The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet – Becky Chambers
Science fiction, space travel, aliens, missions, found family, fiction.
Rosemary joins the Wayfarer crew and boards their ship with not much expectations other than simply doing her job and starting a new life. She also wants a spot to call home that is far away from her family and home planet. After she spends a few days onboard she comes to find the crew very friendly and kind. Almost like a family to her and she simply begins to love this new life. Her captain gets a job of a lifetime but there is danger. Rosemary wasn’t expecting that part of the job title but she knows that the ship and the crew can handle anything that is thrown at them.
This was enjoyable. I loved the sense of adventure and there were some comedic bits along with serious moments. There was a balance of world-building and action with dialogue. I loved some of the side characters that interacted with the main character. I needed something that was sort of on the trope of the main character creating a found family with some science fiction. I couldn’t resist binge reading the second half of the novel because the thrill of the plot was certainly intriguing. I do suggest this for some funny and wholesome science fiction.
The Wife Upstairs – Rachel Hawkins
Mystery, murder, fiction.
Jane moves into this town called Birmingham that is in Alabama to start a new life. She becomes a dog walker in a very rich neighborhood and is loved by all. When no one is looking she grabs some jewelry that no one will be missing in this society. Eddie is newly widowed and takes an interest in Jane. Jane was told about what happened to Eddie’s wife Bea and her best friend Blanche. Wanting to know more she asks more about Bea and Blanche to these women who knew of them. However, curiosity leads her to get extremely close to Eddie. The legend of Bea haunts Jane to the point that Jane double guesses herself. She can start her new life as his wife. Nothing can be in between the two of them except her past creeping in and the police lingering longer than they should.
I got this mostly for the synopsis and the curiosity of what happened to Bea. I consumed this book in one day because the way that the author wrote this book was guaranteed to keep the reader engaged and focused. The characters were very intriguing and mysterious in a way that kept me from wanting to close the book. The plot had some very dark twists that I hadn’t expected as well as certain perspectives. I honestly never read Jane Eyre to understand but this novel was supposedly was taking inspiration from that novel which later on I will hunt it down to read. Overall, enjoyed this novel and recommend it.
Fly Me to the Moon: Volume 8 – Story and Art by Kenjiro Hata
Romance, contemporary, married life, manga, fiction.
Nasa and Tsukasa decide to go on a honeymoon at a hot springs resort. Nasa tries to make plans for the two of them to spend time together and do more couple-like things. Every time there is a chance for the two of them to get close and intimate, these two are simply too shy for their own good. After the little honeymoon, they return home to continue their little life together.
I had found this manga and immediately grabbed it. I ship Nasa and Tsukasa so much. They’re a cute and awkward couple that I really love. This manga is really sweet with some perverted stuff but it’s mostly warm hearting cuteness. The hot tub scene got me laughing and going aww with. Overall the author and artist did a really great job with this manga series and I’m hooked on this series.
The Night She Disappeared – Lisa Jewell
Mystery, thriller, fiction.
Tallulah is a single mother going through college and trying to take care of her child, Noah, with her mother. Her child’s father Zach wants to be more involved with both her and Tallulah but Tallulah wants something else. She wants to be a social worker and live with her mother without anyone judging her. After a night of Zach and Tallulah spend together, both have gone completely missing with the only person connecting them is Scarlett who provides nothing other than that they were simply friends. One year later, Sophie, an aspiring mystery novelist moves into this town alongside her boyfriend who works at the school. She finds a DIG HERE sign and decides to dig up. She digs up a ring and looks into the missing teens’ case. She turns the evidence over to the police unveiling a break in the case.
I was so thrilled that Lisa Jewell came out with another novel. I love her thriller mysteries because each one is so unique. I enjoyed the diverse characters and their interactions that felt natural. As all her novels are. Furthermore, the writing of this novel was so well done and well spun. Watching it all unfold with the past and present timeline narratives made this novel work in a very thrilling dynamic novel.
The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina – Zoraida Cordova
Inheritance, families, magic, fiction.
Orquidea is feeling her end coming and she invites her to her funeral as well as an inheritance to her descendants. Her magic. Those who grew up didn’t take the magic seriously and others were annoyed with it. There were a lot of secrets that the Montoyas kept from each other and all came out when the magic was handed down. There is a force that doesn’t want Montoya’s family line to have magic.
This book recently came out and I was intrigued by the plot. I loved this novel and the cultural lore that was present in this as well as magic. I love novels that have lore and mythical explanations that help understand the novel’s plot more. This also had an interesting family dynamic that is intriguing and satisfying to see the bonds get stronger despite the weak bond at the beginning. The transformation of the Montoyas from the first chapter to the last was certainly so paced that nothing felt rushed. Some flashbacks helped the story along. All in all, this novel was beautifully and magically written.
We Are All The Same in the Dark – Julia Heaberlin
Mystery, thriller, fiction.
Odette is called to Wyatt’s house because of some suspicious activity. Wyatt shows her the young teenage girl he picked up who was surrounded by dandelions. The young girl has no eye and is mute. Odette thinks that this young girl is connected to the Trumanell Branson disappearance that happened a decade ago. Both cases are going to be tough as Odette’s past comes creeping up and she tries to solve the mysterious disappearance of Tru as well as the appearance of this young woman.
This novel was thrilling and kept me on my toes throughout the novel. I couldn’t stop reading and wanting to know what happened to Trumanell Branson. I was trying to predict what had happened to the young woman too. The novel was very mysterious until the very end. There was a lot of emotion built up and I loved every moment of the novel. I was disappointed by the ending. Overall the writing causes the reader to be invested by the plot and narrative from the first to the last page. I prefer this as a moderate thrill novel because there are some intense scenes but it’s nothing too drastic. A perfect novel for halloween for sure.
The Infinity Courts – Akemi Dawn Bowman
Young adult, fantasy, death, afterlife, computers, science fiction, fiction.
Nami was ready for her future until she was murdered. She died when the bank robber at the liquor store shot her. She finds herself in Infinity where the mind is alive but her body is dead. The people who greet her tell her about the war against Ophelia who has taken over the Infinity and hates humanity. Nami is the only one to help save them from disaster or their world from actually ending.
This young adult novel was one of the trendy books I saw and was instantly interested. However, the chosen one trope was what got to me but besides that everything else is really good. The storyline and plot goes smoothly. The characters and their interactions with each other were alright but the chosen one trope kept getting more annoying as the characters kept telling Nami she is the chosen one and that she should train for the ultimate fight. I was expecting better for this novel but then again the chosen one trope is heavily in most young adult novels as it is popular among that demographic. It sells right off the shelves.
The Heart Principal – Helen Hoang
Romance, autism, cancer, survivors, comedy, fiction.
Anna, a violinist, became famous over a video of her art. Now everyone expects her to be the same level of expertise. She seeks therapy to help understand herself. What hits her is that her boyfriend Julian wants to have an open relationship. She agrees to the terms and decides to download and sign up for dating apps. Quan is recovering from surgery for testicular cancer and his brother tells him that he should go back into the dating world. He reopens his old account and finds Anna. Both want just a one night stand. However, fate had something else planned as Anna’s world began to fall apart and Quan wanted to be there for her in every aspect possible. Love can be unexpected and scary as they both learn.
I’m hooked onto this author’s writing style. This novel I consumed like there was no tomorrow. I absolutely loved this one. Anna finding out that she has autism is a genuine reaction that most women experience since autism in females is very different than in males. It is important to know that finding out as an adult is very tough because coming to the terms of the diagnosis was not easy for Anna but that is a reaction a lot of folks have, especially women. I love that this author addresses these issues with novels and that they are realistic. I love the characters’ interactions, mostly Anna and Quan. I didn’t like her sister who was not being accepting and that’s a very real issue too. Some family members especially within the Asian community aren’t as accepting. They see it as excuses as to not being one’s best that they can be according to their definition. It is with their lifestyle to always be achieving the best and doing the best without complaining. Anna’s sister was like this. Overall, this book or rather this author emotionally destroyed me throughout. I cried and laughed while reading this. I would recommend any of Helen Hoang novels.
The Bride Test – Helen Hoang
Contemporary, romance, fiction.
Khai’s mother wants her son to settle down with a wife. However, that isn’t simple since Khai has a hard time displaying emotions or even expressing emotions. His mother goes out of her way to go to Vietnam to find him a bride. She interviews potential wives and picks out Esme who wants out of poverty to care for her baby girl. Khai’s mother worked out a deal where Esme had until August eighth to decide whether or not Esme would marry her son. She would be given a visa for the time being. As soon as Esme meets Khai, trying to seduce and make Khai love her to the point he proposes is going to be tough. Khai doesn’t like sudden change and at first doesn’t mind the subtle changes. However, as they were living together in close proximity he soon learns that love and romance is messy.
I had read another Helen Hoang novel and loved the other one. I decided to read this one because I wanted to see what the hype was. I now know after binge reading this novel. I enjoyed reading this novel as much as the other and can’t wait to read another Helen Hoang novel. Hoang’s main character, Khai, displays autism and this comes from experience from the author’s background. She doesn’t have the same but she writes from a background where she thoroughly did her research that is evident with Khai’s character. Esme displays how some people aren’t fully able to understand because they themselves do not have experience or had interactions with individuals who have autism. Each person has different aspects and autism isn’t a cut and paste format for everyone. She begins to learn after he tells her and how his family tells her about how he has a hard time with emotions and doesn’t like change. He was used to certain placement of items and living a certain way.
Overall, I enjoyed the novel. The writing was genuine. The characters felt realistic with their personalities and interactions. I have to say I need to read more of the author’s books because I love her unique writing and the characters she creates. I do recommend either this one or The Kiss Quotient. Both are phenomenal. I can’t wait to see what else Helen Hoang comes out with.
The Kiss Quotient – Helen Hoang
Romance, Aspergers, autism, fiction.
Stella needs help and advice in dating and sex. She can’t go through another horrible failed match her mother makes for her. She only has a month to become better at sex and relationships despite them making her uncomfortable. She uses an escort service and is introduced to Michael, the man who would teach her and educate her. Michael needs money and escorting helped pay the medical bills. This job seemed easy but both slowly became more and more involved. Love can be messy and unorganized and that is what Stella learns.
I hardly read romance novels at all. I’ve been slowly reading more and more of them as of late. I read this synopsis and was intrigued that there was a healthy representation of Aspergers syndrome. There needs to be more books about those with different abilities in fiction and I thought this was perfect. The character Stella felt really real as an actual person and her interactions felt natural. I did tear up a few times because I was rooting for the love to happen with the two. There was a lot of erotic parts that were a bit much but they were important for the plot. I wished that there was one less sexual scene or two but it is what it is. The writing is incredible and this can be read in one sitting for sure.