Posted in Book Talk, Reviews

Skyhunter has convinced me!

Hey y’all!

I’ve been (finally) reading Skyhunter by Marie Lu. When it was first out, I kept wavering on it, thinking I might love it or hate it. Indecisiveness was rough on this one. I left it to fate’s hands and entered a Goodreads giveaway for it. Amazingly, I actually won it from a Goodreads Giveaway about a year ago (although I didn’t realize it at first)! So I was set to give it a shot!

Ah, but… COVID 19 was in full swing, but not far enough in that people had kind of worked out how to do things despite it. This resulted in a month passing after winning without receiving a book, and then another, and then the release date passing me by, and then ANOTHER month without it…. I did finally get it a while after once I had reached out. By that point, though I was already deep into some other books and my excitement had dimmed for this one.

I did try to start reading it, but the first few chapters didn’t really pull me in right away. And so it has been almost a full year since I won it, and yet I’m only just now reading it!

AND IT HAS BEEN PRETTY GOOD!!! Look, I know I’m a little late to this train, but I’m still excited about it! I went through a lot with this book, and now I’m actually enjoying it. It’s enough to bring a beautiful tear to my eye. 🥰

Posted in Release Day!

Just Published: Replenishing the Sea of Galilee by Wagih Abu-Rish!

Hey y’all! Just a reminder that Replenishing the Sea of Galilee by Wagih Abu-Rish published today! Check out the full review here or grab a copy of your own!

Recommended: yup!!
For folks interested in historical Palestine, for a novel about embracing female sexuality and equality, for sparse language that says a lot

Summary

Replenishing the Sea of Galilee: A Family Saga across Ethnicity, Place, and Religion: A Novel

Replenishing the Sea of Galilee is a sweeping story of love, loss and the power of loyalty in the face of conflicting ideologies and religious beliefs. The story begins in 1940s Palestine where twins Rasheed and Rasheeda Dinar work in their family inns. Educated by a Jesuit priest about the essence of his own Muslim religion, relative to love and sex, Rasheed follows closely the teachings of his mentor and includes Rasheeda, so that she learns those teachings as well.

When Rasheed falls in love with Natalia, a Jewish woman, he is able to apply what he learned from the priest to his budding relationship. However, it is the 1940s, and relations between Arabs and Jews are tense. Before long, those tensions come to a breaking point. Natalia mysteriously disappears, and Rasheed and Rasheeda are chased out of Palestine to Beirut, Lebanon.

Years pass, and though Rasheed continues to miss his beloved Natalia, he gets word of a surprising visitor—someone he didn’t even know existed. Rasheed’s life is upended, but in the most wonderful way.

As the Dinar family expands and enters the 1970s, their convictions are tested. In a dramatic final scene, the family reunites and proves once again that the thin line separating people because of their differences is powerless against the strength of family, love, and loyalty.

Comparisons

How many reviews I posted last month: 4

How many reviews I posted in the past week: ….4

I guess I’ve been on a kick, y’all. I’m suddenly really enjoying talking about books again, specifically in a review format. xD My guess is that it’s been a mix of required reviews for advanced copies, and books I felt really strongly about.

I just checked them out again and yeah, the ones that weren’t for ARCs were books I either REALLY enjoyed or REALLY didn’t. xD It’s been a divisive month for my reading! I have 2 more I finished just recently that I ended thinking “WHAT A WASTE OF TIME.” But I also just started one that I’d thought was hella dull and had a lot of trouble starting, and yet is now something I find myself thinking a lot about and flying through when I read it.

Expect more review! 🙂 Although I’m also going to try balancing it with some other content. 😂

Posted in Reviews

ARC Review: Replenishing the Sea of Galilee by Wagih Abu-Rish

Replenishing the Sea of Galilee: A Family Saga across Ethnicity, Place, and Religion: A Novel by Wagih Abu-Rish
Release Date: August 17, 2021

Recommended: yup!!
For folks interested in historical Palestine, for a novel about embracing female sexuality and equality, for sparse language that says a lot

Summary

Replenishing the Sea of Galilee: A Family Saga across Ethnicity, Place, and Religion: A Novel

Replenishing the Sea of Galilee is a sweeping story of love, loss and the power of loyalty in the face of conflicting ideologies and religious beliefs. The story begins in 1940s Palestine where twins Rasheed and Rasheeda Dinar work in their family inns. Educated by a Jesuit priest about the essence of his own Muslim religion, relative to love and sex, Rasheed follows closely the teachings of his mentor and includes Rasheeda, so that she learns those teachings as well.

When Rasheed falls in love with Natalia, a Jewish woman, he is able to apply what he learned from the priest to his budding relationship. However, it is the 1940s, and relations between Arabs and Jews are tense. Before long, those tensions come to a breaking point. Natalia mysteriously disappears, and Rasheed and Rasheeda are chased out of Palestine to Beirut, Lebanon.

Years pass, and though Rasheed continues to miss his beloved Natalia, he gets word of a surprising visitor—someone he didn’t even know existed. Rasheed’s life is upended, but in the most wonderful way.

As the Dinar family expands and enters the 1970s, their convictions are tested. In a dramatic final scene, the family reunites and proves once again that the thin line separating people because of their differences is powerless against the strength of family, love, and loyalty.

Thoughts:

Attracted by the historical aspect that I don’t know much about, and made all the more relevant by the forever present conflict between Palestine and Israel, I grabbed this book right up. I worried that it might be a little too literary and highbrow for me, but that was not the case. It’s a thoughtful story that spans a long period of time. I got to know the characters so so well, and I cared so much about all of them.

Continue reading “ARC Review: Replenishing the Sea of Galilee by Wagih Abu-Rish”
Posted in Reviews

ARC Review: Reasons for Avoiding Friends by Megan Leavell (9/14)

Reasons for Avoiding Friends by Megan Leavell
Verdict: fine for a diversion, nothing that blew me away on it’s own
Expected Release Date: September 14, 2021

Recommended: Sure
For a quick contemporary read, for a female-friendship story, for a look at alcoholism and falling into patterns even when they don’t make you happy and how to break out of it

Summary

Growing up, Gwen and Iris were the best of friends, even if they couldn’t have been more different. Now Gwen is living her hometown dream, or so she reminds herself while juggling endless parenting drama, an unemployed husband, and a neighborhood pyramid scheme. Never mind that at age thirty-nine, her social circle still resembles middle school. Her life is everything she ever wanted it to be, but nothing like she had planned.

Iris was never destined for the ordinary. When she moved to Manhattan, she shed her old life for a better one—but not without a cost. From a distance, Iris’s life couldn’t be more charmed, but no one knows about the cracks in the image she’s worked so hard to cultivate. No one knows the real Iris at all. Except for Gwen. But Iris and Gwen haven’t spoken for years. Until…

When Iris’s past catches up with her, she turns to the one person she could always count on—but she isn’t the only one keeping secrets, and as Gwen scrambles to preserve an illusion of domestic bliss, she finds herself wondering when they went from telling each other everything to sharing nothing. Now, a little wiser, and most certainly a little older, Gwen and Iris discover that the truest of friends accept you just as you are, and that loving yourself is sometimes the best way to find happiness.

Thoughts:

I went for this book because I had been reading a lot of heavy topics and depressing novels, and I wanted a bit of a break. I more or less got it with this, but it did have more serious issues than I expected. One of the main characters is DEFINITELY an alcoholic, and it’s painful to watch the many terrible decisions she makes. And somehow never admits or recognizes. DAMN, GIRL. It’s really not a whole lot easier to watch the other MC live in her sad rut of a life without galvanizing to do anything about it.

Continue reading “ARC Review: Reasons for Avoiding Friends by Megan Leavell (9/14)”
Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: A Midwinter Match, 8/19/21!

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is A Midwinter Match by Jane Lovering!
Expected Release: August 19, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • This first reason is pretty hyper-local for me, but nonetheless: my town is in the middle of a heatwave. It’s been over 100 for a few days in a row which is EXTRAORDINARILY RARE and it’s even a bit too hot for me. 😅 So thinking about anything “midwinter” is actually not sounding so bad right now! The cover looks like it was drafted straight from Boston Gardens so I love it already! (It’s York, though, so… not Boston. But still!) xD
  • I assume it will end up being a to-lovers story, but I’m intrigued about the “enemies” bit! Since Ruby and Zac have to compete against each other to keep the one position remaining that they each currently have, it’s more of a circumstantial problem than a personal dislike of each other. That sounds much harder to navigate, and like it has options for exploring a lot of real-life difficulty.
  • Zac is being painted as the happy-to-cover-a-tragic-past character, which I’m a little bleh on, but I’m often drawn to women who have their life go wildly off plan and then change things up to recreate their own true happiness. According to books, this is bound to happen to me within about 5 years so I better get some ideas on how to handle it now from Ruby. 😁

Summary

Ruby Oldbridge needs to learn to take her own advice. A brilliant counsellor at work in York, she is however floundering in her own life. Her romantic track record is woeful, her finances are in a pickle, and she’s back in a house-share after splitting up with her useless ex. But one thing Ruby is brilliant at, is helping other people find a way through their problems, and she excels at the job she loves, doing just that. 

Happy-go-lucky, Mr Positivity, Zac Drewe also loves his job – the trouble is, it’s the same as Ruby’s, and the management have decided to ‘rationalise’ their department. There’s only room for one of them.

As the snow and winter close in on York, Ruby and Zac have everything to lose, and Ruby starts to wonder if the happy face Zac shows the world, might be disguising a sadder secret.  Set against one another, they are unlikely friends. But perhaps, if they could take the time to understand each other, they might discover that rather than rivals, they could be the best thing that ever happened to one another… 

Disappointing?

I’m in progress with HONEY GIRL right now and in surprisingly disappointed by it. The love interest has that attitude of a broken butterfly, calls herself a monster, says she’s broken… but without any reason really? And she has the tendency to say things as though they are profound and philosophical but just sound like a high person rambling their discoveries. I’m surpassingly not into it. Trying to finish it since it goes quick when I’m not rolling my eyes through it though…

Posted in Reviews

Review: Hématite by Victoria Maderna

Hématite by Victoria Maderna

Recommended: not really?
Because the plot seemed to take unnecessary and unexplained turns, because the mood was far more grim than anticipated

Summary

Hematite is a young vampire who is trying to find her way. As a member of the illustrious Blackwood family, she faces pressure to conform to high society standards, but such grandstanding isn’t for
her. And neither is drinking blood—she’d rather have vegetable soup!

So it is that she opts for the more diverse Wolven School, rather than joining the ranks of her fellow vampires at the Diaemus Academy. Being different can be hard, though, and doesn’t always help to make friends. Luckily for Hematite, she has her poetry, as well as Drunela—a draugr who won’t let their differences keep them apart—and Emile, a human boy fascinated by the occult who would just love to take a peek at the Blackwood’s private library. Unfortunately, bridging societal divides isn’t always easy, and can lead to terrible
consequences…

Thoughts:

You know, at first I was quite enjoying it. Learning about the powers each character has and how they all interact with each other in this world was fun and full of promise. Now that I’ve finished it, though, I’m left feeling confused about why I just read that.

Continue reading “Review: Hématite by Victoria Maderna”
Posted in Release Day!

Just published: The Tenets in the Tattoos by Becky James!

Hey y’all! Just a reminder that The Tenets in the Tattoos by Becky James published today!

Recommended: yes!
For a lengthy, epic tale that grows and grows and grows, for emotional messages and themes carried throughout the book, for humour and action and reflection all nicely balanced

Summary

FYI: I wrote this blurb, because the one for the book is AWFUL, as I mention in my review! This one is better representative of what you can look forward to in this fantastic book. 😁

Thorrn is an accomplished swordsman desperate for his promotion, but he is considered only half a person until he finds his soul companion. Unfortunately, Evyn, Thorrn’s newly found soul companion, is… distinctly underwhelming. But when his king is deposed and the usurper demands Evyn to be used for the power of her Earthian blood, Thorrn is forced to fight against everything he’s ever stood for in order to save her.

Aubin is sick of missing out on happiness. Chafing at injustices piled on him for his position as an apothecary, he’s ready to quit. When Aubin’s timing takes him into the path of Thorrn, Evyn, and the new king, he has to decide what he will risk for a chance at what he’s always been missing.

Sharing their worlds and learning how to work together, Thorrn, Evyn, and Aubin have to figure out a way to save not only each other, but possibly the whole fragile peace of Thorrn’s world from the threat of magical war.