2022 Reading Challenge

2022 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 5 books toward her goal of 260 books.
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Book Review: Scarlet in Blue by Jennifer Murphy

This was a really excellent story that drew me in with its compelling characters, who were able to hold my attention despite an unfortunate slow-down in the middle that felt a little unnecessarily labored. Continue reading Book Review: Scarlet in Blue by Jennifer Murphy

Book Review: Wind, Ocean, Grass by Karen Wyle (author) and Tomasz Mikutel (Illustrator)

By now, readers of my blog are familiar with the work of the talented Karen Wyle. From adult books to children’s picture stories, Wyle’s work is consistently original, lovely, and magical. (If you need a refresher, check out my posts on a number of her previous adult titles and her writing experiences – Twin-BredWander Home, Division, Leaders, and Water to Water in a two-part series of posts – as well as her first few forays into children’s books – You Can’t Kiss a Bubble and When It’s Winter.) This latest book is no exception. The focus is on nature, and the results are as lyrical as the movement of the eponymous wind. Continue reading Book Review: Wind, Ocean, Grass by Karen Wyle (author) and Tomasz Mikutel (Illustrator)

Book Review: Shadow in the Glass by M.E. Hilliard

I really enjoyed The Unkindness of Ravens and was very excited for a second Greer novel. An executive-turned-librarian protagonist is near and dear to my heart, as I am one myself, and while I don’t even remotely enjoy (or envy!) Greer’s capacity for finding her way into and out of trouble, reading about it is magnificently entertaining. Continue reading Book Review: Shadow in the Glass by M.E. Hilliard

Book Review: A Thin Witchline Between Love and Hate by T.L. Brown

Complex characters you love (and love to hate)? Check.

A plot swarming with magic, intrigue, betrayal, and more spice than you can shake a stick at? Check.

The promise of more books to come – and come soon? Check. Continue reading Book Review: A Thin Witchline Between Love and Hate by T.L. Brown

Book Review: The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

I am a huge fan of the team of Hendricks and Pekkanen, and every time I see a new title of theirs coming up I snatch it eagerly… This one was no exception. It started out brilliantly and for 80% of the book I was captivated. The characters, the plot, the misdirection, the unreliability – it was all there, and while some of it felt vaguely familiar, there were enough unique and original elements to keep me furiously flipping pages.

Then, on a dime, a significant character significantly shifted and suddenly triggered a domino effect in which everyone was the exact opposite of what you expected, and every situation meant the exact opposite of what you’d been led to believe all along. I get unreliability as a construct. But flipping every 180° isn’t really unreliability so much as a jarring shift, equivalent to “and it was all a dream!” or “and it turned out there were twins!”… It’s oddly tidy in a book that focuses on the messy nature of human relationships – and the falsely perfect faces we do often feel compelled to mask them with – and here it felt discordant with the tone and tenor of the rest of the book. It made me roll my eyes on a big surprised way.

That said, the women write compelling domestic thrillers and I did enjoy the vast majority of this one. I just think it feels like authors find themselves compelled to add more and more twists, coming farther and farther out of left field, lately in order to meet the ever-expanding need for the unexpected. Doing so can produce an unnecessarily forced feeling. While I enjoy a good twist as much as the next girl, if everyone is consistently the opposite of what you are led to believe in these types of stories, as is increasingly the case at least in those I read, it’s not really a surprise anymore when they turn out to be revealed as such…

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my obligation-free review copy.