So crap, I say I’m going to write quick and dirty reviews for the next little while and then I go and read Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You and have all these complicated mixed feelings.
Louisa Clark, a rather aimless young woman, takes a job as a caregiver for Will Traynor. She’s working-class, wears kooky clothes, and has hardly ever left her small town. Will’s rich and before his spinal cord injury (he’s quadriplegic) he was an adventure travel, business tycoon, alpha player kind of guy. They change each others’ lives. The novel is (mostly) not melodramatic or manipulative, but it is a tear-jerker and I am constitutionally averse to that. Part of my mixed feelings were because I resisted the book. For balance, here are two glowing reviews from people who surrendered to the tears: AnimeJune and Liesl Schillinger in the New York Times Book Review. I can’t really discuss how I feel without talking about the ending, but I’ll put that at the end of the review with spoiler warnings (I will say I peeked and that didn’t “spoil” the book for me). [ETA: Comments will be spoilery too!]
There’s been a lot of talk the last week or so about the decline (in numbers, quality, new authors, readers) of historical romance. Jane’s suggestion at Dear Author that “We should let the historical genre die” has generated a lot of discussion (both there and on Twitter).
I agree with a lot of what Jane says about how stale the subgenre has become and how few new authors are breaking out (forget talking about why this is so, which only seems to lead to arguments among people who basically agree that variety would be nice). I don’t want to launch a campaign to save historical romance in its current narrow form, but I would like a campaign to reboot it. What can I do? Continue reading
May and June will be super busy for me, so I’m going to try to post short but regular reading updates (i.e. less than my usual 1000 words, and not obsessed over for 2 days).
I had my reading for last weekend/this week all planned out, but it turned out I needed something emotionally lighter to intersperse with JoJo Moyes’ Me Before You. What I chose was nothing on my list or even on my TBR, but Siri Mitchell’s The Cubicle Next Door. I’m not sure exactly what in this post by jmcbooks inspired me to check it out, because usually the words “inspirational chick lit,” even followed by “in a loose sort of way,” would send me running. I suspect it was her statement that the heroine’s voice makes the book. Continue reading
SonomaLass has a great idea for promoting book discussion that’s a little more group-centred than the TBR challenge and a little less organized than a book club:
I have listed the books that I plan to read, or have recently read and plan to review, in the next few months. If one or more of those titles is one you’re interested in reading and talking about, leave a comment to that effect. (I’m likely to prioritize those books, to be honest.) When I post my reactions, I will tag the tweet with “#onthesamepage.” I’ll do my best to let you know that I have posted, so that you can come comment, and we can have a discussion.
Ridley’s posted a list too. I’m afraid this will add to my TBR, but I love the idea.
I know what I’m reading next: Me Before You, by JoJo Moyes, because I have to return it to the library in a week. Continue reading
When Isabel Cooper’s No Proper Lady was listed in the deals post at Dear Author, I snapped it up (it appears it’s still on sale as of this writing). I’d been wanting to read it since I read Lazaraspaste’s review. I pretty much agree with her take on the book, so, what she said, and rather than write a proper review, I’m going to see if I can pin down why despite being great in theory, it lacked a certain “spark” for me. Really, I should call this blog “my narcissistic reading.”
No Proper Lady is a time-travel fantasy historical romance. Joan travels back from a post-apocalyptic future, knowing that she is leaving for good the people she loves, to save the world from an evil magician, Alex Reynell. In late-nineteenth-century England, she meets Simon Grenville, a former friend of Alex’s, and Simon’s sister Eleanor, whose reputation was called into question when something happened between her and Alex (Alex got a demon to possess her, but as most people don’t know about magic, that’s not what they guess; Cooper parallels possession and sexual assault in really interesting ways). Together, the three save the world (that’s not a spoiler, surely).
I loved the opening chapters: Continue reading