Notes on Not-Reviewed Books: April 2014

I never read a book twice. It has only one chance. And my brain’s not good at retaining information – even with my favourite books I struggle to remember the characters’ names.

These are the books I read in April that I didn’t review because I couldn’t be stuffed. Let’s see if they’re memorable.

Stacia Kane’s Be a Sex-Writing Strumpet: Everything in this book was originally published on the author’s blog. Be a Sex-Writing Strumpet does NOT contain new material. It is simply copied-and-pasted, formatted, printed, and bound. Which is a shame, because it needs a light copyedit, and maybe a content editor for when the author goes off on tangents. Also says stuff like, “On Monday I’ll be talking about…” which needs to be edited out. Also mentions that she hoped to have a guest post (which in book format I guess would be a chapter) on BDSM, but she “ran out of time”. As far as I know, all the content is still on her blog, so don’t bother buying this. Support the author by purchasing her other books instead, because this isn’t worth it. As for the content itself, I disagree with some of it, but as the author says, this is just how she writes, and others should feel free to do whatever works for them. 3 stars

Sarah Wendell’s Everything I Know About Love I Learned from Romance Novels: Nowhere near as entertaining as Beyond Heaving Bosoms. Less laughs, and more…well, I think this is strictly for romance fans, to have their opinion reflected, because I doubt this will change non-believers’ minds. The only thing I got out of it was the piece about men holding women’s purses in the waiting rooms of cancer centres while the ladies have treatment. THAT is romantic, but that was from a real life article, and NOT in a romance novel, so… Yeah, this book didn’t work for me. (I still haven’t figured out how to answer the “favourite dictator” question.) 3 stars

Jeannie Holmes’s Flying is Faster: Short story in The Mammoth Book of Futuristic Romance anthology. A rarity: a story in which I actually WANT the characters to hook up. (It’s a romance anthology, so they do.) Reminds me of Avatar, in a good way. 4 stars

Karen Mahoney’s The Spirit Jar: Short story in the Kiss Me Deadly anthology. Stars vampire Moth. I just couldn’t focus on this; same for Moth’s novel (Falling to Ash). 3 stars

Justine Musk’s Lost: Short story in the Kiss Me Deadly anthology. This author’s so amazing at enlivening her settings. 4 stars

Becca Fitzpatrick’s Dungeons of Langeais: Short story in the Kiss Me Deadly anthology. Historical France; character named Chauncey. That’s it: I’ve got nothing. 2 stars

Caitlin Kittredge’s Behind the Red Door: Short story in the Kiss Me Deadly anthology. Yeah, the lead character’s kind of stupid at first, but she wises up in the end. Delightfully creepy. 4 stars

Carrie Ryan’s Hare Moon: Short story in the Kiss Me Deadly anthology. Great setting, but I lost focus at times, and then didn’t understand what/why. 3 stars

Rachel Vincent’s Fearless: Short story in the Kiss Me Deadly anthology. Sabine’s always fun to read, and the setting and plot are quality stuff. Must finish reading Soul Screamers series! 4 stars

Daniel Marks’s Vermillion: Short story in the Kiss Me Deadly anthology. Interesting world, but I don’t understand the whole falling-through-a-crack-from-Purgatory-into-the-real-world thing. Also, a lot of slut-shaming. 3 stars

Maggie Stiefvater’s The Hounds of Ulster: Short story in the Kiss Me Deadly anthology. I did not expect the twist. Or maybe it wasn’t a twist at all, and I was ignorant until it was made obvious in the end. Either way, a great story that even acknowledges how pretentious musicians can be. 4 stars

Rachel Vincent’s Hunt: Short story in the Chicks Kick Butt anthology. Must finish reading Shifters series! Not only is she a top novelist, but the author’s also fabulous at the short form, too. 4 stars

Jackson Pearce’s Purity: The reviews are mixed, and rightfully so – at times I really enjoyed it; others I got angry. The tone is pretty spot-on – had it been all serious or all fluffy, it wouldn’t have worked. Shelby’s kind of annoying, though, and downright rude when she steals her aunt’s car. And – SPOILER ALERT! – how she treats that guy (was his name Jeffery?)… “Sorry I used you for sex” – WTF?! Had a male character said that to a female character, readers would of course be outraged. That a female does it to a male here as a subversion isn’t any more acceptable. It’s still so awful, but Jeffery just shrugs, because he enjoyed it. Had the genders been reversed, the female probably would’ve slapped the male. (Violence is NOT okay, people, from either gender.) The scenes with Shelby and her dad (dance lessons, cake tastings) are done really well, when they stop playing ROLES and start being PEOPLE. Princess Balls may have a good intention (appreciate your daughter/father), but it’s wrapped in such a creepy package that it’s no wonder they’re kind of a joke. The romance is obvious from the first scene, so…basically the characters would’ve had an easier time if they just TALKED to each other, instead of EXPECTING the other to talk to them. *headdesk* This novel is really good, when it isn’t so annoying. 3 stars

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