Size Doesn’t Matter (29): Mini Reviews from a Lazy Blogger

Size Doesn’t Matter (29): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerNinth Key by Meg Cabot
Narrator: Cassandra Campbell, Paul Boehmer
Series: The Mediator #2
Published by Avon on December 28, 2004
Genres: Paranormal, Humor, Romance
Pages: 287
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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three-half-stars

Ghosts ruin everything. Especially your love life.

Everything is going great for Suze. Her new life in California is a whirlwind of parties and excellent hair days. Tad Beaumont, the hottest boy in town, has even asked Suze out on her very first date. Suze is so excited that she's willing to ignore her misgivings about Tad... particularly the fact that he's not Jesse, whose ghostly status - not to mention apparent disinterest in her - make him unattainable.

What Suze can't ignore, however, is the ghost of a murdered woman whose death seems directly connected to dark secrets hidden in none other than Tad Beaumont's past.

While my second reread of Shadowland upped my rating, Ninth Key remained the same. This one suffers heavily from a series problem: too much recapping. You could read Ninth Key without having read Shadowland and not be remotely lost. That’s a good thing if that’s what you’ve done, but, if you’re binging the series, you get to sit through a lot of information you just read. There’s actually even re-recapping of things that had already been recapped.

The story itself is pretty fun, but, honestly, it’s also not that strong. It’s just kind of eh whatever plot. I mean, there’s some melodrama inherent in the series, but this one just felt kinda random. Also, the sexy dude of the book is named Tad, and I just can’t with that because my dad’s name is Tadd and just ew nope bye.

Size Doesn’t Matter (29): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerReunion by Meg Cabot
Series: The Mediator #3
Published by Avon on December 28, 2004
Genres: Paranormal, Humor, Romance
Pages: 289
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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three-half-stars

Accidents happen. With ghostly consequences, if you're Susannah Simon.

The RLS Angels are out for blood, and only Suze can stop them - since she's the only one who can see them. The four ghostly teenagers died in a terrible car accident, for which they blame Suze's classmate Michael... and they'll stop at nothing until he's joined them in the realm of the dead.

As Suze desperately fends off each attempt on Michael's life, she finds she can relate to the Angels' fury. Because their deaths turn out not to have been accidental at all. And their killer is only too willing to strike again.

Reunion also isn’t the best of the series. By which I mean that it’s funny and fabulous but the romance hasn’t kicked in yet, nor has the super intense plot I know is to come.

My favorite thing about Reunion is that Suze is starting to settle into her new family. She’s struck over and over by the fact that her stepbrothers think of themselves as her brothers and her mom as their mom. She’s not ready to ditch the step. Trust doesn’t come that easy to Suze, which is why it means a lot when she thinks of them as just brothers there at the end. Feels.

Gina’s visit is fun, though I wish I’d gotten to see more of the two of them together, since I’m not really getting the best friendship as much as I wish I was. Totally on board with Gina and Sleepy, and honestly anything that bring Sleepy more to the forefront. He delights me.

Size Doesn’t Matter (29): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerDarkest Hour by Meg Cabot
Series: The Mediator #4
Published by Avon on December 28, 2004
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Humor
Pages: 316
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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four-half-stars

What - or who - is buried in Susannah's backyard?

When the nineteenth-century ghost of Maria de Silva wakes her up in the middle of the night, Suze knows this is no ordinary visitation - and not just from the knife at her throat, either. In life, Maria was the fiancée of Jesse - the same Jesse who was murdered a hundred and fifty years before. The same Jesse Suze is in love with.

Maria threatens Suze: The backyard construction must cease. Suze has a pretty good idea what - or rather, who - Maria doesn't want found. But in solving Jesse's murder, will Suze end up losing him forever?

Things really start to ramp up in Darkest Hour. The big plot is starting to appear. Hello Paul, I remember you and you are even creepier than I remembered. Ladies, never go on dates with a guy who threatens you to try to get you to date him. Never.

Also, THAT ENDING. Meg Cabot, you are a cruel goddess of romantic fiction. I totally forgot about all the stuff that happened with Jesse in this book and jesus christ is it mean. Most excellent installment.

Size Doesn’t Matter (29): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerThe Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin
Narrator: Cassandra Campbell, Paul Boehmer
Length: 12 hrs, 45 mins
Published by Random House Audio on January 26, 2016
Genres: Historical
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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Goodreads
three-stars

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Aviator’s Wife comes an enthralling new novel about Truman Capote’s scandalous, headline-making, and heart-wrenching friendship with Babe Paley and New York’s society “swans” of the 1950s.

Centered on two dynamic, complicated, and compelling protagonists—Truman Capote and Babe Paley—this book is steeped in the glamour and perfumed and smoky atmosphere of New York’s high society. Babe Paley—known for her high-profile marriage to CBS founder William Paley and her ranking in the International Best-Dressed Hall of Fame—was one of the reigning monarchs of New York’s high society in the 1950s. Replete with gossip, scandal, betrayal, and a vibrant cast of real-life supporting characters, readers will be seduced by this startling new look at the infamous society swans.

I enjoyed this audiobook, but I don’t really have too much to say about it. I’m a sucker for these high society historical audiobooks. I enjoy the snooty narration. But I also don’t know enough about his era to know how I feel about the portrayal of the people.

Truman Capote is a figure of some fascination, though I must admit I hated his masterpiece, In Cold Blood. Still, he’s an interesting character, but most of what I know about him is from his youth or his clubbing days near the end. I’d never heard of Babe Paley at all.

Basically everyone in this book comes off looking both sad and horrible. They’re all awful to one another, except for Babe who is just sort of pathetic, giving her all to men who will never love her like she wants them to because that’s what her mother trained her to do. I can’t say I loved that bit so much.

It’s an interesting novel, and I’m a bit curious about an actual biography of these people now.

Size Doesn’t Matter (29): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerHaunted by Meg Cabot
Series: The Mediator #5
Published by Avon on December 28, 2004
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Humor
Pages: 263
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
AmazonAudible
Goodreads
three-stars

Is it possible to be haunted by someone who isn't even dead?

Suze is used to trouble, but this time she's in deep: Ghostly Jesse has her heart, but Paul Slater, a real flesh-and-blood guy, is warm for her form. And mediator Paul knows how to send Jesse to the Great Beyond. For good.

Paul claims he won't do anything to Jesse as long as Suze will go out with him. Fearing she'll lose Jesse forever, Suze agrees. But even if Suze can get Jesse to admit his true feelings for her, what kind of future can she have with a guy who's already dead?

Sadly, after the emotional torrent that was Darkest Hour, Haunted wasn’t quite up to snuff. It’s fun like they all are, but it felt like it was holding time. That was especially disappointing since I remembered this one as being super intense, but apparently not.

Mostly it’s just stage-setting. Here’s Paul who has managed to move to Carmel-by-the-Sea and who continues to have a scary stalker obsession with Suze. Here’s Jesse ignoring Suze and Suze misreading it and here’s me tearing my hair out with frustration at this ship. Here’s some information from scumbag Paul that will clearly be important in the next book.

Also, I’m kinda uncomfortable with the fact that Suze kept wanting to make out with his face even though he’s a creepy stalker who tried to remove Jesse from this world and gives up off seriously rapey vibes. Like, basically, Suze is just not nearly freaked out enough by this guy.

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