BOOK REVIEW: The Shape of the Night by Tess Gerritsen

This review is going to take a look at the book The Shape of the Night by New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen. I received an eArc of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The book was released on October 1st–so get out there an read a copy!

This novel is set mostly in a Maine coastal town with some appearances by Boston. Our main character, Ava Collette is a food writer, and while punishing herself she has decided to get away from Boston to test some recipes for her very late book.

The cookbook she is writing is about traditional New England cuisine, so where better than Maine to write!? She finds an old home available to rent of the summer called Brodie’s Watch. It is the former home of a sea captain that perished at sea. At first all is normal, until she begins hearing weird sounds.

Ava becomes all consumed with trying to figure out who is watching her and what is happening. She begins to wonder if it’s her, and the binge drinking to cope with tragedy, or if it’s all real? Who can she trust in this small coastal town where locals fit in and tourists aren’t trusted.

Gerritsen does a great job of writing the story in a way that it could actually be a ghost, or it could be this other more logical option throughout the entire book. Even after finishing the book I was left wondering–but was the ghost real? The story instills a real feeling of being right there the entire time. I felt like I was by the ocean in Maine. I drooled over the recipes Ava made, just like her carpenters. It was an entertaining read and I encourage you to go read it so you can be in Maine too!

Happy reading 🙂

BOOK REVIEW: The Furies by Katie Lowe

This review is going to focus on The Furies, written by Katie Lowe. I received an ARC through NetGalley. This book was released on October 8th and is a great option for a Halloween read–so check out your local library or bookstore of choice and grab a copy.

The story of the Furies is set in 1997-1998 at Elm Hollow Academy, an all-girl’s boarding school. We follow Violet, the main character, on her journey through what is meant to be a fresh start after the abrupt passing of both her father and younger sister in a car crash that she survived.

Violet finds herself drawn to one girl at the school, Robin, who allows Violet to join her group of friends, consisting of Alex, and Grace. Elm Hollow Academy has a history with the witch hunt in the UK, with the founding headmistress being accused of witchcraft and executed on campus.

But, before she died, Ms. Boucher, had created an advanced studies class, which is now taught by Annabel. There are only four students, Robin, Alex, Grace, and now Violet. The classes focus on mythology and the occult, and the girls quickly start believing that the spells and rituals will work to their whims. And once they cast a spell, and their desire comes true, the group really begins to believe in the Furies.

Drugs, sex, and alcohol all take part in the chaos that ensues. Especially once the second girl in two years is found dead, sitting on a swing.

Katie Lowe did an good job of setting up the characters in this story. The group dynamics were quite interesting to follow, and there was plenty of mystery to solve. In a school filled with 16 and 17-year-old girls the resulting drama and pettiness comes through well. It was an interesting read, and a decent read for Halloween when the reader may want something dark, but not especially frightening.

Happy reading 🙂

BOOK REVIEW: In the Warsaw Ghetto by Glenn Haybittle

This post is going to focus on In the Warsaw Ghetto by Glenn Haybittle. I received an eARC through NetGalley. It was published on July 30, 2019. This book took me quite a while to get through–much longer than I expected.

When I read the summary and saw the beautiful cover of a ballerina in a rundown building I thought this would be a story that tried to take an uplifting route through World War II. I assumed Ala Silberman would be a dancer, impacted by the move to the ghetto, but somehow overcoming the atrocities performed against the Jewish people. Boy, I couldn’t have been more wrong!

I found the first half to two-thirds of the book incredibly difficult to get through. It was much slower paced than the last bit of the book, and did a lot of the building of scene, when life was still as “normal” as it could have been for the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. The book is told in alternating chapters between Ala Silberman, and her uncle Max.

Ala has been training to be a ballet dancer when she and her family is forced to live in the ghetto. In the beginning she leads a privileged life compared to many of the others in the ghetto because her family has ties to the Judenrat.

Max is still in love with the ghost of a girl he was close with while at university. They have been apart for a decade, and she has married and had two daughters. Once times become a bit harder, he finds Sabina once more, now separated from her husband. Max cares for her and her daughters to give them a better life within the ghetto.

As the story continues and years pass, living conditions within the ghetto get much worse. The reader is able to see what life is like through various characters that were previously built up. More and more are deported to Treblinka, or killed within the ghetto. Finally, there is a Jewish uprising against the Germans in the ghetto, which really sped up the reading.

This was a really heavy book to read thematically, but it was also somewhat enlightening to read. I feel like it brought you more into the world that the Jews lived in, instead of only learning about the atrocities committed against them by the Nazis. In school, students learn that Nazis are bad, and what they did was bad, but the deeper lessons are often glossed over, and I think this book did a good job of bringing some of those to light for the reader.

Happy reading 🙂

BOOK REVIEW: I Wanna Sext You Up by Evie Claire

This review is going to look at the new romance I Wanna Sext You Up by Evie Claire. It was released yesterday, Tuesday August 20, 2019–so go find a copy! I received an eARC of this title through NetGalley. I Wanna Sext You Up is the second installment in Claire’s Let’s Talk About Sext series. The books can be read consecutively, or independently.

This romance centers on Lorie Braddock, a rookie pharmaceutical sales representative who is trying to sell a new way to treat diabetes patients. One of the young doctors on her circuit, Dr. Saam Sherazi, is highly career driven and has ignored, kicked out, and even banned some of the representatives on Lorie’s team from his office. She also happens to be a former beauty pageant queen, a real southern belle.

Lorie goes above and beyond and gets a meeting with Saam. She notices that they have the same phone and puts her’s out on the desk to show him. In her rush to leave–you guessed it–she grabs the wrong phone, and in returning their phones to each other, they have to meet again, which leads to sparks, and of course sexts, flying.

Will Lorie and Saam be able to navigate making a relationship work? Or will they get stuck losing out on each other for the sake of others and their jobs? This was a quick, fun read so I suggest you take a little time and go find out! I know I’ll be going back to find the series’s first installment Let’s Talk About Sext at some point to return to the work romance world that Evie Claire has created.

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!

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.