Book reviews: Carrie reviews her holiday reads

Carrie's Hawaii trip - Favorite reading spot
Picture 1:
First favorite reading spot. This was on the porch in our
bed and breakfast, and those are ROCKING CHAIRS.
Rocking chairs with that view, and about a million
little geckos on this patio, plus all the coffee I could drink.
Was there a more perfect reading spot? I don’t think so.
Hello from Hawaii, Glass Housers! I’ve had the very great pleasure (and luck!) of getting to go to Hawaii for an entire week with my whole family—mom, dad, sisters, their husbands (or boyfriends), my own husband, and one nephew, and though I DID promise that I would try to take the week off from work, anyone who knows me knows that that was a complete lie.

Carrie's Hawaii trip - amazing viewsAfter all, I’m in paradise. And I have little to do but sit on the beach. Which means it’s the ideal time for getting into some of the books that have been sitting on my TBR stack for months, see what other authors are writing, and drool over some covers. And I have to admit—also drool over the way some of these books smell. I don’t know what they’re using to glue spines these days, but oh my God is it heavenly.

Another admission: I was overweight on my luggage by ten pounds, b/c I insisted on bringing thirteen books with me. For a single week. Yes, I also brought my Nook. And no, I didn’t get through all of those books, but what’s the fun in going on vacation if you don’t have a wealth of reading material?

Carrie's Hawaii trip - amazing views
Picture 2 & 3:
Some more of my gorgeous reading views.
I have to admit that I got distracted by the ocean.
So without further ado, here are some quickie reviews of the books I DID get through, along with some pictures of the gorgeous covers and my favorite reading spots.

First book: Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley. This was my second time through this book, and I finished it on the trip to Hawaii (hence the lack of picture in paradise). Loved this book SO MUCH the first time through that I wanted to give it a second shot. I noticed a lot of the small details the second time through, which wouldn’t have made sense until I knew the end, and still adored the book. It was better the first time, though—possibly because I was reading it after I’d spent four hours in the ER with my husband, and was then on a plane with him.

Ink and Bone by Rachel CaineSecond book: Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine. Oh my God the cover. And this book smelled DIVINE. Really incredible concept, and so unique. A library that’s gone out of control? Yes please. Great subtleties in this novel, and though it’s technically set in the future, it reads like historical fiction. I loved it, but had trouble connecting to the characters. 4 stars, and I’ll definitely be looking for the next one.

Mechanica by Betsy Cornwall
Third book: Mechanica by Betsy Cornwall. Another really fantastic premise—half steampunk, half fey, combined with a retelling of Cinderella. I loved the idea of this, and the world is really very beautiful. The book could have used better developmental editing, though, as it became very one-dimensional in places, with convenient things just sort of happening. The MC was brilliant, though—very strong female lead. The end (and unanswered questions) definitely hints at a second book, and I’ll be picking that up if it releases. 3 stars for me.

The Accidental Highwayman: Being the Tale of Kit Bristol, His Horse Midnight, a Mysterious Princess, and Sundry Magical Persons Besides by Ben Tripp
Fourth book: The Accidental Highwayman by Ben Tripp, and no I can’t be bothered to type out the entire title. OH MY GOD THIS WAS MY FAVORITE. I loved Ink and Bone, but I loved this one more. Finished it in a single day, and was oh-so-sorry when it was over. It’s young YA, and definitely not for an audience looking for sophisticated, complex fiction, but holy cats was it fun. The comparison to Princess Bride is right on, if you add things like fairies, pixies, a witch with
only one eye, and alternate dimensions. I’ll be anxiously awaiting the second book. Highly recommended. 5 stars.

And that’s it, I’m afraid. I was gone for an entire week and only read a measly 4 books. It’s almost embarrassing. But I have a big stack of books awaiting me, and who can complain about that?

To see longer reviews, visit my Goodreads profile, and watch for more quickie reviews (and group reviews!) on the blog.

Carrie White-Parrish is a dreamer, a rebel, and an admitted bibliophile. She started Glass House Press—her second company—when she ran across a manuscript that deserved to be published, and hasn’t looked back. Though her tastes run from MG to historical fiction to high fantasy and back, her heart truly belongs to YA. When she’s not editing or publishing, you can find her taking over the world, hanging out with her many spoiled pets, or traveling the world with her beloved husband.

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