Hello, Hello Bookworms,
My brain is too fried to give you charming anecdotes today, BUT I finally finished reading some things, and I have THOUGHTS on them.
Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean- Ah regency romance, I have missed you. I decided to start a new Sarah MacLean series because romance is a bright spot in this gloomy COVID landscape and hers are always so delightfully cheeky. Our titular “wallflower,” Felicity Faircloth, has been through some things at the hands of her fellow aristocrats. She’s been shunned by the cool kids (yup, Mean Girls know no time period, apparently) and is thisclose to being labeled an unmarriagable spinster. Our hero runs a crime syndicate in Covent Garden. He goes by “Devil,” naturally. The two run into each other at a ball. Felicity, hiding out on a balcony, encounters Devil there, who is in attendance to do a bit of blackmail. Paths cross, sparks fly, nefarious deeds are plotted. Honestly though, how is a smuggling crime boss to resist an aristocratic misfit with a penchant for lock picking? This book was an excellent diversion and I will definitely continue reading the series.
The Perfect Escape by Suzanne Park: Nate is a scholarship student at an elite private school. The son of Korean immigrants, his family has never been particularly wealthy, and Nate’s greatest ambition is to make buckets full of cash so he and his family don’t have to struggle. Kate is a theater enthusiast whose tech CEO father is very well off, but he’s usually absent and completely lacking in boundaries. An after school job at a zombie escape room introduce Nate and Kate (it rhymes, it’s precious) and they team up for a weird zombie survivalist competition to win a pile of cash. The villains in this book were almost cartoonishly evil, and there were kind of a lot of robots for a book that wasn’t sci fi. Still, it super fun and had definite Hunger Games vibes during the zombie challenge. While the villains and the robots didn’t make for the most realistic YA contemporary, the teenage likeage was SPOT ON. Suzanne Park tapped into all the nerves and euphoria I remember from being a teenager in like. I was so invested in this book that I stayed up entirely too late to finish it, which, to my mind, is always a ringing endorsement.
Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir- I… I don’t even know where to begin here. This book is absolutely bonkers, as was its predecessor. Like, I’m pretty sure that even if I made an attempt at giving a synopsis it wouldn’t make sense to anyone. But what a bizarre, entertaining ride! Your inner goth will love you for reading this book about queer space necromancers. There is a LOT of talk of blood and guts and viscera and bone but it’s in such a detached sort of way that it didn’t bother me nearly as much as I might have expected. (I’m not good with blood. Like, seeing a large-ish quantity of it makes me woozy. I don’t do well with donating blood or having blood draws done at the doctor, either. I mean, I CAN do both of those things, but it is very unpleasant and often leads to me needing emergency juice and cookies.) The audio version of this as well as Gideon the Ninth truly cannot be beat. Moira Quirk’s narration is SO immersive and her character voices SO distinct that it’s almost like listening to a full cast recording. Plus, there is nobody else on earth who could deliver lines like “you ensorcelled my jawbone” with such droll perfection. I still DO NOT UNDERSTAND ANYTHING but I cannot WAIT to read the final installment of this series, whenever that comes out. And by read, I mean listen, OBVIOUSLY.
This may be the strangest handful of books I think I’ve ever put into the same post, and now I’m snort laughing thinking about what would happen if any of the characters in any of these books met each other. Like, Harrow in Regency London. Or Harrow in contemporary Seattle. Really, I’m just going to think of how funny it would be to take Harrow out of context. With her exoskeleton and her necromancy. I realize this is way too obscure to ever become an SNL sketch, but I would watch the heck out of that. I digress. I’m still reading. I just started the audio version of Everfair by Nisi Shawl and eyeball reading Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean. What are you reading, bookworms?
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