Category: Fiction

Review: Why We Came to the City

February 28, 2016 Fiction 18 ★★★★★

Review: Why We Came to the CityTitle: Why We Came to the City
Author: Kristopher Jansma
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: This book was so perfect – the writing, the author’s ability to capture the feel of being a young professional, but mostly the writing.

I’m tempted to skip describing the plot, because it’s really beside the point. I’d read a grocery list if Kristopher Jansma wrote it, that’s how much I loved his writing. Here we go though… This was a story that’s what I wish the New Adult genre had become. Four college friends and an acquaintance who has re-entered their lives have all moved to New York City and share a New Year’s Eve celebration together. “Amid cheerful revelry and free-flowing champagne, the friends toast themselves and the new year ahead—a year that holds many surprises in store. They must navigate ever-shifting relationships with the city and with one another, determined to push onward in pursuit of their precarious dreams. And when a devastating blow brings their momentum to a halt, the group is forced to reexamine their aspirations and chart new paths through unexpected losses.” (Source) Read more »

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A Reluctant Romantic Review: Anything For You

February 27, 2016 Romance 8 ★★★

A Reluctant Romantic Review: Anything For YouTitle: Anything for You (Blue Heron, #5)
Author: Kristan Higgins
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:three-stars

Summary: This was a sweet story, but a little bland and unadventurous for my tastes.

After a secret, on-again-off-again relationship of 10 years, Connor O’Rourke finally gets up the courage to ask Jessica Dunn to marry him. When she turns him down, he’s stunned and refuses to keep seeing her. Although Jessica is heartbroken, she believes her past reputation and current responsibility for her younger brother make a normal relationship impossible. Fortunately, she and Connor may both have a difficult time moving on. Read more »

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Futuristic Friday Review and Giveaway: Moonlight Over Paris

January 26, 2016 Historical Fiction 13 ★★★★★

Futuristic Friday Review and Giveaway: Moonlight Over ParisTitle: Moonlight over Paris
Author: Jennifer Robson
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: Fantastic historical details and relationship building made this an outstanding read.

After a near fatal illness, Lady Helena Montagu-Douglas-Parr is determined to get over the public snubs that followed her abandonment by her fiance and to truly live. She decides to move to Paris to live with her unconventional aunt, where she can be more independent and pursue her passion for art. Once there, her harsh art teacher and her attraction to an entirely unsuitable American newspaperman, Sam, will force her to decide whether she wants the conventional life her family sees for her and whether she’s brave enough to pursue a life she loves. Read more »

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Review: The Secret Chord

October 25, 2015 Fiction 13 ★★★★★

Review: The Secret ChordTitle: The Secret Chord
Author: Geraldine Brooks
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: The beautiful writing and perfectly executed foreshadowing made it impossible for me to put this book down.

This is the story of King David. Combining parts of his life that have become myth with gritty historical detail, this story follows his growth from an obscure shepherd boy with nothing to a powerful ruler. When he begins to abuse that power, his seer Natan, is the only person who can speak the truth to him and who knows full truth of what he’s done and what disasters are yet to come. Read more »

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Review: Siddhartha

August 5, 2015 Classics, Fiction 9 ★★★★

Review: SiddharthaTitle: Siddhartha
Author: Hermann Hesse, Hilda Rosner
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

Summary: I loved the beautiful, lyrical writing, but the plot was too focused on the divine for my taste.

I picked this book up based on a glowing recommendation from a friend.  It’s the story of a young man in ancient India on a spiritual quest to find  enlightenment. He tries dedicating his life to various pursuits, from contemplation to love, from self-deprivation to hedonism. Even encountering Gautama Buddha fails to bring him peace until after he’s discovered more of life himself. Read more »

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Review and Giveaway: Everything I Never Told You

June 27, 2015 Fiction, Review 21 ★★★★★

Review and Giveaway: Everything I Never Told YouTitle: Everything I Never Told You: A Novel
Author: Celeste Ng
Source: NetGalley
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: This book was heartbreakingly real, with some of the most relatable characters I’ve ever encountered.

““Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos.” (Source) Read more »

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Review: Hotel Moscow

June 25, 2015 Fiction, Historical Fiction, Review, Thriller 11 ★★★★

Review: Hotel MoscowTitle: Hotel Moscow
Author: Talia Carner
Source: TLC Book Tours
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

Summary: This book was more thriller than I expected, but both the thriller and historical fiction elements were very well executed.

When Brooke Fielding volunteers her business knowledge to help Russian female entrepreneurs after the fall of communism, she knows her visit will be complicated by the fact that her parents are Russian Jewish holocaust survivors. What she doesn’t know is how dangerous the trip will turn out to be. Despite her parents’ past, Brooke becomes deeply involved with the women she’s trying to help. Mafia members and corrupt officials employ brutal tactics in their attempt to acquire the newly privatized businesses owned by the women Brooke hopes to help. And only Brooke has the financial knowledge and connections needed to discover who is behind the violent takeovers. Read more »

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Review: Disclaimer

June 11, 2015 Fiction, Thriller 22 ★★★★★

Review: DisclaimerTitle: Disclaimer
Author: Renée Knight
Source: from publisher for review, TLC Book Tours
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: With a fast pace, lots of twists and turns, plus fascinating moral questions, this was a book I couldn’t put down!

“Finding a mysterious novel at her bedside plunges documentary filmmaker Catherine Ravenscroft into a living nightmare. Though ostensibly fiction,The Perfect Stranger recreates in vivid, unmistakable detail the terrible day Catherine became hostage to a dark secret, a secret that only one other person knew–and that person is dead. Now that the past is catching up with her, Catherine’s world is falling apart. Her only hope is to confront what really happened on that awful day even if the shocking truth might destroy her.” (source) Read more »

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Review: The Mapmaker’s Children

June 1, 2015 Fiction, Historical Fiction 11 ★★★

Review: The Mapmaker’s ChildrenTitle: The Mapmaker's Children
Author: Sarah McCoy
Source: TLC Book Tours
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:three-stars

Summary: I didn’t connect with one of the characters or with the author’s writing, but I thought the dual narrative and historical setting were very well done.

Although abolitionist John Brown believed that women should play a supporting role, even he couldn’t deny the value of his daughter Sarah’s artistic talent. Through her determination to make a difference, she became one of the most important mapmakers for the underground railroad. She also faced personal challenges, including her inability to have children. One hundred and fifty years later, Eden is finding that she may also be unable to conceive. Her focus on having children has cost her a job she loved and is testing her relationship with her husband. The discovery that her house may have been part of the underground railroad may help her regain her joy in life. Read more »

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Soundbite Sunday: The Martian

May 24, 2015 Audiobook, Fiction, Science Fiction 26 ★★★★★

Soundbite Sunday: The MartianTitle: The Martian
Author: Andy Weir
Source: Blogging for Books, Bought
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: The narrator, the story, the humor – everything was fantastic!

If someone had to be stranded on Mars, Mark Watney was a great choice. Only someone with his mad botany and engineering skills could possibly stay alive, with no way to communicate with Earth and too few supplies to wait on a rescue mission. And only someone with his phenomenal sense of humor could survive the solitude without going insane. These two traits also made him a wonderful protagonist to read about. Being stranded on Mars could make for a depressing, hopeless story. Instead, I spent the whole book laughing or on the edge of my seat rooting for Mark to survive each new challenge.
Read more »

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