WHAT I FINISHED
1. Company Town by Madeline Ashby: It got more interesting as it went along with interesting characters, but the pacing ended up being WAY off and the jumps in time screw with the plot's coherency.
2. Sandstorm by James Rollins: The book was way too long, but it finally picked up in the second half. I'm going to stick with the series, though, because I know it improves.
3. Rita Moreno: A Memoir by Rita Moreno: In the end, it was rather superficial and felt way too much like memoir lite.
4. The Introvert's Edge by Matthew Pollard: I ended up learning quite a bit from this book, and I was able to start incorporating some ideas into my marketing and organization.
5. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins: Well. I finally read it. It did absolutely nothing to change my opinion of Snow. In a lot of ways, it felt like fanfic. It takes place during the 10th Hunger Games which are very different to the games of the first three books. We learn how some of the parts we already know come about, as well as some of tidbits about characters' ancestors. It's interesting, but more as a novelty than as a story I care about. I still hate Snow. In fact, I might even hate him a little bit more.
6. Cold Cruel Kiss by Toni Anderson: Book 4 in the romantic suspense series about the federal negotiators. She's one of my autobuy authors, but this was probably my least favorite of this series and the one that preceded it. The hero is lovely, but the heroine rubbed me the wrong way from the beginning. She's lying to everybody about who she is from the very first scene she appears in, which made me hate her for most of the book. It's hard to root for the romance when you dread to see the outcome.
7. Coraline by Neil Gaiman: I picked this up because it's one of those books I'm always being told I should have read. I've seen the movie so I know the plot. The book, though? Meh. I think I'm just too old for it. I never engaged with the story at all. But at least I've read the source material now.
8. Two Rings: A Story of Love and War by Millie Werber and Eve Keller: The memoir of a Polish Auschwitz survivor. It's a different approach than I've seen before. Millie's isn't your typical story. She only spends a few months in Auschwitz after she spent over a year working as slave labor at a German ammunitions factory. She's saved from death over and over again, sometimes by the kindness of strangers, once by falling in love and getting married to a Jewish policeman. The style is a little aloof, but I have to admit that the last few pages made it all worth it.
9. Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah: Two sisters try to discover their mother's past after their father dies. I got tired of seeing this author get recommended all over the place so I decided to try one of her books. I'm not sure this should've been the one. While the writing is solid and I can see its appeal, I disliked both of the forty-ish daughters and found it very hard to sympathize with them. I just kept screaming at them, "Grow up! The world does not revolve around you!" I liked the ending of the book, but there was a real chance that this would've gotten thrown against the wall more than once.
DID NOT FINISH
1. Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss: A literary novel about a group of people in Soho in the early 80s. I didn't get far. It bored me to tears.
2. The Awkward Age by Francesca Segal: A family drama novel about a widow trying to get her teenaged daughter to get along with her new live-in boyfriend and his son. It tried to be clever and humorous, but I never engaged with any of the characters which meant I didn't care about their petty problems. I finally gave up on this about halfway through.
3. The Return of the Renegade by Carole Mortimer: A badly dated Harlequin. I didn't even get through the first chapter because every other paragraph ended in an exclamation point. Too annoying to bother with.
4. Secrets of a Viscount by Rose Gordon: A historical romance about a young girl who elopes with her sister's friend, although he thinks it's the sister he's managed to break out of their home. What sounded like a great enemies to lovers romance turned into a slog when I realized the author is all tell and no show.
WHAT I'M READING
1. A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel adapted by Hope Larson: This might be my favorite childhood book, and I'm loving this version of it.
2. 12 by Nolon King and David Wright: Suspense about the last twelve hours of twelve people. It started out with a massacre at a diner, then backtracks twelve hours to start telling the day of the people who were inside. I'm finding it incredibly engrossing with varied, believable characters, not all of whom are nice. I'm so intrigued about how it's all going to play out.
3. Pure Blood by Caitlin Kittredge: Book 2 of the Nocturne City series, an urban fantasy series about a werewolf homicide detective. I'd started reading this a while ago, but I'm on the fence if I'll stick with it after this book. I'm finding myself really disliking the heroine, which, when it's told in 1st person, isn't a good sign.
4. At the Edge of Summer by Jessica Brockmole: A gentle historical about a young Scottish girl and the French young man she befriends the summer her father died. It's told in alternating POVs, and it's utterly enchanting so far.