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review 2018-10-18 16:58
REVIEW BY MERISSA - Heavens Aground (Treble and the Lost Boys #2) by G.R. Lyons
Heavens Aground (Treble and the Lost Boys #2) - G.R. Lyons
Heavens Aground is the second book in the Treble and the Lost Boys series, and it is Ryley's turn. We met Ryley in book one, and although he was (and is) cheating on Vic, there is still something about him. Of course, he's also a big pain in the posterior, but as you learn more about his story, SOME of his behaviour becomes almost reasonable. The one thing I haven't liked about him was his constant cheating, but I am pleased to report that does change.

This is an intricate storyline, with hidden memories holding Ryley back. However, although hints are given throughout the book, you never quite know for sure until it is laid out for you. Along with Ryley, you have two very strong characters in Vic and Asher. Vic, of course, played a part in book one, but Asher is new to this book. He is the perfect foil for Ryley, even if he is very laid back!!!

All in all, I loved how this story was told, and I honestly can't wait for book 3 - Vic's story. I want to know what's going on with Cam, and can't remember if it went into detail in book 1, so I may just have to re-read to see ;)

With no editing or grammatical errors that disrupted my reading, this book was brilliantly written, with a strong character base and equally strong world building. There is no second book dip with this one, and I highly recommend it.
 
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

 

Source: archaeolibrarianologist.blogspot.com/2018/09/review-tour-giveaway-heavens-aground.html
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review 2018-10-15 07:30
The Lost Carousel of Provence
The Lost Carousel of Provence - Juliet Blackwell

I've always enjoyed Juliet Blackwell's cozy mysteries, so once she started writing these stand-alone, general contemporary fiction stories, all set in France, I've made sure to pick them up.

 

I'm not sure this is going to be helpful to anyone but myself, but - and maybe because I don't read a lot of general fiction - I find these stories kind of weird.  Apparently, I'm a little genre-dependent because I'm never sure what the point of the story is.  I mean, I do; personal journeys, growth, blah, blah, blah, but I'm hard-wired to look for dead bodies, I guess.  Plus, the author uses multiple timelines and POVs in the France books, a device that generally drives me nuts.

 

That's not to say I didn't enjoy the story though; I did.  Blackwell captures France and I enjoyed the 'mystery' behind the carousel figure and the box inside.  I might have liked the secondary characters more than the main character, Cady, but chalk that up to personal tastes, as in, mine don't run towards broken characters.

 

As in the previous 2 stand-alones set in France, the romance is iffy, if non-existent.  This is a good thing; if Blackwell has a weakness, it's writing romance with any sexual spark (except the Witchcraft series, where the romance was very sparky).  There is a love interest here, and characters are getting lucky, but it's mostly an afterthought, with only an implied possibility of a HEA.

 

So, after all that rambling, I'll just say:  it's a good book.  It's a quiet, well-built, interesting story that I enjoyed escaping into for a few hours on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

 

(I feel weird not assigning this to a bingo square.)

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review 2018-10-12 21:14
A Wild Review!!!
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail - Cheryl Strayed

Hey everyone and how's it going? I know it's been a while since I've last posted anything on here. But, I'm back and I'm here to bring to you all a book review yay!!! (Side note: be expecting a lot of reviews lol!) Today I am reviewing for you all "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed. This book has been on the back of my mind for while so let's get started!

 

If you haven't read or at least seen the movie, then gather around kids, get nice and cozy, enjoy a warm drink and I'll tell you all about it...hehe!

 

The story is centered around Cheryl and her journey through the Pacific Crest Trail that runs along the Mexican Boarder in California and ends somewhere near the Canadian Boarder. Cheryl was 26 at the time and it was in the mid 90's when she done this. She had been through a lot, the lost of her mom, had affairs, separates then divorces her husband, and she and her siblings don't talk as much, same goes with her former step-dad, and also starts using heroine. She one days sees the guide book for the Pacific Crest Trail and flips through it and then sets it down. But, with her divorce, dealing with her new boyfriend, and drugs. She decides to go and get the book and goes for it! There is hilarious moment when she tries on her backpack, that is so totally filled with unnecessary things. Needless say while getting up off the floor, she brings with her the hood of the AC unit in her room! Plus, other funny moment.

 

So, that is as best as I can get with explaining the book! I thought this book was amazing, I felt that I was taking the trail with her and experiencing what she went through, all in the comforts of my own home. She made me laugh a bit and annoyed sometimes. She meets a lot of amazing people along the way. Majority of them were men, but they respected her for doing the trial all by herself. She did come across not so pleasant people, but mostly she found a lot of kind people. Her favorite was a guy name Doug.

 

This made me want to do something like that, but then I go "eh better not" lol! I wouldn't mind hiking and just exploring a park, but only for a week or two. But, she is a brave woman for doing so and I admire her, not a lot of us would do something that is out of our comfort zone. No matter who you are, but I guess if you do, then you learn more about yourself, without all the judgement that you rely on from others about yourself. It will totally shake me to the core if I did the PCT or something similar. Because, all we can do is just think and walk. Plus, not to mention keeping a lookout for wild animals and such. 

 

I totally recommend this book to everyone! Whoever you are! So, here is where I'll end! I hope you all are blasting through your TBRs! I have quite a bit on my table! Until the next post, be fantastic! 

 

TOODLES!!!

 

I haven't done one of these for a long time haha!!!

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review 2018-10-11 18:32
WWII Historical fiction set in the UK and a gripping family mystery
The Lost Letters - Sarah Mitchell

I am writing this review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team (authors, if you’re looking for reviews, I recommend you check her amazing site here), and I thank her and the publisher for providing me an ARC copy of this book that I freely chose to review.

The novel tells two stories centred in two different times, one set in the 1940s, mostly in WWII Norfolk, although with some visits to London, and another taking place now, also set in Norfolk in its majority. The chapters set in the past are written in the past tense from the point of view of Sylvia, a married woman, mother of two children, still pining for her teenage love. When her aunt dies she leaves her a beach hut and through it she meets Connie, a girl from London, and her brother Charlie. Despite the distance and the difficulty in maintaining communication during the war, they become friends, and their lives intertwine in unexpected ways.

The chapters set in the present are written in the present tense (something I must confess took me some time to get used to, although it means it is very difficult to get confused as to where you are or who is talking), and told from the point of view of Martha, a Canadian teacher whose father was evacuated during the war from England to Canada. Following the death of her father and gaps in the information about his childhood (as he was working on an autobiography when he died), she decides to use the opportunity offered by her father’s plane ticket and the hotel and beach hut he had booked to do some research into his past.

Both women, whose stories most readers will guess must be connected in some way, have their own problems. Sylvia’s marriage is not exactly happy, the war takes her husband away, and apart from the everyday danger and destruction, she has to face the evacuation of her son. The author manages to create a good sense of the historical period and, in particular, of women’s lives during the war, without being heavy-handed in the use of descriptions or over-the-top in the nostalgic front. We experience the character’s turmoil, her doubts, and although we might not always agree with her decisions, it is easy to empathise and understand why she does what he does.

Martha is at a bit of a loss. She is divorced and although her ex-husband has moved on (he has remarried and has twins), it is not that clear if she has, as she still sends him birthday cards and seems jealous of her daughter’s relationship with her father’s new wife. She knows her relationship with her daughter Janey, who is studying at Cambridge, is strained but seems to have forgotten how to communicate with her. Her research into her father’s childhood and past gives her a focus, and the mystery behind Catkins (a file her sister finds in her father’s computer) and his/her identity help give her a purpose.

We have some male characters (and Martha’s father and his past are at the centre of the novel), but this is a novel about women: about mothers and daughters, about friends, about women pulling together to survive and to get stronger (I particularly enjoyed the chapters set during the war recalling the tasks women were doing in the home front, and how they supported each other becoming all members of an extended family), about the difficult decisions women were (and are) faced with for the good of their families and their children. The author is very good at conveying the thought processes of her characters and although it also has a great sense of place (and I am sure people familiar with Norfolk will enjoy the book enormously, and those of us who don’t know it as well will be tempted to put it on our list to visit in the future), in my opinion, its strongest point is its great psychological depth.

The book is well researched and it has a lightness of touch, avoiding the risk of slowing down the story with unnecessary detail or too much telling. As the different timelines are kept clearly separate I do not think readers will have any difficulty moving from one to the other.

The book flows well and the intrigue drives the reader through the pages, with red herrings and twists and turns included, although its pace is contemplative, as it pertains to the theme. It takes its time, and it allows its readers to get to know the characters and to make their own conjectures. I worked out what was likely to be the connection slightly before it was revealed, but it is very well done, and I don’t think readers will be disappointed by the ending.

A great first book, that pulls at the heartstrings, recommended to lovers of historical fiction and women’s fiction, especially those interested in WWII and the home front in the UK. I will be following the author’s career with interest in the future.

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review 2018-10-10 21:32
The Librarians and the Lost Lamp / Greg Cox
The Librarians and The Lost Lamp - Greg Cox

The story toggles between the past, as Flynn Carsen tries to find Aladdin’s Lamp before an ancient criminal organization known as the Forty Seals gets hold of it, and the future, when Eve Baird and a new group of Librarians — protectors of ancient artifacts like King Arthur’s sword Excalibur — stumble on a mystery in Las Vegas that seems to relate to the Lamp and the powerful djinn it can summon.

 

I read this book to fill the Relics and Curiosities square of my 2018 Halloween Bingo card.

The relic in play in this book is Aladdin’s lamp. Usually, someone creative takes a book and from it produces a movie or a TV show. This book is the reverse engineering of that process and I didn’t really warm up to it. It is a novelization of the TV show The Librarians. Now, as a library worker, I am predisposed to like things like this and maybe I would have enjoyed the TV show. But I found the book rather boring. I was chatting with a colleague over coffee this morning and she said that she’d seen a bit of the TV show, but hadn’t really been very interested in it either. Your mileage may vary.

There is a distinct difference between what comprises witty dialog in a book vs. on TV. Where I can see that some of this novel would have worked on the screen, it was definitely anemic on the page. Aladdin’s Lamp and the Genie should not have to work so hard to create some excitement—the rebooted Forty Thieves were bumblers, rather than sharp competitors for the Lamp.

I guess Genevieve Cogman has spoiled me for the plot device of a central Library that collects important works of fiction from many different realities. If the description of The Librarians and the Lost Lamp sounds the slightest bit enticing to you, do yourself a favour and pick up The Invisible Library and get to know Irene, Kai, and Vale. The fifth installment of that series comes out in late November of this year and I have it marked on my calendar to go purchase the book that day.

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