Category Archives: What I Read

Reading Journal 5

I read a lot of books in 2016. But with everything that went on I got behind with updating you and adding them to my website. So, I want to fill in some of the gaps and pick out some favorites. (Please note this post contains affiliate links and Amazon will pay me a small commission if you purchase anything after clicking these links. Your cost is not increased by using these links.)

The Lunar Chronicles (Cinder, Scarlett, Cress, and Winter) by Marissa Meyer were fantastic. I’ve been reading them again and they’re just as good the second time.

The Mystery of Ireta by Ann McCaffrey. Technically this is two books packaged as one, but it’s really one story. I loved this book because it was everything I wanted in science fiction as a kid but couldn’t find in the library. It’s very much focused on the conflict and world, not individual characters, and for me that was part of the magic.

Dragon Kin (Pern Novel) Anne McCaffrey & Todd McCaffrey. I’ve talked about this one before and I still love it.

Followed by Frost by Charlie N. Holmberg. This was another somewhat unconventional story that resonated with me.

Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris. A mystery featuring a small town as the cast. This was the perfect vacation read.

Dawn of Wonder by Jonathan Renshaw. This is a long and truly epic fantasy featuring a young boy.

Reading Journal 4

What I’ve been reading lately in no particular order. (Please note this post contains affiliate links and Amazon will pay me a small commission if you purchase anything after clicking these links. Your cost is not increased by using these links.)

Dragon Kin (Pern Novel) Anne McCaffrey & Todd McCaffrey. I’m not sure how this was categorized, but I’d view it as young adult (side note: no sex). When I was growing up there were always a few Pern novels in the library, but I never really got into them. I don’t know if it was because I was too young (early teens) or because I was reading them out of order. That aside, I really enjoyed Dragon Kin. The main character is a plucky young man/boy who’s always stepping up to do what he can for the people around him. It was touching, imaginative, and heartfelt. Highly Recommend.

Sacrifice (The Snow Queen Book 2) by K. M. Shea. This is the sequel to Heart of Ice and is shelved as a teen book. I liked this book better than the first and loved, loved, Loved the ending. If you’re looking for a young adult series featuring ice/snow powers that’s free of sex and not overly graphic, I highly recommend these books.

Larken (Graceling Hall Book 1) by Suzanne G. Rogers. Suzanne writes sweet romances (and some other stuff, but I’ve only read her romances). I adored The Larken (Graceling Hall Book 1)  and The Mannequin. They were both very sweet, and very different from most of the romances books I’ve read. I highly recommend them as clean romance reads that focus a little less on high society and parties. I’ve also read Lord Apollo & the Coleen (Graceling Hall Book 2) and Ruse and Romance.

The Duke’s Holiday and The Virtuous Scoundrel by Maggie Fenton. These are a little more “traditional” romances featuring the aristocracy, and sex happens in both of these books. The Duke’s Holiday was just a fun romp. The Virtuous Scoundrel was a little less hilarious, but still very fun.

My Fair Lilly by Meara Platt. This is a regency romance, and I honestly can’t remember if there’s sex but there is some swearing. When I started this book I didn’t expect to enjoy it, but I did! If you like regency romances with plucky women and a little bit of silly then I recommend this book.

Reading Journal 2

Today the order will roughly express my enjoyment of the books. (Please note this post contains affiliate links and Amazon will pay me a small commission if you purchase anything after clicking these links. Your cost is not increased by using these links.)

Scarlett (Lunar Chronicles Book 2) by Marissa Meyer. This is the sequel to Cinder and is a young adult novel in a dystopian world. This continued the fun of the first book, but rotated between Cinder and Scarlett. As before, it features a twist on an old fairy tale (this time Little Red Riding Hood), however it isn’t the same as Cinder because of the new storyline and people. I really liked this book and can’t wait to read the third one.

Cress (Lunar Chronicles Book 3) by Marissa Meyer. This book was done in the same style as the two before it, and added more points of view. Cress’s story is a twist on Rapunzel. I still really love this series, but I’m finding it hard to continue to have a deep attachment to some of the characters because there are a lot of them and we don’t spend much time with some of them. That said, I can’t wait to read Winter!

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. (I’ve posted about this one on Twitter and Facebook because it’s awesome.) Another young adult novel that is strongly dystopian. It has elements of other popular books in that genre (Hunger Games, Divergent), though I would say it was darker. No sex, but there is torture. It does have a multi angled love story, but it’s deeper than being torn between two guys. All in all, I loved this book so much! I picked it up over breakfast and didn’t put it down until I finished it. I’m so sad that I have to wait for the next book.

The Martian by Andy Weir. (I’ve posted about this one on Twitter and Facebook because it’s awesome.) If you’re looking for a good science fiction, heavy on the science, this is the book for you. It’s smart, funny, full of ingenuity, and there isn’t a single swashbuckling hero fighting the evil empire. Basically, it’s everything I wanted in a Sci-Fi book as a kid but couldn’t find. It made this chemist’s heart skip a beat. (Yes, I was a chemist before I was a writer.) Side note, I haven’t seen the movie yet, so I can’t comment on it.

The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician Series) by Charlie N. Holmberg. This is a young adult novel set in the early 1900’s (I’m not sure of the exact time frame). The main character is 19, which is a nice change. She is a somewhat unwilling apprentice to a paper magician. When her master is attacked, she tries to help him. I really enjoyed the smaller scope of this book. While there were plenty of ways for the story to go big, it stayed focused on saving her master, and the magic felt very fresh. There were a few minor world building inconsistencies, but I look forward to the next book.

Defy (Defy Series Book 1) by Sara B. Larson. This is a young adult fantasy novel. This was a fun ready, about a female soldier who is one of the best swordsman in the army and a prince’s guard. From there all sorts of interesting things happen, including several types of magic. While I enjoyed this book, the love triangle didn’t work for me (but I’m rather rabidly against love triangles). Now, If you like love triangles, then you could have totally different feelings. I read this book really quickly, and the sequel is on my to read list, though it has a lot of company so I’m not sure when I’ll get to it.

Snow like Ashes by Sara Raasch. This is a sword and sorcery young adult novel. The main character goes on a quest to prove herself and it goes wrong, which ends up leading her to her full potential. No sex, though there is a lot of killing and a threat of rape. Now, I really enjoyed this book. There were some fun (if not totally surprising twists), and good lines.  However, (and this is just a me problem) I’m getting tired of 16 year olds saving the world. This is the the first of three (or more?) books, two of which are out. I haven’t read the sequels, but I’m sure I’ll get around to them.

Pegasus by Robin McKinley. This is a young adult book but it’s written more like high fantasy with a teen as the star. Now, let me be very clear. I loved this book. The world building is beautiful and the story is engaging if a slow burn. A softer story of self discovery and becoming someone who wants to create change is such a nice change from what else is out there. However! However! I can’t recommend it until the sequel is published because it ends mid-scene. There’s no build up to a cliff hanger, it simply ends. If/when the sequel comes out I’ll change my view, but I’m not holding my breath. Pegasus was published in 2010 and there’s no release date or official announcement for the next book.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson. This is a sword and sorcery young adult novel. The main character is an overweight 16 year old princess who lacks self-confidence and has a God Stone in her belly button. This stone marks her as the person chosen to have a great, undefined duty. This book had great parts, good parts, and a few spots I wish had been handled differently. In the beginning, I was really interested in this character, especially her weight because of reviews I had read. On the post-reading side, I don’t like how she lost the weight because it wasn’t a part of character growth, but essentially forced upon her. The overall book was good and it has sequels (which I haven’t read) so the story continues.

*The above books were difficult to rank because ,even with the flaws, they fell in the really like to love spectrum. The following books didn’t do as much for me.*

Matched (Matched Book 1) by Ally Condie. Also a young adult novel. This is the first of three books, and the only one of the series I’ve read. It’s another dystopian/post-dystopia society that is very big-brotherish. There were a few things I didn’t like about the book from a structure (of the story, use of language, or world) standpoint, but if you like teen romance with big-brother in the way, a hit of discord in the world, and a love triangle, this is for you.

Crossed (Matched Book 2) by Ally Condie. This is the sequel to Matched. I thought there was a lot of promise where the first book left off, and to me this mostly didn’t deliver. Very few things happened and most of the book was passing time between those events with little that was interesting or necessary for the plot. Perhaps the third book will pull some of those elements together but I haven’t read it and am unsure if I will.

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr. This was a young adult book with dystopian elements featuring fairies. I won’t be saying much about this because while it will work for some people, it hit some of my personal pet peeves about sex.

 

 

Reading Journal

I think of this website as a way to communicate information about my books and some information about me. The second part is a problem. I don’t like talking about me.

As a fan, I know what it’s like to want to know about an author. As an author, I know I should share because that’s what fans want. As a person, I don’t like social media and I primarily communicate with a small circle of friends. Those different ideas don’t mingle well.

My basic theory is simple. If you want to know something you should ask.

Really. Ask me questions.

I can answer questions. That’s easy 🙂

Anyway, for all the talking I do about my books, I haven’t told you guys much about what I like to read. When I had the day job and was writing on the side, I didn’t have enough time to do much reading. Now that I’ve transitioned to writing full time I have more time to read, which is awesome because I love reading!

If you want to know why I’m not reviewing these on Goodreads, there’s a simple answer. As an author, I don’t really like assigning stars to work’s I’ve read. All of these books had great points. Some of them worked better for me than other, and that’s just how reading works. Some very popular books have done nothing for me but I have friends who love them. In addition, I picked up some of these books for research rather than pleasure. That doesn’t make them bad books, but there may have been less excitement from the start. (Please note this post contains affiliate links and Amazon will pay me a small commission if you purchase anything after clicking these links. Your cost is not increased by using these links.)

Recent Reads: (in no real order)

A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn. This was a great young adult novel that doesn’t seem to be part of a series.  It was well written, engaging, and I felt like is was truly appropriate for a wide range of audiences, starting with younger teens. There are hints of romance, but no lasting romantic interest. I liked this book enough that I checked for a sequel and when I couldn’t find one I looked for her other works.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. This is a standalone young adult novel. It’s great for the horse loving teen (or adult). While it has an underlying romance, it’s subtle. This was an interesting take on water-horse mythology, and kept me turning pages.

The Selection (The Selection Book 1) and The Elite (The Selection Book 2) by Kiera Cass. This is a three book series, with a couple of spinoffs (additional novels and novellas).  One review I read described The Selection as the lead up to The Hunger Games (dresses, interviews, and the like) without the depth of The Hunger Games. I’d say is the dystopian royalty equivalent of The Bachelor. If that’s what you’re looking for, go for it. As for The Elite, it solidly continues the story, and brings in more social unrest. The male main character made some choices that I found disagreeable. At the same time the female lead wasn’t making great choices. Those are some pet peeves of mine, and why I didn’t read the third book. That said, these books did pull me along, and there were significant signs that the third book would include more of the dystopian/social unrest elements.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore. This is the first in a series of three, though I haven’t read the others so I’m not sure how dependent they are upon one another. While it’s considered a young adult book, I think it’s the least juvenile of the lot (followed by The Scorpio Races and A Creature of Moonlight). It does have a couple of scenes featuring sex, but they’re short and not overly descriptive. Graceling is an epic fantasy about fighting evils, being true to yourself, and overcoming obstacles. I couldn’t put it down. My only criticism is that, for me, the ending wasn’t very satisfying.

Cinder: Book One of the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. This is the first in a multi book series (four or more depending on how you count). Pretty much everything about the book was awesome. Yes, it’s a young adult novel with dystopian qualities. However, the main character, Cinder, is a cyborg who is owned by her step-mother because cyborgs are property. She’s a mechanic and is wonderfully capable throughout the book. It’s a lovely twist on Cinderella that was fun to read and had some unexpected twists. I highly recommend it and am counting the minutes until I get my hands on the next book. Also, there wasn’t any sex at all.