Hey there everybody! I have some news, but first I want to let you in on how my PopSugar reading challenge is going!
So far, I’ve completed the following items on my list:
A book written by a celebrity: Why Not Me?, Mindy Kaling. Whoo boy. This book was something else for me. While Kaling writes a lot about struggles I’m never going to have to deal with (striving to succeed as a dark-skinned Indian woman in a world where so many doors are closed to anyone who isn’t white), I empathized a lot with her fears about success being snatched away, professional envy, and the overall feeling of the title–why not me? This book came at a time that was so awesome. I was down in the dumps after hearing about yet another incredibly bad book becoming a blockbuster, and hearing someone as successful as Mindy having similar doubts and fears as me (despite our personalities being so vastly different), sprinkled in with hilarious anecdotes about what it’s like to work in Hollywood (my favorite? A cringe-inducing story in which she spouts off about anti-vaxxers in a room full of them and tries, unsuccessfully, to dig her way out of a hole that only becomes deeper), really lifted me out of a bad depressive episode.
A book with a blue cover: Truthwitch, Susan Dennard. I saw a lot of bloggers fighting over ARCs of this book, and in my experience, books with that amount of prolonged hype don’t live up to expectations. But I decided I would read it because it sounded like an interesting premise, the author is from Michigan, and I met her on a plane and she seemed pretty cool. It not only lived up to, but exceeded the hype. It’s a YA traditional high fantasy in the vein of A Song of Ice and Fire. Set in a world on the brink of war as the terms of a peace treaty are set to run out, politics and magic mingle freely. The main characters, Safi and Iseult, are “theadsisters” of vastly different backgrounds (one is a poor girl from a racial group closely resembling the Roma, the other a noble woman used as a pawn in her uncle’s political machinations). Their only ambition is to be able to live their lives together, while outside forces pull them apart. The system of magic in the world building is awesome, and the storytelling is as cinematic as George R.R. Martin’s. I recommend this book so hard, I have to restrain myself here from blurting out the whole story like a second grader giving a book report. “And then…and then…and then…” Seriously, it’s that good.
A book about a culture you’re unfamiliar with: Craving Flight, Tamsen Parker. I picked this book because it’s a BDSM erotic romance about an Orthodox Jewish couple. How do you not pick up that book, right? I know basically nothing about Judaism, other than the dietary restrictions, so it was interesting to see how a convert struggled to fall in line with expectations and custom as opposed to how members of the community from birth viewed their way of life. At the same time, I felt like the book was too short to include all of that and present a believable romance. I would have loved to get the hero’s side of the story; he’s a widower who, despite his family’s objections, marries a woman his family doesn’t approve of. He also just happens to be a Dom, and it’s clear that this was a role he had with his late wife. But very little of that is explored, and that’s a fascinating idea to me. How does this man, whose late wife was his last sub, feel about moving on to a similar sexual relationship with a stranger only three years after her death? Plus, I thought the romantic resolution was rushed, and the lack of safe words or discussion of safety of any kind in the bondage scenes bothered me. That aside, this was a good read. Just not the OMGYOUHAVETOREADTHISRIGHTNOWITSTHEMOSTAMAZINGBOOKEVER book I was promised when people recommended it to me. Still, I liked it enough that I wish it would have been longer.
That’s it for my reading challenge news for now, so on to the rest!
Are you in the mood for something to watch? Cinema Tyrant has come up with a list of the ten best French movies available from Netflix.
Audiobook news! My recent re-release, Bride Of The Wolf, will be getting an audio version. More information to come on that one. It will be produced and narrated by two-time Earphone Award winner and 2013 Audie nominee, Tanya Eby, who has narrated books by Lisa Kleypas, Susan Mallery, Debbie Macomber, and Nora Roberts. So I know this book is in good hands.
New installment of The Afflicted. Another chapter of my historical horror serial is up at Wattpad. You can read it here.