Review: The Princess Saves Herself In This One // Plus a Blogging Survey

By Amanda Lovelace

Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Community Rating: 3.94

Genre: Poetry

Publication Date: April 23rd, 2016

Format Read: Paperback

Goodreads Summary: “Ah, life- the thing that happens to us while we’re off somewhere else blowing on dandelions & wishing ourselves into the pages of our favorite fairy tales.”

A poetry collection divided into four different parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, & you. the princess, the damsel, & the queen piece together the life of the author in three stages, while you serves as a note to the reader & all of humankind. Explores life & all of its love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, & inspirations.

Continue reading “Review: The Princess Saves Herself In This One // Plus a Blogging Survey”

Review: We Were Liars // Exciting Mystery and Glowing Romance

By E. Lockhart

Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Community Rating: 3.85

Genre: YA Mystery

Publication Date: May 13th 2014

Format Read: Audiobook

Goodreads Summary: A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. 

Read it.

And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

Continue reading “Review: We Were Liars // Exciting Mystery and Glowing Romance”

Review: Select // Had Me Hooked From Page One

By Marit Weisenberg

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Goodreads Community Rating: 3.59

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publication Date: October 3rd, 2017

Format Read: Ebook

Goodreads Summary: Coming from a race of highly-evolved humans, Julia Jaynes has the perfect life. The perfect family. The perfect destiny. But there’s something rotten beneath the surface—dangerous secrets her father is keeping; abilities she was never meant to have; and an elite society of people determined to keep their talents hidden and who care nothing for the rest of humanity. So when Julia accidentally disrupts the Jaynes’ delicate anonymity, she’s banished to the one place meant to make her feel inferior: public high school.

Julia’s goal is to lay low and blend in. Then she meets him—John Ford, tennis prodigy, all-around good guy. When Julia discovers a knack for reading his mind, and also manipulating his life, school suddenly becomes a temporary escape from the cold grip of her manipulative father. But as Julia’s powers over John grow, so do her feelings. For the first time in her life, Julia begins to develop a sense of self, to question her restrictive upbringing and her family prejudices. She must decide: can a perfect love be worth more than a perfect life? 

Continue reading “Review: Select // Had Me Hooked From Page One”

Review: Smugglers and Scones (A Cutesy, Adorable Mystery)

By Morgan C Talbot

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Goodreads Rating: 4.15

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Publication Date: January 31st 2017

Format Read: Phone Ebook at Author Request

Challenges met: What’s in a Name? & Read Harder

Goodreads Summary: Pippa Winterbourne runs Moorehaven, the Oregon Coast’s quirkiest bed-and-breakfast and former home of world-famous mystery writer A. Raymond Moore. Guests come there to write their own crime novels. When a real-life murder takes a local’s life and washes a handsome boat pilot into her arms, Pippa is yanked into a deadly plot of her own. A tangle of secrets crashes past into present, and Pippa must uncover clues dating back to Seacrest’s Prohibition days, including a secret Moore himself hid from the world.

Juggling her book-writing guests, small-town intrigues, secret club agendas, and a possibly fatal attraction, Pippa must sort fact from fiction to know who to trust before a desperate killer claims a final revenge nearly a century in the making.

Overview…

This book was super cute, and I loved the mystery element of it.  However, I would warn that the mystery doesn’t feel like the central element to me.  Even though it drives the plot forward, the author focused the most on the relationships between the characters.

What I found really cool about the book was that it took place in an Inn that only authors could stay in, while they are writing their mysteries.  This brought in an interesting element to the story because the authors wanted to “solve a real mystery” and so they were really into it.  That’s one of my favorite parts, because it’s so unique and different and really helped the plot along.

I would highly recommend this book to people who enjoy lighter mysteries.  It’s not a “thriller” but it’s a cozy, fun story to read.

The Characters…

Pippa, the main character, was fabulously developed.  She has this tragic backstory that’s never fully given, but remains a part of her identity and helps explain a lot of her actions.  That being said, she isn’t only defined by that, and she really grows on you as it goes.  She has a happy, outgoing personality which is perfect for the main character of a story, and she’s someone you can easily root for.

Lake, the love interest, is complex, mainly because he could be a murderer and so you never really know how to feel about him.  I feel like the author may have tried a bit too hard to make him suspicious, which is something that made it feel awkward and forced.

The other side characters, especially the authors, added a quirky dynamic to the novel that brought me back every time.

The Plot…

The plot was driven mainly by solving the mystery.  Told from Pippa’s perspective, there were a lot of unknowns, and that kept the reader intrigued.  The main focus of the story was on Pippa and her reactions and her life, not on the mystery.

I found a few elements were stuck in there solely for the purpose of furthering the plot, but most of the story seemed to occur naturally, and at a good pace for the story.  I never got bored, and it never seemed like it was rushing through and skimping on emotion.

What I Loved…

The story was great, and so were the characters.  Talbot did an amazing job of incorporating both of those elements into the story, and making them twist together in a way that gave you a full appreciation for the characterization and their real lives.  None of the characters were stereotypes (even when they could have been and that would have made the author’s work easier) and I really, really appreciated that.  She avoided being trite and instead made it emotional and a great read.

What I “Hated”…

Like I said earlier, some of the plot moments– especially featuring Lake’s characterization– seemed forced and unrealistic.  Talbot worked hard to make an overwhelming amount of evidence point to both guilty and innocent in a way that made everything overwhelming and fake.  That being said, this is Talbot’s debut novel, and therefore I think she deserves a little slack.  It was never bad to the point where I felt like I couldn’t enjoy the rest of the novel because of it.

Diversity and Triggers…

I don’t think there was any diversity whatsoever in this book, but I may be forgetting something.

As far as triggers go, there is talk of suicide (in the past) although it is not vivid and nor is it a character in the novel.  As a result of this event, one of the characters in the novel did undergo some therapy (I believe) and it took her a while to get over it.  All of these events happened 5+ years before the book begins, but are cursored over occasionally when the MC thinks of it.

Summary…

I loved this book, and would highly recommend to those who enjoy warm mysteries.  I hadn’t read a book like this in a while, so it was refreshing and enjoyable.  Each chapter made me more and more excited to read it.  I was cheering for Pippa’s successes and felt connected to her life and all of the other characters.

As a debut novel, this was fabulous.  And, based on Goodreads, it’s the first in a series, so we can hope for more to come!! (this can stand alone and be completely wrapped up so no worries there).

Buy on Amazon

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Disclaimer: I received this ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review

Have you read this book? What did you think? Do you prefer cozy mysteries or thrillers?

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