In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews!
I received this book for free (hey, thanks!) in exchange for an honest review. I promise that this does NOT affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For real.Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Published by Penguin Random House on February 13th 2018
Also by this author: My Not So Perfect Life, I Owe You One
Format: eARC (432 pages) • Source: Publisher
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After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have all the trimmings of a happy life and marriage; they have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other's sentences. However, a trip to the doctor projects they will live another 68 years together and panic sets in. They never expected "until death do us part" to mean seven decades.
In the name of marriage survival, they quickly concoct a plan to keep their relationship fresh and exciting: they will create little surprises for each other so that their (extended) years together will never become boring. But in their pursuit to execute Project Surprise Me, mishaps arise and secrets are uncovered that start to threaten the very foundation of their unshakable bond. When a scandal from the past is revealed that question some important untold truths, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all.
I’ve been a fan of Sophie Kinsella since wayy before these books were “appropriate” for me. I read some of the SHOPAHOLIC series back before high school. I read a few more in 2014 and loved her latest release before this one, so clearly I was jazzed up for SURPRISE ME.
I liked Sylvie and Dan as a couple, with them finishing each other’s sentences and managing to have a really solid relationship. When the whole “you have 65 years left together because you’re super healthy and will live LONG lives” thing comes up, they’re both thrown. How are they going to survive THAT many years together? It’s a reality check for them and even though there’s really not much wrong with their relationship necessarily, they second-guess everything. Sylvie develops this plan where they surprise each other with little things to keep everything interesting. Naturally, the surprises go awry and Sylvie learns that surprises aren’t the only key to a long and healthy marriage.
The whole situation about Sylvie’s father that died and her weird mother was… interesting. She had the opposite of the traditional “daddy issues” thing – she was obsessed with her dad and thought he was a perfect hero. She had a very odd personality with how she kind of went along with everything in her life? Her boss, an owner of a VERY old school museum, didn’t even use email and had an antiquated way of doing business. She told herself she was very happy in this role as long as you got used to everything, but I can’t imagine how that’s possible. I expected a looooot of blowing up at the end of the book. What secret would she uncover from Dan and how would it impact their lives? I was very anxious to see what was going to happen.
My feelings overall are kind of mixed, but the strong finish (and second half) really made it all worth it. It was like a switch was flipped once I hit the 50% mark. The Kinsella LOL-humor was there, the editing/writing improved, and the story picked up so much. It wasn’t all fun and fluff like her previous book, so I want to warn everyone not to expect that. The ending was so worth it though.
Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer, Stephen Gilpin, Douglas Holgate
Series: Wires and Nerve #2
Genres: Young Adult, Sci-Fi
Published by Macmillan on January 30th 2018
Also by this author: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Winter, Fairest, Stars Above, Heartless, Wires and Nerve, Renegades , Archenemies
Format: Hardcover (324 pages) • Source: Purchased
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Iko – an audacious android and best friend to the Lunar Queen Cinder – has been tasked with hunting down Alpha Lysander Steele, the leader of a rogue band of bioengineered wolf-soldiers who threaten to undo the tenuous peace agreement between Earth and Luna. Unless Cinder can reverse the mutations that were forced on them years before, Steele and his soldiers plan to satisfy their monstrous appetites with a massacre of the innocent people of Earth.
And to show he’s serious, Steele is taking hostages.
Cinder and Kai, Scarlet and Wolf, Cress and Thorne, and Winter and Jacin all feature in this epic new battle. But it is Iko who must face her deepest fears when she uncovers the truth about her own unusual programming.
It’s always wonderful to be back in the Lunar Chronicles world, regardless of the format! I have to say though, the graphic novels for Iko’s story are PERFECT. It’s a fun way of following up with everyone without it really feeling like she’s dragging the series on? Although, I would totally read 100 more books about this crew of people. It looks like this is the final book in their world and I wish we didn’t have to leave it behind.
Continuing her mission from the first book, Iko (and Kinney) are trying to track down the rogue soldiers and bring them back to their families. Steele, their leader, strongly believes (and convinces his pack) that there’s a cure for their wolf-ness and Cinder is just hiding it from them. Meanwhile, Iko is learning about her history and why she has the most personality of any android out there.
There was a lot of great action in this story! I feel like it went by so quickly despite being 300+ pages long. I liked Iko’s story, where she constantly had to “prove” to Kinney that she is more human-like than he realizes. It’s still a sort of odd romance, but eh. I liked it. In fact, this is probably the installment with the least romance compared to every other book in the series. I wish there was more with the other characters too, especially Cress and Thorne. The ending/epilogue was so cute though! Like I said, I could spend forever reading about these characters. <3