2021, Week the Thirty-Fourth: A Digital Library Haul

August 25, 2021 Mystery, Romance, Young Adult Fiction 0

Hey Bookworms,

You know that thing that always happens when you place several books on hold at the library? You know, the thing where they inevitably all come in at the same time? It is a truth universally acknowledged, and not limited to physical books, apparently. I recently experienced a flood of digital holds becoming available at once. Of course they were all excellent, and I stayed up too late reading every single one them because I don’t always make great choices. Whatever. Worth it. Let’s talk about them, shall we?

Pumpkin by Julie Murphy- Goodness gracious, I love Julie Murphy. This latest installment in the Dumplin’-verse is truly something special. If you’ve read the previous books, you’ll recall that Clover City, Texas is not the most progressive town in the world, and our hero Waylon has faced some challenges growing up gay. But as Waylon is about to finish his senior year and quietly leave Clover City for Austin, his twin sister throws a wrench into his plans. Then, to blow off some steam, Waylon makes an audition video for his favorite drag reality series. Which somehow gets leaked to the whole school. And then he ends up joke-nominated as Prom Queen. He’s not alone in this humiliation, though, his twin’s girlfriend Hannah got joke nominated as Prom King. Instead of shrinking from it, the two decide they’re going to OWN IT and go out of Clover City in a shower of sparkles. This was such a sweet, heartfelt book, in line with the rest of the series. I so hope it gets into the hands of the kids who need to see themselves in Waylon’s fabulousness.

An Earl, the Girl, and a Toddler by Vanessa Riley- What this series lacks in explicit steamy scenes (it’s very much a closed door romance) it makes up for in page-turning, compelling mysteries and intrigue. I could not stop reading this book until I found out what exactly Jemina’s origin story was and WHEW it was a wild ride. It’s very much on par with the revelations exposed in the book’s predecessor, A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby (review). Jemina was in a shipwreck and has had amnesia ever since. She can’t remember the details of her life prior to boarding the ship, all she knows is that she’s (apparently) the widow of a wealthy man who perished in the wreck. Daniel is a successful barrister and newly minted Lord Ashbrook, though he doesn’t get the respect he deserves because he’s bi-racial and regency England isn’t exactly known for its diversity. He was married by-proxy to a passenger on the ship Jemina was on, only to lose his wife and gaina surprise daughter. After all, he was the only person of color to show up on the docks- the child must belong to him somehow. It’s either that or send her off to be raised in a brothel, and Daniel is having none of that. And so Daniel tries to unravel the mysteries of his daughter, while simultaneously being drawn to the equally mysterious Jemina. You know. The Jemina he rescued from Bedlam. It’s a whole thing. Well worth the read!

Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon- I have cried reading every Nicola Yoon book I’ve read, but never THIS much. And I don’t know why I wasn’t expecting to, given that Nicola Yoon apparently loves to manipulate my emotions, but holy cats, I’m not sure that I’m OK right now. Gracious. I absolutely cannot reveal anything because SO. MANY. SPOILERS. I’ll give you the synopsis, though. Evie used to love reading romance novels but has found herself disenchanted after her parents’ divorce. While dropping some of her well-worn books off at a Little Free Library, a mysterious woman (mysterious totally equals witchy) asks her to take a book if she’s leaving so many. Shortly after that encounter, Evie is drawn to a dance studio where she gets roped into a ballroom dancing competition. Her dance partner is the swooniest, but Evie is guarded because all she trusts is heartbreak. Oh, and since she encountered the mysterious lady at the LFL? She’s suddenly got a very specific set of psychic powers. If she sees a couple in love kiss, she sees the entirety of their relationship, beginning to end. Which is not even a little bit helpful for the girl who is having a hard time believing in love. The book is complex and emotional and it kept me up reading way too late, but then I was also up sobbing, sooooo if you’re going to read this, prepare yourself. For tears.

I’m really quite impressed with myself that I made it through three library books before they expired. That’s a huge perk of digital library lending- you can never get a late fee because they just take the book back when it expires. No need for frantic late night drop-offs or the guilt that comes with potentially depriving another patron of an excellent story. That’ll do it for me this week. Hope you’re all well. Drink water, eat your veggies, get vaccinated, and wear a mask. Love you.

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