Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Book Reviews - Reading Through Ruts

Somewhat related to these reads (but more so not), I hit a weird reading rut. Maybe it was because what I read last round was so darn good. I know every book can't be that, but WHY NOT?!? Some stuff in this round was really good, some kept me reading, and some left me wanting more. I also may have had a few I abandoned along the way that won't get a review. I had to have that hard conversation with myself that it's okay to give up a book that's not working. Anyway, here's what I did make it through!

Kent State by Deborah Wiles was such a captivating read told in such an intriguing way. Honestly, I've known something happened at Kent State in the seventies where lives were lost, but I couldn't really explain in depth of what happened that day. This book, written in verse, is an exploration of what happened before, in the moment, and after. It's absolutely beautifully written with multiple perspectives being brought in as it goes. It's almost conversational in nature as different individuals who have a role in the escalation of violence offer their viewpoint. Within these views, there is disagreement and sadness in the outcome. It is such an incredible tragedy what happened on this campus, and it was so powerful to learn about history in such an emotional and thoughtful piece. 

In A Holidaze by Christina Lauren is a Christmas story with a Groundhog Day twist. Every Christmas, Mae and her family spend the holidays together with two other families in a Utah cabin. This is a time Mae looks forward to it every year. Mae also looks forward to seeing the subject of her unrequited love - Andrew. This Christmas, Mae instead ends up hooking up with Theo. Mae is frustrated by Andrew's reaction and just where her life is in general. Leaving the cabin, she's very upset and ends up crashing her car into a tree. Everything goes black, but then she wakes up back on the plane before the trip began. This is Mae's moment to get a do-over! This is a light little Christmas romance, so if you're looking for something like that as the holiday season approaches, this is a good place to go. I will say for me that when I read/watch things with a Groundhog Day spin, I expect quite a few iterations of the same day. This version didn't have THAT many. It wasn't a bad thing, I just found I was waiting for more twists to come, but instead it was more romance. Thanks to NetGalley for the early look at this October release.

Two Days Gone by Randall Silvis was a thriller that had been on my list for awhile. And well, y'all, everyone say this with me, I. Don't. Like. Procedurals. This wasn't fully procedural, but it definitely had that spin, and I just cannot make these work for me. Again, that's about me as the reader. A professor's wife and children are found murdered in a college town, and the professor is nowhere to be found. Detective DeMarco is assigned the case. He knows the professor, and something just doesn't add up. Maybe the answers lie in the professor's unfinished manuscript. And so the investigation begins. . .

The Royal Runaway by Lindsay Emory was a unique, new genre for me as it combines romance with a thriller, and I liked the spin. The story begins with Princess Thea, part of the monarchy for the country of Drieden, being left at the altar. She doesn't know what has happened, and obviously everyone is talking about the royal wedding gone wrong. Alone in a bar, she runs into Nick. They immediately connect, but she soon learns he's not who he says he is. Nick is the estranged (and presumed dead) brother of her former fiance who is also a spy. That's a lot of things, right? However, Nick lets Thea know he believes there is more to the story of her runaway fiance, and they agree to work together to figure out the truth. What follows is an uncovering of all the secrets. They have to figure out what these all mean, who they can trust, and what they're going to do with what they find out. This again was a different take on a thriller. It kept me reading and guessing as I wanted to know what was at the core of what was going down!

Onto the next ones!