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“Ball & Chain” by Abigail Roux
Such a torturous question: favorite book of the year. It’s almost impossible selecting just one. I’ve agonized over the answer. When I ask myself which single book could I read again and again, I have a small handful that fight for the coveted spot. If I am forced to choose (which I requested of all my friends!) then I have to go with…Ball & Chain by Abigail Roux.
I know it was a book full of controversy, but I freakin’ loved it. Two unparalleled characters, my favorite couple and I got exactly what I desired. Criticism was harsh and heavy, but I didn’t let it melt my smile. I cannot wait for book 9….Bring it on!
I don’t think I can proudly wear the star slut crown this year (Sara took the prize for Star Slut 2014!). Nope, I bucked up and put on my critics’ glasses. I am still very much character driven when it comes to my books. I have to connect with them or it’s lukewarm regardless of the plot and writing. I had to leave out some short stories that rocked my world, but there a couple of winners in that pile.
(What’s all the fuss about?):
Cross & Crown by Abigail Roux. Yes, my favorite book this year was by the same author and I had high hopes for another home run. This one struck out for me. Man, I was bummed that I didn’t love it. I really wanted to love it. Don’t you hate it when that happens? If I’m honest, I was bored. It pains me to say, but I struggled to finish. I sure as hell wasn’t expecting that. Just goes to show, you win some and you lose some.
(Why haven’t more people read this?):
Hands down….Cranberry Hush by Ben Monopoli. I was clueless going into this one, which everyone should be and I wish everyone would read it. Sixteen, etched forever in my mind, seconds. It’s a magnificent book and I recommend it as often as I can.
For real, go read it!
(didn’t know what to expect or the story caught you off guard or anything that just…surprised you…):
One of my favorite reads was not even close to a favorite book. Our buddy read/challenge Something like Winter by Jay Bell was a highlight this year, yet I could barely stand the book (sorry Jay!). It was the author that won me over (love ya Jay!), not the book itself. Bit of a shocker that I had a great time reading a book I didn’t like.
(I’d buy anything these authors write, without a doubt):
Rick R Reed
…with shout outs to Marie Sexton, NR Walker and Damon Suede.
It’s over? What?!
Where did this year go? It flew by…page by page and chapter by chapter.
I hope yours have been overflowing with good books and even better books.
Mine has been full of ups and downs. Real life threw me high and dropped me low; thankfully, I was flying more than I fell.
My online life, which revolves around reading, had its fair share of turbulence as well.
I had the unfortunate experience of discovering not everyone is entirely truthful from behind their ‘screens’. It was devastating to find out that someone I cared for wasn’t who I thought they were. It wasn’t merely a fellow buddy reader (though that is how it began), it wasn’t someone that I only knew for a few months (more like a couple dozen months), nor was it idle chit-chat (I shared my life with this individual).
Simply summed up, I was heartbroken.
It forced a knee-jerk reaction in me. I became tremendously protective of my online friends & adopted family that I have held & hugged in the flesh.
I know them and believe the truth in their words.
Suddenly, I couldn’t hold my tongue when I probably should have. I was struck by the urge to stop the tears I couldn’t dry from afar. It sucked.
How did books/reading become so personal? Somehow it did.
My reading experience from the year before was filled with bonding, growth and happiness. This year bombarded me with challenges aplenty.
The whole ordeal nearly forced me to close my computer screen and walk away from it all. Return to my solitaire reading days. Thankfully I didn’t.
Time does indeed heal and I’m grateful for the many blessings this world-o-wonderful-web has brought me; unforgettable books, amazing friends and undiscovered adventures only a cover away.
When I reflect back, I was never truly angry about the fabricated face online, I was just sad. I’ve grieved and moved on. Maybe I should be slightly more guarded with my heart from here on out, but that’s not me.
I love deeply.
I trust endlessly.
I give all I can.
I refuse to change who I am because of who others might be or as the case may be, might not be.
I strongly believe the wisdom in the quote, ‘Life is full of ups and downs. The trick is to enjoy the ups and have courage during the downs.’
Here’s to enjoyment and courage!
I am eager for a fresh new year filled with fabulous friends, thrilling stories and yet another book to fall in love with.
Hope to see you along the way.
Wishing you a year of everlasting smiles and laughs, with a bit of luck, over a good book.