Hello again, dear readers. I hope that you are all warm and able to enjoy this almost sunny day.
This week marked the beginning of Lent and some life adjustments for my family; we always try to be more intentional about focusing on Jesus during these forty days, and less on technology. (This may lead to me being slightly less consistent about reading all of your lovely posts.)
That said, we have watched/started a few movies lately. I am still slightly obsessed with Emma Thompson (I watched another of her movies last week, and we are planning on watching Sense & Sensibility soon), and my sister and I started the first TATBILB movie last night (let’s just say we don’t love it so far). We saw the Cruella trailer for the first time yesterday and I am so excited! Not only is Emma Thompson in it (lol), but it looks like Cruella is absolutely insane, and quite evil. My siblings are also currently watching WandaVision with my dad, I’ve seen pieces of it, although we haven’t seen the latest episode yet.
Moving on, I am excited to be sharing a handful of mini-reviews with you all. I enjoyed these books to varying degrees and I am happy to share a few of my thoughts on them. (On a side note, I am currently reading SoC and so far it lives up to the hype…sort of.)
Well, let’s get in to it then.
*Note: I am including content warnings or a PG-13 rating on these reads in an attempt to help you know if they are books you might be interested in.
Scarlet Moon – S.D. Grimm ★★★★
I am surprised by how much I enjoyed this adventure story. It was engaging, interesting and fast-paced, if a bit bloody for my liking.
The characters were enjoyable and I look forward to learning more about each of them in the rest of the trilogy.
One minor complaint, Jayden seemed strong and independent from her POV, but other characters seemed to see her as young girl who needs protection. It simply seemed inconsistent.
CW: Blood, Death, (PG-13)
Courting Misfortune – Regina Jennings ★★★★
As soon as I picked Courting Misfortune up, I was hooked. It is a lively, fast-paced and hilarious story set in Joplin, Missouri during 1898. The characters are simply delightful.
My only complaint is the fact that I didn’t like how Calista’s Pinkerton job worked out. It felt un-realistic in a way, and I was disappointed.
CW: Many mentions of: Brothels, Gambling & Drinking
We Are Not Free – Traci Chee ★★★
We Are Not Free follows a group of Japanese American teens who are taken to internment camps during WWII. It shines a light on a horrifying and heartbreaking piece of U.S. history.
The story is told creatively, each main character having a chapter/section from their own distinct POV. Sadly, although I enjoyed this piece of the story, it led to me never fully connecting with the individual characters.
TW: Racism (PG-13)
This Is My America – Kim Johnson ★★★
This is My America is a heart-rending story about a family who pushes through tragedy and grows closer and stronger. It is a story that deals with the great injustice of racism, the cycle of mass incarceration and the reality of white suprematist groups.
This is My America is about injustice and justice, never losing hope and fighting for those who you love. It is about relationships, family and friends, siblings and parents.
All in all, it is a solid debut, but lost stars due to minor issues with the writing and the time it took for me to become invested in the story.
CW: Murder, Racism (PG-13)
Dust – Kara Swanson ★★★★
After having heard many great things about Dust, I finally read it a couple weeks ago. It surprised me, mostly because I hadn’t realized it was set contemporarily.
I really enjoyed Dust; Claire and Peter are both complex characters that are impossible not to love. The writing quality was simple but beautiful at times. I also love the story’s message about embracing the light rather than your inner darkness.
I am eagerly awaiting Shadow‘s release!
Hidden Current – Sharon Hinck ★★★
Hidden Current is undoubtedly an interesting book. It is a fantasy with a focus on dance and the discovery of the Maker of the Universe. I found the dance pieces fascinating and the pieces focused on the reading of the Maker’s letter, powerful. The setting was beautiful, if not completely immersive, and I miss the ocean more than ever now.
Sadly, I just didn’t love Hidden Current. It was simply very difficult to connect with the characters, and I never felt like I actually got to know them.
Have you read any of these books? What have you been reading (or watching lately)?