The following is the books I read in November - a total of twelve. I actually have a few short stories that I read on my e-reader and I haven't posted those, but I will. I love me some angst but I have to say, when reading angsty books and you're in an angsty state, you must lighten it with happy music. God help me, I listened to some seriously gag-worthy happy music this month.
Almost to Die For by Tate Hallaway ***
Beastly by Alex Flinn ****
White Cat by Holly Black *****
Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick ****
Spun by Sorcery by Barbara Bretton ***
Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler ***
That Voodoo You Do by Jodi Redford ***
Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers ****
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride ******
Bitten in Two by Jennifer Rardin *****
The Iron Hunt by Marjorie M. Liu *****
Broken Angel by SW Vaughn(3 stars) isn't an urban fantasy. In that I mean there aren't vampires or other supernatural creatures running around. Its the story of Gabriel, a young man searching for his sister in NYC. What he finds is an underground fighting and prostitution organization run by some seriously bad guys. The book is all about Gabriel's unwilling transformation from a young, if not innocent, man to a bad-ass fighter. There isn't a good guy to be found in this story and yet I liked the characters despite their dark souls. I have to say, tho, that for a good portion of the book I thought there was going to be some guy-on-guy moments. It felt like it was leaning that way. It never happened. It was just a good, solid, interesting story.
Almost to Die for by Tate Hallaway (3 stars) This was a funny little story of Ana, a girl just about to celebrate her 16th birthday. Her mother is a witch but Ana doesn't have power. The ceremony starts only to have things go haywire. Not only does Ana not pass the test, she discovers her father is a vampire. And all hell breaks loose. Her best friend is shunning her, the boy she likes is a slayer and her mother just wants to control her. Entertaining.
Beastly by Alex Flinn (3 stars) A modern day Beauty and the Beast. Kyle is a stuck up little shit who treats others badly. He messes with the wrong girl - and is turned into a horrible beast. He has to find true love to save himself. His father abandons him to the care of a housekeeper and a blind tutor. He kidnaps a girl who he feels bad for in hopes she will love him. And he learns that outside beauty is nothing compared to inner beauty. I thought it was well done and entertaining.
White Cat by Holly Black (5 stars) Cassel comes from a family of curse workers - people with a gift to curse you with luck, memory loss, death, etc. Only he has no powers. The books starts with him dreaming of following a white cat. He wakes up on the roof of his dorm and realizes he's been cursed. What follows is a roller coaster ride where he learns that nothing NOTHING he believes is right. I won't say more than that. Read it. It's amazing.
Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick (4 stars) This is the follow up to Hush Hush and I actually liked it better than the first book. Nora, the main character, is trying to figure out her relationship with Patch (who is now her guardian angel) which is quickly unraveling. Enter Scott, a boy she knew as a child who is nephilim. Lots of emotional angst and sadness and really stupid choices. I liked it.
Spun by Sorcery by Barbara Bretton (3 stars) This is the third in a series about Chloe, a sorceress, who runs a small Vermont town and Luke, her human boyfriend. The book starts after an epic battle (book 2) where the town is missing. What follows is a desperate roadtrip to Salem, MA to try to figure out what happened. This wasn't my favorite book because I missed the quirky residents of Sugar Maple. I thought it dragged a little. But I love Chloe and Luke's relationship, so I still liked it.
Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler (3 stars) I'm going to preface what I say about this book with a warning - this is not a book for the faint of heart. This book is a very real look at anorexia, an illness that is very familiar to me since I suffered with it from 13 until 21. (You'd never know it looking at me now - lol.) For that reason, I had a tough time reading it. I loved Death and I thought the story was very clever. Who better to understand famine than a girl who deliberately starves herself? This book hit me on a very visceral level. I think a lot of people would be turned off by it, but I recommend it.
That Voodoo You Do by Jodi Redford (3 stars) Okay, this was an e-reader. It starts off with a majorly steamy graphic sex scene where a sweet, innocent woman seduces her gorgeous guy friend. Only it turns out he's her familiar (he shifts into a tiger) and having sex with him triggers a curse that raises zombies. Then it gets even naughtier with the introduction of a werewolf. To fight the zombies, she has to have sex with both of them! Eek! Can you see me blushing?! Holy smokes. Okay, so I'm a prude or something cause I was just like WTFH?
I liked the story. And the sex scenes didn't gross me out, so I have to say it was...um, interesting. And good. Definitely good.
Personal Demons by Lisa DesRochers (4 stars) Mary Francis is a girl with a dark secret - well, actually she has several. Luc is a demon sent from hell to tag her soul. Gabriel is an angel sent from heaven to stop him. Only once Luc meets Frannie, he doesn't really want to tag her. In fact, he falls in love with her. And he might be growing a soul. Now hell is sending other demons to do his job and Luc and Gabe have to keep her safe - not an easy job. I liked this book & I'm looking forward to the sequel.
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride (6 stars) Yes, it gets a super star! I LOVED this book. Go out and buy it! Sam is a short order cook, a slacker who's floating along in life until one night he and his friends are playing potato hockey outside their fast food restaurant. Sam hits a shot that breaks a car's tail light. That brings him to the attention of Douglas, a psycho crazy necromancer. What follows is a dark, scary, funny, brilliant story that will alternately have you laughing and freaking out along with Sam. An absolute MUST READ!
Bitten in Two by Jennifer Rardin (5 stars) Another wonderful story about Jaz Parks. This one was hard to read, because Jaz is in a bad place in the book. Vayle has forgotten who she is and she's desperately trying to find a way to get his memory back and worrying about being alone. The angst Jaz feels was exacerbated by my angst reading it - because I kept thinking about Jennifer Rardin who passed away recently. This was the series which got me back into reading and I had several conversations with her (she was a super nice lady) as well as a signed book. I loved the story and this series is one of my favorites.
The Iron Hunt by Marjorie M. Liu (5 stars) A very dark story about Maxine, a Hunter, and Grant, her boyfriend who is a former priest and more than he seems. But then again, so is Maxine. She had her boys, demons who during the day live as tattoos on her body and at night peel off and help her hunt demons. Maxine comes across a kid in an alley and draws the wrong kind of attention. Suddenly, someone or something wants her dead. This is one of the darkest series I've read and it's absolutely fascinating. Like I said, I love angst. This has it in spades.
So, that's the list. I'm currently cranking through the next two books in Marjorie Liu's series while dealing with a kid STILL out of school (can I say my school district SUCKS?!) and suffering from severe anxiety, and a father in the hospital with a very scary infection. I put up two Christmas trees - one upstairs, one downstairs, I'm blasting Christmas music all day and doing lots of donating this month. Gotta mix the dark with the light, people. Just wish a little of that light would roll my way....