Time for another round of Yvonne’s Shorties! This time around two 2022 releases, a contemporary romance and a YA historical fiction read, that both ended up being winners for me.
“Love follows you. It goes where you go. It doesn’t know about social divides or distance or common sense.”
I’ve enjoyed her work in the past and I do love an opposites attract romance, so of course I couldn’t resist reading Part Of Your World sooner than later. Add the promise of a baby goat and small town setting, and I was even more convinced I HAD to pick it up! An now that I’ve had the chance to read it, I can understand the love for this story. I absolutely loved the Wakan setting, the community feel of the town and both Daniel and his dog Hunter. I also loved the chemistry between Alexis and Daniel, and how things developed. BUT. There were also some things that niggled me. My main issue with Part Of Your World has to do both with how Alexis treats Daniel and basically hides him from the people in ‘her world’ (even though you can partly understand why) and also with how she lets the people in her world (including her father and ex) treat her. This made me like her character considerably less, and I think the redemption curve peaked too late to fully redeem her. Don’t get me wrong, the incorporation of emotional and physical abuse and gaslighting has been very well done, but that doesn’t take away how I felt especially about how Alexis treated Daniel. The scenes set in Wakan are a true delight though, and I loved how present the dog Hunter was throughout the story. Part Of Your World was another more than solid romance for me, and I’m looking forward to read her next story involving Alexis’ best friend Bri.
“How could we expect others to feel our pain or hear our cries for help when all we could do was whisper?”
Ruta Sepetys is on my list of favorite historical fiction authors, and I’ve loved all of her books so far. I knew I wanted to read I Must Betray You even before I read the blurb, and after I did I only wanted to read it even more. I don’t think I’ve read a story set in 1989 Romania before, and the author did a fantastic job incorporating not only historical facts, but also bringing the devastating situation, the daily struggle and the 1989 uprising to life. This is without doubt one of my reading highlights of 2022! It truly shows that Ruta Sepetys spent a lot of time researching both Romania and the specific time period and events. I learned so much about 1989 Romania, and at the same time the historical facts didn’t slow down the pace of the plot at all. In fact, I was fully engaged from the very first chapter, unable to stop reading as I kept turning page after page. The chapters are short and snappy, which only increased the pace and added extra tension. The character development is spot on, and like main character Cristian you are unable to trust anyone. This also helped demostrate the atmosphere of distrust and fear Romanians had to live in during the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceaușescu. In short, it was an outstanding piece of historical fiction and a story that will stay with me for a long time.