February 2018 books

February 2018 books

Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary CharactersTexts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters by Mallory Ortberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The parts of this book that I liked, I LOVED. The rest, I didn't care for. If Mallory Ortberg has a writing tic, it's leaning heavily on "oh my God" and the f-bomb, two of my least favorite profanities. So that made this a bit harder to enjoy lightheartedly. But again, when it's good, it's very, very good.

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The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (Guide, #1)The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I should stop reading books on airplanes - it's really not fair to judge a book that I read in fits and starts through droopy eyes during two overnight flights. But I wonder if I would have liked this one even if I had read it in cosier circumstances. It's overly complex and takes a long time to get where it's going, and then comes to a stop abruptly. I really admire the effort here, and often really enjoyed it, but ultimately it just wasn't my thing. At least not on an airplane.

That said, I understand that a book about Felicity is in the works, and I plan to get in line to read it as soon as possible.

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The Stranger She Loved: A Mormon Doctor, His Beautiful Wife, and an Almost Perfect MurderThe Stranger She Loved: A Mormon Doctor, His Beautiful Wife, and an Almost Perfect Murder by Shanna Hogan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An extremely readable book that sticks to the facts instead of relying on neighborhood gossip (which is what If I Can't Have You often felt like). I suspect this is because Hogan drew so heavily from court transcripts when she wrote this book, which is great, right up until the story gets to...the court case itself. Then everything becomes a bit of a repeat (though she does do a good job of explaining and summarizing important procedural issues). Definitely worth reading, if this kind of book is your thing (and maybe even if it isn't!).

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The Alice NetworkThe Alice Network by Kate Quinn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars. It got more interesting after the fact when I read the author's notes and realized how much of the story was true!

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The Wedding DateThe Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book was a big NOPE for me right from the Meet Cute in the first chapter. Maybe it's just These Times We Live In, but the idea of being trapped in a stuck elevator with a strange man who is kind of flirty sounds terrifying to me. I would be assessing emergency escape plans and surreptitiously digging through my purse to find my pepper spray just in case, not checking him out, as the heroine of this book does. Does this mean that Meet Cutes are forever ruined?? I don't know.

But there are other Nopes in this book for me. Our hero and heroine cannot abide the other's physical proximity to anyone else of the opposite sex. It came off as weirdly possessive, as they kept having arguments about whether the other person was involved with anyone else because they, like, had a conversation with a work colleague. And other arguments were those uncomfortable overly emotional outbursts in which you say really unkind things in the heat of the moment, but which are also kind of true. And they never addressed the 'true' parts of those outbursts - they just apologized to each other for getting upset. For a book that is strangely careful to Get It Right when it comes to checking your privilege, practicing safe sex, and being body positive, the lack of relationship conflict resolution modeling was puzzling.

Plus, instalove is not just a YA phenomenon, apparently. Like, WHY does he love her so much? Or I guess, why is he initially attracted to her? Why are all of his previous girlfriends skinny white girls, and now he's so into a curvy black girl, from first sight? The book goes out of its way to establish that he has A Type, and she's not it, but why, then?

I think I had different expectations for this book than I should have. Not higher expectations, even, just different. This book is getting a lot of buzz in certain circles, and I thought it would be more than a romance novel. But I don't think it is. And that's fine! It is a romance novel. There, I said it! So turn off your fight or flight response when you read that elevator scene and just relax. Some of the reviews say this book is fun and flirty and that is definitely true.

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Pronouncing current events incorrectly

Pronouncing current events incorrectly

March 2nd, outsourced