Books I’ve Been Reading… Since it’s been a while since I talked about actual reading on my book blog.

Hi, my name is Clara and I run a book blog that has completely forgotten to talk about reading books.

have been reading lately, I promise– I just haven’t fallen in love with a lot of books and have taken a long time to read quite a few of them. If they even managed to catch my attention in the first place.

But. There have been 2 books this year that I have downright adored, so that’s something.

So far, in 2019, I have completed 6 books and 1 novella. Not bad, actually. Here they are, with a little bit about what I thought:

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

Ah, Christian fiction. I do not usually care all that much for it. I say that as a Christian girl myself…sometimes I feel bad about not liking it but I just feel like it’s of a poorer quality in terms of writing.

Redeeming Love was good; I rated it 4 stars. It’s decent; it’s proof that you can still write Christian fiction and talk about sex (I’m looking at you, Melanie Dickerson), and I did definitely appreciate that Francine did not sugar coat the fact that the main character was a prostitute. I just have a great appreciation for bluntness, okay?

However, the writing was slightly awkward at times. It was just a style thing, I think– again, I just don’t care much for the writing in Christian fiction so it may just be me as a reader.

Kinda-sorta-not-really spoiler:

I also feel like Michael very suddenly went from “this woman is a headache and I have no clue how I’m ever going to deal with her” to “Angel I love you” and that is still driving me crazy. Where was the actual development? I didn’t find it.

End spoiler.

The Wicked King by Holly Black

*endless screaming*

5 stars. I felt betrayed and didn’t touch the stupid thing for an hour after finishing. That is all you need to know.

The Lost Sisters by Holly Black (novella)

I actually forgot I read this, but apparently I rated it 4 stars. It was a nice, quick afternoon read, but nothing really special.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

So. We have established in posts past that I have a deep love for arranged marriage stories. My friend suggested this because the main character has an arranged marriage, and I got super excited because character development potential was everywhere. 

Aaaaaannnnndddd it went in a completely different, extremely disappointing direction. However, Elisa delivered in the character development department so I gave it 3 stars.

Ranty spoilers below:
So the romance, right? Elisa gets married at the beginning. Great. Alejandro seems like a super attractive man with tons of potential as a character and a love interest.

Nope. We get Humberto, who was great, but then of course he died. So I got excited because there are two more books in this series to make Alejandro a strong character (he is established as a weak king, etc. and you can’t tell me he couldn’t have changed throughout the series) and he and Elisa could fall in love.

Nope. Alejandro dies and I was angry for the next three days and I still get mad thinking about it.

I won’t be finishing the series.

End ranty spoilers.

Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers

4 stars, because it got really good, but it took a long time to get really good.

I was also a bit confused because it was my first LaFevers book ever. The lore/gods/magic/etc. was a bit confusing.

However, it was good in the end and I plan on finishing the duology. And I really love Maraud.

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

So. Much. Fun.

I’m telling you, I laughed so much reading this book and I can’t wait to get around to the rest of the series. 4 stars.

A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

I actually hadn’t planned on reading this as I wasn’t particularly intrigued by the summary, but I am so glad I gave it a chance! 5 stars.

I loved the romance, the adventure, everything.

So that’s it! All 6.5 books I’ve read so far this year and what I thought about all of them.

What books have you been enjoying this year? Any you completely hated?




So…I Finished My Rough Draft

So in the month that it’s been since I last posted (I have lacked blogging inspiration on an extreme level lately), I finished my rough draft of The Nikolai Project. No, it doesn’t have a title yet. Still.

Anyway, it came in at just slightly under 57,500 words. It’s going to be longer in editing- there were multiple times I just kind of skipped sections of the story because I didn’t want to write them at that moment, so I’ll have to expand on all of that.

It’s an odd feeling, being done with my draft. I started thinking about this project in at least July 2017. It’s been a year and half I’ve spent with these people inhabiting my brain. So to be done with the draft, to take a long break from it, is kind of terrifying to think about. Because I really don’t want to be done with this draft. Nikolai and Amira have become second nature to me– I don’t think I’ve ever known any of my characters as intimately as I know them and no story has developed so naturally. But if I were to keep drafting, there wouldn’t be any more of their particular storyline.

That said, there is going to be a sequel. I was trying to avoid that, but I believe I’m going to have a duology. The sequel will not be about Nikolai and Amira, although they will certainly have a role to play.

But. I am not writing the sequel yet, although it’s (extremely) tempting.

I have started the sequel (and conclusion to the trilogy) to Lady Gwen. I hope this draft won’t take long and I don’t intend for it to. I’ll be working hard on it as I have a lot to figure out.

After I’ve drafted that, I’ll do a round of edits for TNP and then finish/publish the conclusion to my trilogy (yay!).

So that’s an update on my writing life for you.

If you’ve finished a rough draft of a beloved story, how did you deal with it?