Reviews

REVIEW | The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

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

The Turn of the Key
Description:

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is. –goodreads


What I Liked

Ruth Ware for me has been one of my favorite thriller writers. She has mastered the art of building a world and atmosphere that the reader is just pulled into. In fact, I was so enthralled with this novel, I read it in a single day. It kept me from the first page till the last.

The main part that pulled me in, apart from the atmosphere, was the characters she created. I really was interested in the people she wrote into being.  I always felt like they were hiding something, there was just something I couldn’t understand, even though their character was very distinct and in a lot of cases had a lot of interaction with one another so you have a good handle on their voices. Especially for the main character, I had to say I really loved how Ware decided to tell this story. I don’t want to spoil it, but I think the method really added to it. Not only did I feel like these flushed out characters feel like there was something just under the surface, the way they interacted with one another was interesting.

On top of the development of the characters and the great atmosphere, I have to say the location of the novel I thought was just a wonderful choice, I don’t want to say more because I think others will really enjoy it coming to life as you read.

As for the plot there were a few things I saw coming and a few things I did not see coming. For me that is a true sign of a good thriller. While, I read a lot of thrillers I can say with some confidence that I have gotten quite good at being able to predict what is going to happen. So, if it can surprise me not once, but multiple times, the author has done a very good job.

Also, I must add, this is one of the best unreliable narrators I have seen in some time.


What I Didn’t Like

Uh, nothing. I honestly loved it from front cover to back cover. Ruth Ware truly has a talent and I feel like with every one of her book she continue to get better and better.


Overall Thoughts

Overall, I think this is a fantastic thriller. It has the atmosphere, the setting, an unreliable narrator, and wonderful characters in addition to a wonderful plot. If you enjoy thrillers or any of the things I mentioned in this post, I really think you should give it a try. I will also add, that I liked it so much I bought a final copy of this book so I can tell more people about it.

5stars


Author Links

Ruth Ware

Website: ruthware.com
Facebook: @ruthwarewriter
Instagram: @ruthwarewriter

Book Information

Publication Date: August 6th 2019

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

List Price: $27.99

ISBN: 9781501188770

Pages: 337 pages

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Reviews

Blog Tour Review | A Knife in the Fog by Bradley Harper

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Before I get started with this review, which I am terribly excited about,  I wanted to state that I was gifted a copy of the book to review and be part of this amazing tour. Also, please check out all of the stops!


A Knife in the Fog Description

September 1888. A twenty-nine-year-old Arthur Conan Doyle practices medicine by day and writes at night. His first Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet, although gaining critical and popular success, has only netted him twenty-five pounds. Embittered by the experience, he vows never to write another “crime story.” Then a messenger arrives with a mysterious summons from former Prime Minister William Gladstone, asking him to come to London immediately.

Once there, he is offered one month’s employment to assist the Metropolitan Police as a “consultant” in their hunt for the serial killer soon to be known as Jack the Ripper. Doyle agrees on the stipulation his old professor of surgery, Professor Joseph Bell–Doyle’s inspiration for Sherlock Holmes–agrees to work with him. Bell agrees, and soon the two are joined by Miss Margaret Harkness, an author residing in the East End who knows how to use a Derringer and serves as their guide and companion.

Pursuing leads through the dank alleys and courtyards of Whitechapel, they come upon the body of a savagely murdered fifth victim. Soon it becomes clear that the hunters have become the hunted when a knife-wielding figure approaches.

Purchase links:

Amazon (US): https://amzn.to/2xMjcbV

Amazon (UK): https://amzn.to/2JGprn3

Indiebound (US): https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781633884861

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What I Liked

A Knife in the Fog is truly a wonderful atmospheric historical fiction murder mystery book that mixed the perfect amount of fact and fiction.

One of the most notable things about this book was the fact that it felt very accurate to the time period that was being written about. Not only does Harper take one of literatures well known figures, Arthur Conan Doyle, he embodies the time period. You can tell that author has done his research. He knows the use of language at the time well, clothing, customs, and social hierarchy. It is far from a haphazard combination of these vague ideas, which for me is a huge deal. In addition to being well versed in the time period, he is also very knowledgable about the Jack the Ripper case. This knowledge is essential since our three main characters are on the hunt for this vicious murderer.

While the author fuses fiction with the real life case of Jack the Ripper he also pulls from real world individuals such as, Professor Joseph Bell and Miss Margaret Harkness. In doing this it really brings this story to life for me. The characters were wonderfully written and had very distinct personalities. Professor Bell, the inspiration of Sherlock Holmes, was very much observant, interesting, and not afraid to speak his mind. Miss Harkness was a strong woman who was not afraid to do what she needed to do to tell her stories as well as help with this investigation. She was truly a wonderful strong character in this novel and I loved how bold she was.

Throughout the story the character acted true to themselves as different obstacles were presented to them. Between walking the unsafe streets, helping people in need, going to the police station, and murder scenes I was truly entertained by the story and plot. I laughed when they called themselves the Three Musketeers because I was actually thinking that were like the three musketeers before they said it themselves. Three great characters taking a very dangerous and risky mystery with some humor tossed in for good measure.


What I Didn’t Like

At times there were events that happened for the sake of happening to showcase something. But, it wasn’t out of character. It still felt like it belonged in the story and it didn’t take away from the story. But, a few things happened in the story were I was felt like it was kinda random just to show us something that needed to be established. While it might have felt random, the information gathered was needed and none of them were unenjoyable.


Overall Thoughts

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. I was very happy to find out that this is the first book in a series because I would be able to have another adventure this these characters, but also with this authors writing. I cannot stress this enough, this author does a wonderful job at building a very real atmosphere with what seems like minimal effort and that for me is a mark of a good writer. I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy historical fiction, mystery, murder mysteries, or if you have an interest in the Jack the Ripper stories or Arthur Conan Doyle.

4stars

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About the Author: Bradley Harper

Bradley Harper

Bradley Harper is a retired US Army Pathologist with over 37 years of worldwide military/medical experience, ultimately serving as a Colonel/Physician in the Pentagon. During his Army career, Harper performed some 200 autopsies, 20 of which were forensic. 

Upon retiring from the Army, Harper earned an Associate’s Degree in Creative Writing from Full Sail University. He has been published in The Strand MagazineFlash Fiction Magazine, The Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine and a short story he wrote involving Professor Moriarty in the Holmes tale of The Red Headed League (entitled The Red Herring League) won Honorable Mention in an international short fiction contest. A member of the Mystery Writers of America, Authors Guild, and Sisters in Crime, Harper is a regular contributor to the Sisters in Crime bi-monthly newsletter.

Harper’s first novel, A Knife in the Fog, involves a young Arthur Conan Doyle joining in the hunt for Jack the Ripper, and was a finalist for the 2019 Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America for Best First Novel by an American Author. 

Queen’s Gambit, the upcoming sequel to A Knife in the Fog will be released in September 2019.

ONLINE LINKS:

Website: www.bharperauthor.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bharperauthor

Instagram: www.instagram.com/bharperauthor

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bharperauthor

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Book Information

Publication Date: October 2nd 2018

Publisher: Seventh Street Books

List Price: $15.95

ISBN: 9781633884861

Pages: 288 pages

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Reviews

REVIEW | Women Talking by Miriam Toews

BookReview12:17

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

Women Talking
Description:

One evening, eight Mennonite women climb into a hay loft to conduct a secret meeting. For the past two years, each of these women, and more than a hundred other girls in their colony, has been repeatedly violated in the night by demons coming to punish them for their sins. Now that the women have learned they were in fact drugged and attacked by a group of men from their own community, they are determined to protect themselves and their daughters from future harm.

While the men of the colony are off in the city, attempting to raise enough money to bail out the rapists and bring them home, these women—all illiterate, without any knowledge of the world outside their community and unable even to speak the language of the country they live in—have very little time to make a choice: Should they stay in the only world they’ve ever known or should they dare to escape?

Based on real events and told through the “minutes” of the women’s all-female symposium, Toews’s masterful novel uses wry, politically engaged humor to relate this tale of women claiming their own power to decide.

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What I Liked

The main reason I wanted to read this book was because it was based upon real events. I enjoy reading non-ficiton and historical fiction and I felt like this book would be enjoyable. This book tackles dark events dealing with an established religious group and how the women must either come to terms with the status quo or make changes. As you can see from the description the status quo is not something I think many of us would want to endure.

I really enjoyed that the author did put this struggle into words and I feel like it could be applied to many other situations. While this story very dark and very extreme in its content, if you are triggered by rape or the discussion of it please do not read it boils down to women in a very bad situation determining if it is worth living with the devil you know, or chancing it with the devil you don’t know in a world you don’t understand. In other words,  you can either endure traumatic treatment and stay with what you know and fear, or go off and try to get away for your hope of a safe situation in a world you have no idea how to navigate. On top of that the fear of what might happen if you are not successful. Obviously, every situation is different and each needs to be thought of on its own merits, but I can appreciate that this author was willing to have a discussion about this.


What I Didn’t Like

I didn’t like how slow paced this book was. I kind of had to push myself through it. I am not sure if this is because I was expecting a lot to happen based upon the description, but I felt that for the size of the book it was a slow mover. At times I felt it was rambling and I would grow bored.


Overall Thoughts

I feel like this was a good topic to discuss and should continue to be discussed. The topic was interesting for sure. I just don’t know if the topic was enough for me to fully enjoy this book. For me personally I do not enjoy slow moving books that are more talk than action. So, I feel like if you enjoy that type of writing style, you would easily like this book more than I did. 3stars

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Author Links

Miriam Toews

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Book Information

Publication Date: April 2nd 2019

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

List Price: $24.99

ISBN: 9781635572582

Pages: 216 pages

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Reviews

REVIEW | Little Guides to Great Lives: Anne Frank by Isabel Thomas

BookReview12:17

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

Little Guides to Great Lives: Anne FrankDescription:

Anne Frank was an ordinary girl living in extraordinary times. Forced to go into hiding to escape the Nazis’ persecution of Jews in World War II, Anne kept a diary that would become one of the most famous books in the world.

Meet one of history’s most inspiring figures in this beautifully-illustrated guide to her amazing life.

From artists to aviators and scientists to revolutionaries, Little Guides to Great Lives is a brand new series of small-format guides introducing children to the most inspirational figures from history in a fun, accessible way.

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What I Liked

First off I have to say that the story of Anne Frank and the holocaust as a whole is not an easy topic no matter how you look at it. But, these are both important stories that need to be shared. I read this book two times before writing this review, for a few reasons.

The firs being that this author did a wonderful job telling this story. It is done in such a way that it does not hide the truth, but gently explains what happened to Anne Frank and others who were victimized during WWII. It explained the steps leading up to the labor and concentration camps in a factual way, but in a very respectful manner. I have to say that this is one of the most gentle, but truthful children’s book I have read on the topic personally.

The second reason I read this multiple times was the art style and illustrations that are present throughout. While I hate to say that this story is beautiful, because it is so heart breaking, this book is beautiful and is a work of art.

Another thing I loved about this book was that it just did not tell the story of Anne Frank, but it was so much more. It talked about the global economy and the rise of the Nazi to give the story context. There was also a lot of helpful information such as key character descriptions, timelines, and a glossary to aid young readers in learning and making sense  of the complex story. But, the best thing they had in there was further reading. You can tell the author cares about the topic and is passionate about learning when they share where readers can learn more.


What I Didn’t Like

Honestly, there is nothing bad I can say about this book. It was well structured, it covered a difficult topic in a very accessible way to children.


Overall Thoughts

Overall I really enjoyed reading this, even though I am not a child I found it to be informative and interested without being overwhelming. This is a great way to expose young children the the holocaust and the story of Anne Frank without being overwhelming in my opinion.  I even bought a copy for a friend of mine for her to read to her children.

5stars

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Author Links

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Book Information

Publication Date: April 23rd 2019

Publisher: Laurence King Publishing

List Price: $11.99

ISBN: 9781786273987

Pages: 64 pages

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Reviews

REVIEW | If, Then by Kate Hope Day

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

If, Then Description: 

The residents of a sleepy mountain town are rocked by troubling visions of an alternate reality in this dazzling debut that combines the family-driven suspense of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere with the inventive storytelling of The Immortalists.

In the quiet haven of Clearing, Oregon, four neighbors find their lives upended when they begin to see themselves in parallel realities. Ginny, a devoted surgeon whose work often takes precedence over her family, has a baffling vision of a beautiful co-worker in Ginny’s own bed and begins to doubt the solidity of her marriage. Ginny’s husband, Mark, a wildlife scientist, sees a vision that suggests impending devastation and grows increasingly paranoid, threatening the safety of his wife and son. Samara, a young woman desperately mourning the recent death of her mother and questioning why her father seems to be coping with such ease, witnesses an apparition of her mother healthy and vibrant and wonders about the secrets her parents may have kept from her. Cass, a brilliant scholar struggling with the demands of new motherhood, catches a glimpse of herself pregnant again, just as she’s on the brink of returning to the project that could define her career.

At first the visions are relatively benign, but they grow increasingly disturbing—and, in some cases, frightening. When a natural disaster threatens Clearing, it becomes obvious that the visions were not what they first seemed and that the town will never be the same.

Startling, deeply imagined, and compulsively readable, Kate Hope Day’s debut novel is about the choices we make that shape our lives and determine our destinies—the moments that alter us so profoundly that it feels as if we’ve entered another reality.

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What I Liked

This was a very fast paced read that had you flying through the lives if the four propionate characters. I have been reading a lot of big novels such as The Count of Monte Cristo, so reading such a fast paced book, that didn’t feel rushed was wonderful and just what I needed.

I also enjoyed how this was a science fiction novel that wasn’t too out there. It just blurred the lines between alternate realities and did so in a really interesting way. As I was reading this I was almost getting NOS4A2 vibes in this respect. It was just a little science fiction that really lit up the story. It takes a skilled writer to just take something small and build a story like this surrounding it.

The writing in this novel was done really well. It takes talent in my eyes to be able to create a story that shifts so much between characters, time, and in some cases reality as the characters know it. If I had tried to do such a thing there would be plot holes left and right. Additionally, her writing style is very enjoyable to a point I will be looking into her future books, I hope she writes more.


What I Didn’t Like

Personally for me I did not get fully attached to any of the characters. This does not mean they were poorly written or anything like that. I just think because there were four main characters and the story flew by so quickly I didn’t really get a chance to connect with them. The characters themselves were interesting, especially since they seemed to be “battling” and experiencing such different things in their lives.


Overall Thoughts

This is a very intriguing and interesting book. The premise of this book reminded me of a combination of books I already enjoyed, while it was all her own. The book flew by, but I can also see how that can be a disservice to this story. Overall, it was a good read in my eyes, I was entertained and I wanted to know what would happen next so I kept turning the pages.  If you want a fast paced read that is a little out of the ordinary and has you thinking about alternate realities/dimensions I suggest this book to you.

4stars

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Author Links

Kate Hope Day

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Book Information

Publication Date: March 12th 2019

Publisher: Random House

List Price: $26.00

ISBN: 9780525511229

Pages: 272 pages

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Reviews

REVIEW | The Familiars by Stacey Halls

BookReview12:17

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

The FamiliarsDescription

Young Fleetwood Shuttleworth, a noblewoman, is with child again. None of her previous pregnancies have borne fruit, and her husband, Richard, is anxious for an heir. Then Fleetwood discovers a hidden doctor’s letter that carries a dire prediction: she will not survive another birth. By chance she meets a midwife named Alice Grey, who promises to help her deliver a healthy baby. But Alice soon stands accused of witchcraft.

Is there more to Alice than meets the eye? Fleetwood must risk everything to prove her innocence. As the two women’s lives become intertwined, the Witch Trials of 1612 loom. Time is running out; both their lives are at stake. Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.

Rich and compelling, set against the frenzy of the real Pendle Hill Witch Trials, this novel explores the rights of 17th-century women and raises the question: Was witch-hunting really women-hunting? Fleetwood Shuttleworth, Alice Grey and the other characters are actual historical figures. King James I was obsessed with asserting power over the lawless countryside (even woodland creatures, or “familiars,” were suspected of dark magic) by capturing “witches”—in reality mostly poor and illiterate women.

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What I Liked

I would like to start off by saying, this is going to be one of these reviews where I just want to gush about a book and ramble. I am going to do my absolute best and actually write a review that makes sense.

The main thing I like about this historical fiction novel is the fact it doesn’t just take place in the past. I have read so many historical novels that just take place during a time period, but this novel really encapsulates the events, social order, societal expectations. The author embedded characters and people who were alive during the time period and even though this is a work of fiction you can tell that she did a lot of research and in knowledgeable about this period.

One part that I really like is how accurate she was when showing how women were treated during this period in time. I have read a few reviews that said that the main character is meek, but I have to respectfully disagree with this. During this period in time, if you were not meek and subservient as a women, SADLY, your life could be in serious danger depending on who your husband was. I found that even though that this character was controlled to an extent, she was also free and really pushed the barriers. A lot of women would have been deathly afraid or just did not think of doing a lot of the stuff Fleetwood has done. This historical fiction novel, like I said earlier, is pretty darn accurate historical fiction. Do I think this was good? No, but regrettably it is a great representation.

I also liked how class prejudices were lightly touched on, especially with the witch themes throughout this book. I felt that this book not only was accurate, but it also tried to show how wrong these social norms were.

Apart from the historical aspects of this novel, I really enjoyed the writing. I sat down in 3 sittings and I flew through this. It was fast paced, but did not jump in a way that made you think you missed something. I also enjoyed that it did not feel like the writing was modern, it was a nice touch and really added to the atmosphere of the book. I also felt genuine anger at some parts of the book and I felt myself tearing up at others. I really was rooting for Fleetwood and Alice.

What I Didn’t Like

The only fault I could even think about is not knowing more of what happened to a particular a character.

Overall Thoughts

If you could not tell, I really enjoyed this novel. I loved how period accurate it was and how the author used real names from the year that this is taking place. I also enjoy how she embodied the time period, but also exposed the issues that and pointed out how unfair the system was towards particular people. It is safe to say that I am preordering this novel.

Thank-you for listening to my gushing rambles!

5stars

Tweet showing how much I wanted to read this in less time:

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Author Links

Stacey Halls

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Book Information

Publication Date: February 19th 2019

Publisher: Mira Books

List Price: $26.99

ISBN: 9780778369189

Pages: 352 pages

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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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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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