Velvet Was the Night | Book Review

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Velvet Was the Night
Publish Date: Aug 17, 2021

Thank you so much to Netgalley & Del Rey for granting me an ARC of this book!

First, I think it is actually important to know what genre of novel this is. SMG is a story teller. She weaves background, intrigue and turmoil. This is a historical noir – which I was not sure what that meant so had to read up on it, but did realize that it is a genre that I do not read often. I went in thinking “I LOVED Mexican Gothic!” but be aware that this book is totally different.

This book is still well written with dynamic characters that have edge to them – pretty much all of them have an edge.

I really enjoyed how music played a part in this book considering the historical references of how in “communist” Mexico, specific music was basically outlawed. It did add a fun dynamic and made sense with how the two main characters were “rebellious”. But otherwise, I feel like the main female character was a bit of a stretch. No spoilers, but I just didn’t feel that it made sense for her to be so involved. Also, there is a lot of violence – which I’m not opposed to in novels, but it was a lot. I get that it was important & how history happened, but it was pretty much half of the book.

I rated this book a 3.67 (2/3rds of a star) so closer to 4 – mainly because the genre was not my cup of tea, and I didn’t feel like the characters were people I understood, but I do like SMG’s style. The story was good & people that like historical fiction may enjoy it more.

If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy | Book Review

— Y’all! I’m sure you already know this, but Julie Murphy is the QUEEN of inclusivity & dialogue! —

Thank you to @netgalley & @disneybooks for the digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Pub Date: August 3rd, 2021

Okay, y’all know how much I loved One to Watch (if you don’t know…I LOVED ONE TO WATCH!!! now you know)! This book is One to Watch meets CINDERELLA! Hello, what’s not to like?!

This is so modern and fresh, you forget that it is a Cinderella retelling! This retelling has a plus-sized Cindy & a relatively nice step-family! Cindy has had a hard life and has had to continue to grow up during times many would quit. THEN we have the added bonus of reality tv being a major plot point and hello! here we are LOVING Cindy and her “I am who I am” self!

Also — I think this is the first book I’ve read that has a nonbinary character & I LOVE them! I feel like I can see them in my mind and I would want to be their best friend because they are F A B! It was a beautiful way to include any and all pronouns.

Read this book! Especially if you already love Dumplin’, Puddin, or any other Julie Murphy gems. This is the 1st book in a Meant to Be series!!! I can’t wait for more!

While We Were Dating | Book Review

First, thank you so much to @berkleypub & @netgalley for the digital Advanced Readers Copy of this book!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

[Release date: July 13, 2021]

Second, Jasmine Guillory is a romance genius and this whole series was perfect. I love how they are intertwined ever so slightly, but we get to visit different members of the family in each book.

While We Were Dating is focused on Ben Stephens, the brother of Theo who dated Maddie in a previous book! In previous books we know Ben as the ALL TOO confident younger brother of the ultra-serious Theo. In this one, we get to know him on a different level! He finds himself working on a project for work that involves the famous actress, Anna Gardiner, and he finds himself making a connection with her that he didn’t expect.

I loved this book! I really appreciated that while we explore the romance between Ben & Anna, we also explore anxiety and how it can affect your everyday life, even when you’re able to work and out on that show, your mental health can still be a battle that only you can ask for help for and overcome.

Book Review – Anna K Away

Image of Anna K Away with Louis Vuitton crossbody and passport cover!

What a sequel.

A sequel is hard to imagine for the first book, Anna K, especially after a retelling of such a staple classic like Anna Karenina. Somehow, this sequel just worked.

Anna K (book 1) started out all about doing what’s right, what’s prescribed for you, but finding a love that broke all the rules and deciding what to do about that.

Anna K Away was now about what do you do when that love that was above all else you’ve ever known – gets taken away. You go through all the stages of grief in multiple ways in multiple lives converging in a spiral of emotions. All with the added luxury of having unlimited banks of money. The lifestyle of the rich is always fun to imagine and read about.

This is certainly a YA novel, so if you’re thinking this is a great love story for the ages…you’ll be disappointed. This is a YA novel that’s a sequel to a YA novel, with a hint of grown up classics. I loved it.

The Ballerinas | Book Review

Review date: May 7, 2021
Publication date: December 7, 2021

Reading that this book was described as Black Swan meets Luckiest Girl Alive, I was certainly intrigued. I am am so glad that I got the opportunity to read this book.

Synopsis: The book centers around a trio of best friends, all ballerinas. Not my 4-year-old dancing just to get out of the house dancer, but born and raised – training in PARIS, eat nothing, dance ONLY, live, breathe ballet dancers.

At the heart of the story – uncertainty. So much uncertainty about the next advancement, so uncertain about the future, uncertain about life outside of dance, uncertain of anything but the fact that dance was all they knew. Dance is the only thing they could equate their worth to. Now, this makes for an interesting dynamic in a friendship. You’re all each other has, but you’re also each others stiffest competition.

With three converging timelines, focusing mostly on Delphine’s story and life, we get one timeline of Delphine, Margaux, and Lindsay’s days as underlings at the academy, then we have timeline #2 of Delphine on her own, living a different path than originally planned, and the last is the current timeline. This was a bit confusing if you speed through thinking that the year will tell you where we are at, sometimes, in this story, the month is also important.

I recommend this book! I enjoyed the friendship, the drama, the suspense, and that ending! This was a slower burn for those that need a quick paced story, but still a great read.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for this digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.

BOOK REVIEW: Get a Life, Chloe Brown

Red Red Red. Chloe has got you seeing Red.

I loved it! Again, Romance is new to me here, so I’m still a little aghast when I’m 100 pages in and there are more than just “sultry” chapters. I’m not prude but man, there are some really graphic scenes to be read in this book.

That being said, I really liked it! I enjoyed the humor and the clippy, dry way that Chloe speaks, I appreciate her cynicism and how Red just can’t help himself from noticing that she may be dry but she is just wholly herself! Chloe is from nicer parts of town, never wanted for anything whereas Red, if you could imagine, is just the opposite.

Red is a lovely character, he is the bad boy redhead, who is tattooed and an artist. How could Chloe not swoon?! He breaks her out of her shell and gets her doing things she never thought she could!

Oh by the way, Chloe has Fibromyalgia! She has limitations and is so fearful but Red gets her seeing that with limitations she still has so many possibilities!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Unhoneymooners 🌴🍍🍹

Hey Miss Christina and Miss Lauren, you got me again! CLo Glow!

I love their style of writing and The Unhoneymooners did not disappoint. I haven’t always loved the Contemporary Romance genre but lately I have been reading it more and more. Mixing in my YA loves here and there but Christina Lauren has me wanting to devour every one they write!
The Unhoneymooners has it all. Intrigue, romance (obviously), anger, and even suspense! This story is about a set of identical twins that couldn’t be more different. One twin (Ami) is high on life, great career, ambitious, marrying the man she has been dating for three years and just an all around winner.
The other twin (Olive), not so lucky. I’m fact, she considers herself quite unlucky! In work, love, never wins anything, lost her job the same day she lost her roommate!
When Ami’s wedding turns out to poison everyone but two guests, what can Olive and Ethan (the brother of the groom) do but take the dream vacation to Maui that Ami won and that is nonrefundable! Ethan and Olive haven’t always been the best of friends, in fact, they barely tolerate each other. Makes for a fun trip!

Read it, 4⭐️s from me!

Reconstructing Amelia

BOOK REVIEW!! 

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight 

This book!!

  • Suspense
  • Grief
  • Love
  • Death
  • Mystery
  • Teenage politics
  • Forgiveness

    It just had a little bit of everything! From the first page I was intrigued! I wanted to find out what happened to fictional Amelia just as much as her fictional mother wanted the facts! This book begins at the end. We know very quickly that Amelia has died, a suicide as it was deemed, but then we must find out the truth! It’s an all out witch hunt which is awesome! Was Amelia the type of girl to kill herself? The intellectual, level-headed, mature, self sufficient, fifteen year old? Her mother, Kate, accepts it when the police say that’s the way it is, but when she receives an anonymous text from a blocked number that lets her know that there may be more to the story, Kate goes back to retrace, or “reconstruct” Amelia’s life to find the truth. 

      I loved the flow of the book. You get to peek into Amelia’s life as a teenager while she’s alive to try to figure out what lead to her death. You get to learn just as much about Kate’s life and commitments as a single mother trying to provide for her daughter, yet also wanting a successful career, not just a job. The struggle proves real! 

      Oh & lets NOT forget the Magpies! The secret club (much like a sorority) that Amelia gets involved in. She swore to her BFF that they would never join even if tapped, but she was just a little more curious than the cat. & you know what they say about the cat…could it be true for Amelia? Get it? Curiosity killed the cat! (: 

      This book ends in a bang! Through the whole book there are twists and turns & questions arise that have to be answered. The mystery unfolds in a brilliant manner and you just can’t put it down. The obsession is real. My love for books is so odd and unfathomable to most (even my family sometimes) but this one seemed to put me on the side of…is this too much? Answer: never! There are a great many Virginia Woolf quotes in this book, thanks to our Amelia and her love for books! The classic literaary suicide queen herself! How’s that for layering?! 

Pretty Baby.

BOOK REVIEW! 

Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica 


      Okay, let me start by saying that I have already read “The Good Girl” also by Mary Kubica, and that one I was not so excited about. It took me a while to get through that one! In the end that book made sense. It had twists and turns that made me want to get through it, but Pretty Baby!! Oh wow! I love! I just could not WAIT to finish this one, but at the same time I didn’t want it to end! 

      In the beginning you can tell that this book is going to have many facets. There are many factors at play here. You have the career-obsessed husband, the wife that wants to fix the world, the spoiled, adolescent daughter, & finally you have the homeless teen that has a baby living in a train station! Doesn’t that get you right there?! Enticing

      Heidi, one of our main characters has lived a lot of life. In the beginning we think Heidi has it all! A loving husband, a daughter that is a “typical” adolescent, but whom Heidi adores, a job that she loves going to daily & a wonderful home. Chris, her husband, has the job that he has always wanted, something that makes lots of money! He seems to be distant from his home life because he travels a lot for work, but we realize that there is also temptation on the road! However, he loves his wife. Then we have Willow. The homeless teen carting around an infant while trying to survive on the streets. This character is a doozie!

     I typically don’t enjoy books that go from character to character, chapter to chapter…I don’t enjoy the back and forth, but for this book it works. It helps keep the suspense going throughout the book and really builds! This book has twists and turns that you don’t see coming! The suspense, the thrill, the anticipation continues to grow and you can’t just read one more chapter then put it down. I believe that I fell asleep with this book propped up against my husband numerous times before he finally put my bookmark between the pages and turned off my lamp! Bless him! 

     The ending leaves you with your questions answered, but your mind blown. The lives of these people are intertwined and capitulated by the sudden appearance of Willow and the baby and so many things uncoil as a result of their meeting. I recommend this book to those that love thrillers and suspense. Tell me about it once you read it! 

The Night Sister

BOOK REVIEW!

The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon 

    Okay! It’s been a long time since I’ve reviewed a book on here, & I have definitely read a lot since! This one was just worthy! I couldn’t put it down! 

     I would not say that I typically gravitate to the horror genre when it comes to books. Movies? Oh, hell yes, but books…can’t really think of many that I have read. At first I was attracted to this book because of the author and the raves that she was getting for her newest novel. I thought maybe I need to read another one of her books before I get on that wagon. I was not disappointed! 

      I read the excerpts and description and once I read that the book refers to Alfred Hitchcock, I thought CORNY! A horror book with Al Hitch in it! Original! However, I was in need of a book so I bought it. 

     The book got me from the first chapter! It starts with tragedy! Then we are following the lives of two sets of sisters from two different eras. The sisters that are from decades previous have a traditional sister bond. One of turmoil, growing pains, jealousy…but then we add in mystery & possible monsters. The modern sisters are dealing with past secrets untold and eventually the same mysteries from previous decades. 

     This book is about intrigue, mystery, a crazy random love story & the unfolding of mystics that are not as mystical as we think! We must wonder if the monsters are real or if there is another explanation for the mystery. I love the random Vermont backdrop and the reference to history with he Tower of London and how that fits into the grand scheme of things. 

     Read! If you like fiction. Intrigue. Mystery. Past times in the mix with modern times. Read! 

     I wouldn’t say that this book scared me as I figure a horror story would, but it definitely made me wonder. Reading in the dark was not something that I was too keen on.