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Elena Likes Books

I am an avid reader of YA, fantasy, and romance, a librarian, and a writer of fantasy short fiction.

Currently reading

Cut & Run
Abigail Roux, Madeleine Urban
Where the Sidewalk Ends
Shel Silverstein
The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination: Original Short Fiction for the Modern Evil Genius
John Joseph Adams
The Thousand Names
Django Wexler
The Duchess Hunt
Jennifer Haymore

Finders Keepers

Finders Keepers - Linnea Sinclair 3.5 stars. Not my favorite Linnea Sinclair, but serviceable.
Serenity: Those Left Behind - Will Conrad, Brett Matthews, Joss Whedon Meh. Not really feeling compelled to pick up the next one.

A Lady's Secret Weapon

A Lady's Secret Weapon - Tracey Devlyn A pleasant surprise! Review to come closer to release date.
Rebels and Lovers - Linnea Sinclair I am so incredibly happy I discovered Linnea Sinclair. I have been looking for sci-fi romances like this for ages, and hers are top-notch. Characters to care about, always, always an extremely robust sci-fi plot that's more prominent than the romantic plot. They're so entertaining that I don't even care about the unoriginality of her science worldbuilding (as far as I can tell, all her terminology except the alien words is borrowed from Star Trek).I'm not always hugely into the romance aspect, but it doesn't even matter because there's so much space opera happening. In Rebels and Lovers, I was slightly frustrated because I figured out whodunnit loooooooong before anyone else even suspected. But I loved it anyway. Because Linnea Sinclair is awesome. I'm so sad that her last book came out in 2010. What am I going to do once I've read them all? I need more!
Games of Command - Linnea Sinclair 3.5 stars. The romance was lackluster, but a pretty awesome sci-fi plot went a long way toward making up for it.
Runaways, Vol. 3: The Good Die Young - Adrian Alphona, Brian K. Vaughan Read this because after volumes one and two I really wanted to know who the mole was. Well, now we're done with that plotline (actually super glad that they didn't drag the mole thing out for more volumes--I was really afraid they would). Not sure if I'll continue with the series, but these are fun, easy graphic novels I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to kids 10-14.(Though like a few other reviewers I've seen, I was really weirded out by 11-year-old Molly acting like a seven-year-old. Apparently the writer doesn't know any kids that age. I just went ahead and pretended she was at most eight and all my troubles went away.)(ALSO, this was only the third volume I've read, and it was the second one to literally fall apart in my hands as I read it despite me being the first person to ever read it. Warning to anyone thinking of buying these: don't, unless they're available in hardcover. The binding is the most horrifically poor I've seen.)
When We Wake - Karen Healey 3.5 stars, rounded up because Karen Healey always impresses me with her very deliberately awesome inclusiveness. Love having another book to add to the sadly short list of YA books that do ethnic diversity and religious diversity and QUILTBAG characters well.

The Bitter Kingdom

The Bitter Kingdom - Rae Carson Great ending to the trilogy. Truly epic. I loved the resolution of the godstone issue (it would be spoilery to say more). Elisa is awesome. Hector is awesome. They are awesome together.I think I would have given this book five stars except that whenever I recommend this series to people, I feel I need to add a caveat: it's really incredibly awesome except for the fatphobia that's most obvious in book one but subtly continued in books two and three.Also, Red Sparkle Stone needs her own spinoff series. That is all.

Sometimes a Rogue

Sometimes a Rogue (Lost Lords (Kensington)) - Mary Jo Putney Weirdly juvenile and unpolished, considering MJP is a Regency veteran who I know can do better. I was looking forward to Rob Carmichael's story, but it was way less interesting than I expected. Oh well.

The Heiress Effect (Brothers Sinister)

The Heiress Effect - Courtney Milan Okay, so if you've been my friend for more than like two minutes, you know how much I love Courtney Milan. Whenever romance novels come up in conversation, I gush about her. She does the most amazing things with the romance novel formula. She is the only historical romance author I know who consistently writes books I would classify as feminist. And that is so awesome.So it's apparent that I've kind of put her up on a pedestal. And it's sort of inevitable that one of these days she'd fall short of my lofty expectations. This book...was good. It was high-end historical romance. If I'd read this book without knowing who the author was I would have said the author showed promise, would read again. But I wouldn't have guessed it was my beloved Courtney Milan.I was really excited for the first few chapters of this book. Jane was so disastrously amazing. I cackled with glee as she intentionally bumbled her way through social events in a deliberate attempt to repel everyone while still seeming so very well meaning. It was great.Then that aspect kind of fell away and the rest of the book was a fairly paint by numbers Regency: the characters really like one another but they can't be together for reasons that are kind of ridiculous, and in the end they realize that the reasons are ridiculous and...they get together. It's how most romances go. Courtney Milan's usually have a little extra something to make me sit up and take notice. This book was a well-written paint by numbers Regency, but it doesn't stand out from the crowd to quite the same extent as many of her other books.As I said, it's very well-written. It also has a fat heroine (I don't know who the lady in the cover image is, but it sure isn't flamboyant Jane of the 37-inch waist), a disabled secondary heroine, and an Indian secondary hero, so, yay! But I can't help but be just the teeny tiniest bit disappointed that this book didn't live up to [b:The Duchess War|13489919|The Duchess War (Brothers Sinister, #1)|Courtney Milan|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1363009176s/13489919.jpg|19028791]. Still, it's well worth the read for fans of historical romance, and my eagerness for more books by Ms. Milan continues unabated.

Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord

Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord - Sarah MacLean 3.5 stars. Cute.
Perfect Scoundrels - Ally Carter 3.5 stars. Not my favorite Heist book, but entertaining enough.
Daddy-Long-Legs - Jean Webster Fun, entertaining voice. Doesn't read like it's over a century old. However, my enjoyment was lessened by the existence of Pervy Jervie (thanks to Tandie for that appropriate moniker!) a.k.a. Daddy-Long-Legs, who gave off huge creeper vibes.
Sweet Temptation  - Maya Banks 4.5 stars. Favorite in this series so far. Probably in the whole series, as I doubt the next two books will live up to this one.This book didn't offend my feminist sensibilities! Which was a big surprise! There's a part where the heroine is kidnapped by a deranged stalker and taken to a remote cabin for probable rape and possible murder, and guess what? She beats him up, handcuffs him and ties him to a table, and walks miles with a gunshot wound to find help. I was totally expecting her to wait around for the hero to rescue her! But nope, she had actual agency. So awesome!I also thought this one had the best romantic conflict of the first four books.
Sweet Persuasion  - Maya Banks Lacking the suspense elements of the first book, this one was all about the sex. Meh.
Skies of Fire - Zoe Archer Got two thirds of the way through this before giving in to my complete and utter boredom with the characters, the world, and the story.I honestly don't know what it is about Zoe Archer, but I just cannot get into her books. If I try to pick them apart, it seems like there's nothing wrong: action, characters with characteristics I usually enjoy, an absence of sexism and other nasty 'isms, a world that seems pretty well-put-together. But somehow things just don't come together in a way that keeps me eager to turn pages.I've picked up enough of her books now that I think it's not just a fluke. As much as I want to be able to support this author, I am just completely disinterested.