Genre: Historical Fiction

Review Round Up | The Villa, The Stolen Heir, and Lunar Love

Posted January 23, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 2 Comments
Review Round Up | The Villa, The Stolen Heir, and Lunar Love

I’ve been following Rachel Hawkins for years – from her YA work to today’s adult mystery/suspense fiction – and she remains a lowkey favorite of mine. This book sealed the deal for me and she is still cemented as an auto-buy author. Some early reviews are a bit mixed but I actually liked both timelines: one takes place in the 70s during the original murder and the other is present day with two best friends staying at the villa. The book was very tense throughout, where you know something bad is going to happen in at least one timeline but probably both. I really loved the ending: it totally surprised me. It’s not really a true mystery or thriller but more of a suspense novel, which is definitely still a fun ride. I couldn’t put it down and was always so curious to see what would happen next. The mashup of comps at the bottom of the synopsis (“Inspired by Fleetwood Mac, the Manson murders, and the infamous summer Percy and Mary Shelley spent with Lord Byron at a Lake Geneva castle––the birthplace of Frankenstein”) all feel accurate based on m limited knowledge of those three. I would say my own personal comparison is like a much darker version of Daisy Jones and the Six haha. I love Holly Black and her writing so much. There’s truly nothing better than falling back into a familiar world, especially when you thought your time with it was over! THE STOLEN HEIR kicks […]

Quick Reviews: One of the Girls and Quarry Girls

Posted October 19, 2022 / Bite-Sized Reviews, Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Quick Reviews: One of the Girls and Quarry Girls

I’ve been really into mystery/thrillers lately and was excited to finally dive into ONE OF THE GIRLS! Set during a bachelorette weekend in Greece, this story follows the group of bridesmaids as they celebrate the bride-to-be Lexi. Like with all bach weekends, the girls come from different areas of the bride’s life and don’t really know each other that well. There’s Eleanor (sister of the groom), Bella (overbearing childhood friend of the bride), Robyn (the less annoying childhood best friend that rounded out their trio back in the day), Ana (new friend of the bride), and Fen (Bella’s girlfriend). The reason this book really worked for me is that the tension slowly built throughout each chapter. I always thought I had figured out some connections (some of my theories were accurate) but there was always more below the surface. I really enjoyed trying to figure out who would be the one to plummet off the cliffside and who, if anyone, pushed them. The story alternated between all POVs, which was necessary in building up some of the tension, but was confusing initially. I kept forgetting who was who. The ending was interesting and fairly surprising overall, so that’s a win in my book! I wasn’t sure what to expect from THE QUARRY GIRLS. I’m not really into serial killers (in terms of true crime subcategories) but the author’s note at the very beginning intrigued me and set the stage. I also don’t usually read historical fiction crime/mystery books but for […]

Reviews: Family of Liars and This is Not the Real World

Posted August 24, 2022 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Reviews: Family of Liars and This is Not the Real World

I really didn’t enjoy WE WERE LIARS. I remember it was one of the first books I read and reviewed for my blog and it just pissed me off. It’s had a resurgence lately thanks to booktok and I still don’t understand why people like it. In any case, I was randomly intrigued by FAMILY OF LIARS and decided to read it against my best judgment. I do think I almost liked it better than the first book? This one is actually a prequel novel, set in the late 80s. It features the parents and grandparents of the main character(s) in WE WERE LIARS. It definitely took an interesting turn or two that I didn’t expect and I was addicted while reading. The main reasons I’ve “enjoyed” these two books is because they’re short, generally intriguing, and easy to read. I knew I could crank it out for my #7booksin7days challenge. I don’t have much to say. It has very similar vibes to WE WERE LIARS with rich white people on an island off Martha’s Vineyard. This one was more historical, which I did find interesting. I didn’t like the characters very much but I don’t know that you’re supposed to anyways? Regardless, am I glad I read this book? I guess so – it was quick and easy and held my interest. At this point in my life, that’s all I can ask for. I was super into the Truman Show vibes of the first book when I first heard […]

ARC Review: Carrie Soto is Back

Posted August 10, 2022 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: Carrie Soto is Back

Taylor Jenkins Reid really is something else. She’s never written a bad book (IMO) – even the one I didn’t LOVE was still a four-star read… and I’m even thinking of rereading via audio to see if my opinion changes! This book was fascinating. I wasn’t totally excited from reading the premise – a tennis player? Not interested really. I completely forgot that she was a very small side character in another book of TJR’s too. It took me a long time before I realized all of the Mick Riva connections between her newer stories. He sucks but what a fun tie-in between everything. Her historical fiction books have been so lovely lately! Carrie Soto is a badass tennis pro. She’s broken all the records and had a great career until she slowed down and retired after some bad matches and a downward spiral (ability-wise). She and her father are sitting at the tennis match when Nikki Chan, the newest phenom, breaks Carrie’s record (I had to double check this because none of the tennis information stuck in my brain)… and Carrie promptly unretires to win it back. She’s 37 years old and has been retired for 5+ years but feels like she needs to get it back. The story centers around her comeback, with a good section at the beginning going through her early career pre-retirement, as she competes in all of the major Opens. It was fascinating and felt SO true to live when TJR included commentary and […]

Review Round Up | Aurora Burning, My Calamity Jane, and The Fell of Dark

Posted August 17, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Aurora Burning, My Calamity Jane, and The Fell of Dark

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! I enjoyed AURORA RISING enough, but I found myself constantly comparing it to ILLUMINAE. I really loved that format and despite that “disconnected” style (messaging longs, transcripts, etc.), really fell hard for the characters. Unfortunately I continue to feel disconnected from the AURORA series. It just doesn’t resonate with me like I expected or like I keep hoping. I really enjoy the characters and LIKE them, but I’m just not as emotionally connected to anyone or what’s happening. This book had some great twists though – there were a few moments that surprised and intrigued me. Even though I enjoy the audiobooks and think they’re really well done, I think that they don’t help me feel connected. The twists felt smaller hearing them instead of reading them? I don’t know why! The ending of the book was a pretty wild cliffhanger and I still was like… hmm okay I guess I’ll read the next one. And I definitely will! I’m happy to continue reading this even though it’s not my favorite series. I really did enjoy this, despite the fact that it look me two full months to read. I don’t know the last time that happened lol. I’ll blame it on the length, obviously, and my […]

ARC Reviews: The Mall and Paradise Cove

Posted July 13, 2020 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
ARC Reviews: The Mall and Paradise Cove

This was so good and exactly what I needed, yet again. My reading mojo was really off for a few months in the beginning of the year, so I decided to read what was calling to me: THE MALL. I enjoyed the Jessica Darling series enough and was so curious to read more by Megan McCafferty. This book was exactly what I wanted it to be; it felt like all the best parts of the JD books. I was born in 1991 when this book takes place so others who were teens around this time may relate to the mall culture even more, but it still made me super nostalgic. It’s weird to classify this as “historical fiction” but hey, it’s not contemporary technically! I used to enjoy the mall when I was in middle school through some of high school, so I can definitely relate to all those feels overall. It made for a really fun read. I don’t want to say too much about the plot because the synopsis of the book is extremely limited to basically what happens in the first two chapters… This book is super focused on friendship with light romance and a whole lot of ~finding yourself~ without feeling cheesy. Cassie thought she had her summer and life all planned out, but everything goes to hell on her first day working at the mall after a six-week quarantine from having mono (a little too close to home when I was reading this in early […]

Review Round Up | A Heart So Fierce and Broken, The Hand on the Wall, and Royce Rolls

Posted March 5, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | A Heart So Fierce and Broken, The Hand on the Wall, and Royce Rolls

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! I saw some lower ratings for this one ahead of reading it and most stemmed from people thinking this would be about Harper/Rhen again. I knew what to expect going into it (Grey and another new character as the POVs) so that definitely helped with my enjoyment. Like the first one (and most fantasy books), it was a bit slow-going at first. I broke my reading up into sections to pace myself out for a week until book club’s meeting date. I do think I was a bit disappointed by this one though, and I think – like everyone else – it had to do with the characters being slightly less interesting to follow. Grey fascinated me in book one and he did keep me interested here, but Lia Mara was much less interesting than Harper was. The plot involved them, plus a few other characters, making their way to another country. I tend to enjoy books where a couple of characters go on a journey and there’s some fun magic and banter involved, but this one didn’t have as much going on for me. One thing, romance-wise, that I’ve enjoyed about these books is that they don’t jump right into loving each other (even if the […]

Review Round Up | The King of Crows, Starting Over at Blueberry Creek, and All Eyes on Us

Posted February 27, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | The King of Crows, Starting Over at Blueberry Creek, and All Eyes on Us

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! Spoilers for the previous books and tiny early-book spoilers for this book. HO BOY. I can’t believe this series is over! As sad as I am that I didn’t start way back when it first came out, I’m glad I had the experience of the Diviners Readalong to keep me going and break up these huge books. I did a little refresher before diving into the final installment though, since I read the third book back in November. I really liked how the beginning/middle of the book went, with all of the Diviners split up and trying to get to the same place. The groupings were wild and entertaining: Henry, Memphis, and Bill near the flooded Mississippi River and on trains; Theta, Evie, *someone*, and Isiah with the circus; and Ling and Jericho traveling with a band. It created some fun dynamics and new friendships/alliances among everyone while journeying across the country. The King of Crows, the Shadow Men, Roy, and Jake Marlowe fucked with them every step of the way. I don’t want to get into spoiler territory but let me say there were a few parts of this that totally broke my heart! I am truthfully really happy with how the book ended though and […]

Review Round Up | Before the Devil Breaks You, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, and The Good Widow

Posted October 30, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Before the Devil Breaks You, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, and The Good Widow

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! Because of a REALLY FUN SPOILER IN THE *FIRST SENTENCE* OF THE KING OF CROWS SUMMARY, I knew something major was going to happen in this book… and I wasn’t going to like it. I was on high alert the entire time, so nervous for my sweet baby Diviners. My ships were sailing and thriving, so it was only a matter of time before something went terribly wrong. There’s a whole other book for Libba Bray to fuck us up with after this one!!! I digress – this is obviously the third installment in this series, and is quite easily my favorite. I loved the first two but this book just hit even harder. There were a lot of things going on and plates spinning that left me wondering how things would turn out or connect. We’re slowly learning more about more about Project Buffalo and everything related to it – the King of Crows, the visions that people see/dream about, and some more history for our characters and their families. Straight up though, Libba Bray is masterful. A paranormal story set in the 1920s is somehow a perfect parallel to what’s currently happening in our country in 2019. It’s insane how she pulls this off. I’d […]

Review Round Up | Disenchanted, The Diviners, and Lair of Dreams

Posted September 11, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 1 Comment
Review Round Up | Disenchanted, The Diviners, and Lair of Dreams

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! I’d been meaning to work on the Tyme series for a while, after really enjoying GROUNDED. I like fairytale retellings so much and knew one or two of these books should end up on my Retellings Challenge TBR! This story followed Ella (Cinderella) as she grew close to Prince Dash Charming. They were put together on a school project and Ella shows him how important it is that local businesses use fair labor practices. This sounds a bit weird or boring for a middle grade book, I’m sure, but it was quite powerful! Meanwhile, our third POV is Serge – a fairy godfather tasked with helping children like Ella – who is trying to find his way forward. He doesn’t like the “company” he works for and wants to make his own impact somehow, helping kids who NEED help instead of those whose families are rich enough to pay for their magic. I love how this series features a lot of elements from the original tales/stories but offers a completely fresh take in general. I also love how Megan Morrison manages to take something like fair labor practices and turn it into an engaging book for young readers. It was wonderful to see Dash’s world turned upside […]