Tag Archives: Born in Fire

A Look Back: Three Star Books

2020 is coming to an end, and for my own curiosity, I thought I would share the books that were good books, but not quite my favorite in the last 12 months. I count December 2019 in this collection since I’m obviously not done with December 2020 yet. This is my final list of the year. These books were ones I didn’t truly connect to, but had enough merit that I felt someone else might enjoy them.

#IMomSoHard – I read this book by Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley on a whim from my library at the end of 2019. While it had some funny parts to it, it was a bit tone deaf when it came to infertility and pregnancy loss.

Followers – Debut novel by Megan Angelo. Divided into a present-day and a future point after a cataclysmic event called The Spill, we follow Orla and her roommate, Floss, as they chase fame and fortune through social media. The writing was pretty fluid, but I felt like the characters lacked depth.

Born in Fire – Nora Roberts romance novel. I’m not big into romance, but I inherited this three book trilogy from my grandmother. Apparently, I have read this author before and didn’t remember, but the big problem I had with this story were the problematic relationships that edged on the side of abuse and codependency. Set in Ireland (whichc is my favorite part about the book), Margaret Mary is a glass artist who is also quite the loner, but her world is turned upside down when an art dealer takes an interest in her work.

Mask of Shadows – Debut novel by Linsey Miller. I met the author at a Farmer’s market and decided to give her book a try. The story follows a gender-fluid character named Sal who enters an assassin contest. There were a lot of characters in this contest which made it difficult to follow, but the last part of the book was the most interesting part, once a lot of the minor characters are killed off.

Never Let Me Go – A Kazuo Ishiguro novel set in a boarding school for special students, this book was overall just unfortunate for me. But if you like science fiction, a little romance, and a lot of flashback foreshadowing until everything is revealed in the end, I would recommend it.

Any books you read this year that weren’t quite bad but weren’t quite for you?

April Books

Well, it finally happened. I knew it was going to happen, and it finally did. I forgot what day it was. So, this book review of the books I read in April is going up a day late. And I’m okay with that.

And I somehow read 5 books this month, which was back up to the average I was reading at the beginning of this year. I think it is a sign that I’m finding my rhythm in this new normal (my husband says not to call it a new normal because it is temporary, but aren’t all new normals temporary to some extent?).

So here are the books I read in April (plus a few more):

Born in Fire by Nora Roberts – This was my first foray into the romance genre. I didn’t really enjoy it as a romance book, though I did like the sweeping descriptions of Ireland, its people, and some of the other relationships in the book. This book was written in the 90s and it has some very dated ideas about relationships and romance, especially in the “me too” era. I can see why she is an excellent writer, and I will try the romance genre again at some point, but this book wasn’t really for me. 3 stars.

The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar (not pictured above) – This was the April book for the Modern Mrs Darcy book club. It was a heartbreaking, but the relationships were fascinating. There are also a lot of triggers – rape, abuse – both verbal and physical, abortion and loss. It is set in Bombay and follows the lives of two women in different classes, and the limitations and freedoms they find in their lives. 4 stars.

The Night Country by Melissa Albert – This is the second book in the Hazelwood series. This series has been either loved or hated by readers. I enjoy the story which is based on a series of dark fairy tales. It follows a girl named Alice who, in this book, is really trying to figure out who she is and what sacrifices she is willing to make to save the ones she loves. 4 Stars.

The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black – The final book of the Folk of the Air trilogy. I was really hesitant to read this book because there have been a lot of people in my circles who did not enjoy it. But I actually liked it better than the other two. In this finale, Black closes all the loose ends and completes the arc that transforms the main character, Jude. It addresses themes of power and love in beautiful ways. 4 Stars.

How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen by Joanna Faber and Julie King (not pictured above) – Since I’ve been on lockdown with a toddler these last couple of months, I should find it no surprise that I’ve started gravitating towards my parenting books again. This book is divided into two parts. The first part covers various tools and the second part uses these tools in common situations. I wouldn’t say it’s the only book a parent would need, but it is definitely a great resource when you feel like you have run out of options (or tools) in parenting. 4 Stars.

I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe. If you want to know what I will be reading in May, be sure to follow me on Instagram at katyslifestory!

What did you read in April? Let me know in the comments!