Publisher: Harper Collins

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 Goose Girl, The Cottingley Secret, and Everything Must Go

Posted April 12, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | The Goose Girl, The Cottingley Secret, and Everything Must Go

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! When planning out my books for the retellings challenge this year, I knew I needed to attempt THE GOOSE GIRL. This is a classic fantasy novel that everyone seems to love. It reminded me a bit of ELLA ENCHANTED or STARDUST when it got started, with the princess/girl heading out on some kind of adventure/quest/etc. It honestly took me a little while to get into this and see what all the fuss was about, but it was worth it. I should also mention that I started with the audiobook, which has a full cast (!!) and was pretty adorable as a result. The latter half of the book was pretty fantastic, honestly. I’m glad I wasn’t fully aware of the original Brothers Grimm story, or else I wouldn’t have gasped as much as I did LOL. I didn’t see certain things coming and was honestly on the edge of my seat, deciding to finish the book off as an ebook instead of an audiobook. Ani was a great character to watch grow up and learn about life outside of being a princess. Her experience as a goose girl definitely shaped her into a more well-rounded person. I loved the bit of romance, even though it definitely wasn’t […]

Review Round Up | Archenemies, The Vanishing Stair, and Two Can Keep a Secret

Posted February 28, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 2 Comments
Review Round Up | Archenemies, The Vanishing Stair, and Two Can Keep a Secret

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! As usual, it took me a long time to read this one. The combo of me reading less physical copies AND the fact that this book was a million pages? Yeah, I spread this shit out. Luckily my book club was on the same page as me! We decided to read half of the book for our January meeting and finish the other half to chat about in February, just because we knew we’d struggle to finish. We procrastinate… it is what it is! After the first meeting on the 22nd, I kind of spread the rest of the book throughout the final 9-ish days of the month, reading a set number of pages per day. Interesting developments started happening near the halfway point too, which made me eager to read it… finally. (I got caught up a little bit trying to prepare for KING OF SCARS by reading CROOKED KINGDOM but I still managed to get this one done for the end of the month.) While it IS a long book, the story is super easy to read. I think this primarily speaks to the writing style of Marissa Meyer. Even though I enjoy her writing a lot, this book could have used a lot of […]

Review Round Up | Nine Perfect Strangers, The Last Best Story, and Those Other Women

Posted January 23, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 1 Comment
Review Round Up | Nine Perfect Strangers, The Last Best Story, and Those Other Women

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 trying to explain Liane Moriarty’s books to my boyfriend as I was racing through the pages of this one. I love that her stories are contemporary fiction at the heart, but always have some kind of suspenseful, mysterious, or thriller-y aspect to them. They always keep me reading and guessing as I go. This latest was no exception! However… it was definitely not what I expected; it got weirder and weirder as it went on, but I ended up liking it quite a bit. It’s reminiscent of her other works, but quite different at the same time. Getting to know the “nine strangers” was a lot of fun and I liked the multiple POVs throughout the story. Frances was the “main character” if I had to pick; she was mostly hilarious. I liked reading everyone’s unique circumstances for why they ended up there and what their goals/lives were. The second half of the book was unexpected but kind of fascinating, once I got over the initial shock of it haha. I enjoyed the ending of the story so much! This is one of the more interesting stories by Moriarty lately, as many of the other recent works have been somewhat predictable and disappointing by the […]

Blog Tour Review: Pretty in Punxsutawney

Posted January 14, 2019 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Blog Tour Review: Pretty in Punxsutawney

I’m a huge fan of everything this book promised. I love Groundhog Day (the movie, of course, but also books with this premise) and Pretty in Pink (and allll of the similar 80s movies). My grandfather was proudly from Punxsutawney, PA, so the setting made this even more interesting for me! I’ve been wanting to plan a trip there in his honor for years. My papa used to train me on how to spell Punxsutawney when I was SO young, bringing out an actual chalkboard like a teacher and making me learn how to spell it – he loved that town. Andie had a looooot of cringe-worthy moments in the first section of the book. I got some major secondhand embarrassment and wanted to shake her out of her Colton-shaped reverie. (This is the guy she set her sights on in the beginning, when she first moved to Punxsutawney.) She was often judgmental about everyone she met in school on her first day, which made her a little hard to deal with at first. I was definitely reminded of Before I Fall in a few ways (and it’s one of my favorite books). The MC has to learn from her mistakes and become less of a mean girl in order to actually move on to the afterlife. She experiences the same “Groundhog Day” phenomenon, learning more and more about herself in the process. I had a feeling that Andie would do this too, even though she wouldn’t necessarily qualify as […]

Review Round Up | The Next Person You Meet in Heaven, The Towering Sky, and The Chase

Posted December 13, 2018 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 4 Comments
Review Round Up | The Next Person You Meet in Heaven, The Towering Sky, and The Chase

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 first read THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN when everyone else did and it took the country by storm. I liked the made-for-TV movie version too. My parents even read the book and they don’t read books like this ever (lol). I was pretty excited to see a sequel 15 years later because it’s been a long time since I’ve read any Mitch Albom book, and he is definitely an author I wasn’t sure would “hold up” for me now that my tastes have grown and changed over the years. This book was the best way to check him out again since it would feature some familiar faces AND involve my favorite concept to read about – how everyone is interconnected and one small decision could change everything, and impact everyone. This story is about Annie, the little girl that Eddie saved before dying in the first book. It takes you through her life, leading up to the wedding day that leads to her trip to heaven. She had a difficult life after the accident at the amusement park and finds herself making a lot of mistakes (in her mind at least). It was pretty interesting to follow along and learn about her, but I […]

Nonfiction Reviews: The Last Black Unicorn and I’ll Be Gone in the Dark

Posted November 23, 2018 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Nonfiction Reviews: The Last Black Unicorn and I’ll Be Gone in the Dark

I absolutely loved Tiffany Haddish in GIRLS TRIP and wanted to make it a point to see as many things as possible with her in them. I loved her even more when I learned about her favorite expensive white dress that she planned to wear to multiple events. Her explaining how she grew up without a lot of money and was homeless at eighteen inspired me to pick up her memoir; it sounded like she led an interesting life! Her memoir was fascinating – she really did have some wild experiences over the years. I enjoy a good celebrity memoir, as long as it’s someone I like or am interested in, and this was a great audio experience to finish off one of my reading challenges. I think the writing style wasn’t particularly wonderful, with quite a bit of repetition, but hearing her read the story was perfect. She talked about her childhood, getting into comedy, being homeless, and more. I can’t emphasize enough though… she has had QUITE a life. I appreciate how far she’s come and the fact that she has a memoir to share all of these experiences. I think my main complaints are about the writing style and how often certain words or phrases were repeated, even within the same passages, but the way she reads the story definitely suits her personality. True crime podcasts are my JAM but the first true crime book I tried to read didn’t really go according to plan… even though […]

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 […]

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 […]

ARC Reviews: 9 Days and 9 Nights, Love Songs and Other Lies, and August and Everything After

Posted May 9, 2018 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
ARC Reviews: 9 Days and 9 Nights, Love Songs and Other Lies, and August and Everything After

^ can we just talk about how many times the word “and” appears up there?? You know those books you finish and you wish you could have a sequel, but you also really don’t want one because you feel like it’ll get ruined? Well when that sequel ends up happening and the original story DOESN’T get ruined, it’s one of the best feelings as a reader. I’m here to confirm that totally happened for me with 9 DAYS AND 9 NIGHTS. Katie Cotugno writes the messiest characters and situations that have me on the edge of my seat, anxious the whole time, and completely enthralled too. I read 99 DAYS in one sitting, way past my bedtime, and I did the same thing here (luckily a little earlier in the night though). Preamble aside… that was so fucking good. I loved it. Almost maybe more than the first one, or at least very close? Everything in Molly’s head felt so real, as it did before, and I loved every conversation that happened. It was just so authentic. In a lot of books, if the main character has a boyfriend but is considering someone else, there’s usually something super wrong with that guy. It’s obvious from the get-go that he’s not right for her and the breakup is logical and tidy. Ian was a really great guy in this story. He was funny, thoughtful, and fairly perfect most of the time. Then of course… there’s Gabe. The guy she can’t help […]