Tag Archives: Rachel Bach

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed That Weren’t My Typical Read

TTT 1.0

For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new theme and everyone is invited to join in! (Note: all book cover images in this post link to that book’s Goodreads page.)

Today’s Theme: Ten Books I Enjoyed That Weren’t My Typical Genre

This week’s theme was really hard for me, and if I weren’t already making an effort to read more broadly, this would be a serious kick in the pants for me! I had to cheat a lot with this list, and most of my “atypical” genres aren’t really all that atypical – most of them are just romance sub-genres I tend to avoid. That being said, most of the ways I want to expand my reading focus on exploring different cultures and perspectives rather than genres, and I’m okay with that, at least for now. So with that out of the way, here are my top ten!

Young Adult

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)  Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers, #1)  Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda  The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – Science Fiction is one genre that I feel like I should love, but I can rarely get into. I definitely did not have that problem with Illuminae. The fascinating format and action-packed plot kept me racing through the story and I finished it in a couple sittings!

Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron – I’ve reviewed both this book and it’s sequel, so you may have seen them on here before. It’s genre-nonconformity makes this series hard to describe to others, and I was initially hesitant to pick it up, but I’m so glad I did!

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – I can be a little wary of YA Contemporary, but more than that, I almost never read books from the perspective of one male main character. This is definitely something I’d like to change!

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh – I adored this book, and retellings/YA romance aren’t exactly a stretch for me. I’m including this one because it’s also a more diverse YA novel, taking place in historical Persia and having been written by a woman with a mixed-race heritage. We absolutely need more diverse perspectives!

Adult

Venetia  Fortune's Pawn (Paradox, #1)  Hard to Be Good (Hard Ink, #3.5)  A Spear of Summer Grass  Silver Lining

Venetia by Georgette Heyer – I usually shy away from purely historical romances, despite being a lover of Jane Austen. This is largely because I often run into historically accurate context (like discrimination and xenophobia) that detract from my enjoyment of the romance. I didn’t encounter that in Venetia, though it does crop up occasionally in other Heyer novels.

Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach – Here’s another Sci Fi! Just like I mentioned with Illuminae, this one was seriously action-packed, and it sucked me into the story.

Hard To Be Good by Laura Kaye – This novella was my first M/M romance, and I loved it 🙂 I was already a big fan of Kaye’s work, so I was more than willing to step out of my box for this one. It’s a good thing, too, because I discovered a new sub-genre to enjoy!

A Spear of Summer Grass by Deanna Raybourn – Here’s another Historical Romance. This one did have a couple cringe-worthy historical scenarios, but the African setting was vibrant and engaging, and the story was fascinating.

Silver Lining by Maggie Osborne – I have to admit, I only picked this American western historical romance up because it was a book club pick. I won’t be reaching out for the genre again any time soon, but I can say that Silver Lining made me laugh, and I’m really glad I gave it a shot.

Top of my TBR

Akata Witch (Akata Witch, #1)

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor – For my tenth pick, I’m going with another diverse book that’s on the top of my TBR pile! This is a YA Fantasy taking place in Nigeria, and the blerb sounds fantastic 😀

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Which books shook things up for you? Link your own Top Ten Tuesday in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books for Surviving Seattle Rain

TTT 1.0

For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new theme and everyone is invited to join in! (Note: all book cover images in this post link to that book’s Goodreads page.)

Today’s Theme: Ten Books for Surviving Seattle Rain

This week’s theme is a general freebie, so I decided to go with one that is meaningful to me. While the internet has been bombarding me with posts about the American East Coast’s epic blizzard, I’ve been getting drenched each time I set foot outside (dog walks and uncovered bus stops certainly don’t help). This is about the time of year when the constant wet really wears me down. Thank goodness for good books that help us survive the winter.

Without further ado, if you can’t beat it, join it!

Books to BEAT the rain:

No matter the genre, these books will take you to a place where winter rain isn’t even a blip on the radar.

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour  Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers, #1)  Uprooted  Fortune's Pawn (Paradox, #1)  Venetia

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson – For fans of YA contemporary romance – This one features a sunny, pan-American road trip.

Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron – For fans of quirky urban fantasies- The Heartstrikers series will suck you in with its post-magical-invasion-Detroit setting and amazing cast of characters.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik – For fans of fantasy and/or fairy tales – A vivid fantasy featuring a seemingly unstoppable corrupted wood.

Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach – For fans of fast-paced science fiction – This is the start to a really approachable sci fi trilogy with a bit of fantasy on the side.

Venetia by Georgette Heyer – For fans of Regency romances – This one is set in a sunny countryside and is generally lighthearted and goofy.

Books to JOIN the rain:

If you just can’t seem to ignore the rain, these are great books for embracing the foul weather. You can read all about crazy antics in gloomy worlds from the comfort of your own chair, blanket, and hot beverage of your choice.

Sanctum (Guards of the Shadowlands, #1)  Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, #1)  A Natural History of Dragons (Memoir by Lady Trent, #1)  Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)  Bitter Spirits (Roaring Twenties, #1)

Sanctum by Sarah Fine – For fans of YA paranormal/fantasy – This fast-paced trilogy is set in a dark, vivid world – no rain, but LOTS of grey.

Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn -For fans of Victorian mysteries with a side of romance – This is a fun, quirky murder mystery set in rainy Victorian London.

A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan – For fans of historical sci fi/fantasy – As a fictional memoir by the world’s leading dragon naturalist, there are plenty of muddy, wet adventures to be had in this one.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor – For fans of YA paranormal/fantasy – The dark, mysterious setting of Prague is, hands down, my favorite part of this trilogy.

Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett – For fans of period romance – This is the first book in a paranormal series set in rainy-but-vibrant Roaring Twenties San Francisco.

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What books do you read when the weather gets you down? Link you own TTT in the comments so I can check out your freebie theme!

Minute Review: One Good Dragon Deserves Another by Rachel Aaron

One Good Dragon Deserves Another (Heartstrikers, #2)One Good Dragon Deserves Another by Rachel Aaron (Heartstrikers, Book 2)
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

“This isn’t a game, you know.”

“Of course it’s a game,” the seer said, walking back over to the couch where Marci was standing over Amelia. “Everything’s a game, Julius. It has to be. Life is whimsical, random, and cruel, but a game is something you can win.”

This is a great second in series! It was longer, but read very quickly, and everything was explored in more depth: the characters and relationships, world building, and the magic system. The end result was a great story that had me falling in love with the series even more, and I am dying for Book 3, which isn’t due to come out until the middle of this year.

Recommendation: If you’re a fan of Harry Potter, you should give this series a try starting with Book 1 (Nice Dragons Finish Last). It’s dragons instead of magicians, but the vivid story and amazing character dynamics remind me so much of when I read HP for the first time.

Minute Review: Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron

Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers, #1)
Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron (Heartstrikers, Book 1)
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

“So far as I can tell, ‘good dragon’ is just another name for coldblooded sociopath,” he said. “No friends, no trust, no love. Why would I ever want to live like that? It’s not like any of you good dragons are happy.”

I was pretty sure I’d like this book, but I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did! Despite a slower start, by 40% I was completely hooked by Aaron’s charismatic writing and the growing plot. By the end I was dying to pick up the next installment.

Recommendation: Read this if you enjoy quirky urban fantasies and sociopathic, yet lovable dragons. Also, read this because of Bob…

The Emoji Book Tag

Book Tag - Emoji

Time for another book tag! I was tagged for this one by Zezee over at Zezee with Books. It’s pretty simple – I post 5 of my most used emoji with some books to match.

Samsung's White Smiling Face  Firelight (Darkest London, #1)

Firelight by Kristen Callihan – As my happy and satisfied face, this emoji fits well with almost all of my 4 or 5 star ratings, but it’s especially fitting for Firelight. The paranormal/fantasy, steampunky setting is one of my favorites to be swept away in.

Samsung's Expressionless Face  Be My Prince

By My Prince by Julianne MacLean – This is my “just make it stop” face to go along with one of my “no thank you” picks. The constant distrust and cyclic drama really didn’t do it for me…

Samsung's Flushed Face  Sanctum (Guards of the Shadowlands, #1)

Sanctum by Sarah Fine – Here’s a world-weary emoji that is perfect for all of the dystopian or otherwise hellish settings I’ve been reading lately. As one of them, Sanctum is a great story, though most of it takes place in a specific section of hell. I love these books but they always leave me looking like this emoji!

Samsung's Frowning Face With Open Mouth  Fortune's Pawn (Paradox, #1)

Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach (also writes as Rachel Aaron) – This emoji is perfect for a book that is intense, a little bit heartbreaking, and so engrossing that I can’t put it down. I’m not usually much of a science fiction fan, but Fortune’s Pawn includes a great blend of action, fantasy, and romance that really drew me in.

Samsung's Smiling Face With Open Mouth and Smiling Eyes  Carry On

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell – There is so much joy in this emoji, just looking at it makes me grin. Thinking about Carry On works the exact same way. It’s quirky, magical, witty, romantic, wonderfully written, and otherwise amazing. On that note, I think I’m going to go read it again 😉

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I’d like to pass this tag on to:

If you’ve done the Emoji Book Tag, link your post in the comments 🙂

Book Tag: Would you Rather?

Now that I’ve got a bunch of reviews up, I thought it would be fun to do something a little different. I came across this book tag on romance4thebeach and thought it looked like a great way to get thinking about some of my reading preferences.

Would you rather only read trilogies or only read stand-alones?

This one’s hard because I really love both. I’m a big series fan, so if I could, I would pick series without limiting myself to three books. That being said, it can be hard to find a good series that sticks with the same main characters and keeps things interesting. Here are some of my favorites:

Trilogies with persistent mains:

Die for Me (Revenants, #1)     Fortune's Pawn (Paradox, #1)     Unearthly (Unearthly, #1)

Stand-alones:

A Spear of Summer Grass     The Fault in Our Stars     Hearts in Darkness (Hearts in Darkness, #1)

Would you rather only read male or female authors?

Most of the books I’ve read and loved lately are by female authors, so that’s what I’d have to go with. This is probably the case because I’ve mostly been reading romances.  I’d love to read some by a male author, so if you have any good recommendations, please let me know in the comments!

Would you rather shop at Barnes and Noble or Amazon?

My Kindle never leaves my person, so I have to go with Amazon. Even checking out library e-books, you can’t beat the ease of it – a few button clicks and you’re done. I love Barnes and Noble for hard copies, though. They are always my go-to when I need to pick up books with paper pages.

Would you rather books were made into TV shows or movies?

TV shows, all the way. I love the nuances of a story that so often get cut out of movie adaptions. A TV show or miniseries (yes!) allows way more time for the story to be built up as it was originally intended. A movie series can do that too, of course, as long as it’s done right. Here’s looking at you, Hunger Games franchise!

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)     Pride and Prejudice     The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)

Would you rather read only 5 pages per day or 5 books per week?

I think I would go insane if I could only read 5 pages per day. I would probably end up giving up reading altogether to avoid the frustration. 5 books per week isn’t too far off from my current pace anyway; how hard could it be to boost it up a little?

Would you rather be a professional author or reviewer?

Professional reviewer – I have so much respect for authors. Not only are they creating something wonderful, they’re putting it all out there for the rest of us to judge. That must require nerves of steel. If that weren’t difficult enough, there is so much work going on behind the scenes to ensure that a book actually gets an audience in the first place!

As a professional reviewer, I would be able to enjoy the works of others all day, many of whom I thoroughly enjoy. And, with my current career path out of the way, I’d definitely be able to boost that reading pace up! 😉

Would you rather be a librarian or a bookseller?

I think I’d pick librarian. There’s something to be said for helping others find books to enjoy, and in a library, there’s no downside to taking a chance on something new!

Would you rather read only your favorite genre, or every other genre but your favorite?

I would rather read only my favorite genre. It’s my favorite for a reason and avoiding it would be about as bad as limiting myself to 5 pages per day…

Would you rather only read ebooks or physical books?

I have to go with e-books for two reasons. First, it is SO convenient to be able to carry an entire library in my purse. Second, at least half of my reading occurs on a city bus or a university campus, and I’m not afraid to admit that I get embarrassed by book titles and cover images. I mean, come on…

Straddling the Line (Play by Play, #8)     SEAL Wolf Christmas (Heart of the Wolf)     Wild Heat (Hot Shots: Men of Fire, #1)

OH BOY, was it hard to limit myself to just three of these… While not what I would call favorites, these are some of the more giggle-inducing covers of books I’ve read within the last year.

Tag Note: When I knew I wanted to do this tag, I followed the tagging trail back to see where it started and cycled my way through at least 5 blogs referencing other blogs before I gave up looking for the original source. If this looks like fun, please use it and keep the tagging cycle going!

Happy Reading!