Tag: review

ARC Review: The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull

This novel is the fictionalised story of the American divorcée who captured Prince Edward’s heart before he abdicated his throne for Wallis Simpson.


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Title: The Woman Before Wallis

Author: Bryn Turnbull

Publisher: MIRA

Genre: Historical Fiction

Format: eARC from Netgalley

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Pub date: July 21, 2020


SYNOPSIS:

In the summer of 1926, when Thelma Morgan marries Viscount Duke Furness after a whirlwind romance, she’s immersed in a gilded world of extraordinary wealth and privilege. For Thelma, the daughter of an American diplomat, her new life as a member of the British aristocracy is like a fairy tale—even more so when her husband introduces her to Edward, Prince of Wales.

In a twist of fate, her marriage to Duke leads her to fall headlong into a love affair with Edward. But happiness is fleeting, and their love is threatened when Thelma’s sister, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, becomes embroiled in a scandal with far-reaching implications. As Thelma sails to New York to support Gloria, she leaves Edward in the hands of her trusted friend Wallis, never imagining the consequences that will follow.


MY REVIEW:

The Woman Before Wallis was a beautiful story about life, love, and heartbreak. I will start this by saying I enjoy a good historical fiction. I really respect the author for writing such a fantastic story and for making such a grand effort to have all the details from the actual story correct.

Thelma, is the main character of this story. She is a wonderful woman. Truly special. For her time she is independent, motivated, and just wanted something different for herself than what was the expectation. Her character took me on this whirlwind of an adventure that at times filled me with happiness and at other times filled me with sorrow. I would say I am a sucker for a love story and if you think this is going to be a love story – you are mistaken. There are relationships and yes, some love, but this is far from a love story. It is rather heartbreaking actually, but in a beautiful way.

Thelma is a divorcee, which during this time, is not well received. She then gets lucky and marries a new man (Duke Furness) and becomes part of the “high society” in England. Lucky lady, indeed. Throughout the rest of the story, Thelma is constantly fighting for happiness. While she marries a lovely man, she cannot stay happy. The instability of marriages during this time was unbelievable. Having affairs was more accepted than getting divorced. This part especially hurts Thelma. This leads to her meeting and ultimately, to her relationship with the Prince of Wales. Again, lucky lady! Again, she struggles with this relationship and many events occur throughout the rest of the book that are full of love and happiness and as well, full of sadness.

To be honest, I didn’t know whether or not I was even enjoying this book until I got about half way through. I was getting confused trying to keep up with the characters and the names. I had a hard time remembering the family names and keeping track of this “social map” of people. I can only imagine how stressful this would be in real life. It was exhausting keeping up. I found at the half way point it became easier and I started to feel very attached to some of the characters.

I was so drawn into the story. I read this book in 2 days. It sucked me in. I loved the fancy life of English royalty and upper class. It made me want that life. However, as scandals came up throughout, it made me realize that is NOT the life I want. I really did enjoy that part though. It was so fun to read about the fancy parties and events that these people had on a regular basis. I loved reading about the extravagant dresses and outfits as well. It was so dream like.

When it came to the end of the book I felt so mixed! I truly loved this story. Thelma has a special place in a heart. She was so strong and while at times did not make the best decisions, she sure stuck to her heart and that is very respectable. I wish it would have ended differently for her. It was a sad ending in my opinion, but not everyone gets a fairy tale ending. The only reason I did not rate this as 5 stars was simply because the ending left me asking questions and wanting to know exactly what happened. Of course, I understand that filling in the gaps would probably be an entire other book, but I felt almost cheated not know exactly the events that led to Wallis and David. I’m actually not too sure my heart could take it now that I’m thinking more about it!!

Overall, this was a fabulous book. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction in its truest form. It was a beautifully written story.


Do you like historical fiction?

Chat with me in the comments 😊

Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes


Ambition will fuel him. Competition will drive him. But power has its price.

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Title: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Author: Suzanne Collins

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Genre: YA, Dystopian

Format: Physical book

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5


SYNOPSIS:

It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capital, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined — every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute… and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.


MY REVIEW:

I have read so many mixed reviews on this book and for that reason I honestly went into it with really low expectations! I was ever questioning this book before reading any reviews at all. I felt like I didn’t need this prequel and just felt that The Hunger Games were over and done and didn’t need to be brought up again.

But you guys… I really liked it! Don’t get me wrong – THIS IS NOT A HUNGER GAMES BOOK. This is before the series and it is MUCH different. Do not go into this expecting the crazy action packed books like before. This takes on a whole new approach and new view of the games.

What I liked the most:

  • Seeing Snow’s character before he is the horrible president that everyone loves to hate
  • Finding out what the Hunger Games used to be like and how it evolved
  • Getting some information about what it’s like to be a Peace Keeper
  • Finding out why Snow is the way he is and piecing it all together!

For me, I like some good background information. This book did just that! We follow Snow while he is a student and also part of the very first mentor program for the games. It was interesting to see how the games unfold and learn how the games became this HUGE event later on. I loved seeing Snow change and evolve. Snow has quite a few personality flaws that really clear up why he is so horrible in the future but also his life was not some simple, easy, perfect life and a part of me felt for him and understood. Snow faces a lot of challenges in this story and a lot of them are moral and ethical dilemmas. As much as I love a character that is out there to make the world a better place, it is also fun to have a morally gray character too. Snow is the MOST morally gray character ever haha sometimes he seems “good” and other times he actually shocks you with his decisions. In the end, none of it is much of a shock because we all know who he turns out to be later on.

While there wasn’t a ton of action I still felt the story to be fast paced enough that I was invested in it. There were definitely sometimes I was on the edge of my seat! There was no lack of suspense at all. I will say though that there is a romance that happens during the story and for me I felt it could have been left out OR not had such a large part. It just didn’t seem important and at the end it didn’t really add anything useful. It was cute though at parts but… meh.

I would say read this book if you loved The Hunger Games and you are interested in seeing it from a different lens. Read this book if you want to know more about Snow and how the heck he became the man he did. Read this book if you like a good origin story! I think overall, if you liked the series, this is worth the read.


Have you read this? What did you think? If not, is this something you want to read?

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!

ARC Review: Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth


Five twenty-something heroes famous for saving the world when they were teenagers must face even greater demons–and reconsider what it means to be a hero . . . by destiny or by choice. – Goodreads

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Title: Chosen Ones

Author: Veronica Roth

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Genre: Fantasy

Format: eARC from Netgalley

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5


SYNOPSIS:

A decade ago near Chicago, five teenagers defeated the otherworldly enemy known as the Dark One, whose reign of terror brought widespread destruction and death. The seemingly un-extraordinary teens—Sloane, Matt, Ines, Albie, and Esther—had been brought together by a clandestine government agency because one of them was fated to be the “Chosen One,” prophesized to save the world. With the goal achieved, humankind celebrated the victors and began to mourn their lost loved ones.

Ten years later, though the champions remain celebrities, the world has moved forward and a whole, younger generation doesn’t seem to recall the days of endless fear. But Sloane remembers. It’s impossible for her to forget when the paparazzi haunt her every step just as the Dark One still haunts her dreams. Unlike everyone else, she hasn’t moved on; she’s adrift—no direction, no goals, no purpose. On the eve of the Ten Year Celebration of Peace, a new trauma hits the Chosen: the death of one of their own. And when they gather for the funeral at the enshrined site of their triumph, they discover to their horror that the Dark One’s reign never really ended.


MY REVIEW:

Chosen Ones gave me all sorts of feelings from good to bad to mixed and confused. I will start by saying that I enjoyed this book but I also feel a little let down 🤷🏼‍♀️ here is why:

The first like 200 pages is slow. It was SAD as all heck you guys. It drags. I was bored and honestly didn’t want to read it. Just a warning as well – some of the topics discussed during the first half of the book are tough. There is trauma, PTSD, flashbacks, drug use, addiction, death… some dark things! Which is a big reason to why I said the first half is sad. I felt there was nothing positive happening and just bad after bad thing was happening.

BUT after 200 pages this book is fantastic! Its fast paced, full of mystery and adventure, has magic and zombies and alternate dimensions!!

I really liked the characters! Sloane is a fabulous character full of flaws which make her so special and relatable. I especially enjoy Mox! He was tall, dark, and mysterious! I’d say as soon as he came in I was like ‘oooooo here we go this the story I want to know’ haha.

I was torn between giving this book a 3 or 4 star rating. I felt 3 star was fitting because how slow it was and how it took me a bit to get into it. However, once it got going I actually loved the story and felt that it was well written and enjoyable…. so giving it 3 overall felt wrong. So, I gave it 4 stars because of how it picked up. That being said, if you don’t like a slow start to a book then maybe this isn’t for you! You might not agree with my 4 star rating.

However, if you like a interesting fantasy with magic, war, the undead, plot twists, and a touch of cute romance then I think you will enjoy this!


What do you think of this one? Have you read it?

Do you like books by Veronica Roth?

ARC REVIEW: The Little Bookshop of Love Stories by Jaimie Admans

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Title: The Little Bookshop of Love Stories

Author: Jaimie Admans

Publisher: HQ Digital

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Format: eARC from Netgalley

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Buy it here!


SYNOPSIS:

Today is the Mondayest Monday ever. Hallie Winstone has been fired – and it wasn’t even her fault!

Having lost her job and humiliated herself in front of a whole restaurant full of diners, this is absolutely, one hundred percent, the worst day of her life.

That is until she receives an email announcing that she is the lucky winner of the Once Upon a Page Bookshop!

Owning a bookshop has always been Hallie’s dream, and when she starts to find secret love letters on the first pages of every book, she knows she’s stumbled across something special.

Things get even better when she meets gorgeous, bookish Dimitri and between them, they post a few of the hidden messages online, reuniting people who thought they were lost forever.

But maybe it’s time for Hallie to find her own happy-ever-after, too?


MY REVIEW:

I feel like I just returned from the most amazing little trip to the sweetest town and bookshop after finishing this book. First off – this was ADORABLE. Hallie and Dmitri are so cute and I just could not get enough of them!

Hallie has lived a super unlucky life! Everywhere she goes bad luck seems to follow. She finds out she’s the winner of her favorite bookshop and she decides to start a new life as a bookshop owner! I LOVED this! I didn’t realize how much I also want to own a bookshop hahaha this story just makes it seem so perfect and I need that in my life.

Hallie meets a wonderful man, Dmitri, who helps her with the bookshop and of course an adorable romance ensues! I loved reading about their blossoming love and the exciting discoveries they make while working in the bookshop!

I was so impressed by this book. The writing was great, story was sweet, there were some interesting twists and turns, I enjoyed the characters a lot!! Really there were no negatives to this. If you love stories about books/bookshops and cute fluffy romances then this is for you!! Prepare to have your heart filled with love and happiness 💟

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


If you do like these types of books, you might also like these ones!

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Check it out here!

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Check it out here!


Have you read The Little Bookshop of Love Stories? Is this something you would read? Chat with me in the comments!!

I use some affiliate links, these links do not impact the price but I do receive a small commission from the retailer if you use my link!*

BOOK REVIEW: Wilder Girls by Rory Power

A feminist Lord of the Flies about three best friends living in quarantine at their island boarding school, and the lengths they go to uncover the truth of their confinement when one disappears. This fresh debut is a mind-bending novel unlike anything you’ve read before. – Penguin Random House

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Title: Wilder Girls

Author: Rory Power

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Genre: YA, Horror, Mystery

Format: Physical book

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐/5


SYNOPSIS:

It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.


MY REVIEW:

I would describe Wilder Girls as a mix of YA horror, survival, and dystopia. The author did a great job of writing the gruesome horror aspects! I would say that was the strongest part of the book.

The story follows 3 girls who are at a boarding school on an island. The girls at the boarding school all get sick and start to form all sorts of different deformities. Its unclear why this is happening to the girls and therefore, the island is under quarantine while scientists try to cure them.

The idea of this book is awesome! I really enjoyed the characters. I loved the main character Hetty and her friend Byatt. I have to admit I wasn’t the biggest fan of Reese 🤷🏼‍♀️ I liked that there was little to no romance in this story. There was some hints of romance but it was really kept to a minimal.

Survival was a big part of the story. Probably 99% of the time the story focuses on the girls just trying to survive another day. It was quite desperate at times and did keep me on the edge of my seat.

BUT this story just lacked something for me. Maybe it was the fact that no real action happens until the end of the book. Maybe it was ending that felt totally unresolved and just finished with nothing answered. The characters really kept me in this book. The story itself was interesting and unique but wasn’t AMAZING!


Have you read this one or is it on your TBR? I’d love to hear what you think of this one!! Chat with me in the comments!

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.

First Impression: The Little Bookshop of Love Stories

Hey guys! Its been awhile since I’ve done a first impression post but I am reading a new book and I LOVE it so I need to share some thoughts.

The Little Bookshop of Love Stories by Jaimie Admans

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So, I want to start off by saying – I LOVE a story about books, or bookshops. I think they are always so fun and magical to read. So when I saw this on Netgalley I had to request it and sure enough, I was lucky enough to be approved.

I’m really liking the writing style. To be honest the first chapter kind of made me go “woah” because the chapter was very long lol and also because there were some REALLY long sentences. However, it was really descriptive and I like how the author explains things.

The main character, Hallie, is cute! She has horrible luck. She gets fired from her job and just bad thing after bad thing happen. I really feel bad for her!! But then she has a bit of a miracle happen….. she wins ownership of her favorite bookshop. WHAT!! How cool is that?? This made me instantly jealous. What book lover wouldn’t want to work/own a bookshop? Also, this bookshop sounds like its super cute so that makes it even better!!

I am only 3 chapters into the book but already hooked and loving it. It seems like it will be really cute and as the title states “Bookshop of Love Stories” – I am really hoping for some romance! Fingers crossed!

ALSO – This book was just recently published on May 8!


Do you like books about books?? Would you read this one?

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 😊

BOOK REVIEW: Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones

“A touch of Jane Austen, a dash of adventure, and just a hint of magic make it shine.” —Booklist

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Title: Murder, Magic, and What We Wore

Author: Kelly Jones

Publisher: Knopf Books

Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Format: Physical book (I got this from BookOutlet)

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐/5


SYNOPSIS:

The year is 1818, the city is London, and our heroine, 16-year-old Annis Whitworth, has just learned that her father is dead and all his money is missing. And so, of course, she decides to become a spy.

Annis always suspected that her father was a spy, so following in his footsteps to unmask his killer makes perfect sense. Alas, it does not make sense to England’s current spymasters—not even when Annis reveals that she has the rare magical ability to sew glamours: garments that can disguise the wearer completely.

Well, if the spies are too pigheaded to take on a young woman of quality, then Annis will take them on.

She’ll follow the clues her father left behind and discover what befell him.

She’ll prove she can sew an impenetrable disguise.

She’ll earn a living without stooping to become a—shudder—governess.

It can’t be any harder than navigating the London social season, can it?


MY REVIEW:

Murder, Magic, and What We Wore was an interesting book. It is set in England during the early 1800’s. Annis is a young woman who lives a very lavish life. Her father is quite wealthy and she gets to attend fancy parties and have nice things! That is, until her father dies (mysteriously I might add). She and her cousin, Cassia, are left with nothing and have to move away from the life they know so well.

Annis has a magical gift that she puts to use to make money for herself and Cassia. This leads to finding out information about her father, spies, dangerous men hunting her down, and the truth about her family, including Cassia.

Nothing exciting happened in this story until about 50% through. It was really quite boring. As soon as Annis started to investigate things on her own, it truly became interesting and I did like the mystery. It was fun and fast paced! I enjoyed the magic aspect of the story as well and I do have to say the end discovery got me! I had no idea! So there were a lot of positives!

The characters were a little dry to me though. I liked Annis and Cassia. They had a maid, Millicent, who was pretty cool too! However, there were so many characters and because of that, most were just glossed over and felt like fillers.

The story was cute though and I would say I did enjoy it but there were definitely some downfalls to it!


What do you think of this book? Has anyone read it? Does this sound like something you would enjoy?