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Books I read in May and June

I am back with my crazy pace of reading! Since completing my The 100 Day Project, I have been taking it slowwwwww with my art side. As mentioned, I have started going for an oil painting class, so I basically only paint when I’m at my weekly class now, and maybe once or twice more during the week for homework or relaxing.

So what do I do with the rest of the time? Focusing on books of course!

I have also rekindled my relationship with Kindle (pun was originally unintended). As much as I love to read and hold actual books, it is really easier and more convenient for me to turn to Kindle. But then again, perhaps after awhile, my eyes would get fed up at reading from screens and I’ll go back to paperbacks!

Here are the books I read in May and June:

Nine Perfect Strangers, by Liane Moriarty

I have a very good impression of Liane Moriarty because I enjoyed her ‘Big Little Lies’ a lot. For reasons unknown, however, I had put off getting this book for the longest time. Anyway one day I saw it either at Big W or CostCo (can’t remember) and impulsively grabbed it. It’s not too bad.  There is suspense with some “OMG what’s gonna happen?” moments, but not very gripping.

What Happens in London, by Julia Quinn

I gotta admit. I bought this book almost entirely because of the cover. I really like the cover! But alsoooo, I’ve read many books by Julia Quinn before so I was quite confident that I would like this book and I did! If you’re into historical romance stories that are funny and light, this is quite an entertaining read.

The Hating Game, by Sally Thorne

So. This has been featured by book clubs and book Instagrammers a lot, and finally, I decided to pick it up. You might enjoy it if you like hate-to-love kinda romance, but there was something about Lucy and Joshua’s relationship that didn’t quite work for me. Some of their actions left me cringing, actually. Although I did quite enjoy the way they bantered and there were a number of sweet moments that made me go ‘awwwww’.

Little Pink Taxi, by Marie Laval

When you see this book cover, you immediately think that this is just a fluffy chick lit book, right?? Well, in a way I guess it is, but it also has so much more. It has romance, humour, ghosts, mystery… It is quite intriguing! Some parts of the book actually caused the hair on my neck to stand, while others made me laugh out loud.

When a Scot Ties the Knot, by Tessa Dare

Whenever I feel like I need to read something light and mindless, I turn to chick lits and romance novels. This book did not disappoint and had me smiling and laughing right from the start! I like the way it started by showing us the letters Maddie wrote to her “imaginary” sweetheart. And, even long after I finished the book, I still chuckle when I think of some of the scenes. As most of these historical romance books go though, there are quite some steamy scenes so if you don’t enjoy these, consider yourself warned.

The Heart of a Scoundrel, by Christi Caldwell

The jaded, cynical man who is up to nothing good. The ever idealistic woman who believes in the best of the man. Sometimes this formula works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it is touching, sometimes it is cheesy. I would put this book somewhere in the middle ground. I enjoyed it, but at the same time it’s not something I would enthusiastically recommend.

The Rogue Not Taken, by Sarah MacLean

My first thought: clever title. Second thought: pretty lady on the cover. And then oooo a stowaway on a carriage. I loved the characters in this book and I felt that they were both believable and also likable. Well, right until the last few chapters, at least. Then they were… questionable. But overall this was still a good story, and for the first time in a long time, my heart actually physically ached while reading through the main characters’ conflicts. In a good way.

The Day of the Duchess, by Sarah MacLean

The thing about historical romance books, especially those in a series, is that they kinda make me want to binge read. And so once I start, I can’t seem to stop. Until I can. I got this title because it is linked (in a way) to the previous book, and I was very curious about the story of Sera and Haven. The narration style is interesting too, with the current happenings interweaved with flashbacks. There were a few instances where I struggled to keep my tears in (spoiler: there is a stillborn baby). However, as most romance novels go, there always seems to be unending drama and conflict to keep the lovebirds apart, and after a while, it gets pretty draining. Like, make up already!! And then the ending felt a little… too quick and easy. But that could just be me.

The Night Tiger, by Yangsze Choo

I almost did not finish this. With it being highly acclaimed and featured on Reese Witherspoon’s book club, I bought this with HIGH expectations. Like, THIS HIGH. It didn’t help that the story was set in olden-time Malaya, revolving around Malaysian Chinese characters. Plus, it had elements of Chinese and Malay superstitions, legends and ghosts. Right up my ally! Right? Well, yes and no. Halfway through the book, I was almost dragging myself through to finish it, and even after finishing it, I just felt… flat. It felt as though it was building up to something great but I didn’t quite feel satisfied with the ending. Also, I feel as though I should mention this – there is a romance between step-siblings, which can be a disturbing factor to some.

Dear Lily, by Drew Davies

This was another book that I almost quit right at the beginning, because it seemed that Joy was too long-winded and not very likable. But I’m glad I persevered because in the end I liked this more than I thought I would. One reason I got this book was because it is basically a compilation of letters that Joy wrote to her sister Lily, and through these letters you get to know Joy and the happenings in her life. I thought that it is an interesting narrative, compared to the usual. There’s also a twist (which I had guessed quite early on so not much of a twist for me). A heartwarming read. If you enjoyed ‘Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine’ by Gail Honeyman, you might enjoy this too. And, you might find yourself wanting to hop on the next plane to visit Denmark.

Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman

Thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I adore Thor. So when I saw that Neil Gaiman had written a book about Norse mythology, I had to read it. This is a short and easy read, and basically a re-telling of the Norse myths, gods and legends. If you want to have a quick understanding of Norse mythology, this does quite a good job. I had initially thought that this would have actual new stories featuring Thor, Loki and the others, so I was a little bit disappointed to see that was not the case. Having said that, I didn’t mind learning about the actual myths and legends either!

Romancing the Duke, by Tessa Dare

The final historical romance book I read over this period, and, I think I am done for now. As most books in this genre kinda have the same plot and similar characters and steamy scenes, I can only read so much before feeling like I’ve had enough and it’s time to move on. I will probably have another romance novel binge-reading session again once I’ve had enough of heavier books lol. But that’s for another time. As for this book itself, it’s interesting because it features a blind hero, something we usually don’t find in books, especially in romance books. Overall, it is entertaining enough if you’re just looking for a light romance novel to curl up on the couch with.

 

Have you read any of the books listed? Let me know what you think of them! And of course, if you have any book recommendations please share!

 

Love,

Natalie

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