Tag Archives: 4 Stars

The Memory Collectors: A Novel by Kim Neville – My Review

Title: The Memory Collectors: A Novel

Author: Kim Neville

Release Date: March 16th 2021

Genre: Fantasy Fiction 

Perfect for fans of The Scent Keeper and The Keeper of Lost Things, an atmospheric and enchanting debut novel about two women haunted by buried secrets but bound by a shared gift and the power the past holds over our lives.

Ev has a mysterious ability, one that she feels is more a curse than a gift. She can feel the emotions people leave behind on objects and believes that most of them need to be handled extremely carefully, and—if at all possible—destroyed. The harmless ones she sells at Vancouver’s Chinatown Night Market to scrape together a living, but even that fills her with trepidation. Meanwhile, in another part of town, Harriet hoards thousands of these treasures and is starting to make her neighbors sick as the overabundance of heightened emotions start seeping through her apartment walls.

When the two women meet, Harriet knows that Ev is the only person who can help her make something truly spectacular of her collection. A museum of memory that not only feels warm and inviting but can heal the emotional wounds many people unknowingly carry around. They only know of one other person like them, and they fear the dark effects these objects had on him. Together, they help each other to develop and control their gift, so that what happened to him never happens again. But unbeknownst to them, the same darkness is wrapping itself around another, dragging them down a path that already destroyed Ev’s family once, and threatens to annihilate what little she has left.

The Memory Collectors casts the everyday in a new light, speaking volumes to the hold that our past has over us—contained, at times, in seemingly innocuous objects—and uncovering a truth that both women have tried hard to bury with their pasts: not all magpies collect shiny things—sometimes they gather darkness.

The Memory Collectors is an interesting and unique story concept. I was intrigued by the blurb and wanted more. The cover is really pretty and also caught my eye.

We are introduced to two characters. Similar, yet different. There’s a mystery surrounding both of these characters. Both had endured something and I wanted to know! It took me awhile to warm up to Ev. Her character isn’t very likable at first. I did like and feel for Harriet. The pacing of the story is slow in some places. I was already invested in the story, so it didn’t stop me. I did not expect that ending. I always say that’s a good thing. There’s a sense of lightness at the end. Like a burden had been lifted and it had. You’ll have to read the story to see what I mean!

A wonderful debut for this author! I enjoyed her writing and story telling style. I can’t wait to see what’s next from her! I give this 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Amelia Unabridged: A Novel by Ashley Schumacher – My Review

51-+l8Ur7wL

Title: Amelia Unabridged: A Novel

Author: Ashley Schumacher

Release Date: February 16th 2021

Genre: Young Adult

Sparks fly between two teens as they grapple with grief, love, and the future in this unforgettable debut novel sure to entice fans of Jandy Nelson and Jennifer E. Smith

Eighteen-year-old Amelia Griffin is obsessed with the famous Orman Chronicles, written by the young and reclusive prodigy N. E. Endsley. They’re the books that brought her and her best friend Jenna together after Amelia’s father left and her family imploded. So when Amelia and Jenna get the opportunity to attend a book festival with Endsley in attendance, Amelia is ecstatic. It’s the perfect way to start off their last summer before college.

In a heartbeat, everything goes horribly wrong. When Jenna gets a chance to meet the author and Amelia doesn’t, the two have a blowout fight like they’ve never experienced. And before Amelia has a chance to mend things, Jenna is killed in a freak car accident. Grief-stricken, and without her best friend to guide her, Amelia questions everything she had planned for the future.

When a mysterious, rare edition of the Orman Chronicles arrives, Amelia is convinced that it somehow came from Jenna. Tracking the book to an obscure but enchanting bookstore in Michigan, Amelia is shocked to find herself face-to-face with the enigmatic and handsome N. E. Endsley himself, the reason for Amelia’s and Jenna’s fight and perhaps the clue to what Jenna wanted to tell her all along.

Ashley Schumacher’s devastating and beautiful debut, Amelia Unabridged, is about finding hope and strength within yourself, and maybe, just maybe, falling in love while you do it.

252-2522572_4-star-stars-in-a-line.png

This is a touching story about two people dealing with their grief and finding the calm after the storm. Amelia is dealing with the loss of her best friend. They had plans. Their futures planned and it’s all gone in an instant. A mysterious package is delivered to Amelia and she sets off to find out the reason for it and finds more than she bargained for. 

This was an emotional story. Losing a loved one isn’t easy. There are many feelings and emotions to process. I loved the story telling style and the story is very well written. I found myself wanting to take a trip and find this amazing bookstore! The characters were great and really made the story pop. My heart went out to Amelia and N.E. This book got me right in my feels! 

This is a wonderful read. A fabulous debut for this author! I enjoyed both the story and her writing. I can’t wait to read more from her. I highly recommend this book! Add it your TBR today! I give this 4 stars. 

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


The Bad Muslim Discount: A Novel by Syed M. Masood – My Review

51vgmUA9pSL

Title: The Bad Muslim Discount: A Novel

Author: Syed M. Masood

Release Date: February 2nd 2021

Genre: Historical Literary Fiction

“Masood’s novel presents a stereoscopic, three-dimensional view of contemporary Muslim America: the way historical conflict in the Middle East lingers in individual lives, the way gossip travels in a close-knit immigrant community.” The New York Times Book Review

Following two families from Pakistan and Iraq in the 1990s to San Francisco in 2016, The Bad Muslim Discount is an inclusive, comic novel about Muslim immigrants finding their way in modern America.

It is 1995, and Anvar Faris is a restless, rebellious, and sharp-tongued boy doing his best to grow up in Karachi, Pakistan. As fundamentalism takes root within the social order and the zealots next door attempt to make Islam great again, his family decides, not quite unanimously, to start life over in California. Ironically, Anvar’s deeply devout mother and his model-Muslim brother adjust easily to life in America, while his fun-loving father can’t find anyone he relates to. For his part, Anvar fully commits to being a bad Muslim.

At the same time, thousands of miles away, Safwa, a young girl living in war-torn Baghdad with her grief-stricken, conservative father will find a very different and far more dangerous path to America. When Anvar and Safwa’s worlds collide as two remarkable, strong-willed adults, their contradictory, intertwined fates will rock their community, and families, to their core.

The Bad Muslim Discount is an irreverent, poignant, and often hysterically funny debut novel by an amazing new voice. With deep insight, warmth, and an irreverent sense of humor, Syed M. Masood examines universal questions of identity, faith (or lack thereof), and belonging through the lens of Muslim Americans.

252-2522572_4-star-stars-in-a-line.png

When I read the synopsis for the book, it piqued my interest. This is definitely a genre I don’t typically read but I wanted to give it a try. The beginning is slow but picks up the pace after awhile. It was both interesting and heart wrenching to read about each of their journeys. The story telling is great and the characters are as well. Not sure how I felt about Anvar but I did find his humor entertaining throughout most of the story. Safwa was a favorite A survivor for sure. Anvar’s father is a hoot! 

I realize there are mixed reviews on this book. I went into this book expecting a good story and  that’s what I got. I don’t believe that all Muslims are like the ones portrayed in this book. I DO believe there are people in every race and or religion that question why things are the way they are. I myself did that with my own upbringing. That being said, I truly enjoyed this book. It’s well written and I loved the different cultures that were woven in. I would recommend this book for anyone wanting to read outside of their comfort zone. I give this 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Pretty Little Wife: A Novel by Darby Kane – My Review

NEW RELEASE

Title: Pretty Little Wife: A Novel

Author: Darby Kane

Release Date: December 29th 2020

Genre: Domestic Thrillers 

Debut author Darby Kane thrills with this twisty domestic suspense novel that asks one central question: shouldn’t a dead husband stay dead?

Lila Ridgefield lives in an idyllic college town, but not everything is what it seems. Lila isn’t what she seems.
A student vanished months ago. Now, Lila’s husband, Aaron, is also missing. At first these cases are treated as horrible coincidences until it’s discovered the student is really the third of three unexplained disappearances over the last few years. The police are desperate to find the connection, if there even is one. Little do they know they might be stumbling over only part of the truth….

With the small town in an uproar, everyone is worried about the whereabouts of their beloved high school teacher. Everyone except Lila, his wife. She’s definitely confused about her missing husband but only because she was the last person to see his body, and now it’s gone.

Fasten your seatbelt because this book is one crazy ride!

Is it possible to read a story where none of the characters are likable and yet you still enjoyed the story? Yes. Yes it is. This story has suspense and mystery. Secrets and lies and I was there for it. Most if not all the characters didn’t do it for me but I found Lila interesting. She gave nothing away and did not apologize for anything. I respected that. There’s a lot of twists and turns. Some I saw coming and others surprised me. As the story progressed, I found myself more and more invested and was rapidly page turning because I knew the ending would blow my mind. It sure did! Wow…..

I highly enjoyed this book! I really liked the dark vibe it gave off and the many twists the author threw in there. It made my little black heart happy. Darby Kane is a new to me author. Her storytelling and writing is really good. I can’t wait to read more by this author! Add this to your TBR if you love suspense with a dark vibe. I give this 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


The First Day of Forever (Romance in Chicago Book 2) by Lisa Keifer – My Review

Title: The First Day of Forever (Romance in Chicago Book 2)

Author: Lisa Keifer

Release Date: September 22nd 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance

What do you do when a secret catapults your steady relationship onto rocky ground?

Christabel and Eric’s wedding preparations have had their ups and downs—including a cancellation!–but she just knows their big day will be absolutely perfect. Their relationship already is.

When Eric drops a bombshell three months before the scheduled nuptials, Christabel must navigate through her heartbreak. Eric, the first person she would normally run to in times of trouble, suddenly becomes the only person she wants to avoid.

Until she’s sure whether this is a break or a break-up, Christabel decides it’s best to pretend things are just fine to their loved ones. Admitting the truth would only make it all too real. Why can’t a real fiancé be a fake one, too? But, at some point, she must decide if trusting Eric—and loving him—is worth the risk.

Find out what happens now in book 2 of the Romance in Chicago duet!

They’re back! I love Christabel and Eric’s love story. Their chemistry is pretty awesome! Eric is definitely book boyfriend material. Totally swoon worthy! What is a wedding without some sort of drama. Right? Christabel finds herself dealing with one heck of a bombshell. I haven’t always been a fan of her choices but in some ways I found myself relating to her more in this book. She still doesn’t make some great choices in this book either but the hurt she is feeling is real and relatable. Jetta is the bestest friend a gal could ask for!

This is a good read. You smile and you’ll shed a tear or two. The love between these two characters is truly heartfelt. You’ll be rooting for them throughout the story! If you love romance, this book is right up your alley. I give this 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


The First Day of Us (Romance in Chicago Book 1) by Lisa Keifer – My Review

Title: The First Day of Us (Romance in Chicago Book 1)

Author: Lisa Keifer

Release Date: April 26th 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Can true love conquer all if you don’t believe in it?

Christabel is notorious for dating the wrong men. Lately, her hot-and-cold relationship with boyfriend Logan has been more cold than hot. But she’s just fine with that. Christabel doesn’t believe she is in the market for a love connection, with Logan or anyone else.

Along comes charismatic Eric. Within moments of meeting him, everything she thought she knew about romance is flipped on its head. Afraid of her growing feelings for him, she insists they are and will only be friends.

The stress of having two men in her life takes a toll on Christabel. She finds herself yearning for something more than her current situation. Her memories and her hopes for the future battle for control of her heart. Old romance vs potential new romance. When the moment comes, she wants to be ready. The trick is in knowing which moment is the right one.

Christabel has a god job and a good boyfriend. What more could she want? All of that starts to change when she meets Eric. He’s funny, smart, and very handsome but he can only be a friend, right?

Right from the start, I loved the chemistry between Christabel and Eric! They’re so cute! They had some playful banter and some intense moments. Oh Christa girl, some of the choices you made….oh no. I didn’t agree with some of them but I was still rooting for her. Her friend Jetta is pretty awesome too. That ending was everything I had hoped for! Thank you Miss Keifer!

This is good read! If romance is your thing, this book is for you! I can’t wait to read more from one of my favorite couples. I give this 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


The Wicked Hour: A Natalie Lockhart Novel by Alice Blanchard – My Review

NEW RELEASE

Title: The Wicked Hour: A Natalie Lockhart Novel

Author: Alice Blanchard

Release Date: December 1st 2020

Genre: Mystery

The day after Burning Lake’s notorious, debauched Halloween celebration, Detective Natalie Lockhart uncovers a heartbreaking scene—a young woman, dead and lying in a dumpster. There’s no clue to who she is, save for a mystifying tattoo on her arm, and a callus underneath her chin. She’s not from around here. No one knows who she is.

As Natalie retraces the young woman’s steps leading up to her death, she uncovers a deeper, darker horror—a string of murders and disappearances, seemingly unconnected, that may have ties to each other—and explain the abrupt disappearance of her best friend years ago.

As she digs deeper within the mind of the hunter, Natalie finds a darkness she could never have imagined. And as she draws closer to the truth, the killer is weaving a trap for her that may prove inescapable.

Right from the start, the story has an eerie and haunting vibe to it. It kicks off with Halloween! I am so here for it. 

We follow Natalie as she investigates a murder, all while dealing with grief she’s been carrying around from previous events. The pacing of the story was great. We had all kinds of interesting characters. I really had no clue who could be the suspect. I was along for the ride. I have to mention that this is book two in a series. I felt it could have been helpful to read book one prior to this. There are certain events and characters that are mentioned and we as the reader don’t know what has happened. That being said, this was a really great read despite not having read book one. I was engaged and the twists kept me guessing. I was surprised at that ending. Bravo Miss Blanchard! 

This is my first book by this author and I will definitely be looking for book one! I really enjoyed her writing style. This is a fabulous start to the series and now I am a huge fan of Natalie Lockhart. More please! I give this 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


And The Creek Don’t Rise by R. M. Gilmore – My Review

NEW RELEASE

Title: And The Creek Don’t Rise

Author: R. M. Gilmore

Release Date: November 24th 2020

Genre: Fantasy

On her twentieth birthday, Lynnie Russell—just a little ol’ thing from down in Havana, Arkansas—falls in love under a full silver moon.

Waking up the next morning naked and caked in blood, Lynnie is faced with a horrifying truth. She’s death incarnate.In a race to unearth what she’s become, Lynnie must hide her beastly thing from those she loves most.

If only to keep them alive.When an unexpected ally offers help, how can she refuse?

The thing with fate or destiny is you can’t change it. What is meant to be will be. Lynnie Reynolds had to learn the hard way. There’s a lot she must endure but in the end, she is a warrior.

The story has a peculiar and interesting take on fae and shifter. The author has added her own twist on fae/shifter folklore and created a world where magic does exist. Secretly but it does exist. I appreciated the little details she added such as the language of magic spoken and names of the other world. The characters were quite entertaining! Mama Lee was one of my favorites. I like the fact that Lynnie had to figure stuff out on her own. Learn as you go. Her choices had consequences. Some of the sayings had me laughing! There were some I hadn’t heard before. I even shed some tears at some heartfelt and crushing moments. Ah good times. 

This is a pretty good read. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. If you’re wanting a different take on fae, magic and shifters, check this book out. I give this 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Daughter of the Serpentine (A Dragoneer Academy Novel Book 2) by E.E. Knight – My Review

Title: Daughter of the Serpentine (A Dragoneer Academy Novel Book 2)

Author: E.E. Knight

Release Date: November 17th 2020

Genre: Fantasy, Dragons

As a young dragoneer moves through the ranks of the prestigious Serpentine Academy, her challenges grow greater and her time grows short to draw out a series of deadly threats, in this thrilling coming-of-age fantasy novel.

Sixteen-year-old Ileth is now an Apprentice Dragoneer, with all of the benefits and pitfalls that her elevation in rank entails. But her advancement becomes less certain after she’s attacked by an unknown enemy, and Ileth begins to suspect that someone deadly may be hiding within the walls of the academy.

Outside of the walls there is a different challenge. The Rari Pirates are strangling the Vale Republic. What they lack in dragon firepower, they make up for in the brutality of their ever-expanding raids, making hostages or slaves of the Republic’s citizens. Surrounded by enemies, Ileth will need to learn what kind of dragoneer she wants to be. And as she makes decisions about her future, Ileth will have the chance to uncover the secrets of her past. Both will irrevocably change the course of her life.

Adventurous. Fantastical.

Daughter of the Serpentine is book two in the Dragoneer Academy series. Ileth is now an apprentice. She still is proving herself to everyone there. She isn’t afraid to work hard. Her dream is to be a dragoneer with her own dragon. A lot of obstacles are thrown her way, along with political matters. Ileth must make choices and hope she is doing the right thing.

I was excited to read more about Ileth! She is a survivor and I wanted to know what adventures she would find herself on in book two. The pacing of the story is slow. I had to start and stop numerous times. I struggled through most of the beginning of the book. I felt a lot of the scenes and information were more filler than actually advancing the plot and could have been left out. The story picks up around 60% and I am there for it! There is action and dragons! A bit of romance and of course, some sort of betrayal. I find it interesting how Ileth always seems to find herself in certain situations and always ready for adventure. A brave one she is! 

As a whole, this book is entertaining and a wonderful follow up to the first book. The book is well written and I love the world building along with the characters. Oh and DRAGONS!! I can’t wait for the next adventure Ileth will have! I give this 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


The Girl in the Mirror: An Novel by Rose Carlyle – My Review

NEW RELEASE

Title: The Girl in the Mirror: An Novel

Author: Rose Carlyle

Release Date: October 15th 2020

Genre: Thriller, Psychological

Written with the chilling, twisty suspense of The Wife Between Us and Something in the Water, a seductive debut thriller about greed, lust, secrets, and deadly lies involving identical twin sisters.

Twin sisters Iris and Summer are startlingly alike, but beyond what the eye can see lies a darkness that sets them apart. Cynical and insecure, Iris has long been envious of Summer’s seemingly never-ending good fortune, including her perfect husband Adam.

Called to Thailand to help her sister sail the family yacht to the Seychelles, Iris nurtures her own secret hopes for what might happen on the journey. But when she unexpectedly finds herself alone in the middle of the Indian Ocean, everything changes. When she makes it to land, Iris allows herself to be swept up by Adam, who assumes that she is Summer.

Iris recklessly goes along with his mistake. Not only does she finally have the golden life she’s always envied, with her sister gone, she’s one step closer to the hundred-million-dollar inheritance left by her manipulative father. All Iris has to do is be the first of his seven children to produce an heir.

Iris’s “new” life lurches between glamorous dream and paranoid nightmare. On the edge of being exposed, how far will she go to ensure no one discovers the truth?

And just what did happen to Summer on the yacht?

Only Iris knows . . .

Twin sisters. Identical but not the same.

The Girl in the Mirror is a suspenseful and twisted read! Lies and betrayal? YES! I love a good thriller and this book delivered. The pacing of the story was slow in some places but I was invested in the story so it didn’t bother me too much. These characters were insane! Some of the choices and actions they made, had my head spinning. It made for a great read though! Twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. I reached the ending and I closed the book and just sat there saying to myself, wooooow.

A wonderful debut! I enjoyed her writing style. Her storytelling style kept me engaged. I look forward to what she comes out with next. Miss Carlyle has a new fan! I give this 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*