Welcome to part two of our book club catch up! 2018 has been such a varied year for book club and I have been dying to talk about these books with people. Jen and I always talk about what we think, but I'm hoping this gets us back in the habit of posting monthly on the blog. So let's dive in to the April and May book club selections.
I made Jen stop reading this book so we could read it for book club in March. I had it on my kindle for months and thought it was the perfect reason to finally read it. If I'm being honest (which, duh of course I'm gonna be honest) this was not my favorite. Alosa is the title mentioned daughter of the pirate king who lets herself get captured to search for a map for her father. She is able to pick locks and spends nights out of her cell searching the ship, along with building a romance with the second in command, Riden. She also has a secret: she's half siren. So this all sounds like it should add up to a fun romp, but it's actually kind of boring and unbelievable. The siren thing gets dropped in out of nowhere and it feels like something that we should know but there's literally no build up to it. The romance feels a little too insta-love to me, and I just had a hard time with the writing in general. It didn't really flow as much as I would like and it felt like so much of the novel was surface level stuff instead of diving into back story and motivation. I do not think I will read the sequel, but I'm glad I got to read this with Jen.
I read this book during a very emotion time and I kind of wonder if that factors into my opinion on this book. I felt like I liked the first half of the book pretty ok - I even remember thinking bring on this sexy female pirate! But then instead of her sexiness being a ploy to trick men, we discovered she was a half siren and once I learned that I wanted to chuck my kindle out the window. I thought the second half of the book felt choppy and a lot of character facts were suddenly introduced that made no sense and derailed the story. I thought the book ended pretty suddenly and I refused to even look to see if a sequel was on the author's radar. Heather vented to me it was and I have since vowed I'll never continue this series. Thinking back, I won't be breaking that vow.
This was on my fall TBR in 2017 and I never got around to it, so I was really happy Jen was on board to read it for book club in May. I devoured this in one day at the Lake of the Ozarks last weekend. It was storming on and off so I lost myself in this absolute treat of a book. It's a retelling on Cinderella, so there are definitely some plot points you know will come (evil stepmother & step sisters, losing a slipper, a ball, one of the step sisters destroying Cinderella's stuff before a big event, ect.) but it was such a fun twist on an old tale. Elle lives with her step mother and step sisters in her house that her dad left her when he died. Her dad introduced her to Starfield, a scifi show that reminded me of Battlestar Galactica/Star Trek, and founded a Con for it way back when. Elle just wants to work on The Magic Pumpkin, a vegan food truck, and save money to escape when she turns 18, but when the casting for the new Starfield remake is announced, she decided to enter a cosplay contest to honor her parents (they met at a con and were big into cosplaying). Along the way she makes some friends and falls in love and basically makes me want to cosplay and go to more cons. It was such a sweet book and I loved all the geeky references and the fandom love that oozed out of the pages. This book is taking a place on my bookshelf so I can reread it again.
I've been trying to be more mindful about purchases lately so I was able to score the audiobook at the library. First off, I am an absolute sucker for fairytale retellings. I just love them. Especially Cinderella probably because they all have the happiest of endings. I also die over random hookups because I despise tales of fate. This story instantly made me think of the Hilary Duff/Chad Michael Murray retelling. I loved that so much of this story entailed a fandom. Everyone of us can be guilty of becoming a little too involved in fandoms (hello Harry Potter). I absolutely loved the narrators of the story and every time I turned it on it brought me instant happiness. The ending almost caused my heart to burst. This magical book is inspiring me to want to connect with my fellow nerds and get my con on too. I also might have to buy a physical copy because this book was seriously everything I needed this month.