Roomies (Non-Spoiler Review)

Roomies  by Christina Lauren

Published by  Gallery Books on December 5, 2017

Genres: Adult, contemporary

Pages: 336

Format: Arc

Source: Publisher

2019 challenge: Beat the backlist challenge

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 3 for a review.

Summary!!!

Marriages of convenience are so…inconvenient. 

For months Holland Bakker has invented excuses to descend into the subway station near her apartment, drawn to the captivating music performed by her street musician crush. Lacking the nerve to actually talk to the gorgeous stranger, fate steps in one night in the form of a drunken attacker. Calvin Mcloughlin rescues her, but quickly disappears when the police start asking questions.

Using the only resource she has to pay the brilliant musician back, Holland gets Calvin an audition with her uncle, Broadway’s hottest musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until his reason for disappearing earlier becomes clear: he’s in the country illegally, his student visa having expired years ago.

Seeing that her uncle needs Calvin as much as Calvin needs him, a wild idea takes hold of her. Impulsively, she marries the Irishman, her infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves and Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway—in the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting—will Holland and Calvin to realize that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?

My Thoughts:

This was the second book that I read by this author duo. I really was found of the NYC broadway setting and as theater teacher many of the elements just felt so real to me about what would happen behind the scenes as a new broadway show. I did not feel as connected to these characters and part of the reason is because I did not feel as connected due to it not being duel POV. I was less impressed with the relationship especially with the “drama” that developed towards the end of the book. I also thought the end of the book was tad rushed. Overall the highlights of this book was the broadway setting and the middle part of the book. The low-lights was the structure of the book and also feeling connected to the characters! 

The Paris Seamstress (Non-Spoiler Review)

The Paris Seamstress  by Natasha Lester

Published by  Forever on September 18, 2018

Genres: Adult, Historical Fiction

Pages: 464

Format: PaperBack

Source: Personally bought

2019 challenge: Beat the backlist challenge

Buy on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 4 for a review.

Summary!!!

For readers of Lilac Girls and The Nightingale comes an internationally bestselling World War II novel that spans generations, crosses oceans, and proves just how much two young women are willing to sacrifice for love and family.

1940: As the Germans advance upon Paris, young seamstress Estella Bissette is forced to flee everything she’s ever known. She’s bound for New York City with her signature gold dress, a few francs, and a dream: to make her mark on the world of fashion. 

Present day: Fabienne Bissette journeys to the Met’s annual gala for an exhibit featuring the work of her ailing grandmother – a legend of women’s fashion design. But as Fabienne begins to learn more about her beloved grandmother’s past, she uncovers a story of tragedy, heartbreak and family secrets that will dramatically change her own life.

My Thoughts:

This is the first historical fiction book I read in awhile and I really enjoyed it. I was really invited in both time lines and also the other characters we read through their eyes. I also really enjoyed the focus on the fashion industry and the complex relationships that we explored. I also really enjoyed the spy craft and war elements that were used throughout this novel. I also really liked how this book wa structured and how it kept swapping time lines. I really did enjoy this book, I felt that some of the plot stuff got a bit confusing at points but I would def read more by this author in the future.

The Starless Sea (Arc Review)

The Starless Sea  by Erin Morgenstern

Published by  Doubleday on November 5, 2019

Genres: Adult, fantasy

Pages: 512

Format: arc

Source: BEA

2019 challenge:

Buy on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 5 for a review.

Summary!!!

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Circus, a timeless love story set in a secret underground world–a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a starless sea.

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues–a bee, a key, and a sword–that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library hidden far below the surface of the earth. What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians–it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also of those who are intent on its destruction. Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose–in both the mysterious book and in his own life.

My Thoughts:

This book is by far the most unique book I read this year by far. This is also a book about about book lovers and I really adored it. I really feel in love with the the lead character and found this type of world building to be super intreating and compelling. I also really liked the various stories that we explored in this book. It really loved how the major two storylines that were in this novel. It was such a fast pace novel and the world building is def this stand out in this read. I thought the interactions were super well done. The ending was also super compelling. I am really excited to dive into this author first book soon!

Ninth House (ARC Review)

Ninth House  by Leigh Bardugo

Published by  Flatiron Books on October 8, 2019

Genres: Adult, Thriller, Fantasy

Pages: 480

Format: ARC

Source: BEA

2019 challenge:

Buy on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 4 for a review.

Summary!!!

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug-dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. In fact, by age twenty, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most prestigious universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her? Still searching for answers, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. Their eight windowless “tombs” are the well-known haunts of the rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street’s biggest players. But their occult activities are more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive. They tamper with forbidden magic. They raise the dead. And, sometimes, they prey on the living.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book. This book was super complicated read and it really demanded me focus. This book also has massive trigger warnings for drug abuse, abuse and harmful relationships. I enjoyed the world build a lot and feel like in future books this world building will be understand a tad better because it took the whole book to set the world. I also sometimes struggled to connect/ like Alex character but she did grow on me. I really was invested in the mystery and found it super hard to predict. I really am curious to see if we get a second book, because the ending is almost demanding one!

Big Magic: Non-Spoiler Review (Non-fiction)!!

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

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Published by Riverhead Books on September 22, 2015

Genres:  Adult, Non-Fiction

Pages: 228

Format: audiobook

Source: Library

2018 challenge:

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 5 for a review.

Summary!!!

Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work,  embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.

My Thoughts:

This book was such a prefect read. I really loved all the lessons this author shared and how this book really was able to show people how to live a creative life but not in a preachy way. I really liked how this book was structured and also how it really was connected to my life work. I would def re-read this book again and see how my thoughts have changed. This book def. inspired me to read more books like this in the future.

The Christmas Cake Murder (Non-Spoiler review)

Christmas Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke

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Published by Kensington on September 25, 2018

Genres: Adult, cozy mystery

Pages: 224

Format: Hardback

Source: Library

2018 challenge:

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 3.5 for a review.

Summary!!!

It’s Christmas many years ago, and topping young Hannah Swensen’s wish list is becoming the go-to baker in Lake Eden, Minnesota. But as Hannah finds out, revisiting holiday memories can be
murder . . .
 
With her dream of opening The Cookie Jar taking shape, Hannah’s life matches the hectic December hustle and bustle in Lake Eden—especially when she agrees to help recreate a spectacular Christmas Ball from the past in honor of Essie Granger, an elderly local in hospice care. But instead of poring over decadent dessert recipes for the merry festivities, she instantly becomes enthralled by Essie’s old notebooks and the tale of a woman escaping danger on the streets of New York. Hannah’s surprised by Essie’s secret talent for penning crime fiction. She’s even more surprised when the story turns real. As Hannah prepares to run a bakery and move out of her mother’s house, it’ll be a true miracle if she can prevent another Yuletide disaster by solving a mystery as dense as a Christmas fruitcake . .

My Thoughts:

I did really like this book. It was fun to see the main character hannah at such a different point in her life. I also really enjoyed seeing how these characters relationship developed to the point they are at now in the future. The mystery was a a very different type of mystery then I am used to reading. I really liked this book. I thought it was super fast pace holiday read. It def. put me in the holiday spirt. I am def excited to read more of these books in the future.

Waiting on Wensday:: Slayer!!!!

So I have this book in my pile of books I really want to read! I am so excited to finally read this book and ventrue back to the world of buffy the vampire slayer!!!!

Book Cover!!

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Summary!!

From New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White comes a brand-new series set in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer that introduces a new Slayer as she grapples with the responsibility of managing her incredible powers that she’s just beginning to understand.
Into every generation a Slayer is born…
Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But while Nina’s mother is a prominent member of the Watcher’s Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic.
Until the day Nina’s life changes forever.Thanks to Buffy, the famous (and infamous) Slayer that Nina’s father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last Slayer, ever. Period.As Nina hones her skills with her Watcher-in-training, Leo, there’s plenty to keep her occupied: a monster fighting ring, a demon who eats happiness, a shadowy figure that keeps popping up in Nina’s dreams…
But it’s not until bodies start turning up that Nina’s new powers will truly be tested—because someone she loves might be next.One thing is clear: Being Chosen is easy. Making choices is hard.

About the Author

Let me know if this book is on your TBR!!!

Later Book lovers!!

Who Thought this was a good idea (Political book) (Non-Spoiler review)!!

Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House by Alyssa Mastromonaco

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Published by  Twelve on March 21, 2017

Genres: Bio, Political, Self Help

Pages: 257

Format:  Audibook

Source: Personally bought

2018 challenge: Beat the backlist challenge

Buy on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 3 for a review.

Summary!!!

If your funny older sister were the former deputy chief of staff to President Barack Obama, her behind-the-scenes political memoir would look something like this…

Alyssa Mastromonaco worked for Barack Obama for almost a decade, and long before his run for president. From the then-senator’s early days in Congress to his years in the Oval Office, she made Hope and Change happen through blood, sweat, tears, and lots of briefing binders.

But for every historic occasion-meeting the queen at Buckingham Palace, bursting in on secret climate talks, or nailing a campaign speech in a hailstorm-there were dozens of less-than-perfect moments when it was up to Alyssa to save the day. Like the time she learned the hard way that there aren’t nearly enough bathrooms at the Vatican.

Full of hilarious, never-before-told stories, WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA? is an intimate portrait of a president, a book about how to get stuff done, and the story of how one woman challenged, again and again, what a “White House official” is supposed to look like. Here Alyssa shares the strategies that made her successful in politics and beyond, including the importance of confidence, the value of not being a jerk, and why ultimately everything comes down to hard work (and always carrying a spare tampon).

Told in a smart, original voice and topped off with a couple of really good cat stories, WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA? is a promising debut from a savvy political star.

My Thoughts:

I listened to this audiobook and found this book to be such a informative read not only about life and job hunting and being a women in any field. I also thought that is covered such a unique take on a white house roll, that I never read before. I really loved both learning about her role in the WH and also how she got where she was. This was such a fun read and so informative. I hope to read more political reads in the future!

 

The president Is Missing: Non-Spoiler Review!!!

The President Is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson

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Published by  Little, Brown and Company on June 4, 2018

Genres: Adult, Thriller

Pages: 513

Format: Hardback

Source: Library

2018 challenge: N/A

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 3 for a review.

Summary!!!

The President Is Missing confronts a threat so huge that it jeopardizes not just Pennsylvania Avenue and Wall Street, but all of America. Uncertainty and fear grip the nation. There are whispers of cyberterror and espionage and a traitor in the Cabinet. Even the President himself becomes a suspect, and then he disappears from public view .

Set over the course of three days, The President Is Missing sheds a stunning light upon the inner workings and vulnerabilities of our nation. Filled with information that only a former Commander-in-Chief could know, this is the most authentic, terrifying novel to come along in many years.

My  Brief Thoughts:

This book was such a nailbiter in regards to the thriller. I also loved the writing partnership between Clinton and Paterson! I thought the book was so politically on point but also such a fascinating mystery that kept me on the edge of my seat. I thought some of the political details went over my head but I enjoyed the various POV characters we met and the VIP of the book was the secret service agents and they really were highlight of the book. I def enjoyed this read!

The Women in the Window: Non-Spoiler Review

The Women in the Window by A.J. Finn

reviewed by Sarah!!

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Published by   William Morrow on January 2, 2018

Genres: Adult, Thriller

Pages: 449

Format: hardback

Source: Persoanlly Bought

2018 challenge: N/A

Buy on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 4 for a review.

Summary!!

It isn’t paranoia if it’s really happening . . .

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

Twisty and powerful, ingenious and moving, The Woman in the Window is a smart, sophisticated novel of psychological suspense that recalls the best of Hitchcock.

 Sarah’s Thoughts:

I really enjoyed reading this book. The writing style was engaging and I liked reading about Anna Fox( the main character and only POV). She wasn’t always likable and made some poor decisions , but that just made her more realistic. There was a slow start, that took awhile to pick up, about 120 pages. I did see most of the twists before they happened. One of the major twists, I had figured out about fifty pages in. Overall that did not take away from my enjoyment of reading this book.  I would recommend this book to anyone who like to read a good psychological thriller.