I’ve been out of the habit of blogging, so I thought that to get back into the swing of things, I would start off with a quick recap of the books I’ve read in the past month, before diving straight into reviews again.
Since I started my blog years and years ago, I’ve noticed that my tastes have drifted more towards the romance genre and less towards YA. I’ve also gotten better at abandoning books when I know I’m not really liking it, or I just can’t get into it. Sometimes it has no reflection on the book or the writing, and more to do with my mood. But other times, I just know that the author’s writing style is not my cup of tea, and it’s better for me to put the book down before getting really into it.
Ready Player One
Out of all the books I’ve read in the past month, Ready Player One is the book that’s lingered the most in my thoughts. I admit, I’m really not as nerdy as I thought I was after reading this book. Maybe it’s because I was born after the 80’s—so a lot of the references just went right over my head.
But I absolutely loved how Ernest Cline wove pop culture references (a lot of them tended to sway more towards the obscure) into this science fiction novel. With the state of virtual reality today, I can easily picture Cline’s world becoming reality.
I listened to Ready Player One on audiobook format, and it was long. But in addition to the plot being entertaining, the narration was also well-done. I’m really excited to see how Steven Spielberg will transform this novel into a movie.
Kings Rising by C.S. Pacat
Kings Rising was a satisfying conclusion to the Captive Prince trilogy. My former roommate had recommended this series to me a few weeks ago. She said it was her favorite series of all time—despite not being a huge romance reader. I took a stab at reading the series since I’ve been trying to diversify my reads in terms of romance genres. I’ve never read a fantasy romance before, so that was new for me, but this was also my first true m/m romance (as far as I know).
I’m glad that by the time I read this series, the last book had come out so I was able to read books 1-3 almost one right after the other. It killed me that there wasn’t instant gratification with Damen and Laurent, but the slow-burn romance made the ending a lot more worth it.
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
I was a little apprehensive before I read Nina Lacour’s We Are Okay. I couldn’t get into You Know Me Well, co-written with David Levithan, and I didn’t like Every Thing Leads to You as much as I would have liked. However, I enjoyed We Are Okay so much more than her other novels. It was such a heart-breaking novel about grief and loss.
I listened to this one on audiobook, which is narrated by Jorjeana Marie. I’ve listened to quite a bit of audiobooks narrated by Jorjeana Marie, and I’m a really big fan of her voice. I listened to the audiobook of We Are Okay almost all in one sitting!
Royally Matched by Emma Chase
While I’ve basically read every Emma Chase novel out there this year, I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed the audiobook for Royally Matched. Ever since I read The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, I’ve been on the constant lookout for another royal romance.
My first introduction to Emma Chase was the first book in the Royally series, Royally Screwed. Unfortunately, my library had the longest wait for the second book. Months later (yes, months!), I finally got off the hold list, and it was worth the wait.
Royally Matched by Emma Chase is The Bachelor meets The Royal We. Hilarity (and romance!) ensues when Crown Prince Henry of Wessco agrees to find true love on a reality TV show.
Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai
I really wanted to enjoy Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai more than I did. I blame it on moving. The change in my commute meant that I read less on my ereader, and listened more to audiobooks. It broke the flow of my reading of Hate to Want You, and I found that I just wasn’t as into it towards the end.
What I did love the most about Hate to Want You was the diversity in the characters. I love that Livvy, the protagonist, came from a Japanese-American family. It’s not very often that you see PoC in the romance genre. I love that her story line was never just about her race. Her family’s race helped shaped who they are as people, but that is not their defining traits overall.
I’m really excited to read more from this series, and I’m sure that when I reread this book in the future (chances are high!), I will enjoy more the second time.