Hello. Hello. It has been so long since I’ve written to all of you. I hope that you are well, happy, and recovered from the crazy comings and goings of the holidays. Where have I been? Busy. So busy. I wanted to write, I really, really did. But, life you know? Yet I never stopped reading. I filled the final quarter of 2015 with historical romance, YA fantasy of EPIC proportions, historical romance, YA awesomeness and Mindy Kaling’s memoir. Read Mindy Kaling’s book. It’s short and it’s great. You will love. The BJ chapter alone is completely worth it.
So yes, books! So many books. I’m deep, way deep, deeper than deep, fathoms actually, into historical romance novels. I can’t even begin to describe how many I read towards the end of last year. Some of the best included Lisa Kleypas’ Hathaway series, Wallflower series and her new novel Cold- Hearted Rake (not her best, but still wonderful). Sarah MacLean also released her long awaited new historical A Rogue Not Taken that is thoroughly delightful. And then there was Julia Quinn, author and creator of my beloved Bridgerton family. I read a few of her other novels and found them enjoyable as well. So which are my favorites? Obviously The Bridgertons win “all the things,”* but Lisa Kleypas’ Hathaway series is now a very, very close second. Cam Rohan and Kev Merripen are epic insofar as swoon-worthy heroes go. In fact there is one particular scene in Cam and Amelia’s story that just left me utterly breathless. And, wait for it, it has nothing to do with romantic statements or what I like to call “sexy fun time.” The love between the Hathaway siblings is not unlike that of the Bridgertons, so there is that as well. At the end of this post I’ll list the titles so you can check them out for yourselves-in order of my favorites.
YA novels occupied the other half of my reading life this past fall/winter. Ladies and gentlemen, the YA reading was epic and, I’m not kidding when I say loud and proud with all capital letters, EPIC. It’s a testament that Book-sister Ronnie and I know each other so very well when it comes to libros. She gave me the first novel I’m going to discuss and I gave her the latter series, sending each other on amazing wild, reading adventures that only friends-that-are-family can.
First there was Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On, which I need to add to my favorite books list as soon as I finish here. Arguably a Harry Potter satire/fan fiction, it is a story whose primary virtue is the pen of Rainbow Rowell. Talk about a woman who can write. Immediately, I am in. All in. 100%. I cared about the characters and not about the looming mystery that lingers as a subplot in the novel. I cared so much that I felt nothing but pure and unadulterated joy when an event/twist comes to pass. The brilliance lies in her ability to take something that unfortunately is still controversial to some, and make it utterly normal. Truly real. So real. So perfect. Also it illustrates the importance of diverse books, the importance of teaching kids to see the person. Only the person. It is humanity and love personified. It is fantastic. I recommend times 100.
And then (dramatic pause) and then there is Ms. Sarah J. Maas. Oh Sarah. Sarah, Sarah, Sarah. Yes, I’m impertinent enough to speak as if I know her, because she has completely turned my reading heart upside down and inside out. Not only did I devour her Throne of Glass series with Harry Potter -like enthusiasm, I also ran (okay I drove) to the book store to buy the first book in her new series A Court of Thorns and Roses. Who knew this imagined Fae world of Ms. Maas’ would be so fantastically captivating. But Throne of Glass. Buy it. Read it yesterday. Give yourselves book hangovers. But you MUST read all four books to understand what I’m saying. And no, the first two are not a waste of time, because you need to have lived through those two before you arrive at Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows. The shifts, the turns, in all honesty I don’t even think it’s fair to call this story YA fantasy, it’s straight-up high fantasy. I’m speaking some veritas here. Caleana Sardothien is a heroine for the ages. I love this series as much as I loved Daugther of Smoke & Bone in 2013/2014. Ms. Maas’ stories stole my heart five times over and I cannot wait for the release of the next installments. I won’t say anymore because Ronnie and I are going to go full on deep dive soon with our next joint-post about this series so look for that. But don’t wait for us! Go buy them and read them for yourselves.
Other novels of note included Victoria Aveyard’s The Red Queen and Susanna Kearsley’s The Winter Sea. Both were also amazing and great get cozy by the fire winter reads. In fact the sequel to The Red Queen is due out in early February so this month would be a good time to check her out.
So for 2016, I have so much on deck. While I read an insane amount of books, I also bought an insane amount of books and really need to work hard in getting through them this year. They include non-fiction, highfalutin’ fiction and books that I dub “things get real.” Recent world events have kept me away from these genres, but with a new year I’m hoping to push away the negative and objectively dive in. Hopefully it will be worthwhile.
How about you? Anything amazing you read? I want to know! Please share with me your awesome books I have to read yesterday! I can’t wait to see what you all suggest. Until my next post, Happy New Year and Happy Reading!
* My friend coined this phrase, so I feel I can’t use it in written conversation without air quoting. You know who you are.
The Hathaway Series by Lisa Kleypas
- Seduce Me at Sunrise (Win & Kev Merripen)
- Tempt Me at Twilight (Poppy & Harry Rutledge)
- Married by Morning (Leo & Catherine Marks)
- Mine Til Midnight (Amelia & Cam Rohan)
- Love in The Afternoon (Beatrix & Capt. Christopher Phelan)
The Wallflower Series by Lisa Kleypas (whose characters show up in the Hathaway series)
- Devil in Winter ( Evie Jenner & St. Vincent)
- It Happened One Autumn (Lillian Bowman & Westcliff)
- Secrets of a Summer Night (Annabelle Peyton & Simon Hunt)
- Scandal in Spring (Daisy Bowman & Matthew Swift) –Truth I haven’t read this one, but I’m 100% confident it’s amazing.