Amanda Reads – August 2016

August was a slow month for me, meaning that I didn’t read as many books as I did in July.  There are all kinds of reasons for this, but it’s mostly because one of the books I read was tough, and because of that I chose to do other things much of the time.  I was still able to read four books in the month of August though – here’s what I absorbed:

The Right of First Refusal, by Dahlia Adler

Where July started out on a dull note, August was slammin’.  You may remember that I read another Dahlia Adler book in July, called Last Will and Testament.  That was the first of the Radleigh trilogy of books, and RoFR is the second.  And it outdid itself.  Man, oh man, did it outdo itself.

Cait is Lizzie’s (from LWaT) former roommate.  Once Lizzie moved to an off-campus apartment (because of having custody of her brothers), Cait needed a new roommate.  And she got one – but she wasn’t expecting her new roommate to be dating her ex.  And she definitely wasn’t ready to learn that she wasn’t exactly as over said ex as she had led everyone to believe.

Why was this book amazing?  First of all, Cait is a college lacrosse player, and Mase (the boo-thang) is a former college basketball player turned student coach.  As a competitive person and former athlete, this spoke to me.  There are too many girls in books and movies who aren’t into sports because it’s not girly.  I’m so over that.  But Cait is good at her sport, and she’s also smart – an econ major.  And Mase?  He’s dreamy, and 6’9″.  I’ve been recommending this all over the place.  Dahlia Adler totally delivered on this follow-up to LWaT.

Rating: 5 stars

Out on Good Behavior, by Dahlia Adler

Which leads me to the third book of the trilogy, just to round everything out.  This one actually taught me a thing or two – first of all, until I read this, I don’t think I could have defined pansexual, but I totally get it now.  And the best part was that the way the book was written, pan felt normal.  It wasn’t a soapbox for the author and it wasn’t forced or awkward – kudos to you, Dahlia!

So OoGB starts where RoFR leaves off – Lizzie and Cait are both paired off, leaving Frankie – the third in their trio – feeling lonely and betrayed by her friends.  She’s been crushing on Cait’s roommate Samara since the beginning of RoFR, but Cait has forbidden it – which makes it all the more appealing to Frankie.  Samara, though, is new to being out with anyone, and wants to keep their relationship a secret.  And since Frankie has the capability to be attracted to literally every single person on the campus, this leads to trouble.

My only complaint about OoGB is that we don’t dive in right away.  I knew Samara – she was in RoFR.  I didn’t feel like I needed some of the lead up to the good stuff that we needed in the first two books.  But I know Dahlia Adler has said that she wants each book to be able to stand on its own, and I think she accomplishes that.  Other than that, it was just as spicy and delicious as the first two, and the fact that it was a F/F romance (the first I’ve read!) made it even more fun for me.

Rating: 4 stars

The Association of Small Bombs, by Karan Mahajan

This is the book that made my month come to a grinding halt.  It’s a beautiful book, a necessary book.  But it was hard to read, especially after the light and sexy-fun New Adult stuff I’ve been reading.

A small car bomb goes off in a market in Delhi, India in 1996.  Two boys are killed, and their friend is injured.  The book follows the families and acquaintances surrounding these three boys throughout their lives, showing the effects of such a “small” act of terrorism.

Like I said, this is a necessary book.  It shows the corruption in India in particular, but alludes to the same thing in many other countries.  It shows the mindset of terrorists.  It shows the mindsets of innocent Muslims accused of terrorism.  It shows the ripple effect of a bomb.  It shows heartbreak and terror and healing.  Or not healing.  It’s hard to read and also so well-written.  I’ll be recommending it to people who like the literary side of literature more than the peppy side.

Rating: 3.5 stars

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, by Agatha Christie

My office started a book club, and this was our first book choice.  Up to this point, I hadn’t read an Agatha Christie book, even though I’d heard about her for many years.  The prolific murder mystery writer, Agatha Christie.  And man, she totally got me.

This is the quintessential murder mystery book, the fourth Hercule Poirot story.  There is a murder.  The narrator is the town doctor, who pronounces the victim dead and becomes the detective’s sidekick.  The suspects are questioned, the clues found.  I thought I knew who did it, but the twist at the end got me.  It really did!  And I’m pretty hard to fool these days (they call that cynicism, I think).  If you like the old-school murder mystery, more Scooby Doo than Criminal Minds, this book is for you.

Rating: 5 stars

It’s only the fifth day of September, and I’ve already finished two books for the month – you’ll have to wait until next month to read about them.  I have many blog post ideas – let’s see if I actually write any of them down between now and then.

Read on!


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