Book Review: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

The book that……I can’t believe I waited so long to read!

I am not posting a synopsis on here because I went into this book completely blind and I thought it really added to the story. However, if you wold like to read what it is about, you can read the synopsis here.

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. I had this book sitting on my shelf for almost 2 years. I think I had had it on my Goodreads TBR even before that. I always looked at it thinking I should read it. I don’t know why but I just kept putting it off. Finally I picked it up and I was hooked about 5 pages in. This quickly has become one of my top 5 reads of 2014. The writing is absolutely beautiful and the story is just so intriguing that you will want to keep reading just one more chapter way past your bedtime. I was not expecting this book to be as creepy as it turned out to be and I loved that eery feel that it kept throughout the book.

I absolutely loved the pacing in this book. It revealed new information relatively slowly but always gave you just enough to keep you reading furiously to find out what would turn up next. There was a little bit of a lull in the middle but I wanted to see hwo it would end so badly that I just kind of flew through that part. I also loved the vibrant characters in this book. There are a lot of characters but I felt that Diane did a great job giving them personality and really got the reader involved in their lives.

The worst part is that Diane Setterfield only has one other book! She also wrote Bellman & Black which sounds just as good as The Thirteenth Tale. I wanted to get it from my library right away but I think I will wait a bit so as to have one of her books to read in a couple months.

I would recommend The Thirteenth Tale to fans of Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier or to anyone who likes gothic mystery novels.

Have you read this book or have you finished a book recently? What did you think about it? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Reading!

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Book Review Mash-Up

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Cath is a Simon Snow fan.
Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere. Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone. For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. I absolutely loved this book. The story is just so comfy and cozy without being too simple. The characters had depth and I found myself falling quickly in love with all of them. I think that Rainbow’s writing is beautiful and easy to read all at the same time which can be really hard to do. I would suggest that if you are look for a book that is a fast read or a good story about college, love, and family, this is the book for you.

The Selection by Kiera Cass

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself–and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

I honestly couldn’t finish this one 😦 I think that this book has a lot of untapped potential. I think that the author is trying to write a book about a lot of hard-hitting issues when really it is about a bunch of girls in pretty dresses. The main character, America, drove me absolutely crazy. One minute she is terrified of leaving the airport and then the next she is signing autographs like a lifelong celebrity. She seemed to think that she was worse than every other person even though she had a boyfriend who loved her, an amazing singing voice and everyone including the prince thought she was gorgeous and wonderful. I thought that the world building in the book was weak and I felt like it was modern day America instead of a futuristic dystopian society. I wanted to enjoy this book but I honestly couldn’t do it.

 

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

This book was not a good one. I gave it one star on Goodreads. I absolutely loved the idea and premise of the story but I feel like it fell flat only a little way into it. The notebook dares just got sort of mediocre and Dash and Lily’s obsession over one another through this notebook just didn’t make sense to me. The story, about 100 pages in, changed completely and it was like reading a really horrible romantic comedy in book form that was neither romantic nor funny. I also felt that the writing was a bit wordy and just plain hard to read. Again, I really tried to enjoy this book but it just didn’t do anything for me.

 

Sorry about the negative reviews in this but I really want to add my honest thoughts about the books I read. Here’s to hoping I read more books like Fangirl in the near future!

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Reading!

Book Review: The Scarlet Thread by Francine Rivers

The book that….touched my heart.

I adore this story! I devoured it in two days and loved every minute of it. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

Synopsis: Two women, centuries apart, are joined through a tattered journal as they contend with God, husbands, and even themselves . . . until they fall into the arms of the One who loves them unconditionally. Sierra Madrid’s life has just been turned upside down when she discovers the handcrafted quilt and journal of her ancestor Mary Kathryn McMurray, a young woman who was uprooted from her home only to endure harsh conditions on the Oregon Trail. Though the women are separated by time and circumstance, Sierra discovers that many of the issues they face are remarkably similar. By following Mary Kathryn’s example, Sierra learns to surrender to God’s sovereignty and unconditional love.

Going into this book, I knew that I would like it but I was not expecting me to love it quite as much as I did. Francine Rivers is one of my favorite authors of all time and I know that pretty much everything she writes will be good. However, I am not a huge fan of contemporary books and so I was a little apprehensive about this one knowing that a big portion of this book was going to be contemporary.

About 20 pages in, I was completely hooked. I came to care so much for the characters in this story that I cried and couldn’t rest until I read the book in its entirety. The writing from the two different time periods had such distinction that made the characters seem even more real. The writing is so seamless and effortless that it just flows and I found myself flying through this book.

I  loved the fact that though the two women had similar struggles, their stories were also very different. I have read other books where there are two stories taking place in two time periods but often they are so similar that it feels like you are reading the same story twice. This book was not that way at all. Both women had things in common and other things that set them apart.

Usually I can find something that I would like to change in a book but to be completely honest, it was wonderful just the way it is.

I think this is a great read for anyone who likes books centered around marriage and family or for someone who is looking to get into stories that talk about that subject.

I would also like to mention that Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is on my list of my top 10 favorite books of all time (quite possibly my favorite book of all time). If you have not read it, I suggest you do. It has forever changed my outlook on love and marriage. Very powerful. I feel like nothing I could say about this book would do it justice so I just ask that you check it out and give it a try.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for stopping by,

Happy Reading!

 

Book Review: Bridge to the Past and Borrowed Promises by Judith Ingram

The books that…..gripped me from the very beginning.

Bridge to the Past by Judith Ingram (Book 1 in The Moonseed Trilogy)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis: Victoria longs for a different life. Then her wish on a mysterious coin transports her back in time, into the body of a ruthless young woman accused of murdering her husband… Despite the perils of her new identity, Victoria discovers a new sense of belonging and adventure in the other woman’s world, especially when a handsome man captures her attention. But can borrowed love last for a lifetime? And how long will Victoria’s wish last?

I got this book as an e-book since I had received the second book in the trilogy for review and wanted to read the story from the beginning. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and gave it a solid 4 stars on Goodreads.

The writing, though beautiful, sometimes seemed so ornate and descriptive that I was stumbling over it. The writing is supposed to be narrating the main character’s thoughts so when there are deep philosophical statements being made about every little thing, it made the reading a bit cumbersome.

The plot while extremely interesting often does seem a little too perfect. When the two women finally switched places, they seemed to adjust to the new time period with no problems at all. A little confusion was there but then they just shrugged it off and were fine. If that happened to me, I would be freaking out and neither of them seemed even a little bit concerned. No one else seemed too worried that these women were suddenly different and didn’t follow cultural and social norms of the time period they were in when they had been doing that exact thing the day before.

Despite the many problems I had with the writing style of this book, I flew through it. I could not stop reading and every time I finished a chapter I wanted to immediately see what would happen in the next one.

Borrowed Promises by Judith Ingram (Book 2 in The Moonseed Trilogy)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This book ended up getting only three stars from me for a few reasons. While I still love the story, this book had quite a few flaws.

The dialogue of this book did not always seem natural and often made the character seem unbelievable. Especially between Brett and Stephanie. I have never heard teenagers talk quite so formally.

Also, every person in this book is remarkably gorgeous. And the author doesn’t mean on the inside. They are all described as having beautiful or handsome features and being strong or graceful as well as having a magnetism that everyone around them gets caught up in. Because of this, it sometimes felt like the characters are almost the same basic person just with a different name. I would have liked to see some variety in the personality and demeanor of the characters.

I found that with this book, time isn’t very consistent. There will sometimes be a break in a chapter and suddenly we are somewhere completely different with no explanation as to how long it has been since the previous scene. At one point it skips a month entirely without any explanation to what happened in that month. I wish that the author would have explained more about what was happening when time suddenly moved on or why it did so.

All in all, I enjoyed this book and want to finish the series. I am very interested in seeing how everything is going to wrap up. I hope that some of the flaws that were in this book will be fixed by the time the final book is written. I think that the author has a great story that she is writing but all of the little flaws end up building on one another and making the story less enjoyable.

I would suggest this series  for lovers of time-travel, romance, and just a fun and fast-paced read.

 

Have you had the opportunity to read these books? If so, what did you think?

Thanks for stopping by,

Happy Reading!

Book Review: Glittering Promises by Lisa T. Bergren

The book that….transported me.

This is the final book in The Grand Tour Series. I was sent a copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. I gave it 5/5 stars on Goodreads.

     Synopsis: For Cora Kensington, the Grand Tour was to be the trip of a lifetime. She discovered the family she  never knew she had and may have even found the love she longs for in Will. Yet her life has just become infinitely more challenging …

    

     Hounded by the stubborn pursuit of Pierre de Richelieu and journalists chasing the beguiling story of the newest American heiress, Cora fights to remain true to her past, reconcile her present, and still embrace her future. But as Will struggles with her newfound wealth, Cora begins to wonder if their love is strong enough to withstand all that threatens to pull them apart.

    

     As she glimpses the end of the tour, Cora knows it’s time to decide Who and what defines her … and who and what does not

 

 

I thought that this book was the perfect ending to a great trilogy. This book was paced extremely well for the most part, though there were a few times where it did get a bit dull. It felt like any time I got a little bored with what was happening, some new plot twist would pop up.

I loved the travel aspect of this trilogy. I love a book that can fully transport me to another time and place. This was probably my favorite part of this story. It took me all around Europe and allowed me to completely escape into Cora’s story.

While this book has strong Christian themes, they are woven throughout the story in a way that makes sense and seems natural. So many Christian books seem to put the message before the plot but this one worked it in in subtle and meaningful ways.

I would recommend this book to people who love travel and European architecture and history or are just looking for a coming of age story.

Have any of you begun this series at all? Have you read any books that have completely transported you to the time place? Let me know down in the comments. I love having books recommended to me.

Thanks for stopping by,

Happy Reading!

Book Review: Fair Play by Deeanne Gist

The book that….tugged at my heartstrings.

I recieved an e-copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Saddled with a man’s name, the captivating Billy Jack Tate makes no apologies for pursuing a man’s profession. As a lady doctor at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, she is one step closer to having her very own medical practice–until she doctors an imposing man who threatens the fulfillment of her dream.

Hunter is one of the elite. A Texas Ranger and World’s Fair guard specifically chosen for his height, physique, character, and skill. Hailed as the toughest man west of any place east, he has no patience for big cities and women who aspire to walk in a man’s shoes.

But the abandoned baby Hunter discovers at the Fair finds him teaming up with the good doctor to give the foundling a better future than the slums of Chicago, where the children play on flea-infested, garbage-strewn streets. AS Billy and Hunter fight for the foundling’s welfare, their hearts warm to the precious child–and to each other. Soon their concern grows to encompass the Nineteenth Ward’s burgeoning population of street children. In the interest of fair play, Billy and Hunter let nothing stand in their way as they labor to build a park for them, birthing Chicago’s first playground and a national movement that will sweep the nation.

But the Fair is coming to an end, posing impossible decisions for Billy and the man who has won her heart. Will they become a footnote in the Fair’s history books, or will what they discovered in Chicago be longer lasting than the World’s Exhibition.

 


This is the second book in Gist’s It Happened at the Fair series. This book was released earlier in the month. I have not read the first book yet but this book can easily be read on its own. As with most books, there were things that I liked and disliked about the book. I ended up giving it a 3 maybe 3.5 star rating. I am a big fan of this author but this one was not my favorite of Deeanne’s.

One thing I did not appreciate was the fact that Hunter supposedly likes everything about Billy’s personality yet all we ever hear him mention are her looks. The least the author could do is actually make us believe that Hunter has even noticed anything beyond how skinny she is or how shapely her bottom is. Along with that, the sexual tension between the two of them was brought up again and again and again. After a while it got a little old and I felt like it was used just to make the book that much longer.

I did really enjoy the setting of this book. I love reading about World Fairs and this book did not disappoint. I only wished she had talked a little bit more about the fair. I also loved the aspects that had to do with the poorer parts of town. Reading about the people’s living conditions was both eye-opening and touching. I also think that the author did a good job trying to add as many accurate details as possible into the story. There are even some photos included throughout the book showing different people and places the author talks about.

Overall, I thought this was a sweet story. It was not perfect but it did satisfy me as a fun and entertaining read. I would recommend this book to fans of historical fiction and romance novels.

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Book Review: Feather Bound by Sarah Raughley

Feather Bound, the book that intrigued me. I won this book in a giveaway on Goodreads and it will be coming out on May 6th. It is a YA fantasy book about people who are part swan. I gave this book a 3.5 star rating.

Synopsis: When Deanna’s missing friend Hyde turns up at his father’s funeral to claim his corporate empire and inheritance, she is swept into his glittering world of paparazzi and wealth.

But re-kindling her friendship and the dizzying new emotions along for the ride are the least of her concerns. Because Deanna has a secret – and somebody knows. Someone who is out to get Hyde. And if she doesn’t play along, and help the enemy destroy him…she will be sold to the highest bidder in the black market for human swans.

Now Deanna is struggling to break free from the gilded cage that would trap her forever…

Feather Bound is a dark debut reminiscent of Gabriel García Márquez’s A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings, and the twisted truth behind the fairy tale of Cinderella.

When I was told I won this book, I wasn’t sure what to expect  when I read it. The synopsis definitely intrigued me and I was very excited to read something new and unique. I began it the day I got it in the mail and finished it in two days. It was a very simple book and easy to read in one or two settings. This book does have some more mature themes so I would recommend this for 15+ readers.

I did have a few problems with the book. I felt like I wasn’t connecting very well with the main character, Dee. I don’t know whether it was my fault or the authors but I found that often, I didn’t have a lot of empathy for what Dee was going through. There were a couple grammar errors and a few scattered cliches throughout the book but these were only mildly irksome but did not take away from the book significantly. The plot was a little bit predictable but enjoyable nonetheless.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. For a debut novel, I think it was written very well and had an interesting and unique plot. It kept my interest through the entire book and I found that I could not put it down until I had finished it. I do think that Sarah Raughley’s book set a great tone and I felt like her writing gave a mood for the book. I think that having a bit more world-building to help me understand more about what was up with the swan people would have been helpful but she did give the book enough for me to go on.

I would definitely recommend this book to people who enjoy modern fairytale stories or just love a good fast-paced read.

Let me know if you plan on picking this book up. Have you read any good new releases lately?

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