Book Review: To Dream Is To Die

41142078Title: To Dream Is to Die
Author: Sara Lampkin
Release Date: January 2019

Note: I received an Advance Review Copy from the publisher.

My Summary:  College student, Brenna, has an accident that kills her, but not enough to keep her in the realm of the dead forever. By day, she is a normal, average teenager, and by night, she leaves her body to roam the universe. While on the other side, she encounters a boy who can not only sees her spirit, but who is still alive. Together and along with another friend, the group discovers secrets that go back years, and they have the responsibly to solve these mysteries as dangerous, and deadly as they might be.

My Review: A paranormal fantasy/thriller with characters that are deep, real, and ones you will love to the end!

This is book one in the Dead Dreamer Series.

I really enjoyed this read. My favorite thing about this book are the characters. I connected with so many! Brenna’s edgy, fiery attitude struck me as intriguing. I was rooting for her from the beginning. Her two friends, are also well developed, secondary characters that helped to shape Brenna’s character arc. I even grew to like Erica towards the end, despite her sassy ways.

The story was well paced, and connecting to the characters so early on, helped with pacing. Since I was invested in the characters, I did not mind spending so much time in Brenna’s head.

The book is more character driven than action packed, and this surprised me, but it is not a disappointment, as I love a good character driven story.

My only issue with the book is the ending, and I wish there was more wrapped up. I do understand this is a series and so there needs to be much left to the imagination, but I would have liked to have some conclusions established on at least some of the minor plots. I suppose this leaves a huge cliff hanger on many accounts.

Closing Thoughts: A well-crafted, and great written Debut Novel! I give this book four stars on my Goodreads page. I am looking forward to the next installment in the series.

Book Review: The Little Girl In The Mirror

0993799663Title: Little Girl In The Mirror
Author: Tara Mondou
Genre: Biographical Fiction

My Summary: Little Cathy’s mother, picks her up from Eastern Canada, and brings her back home to Southern Ontario, despite Cathy wanting to stay with her Grandmother. Mother and Daughter must lean all about each other’s ways and learn how to live together after being apart for six years. Money is scarce, so they move in with a woman whom Cathy does not like, but for good reason.

Forced from her home in the mid 1950’s, now living in a less than ideal situation, Cathy is alone, and isolated from her family out east. She is desperate to return, but she puts her mother’s needs before her own. Little Cathy makes sacrifices for her mother that most adults do not make. Little Cathy’s only comfort is her friend, the little girl in the mirror, and it is she that Cathy turns to for support.

My Review: I do not know where to begin with this story, and I hope my review does this book justice. I loved this from the bottom of my heart. This book is emotionally charged. It’s a story about: mothers, daughters, women, second chances, strength, and courage. But it is also so much more.

This book is close to my heart for many reasons. It is the same genre that I am writing my book, as it is based on a true story. It involves women strengths and courage, and parts of the book are based in Cities in Southern Ontario that I know well. The author describes the settings beautifully, and as a true representation of how they look.

Little Cathy won my heart at the first page, and when her story ended, I wanted more. The story is well paced, and I read it in two days.  I wanted to finish in one sitting, but life made me do other important things. The author includes enough detail to allow the reader a true experience of the life of the characters, but not too much that it slows the pacing.

Cathy’s mother, Rita is interesting in so many ways. Throughout the story we see her trying to be the best single mother she can be, and we see her internal struggles at having to learn to take care of another person when she has needs of her own. I was frustrated by her many time; because of the decisions she makes, but also understood that I cannot judge her. She is after all a single mother in the 50’s trying to keep not only herself afloat but now also, a daughter.

All the dramas, emotions, and fears that little Cathy faces are well expressed and conveyed, and I cried throughout the book a few times, and long after I turned the last page.

What made this so heartfelt is knowing that this is a true story, and a well expressed one that deserves to be read by many more readers.

Congratulations Tara on your debut book!

Book Review: Hope In Paris

Hope in parisTitle: Hope In Paris – Vol. 1
Author: Donnalyn Vojta
Genre: Thriller/Crime

Summary: Kelly struggles with a relationship she is trapped in and formulates a plan to fix it. Miss V suffers from mental health and hides from her unpleasant past. Richard wants to write a romance novel, but the poor guy has never been in love or had a girlfriend. He rushes off to Paris, the city of love hoping to accomplish both.

Three different story lines, each with their own conflicts, and unique personalities. Each are closely tied to one another. Some of the ties are good, but others you will want to untie sooner than later.

My Review: This book is captivating at every page and one of the most original books I have read. What makes this book so original is the narrators perspective; because the entire story is told through the perspective of three teddy bears. But this is not a children’s book as I myself thought it was for the longest time. This book deals with mature adult content, such as abuse and even murder. The plot is serious in structure, but the narrative makes it humorous, light, and even funny at times.

The Teddy Bear’s naivety and innocence to their environment shines through in many scenes as the bears do a fantastic job of showing and not telling the reader what is happening around them. There are moments when one of the bears is describing a serious scene, but I laugh due the way the story is being viewed through the bears eyes. The bear provides enough information and clues so that the reader knows the seriousness and true meaning of the situation. But the bear also injects his own opinions about what he thinks is happening, and this is brilliantly done.

This book contains so much suspense and caused me to grip my seat tight a few times in anticipation for what’s to come next, and fear for the protagonist. I found myself yelling out loud a few times.

The story had a well-balanced pace to it. It does flip back and forth into the past at times in order to capture the different angles from the different stories, and this was well done.

My only issue with the book is that I connected more to the teddy bears then I did the main protagonist, and the other two main characters, and this left me wanting to get more inside of their heads. I especially wanted to connect more to Kelly, and I found myself asking questions about how she is feeling, what she is thinking in many of the scenes.

Closing Thoughts: I read a lot, and never in the history of my reading journey have I read a book this unique due to the perspectives of the story. I rated this book four out of five stars on my good reads. If you are looking for a thriller that brings a fresh twist with it, then you need to read this!

I am looking forward to reading Vol. 2.

Book Review of: Chasing Ivy

chasing ivyTitle: Chasing Ivy
Release Date: November 15, 2018
Author: S.J Sylvis
Genre: Romance

Note: I received an Advance Review Copy from the Author, in exchange for an honest review.

My Summary: Dawson and Ivy pretend to be nothing more than best friends.  Everyone around them knows that the two are more than that. Dawson and Ivy are the only ones that do not see this. They suppress their deepest feelings and are afraid if they take the plunge it will change their friendship. One horrific day, they are separated by force with no communication for six years. When reunited again in their Twenties, they must face the feelings they suppressed years ago, only now there are other problems standing in their path to happiness. Can they overcome these obstacles and remain morally true to themselves?

My Review: I really enjoyed this book!

The story is told through the perspectives of the two main characters. This book is a stand alone companion novel to the Oak Hill Series.  This is the first book in the series.

This is a lustful read, full of humor with a genuine protagonist that I can relate to in many ways. Ivy’s clumsiness, and ability to fall easily had me laughing out loud.

I loved the sisterly bond between Ivy and Mia. Ivy brings a new meaning to the term ‘Protective Older Sister’ and being an older sister myself, I related to her.

There are some well-developed secondary characters that I enjoyed reading and getting to know. I liked Ivy’s best friend’s character, and Dawson’s brother.  The two secondary characters are well developed with their own interesting story lines, and they each contributed a great deal to the overall story arc, and plot.

This book is not intended for young readers; because it contains many explicit sexual scenes that are intended for a mature reader. So, if you are an adult and interested in a fun, steamy read, then this is the next book for you! I rated this book four stars on my good reads.  Looking forward to reading the other books in the Oak Hill series.

Book Review of: Silkworm Secrets

ssTitle: Silkworm Secrets
Author: Lea Davey
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Summary:  Ruby Rose and Bobby share a special bond that includes, a tree-house, close friendship, and secrets so deep they call ‘Silkworm Secrets’

Their tree-house is situation up high affording them views they do not wish to have, and into yards of unpredictable people. The two close friends are separated during their teenage years due to circumstance, but twenty-five years later, Ruby Rose and Bobby are reunited once again by the same circumstances that tore them apart all those years ago.

Is the friendship they shared decades ago strong enough to survive years apart from one another?

My Review: This is the type of book that leaves you wanting more, the type of book that deserves more hype.  I can guarantee you that that when you finish this, you will want more of the setting, more of the writing, more of the characters, and more of the story itself.  I loved this book tremendously, from page one, until the last word was written.  I could not get enough, and I stayed up way too late to try to finish it, and I love my sleep and do not sacrifice that for many things. So this alone tells you something.

The author nailed the pacing smoothly. The story begins in the early 1970’s, and then fast forwards twenty-five years, and the transition in time was seamless, and I found myself instantly growing along side Ruby as she suddenly matured from a young naive girl, into a women.

This book does deal with heavy themes of child abuse, but it also portrays so beautifully the relationship between a daughter and a father.  The bond that Ruby Rose and her father share is one so special that my heart melted several times over.

I loved all of the characters, they are characters that I can relate to well. I loved the Australian setting and all the wonderful and vivid descriptions of the Australian outback and ocean.  The writing is so eloquent, the words flowed off the page.

This was my first book by this author, but it will most definitely not  be my last. The next book I purchase will certainly be another one by this author.

Closing Thoughts: I rated this book Five Stars on my Good reads page. If you are looking for a heart wrenching, fulfilling family filled drama, this is the next book for you!  This is on my top list of favorite books read so far this year, and I have read a lot of books!

Book Review of: Crazy Rich Asians

craTitle: Crazy Rich Asians
Author: Kevin Kwan
⭐️⭐️⭐️
Summary: Rachael’s Rich boyfriend of two years invites her to go on summer vacation in his home land, and attend his best friend’s wedding with him. Rachel does not know he comes from money, and she is not prepared for what she walks into.

My Review: I must be honest, for the amount of hype this book receives, I expected more. Overall, I liked it, but I did not love it. It took me a good hundred pages to become connected to the story and the characters, and I almost gave up, but I’m glad I stuck with it. I enjoyed it much more after the initial hundred pages. My main issue in the beginning was that too many characters were introduced too soon. There were too many different families to get to know, and too many different story lines happening all at once. I literally had to study the family trees in the front of the book to become better acquainted with each one. Once I made those connections I fell into a comfortable rhythm with the rest of the book.
This book has an interesting twist on relationships. I liked learning about the Asian culture, and the book title could not be any more fitting.
The secondary story had me intrigued, and I enjoyed the humor in the book.
I’m looking forward to the movie! I will also read the next books in the series eventually, but I am not rushing into them at the moment.

I rated this on my Good reads as a three star read.

Book Review of: Breachers

breachersTitle: Breachers
By: Anthony Thomas
Published By: Fiery Seas Publishing
Genre: Science Fiction
Publication Date: September 18, 2018

Note: I received a review copy from the publisher.

Jason Conners is the last person you’d expect to run into a burning building, unless of course there was something inside worth stealing. Call him what you want: criminal, thief, asshole, but hero? Absolutely not. Jason’s questionable behavior and disturbing antics can only be attributed to one secret.

He can change the future, but with great power comes great responsibility? Hell no. His ability makes him the best thief in the city, and nothing is off-limits. Until Jason’s carefree attitude gains the attention of the Rogues, and the government.

The Rogues want him to stop catastrophic events from taking place, and the government has their own agenda. When the hunt begins, Jason is caught in the cross hairs and learns that breaching is not as limitless as he thought.​

Can this anti-hero give up a life of easy money and become the savior the Rogues need, or will it cost him everything—even his immortality?

My Review:   I liked this book a lot. This is a fast-paced action-packed sci-fi filled with humor, wrapped in violence, and even contains a little romance.

Overall the story is well written. There is a good balance among all the different elements, such as the violence, humor, and action scenes. Each mix in well with the plots and subplots. The pacing could not have been better, and the story itself is interesting, and had my attention right from the get go.

I both loved and had issues with Jason as the main character; however, I use the word issues positively. I often read about the near perfect, or good protagonists, the ones that make all the right decisions, the ones that are loved from the beginning to end. This is not Jason by any means. Jason brings a different perspective to this book. I find myself rooting for him even though he is not the most innocent, and down to earth guy. Not everyone around us is perfect and we must learn to take the good and the bad sometimes. This is what I have done with Jason. Jason’s sometimes dark personality added to the story’s interest.

I loved Jason’s humor, and his loyalty to his dear friend. He acts tough, and pretends he does not have feelings, but we see through him when someone close to him is in trouble. The reactions Jason has to this, teaches the reader a lot about him. This is a nice touch to Jason’s rather harsh, and vulgar personality, and helps to balance him out.

Overall this is a great read. I rate this book four out of five stars on Good reads. I would not recommend this book to Teenagers. This is more of an Adult read, due to explicit language and violet scenes. If you are comfortable with this, then you will read this quickly, and not want to put it down, and you will also have a good laugh at the same time.

BUY LINKS:

FIERY SEAS BOOKSTORE: https://www.fieryseaspublishing.com/product-page/breachers

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07G35QK9H/

BARNES & NOBLE: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1129210446?ean=2940161845455

KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/gr/en/ebook/breachers

Anthony ThomasAbout the Author:

 Anthony Thomas settled in the city of sin, though part of him will always remain in the small farming town in Northern California. When he’s not hunched over a keyboard, Anthony enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter and two dogs.

Social Media:

 

Website http://www.anthonythomasbooks.com/

Twitter

https://twitter.com/anthonythomasAU

Book Review: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

to all the boys
Title: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Genre: YA

Synopsis: Lara Jean is young, innocent, and maybe even a little naïve. She is a loving sister, and a trusted daughter, but she has never been anyone’s girlfriend before. She learns the true meaning of love in an unexpected situation.

My Review: I only picked up this book due to the extreme hype that everyone is giving this book right now on Bookstagram. As an avid reader myself, I felt it was my responsibly to read this book and determine for myself if it is in fact worth all of its hype.

I expected a five star for the hype that this book is receiving; However, it came in at a solid four star read for me.

The story is YA genre, but I can truly say that it is intriguing and captured my attention right from the first page. I found myself feeling sorry or Lara Jean at times and frustrated by her decisions other times.

We are taken on a journey along side Lara Jean where we witness her grief at a nightmare come true, and we see how she copes and deals with this turmoil. We later learn how she comes out of this situation, stronger, and more confident than before.

I found Lara Jean to be extremely funny as well, and this adds much humor to the book.

I did not care for her older sister’s character as much, I think this is because she is away for a good portion of the story, and not covered often; however, I fell in love with Kitty right away. Kitty could have her own feature, and her own book!

The pacing of the story did get a bit slow mid way through at times, but this was nothing that caused me to not want to continue reading.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, and I am looking forward to reading the next 2 books. If you are looking for a fun, cute, fast read, then this is it.

The nextflix movie is rather enjoyable as well!

Cover Reveal: Chasing Ivy

chasing ivy*TITLE: Chasing Ivy
*SERIES: Oak Hill Series (All standalone’s)
*AUTHOR: S.J Sylvis

*BLURB: Six years ago, I had a best friend with sky-blue eyes,
purposefully messy brown hair, and a body that made every single girl drool
on sight. I would know—it drove me absolutely crazy…until I was the one
doing the drooling.

Our days were filled with stomach-hurting laughter accompanied by easy
conversation, and our nights were filled with secret, awkward teenage
flirting.

But that was when Dawson was just my best friend. Nothing more, nothing
less.

And then… it was more.

It’s a memory I pretend to see through blurry eyes, hazed by passing years
of no communication. The one night that my heart was suddenly soaring
through the starry night, only to catch fire as it rapidly descended
seconds later.

Six years was a long time to get my heart under control. A lot has changed,
and yet here I am, still drooling over Dawson—my ex best friend.

Visit the authors Goodreads links to add Chasing Ivy to your TBR today!

Publication Date is November 15th, 2018!
GOODREADS LINK:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42092207-chasing-ivy

Review of: The Clockmaker’s Daughter

clockTitle: The Clockmaker’s Daughter
Author: Kate Morton
Publication Date:  October 2018
Note: I was provided an ARC through netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: This is a story about past and present, told through multiple points of views, across many different timelines.

A tragedy occurs one day among artist friends, and this mystery set in 1862 sets the stage for the storytelling in this book, while the pieces of the mystery are attempted to be solved in today’s timeline.

My Review: This book is difficult to review.  I had high expectations for this book for a few reasons.  Firstly, the synopsis sounds brilliant and like the kind of story that is right up my comfort zone.  I have also heard nothing but praise from Kate Morton’s books, so I was eager to finally acquaint myself with her work.  This book however was probably not the best choice for my first Kate Morton novel and I am sad to say that I expected more than what I got out of this book.

I did not love it as I hoped I would.

The writing is beautiful, there is no denying that.  Kate Morton has a way with words that I found to be almost poetic.   The setting is imaginary and exquisite, and the plot has great potential.   I started off intrigued and interested, however, as the story progressed along, I lost interest in it.   I had issues with the structure.  I connected little to most of the characters, and this was my main issue that caused a ripple effect for me.  I had a hard time grasping who was speaking at the beginning of each chapter.

There are so many main characters, different time lines and told through different perspectives that I found myself having a difficult time staying focused and centered.  Even the mystery did not seem to have a big enough impact.  I also felt that the pace of the book was a bit slow, as there were passages that did not contribute to the overall progression of the plot, or the character arcs in my opinion.  Overall, I am sad that I did connect to this book as I had been waiting to read it for months.