Books

Book 581: The Jane Austen Book Club – Karen Joy Fowler

The last time I read this a good friend loaned it to me and we were still living in the dorms in undergrad! (So a really long time ago.) I don’t even know where this copy came from that I picked up, but it was a pleasure to revisit. I can’t believe it’s been FOUR YEARS basically since my friends and I did our own JABC.

Re-reading this was like visiting an old friend. They made a pretty true-to-the-book film adaptation in 2007 (IMDb link) that makes it feel like it hasn’t been almost a decade-and-a-half since I last read this.

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Books

Book 580: Freak Show – James St. James

Wow – there’s a lot to take in from this book and I’m glad I read it even though it definitely took me for a bit of a spin. And even though it took a while for me to get used to the writing, the characters, and the flamboyancy, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Unlike other young adult LGBT+ novels—emphasis on “G” (Out of the Pocket, Autoboyography, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Geography ClubBoy Meets Boy, Two Boys Kissing, etc.), this book has a character who doesn’t happen to be gay, who isn’t some jock that likes guys. Billy Boyd is loud and proud, even if he doesn’t quite know how to define himself just yet.

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Books

Book 579: Geography Club (Russel Middlebrook #1) – Brent Hartinger

This book is definitely a bit dated, but still worth the read. Basically if this book and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli were merged it’d be perfect. And really, to be fair, Simon is an updated version of this down to the meeting online and ultimately meeting in person.

I think this book hit me a little stronger than Simon because it was written back when I was just finishing high school and I could relate to so much of it more so than the tech heavy (hello school Tumblr) “reboot” of the story. I mean chatrooms? YES! I remember going to the public library with my best friend after school so we could use the computers to chat with strangers online. It was crazy.

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Books

Book 553: Dear Mr. Knightley – Katherine Reay

"Dear Mr. Knightley" book cover artThis book is what I was worried of when I found out these were categorized under clean romance and Christian fiction. It could’ve been A LOT worse, but it was just enough to start to put me off toward the end of the novel. That being said, I know there’s a HUGE market for both clean romance AND Christina fiction, so I can’t really fault it too much because it was just a little too preachy for me at some points. I’ll talk more about this later.

I’m still not sure where to categorize this for my own references. I think they’d be more accurately described as inspired by Austen rather than the traditional fan-fiction/fanfiction. Reay does a great job weaving in the stories and characters from Austen’s works but doesn’t necessarily use them as frameworks or even plot outlines. I’ll read the other’s books in her oeuvre that are Austen/Brontë connected because they’re such quick reads, but I’m not sure I’ll follow her into the future.

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Books

Book 551: The Austen Escape – Katherine Reay

I picked this up at the library after reading about it on Jane’s blog greenish bookshelf, and wasn’t sure what to expect. I do occasionally like a clean romance, but let’s face it I also enjoy some pretty trashy and raunchy novels/works. I also wasn’t 100% sure where this would rank on the romance scale with it often being categorized as Christina Fiction, but I did ultimately enjoy the book. I have also complained multiple times about the books where characters jump right in to sex and living together and the whole book happens in two months. So basically, I don’t know what I want in a romance novel. But seriously though, coat it in Austen or Brontë, no matter how tenuous, and I’ll be happy!

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Books

Book 540: The Library at the Edge of the World (Finfarran #1) – Felicity Hayes-McCoy

It has libraries, it has Europe and it has a protagonist crotchety before their allotted time, of course I was going to love it.

I have no idea where I came across this, I’m sure it was on a blog at some point, but I requested it from my local library for my Kindle (oh hey, Overdrive), and promptly forgot I requested it. So when I got the email notification that it was ready I at first panicked (I received two others at the same time) and then got excited because, well, see the first sentence of this response.

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Books

Book 539: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (Guide #1) – Mackenzie Lee

After seeing this over and over being the darling of the book blogosphere and reading the rave reviews of it I figured I should check it out. I read a lot of LGBT literature, a lot of young adult literature, and quite a bit of adventure literature so I thought why not. And although I wasn’t completely disappointed, I was genuinely underwhelmed and for once it wasn’t the mood I was in. I’ll start with the not-so-great and finish with what I enjoyed.

I’m a finicky reader at best and have curated a pretty good system of choosing the books I read, including taking into account books that fellow bloggers who have similar tastes to me read, but this one just didn’t click for me quite like others have. I kept to my usual style of not reading anything about the author or the book after I decided I want to read it. [Generally I get excited about a book/author and purchase/reserve something by them and then I let it sit for a while so that I can clear my palate.]

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