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

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

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REVIEW | The Navigator’s Touch by Julia Ember

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

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REVIEW | A Fierce Glory by Justin Martin

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

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

Keeper of the BeesDescription:

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.

YA Bound Book Tours

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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
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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REVIEW | Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood

BookReview12:17Rust & Stardust
Description

Camden, NJ, 1948.

When 11 year-old Sally Horner steals a notebook from the local Woolworth’s, she has no way of knowing that 52 year-old Frank LaSalle, fresh out of prison, is watching her, preparing to make his move. Accosting her outside the store, Frank convinces Sally that he’s an FBI agent who can have her arrested in a minute—unless she does as he says.

This chilling novel traces the next two harrowing years as Frank mentally and physically assaults Sally while the two of them travel westward from Camden to San Jose, forever altering not only her life, but the lives of her family, friends, and those she meets along the way. –goodreads.com

 

What I Liked

The one thing this book did that stands out is the fact that is broke my heart reading it. Even from the description you are warned that this is going to be a story where a man is going to abuse an 11 year old child, it did not prepare me for how much of a reaction I had. I was angry, disgusted, and devastated. This book made me cry, which has not happened for a while. Now it might sound weird to say that this is something I liked, but the writing and the way this story is told really made me invested.

Another thing I liked was that this novel was written in the manner that it was. Sadly, this story is based off of a true one, you can search the name Florence Sally Horner to find out about her case. But, it is also the case that inspired a novel well known called Lolita. I personally hated Lolita, it was creepy and rubbed me the wrong way. I felt like this story did more justice in telling the story of a child who has been abused.

What I Didn’t Like

One thing I have to point out is that some points were difficult to read, but I would not remove anything from this book. It simply is a personal preference and I still really enjoyed reading this heart breaking book.

Overall Thoughts

While this book is filled with abuse of various kinds, made me very angry, and told an awful story. It did so in a beautiful way. The first thing I noticed when I started this book, right in the first chapter when she confronted by the “FBI” man, they way the story was written sounded like the narration was from a young girl. You can feel her confusion, her terror, and worry not just read about it. Over all if you are able to read this type of content I would highly suggest this novel.

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Author Links

T. Greenwoodwebsite: https://www.tgreenwood.com

twitter: https://twitter.com/tgwood505 

instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tgwood505/

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tgreenwoodauthor

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Book Information

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Publication Date: August 7th 2018

List Price: $26.99

ISBN: 9781250164193

Pages: 352 pages

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

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REVIEW | Idle Days by Thomas Desaulniers-Brousseau

BookReview12:17

Idle Days
Description

Depressed and unmoored by his father’s violent death, and drafted into the Canadian military to serve in World War II, Jerome has fled, taking refuge in a cabin his grandfather owns in a remote part of the countryside.

But Jerome’s troubles are only beginning. A strange dread fills the woods, and rumors of murders and ghosts cast his refuge in a sinister light. As Jerome struggles to come to terms with his father’s death, he obsessively seeks to uncover the mystery of what, exactly, happened in his grandfather’s house.

Simon Leclerc’s haunting, expressionistic artwork brings to life a quiet, layered, and deeply literary story from writer Thomas Desaulniers-Brousseau, in a graphic novel that explores with tenderness and insight the wounds opened with the loss of a loved one. goodreads.com

What I Liked

This graphic novel starts off very mysteriously. You are just dropped into a middle of a story and it takes off. You know something big is happening, but you aren’t quite sure what that is, you can feel the excitement.

Another thing I liked was the fact that this dealt with WWII in a different way than I have previously read about. While this part of the book would be classified as historical fiction it was interesting to get the point of view from someone who has fled serving in the military during such a period. It also lends to the tense feelings that fill this book from cover to cover. Not only did you follow this individual you hear updates on the progress of the war throughout the graphic novel and I though it made it very interesting  and tied this aspect of the storyline together instead of just using it as a plot point and then ignoring it completely.

Throughout this book there are feelings of something just lingering out of the frames. Something was happening, but you couldn’t figure out what was going to happen and if it would be a criminal or something not from this world.

What I Didn’t Like

The one thing I did not like about this graphic novel was the fact that I felt like it jumped around a lot. I would be getting into a plot point and then all of a sudden it would take you somewhere completely different. Now this could be the author trying to add another layer mystery, but for me it didn’t quite hit the mark.

Overall Thoughts

Overall, I enjoyed this graphic novel. I thought both the historical and spooky elements were spot on. I felt like the art work and writing aided greatly in creating a definitive atmosphere that pulls you in. You, as the reader, want to know more and figure out what is just out of your reach and outside the frame. I will add that there is some talk of suicide in this book, for me I am comfortable with this topic, but I know not everyone is. I think that if you enjoy creepy books that leave you uncomfortable, that you should look into this graphic novel.

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Author Links

Thomas Desaulniers-Brousseau
photo from macmillan website

 

website: THOMAS DESAULNIERS-BROUSSEAU

 

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Book Information

Publisher: First Second Books

Publication Date: August 14th 2018

List Price: $19.99

ISBN: 9781626724587

Pages: 272 pages

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

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REVIEW |Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

BookReview12:17Anna KareninaDescription:

Acclaimed by many as the world’s greatest novel, Anna Kareninaprovides a vast panorama of contemporary life in Russia and of humanity in general. In it Tolstoy uses his intense imaginative insight to create some of the most memorable characters in literature. Anna is a sophisticated woman who abandons her empty existence as the wife of Karenin and turns to Count Vronsky to fulfil her passionate nature – with tragic consequences. Levin is a reflection of Tolstoy himself, often expressing the author’s own views and convictions.

Throughout, Tolstoy points no moral, merely inviting us not to judge but to watch. As Rosemary Edmonds comments, ‘He leaves the shifting patterns of the kaleidoscope to bring home the meaning of the brooding words following the title, ‘Vengeance is mine, and I will repay. –goodreads.com

What I Liked

I liked that the story followed not just one person or one couple, but a mixture of couples who were connected, but dealt internally with different worries and moral issues. I felt that even though this was written so long ago, a lot of the ways these characters felt were relatable. I can see who people still talk and discuss this novel and it has held up to the test at time.

Also, this translation of Anna Karenina was done wonderfully. It kept the air of being a classic and used a lot of words that remind me of the time period, but they made it readable. I was not reading at a very slow pace, but it was not fully modern. They found a great balance.

What I Didn’t Like

At times I felt that I would have rather have read this story individually instead of intertwined, but it in no way ruined the story for me. I would say going over the spark notes and getting a list of of names (DO NOT READ THE DESCRIPTION OF THE CHARACTERS THERE BECAUSE OF SPOILERS) because having a running list is helpful because they sometimes use their proper names and then nicknames that seem to have no relation in english, they might in the texts original language of Russian.

Overall Thoughts

Overall I felt that this was a very wonderful book and it was very thought provoking. If you are interested in a soap opera type of book with deceit , betrayal, and scorned individuals this is a book for you. This is a wonderful and timeless novel, that is a commitment. I am very glad that I finally read this novel.

3stars

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Book Information

Publisher: Vintage Classics

Publication Date: January 5th 2017, originally published in 1878

List Price: $18.95

ISBN: 9781784871956

Pages: 963 pages

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REVIEW | Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent

BookReview12:17

Lying in Wait
Description

My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.

On the surface, Lydia Fitzsimons has the perfect life—wife of a respected, successful judge, mother to a beloved son, mistress of a beautiful house in Dublin. That beautiful house, however, holds a secret. And when Lydia’s son, Laurence, discovers its secret, wheels are set in motion that lead to an increasingly claustrophobic and devastatingly dark climax. -goodreads.com

What I Liked

 

Liz Nugent is well on her way to becoming one of my favorite authors. Not only did I love Unraveling Oliver, I also think she did an amazing job while writing Lying in Wait. In this novel I felt that I was utterly shocked and surprised throughout, even with knowing who killed Ammie Doyle right from the description. I would never have thought it was possible, but Nugent has pulled it off.

I was so engaged in this novel I read the last 75% without pulling it down. I needed to know what would happen next. I think a main part of this was due to the fact that the story she has woven has so many aspects. When you think there is just one thing happening, there turns out to be so much more. She ties that characters and their together so well, so much more than I would have originally thought. Seeing this and the plot progress in such a suspenseful manner really kept me engaged.

Nugent uses multiple points of views to tell her story. I thought that was a very wise choice and it was executed very well. At first I was confused by the amount of voices and I could not really see how they were related, but soon enough it was made clear. Once these were firmly established and the plot “took off” each point of view distinct and added something essential to the story.

Another thing I really loved about this was the fact that the “monster” is so much more than I originally thought. But, I wont say anymore because I don’t want to spoil anything.

 

What I Didn’t Like

One thing I noticed and mentioned earlier was that this novel is told in many different perspectives. This was also done in her novel Unraveling Oliver, which I loved, but for some reason I found to have a bit more difficulty with this novel. But, as soon as the novel truly got going each voice was distinct and was no longer an issue. So this issue resolved itself quickly.

Overall Thoughts

Overall, I think this is a great thriller. It kept my on the edge of my seat to the point I binged on the last 75% of this book. The writing was done very well, the use of multiple perspectives was spot on and the overall plot was great. If you like thrillers or think you want to try a thriller out, I would highly suggest Lying in Wait.

5stars

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Author Links

Liz Nugent

 

website: http://www.liznugent.ie

Twitter: @lizzienugent

Facebook: facebook.com/liz.nugent.399

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Book Information

Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press

Publication Date: June 12th 2018

List Price: $26.00

ISBN: 9781501167775

Pages: 320 pages

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

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REVIEW | The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

BookReview12:17

The Death of Mrs. WestawayDescription

On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.

Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it. – goodreads.com

What I Liked

The Death of Mrs. Westaway started off really well for me. Right off the bat I was drawn to the main character Hal. She is strong, intelligent, and has something I can’t quite my finger on. I was rooting for her right away. Apart from that I love the use of tarot in this book. I have always enjoyed tarot cards and the symbolism that saturates them. Ware did a wonderful box intertwining that throughout the story without making it gimmicky, you can tell she did some serious research in this regard.

Also, I liked that this story was rooted in something that is very much real. You sadly  hear stories of people passing away and then there are issues regarding an inheritance. While I will not say more than what is in the description I will say that she takes this sadly common occurrence and builds upon that. Throughout the story I was surprised, on edge, and I felt myself become more and more invested in Hal. I read this book within a few hours, I was very much drawn into the story.

The writing itself was also really well done. The pacing was spot on. It was like goldilocks, it was just right.The characters Ware created were ones that has distinct characteristic and mannerisms. Even minor characters you can tell she put a lot of thought into. That cannot be said about a lot of books. The use of symbolism in this book was just grand. I also enjoyed the nods to Agatha Christie, which are like fun easter eggs throughout the book.

What I Didn’t Like

Normally I break my reviews into two sections. What I liked and what I didn’t like. This ended up being a 5 star read for me, I found no faults in the book. I found it thrilling and unpredictable. The writing was great and the characters were distinct.

Overall Thoughts

Overall I thought this was an outstanding thriller. It was distinctly different from other thrillers I have read. I liked the story telling, the twists, and just everything. If you like thrillers or you are curious about trying this genre I think it would be a wonderful book to read. I have already told people they needed to read this in my personal life and I am telling you as well. Read this book!

5stars

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Author Links

Ruth Ware

website: http://www.ruthware.com

Twitter: @RuthWareWriter

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

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Book Information

Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press

Publication Date: May 29th 2018

List Price: $26.99

ISBN: 9781501156212

Pages: 384 pages

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

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