Tag: netgalley

Recent Reads | Royals, Second Chances, and Other Thoughts

Hey everyone! I hope you are all well and have been doing some fabulous reading lately!! I have been somewhat struggling with my reading but I’m hoping that July will bring more motivation for me!

If you saw my monthly wrap up for June you would know I did okay with my reading. Not amazing, but honestly pretty average for me! How many books do you read in a month?

So like last time, I am going to do a little update about what I’ve been reading lately. Lets start with what I have recently finished!


I just finished The Heir Affair a couple days ago!

Waving London GIF by PLAYMOBIL

I absolutely loved this book. I will post a review for it soon but for now let me just tell you that this book did not disappoint! The drama was wild and just as good as the first book (The Royal We)! I received this book for a Goodreads giveaway!

I hadn’t read The Royal We before and then when I realized The Heir Affair was actually the 2nd book I was like oops better read the first one LOL. I quickly bought The Royal We on my Kobo and read it within I think 2 days. I was amazed how long The Royal We was… like it was a BIG ONE YOU GUYS!! Anyways, it was so fab that I plowed through out regardless of size. I pretty much immediately picked up The Heir Affair (also quite large) and read that one within the week.

I think these 2 books were really interesting in the sense that you get a snap shot into what it might be like being royal with today’s media! A lot of the drama is media drama and just how people make up these headlines about them or twist the truths. Also how the public can be SO MEAN and rip these people apart when they don’t even know them?!?!? I know this is a fictional book but it does make you think what it must really be like!

If you like the royals, specifically Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, then you will love these 2 books! I don’t know if they will write another one but I hope they do lol.

I also recently finished The Second Chance Hotel by Rachel Dove

Again, I will have a review for this one soon but just a little overview of it… a woman divorces her husband and decides to get a fresh start. She packs everything she owns into her car and drives off to a hotel she used to visit as a child. Little plot twist here… she actually BUYS the hotel and spruces it up to get it up and running again. She of course makes new friends and meets a guy… wonder what happens there?? Lol.

This was a predicable story but cute! It was also short so definitely a good one if you want a fast read that will make you smile!

Start Over Season 1 GIF by The Rook

My current reads… this is a little up in the air right now lol. I have started a Netgalley book – Bookish and the Beast.

When I say I’ve started it I mean I’ve read about 3 pages lol. It has been sitting on my list for a bit and I know I need to read it AND I am excited to read it but just feeling a little uninterested in reading at the moment. I’m sure once I read a couple chapters I will be hooked… I mean who doesn’t like a fairy-tale retelling??

beauty and the beast books GIF by Disney

I usually read 2 books at once but I honestly don’t know what book I will pick to read alongside!! So right now I will give you the couple options I’m trying to decide between:

  • The Unhoneymooners
  • The Guest List
  • Darling Rose Gold

Struggling to pick one…. maybe someone can help me decide?? What should I read?


Well that is all for today everyone! Hope you enjoyed my little reading update and my thoughts!!

What are you reading right now? Do you plan a monthly tbr or just go with the flow?

Chat with me in the comments 😊

ARC Review: The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles


Based on the true World War II story of the American Library in Paris, an unforgettable novel about the power of books and the bonds of friendship—and the ordinary heroes who can be found in the most perilous times and the quietest places. – Simon & Schuster

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Title: The Paris Library

Author: Janet Skeslien Charles

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Genre: Historical fiction

Format: eARC from Netgalley

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Pub date: February 2, 2021


SYNOPSIS:

Paris, 1939. Odile Souchet is obsessed with books and the Dewey Decimal System, which makes order out of chaos. She soon has it all – a handsome police officer beau, an English best friend, a beloved twin, and a job at the American Library in Paris, a thriving community of students, writers, diplomats, and book lovers. Yet when war is declared, there’s also a war on words.

Montana, 1983. Widowed and alone, Odile suffers the solitary confinement of small-town life. Though most adults are cowed by her, the neighbor girl will not let her be. Lily, a lonely teenager yearning to break free of Froid is obsessed by the older French woman who lives next door and wants to know her secrets.

As the two become friends, Odile sees herself in Lily – the same love of language, the same longings, the same lethal jealousy. The Paris Library’s dual narratives explore the relationships that make us who we are – family and friends, first loves and favorite authors – in the fairy tale setting of the City of Light. It also explores the geography of resentment, the consequences of unspeakable betrayal, and what happens when the people we count on for understanding and protection fail us.


MY REVIEW:

The Paris Library was an outstanding book. I fell in love with every piece of it! I loved the characters, the setting, the drama, and all the love.

First off, the book is interesting because it not only shifts between characters but it also shifts between time. Some chapters are in WWII Paris and some are in 1980’s Montana. I loved it! The story was serious and kind of sad at times but there was sprinkled in humor too!

Odile is the main character. She is a strong young woman who works in the American Library in Paris. I enjoyed her absolute love for books and the library. Lily, is a young girl living in Montana next door to Odile as an old woman. Lily experiences loss and Odile ends up being the person that helps her through it. I really enjoyed the characters and how different but similar they were. I liked how the author flipped back and forth and intertwined the stories so it all fit together like a beautiful masterpiece.

When I put the book down I couldn’t help but reflect on my own life. It opened my eyes to things I’ve done and things I’ve overlooked because of the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I feel that if a story makes you reflect so deeply it must be an amazing book written by an outstanding author. That is what this book was. It was amazing, heartfelt, full of despair and hope, eye opening, and thoughtful. I loved this book with all my heart as I knew I would when I read the synopsis originally. Odile and her friends are the type of people I wish I knew and aspire to be. This story reminded me that not everyone is as they seem and that people change and grow throughout their lives.

The setting of the American Library is the best. It felt like home and it was a home to the characters in the book. I loved that part. Every time the library is mentioned or Odile was working there it just felt so whimsical and full of wonder. It’s a place I would love to see. Something from a dream.

I have always been interested in history which is a reason I was excited for this book! I found the writing to be so good that when the first bombs were dropped and I was reading about the peoples fear and uncertainty, I too felt that way. My heart rate increased, I was holding onto every word, I could not stop reading. This story opened my eyes to the struggles of war. How people had to do things they didn’t want to or thought were wrong just so they could survive. How people turned on each other. How there was so much hidden racism and discrimination! Odile is such a hero throughout the book. Living during that time is unfathomable. Unreal.

Finally, this story is full of love and loss. Odile suffered much loss throughout her life and Lily is lucky to have such a role model. Lily suffered loss as well and in the end it was very heartwarming that they were able to help each other and have such a great relationship! I sure enjoyed the romance and true love expressed in this book. It filled my heart many times. This story is worth the read. It is really something special that I thoroughly enjoyed!

** Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest review!


Do you like historical fiction? Chat with me in the comments!

Recent Netgalley Requests – May 2020

Hello there everyone 😊

Today I am here to share my most recent Netgalley requests and to show you all that I have a PROBLEM! I, for some reason, keep requesting more and more books to the point that I feel I am putting myself in a horrible spot 😂 How will I get through all my approved requests?!?! Anyways, have a look at what I’ve been requesting!

Recent Requests:

The Little Bookshop of Love Stories by Jaimie Admans – Approved

The Last to Know by Jo Furness – Approved

Mortmain Hall by Martian Edwards – Approved

Grave Secrets by Alice James – Approved

All Stirred Up by Brianne Moore – Approved

Throwaway Girls by Andrea Contos – Approved

The Second Chance Hotel by Rachel Dove – Approved

The Paris Children by Gloria Goldreich – Pending

Beach Read by Emily Henry – Pending

Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop by Roselle Lim – Pending (literally been pending since March 17….. 😬)

Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston – Pending (also been pending for like ever!!!)

Not Recent, but haven’t read yet:

Love Sold Separately by Ellen Meister

The Cabin on Souder Hill by Lonnie Busch

After All I’ve Done by Mina Hardy


The good news is that I haven’t been declined in a little while so yay me!!!

What have you recently requested on Netgalley?

ARC Review: The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass by Adan Jerreat-Poole

Even teenage assassins have dreams. – Goodreads

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Title: The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass

Author: Adan Jerreat-Poole

Publisher: Dundurn

Genre: Fantasy, YA, LGBT

Format: eARC

RATING: ⭐⭐/5


SYNOPSIS:

Eli isn’t just a teenage girl — she’s a made-thing the witches created to hunt down ghosts in the human world. Trained to kill with her seven magical blades, Eli is a flawless machine, a deadly assassin. But when an assignment goes wrong, Eli starts to question everything she was taught about both worlds, the Coven, and her tyrannical witch-mother.

Worried that she’ll be unmade for her mistake, Eli gets caught up with a group of human and witch renegades, and is given the most difficult and dangerous task in the worlds: capture the Heart of the Coven. With the help of two humans, one motorcycle, and a girl who smells like the sea, Eli is going to get answers — and earn her freedom. 


MY RATING:

This felt like someone trying to write a book based on a really long detailed movie and just skipped over a lot of the good stuff, leaving only the skeleton of the story and characters.

Eli, an assassin, was created by a witch. Her job was to go into the human world and kill ghosts The Coven told her needed to be killed. Eli didn’t ask questions and did her job well. That is, until she kills her latest ghost and finds out it isn’t a ghost at all. Eli starts to question everything she has been told. Eli makes some friends in the human world and with those friends goes on an adventure of a lifetime to stop The Coven and of course, save the world.

I really wanted to like this book. The idea of it is great! Witches, ghosts, assassins, warlords, and magic… what isn’t there to like?? Well, for me this story fell short and honestly was not well written. I felt that the character development was poorly done. There was little to no background information on the characters and I just couldn’t connect to them. Eli has a best friend, Kite, who by the time the book was done I still knew nothing about. The setting was awesome and I loved it but again, there was really no detail so I feel I missed out a lot there.

Maybe an unpopular opinion – one of the characters is trans (which is totally fine) – but I found it difficult to read because of the “they, their, them” pronouns used. There wasn’t enough detail in the story so these pronouns often were confusing and I didn’t know who the author was talking about. This just threw me off throughout and ruined the overall flow of the story for me.

I just feel disappointed after reading this. I feel that the story had so much potential and just didn’t follow through. All the characters had aspects I enjoyed but because of the lack of detail and background I couldn’t get into them.

** Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review


Pub date has been pushed to Oct 2020.

ARC REVIEW: Terraformer by Colleen Houck

Deadly toxins can be hidden inside the most beautiful flowers.Goodreads

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Title: Terraformer

Author: Colleen Houck

Publisher: Colleen Houck via Trident Media Group

Genre: YA, Sci-Fi

Format: eARC from Netgalley

Pub date: May 12, 2020

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5


SYNOPSIS:

Deadly toxins can be hidden inside the most beautiful flowers.

That’s what Astra Meador’s famous biophysicist mother taught her.

As her mother’s apprentice, Astra has developed skills in botany, chemistry, medicine, and, most importantly, in keeping secrets.

In fact keeping Astra’s secret was the reason her family decided to leave the Earth and join a terraforming mission to colonize a distant planet called Crillain IV. But when Astra wakes early from hypersleep, she discovers that her mother never made it onboard, her father died in transit and his body has been ejected from the ship, and she suspects that she’s not the only one awake.

When the ship finally lands and she’s reunited with her brother, Nash, Astra hopes to settle into a new life, especially when she meets the charming young engineer, Jax, and is recruited by the mission commander to train alongside his handsome son to be a future leader of the small colony.

Then Astra learns that she’s not the only one with a dark secret.

As both young men contend for her affection, Astra searches for answers, trying to determine who to trust. But with theft and murder occurring in the colony along with the sudden disappearance of her beloved brother, Astra can’t listen to the whisperings of her heart, especially when someone or something else on the planet is whispering to her mind even louder.


MY REVIEW:

Colleen Houck wrote another great story!! Terraformer took me on such a great adventure full of twists and turns! I felt this story was really unique and it was told in the best way possible!

Astra, our main character, is different. She is strong and smart and honestly such a great character. However, she has a biological “flaw” that makes her different than the others and she has to hide it from everyone. Her family has made a lot of sacrifices for her and the mission they are on is in hopes to help Astra live a better life. She, and the rest of the crew, are on their way to a new planet to colonize.

Of course right from the start things start to go downhill. Astra wakes up early, crew members start mysteriously dying, and deep dark secrets are being kept. There are SO many twists so early on, I was on my toes non stop!!

One thing I really enjoyed about this book and the characters was how many moral dilemmas there were. I felt so deeply connected to Astra because of this. She had to make so many tough decisions and it was nice because the author wrote it in a way that anyone could relate to. It felt so real and I felt like I was right there with Astra trying to solve the problems!

The story focuses a lot on Astra and how she is a biologist in training. She is so knowledgable and caring. She loves the plants and takes her job so seriously. This becomes important towards the end of the book when something SHOCKING happens regarding Astra and plants! I don’t want to say I didn’t see it coming because there was quite a bit of lead up to it. But WOW, the ending had me kind of shook. I felt happy for Astra and the other characters and also felt it was the perfect ending, however, a part of me was like whaaattt is this really happening 😂

Overall, I loved this story! The characters were relatable and I enjoyed them! There was suspense and mystery. Lots of twists and turns. A few moments of real true heartbreak, but also a lot of love and happiness. This was such a well rounded book.

I would recommend this if you enjoy sci-fi fantasy style books with some YA romance and lots of plant talk 💟

** Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.


What do you think? Does this sound interesting to you? Do you like books set in space? Chat with me in the comments 😊

Recent Netgalley Requests – Apr. 2020

Hi there friends!!

So, we are almost through April now…. what the heck is happening? Time is flying by so quickly. It is also SO PAINFUL that its beautiful outside but all the parks and whatnot are closed. Who would have thought the world would come to this? I actually miss the outside?? I never really liked being outside that much (wow that sounds so pathetic 😂) before but now that I’m not allowed to go out…. I want it! But, on the positive side, with more time spent inside it means more books are being read and I do love to read so its not all complaints from me.

I thought it would be fun to share with you all my most recent requests on Netgalley, what they have approved me for, and sadly what I have been DECLINED. Also, can be talk about the feelings you get when a book is declined? I take it like a personal attack almost LOL I felt okay when my first one was declined as I had been approved for so many, so I felt it was fair. BUT THEN I got 3 books in a row declined and I have to say – I felt a little salty about it.

You dont decline me I decline you!! - Breaking Bad | Make a Meme

Anyways, I have gotten over it now hahaha. Hopefully I can work on my salty attitude towards declined books in the future as Im sure there will be many!

Recent Requests

The Witches of Willow Cove by Josh Roberts – Approved

The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull – Approved

The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel – Approved

The Cabin on Souder Hill by Lonnie Busch – Approved

Fussy Flamingo by Shelly Vaughn James – Approved

After All I’ve Done by Mina Hardy – Approved

Terraformer by Colleen Houck – Approved

A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison – This was a “read now” book

Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop by Roselle Lim – Pending

Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston – Pending

By the Book by Amanda Sellet – Declined

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab – Declined

Havenfall by Sara Holland – Declined


So there you have it. My 3 declined books. I have to say I am most disppointed in Havenfall as I really wanted that one but I supposed I will just have to go buy it! Struggles.

Overall, I am happy with how Netgalley is treating me. I have read some fabulous books off it and keep getting a pretty steady stream of books!!

YAY ME! - london tipton - quickmeme

What books have you most recently requested on Netgalley? Do you get declined often? What book are you looking forward to reading? Let me know in the comments 😊

ARC REVIEW: The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J Klune

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret. – Goodreads

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Title: The House in the Cerulean Sea

Author: T.J Klune

Publisher: Tor Books

Genre: Fantasy, LGBTQ, Romance

Format: eARC from Netgalley

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5


SYNOPSIS:

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.


MY REVIEW:

This book left my heart feeling so full. This was such a fantastic story about magical children and the love that can grow when people have open minds and open hearts.

Linus, a caseworker for the Department in Charge of Magical Youth, is sent to a secret orphanage to check out the well being of the magic children there. He is tasked to write reports and decide if the orphanage should remain open. He quickly decides it’s something he has never seen before and with that he meets some of the most wonderful children and an even more wonderful caregiver who changes Linus’s life forever.

This was such an interesting take on regular day social work. Coming from the social services field, it really brought me joy when Linus went above and beyond the line of duty to truly understand the magic children he was sent to observe. It made my heart happy and also made me think of the amazing social workers I know who connect with and care for so many incredible children everyday.

This book reminded me a little bit of Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children. This story was full of mystery and magic. It was a really fun read which I could hardly put down! It touched on topics such as discrimination, segregation, abuse, social services system, LGTBQ+, and advocacy! These can be really tough topics but the way the author fit them in was in a light and fun way that really tied the whole story together!

I loved the magical children and getting to know all the really cool things about them. The relationships created throughout the story were so sweet and heartwarming. I enjoyed the overall writing style. It was so nice to see how Linus (and the rest of the characters) grew and evolved throughout the story. The ending had me smiling ear to ear, I was so happy!!

I would recommend this to anyone to enjoys stories about strange creatures, magical beings, or unusual things! Also, if you enjoyed Miss Peregrines Home for Peculair Children you may enjoy this one as it has similar vibes!

** thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this ARC for an honest review!


PUB DATE: March 17, 2020!!

Does this book interest you at all?? Will you be checking it out?

ARC REVIEW: The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow

“Can a girl who risks her life for books and an alien who loves forbidden pop music work together to save humanity?” – Goodreads

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Title: The Sound of Stars

Author: Alechia Dow

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Genre: YA, Sci-fi, Fantasy

Format: eARC (from Netgalley)

Pub date: February 25, 2020

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5


SYNOPSIS:

Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population.

Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. Deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, humanity’s emotional transgressions are now grounds for execution. All art, books and creative expression are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her.

Born in a lab, M0Rr1S (Morris) was raised to be emotionless. When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the rules for love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him that music does.

Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while making a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.


MY REVIEW:

I really enjoyed this book!! First off, this book is set on Earth after an alien invasion takes place! Earth is taken over and humans are given “vaccinations” that essentially wipe their minds so they are easier to control. Ellie, is the main character we follow and she is pretty darn cool. She is a strong and rebellious hero!

Ellie meets Morris (an alien) pretty quick into the story! Morris is different and really takes a liking to Ellie and they start their adventure to save Earth!

I loved this book! I found Ellie to be so normal and just realistic. Like that would be how someone really acts in this situation! I enjoyed the alien things like the tech and weird communications! Although at times I found myself thinking they were more like robots than aliens but that could just be me!!

The story plays on themes that happen everyday (like racism, difference in class, ect.) Morris is different than other aliens – hes a “labmade” which essentially means hes lesser than the “true” aliens. Ellie is a black girl in New Yotk and she speaks to a lot of racism and discrimination she and her family experienced! Ellie and Morris kind of bond on these experiences. I liked how that was tied into the book!!

The chapters switch back and forth from Ellie to Morris. I liked this a lot! I got to really be inside both of their heads which created a really well rounded story! I found the ending was kind of long, its dragged on. I loved everything that was happening I just felt it took too long to happen! So that is my only real complaint about the book.

Speaking of the ending – WOW I loved it! A twist I NEVER expected happened! The ending was both heartwarming and nerve wracking! I was left with so many loose ends…. I wish I could have gotten a bit more! It ends in such a way that there could be another book or you just need to use your imagination and decide what kind of ending Ellie and Morris would have!

** Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Let me know what you think of this book! Have you read it or will you be checking it out once its released?