Hello There, Bookworms,
Ah, another week into 2021. Still pretty much the same old story around our house, but I’m optimistic that things will change soon. I mean, they have to, right? Because my “two weeks” of working from home with a toddler has been a OVER A YEAR. Vaccines are finally becoming less scarce, so for the love of books, get yourself vaccinated when you have the opportunity. I cannot express to you how badly I would like to hug you right now. Yeah. You. I can’t pretend that I won’t have some pandemic hangovers once we reach the other side of this thing. It’s going to be a while before normal things feel normal. And once I do get Sam back into daycare/school I absolutely WILL lose my marbles when he inevitably comes home sick. I used to be so flippant! Like, “Sigh, yeah, kids get sick. What a pain. But it’ll build his immune system.” I don’t want to morph into a hand-sanitizer wielding helicopter parent, but I think I’m going to have to work through some of this residual communal trauma before I get to that point. This week has been lovely though, despite it being the anniversary of stay at home orders and the like, because I read some truly delicious books. Without further ado…
A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas- Oh my goodness. I’ve enjoyed every installment of the Court of Thorns and Roses series (well, I wasn’t super enthused by the holiday special, but that hardly counts as it was not a full length book) but, folks- THIS ONE IS MY FAVORITE. By far. Whew! Nesta has been such a wonderfully unlikable character for so long and getting inside her cold fire brain was fascinating. It was also like, intensive trauma therapy. Cassian finally got some good character development- I mean, he’d had SOME in past books, but he was mostly just a pretty beefcake, if we’re being honest here. In this book he was substantive and wanted to help Nesta but allow her to work through things on her own. This wasn’t a case of “true love will save you” at all! Nesta goes through so much hard work in addressing her trauma, finding a support system (that goes beyond her love interest), and finding healthy coping mechanisms rather than destructive ones. And, let me tell you, these books should NEVER have been classified as YA, but this takes that to a whole new level, because it is bar none the horniest faerie book of all time. I am beginning to wonder, though, how many times (redacted) and/or (redacted) will need to be (redacted) by extreme expenditures of power. Did I avoid spoilers by redacting? Meh, probably not well enough. AND YET. I’m guessing this will serve a larger purpose in the overall story arc. It will likely be quite a while before I get another chance to dive back into this world, but I would very much like to see Tamlin SORT HIMSELF OUT because dude is brooding so hard and it is SAD. Perhaps he’ll get a nice redemptive novel like Nesta did? But we still have Az and Mor AND Lucien and Elain to contend with, so if Tamlin is going to stop being a wreck, it’ll probably be a while yet. The Fae need a licensed Cognitive Behavioral Therapist in a BIG way.
To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters- I’d had this book on my TBR pile, but finally picked it up thanks to Jenny, who called it a “jolly madcap romance.” Has a description ever been more irresistible? I was able to listen to this one via audio, which was great fun. My brain conjures up a posh regency accent very effectively, but this book was just so, well, jolly and madcap, that the narration added to the silliness. Long story short, James and Violet are married but had a giant fight a year into their marriage and have been being horrid to each other ever since. Which has been 4 years. Anyway, Violet gets a bee in her bonnet when she’s inadvertently tricked into coming to her husband’s sickbed. He really DID fall off a horse and get knocked out, but he recovered more quickly than messages could be sent, etc. Violet decides to retaliate with a scheme of her own, and so on. It’s NOT practical jokey at all, which is great because I hate practical jokes. It’s just a giant farce of “I know she knows I know!” Plus a scandalous window seat interlude or two. I’d absolutely read the rest of the series.
The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary- Tiffy has just come out of a tumultuous long term relationship and needs to find a place of her own. Her budget is so small that she ends up accepting an odd roommate agreement. Leon is a nurse who works third shift, so he and Tiffy should never occupy the space at the same time. Which is why, despite her reservations, Tiffy agrees to the arrangement despite there being ONLY ONE BED. Tiffy and Leon begin leaving each other post-it notes, baked goods, and leftovers. The post-it correspondence soon goes beyond simple space-sharing issues and they start forging a real friendship… And possibly crushes. Which is ADORABLE since they don’t know what the other person looks like. I’ll go ahead and issue a content warning that if emotionally abusive relationships, gaslighting, stalking, etc are sensitive subjects for you, you should probably avoid this one. Clearly this nonsense is NOT on the part of Leon, who is an absolute cinnamon roll.
All in all, this was a wonderful week for reading. What excellent books, each bringing a bit of light and joy into my days. I hope your reading is going as well, my dear Bookworms!
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