I listened/read/DNF’d 24 books in October from my Amazon TBR. Because of that, I’ve split them into two different posts
The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars by Dava Sobel
I have a thing for books about the unsung women of the early years of modern science. The basis of so much of our current knowledge comes directly from these women bucking the social norms of their time to provide invaluable grunt work of scientific discoveries. The Glass Universe was fascinating in that it looked at the contributions women had on our knowledge, understanding, and classification of the cosmos. The only negative was that the women discussed in the book were not really fleshed out as people. The focus was mostly on their work with very little context of who they were and the hardships they might have faced for their choices.
1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West by Roger Crowley
Unfortunately, I don’t have much to say other than it was interesting learning about the political machinations and power dynamics behind the fall of Constantinople.
Moonshadow by Thea Harrison
This was a decent urban fantasy. I liked that Sophie was strong female lead who could think creatively and hold her own against both Nikolas and the baddies. There were times that her need to always have a comeback got on my nerves, and I didn’t really feel the chemistry between them. That being said, I will most likely read the sequel at some point because I am curious about Morgan. He was more interesting than Sophie and Nicholas, and he barely had any page time.
How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather
I ended up liking this book more than I thought I would – which is saying something given how disappointing many of my recent reads have been. It wasn’t stellar by any means, but I liked the concept of the descendants of those involved in the Salem Witch Trials being under a centuries-long curse. I’m sure some of my positivity about this book stems from the fact that I listened to it at 2x speed instead of reading it. The cliches and stilted writing would have bothered me more if I had read the book instead of listening to it.
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
I had high hopes for this because I love reimaginings and retellings based upon Alice in Wonderland. Unfortunately, Heartless fell short for me. I get that Cath was constrained by the mores of her society, but it got really old really quickly listening to her whine about not wanting to marry the King of Hearts, and then not doing anything about it. It was also frustrating because when Cath had the actual opportunity to save herself, she didn’t and consequently caused the madness and death of two characters. I know how her story ends, but I would have liked her back story to be more exciting and less whingy. There was also a severe lack of Wonderland included. “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe and “Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater” had more page time that the book that was supposed to be the inspiration.
Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen
To lay it all out – there was nothing exceptional about this book, and I have no interest in reading any other books in this series. There was a lack of depth all around in regard to world building and characters that existed beyond somewhat cliched cardboard cutouts. The technology wasn’t explained very well and seemed like an odd blend of steampunk and electricity. Technology based upon Tesla’s ideas doesn’t fit in well with steam and cogs and gears.
Seven Minutes in Heaven by Eloisa James
I mostly liked Seven Minutes, but it definitely won’t become a favorite. Ward was okay until he pretty much tore Eugenia down because he thought she had no status other than what she derived as a widow and “governess”. And when he learned she was a peeress went “Whoops! made a mistake! You are worthy of me for marriage!”. Personally, I would have been happier if the HEA had been Eugenia kicking him to the curb and opening her tea room.
The Last One by Alexandra Oliva
This book had the potential to be really amazing – a look at how “reality” skews our perception using the aftermath of a deadly plague as the backdrop. The execution, however, left a lot to be desired. For all that was going on, it was a really boring book. The character, Zoo, was bland and uninteresting. I had no connection with her and didn’t really care what happened to her. The audiobook narrator was also surprisingly monotone. I did like how the story switched between Zoo’s present and how the reality show began, but could have done without the online message board interjections. She also treated Brennan like complete crap. and spent too much time wallowing. I had no sympathy for her.
The Lady’s Command by Stephanie Laurens
Very, very boring. I couldn’t decide if it’s because of the narrator or the writing style of telling me what is happening instead of showing me.
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
The plot was boring, and the narrator was awful. The book was written in first person from Ethan’s perspective, but the narrator only used a southern accent when Ethan spoke, which was incredibly jarring. There shouldn’t be such a difference between Ethan’s internal and external voices.
The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
Eh. It wasn’t horrible, but then I read multiple two star reviews about how bland and underdeveloped the characters were, and how one dimensional Nicolas’ and Bex’s relationship was. And even though i wasn’t terribly far into the book, I could see the seeds for all of the nonsense that usually makes me want to throw a book across a room. Plus, I found the dynamic between Bex and Lacey annoying. Lacey was incredibly selfish and felt desperate a lot of the time. The book had the potential to really look at how a commoner marrying a royal has to adjust to the craziness, but it didn’t take advantage of it.
Once and for All by Sarah Dessen
I hate that I DNF’d a Sarah Dessen book because I really do like how she writes teen romance. However, I’ve realized that her books are hit or miss when it comes to the male love interest. This one is a definite miss. Ambrose needs a swift kick in the pants. His behavior is not attractive, and he’s a douche. That is the kind of guy who will end up gaslighting his significant other. He does not see the harm his actions cause, and blames everyone else when things do go wrong – man they just don’t understand my groove. That kind of tunnel vision is selfish and not healthy. He steals a dog, justifies why he stole it, and doesn’t seem to get the impact of his actions and assumes everyone will be onboard with him toting a random dog around.