Bingo @ BlueCastle, November, (or just when I was about to truly despair, I tied in a win….!)

It has been one of THOSE months.

You know, the ones where each week is ascendingly more awful than the week preceding it, until you are at this zenith point of Terribleness, but there is nowhere escape and you think: yep, this is it. Hell has frozen over and I am just waiting for a nod from one of the four horseman before the End of Days is officially declared.

Yeah, one of those Novembers.

End of the Tunnel light showed itself in the form of Shallowreader’s Bingo, which I kinda-sorta tied with Willaful in!

(*silent jazz hands*)

I list my reads below: (Note: I have had month-long cranky-pants resulting in little-to-no patience for the ridiculous – but that doesn’t mean that some of these books weren’t genuinely awful…)

Proposals: To Love & Cherish, Lauren Layne

Apparently a series (which I will NEVER read) I was caught by the Cover (which I am now officially calling CBTC – because it happens so often I need a shorthand for it.)

But look at it!! Just when you thought the publishing industry had run out of ways to de-identify and cut out model-facial-recognition – you get the from above the bride camera shot. For an single instant I understood why magpies like to dive bomb humans and why pigeons can’t resist the poop-shot…

This probably wasn’t the best to read out of order, as it was kind of the wrap up for the rest of the characters, they were all blissfully happy, and we were just left with Alexis (wedding planner extraordinaire) and Logan (silent partner and extremely hot accountant which ostensibly seem to exist …at least in NYC.)

Logan has been in love with Alexis forever, Alexis has been denying it forever; and their subsequent get-together had to have been one of the least inspired, most insipid and ridiculously cliche plots I have read in a really long time. And I am including 1970s Harlequins in that.

Possibly if you cared about the series you might want to read it to tie up the loose ends, but the reality was that Logan was just waaaay to good for Alexis. Alexis was stupid for no real reason that I can discover, except that maybe the author was unable to write her any smarter.

I was relieved to finish.

November: Charlotte Westing, Aprilynne Pike

Most of Pike’s books seem to have floating flowers and fro-fro butterfly wings on them. I am so glad I didn’t allow book judgement to overcome me completely. It is YA and there is that Spechal Snowflake element, but it is pretty good.

Charlotte Westing is an Oracle. She can tell the future, but can’t change it because that only makes it worse. Oracles (because of some BAD historical incidents) no longer use their powers…for good or for evil, or at all. They are supposed to repress the visions and pretend they are normal and then grow up and join the sisterhood of Oracles to make sure other oracle do the same things.

They are bundle of joy.

Charlotte, of course, has difficulty coming to terms with all of this. And when you add her out-cast status at school (because of said visions), wheelchair-bound mother, and over-controlling also-oracle aunt…with a serial killer that rides into town and starts knocking of people she knows one-by-one?

Well, you get Sleep No More.

It is good though. The whole plot is much bigger than you think, it goes far darker than you expect, and the whilst the first novel is interesting and a good set up for the series – the second novel is like ZOMG. I-can’t-believe-this-is-where-this-is-going good.

It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it certainly kept me reading late into the morning.

Cords: The Apothecary’s Daughter, Charlotte Betts

The promise of so much that delivered so little. Susannah, the daughter knows so much about medicines, struggles to find her place in society and the world.

There is an evil stepmother, a put-upon Cinderella-Susannah, a marriage that goes awry and a brother who she should have married in the first place.

Susannah was an idiot and numerous times throughout the novel I kept hoping she would succumb to the plague.

Alas.

Twas not to be.

Interesting for the historical blather…but not much else.

Good Greek Girl: Night Pleasures, Sherrilyn Kenyon

He is a ruler of the underworld. She is an accountant.

I can’t even explain the rest of the plot because it is just TOO STUPID.

1) The hero has been alive for 2000 years. NO ONE can hold a grudge on the woman that done you wrong for that long. I already despise your weak mind and complete lack of back bone.

2) Plse Kenyon, look up the definition of banter. Making me feel like I am laughing at the weird school teacher’s jokes because no one else is going to and I feel bad that he has hair growing out of his ears? NOT THE SAME THING.

Just saying.

I feel like Kaleo: I can’t go on with this series.

Suit Up: Wolf by Wolf / Blood for Blood, Ryan Graudin, 

Well this series (duology?) was like 12 tablespoons of AWESOME, mixed together with a titanium spear that then stabbed me through the heart.

Set in an alternate world where Hitler won the World War(s), it’s 1956 and to commemorate their great victory, Hitler and Hirohito decide to host a motorcycle race across their stolen lands.

Yael, a Jewish girl, with special abilities (which almost make sense once you read the book) is tasked by the Resistance to infiltrate the race, win it and assassinate Hitler.

I hear you – it is completely implausible – only it TOTALLY makes sense once Gaudin has caught you in her mind-twisty trap of a plot. The second book follows straight on from the first. They are immersive and an interesting look at a scenario-world that very well could have been.

I cried like I was 5 and someone stole my My Little Pony. You have been warned.

Entangled: Entwined, Heather Dixon

Squee. A 12 Dancing Princesses rewrite. Incidentally one of my least favourite fairytales, (I could never understand the logistics of the whole scenario – IT MAKES NO SENSE) but this was a cute-as-a-button interpretation. Decidedly British in feel, the sisters are all lovely and the story has some added mystical dimensions that a little bit unique.

Note to self: must read more of Dixon.

Queen: The Queen of Blood, Sarah Beth Durst

Seriously good and EPIC fantasy.

In this world, everything has spirits, which have power and and have to be controlled by certain humans with gifts for it.

There are academies, trainings and an entire ideology dedicated to this end.

There is an evil queen, who started good and then went off the deep end, and an alliance formed between a failing academy student and a banished warrior. Add the fact that people live in trees because it is too dangerous to live on the ground and one of the best blood-drenched fights I have ever read?

This is such a good book.

The world building is phenomenal; the writing is deft and absorbing.

I want more. About now plse.

Moving toward the Light: The Architect of Song, A.G. Howard

CBTC. Again.

Plus the blurb made it sound like the most awesome illegitimate love child of Jane Eyre, The Woman in White, and North & South.

Double Plus the Hero’s name was Nicolas THORNTON (*nod to North & South*)

Triple Plus the heroine was deaf and the story was about music.

It sounded like the penultimate trifecta of book plot incredibleness. The reality was more akin to the Bermuda Triangle with all the cray-cray and none of the charm.

I was SO disappointed.

This book sucked eggs

The characters were one-dimensional, the story arc trite and the gothic-mystery?

Le Sigh.

THE OTHERS:

One that was pretty good:

Captive: It must be love, Rachel Gibson; A little Cruisie in flavour, with cute characters and a funny romance. I liked. I may read more.

Bosoms: Wild Rain, Christine Feehan; The only note I have about this is ‘URGGHHHHH’ This was worse than the WORST. There are no words. I leave Liz Lemon to have them for me.

A Tempting Stranger: Kissing in the Rain: Webseries

Produced by Ship Wrecked who make historical-comedy literary web series, this is the CUTEST.

Two sets of actors keep finding themselves kissing in the rain, all while grappling with their off-camera feelings between takes. The episodes are short: only 3-4mins each. The first part is the actors reenacting which ever romantic duo they are supposed to be (Anne and Gilbert, Edgar and Annabel, Anne and Frederick, etc) and then it cuts to them, after the acting shots.

I would say a huge testament to actors that made me ship two separate relationships, romances AND characters in the less than approx 20 mins of total screen time.

The production is pretty excellent on these too. I ended up watching it three times and then cyber-stalked (in a completely NON-threatening way) Yulin Kuang, who created them.

It’s addictive.

The costumes.

The light.

The kissing.

The grovel moment of each couple???

So dang good. Made November NOT quite the arse of a month it started out as….

Enjoy.

Sincerely,

Valancy: Hoping the four horseman decide to stop at the pub for a pint, before wrecking further havoc in December. 

🙂

Header Image: Reading in The Valley of Arconville, c 1887, Theodore Robinson, (1852-1895)

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8 thoughts on “Bingo @ BlueCastle, November, (or just when I was about to truly despair, I tied in a win….!)

    1. She is SO dang good isn’t she??? Poe is really clever – and I just watched her short film ‘I ship it’; it was adorable and so well done.

      Wasn’t November just the pits??? I honestly can’t remember a worse month in SUCH a long time…Shallowreader Bingo was a solitary bright space- which was lovely…Fingers crossed for December right??
      🙂

      Like

        1. oh you definitely should! (But that’s just me, and I’m biased….) You could always run it once every two months if it was too much… (some bingo is better than NO bingo lol – but again – I am biased) 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  1. “Plse Kenyon, look up the definition of banter. Making me feel like I am laughing at the weird school teacher’s jokes because no one else is going to and I feel bad that he has hair growing out of his ears? NOT THE SAME THING.”

    *dies*

    *revives to take notes on what to look for*

    Liked by 1 person

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