Reviews

REVIEW | Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the World by Pic Candle / Zainab Khan

BookReview12:17

* I received this book from publisher via netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.*

Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the WorldDescription

Prepare for the cutest world tour ever with Kawaii Doodle Cuties! YouTube celebrity artist Pic Candle will show you how to draw kawaii characters from every stop on the map!

The Japanese word kawaii translates to “cute,” and this how-to book is chock-full of super-adorable images from your favorite spots around the globe. From animals and nature to fashion and food, you will learn to draw cute artwork from countries all over the world!

Learn how to draw a cute Eiffel Tower and kawaii macarons from Paris. Master how to draw natural beauty like Holland’s stunning tulips and monuments like the Taj Mahal in India. Or sketch fashion fun with a cute K-pop skirt from South Korea or a kimono from Japan. The simple, step-by-step illustrations and instructions make drawing these characters perfect for beginner artists or anyone who wants to add a heaping spoonful of cute to their art.

Thanks to this adorable crash course in doodling all things kawaii, you’ll soon be enhancing your notebooks, stationery, artwork, and everything with unbelievably adorable illustrations!

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What I Liked

Right off the bat, I really liked the overall look of this book. It is cute, just like the title says. The authors style is really defined in this book, when it comes both to color pallet and technique. I also like how simple a majority of these are. While you do need to be able to draw ovals, circles, triangles, and other shapes to follow the instructions, with practice you will be able to follow most of these with ease.

I also loved how this book had adorable doodles from many, many countries. Including, USA, Mexico, Australia, Spain, Cuba and many more. They ranged from buildings to foods, a very wide array to represent each country in there.  I will admit I was a bit partial towards the foods, what can I say?  I love food and they were just too kawaii. They truly lived up to the title.

What I Didn’t Like

Some of the step by step recreations kinda take weird jumps. One example is the crepe. You go from adding. a few simple lines to then in the next stop add in all of the cream and. strawberries without giving a starting point. While the author does say to fill it with your own favorite toppings, it would be nice to practice drawing the ones in the book with more guidance to get better with perspective and layering. I do appreciate the author trying to give the reader more control, while learning there need to be more guidance,  then once mastered move on.

Overall Thoughts

Overall I think this is a really fun drawing book. I think it gives great practice when it comes to learning to draw basic shapes and developing better hand control while drawing. While some of the tutorials take up jumps in the steps as stated before, you can figure it out with some time. As with anything new you are learning with practice, you improve. If you are looking to learn to draw or just want to play around, I think this is an adorable option for you.

4stars

Some of my doodles from the book!

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Author Links

Twitter: @PicCandle
Youtube: piccandle

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Book Information

Publication Date: November 6th 2018

Publisher: Race Point Publishing

List Price: $21.99

ISBN: 9781631065682

Pages: 144 pages

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Lets Talk · Reviews

Let’s Talk |Fall Book Recommendation Test & Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs Review

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So, I don’t know about you, but I always see quizzes where they ask you to answer a bunch of questions and then will recommend you a book. I don’t do many of them, but I decided to do the following one that was created by bookish.com. This one asked a bunch of questions and then in theory would recommend me a book I would love to read this fall.

So I answered a bunch of questions, some you can see how they would relate to a book recommendation, others not so much. There was a question about the type of Halloween candy I liked most and I still cannot understand what the connection between a book and a candy. Not to mention they didn’t even have the candy I liked the most.

That is one thing that has made me skeptical in the past about these quizzes, sometimes the answers don’t really apply to myself. I wish there was a Other option for some of them, but I can see how they would not be an option so I just pick the closest thing. When I was done with the quiz I was given Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs. Now I was curious to see if they actually recommended me a book I would enjoy reading or not.

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What Happened

So I started reading this book in the middle of November, it was a perfect book to read during non-fiction November. So, at this point the quiz is in the positive.

This was a very honest book, which I was not sure if I was going to get. I thought it would not be as deep and show so much of the negative aspects of her relationship with her father. The main reason I thought this was because he has passed and people tend to get rose colored glasses when someone has passed. People focus on the good things, which I think is a great thing to do, don’t get me wrong. But, I really liked that she was honest about the downs as much as the ups in her relationship with her father.

Another thing I liked about this book is that it was really well laid out and the story of her life slows very well. I have read memoirs that read choppy and seemed to be disjointed at times. This one is quite the opposite. Also, I really enjoyed that she didn’t just talk about her father even though he is a very well known individual. I really enjoyed learning about her and her story. I liked hearing about her experience in college and as a child even though I had no idea who she was before reading this book, to me that says a lot.

I would say the only reason why I did not give this story a full five stars is because I didn’t really get anything that affected how I saw things in my own life. I know that can sound bad, but when I read a memoir about a person the only way I would give it a five is if it impacted how I lived my life or influenced how I saw a particular event or idea. I hope that make sense. I do highly suggest this book if you are looking to read a good memoir.

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Have you read a book that was recommended to you by a quiz?

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Reviews

REVIEW | Gazelle in the Shadows by Michelle Peach

BookReview12:17

* I received this book from the author’s publicist for free in exchange for an honest review.*Gazelle in the Shadows

Description

In the mid 90s, Elizabeth Booth is a young British college student studying Arabic at Durham University. With some travel and work already under her belt, she excels at her studies and is sent to Damascus to immerse herself in the language. Taken aback by the generosity and kindness of the people there, she easy slips into a life in the ancient city. She has friends, her studies, and even a handsome boyfriend. But things aren’t always what they seem. Soon, in a world where mistrust and disloyalty are commonplace, Elizabeth finds herself navigating a web of lies, betrayals, and even murder involving MI6, deadly terrorist factions, and the shadowy Syrian secret police. – goodreads.com

 

What I Liked

One thing I first noticed about this book was the main character. Now this may sound like a really dumb statement given it is the main character, but bare with me. When you first meet the main character she is kinda annoying and just very short cited. She doesn’t really think too far into the future. I will say I really liked when she grew as a character. She started using her head and really started to evaluate what was truly important to her.

Another thing I liked was the fact that the author pulled from her own life experiences and mixed it with fiction. You can really tell in her writing that she was not just researching places and doing her homework. Her experiences really bleed through the pages and it makes the atmosphere more realistic. Sometimes you can just tell when someone just researches, the story isn’t bad, but it is just flat. This was not flat.

 

What I Didn’t Like

Like I said earlier the main character was really annoying. At times I found myself saying “What are you doing?!”, it was bad. For me it is really hard to tolerate. But, as you can see from the previous section this was address via character growth, thankfully. It was just a bit difficult to deal with at first.

Overall Thoughts

Overall I think this was an enjoyable read. There was suspense, adventure, and at times violence. Once again the character growth is great and you see her grow from a pretty much clueless individual into someone who really starts to value the things in her life.  I also liked that this was not a thriller once again set en Europe of North America. It was really enjoyable having another setting.  I think if the description intrigues you in anyway it is worth checking out.

4stars

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Author Links

Michelle Peach

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Book Information

Publication Date: April 20th 2018

List Price: $11.50

ISBN: 9780692112762

Pages: 316 pages

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Reviews

REVIEW | Caleb’s Window by John J. Siefring

BookReview12:17

* I received this book from the author for free in exchange for an honest review.*Caleb's Window

Description

Born in the village of Easkey, Ireland just before World War II, Cara Brannan dreams of becoming a nurse and starting a new life in America. Her mother, an Irish suffragette, encourages Cara to set goals and be fiercely independent. She moves to Dublin and begins nurses training at Saint John’s Hospital, forging friendships and encountering obstacles as a young single woman. Then she meets Aiden Whyte. Like-minded, Cara and Aiden join forces, marry, and journey to the States as newlyweds.

Welcoming their son Caleb into the world, Cara embraces motherhood. As a new mother and nurse in New York City, she struggles, facing class conflict, gender discrimination and career barriers, as well as loneliness. Cara endures because of her strength of character, compassion, and an irrepressible joy of life.

As Caleb comes of age, it’s his turn to carve out a place for himself during the late 1960s—a time of turbulence, protest, and incredible change. He finds New York to be a challenge but filled with opportunity.

Caleb’s Window will quietly move into your heart and mind, remaining long after you turn the final page.–goodreads.com

What I Liked

The first thing I really noticed about the this book was the characters. His characters are so strong and really drive the narrative. First we have Cara who is strong, brave, and just a very great character. She really is is stubborn when it comes to what she wants and I admire that about her. Later on we meet Caleb and he too is a very definitive character. I really wanted to have even more time exploring his story.

The authors writing was done very well. Not only was the plot great, but it for flowed very nicely. I really liked how the story was character driven, but not forced for the sake of growth. The plot felt genuine and like the characters would actually do the things that they did.

I also really liked that this story was not just about Cara or Caleb, but it was generational and a lot of world events were covered and discussed. I thought that really added to the story since you get to see the affect choices had later on down the road.

What I Didn’t Like

The one real fault I had with this book was the last section of the book just seemed to go a tad bit to quickly. While, it was not so fast that the story was lost, but it was just so fast. I wanted more time and to explore the story a bit.

Overall Thoughts

Overall I have to say that this was a wonderfully written book. The author really has talent when it comes to writing. The story was filled with emotion and I found myself drawn to the characters. This book is a great book if you are looking for a generational story dealing with some major historical events such as WWII.

4stars

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Author Links

John J. Siefring

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Book Information

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Publication Date: February 12th 2018

List Price: $10.99

ISBN: 9781984032195

Pages: 274 pages

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Lets Talk · Reviews

Let’s Talk | Book Breeze App Review

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So a few weeks ago you will notice that I started using the app the bookish app Book Breeze created by Zendo Mobile. As far as I am aware this app is only available on the App Store, hopefully this will change in the future. This app is a reading tracker that focuses on collecting data regarding your reading speed, how many hours you spend reading, and how many pages you read. Now the version I am going to be talking about is the paid version of the app. While the free version has everything BUT the speed data and the ability to read more than one book. So a lot of the things I talk about will still be relevant to those using the free version.

Image result for book breeze

What I Liked

So, Book Breeze has a lot going for it as a reading tracker. It is easy to snap a picture of the book you are reading and manually add author, title, and numbers of pages. It also allows you to add a book even if you are in the middle by adding what page you are on. This process is straight forward and you don’t need to add any other information to get to using the app.

Starting a new reading session is easy, you go right to your books pages and click on the cover of the book you want to continue, then click “continue reading”. As soon as you start reading it will start the stopwatch of sorts and record you time until you click stop or pause. I love the fast that you can pause your reading instead of needed to hit stop every time you need to get up real fast for one reason or another. Another great thing is that if you forget to start your session you can add a session by adding the numbers of pages you read and how long you were reading at any point. Sometimes I still forget, but it is easy to fix with the way they set this up.

The last thing I thing they do wonderful is having a straight forward and interface that is not overwhelming. It is easy to navigate and new users I feel will be pros fairly quickly. The graphs and data that is shown is not complex and are very usable then it comes to actually looking at the data. Some apps I have come across make things more complicated then they need to be, Book Breeze does it right.

What I Didn’t Like

You cannot DNF a book without loosing all the data for the book or is stays on your current list forever. I am someone who often DNFs books because I don’t like to force myself to read something I am not enjoying. One thing I think they need to add to this app is either the ability to DNF a book or add a tab to the book category that would remove the book from Current, but allow you to keep pages read data.

Another thing I do not like is the fact that under stats you can only see 2 weeks, 1 month, 1 year, and 10 years. While we do have This week under the reading tab, if you do not take a screen shot to write down what you read this past week on Saturday night you will now have to do some math to figure out what you read in a single week. While it is not a lot of hard work, it is something that I think could be improved upon.

Overall Thoughts

Overall, I think this is a wonderful app and if you are on the market to find an app to track your reading habits or get more insight into your reading pattern it is worth giving a shot. While it does have its faults in my eyes, I am still going to use the app and hopefully they will make some great updates in the future.

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Do you use a reading tracker, if so which one do you use?

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I paid for this app on my own, this post is not sponsored in anyway.

Reviews

REVIEW | In Focus Astrology: Your Personal Guide Hardcover by Sasha Fenton

BookReview12:17In Focus Astrology: Your Personal Guide
* I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Description

In Focus Astrology provides the ins and outs of all the star signs, along with instructions to create your own astrology chart. Included with the book is a fully illustrated reference poster detailing each astrological sign. 

Who is your perfect mate? A Capricorn, Libra, or Virgo? Why are you not getting along with your coworker, who is a Gemini? Why are you constantly making the same mistakes? In Focus Astrology will give you a deeper understanding of your own nature, as well as those closest to you—and, perhaps, those you should keep at arm’s length.

In Focus Astrology answers every sun and moon sign question, including how how to create your own astrology chart. Packaged inside the book is an 18″ x 24″ illustrated wall chart with the main characteristics of each astrological sign.

This guide covers the full breadth of astrology topics, including the signs of the zodiac, sun and moon signs, astrological houses, the planets, and aspects. You will also learn how astrology relates to your body and health.

The In Focus series applies a modern approach to teaching the classic body, mind, and spirit subjects, using expert authors in their respective fields and featuring relevant visual material to smartly and purposely illustrate key topics within each subject. As a bonus, each book is packaged with index cards and/or a poster, to give readers a quick, go-to reference guide containing the most important information on the subject, for easy practice and retention. –goodreads.com

What I Liked

The first thing I noticed about this book was how beautiful it looked. Now, this might sounds a bit contrary to what you should write in a book review, but with this book the imagery throughout adds a lot. The reason I say this is because all images in this book serve a purpose. They either illustrate a star sign or they are a diagram of some sort. The style is cute, they are all informative, but not distracting in my option. Everything was very complimentary.

Now, this goes into my next point, this book is very informative. It talks about a wide array of subjects that are related to astrology. This include star signs, ascending and rising signs, the aspects and the houses as well. Even with all of this information and how in-depth it is, I was never confused. The language used to explain aspects of this field is very upfront, but done so in a way that is straightforward and not overly filled with jargon.

What I Didn’t Like

The one thing I think that would be a negative with this book would be that you really need to want to explore astrology. This book is not a book that you just would just jump into to know what astrology is, it is for those who want to the topic more in depth. I feel like this is more of a perfect book for those who have read one already or are very dedicated to learning about this topic.

Overall Thoughts

This guide is great for those who are really interested in learning about astrology. It is a very well rounded guide that covers many aspects of the topic. Not only does it cover the more known topics such as the signs such as Cancer, Taurus, and the other 10 zodiac signs it goes houses, planets, and more. It is really a great book to read and have on hand to reference if you are committed to astrology and learning all there is to learn about the topic.

4stars

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Author Links

Sasha Fenton

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Book Information

Publisher: Wellfleet Press

Publication Date: July 31st 2018

List Price: $19.99

ISBN: 9781577151692

Pages: 160 pages

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Reviews

REVIEW | The Navigator’s Touch by Julia Ember

BookReview12:17The Navigator's Touch (The Seafarer's Kiss, #2)
* I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Description

After invaders destroyed her village, murdered her family, and took her prisoner, shield-maiden Ragna is hungry for revenge. A trained warrior, she is ready to fight for her home, but with only a mermaid and a crew of disloyal mercenaries to aid her, Ragna knows she needs new allies. Guided by the magical maps on her skin, battling storms and mutiny, Ragna sets sail across the Northern Sea.

She petitions the Jarl in Skjordal for aid, but despite Ragna’s rank and fighting ability, the Jarl sees only a young girl, too inexperienced to lead, unworthy of help. To prove herself to the Jarl and win her crew’s respect, Ragna undertakes a dangerous expedition. But when forced to decide between her own freedom and the fate of her crew, what will she sacrifice to save what’s left of her home?

Inspired by Norse mythology and J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, this companion novel to The Seafarer’s Kiss is a tale of vengeance, valor, honor, and redemption.

goodreads.com

What I Liked

While I really enjoyed the first book in this companion series, The Seafarer’s Kiss, I found this retelling to be just as imaginative and interesting. This time around Julia Ember pulled from Norse mythology to aid in creating a retelling of Peterpan in a way. I find that Ember does a wonderful job in keeping to the characters she is has drawn inspiration from, but also makes them something new and her own. I know that sounds contradictory, but it is true.

I also really liked about this novel was the fact that it has flawed characters. For me when I see a flawed characters, even with a bit of magic and mythology surrounding them, it makes them more real, more tangible. Throughout the book Ragna is making mistakes, unreliable, and can just be rude. But, this makes her seem more human. I also did enjoy the sense of tension between her and her crew. I though it was an interesting way to go with their relationship since she rely on them and they rely so much on her as a leader. It also makes some of the issues “internal” in a sense and not just us against others.

Another thing I really liked was the fact that this novel the focus was not on romance. While I really enjoyed the previous book, I was glad to see more than just a romance. It allowed the world to become bigger, more vibrant, and the characters to shine on their own a bit more. Also, can I just say the mixture of mythology and elements from Peter Pan made such an interesting world and story. This combination was unique and I have not read anything similar to it.

What I Didn’t Like

One thing I was not overly thrilled with was the fact that were are times of violence that was pushing my limits at times. I do not think the violence in any way was prolonged, but it is there.  Now, this is personal and I do want to point out that I am pretty sure Interlude, the publishing house that oversees Duet Books does post warning about their books. I did not look at these before hand. If this is something you think will bother you I highly suggest you look up the warning. But, I will be honest I would have read it anyway because I enjoyed Ember’s previous book and I enjoyed this one as well even though it had moments of violence.

Overall Thoughts

Overall, I thought this was a unique book. The combination of Embers world building, characters, and tension create a very good read. I also think that this is something that can be read on its own or the books can be easily read out of order and the reader wont miss out on anything. If you are looking for an interesting retelling I highly suggest this book.

4stars

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Author Links

Julia Ember

 

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Book Information

Publisher: Duet Books

Publication Date: September 13th 2018

List Price: $16.99

ISBN: 9781945053702

Pages: 256 pages

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Reviews

REVIEW | A Fierce Glory by Justin Martin

BookReview12:17A Fierce Glory: Antietam--The Desperate Battle That Saved Lincoln and Doomed Slavery
* I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Description

From an acclaimed author and historian, the dramatic, character-rich story of Antietam–the high-stakes battle Lincoln needed to win to save the Union and free the slaves

September 17, 1862, was America’s bloodiest day. When it ended, 3,654 soldiers lay dead on the land surrounding Antietam Creek in Western Maryland. The battle fought there was as deadly as the stakes were high.

For the first time, the Rebels had taken the war into Union territory. A Southern victory would have ended the war and split the nation in two. Instead, the North managed to drive the Confederate army back into Virginia. Emboldened by victory, albeit by the thinnest of margins, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves and investing the war with a new, higher purpose.

In this vivid, character-rich narrative, acclaimed author Justin Martin reveals why this battle was the Civil War’s tipping point. The battle featured an unusually rich cast of characters and witnessed important advances in medicine and communications. But the impact of the battle on politics and society was its most important legacy. Had the outcome been different, Martin argues, critical might-have-beens would have rippled forward to the present, creating a different society and two nations.

A Fierce Glory is an engaging account of the Civil War’s most important battle.

goodreads.com

 

What I Liked

Having lived in the U.S. I have been hearing about this battle from a young age and how it is the bloodiest of our history. Even moving on to University I learned even more and I though I had a very good grasp on the events of this battle. I am happy to say that this novel has shed some fresh light ton aspects of the battle I did not previously know or fully understand. Martin has done a great job in creating this unique and very well informed account.

One thing I look at while reading a non-fiction novel is I am very mindful of the footnotes/end notes. For me this can either make a nonfiction book or break it. When writing about nonfiction these authors need to cite a lot of documents and other articles to come across as legitimate and essentially prove that they did their due diligence while researching. It is apparent here that he has done just that. I also appreciated the mention of women dressing up in mens clothing so they too can fight.

Another thing I really enjoyed about A Fierce Glory was how the author showed how the soldiers and leaders lived and were affected. Additionally, the narrative benefited greatly by the author showing the battle in a large scope instead of focusing on the movements of soldiers. Often while reading a something about the battle you hear something along the lines of, so and so did this and then this happened. What was done with this account is very unique. Not only does the author NOT show you what happened, the historical figures do. This is something I think will benefit a lot of readers who normally would not pick up this genre.

What I Didn’t Like

While the author mentioned women taking part in the fighting, such as Barton, I just wanted to hear more. Now this is a person want and does not mean the book is not good in anyway. In fact, I am happy the author talked about women roles during the civil war. I just wish I could learn even more about it.

Overall Thoughts

Overall, I would say this is a very solid look at Antietam and the bloodiest day in U.S. history. The way the author conveys the information give it a more human feeling instead of the others I have read that keep the readers at a distance from the people who fought by hiding behind troop movements. I really think this book would be well recommended for those who are interested in the battle, U.S. History, and want to get into reading nonfiction. The way in which this is written makes it very accessible.

4stars

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Author Links

Justin  Martin

Twitter: JustinMartinNYC

 

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Book Information

Publisher: Da Capo Press

Publication Date: September 11th 2018

List Price: $28.00

ISBN: 9780306825255

Pages: 320pages

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Reviews

Review & Blog Tour | Keeper of the Bees by Meg Kassel

Keeper of the Bees*I received this book from the publisher for this book tour, which was Organized by YA Bound Book Tours. My options and review are my own and honest.

Description:

KEEPER OF THE BEES is a tale of two teens who are both beautiful and beastly, and whose pasts are entangled in surprising and heartbreaking ways.

Dresden is cursed. His chest houses a hive of bees that he can’t stop from stinging people with psychosis-inducing venom. His face is a shifting montage of all the people who have died because of those stings. And he has been this way for centuries—since he was eighteen and magic flowed through his homeland, corrupting its people.

He follows harbingers of death, so at least his curse only affects those about to die anyway. But when he arrives in a Midwest town marked for death, he encounters Essie, a seventeen-year-old girl who suffers from debilitating delusions and hallucinations. His bees want to sting her on sight. But Essie doesn’t see a monster when she looks at Dresden.

Essie is fascinated and delighted by his changing features. Risking his own life, he holds back his bees and spares her. What starts out as a simple act of mercy ends up unraveling Dresden’s solitary life and Essie’s tormented one. Their impossible romance might even be powerful enough to unravel a centuries-old curse. Add to Goodreads

Before I Begin

I just want to let all my readers know that this is the second book in a companion series, you do not need to read the first novel first one to enjoy this one. The bonuses to reading a companion series!

What I Liked

First off I have to say how much I love the authors writing style. It flows so nicely and because of this I often found myself reading for longer than I had planned and one time I was actually late seeing one of my friends. Ooops! Even though the story takes place in our world her writing was magical and that really added to the setting and the over all feeling of the novel.

While the setting and feeling of the novel were wonderful, I also liked how Kassel wrote the characters in this novel. I often read books where internal tension is more surface and there just to move a plot, in Kassel’s novel that is not the case at all. The characters have true tension within themselves and go a lot further than a surface issue. It entwines itself around the core of the character. It is present throughout the novel and not just when it helps the plot, for that I am thankful.

The last point I would way I absolutely adored about this novel was the fact that it was unique from a lot of things I have read. The way she incorporates magic, curses, and aspects of ancient/historical events to aid in a timeline, which I really appreciated. It added more to the story than just saying he was ancient or centuries old. It makes his life and age more tangible because of it.

What I Didn’t Like

The one thing I did not like, which I know many will not have an issue with is that sometimes the story just felt like it was too last. This did not happen throughout the novel. It only happened one or two times and didn’t last long at all. I know that this wont bug many people, I think it only bothered me because I was liking it so much honestly.

Overall Thoughts

Overall, I really liked this novel. I know I will be picking up the companion novel to this in the near future. Between the writing, characters, and use of magic this book really came to life for me. Every time I picked up this novel I fell into what felt like a new world. I would highly suggest this book to anyone who enjoys reading paranormal or a cute romances with a twist.

4stars

Books in the Companion Series

black bird of the gallows.jpg

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About the Author

Meg Kassel is an author of fantasy and speculative books for young adults. A graduate of Parson’s School of Design, she’s been creating stories, whether with visuals or words, since childhood. Meg is a New Jersey native who lives in a log house in the Maine woods with her husband and daughter. As a fan of ’80s cartoons, Netflix series, and ancient mythology, she has always been fascinated and inspired by the fantastic, the creepy, and the futuristic. She is the 2016 RWA Golden Heart® winner in YA and a double 2018 RITA® finalist for her debut novel, Black Bird of the Gallows.
Website: http://megkassel.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/megkassel

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/seemegwrite/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/megkasselauthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8353652.Meg_Kassel

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Meg-Kassel/e/B0756Q8N2L/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1524085261&sr=1-1

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Book Information

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Publication Date: September 4th, 2018

List Price: $17.99

ISBN: 9781640634084

Pages: 304 pages

Genre: YA Paranormal

Purchase Link: Entangled Publishing

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*I received this book from the publisher for this book tour, which was Organized by YA Bound Book Tours. My options and review are my own and honest.

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REVIEW |Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft Edited by Tess Sharpe & Jessica Spotswood

BookReview12:17Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft
* I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Description

A young adult fiction anthology of 15 stories featuring contemporary, historical, and futuristic stories featuring witchy heroines who are diverse in race, class, sexuality, religion, geography, and era.

Are you a good witch or a bad witch?

Glinda the Good Witch. Elphaba the Wicked Witch. Willow. Sabrina. Gemma Doyle. The Mayfair Witches. Ursula the Sea Witch. Morgan le Fey. The three weird sisters from Macbeth.

History tells us women accused of witchcraft were often outsiders: educated, independent, unmarried, unwilling to fall in line with traditional societal expectations.

Bold. Powerful. Rebellious.

A bruja’s traditional love spell has unexpected results. A witch’s healing hands begin to take life instead of giving it when she ignores her attraction to a fellow witch. In a terrifying future, women are captured by a cabal of men crying witchcraft and the one true witch among them must fight to free them all. In a desolate past, three orphaned sisters prophesize for a murderous king. Somewhere in the present, a teen girl just wants to kiss a boy without causing a hurricane.

From good witches to bad witches, to witches who are a bit of both, this is an anthology of diverse witchy tales from a collection of diverse, feminist authors. The collective strength of women working together—magically or mundanely–has long frightened society, to the point that women’s rights are challenged, legislated against, and denied all over the world. Toil & Trouble delves deep into the truly diverse mythology of witchcraft from many cultures and feminist points of view, to create modern and unique tales of witchery that have yet to be explored.

 

 

What I Liked

Both Tess Sharpe and Jessica Spotswood did an amazing job editing this short story collection together. I can honestly say that I enjoyed every single short story that I read. Normally, in a short story collection there are one or two duds that just lay flat or I disliked the authors writing style, but that is far from the case with this collection.

This collection of stories that revolves around witches was amazing for multiple reasons. The first being that each author had their own view of what a witch was. You can see that these authors come from different backgrounds and have heard myths from their cultures about witches. I loved this. Not only did I get to read about witches, but I got to read about different interruptions on what a witch is.

On top of there being different takes on what a witch is the stories in this collection are not just modern, but also some are written in the past. Being a history lover myself I loved that some of the stories were from along ago when in the United States were just colonies. Even if history is not your thing I feel like you would love those stories anyway due to the plots of the stories themselves. Even though these stories are short I felt connected with the characters I rooted for them.

What I Didn’t Like

The only fault I have with this collection is the fact that it ended. I wanted the book to keep going and going.

Overall Thoughts

I adored this collection of short stories so much. I have to openly admit that this short story collection has truly been a winner in my eyes. There was not a single short story that I did not love. All the authors writing was wonderful and the varying takes and time periods that their stories took place in were all done so well. Each story was its own and was wonderful.  I even loved that there was LGBTQ+ elements to this collection.  I know that I am going out to the store and buying this collection when it comes out in stores. I will be rereading it and annotating it so much. I highly recommend this collection of you love reading stories about witches from long ago to modern times.

5stars

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Editor Links

Tess SharpeTwitter: https://twitter.com/sharpegirl

Website: http://www.tess-sharpe.com

Jessica Spotswood

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jessica_shea

Website: http://jessicaspotswood.com

List of Contributing Authors

  • Brandy Colbert
  • Zoraida Córdova
  • Andrea Cremer
  • Kate Hart
  • Emery Lord
  • Elizabeth May
  • Anna-Marie McLemore
  •  Tehlor Kay Mejia
  • Lindsay Smith
  • Nova Ren Suma
  • Robin Talley
  • Shveta Thakrar
  • Brenna Yovanoff

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Book Information

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Publication Date: August 28th 2018

List Price: $18.99

ISBN: 9781335016270

Pages: 416 pages

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* I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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