For What It's Worth

For What It's Worth

Friday, September 17, 2021

I'm Reading: What We Buried, The Wolf and the Woodsman, The Plot


I started What We Buried by Kate Boorman ~ Goodreads I believe it's a thriller and I thought I would kick off spooky reading season and clear a physical book off my TBR list. I made it through about 2 chapters when my 2 library holds came in so I moved to those instead. The clock was a ticking!

So here are my thought's on those while I get back to What We Buried and will hopefully have that wrapped up by next week!

In the vein of Naomi Novik’s New York Times bestseller Spinning Silver and Katherine Arden’s national bestseller The Bear and the Nightingale, this unforgettable debut— inspired by Hungarian history and Jewish mythology—follows a young pagan woman with hidden powers and a one-eyed captain of the Woodsmen as they form an unlikely alliance to thwart a tyrant. ~ Goodreads

My thoughts: I'll be the first to admit that fantasy is not really my preferred genre. But I've been able to enjoy quite a few on audio. Several people had recommended this one but, unfortunately, I could only get the e-book. 

I may have enjoyed it more on audio but I don't think so. While I liked the ambitious premise and some specific chapters (like the encounters with various magical, dangerous beings from the forest, religious bigotry and conflict/refugeesthere was so much repetition of words and phrases (blushing, turning pink - 33 times, stomachs roiling/turning @47 times according to my Kindle search), the metaphors and flowery language grew tiring.

"Her cloak is precisely the same color as her hair, white as a carp's belly..."

"A bit of grief leaches into me, like rainwater through roots."

"Yehuli words float  through the air in whispers, thin and pale as dust motes."

"Gaspar's face is hesitantly open, like the very first crocus to bloom." 

And on and on and on...

As for the magic - the King is desperate get magic but like....every single character had some? lol I can see why a seer's magic would be prized but some characters had near immortality or other valuable skills and no one seemed to care - or use it to stay alive. It was just weird and not explained enough for me.

I had other issues as well with the pacing (stopping to tell folktales, stories of the Gods - while interesting - it put an abrupt halt to the narrative and often didn't often mean anything in the larger scope of things), Evike is constantly rehashing and agonizing over everything she does. For example, I don't know how many times she regrets saying something to Gaspar only to do it again and feel guilty days later. Again. 

She grew up in a very abusive village with only one good friend - yet she thinks of the two people who tortured her most (a valid feeling in the context of the story) but not once of her best friend. 

Again...not a big fantasy reader so take my thoughts with a grain of salt. Check out Amber's 4.5 star review here where she calls "The Wolf and the Woodsman was the perfect blend of magic, religion, politics, and romance."

Hailed as breathtakingly suspenseful, Jean Hanff Korelitz's The Plot is a propulsive read about a story too good not to steal, and the writer who steals it.
 ~ Goodreads

My thoughts: Mysteries/thrillers are another genre I don't often read or enjoy but wanted to try on audio and it does seem the format helped.

The Plot has a pretty decent hook. Jacob Finch Bonner is a published but not widely successful author - now teaching in a MFA program. He just can't seem to get an idea for his next novel.

A brash student, Evan Parker, comes to his course declaring that he has THE best story idea. A guaranteed, cannot fail, best selling plot. Although Evan keeps the story very close, he does share a few pages with Jacob before his untimely death. 

Fast forward...and Jacob is a best selling, Oprah's Book Club author of a book with a very familiar sounding plot. Someone else has noticed too and starts sending Jacob "I know what you did last summer" kind of emails. "You are a thief" they say and Jacob is paralyzed with fear wondering who this person is, waiting for his life to unravel if it were to become public.

The Plot tells Jacob's story while also telling the fictional novel. It's an interesting choice at first but with a great payoff.  You can easily figure out the who at a certain point but the why go to such lengths is still up for grabs with a satisfying end. 

I will say, that as with most thrillers I've read, I didn't really connect to any of the characters. Jacob is such a milquetoast type of guy - just floating through life passively. Neither his failures nor his successes seem to make a blip on his personality. I think these stories are more about getting you from point A to point B and less about loving or investing in the people but as a die hard romance /YA reader - I'm always looking for that. lol

Also, The Plot occasionally gets down in the weeds of the craft/business side of writing and publishing. That could make it more or less interesting depending on the reader. 

Nevertheless, I was interested in the story, the outcome and liked the ending. I even had a laugh at the diabolical nature of it.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Review: The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn't believe in lasting romantic relationships--but her best friend does, and that's what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor--and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford's reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive's career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding...six-pack abs.

Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope. ~ Goodreads

Source: e-arc provided by Berkley Romance in exchange for an honest review

πŸ₯° I absolutely adored The Love Hypothesis! It's the feel-good, filled with heart rom-com I've been looking for. No bait and switch here!

πŸ‘There are a few, without spoiling, encounters that set up a fake dating relationship like no other between Ph. D. candidate Olive and grumpy professor Adam. It's a common trope but I thing Hazelwood put her own spin on it that made it fresh and exciting.

😣😊 I'm so happy that Adam was more than just a cliched alpha grouchy guy. He was actually quite soft inside, if not too pragmatic and gruff. Olive's sweet, nerdy personality and growth were really well done. You absolutely root for this two 110% both as a couple and individually.

πŸ‘ The friendships were all wonderful! The issues it tackles were handled well! The romance all fluttery and adorable, balanced with just the right amount of humor!

Overall: Like I said at the start - THIS is the cute, all the feels, leaves me happy for days, rom-com I love. It was just the sweetest and MORE OF THIS PLEASE.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Tell Me Something Tuesday: Love my Library!

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post where bloggers discuss a wide range of topics from books and blogging to life in general. 

It is co-hosted by (Linda from Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell, Roberta from Offbeat YA, Jen from That’s What I’m Talking About, Berl's from Because Reading is Better than Real Life  and me) 

Join in by answering this weeks question in the comments or on your own blog.

If you would like to join TMST and receive periodic emails of upcoming topics, please fill out this GOOGLE FORM. TMST is a laid back meme – join in or opt out depending on your interest in topics or schedule.

I'm late! I'm late!!! 


I'm having A WEEK so I'm falling behind on all the things right now but let me catch up with this weeks question while I have a minute.

Question: It's Library Card Month! Libraries - Do you use yours?

I do but I'm fairly new to the library. I used it as a kid and as a high school student - ahhh the good ole days of searching through draws of index cards and microfiche lol

But I was not a big reader as an adult until I started blogging (I didn't even start the blog to talk about books). As my reading picked up I tried going to the library instead of buying every book but I admit to being a bit of a snob. I don't like used books. Or dirty books. I once read an erotica author talk about her readers trying out some stuff in bed while reading the library book. NOPE. So stopped that.

Then years later, e-books became a thing and I got myself a library card (this was when I still lived in FL) and started browsing the catalogue and was disappointed. We had a horrible app and I lived in a district that banned books (Harry Potter is witch craft & local politicians approve the books) and had very little variety in YA - like no LGBQT and next to no romance other than the NYT best sellers. So I almost let my card expire when Kevin discovered that I could get a card in the next (much larger, college town) county over and they had Libby! I used my card much more then but I was still getting more review books so still not too frequent.

About 2 years ago, we moved to WA, and I got a library card for here. It's a small county but we have a pretty decent selection in all genres AND we have both Libby AND Hoopla. That's been a game changer for me. 

I pretty much stopped accepting ARC's and I don't go to book conferences anymore so I would say close to 90% of my reading is from the library these days. The other 10 a combination of arc's, Kindle Unlimited and purchases. 

My little town library just had a mural done on the side of the building that focuses on reading, the PNW and local landmarks -  and here it is...

I also want to check out some of the other libraries in nearby, larger cities. While I can't get a card, many of them have beautiful art displays. Mine even has a seed exchange program so that's fun too.

And did you know that you can get a library card for the Brooklyn Public Library - even if you don't live there? It does cost $50 per year but if it you read a lot and have a dud library like I used to have, then it might be worth it. 

Do you use your library? What are your favorite library apps/library programs?