Sorry it’s been so long since I posted! I’ve had camera, computer and motivation issues (the last a mental health thing, not just not feeling like it!) but the first two at least have been sorted for now, and that’s helped with the last one… Here are some books that I’ve read in the past few months that I wanted to write about, but that weren’t part of reading challenges
Magic, Murder & Mistletoe by Ellen Jane
I’ve always been interested in the idea of the fantasy and detective genres being combined in a book, and this one doesn’t only do that, but it also includes an adorable lesbian romance! I found out about it through the author’s Instagram account, which is also where I heard that there’s going to be a sequel sometime soon! It’s a really sweet, Christmassy mystery with a really interesting magic system and some very cute dogs! The only thing about it that I’m not keen on is the cover, but that’s just because I’m not personally a fan of that style of artwork… It contains a really good use of the trope ‘pet the dog’ because it not only shows that Sinead is not as aloof as she at first seems, but also shows that she and Heather are more compatible than they at first think!
Love Around The Corner by Sally Malcolm
Another sweet LGBT Christmas book! This one isn’t a mystery, but a gay retelling of The Shop Around The Corner/You’ve Got Mail with some very endearing bookiness! The two guys meet online in a Jane Austen forum, though in real life Leo (who runs a bookshop) has the impression that Alfie wouldn’t be much a reader (thanks in part to a woefully ungrammatical sign at his garage…) Obviously there are plot points that have to be hit during it (such as the looking in the window and seeing it’s the rival/enemy who is the blind date) but it also does it its own way as well. The way Alfie apologies for not admitting he knew it was Leo is so sweet, so book-nerdy and may or may not have something to do with a certain letter a certain Captain writes in Persuasion (the book they first bonded over). It’s really really sweet and I was actually a bit teary during that scene, even though I’d only expected to enjoy it well enough! If you don’t like sex scenes, however, you may want to skip a couple of chapters!
Carol/The Price Of Salt by Patricia Highsmith
And rounding out the gay festive trilogy, I finally read Carol (for the Rainbow Readers Bookclub on Instagram) and I fell so in love with Patricia Highsmith’s writing in general and this book in particular! If you’re weird in the same ways that I am, it can almost seem like cheating to pick one of your favourite books of the year from one of the last you read (no, I don’t know why it does, but it does!) but I couldn’t help it with this one as it’s so amazing!! The romance is so beautiful, and I was very glad to see that Carol was already going through a divorce at the beginning, as I would have been uncomfortable with it had she been married when she gets together with Therese! Even though it’s not a thriller, when most of the author’s other works are, you can still clearly see that that’s her genre as the air of suspense throughout the book is so vivid! When I was doing one of these ‘tell the book by the first line’ quizzes afterwards, I was able to identify another of her works just by the style! I really need to read more of her stuff, and I need to watch the film!
Danganronpa 2 Volume One
Completely different style now (though with a central mystery theme just like the first mentioned!), but I’m such a big fan, I wanted to at least mention it! This is a manga adaptation of a computer game that’s also part of a series that includes anime series as well! The second game contains my favourite characters and my favourite overall story arc so I was thrilled to discover they’d finally translated the manga into English, and thrilled to get it as one of my Christmas presents from my Girlfriend! She got me into the series, knowing my love of mysteries would make it appeal to me, though she has somewhat created a monster with this as I’m far more obsessive about it than she ever has been! What’s particularly exciting about this adaptation is that it tells the story from a different POV from the game! Incidentally, that helped me with my own Work In Progress, as I suddenly realised how much better the opening would flow if I showed it form a different character’s perspective! I may have read this all in one go on Christmas Day…
Ruin And Rising by Leigh Bardugo
In my opinion this is by far the best of the Grisha Trilogy! Everything about the writing, characters and plot just falls into place here! There were twists I didn’t see coming, twists I thought I saw coming and really really hoped I had and lots of crying for different reasons! It was my first five star read of the new year, and managed to pull me out of the reading slump I’d been in since being ill at Christmas! The side characters really blossom in this one, but I’d say the leads do as well… And while everyone in the fandom is clamouring over a backstory novella or book about The Darkling (who is a very interesting villain, if not a swoonworthy or shippable character in my opinion!) I’d be more interested in reading one about his mother… we hear some more of her story in this one and I think there’s plenty of material there for a Greek Tragedy style book!
I fully intend to write a lot more frequently again now that I’ve done the first step of actually getting a blog post done! It’ll be a lot less intimidating now to get back to than it was when I hadn’t posted since 10th of December! I’ve started new reading challenges, have some tags I want to get round to, and more recent reads to catch up on reviewing…. although the next post of that won’t be as overall positive as this one, there’s stuff I really want to discuss about the books I’ll be including!
Please feel free to comment!