Size Doesn’t Matter (33): Mini Reviews from a Lazy Blogger

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.

Size Doesn’t Matter (33): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerBehold the Bones by Natalie C. Parker
Narrator: Alexandra Harris
Series: Beware the Wild #2
Published by HarperTeen on February 23, 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Mystery, Gothic, Horror
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book Depository

Candace “Candy” Pickens has been obsessed with the swamp lore of her tiny Louisiana town for . . . forever. Name any ghostly swamp figure and Candy will recite the entire tale in a way that will curl your toes and send chills up your spine.

That doesn’t mean Candy’s a believer, however. Even though she and her friends entered the swamp at the start of summer and left it changed, Candy’s the only one who can’t see or feel the magical swamp Shine. She’s also the only one who can’t see the ghosts that have been showing up and spooking everyone in town ever since. So Candy concentrates on other things—real things. Like fighting with her mother and plotting her escape from her crazy town.

But ghosts aren’t the only newcomers in Sticks, Louisiana. The King family arrives like a hurricane: in a blur and unwanted—at least by Candy. Mr. King is intent on filming the rumored ghostly activity for his hit TV show, Local Haunts. And while Candy can’t ignore how attracted she is to eighteen-year-old Gage King and how much his sister, Nova, wants to be friends, she’s still suspicious of the King family.

As Candy tries to figure out why the Kings are really in town and why the swamp that had previously cast her aside now seems to be invading every crack in her logical, cynical mind, she stumbles across the one piece of swamp lore she didn’t know. It’s a tale that’s more truth than myth, and may have all the answers . . . and its roots are in Candy’s own family tree.

Since I ran out of time for rereading Beware the Wild, I was concerned I would be lost in Behold the Bones, and that my enjoyment of it would suffer as a result, but Behold the Bones actually stands alone really well. Plus, Parker does a great job of refreshing you on what happened in the previous book naturally, without beating you over the head with a recounting at the start.

Behold the Bones actually worked for me even better than Beware the Wild, though I think the plot was a bit less consistently intense. Of course, me being me, I was so there for Candy’s sassy voice and I’ll take voice over plot any day. And, to be clear, the plot’s fun and it’s not a mess, but it’s kind of slow and drifty for a while and then the ending is whoa in a good way. But yeah this one was so voicey, and I’m just a huge fan of Candy. I still didn’t really connect emotionally with the book, but I had so much damn fun reading it.

The romance in Behold the Bones is…a bit awkward. I mean, kind of in a good way, I think, but yeah it’s not what I typically expect. It’s a good thing objectively but it’s also not very shippy really, and there was one aspect of it that I wasn’t sold on from a characterization perspective. View Spoiler »

Parker’s writing is still utterly lovely; she does such a fabulous job writing in a way that makes everything feel deeply imbued with southernness without going all dialect. Seriously impressed with this series, and I know I want to read anything she writes.

Size Doesn’t Matter (33): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerVision in Silver by Anne Bishop
Narrator: Alexandra Harris
Length: 16 hrs, 9 mins
Series: The Others #3
Published by Penguin Audio on March 3, 2015
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Romance
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible

The Others freed the cassandra sangue to protect the blood prophets from exploitation, not realizing their actions would have dire consequences. Now the fragile seers are in greater danger than ever before—both from their own weaknesses and from those who seek to control their divinations for wicked purposes. In desperate need of answers, Simon Wolfgard, a shape-shifter leader among the Others, has no choice but to enlist blood prophet Meg Corbyn’s help, regardless of the risks she faces by aiding him.

Meg is still deep in the throes of her addiction to the euphoria she feels when she cuts and speaks prophecy. She knows each slice of her blade tempts death. But Others and humans alike need answers, and her visions may be Simon’s only hope of ending the conflict.

For the shadows of war are deepening across the Atlantik, and the prejudice of a fanatic faction is threatening to bring the battle right to Meg and Simon’s doorstep…

Now obviously I still love this series and think you should read it YES PLEASE JOIN ME IN THIS SHIP, but Vision in Silver runs a bit heavily to plot development. That’s important obviously, but there’s a tragic lack of Meg and Simon ship squealy moments in this one. There’s also too much Lizzy, who I still find annoying. I think I’m meant to maybe but I’m just like MORE SNUGGLES LESS WHINY CHILLUNS.

So yeah, plot-wise, totally on point, and I’m seriously in love with how well-planned this series is, but there was so not enough focus on the romance. Blah blah Meg and Simon are busy and growing and it’s all very important but come on give me some more ship torture pls. Check out my full review for more insights because I don’t really feel like restating.

Size Doesn’t Matter (33): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerLove and Other Alien Experiences by Kerry Winfrey
Published by The Studio on November 10, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 268
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

In this heartwarming debut by HelloGiggles blogger Kerry Winfrey, a young agoraphobe begins a journey of first love that leads her to the true meaning of home—just by taking one small step outside of her house.

My name is Mallory Sullivan.

My therapist says I have an anxiety disorder.

My brother says I’m an “optimistic recluse.”

Everybody else says I'm a freak.

And they kind of have a point, because I haven't left the house in 67 days and only attend class via the webcam on my laptop. The person I talk to the most other than my mom and brother is the completely obnoxious BeamMeUp, and all we do is argue on New Mexico’s premiere alien message board.

But after yesterday, I have something: a chance. If I can win the homecoming crown by convincing resident hot popular guy and Friday Night Lights spawn Brad Kirkpatrick to go as my date, then maybe #stayathome will never appear next to the name @Mallory_Sullivan ever again.

First, I have to leave my room.

Jen (Pop Goes the Reader) recommended Love and Other Alien Experiences to me, so OBVIOUSLY I had to go request it from NG. Then, I actually just bought it even though I was approved because 1) the egalley was a Word Doc changed into a PDF which no my eyes and 2) it was like 4 bucks and why not? I have no regrets.

For once, the romance was actually one of my least favorite aspects. I mean, I shipped it from the start, but I feel like their chemistry was just a little bit off, partially because I don’t really get how he feel from her so early. Also, it was a plot I’ve read a lot and just not quite as well-executed as some. So, I liked it, but it was clunky.

What sets Love and Other Alien Experiences apart is, obviously, Mallory. She’s barely left her house in a year, since her dad left, and her anxiety became crippling if she left the safe space of the house. I like the way it’s handled, with therapy, time, and a lot of people who care.

I also just love Mallory. She is really sarcastic and grouchy and prone to lash out with anger when uncomfortable and um I totally don’t relate to her at all. >.> Her mom and brother, Lincoln, are totally amazing too, and I love their dynamic. They’re all super grossed out by sentiment and feelings and feel much more comfortable making fun of one another in a loving way. Their family motto is “why be serious when you can be sarcastic?” so basically I belong with them; they are my people.

Aside from that, the friendships are great. Brad, who I expected to hate, turned out not to be the typical jock guy, and I liked that bonding, though I think his ship, again, could have been better-established. Jake, too, turns out to be different than you’d expect, and I like that no one is the YA stereotype of their character.

Love and Other Alien Experiences was totally worth the four books I shelled out. If you’re looking for reads about anxiety, it’s well worth a look.

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