Casey reads SVH: Earthquake.

Tags

, , ,

Hello again, travelers. When we last left our intrepid teens, they were holding on for dear life at the Wakefield homestead in the heart of suburban Sweet Valley, California, following a devastating earthquake. Earthquake, in the immediate moments following said quake and the subsequent aftershocks, goes full disaster movie as we follow the kids’ attempts to stay alive and find each other amidst the chaos. Death is no stranger to this little hamlet, but rarely on this scale. Do Elizabeth and Jessica both make it out alive? (I mean, yeah, of course they do.) Spoilers to follow…

Continue reading

Advertisements

Casey read books in January.

Tags

, , ,

Hello friends! It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these catch-all posts, so to go over the rules: a quick and spoiler-free synopsis, my opinion in a paragraph or less, and a thumbs up/thumbs down vote if it is worth your time.

An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, P.D. James

  • The first book in the Cordelia Gray “series”, of which there are only two. We get introduced to young private detective Cordelia, who just inherited the entire tiny P.I. practice following her partner’s suicide. In an attempt to prove herself, she takes on a job where a man tries to figure out why his son hung himself, and ends up getting herself a little too emotionally involved.
  • Weighing in: This was the pick for my murder mystery book club, but I was happy to do it, as I wanted to get more into P.D. James. The mystery itself isn’t the most intriguing, but Cordelia is a fun character, fun enough that I picked up the sequel.
  • Worth reading, Yay or nay?: Yay.

Crazy Rich Asians, Kevin Kwan

  • You may or may not have seen this literally everywhere since the movie came out last year. College professor Nick Young asks his girlfriend, college professor Rachel Chu, to come to Singapore with him as he is best man in his best friend’s wedding. What he does not tell her is that it’s the socialite wedding of the year, and that Nick, and every branch of his extended family, and also basically everyone he knows, is insanely wealthy.
  • Weighing in: This is a super fun book, and compulsively readable. However,ay there are a lot of characters, and there’s so much name-dropping with Chinese and Singaporean celebs, and designers and other big names from around the world, and if you are not fully up on those (I, for example, cannot recognize the name of a fashion designer with a gun to my head), some of this is going to be a little perplexing. There’s very little actual plot, just a lot of conniving as Nick’s family collectively decide they hate Rachel for not being rich, and try to break them up. Nick doesn’t really do much, yet still comes out vaguely the hero? Also Astrid, Nick’s cousin, thinks her husband is cheating on her, but he seems largely useless to begin with, so it’s hard to care.
  • Worth reading, Yay or nay?: Yay.

All the Missing Girls, Megan Miranda

  • Nic Farrell goes back to her small town to help her brother clean out and sell their father’s house after they’ve put him in a retirement home post-stroke. But a girl ends up going missing, and her last known message was a text to the local cops asking about a decade-old cold case, the disappearance of Nic’s teenage best friend Corinne.
  • Weighing in: This book goes backward in time day by day, which is a fun narrative twist on the usual unreliable narrative structure, but Nic remains unreliable. I also can’t shake the feeling if I read it in linear order, it wouldn’t really hold up in terms of the way things are revealed. The fiance character, as often happens in these sorts of things, gets treated poorly by Nic (through no fault of his own, other than Not Being From Nic’s Hometown), and then shunted aside by the author. Corinne, as is usually the case in these sort of books, is delivered as the bitchy queen bee who makes everyone around her play her weird little games, and everyone always goes along with it. You don’t feel particularly sorry for her when she goes missing, is all I’m saying, but I’ve read enough books like this, and you never feel particularly sorry for any of the main characters. You just wanna know whodunnit and move on.
  • Worth reading, Yay or nay?: Yay.

China Rich Girlfriend, Kevin Kwan

  • Book two in the series, Rachel and Nick are about to get married when they find out something about Rachel’s family that throws all of their plans out of whack. They go to China to meet the family, and a lot of things go down, like some corporate espionage, an aborted fashion show, a spa weekend, and a poisoning.
  • Weighing in: Kwan really plays around with some narrative elements in this one, relying on emails, text conversations, and gossip blogs. This actually works for the style and story, and ends up being a lot of fun.
  • Worth reading, Yay or nay?: Yay.

Truly Devious, Maureen Johnson

  • This was a re-read, in preparation for the release of the sequel, The Vanishing Stair. Stevie Bell, detective enthusiast, gets accepted into a private school for niche study Vermont, based on her interest in solving the kidnapping and murder case that took place in the founder’s family back in the 1930s. After working on a group project together, one of her fellow students shows up dead, and Stevie can’t stop herself from trying to solve the crime.
  • Weighing in: YA contemporary murder mystery is my jam these days, so I was always going to read this.
    But the double mystery, as we also flash back to case notes for the original Ellingham murder/kidnapping, really livens things up, and while we get a decent amount of answers, we walk away with enough questions to warrant a sequel.
  • Worth reading, Yay or nay?: Yay.

The Vanishing Stair, Maureen Johnson

  • Mystery is still afoot at the mountainside Ellingham Academy, and Stevie has made a deal with her personal devil, politician Edward King, to stay enrolled in school and keep attempting to solve things. As of this blog, this book only JUST came out, so I’m trying to keep plot to a minimum. I will say that the Stevie and David romance takes two steps forward and maybe three steps back, and also Stevie gets selected for an independent study with a woman whose interests may not be purely academic.
  • Weighing in: This book manages to successfully solve one of the major mysteries from the first in the series, while still throwing a lot of questions to my way. Normally I don’t really enjoy going into things when I know they’re a set trilogy (versus ongoing series, which usually end up being a little ‘mystery of the week’, instead of installments in an ongoing major plot), but the characters in this are fun and interesting, and you can’t help but root for Stevie even as she continues to make questionable life decisions. (Tell an adult where you are going, Stevie. And if they say “don’t crawl in these tunnels because people have literally died down there,” don’t do that.)
  • Worth reading, Yay or nay?: Yay.

Casey reads SVH: Last Wish.

Tags

, , ,

Hello friends! I admittedly took a lengthy sabbatical from discussing my readings, though not from actually reading! (What up, 2018 Goodreads goal!). Look, between you and me, mental illness is a tough foe for productivity, and my day job takes up a lot of time and even more energy. So 2018 wasn’t a good year for recaps, and I’m trying to ease back into it. With that in mind, I hope you’ll forgive me dipping my toes into the shallow end first, and returning to the old well of Sweet Valley High, which is an endless source of complete and utter bonkers-ness.

Last Wish is technically a Super Edition, taking place after the last of the numbered series, following the twins’ second junior prom (don’t think too hard about it). We’re getting real now, actually acknowledging the passing of time, and Elizabeth and Jessica are about to celebrate their seventeenth birthday. Fake tragedy strikes, but then real tragedy also strikes! Spoilers to follow…

Continue reading

Casey reads SVH: Once Upon A Time.

Tags

, ,

Hello again, SVH enthusiasts. I bring you, as promised, another installment of the adventures of Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield. This go around is a trilogy where the girls are au pairs for French royalty, because that is definitely a thing that happens to high school juniors with absolutely no qualifications. Is there criminal intrigue? Yes. Does someone stick their tongue down a prince’s throat? Of course. Does the ghostwriter get to flex their high school French muscles and throw out some basic phrases? You betcha. Book one of three is Once Upon A Time. Spoilers to follow…

Continue reading

Casey reads After Dead.

Tags

, ,

What’s that, you say? A book about supplemental material that no one asked for? And I’m blogging about it even though you believed you were done? Yes. Yes, I am. After Dead, the title that maybe finally seems more final than all of the others that unfortunately sounded final because they had “dead” in the title. Spoilers to follow…

Continue reading

Casey reads Dead Ever After.

Tags

, ,

People, we did it. We have made it (well, I have made it and you have generously suffered through my recaps) through thirteen books of vampire politics, fairy family trees, dead bartenders, and at least one instance of coffin-surfing. This is my first successfully blogged full series, so thank you for joining me on this, and I’m sorry I didn’t better use everyone’s time to quote-unquote real literature. Well, I’m not sorry, that’s not what I’m about and you knew that when you came here. In any case, it’s time for Dead Ever After, the thirteenth and final book in the Sookie Stackhouse series (not counting the epilogue book, which I’ve already prophecied reading). Herein, we find out which of Sookie’s many dead and/or furry beaus she ends up with, and are faced with an uncomfortably close to home but surprisingly justified murder. Spoilers to follow…

Continue reading

Casey reads Deadlocked.

Tags

, ,

As we get into the final stretch of this series, I’m not going to pretend that I’m not thrilled to be nearly done. While Harris has built Bon Temps as a remarkably self-sustaining and richly populated world, it’s getting harder for me to keep track of all the random vampires and werewolves that keep popping up. And I keep nodding off during all the fairy parts. Deadlocked is the twelfth and penultimate book in the series, and the stakes have never been higher. Well, they probably have been. And I can’t believe it took me twelve books to make a stake joke. Spoilers to follow…

Continue reading

Casey reads Dead Reckoning.

Tags

, ,

We’re getting into the final stretch here, people. Dead Reckoning is the eleventh book in the series, and introduces a very small object that will fuel a lot of the personal relations in the next two books. But in the meantime, Sookie has to deal with all of the men in her life being butts, and, finally, the last of the Pelt clan. Spoilers to follow…

Continue reading

Casey reads Dead in the Family.

Tags

, ,

A friend informed me that when she saw my recent post for Dead and Gone, she thought, “oh, this must be the end of the series.” Joke’s on you, there are four books left. Dead in the Family brings us into the double digits as number ten in the series, and this book has it all! Physical therapy! Plots on plots on plots! A Roman AND a Romanov! And lots of discomfort. Spoilers to follow…

Continue reading

Upcoming (or incoming?)

Tags

, , ,

My recent purchases, coming here soon-ish:

I’m not sure which of these I’m more ashamed of buying, but rest assured, you’ll be on the receiving end of both.