This feature is for short reviews, reviews of books in a series where it might feel repetitive, or (as Michelle suggested) books I was too lazy to write a “real” review for. Today’s books I read ages ago, wrote the review on Goodreads, but never got around to publishing it on the blog.Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon
Narrator: Davina Porter
Series: Outlander #4
Published by Recorded Books on March 28, 2008
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Romance, Science Fiction
Length: 44 hours 50 minutes
In this breathtaking novel—rich in history and adventure—The New York Times bestselling author Diana Gabaldon continues the story of Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser that began with the now-classic novel Outlander and continued in Dragonfly in Amber and Voyager. Once again spanning continents and centuries, Diana Gabaldon has created a work of sheer passion and brilliance....
It began at an ancient Scottish stone circle. There, a doorway, open to a select few, leads into the past—or the grave. Dr. Claire Randall survived the extraordinary passage, not once but twice.
Her first trip swept her into the arms of Jamie Fraser, an eighteenth-century Scot whose love for her became a legend—a tale of tragic passion that ended with her return to the present to bear his child. Her second journey, two decades later, brought them together again in the American colonies. But Claire had left someone behind in the twentieth century—their daughter, Brianna....
Now Brianna has made a disturbing discovery that sends her to the circle of stones and a terrifying leap into the unknown. In search of her mother and the father she has never met, she is risking her own future to try to change history ... and to save their lives. But as Brianna plunges into an uncharted wilderness, a heartbreaking encounter may strand her forever in the past ... or root her in the place she should be, where her heart and soul belong....
Yes! So much better than the last two. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed them, but they FELT as long as they were… Not like this book or Outlander, where I was anxious to know what was coming next. I feel like they were almost filler, to get us to where Drums of Autumn finally delivered us. I don’t know when I would have picked this up if it weren’t for the fact I want to be ahead of the show. I’m glad I did and I’m very much looking forward to seeing how they translate it to TV.
I loved that Bree and Roger were such a big part of the story – that was an unexpected treat. I also loved the setting – which is unusual for me, as I tend to prefer my historical in Europe not the US. But I enjoyed seeing the Scottish settlers in the colonies, alongside slaves, Native Americans, and the British.
Despite being quite long, the ending felt fairly abrupt and I was surprised that it was the end. We feel very much on the precipice of lots of things happening and I’m sure it’ll make for an exciting story in the next book.
The narration is great and probably the only way I’m successfully reading this lengthy series. Very happy to have it in audio!
Note: I haven’t had a chance to read past this and am now behind on the TV series as well. Hope to catch up eventually!
Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi
Published by Audible Studios on June 24, 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Length: 8 hours 52 minutes
Author of the beloved Half Moon Hollow series of vampire romances (Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs), Molly Harper has created a standalone paranormal romance in which a dilapidated haunted house could bring star-crossed lovers together - if it doesn't kill them first!
When Nina Linden is hired to landscape a private island off the New England coast, she sees it as her chance to rebuild her failing business after being cheated by her unscrupulous ex. She never expects that her new client, software mogul Deacon Whitney, would see more in her than just a talented gardener. Deacon has paid top dollar to the crews he's hired to renovate the desolate Whitney estate - he had to, because the bumps, thumps, and unexplained sightings of ghostly figures in 19th-century dress are driving workers away faster than he can say "Boo".But Nina shows no signs of being scared away, even as she experiences some unnerving apparitions herself. And as the two of them work closely together to restore the mansion's faded glory, Deacon realizes that he's found someone who doesn't seem to like his fortune more than himself - while Nina may have finally found the one man she can trust with her bruised and battered heart.
But something on the island doesn't believe in true love...and if Nina and Deacon can't figure out how to put these angry spirits to rest, their own love doesn't stand a ghost of a chance.
Listening Length: 8 hours and 58 minutes
This was so fun! I loved the two threaded story, with the ghost mystery in the background and all the possessions and hauntings that went with it. And then the primary story – all these interesting people living together while renovating an old family mansion, essentially trapped on an island together. As always, Harper wrote fun characters that are hard not to love. Was a great choice for Dewey’s readathon. Especially with Ronconi narrating to keep me engaged.
Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
Narrator: Jorjeana Marie, Robbie Daymond
Published by Listening Library on October 4, 2016
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult
Length: 9 hours 3 minutes
A New York Times Bestseller
From the author of the New York Times bestseller All the Bright Places comes a heart-wrenching story about what it means to see someone--and love someone--for who they truly are.
Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed "America's Fattest Teen." But no one's taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom's death, she's been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby's ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for EVERY POSSIBILITY LIFE HAS TO OFFER. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything.
Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he's got swagger, but he's also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can't recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He's the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything in new and bad-ass ways, but he can't understand what's going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don't get too close to anyone. Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game--which lands them in group counseling and community service--Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. . . . Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.Jennifer Niven delivers another poignant, exhilarating love story about finding that person who sees you for who you are--and seeing them right back.
"Niven is adept at creating characters. . . . [Libby's] courage and body-positivity make for a joyful reading experience." --The New York Times
"Holding Up the Universe . . . taps into the universal need to be understood. To be wanted. And that's what makes it such a remarkable read." --TeenVogue.com, "Why New Book Holding Up the Universe Is the Next The Fault in Our Stars"
"Want a love story that will give you all the feels? . . . You'll seriously melt!" --Seventeen Magazine
I listened to the this in just one day – yes, partly because I wanted to get it read in time for book club, but mostly because I was enjoying it so much.
As a plus size girl most my life, I really connected with the main character. No I haven’t come close to her struggles, but I get what it’s like to go through life with people making automatic judgements about you because of your size. I’ve been the victim of hate and disgust just because I’m large. And like the main character – Libby – I tend to tell those people to shove it. I love that she is happy as she is and that she’s big but fit. She can run; she loves to dance. She is hurt by people, but she isn’t defined by that hurt.
And the male Mc – Jack – wow that was fascinatingly different. I didn’t even know his condition existed – the inability to differentiate people’s faces – let alone imagine what that must be like. I feel like Jennifer Niven did a great job with him – he’s cocky as all hell but it’s a defense mechanism for how confused and lost he feels most the time.
This was my first Jennifer Niven book but won’t be my last. Also, loved the narration. The two narrators complemented each other so well, at one point I was double checking that I remembered correctly that there were two narrators. An A + for narration.