BOOK REVIEW: The Summer Demands by Deborah Shapiro

I was so fortunate to receive a final copy of The Summer Demands by Deborah Shapiro in lieu of galley from Catapult Publishers through Booklist Delivers Summer eblast.

This book was a good summer read, making me want to be at the lake reading it!

The Summer Demands centers on Emily who inherits a rundown summer camp in Massachusetts. She’s just about to hit milestone birthday 4-0 and post-miscarriage. So basically, Emily has a lot of trauma she’s working through and getting older isn’t helping.

At first Emily and her husband try to fix up the camp in order to make it more of a glamping resort experience, but find permits too difficult to obtain and quickly this dream fails. One day while walking the camp grounds Emily finds that they have a “guest” living in one of the camp cabins. This guest is 22-year-old Stella.

Stella lives a free life. One that Emily wishes she could have, a life away from bills, finding a job, getting over her loss. It’s simple.

Emily and her husband allow Stella to live in the cabin for the summer. They begin a friendship. A relationship that becomes many things for Emily, and could cause problems with her marriage.

Shapiro does an excellent job of giving depth to these two female characters. I felt like I really got to know them, especially Emily. My only real critique is that I felt that the ending was rushed. There was so much detail throughout to build the characters and plot and then all of a sudden it was over and we fast forward to see where they end up in the future. I’m also not a huge fan of books that do this fast forward for an ending so that probably doesn’t help, but overall it was a decent read. Not really your normal light hearted summer read, but a good one nonetheless.

This book was released at the beginning of June–have you had a chance to read it? What did you think?

Happy reading 🙂

BOOK REVIEW: Project Duchess by Sabrina Jeffries

Sabrina Jeffries latest new series The Duke Dynasty series begins with Project Duchess released on June 25th. I was lucky to receive an eARC from NetGalley just prior to its release and really enjoyed the book.

The Duke Dynasty series will focus on a family of grown children of an often widowed mother. She married well three times, and provided heirs to each Duke she married. Project Duchess follows the story of Fletcher “Grey” Pryde the fifth Duke of Greycourt and Beatrice Wolfe, a cousin through marriage that he meets at the funeral of his stepfather.

Grey had a dark childhood and trusts no one with much of anything really, let alone his heart, but he is also immediately drawn to Beatrice because she is different from the ladies that were brought up politely in the Ton. Beatrice raises and trains dogs, walks through the woods in sturdy boots, and most importantly, doesn’t let Grey win his way in an argument easily.

Though in mourning Grey helps Beatrice and his sister prepare for their coming out parties and along the way falls for Beatrice. Though their feelings are mutual, neither fully trusts each other for most of the novel, refusing to share their past traumas with each other.

I found this a delightful read with the right amount of danger and romance. I can’t wait for the next installment of the series to come out!

Happy reading 🙂  

BOOK REVIEW: The Things I Know

Recently I finished reading an eARC of The Things I Know by Amanda Prowse which was released on June 11th. I received this eARC through NetGalley.

The Things I Know tells the story of Thomasina ‘Hitch’ Waycott who lives on a family farm outside of Bristol, England. She was born a little bit different from the ‘normal’ kids and grew up constantly made fun of, an outsider. The story line follows her growth from believing what others are saying to standing up for herself and her family and loved ones.

I found this story interesting because although there was a love story involved, the main plot was actually about Thomasina learning to stand up for herself and figuring out what she wants to do with her life. Various problems are thrown her way, from bullies, to men, family problems, and as with every other farm book, the potential sale of the family farm that has been in the family for generations. I don’t read very many English stories that aren’t regency era so it was fun to read a more modern story from England.

I enjoyed witnessing the problems and solutions unfold, each in their own time. The flow of the story happened at a good pace. I didn’t feel rushed by any of the chaos that ensued or that any of the plot lines overlapped too much. By requesting this book I was attempting to work on diversifying the types of books that I read so that I am not just reading the same exact thing over and over, and I think this novel succeeded in helping me accomplish that goal. I would definitely read another of her books.

By the way, Thomasina REALLY likes chickens 🙂

Happy reading!

Own Your Everyday by Jordan Lee Dooley

A huge thank you out to Eidelweiss+ for sending me an ARC!

I really enjoyed reading Own Your Everyday by Jordan Lee Dooley. I liked how she showed her own faults and vulnerabilities in her stories to make a point to her readers about self-care and really just owning your day. It was empowering to slow down and take in her advice in today’s world that is go go go and go up go up go up. It really hit home for me, and she identified several spots where snags would set me back. I like that I can now think about the strategies she suggested to move past those snags. It was a great book and I hope to see more from Dooley in the future!

It has been a few days now since I finished reading Own Your Everyday and sent the above review to Eidelweiss+. Now that I have had more time to reflect on Dooley’s message I feel even more connected to it and it hits home even more. I grew up always having the pressure to do well, and to be better than others at school, sports, and more. When I left school and entered the work force I lost a lot of the regular praise that I had once received. I’ll admit, I still feel lost sometimes because I don’t think I know my true purpose or how to have a better balance in life so that I don’t require constant approval. This book definitely opened up a lot of soul searching I need to do. Maybe it will for you too.

Happy reading 🙂

ARC Review: Forget Me by Kimberley Ash

I received an ebook ARC of Forget Me, Book 2 in the Van Allen Brothers Series by Kimberley Ash through #NetGalley. This is my first review for NetGalley, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to read this book early. This book came out yesterday, June 3rd, so you can go out and enjoy this romance yourself!

Forget Me focuses on Laurel Moore, a big city chef, home to run the bar and take care of her family after her alcoholic father’s passing. Jonah Gardiner is the town’s former bad boy turned Ph.D., and her former secret boyfriend.

Most of the romance I read is historical romance so this was a nice change-up for me. I wasn’t sure what to think going into it, but was intrigued to see how Ash would treat the main characters’ relationship with each other and how their backgrounds would be brought into the story. I think Ash did a good job of balancing the romance with the reality of their lives–working, dealing with family problems, etc. Romance novels are often so much a fantasy that it can be hard to relate the story to your life, but this book was easy for me to relate to.

All-in-all this was an enjoyable read and I look forward to reading the other books in the series.

Book Review: Summer Hours at the Robbers Library by Sue Halpern

Hi all!

I’ll admit I’ve been really bad about writing up blog posts. I’ve been reading pretty steadily, and last I checked I am on track to stick to my reading goal of 75 books for the year!

Right now, I have a lot going on. I recently received a handful of ARCs to read and in terms of life, I started a new job at the end of April that has a much longer commute. While I am adjusting to this new position, I’ve put some of my goals on hold, but I am extremely happy to be in my new role, which is much less stressful. I should in the near future have quite a few reviews coming your way.

Now–for what the title promised you: a review of Summer Hours at the Robbers Library by Sue Halpern.

At the time that I read this book, many had already read it. There was a long line to get a chance to read it through my library, but I am happy I finally got the chance to read the book. It wasn’t the quick read I was expecting and in the long run–I had to force myself to finish the book. I wanted to read the book because, at the time, I was a librarian in a public library in a suburban town in New Hampshire. The book is set in a rural town in New Hampshire and I wanted to see how the book compared to reality.

I had a lot of problems with how Halpern represented libraries in her book. One of my biggest concerns was how the tiny library treated patron privacy in the book. NH has very strict patron privacy laws. Library staff are also not allowed to comment on the reading material chosen by patrons. This annoyance occurred very early in the book and may have resulted in hesitancy in finishing the book.

I was also annoyed that library staff had so much time on their hands to do the NY Times crossword puzzle while on the desk. This would be considered highly inappropriate, and after working in various libraries for the last 8 years I have found the smaller the library the busier you are because you are doing more things with a smaller staff.

I worked as a cataloger in and for libraries for 8 years before just recently moving into an acquisitions role at a liberal arts university. In this book the main character, Kit, is shamed for creating missing book slips. That is how you clean your catalog–by knowing what you actually have! This helps patrons actually be able to find what the want in your collection. The book cited reasons to not do this having to do with the library’s budget–but that’s not how town funding or collection development work.

It took me a long while to get past the shortcomings of the book that had to do with how libraries function and pay attention to the human story. Once I switched my focus I enjoyed the book a lot more. I could relate to both main characters background stories and was able to see that for some of the same reasons I had turned to books and libraries to ground myself. I think this book would be best for those that enjoy libraries, but don’t know too much about how they work. It was a shame that I got stuck in the weeds of details, distracted from the main plot.

I gave this 3/5 stars on Goodreads.

Happy Reading all!

I am back!

Hi all!

I’ve been a bad book blogger. 😦 I had some stuff going on and keeping up with writing and even just reading pretty much came to a stop for a bit. But I’m back now, and I think my reading for 2019 is kicking off at a good pace.

I didn’t hit last year’s goal of 75 books. I fell about 15 books short. But I’m refusing to lower my goal. So this year I’m trying for 75 books again. Hopefully, I make it–fingers crossed!

I have a bunch of draft posts I didn’t finish from last year so my main goals for the blog right now are to finish those up and post them so that you can read the posts of books I’m reading now. I am also hoping to expand past reviews this year, but we’ll see how that goes. After how I pretty much abandoned the blog last year I don’t want to overwhelm myself with goals that don’t come to fruition.

Anyways, I hope this finds all of you readers well and as always, Happy Reading. 🙂