RhiReading News

Dear readers,

Hi Rhireaders! Check out the latest events in the sidebar! It's time for me to do some sprucing up around here. My code got badly damaged when I made the derpy mistake of copying and pasting stuff from a word doc a tour company sent without sticking it into Notepad to clear the crap Word stuff. Very technical and boring but sadly catastrophic. So things are gonna look messy for a while as I try and find the damage and repair it. But yay for starting work on a new layout and graphics!

Did you drop by to request a review or tour stop? I am currently CLOSED for review requests for anything other than Young Adult or Urban Fantasy. I have promotional openings for July and August. Just please drop me an email with a polite request and if I'm interested I will reply.

♥ -- Rhi

Friday, June 24, 2016

Weekend Reading [06/24-06/26] :: The Secret I Don't Talk About

It took me a long time to be ready to read the book I'm working on this weekend... 

Everyone was buzzing about it when it came out a year ago and on some level I was equally eager to read it. But the difference between everyone (well, most of everyone, as far as I can tell) who was talking about it and myself... most of them have no idea what it's like to actually live in the world portrayed in it. It's no different than reading a historical novel about a place and time they can never visit or a fantasy world. It's frightening but foreign. Thought-provoking but far-away. Shocking but embellished beyond belief.

One of the reviews on Amazon called it exaggerated but it kills me to be the one to say loudly that it is not. Because from the ages of 13-19 I was raised in a Christian group very similar to what's portrayed in Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu. In fact, the group I was raised in was even more strict and patriarchal than Rachel's. 

As I've read every page has been difficult. Not only does it bring painful memories rushing back, it also brings back the ludicrous fears that were hammered into me for those years. Things I struggle to talk to my therapist about they're so silly. Sure, my logical, rational mind knows they're foolish fears. But like weeds that refuse to die, the roots and seeds of those fears always find a way to show up when I least want them.

And it's making reading Devoted a very hard thing. Because it makes me want to cry and cry and cry for the girl I was. I see a lot of her in Rachel and (though I'm only about 25% in) Lauren too. Some of what makes it difficult is how it reminds me of people whom I loved and will always have conflicted feelings over. Friends I can't bear to reconnect with. Even my own parents.

Very few people know about that part of my life because it's hard to talk about and if you've read Devoted I'm sure you can imagine why. Much like Lauren, I was a problematic girl. I didn't want to have children and I wanted to have a career. Two things that weren't okay. I got in trouble much like Rachel did with her copy of A Wrinkle in Time but I had found a copy of The Handmaid's Tale and got in trouble for trying to read it in secret.

Eventually, I hope that I won't feel so negative looking back on those formative years. Not feel burdened with decades old shame, fear, and core deep anger. Maybe reading Devoted will help me work through some of those emotions, rub some balm on the emotional scars. Overcome the secret of what it's like to live every day utterly conflicted about the choices I made to get away from the spirit crushing misogyny and zealotry.

I'm not sure I'm going to be able to review it because it hits so very close to home. But we shall see once I get it finished.

Has there been a book that was hard for you to read because it hit too close to home?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Release Day: Heartbreakers & Heroes Box Set [Spotlight & Giveaway]

Love doesn’t always play by the rules in these twelve sexy HEARTBREAKERS AND HEROES stories about a brotherhood of men bound together by their troubled youth and the mentor who taught them the rules for becoming men of honor. These all new romances from USA Today bestsellers and your favorite contemporary authors are guaranteed to get your heart pounding.

Purchase this summer’s must read collection of swoon worthy heroes and the ladies who love them TODAY for just $0.99 through the following booksellers:

Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Kobo  |  iTunes

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Review: Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories (anthology)

Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories (anthology)
Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.
Young Adult, Seasonal, Romance
Digital/Print/Audio (400 pages, ST. MARTIN'S)
Maybe it's the long, lazy days, or maybe it's the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom.
Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

Didn't feel like summer love stories to me... (2 stars)

After delighting in the My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories anthology so much I couldn't wait to see what could be done with summer. I'm devastated that this was so intensely awful. The stories were generally so... off topic might be the right phrasing... that I had a hard time making myself read it. I'd get so bored I'd put it down and then struggle to pick it back up. That these are such notable and well received authors made it really disappointing. The only stories I actually really enjoyed at all were The End of Love, Brand New Attraction, and Souvenirs. The rest were either meh, utterly forgettable, or so bad I had to skim. 

The big issue I had with a lot of the stories was that they were about new adult aged characters, not young adult characters and/or they were very unromantic. I was especially disappointed that Libba Bray's story didn't work for me as I usually love her work.

I hate to say it but I just can't recommend this one unless maybe you're borrowing it from the library. I don't feel like these are good examples of many of these authors' work but also, too few of them had felt like they fit the anthology's theme. I went in expecting summer romances between teens and got something completely different.


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