December Book Round-Up

Thanks to getting a Kindle from Santa, my reading this month was rather more than I expected as I find I read faster on the Kindle than with physical books. Perhaps it’s purely because I don’t lose that second when I physically turn the page – I just press the button and continue reading uninterrupted. Anyway, here’s the round-up for the last month of the year…

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RATINGS:
Like a Star @ heaven Dire – don’t waste your time
Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven OK, but nothing to write home about
Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven Very good – worth a read
Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven Excellent
Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven Superb – read it immediately!

BOOKS FINISHED:
81. Melissa Marr – Wicked Lovely (Wicked Lovely 1) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
First in the Wicked Lovely series. It’s alright, but nothing to write home about. I’ve read rave reviews of this series all over the place, so I might give it a chance and read the second one, but there wasn’t anything particularly original about it other than it’s fairies instead of sparkly teenaged emo vampires (I’m sure you get my drift). The female lead is a good deal stronger than the “heroine” of the aforementioned sparkly vamps series, so that’s something in its favour at least. Actually, if I awarded half stars, I might add that extra half here, but I don’t so it has two stars only. Still, the series might get better…

82. Sarah Singleton – The Poison Garden Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
I enjoyed this one, but not as much as I thought it would. It got a little garbled in the middle with all the garden stuff, but straightened itself out again pretty quickly. Singleton has a wonderful way with words and the situations she describes almost leap off the page, so I’ll definitely be reading more of her work.

83. Maureen Johnson – The Name of the Star Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
This one was a zippy-fast read and I loved it! I’m a bit of a Ripper-ologist (not an expert, but I know an awful lot about the Ripper case and have read many books on th subject as I find it so fascinating).  It’s a rip(per)-roaring read (sorry, I couldn’t resist a very poor pun there) and it lends itself well to short bursts of reading without losing anything by it. An excellent start to the series – I’ll be picking up the others for sure!

84. Julia Golding – The Middle Passage (Cat Royal novella) (Kindle e-book) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
I’m quite sad to have finished all the Cat Royal books as I’ve enjoyed them a great deal. I sincerely hope Golding decides to write Cat’s further adventures at some point, as I’m sure she’ll continue to have an exciting life packed with all manner of adventures. This one occurs between the last two books and is available for free download.

85. Michael Mullins – 8 (Kindle e-book) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
Did I ever mention I adore reworked fairytales? Well, this one doesn’t just retell a tale – it rhymes too! It’s incredibly short, but incredibly funny, and tells the untold story of the 8th dwarf (called Creepy) who was forced to live in the cellar but managed to save Snow White’s life several times (not that he ever got any thanks for it!). Mullins is an author to watch in the future if this is anything to go by!

86. Bettie Sharpe – Ember (Kindle e-book) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
A different view of the Cinderella story which turns what we think we know upside down. I have to say it is utterly brilliant! I’ve always loved reworked fairytales, but this one really is excellent. The subversion of the characters we all know and love works so well here that Sharpe has instantly become a new favourite author of mine! Ember is an innovative and inventive piece of fairytale fantasy that is anything but fluffy. There are some sex scenes and some naughty language, sl this one is strictly for the adults. It’s under a quid, so if you have a Kindle, download it NOW! If you don’t have a kindle, you can also read it free on the author’s website.

87. Cody Young – Scandal at the Farmhouse (Kindle e-book) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
Young is another author who is fast becoming a favourite of mine. I reviewed another of her novels (American Smile) a few months ago and am pleased to say that this historical romance lives up to the style that worked so well ni her period-hopping modern novel. The writing is lively, the characters bursting with energy and the passion smoulders so much I’m surprised my Kindle didn’t burst into flames!

88. Brian McGillowy – The Stolen Child (Kindle e-book) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
This was another short read but was rather disappointing. In fact, it was so uninspiring, I can’t even remember any of the character names and there were precious few of them. The idea is solid enough, but the execution is poor. If you have an hour or so to kill and have it on your Kindle, by all mean try it, but don’t go out of your way for it.

89. Amanda Hocking – Hollowland (Hollows 1) (Kindle e-book) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
I’d seen this one recommended all over the blogosphere and couldn’t resist downloading it to my Kindle, especially as it’s currently FREE! Well, how could I turn down a bargain like that? It certainly lived up to the glowing reviews. I don’t usually like zombie stories so much, but this one is engrossing and gives a plausible explanation for the shambling undead. It also helps that I like the characters a great deal and desperately wanted them to succeed! It’s also left tantalisingly open for a sequel…

90. Amanda Grange – Darcy’s Diary (Kindle e-book) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
One always worries, when reading a spin-off from a well-loved classic, that the characters will not be done justice and one cannot fail but to be severely disappointed. Sometimes, however, one finds those fears are comlpetely unfounded when a gem such as this is presented. It is nothing more than the retelling of Pride and Prejudice, told from Mr Darcy’s point of view ni diary form, but it is an exercise in exquisite execution. Darcy’s pride and offhand manner are captured perfectly and it’s refreshing to see the motivation behind many of his actions, as well as those moments we didn’t see in Pride and Prejudice, when Darcy was elsewhere. Highly recommended.

BOOKS STARTED AND CONTINUING INTO THE NEW YEAR:
Philippa Gregory – The Women of the Cousins’ War
One of the books I got for Xmas. I enjoyed the Women of the Cousins’ War trilogy so much I couldn’t resist bucking my trend of not reading non-fiction for this. I’m not very far into it yet, but what little I’ve read has been very interesting and promises to be as entertaining as the historical fiction it inspired.

BOOKS ABANDONED UNFINISHED:
Muriel Marbery – The Elegance of the Hedgehog – ABANDONED
I really wanted to like this one a whole lot more than I actually did. The writing is undeniably beautiful and the characters are poignantly real, but I felt I was waiting forever for something to happen. I initially laid it to one side as I was so busy over the Xmas period, fully intending to come back to it, but I found myself making excuses to avoid it and starting other books instead. Finally I admitted to myself that I will most likely never finish it. However, I’ll keep hold of it for a little while in case I change my mind.

Sarah Singleton – Heretic
I got this one from the library and just ran out of time. I may get it out again at some point in the future, but I have so many new books from Xmas that I’m dying to read, it may well be some time before that happens…

Wishing you all loads of
excellent reading 2012!

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2 responses to “December Book Round-Up

  1. Does your local library system allow your to borrow books on your Kindle? Our library system here in Oregon (or at least, the County that I’m in) does, but I don’t know how widespread that practice is. My library has just begun to allow borrowing by Nook, but I haven’t figured out how it works yet, but I’m looking forward to learning it and being able to borrow from the library again!
    Happy New Year!