Last Year I Was Reading is hosted by Maria @ ReadingMaria. Every Thursday (or whichever day you choose), take your current read and compare it to what you were reading this exact time last year.
- Which one do you like better?
- What is different about the books?
- Any special facts/things you want to make note of or bring attention to?
Last year, I read and reviewed one novel on July 8th, What Happens in Paradise (Paradise #2). I finished this novel right after finishing the first novel, Winter in Paradise, which I reviewed on July 6th.
I read and reviewed two novels earlier today for my July 8th posts. The first is an ARC, For the Love of Friends, and the second is the sequel novel, Rage and Ruin, in the Harbinger series from my back-log list.
**I included the first novel in the Paradise series, Winter in Paradise, just for continuity, but the same principles from its sequel apply to the first and I will not fully discuss the intro novel.
I guess I will start with the easiest comparison that Rage and Ruin and What Happens in Paradise are both the second novels in their respective trilogies. Along those lines, both novels were good sequels that did not suffer the full “second novel slump” as both continued to keep me interested and contributed something to the series rather than being a throwaway pointless addition. For the Love of Friends, by default, stands out as the outlier since it is a standalone novel.
While Rage and Ruin falls more under fantasy, it has a contemporary vibe that takes place in the “real world” in Washington DC. All the novels are set in the United States, although the Paradise series has its main setting in St. John (a US Virgin Island, so technically a semi-US location) and the other part of the novel takes place in Illinois.
All three novels are more-or-less present-day settings as they do not take place too far in the past or future.
Additionally, all three contain a romance story in one way or another. Technically, for all three novels the romance is considered a secondary element as there is a main plot that is placed in the forefront. For the Paradise series, it is the mystery surrounding the husband/father’s death. For Friends, it is the main character trying to deal with the weddings and her friends. For Rage and Ruin, it is about the Harbinger and saving everyone.
Since I have not finished the Harbinger series (I still need to finish the third novel, Grace and Glory), I cannot fully judge the series and compare it to the full Paradise series that I previously finished.
For choosing one novel as a favorite, it is almost impossible as I did like What Happens in Paradise a little more than Rage and Ruin and For the Love of Friends. However, I found the third novel in the Paradise series just okay, so I most likely would not pick up the series again. Therefore, again, I have not finished the Harbinger, so although I liked Rage and Ruin, I may never reread it if Grace and Glory is terrible. Therefore, I would have to choose For the Love of Friends as it has the most re-read potential from all these novels.
Have you read any of these books? What did you think? What book were you reading this time last year and how does it compare to your current read?