Monday, September 30, 2019

Characters Who Are... Chased!

Since October is often thought of for Halloween and scary movies, our reading challenge for the month will take on as much of a creepy vibe as you like. That can be little (or none) or much. It's truly up to you. The theme is...

The character could be in a car chase...

... or chased by a dog... 

... or chased by a stalker... 

Monday, September 23, 2019

A Classic Experience

Recently, I've been reading this book:

After finishing each story within it, I have paused my reading long enough to enjoy a movie version of the tale I just completed. This has been delightful thus far, as each movie has enriched my experience with these delightful characters Miss Austen created. I only have Persuasion left to watch, as I just finished reading that one yesterday afternoon, and I'm quite looking forward to it.

Monday, September 16, 2019

The Words Between Us by Erin Bartels

FTC Disclosure: NetGalley and Revell Reads gave me complimentary copies of this book. A positive review was not required. These are my honest thoughts.

There was a unique, vintage-book-infused story between the beautiful and perfectly-textured cover of this novel. Quirky and entertaining, this tale found my happy place in large chunks.

A few things disrupted my peaceful reading experience, the largest of which was the heavy emphasis on drinking alcohol, drunkenness, and bar and holiday parties at which vast amounts of alcohol were consumed. It was unexpected emphasis as the back cover copy didn’t hint at this theme. I must say, though, that I really admired the lead’s stance on not partaking of alcohol despite one of her closest friends trying on a couple of occasions to talk her into it. I was grateful for this positive note amid the muck of that particular theme.

Back to the things I adored about this novel. Firstly, the cover was amazing. As soon as a friend alerted me to the major cuteness of the cover art (thanks, Hannah!), I knew I had to read whatever was behind those gorgeously, quirkily stacked books. When I received the paperback in the mail (thanks, Revell Reads!), I was blown away by the unique texture of the cover. Not only was it strikingly beautiful to my eyes, but it passed on that same quality to my fingertips.

The way vintage books were infused into the storyline was incredible. This is the second novel I’ve read in recent weeks (the other was Finding Lady Enderly) that found a special way to use classic books within the story. I can’t really talk about how those classics were used in either story, because it would give away major things and rob future readers of the amazing journey those classics helped build. Trust me (or test it out for yourself) when I tell you that it made my heart melt and sigh and sing all at the same time.

Monday, September 9, 2019

You Belong with Me by Tari Faris

FTC Disclosure: Revell Reads and NetGalley gave me complimentary copies of this book. A positive review was not required. These are my honest thoughts.

With a delicious cover that sparked up my whimsical, creative side, this debut was entertaining, light, and a quick read. The small-town drama was fun, and I especially loved the quirkiness that was present throughout the novel. The premise was good, and I liked the surprises that cropped up along the way to flesh out the story.

The hippo was one of my favorite parts of this story. I still don’t understand how it works exactly, but I’m hopeful that this will be a thread strung throughout the entire series. Maybe eventually the secrets will be revealed, but I’m not even sure if I want them to be. It’s a fascinating aspect to the story, and I can see how it could play a huge role in each of the Restoring Heritage novels.

The search for belonging someplace was poignant and well written. This is such a relatable topic to a wide variety of people (the entire human race, perhaps?), and Mrs. Faris showed great skill for pulling out different nuances of this topic with each of her POV characters. It was beautiful to watch those threads unfold and see those characters dig deeper and deeper into their issues the further along the story went. That journey they each took was what kept me charmed beyond the initial discovery of how cute and fun this story was going to be. When all those storylines around that theme came together toward the end (and I won’t reveal how, because it’s too sweet to spoil), my heart felt the crescendo and tears washed my face. It was such an emotional finale for me, which I absolutely love in a novel. I’m hoping for more of this type of thing from this author as she grows in her writing journey with each new book.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Finding Lady Enderly by Joanna Davidson Politano

FTC Disclosure: NetGalley and Revell Reads gave me complimentary copies of this book (one electronic, one paperback). A positive review was not required. These are my honest thoughts.

Where do I start? What a captivating novel! From the first page, the style was engrossing, fascinating, and exquisitely quotable. If I had jotted down every line that made me sigh for how beautiful it was, I would have a notebook filled with at least half the lines from this story.

The unique usage of novels within the romance thread was beautiful and made me giggle with delight and gasp with elation. I truly admired the way each of the classics used were woven in so seamlessly and delectably. Every new quote had me holding my breath to see just what sentiment would be shared this time.