We Read Romances (at Least for a Few Pages)

Every Wednesday, I take a look at what my family and I have been reading over the past week.

This week, I continued my experimentation with genres outside of my comfort zone by starting—and quickly putting aside—two romance novels that were free on the iBooks Store just after the release of the latest iPhone/iPad operating system (which was the first to feature iBooks as a pre-installed app).

Both Be My Love by Lucy Kevin and Say You Will by Kate Perry underwhelmed me from the first paragraph and couldn’t hold my attention past the first page. But, romance isn’t my thing, so your mileage may vary. The writing wasn’t as horrible as it could have been, I suppose.

I also checked out Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard, where the characters were as well-drawn as they were reprehensible. It too was part of that iOS 8 free download thing, and I think I picked it up with the notion that Kaylee could read it in a couple of years. But now, having read a bit of it, I don’t want her to. And I’m sincerely hoping that the world of bitchy backstabbing I glimpsed in those first few pages is not what’s in store for my girls, though I fear I’m being naïve for giving two seconds of thought to that hope.

As for what I read that I did like, I started in on The Virgins by Pamela Erens, which has been exquisite. Set in a boarding school in 1979, it tells of the relationship between a Jewish girl and a Korean-American guy discovering their sexuality. It’s told from the perspective of a third party, a narrator I don’t like at all, but that I’m absolutely intrigued by. When I actually get a chance to read, I can’t put this one down.

I also read the first pages of The Cleaner by John Milton, the first indie-published novel that I see myself reading all of the way through. The pacing was tight, the action clear—a hard feat for a writer—and the character just mysterious enough, without ever becoming the cliché of the enigma.

For comics, I read the always fantastic space opera Saga (issue #23) and the as-good-as-advertised-on-Earth-603 Southern Bastards #2, plus Low #3, Ms. Marvel #2, and Amazing X-Men #5.

Stephanie continued with Robert Jordan’s Winter’s Heart. I did ask her tonight if she’d read anything else interesting this week, but she said, “No” (just so that you didn’t think I was simply copy & pasting this section in every week).

Kaylee paused her Jessie binge to give 13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison a try, but then came back to Jessie with Jessie: New Nanny, which, as she pointed out, is actually set chronologically before the previous book she read.

Have tips on what we should read next? Email us at hq@clarkwoods.com