Friday, August 5, 2016

The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 2:00 PM 0 comments

Age: Adult
Category: Historical
Rating: 4 stars

Juliet Thinks: This novel, published in 1955, captures the essence of the unspoken struggle of veterans with PTSD after World War II. Mental illness, including PTSD, was not a subject about which people spoke. During this period, veterans returned from war, immediately immersed in office life; it is this sharp transition that leaves the protagonist disconnected and aimless. Wilson, drawing on his own experiences, describes the life of Tom Rath after war:
“I really don’t know what I was looking for when I got back from the war, but it seemed as though all I could see was a lot of bright young men in gray flannel suits rushing around New York in a frantic parade to nowhere. They seemed to me to be pursuing neither ideals nor happiness – they were pursuing a routine. For a long while I thought I was on the sidelines watching that parade, and it was quite a shock to glance down and see that I too was wearing a gray flannel suit.”
Tom Rath grapples with flashbacks and guilt about what he did during the war. His wife, Betsy, can sense that something about him has changed since his return from combat, but he has made the decision to not speak of the war to anyone. Apart from struggling with his past, he worries deeply about the future. 1950s was also the period of booming suburbia in the United States, so he feels pressured to conform to those ideals.

I truly appreciated this book because of the autobiographical aspect of it. Wilson's words resonated with depth and torment, allowing me to imagine the immense problem many countries were faced with after the end of WWII-- men struggling silently with PTSD in a world in which mental illness was an uncomfortable subject. It also captured the unhappiness of the 1950s, contrasting with the typical image one may have of 1950s America (perfect domesticity, Leave it to Beaver-style families in beautiful suburban homes).

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Problem with Forever

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 2:00 PM 0 comments

Age: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary
Rating: 4 stars

Brittany Thinks: Jennifer L. Armentrout typically writes sci-fi or paranormal romance and I’ve always enjoyed her grasp of plot arc and character development. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on “The Problem with Forever” even though I knew it was a change for her in terms of content. I was not disappointed.

The Problem with Forever is the story of Mallory, a young girl from a troubled past who is about to start her senior year of high school. When we meet Mallory, she’s already done a ton of work to recover from the trauma that she experienced as a young girl, but she still has a long way to go. On her first day of school, she runs into the boy who served as her protector – Rider - when they were both very young and the reunion tears their lives apart. I can’t really tell you more about the plot without mega spoilers, but whoa. I would liken it to a tamer Colleen Hoover or a more contemporary Sarah Dessen novel. 

I absolutely loved reading this book. I think Armentrout handled a sensitive subject with so much grace and understanding. I loved the emotional journey of both Mallory and Rider. I was riveted from the first page and read it from cover to cover in one day. One of my coworkers said she found the book to be a bit slow and I think that’s a fair assessment. It’s not the most action packed read out there and might not be your cup of tea if character development doesn’t keep you interested, but that wasn’t a problem for me. I love a story about growth, learning, and struggling and “The Problem with Forever” was one of the better examples that I’ve come across. I really came to care about Mallory, Rider, and all of their friends and the relationship between Mallory and Rider was just so dang cute! “The Problem with Forever” is a great read to curl up with on a sunny warm day and lose yourself. I have a feeling that you’ll love Jennifer’s worlds as much as I do.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Billion Dollar Bad Boy

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 2:00 PM 0 comments

Age: Adult
Category: Romance, erotica
Rating: 4 stars

Helen Thinks: Five years ago, Alexis was held hostage in a bank robbery which she made out alive but ever since has just been existing in her day-to-day life. Nothing exciting ever happened to her until one day she finds an anonymous package in her post office box. It’s addressed to ‘Pet’ and simply signed from ‘S’. She knows it’s an error, the expensive gifts definitely can’t be for her, but she finds herself envious of this confident, sexy ‘Pet’ and as the messages start to get more personal, Alexis finds herself falling for this enigmatic stranger. So when he asks to meet her she decides to throw caution to the wind and meets up with him. While Alexis may be meeting a stranger, ‘S’ is meeting up with the woman that has haunted him for more years than he can count because he’s not so much of a stranger as she believes...

I’m a not-so-secret fan of the new generation of erotica writing genre that has swept over the masses since the release of both e-readers and Fifty Shades of Grey. They’re quick, entertaining and joyful reads that fill up most of my hours sat at work and make me feel happy when I’ve reached the last page - who isn’t a sucker for a HEA, right? However, Billion Dollar Bad Boy stood out from the masses of other novels I’ve read in this genre due to the back story of Alexis’ hostage situation in the bank robbery. Throughout the novel, a detective is trying to get Alexis to remember what happened on that day so that he can solve the case but she can’t help having blacked it out. The twist revolving around this storyline isn’t as surprising as I think Flite would have liked but it still added a good element to the novel, as well as the love story formula.

Billion Dollar Bad Boy might not be one of the next great love stories but it definitely worked its magic on me and I loved every second of it. I can’t wait to read some more of Nora Flite’s work after this delightful introduction. So if you’ve got an hour or two free, I’d say give it a go because you definitely won’t regret it.

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy #1)

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 2:00 PM 0 comments

Age: Young Adult
Category: Romance, fantasy
Rating: 5 stars

Rosie Thinks: This book has been sitting on my kindle for a very long time. Fellow judge Melissa read it and adored it, so sent it on to me. That was almost a year ago, though - it just faded into the background, even though the summary was appealing. But due to general laziness on my part (ie, not being bothered to research and find a new book), I gave it a go. And, as you can probably guess from my 5/5 rating, I was blown away! This would be the best YA first-in-a-series book I've read in a really long time - maybe since The 5th Wave.

Kestrel is the daughter of the infamous General who conquered Herran ten long years ago. Since then, its people have been enslaved to the Volarians. The story starts with Kestrel buying Arin at a slave auction against her better knowledge, seeing a kindred spirit in him. The two are from completely different worlds: Kestrel, that of a high society lady, and Arin, that of a slave who's suffered through the worst horrors of colonisation. As is noted in the story, "the Winner's Curse is when you come out on top of the bid, but only by paying a steep price". Accordingly, Kestrel soon learns just how steep the price she paid is.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Round 13 Results

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 1:00 AM 0 comments
Congratulations to the winners of this SC round! 

Other Entries

Monday, July 11, 2016

Bad Behavior

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 1:00 PM 0 comments
When I put the dead fish in Drake Finley's locker, I expected trouble. I expected his fury and his harsh words, I even expected detention. I did not expect falling for him.Banner Credit: Marta

Melissa Thinks: SparklingA has written a few one shots that I've absolutely loved and this one is no different! This short story is about a girl named Haclie who writes a love song for her school's talent show. Though no one was supposed to see it, Drake Finley (kind of a big deal bad boy) gets hold of it and soon the entire school is mocking Halcie's song. Now she's out for revenge; this is where the story starts. I found the story to be incredibly cute. The characters have a surprising amount of depth and voice for a one shot. A great example of the kind of quality FictionPress still has to offer.

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen #1)

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 2:00 PM 0 comments

Age: Young Adult
Category: Fantasy, historical
Rating: 5 stars

Marta Thinks: If there’s one thing I can appreciate, it is originality, and in “The Dark Days Club”, Alison Goodman delivers in spades. Pitched as a Georgette Heyer Regency romance fusion with Buffy (which is astonishing accurate description, by the way), the book is set in the 19th century, against the backdrop of the upper-class English society. For our heroine, Lady Helen Wrexhall, parties, marriage and respectability are not her priority. Lady Helen desire one thing only: independence, which she does not have under the authoritarian eye of her Uncle.

Not only that, though: Lady Helen must protect her reputation and tainted heritage. Her mother and father drowned at sea, and were declared traitors to the crown soon afterwards. Lady Helen longs for her parents, though she must hide her feelings, and the only thing which remains of her mother is a pendant. It is this very pendant that will change Lady Helen’s life and allow her to discover the darker and more dangerous side of society, the one with the answers behind the disappearance of London girls.

What makes this an exceptional book, and distinguishes it from the other historical/fantasy books out there, is the witty dialogue, the strong and real female friendships and Lady Helen, who is thoughtful and kind, but also desires a life of her own without endangering others. The only downside? The sequel comes out next year.

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