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review 2018-06-20 02:15
3 Out Of 5 "I wish I could've fully loved this" STARS
The Surviving Trace - Calia Read

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

The Surviving Trace

Calia Read

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Will is my fiancé. The shy man I met years ago in college. The person I’m supposed to spend the rest of my life with. 

 

This is the life I’ve always wanted until finding a picture of four men changes everything… 

 

Étienne says he’s my husband and the year is 1912. He can’t stand the sight of me, but I don’t know why. 

 

Oh, and he’s one of the men from the picture. 

 

I’ve done the impossible and have become trapped in time and I know Étienne is my key to going home. 

 

The more time I spend with Étienne, the further I fall for him until I’m questioning which time I belong in and if the life I left behind is the one I truly desire. 

 

All I know for certain is I need to survive time. 

 

I need to survive love. 

 

And I need to make it out on the other side alive.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I know that when it comes to a time-travel romance you have to be able to suspend belief, otherwise it won't work…this may have been asking too much suspension of belief for me.  I feel there were too many plot holes that felt like she was trying to keep you in the dark about what was really going on in 1912, that left me confused, even after I got to the end.  I don't know if it was is an editing thing or what???  I also felt that things were a little too contrived to be palpable.

 

The one aspect of this story that I loved was the romance between Serene and Étienne, their chemistry was quite hot.   I really adored Étienne.  Serene, well, I liked her most of the time, but she had her witchy moments.  But the dynamic of these two, offset by Étienne's siblings, Livingston and Nathalie were what kept me reading despite the issues I had with it. 

 

Apparently, there are more books coming, I'm not sure if it's one or two that will continue the story between Serene and Étienne.  Knowing there are more books helps the ending make a lot more sense, though.  I have a feeling I will read the next one, in hopes that they will help this story come together.

 

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~MY RATING~

3STARS - GRADE=C

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 2.5/5

Main Characters~ 4.2/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 4/5

Pacing~ 3/5

Addictiveness~4.2/5

Theme or Tone~ 3.5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 2/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 2.5/5

Originality~ 3/5

Ending~ 3.5/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.

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Book Cover~ Beautiful!

Series~ Surviving Time #1

Setting~ 1912 Charleston, SC & 2017 Pennsylvania & Virginia

Source~ Kindle eBook (KU)

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review 2018-06-19 02:34
4.5 Out Of 5 "The Pathway to X" STARS
X: A Novel - Kekla Magoon,Ilyasah Shabazz

 

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

X

Ilyasah Shabazz & Kekla Magoon

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A 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book 

Co-written by Malcolm X’s daughter, this riveting and revealing novel follows the formative years of the man whose words and actions shook the world.

 

Malcolm Little’s parents have always told him that he can achieve anything, but from what he can tell, that’s a pack of lies—after all, his father’s been murdered, his mother’s been taken away, and his dreams of becoming a lawyer have gotten him laughed out of school. There’s no point in trying, he figures, and lured by the nightlife of Boston and New York, he escapes into a world of fancy suits, jazz, girls, and reefer. But Malcolm’s efforts to leave the past behind lead him into an increasingly dangerous territory. Deep down, he knows that the freedom he’s found is only an illusion—and that he can’t run forever.

follows Malcolm from his childhood to his imprisonment for theft at age twenty, when he found the faith that would lead him to forge a new path and command a voice that still resonates today.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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A somewhat harsh, albeit enlightening, fictionalized history about Malcolm X.  Centering on his informative childhood to young adult years.  I learned some things and had some things laid bare for me.  The audio by Dion Graham lends a very authentic voice and is well done.

 

At the end of the story, his daughter speaks about her dad and then there is a couple chapter's telling all about what they (Shabazz and Magoon) kept true to his story and what they embellished on.  Plus an additional timeline of his life.  I read this for a reading challenge (X title) and this is one of those instances where I'm content a reading challenge compelled me to choose something I wouldn't have normally had on my radar.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.5STARS - GRADE=A-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.5/5

Main Characters~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 4/5

Pacing~ 3.8/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 5/5

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Book Cover~ Awesome!

Narration~ ☆4.5☆ by Dion Graham with Ilyasah Shabazz

Setting~ Lansing, MI, Boston, MA, and Harlem, NY

Source~ Audiobook (Scribd)

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review 2018-06-18 13:59
The Underground River
The Underground River: A Novel - Martha Conway
May Bedloe is the seamstress for her famous actress cousin, Comfort Vertue.  May has been with Comfort since her parents passed away and feels secure in her routine and Comfort's knowledge of May's irregularities.  May has always been very direct in her speech and has a hard time with anything that isn't exactly the truth.  May's life changes when the steamboat she and Comfort are travelling on explodes on the Ohio River in 1838.  May and Comfort lose everything.  Comfort is soon snapped up by benefactress and abolitionist Flora Howard who will have Comfort speak for her cause. May is not included in this plan; so she decides that she will find employment on her own.  May is hired on Hugo and Helena's Floating Theatre; but she needed to use the money Flora gave her to go home in order to get established.  May soon finds herself an integral part of the Floating Theatre and comes into her own.  When The Floating Theatre and Comfort's speaking tour cross paths, Flora uses May's place on a boat traveling from south to north for her own deed of transporting people to freedom, jeopardizing May's place in the Theatre.
 
The Underground River is a different look at how the Underground Railroad functioned and some of it's players.  Interesting characters and the unique setting pulled me in.  May's character has several quirks and might be on the autism spectrum if she lived in the present.  Her directfulness and untouched insight gave a very honest look at the people around her;  abolitionist Flora Howard is a bully using others to further her own cause, even Comfort kept May hidden and kept putting her down in order to raise herself up.  The true heroes, Leo, Donaldson and Hugo shine through May's eyes.  Though the book is about the Underground Railroad, the process and danger of the transport is really only half the story.  Most of the story revolves around life on the river and the theatre.  Through May's perspective, we get a good look at how the towns along the river in the North and South are all pretty similar except for the presence or absence of slavery and peoples attitudes about it.  There is also an intimate look into theatre life and the distinctiveness of a riverboat theatre.  The teamwork, diligence and creativeness of the entire crew is apparent.  I do wish May had been a willing player in the transport instead of being blackmailed, she had the compassion for the job and believed in the cause, but the fact that she is being forced marred my view a bit.  Overall, an exciting and insightful historical fiction read about the Underground Railroad and Theatre life.
 
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
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review 2018-06-17 22:14
Love Is Kind, Ruby Hill

I really enjoyed this clean second chance romance. I received this arc for free and I voluntarily chose to review it. I've given it a 4.7* rating. This story pulled me in from the beginning. I really felt for this heroine in this story. How hard to go on after many disappointments. Very nice ending.

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review 2018-06-17 18:14
THE ROMANCE READER'S GUIDE TO LIFE by Sharon Pywell
The Romance Reader's Guide to Life: A Novel - Sharon Pywell

This was totally different from what I expected. It is part murder mystery, part magical realism, part contemporary romance, part historical romance, and some things I cannot name because I do not know how to name them.

From the beginning you know Lilly is dead. Neave, her sister, needs to know how. Much of the story is told through Neave's eyes but Lilly fills in her parts when it would clarify what is happening. Then you get Mr. Boppit's view. I liked Neave and Mr. Boppit (loved him actually) but Lilly should have been paddled and Neave would never have been put in danger.


As a young teen, Neave read for a neighbor lady and she "borrowed" a forbidden romance which is interspersed through the story. It parallels Neave's life and paves the way for her to grow into her life. She is stronger than she realizes and has talents she develops as they are needed.

I liked this book. It was different and fresh, not cliched.

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