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respiringthoughts

Respiring Thoughts

Renae, book blogger at Respiring Thoughts. Reading addict. Dog lover. Possessor of too many paperbacks.

Upon finishing The Darkest Heart...

Everyone see that cover? Good. That is 100% the reason I picked up this bodice-ripping cross-racial romance from the good year 1989. Oh yeah. I fully expected not to like it, but I couldn't resist. Could not resist. 

 

Basically, this is some truly great snarkbait. Huge, HUGE emphasis on rape over the course of the text.

 

1. The heroine's "No" is proven to actually mean "Yes"—typical, of course she was just playing "hard to get" right?

 

2. When she loses her virginity it doesn't hurt, and they proceed to go at it like rabbits (about 12 times within the firs 24 hours after losing said virginity). MAGIC.

 

3. The love interest's kiss is described as follows: "He proceeded to violently rape her with his tongue." (told you, lots of rape imagery)

 

4. My personal favorite, the love interest says this: "It's not possible for a man to rape his own wife."

 

5. Also: RACISM. Whoa buddy.

 

So. Yeah. I could go on, but nah. Too many other books, you know? A

Book Review: The Murmurings by Carly Anne West

The Murmurings - Carly Anne West

For me, The Murmurings is one of those reads that you can’t take too seriously. Suspension of disbelief is important, and you can’t get too caught up in logic and technicalities. Saying that sounds ridiculous. In order to enjoy a book, you shouldn’t have to turn your brain off. A truly amazing book will do well under close scrutiny—it may, even, become better, as you look at the author’s intent and execution. With that in mind, it’s probably safe to say that The Murmurings isn’t a “truly amazing” book. But I liked it anyway...

 

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Book Review: Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier

Son of the Shadows - Juliet Marillier

It turns out I didn’t like Son of the Shadows very much at all. I mean, what is that all about? I loved Daughter of the Forest. I loved it with an unholy, feels-making love. In direct contrast, the majority of my thoughts concerning Son of the Shadows can be firmly pinned down in the “World of No” camp of bookish opinions.

 

The main character in this sequel is Liadan, the daughter of Sorcha, who was Marillier’s original protagonist in the first novel. While I loved and adored her mother, Liadan for me was just…blah. Basically, Liadan is this SUPER angst person who's also super special because she has the ability to alter the “pattern” of life. I don’t know. So she has free will while all the other characters are just trodding down the path set out for them by some mysterious higher power? What. (*cough* Mary Sue *cough*)

 

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Book Review: Empress of the Seven Hills by Kate Quinn

Empress of the Seven Hills - Kate Quinn

I’m heartily disappointed by Empress of the Seven Hills, and possibly a bit angry too. This was a complete departure from the previous two books in the series, and not in a good way at all. Kate Quinn’s handle on entertaining historical fiction seems to have left the building in this book. I didn’t like any of the characters (and rather disliked the ones I was supposed to love), thought the plot was a non-plot and the ending a non-ending. Stylistically and conceptually, this is very different from Quinn’s other Rome-centric novels, but not in a good way. I’m very upset with this, and I really consider it to have been a waste of my time. 

 

Such a shame.

 

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Book Review: Fragments by Dan Wells

Fragments - Dan Wells

I think the main strength when it comes to Fragments is how fast-paced and exciting the story is. Sure, the book is chunky, but it’s entertaining. Wells is constantly throwing things at the reader, pushing at the conflict, examining it from different perspectives. The action is constant, but not overwhelming.

 

Fragments is an excellent book. I’m really enjoying the Partials series, perhaps more than I’d even anticipated. Dan Wells knows how to tell a good story, and this book is proof of that. Fragments is an exciting sequel that meets the standard set by the author’s previous work, and maybe even improves on it...

 

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Book Review: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

Burial Rites - Hannah Kent

I’m disappointed. Burial Rites could have been excellent, but it was lacking. With a bit of structural rearrangement, and a bigger emphasis on the unique setting, I think I would have liked it better. Perhaps it’s not a terrible book, but I certainly thought this was a boring one. Burial Rites is a well-written, thoughtful novel. But Hannah Kent doesn’t really do anything with her setting or time period. Honestly, if you had taken the infamous murderer Agnes out of Iceland and plopped her into, say…any other historical time period, I still feel that the story’s impact could have been fully felt...

 

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Book Review: Shredded by Karen Avivi

Shredded - Karen Avivi

This book was something of a disappointment for me. In her debut novel, Karen Avivi has a promising concept—female protagonist sets a goal for herself and chases after it in spite of obstacles like parents and temptation of fame and gender-bias. Really, Shredded sounds wonderful. Unfortunately, things just didn't work out.

 

Shredded wasn’t a terrible read, and I didn’t dislike it. I found it boring and obvious, though, and lacking in anything special to make it stand out. I liked the concept, but Avivi’s overall execution didn’t exactly pass muster.

 

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Book Review: Game by Barry Lyga

Game - Barry Lyga

A powerful, gripping sequel, Game delivers an intense story that has no dull moments or lulls in the action. I’m about 80% sure that I enjoyed this one more than I Hunt Killers, but either way it turns out, there’s no denying that Barry Lyga has managed to create an impressive set of characters and stories with this series. The Jasper Dent novels are well-written, interesting, and multifaceted; the end result is the kind of book I find hard to put down...

 

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Book Review: Havisham by Ronald Frame

Havisham - Ronald Frame

I though Ronald Frame’s novel was boring. I thought his “take” on Dickens was uninteresting. The narrative voice of Miss Havisham was stilted, emotionless, and forgettable. This novel was an utter disappointment, and I really regret reading it. Really, I think it’s safe to say that I don’t think Havisham is worth the time. Above all, it’s boring, and it doesn’t really add to Dickens’ novel in any substantial way. The Miss Havisham presented in Great Expectations is a hundred percent better than the one in this novel. My suggestion is to go for the original book and skip this retelling.

 

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Book Review: Daughters of Rome by Kate Quinn

Daughters of Rome - Kate Quinn

Daughters of Rome covers about a year’s timespan, 69 A.D., known as the Year of the Four Emperors, which was basically this period where Rome was having all sorts of civil wars, rebellions, political coups, and other craziness.

 

Does Kate Quinn write fantastic historical fiction? I would have to say no. Daughters of Rome is not the best book I’ve ever read, but I enjoyed it. This book isn’t terribly researched or heinously written. I think it could use improvement, but so could most books. Altogether, I think it’s worth reading for those who enjoy the genre...

 

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Book Review: Hounded by Kevin Hearne

Hounded - Kevin Hearne

This book was honestly just a lot of fun. Hounded is a fast-paced, humorous urban fantasy, that I found thoroughly enjoyable. I think it bodes well for future installments (we’re up to nine, I believe), and Hearne’s world is definitely one I’ll be looking to return to later on. I think my time was spent pretty well with this one...

 

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Book Review: Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas

Sugar Daddy - Lisa Kleypas

This is my first Lisa Kleypas novel, and right now I’m having a hard time imagining a circumstance that would compel me to touch anything she’s written in the future. I am enraged, horrified, and really just saddened by Sugar DaddyRAPE IS WRONG and STALKING IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. Sugar Daddy favorably portrays a relationship where those things happen. In this book, Lisa Kleypas perpetuates harmful ideas about what is acceptable in a relationship, and it just so far from okay. I am beyond disgusted by this book...

 

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Book Review: The Tale of Raw Head and Bloody Bones by Jack Wolf

The Tale of Raw Head and Bloody Bones - Jack   Wolf

With his debut, Jack Wolf was very ambitious and took a lot of risks, but I very much enjoyed the book, perhaps because of these risks. It’s not a nicebook, but it’s insightful and beautiful all the same. Tristan Hart was a multi-faceted character, and the progression of his story was fascinating and unique. The Tale of Raw Head and Bloody Bones definitely stands out from the crowd, and for me, it did so in the best of ways...

 

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Book Review: Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran

Cleopatra's Daughter - Michelle Moran

I hate Michelle Moran. And possibly I love her too. I can’t decide which it is, but there were definitely some strong feelings going on during my reading of Cleopatra’s Daughter, which is the author’s third novel. On the whole, I found this novel to be pretty much on par with the author’s previous novels, which basically means it had potential, but didn’t quite cut it...

 

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Book Review: Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky

Anatomy of a Boyfriend - Daria Snadowsky

I can’t really decide if Anatomy of a Boyfriend is hopelessly clichéd or surprisingly original. The book features a tired, overdone storyline, but I almost feel that Snadowsky managed to tackle the plot in a new style. But I’m not exactly sure. It’s a tough book to talk about because I didn’t exactly like it, but at the same time I feel that I did. I don’t know. My feelings are conflicted...

 

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Book Review: Partials by Dan Wells

Partials - Dan Wells

I found this book to be much better than a lot of other books populating the same genre. It’s engaging, has more than sufficient world-building, and follows the story of a protagonist who’s decently well-rounded and with whom I had no major hang-ups. I liked Partials; I thought it was very well done, and had a concept unique enough to stand out from similar novels. I’m very pleased with this book overall...

 

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