Tag: adult fiction

One Hundred Names Review and Giveaway

May 8, 2014 Fiction, Romance, Women's Fiction 12

15732712Title: One Hundred Names
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: This book has Cecelia Ahern’s signature charm, transforming ordinary life into something  beautiful.

Things are not going well for Kitty Logan. The story that was supposed to make her career has turned into a scandal and her beloved mentor is dying. When her friend passes away, she leaves Kitty with a mission: to write the story she always wanted to write. Unfortunately, all Kitty has to go on is a list of one hundred names. She’s on a tight deadline and isn’t sure she’ll even be able to find the right people, much less meet all of them and find out what connects them. Solving this puzzle for her mentor is a challenge, but one which might just help Kitty solve some problems of her own. Read more »


All That Is Solid Melts Into Air

May 6, 2014 Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary, Uncategorized 12

18505785Title: All That is Solid Melts Into Air
Author: Darragh McKeon
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★☆
Summary: Despite being a bit dark and depressing,  this book swept me off my feet with fantastic writing and a fascinating setting.

Signs of the impending collapse of the Soviet Union are everywhere, but fear of the regime is equally widespread. Piano playing prodigy Yevgeni faces violence daily as he travels the city. His aunt and mother struggle to make ends meet while staying under the radar. Everyone knows something has gone terribly wrong, from farm boy Artyom who notices that the cows’ ears are bleeding to Grigory, a doctor who sees how peoples’ lives are valued less than keeping up appearances. All of these characters will struggle to not only survive, but to make a difference. Read more »


The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

April 30, 2014 Literary, Romance 27

18293427Title: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Source: from publisher for She Reads Book Club
Rating: ★★★★★
Summary: I am on a roll with wonderful books that make me cry. This book was beautifully written with well-rounded, believable character and a very enjoyable focus on books.

A. J. Fikry, owner of Island Books, has become something of a loner. After his wife’s death, his bookstore is doing poorly and he’s doing his best to push away help from friends and family. However, as A. J. deals with a mysterious package which appears in his store, he slowly realizes that he needs help. Beginning to reach out to others, he begins to change his life and the lives of those around him for the better. Read more »


The Shadow Queen – Review and Giveaway

April 29, 2014 Historical Fiction 15

18209338Title: The Shadow Queen
Author: Sandra Gulland
Source: from publisher for France Book Tours
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: Although I wish the protagonist was more the focus of the story, I loved the lush historical setting and the plot which gave us a glimpse at a very cool facet of life in the 1600s.

Even as the young daughter of poor, travelling players, Claudette longs for a better life. When her mother begins working for a theater in Paris, it opens an opportunity for Claudette to interact with the rich and famous. She is beguiled by the life of the mysterious young lady Athenais, with whom she forms an uneasy friendship. When Athenais becomes the mistress of Louis XIV and needs someone she can trust, it is Claudette she asks to serve as her personal attendant. Claudette is easily seduced by the richness of life as Athenais’ attendant but quickly learns that life at court is as much about acting as the theater. Read more »


The Word Exchange

April 24, 2014 Fiction, Literary 16

18209339Title: The Word Exchange
Author: Alena Graedon
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: This book uses words in the most fantastic and beautiful of ways. It made me think, it made me work, and it completely won me over. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book crafted with more attention to detail and it was a joy to read.

In the future, even definitions can be bought and sold. Books have essentially become obsolete. Technology has advanced to the point where people can relive memories, create art with no talent or training, and access any information they like without knowing anything. Anana’s father is one of the last anti-technology hold outs and is also responsible for publishing what will almost certainly be the last print dictionary. Right before publication Anana’s father disappears, leaving only a cryptic clue suggesting that he’s in grave danger. As Anana tries to find out what happened to him, she stumbles onto a conspiracy larger than she ever could have imagined. She’ll find herself in danger too as a mysterious word flu spreads, because language is power and some people will do whatever it takes to control that power themselves. Read more »


When the Cypress Whispers

April 22, 2014 Fiction, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, Women's Fiction 22

18090103Title: When the Cypress Whispers
Author: Yvette Manessis Corporon
Source: from publisher for TLC Book Tour
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Review Summary: I wanted to love this book, with its great insight into Greek culture, beautiful setting, and decent writing, but I couldn’t understand the main character and disliked both the ending and the message I felt this book was promoting.

After the death of her husband and her parents, Daphne forgets about happiness and about her Greek heritage. However, she eventually gets engaged again and returns to Erikousa to visit her Yia-yia (grandmother) before getting married. While there she learns about her surprising family history and is inspired by her grandmother’s strength. She also realizes how much family and her Greek heritage mean to her. Read more »


Where I Want To Be

March 25, 2014 Fiction, Romance 8

20877119Title: Where I Want To Be
Author: Cortney Roudebush
Source: from author for review
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Review Summary: Although this book seemed like a good fit for me, I didn’t love the writing, the obsessive focus on dating bothered me, and I couldn’t relate to the main character.

Olivia Goldstein has a very successful career in LA, but her timidity generally prevents her from enjoying life. She doesn’t like her career, has few friends, and rarely dates. The only thing she truly enjoys is wine. With some encouragement from her best friend, she makes one of her first spontaneous decisions and enrolls in a wine class in Napa Valley. Once there, she begins to make friends who teach her about wine and talk her into being more courageous about dating. Although she starts her trip certain that she’d like to return to LA, by the end of the summer she’s not so sure. Read more »


Lost Lake

March 17, 2014 Magical Realism 22

13481275Title: Lost Lake
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Source: from publisher for She Reads book club
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: This book was perfect for me; it’s a very beautifully written, happy story about people helping each other find happiness with just a dash of magic.

Since her husband Matt died, Kate has been a bit lost. When she suddenly realizes that she’s let her controlling mother-in-law take over her daughter’s life, Katie decides she needs to do something. A bit of time away at her Aunt Eby’s summer camp, Lost Lake, may be just what she needs. Unfortunately, her Aunt Eby is about to be forced to sell the place unless Kate and the other people who depend on their visits to Lost Lake are able to do something to help. Read more »


While Beauty Slept

February 22, 2014 Fantasy, Fiction, Gothic, Historical Fiction, Re-telling 23

18079665Title: While Beauty Slept
Author: Elizabeth Blackwell
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★★
Summary: This was exactly what a grown-up fairy tale should be – dark, hauntingly beautiful, emotional, complex, but still with a fairy tale ending.

We all know the fairy tale story of sleeping beauty, but have you have ever wondered what that story would have looked like in real life? What would cause the king and queen to avoid inviting a powerful woman to their daughter’s baptism? Was the woman who cursed the princess really a fairy, a witch, or just a very bitter woman? And if not by magic, how was the princess cursed and then saved? Elise is able to tell a tale to answer all those questions from her time as a servant in the castle. She’ll also tell a tale of her own, including love she won and lost and the sacrifices her loyalty to the princess demanded. Read more »


Soundbites: World War Z

December 7, 2013 Fiction, Science Fiction, Soundbites 2

117991Title: World War Z
Author: Max Brooks
Narrators: Full cast (includes author and Nathan Fillion)
Rating (Story): ★★★☆☆
Rating (Narration):★★★★★

World War Z is the story of the zombie war, told in a series of interviews with the survivors. One of my favorite things about this book was that it starts with the first infections and covers all the details you might possibly want to know about how a zombie outbreak would go down. We start by learning about what the disease is like from a medical perspective. Then we see how different countries reacted politically and eventually militarily to the outbreak. And finally, we get little snippets of how individuals survived. I loved how realistic and believable all these details made the story. I also adored the full cast narration. It was just perfect for this book. The only downside for me was the narrative style and the length of the book. The interview style narrative seemed lazy to me, with the interview questions interrupting the flow of the story and serving as an artificial mechanism to transition between different topics. Due to this narrative style and the short length of the book, I never got particularly attached to any of the characters in the story and the whole thing lacked emotional impact.