Genre: Historical Fiction

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 […]

Review Round Up | The Life Lucy Knew, The Devouring Gray, and The Last Book Party

Posted August 2, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | The Life Lucy Knew, The Devouring Gray, and The Last Book Party

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 was destroyed by the first Karma Brown book I read years ago and she’s one of those authors where I can’t believe I’ve only read ONE book by. All of her stories sound so intriguing! When I started up yet another book club with a couple of friends, they were looking for TJR-esque books/authors. I knew Karma Brown would be perfect, so I shared a few options. We settled on this title for our first meeting! I was completely addicted to this. I read the vast majority of the book in one sitting and was so enthralled by the characters. I do feel like the overall premise is a bit simplistic; sometimes the “memory loss” trope can be a little boring or not overly inventive. I’m drawn to these books usually, so I knew there’d be some level of interest for me. I think Lucy and Matt made this book because I was SO invested in them, wanting them to make it work despite the memory loss erasing their relationship from her mind. So I definitely enjoyed this one overall, but the ending was incredibly bizarre and out of nowhere. I don’t mean what happened was out of nowhere, but the book literally ended so abruptly. I […]

Blog Tour | Review: Romanov

Posted May 13, 2019 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Blog Tour | Review: Romanov

When I signed up for the Retellings Challenge this year, it was definitely intended to be an actual challenge for me. I love retellings in theory and have read a decent number of them, but I still focus so heavily on contemporary fiction. Add in the fact that ROMANOV is also historical fiction, and I knew it would be a great push out of my comfort zone. I’m a fan of the movie Anastasia of course because WHO ISN’T? so I signed up quickly for this blog tour. Killing a lot of birds with one stone! I digress. I was right: this book was definitely different than the other stories I have been reading this year! The Russian folklore/themes were a really nice change of pace for me. Sometimes I forget how much I enjoy other genres 😳 It’s clear that Brandes did a lot of research on the history of the Romanov family and what the setting would have been like during that time. The story begins with Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov and her journey, with her family, into exile. She is tasked with stealing an ancient spell (through a doll) along with them. The first half or so of the book involves their travel and the rest of the book involves the more ~magical~ elements. I loved that the spell was connected to the Russian nesting dolls I’m familiar with. It personally took me a little while to get into this, but I feel it’s for a lot of […]

Review Round Up | The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats & Piracy and Royals

Posted November 7, 2018 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 4 Comments
Review Round Up | The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats & Piracy and Royals

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! GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE was a pleasant surprise for me – I can be hit or miss with historical fiction and it was overall a bit out of my comfort zone. I was optimistic about LADY’S GUIDE though because of how much I enjoyed Felicity in the previous book. Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed here! Like the first book, it’s a bit looong. The audiobook made listening enjoyable throughout a month-long timeframe and it became one of those books where I’m not in the MOOD to listen to it, but I loved it while I was actually listening. This is exactly how I felt about GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE too. The audio narrator was solid and really brought Felicity to life. While Felicity is the main character, the other powerful ladies at the front of the story made a huge impact too. Joanna, Felicity’s childhood ex-friend, and Sim, the badass pirate, were so fun to get to know. They all wanted more for themselves and fought against the stereotypes or expectations of the time. I loved how everything ended for them too. Of course, meeting up with Monty and Percy again was wonderful. There were a lot of different parts or stages in this story, from Callum’s bakery to Joanna’s […]

Bite Sized Reviews: Jackaby Series

Posted August 13, 2018 / Bite-Sized Reviews, Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Bite Sized Reviews: Jackaby Series

I know I have full reviews and I have mini review round-ups, but there are some books that could be reviewed in just a few sentences. This is mini round-up I’ll have sometimes for books that really don’t need much more than my small Goodreads review and progress updates say. I decided to show all of my Goodreads reactions to the JACKABY series because I found that I didn’t have too much to say about each of them. I read the series with my book club over quite a few months (we had to skip some meetings). Here are my thoughts on each book in this series. We moved into the second book pretty quickly because we had to postpoone our March book club. There was a snowstorm and Chris and I had to drive back up to Maine before it hit. The third book was also pretty good. I binge-listened while packing to come home and driving around town running errands. Nothing specific to mention here that I don’t talk about below! The fourth and final book of the series was read a bit later due to some personal issues for one of the members, so we finally finished up the series for the August 1st meeting! I didn’t enjoy this one because of the ending and was mostly confused, but oh well.

ARC Reviews: My Plain Jane and To Catch a Killer

Posted June 25, 2018 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Reviews: My Plain Jane and To Catch a Killer

After absolutely loving MY LADY JANE (despite not knowing much about the actual history/true story inolved), I was incredibly excited and optimistic about MY PLAIN JANE. Like the first book, I’m actually not well-versed in Jane Eyre, the heroine for this retelling. I’ve never read the book and actually, in hindsight, it would have been nice to read that beforehand (considering it’s on my “classics I might want to read soon” list). I can’t speak to how it compares to the original source. I can’t lie – this book was a bit disappointing compared to MLJ. I know it had big shoes to fill since I loved it so much, but I found myself slogging through it sometimes (mostly in the first half). I had to start and stop this one quite a few times for other reading commitments, but when I did have time to read it, I was never really compelled to pick it up. It wasn’t as funny for engaging as MY LADY JANE was. I started to get into it a little more in the second half of the book but this definitely felt too long. I never read JANE EYRE so I have no idea how it compares but I have to say I’m a little more interested in reading it now. Jane, Charlotte, and Alexander were interesting main characters and I liked being inside each of their heads. Despite all of those complaints, MPJ got more interesting as it went on and I really enjoyed the […]

Bite-Sized Reviews: Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and Dear Martin

Posted March 2, 2018 / Bite-Sized Reviews, Book Reviews / 6 Comments
Bite-Sized Reviews: Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and Dear Martin

I know I have full reviews and I have mini review round-ups, but there are some books that could be reviewed in just a few sentences. This is mini round-up I’ll have sometimes for books that really don’t need much more than my small Goodreads review and progress updates say. First up, we have an incredibly hyped up read that many bloggers have loved. I’ve owned it for a while and we read it for book club, so it was a good excuse to finally put aside the hype. Here’s a quick view of what I thought, because I’m surprised I don’t have a lot more to add?? Next, an incredibly important book that deserves more than a mini review, but I can’t really form the words. I love how all sides of the Black Lives Matter movement were discussed and I hope that anyone who doesn’t somehow see the need for the movement learns a lesson. So powerful.