March Book Reviews (2015)

March was not epic books month. March was……let me read brainless stuff month. *Grin*

Ratings

I use the Goodreads rating scale of 1-5 stars. I know sometimes it’s hard to stick to only 5 options…lots of times we want half stars!! But, half stars make things messy. My ratings tend to be on the somewhat conservative side, so keep that in mind. Also keep in mind that a 3 star rating doesn’t mean a book is bad. Generally, I choose books that I expect to enjoy (don’t we all?). If I do enjoy them, then they’ve met my expectations…so I give them a 3. Anything lower than 3 didn’t live up to my expectations, and anything above 3 exceeded them. I’m generally not looking for certain writing styles or plot lines or technical aspects. If something stands out (for good or bad), I’ll comment on it, but in general technical aspects won’t be the sole influencer on my rating.

Any questions on my ratings? If so, just ask, and I’ll try to clarify!

And now, on to the books!!!

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)4 starsThis one had been on my list for a while, and after slogging through Montaigne I needed something brainless. Well, something brainless and action-filled that wasn’t a cozy. I wasn’t quite ready to keep reading Spirit Animals, so Throne of Glass it was.

First of all, I think it’s awesome that the girl on the cover looks a lot like the author.

Sarah J. MaasRight? Anyway. Throne of Glass is about a girl named Celaena who’s an assassin. She’s in jail, and gets chosen by the crown prince to compete in a contest to be the king’s champion. It’s slightly reminiscent of the Hunger Games, only a little less dark and twisted.

Celaena is arrogant, and drove me a little nuts for the first half of the book. In between wanting to choke her and the author for putting in two potential love interests, I really enjoyed this. I won’t tell you much more because it’ll ruin the story for you….but this book surprised me in a really good way. I ended up loving ALL the characters, even the bad guys. Because this is the first book in a series, I kind of knew what the end result would be, but I didn’t expect anything that led up to it. And that’s rare, for a book to keep me guessing.

Bowled Over (A Vintage Kitchen Mystery, #2)3 stars

I debated for a long time on whether to give this a 2 or a 3. I eventually settled on a 3, just because I really didn’t have any trouble getting through it, and the story was interesting enough. This is the second in the Vintage Kitchen cozy mystery series. I enjoyed the first one, and had high hopes for the second. Honestly, though, the main character drove me nuts. She was so….ugh. She simpered. That’s honestly the best description I have for her. She was so.damn.annoying. And none of the rest of the characters did anything for me, like they did in book 1. And I got so tired of reading the same paragraphs over and over and over. I mean, come on….how many times is it necessary to say that the main character was sad she never made up with her friend? Or that she just didn’t understand what had happened? No joke, the same phrases and paragraphs were repeated at least 6 or 7 times. I wanted to scream. These books have been a bit hard to find in my bookstore, so I’ll probably pass on the rest of the series.

The Room
3 stars

This is a Blogging for Books post. Read the review here!

Atlantia2 stars

This book. I wanted to love it. I have a thing for anything even remotely like Atlantis. Granted, this book isn’t, but the title hooked me. Bay and Rio are twin sisters living in Atlantia on the Ocean Floor. (Seriously, Bay and Rio?? Wtf.) Anyway, when they reach a certain age they get to choose whether to stay below or go above. Rio has always wanted to go above, but promises Bay she’ll stay below with her. Well, then Bay decides to go above. Because of the rules, Rio has to stay without Bay. Blargh.

This book is roughly 300 pages long, and the first 200 pages all Rio does is complain about her life and how her sole purpose is now figuring out how to get above because it should have been her but she loves her sister and blah blah blah. I couldn’t stand her. Then, around page….220 or so….she finally GOES ABOVE and the whining stops. For a bit. Sorry, I suppose I should have said spoiler alert.

I initially gave this a 3-star rating. Why on Earth? Because as much as I hated Rio, I wanted to find out how it ended. The world wasn’t spectacularly imagined. The characters weren’t particularly memorable (or likable). The conflict wasn’t very conflicting. In short, it had nothing whatsoever to make me recommend it to anyone. Now, writing this review and thinking about it, I’ve revised that rating to 2-stars, which I still sorta think is generous.

Ally Condie’s Matched series has been on my list for a while, but if the writing is anything like this, I think I’ll pass.

Talon (The Windwalker Archive, #1)

3 starsThis was a Tomoson book. Read the review here!

Paw and Order (K9, #2)3 starsThis is such a fun series. I wouldn’t call it a cozy mystery, though it’s not strictly a detective story either. Maybe somewhere in the middle? Sorta like the Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum series, whatever you consider that. Megan Luz is a cop, and Brigit is her furry partner. This is book 2, and every bit as enjoyable as book 1. There’s not a whole lot to say about them, other than if you like dogs and you like detective stories, you’ll like this. There’s even a bit of romance thrown in. My favorite thing about this series is you get to read Megan’s perspective, but you also get to hear from Brigit and from the bad guy. It’s a neat way to write, and it works. There isn’t as much trying to figure it out, because you already know who the bad guy is, but it’s fun to watch Megan and Brigit go about it.

The Lost Recipe for Happiness

3 stars

This is about a chef who gets a chance to run her own kitchen. I enjoyed learning a little more about the restaurant business, but the story itself wasn’t that gripping. In fact, two weeks after reading this I have very little to say about it. It was good, but nothing memorable. A quick read, and there was a dog, I remember that much.

 Corpse Pose (Mantra for Murder Mystery #1)Dial Om for Murder (Mantra for Murder, #2)

3 stars

I’m reviewing these two together because they’re part of the same series, and because my thoughts on them are pretty much the same. By now, I’ve read (and reviewed) probably 20 cozy mysteries on this blog….and most of them get a 3-star rating. These are no exception, but the more I think about it the more I think I need to revise my rating to a 4-star. I LOVE these books. First of all, the yoga theme is a nice change. It’s not a huge part of the story, really, but I’m really intrigued by the fate of the Sacred Balance studio. And the characters are so much fun. At first, A.J.’s mother drove me nuts (she’s a melodramatic movie star), but about halfway through the first book I realized she was kind of hilarious. A.J. is your average cozy character, and of course there’s the hot detective love interest, but I also really enjoy Andy’s storyline. The supporting characters are just as interesting as the main characters. Lastly, in both of these I was surprised by the killer….and that’s not usually the case. Definitely pick these up if you’re a cozy fan!

Book of the MonthAnd the title this month goes to….

Throne of Glass

What books did you read this month? Any keepers?