Hello Hello, Bookworms!
Another week has gone by and we’re getting more and more re-integrated into life as it once was. Now that our extended family circles are fully vaccinated (minus the kids, of course, but they’ll all be vaccinated as soon as it’s approved) we’ve been making plans for visits and birthdays and summer and all the things. Sammers will get to see his cousins more and we won’t need to fret about exposing any of our loved ones to a deadly disease. We’re still laying fairly low, but being able to spend time with those we love and trust and know have been vaccinated is pretty awesome. We spent all of 2020’s major holidays at home as a family of 3 and while we tried to make the best of it, it was a pretty big bummer. No regrets, of course, as somewhat lonely holidays are a tiny price to pay for, you know, not accidentally killing any of our elders, but it’s nice to be able to hug and hang out again. I realize other parts of the world aren’t faring as well and it breaks my heart. It also kind of pisses me off since we have a whole bunch of people in the US who refuse to get vaccinated while people in other countries are desperate for vaccine supplies, but I cannot control any of that. The best I can do is take care of my people and give money where I can. Shouting at randos in the grocery store will not help, which is something I need to remind myself of when out in public. Nothing good has ever come from a grocery store altercation. I do, however, still have a pretty venomous side-eye even while masked, which I have been known to deploy. Enough about that, though, let’s discuss some books, shall we?
To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters- Apparently sexually frustrated bickering aristocrats are Martha Waters’s jam, as Diana and Jeremy were every bit as passionately at odds as Violet and James from To Have and to Hoax (review). Diana, a young widow now free to move about the ton with more freedom than many women, has made a bet with her quasi-nemesis Jeremy, the infuriatingly handsome rake she likes to verbally spar with. She’s bet him a tidy sum of money that she’ll see him married off within the year, a bet Jeremy has no intention of losing. But, of course, Jeremy and Diana enter into an ill-advised friends-with-benefits arrangement (why fictional characters ever think this is a good idea, I do not know) and they both realize that their years of sniping at each other have barely contained the force of their feelings. Jolly madcap Regency romantic comedy, for the win. I listened to this book via audio, which I always enjoy, but I must say that while extremely accurate, the posh yet nasal accent of the male narrator is… Not quite as Colin Firth-y as I’d prefer. Though, while the accent doesn’t quite hit me as sexy, it definitely adds to the comic tone of the exasperated gentlemen in question. I believe this was the same duo that narrated the previous book. I’d be interested to hear if any of you indulged in this via audio and had the same thoughts regarding the male narrator’s voice?
Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur- It is occurring to me only NOW as I write this up that this book is something of a sapphic, modernized Pride and Prejudice. Suffice it to say that Darcy is a snob but a true sweetheart once you get past the prickly bits, and Elle is a free spirit for whom Darcy falls most ardently. It doesn’t follow the whole “your family is poor and insufferable but I suppose I could marry you in spite of that” narrative. Or the “I rescued your family’s reputation from utter ruin after your impetuous little sister absconded with a cad” bit. Though Elle does have a lot of siblings… The P&P comparison is honestly just distracting me and I kind of wish Alexandria Bellefleur had chosen different names just to spare me this over-analyzation. Ahem. Darcy is a buttoned-up actuary with a penchant for expensive wine and haughtiness. Elle is an astrologer responsible for the wildly successful online platform, Oh My Stars. The two are set up on a blind date that ends disastrously, but in an attempt to keep her brother and would-be matchmaker at bay, Darcy tells a little white lie… And then? BOOM. Fake dating. Which ends up with real feelings because OF COURSE IT DOES. This book is incredibly cute and full of banter and charm. I highly recommend it.
Legendborn by Tracy Deonn- OK, this book was incredible. I’ve been thinking of comparable books, but I don’t want it to sound like “oh this person totally copied off someone else” because it’s not like that at all. This book was super original and WHEW what a RIDE! That said, it definitely had some vibes that reminded me of LL McKinney’s A Blade So Black (review) with shades of The Raven Cycle (review) by Maggie Stiefvater, so if you liked those? You’ll dig Legendborn. 16-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing more than to leave home after her mother is killed in an accident. She accepts an opportunity to attend an Early College program at UNC-Chapel Hill in an attempt to get a change of scenery. The scenery is more than she bargained for, as her first night on campus, she witnesses a magical attack. In her quest for answers, Bree finds herself drawn into the secretive world of the Legendborn: a secret society based on Arthurian legends who apparently hunt down demons. However bananapants you think that sounds, Bree thinks it sounds wilder. Then again, she’s seen some things that simply cannot be explained away with logic, so she badgers her campus-appointed mentor Nick to get her close enough to the society to figure out what the heck is going on. This book was SO GOOD. I was almost put off by the sad beginning of the book where Bree is dealing with the immediate aftermath of her mother’s death (the audio narrator Joniece Abbot-Pratt will legit break your heart she puts so much feeling into her reading), but I am so glad I kept at it. This is the first in a series and I am going to be reading the HECK out of the new books as they’re released.
I think that’s all I’ve got for today, but I’m always always interested in what you’ve been reading! Leave me some recs in the comments if you’re so inclined.
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