Size Doesn’t Matter (110): Stay Until We Break; A Red-Rose Chain; Wonder Women; Once Broken Faith

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

Size Doesn’t Matter (110): Stay Until We Break; A Red-Rose Chain; Wonder Women; Once Broken FaithStay Until We Break by Mercy Brown
Series: Hub City #2
Published by InterMix on June 21, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 241
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Amazon
Goodreads
three-stars

What happens on the road stays on the road in the latest New Adult novel from the author of Loud Is How I Love You.

Twenty-one-year-old Sonia Grant, a business major, has big plans for a career in the music industry. So when she’s offered the job of tour manager for her best friend’s band, she jumps at the chance for some real life experience. When her number one crush, bassist Cole McCormack, jumps her the first night on tour, she hopes she’s in for three weeks of some hot backstage action, too. But Cole turns out to have more up his sleeve than she or anyone realized.

Nobody knows that Cole is on the road to party like a rock star one last time before quitting his dream to take a more practical job and settle down. What he hadn’t planned was to fall in love with a girl he believes is out of his league. Will Cole play out the rock star fantasy he thinks Sonia wants from him, or tell her the truth and take the chance that she’ll either break his heart or make an even bigger dream come true?

Loud Is How I Love You really stood out from the rest of NA, and Stay Until We Break shines too, if a bit less brightly for me.

What it all comes down to here is that I really loved the voice in Loud Is How I Love You, and, reading them back to back, Cole and Sonia’s voices felt too similar to Emmy’s. I also never shipped Cole and Sonia as much as I did Travis and Emmy, despite the fact that Cole and Sonia have more relationship development. I’m not really sure why. They’re cool and all, but I just didn’t feel it in my heart space.

However, the music element’s amazing, and the book’s still super hot. One really cool thing is that the band’s touring in Stay Until We Break, so that makes the feel very different plot-wise from book one. I know basically nothing about how bands tour, so that was pretty eye-opening.

Also, bonus points for the strong focus on consent. Cole refuses to have sex with Sonia when she’s been drinking, even though she tries to convince him otherwise. He wants to be sure that she’s into him when sober, and A+ for that. Romances should consider this more often.

If you enjoyed Loud Is How I Love You, you’ll probably enjoy Stay Until We Break too. These are fun, and I’m hopeful there will be one more for Joey.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 

Size Doesn’t Matter (110): Stay Until We Break; A Red-Rose Chain; Wonder Women; Once Broken FaithA Red-Rose Chain by Seanan McGuire
Series: October Daye #9
Published by DAW on September 1, 2015
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Fantasy
Pages: 358
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
four-stars

Things are looking up.

For the first time in what feels like years, October “Toby” Daye has been able to pause long enough to take a breath and look at her life—and she likes what she sees. She has friends. She has allies. She has a squire to train and a King of Cats to love, and maybe, just maybe, she can let her guard down for a change.

Or not. When Queen Windermere’s seneschal is elf-shot and thrown into an enchanted sleep by agents from the neighboring Kingdom of Silences, Toby finds herself in a role she never expected to play: that of a diplomat. She must travel to Portland, Oregon, to convince King Rhys of Silences not to go to war against the Mists. But nothing is that simple, and what October finds in Silences is worse than she would ever have imagined.

How far will Toby go when lives are on the line, and when allies both old and new are threatened by a force she had never expected to face again? How much is October willing to give up, and how much is she willing to change? In Faerie, what’s past is never really gone.

It’s just waiting for an opportunity to pounce.

While my rating is deservedly high for A Red-Rose Chain, it’s very much not my favorite of the October Daye series. It’s probably not Toby’s either.

One of the things I love about the October Daye books is how not formulaic they are. Sure, Toby handles a different crisis in each book, and sometimes she even handles the same sort of crisis using the same sort of method, but each book feels very distinct. In A Red-Rose Chain, Toby tackles something completely outside of her skill set: diplomacy.

Toby’s the sort of person you should send in when you’re hoping to provoke a war, not to prevent one, but Arden Windermere doesn’t have a whole lot of allies yet. You work with what you’ve got. Though there’s a lot of tension and intrigue inherent in the plot, it’s the least action-packed of the series and the slowest-paced, except perhaps for book one.

Exciting thing, though: it’s revealed in A Red-Rose Chain that one of the characters is transgender. McGuire’s just my favorite. There’s so much rep in this series about faeries. So much awesome rep.

Even though A Red-Rose Chain took me way longer to read than the other installments, it’s very necessary plot-wise and I love the risks McGuire consistently takes. The world’s beautiful and the characters are phenomenal. Even one of my least favorites is absurdly high quality.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:


Size Doesn’t Matter (110): Stay Until We Break; A Red-Rose Chain; Wonder Women; Once Broken FaithWonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History by Sam Maggs
Narrator: Jodelle Ferland
Length: 6 hrs, 34 mins
Published by Random House Audio on October 18, 2016
Genres: Nonfiction, History
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
three-stars

Ever heard of Allied spy Noor Inayat Khan, a Muslim woman whom the Nazis considered “highly dangerous”? Or German painter and entomologist Maria Sibylla Merian, who planned and embarked on the world’s first scientific expedition? How about Huang Daopo, the inventor who fled an abusive child marriage only to revolutionize textile production in China?

Women have always been able to change the world, even when they didn’t get the credit. In Wonder Women, author Sam Maggs introduces you to pioneering female scientists, engineers, mathematicians, adventurers, and inventors—each profile a study in passion, smarts, and stickto-itiveness, complete with portraits by Google doodler Sophia Foster-Dimino, an extensive
bibliography, and a guide to present-day women-centric STEM organizations.

Wonder Women‘s an awesome title for teen girls. Think #BygoneBadassBroads, though I admit that I prefer Mackenzi’s tweets. It’s a style thing, because I did feel like Wonder Women was trying a bit too hard to sound hip and cool. However, I do love what Wonder Women is doing, and Maggs’ strong commitment to diversity in the women she includes. There are bunches of POCs, lesbians, and trans women. It’s truly a thing of beauty, and it was awesome to learn about so many more badass historical women.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 

Size Doesn’t Matter (110): Stay Until We Break; A Red-Rose Chain; Wonder Women; Once Broken FaithOnce Broken Faith by Seanan McGuire
Series: October Daye #10
Published by DAW on September 6, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery
Pages: 420
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
five-stars

Politics have never been October “Toby” Daye’s strong suit. When she traveled to the Kingdom of Silences to prevent them from going to war with her home, the Kingdom of the Mists, she wasn’t expecting to return with a cure for elf-shot and a whole new set of political headaches.

Now the events she unwittingly set in motion could change the balance of modern Faerie forever, and she has been ordered to appear before a historic convocation of monarchs, hosted by Queen Windermere in the Mists and overseen by the High King and Queen themselves.

Naturally, things have barely gotten underway when the first dead body shows up. As the only changeling in attendance, Toby is already the target of suspicion and hostility. Now she needs to find a killer before they can strike again—and with the doors locked to keep the guilty from escaping, no one is safe.

As danger draws ever closer to her allies and the people she loves best, Toby will have to race against time to prevent the total political destabilization of the West Coast and to get the convocation back on track…and if she fails, the cure for elf-shot may be buried forever, along with the victims she was too slow to save.

Because there are worse fates than sleeping for a hundred years.

Months ago, I requested Once Broken Faith, the tenth book in a series I had not started, because I had a shitload of faith that I would like it enough not to regret that. The publisher may have preferred a more timely review out of me, but I also bought nine books to read my one review copy, so I think they came off alright in the end. I suspected I’d like the October Daye books, because Seanan McGuire, but I didn’t expect to love the October Daye books as much as I actually do.

I came to Seanan McGuire from her pseudonym Mira Grant. The Newsflesh trilogy is one of my favorites ever. October Daye, though, might be better. Actually, based on the reviews for the new Newsflesh book, I’m pretty damn sure October Daye is better. It shocks me to say that, but it’s true.

In this series, McGuire has built a truly massive cast, but she’s done it so slowly and organically that you find yourself loving everyone and caring so damn much even about secondary characters. I mean, I have some serious Patrick and Dianda feels, let me tell you. Oh, also, if you read these, read the novellas. There’s so much lgbt goodness in those, and you get to know so much more about these wonderful characters.

Of an amazing group of books, Once Broken Faith is, without a doubt, one of my favorites. It ripped my heart apart a bit, but lbr they all do. Every day with Toby feels like it could be the very last day with Toby, even though you know there are more books left and so it probably won’t be.

It’s really hard to talk about the tenth book in a series without massive spoilers for people who haven’t read yet. Keeping it super simple, it’s continually amazing how McGuire never stops raising the stakes from book to book, both plot-wise and character-wise. View Spoiler »

Though I can’t say I’ve read a ton of adult urban fantasy, I can basically guarantee the October Daye series resides among the very best of this genre. If you’re not reading them, you should be. There’s an OTP of OTPs, a cast of vicious cinnamon rolls, and so much representation. GET ON THIS AND HAVE FEELS WITH ME.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 

3 responses to “Size Doesn’t Matter (110): Stay Until We Break; A Red-Rose Chain; Wonder Women; Once Broken Faith”

  1. I really want to give Wonder Women a shot. I hardly read non fiction books, but I’d love to get to learn more about these bad-ass females 🙂
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…7th Annual End Of Year Survey | 2016. Part 1.My Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      It’s engaging and quick. It would probably be most fun taken slowly in little bites. I don’t think audiobook was really the ideal format for this one. Definitely worth checking out! I’ve also seen another one like this called Rejected Princesses that sounds good.

  2. Dayum… are you all caught up now??? I’m really planning on starting this series this year. I have so many series I’m in the middle of but what’s one more? haha
    Bonnie @ For the Love of Words recently posted…Recommended Reading 101: Cozy MysteryMy Profile

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