Monday, February 2, 2015

January 2015 Recap: Books, Reviews & Posts

This year, although I signed up to participate in the 2015 Sci-Fi Experience, my mood took me elsewhere and I read everything but science fiction. It happens. My year began with a great contemporary fiction book, as a result I followed through by picking up fiction, non-fiction, and other assorted books accumulated but not read in 2014. I spent most of the month catching up by reading books from my TBR.

Additionally, I am making an effort to get my reviewing mojo back. It is amazing how quickly and easily we lose it when we don't use it on a regular basis. Since I returned to blogging in November, I have been writing minis, and this month I finally moved on to writing full reviews again. That is a step forward. Hopefully, I can keep it up.

January 2015 Total Books Read: 12
Contemporary Romance: 2
Fiction: 4
Non-Fiction: 1
Fantasy/Fiction: 1
Urban Fantasy: 4

Favorite Books of the Month: (Click on title links to read reviews & posts) 



The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin: B+
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng: B+
Big Boy (Strangers on the Train) by Ruthie Knox: B+

The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood by Richard Blanco: B
Stone Mattress: Nine Tales by Margaret Atwood: B (Upcoming review)
The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami: (Upcoming review)
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty: C+
Lead (Stage Dive #3) by Kylie Scott: C+ (See mini below) 
Seven Years by Dannika Dark: C+
Bloodsick: An Old World Novella by Melissa F. Olson: C
Dead Spots (Scarlett Bernard #1) by Melissa F. Olson: C-
Of Wings and Wolves (The Cain Chronicles) by SM Reine: C-

Additional January Posts:
LGBT: 2014 Favorite Books & Authors
2014: Top Books of the Year
SF Mini: The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
Closing: The 2014 TBR Challenge
December 2014: Books Read + Minis

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Lead (Stage Dive #3) by Kylie Scott

I purchased this book based on Leslie's great review. She positively loved this book. It is book three of a contemporary series with famous music band members finding a happy ever after. I should have read the first two books of the series first but this one sounded good. I enjoyed this romance to a certain degree. There were some terribly cute moments,  good sexual tension throughout the story, and a sense of fun as a result of the young band members that intermingle on an almost daily basis with this couple.

There were also situations and characterization issues that did not work so well for me. For example, the female protagonist is supposed to be a tough and comes off as such at the beginning of the story when she is first hired to become Stage Dive's lead singer's companion or 'babysitter' while he goes through substance abuse post-treatment and therapy. Unfortunately, she promptly becomes adoringly in lust with him, and willing to forgive some of his worse behavior. Our male protagonist had a terrible childhood and struggles with addiction. He is used to getting his own way and can be pretty persuasive (manipulative). As a result there are scenes with inexcusable behavior on his part toward a woman he considers a friend. Don't get me wrong, he also shows vulnerability as their friendship grows and he becomes emotionally dependent on her. The story is compelling in many ways, particularly the sense of fun along with sections about how severe family dysfunction affects the male protagonist's self-destructive behavior, as well as his relationships with others.

4 comments:

  1. I love reading your reviews (both minis and full-length) so I'm glad you're getting your reviewing mojo back. I hope you're taking good care of yourself too!

    I adored the Kylie Scott, but I think I was in the right mood for it. I totally agree about the (very) dysfunctional dynamics, but that created those big pay-off moments for me.

    Li

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    1. Thanks Li. I am taking care of myself. I have a lot to do but I am making the time to read, and writing longer reviews means my ability to focus is improving.

      I noticed that Lead was loved by many readers. Leslie loved it! For me, it was more of a mixed bag and the way the HEA came about brought the grade down. Still, many good, fun moments to enjoy along the way.

      PS: I need to get back in the "mood" to read a few mainstream romances in a row. :)

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  2. Hey Hils :)

    I picked up Lead too on Leslie's rec and pretty much feel the same way as you. I am soooo tired of people being in lust and losing their minds :(

    And wow, look at you! How busy you've been blogging-wise. I really have to find my mojo!

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    1. Hey Nath :)

      We agree on Lead then. It was ok, just not wow, you know? :(

      And yeah… I'm working hard to get that mojo back! It's not flowing yet, and my time is restricted, but I'm trying.

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