Rollback Reads: August 2017

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So my dear friends, let us rollback to the days of yore, when the books were paper only and a kindle was but a dream. Well, I may be exaggerating! But with Rollback Reads, we want to celebrate some of the older books that we have read in the month. Whether they really are before the time of kindles or were just last year. We wanted to give some space to books that may no longer be in the spotlight, but are still worth highlighting … or ranting about. So please come and join us in our discussions of these rollback reads!

Francesca: It seems as if I’ve been dipping into older reads quite a bit lately.  Some of it it’s to catch up on books I didn’t read as soon as they came out, but a lot of it is to find new authors to read.

Suzanne: Same as me! I love reading older titles especially when great new releases are a bit thin on the ground. I feel like I have discovered hidden treasure. 

Francesca: Exactly!  This month was a success for me in terms of genres that I don’t usually read a lot of and I have our Roundabout Challenge to thank for that.  I’ve been looking for steampunk and sci fi reads because I really struggle with finding books in these genres that I like and I stumbled across some this month that I’m excited about!

Suzanne: I’ve been a bad girl on the Roundabout challenge…I should probably go check on that! Although if you want sci-fi reads you know that you can come and ask me for some recs, you know how I love my sci fi. I can recommend blue aliens, grey aliens, aliens with two cocks, furry aliens, scaly aliens, you name it I’ve read it! What books did you find without my much needed help?

Francesca: *Completely ignores comment about strange aliens*  First I want to talk about steampunk because I read SOULLESS by Gail Carriger.  This book has been on my to-read list since it came out.  I actually own books 1 & 2 since release day and hadn’t started the series.  I don’t really know why, probably my fear of the steampunk genre in general because everything I pick up is a bit underwhelming (with the exception of the series I’m always harping everyone read, BLUD by Delilah S. Dawson).  OMG I enjoyed SOULLESS so much!

Suzanne: I loved it to when I read it, but I didn’t read the next one as I got told there was some cheating by the hero in it! You need to read the next one immediately and let me know if that was a lie. 

Francesca: I’ll get right on that for you 😉 No, seriously. To me it read like a historical romance with paranormal characters and a slight steampunk element.  It was a lot of fun and I’m anxious to continue reading the series and pick up CHANGELESS probably in October.

Suzanne: Yes, you need to. And then report back if it is safe for me to read it!

Francesca: I got you covered and will report back.

Suzanne: For me, I didn’t have quite so much success, maybe I need to look back at my Roundabout challenge! I only managed a few books and although I liked them nothing there was nothing that I really fell in love with. 

Suzanne: So, I read two books by the same authors on your recommendations COCKY BASTARD by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward and STUCK-UP SUIT by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward. And, I liked them. They were sexy, they were funny, they were well written. I especially liked STUCK-UP SUIT. But. They I’m afraid I just didn’t fall in love with them like you did! Especially COCKY BASTARD. That one, although I liked the characters the actually story I didn’t quite invest in. I would read the duo again though, they are great for some light hearted fun.

Francesca:  Damn it!  You must like everything I recommend you read!  OK, but I’m glad you’ll keep reading them maybe you’ll like something else more by them.

Suzanne: The other book I read was a historical…and meh. Meh, meh, meh. I can barely remember it! It was PARIAH by Catherine Gayle. I normally love historicals, but this one was a dud for me. It was all a bit dull. Not bad necessarily, just boring.  

Francesca: Nothing worst than meh books.

Suzanne: I haven’t had much success, next month though, after having spent a few weeks tipping back cocktails and relaxing around a pool whilst on holiday I should have a lot more recommendations for you!

Francesca: That sounds excellent, I can’t wait to see what you pick up.  I have a few more to share now though.  I finally read DARKNESS UNBOUND by Keri Arthur this month.  I put it down for the challenge because I loved the Riley Jensen series and then once I didn’t start the spin off as soon as book 1 came out, I just fell behind and didn’t read them.  I don’t know if it’s the amount of time that’s passed since I read the Riley Jensen series or the fact that reading tastes change, but I was a bit underwhelmed with DARKNESS UNBOUND.  It does have some of the feel of the original series, but some things are different and I just never really connected.

Suzanne: That sucks, sometimes a book being underwhelming can be worse than it being awful. At least with awful you have something to rage about!

Francesca: So true.  Speaking of never connecting, I have two unpopular opinions coming your way!  These are also from my challenge reads and some that I wanted to get into when this year started.  RED RISING by Pierce Brown and A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC by V.E. Schwab.

Suzanne: BOOOOOO! 

Francesca: I was bored to tears with RED RISING.  BORED!  And honestly I didn’t really like the writing style so after trying and chugging along I gave up.  I can’t remember if I made it to 40% or a bit less but I just couldn’t make myself continue.  I read some reviews that say it gets better after that but honestly, if I want to claw my eyes out for 40% of the book rather than continue reading it then it’s just not for me.  So sadly I DNF’d this one and I took the rest of the books off my challenge list because I won’t be picking them up.  Maybe Pierce Brown and I just aren’t a good fit.  I know Annie loved it.

Suzanne: Haha I haven’t read it, but I love an unpopular opinion been as I have lotsa them lol. But, what works for some just doesn’t work for others.

Francesca: Exactly.  With A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC I actually finished it! Yay me!  But I also found it a bit tedious.  The concept is cool and the writing style didn’t bother me but I did lack in connecting with the story.  I may be interested in picking up the next one but that is still very much up in the air.

Suzanne: I think we both know with your reading schedule that the second book will never be picked up…and honestly life is too short. If you aren’t connecting with it, you should take a chance on a series you haven’t tried yet, or a series you do connect with. 

Francesca: You know me so well. 😉  I also have to add two to my list of books that I rolled back the time with this month and they are AGAIN challenge reads.  Do you see a theme here?  I am sticking to that original list I made and cleaning up my TBR!  So I picked up SCARLET by Marissa Meyer, which is the second book in the Lunar Chronicles series.  I think I loved the first book so much I found this one a bit of a disappointment because it wasn’t as good to me as the first.  Maybe it’s the change in main character, the different perspective on this world.  I’m not sure.  It’s still a good read, don’t get me wrong.  But not quite as good.  I still want to continue reading the series and I’ll probably be picking up the next one in October.

Suzanne: Argh don’t tell me that! I also loved the first book but haven’t got round to the second, and I love books with werewolf-type characters.  

Francesca:  Read Scarlet next month and then we can compare notes. LOL  I know I keep talking about steampunk books it seems this month!  I really put a dent in my list. 😉  I have one new adult though to talk about and that was BURYING WATER by K.A. Tucker.  I have enjoyed her writing in the past and have read quite a few books by her.  Some in the new adult genre.  I wanted to read this series for a while and this one has been sitting on my TBR.  I was thoroughly unimpressed with it.  I’ve already posted a review for this book here but I just expected something different and I’m not sure right now where I stand with continuing this series.

Suzanne: Pfft New Adult *grumpy face* I like K.A. Tucker and even she can’t make it good.

Francesca: LOL hey there’s some good new adult out there.  Is just hard to find 😉  And one last read that I had on my challenge that I picked up this month was STALKING JACK THE RIPPER by Kerri Maniscalco.  Honestly, I went into this one thinking I would hate it.  Just something about all the hype, I had already a bad disposition.  Which should’ve been a done deal to start a book thinking like that.  But instead, I got swept up by this book and loved it so much!  I literally couldn’t put it down and was so happy that I pushed myself to read this.  I cannot wait for the second book that comes out in September.  If you like gothic horror then check this out because it was unique and written in a way that felt very current.  I really liked the style and the twist on the Jack the Ripper story.

Suzanne: *adds book to TBR* as soon as I saw Jack the Ripper and gothic horror I was sold!

Francesca: Right?  I hope I love the second just as much.  Let’s bring on September!!!


Have you read any older books this month?


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Please carry on with The Lunar Chronicles. Scarlet and Cress are not as great as Cinder but I really enjoyed Winter and all their storylines come together. It was actually because of the book club last year that I picked up Cinder and fell for the books!


I agree!

Amy r

Older books must be a theme because I’ve been reading a lot of older ones as well. I’m currently on book 2 Falling Under from Ink and Chrome series by Lauren Dane. I recently glommed the NA #Hashtag series by Cambria Hebert which I enjoyed. I also went outside my comfort zone and read the YA series (only 2 books out so far) Wayward Children by Seanan McGuire. I read Juked by ME Carter and enjoyed but I decided not to read the others in the series after checking out excerpts. I did a massive Aurora Rose Reynolds read/reread, I… Read more »


My colleague recommended walk two moons by sharon creech. It is a children’s book, ages 8-12. It started off a bit slow for me, bit it got so much better. It actually reminded of the movie my girl. I read twilight with the infamous earl. It was ok. It is the last book in the lords of vice series. I had not read any of the others, but I think those who had would be disappointed with this. I also read beneath a rising moon by keri arthur. The concept was interesting, the story was good, but the male character… Read more »

Kathy Valentine

Great roll back Suzanna and Francesca!!! I’m so glad stalking jack the ripper is good!!! Can’t wait to read!!! Love my Gothic reads!!! Shared on my socials!!

Sophia Rose

You gals are safe. There is no cheating in the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger. In fact, that series was my Romance Roundabout Challenge choice for the steampunk category. Just finished book five and want more. 🙂 I still have Marissa Meyer’s Cress on my list for the challenge. And that New Adult category… sigh. I just read Him and it re-enthused me again. Cutters Vs. Jocks by Elizabeth Marks was my other NA read from my TBR pile and it wasn’t bad. I have enjoyed the way the challenge has motivated me to get older books down off… Read more »

Monique D

The Parasol Protectorate is genius!