Yes, I LIVE.
I had grand fall reading plans, and I fell flat on my face.
I read a whopping total of…five books this fall, one of them being a novella. *slow clap* Please, winter, be a good incentive for curling up under blankets with hot tea and a good book…or sixteen.
Kate & Jesse by Erin Bowman
Author Erin Bowman brought out a novella to bridge her YA western Vengeance Road and newest release, Retribution Rails, a sequel set twenty years after the first installment. I received this novella as part of a promotion for the new book, and while I have yet to dip into RR, this novella reminded me how much I enjoy Bowman’s writing.
Bird by Bird by Ann Lamott
My first audiobook of fall reading, I read this as part of the Writerly Reads book club I joined a few months ago. Bird by Bird is an autobiography/instructional book written by author Anne Lamott and is highly praised and well-known in writer circles. I’ve known about it for years but had never gotten around to reading it, so when it was chosen as the October read for the book club I couldn’t be more excited.
I was incredibly disappointed. Not a bit of this book was engaging and I took nothing away from it. I admire her resilience as a person and single mother, and her humor tickled my funny bone at times, but nothing in this book wowed me or inspired me to add it to my personal shelves. Perhaps if I gave it another try reading a physical copy rather than listening to an audiobook I might glean more, but I’m going to have to take a break before I can pick this one back up…
Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker
Another book that left me feeling disillusioned. I received this book through the Book of the Month program, and chose it solely for two reasons: I loved the cover and the judge that chose the book is an actress I really like. I had also heard good things about it in the BookTube community, and so when it arrived in the mail I immediately settled down, ready for a dark, twisted, creepy suspense thriller.
Don’t get me wrong. This book was good, I enjoyed it, and when I shut the book on the last page and turned to go to bed, a rather uneasy, creeped out feeling washed over me (granted, this book takes place not far from where I live). This is a psychological thriller, but don’t let the word thriller push your mind into expecting a high-octane, blood-pumping, no-rest suspenseful action story. This story was slow-moving.
The Silent Shield, Book Five of The Kingfountain series by Jeff Wheeler
My second audiobook and the fifth book in The Kingfountain Series I’ve been enjoying so much this year. But oh, Jeff Wheeler, this is the first book in the series that’s actually truly disappointed me. I never felt invested and honestly began to tire of the characters in this book, and the storyline lagged one too many times. Hopefully the next book brings redemption.
Bonfire by Krysten Ritter
First person present contemporary psychological thrillers…not a genre I usually gravitate towards, yet there are two in this list. Bonfire is written by debut author Krysten Ritter (ironically, the same judge who picked out Emma in the Night), though Ritter is not new to the genre. She is an actor well-accustomed to dark characters, most recently playing in Marvel’s Jessica Jones as the lead character tormented by the past.
Unfortunately, it appears Ritter is still deep in character.
When I began reading Bonfire, I felt like I was reading a Jessica Jones script. The style, the voice of the character, the character itself mirrored the popular TV show rather obviously. This immediately put up a red flag in my mind that kept waving for more than half of the book until I was finally able to separate the two stories and start enjoying the book for what it was. Bonfire took quite a while to grab my interest, not tugging at my emotions until the very tip of the end, which was a little rushed to the point I closed the book feeling a little cheated.
I think Ritter certainly has a gift for writing, and I wouldn’t hesitate to read more from her should she decide to keep writing novels. I’d like to see a little more originality in the future and really see what she can do with a story.