Just reactions to books I read. I don't really summarize the book's content, because how hard is it to click on the cover and read the description?
So I just write my response.
I don't mean to write reviews mostly for books I haven't enjoyed, but looking back at my blog, I guess that's what I've done. These aren't going to be full reviews, though.
Robert Galbraith's CAREER OF EVIL - Another Cormoran Strike mystery and the relationship between the detective and Robin becomes more interesting as the series moves along. I did get lost a few times on the sheer number of people in this book, and the mystery gave us a nice look into Cormoran's past (along with Robin's past) but the highlight for me of these books are Cormoran and Robin themselves. The mystery part is well done, but like the frosting on the character cake.
NEED ME, MAKE ME, CHASE ME by Tessa Bailey. Okay, this "these are stories I liked" is a little bit of a lie -- I hated NEED ME. If I'd read that book first, I probably would have skipped the others. But, lucky for me, I read the final book in the series first (MAKE ME) and it was a fun romance. So was the first book in the series, CHASE ME. NEED ME had one of the worst heroes I've ever read, and although I can usually deal with student/teacher romances (it can be a fun erotic trope especially when it's done right) I just felt icky the entire time and thought the hero was a complete asshole who never redeemed himself. And the heroine was very young and she acted like it. So even though it might have fallen in the category of New Adult romance, I was just ugh over that one.
LAND OF THE BEAUTIFUL DEAD by R. Lee Smith. Smith is an amazing writer, a fabulous world builder, and is in dire need of an editor. This book is long and there are so many wonderful bits, but I'll admit to skimming through part of it, especially toward the middle when the story is bogged down by repetitive scenes with Lan's handmaiden and her lessons. Then, during the last third, the story takes off again and finishes beautifully.
Lee can create freaking magic at times. In this book, she takes a character who goes beyond "bad boy" and who is a terrible, murderous, tyrannical villain ... and makes him sympathetic. Just really amazing.
A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS by Paul Tremblay. This was an entertaining horror novel in the tradition of the Exorcist (which it gives all the nods to) and obviously written by someone who knows the genre well. There was a meta aspect to it that was fun, and the story itself well done. A slightly ambiguous ending and an unreliable narrator are used to good effect -- there's an element of distrust between reader and book, but it's never so much that I was frustrated or felt that I was just being jerked around.