Week In Review

April 15 – 28

Happy Sunday! I’m dealing with a slight case of the Sunday blues, because I’ve had the past week off work and it’s been lovely. My favourite kind of vacation is the one where I get to stay home, which is what I’ve done!

I’ve done a decent amount of reading, caught up on some TV shows (Supernatural; The Walking Dead; Coronation Street), and tried to catch up on sleep. So today I’m mentally preparing myself to go back out into the world and back to work tomorrow.

New books:

I received some exciting e-ARCs via Edelweiss (thank you!):

Serpent & Dove, Shelby Mahurin;

Crown of Oblivion, Julie Eshbaugh;

A Treason of Thorns, Laura E. Weymouth; and

Dangerous Alliance, Jennieke Cohen.

Books read:

I’ve finished five books since my last Week in Review post:

For Better and Worse, Margot Hunt;

Convenience Store Woman, Sayaka Murata;

Daisy Jones & the Six, Taylor Jenkins Reid;

Stolen Time, Danielle Rollins; and

The Kingdom, Jess Rothenberg.

Current reads:

I’m a little over halfway through an e-ARC of Sandhya Menon’s There’s Something About Sweetie, and I’m hoping to finish that today.

Reviews:

Wicked Saints, Emily A. Duncan;

Convenience Store Woman;

Daisy Jones & the Six; and

Stolen Time.

Well, I’m off to read some more, listen to BTS (what else), and try to enjoy what’s left of my vacation!

Stolen Time

Stolen TimeStolen Time
By Danielle Rollins
Series: Dark Stars #1
Source Received from the publisher
Published by HarperTeen on February 5, 2019

Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

four-stars

Seattle, 1913 // Dorothy is trapped. Forced into an engagement to a wealthy man just so she and her mother can live comfortably for the rest of their days, she’ll do anything to escape. Including sneaking away from her wedding and bolting into the woods to disappear.

New Seattle, 2077 // Ash is on a mission. Rescue the professor—his mentor who figured out the secret to time travel—so together they can put things right in their devastated city. But searching for one man means endless jumps through time with no guarantee of success.

When Dorothy collides with Ash, she sees it as her chance to start fresh—she’ll stow away in his plane and begin a new life wherever they land. Then she wakes up in a future that’s been ripped apart by earthquakes and floods; where vicious gangs rule the submerged city streets and a small group of intrepid travelers from across time are fighting against the odds to return things to normal. What Dorothy doesn’t know is that she could hold the key to unraveling the past—and her arrival may spell Ash’s ultimate destruction.

Danielle Rollins also writes under the name Danielle Vega, and I’ve enjoyed lots of her books, so I was looking forward to reading Stolen Time, especially because I enjoy time travel stories.

I really liked this book! It took me a little while to really get into it, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down. I loved the time travel element to this story, and I liked the way it was explained partly via the characters, and partly via the professor’s journal.

I liked the characters, especially Dorothy. She was feisty and tough, despite the restrictions placed on her by her time period. For a story about a time traveling team, though, I felt like I didn’t get to learn enough about the other characters on the team, compared to Ash and Dorothy, which made it more difficult to feel any real connection or emotional attachment to them. But I also thought that the romantic tension between her and Ash was really well done, and I loved the way everything came together in the end. I’m so eager to read the next book! This ending was such an exciting cliffhanger!

I really enjoyed Stolen Time. It was a great YA time travel story, so if that’s your thing, you’ve got to read this!

four-stars

Daisy Jones & the Six

Daisy Jones & the SixDaisy Jones and the Six
By Taylor Jenkins Reid
Source Borrowed
Published by Ballantine Books on March 5, 2019

three-half-stars

Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.

This was a book that I had heard a lot about before I read it, and while people seemed to really like it, I wasn’t sure that I was all that interested in reading it. I’ve enjoyed some other books by Taylor Jenkins Reid, but for some reason this wasn’t one that appealed to me all that much.

It was picked by my book club for our May book though, so I figured I would read it and see what everyone was loving about it. I borrowed it from someone and planned to read it over the Easter long weekend.

I’m torn, because on the one hand, this was an absorbing book. The interview format made it a quick, easy read, and I finished it in about a day and a half. On the other hand, I feel like the interview format made it hard for me to really feel invested in the characters. It was an interesting way to tell a story, and I enjoyed seeing the way people remembered events differently, and reading between the lines was kind of fun. But I don’t think I got totally used to that format, and it was a bit frustrating for me.

I’m torn between a 3.5 star and 4 star rating for this one. What’s holding me back from rating it higher is that while I recognize that the characters were recounting some devastating events, I didn’t feel like I was pulled in or emotionally invested. This was definitely an interesting, quick read, but I didn’t have any deeper attachment to it.

three-half-stars

Convenience Store Woman

Convenience Store WomanConvenience Store Woman
By Sayaka Murata, Ginny Tapley Takemori (Translator)
Source Library
Published by Grove Press on June 12, 2018

four-stars

Keiko Furukura had always been considered a strange child, and her parents always worried how she would get on in the real world, so when she takes on a job in a convenience store while at university, they are delighted for her. For her part, in the convenience store she finds a predictable world mandated by the store manual, which dictates how the workers should act and what they should say, and she copies her coworkers’ style of dress and speech patterns so that she can play the part of a normal person. However, eighteen years later, at age 36, she is still in the same job, has never had a boyfriend, and has only few friends. She feels comfortable in her life, but is aware that she is not living up to society’s expectations and causing her family to worry about her. When a similarly alienated but cynical and bitter young man comes to work in the store, he will upset Keiko’s contented stasis—but will it be for the better?

I was on the library holds list for this book for months! I’ve long forgotten where I first heard about it, but I was so intrigued by the pretty, eye-catching cover and its description.

I finally received my copy from the library (I read the book on the Libby app. I keep saying I don’t like reading on my phone, but I keep using Libby because it’s so convenient for reading on the bus, waiting at the bus stop, on my lunch hour, etc.).

This turned out to be a very quick read. It was strange but compelling, and I was drawn to Keiko. In some ways, I identified with aspects of her personality.

I really enjoyed Convenience Store Woman. It made me think, and I always love reading translated works which show me something about another person’s culture or lived experience that is different from mine.

While I think this may not be everyone’s taste I quite liked this. It was well worth the library wait. Recommended!

four-stars

Wicked Saints

Wicked SaintsWicked Saints
By Emily A. Duncan
Series: Something Dark and Holy #1
Source Received from the publisher
Published by Wednesday Books on April 2, 2019

Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

four-stars

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy.

I wanted to read Wicked Saints because it sounded like a dark YA fantasy, which I like, and the synopsis gave me Leigh Bardugo vibes (and I love her books).

I don’t know why it took me so long to get into this. I know I was trying to read some library books before they were due back, but I also just struggled to feel pulled into this story. After the first couple of chapters, though, I got so into it! Wicked Saints is definitely a dark YA fantasy, and I’m here for it! I really liked the story and the world (although the world-building and different magic systems were a bit confusing for me to follow at first). Once I understood, I thought the magic system was really interesting.

There were some exciting scenes, and I liked the romance. And I loved that the story took a surprising turn once or twice. I loved all the main characters, but I think I was most interested in Serefin’s story.

I definitely got Leigh Bardugo vibes as I read: there was a very similar dark, moody, tense atmosphere that reminded me of the way I felt reading the Six of Crows duology, so that was a definite plus for me.

Overall, I really enjoyed Wicked Saints and I’m definitely looking forward to the next book in the series. Recommended!

four-stars

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