Classic true crime suspense, teenage road trips, and witty magical banter are what I read this week. In other words, it is a crazy hodgepodge of genres and tropes that have no common thread, so hopefully there will be something in here for everyone. Come find out which book you might choose to start off 2023 in this week’s book review.
The Villa by Rachael Hawkins
This book kept me invested despite my dislike for many of the characters. Almost everyone showed a level of selfishness that kept me shaking my head. Despite not liking the life choices of most of the characters, I became invested in finding out what happens in the end. Surprisingly, the story didn’t go as dark as I was expecting, but I left still satisfied. I might have liked the current story arc to be a bit creepier, but that is my one complaint. I give The Villa a solid 4/5 stars, especially if you want something a bit edgier than a cozy mystery, but not super graphic.
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Everyone Hates Kelsie Miller by Meredith Ireland
2022 was not a good year for me and YA as a genre, especially modern YA. It might be because I have less patience for teen angst now that I have teenagers of my own. Whatever the reason, I find the genre has not been working for me. That said, I really enjoyed Everyone Hates Kelsie Miller. Somehow the writer managed to make their teenage selfishness bearable. Kelsie and Eric have good chemistry, and their character and romantic development work for me. I give this book a solid 4/5 stars and will be on the lookout for this author in the future.
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The Heretic Royal By G.A. Aiken
The Heretic Royal was so much fun! I love how G.A. Aiken combined the characters from her dragon series with her blacksmith queen series. It has provided all kinds of new bantering character combos and really moved the story forward. Gruffyn and Ainsley were very entertaining and I loved their journey. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy G.A. Aiken’s writing style.
**Quick Note** If you have not read the previous books, starting with The Blacksmith Queen, go read those before jumping into The Heretic Royal. The experience is so much better if you know who all the characters are from start to finish.
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Til the next turn of the page,
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi