Mini Reviews (Lisa See, Tessa Dare, & Robin Sloan)


I seem to love letting the read books pile up after I finish them, so I’ll be doing a mini review post for some of the ones I’ve finished to save some space. Of course “mini” review means short, so we’ll see how longwinded I get … 

shanghai girlsShanghai Girls (Shanghai Girls, #1) by Lisa See

Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Purchased (Paperback)
Rating: 4/5

I had first sampled what Lisa See had to offer with Snow Flower and the Secret Fan — an amazing book and one I never thought she could top. While this one wasn’t as good as that one, I’d have to say that the feeling was marginal. Lisa See really knows how to write about historical China and the way she writes it makes me want to read more. I could barely put this book down and was sad when I finished it to realize that it’s actually part of a series to which I don’t own the next book. At any rate, this one was so, so good. I loved the sisterly relationship between Pearl and May and loved seeing how their world changed after Japan bombs Shanghai and their father loses his money and has to repay his debt. I could visualize the whole story in my head as I read and wished that it were a movie. One thing that made me not love this book as much as Snow Flower is the fact that the ending is set up for another book in the series. There’s a resolution, but not as much as I would’ve hoped. Regardless, I still hope to pick up the next book soon. And read more of what Lisa has to offer!

romancing the dukeRomancing the Duke (Castles Ever After, #1) by Tessa Dare

Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Purchased (Paperback)
Rating: 4/5

Oh, Tessa Dare! I feel like I swoon whenever I pick up your books. Can I just say how thrilled I am at this new series? I’m always so cautious whenever I start a new series by an author I love because I always think that this new series will never live up to the old ones, but Tessa Dare is always just wonderful with her writing! I was sucked in immediately with the story of Izzy. I thought her history of her father being a writer was great, not to mention how she’s treated now after his death. And oh did I ever love Ransom. Not only the name, but he was very swoon-worthy. The whole premise of the story was just so much fun and the writing is sexy and hilarious. It’s still not as good as the first series I read, but it was still really, really fun and I can’t believe I now have to wait for another book to come out. Now I wonder who the next book will revolve around — and who will be the male lead? All I know is that I’ll definitely be setting an afternoon aside to devour the next book in this series!

mr penumbra 24 hour bookstoreMr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Genre: Contemporary
Source: Purchased (Paperback)
Rating: 4/5

OK, this was a fun book. I had bought it a long while back when it was all the craze, but never did get around to reading it until now. Almost instantly I thought it was kind of like Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, but for bookish people! I kind of loved Clay in this book. He had great determination and worked the job I would love to work … cashier in a huge, old bookstore! It was great that he wasn’t afraid of someone as kooky as Penumbra but that he instead gets sucked into that world, determined to figure out the puzzle! I feel like this book would’ve been awesome to listen to on audio and I might just have to do that one of these days. It’s one of those books that was just so good that I will have to revisit it again! I really can’t think of what to say about this book other than most booklovers will love it. It’s full of great humour and it one of those books that is perfect to make a rainy afternoon, or a snowy winter day a lot more tolerable.

Have you read these books? What are your thoughts?



4 thoughts on “Mini Reviews (Lisa See, Tessa Dare, & Robin Sloan)

  1. Dreams of Joy, the sequel to Shanghai Girls, ends up being pretty good, especially in the last half when it deals with the famine and the results of Mao’s five year plans. You will probably want to strangle Joy in the first parts of the book though because she just doesn’t get what is going on around her.

  2. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed Shangai Girls; I have it and its sequel on the shelf, which I got because I had enjoyed Snowflower and the Secret Fan so much!

    • Yay! Glad to see someone else is like me! Though I bought this one and Peony in Love … haven’t read that one yet, but I love Lisa’s writing so I know I’ll enjoy it. 🙂

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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