Format: ARC

The Great Unexpected…by Dan Mooney-#Blogtour

The Great Unexpected…by Dan Mooney-#Blogtour

‘ They’d ask, sometime later, what he had been trying to prove, what was his message, what did he what to tell the world, and that itself would be the message.’   As odd as it sounds, some of my favorite characters are grumpy. Grumpy people that turn out to be not so bad after all (once you take the time to understand them). This was true in ‘A Man Called Ove’, and it’s true in ‘The Great Unexpected.’   Adult one on one friendship is something that adds a wonderful aspect to a storyline. This was one of the things that originally attracted to the book.  So from the start, I was rooting for Joel and Frank’s friendship to blossom.   From the beginning, I could tell that both Joel and Frank were very special characters. Franks’s bright and friendly […]

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The Stars of Alabama…by Sean Dietrich #blogtour

The Stars of Alabama…by Sean Dietrich #blogtour

‘You can control what you know and what you think and what you do. But not who you love.’   ‘The Stars of Alabama’ tells the story of multiple characters struggling to survive in the south amid the Great Depression. The stories of various unrelated characters come together to form a beautiful tale of survival and love.       I love Southern Fiction. It, along with historical fiction, is by far my favorite genre. When the two come together they are always a must-read for me. Sean Dietrich is known for his southern persona and storytelling and this story did not disappoint.   This book has all the things I love, a gritty struggle to make ends meet, strong but endearing characters, all set among the historical south.   I loved Vern and Paul’s story the most. To me, […]

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The Woman in the White Kimono…by Ana Johns #Blogtour

The Woman in the White Kimono…by Ana Johns #Blogtour

‘In the struggle of stone and water, water eventually wins. Since my family’s mind is set like stone, I must persist like water to change it.’ ‘To understand your direction, you must know both your roots and your reach.’ ‘To pick the correct one is fate. To pick the wrong one is also fate.’ Tori Kovac is on a mission to find out what happened to the woman her father fell in love within the 1950s. Naoko Nakamura is fighting her parents and their traditional Japanese ways to marry the man she loves.   I really love historical fiction. The dual timeline with a present-day perspective is by far my favorite. While there have been a ton of WWII historical fiction lately, they almost all center around the European war. The war in Japan was huge and had so many nuances. I […]

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No Place Like Here…By Christina June #blogtour

No Place Like Here…By Christina June #blogtour

  When Ashlyn’s father goes to prison and her mother goes to rehab for depression, her world falls apart. Ashlyn’s father decides she needs to work at a retreat for the summer with a cousin she barely knows.   This story is a companion book to ‘It Started With Goodbye’, and ‘Everywhere You Want to Be’. Although they have crossover characters, each can be read separately.   I was really excited to read, ‘No Place Like Here,’ when I found out it took place at a wilderness retreat. This is such a unique premise and setting.   It is a ‘Hansel and Gretal’ retelling, although this is very subtle.  Deb as the witch definitely took a while to catch onto even with the candy and gingerbread house references. Ashlyn’s quote journal and her leaving ‘breadcrumbs’ of quotes everywhere was wonderful and […]

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Between Before & After…by Maureen Doyle McQuerry

Between Before & After…by Maureen Doyle McQuerry

Favorite Quotes   ‘If we learn anything from a story at all, it’s through identification’   ‘It made me feel like a story could be more than words on paper, a living thing that may change in unpredictable ways.’   ‘Hope is made not given.’   ‘Once you open yourself  to miracles, they start showing up all around you.’   My Review   Elaine is the child of poor Irish immigrants. She is growing up in turn of the century New York City. When Elaine’s mother dies from the Spanish flu, Elaine struggles to keep her family together.   Elaine’s daughter, Molly, is growing up in 1950’s San José, California. She is crushed by the breakup of her parents marriage and desperately attempting to understand her distant mother and learn her secrets. I really love historical fiction. I find I […]

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Love, Life, and the List…by Kasie West

Love, Life, and the List…by Kasie West

Abby’s goal in life is to become a serious artist. Her hope is to get into a special art camp. To carry out this she must put more heart into her work so Abby makes herself a bucket list. Abby is also dealing with an agoraphobic mother, a deployed father, and a growing crush on her best friend Cooper. I have read a couple of Kasie West novels and enjoyed them. They are generally fun, young, romantic, novels. I really enjoyed ‘Lucky in Love’, so I was really excited to read this one. I did enjoy the storyline in general. I loved the idea of experiencing life in order to give yourself a wider perspective.  I just didn’t connect with the characters. Maybe, I’m just too old or maybe I just don’t get the California lifestyle thing. For me Abby and […]

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We Are All That’s Left…by Carrie Arcos #Blogtour

We Are All That’s Left…by Carrie Arcos #Blogtour

Zara feels shut off from her Bosnian born mother. She knows that her mother survived some horrible things in the Bosnian war but Zara wants desperately to understand who her mother is. So when Zara, her mother, and her little brother are victims of a tourist attack, Zara begins to understand what emotional and physical trauma can do to a person and a family.   I really love a good historical fiction. Good historical fiction is entertaining while at the same time teaches us about significant events. I have noticed that much of the historical fiction out there covers the really well-known periods of history. For example: the Tutor period, the American Civil War, WWI, and especially WWII. I really love it when I find a  novel that explores world events that are lesser known . When I read the […]

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Right Where You Left Me…by Calla Devlin

Right Where You Left Me…by Calla Devlin

‘Right Where You Left Me’ is the story of Charlotte. Her mother is a Russian immigrate who works in the bakery downstairs from their apartment. Charlotte’s father is a larger than life newspaper reporter who loves to be the first on the ground during natural disasters. At the very begging of ‘Right Where You Left Me’, Charlotte’s father leaves for Ukraine to cover an earthquake. Her father soon becomes missing. Charlotte’s shared experience with her mother of worrying about Charlotte’s father draws them both closer together and further apart. I began reading ‘Right Where You Left Me’ the day before hurricane Irma hit here in Florida. It was an interesting surprise to find out that this story was about someone who covered natural disasters. I loved that this was a fresh topic that hasn’t been touched on much in YA. […]

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The Book That Made Me…by Judith Ridge (Editor) et al

The Book That Made Me…by Judith Ridge (Editor) et al

‘The Book That Made Me’ is an anthology by several authors that tells about a book that influenced their life. ‘The Book That Made Me’ gives us a chance to  look inside the authors’ mind and how they first became inspired to write. I am not usually big on anthologies. I’m a cover to cover reader and I don’t like to skip stories (even if I don’t enjoy them). I find that with most anthologies there are stories/essays I love,  a few that are ok, and ones I just don’t enjoy. This was the case with the ‘The Book That Made Me’. When I started reading I noticed that I only recognized two authors, Markus Zusak author of ‘The Book Thief’ and Jaclyn Moriarty (whose sister Liane wrote ‘Big Little Lies’). After a couple of essays, I realized why. All the authors are either […]

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Otherwise Known as Possum…by Maria D. Laso

Otherwise Known as Possum…by Maria D. Laso

‘Otherwise Known as Possum’ is a middle-grade historical fiction novel. The story takes place in the deep south during at the height of the great depression. The titular character, Possum Porter’s, mother and baby brother recently died in childbirth. Adding to Possum’s grief, her father decides to send her to the town school (up until then she had been homeschooled). Possum’s goals  become to show her daddy that she is too smart for school and to keep her teacher, Ms. Arthington, away from her father.     ‘Otherwise Known as Possum’ reminded me a lot of ‘Little House on the Prairie.’ There were major differences such as the setting and time period. However,the story just had the ‘Little House ‘feel to me. There were also obvious similarities such as ‘Mary Grace’ being the daughter of the  town store owner and she constantly teases ‘Possum’. Also, the town Possum […]

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