Why Jane Austen’s Novels Are Emmazing

Today I want to talk to you guys about Jane Austen. Many of you have probably read an Austen novel or film adaptation. At the very least, you’ve probably seen or read something inspired by Austen. She’s had a huge impact on pop culture, and deservedly so.

I’ve read all six of Austen’s novels, as well as much of her Juvenilia, though most of that so long ago that I don’t really remember it. I’m not an Austen scholar by any means, but I have a deep, abiding love for her writing. The odds that I ever kick my habit of acquiring horrible, published Austen fan fiction are incredibly low. Earlier this year, I did a major purge on my book collection, but I kept a book called Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, despite (or because of) the execrable reviews. (Personally, I think it’s going to be super classy because vampire has been spelled with a y.) Though it’s rare to find one of these books that at all matches the spirit, storytelling, and writing of Austen, I keep trying in hopes that someday I’ll find another author who can capture the magic. No luck so far, but I did find one that turned Pride and Prejudice into an incredibly hilarious (probably not intentionally) erotica. #worthit

gif pride and prejudice almost kiss


Review: Don’t Fail Me Now by Una LaMarche

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Don’t Fail Me Now by Una LaMarche

Don't Fail Me Now by Una LaMarche
Narrator: Adenrele Ojo
Published by Listening Library on September 1, 2015
Duration: 9 hrs, 1 min
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Source: Publisher

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Michelle and her little siblings Cass and Denny are African-American and living on the poverty line in urban Baltimore, struggling to keep it together with their mom in jail and only Michelle’s part-time job at the Taco Bell to sustain them.

Leah and her stepbrother Tim are white and middle class from suburban Maryland, with few worries beyond winning lacrosse games and getting college applications in on time.

Michelle and Leah only have one thing in common: Buck Devereaux, the biological father who abandoned them when they were little.

After news trickles back to them that Buck is dying, they make the uneasy decision to drive across country to his hospice in California. Leah hopes for closure; Michelle just wants to give him a piece of her mind.

Five people in a failing, old station wagon, living off free samples at food courts across America, and the most pressing question on Michelle’s mind is: Who will break down first--herself or the car? All the signs tell her they won’t make it. But Michelle has heard that her whole life, and it’s never stopped her before....

Una LaMarche triumphs once again with this rare and compassionate look at how racial and social privilege affects one family in crisis in both subtle and astonishing ways.

All of Una LaMarche’s books just got audiobook versions in September, coinciding with the release of Don’t Fail Me Now. I’d been curious about LaMarche’s books, but, since I didn’t have review copies, I’d not gotten around to trying any of them yet; I realize how pompous that sounds but my schedule is my schedule. As such, I was thrilled when they showed up in the Penguin Random House audiobook emails. First, I listened to Like No Other, which surprised me with its sweetness and intensity. Having read Don’t Fail Me Now, I am just so impressed with LaMarche’s talent because, while being a totally different topic and subject matter, she brings the same talent to bear for another beautiful story.


Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I received this book for free from BEA in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Series: Six of Crows #1
Published by Henry Holt BFYR on September 29, 2015
Pages: 480
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy
Format: ARC
Source: BEA

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Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. 

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. 

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.

Wow. Just wow. I was kind of terrified that I wasn’t going to like Six of Crows. After my disappointment in Ruin and Rising last year, anything was possible. Plus, what I really wanted was a book about Sturmhond, where he finally got all the sexy adventures he obviously deserves. I no longer want that book. Okay, jk, I do still want that book, but I’m no longer sad that Six of Crows is the book that exists. In fact, I’m thrilled Six of Crows exists because it is actually WAY better than Shadow and Bone.

gif nice shot firefly


September 2015: Month in Review

What I’ve Been Up To:


September has been rough, so I’m behind on BEA books now and didn’t even manage five posts a week. I’ll just keep trying to chug through my pile of books and reviews will happen when reviews happen. *shrugs*


Well, um, I was going to go to Dragon*Con (I had the ticket and everything), but I actually didn’t really like it. I went for part of one day and didn’t go back. Shameful, I know.


Part of why I didn’t go back was that my boyfriend chose the night before to get a KITTEN. I mean, come on. NEW KITTEN. So yeah, I spent Saturday playing with the kitten instead. Then I got sick on Sunday, when I was thinking about trying again, so yeah. Dragon*Con was a bust, but Weezy the kitten is super cute.

This kitten has the most beautiful eyes. #weezy #kittensofinstagram #kittens #cateyes #catsofinstagram #nofilter

A photo posted by Christina (@reader_fictions) on

The Traveling Librarians (aka seven library school friends) met up in New Orleans. I hadn’t seen one of them (Jenny) since we graduated. It was SO amazing having the seven of us together again, and it really was like nothing had changed. <3 We had such a blast. My favorite place was The Country Club, which had delicious brunch and bottomless mimosas and I’m pretty sure was run by drag queens. Yes please. The picture of the group is Jenny’s I believe. LOVE IT.


Also, I got older. Happy birthday to me. It’s actually been a really rough month, but I do enjoy my birthday and presents like this one from Debby and this one from Meg (*squishes them both*):

Birthday love from @snuggly_oranges! 😘👑💌 #books #bookhaul #birthdaypresent #postcard

A photo posted by Christina (@reader_fictions) on

The last weekend in September, I took one last day off of work and went up to Michigan for my friend Heather’s wedding. The ceremony was beautiful and mercifully short. The reception had board games, so it was basically the best one of those I’ve ever been to. The only downer was that my cat got sick while I was up there, so I did spend some time crying on the phone. I’m glad I hadn’t put on mascara. Percy is doing a bit better now, thankfully.


Another month, another playlist.

My main obsession this month is definitely Woodlock. CHECK THEM OUT, GUYS.

Movies & TV:

It feels a bit like it took forever, but I finally finished Office Girls. That sounds like I didn’t like it, which is misleading, but 25 hour and ten minute long episodes is looong for a romance drama. I liked the main cast though and the ship is adorable. I could have done without some of the horrible tropes (evil bitch romantic rival—with her own scheming theme music!). The end also forced some ships that would have been better left alone. Still, it was cute. Ship rating: Workplace romance hate to love cuteness.

gif forehead kiss office girls

Rewatched Clueless with friends in New Orleans, and it’s 90s magic still obvs. Also saw High School Musical for the first time. Thanks for that…elucidating experience, Casey! >.>

gif high school musical feeling so wrong

No one will be shocked to know I’m still working on Australia’s Next Top Model. I’ve watched seasons 5 and 6 this month. Season 6 is one of the best. It’s also hilarious how much more legit it’s gotten than ANTM. They do ACTUAL photo shoots and runway shows, not simulations. Very cool.

Since I am excellent at good life choices, I finished the truly execrable kdrama, Baby-Faced Beauty. It’s got all the worst tropes, horrible ships, and terrible characterization. By the end, I was cackling and almost crying with the amount I hated it. I made that angry noise in the back of my throat like a cat. Ship rating: BARF.

gif bad makeup baby-faced beauty

Finally, I watched a jdrama called Rich Man, Poor Woman, which was…okay. I mean, I enjoyed it in my two-day binge, but it didn’t wow me. I think I would have loved it if I’d cared about the ship but I didn’t particularly. It did avoid some of the really awful tropes though, which was a plus. Ship rating: Eh.

gif rich man poor woman oguri shun smile
This gif is for Debby (Snuggly Oranges)

Reviews Posted:

All the ones with asterisks are mini reviews, btw. I had a pretty good reading month, though there was a series of more middling books all together which did result in a slump. Then I DNFed a bunch of them and came back strong. I read 18 books in September, which is pretty terrible for me, actually, but it’s been a busy, stressful month, so I’ll take it.

5 star:

Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad*

4.5 star:

What We Saw – Aaron Hartzler
Like No Other – Una Lamarche
Truest – Jackie Lea Sommers

4 star:

The Spirit Thief (The Legend of Eli Monpress #1) – Rachel Aaron*
The Scorpion Rules (Prisoners of Peace #1) – Erin Bow
The Book with No Pictures – B.J. Novak*
Edgewater – Courtney Sheinmel

3.5 star:

Nova (Nova #1) – Margaret Fortune*
Slasher Girls and Monster Boys – April Genevieve Tucholke, editor*
The King of Attolia (The Queen’s Thief #3) – Megan Whalen Turner*
Tiny Little Thing – Beatriz Williams*

3 star:

Modern Romance – Aziz Ansari & Eric Klinenberg*
Chasing Secrets – Gennifer Choldenko*
A Curious Tale of the In-Between (Pram #1) – Lauren DeStefano*
The Difference Between You and Me – Madeleine George*
Blood and Salt (Blood and Salt #1) – Kim Liggett
Tonight the Streets Are Ours – Leila Sales*
The Queen of Attolia (The Queen’s Thief #2) – Megan Whalen Turner*

2.5 star:

Exit Stage Left – Gail Nall*
Not Quite Dead (Lowcountry Mysteries #1) – Lyla Payne*
The Blackthorn Key – Kevin Sands*
The Marvels – Brian Selznick*

2 star:

Maid of Wonder (Maids of Honor #3) – Jennifer McGowan



These DNFs fall into two categories: too boring or too weird. Well, except for one which was DNFed for having too many penis feels.

Lizard Radio - Pat Schmatz
Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights - Salman Rushdie
The Hired Girl - Laura Amy Schlitz

A Conspiracy of Kings - Megan Whalen Turner
The Dead House - Dawn Kurtagich US
Ash & Bramble - Sarah Prineas

Mirrored - Alex Flinn
Less Than Hero - S.G. Browne
I Crawl Through It - A.S. King

Review: The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

The Boy Most Likely To Series: My Life Next Door #2
Narrator: Jorjeana Marie, MacLeod Andrews
Published by Listening Library on August 18, 2015
Duration: 12 hrs, 31 mins
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Source: Publisher

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Tim Mason was The Boy Most Likely To find the liquor cabinet blindfolded, need a liver transplant, and drive his car into a house

Alice Garrett was The Girl Most Likely To . . . well, not date her little brother’s baggage-burdened best friend, for starters.

For Tim, it wouldn’t be smart to fall for Alice. For Alice, nothing could be scarier than falling for Tim. But Tim has never been known for making the smart choice, and Alice is starting to wonder if the “smart” choice is always the right one. When these two crash into each other, they crash hard.

Then the unexpected consequences of Tim’s wild days come back to shock him. He finds himself in a situation that isn’t all it appears to be, that he never could have predicted . . . but maybe should have.

And Alice is caught in the middle.

Told in Tim’s and Alice’s distinctive, disarming, entirely compelling voices, this novel is for readers of The Spectacular Now, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, and Paper Towns.

Historically, I’ve been a HUGE fan of Huntley Fitzpatrick’s. She writes amazing characters and excels at writing ships that make me swoon. Obviously, I was over the moon about a companion to My Life Next Door, and I was so ready for Tim’s book. I preordered it and everything. But then Gillian (Writer of Wrongs) warned me that The Boy Most Likely To might not be a Christina book after all. The alarm bells began to klaxon and, when I found out why, I canceled my preorder. Without spoiling the book, all I can really say is that Gillian was right and this wasn’t a Christina book, though only partially because of the plot point that made her suspect I wouldn’t like it.