Wednesday, January 20, 2021

The Diamond Rose by Daniela Valenti REVIEW

The Diamond Rose

by Daniela Valenti


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Synopsis:

Amanda’s med school graduation is unlike any other. A solar flare awakens her super psychic powers, enabling her to fight evil, supernatural and human alike. She is the Sentinel 10, the most powerful warrior in a secret society of similarly endowed people. Her life becomes a whirlwind of international travel and exciting paranormal challenges. But all is not as it seems. Soon Amanda discovers that the man she loves has an evil alter ego, and that her own powers have a dark side. This first year as a Sentinel will push the limits of her resilience, and put her own humanity to the test. The Diamond Rose is a thrilling and romantic adventure, the first in an exciting new series. Fans of paranormal romance will enjoy this tale of a female heroine who struggles to understand love and master her own powers.


Review:

Thank you to iReads Book Tours and Daniela Valenti for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own. 

Amanda is an ordinary girl until a solar flare opens psychic powers she didn't realize she had. Her life takes a complete turn and suddenly she is fighting evil and finding out how strong her powers actually are. Spoiler Alert! She is super strong!

I have to say, I really enjoyed this book. I thought the story was really fun and engaging. It didn't take long before it captured my attention. The magical aspect was done very well. I thought it was creative and unique as I've never read anything quite like this before. My favorite part of this book is the relationship between Amanda and an unlikely match. The ending was just about perfect. It left me in anticipation for the next book in the series. 

Overall, I enjoyed this one from start to finish and I can't wait for the second book. If you're looking for a book with romance, magic and just a few secrets I'd recommend giving this one a try. 

Author Bio


Daniela Valenti is the pen name for a Canadian psychiatrist who writes Paranormal Fiction. That may seem incongruous, but it’s not really. The work in her chosen field and her writing dovetail nicely. She is able to draw upon her work as a psychiatrist to create multidimensional characters who are simultaneously powerful and vulnerable. Daniela lives in Montreal and holds a medical degree from McGill. She speaks French and regards herself a chatty introvert. Growing up, she was a voracious reader of sci-fi and fantasy. Her interests today include supernatural lore, skincare and fashion, gorgeous travel destinations, true crime, and learning about narcissism and psychopathy. She’s thought a lot about love and evil and maintains that narcissism is the true nature of all evil. Daniela has traveled extensively. Her love of the exotic dominates many of the settings where the characters in her stories romp and play their parts. Her prior attempts at writing began at age nine with a story about a doctor’s cat, and then a short sci-fi story at age twenty-three. Thirteen years later, her foray into serious-minded writing simply happened. She began writing in 2017, after she returned from a trip to Prague for an international forensic psychiatry conference. What she learned there, combined with her impressions of Prague, her prior ruminations on the nature of love and evil, and her clinical knowledge all combined to create the first book in her series. It was a moment when all sorts of aspects of herself, her life experiences and her interests came together, like a self-assembling puzzle. The story came to her like a movie, unfolding in her head as she sat on an airplane, staring at the screen-less back of the chair in front of her, for the eight-hour trip back to Canada. Once set in motion, the wheels of creation kept on turning, and resulted in the Sentinel 10 series.

Social Media Links:


Giveaway:

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An American Marriage by Tayari Jones REVIEW

 An American Marriage

by Tayari Jones


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Synopsis:

Newlyweds, Celestial and Roy, are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive and she is artist on the brink of an exciting career. They are settling into the routine of their life together, when they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.

This stirring love story is a deeply insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward- with hope and pain- into the future.

Review:

First, I'm going to say I had no interest in reading this book. However, I needed to fill the prompt "A book that has won the Women's Prize for Fiction" for the 2021 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge and this one just so happened to be available on Libby. Now I say thank you POPSUGAR and thank you Libby! An American Marriage is absolutely beautifully written and engaging. Once I started it I had to continue until I was finished. 

Jones did an amazing job at capturing the various emotions of the main characters. Their relationships were so complex and intertwined. I loved the way the characters were brought to life with dramatic human nature with their decisions and consequences that followed. I can't say I liked or disliked any of the characters, but I felt for all of them. It was difficult to distinguish who was right and who was wrong because of the tangled web of their lives.

The story itself was really interesting. We follow Roy and Celestial through their lives together. We see them fall in love, get married, deal with his imprisonment and finally with the destruction of their marriage. The flow of the story was absolutely perfect, it was like a movie for my mind. It all played out so well. I just loved this one so much. I highly recommend it. 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

The Hole In The World by Brandann R. Hill-Mann REVIEW

 The Hole In The World

by Brandann R. Hill-Mann


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Synopsis:

Magic is, and always has been, all around us. At least, Innes has always believed so. Kahrin? She’s more skeptical. After all, she’s never seen proof. That doesn’t stop her from supporting her best friend in his belief, as in all things in their lives.

One accident and a near-miss later, the pair are forced to grapple with the realities of the world of magic, whether they believe in it or not. Innes is sure that the mysterious Yelena is more than just a beautiful girl with amnesia and a prickly brother. Kahrin is sure she’s going to regret going along with it. Still, she does, because she trusts him, and that has always been the foundation upon which their love and friendship is built.

The Hole in the World is a story of love, friendship, and knowing that sometimes that is all you need to have trust.


Review:

Thank you to Brandann R. Hill-Mann for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own. 

The Hole In The World is an interesting read, to say the least. I don't read a lot of this type of fantasy but I have to say I enjoyed it.

I found it to be a slow but comfortable burn. While the book seemed slightly longer than it actually was, it was still entertaining enough to hold my interest.

The characters were interesting enough. Innes and Kahrin are best friends, lovers and the main characters of this book. I found their relationship to be average. There wasn't anything extra special about them for me. My favorite characters were Yelena and her brother Evan. I love the creepy dynamic between them. The author did a great job at creating tension surrounding these two characters.

Overall, I thought this was a good book. I'm looking forward to read the second book Bloof of the True Believer within the next few days.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Every Single Lie by Rachel Vincent REVIEW

 Every Single Lie

by Rachel Vincent


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Synopsis:

In this gripping YA novel about social media bullying and half-truths, one girl's discovery of a dead baby in her high school locker room rocks an entire community.

Nobody in Beckett's life seems to be telling the whole story. Her boyfriend Jake keeps hiding texts and might be cheating on her. Her father lied about losing his job before his shocking death. And everyone in school seems to be whispering about her and her family behind her back.

But none of that compares to the day Beckett finds the body of a newborn baby in a gym bag-Jake's gym bag -on the floor of her high school locker room. As word leaks out, rumors that Beckett's the mother take off like wildfire in a town all too ready to believe the worst of her. And as the police investigation unfolds, she discovers that everyone has a secret to hide and the truth could alter everything she thought she knew.

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/1547605235/

Review:

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Wow... this was an emotional read from start to finish. We start off with our main character Beckett dealing with some pretty average teenage drama. She's had a breakup with her boyfriend and isn't taking it too well. It doesn't take long for all that to change when Beckett finds a dead baby in the school locker room. Soon her life starts to unravel as she learns of secrets that could hurt her in more ways than one.

I am absolutely stunned by how wonderful this book was. It was fantastically written and well paced.  I hated to put it down. The ending was shocking and heartbreaking. Every Single Lie is an emotional read that covers substance abuse, addiction, teen pregnancy, death, and bullying. While the themes within this book are hard to read, it is an amazing piece of work that I recommend reading for anyone who likes hard hitting YA. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Angel of Greenwood by Randi Pink REVIEW

 Angel of Greenwood

by Randi Pink


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Synopsis:

Randi Pink's The Angel of Greenwood is a historical YA novel that takes place during the Greenwood Massacre of 1921, in an area of Tulsa, OK, known as the "Black Wall Street."…

Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Wilson is, on the surface, a town troublemaker, but is hiding that he is an avid reader and secret poet, never leaving home without his journal. A passionate follower of W.E.B. Du Bois, he believes that black people should rise up to claim their place as equals.

Sixteen-year-old Angel Hill is a loner, mostly disregarded by her peers as a goody-goody. Her father is dying, and her family’s financial situation is in turmoil. Also, as a loyal follower of Booker T. Washington, she believes, through education and tolerance, that black people should rise slowly and without forced conflict.

Though they’ve attended the same schools, Isaiah never noticed Angel as anything but a dorky, Bible toting church girl. Then their English teacher offers them a job on her mobile library, a three-wheel, two-seater bike. Angel can’t turn down the money and Isaiah is soon eager to be in such close quarters with Angel every afternoon.

But life changes on May 31, 1921 when a vicious white mob storms the community of Greenwood, leaving the town destroyed and thousands of residents displaced. Only then, Isaiah, Angel, and their peers realize who their real enemies are.

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.ca/Angel-Greenwood-Randi-Pink/dp/1250768470

Review:

Thank you to Netgalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

This book was hard to finish. Not because it wasn't well written, but because it was absolutely heartbreaking. Even though this novel was fiction, May 31 1921 actually happened. Innocent people were burned alive, they were murdered in cold blood. Men, women and children alike were killed for no other reason than existing. 

Told in dual perspective, Angel of Greenwood is the heartbreaking story of two kids who are just living their lives as ordinary teenagers. At the beginning of the novel we get to know Angel and Isiah as normal teenagers. They have school, friends, families and even bullies. Suddenly they find themselves trying to survive that night in 1921 when their community burned down around them. Pink does an amazing job of breathing life into these characters and that terrifying night. Well written and heart breaking, Angel of Greenwood is an amazing book that should be near the top of everyone's "to read" list.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

2020 & 2021 Reading Goals

2020 & 2021 Reading Goals
Hi all, 

So in 2020 I set some goals for myself and had a list of books I wanted to read that year. I thought it would be fun to have a look back at those goals and create some new ones for 2021. So let's do it!

Books

Finders Keepers & End Of Watch by Stephen King - Yes! I have finished both of these!

P.S. I Still Love You & Always and Forever Lara Jean by Jenny Han - I also finished (and loved!) both of these!

Cress; Fairest; Winter & Stars Above by Marissa Meyer - I finished Cress and Winter but I did not get to Fairest & Stars Above.

Paper Towns by John Green - I started this one and ended up DNF'ing it about 1/3 of the way through.

When God Was A Rabbit by Sarah Winman - I haven't read this one yet but I still really want to. Hopefully I'll get to it soon.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens - Read it!

The Wasp Factory by Ian Banks - Not yet but hopefully soon!

Carrie; Under The Dome & The Long Walk by Stephen King - I finished Carrie but Under The Dome and The Long Walk are now goals for 2021.

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo - Not yet, but definitely soon.

Marie Antoinette Serial Killer by Kate Alender - Read it and really enjoyed it!

The Cannibals of Candyland by Carlton Mellick III - Read it, Loved it, and now I'm hooked on the bizaro genre.

Bunny by Mona Awad - Unfortunately, I didn't get to this one yet.

The Turn of The Key by Ruth Ware - Not yet but hopefully in 2021.

Goals

1. Goodreads: My main challenge of this year is to complete 100 books. ✔ I ended this year with a total of 185 books read!

2. Popsugar: If I complete my first challenge this one shouldn't be an issue. I wanna complete the Popsugar 2020 Reading Challenge for the second year in a row. ✔ Finished!

3. Buy Less Books: This year my goal is to restrain myself from buying a mass amount of books. This includes thrift stores and garage/yard sales. It does NOT include free kindle books. To earn a new physical book I must read 5 physical books that I already own. Reading my kindle books do not count towards earning a physical book. ✔ While I did break my no buy fairly early into the year, I did not buy nearly as many books this year.

4. Read More King: This year I would like to try and read 12 Stephen King books in a year. This will be my first full year reading Stephen King so I'm pretty excited to catch up on all that I've missed. ✖ Unfortunately, I failed this one and ended the year with 6 King books. I'm still happy with that number.

5. Read Some Classics: This year I wanna read 6 classics. I'm not a huge fan of classics and therefore haven't really read that many. I'd at least like to put a small dent in books I probably should have already read. ✔ Nailed it! I ended 2020 with 9 classics read and one of those is a new favorite book!

6. Love My Books: This is the most important goal to me. Read more books that I love and that make me happy. This year I will be doing less tours and focusing more on finding that joy of reading that inspired me to start this blog to begin with.❓ I'm not sure if I did this one or not but I'm pretty sure I did.

So overall I think I did pretty well. I read 11/20 books that I wanted to read and I completed 4/6 of my reading goals.

Now for 2021..

Books

Under The Dome & The Long Walk & Misery by Stephen King


Neverday & I Knocked Up Satan's Daughter by Carlton Mellick III


We Were Beautiful by Heather Hepler 


All The Stars and Teeth & All The Tides of Fate by Adalyn Grace



Amelia Unabridged by Ashley Schumacher


Sea Witch Rising by Sarah Henning


Project Nemesis Trilogy by Brendan Reichs 


Elites of Eden & Rebels of Eden by Joey Graceffa



Goals

1. Read 100 books: I'd like to try and read at least 100 books again this year.

2. Prioritize my Physical TBR: I started 2021 with 301 physical books on my TBR, I want to cut that down as much as possible.
3. Classics: I would like to continue to read more classics. I think 6 books is a great goal to reach for.

4. Popsugar Reading Challenge: I love a challenge and hopefully I'll finish the Popsugar Reading Challenge for the third year in a row.

5. Translated Works: This year I'd like to read at least 4 translated books.

6. Series: I want to finish off as many of the series I have started as possible.

If you're still reading, thank you so much! Do you have any goals for 2021? Have you read any of the books mentioned on this post? If so, what are your thoughts? 

That's all for now but I'll be back soon with more bookish content!

See you on the moon! XO

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

My Favorite Books of 2020

 My Favorite Books of 2020

Hey all! Another year is almost over and this one has been a doozey! Thankfully, even though this has been a crap year there has still been some great books. I was able to complete a total of 185 books. Wow! So now I'm really excited to share my favorite reads of the year with you. Not all of these books were released in 2020, I just read them for the first time this year and loved them. These are also in no particular order, and honestly I'm not sure I could rank them if I tried.

Before I jump into my favorites, I want to start with these books that just missed the mark. Here are my honorable mentions....

The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum


Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi


What Momma Left Me by RenΓ©e Watson


The Chain by Adrian McKinty


Now, let's jump to the favorites!

Peony in Love by Lisa See


I got lost in this magical story. This was the second book I had read by Lisa See and it sent me down a rabbit hole. I ended up reading another 3 of her books before I was able to move on.

The Cannibals of Candyland by Carlton Mellick III


This is weird and I love it! What happens when instead of children eating candy... candy is eating the children?? Well.. close enough... This is the book that made bizzaro my official guilty pleasure. 

Anne of Green Gables by L.M Montgomery


I'm not sure how I've lived my entire life without every reading (or even watching) Anne of Green Gables. Anne is now my absolute favorite literary character ever. 

Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars by Kai Cheng Thom


Up until this book, I had never even heard of a fictional memoir. I ended up loving this book so much. I cried so hard at certain parts, the emotion behind the writing made this feel like it was someone's actual life. It's absolutely beautifully written.

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling


This one is my favorite middle grade book. With captivating writing and a disabled main character who is determined to live her life as independently as possible this book is sure to leave a smile on your face.

The Radium Girls by Kate Moore


I'm not a fan of non-fiction. However, this was well written and very interesting. I'd recommend this book to anyone looking to read about women's history.

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway


I fell in love with this book right from the very beginning. In this one our main character finds herself pregnant and chooses adoption, then she decides to find her own birth mother. This story was touching, beautiful and sweet. I highly recommend!

I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn


I loved everything about this book. It's one of my favorite books ever and rather than just gush about everything I love (again) I'll just leave a link to my review HERE!

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo


Elizabeth Acevedo is such a powerful writer and when you listen to her narrate her powerful words with her commanding voice it's simply amazing! If you're looking for a hard hitting story that will get you right in the chest I recommend this one. I also recommend the audiobook, not just for this one but for all her books.

Ruinsong by Julia Ember


Ruinsong is exciting, delightful and enchanting. I loved the musical magic aspect of the story. This was my first time reading about magical music but now I'm totally hooked!

Titanlord: A Thousand Ashes by M.G. Darwish


This is the second book in the Titanlord series. It's packed with tons of action and exciting adventures. Combine that with powerful magic and you have a fantasy series that will pull you into a world you won't want to leave. I personally, can't get enough of this series.

If you've still made it this far then tell me, what are your favorite books of 2020? Have you read any of my favorites? I'd love to hear from you!

See you on the moon! XO

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins REVIEW

 The Wife Upstairs

by Rachel Hawkins


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Synopsis:

Meet Jane. Newly arrived to Birmingham, Alabama, Jane is a broke dog-walker in Thornfield Estates––a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives. The kind of place where no one will notice if Jane lifts the discarded tchotchkes and jewelry off the side tables of her well-heeled clients. Where no one will think to ask if Jane is her real name.


But her luck changes when she meets Eddie Rochester. Recently widowed, Eddie is Thornfield Estates’ most mysterious resident. His wife, Bea, drowned in a boating accident with her best friend, their bodies lost to the deep. Jane can’t help but see an opportunity in Eddie––not only is he rich, brooding, and handsome, he could also offer her the kind of protection she’s always yearned for.

Yet as Jane and Eddie fall for each other, Jane is increasingly haunted by the legend of Bea, an ambitious beauty with a rags-to-riches origin story, who launched a wildly successful southern lifestyle brand. How can she, plain Jane, ever measure up? And can she win Eddie’s heart before her past––or his––catches up to her?

With delicious suspense, incisive wit, and a fresh, feminist sensibility, The Wife Upstairs flips the script on a timeless tale of forbidden romance, ill-advised attraction, and a wife who just won’t stay buried. In this vivid reimagining of one of literature’s most twisted love triangles, which Mrs. Rochester will get her happy ending?

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.ca/Wife-Upstairs-Novel-Rachel-Hawkins/dp/1250245494

Review:

Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for a free advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Well, this was quite an interesting read to say the least. Granted some of the "plot twists" were expected but the story also had some good ones that were not as easily predictable. I enjoyed the overall story and found the writing was interesting and kept me engaged until the end. I enjoyed watching to see how crazy these characters were actually going to get and I wasn't disappointed. The excessive personalities and actions of these characters really made this book for me. It was fun, entertaining and I definitely recommend. 

I haven't read Jane Eyre, the novel this one is based off of, so I'm not sure how similar it is to the original.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Haunt and Seek by Thomas Kingsley Troupe

Haunt and Seek
by Thomas Kingsley Troupe


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Synopsis:

Ben Tajima doesn’t claim to have hit the jackpot with the small toy boat he finds on the Riverwalk in Chicago, Illinois. Still, the antique trinket is cool, even if it is a little dirty. Yet strange things start to happen after he brings the toy back to his grandparent’s apartment. He sees—or thinks he sees—a ghostly boy hiding in unexpected places: the swimming pool, the living room . . . But who is the boy? What is he looking for? And what will happen when he finds it?

Every state has its own spine-tingling stories of ghosts and mysterious hauntings grounded in its regional history. The Haunted States of America series uses real-life ghost lore as jumping-off points to new, chilling tales. An author’s note provides historical origins and fascinating facts, but beware: sometimes real life is stranger than fiction.

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.ca/Haunt-Seek-Haunted-States-America-ebook/dp/B08RMVNY34/

Review:

Thank you to Netgalley and North Star Editions / Jelly Fish Press for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

I really enjoyed Haunt and Seek by Thomas Kingsley Troupe. I thought it was a really fun paranormal adventure. While I have enjoyed middle grade in the past, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this one. While reading this book I had my curiosity peaked and I simply had to do some research. I found out the SS Eastland is an actual boat and the events of that boat's tragedy layout the plot for the story. I love how the author used a real life event to really bring the story to life.

I really like this authors writing style. It's a quick and easy read that just flies by. I was throughly entertained throughout the whole book.

This is a ghost story so obviously it is supposed to have a little scare factor. While as an adult I didn't find it scary, I think it has the right amount of creepy for a middle grade child. If you have a middle grader who enjoys ghost stories I would suggest giving this one a shot. 

Friday, December 18, 2020

Favorite Books I've Been Sent for Review

Favorite Books I've Been Sent For Review


Hey all, 

Since becoming a book reviewer a little over a year ago I've had a few books sent to me for review. Some are from tours, some are from the author directly. What I wanted to do with this particular post is to showcase my absolute favorite books that I've been sent for review so far. All but two of these books have less than 100 ratings on goodreads so I wanted to give a little bit of extra love to these amazing authors and their wonderful books. Each book in this post is one that I've loved for one reason or another and I genuinely recommend them all. 
 
So without further delay, let's get to it.

Titanlord: of Death and Sacrifice
by M.G. Darwish


Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis: The Magmars rose in rebellion against the rule of Titans and casting them into forgotten legends and myths. Then the lies began, and just as they rebelled, another gave them a taste of their own medicine when he waged war on them. He was called the Red Hand.

The Red Hand was branded a traitor and an outcast, yet within his grasp lays a deadly sword that is said to rival the power of Titans.

The Crown grew frustrated as they tried all of their tricks to stop history repeating itself, and in process revived a secret so grand it could spell the end itself.

Demons and mythical beasts roam the lands, as everyone tries to make sense of the needless war that continues to this day.

My Thoughts: This is one fantasy series I'm so glad I didn't miss. The characters are loveable and the story will carry you away to a place you've never been before. With vivid descriptions and a talent for story telling Darwish takes you on an adventure you won't forget, or be able to put down. *While I didn't include the information for the second book in this series I did love it. The second book Titanlord: A Thousand Ashes continues this engaging story and is absolutely as good the first book. 

Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•

Purchase Link: https://mgdarwish.com/product/titanlord-of-death-sacrifice/

Four Nails
by G.J. Berger


Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis: In ancient India, tragedy strikes a young elephant trainer. Forced into a slave caravan that takes him through perilous lands and into a world at war, Ashoka befriends a special elephant. He and that elephant, Four Nails, together lead Hannibal's army over the Alps and down the back of Rome. Though a time of constant danger and uncertainty, Ashoka finds beauty and kindness while helping others enslaved for the pleasure of ruthless rulers. To survive this remarkable journey, the elephant trainer calls upon his unique ways with the great greys and a strength known only to those with nothing left to lose.

My Thoughts: I absolutely loved this book! Every time I think back on this story I can't help but smile. The story of Asoka and Four Nails is an emotional ride from start to finish. Beautifully written and excellently detailed, this is a story I highly recommend for those who like ancient historical fiction.

Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/Four-Nails-G-J-Berger/dp/0988398230

Beyond The Moon
by Catherine Taylor


Genre: Historical Fiction / Romance / Sci-Fi

Synopsis: In 1916 1st Lieutenant Robert Lovett is a patient at Coldbrook Hall military hospital in Sussex, England. A gifted artist, he’s been wounded fighting in the Great War. Shell shocked and suffering from hysterical blindness he can no longer see his own face, let alone paint, and life seems increasingly hopeless.

A century later in 2017, medical student Louisa Casson has just lost her beloved grandmother – her only family. Heartbroken, she drowns her sorrows in alcohol on the South Downs cliffs – only to fall accidentally part-way down. Doctors fear she may have attempted suicide, and Louisa finds herself involuntarily admitted to Coldbrook Hall – now a psychiatric hospital, an unfriendly and chaotic place.

Then one day, while secretly exploring the old Victorian hospital’s ruined, abandoned wing, Louisa hears a voice calling for help, and stumbles across a dark, old-fashioned hospital room. Inside, lying on the floor, is a mysterious, sightless young man, who tells her he was hurt at the Battle of the Somme, a WW1 battle a century ago. And that his name is Lieutenant Robert Lovett…

My Thoughts: There's not much to say really, it's on this list so clearly I loved it. This is actually the book that made me fall in love with romance. I thought it was well told with interesting characters. I was able to go back and forth in time seamlessly with the characters. 

Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•



The Escape to Candyland
by Yong Takahashi


Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Synopsis: What is the message hidden behind a polite smile? In Yong Takahashi’s Atlanta, the immigrants, preacher’s wives, strippers, and shopkeepers who pass each other on the street all have a secret story to tell. Caught between generations of family, regrets from their pasts, conflicting cultures, and even countries, each character has a reason to fiercely guard their secret lives, even as they learn that the truth must escape. Takahashi’s characters chase their American dreams down back alleys and campaign trails, stumbling under the weight of the gifts their families have given them. A box of Boraxo hand soap. Change for the vending machine. A stranger’s driver’s license. A mother’s love. The smallest exchange could prove kill or cure when you walk the streets of Candyland.

My Thoughts: How do I even begin... This one was dark and gripping from the very beginning. I originally sat down to just read the first chapter before doing other things I needed to get done that day, however, I ended up continuing to read until I had to cook and then as soon as I was done I finished the book. The way all the short stories weaved together was brilliant. If you're looking for something short and dark grab this one.

Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•


May
by Kelli Green


Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis: Marianna spent a lot of time doing her own thing on her own time, but when she turned 16, her parents gave her a surprise that would change the course of her life forever. Refusing to let her parents choose her destiny, she launched herself into the real world. Young, opinionated, naive, and strong-willed, Mariana makes friends, enemies, and quick decisions that set the stage for her life. One thing is certain. When Marianna chose to step out of her parents’ home, she stepped into her role as a woman; ready or not.

This fictional story is the first full-length novel in the Green Ivy Series, a series of short stories and novels written by, Kelli Green. If you've read, Elizabeth: A Short Story by Kelli Green, then you already know a few of the characters. This story takes place around the same timeline of, Elizabeth; but not to worry, reading Elizabeth only gave you a small peek into the world.

My Thoughts: This one broke my heart over and over! I thought this book was well told and beautifully written. I was completely captivated by Green's writing and devoured this book right into my soul. 

Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•


Forbidden Trouble
by Travis Casey


Genre: Romantic Comedy

Synopsis: **This is a re-release of Forbidden Trouble published in 2013. FT 18+ is for those who enjoy a Racy Read! Sexually Explicit**

*Their love cannot be governed by regulations, but the consequences can.*

When Tyler Chambers first lays eyes on Darcy there is an immediate attraction. There is also an instant violation of Navy policy if they have anything other than a professional relationship. Tyler must confine any lust he has for his lady boss to the corners of his mind.

Darcy Novak is an ambitious, cultured woman trying to make it in a man's world. She's determined to prove she can cut it as an officer in charge of repairing nuclear submarines, despite some colleagues' negative attitude and wanting her to fail. What she needs is an ally.

Tyler's efforts to fly under the radar catch Darcy's attention and wind up impressing her. When she asks for his help, he's seduced by her position of power and can't refuse, becoming her unlikely collaborator. While they strive to keep their relationship professional, the chemistry between them is too magical to ignore.

Clandestine meetings become sordid and life gets more complicated, forcing Tyler into a web of lies. His quick thinking leads him to outsmarting himself, destroying everything he had—and Darcy's career. But Tyler has one more trick up his sleeve—will it be enough?

My Thoughts: I laughed so hard during this book. Granted, the humor will definitely not be for everyone but if you are a fan of movies like American Pie, I think you may enjoy this book. This story is fun and it's great if you're looking for something light with just a little bit of sexy.

Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ‘


Empire's Daughter
by Marian L. Thorpe


Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis: Lena’s world is about to change forever. Harried from north and south by two different enemies, both wanting this last remnant of a greater Empire’s land, and with invasion imminent, the military leaders see no choice but to ask the unthinkable: that women learn to fight.

In accepting the challenge, Lena is separated from her lover, who chooses banishment rather than break with generations of tradition. Promoted to leadership, drawn into the intrigues of power, Lena must make difficult choices, for herself, for her village, and for her country: a young woman at the heart of the violence and diplomacy that will begin her epic journey to save her land. Evoking Europe after the decline of Rome, the imagined world of Empire’s Daughter and its sequels is brought to vivid, believable life by the precise and powerful writing of Marian L Thorpe.

My Thoughts: There is so much to love about this book, the whole trilogy actually. The writing is engaging and draws you into the story from the beginning. The main character, Lena, is still one of my favorite main characters ever. The growth you see in her character is simply great. She never becomes perfect or stops being afraid or anything like that. She remains human and strong and just perfect. Another thing I love about these books is that Lena, a lot of other characters, are bisexual but the story is told in a way that is so natural. Sexuality isn't even a side note in this book, they just love who they love and do what they want with who they want and it's written in the same way you would be told the sky is blue. I thought it was so natural and beautiful. I loved it. If you want an LGBTQ+ read with a strong but human female lead tied in with adventure and intrigue I would recommend this one. 

Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•


If you've made it this far I'm so happy you've stuck around! So tell me... What are some of your favorite underrated books you wish more people would read? 

Thank you so much for checking out my latest post! I'll be back soon with more bookish content!

See you on the moon! XO

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

The Ballad of Ami Miles by Kristy Dallas Alley REVIEW

The Ballad of Ami Miles
by Kristy Dallas Alley


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Synopsis:

Raised in isolation at Heavenly Shepherd, her family’s trailer-dealership-turned-survival compound, Ami Miles knows that she was lucky to be born into a place of safety after the old world ended and the chaos began. But when her grandfather arranges a marriage to a cold-eyed stranger, she realizes that her “destiny” as one of the few females capable of still bearing children isn’t something she’s ready to face.


With the help of one of her aunts, she flees the only life she’s ever known, and sets off on a quest to find her long-lost mother (and hopefully a mate of her own choosing). But as she journeys, Ami discovers many new things about the world... and about herself.

Purchase Links:

CA - https://www.amazon.ca/Ballad-Miles-Kristy-Dallas-Alley/dp/1250222133/
US - https://www.amazon.com/Ballad-Miles-Kristy-Dallas-Alley/dp/1250222133/

Review:

Thank you to Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

First and foremost, I loved this book! This is definitely one of my top 10 reads of 2020.

Ami is an innocent 16 year old girl who has grown up in a very isolated place. After "the change" most women became unable to have children, so when Ami was born she was considered a blessing. Now that she is of child bearing age her grandfather tries to arrange a marriage between Ami and an older stranger. Not wanting to get married and start having babies, Ami runs away in search for her long-lost mother. If Ami finds her she will have to decide if leaving was worth it, or should she return home to beg her grandfather's forgiveness.

I absolutely adored Ami. I think the author did an amazing job of showing her vulnerability, fear and bravery. You can feel Ami's emotions throughout the story. She learns and grows so much throughout the book and it's reflected in her character.

The story was paced perfectly and the flow was just wonderful. This is an absolutely beautiful piece of work.

I recommend this book to everyone. I can't wait to read more by this author. I'm officially a fan!

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning REVIEW

 Sea Witch

by Sarah Henning


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Synopsis:

Everyone knows what happens in the end. A mermaid, a prince, a true love’s kiss. But before that young siren’s tale, there were three friends. One feared, one royal, and one already dead.

Ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. A freak. A curse. A witch.

A girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears offshore and, though the girl denies it, Evie is convinced that her best friend actually survived. That her own magic wasn’t so powerless after all. And, as the two girls catch the eyes—and hearts—of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after.

But her new friend has secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad, or on two legs, unless Evie finds a way to help her. Now Evie will do anything to save her friend’s humanity, along with her prince’s heart—harnessing the power of her magic, her ocean, and her love until she discovers, too late, the truth of her bargain.

Review:

There is nothing I love more than a tale that starts off sweet and turns sinister, if it's a fairy tale retelling then it's even better. Sea Witch delivered that with this enchanting tale of love, friendship and revenge. I can't lie I am a sucker for a revenge story, I just love the drama of it. 

In this tale we have three main characters who all happen to be best friends. Nik is a kind prince, Evie is the daughter of a fisher-man and Anna who has already drowned when the story opens. The friendship between these three is quite interesting. The personalities of each character were done well. They all had different personalities which brought the story to life. 

While I enjoyed the story itself, some things in it were predictable. I was pretty confident I knew at least 90% of what was going to happen after reading the first couple chapters, and I was right. There were only a couple small details that were added that I wouldn't have guessed but I did enjoy them. 

Overall, this was a solid read for me. I really enjoyed it and I'd recommend it to anyone who would like to try a Little Mermaid retelling that focuses on Ursula. 

The Diamond Rose by Daniela Valenti REVIEW

The Diamond Rose by Daniela Valenti πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ‘ Synopsis: Amanda’s med school graduation is unlike any other. A solar flare awakens her super...