Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Winter 14 Gut Reactions

 Ah, almost the end of Winter although the chilblains on my toes are not convinced..

 I almost made it through the pile. I was commanded to switch one of the books (Lola and the Boy Next Door) to Stephanie Perkins' first book, Anna and the French Kiss (YA), as it is The Law to read this one first it seems. (Ok, so it wasn’t quite that draconian, and I do prefer to read books in order if there is even the remotest sniff of a link between them. I am ALL about the Chronology.)
And there were a couple of interlopers in there too, which just snuck in, addicted me and meant that others had to step aside.

It appears that I am getting much better at ditching books that don't grab me. I stopped reading three in a row. I know! Three.  Ok, so I don't just slam them down and stop, because a) that feels rude and b) I will think about them. I need the closure. So I cheat and skim to the end. And generally I made the right decision, because at the end pages I could see that I would probably have been thinking "Really, is that it? I would have been very miffed if I had read all the way and this was the end."

You can read the details of the pile here.

So, my Star of the Season, a schmaltzy choice, was My true love gave to me because a) it was Christmassy and just hit the mood at the right time, b) it was a YA anthology and we know I adore those, c) there were several stories that I had to go back and re-read and d) both my Lovely CP and I sent this to each other, along with Blue Lily Blue Lily as Christmas presents, without any pre-arrangement. Spooky!  
A lovely book. A fab Christmas gift for any YA fan, for those who like to be ready early.

The interlopers, were Linda Castillo's Kate Burkholder books; Sworn to Silence and Praying for silence - grisly but gripping murders set in Amish country. I am a sucker for Amish stories/programmes, so these grabbed me from the word go. I have more on order and will bump them into the next pile without apology or warning.  I guess the gore here offsets the schmalz of the previous choice.

If the book of the season hadn’t gone to the anthology, I might have given it to Robin LaFever’s His Fair Assassin series. Mmmmm, history, courageous women, romance. Happy happy reading for me.

I hadn’t read any Stephanie Perkins’ books before, though I have seen them raved about. Her story in the anthology was one of my favourites. She has a relaxed engaging tone and I wasn’t disappointed by Anna and the French Kiss. Classic YA contemporary romance. Fab.

As I have mentioned before, in Women’s fiction, I really warm to Jenny Colgan’s writing voice. I can add Sophie Kinsella to that list. I know I am really late to her, and unlike the rest of the Chicklit reading world, I’m not tempted to the Shopaholic series, but the stand-alone stories might well be popping up in TBR piles in the future.

And the other stuff;
 as mentioned I ditched three books before the end mainly as they bored me.
 -One was Women's Fiction and so I am trying to dissect that one to work out why, and hopefully not do the same in my own writing.
-In another case, I found that the main character wasn't appealing - nothing wrong with that, there are some wonderful unpleasant MCs out there, but generally there has to be something about them that makes you hang in there. Not this one.
- One was a second chance for an acclaimed author, and yet again I found myself thinking that it was no great shakes.

The next pile is going to be extremely Women's fiction heavy (except when the grisly murders come in at the library…) I'm revising a story in this genre and I'm feeling the need to immerse myself.

Anyone read anything good this season?


  1. I read two very good books by Rainbow Rowell, One is "Attachments" and the other is "Eleanor and Park". I liked the later one better. May be because I read that one first, but you can decide.

  2. I'm with you and loved "Eleanor and Park". I preferred it over her "Fangirl" book too. Have you tired any of Jandy Nelson's books?
    Thanks for dropping by!

  3. yeah, i am like halfway thru E&P but kinda stalled. will power thru tho, based on above. I read all sarina bowen and now ginger scott all kinda sports ( hockey ) and skiing romances. really liked 'The Year We Hid Away' maybe because I have a thing for secret identities... oh and not for young 'uns. classified as New Adult/college.

    1. I'm going to seek out "the Year we hid away" at some point.
      Are the skiing ones all Chalet staff stories?