Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Belle Can Read | The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

Hello and welcome to my August installment of Someone Picks My Books. This series is where fellow book bloggers pick a book, any book, for me to read and review. This month, as you can see from the title, the book was picked by Belle Can Read. Thank you Belle for volunteering for this series and picking this months book!


One Sentence Review

A determined woman fights for her rights and the rights of her fellow women with a paranormal twist.


Book Description

Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout. –goodreads.com


What I Liked

First and foremost, I really enjoyed the time period that this book was set in. Not only did it led itself to an enjoyable story, but the author truly did it justice in the historical sense. The suffrage movement in the US was not something that was embraced, and the author really did a great job in portraying this. Showing family turning against family and so forth. In doing this, the novel truly feels historical and does not just have the setting, which sadly can happen with some historical fiction novels.

I really enjoyed the main character in this novel, Olivia is such a strong determined woman and grew throughout the novel. One of my biggest pet peeves is when a character is stuck and is not dynamic. Winters does not do this, their characters are dynamic and show development. Another character that I found interesting was Henry. The relationship with Henry, was done really well, but at first I did not like him. As I read and the more I saw from him, the more I liked him and felt like he was a good partner, key word PARTNER, for Olivia.

What I Didn’t Like

Her father is a jerk and you wont change me mind. But, this is not really something the author did wrong, actually did quite right. It is not often where I actively dislike a character. It might be because I keep reading Shakespeare this year and that fathers are all like this and I get so mad. But, it is the time and it is a historically accurate depiction.

Overall

Overall, I thought this was a really well done historical fiction. It did a great job of representing the struggle of women during the early stages of suffrage in the US. Also, the novel feels like it is consistently within this time period it is set. If you like strong and determined women and sometimes a paranormal twist to your historical fiction, I would suggest looking into this book for yourself because I think you just might like it!


Next month I am reading a book picked by the wonderful Heidi from the blog, This is My Book Shelf Blog. I recommend checking out her blog and other social media accounts!

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Hauls

Unboxing | BOTM January 2020

Hauls & Unboxings

Hello and welcome to another post! I am excited to share my Book of the Month this month because I ended up with three books. Oops! Since I am a BOTM BFF ( I have been subscribed for more than 12 month, time flies when reading good books!) I get the to pick one of the Book of the Year Nominations for free as a thank you from them. Then I decided to add an extra book, because I had such a hard time deciding on just one. Anyway, here are the books!


As I said, I had a hard time choosing between two books, these two were Things in Jars by Jess Kidd and The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James. Simone St. James wrote the The Broken Girls and I read it last year and I ADORED it, so when I saw another one of her books on here I wanted it. But, I then read the description of Things in Jars. This book is a combination of macabre with ghosts, supernatural elements, but also a Victorian mystery led by female detective. I was sold, so I ended up picking both books, one of thee beauties of BOTM. Now, Recursion by Blake Crouch was my free pick from their Book of the Year finalists. It sounded really interesting and different, so I am also excited to give this one a go as well. Below are the descriptions of all three of the books.


Things in Jars by Jess Kidd Description 

“Bridie Devine—female detective extraordinaire—is confronted with the most baffling puzzle yet: the kidnapping of Christabel Berwick, secret daughter of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick, and a peculiar child whose reputed supernatural powers have captured the unwanted attention of collectors trading curiosities in this age of discovery.

Winding her way through the labyrinthine, sooty streets of Victorian London, Bridie won’t rest until she finds the young girl, even if it means unearthing a past that she’d rather keep buried. Luckily, her search is aided by an enchanting cast of characters, including a seven-foot tall housemaid; a melancholic, tattoo-covered ghost; and an avuncular apothecary. But secrets abound in this foggy underworld where spectacle is king and nothing is quite what it seems.

Blending darkness and light, history and folklore, Things in Jarsis a spellbinding Gothic mystery that collapses the boundary between fact and fairy tale to stunning effect and explores what it means to be human in inhumane times.” –goodreads.com


The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James Description 

“The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.

Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn’t right at the Sun Down, and before long she’s determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden…” –goodreads.com 


Recursion by Blake Crouch Description 

“Memory makes reality.

That’s what New York City cop Barry Sutton is learning as he investigates the devastating phenomenon the media has dubbed False Memory Syndrome—a mysterious affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived.

That’s what neuroscientist Helena Smith believes. It’s why she’s dedicated her life to creating a technology that will let us preserve our most precious memories. If she succeeds, anyone will be able to re-experience a first kiss, the birth of a child, the final moment with a dying parent.

As Barry searches for the truth, he comes face-to-face with an opponent more terrifying than any disease—a force that attacks not just our minds but the very fabric of the past. And as its effects begin to unmake the world as we know it, only he and Helena, working together, will stand a chance at defeating it.

But how can they make a stand when reality itself is shifting and crumbling all around them?”- goodreads.com


So there you have it, the three books I received in my January BOTM! I am so excited about jumping in and read these titles this year.

QOTD: Have you read any of these books? Which one would you have picked? Do you subscribe to a book box? If so which one?

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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.

YA Bound Book Tours

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Lists & Recommendations

Recommendations | Stephen King

Recs

So I have never done a recommendation post and I thought I would give it a try. This post is going to be sharing my favorite Stephen King novels and maybe help steer you in the right direction. If you don’t know already Stephen King has A TON of books out and is still writing. In fact he came out with a new book this month, 2 this year. So with such a large collection it is hard to find a place to start. So I am hoping that this might help you if you are interested in his books, but are lost on where to begin.

Bag of Bones (Standalone)

Bag of Bones

Four years after the sudden death of his wife, forty-year-old bestselling novelist Mike Noonan is still grieving. Unable to write, and plagued by vivid nightmares set at the western Maine summerhouse he calls Sara Laughs, Mike reluctantly returns to the lakeside getaway. There, he finds his beloved Yankee town held in the grip of a powerful millionaire, Max Devore, whose vindictive purpose is to take his three-year-old granddaughter, Kyra, away from her widowed young mother, Mattie. As Mike is drawn into Mattie and Kyra’s struggle, as he falls in love with both of them, he is also drawn into the mystery of Sara Laughs, now the site of ghostly visitations and escalating terrors. What are the forces that have been unleashed here—and what do they want of Mike Noonan?

It is no secret that King is one of our most mesmerizing storytellers. In Bag of Bones, he proves to be one of our most moving as well. -goodreads

This was the first Stephen King book I ever read and I stand by it even after reading more than 10 of his books. It paranormal in essence, but also the story itself has a ton of backstory that is explained. I found myself loving the “history” behind the story. It also has characters that you find yourself really caring about and invested. I would start with this one if you either like domestic thrillers or ghost stories in general. 

11/22/63 (Standalone)

11/22/63

Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away…but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke… Finding himself in warmhearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten…and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful. -goodreads.com

This is great if you like historical fiction. While it is a retelling of historical events like many historical fiction novels, it has a Stephen King twist. Loving history I read/listened to this book quickly. I listened to parts, the audiobook is done very well, and read others. I felt that it was a great mixture of historical and science fiction. It also had a few parts that made me reflect a bit on society and human nature a bit. I would start here if you like historical fiction or science fiction. 

Mr. Mercedes (Trilogy) 

Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #1)

In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.

In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the “perk” and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.

Brady Hartsfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again. Only Bill Hodges, with two new, unusual allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands. -goodreads.com

This trilogy is another great place to start. After reading a bit of his work you can see that overall his story always have a sinister and not so human twist, but he has different types of writing. Some that focus on humanity (thriller like) and others that focus a lot on the paranormal (ghost and monster like). This trilogy is more a human focused and I would recommend starting here if you really like thrillers or mysteries.

The Shining (Duology) 

The Shining

This tale of a troubled man hired to care for a remote mountain resort over the winter, his loyal wife, and their uniquely gifted son slowly but steadily unfolds as secrets from the Overlook Hotel’s past are revealed, and the hotel itself attempts to claim the very souls of the Torrence family. Adapted into a cinematic masterpiece of horror by legendary Stanley Kubrick — featuring an unforgettable performance by a demonic Jack Nicholson –The Shining stands as a cultural icon of modern horror, a searing study of a family torn apart, and a nightmarish glimpse into the dark recesses of human weakness and dementia. -goodreads.com

Now The Shining for me is “classic” Stephen King. I don’t mean classic in the way that it is one of his first published works, but rather that it has a little bit of everything that he has to offer. Especially more so since it has in the more recent years been expanded more on.  It is creepy, has both his humanity style and his paranormal style. This for me is one of my favorite stories I have read for him. I may be a little bit biased because when I was little I was obsessed with the 6 hour TV version of this, but I think it is a great story and a good way to test to see if you like his work. Overall, I would say that if you want a sample of his work it is good to read this. Divider

I hope that some of you find this post helpful and interesting. I had a lot of fun going through my collection and picking a few of his books that I thought were good starts. Aren’t you glad I did not recommend It as a place to start? If you have anymore questions or idea please let me know I would be more than happy to hear.

Have you read Stephen King? What book was your favorite by him?

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Goals

December Reading Goal

This month I am dedicating my reading to finishing a few series I am nearly done with. Luckily for me that is only two series; The Raven Boys series and The Rosie Project duology (unless there are more coming out in the future I am unaware of). Between those two series I have only three books to read, which cross my fingers I can get through all of them between now and December 31st.


Books I have Left

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion


From the books I have read in these series I am really excited to continue. I am very curious where Maggie Stiefvater is going to bring Blue and the gang next. They always seem to get themselves in the oddest types of situations, then you throw in the paranormal aspect and a true adventure begins. Additionally, I am very much looking forward to continue following along with Rosie and Don romance. I have high hopes for those too.

What book(s) will you be reading this month?

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