Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Pub Date: 9-6-22
Adult - Retelling

Ithaca- Claire North: King Odysseus sailed away from Ithaca seventeen years ago, taking every man of fighting age along with him. Although the war has long since been over, none of the men have come home, leaving the women to take care of the homestead. Penelope was just a young girl when she wed Odysseus and gave birth to his son. She always knew that as long as he was around, she would be protected and her position in Ithaca unchallenged. But now everyone is saying her husband is dead, and it's time to choose a new king from the many suitors living under her roof. Penelope knows no man can match her husband's power and that picking one would send her entire kingdom into chaos. With the fate of Ithaca hanging in the balance, Penelope will have to use her cunning and her network of maidens to ensure it topples in her favor.

By this point, I've read a ton of Greek mythology retellings, so I'm always on the lookout for one that will set itself apart from the rest. I think North did that here. I've read many Troy-inspired books, but I've never read one narrated by one of the goddesses. I loved how North used Hera to tell the tale of Penelope and the events on Ithaca. It was a unique plot device, and I think it worked very well. There were times where she overpowered the other characters, but I didn't mind so much. Speaking of, it is a very character-driven book, which I'm not usually a fan of, so it did feel like the pacing dragged on a bit due to that. While I don't think North brought anything new to Penelope's story, I did think her writing was beautiful and lush and would be interested in checking out the rest of the series.

Rating: 3/5

*Big thanks to the publisher for the copy!

Pub Date: 9-6-22
Adult - Contemporary

Do You Take This Man- Denise Williams: No one would ever describe divorce attorney RJ as being a soft-hearted romantic. She prides herself on being tough as nails and never letting anything ruffle her. But after a video of RJ officiating an impromptu wedding in the park goes viral, she suddenly becomes the most sought-after person when someone's looking to get hitched. RJ will never admit it, but she loves overseeing the "I do's" until she meets the new wedding planner she's forced to work with. Lear went from managing football events to working for his cousin's wedding business after his girlfriend ripped his world apart. He's focused on throwing all his attention into executing perfect events, but he'll have RJ to contend with. The pair instantly butt heads and refuse to compromise, but neither can deny the burning physical attraction they feel toward one another. Lear refuses to get hurt again, and RJ refuses to let her guard down, so they decide to engage in a little enemies with benefits deal. But will spending all their time surrounded by loving couples make them want to change their tunes?

I feel like Williams is a bit hit or miss for me. I've read a few of her books that I loved and others that I thought were okay. This leaned a little more towards the latter half for me. I love the enemies-to-lovers trope, but there were times I felt RJ and Lear were a little too mean to one another. They were both very passionate people, maybe a bit combative at times, and while that led to very steamy scenes between them, I couldn't help but feel like it was too much. I did enjoy all the banter, and once they finally started opening up to one another. Overall, I liked it, but it didn't blow me away, and I would still recommend it if you're looking for a new hate-to-love book to pick up.

Rating: 3/5

*Big thanks to the publisher for the copy!

Pub Date: 6-10-21
Adult - Thriller

How to Kill Your Family- Bella Mackie: Grace Bernard is currently sitting in prison for a murder she didn't commit. But Grace has a secret. Indeed, she may not have committed the murder that got her behind bars, but she has killed six members of her own family before she turned 28-years-old. When Grace discovered that her absentee billionaire father rejected her dying mother's pleas for help, Grace swore she would make him pay. This revenge sets her on a meticulous journey of bumping off different family members who have no idea who Grace is. From car accidents to amphibian acid trips gone awry, each death brings Grace closer to finding the joy she was lacking in life. While awaiting trial, Grace decides to document these deaths. Of course, she would prefer to get away with it, but the details of her revenge are just too sweet to keep to herself.

I didn't know too much about this going in, and I think that's the best way to go. Just jump in blindly and hang on for the ride because it is wild. Grace is one of those characters who is completely unhinged, but you kind of find yourself rooting for. She has zero qualms about killing people and takes pleasure in planning each family member's murder down to the most minute detail. I was gripped the whole time, and most of that had to do with Mackie's writing. It's brilliantly sharp and darkly twisted. Most thrillers I read tend to feel heavy and serious, but this one felt fun and cheeky. If you're looking for a fast-paced, entertaining revenge story, I definitely recommend this one.

Rating: 4/5


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