These are books that I had scheduled to read way back in September and then never ended up reviewing (because school). I seriously had zero time or motivation to do much of anything on this blog that wasn’t related to homework. At this point I honestly don’t remember too much about most of these books, but I guess it’s the lasting impressions that really count anyway.
Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
I read this one because I really enjoyed her first book and her novella (Cruel Beauty; Gilded Ashes). I liked that they were just kind of unexpected retellings and this one was the same way. It was a really interesting world that Hodge created and I also thought the legends were fascinating. I didn’t like how everything was kind of French, but at the same time kind of not, though. I also think it’s kind of weird how this isn’t supposed to be part of the Cruel Beauty universe, but then the covers make it look like they’re a series–I just think the cover design team needed to do something different there. Overall, I liked it but ***SPOILER*** (highlight to see) I shipped Rachelle with Erec instead of Armand ***END SPOILER***. I don’t know if that was really a spoiler, but I’ll play it safe. I’m definitely going to keep reading Hodge’s books. 4/5
Emeralds & Espionage by Lynn Gardner
Yeah…this book was about as good as could be expected, but I enjoyed it for what it was. It was a pick made by one of the members of the book club I was attending, but then the book club kind of dissolved (read: we could never make our schedules work out) and we never ended up discussing it. I don’t read a lot of romantic thrillers (any?), though I know it’s a pretty popular genre. For what may have been my first taste, this was a pretty good start. The plot was perilous and had enough intrigue to keep me interested. There were some parts that I found, frankly, completely unbelievable. That being said, I wasn’t surprised that it was unbelievable (if that makes sense). There was one plot twist that I saw coming from a mile away and then one that I didn’t anticipate that came nearer to the end. Overall, this book was fine. 3/5
When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore [ARC]
First of all, I absolutely love the cover. Not only is it beautiful, but it also has meaning and it ties in to the actual story. This book is about a transgender boy and his neighbor, a girl who has roses growing out of her wrists. I’m not sure if there are some actual folktales or mythology behind why she has roses growing from her wrists, but I thought it was an interesting element to the story. I am starting to find, however, the more magical realism that I read, the less I like it. I don’t know if it’s magical realism itself, or just the way that some authors choose to write it. In my experience, the writing for those types of books tends to be really flowery and abstract at times–not really my kind of thing. One thing I did appreciate about this book is that the characters felt like real people even though they were in this more fantastical version of the world. Even the four sisters felt real and I thought that I could understand their motivations. I also appreciated how Sam was treated and developed as a character. I’ve written in the past how I don’t like when authors include diverse characters just for the sake of diversity because it feels inauthentic. Well, I thought that the subject of transgenderism was treated very well and authentically in this book. I think there was an author’s note at the end where the author states that her partner is transgender–so that’s obviously why she was able to create such a genuine character. Overall, this book was well-written, but not really my cup of tea. I can still appreciate it for what it is, though. 3/5
Note: I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.