Short & Not-So-Sweet Sundays

sundaysI don’t know about y’all, but this year seems to be going by in a whirlwind! In between road trips, bluebonnet peeping and animal rescuing, I haven’t had much time to review all the books I’m reading! To keep you up to speed on my latest reads, here’s a small smattering of reviews. What’s on your weekend reading list? Post a comment and tell me all about it!

The Good

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

imagesI’ll tell you right now that Unspoken has earned a spot next to all my other “to read again” books on the shelf. When authors take on a gothic ghost story, they absolutely must use the dark and gloomy setting to their full advantage. Pick up a Barbra Michaels book and you’ll see just what I mean. This talented author has clearly mastered the art of mood and atmosphere. Through her lyrical prose, she creates a sense of poetic dread as the protagonist hunts down clues in her sleepy little English village. I felt like I was right by Kami’s side as she investigated the dark English manor filled with secrets and shady suspects. Trust me, this book is definitely worth your time if you’re a fan of gothic mysteries filled with romantic tension, quirky gal pals and magical creatures.

The Bad

The Last Days of California by Mary Miller

17987665I love books about road trips, so I didn’t even think twice about spending one of my precious Audible credits on this one. It has all the right ingredients for the perfect cross-country journey of self-discovery: A troubled family, an anxiety-ridden teenage girl, and a good ol’ American road trip. But alas, the book didn’t even come close to delivering on its promising premise. To be honest, I’m rather surprised by all the five-starred reviews. I was expecting the two teenage sisters and the oblivious parents to evolve at some point, but nope. I was looking forward to exploring the weird roadside attractions as the holy rolling family traversed across the American Southwest. Not so much. The characters are pretty much restricted to generic greasy spoon restaurants, dingy motel rooms and vending machine snacks. I was bored after the first chapter but hoped that the plot would develop at some point. Didn’t happen. I’m used to feeling let down like this when I read short stories with abrupt, unresolved endings. It sucks when you invest a lot of time into a book and end up getting duped in the end. No more titles by this author for me, thanks. If you want to read a great road trip book, give this one a pass and pick up Amy Roger’s Epic Detour.

The Ugly

The Collection by Bentley Little

untitledEgads! There aren’t enough adjectives to describe this repugnant piece of garbage. I wanted to listen to something spooky on our road trip to East Texas and didn’t want to commit to a full novel. So what better than an audiobook of short horror stories by an established novelist? I’m familiar with Bentley Little’s books and really thought his short stories would be just as solid as his traditional ghost stories. Boy was I wrong! Little did I know, these are horrible – not horror – stories. Trust me, there’s a difference. I’ll spare you the gory details, but I will say that if torture porn makes you uncomfortable, don’t pick up this book. Very awkward when you’re traveling with your father sitting in the backseat! Seriously, how does this shit get published?

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