Monday, January 3, 2022

Last reads of 2021

I still have 4 books I haven't posted about but that I read until the end of the year.

I'm leaving a very small comment on each one, so that they don't get forgotten.


The Lion's Den by Katherine St John

I added this one to my TBR in 2020 but only now picked it up. A friend started it and DNF'd so I was afraid it would be wasted time but, thankfully for me, I actually had a good time reading. The premise is a young woman joining a previous best friend, her mother and sister and three other guests to have a week vacation in a yacht in the Mediterranean. The "best friend" has a sugar daddy and wants to show off but the vacation is all but dreamy for too many weird things happen... The purpose of this book is to be mysterious and give the impression something shady is going on and why would our heroine, seemingly such a good person, bear the rules and some humiliation, especially since she and the best friend didn't get along before the vacation? We get flashback chapters where things shape up and by the end, although I can imagine many would think this is predictable, I was surprised by the apparent big twist. I also liked there's a hint of a romance for the heroine and a man she felt was out of reach. I agree the plot is sometimes silly and unlikely but at the same time how often don't we allow/agree with things we know won't be good just to keep the peace? This was the last book of the year and I liked it. Grade: 8/10


Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

I was given this one for my birthday last year. I knew about it but I confess I had no plans to read it and if not for the gift, I probably wouldn't anyway. In this book we follow protagonist Queenie, a young Black woman who is the first in her family to have an university degree and she works as a journalist.We soon learn Queenie is on a break from her white boyfriend and some of the issues between them had been related to racism in his family. although they were together for s few years. Queenie then embarks on a sort of self sabotage road and she sleeps around. At the center of all this is very likely a mental health issue and she needs help, but can she get it before the pushes way all her friends? I knew this would be provocative but the reason I wasn't interested is because I heard comments Quennie coped with loneliness and the break up by being promiscuous. I admit I'm a little prude and I don't really like when characters deal with problems this way (seeking superficial relationships or hookups as a "punishment") so reading this wasn't all pleasant, even though she improves and seeks help towards the end of the book. Grade: 6/10


Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

I must be one of few romance readers who hasn't read (and loved) all the books by this beloved author - her fan base is huge - and so many positive reviews do catch people's attention, which is why I finally gave in and tried one I had in the pile for years. Sadly for me, I didn't like it. I found the writing too juvenile and the first person was irritating to me because this is a romance and, in my opinion, the author didn't execute this weel enough that the heroine felt special enough to sustain the plot this way. This is the story of a 23 (or was it 24?) year old woman who starts dating a neighbor, sort of, but he has issues, which we see develop in flashback chapters from his POV in between the heroine's. I didn't find the story appealing but if I had to pinpoint a main reason, that would be the fact the protagonists fall into a relationship - even if they think it will be with no strings attached - so easily after getting to know one another and while she is still doubtful about him being a good guy. Why ruin a possible good plot, despite filled with so much drama, with so much unimportant sex thoughts.... meh..... Grade: 2/10


Role Model by Rachel Reid

This is the fifth installment of the wonderful Game Changers series. I have liked all the other books and this was no exception either. We have the story of Troy Barrett, who used to be a sidekick to the antagonist of the series, so to speak. In this book we learn they had a follow out after Troy called the other guy a rapist and the League decided to protect him instead of Troy. This means Troy is traded and lands on one of less successful teams but which happens to be one of the most welcoming and with players who are friends instead of constant rivals. It's in his new job he meets Harris, the team's media manager, and they hit it off as friends when Troy thought he wouldn't even be talked to by the others. Their relationship slowly develops into something special... I liked this one, it was cute and adorable, has some serious issues mentioned but I feel the romance focus wasn't there to steal the attention and I liked seeing these characters interact, deal with things... an easy but wonderful read, even though not as great as my favorite book in the series was. Grade: 8/10

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