The Secrets of Ghosts

Sarah Painter

the secrets of ghostsI was really looking forward to this book after seeing a lot of potential in the author's first book (reviewed here in 2013 and 2014).
Unfortunately it has the heroine suddenly act stupidly in a way that's out of character in order to service the plot.
This is absolutely guaranteed to pull me out of a story. It's a personal pet hate and it seriously diminished my enjoyment of the book.
It was nice to go back to Pendleford and I enjoyed Katie becoming the lead character (though I don't get why she's calling herself a Harper when she's a Moore in the first book).
I would love to see the author try writing an adventure in a more overtly fantastical universe. The small town romance stuff is nice but is seriously threatening to get repetitive now.
Totally worth a read though.

Rating: B-



Flat-Out Celeste

Jessica Park

Flat-Out CelesteThis is a sequel to Flat-Out Love which I read last year after picking up as a Kindle Daily Deal.
Here we find the little sister of the earlier book taking lead role as she deals with the trials of the final year of high school.
The author once again delivers a generic romance with clich├ęd characters but it's also tremendously readable.
I can't honestly say that it's a good book but I did enjoy reading it.
One for teen romance junkies only I guess.

Rating: B-



Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore

Robin Sloan

mr penumbra's 24 hour bookstoreClay Jannon is an unemployed graphic designer and web developer who finds a job on the evening shift at a weird little 24 hour bookstore.
Pure boredom and intellectual curiousity combine so that he accidentally unlocks a secret about the bookstore draws him into adventure.
For some reason I kept expecting this story to go in different directions than it actually did. Something about the setup made me think of grand conspiracies and fantastic revelations and instead it kept on being charming and grounded in steady reality.
It's certainly an enjoyable read and it has worthwhile things to say about the value of communities, the importance of archives and the need for open access to knowledge.
This one is recommended for those like their mainstream fiction on the quirky side.

Rating: B+



Anne Of Green Gables

L.M. Montgomery

Anne of Green GablesThis much loved novel tells the story of the irrepressible orphan Anne Shirley who is adopted by sober elderly siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert in late Victorian Prince Edward Island in Canada.
It's an enjoyable read and it's hard to not love the three lead characters for their various strengths and faults.
I basically only read this because various Lizzie Bennet Diaries fans really love it.
You can find yourself a copy at the Gutenberg archive - it's well worth a read if you like a good bildungsroman.

Rating: A-




Veronica Roth

InsurgentThe sequel to Divergent is a similarly entertaining slice of YA dystopian sci-fi.
It definitely feels like a middle volume of a series with a lot of talking and a lot of having the protagonist stuck in dangerous situations that they escape by the skin of her teeth.
Still, a fun read, and definitely recommended if you enjoyed the first book.

Rating: B+



Something About You

Julie James

Something about youThis is an incredibly fluffy, totally predictable romance novel about the romance between an assistant DA and an FBI agent that blossoms after she becomes the only material witness to a murder.
It was recommended to me by someone on Tumblr. I'll be ignoring their recommendations from now on.

Rating: C



Catching Fire

Suzanne Collins

catching fireThe latest trailer for the film version of this book was released at San Diego Comic Con and it got me slightly excited.
So I dug out my ebook and started reading and you know what? I think I like this book a whole lot more than I did the first time round.
The first person perspective is both the strength and weakness of this series.
It's a strength because Katniss is such an interesting, damaged person and seeing the world via her naively cynical viewpoint skews the world in novel ways.
It's a weakness because much of the really interesting stuff that happens - politically, culturally - are events that Katniss doesn't attend or doesn't understand.
It's kind of wonderful that you have to piece together the back story by yourself but sometimes you really can't tell what's happened to place Katniss in whatever fresh hell she's landed in.
What's interesting about Catching Fire on a second read is how hard Katniss is trying to be empathetic, how much she's learned from the horror of being in The Hunger Games about valuing the survival of other people.
Despite the many ways she's been used and abused by the powerful, this is someone in the slow process of growing into a better person before fresh trauma is heaped upon her.
I really do recommend this series. It's no masterpiece of literature but it is a very enjoyable and thought provoking read with a compelling central character.

Rating: A



Struck By Lightning

Chris Colfer

Struck by lightningEntertainingly sarky high school novella by the Glee star.
I bought the book after being entertained by the film's trailer.
It's told in the form of the lead character's diary as he blackmails his way through the school popular elite in order to publish a literary magazine to strengthen his college application.
The story is told for maximum dark humour and with absolutely no interest in making the central character sympathetic.
Not outstanding but certainly worth a read.

Rating: B



The Language of Spells

Sarah Painter

the language of spellsThis was another Kindle daily deal that I was tempted by.
The plot is about a young woman who inherits her great-aunt's house and the repercussions as the past is dredged up by her return to where she grew up.
This is a nice little romance novel that happens to have a lead character with real magical powers.
Weirdly it reminded me a bit of Diana Wynne Jones - though not in her league - with the small town English setting and the prosaic everyday magic.
I enjoyed it quite a lot and will definitely check out any new books by the author to see if she can get even better.

Rating: B

Filed under: B, Books, Ebook, iPad, Rated, Romance Comments Off


Flat Out Love

Jessica Park

flat out loveI'm pretty much unable to resist a good bargain and when this book cropped up in the 99p daily Kindle deal with the promise of a good romantic comedy I jumped at the chance.
Imagine my disappointment when this turned out to be full of cliche characters and crashingly obvious plot twists.
The author has a pleasant, readable voice but the book is utterly forgettable.

Rating: C+