Tuesday, March 14, 2017

What I read in February...

Life According to StephI was super read-y this month!  I finished up Erin's Challenge and moved on to some audiobooks that I've had for a while.  While the library often cockblocks my reading boner (you're welcome for that), it came through for me when it put the new "Red Queen" book on my Kindle the day it came out.  I'm not sure how I was person #1 on the list, but I'm not knockin' it.

I had a dud last month (boo), but several other rockstars pushed me into March.  I'm also pleased to inform you that at one point I was FOUR books ahead of my Goodreads schedule.  FOUR.  Take that, Goodreads.  Yes, I'm aware the only person that care about this is me.  Let me have my moment.  Onto the reviews, shall we?

Rating scale*:

1/5 - Hated it, didn't finish.
2/5 - Tolerated it on principle to finish, didn't like it.
3/5 - Eh, didn't love it, didn't hate it. Had some good parts/kept me interested/finished it on principle.
3.5/5 - I liked parts of it.
4/5 - I liked the whole thing.
4.5/5 - I liked it a lot, but not sure I'd read it again.
5/5 - I LURVED it and I'd read it again.

*Subject to change based on my mood, the phase of the moon, or other unpredictable variables.

Skimmers, stick with the bold text (TL;DR* parts).
PS. Possible spoilers included in reviews.

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon    4/5 (audiobook)
Maybe more like a 3.75, but I'll round up because I know I'm going to finish this series at this point.  Obviously I'm hooked, although it very well could be the narrator.  Whatevs.  If Outlander is a series you are interested in and you don't want to read spoilers, move on now.


Jamie and Claire are making a life in NC. Bri, of course, is miserable with Mommy and she's tagging poor Roger along. Bri is kind of a bitch if you ask me. The book finally gets going when Roger receives all of Bri's crap and then he realizes she's gone to find Claire and Jamie because NOW she wants to meet her real daddy. Ugh. Of course, Roger follows her instead of calling it like he sees it, that Bri is a royal pain in the ass and let her get herself out of whatever mess she makes he's done with her shit. That would have made the book significantly shorter.

So they both travel back in time and Bri gets irrationally pissed off at Roger for finding her and now she's stuck in the 1700s and it's HIS fault. Totally makes sense. They have an argument that I didn't quite understand, Bri leaves Roger to find Jamie and we don't hear from Roger for a while. Lizzy misunderstands Bri, the queen of unspoken feelings, and we know that shit will eventually hit the fan.

Jamie loves his spawn, which is good since she looks just like him, which we hear almost as much as Claire checking pulses in books 1 and 2. Life on the range is chugging along nicely and then a strange man shows up who has raped Bri, who we just discovered is glowing from pregnancy not her wholesome life with her mom and real dad. Oops.

A whole ball of complicated is thrown in when Stephen Bonnet is a rapist and omg wtf is happening and she got Claire's gold ring back, blah blah blah. What a martyr. Doesn't matter because Jamie has already beat the life out of Roger and we don't hear about him for another long period. Eventually it all comes out in the wash and we all remember our communication skills and Jamie admits to selling a strange man that matches Bri's description of Roger to the Indians. Oops.

Bri is sent to River Run, which no one seems to like despite Granny taking care of everyone. Lord John (the best character of the entire series) shows up and saves the day. All the while, Jamie and Claire are out searching for Roger. Sounds convenient to me.

Some Indian shit goes down and poor Wee Ian gets left behind (because we can only have 1 side-kick for Jamie at a time). Roger is rescued but they then desert him in the wilderness because he doesn't know if he loves Bri, blah blah blah. Cool, so glad we got to endure your entire rescue and then we're deserting you.

Bri is retrieved from River Run with no Roger. She had just finished saving Lord John's life, let Stephen Bonnett go free (I'm certain we'll hear of him again, ugh), and had the baby (of which we are given a very visual description, grand).

After going back to Frasier's Ridge, Roger eventually shows up and TENSION because we all lack the communication skills to speak to each other. Eventually Bri and Roger work it out, Roger decides that the baby could be his, he stops calling it "it", and everyone attends the clan gathering and the book FINALLY ends.

TL;DR: Jamie's daughter travels back in time because she misses her mommy and some shit happens and everyone forgets how to effectively communicate.  But Lawd, Davina Porter is music to my ears.

The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes    */5 (ebook)
I always have high expectations for Moyes, which is probably unfair, but she did it to herself.  In Last Letter, Jennifer has an accident and gets amnesia, but it's during the 60's and women are still repressed and she needs to sit down and shut up.  As with Moyes, the timeline is always crucial.  It took me several chapters to realize that the timeline was bouncing and I needed to pay attention.

Essentially, Jennifer gets into a not-affair, affair with a reporter but she can't remember who it is and her husband was a dick about it (ya know, as he was entitled to be) when she's trying to piece together her memories.  Some incorrect assumptions are made and turns out the reporter lived a long life, despite what she had been told.  Fast forward to modern day (another signature Moyes) and Ellie becomes the bane of my existence and she's miserable and just make it stop already.

Ellie manages to find some letters from Reporter to Jenny and manages to hunt down Jenny and figures out that the Reporter is still alive and reunites them.  Not every ending was happy, because Ellie was a twat, Rory was like, "Nahh, I'ma pass."

TL;DR: Women's repression, affairs, and life in the upper class.  Fast forward to modern day millennial who almost loses her job because she's coasting (aka lazy) and then with the help of others she saves her own ass.

Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison   2/5 (ebook)
This is one of those books that you love as as teenager and if you didn't read it as a teenager, all the characters are superficial, whiny, and obnoxiously immature.  I didn't feel like this book was of any substance.  I wanted there to be some drama but it was mostly just "I like this boy, but he has a girlfriend and my nose is big.  My friends are the worst, but I'm going to hang out with them anyways. Woe is me."

Teenage Megan may have liked this, Adult Megan did not.  Also, some of the Brit humor was completely lost on me.  #languagebarrier  I felt very similar to how I felt about the Jessica Darling series when I finished this one.

TL;DR: YA aimed towards the youngest of adults.  Probably an enjoyable read for a preteen who is filled with angst.

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd   4/5 (ebook)
This was another 3.75 book, but I rounded up.  I wanted something huge to happen, but this book kept plodding along.  I did enjoy the story though.  There were several smaller tensions that took place during the book, but nothing super grandiose.  

This book is set in Charleston in the early 1800s.  This was a treat for me being a "local" because those streets still exist today!  I could just imagine the Grimke family house on the Battery.  Slavery was the primary objective of the book and Kidd did a very good job showcasing the brutality without being grotesque, which it absolutely was.  I appreciated that the book acknowledged that it was become less about slavery and more about women's rights right about the time I made the actualization.  Yet nothing in this book really stood out to me.

I did enjoy the narrators.  Those deep southern accents are like buttah.

TL:DR: Charleston set book about the abolition of slavery and the battle between change and "it's our way of life."

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover    4.5/5 (audiobook)
There is always a point of innocence that we all have when we are presented with situations and we say what we would do, definitely.  Then, some of us are actually presented with said situation in real life and what we were once so certain about, we are no longer certain because things aren't black and white anymore.

I struggled with Lily because she was so easy to manipulate, I think.  Everything just felt so simple for her.  I couldn't really place my finger on how exactly I felt, but she was a weird character for me.  While Atlas's situation was touched on, there was very little fleshing out of the homelessness situation that could have taken place.  Obviously the domestic abuse was the primary focus point though.

When Lily met Ryle, I struggled with that entire situation.  Part of me was glad they got together, part of me was annoyed.  Then when they got married in Vegas, I was like, really?  It just seemed like a bullshit way to move the storyline.  I did appreciate the author's note at the end which explained that most domestic abuse situations aren't at all like what is projected in the book.  So that was a good kick in the pants back to reality.

TL;DR: A book that discusses difficult topics like domestic abuse, homelessness, mental illness, and ending the cycle.  Also, the use of cuss words at time seemed forced, like the author remembered her characters cussed and she needed to throw in a "fuck" for good measure.

In Progress:

On Deck:

YAY for books!

*TL;DR = too long, don't read


  1. library often cockblocks my reading boner hahahaha
    but seriously this is why i take 50 books home. because i can, but also so i always have something to read. i hate when the library doesn't give me a book. i don't want to wait on shit. i am #4 on the ebook of king's cage and #1 for the real book (it finally came in! but other people are reading it first, so i'm really like #6 but i'm the first after all those assholes).
    go you on being 4 ahead! i love being ahead. i always start the year off strong and then get behind about halfway haha.
    i did not hate the last letter from your lover. it took me AGES to get into, and it wasn't as happy an ending as i'd like, ellie was a pain in the butt but i'm glad she finally came to her senses a bit.
    invention of wings is on my list :)
    have you read other colleen hoover books? i feel like she does that with swearing in all of her books that i've read. they just throw them in randomly. i have read that one yet because of the subject, i don't deal so well with that, especially when i know it's coming. if i didn't know what it was about, i could pick it up, but because i do, i don't want to.

  2. I haven't read any Colleen Hoover yet and that one sounds a bit intense but maybe I'll check her out someday. Drums of Autumn was the last Outlander book I read and that was almost 10 years ago - I need to read the rest someday but they are just soooo long. lol.

  3. I always get excited when I get ahead of my GR challenge too, so I can relate. I loved Louise Rennison when I was younger, but it's one I'd probably not pick up to reread again. I've heard good things about the Invention of Wings and definitely want to read it eventually!

  4. I've only read one Colleen Hoover book and I liked it so I think I'll give the one you mentioned a shot.

    I read a bunch of Jojo Moyes's books a couple of years ago but haven't picked one up since The Girl You Left Behind. I keep meaning to and then...no.

  5. It ends with us is on my TBR, heard lots of good things about it. I love Moyes, but this one didn't really appeal to me when I read the synopsis so I passed.

  6. I loved The Invention of Wings. Sue Monk Kidd is good.

  7. I read the first two or three books in the Outlander series. While I like them, I don't know if I love them enough to continue reading them. Because lordy, are they long! I want to read It Ends with Us. It's been on my TBR for some time and I'd like to give Colleen Hoover a try. Heard good things!

  8. I actually think It Ends With Us was a strong read for me because I didn't know what the subject of the book was. The author's note was so powerful, too.

  9. That Colleen Hoover book sounds really good. I usually like Sue Monk Kidd so it's a bummer this one never really picked up!

  10. I've never read anything by Colleen Hoover, but I DO want to! Hopefully sometime this year.


  11. I LOVED Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging (and the next 3 in the series), but I read them in my first year of uni, so I was 18. And of course I totally got all the Brit humour. I was really sad when Louise Rennison died last year.

  12. I've got It Ends With Us and The Invention of Wings on my tbr. I'll get to them eventually, right?!

  13. I loved Secret Life of Bees, I want to read The Invention of Wings. I am getting ready to start Outlander soon. :) XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things


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