Welcome to our June Book Reviews post. I’m a bit late with this post because I’ve been trying to get away from my computer more often and I would often forget to come here into this space of mine and make a post! But, I’ve got a bunch of new stuff I want to share with you all, so make sure you’re following the blog if you don’t already!
Each month, I round up some of the books I’ve read in the previous month and review them for you guys! Next to the title and author of each book I’ve given each book a rating of one to five stars (* to *****) based on my overall reaction to the book, and whether I would recommend it to a friend. Kelly’s Note: I try not to give spoilers for books if I really like them and recommend them to others. But, if I really loathe a book (*), be on the lookout for some spoilers. You’ve been warned!
Now, let’s get to the books!
Girl Waits With Gun, by Amy Stewart (****)
Category: Historical Fiction/Crime Drama
What can I say about this book that hasn’t already been said? Well, I found the protagonist fascinating, especially when we learn about her *past* and are able to understand her motivations a little better. Constance has no interest in men or getting married, and she, and her sisters, don’t have conventional jobs. Their life surrounds their farm and when someone comes to their territory and threatens their livelihood, they will stop at nothing to protect it and their tight-knit family. Set in 1920s New Jersey, their story takes place in a setting I’m familiar with. Much like with As Bright as Heaven, which I previously reviewed, it is fun to read about places I’ve visited before, although in a different time period.
The three Kopp sisters are so unlike any other characters I’ve read before, and I can’t wait to read more of Stewart’s books about them.
Would I recommend this book to a friend? Oh most definitely. If you’re a fan of historical fiction and/or mystery-type books, you will definitely find something to love about this book.
Someone to Care, by Mary Balogh (***)
Category: Historical Romance
I think I’m becoming less and less enamored with Balogh’s writing. Or maybe I’m just so used to her stories and their style that they’re all starting to sound the same to me? It’s probably the latter, but this book was just okay to me. The fourth book in the Westcott series, this one centers on Viola, the widow of the former Earl of Riverdale. But not really, because they were never married in the first place (I promise that’s not a spoiler, it’s right on the back of the book!). I found Viola to be one of the most selfish and self-centered characters I’ve ever read. She cares little for the feelings of her children, or the rest of her family, when she runs away with a man she is not married to. I mean, I’m reading this story as someone from the 21st century, and even I know that would not have been looked upon with any sort of positivity back then. And then, when they’re caught, she is so surprised that she has to go along with convention to save herself and her unmarried children from the shame of having such a mother.
It takes her way too long to come around to the idea of marrying Marcel, much longer than Balogh’s books usually take. I long for the days when Balogh would allow her characters a little bit of happiness before making them endure so much turmoil.
Would I recommend this book to a friend? If you’re a fan of Balogh and you feel you must read every book she comes out with, then yes. Otherwise, skip this one and wait for the fifth book in the Westcott series to come out in the fall of 2018.
Mr. Knightley’s Diary, by Amanda Grange (*)
Category: Historical Fiction
I really don’t have much to say about this book, as I could not finish it. I understand what the author was trying to do, retell Jane Austen’s Emma through the eyes of John Knightley, Emma’s love interest, but this was not the way to go about it. There was very little new information or scenes added to the story and the writing style bored me to tears. And the “diary” format of the book is such a tired trope; unless it is done well, it just ends up seeming like a cop out in order to move the story’s timeline forward.
Would I recommend this book to a friend? Nope, nope, nope. I’ve even tried to read a couple of Grange’s other works, like Dear Mr. Darcy, but sadly, I just do not enjoy her writing at all.
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