Source: from publisher for review

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#FuturisticFriday Review: With Love From the Inside

August 6, 2016 Fiction, Uncategorized 6

#FuturisticFriday Review: With Love From the InsideTitle: With Love from the Inside
Author: Angela Pisel
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: This was a beautiful, emotional read that felt incredibly real despite the extraordinary and suspenseful plot.

For Grace Bradshaw, having a date set for her execution only makes her desire to reconnect with her daughter more urgent. Her daughter Sophie is less certain she’s interested in reconnecting with her mother. Tired of the unwanted attention she received with her mother on death’s row, she concealed her mother’s existence from her husband and his family. With time running out, Sophie must quickly decide if she believes her mother is innocent and if reconnecting with her is worth the risk to her marriage. Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Heaven’s Ditch

August 4, 2016 Uncategorized 4

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Heaven’s DitchTitle: Heaven's Ditch: God, Gold, and Murder on the Erie Canal
Author: Jack Kelly
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: I enjoyed this fascinating story, but sometimes found the multiple storylines disjointed and confusing.

The Erie Canal was an incredible technological achievement and this book tells the story of its creation. As the canal was built up, cities rose due to the new trade routes it created and transportation became much more rapid. Both of these factors enabled the religious revival taking place in the region. Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: The Regulars

August 2, 2016 Uncategorized 4

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: The RegularsTitle: The Regulars: A Novel
Author: Georgia Clark
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary Although the characters were sometimes frustrating, the plot a bit too neat, and the social commentary a bit heavy handed, I really enjoyed this dramatic, playful read.

“Best friends Evie, Krista, and Willow are just trying to make it through their mid-twenties in New York. They’re regular girls, with average looks and typical quarter-life crises: making it up the corporate ladder, making sense of online dating, and making rent. Until they come across Pretty, a magic tincture that makes them, well…gorgeous. Like, supermodel gorgeous. And it’s certainly not their fault if the sudden gift of beauty causes unexpected doors to open for them. But there’s a dark side to Pretty, too, and as the gloss fades for these modern-day Cinderellas, there’s just one question left: What would you sacrifice to be Pretty?” (Source) Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Truly, Madly, Guilty

July 27, 2016 Uncategorized 10

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Truly, Madly, GuiltyTitle: Truly Madly Guilty
Author: Liane Moriarty
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: Not my favorite of Moriarty’s books, but a still a fun, suspenseful, summer read.

“Sam and Clementine have a wonderful, albeit, busy life: they have two little girls, Sam has just started a new dream job, and Clementine, a cellist, is busy preparing for the audition of a lifetime. If there’s anything they can count on, it’s each other. Clementine and Erika are each other’s oldest friends… But theirs is a complicated relationship, so when Erika mentions a last minute invitation to a barbecue with her neighbors, Tiffany and Vid, Clementine and Sam don’t hesitate. Having Tiffany and Vid’s larger than life personalities there will be a welcome respite.  Two months later, it won’t stop raining, and Clementine and Sam can’t stop asking themselves the question: What if we hadn’t gone?” (source) Because the tragedy that marred an otherwise normal night threatens all of their relationships and how they each view themselves. Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Multiple Choice

July 24, 2016 Uncategorized 12

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Multiple ChoiceTitle: Multiple Choice
Author: Alejandro Zambra, Megan McDowell
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: I’m not entirely certain what to make of this clever and darkly humorous book, but I definitely enjoyed how unique it was.

If you’re like me and actually found standardized tests kind of fun or if you just share my enjoyment of unique book formats, you should definitely check out Multiple Choice. I’ve never read anything like this book, with its test-like format, before. The reading experience reminded me a tiny bit of Brown Girl Dreaming, because in both cases the authors’ packed a lot of meaning into few words. I had to intentionally slow myself down and make myself take the time to absorb the writing. I wasn’t sure this was going to be something I enjoyed at first, but it grew on me.
Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Lost and Found

July 5, 2016 Fiction, Young Adult 4

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Lost and FoundTitle: The Lost & Found
Author: Katrina Leno
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: Although cute, sweet, and quirky, this book managed to tackle some big issues believably and sympathetically.

“Frannie and Louis met in an online support group when they were both younger. They have never met face-to-face. They don’t even know each other’s real names. All they know is that they both have a mysterious tendency to lose things. Well, not lose them, exactly. Things just seem to…disappear. […] They each receive news in the mail that sets them off on a road trip to Austin, Texas, looking for answers—and each other. Along the way, each one begins to find, as if by magic, important things the other has lost.” (Source) During the trip and with each other’s help, they may be able to come to terms with big changes in their lives. Read more »

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3 Awesome Books About Modern Women in Mini-Reviews

July 1, 2016 Uncategorized 20

3 Awesome Books About Modern Women in Mini-ReviewsTitle: The Assistants
Author: Camille Perri
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Lately, I haven’t had specific review deadlines to guide my reading choices and I find the options a bit overwhelming. I’ve gotten extremely lucky with a lot of the books I’ve picked though! The Assistants was one of several books I’ve read while working on my thesis that was precisely what I needed at the time. It was light and compulsively readable, but also smart and insightful. It had all the fun of a heist movie, but also managed to feel real and relatable. I loved the main character, the sidekicks, and the love interest. I had a serious book hangover afterwards because I couldn’t imagine finding something else that fit my desire for light but smart reading as well as this did. I think everyone in their late twenties will also share my enjoyment of reading a book about a character at this stage in their life. This is a book I want to recommend to everyone, but I think it’s especially perfect if you’re looking for your next not-too-light beach read. Read more »

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Review: The Nordic Theory of Everything

June 18, 2016 non-fiction 12

Review: The Nordic Theory of EverythingTitle: The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life
Author: Anu Partanen
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: A bit repetitive and a mix of uplifting and depressing, but I really enjoyed learning about the government and social structure of other countries.

When Finnish journalist Anu Partanen moved to the United States, she found herself overwhelmed by anxiety. The lack of a social support system, especially public healthcare, and the complexity of everything from taxes to securing a child’s education was shocking compared to the ease and security provided to citizens in Finland. By comparing and contrasting the social services provided in the US and the Nordic countries, she “debunks criticism that Nordic countries are socialist “nanny states,” revealing instead that it is we Americans who are far more enmeshed in unhealthy dependencies than we realize. As Partanen explains step by step, the Nordic approach allows citizens to enjoy more individual freedom and independence than we do.” (source) Read more »

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Review: Brilliance and Fire

June 14, 2016 non-fiction 4

Review: Brilliance and FireTitle: Brilliance and Fire: A Biography of Diamonds
Author: Rachelle Bergstein
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: This engaging story that used a single object to tell great personal stories, as well as talking about larger social issues and historic moments, was everything I want from a microhistory.

Diamonds have long fascinated people far beyond their value and the diamond industry has worked hard to keep it that way. Throughout history, they have been associated with everything from critical wartime manufacturing to genocides but still advertising and an artificially limited supply have fairly consistently maintained their association with luxury and love. Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Grunt

June 7, 2016 Humor, non-fiction, Science 18

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: GruntTitle: Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War
Author: Mary Roach
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: This was a slightly more depressing topic than Mary Roach’s previous books, but it delivered all the same great elements – fascinating facts, hilarious commentary, and delightful footnotes.

Grunt tackles the science behind some of a soldier’s most challenging adversaries—panic, exhaustion, heat, noise—and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them” (source). And if you’ve read a book by Mary Roach, that’s probably all you need to know – maybe more than I needed to know. Mary Roach’s amazing ability to find the best fun facts and quirky stories, then present with great candor and humor are enough that I’d read on any topic she wants to write about. Read more »

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