair on a beach/boat.

Like most romance novels the connection between the two is tangential and almost a friend-of-a-friend connection. It doesn’t really bother me, except when I get 3-4 books into a longer series and then I stop and question every new minor character introduction because I’m like ohhhh is that the next one, or ohhhh is it this new person?

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Books

Book 605: Almost Like Being in Love – Steve Kluger

I knew Tim didn’t read this blog, but I didn’t realize how little he paid attention to what I read. He recommended this after I basically forced him to read Check, Please! (#Hockey! #1) and the whole time I was reading this he was worried I would think it was too corny. And I kept telling him, PLEASE, you don’t even know how much I love this shit.

Almost Like Being in Love is the story of Travis and Craig told in a modern epistolary format, including internal memos, diaries, research requests, and eventually emails. From their budding love as seniors at a boarding school to 20 years later when Travis seeks Craig out after they grew apart when they went to separate colleges on opposite coasts in the US.

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Books

Book 603: Don’t Be Cruel (#3 & #4) – Yonezou Nekota

When I returned Don’t Be Cruel (#1 & #2) to the library, I was pleasantly surprised they had this one on the shelf so I grabbed it. Sadly, it’s the last one I think the library has, but I haven’t looked at all the digital options yet.

This one was much more to my taste than the first two volumes. It was much more loving and nurturing and much less focused on blackmail and rape/sex. There were still a few blush-inducing scenes, but they were more loving and caring than in the first anthology. I was able to successfully read this without closing it and quickly putting it in my bag.

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Book 602: Don’t Be Cruel (#1 & #2) – Yonezou Nekota

Similar to Tableau Numéro 20, I found this on Grace’s Books Without Any Pictures. This one, however, is much more sexually explicit than the other. It jumps in pretty quick with hands down pants and what is basically a rape scene within the first 20-30 pages.

I’m not sure how much I liked it because of this change and the subject matter. If I’m honest, I think I prefer the non-explicit sexual tension and love that was portrayed in Tableau Numéro 20 versus this explicit blackmail. I was honestly surprised the library had this after I started reading it. It was in the general “Graphic Novels” section and not teen, so maybe that’s how they don’t get in too much trouble?

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Books

Book 599: Fence Vol. 2 (Fence #2) – C.S. Pacat, Johanna the Mad, and Joana LaFuente

Still not quite doing it for me. It’s interesting and a fun quick read, but it’s just not as good as the Bob’s Burgers comics I’ve been reading (here and here) or even the wonderful Check, Please!

For me, this series will be 100 times more powerful once it’s all released and it can be put into one compendium. The amount of time between my reading of Volume 1 and this one, and the time until Volume 3 is released will be too far.

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