I love to read. LOVE. So this year my goal is to read 65 books by the end of the year. I know, crazy! But last year I read 52 books, and I actually thought it was a little too easy for me, so I thought I should step it up a bit this year. I have a little widget over on the side to track my progress on here.
I am not going to lie, I sort of regret putting 65 down... because that is 13 books more than I read last year... and 13 is a lot! Especially because I usually have weird rules about what I read. For example, I don't like to read books that are less than 300 pages. Obviously I make exceptions, but to purchase a 200 page book is a waste of money, because I am done with it in an hour. Another reason I am regretting the 65 is because I have been reading the Game of Throne series by George R.R. Martin, and it is holding me up! I am about half way through A Dance With Dragons, but it is taking me forever. I had to put it aside to read a few books so I didn't look like such a slacker.
So what have I been reading? Well, this past week I have finished three books:
The first is The Winter Sea, by Susanna Kearsley.
I rated it with four stars. This book was right up my alley: Love story, historical fiction, Scottish people... what wouldn't I like about that? As I said, this is a historical fiction- centered around one of the lesser known Jacobite Rebellions (think Scottish-British throne wars in the 1700s, trying to restore the House of Stewart). I liked that it was a dual love story, and that it covered a dual-time period (not really time-travel as some have called it). The story is told by an author, Carrie McClelland, who herself is writing a novel about the Jacobites, and travels to Scotland for some inspiration. While there, she a has visions (or memories) of the event through the perspective of a woman named Sophia, and weaves the tale of her love story into her novel. Carrie and Sophia's stories become intertwined and really come together nicely in the end. I thought Kearsley did a great job with the historical research for this novel, so fans of History will not be disappointed. Although I really enjoyed this book, there was one part of the novel that I completely hated! It made me lie awake at night thinking about it because I just could not fathom it. I won't say more than that, but if you read this book, I bet you will agree :) Altogether I would recommend this book, and plan to read other works by this author.
The second book I finished was Smokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovitch
This is the 17th installment in the Stephanie Plum series, and boy does it show! I loved these books at first... in fact, I often find myself reading the stories over through about number 12 when I am out of new books to read. But after 12, the series has really tanked. Yes, there are a couple funny parts, but Smokin' Seventeen has been the least humorous of all of the books. I am personally a bit of a Ranger fan, and there is a little bit of Ranger-Stephanie action in this book that held my interest for a few pages, but other than that I was sort of bored. Evanovitch literally uses the same lines and explanations in all of her books... so once you get to number 17... you are like, "yes, I know Joe Morelli is a cop with an attitude" and "yes, I know Ranger has a dark side" and "yes, I know Ranger might use less than legal means to get his cars"... I could go on. Honestly I think Janet writes these books in an hour there are so many repeats. And as much as I have enjoyed the majority of this series, I think it is time for it to come to an end. I recommend the series, but I would get this book from the library... there is nothing so earth shattering that one would need to run out to get this one until it hits the bargain stacks.
Finally, I finished The Witch's Daughter by Paula Brackston last night.
I rated this book 3 stars. I have to say that it really took me awhile to get into this book. For me it picked up when Elizabeth begins to tell her story. We learn of Elizabeth in modern day, when she befriends a teenage girl named Teagen. Elizabeth herself is on the run from her one time mentor, Gideon, the one who helped her transform into the witch she has become. Elizabeth's story begins in the 1600's when her village suffered from the plague. Then known as Bess, she was spared due to her mother's witchcraft, something her mother made a bargain with Gideon in order to learn. Bess' mother was found guilty of witchcraft, and asks Bess to survive... Bess' story brings her through different time periods, all during her struggle to remain free of Gideon. Overall, I did eventually enjoy this book. It is a bit on the dark side, and I would not characterize this as a love story. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy books about the Salem witches, and those interested in paranormal.
I will keep plugging away at A Dance With Dragons, but plan to also begin another book later tonight. Stay tuned for my next book reviews next week!