Welcome again to our new semi-regular feature wherein a group of AAR staffers challenge themselves to pick up a book by an author they’ve never read before, either one they’ve never heard of or one they’ve been meaning to get to, and give it at least fifty pages. For AAR, our additional rule is that the book involves women; written by one or has one as a protagonist.This time round Kristen, Melanie, and Jenna give their choices a go, with mixed results.

Melanie:

Full Fathom Five by Max Gladstone
Sci Fi/Urban Fantasy

Summary: The world is particularly fascinating – running on souls, our heroine, Kai, builds gods to order for worshipers to follow, but when one of those creations is dying, Kai risks her own life to try and save it. The book jumps between Kai’s story and that of Izza, a 15-year-old responsible for what appears to be a gang of street kids, who acts as priestess/storyteller, and the winged woman, Cat, she finds on the street, fighting for her life.

What drew you to the book? The series is one that’s been on my list for a little while now, and when I got my hands on one of the books, I had to start it.

How much did you read? Well, I got stuck at about 20% or so – I was lent a copy by a friend who insisted I didn’t need to read the previous books in the series. Yeah, she was pretty darn wrong.

Who would you recommend it to? People who have read the previous books? I am utterly enthralled by the world Gladstone has created, but I was so lost, I just had to stop for now. I have every intention of going back and reading the previous books, but for now, this was just too confusing.

Buy Now: A/BN/iB/K


Kristen:

A Note Yet Unsung by Tamara Alexander
Genre: Inspirational, American History

Summary: Rebekah Carrington is the best violinist in the American South. Being a woman, she cannot be part of an orchestra for reasons passing all logical understanding (sorry, my 21st century is showing, I know, but of all the things ladies were denied, this seems so asinine!). Nathaniel Whitcomb is the genius new conductor assigned to the Nashville Philharmonic and he’s also tasked with writing a début symphony for the group. Issue there being that he’s slowly going deaf, and that stress has dampened all creative endeavors. The two become gifts to each other and find their happily ever after in each other as fulfillments of their faith and callings.

What drew you to the book? The cover is gorgeous, I can’t lie, and I love books about musicians. When I saw it was set in a historical time period other than Regency England, I also jumped at it for the simple reason that one does tire of dukes.

How much did you read? The beginning was slow going and I wasn’t sure I was going to get through all of it, but at some point around the 100 page mark, it picked up and I flew through the rest. Once I got to know these two and the world they inhabit, I was enthralled.

Who would you recommend it to? Anyone interested in gender equality in classical music, because there’s a lot of history packed in here. Also, anyone who is looking to try an inspirational but isn’t into getting preached at – this book would fit the bill. Their faith is gentle, but present, especially when it comes to Nate’s increasing deafness. He grapples with the idea that God has given him this musical gift and now this is happening and how Rebekah enters into that discussion is lovely. This is engrossing, lovely read.

Buy Now: A/BN/iB/K


Jenna:

Miss You by Kate Eberlen
Genre: Contemporary

Summary: While on a last adventure before they each begin university, Tess and Gus encounter each other oh-so-fleetingly in Florence, Italy. Their meeting barely registers, because when they return to England, each finds that life has thrown them a curve ball. Tess must deal with an untimely death and an unexpected responsibility, while Gus tries to live with the guilt and pressures brought on by an unspeakable tragedy in his past. While their lives intersect, the two remain strangers who miss their opportunities for happiness by fractions. They both experience many of life’s highs and lows before fate sees fit to bring them back together again.

What drew you to the book? I followed the guidelines of our Blind Book Taste Test to the letter. When I had a quick five minutes to spare between running errands, I darted into the library and picked up the first book off the New Reads display that caught my eye. The blurb on the dust jacket sounded interesting, so that was it.

How much did you read? All of it.

Who would you recommend this book to? Readers who are okay with a very non-traditional love story and who will not be put off by the fact that the hero and heroine do not engage until the very end of the story. Also, the book deals with some pretty heavy topics so those who prefer realism in their stories will find it well done.

Buy Now: A/BN/iB/K


If you’d like to join in, then please feel free, and let us know how you got on in the comments.