A Year of Reading

Howdy, howdy! How’s everyone doing? I spent far too much time trying to fix something unfixable before I realized it was Amazon’s fault, so it’s late and I’m cranky. In other words, this post is just going to be a lazy one. It’s a recap of what I’ve read this year, plus the last two I plan on finishing. It’s pretty much what you would expect from a reading list from me.

1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling. It’s still my favorite of the series.

2. One Poison Pie by Lynn Cahoon. You can see my review here.

3. Take Joy by Jane Yolen. It was a nice little craft book, but nothing spectacular.

4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling. A little more rambling than I remembered, but still in my top three HP books.

5. The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey. You can see my review here.

6. Dark Shadow by Danielle Rose. A good series.

7. Vasilisa by Julie Mathison. You can see my review here.

8. Dark Descent by Danielle Rose. A good series.

9. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling. Probably in the bottom three of my favorite HP books.

10. Down World by Rebecca Phelps. You can see my review here.

11. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling. Somewhere in the middle of my favorite HP books.

12. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. Probably my least favorite HP book.

13. Folklorn by Angela Mi Young Hur. You can see my review here.

14. Dark Power by Danielle Rose. A good series.

15. Death in Bloom by Jess Dylan. You can see my review here.

16. Fatal Fried Rice by Vivien Chien. I love this cozy mystery series.

17. The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix. I was super disappointed by this one.

18. Bound for Murder by Victoria Gilbert. A little description heavy, but a cute cozy series.

19. Walking Through Needles by Heather Levy. You can see my review here.

20. Watch Her by Edwin Hill. The series is on the darker end of the cozy spectrum and worth checking out.

21. Just One Look by Lindsay Cameron. You can see my review here.

22. A Crafter Hooks a Killer by Holly Quinn. A cute series, but nothing special.

23. Murder in the Village by Lisa Cutts. You can see my review here.

24. Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw. A lovely read, if a bit predictable.

25. A Time to Swill by Sherry Harris. Another cute series.

26. Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran. Beautiful illustrations, but the fairy tale retelling was just meh.

27. The Orphan Witch by Paige Crutcher. You can see my review here.

28. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I freaking loved this book and I have no idea why. It’s not my usual genre, but it gave me all the feels and I can’t get over how much I enjoyed it.

29. The Christmas Dress by Courtney Cole. You can see my review here.

30. Murder Always Barks Twice by Jennifer Hawkins. Another super cute cozy series and it features a corgi.

31. Storm the Earth by Rebecca Kim Wells. I probably should’ve re-read the first book in this duology, but things eventually came back to me. Definitely recommend it.

32. Flying Angels by Danielle Steel. You can see my review here.

33. Midnight Spells Murder by Mary Angela. It’s not a bad cozy series, but not great.

34. Currently Reading: Shackled Fates by Thilde Kold Holdt. I am in love with this trilogy so far.

35. Currently Reading: A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw. I couldn’t find a book I wanted to review this month, so I decided to buy Ernshaw’s newest book and review it later this month.

Thoughts on FLYING ANGELS

Howdy, howdy! How’s everyone doing today? Tomorrow is Thanksgiving over here, so happy Turkey Day/Friendsgiving/whatever to those who celebrate and happy Thursday to those who don’t! But today it’s book review time. I wanted to step outside my comfort zone this month, but I wanted something safe. Something that was bound to be decent at least. So, I went with Danielle Steel’s new book, Flying Angels. It was released on November 23rd from Delacorte Press (an imprint of Random House). As usual, I must thank them and NetGalley for allowing me access to an ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. So, let’s do the thing.

Not a bad cover.

Flying Angels follows a group of young women who end up becoming nurses in the Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron during World War II. They come from all walks of life and have encountered various struggles along the way, but in the war, they’re all the same. They’re just nurses trying to keep the young men from the frontlines and themselves alive. Death doesn’t discriminate. They all have to learn that one way or another.

So, I thought I was safe with a Danielle Steel novel. She’s a prolific writer with fans all over the world. She must be good, right? There must be a reason she’s so popular, right? Even if the genre isn’t my usual cup of tea, at least the writing must be passable, right? Wrong. I was wrong on all counts. And the sad part is, I probably really would’ve liked the book if it didn’t read like an outline of a story. I know it’s hard to balance showing and telling, but this book was ninety percent telling. Personally, I hate that. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it, but I’m not a fan. You can tell me a hundred times how selfless and wonderful a person is, but if you don’t show me, I just don’t care.

Me to every single character.

Speaking of selfless and wonderful, no one in this entire book had flaws except inconsequential rich people. They were just there to show how much better their daughters were than them. I mean, we’re told the characters grow and are changed by the end, but how? They were perfect to begin with, so they had nothing to learn. Even the deaths of family and friends can’t make these people bitter or angry. It’s friggin’ annoying. Like, I know they aren’t real people in the first place, but I at least want characters who have human qualities.

Also, I despise third person omniscient POVs. They’re rarely done well and the narrator hops around people’s thoughts and feelings until everything becomes muddled. It’s especially confusing when most of the characters are she/her. Learn to use names or at least change paragraphs when you’re hopping around people’s heads. I know this is just a pet peeve of mine. Some people really like this POV. I’d rather be closer to the main characters.

Every time a random thought showed up that had nothing to do with one of the main characters.

Aside from everything else I hated about this book, the writing was repetitive and bland. In the first twenty pages, the same five tidbits were repeated at least fifty times each. It could’ve been edited down to three pages and still conveyed the exact same message. Better yet, there could’ve been a few scenes showing me these things instead of just telling me. But enough ranting.

Ultimately, I hated Flying Angels. I loved the premise, but the execution was horrible. If I never read another Danielle Steel book in my life, I won’t care. Maybe her other books are better. Maybe this was an anomaly. Don’t know and don’t care. People like her. I’m just not one of them.

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Overall, I gave it 1 out of 5 stars. Mostly because you can’t give zero star ratings on most websites. If you are a fan, by all means read it. Enjoy what you enjoy. If you’re not already a fan, maybe try something else by her first.