The Reading Nook

Eclectic reader. From nonfiction to paranormal romances to tales told in the dark. I do have a soft spot for kickass heroines, YA and new adult stories, and beautiful prose. Always excited to add new stories to my ever-growing collection.

Sweep of the Blade

Sweep of the Blade -  Ilona Andrews Currently reading in installments on their blog....! What an awesome present every Friday. I'm shocked reading through some of the "reviews" that were based on a part of the chapter condemning it to some version of what they think it will be. Haha. Talk about jumping to conclusions...as usual, the Andrews' tale starts with a conflict you think you know and is slowly morphing into an intergalactic adventure. Prepare for new and old friends, family dynamics, Maud's backstory, Helen!, and incredible character development....put simply, everything we've learned to love about this series! And while the romance aspect is present given Maud's reasons for being there, that is definitely NOT the focus, which is very in line with how these books have been written. As in life, romance is only one of the storylines and there's a lot happening. Also, it shifts perspective, but the Innkeeper narrative really continues so I have a feeling we will be seeing Dina and company at some point soon!

One Fell Sweep

One Fell Sweep - Ilona Andrews

Part Star Trek Next Generation, part Sherlock Holmes, this series is pretty magical. Dina Demille is Captain Picard with an edge. She's strong, she's witty, she's kind, and she knows what she wants - and the troubles and tribulations she gets involved in speak to greater world conflicts in a way that's humorous, poignant, and so very human. It's also an absolute pleasure to read - I don't remember the last time I cared about the characters so much and not experienced a crazy amount of angst. I'm now also an avid follower of Andrews' blog that posts chapters of this series weekly, and the next installment focuses on Maud. Color me intrigued and very occupied during my lunchbreak. 5 shining galactic stars!

Shadowfever

Shadowfever - Karen Marie Moning 4.5 stars for all the twists and turns and sheer unputdownability of this last book in the M+J saga. Glad that references to “Deep South” and ridiculous generalizations about today’s generation were kept to a minimum. Not so glad they were replaced with inaccurate and ridiculous references to feeling “schizophrenic” and that that somehow involves multiple personalities. Two VERY DIFFERENT conditions folks! Wish movies and books would stop doing this already. We have the internet - no excuse for ignorance here... But despite these irritations of which there were not a few - Mac and Jericho really brought it home for me. They truly save the series and have such a fun dynamic. World building was also pretty great and I loved some of the creative scenes involving illusions. Fun fun fun! So while it didn’t have me fawning over the sheer brilliance in writing - I’m here for it - and will give the next few books in this world a chance too. I’m fairly certain that even with a few eyerolls, I’ll have fun. :)

Darkfever

Darkfever - Karen Marie Moning 4 stars for the story and the world building! -1 star for jokes and some descriptions that really make me cringe and hope I didn't talk like that when I was 22...there's only so many renditions of "pretty" or dressing like rainbows, and suntanning like a barbie I could take! However, the story is SO interesting, kudos to Moning for making the plot a surprise at every turn. On to book 2!

The Winner's Crime

Untitled - Marie Rutkoski

Truly a worthy conclusion to an incredible tale that starts with a whisper and ends with savage and raw poetry. What I found unique and masterful about this tale is the seamless incorporation of two points of view, with the story alternating mid-moment from one treasured narrator to the other. The beautiful writing, the incredible emotional intelligence of the characters, the ability of the reader to embody the minds of people both flawed and good - these all collide with an epic tale of love and war, guilt and joy, pain and transcendence. A winner all around - 5 gods-touched stars. ✨

Faefever

Faefever - Karen Marie Moning Surprises continue, cringe-worthy references to the "deep south" continue but are thankfully offset by some amazing plot points. More Barrons please - the mystery of who/what he is has me at the edge of my seat and Moning anticipates every step and dispels all our boring conclusions. Just for that, two thumbs up! That ending - holy smokes. Basically on to Book 4 immediately...!

Persephone

Persephone - Kaitlin Bevis

Quick and engaging read that I finished in 1 day. I started this after reading a series that totally strung me out with angst, and it was a welcome relief. I agree with others that there's definitely more room for relationship development, but there's several more books in store and I'm hoping this is one where marriage is just the beginning of a more complex and organic dynamic between Persephone and Hades. Onto book 2...!

A Court of Wings and Ruin

A Court of Wings and Ruin - Sarah J. Maas

Poignant and satisfying conclusion to the main plot - and I can't wait for more books! There's enough questions about the supporting cast left unanswered that I'm left eagerly awaiting 2018. This one took me by surprise - how much I fell in love, even with some of the more complicated characters. I loved the twist and turns, Maas's fusion of myth and fairytale into a tale all her own, and characters you want to drink, fight, and fly with. 5 magical stars!

Glass Sword

Glass Sword - Victoria Aveyard It's going to be a very long wait till February 2018... 😬😩

Euphoria

Euphoria - Lily King "He is wine and bread and deep in my stomach."

An intoxicating read, with a beautiful mastery of language and character development; the kind of book you find yourself reading aloud to others verbatim because paraphrasing it would not capture the nuance or emotional impact. The story unfolded like a dream and hurled toward an emotional conclusion that left me with thoughts about the nature of culture, our powers of observation, and the influence of temperament both on our relationships as well as the development of others. And the feelings definitely root themselves deep in your stomach.

Fangirl

Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell Made me smile from ear to ear from beginning to end. Five shining stars for making me read a book practically in one sitting. Levi may be magic, but so is Rainbow Rowell!

Opposites Attack: A Novel with Recipes Provencal

Opposites Attack: A Novel with Recipes Provencal - Jo Maeder Starting out light and silly, this little book surprisingly rings out some impressive emotion towards the middle and end. A great light read for any Francophile!

Ignite Me

Ignite Me - Tahereh Mafi 5/23/17 UPDATE: I cannot believe it's been 3 years since I read this series, but just re-read it again, and man, does it hold up! Again, inhaled all 3 books and both novellas in 3 days. Again, Warner reminded me that no one holds a candle to his level of awesome and I haven't loved anyone as much since. Again, wishing for an epilogue novella. Some things change, but love for these characters stays the same. Sigh. 5 out of 5 golden stars!


The ending caught me by surprise, but otherwise I wouldn't change a thing. LOVED, LOVED, LOVED! I basically just inhaled the whole thing in a matter of hours. Perhaps Novella #3 as part of a little epilogue to give us a glimpse into the future...? *Fingers Crossed!*

On the Island

On the Island  - Tracey Garvis-Graves This tale had me in tears more times than I care to admit, and I couldn't put it down till it was over. Beautiful story, beautiful writing, beautiful people. 5 glorious stars!

The Shining Girls

The Shining Girls - Lauren Beukes Not for the faint of heart (or stomach), The Shining Girls is less about time travel, and more about the tenacity and fragility of life in the face of violence during all times. Beukes is a master story-teller, and created characters that will stick with me for years to come. However, while the writing is absolutely terrific and paints a haunting picture of a truly terrifying man, the vicious, brutal details of his murders were difficult to get through. For me, it worked both for and against the book - but in the end, I found it worth all the queasy bus rides and deep breaths I had to take. 3 stars for nausea-inducing descriptions. 5 stars for awesome writing, creativity, and characters.

The Unsayable: The Hidden Language of Trauma

The Unsayable: The Hidden Language of Trauma - Annie G. Rogers Challenging, thought-provoking, inspiring. Though difficult to get through, doing so was both cathartic and life-reaffirming. The message that stuck with me: recovery is always possible, even when all you think that's left are ashes.

Currently reading

Sweep of the Blade
Ilona Andrews
Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
Matthew Walker