Saturday, December 31, 2016

December Wrap Up

This month started on a high note with my listening to Roses by Leila Meacham, but the remainder of the month the reading was pretty mediocre with no real standouts, but I'm hopeful that next month will be a better reading month. 


Wow, I loved this book. It was a family saga and covered between 75-100+ years. I didn't expect to love it this much. It may become one of my favorites of the year. I look forward to reading or listening to the prequel, Somerset. I definitely recommend this book!  5 STARS!!!

The Most Wonderful Time

I received this as an e-ARC from the publisher through NetGalley. I only read the first 2 stories, Christmas Passed by Fern Michaels and a Glory Junction Christmas by Stacy Finz and really enjoyed them. Stacy Finz is one of my newer favorite authors and Fern Michaels I had never read although I have heard of her. The other 2 stories, I tried reading, but they just didn't appeal to me and when you have a huge TBR pile, why force yourself to read something you don't enjoy.  3 stars.

Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen

An interesting book to listen to on a topic that one is hearing about more. Glad to hear the parents were so supportive and such advocates for their child and that although Jazz is only 15 or 16, I'm glad that she told her story and is able to help other youth and young adults who are feeling the same way, as well as their parents.. I'm glad I listened to this. 2 stars.

A Texas Hill Country Christmas (Christmas, #5)

This is the 5th book in a series that is put out each Christmas, I wait until the next holiday season and get it from my library. So, I know there will be 1 more after this one. A Texas Hill Country Christmas took me quite awhile to really get into. It wasn't until past the halfway point that I really started to enjoy it. The very end really redeemed the entire story, Hopefully, the next one in the series, A Colorado Christmas I enjoy more. I'll find out next year at this time! 3 stars.

The Christmas Town

This is the first book that I read by Donna VanLiere. The story itself was pretty much enjoyable, but several times, especially near the beginning, I found myself contemplating putting it away and not finishing it. The story is written in the third person present tense, which is extremely awkward to read. So many people have raved about this author and her Christmas stories that I felt I needed to keep with it. Although I liked most of the characters, the friendship and interaction between Gloria and Miriam really irritated me, mainly Miriam. I am not sure that I will read future books by Donna VanLiere or the previous 8 Christmas stories, I'll have to look into whether the other books are in the 3rd person present or not. as I did not enjoy that reading experience. Had it not been written in 3rd person present, I may have given the book 4 stars and I was seriously considering only 2 stars, but in the end I felt a 3-star rating was more fair since the story was a heartfelt one. I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.

Riding High

Stacy Finz is one of favorite authors that I discovered in the past couple years. Her Nugget series takes place in Nugget, California in the Sierra Nevada. I love visiting the town of Nugget through the pages of her books and catching up with the residents of Nugget, although I have to admit that this particular book I was not quite as entranced by. I just did not enjoy the chemistry between Gia Treadwell and Flynn Barlow and some of the storyline seemed very predictable, I am excited to see that there will be another book in this series coming in April, though, before her new series starts in July in the nearby town of Glory Junction. Hopefully, she will have the occasional appearance or mention of one of the Nugget residents. Although I give this 3 stars, I feel it deserves more of a 2.75 or 2.5 stars.

A Mistletoe Welcome

A very short story and part of the Welcome Home series that I was invited by the author to download. It is a continuation of Val and Griffin's story, which was told in Welcoming the Bad Boy. I'm excited to read her new series coming out in April.

The Longest Ride

I'm not quite sure how to review this one. I haven't been reading (listening to audiobooks) Nicholas Sparks books long. Although I've seen a couple of the movie adaptations back in the 90s or early 2000s. This book seemed incredibly long, but it could have been that I had to listen to it over a greater than usual period of time than I usually do. I just wasn't that engaged with the story. It seemed very slow and mot that exciting. At times, I considered DNF'ing it, but I continued with it. The end was satisfying and saved the book from being rated 2 stars, just OK, but as a whole I wasn't impressed and am glad this wasn't my 1st Nicholas Sparks' book, as it probably would have also been my last.
3 stars (actually 2.5 stars)

I'm reading an ARC of Crowning Design by Leila Meacham, that I only have 20% more to read, but don't expect to get to tonight.  I'm also reading a library book that was available at my local library,
The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories, #1), which I'm about 20% through.  I should get to some more tonight.  It's a middle grade book, but I am really enjoying it so far.  So hopefully, it will get me out of my reading slump.  Also, I am a little less than 10 minutes into an audiobook, The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey by Rinker Buck.  It is rather long at 16+ hours, so we'll see how it goes.

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