Sunday, September 30, 2018

Too busy to read

Reading takes time. It is relaxing, enjoyable time but it is still time spent not doing other things. September has been a super busy, super challenging month and I haven't been able to do much new reading. Mostly, I've been rereading snippets of favorite things for a few minutes before I fall into an exhausted sleep.
October is the month when I begin my long list reading for the Children's Literature Association of Utah's Beehive awards. I've got 56 books on a list and I'm responsible for getting votes for six of those titles. I need to read those six and as many of the others that I can. By January.
I also have a few things in my NetGalley account that I need to read and review. Probably sooner rather than later.
Reading is a job. Not a chore but it is definitely work and I've got to plan for it.
So be looking for more YA reviews, with a little romance over the next few months.

I've got two reviews to share today. One a sweet, light romance and the other a dark, but compelling paranormal romance.

Mostly Sunny by Jamie Pope

Sunny Gibson was abandoned by her mentally ill mother when she was just a child. Raised in the foster care system, she has found meaning in her life by working as a social worker. But when she suspects her newest charge might be related to her, she is determined to find the child’s mother. But for that she needs an attorney.

Julian King is a high-powered lawyer who knows nothing of family law. A former pro football player, he is determined to prove himself at his firm and make partner. He wants nothing to do with Sunny and her pro-bono case.

Of course, Sunny and Julian end up working together and they are drawn close to each other and discover they have some surprisingly similar experiences.

Mostly, this is a sweet romance. At first, Julian was rather unlikable but as his attraction to Sunny grew, he became a different person and the relationship and the reading became more enjoyable. The novel’s pace was a bit slow and at times it was difficult to engage with the search for the mysterious and elusive mother.

Overall, this was a pleasant read and I would recommend it to those wanting a light, sweet romance. 3 stars.

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven

Gilene has a rare, powerful magic. And she is compelled to exercise it annually to save the inhabitants of her village from the Empire’s cruel, living tithe. But this year, the unexpected will happen. When the Empire’s most famous gladiator, Azarion, sees through her illusions Gilene is forced not only to help him escape but reclaim his birthright. Will Gilene embrace her destiny or return to the Empire to burn once more?

The best thing about a Grace Draven novel is the richness – of setting, of character and of plot. The world of the Krael Empire is a harsh cruel place. And while the Empire is not examined in exhaustive detail, that is just fine because the real stars of this novel are the main characters. Gilene and Azarion are well drawn and compelling as they grapple with the choices they must make. They are each committed to their goals and watching them struggle on their journey is captivating. Their relationship grew slowly and realistically and was very believable. The trauma of the journey was nicely offset by the Gilene’s exploration and discovery of the Sky Below.

While I might have wished for more details on the spiritual aspects of the magic system and an ending that felt a little less rushed, the story and the characters were immensely satisfying. While I hope for a sequel, the conclusion was complete and I can envision a lovely HEA.

Highly recommend. 5 stars.

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Too busy to read

Reading takes time. It is relaxing, enjoyable time but it is still time spent not doing other things. September has been a super busy, super...