Friday, 7 August 2015

Books I Read in July!

I'm back! And I have my Books I Read in July post for you! While I've been away I've been working my fingers to the bone for my degree but I still had time for some reading- although there were some times when I'd rather have banged my head against a wall than seen another word. It's done though, and I'm going to be treating myself to a big ol' book haul soon too. Recommendations welcome! So what did I read?

Pile of books including Dead to the World, Dead as a Doornail, Definitely Dead and All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris, Twisted by Jeffery Deaver and Vicious Cycle by Katie Ashley.


Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris
So I went on a Sookie Stackhouse binge this month, something about these books is so relaxing after a day pounding the keyboard/ my head against a desk that I found myself reaching for them over and over. This was no exception.
In this book they're finally pulling away more from the character I hate which was awesome, I remember seeing a graph once of all the times character names are mentioned in the books and I'm pleased to say I think I'm on the line down for a certain vampire. The introduction of witches to the world was a pleasant addition as well and I liked the way there were bad witches, good witches and neutral witches instead of all of them being clumped on one side.
This book had so many storylines running side by side all shoved together that it was hard to put down and the threads were tied up at the end without annoying cliffhangers but didn't cut off intrigue entirely.
My first word of the year was 'exsanguinate.' This was probably not a good omen.


Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris
So I immediately picked up the next book! What I love about these books is how much there is going on. Sookie Stackhouse rarely has a quiet day and it makes for thrilling reading.
This one focuses in on werewolf politics as well as a mystery plot and felt vaguely reminiscent of Carrie Vaughn's Kitty Norville series that I was reading last year! (here's my review of the first book) But from the point of view of an outsider. It was super interesting and again, Charlaine Harris had my emotions in the palm of her hand. I laughed out loud and teared up in the 295 pages of this book. I did initially give it five stars but after doing my skim for my review I found that although there were good parts, they were buried in a lot that was just unmemorable.
There is also a guest appearance Lily Bard! I knew the name from somewhere and did a google. Lily Bard is a five book series of mysteries that Charlaine Harris has written. I don't own the books but I liked the character enough to go add them to my Amazon wishlist. It's a nice little addition by Harris that felt completely natural and unforced.
"Fiction just makes it all more interesting. Truth is so boring."
"Not in my world," I said.


Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris
Maybe it was because this was the third Sookie Stackhouse book I was reading in a row but I just didn't find this one as readable as the others. After three books in a row, the reminders of the previous books can get pretty repetitive.
Sookie is traveling in this book and all my favourite background characters of Bon Temps were replaced with new background characters of New Orleans. The new location was jarring as all the domestic drama that I love in these books- not there. I wasn't a massive fan of the plot either, it wasn't bad, just not for me.
But there is a new character, Amelia who I love. She's a tough cookie witch who is straight talking and exactly what Sookie needs. We all need that kind of friend who knows when to be sympathetic and knows when you need a bit of a kick.
"-You don't want to wear any of your cousin's clothes."
"Not that my butt could get into them," I said.
"Not that you butt should want to," she said, equally harshly.


All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris
I think this may be my favourite book of the series so far, which is a neat little coincidence with the fact that it is also my favourite colour. Green!
The main story of this book focuses around a vampire convention which I loved, just imagining a little comic con for vampires. There are lots of new names and characters to keep up with, some from the last book and it was tricky to keep track, but nothing too bad.
There is also the effects of hurricane Katrina mentioned, I love that Charlaine Harris let this effect her characters because it really helped with making the world of the book and our world blend together.
We get more Amelia which is amazing as she is fast becoming my favourite person in Sookie's life. Her friendship reminds me of friendships I have in my own life where I just click with a person. On the other hand, I started to really dislike Arlene in this book which I think shows the power of Charlaine Harris's use of first person. I always liked Arlene but as Sookie starts realising that her friendship wasn't that great and she's changing for the worse because of her new boyfriend, I did too.
"Let me be frank."
Oh, boy. In my experience, that meant, "Let me be openly mean."


Twisted: Collected Stories by Jeffery Deaver
Remember the deadline I've been whining about? Well within that deadline I had two assignments and for one, I wrote a short story. My short story had a twist at the end. So I pulled out a book that I knew had some of the best twist-ending short stories I've ever read, Twisted by Jeffery Deaver.
There are 16 stories in this book and they're pretty varied; from modern murder stories that Deaver is very good at to a story set all the way back in Shakespeare's time that wasn't really for me.
After a while the twists became expected and I spent most of my time looking out for it but I think these would be great palette cleanser stories between novels and I definitely preferred it to the last Deaver book I read!
Just after I'd met Manko I'd learned that while he was poorly read and generally uninformed, he never hesitated to own up to his ignorance, which a lot of smart people never do.


Vicious Cycle by Katie Ashley*
My name is Imogen and I've never read a romance novel before. I never fell into the Fifty Shades of Grey trap, although my friends and I had a good laugh/ cringe at select passages and it's never been a genre I've gravitated towards. Until a buddy of mine, the same one who told me to read Half Bad and I trust emphatically, started telling me about the ones she was reading and how I should try one. I'm always up for trying new things and I felt like reading something romance-y when this book made it's way into my awareness. A romance novel set within a Motercycle club. I'm an on-off fan of Sons of Anarchy so I was pretty excited by the time it dropped through my letterbox.
It wasn't bad. I finished it in a couple of days and it was an easy, fun read. It just felt a little shallow; the characters, the plot, even the more smutty bits. It didn't drag me in so much as I floated along with it. I don't even have a quote from the book for you, there was nothing that stood out as far as the writing.

What did you read this month?

*I was sent this book for review. It hasn't changed my opinion. 

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