20 August 2017

Sunday Summary // 20.08.2017

Sunday Summary
This week has been a good week. You may be shocked to hear that as I so often complain or grumble or despair at how tired I feel. I am tired and I did have some long days but I am feeling positive at the end of this week which means I deem it a success.

Work has been work. I mean, it’s had its usual ups and downs, you know? It has been a good week and I left work feeling happy on Friday. It may be me trying to be positive because I know next week will be hell as my supervisor has the week off so guess who is the most experienced member of my team that week? Yep, lucky me, all the questions and responsibility and none of the pay benefits. It’s only for a week, at least, and I’ll have a few days off as well after that.

We’ve had builders in at home this week so our house looks surprisingly dusty and it’s a little weird. My parents are moving the living room downstairs so we’ve had new doors put in that lead out to the garden and a wall has been knocked out. Lots or plastering has been done and hopefully, we’ll get new flooring next week. It’s quite exciting but yeah, lots of dusting needs to be done. I am not looking forward to the cleanup job. I am looking forward to a living room leading on to a garden. It’ll be great for when everyone is home and we’re doing things.

I intended to get lots done this weekend. I intended to do lots of reading and blogging and generally be crazy productive but instead, I binge watched Marvel’s The Defenders because that’s how I roll. I never managed to finish Iron Fist but this Marvel series definitely redeemed things a bit. The storyline was good and the 8 episodes meant I didn’t feel too guilty about finishing it all in a day. I am in love with the dynamic between Matt and Jessica in it. They are opposites but they are fun together. Definitely, hope to see more of them in future series.

What I’ve Been Reading

Leviathan WakesRituals
Well, I intended to read a lot more than I did. I restarted Leviathan Wakes because I borrowed it from my brother and he raved about this series. I’m enjoying it but it’s a slow read for me. I think the length is putting me off but it definitely fits in with the side quest as ‘Grind’ as it has been a bit of a grind to read so far. In a good way. I also got my copy of Rituals this week and I was so damn excited to get reading. It definitely met expectations but the more I think on it the more I get frustrated that there wasn’t more. It wasn’t anywhere close to being a disappointment but I definitely wanted more, I think that’s my issue with it. I’ve got about a dozen reviews I want to write and this is one of them.

New To Me

SteadfastIrresistible YouThe Fifth SeasonRituals
You know that spending ban I spoke about? I didn’t exactly succeed. I mean, it began with my preorder of Rituals arriving (I do not regret that one) and then a couple of romances (because I am a sucker for having all the romance lurking on my Kindle) they were both going cheap and one click is just too easy sometimes. And finally, The Fifth Season, I saw it for £2 at The Works and a girl just can’t say no to a book at that price, especially when it’s one I’ve been wanting to read for a while. I know I shouldn’t have bought these books but #noregrets!

#TheReadingQuest Progress

I’ve read one and a half books for this quest (Leviathan Wakes & Rituals). I’ve boosted my EXP and HP, though. If the spreadsheet I’m using to track my progress is to be believed anyway. I had delusions of progressing through more than one of the quest paths. I would be shocked if I managed that to be honest.

How has your week been? Anyone else participating in #TheReadingQuest? What books you been reading lately?

18 August 2017

My Thoughts // Do Some Storylines Only Work In Certain Genres?

My Thoughts_zpsv3m9csox.png
Captive Prince8 Prince's Gambit9 Kings RisingBlackbird
I had been intending to review the Captive Prince trilogy for a very long while but found it difficult to summarise my thoughts on it. I’ve still got a half finished review of it in my drafts folder. Give it a year and those reviews may see the light of day. I found a lot of the story amazing and blazed through that series in a couple of days (I seriously could not put those books down). I will be placing them firmly in my favourites and even though I paid far more than is reasonable to get copies of the second two books in the series (the first I got from the library) I am completely glad I bought and read them and will undoubtedly read again sometime soon.

I recognise there were issues with the book, though, and my biggest one, outside of the ending, is the fact that the romance is a captor/captive romance and there is such a power imbalance happening in it. Power imbalances in romances have to be dealt with carefully because as soon as one person could be accused of using their position of power to force them on to another then it gets iffy. Add in the fact that one character is held captive and it then could be interpreted as Stockholm syndrome and that’s even worse because it adds a creepy element into the whole thing.

When reading the Captive Prince trilogy I was totally behind the romance because it’s so very slow burn and developed through three books. It doesn’t feel like Stockholm syndrome but instead that the characters are letting down their guard, getting to know one another and falling in love. All of it went together so well and I was there for it 100%. I came to read a contemporary book which had a similar premise of a man buying a woman and possessing her and the romance which developed between the two. That book was Blackbird and I had a very different reaction to it. I was immediately bothered that language was used of someone ‘possessing’ or ‘owning’ another. And really as soon as money was exchanged all I could think was that human trafficking was bad and I so was not there for the romance. I mean, it just screamed Stockholm syndrome. It took me a really long time to let the romance grow on me and although I liked the characters together I would have liked them far better if there hadn’t been that power imbalance. I mean, she didn’t even see other people for ages and was never allowed out alone. She really saw no one but him so there was no doubt she would fall for him as she had no human comparison. All of it made me feel a bit blech.

Why is it I felt so different to a similar storyline in a contemporary read and a fantasy one?

That’s easy, the fantasy read was removed from reality. It was set in a different world where the possession of people and use as slaves was accepted and it wasn’t real. It may have helped that both characters were men so physically there wasn’t the same power difference. In fact, the slave was the stronger of the two based on sheer physicality and brute strength. Whilst in the contemporary setting a woman was taken off of the streets, from her job, and forced into human trafficking only to be purchased by a man and forced to accept him. To feel comfortable around him by proving she is ok with him seeing her naked. And repeatedly she is forced into situations where she could potentially be raped and the man who bought her proves he could have her if he wanted. In that situation I felt disgusted and didn’t like any romance developing.

I am of course basing these opinions off of what I remember of both books and it has been a little while since I read each but I found a captive romance only works when it’s taken outside of reality. In the modern day you immediately jump to the conclusion there is a psychological bond forming between captor and captive that would never develop otherwise. It feels forced and it’s wrong. In a fantasy context you can overlook these things a little. Or at least I could. The same issues exist but I think my biggest issue was the possession of another human. When this happens in a society where slavery is accepted you can get it but in the modern world slavery and the possession of people is not the norm and so my dilemma began.

So, as you can see. Two very similar storylines but as soon as you alter the setting it gets interpreted in my mind in a very different way. Does anyone else have moments like this where they find themselves disliking a storyline they loved in another book all because of the genre it’s written in?

Does anyone else have a similar reaction or is this just me? Does context matter for certain storylines to work?

15 August 2017

North To You // Nick Forced A Fun Romance All About Food On Me

1. North To You
Published: 5th June 2017

Source: Bought

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

My Rating:
In this warmhearted and charming debut from Tif Marcelo, a food truck chef and her long lost Army love clash when they cross paths in San Francisco.

Camille Marino has got a full plate. As the sole guardian of her eighteen-year-old sister and the head chef and owner of a food truck, she’s used to life being a juggling act. With food to cook, social media accounts to manage, and a little sister to look after, she doesn’t have time for much else.

That is, until Drew Bautista walks back into her life.

Drew is Camille’s former high school crush and he returns to San Francisco to repair his relationship with his father before he ships out for deployment. By helping his father renovate his failing Filipino restaurant, he hopes to win back his respect. But when sparks fly between Drew and Camille—his father’s major competition and sworn enemy—Drew is conflicted. Should he join his father in the war against her food truck? Or surrender to the woman who’s given him a second chance at love?
I need a shelf on Goodreads called ‘Books That Are Nick’s Fault’ because this would be on it. Seriously, she just tweeted about it and I was there buying it. I mean, also, the cover was cute and I remember seeing it on Smart Bitches (that’s a whole other shelf I need on Goodreads) and so I bought it and started reading almost immediately. I’m so glad I give in so easily. One thing I have learnt is Nick knows good romance. Like the best kind of romance.

So, North To You is set in San Francisco and in the world of food in San Francisco. Camille has set out to follow her dreams and is trying to make herself a success as a chef and owner of a food truck. She is working hard to support her and her sister and has time for nothing else. She is pursuing her dreams, after all. So when she bumps into an old high school flame, Drew, she doesn’t have time for him despite having a whole heap of unresolved issues there since she disappeared without a word Luckily for her Drew isn’t taking no for an answer and sparks fly left, right and centre. I mean hot damn!

I think this book worked for me because Camille and her hard headedness sucked me in (I love a woman who knows what she wants and has a few trust issues) and then there was Drew. Drew was a sweet cinnamon roll, too good for this world. He was cute and so damn irresistible. I got how Camille struggled to resist him because I wouldn’t have been able to.

There were the usual obstacles to the relationship. Drew ended up holding back a few things which made Camille doubt him (I do hate a liar when it comes to romance but even that couldn’t make me dislike him). And Camille and her trust issues, they would normally frustrate me but the girl just made me love her more because she had been through so damn much and she just wanted to give her sister her dream and have her own. Then there was the fact she was competing with Drew’s dad and it’s hard competing with family, isn’t it?

If you’re in the mood for a book which will make you hungry (I want to go to San Francisco and eat all the food!) then this is the book for you. if you like a good old second chance romance with a cute couple who really should have gotten together far sooner if life hadn’t gotten in the way then check it out!

Do you know someone who convinces you to buy all the books? Is their name Nick? I feel your pain. And what was the last book you bought because someone recommended it and it blew you away?