Monday, July 6, 2020

Review: 10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon

Title: 10 Things I Hate About Pinky
Author: Sandhya Menon
Series: Book Three in the Dimple and Rishi Series
Genre: YA Contemporary
Published By: Simon Pulse (July 21, 2020)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
The follow-up to When Dimple Met Rishi and There’s Something about Sweetie follows Pinky and Samir as they pretend to date—with disastrous and hilarious results.

Pinky Kumar wears the social justice warrior badge with pride. From raccoon hospitals to persecuted rock stars, no cause is too esoteric for her to champion. But a teeny-tiny part of her also really enjoys making her conservative, buttoned-up corporate lawyer parents cringe.

Samir Jha might have a few . . . quirks remaining from the time he had to take care of his sick mother, like the endless lists he makes in his planner and the way he schedules every minute of every day, but those are good things. They make life predictable and steady.

Pinky loves lazy summers at her parents’ Cape Cod lake house, but after listening to them harangue her about the poor decisions (aka boyfriends) she’s made, she hatches a plan. Get her sorta-friend-sorta-enemy, Samir—who is a total Harvard-bound Mama’s boy—to pose as her perfect boyfriend for the summer. As they bicker their way through lighthouses and butterfly habitats, sparks fly, and they both realize this will be a summer they'll never forget. 

Top Five Reasons to Read and Love 10 Things I Hate About Pinky

1. Lovable characters that are far from perfect and so darn relatable.
2. Swoon worthy romances that are always deliciously slow building.
3. Diverse group of characters that will steal your heart.
4. Great escape read that will leave you with a smile on your face and a warmth in your heart.
5. Outstanding writing that is every bit as memorizing as it is fun and entertaining. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Monday, June 22, 2020

Blog Tour: I Was Told It Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman

Title: I Was Told It Would Get Easier
Author: Abbi Waxman
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Women's Contemporary
Published By: Berkely (June 16, 2020)
Source: ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Book Description:
Squashed among a bus full of strangers, mother-daughter duo Jessica and Emily Burnstein watch their carefully mapped-out college tour devolve into a series of off-roading misadventures, from the USA Today bestselling author of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill.

Jessica and Emily Burnstein have very different ideas of how this college tour should go.

For Emily, it’s a preview of freedom, exploring the possibility of her new and more exciting future. Not that she’s sure she even wants to go to college, but let’s ignore that for now. And maybe the other kids on the tour will like her more than the ones at school. . . . They have to, right?

For Jessica, it’s a chance to bond with the daughter she seems to have lost. They used to be so close, but then Goldfish crackers and Play-Doh were no longer enough of a draw. She isn’t even sure if Emily likes her anymore. To be honest, Jessica isn’t sure she likes herself.

Together with a dozen strangers–and two familiar enemies–Jessica and Emily travel the East Coast, meeting up with family and old friends along the way. Surprises and secrets threaten their relationship and, in the end, change it forever.

About the Author:

Hi there. I'm a chocolate loving, dog loving writer living in Los Angeles. I sit down if I can, and lie down whenever possible. If you enjoy my book and would like a personalized, signed bookplate to go in it, email me your name and address and I'll send you one!

A fun heart warming and sometimes funny story about the bonds between mothers and daughters. I loved the strong sense of girl power in this as well as what it takes to keep a family going in these times and also be a working women in a sometimes very much, male dominated world. 

Woman has a wonderful ability to dive into tough subject matters with quirky characters and very real feeling situations and events and still inject a fun loving sense of humor along with all the tough serious heart felt moments. 

Monday, June 1, 2020

Review: The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton

Title: The Last Train To Key West
Author: Chanel Cleeton
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Contemporary/Historical
Published By: Berkley (June 16, 2020)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4.5 Stars!

Book Description:
In 1935 three women are forever changed when one of the most powerful hurricanes in history barrels toward the Florida Keys in New York Times bestselling author Chanel Cleeton's captivating new novel.

Everyone journeys to Key West searching for something. For the tourists traveling on Henry Flagler's legendary Overseas Railroad, Labor Day weekend is an opportunity to forget the economic depression gripping the nation. But one person's paradise can be another's prison, and Key West-native Helen Berner yearns to escape.

The Cuban Revolution of 1933 left Mirta Perez's family in a precarious position. After an arranged wedding in Havana, Mirta arrives in the Keys on her honeymoon. While she can't deny the growing attraction to the stranger she's married, her new husband's illicit business interests may threaten not only her relationship, but her life.

Elizabeth Preston's trip from New York to Key West is a chance to save her once-wealthy family from their troubles as a result of the Wall Street crash. Her quest takes her to the camps occupied by veterans of the Great War and pairs her with an unlikely ally on a treacherous hunt of his own.

Over the course of the holiday weekend, the women's paths cross unexpectedly, and the danger swirling around them is matched only by the terrifying force of the deadly storm threatening the Keys.

This author never ceases to blow me away with her amazing stories. Stories that transport you back in tome to another world, another place and another time. When women were still viewed as less than a world very much in turmoil. 

Her endearing characters are so real, so raw, and so darn relatable. You want to know them, you feel like  they are friends and most of all, you end up caring greatly for them by the time their story is over.

This time her story takes us to Key West in the lives of three very different woman and the story takes place over a long Labor Day weekend during a time in our history much of the world has forgotten about during a storm, many remember. A story about three woman who are even though they are different, are still very much the same. All struggling to make something of themselves and to be different, to be strong and independent and most of all, to be happy with their life and choices.

I adored all these women. Their heartache was my heartache and their joy, my joy. I became so invested in their future and I wanted only the best for them. I truly loved every single page of their stories and I couldn't of asked for a better ending for them all.  

I love this author and she has quickly become a favorite and for good reason. She truly is talented at all that she writes and knows how to make a story, to make characters, come to life. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Blog Tour Review: The Prisoner's Wife by Maggie Brooks

Title: The Prisoner's Wife
Author: Maggie Brookes
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Historical
Published By: Berkley Books (May 26, 2020)
Source: ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Book Description:
Inspired by the true story of a daring deception that plunges a courageous young woman deep into the horrors of a Nazi POW camp to be with the man she loves.

In the dead of night, a Czech farm girl and a British soldier travel through the countryside. Izabela and prisoner of war Bill have secretly married and are on the run, with Izzy dressed as a man. The young husband and wife evade capture for as long as possible--until they are cornered by Nazi soldiers with tracking dogs.

Izzy's disguise works. The couple are assumed to be escaped British soldiers and transported to a POW camp. However, their ordeal has just begun, as they face appalling living conditions and the constant fear of Izzy's exposure. But in the midst of danger and deprivation comes hope, for the young couple are befriended by a small group of fellow prisoners. These men become their new family, willing to jeopardize their lives to save Izzy from being discovered and shot.

The Prisoner's Wife tells of an incredible risk, and of how our deepest bonds are tested in desperate times. Bill and Izzy's story is one of love and survival against the darkest odds. 

About the Author:

Maggie Brookes is a British ex-journalist and BBC television producer turned poet and novelist.
The Prisoner’s Wife is based on an extraordinary true story of love and courage, told to her by an ex-WW2 prisoner of war. Maggie visited the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany as part of her research for the book, learning largely forgotten aspects of the war.
The Prisoner’s Wife is due to be published by imprints of Penguin Random House in the UK and in the US in May 2020. Publication in other countries, including Holland, Italy, Portugal, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic will follow.
As well as being a writer, Maggie is an advisory fellow for the Royal Literary Fund and also an Associate Professor at Middlesex University, London, England, where she has taught creative writing since 1990. She lives in London and Whitstable, Kent and is married, with two grown-up daughters.
She has published five poetry collections in the UK under her married name of Maggie Butt. Poetry website:

Every once in awhile you stumble upon a book that is rich in history, so much so that sometimes, it will take your very breath away. Sometimes it steals that breath because of how beautiful it is and sometimes because of how very sad and horrifying and raw and true it is. In the case of The Prisoner's Wife, it was for all of these reasons. 

This book horrified me. It made me cringe, it made me suffer right along with it's heartbreakingly real characters that were so real and lovable and full of life. It made me rejoice in their simple joys and happiness when they could find it and most of all, it had me rooting for them all along the way hoping like crazy that they would all be rescued, redeemed and all get their happily ever afters. 

I loved this. I hated this. I didn't want it to end.

So beautifully written, so beautifully told and so eye opening about horrors that I already knew existed and happened, but needed reminding of again. A terrible part of our history, of the worlds history, that I hope we never forget and more importantly, never, ever, let happen again. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Review: The Necromancer's Library by J.L. Bryan

Title: The Necromancer's Library
Author: J.L. Bryan
Series: Book Twelve in the Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper Series
Genre: Paranormal/Ghost
Published: April 30, 2020
Source: ARC Provided by the Author (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4.5 Stars!

Book Description:
The antebellum mansion sits isolated in the overgrown countryside like a forgotten temple. Within it lie the dark, twisting paths of a private library possessing secrets from across the ages. The collection of ancient and medieval occult manuscripts tell of conjuring spirits and raising the dead, of making contact with supernatural realms and beings usually forbidden to living mortals.

The house's recently deceased owner was a reclusive former professor who transformed his home into a great library, but his desire for hidden knowledge and arcane power may have led him into madness, even death.

Disturbing specters now haunt the new occupants of the house, who turn to paranormal investigator Ellie Jordan for help. Ellie must unravel the mysteries of the occult library before she can banish its ghosts and make the house safe again for the living.

This series has been so much fun from the very beginning and truly does seem to get even better with each new adventure. I adore a good ghost story and Bryan always delivers with one that will not only have chills running up and down my spine the whole time, eagerly turning the pages, but also one that makes me leave the lights on because, you know, ghosts! Who doesn't love a good ghost story after all?

 The kind that makes you shudder and question those bumps in the night. The kind that have you looking over your shoulder as you are reading to make sure no one is creeping in the shadows watching you. The kind that completely can take your breath away and still leave you wanting more.

I love this series and this latest, set in a library of all places, truly was a treat. So much fun. So spooky, so chilling and I devoured every single page. 

Another amazing edition to the series and I am so glad it is still going strong and I can't wait for the next one. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Monday, April 20, 2020

Review: More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn

Title: More Than Maybe
Author: Erin Hahn
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: YA Contemporary
Published By: Wednesday Books (May 12, 2020)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 5 Solid Stars!!

Book Description:
Growing up under his punk rocker dad’s spotlight, eighteen-year-old Luke Greenly knows fame and wants nothing to do with it. His real love isn’t in front of a crowd, it’s on the page. Hiding his gift and secretly hoarding songs in his bedroom at night, he prefers the anonymous comfort of the locally popular podcast he co-hosts with his outgoing and meddling, far-too-jealousy-inspiringly-happy-with-his-long-term-boyfriend twin brother, Cullen. But that’s not Luke’s only secret. He also has a major un-requited crush on music blogger, Vada Carsewell.

Vada’s got a five year plan: secure a job at the Loud Lizard to learn from local legend (and her mom’s boyfriend) Phil Josephs (check), take over Phil’s music blog (double check), get accepted into Berkeley’s prestigious music journalism program (check, check, check), manage Ann Arbor’s summer concert series and secure a Rolling Stone internship. Luke Greenly is most definitely NOT on the list. So what if his self-deprecating charm and out-of-this-world music knowledge makes her dizzy? Or his brother just released a bootleg recording of Luke singing about some mystery girl on their podcast and she really, really wishes it was her?

I expected to love More Than Maybe, I did not expect it to steal my heart. The characters, the story, the music, the sheer friendship and love. This is by far the first YA book in a really long time I can say completely swept me a way in just about every way a girl, a reader, can be swept away. 

And yes, dear author, I want a Phil! And a Cullen, and a Zach, and a Mia, and yes, especially a Luke! 

This was so much more than I was expecting and everything I needed, when I needed it, without even realizing it. Such a sweet story that will stick with me long after the book has been read, and the review has been submitted. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Blog Tour Review: The Big Finish by Brooke Fossey

Title: The Big Finish
Author: Brooke Fossey
Stand Alone
Genre: Contemporary
Published By: Berkley (April 14, 2020)
Source: ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Book Description:
Meet Duffy, an old curmudgeon who lives in an assisted living home.

Meet Josie, a desperate young woman who climbs through his window.

Together, they’re going to learn it’s never too late—or too early—to change your ways.

For Duffy Sinclair, life boils down to one simple thing: maintaining his residence at the idyllic Centennial Assisted Living. Without it, he’s destined for the roach-infested nursing home down the road—and after wasting the first eighty-eight years of his life, he refuses to waste away for the rest. So, he keeps his shenanigans to the bare minimum with the help of his straight-laced best friend and roommate, Carl Upton.

But when Carl’s granddaughter Josie climbs through their bedroom window with booze on her breath and a black eye, Duffy’s faced with trouble that’s sticking around and hard to hide—from Centennial’s management and Josie’s toxic boyfriend. Before he knows it, he’s running a covert operation that includes hitchhiking and barhopping.

He might as well write himself a one-way ticket to the nursing home…or the morgue. Yet Duffy’s all in. Because thanks to an unlikely friendship that becomes fast family—his life doesn’t boil down the same anymore. Not when he finally has a chance to leave a legacy.

In a funny, insightful, and life-affirming debut, Brooke Fossey delivers an unflinching look at growing old, living large, and loving big, as told by a wise-cracking man who didn’t see any of it coming.

About the Author:

Brooke Fossey was once an aerospace engineer with a secret clearance before she traded it all in for motherhood and writing. She’s a past president and an honorary lifetime member of DFW Writers' Workshop. Her work can be found in numerous publications, including Ruminate Magazine and SmokeLong Quarterly. When she’s not writing, you can find her in Dallas, Texas with her husband, four kids, and their dog Rufus. She still occasionally does math. 

Who doesn't love a feisty old man that isn't afraid to raise eyebrows and speak his mind? Someone with a heart of gold under that rugged gruff exterior? I know I for one, find them hard to resist which was why when I read the synopsis for this, had no qualms about picking it up and diving right in. 

This was such a fun, emotional, and very unexpected read for me. I truly had so much fun with it and enjoyed so much of it. The characters were so real and raw and the messages about love, friendship and family, even more so. 

I'm truly delighted that I took a chance and read this, I will remember these heartfelt, real, characters for a long time coming.