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jennytrout

jennytrout

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A Dance With Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5)
George R.R. Martin
Eternal Echoes (Sisters of the Divine, #1) - Anastasia Virgas,  Stella Price Review to come, when I can figure out how to explain it without spoilers. But for now, just trust me: INSANELY GOOD.
Awoken (Viridian Saga #1) - Serra Elinsen This is one of those books that's so awesome, it preys upon all of my insecurities as a writer and a human being. I desperately want to live in a world where Twilight didn't happen, but this book happened instead. Just imagining the Hot Topic tie-in jewelry makes me salivate with bitter disappointment. Hashtag: TentaclesAreBetterThanFangs.

The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys  - Maggie Stiefvater Holy cow. I loved everything about this book. The characters were so real, it took me right back to the frustrations of being a teenager. The twists and turns were completely unexpected. Everything about this was amazing. Everything.Unhelpful, overly positive review is unhelpful and overly positive, but there it is.
Abraham Lincoln: Presidential Fuck Machine - Catherine DeVore Look, you know what you're getting into when you buy this book. I didn't realize that it was only 34 pages long when I bought it, though. That was a bit disappointing, because all the hot presidential action just stops out of no where. Still, I'm giving it five stars, because it is what it is, and I'm very jealous that I didn't think of it first.
The Smoke Thief - Shana Abe I was blown away by this book. My favorite thing was the way the hero was totally alpha, sometimes very alphole, but then at the end of the book he's telling the heroine, hey, we both have a past, I'm not going to hold yours against you, I want to make this work. And his willingness to try and change the order that governs their race, rather than stick to tradition and try to force the heroine to submit? That was another real take-my-breath-away moment. That's pretty freaking amazing for a paranormal romance, where too often the heroine is kind of consumed by the hero's supernatural world.

Ahab's Wife: Or, The Star-gazer: A Novel (P.S.)

Ahab's Wife, or The Star-Gazer - Sena Jeter Naslund This was a strange read for me, in a good way. I started reading it years ago and really disliked it. I put it back on the shelf unfinished, and never really intended to give it another try, but for some reason, I never gave it away. So, this year I picked it up, starting reading it again, loved every page. I have no idea what the problem was the first time, but I'm glad I gave it another chance.
The Summoning - Kelley Armstrong I really can't wait to read the rest of these. I thought the concept was so original.
Kushiel's Avatar (Ph├Ędre's Trilogy #3) - Jacqueline Carey After all these pages, I'm still in love with this world and the characters.

Simple Men

Simple Men - Eric Arvin I was not impressed, overall, with this book. I just couldn't get into the characters. The writing was okay and everything, I just didn't connect with the characters because I felt like they were only showing the reader their idealized versions of themselves.
Wild Blue Under - Judi Fennell Honestly? I thought the world building was beyond amazing. The romance was nice, but I was seriously reading it for the animals. Like, it all was good, but I cannot stress enough about the sparrows.

Shelter Mountain (Virgin River, Book 2)

Shelter Mountain - Robyn Carr This is another winner from Robyn Carr. I can't get enough of these people, I wish I lived in Virgin River!
Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette - Sena Jeter Naslund At first, I struggled to like this book. There was a lot of ruminating on fatness vs. thinness that felt very much like the author's own opinions being expressed through the narrative, and that was a turn off. I'm glad I didn't stop reading it, though, as the author does an amazing job of transporting the reader first to Versailles and then, during her years of imprisonment and her last moments, into Marie Antoinette's misery. Very few books have moved me to tears, but this one did. The last line, "I had friends, loving friends (I am not afraid)" is particularly poignant, and unifies the reader with a woman who died hated but yearned, above all things, to be loved.
A Dangerous Love (Border Chronicles) - Bertrice Small First thing first: you either like Bertrice Small's writing, or you don't. If you have any distaste for historical romance, she is not the author for you. If you don't like sex scenes or long sequences of historical detail, she is not for you. And if you've read her other books and didn't like them, this is definitely not the book for you.I love Bertrice Small. She was the first romance author I ever read, and I still read her to this day. At current count, there have only been two of her books that I've stopped reading half-way through. The first book of her Hetar series was the first. This is the second.It's not that there's anything missing from her usual formula here. Helpless but determined heroine, caught up in political intrigue when she would rather be at home with her true love, who she either doesn't meet until two hundred pages in or is separated from for the duration of the story. But for some reason, this one just fell flat for me. It seemed like after each tragedy Adair suffered, a little more of her characterization fell by the wayside. By the time she meets the hero, she's little more than an obstinate paper doll. She starts off incredibly intelligent and strong, and ends mean and self-serving.I guess every book can't be "All The Sweet Tomorrows", but I'm still disappointed, because Small's books are usually a homerun with me.
Changeless - Gail Carriger NO! How could it end like that? How will it all be resolved? HOW CAN THE NEXT BOOK NOT COME OUT UNTIL SEPTEMBER?!
The Outsider - Ann H. Gabhart Usually, when you read a romance, you know exactly how it's going to turn out. This one managed to keep me guessing, as the author constantly put legitimate obstacles in the paths of the hero and heroine. And for an inspirational novel, I never felt the message beating me over the head. It never felt forced or as though the characters came to their faith too quickly or in an unlikely circumstance. The characters were real, and the harsh realities of life in early 19th century America were never glossed over. Many favorite characters are lost to violence or illness, and things often look grim for the protagonists, but the author never lets the reader lose hope, even when the characters do. There's just the right amount of tension in the plot and attention to historical detail to make the reader feel like they're living the story, rather than just reading it.

Hidden (Sisters of the Heart, Book 1)

Hidden (Sisters of the Heart, Book 1) - Shelley Shepard Gray I've been torn about writing a review for this book. Not because I didn't like it. I did. But I can't put my finger on what exactly I liked about it.I know what I didn't like. I didn't like the way some of the exposition was presented. "Oh, Character A, you remember how Character B always was. For a while she did this, and then she did this, and then she did this. Why am I recounting this to you as though you don't know it already?" I didn't really feel the abusive boyfriend's motivations for getting her back... did he want her back, or did he just want to shut her up? The stakes would have been so much higher for me as the reader if I thought Anna had been in real jeopardy. And I didn't quite understand why, if Anna was already pretty strong in her faith (she turns to prayer quickly, and without any prompting from anyone else, when the chips are down), why was she with a person like Rob, who was a bad person?Yet, with all that I found lacking in this book, I really enjoyed it. I liked Anna, and I liked that she had the courage to leave an abusive situation, then put herself in harm's way to protect the people she loved. I liked the fact that her decision to convert didn't come in a flash of God inspiring her, but after she thought about it and weighed her feelings for Henry against the reality of giving up her way of life. I liked that her parents weren't perfect, and didn't immediately accept her decisions, despite their faith.The things I didn't like were minor annoyances, and I enjoyed this book overall, so I'll probably read more from this author.