Inspired by the gorgeous Small Review, I’ve decided to start doing monthly (or approximately monthly) “Books I Got This Month” posts. Small usually does “Books I Got This Week” posts, but I am not so ambitious. Once a month is good enough for me. Plus, who doesn’t like an occasional peek into someone else’s shopping bag/mailbox/ereader?
February was a quick, busy month for me, but I still managed to acquire some books. This month I discovered library ebooks. Well, okay, I knew about them before, but I didn’t take advantage much. Until now. This last month I logged on to Overdrive via every single library system of which I’m a member (four, if you were curious) and requested a buncha books.
- The Liberator by Victoria Scott–Since I loved The Collector, I really shouldn’t have waited to buy this one. Since I got an Amazon gift card for Christmas, I went for the plunge.
- Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier–I’ve heard Rachel Neumeier’s name, or at least seen it–around the blogosphere, but I’ve never read anything by her. However, she’s apparently a fan of Laura Florand and when I heard that, it tipped the edges in this book’s favor.
- The Splendor Falls and Spirit and Dust by Rosemary Clement-Moore–Since I thought that Texas Gothic was a lot of fun when I read it, I’ve been looking forward to the follow-up, Spirit and Dust. Which in turn made me want to read The Splendor Falls. Which is, so far, awesome.
- Night School by CJ Daugherty–The English boarding school setting seems like it would make this book a slam-dunk. Nope. Here be proof that ticking the boxes isn’t necessarily a recipe for success.
- The Kingdom by Amanda Stevens–I recently reread the first Graveyard Queen book, The Restorer, in a read-along with Small. I thought she’d enjoy the Southern Gothic flavor of the series. Turns out I was right that she’d like it, but Amanda Stevens got Charleston complete wrong. Ah, well, we’re continuing with our reread anyway. Book two is going well, in case you were wondering.
What bookish goodies did you get?
<div align="center"><a href="http://rubysreads.com" title="Ruby's Reads"><img src="http://rubysreads.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/SaturdaySwap.jpg" alt="Ruby's Reads" style="border:none;" /></a></div>
In case you haven’t already guessed, Saturday Swap is a meme designed to connect book swappers with other book swappers. Since Spring will begin this month, I’ve decided to clear out my bookshelves in an effort to do a little of that yearly cleaning I’ve heard so much about. Before I share my titles, here’s a rules refresher:
- For Bloggers: Make a post on your blog letting everyone know what books you have available for swap. I suggest linking to your wishlist as well (on your blog, Amazon, BD, Goodreads, wherever), for swifter swapping. For Non-Bloggers: Leave a comment listing the books you have available for swap. Include your email in the comment so interested parties can contact you directly.
- Grab the button or create your own, but please link back to Ruby’s Reads. All the cool people are doing it.
- Once your post is live, enter your info in the linky so everyone can see what you’ve got.
- The circumstances surrounding the swaps are up to the individuals. I’m not responsible for lost books. If you’re nervous about swapping with someone you don’t know, I suggest you ask for a delivery confirmation number. HOWEVER: please let me know if someone doesn’t uphold their end of the bargain and I’ll ban them from further swaps.
- HAVE FUN!
Since this is a clear-out, I’m offering two-for-one deals on hardcovers and three-for-one on paperbacks and ARCs. Email me if you’re interested in swapping!
Paperbacks and ARCs (3 for 1):
- Relic by Heather Terrell
- The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepard
- Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris
- Outpost by Anne Aguirre
- Waterfall and Cascade by Lisa Tawn Bergerin
- Matched by Allie Condie
- Tumble and Fall by Alexandra Coutts
- Nightspell by Leah Cypess
- Lilly of the Nile by Stephanie Dray
Touch of Frost, Kiss of Frost, Dark Frost and Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep
- Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison
- Deviant by Helen Fitzgerald
- Mojo by Tim Thorpe
- The Carrier of the Mark by Fallon
- Tris and Izzie by Harrison
- Rush by Iverson
- Magesterium by Hirsch
- Replica by Jenna Black
- Fury by Elizabeth Miles
- Entice by Jessica Shirvington
- Daybreak, Midnight and Nightfall by Ellen Connor
- Crusade and Damned by Holder and Viguie
Forbidden by James and James
- Above by Bobet
- Hearts at Stake, Blood Feud and Out for Blood by Alyxandra Harvey
- Origin by Khoury
- Legend by Lu
- Wake by McMann
Skylark by Spooner
- Elemental by White
Beautiful Lies by Warman
- League of Strays by
- Olivia Twisted by Barnes
Allegiance by Kluver
- Tempest by Cross
Spellbound by Shultz
- Loop by Lawson
- Venom by Paul
- Falling Kingdoms by Rhodes
- Fathomless by Pearce
- Awakened and Destined by Cast
- Pushing the Limits and Dare You To by Katie McGarry
- City of Bones and City of Ashes by Clare
Hardcovers (2 for 1):
- Hanging by a Thread by Sophie Littlefield
- Insurgent by Veronica Roth
- Possession by JR Ward
- Revealed by Cast
- The Shattering by Healey
- Falling for Hamlet by Ray
- Blessed by Hurley
- Solstice by Hoover
Cinders and Sapphires by Rasheed
- The Book of Blood and Shadow by Wasserman
- The Immortal Rules by Kagawa
- Nerve by Ryan
Mind Games by White
- City of Glass, The Clockwork Angel and The Clockwork Prince by Clare
- Luminous by Metcalf
- All You Never Wanted by Griffin
- Crossed by Condie
- Unleashed by Holder and Viguie
Hi there! Sorry about the late notice, but I have reasons for my absence! I’ve been busy with work and I also had a tiny problem with my bandwidth being exceeded due to a large number of bots visiting my site. I can’t thank the people at A Small Orange enough! Their assistance has been exceptional. Seriously, they’ve helped this ignoramus more times than I can count. If you’re looking for a host, look no further. They’ve been awesome.
Bandwidth issues and fantastic hosting services aside, this week is parent-teacher conference week at my school. I’ll be MIA until March 1, when I intend to return with a Saturday Swap post. Before I say goodbye for a time, I have a couple of announcements:
- Sign ups for the Spring Book Exchange will begin March 22. I’m looking for a co-host, so if you’re interested please email me at Rubysreads@gmail.com.
- April means ma birthday! I don’t have time this year to plan an event as spectacular as April Is Awesome (last year’s extravaganza), but I will be doing a few special things, including my annual Ruby’s Birthday Hop. I hope you’ll join me! Sign ups will be posted soon.
- April will also mean Spring Cleaning! Basically, I’ll be emptying my bookshelves, so the month’s Saturday Swap will be one of my two/threefers (as in two or three books for one).
Enjoy the rest of your February everyone!
Ruby’s Bookish Bundles is a feature where I post about three books:
- Want Now: One recently released or already published title I’m lusting after.
- Want Soon: One upcoming title I’m looking forward to, based on things I’ve heard, the cover, and the description.
- Want Someday: One upcoming title I’ve heard about that sounds like it could be interested but is so far off into the future it doesn’t even have a cover yet.
I love discovering new books, and I love sharing about the books I discover. However, I’ve been wanting to do something a little different from (and more involved than) a WoW post, so I created this new feature for myself. Anyone is welcome to participate, or to share their own wants. If you do so on your own blog, leave a link so I can visit!
In honor of Valentine’s Day being this Friday, I thought I’d focus a little on romance this week. Thus, the inspiration for this week’s Bookish Bundle–love stories!
I just discovered this! And as a total Anglophile, I never pass over a book that has London in the title. On the second pass, I read the description…and I’m definitely in. Plus, at $2.51, the price is definitely attractive.
Maggie Carpenter is ready for a change— and to leave her ordinary life in South Carolina behind. But when she accepts a scholarship to the International School in London, a university attended by the privileged offspring of diplomats and world leaders, Maggie might get more than she bargained for.
When Maggie meets Hugh, a twentysomething British guy, she finds herself living the life she always wanted. Suddenly she’s riding around the city in a Ferrari, wearing borrowed designer clothes and going to the hottest clubs. The only problem? Another guy, the one she can’t seem to keep her hands off of.
Half French, half Lebanese, and ridiculously wealthy, Samir Khouri has made it clear he doesn’t do relationships. He’s the opposite of everything Maggie thought she wanted…and he’s everything she can’t resist. Torn between her dream guy and the boy haunting her dreams, Maggie has to fight for her own happy ending. In a city like London, you never know where you stand, and everything can change in the blink of an eye.
I really enjoyed The Distance Between Us, so I’ll be checking out her follow-up Romantic Comedy as soon as it comes out. I love the way Kasie West’s contemporary covers play with the light. They never fail to draw me in.
She’s a tomboy. He’s the boy next door…
Charlie Reynolds can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn’t know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world. To cope with the stress of her new reality, Charlie takes to spending nights chatting with her neighbor Braden through the fence between their yards. As she grows to depend on their nightly Fence Chats, she realizes she’s got a bigger problem than speeding tickets-she’s falling for Braden. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.
Fun, original, and endearing, On the Fence is a romantic comedy about finding yourself and finding love where you least expect.
by Laura Florand
No title, no description even, but I loved The Chocolate Rose and I can’t wait for more of the Rosier family!
As always, feel free to recommend any titles you’ve come across, are waiting on, or have just plain piqued your interest. I loved teen mysteries and I’m always on the look out for them. What books have caught your eye?
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Source: Purchased by self
Genre: Teen, Thriller, Mystery, Historical, English setting
Other Info: I haven’t read Sonia Gensler’s debut, The Revenant, but I’ve heard good things about it. Of course, once I’d read the description of The Dark Between, there was no way I’d be skipping it.
Description and link from Goodreads):
At the turn of the twentieth century, Spiritualism and séances are all the rage—even in the scholarly town of Cambridge, England. While mediums dupe the grief-stricken, a group of local fringe scientists seeks to bridge the gap to the spirit world by investigating the dark corners of the human mind.
Each running from a shadowed past, Kate, Asher, and Elsie take refuge within the walls of Summerfield College. But their peace is soon shattered by the discovery of a dead body nearby. Is this the work of a flesh-and-blood villain, or is something otherworldly at play? This unlikely trio must illuminate what the scientists have not, and open a window to secrets taken to the grave—or risk joining the spirit world themselves.
I must admit that this book started out slow for me. I mean, yes, The Dark Between jumps into action pretty quickly, but I felt kind of blah about its beginning. I’m not really into stories about mediums and early 20th Century mysticism and when it began to seem that this was the world in which the story would be set, I was a little turned off. However, although the story begins in the home of a charlatan (and the girl who aids her deceptions), it quickly relocates to the ladies’ college I was expecting from the blurb. (I’m all about historical ladies’ colleges.) And, while spiritualism does play an important role in The Dark Between, so does academia, and ultimately, the two balance each other out. The story is inhabited by spiritualists with a scientific bent. They want to prove that ghosts exist, even if it means exposing frauds.
It’s during one such debunking that we meet what I think of as our primary heroine, Kate. Since her mother’s death, Kate has worked for a fraudulent medium, acting as a specter during her seances. When she’s proven to be not so much ghostly as human, Kate is made to shoulder the blame for the deception–which leaves her homeless, penniless and without prospect. Afraid (and, frankly, unsure what else to do), Kate seeks out one of the men responsible for her condition. Since the man (Mr. Thompson) knew Kate’s father, he and his wife take her in a give her a job in the Summerfield College library. Also staying with the Thompsons are Asher, a wealthy young American, and Elsie, a pretty damsel-in-distress.
At first, Kate is merely interested in her own survival. Slowly, however, she becomes involved in Elsie and Asher’s lives, as they become involved in hers. Along the way, one of Kate’s comrades from her life as a psychic’s assistant turns up dead. Since the boy was as much a friend as a colleague, Kate sets out to solve his murder, with Elsie and Asher reluctant partners in crime solving. (Well, Elsie is willing enough.) Ultimately, they discovers that the crime hits closer to home than they ever knew.
Although Asher and Elsie have their own stories and conflicts, I really consider Kate the central figure of The Dark Between. The story is Kate’s and Asher and Elsie are merely players. It’s not that I wasn’t interested in Elsie’s journey of self-worth, but that I think she needed to go through her transformation before she could become a character capable of standing alone. And while Asher experiences significant growth during the book, he has more evolving to do before I consider him a worthy companion to Kate. Plus, his one-sided love for Elsie manifests as sullen mooning.
While I didn’t love The Dark Between, I did really like it. One reason for my tempered response is that I didn’t really care for the central mystery. I also guessed the identity of the villain early on, so the ending wasn’t a surprise. Gensler’s strength as a writer is her attention to detail. She gets things historically accurate and does, indeed, create a compelling character in Kate. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel the gloomy, eerie foreboding that usually characterizes a Gothic, probably because there’s no brooding, villainous romantic hero. Asher’s too much of a Boy to play this role, which means he’s portrayed well according to his age, but makes a crummy Gothic love interest.
I don’t know if Gensler intends The Dark Between to be a stand-alone novel, but I think I’d like it more if I knew it was a setup for a companion novel. I’d like to see Elsie and Asher post-The Dark Between. Simply put, the story feels incomplete, even as it shows great promise.
Questions to nibble on:
- Did you read The Revenant?
- Do you enjoy books about seances and psychics?
- What did you think of Elsie and Archer?