Kate Reads

Charming - Elliott James Fun, despite some flaws. I'll definitely be going forward with the series. "CHARMING, the first book in the Pax Arcana series, is one of those books I have some mixed feelings about. Starting out with an action packed vampire fight scene almost immediately is something that certainly grabs a reader’s attention, and the humor and good pacing of the rest of the action kept me involved, but I had issues with the narration and the main character. The fact that I managed to look past those two things and finish (and enjoy!) the book does show, however, that good writing and plotting will almost always win even if the rest of the book isn’t perfect." Read my full review at All Things Urban Fantasy.
Once We Were - Kat Zhang ONCE WE WERE is not only a thrilling story, but it also brings up some interesting underlying concepts and questions. Something I felt came up frequently was the concept of a fluctuating right and wrong. Where does one draw the line when it comes to supporting their cause? How far is one willing to go? Obviously, in a made up world, it may seem easy to create distinctions, but in ONCE WE WERE, I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. Characters who do “bad” things are not necessarily bad or evil, or Eva and Addie do not think they are bad, and then the reader is left to make their own conclusions. Frequently, we encounter young adult dystopians where the line between black and white is so clear, and it is refreshing to have a bit of a blurred gray space for the reader to ponder.Check my full review at All Things Urban Fantasy.
The Chaos of Stars - Kiersten White Great original use of non-Western mythology is something that gets me every time! "THE CHAOS OF STARS, while it started out slow, blossomed into a lovely story with original ideas and just enough teen angst to keep me interested, but not make me go nuts. It was a quick, smooth read, with a fun cast of characters, both Gods and mortals, and a sweet romance." Check my full review at All Things Urban Fantasy
Dangerous - I tried so hard to like this one, but ultimately it fell flat for me. "DANGEROUS was one of those books that I was certain I would like. I was looking forward to reading it, and I went in with a super positive mindset and the willingness to give it more than a fair shot. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get into DANGEROUS. I do so love a good paranormal romance, but Devon and Liam’s relationship got so physical so fast that I felt it lacked the emotional connection I really like reading about. While DANGEROUS did have a few redeeming qualities, at the end of the day, it wasn’t a super enjoyable read for me." Check my full review at All Things Urban Fantasy.
Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism Matters - Jessica Valenti

While I really enjoyed Full Frontal Feminism, mainly because of the accessible way it laid out feminist issues and why all women should be feminist (which, since I agree with this, is obviously going to make me pre-disposed to agree with and like the book) it annoyed me that Valenti twice got very insistent that women should not change their name when they get married. While I personally made the decision to keep my name when I got married, I feel like it's reasonable to let women choose- it is hard to separate any choice we make nowadays from "is it society making me feel this way or do I feel this way because I made an informed decision" but giving women shit for changing their name when they get married is not the way to make people come over to your cause. I'm sure there are plenty of women who are feminists who changed their names, and alienating the 81% of women (the statistic she quoted) that either changed or will change their name when they get married is not the way to be convincing. Don't write a book about how we need to stand up for women (all women) and the decisions they make, and then hate on women who make the decision to change their name.


Other than that large pet peeve, I think this is a book everybody should read. I wish I had read this book about 8 years ago. Not only does it cover feminism, and why women should be feminist and what amazing women have done for women in the past, and why young women need to stop being apathetic and fight for their rights. And why men should be feminist! All of this is fascinating to me, since I've had a hard time articulating my views in terms of the word "feminism" since there is a negative connotation frequently associated with the word, but I realize that I am a feminist- I want equality for women and that should be nothing negative. Valenti does a very good job of breaking down the book into cohesive sections about the attacks against women, and women's rights, along with the more subtle ways society has of trying to keep women in a certain place, or pitting women against each other (the mommy wars) and she even manages to cover racism in the feminist movement as well. We've got a while to go before we reach a point where many young women feel confident identifying themselves as feminist, and I think books like this- very accessible, easy to read, and chock full of actual statistics to back up her points, are one of the ways we're going to get there.

All Our Yesterdays - Cristin Terrill I cannot say enough good things about this book- everybody has to read it. This is young adult at its finest. "When I finished ALL OUR YESTERDAYS, the first in the Cassandra Chronicles duology, you could have knocked me over with a feather, and I would not have noticed. This is one of those books where in the last few pages you’re given what you feel is closure, and then boom! The author turns around and smacks you- not with a cliffhanger, but with the possibility of so much more, the understanding that just because the specific story being told ended, doesn’t mean there isn’t more for these characters that we’ve come to know over the 400 or so pages. I love those kinds of books, the ones that allow you to think and imagine and try to plot out what will, or could, or must happen, because it feels like the book could go on forever in your mind."Check my full review at All Things Urban Fantasy.
Twilight Hunter - Kait Ballenger Didn't quite live up to my expectations after SHADOW HUNTER, but enjoyable nonetheless. "Overall, TWILIGHT HUNTER wasn’t blow me away awesome like SHADOW HUNTER was, but Ballenger’s mix of sexiness, humor, and tense mystery is riveting and TWILIGHT HUNTER is an enjoyable paranormal romance read. I will be back for the second full installment in the Execution Underground series, IMMORTAL HUNTER, considering it follows David and Allsun, both of whom we meet in this book, and I am desperately awaiting Damon’s full length novel- hopefully we’ll get that soon!"Read my full review at All Things Urban Fantasy.
Midnight Riot - Ben Aaronovitch Interesting premise, and our hero almost got over my first impression of him (three times in the first fifteen pages you mention wanting to sleep with your co-worker?) by the end of the book. Enjoyable- pretty sure I'll check out book two.
Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile - James Jean, Craig Hamilton, Lan Medina, Steve Leialoha, Bill Willingham I recently read a blog post gushing over the Fables series (I can't remember where now, my apologies) and when I had the chance to pick up a used copy of Volume 1, I took it. I was not disappointed. The art was great, the world was wonderful, and there were so many fairy tale characters referenced that I was pretty much in love from page one. I can't wait to read further volumes, to learn more about how the characters are able to live in an underground world within our modern day world, and why they were kicked out of their original worlds. Plus, I really hope something happens between Snow White and the big bad wolf. ;)
Demonglass - Rachel Hawkins A fun and quick read. Demonglass suffers a little number two syndrome- clearly a bridge between book one and book three of a trilogy, I didn't feel like anything was resolved and it was a little frustrating to end on such a cliffhanger. Quite a few new characters introduced, but we don't get to know them completely. Regardless, it has been years since I read Hex Hall, and it was no problem diving back into Sophie's world, and good thing I waited- now I have Spellbound to start reading immediately!
Obsession - Jennifer L. Armentrout Loved this one! "With its fresh take on paranormal, captivating characters, and action filled plot, OBSESSION is a perfect summer romance read. Suggestion: load it on your Kindle before your next beach day, lie back, relax, and enjoy!"Check my full review at All Things Urban Fantasy.
Fiery Edge of Steel (A Noon Onyx Novel) - Jill Archer A disappointing follow up to DARK LIGHT OF DAY. "With its very original post-apocalyptic setting and a fascinating main character, I had hoped FIERY EDGE OF STEEL would be better than it turned out. Sadly, this second book in the Noon Onyx series fell flat with a very slow beginning and poor world building."Check my full review at All Things Urban Fantasy

Tempest Reborn

Tempest Reborn - Nicole Peeler Sad that this is the end of the series- but what an ending it was! Jane is as clever and sarcastic as she's ever been, the chemistry between Jane and Anyan was smokin' hot, and the supporting characters were fleshed out and original. Jane True was one of my first urban fantasy series, and though some of my original favorites haven't managed to grow with my tastes, I've been with Jane the whole way.
Gone with the Wolf - Kristin Miller

Gone with the Wolf was an adorable paranormal romance that hit a lot of my romance novel buttons. It's got two strong main characters who have a lot of chemistry, and some interesting new werewolf mythology to learn about. Well written and fun, it is a great start to a new series.


I’m a sucker for a boss/employee romance. Double that if one of them doesn't know the other is the boss when they first meet. Emelia has a bit of a grudge against Drake so it is even more amusing when she discovers she’d been drinking his wine from his wine cellar right in front of him at the night of the company’s holiday party. I really liked Drake- at the end of the day, all he wanted to do was to make Emelia happy, even if it meant she didn't end up with him. And Emelia was the type of heroine I like, too, in that she was very adamant about maintaining her individuality and independence, even in the face of all Drake’s wealth. She’s really good at what she does, and she wants to keep doing it, not just give it up since she found a significant other.


My biggest problem with Gone with the Wolf was that the conflict was resolved relatively easily. There were few obstacles to Drake and Emelia being together, and at least one of them was dismissed so off-handedly I wondered why it had been an issue in the first place. The other thing was that there was every single type of romance conflict. There was the evil villain, determined to separate the couple, plus there was the “oh we are from such different worlds” thinking on Emelia's part. Not to mention Drake worrying that Emelia can’t bear his children and his concern that she won’t accept him because he’s werewolf.Despite my issue with the book, there was a lot to like, and I would definitely recommend this one if you like sexy billionaires, werewolves and cute bartenders. I can’t wait to see where this series goes- I am curious who’ll be starring in the next book!

School Spirits - Rachel Hawkins An adorable spin off of the Hex Hall series. "The first page of SCHOOL SPIRITS opens on Izzy in the middle of an attempt to stake a vampire. It’s a fun, clever scene with Izzy explaining how easy it is to kill a vampire, but that capturing one is another story, all while she is sitting on top of a vampire, and mentioning that a lot about vampires is “dorky.” It sets the tone for the rest of the book and pulled me right in. What stands out about SCHOOL SPIRITS is its lightheartedness and humor, making it an easy book to sit down with and breeze through."Read my full review at All Things Urban Fantasy.

Dark Light of Day

Dark Light of Day - Jill Archer Dark Light of Day was an okay read. World building was a bit sparse and had a tendency to be info-dumpy. It was confusing at times, too. But I am curious about Noon and her next move.