The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn

The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever (Bevelstoke, #1)

The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I have a lot of mixed feeling about this one. I feel it’s about 3.5 stars, and am still not sure if I rounded the correct way.
While I don’t believe this book is one of the author’s earliest, judging by the publication date, it certainly reads like one. Both plot and writing-wise.
On one hand, it certainly had its perfect moments (like the brilliant first chapter), and on the other hand the whole main ‘drama’ of the story (the one with obsessing about people not saying the words) and the whole conclusion were utterly and toothachingly cliched and cheesy. In fact, there were uncharacteristically (at least I’d like to think so) many cliched and cheesy moments in this, compared to other books.
Then there is the fact that the main female friendship was of a rather insincere nature that shouldn’t be normalized, and the problem that the issue of the ‘friendship’ being half-sided was never recognized or addressed. As well as the fact that there was a number of side characters who were left too glaringly underdeveloped and faceless, which I also felt was uncharacteristic for the author.
And there is also the fact that POV floated all over the place.
In all, this book just reads very much like ‘one of very first books’, where there are some good ideas but execution lacks style and sophistication that develops with experience.



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The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn

The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons, #2)

The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Perhaps a level lower on the fun and giggles meter than the first book, but still delightful. Even brilliant in some places, like the roles bees played. I love the fact that behind all the humor and romance these books pick up on some very real and serious issues that occur in human psyche and do a pretty good job of showing what goes on in people’s heads.



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Null and Void by Susan Copperfield

Null and Void: A Royal States Novel

Null and Void: A Royal States Novel by Susan Copperfield

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


It is fun. It is heartwarming. It has a badass main character who works her ass off in not easy situations. It has a crowd of lovable and too-good-to-be-true side characters. I’m a fan.

I also have to say that I made my experience reading this better and more exciting by avoiding spoilers, and because I had no idea where the book was going to go for the whole first part of it. I thought this was one of the most unpredictable books I’ve read, since it’s wasn’t before about page 120 that I begun to guess where this was going. Of course, when I read the description on the back of the book after I finished the book, I realized that most of the turns I found most surprising were already spoiled on there… So my advise to you kids, trust your gut and try not to read descriptions and reviews that describe the plot before reading the book, don’t spoil your experience. I suspect I might not have had as much fun with this and might not have given this book 5 stars if I read it knowing what was happening beforehand.



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A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole

A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark, #2)

A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


I didn’t like the first one, but since this one kept showing up in practically every list and ranking I use to find new books to read, I felt almost obligated to try it.
This one felt somewhat better than the previous one, but still 1.5 legs over the line of “too rapey”. Still too full of hatred and aggression. Too crude. Too preoccupied with material things and symbols of wealth and sex, with ‘sex and violence’ being all these books are really built on. Characters hardly talk to each other, mostly at each other. Everyone hates each other, everyone wants to kill everyone else, and then when they feel a fierce need to also have sex with each other for some ‘supernatural-biological’ reason, the ‘plot’ ensues.
At least I now have ‘tried’ these series and the author enough to have no regrets about parting our ways and not looking back.



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Neanderthal Marries Human by Penny Reid

Neanderthal Marries Human (Knitting in the City, #1.5)

Neanderthal Marries Human by Penny Reid

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Just as the previous one, this book continued to do this weird thing of hitting precisely the points I find very close and like a lot (the ostrich behavior, the structure of the relationship between the main characters, the unconditional love-friendship importance, Kitten, ASD qualities, etc.) and precisely the points I really hate very much (stilettos and women’s shoes, stockings, men who try to dress up women, women who find idiotic reasons to care about people opening doors for them, etc.).
Similarly to constantly randomly mixing things I love and hate, it also constantly mixes elements that could belong in a silly-almost-childish ‘girly’ fiction (wedding, fashion, girlfriends…not as much the topics as the way they are written about) with things belonging in more serious adult fiction (crime, mental disorders, broken families, real-life assholes).
It’s a fun and uplifting book on one side. The relationships are written especially well, and there are many things here that are worth stopping to think about for a few moment.
And I’m giving it 4 stars on my bookshelf because of it, …though, if I am to be really honest and remember the number of times the ‘female’ stuff in here made me gag (practically every time fashion and clothes/shoes came into focus, and the whole discussion of men opening doors for women, plus some of the behavioral decisions), I’d probably end up rating this book much lower. Good thing I’m so good at pretending that things I didn’t like weren’t there.



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Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre

Blue Diablo (Corine Solomon, #1)

Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


It’s a skillfully written book, strongly above average, with some interesting concepts and characters, but it also felt…diluted. Or confused. Things are happening, but it also feels like nothing is. The beginning was definitely the better part of the book, while the end felt anticlimactic. To much of the set-ups seems to be aimed at the later books to come, so this book ended with very little actually resolved, which meant there was very little satisfaction from the reading experience overall.
There’s such thing as too many question marks.
Unfortunately, the worst part of this book is the protagonist. She is cowardly, manipulative, and too preoccupied with herself and deciding which one of the attractive men she should or shouldn’t ‘let herself get involved with’. She could be worse, I wouldn’t exactly put her together with the truly annoying female protagonists of paranormal romance I’ve seen before, but she’s still difficult to like.



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