Thursday, 17 May 2018

Teen Trailblazers: 30 Fearless Girls Who Changed the World Before They Were 20, by Jennifer Calvert

Title: Teen Trailblazers: 30 Fearless Girls Who Changed the World Before They Were 20
Author: Jennifer Calvert
Genre: Teen & YA
Publication date: October 2nd, 2018

Stars: 4/5


Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to read this ARC. I was saddened to find out that this copy didn't contain the stories of the 30 teenage girls as it was written in the synopsis.

Nevertheless, this book was well-balanced, presenting girls from both the past and the modern day. I am particularly proud of today's girls who are finding innovative ways to make a difference.

I believe this book should be read by both teenagers and adults. There is something to be learned from the determination these girls presented in the book are showing.

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Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore, by Michael Sullivan

Title: Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
Author: Michael Sullivan
Publication date: June 13th, 2017

Stars: 3/5


Joey, a Bright Ideas Bookstore customer, commits suicide in the bookstore that had become his home and leaves his prized possessions (books) to Lydia Smith, one of the store clerks. From there, Lydia is sucked in the mystery of Joey's books and how it ties into her own life and personal ghosts.

I was very curious about this book. As a book lover, I was attracted to the fact that the story took place in a bookstore. I enjoyed getting to know Lydia and Joey and how their lives intertwined. I'll also admit that this book gave me a few nightmares (thank you Hammerman!) when I read it before going to sleep.

However, the reason I give 3 stars is that sometimes the author made huge leaps that seemed to be coming out of nowhere. I guess I prefer when things tend to point in a direction, only to be validated or disproved as the story progresses.

Overall, it was a decent book and I enjoyed trying to figure out what had happened on the night the Hammerman came to visit.

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The Beachside Sweet Shop, by Karen Clarke

Title: The Beachside Sweet Shop
Author: Karen Clarke
Publication date: March 2nd, 2017

Stars: 5/5


Marnie Appleton has inherited her grandfather’s sweet shop after his death. In this Karen Clarke novel, she will try to make the shop her own while battling protestors and a certain former supermodel-nowturned-blogger who is on a crusade against sugar in the UK. Of course, let’s not forget the gorgeous Josh against whom Marnie will be fighting off an attraction, and former boyfriend Alex, who travels to the UK from New York for his parents’ wedding anniversary with his new American boyfriend.

I have to admit that I like the occasional chick lit novel. However, I am fairly picky when it comes to that genre because I cannot stand the dumb-I-need-a-man characters those novels often portray. Karen Clarke’s characters are certainly feminine, but mostly real. They are flawed, but endearing characters. Again, I loved reading her book. It is an easy and fun read. I’ll admit I had trouble putting it down and stayed up in the middle of the night just to finish it.

I gave this book 5 stars, which is something I don't give easily.

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Beyond the Garden (Magnolia Series #2), by Ashley Farley

Title: Beyond the Garden
Author: Ashley Farley
Publication date: April 10th, 2018

Stars: 4/5


Thank you NetGalley for allowing me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This is the second book in the Magnolia Series. Ellie is recently married and her life seems to be perfect. But when her estranged sister becomes the prime suspect in her husband's murder, Ellie's life is about to be turned upside down. 

I received an ARC from NetGalley, so I hadn't heard from this author before reading this book. I was instantly intrigued by the story and read most of the book in a few sittings. It is an easy read. The main characters are likeable and realistic. The only reason I give this book 4 stars is because I felt the ending had been rushed. It also felt "too easy" for me, after everything that had happened in the book. 

In spite of that, I'm looking forward to reading more books by this author.

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Off: Your Digital Detox for a Better Life, by Tanya Goodin

Title: Off: Your Digital Detox for a Better Life
Author: Tanya Goodin
Publication date: March 13th, 2018

Stars: 4/5


Tanya Goodin gives us advice on how to balance our digital life with our more "natural life". She gives us (the readers) tips on how to use technology more efficiently while, at the same time, disconnecting and distancing ourselves from our cellphones and screens.

Her ideas for alternative activities cover a great range so everyone could get something out of the book. The only critique I would have is that it offers nothing more than other books on the subject have not already covered. However, the book is an easy and short read. So, if you are looking for a condensed version on the topic, this book is perfect for that.

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Our House, by Louise Candlish

Title: Our House
Author: Louise Candlish
Publication date: August 7th, 2018


First, I want to thank NetGalley for allowing me this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Even though I didn't connect with the book as I hoped I would, I can definitely value the author's hardwork.

Fiona (Fi) arrives to her house after a weekend away only to discover people moving in, claiming they have bought the house legally. The narration jumps from Fiona, telling her story on a podcast, to her ex-husband telling his version of the story on a Word document, to the present day when Fiona discovers her house has been sold.

I truly wanted to like this book. I really did. The story line sounded amazing, but I was disappointed by the lack of action this genre (thriller) usually contains. The story focuses almost solely on character development. Though I liked this aspect, I thought it made the story drag along without anything happening.

I give it three stars because the book was really well written and because the premise was original. It just wasn't the book for me.

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Friday, 23 February 2018

Friend Request, by Laura Marshall

Friend Request - by Laura Marshall

Genre: Psychological thriller
Publication: September 2017

4/5 stars

When Louise receives a Facebook request from a classmate (Maria) who is presumably dead, she is more than surprised. That friend request brings back bad memories that Louise has tried to keep hidden for so long. Quickly, she is brought back to her time in high school and slowly reconnects with former classmates, in hopes of finding out what truly happened to Maria.

It was nice to read a book that incorporated today's technology, especially something big like Facebook. That's the first thought that popped into my head when I started reading the book. I quickly got intrigued by this friend request and how it could happen, even the character was supposedly dead. Midway through the book, I had trouble putting it down. I NEEDED to know what was going on.

The only reason I am giving this book 4 stars is because I was a bit disappointed by the ending. To be honest, it is more a personal disappointment and not because the ending is bad or far-fetched. It's just not how I would have ended the book.  

Overall, this book is modern and a great read.

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