Hidden Meaning (Non-Spoiler Review)

Hidden Meaning  by Elizabeth Adams

Published by   Guideposts; First Edition edition (2014)

Genres: cozy mysteries

Pages: 320

Format: Hardback

Source: personally bought

2019 challenge:

Buy on Amazon, Goodreads

I would give this book 3 for a review.

Summary!!!

N/A

My Thoughts:


I did enjoy this read. I think even thought i read this book out of order, I still was able to follow the story. This story does have some religious overtones at points but it did not bother me. I liked that this mystery did not focus totally on murder but on other elements and this book had a unique plot that I enjoyed. I think the pacing and the development of the mystery was okay but I felt like this story did not have as any crumbs to follow. I would consider reading more in the future maybe.

The Queens of Animation: The Untold Story of the Women Who Transformed the World of Disney and Made Cinematic History (Arc Review)

 The Queens of Animation: The Untold Story of the Women Who Transformed the World of Disney and Made Cinematic History by Nathalia Holt

Published by   Little, Brown and Company on October 22, 2019

Genres: Non-Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: Arc

Source: Publisher

2019 challenge:2019 book

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 3 for a review.

Summary!!!

From the bestselling author of Rise of the Rocket Girls, the untold, “richly detailed” story of the women of Walt Disney Studios, who shaped the iconic films that have enthralled generations (Margot Lee Shetterly, New York Times bestselling author of Hidden Figures)From Snow White to Moana, from Pinocchio to Frozen, the animated films of Walt Disney Studios have moved and entertained millions. But few fans know that behind these groundbreaking features was an incredibly influential group of women who fought for respect in an often ruthless male-dominated industry and who have slipped under the radar for decades. 

In The Queens of Animation, bestselling author Nathalia Holt tells their dramatic stories for the first time, showing how these women infiltrated the boys’ club of Disney’s story and animation departments and used early technologies to create the rich artwork and unforgettable narratives that have become part of the American canon. As the influence of Walt Disney Studios grew—and while battling sexism, domestic abuse, and workplace intimidation—these women also fought to transform the way female characters are depicted to young audiences.

With gripping storytelling, and based on extensive interviews and exclusive access to archival and personal documents, The Queens of Animation reveals the vital contributions these women made to Disney’s Golden Age and their continued impact on animated filmmaking, culminating in the record-shattering Frozen, Disney’s first female-directed full-length feature film.

My Thoughts:

Overall, I found this to be such a interesting read. I really liked how this story not only told the women role in disney but also just the general story of disney as a company. I really loved meeting all of these women who crafted some of my favorite movies of all time. It liked how this book focused on several women but also gave you details about so many more women who we never knew. I thought this book also pulled so many elements from history as well that connected back to diseny as well. I wish the second half of the book was just as detailed as the first half and wish we got more information about the later movies. I would def check out more reads by this author in the future.

Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians  by Kevin Kwan

Published by  Anchor on June 11, 2013)

Genres: Adult, Women Fiction

Pages: 546

Format: Hardback

Source: Borrowed

2019 challenge:Beat the Backlist Challenge

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 4 for a review.

Summary!!!

When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor. 
 
On Nick’s arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon, her relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers.

My Thoughts:

I overall really enjoyed this book. This book had was really focused on diversity and overall i really enjoyed both the world building and the characters. I felt that because we got so many different POV there was so POV that I was more invested in like rachel and Nick and michel and astride. I thought the end of the book was a tad predicable but I will def be checking out more books in this series soon!

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.

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!