What are you currently reading
7 Seeds Vol 22 Tamura Yumi. Almost caught up! Then I will have to sit down and organize my thoughts. Which, currently, are mostly that I have feeeeeeelings. Mostly about Hana, Natsu, Matsuri, Ayu and Aramaki right now.
i'm still reading Heyer's The Black Moth in bits and pieces. I think I'm about halfway through now? It's entertaining enough.
What did you recently finish reading?
Seduction in Silk by Jo Beverley. Georgian-set romance novel in which Our Hero inherits a much-contested family estate from a distant relative, on the condition that he marry the niece of a woman the relative wronged years ago, because said woman also laid a curse on his family that all their children would die until the wrong was righted, and his intended bride is the daughter of a man reputed to have been mad. It's a pretty straightforward "forced to marry a stranger, how will we make it work" plot,and a well done one, with characters managing to have conflict while still acting like mature, intelligent adults capable of of clearly communicating with each other. Unfortunately, I felt like several chapters developing the family feud and the curse (and it seems too be leading to a major plot development, and then...doesn't), as well as Our Hero's conflict with his family ended up being cut out, and so I felt like I somehow missed part of it when I finished.
Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks. Like The War At Ellsmere, Friends With Boys focuses on a young woman entering a school environment completely unlike any other she's known. The main character, Maggie, has been homeschooled her whole life, and has had little interaction with other kids close to her age outside of her three older brothers, who all started going to public school when it was time for them to enter high school, and now it's Maggie's turn. She isn't used to her brothers having friends outside their family, and has difficulty making new friends until she befriends a pair of "punk" siblkings-Alistair, who appears to have a silent feud with a number of other kids at school, including one of Maggie's brothers, and Lucy, who is obsessed with the supernatural but scared of anything resembling a scary movie. To complicate things, Maggie is frequently haunted by the ghost of a woman from the 18th century, who has visited her many times over the years. It's not as wildly entertaining as The Adventures of Superhero Girl, but is more poignant, and holds up as a cohesive whole better than Zombies Calling or The War at Ellsmere.
Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn. Somewhat-different "human befriends dragon" plot. Set in an AU where dragons emerged from hiding shortly after WWII and now live in various territories with no communication with humans, a teenaged girl accidentally crosses the border to North America's dragon territory, and befriends a curious young dragon. Human/Dragon relations slowly start to deteriorate around them while the two explore the possibilities of working together, and the history of human/dragon relationships before dragons went into hiding in the middleages, and how those previous relationships could translate to modern times. Very interesting and enjoyable. It leaves things open for a possible sequel, but doesn't actually need one, as all necessary elements are wrapped up.
Midnight Pearls by Debbie Viguie. Part of Simon & Schuster's "Once Upon A Time" fairy tale series, this time for "The Little Mermaid." It has the classic tale (through the Disney lens) as well as a genderswapped version throughout. The main character, Pearl, was found by a fisherman during a storm as a child, is scared of the ocean, and is secretly friends with the prince, who has to chose a bride soon. It doesn't go the way it looks to be going early on, which was nice, and is generally pretty solid. It's not the best book in the series (that's probably Snow, of the ones I've read) but it's better than some of the others, and is pretty decent as a fairy tale retelling in general.
Interesting sidenote that I'm not entirely certain what to make of:
( spoiler )
The Wallflower Vol 28-30 by Hayakawa Tomoko. Leave it to this series to have an in canon AU crackfic set in the Edo era. Then again, I think most of the storylines in the series are like crackfic prompts after a while. "Auntie moves in, the gang joins forces to find her a boyfriend." "Kyohei and Sunako catsit." "Ranmaru is banned from dating." "Kyohei becomes class president." etc etc. I've accepted that the series has had about as much character growth and plot progression as the mangaka is going to allow before she decides it's time to start wrapping things up, and I think I'm ok with that, as it entertains me regardless.
Secrets of A Runaway Bride by Valerie Bowman: Wallpaper Regency Historical Romance in which the heroine's brother-in-law asks his best friend to keep an eye on her and keep her from eloping with her unsuitable Beau while he's on his honeymoon. Despite the inherently aggravating concept of the plot being fueled by one man asking another to keep a woman under control while he's out of town, and the fact that much of the heroine, Annie's, motivation seemed to be low-self-esteem (excerpt that I don't think the writer recognized it as low-self-esteem), I was actually enjoying this in a "don't think too much and roll with it" way, and intending to see if the library had Bowman's first book, until I got to the last 100~ pages and Annie's characterization took an extreme nosedive fueled by low-self-esteem motivated desperation.
( spoiler )
Frogged by Vivian Vande Velde. Cute MG book about a 12-year-old princess who kisses a frog who claims to be a prince, only to learn its a local boy who got turned into a frog for harassing a witch, and could only turn human if he got someone else to kiss them, which would in turn turn that person into a frog. The book focuses mostly on Princess Imogen's attempts to figure out how to break the curse without having to turn someone else into a frog, and her effective abduction by an amateur theatre troupe who decides to use a talking frog in their act.
I read about 2/3 of the first volume of Haruka Beyond the Stream of Time, and was mostly confused. Then I remembered that I read it back when Viz first started releasing it and was thoroughly lost then.
What do you think you'll read next?
I have a lot of manga checked out from the library, though admittedly, most is is "I haven't read this/think I read a bit of this a while back, and the library has it so ok" so that. I also have Kelley Armstrong's newest book, but I kinda did that automatically and I think I want to find people who've read it before I do, just to make sure I don't get a Clayton/Elena thing again.