Review: Origin

IMG_1232Edmond Kirsch is a futurist, a prophetic computer scientist, and an atheist. A former student of Professor Robert Langdon, he has made an earth-shattering discovery that will shake the world’s religions to their core. But when his publicized announcement goes awry, Professor Langdon must find a way to unveil Kirsch’s discovery. Along the way, Robert uncovers much more than he bargained for.

Set in Barcelona, Origin was a book I just couldn’t put down. Dan Brown has a way of messing with my head and I always come out of his books wondering if what I just read was fact or fiction. Brown blends history and art seamlessly into this thriller and will have you questioning everything you thought you knew about computers and where the world is heading. Origin will not disappoint, especially for those who loved The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons.

After reading this one, I have had the sudden urge to go and buy every Dan Brown book I can get my hands on. It has been years since I last read a Dan Brown novel, the last one being Digital Fortress (which I highly recommend). I would love to read more of Langdon’s adventures!

Review: Die Again, Mr. Holmes

I’ve been a little lax in my reading habits lately and I’m trying to rectify that. But I just have so many books I want to read and I’m trying to do it all at once. Obviously, it isn’t working.

C1B37DBC-EB33-49D8-A501-B775B53236A1A woman seeks the assistances of Sherlock Holmes to discover where the man she loves has gone. An uptight noblewoman has lost her maid and requests the help of Lucy James to find her. Sherlock and his daughter are at it again in the gripping mystery with all the familiar characteristics of the classic Holmes we love.

Die Again, Mr. Holmes is another Holmes/James mystery that is sure to keep you turning the pages. I was skeptical when I received this book for a review. As someone who loves Doyle’s classic character as well as Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayals of the detective, I wasn’t sure that this book could stand up to such a large character. But I was pleasantly surprised. I thoroughly enjoyed following Holmes and his daughter on their adventures as they try to track down the two missing people and suddenly find that their cases are related.

In true Sherlock fashion, there is plenty of intrigue and plots that Holmes has neglected to share with his counterparts. Among the staple characters of Holmes and Watson, we’re introduced to quite a few new ones as well. While this is not the first book of this series, it makes me want to read from the beginning and explore the history of Holmes and his daughter.

**I received a copy of this book from Smith Publicity for an honest review.**

Review: The Book Jumper

Imagine being able to jump into your favorite novel, being able to interact with the characters you love, and basically live the story! For Amy Lennox, that’s reality…or at least it becomes her reality.

ABEC5B42-1117-4ACA-B5BE-181C6F964474For as long as Amy can remember, it’s always been her and Alexis, her mom. Life hasn’t always been easy but it sure has been an adventure for the two of them. Until one summer. School had been hard on Amy. The friends she thought she had weren’t actually her friends and her mom was dealing with a hard breakup. So the two of them decide to spend a few weeks at Alexis’s childhood home, a little island called Stormsay.

While there, Amy’s grandmother, Lady Mairead insists that Amy read while she resides at Lennox House. Which isn’t much of a problem for Amy since she loves to read anyway. But Amy soon learns that her family holds a special power as book jumpers, able to interact with a story and protect the plots to keep the literary world in check. It seems like a wonderful ability, until someone starts stealing ideas from the classics. Dorothy’s cyclone disappears, the white rabbit can no longer lead Alice to Wonderland, and it’s suddenly snowing in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. But who is destroying the stories and why?

I was super excited to read this one. But it was a little slow going in the beginning. It wasn’t until I was about seven chapters in that the story started to pick up. While an easy read and an intriguing story, I felt that bits of it were thrown together haphazardly. However, part of that could just be the translation. Nevertheless, Mechthild Glaser has created a unique tale for all bookworms. I mean, who hasn’t dreamed about being able to talk with their favorite heroines or watch the classic stories being lived right in front of them?

There’s a lot going on in the book and it can get a bit confusing. I felt like there were too many underlying stories to the main one that at times it distracted from the awesomeness of the main storyline. Still, The Book Jumper was a good read with a surprise ending and I can’t wait to read more from this author!

Review: Ever Alice

When Alice fell through the rabbit hole, she discovered a world filled with mystery and quite a bit of nonsense. She battled jabberwockies, talked with animals, and met a queen. But what happened when she came back?

Screen Shot 2019-03-01 at 8.29.43 AMEver Alice picks up where Lewis Carroll left off. Alice has talked about Wonderland non-stop since her return and her parents are concerned. They’ve taken her to doctor after doctor until they have no choice but to commit her to an asylum. But Alice knows she’s not crazy. Every bit of Wonderland was as real as the padded walls around her. And when the White Rabbit shows up once again to lead her to Wonderland, she is convinced even more that what she’s seen is real. But the Rabbit hasn’t come back to invite her to tea or to walk through the gardens. This time, he’s back with a mission, one only Alice can do. He wants her to kill the Queen of Hearts.

H.J. Ramsay doesn’t skip a beat in this beautiful, nonsensical retelling of a classic. While keeping the integrity of Carroll’s characters intact, she makes it her own as well. It’s easy to get lost in the wonders of Wonderland and I’m reminded of my childhood and discovering Wonderland with Alice for the first time. Ramsay delivers more than just a new chapter in Alice’s story. She reminds us that sometimes reality isn’t all it seems and it’s ok to go back to Wonderland.

**I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.**

Review: The Afterlife of Holly Chase

We’ve all heard A Christmas Carol. It’s a classic. There are a hundred different remakes of the story. But what happens when you get to live it? What happens when you’re the Scrooge?

34322944Holly lives a charmed life. Her dad is a well-known director in California. Her stepmom is a designer to the stars. Holly wants for nothing. Until Christmas Eve night when she is visited by three spirits: the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmases Yet to Come. But Holly doesn’t believe. All of it’s fake, right? Which is why Christmas morning, she finds herself hit by a car and her afterlife has begun…as Ghost of Christmas Past at Project Scrooge. She takes her sentence like a champ and six years later, she’s actually good at her job. That is, until this year’s Scrooge is announced and Holly finds herself breaking the rules just to see the Scrooge outside of work.

In a brilliant re-telling of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Cynthia Hand perfectly portrays the classic characters in a new and unique light. When I first picked this up, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. But I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to fall into the story and get caught up in the lives of the characters. I enjoyed the fact that I could never tell quite how the story would end. Would Holly succeed in saving this Scrooge? Would her choices screw it all up and Project Scrooge would fail? Hand dazzles with her story-telling abilities and her imaginative plot. I want to read this book again and again!

This book was simply amazing. One that could be read anytime of year and still have the same impact: what are we doing with what little time we’ve been given?

Review: House of Salt and Sorrows

Ghosts. Gods. And plot out the wazoo.

39679076._UY844_SS844_Annaleigh has just buried another one of her sisters. It seems as if her family had been in mourning for as long as she could remember. The islands they made their home believed there was a curse on their family. And when Annaleigh begins seeing the ghosts of her dead sisters, she wonders if they may be right. But that’s not the only strange thing going on.

I want more of this book! House of Salt and Sorrows is one-in-a-million. While being incredibly interesting, it also holds quite a bit of a spook factor. There were times where I didn’t want to read it alone because it gave me the heebie-jeebies in the best way possible. Mixed with fantasy and romance, the characters are incredibly easy to fall in love with. And there was just plot twist after plot twist! It was constantly throwing me off track on what I thought would happen. I seriously can not wait for this to come out in hardback because I will be snatching it up!

**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.**

Review: Clementine & Claudia

I’m a sucker for World War 1 books. I love the era and the culture of that time. So when I found a copy of Clementine & Claudia on NetGalley. I couldn’t wait to dig in! Cut to almost a year later, and I’ve finished it!

cover93699-mediumClementine & Claudia, two sisters, who couldn’t be more different. Clementine is a “plain Jane” who has devoted her time to the Red Cross movement and helping out in the war-time hospitals as much as she can. She’s compassionate, smart, and someone Alexander doesn’t expect to meet, let alone to turn his world upside down. Claudia is strikingly beautiful. Having had multiple beaus it’s no wonder that she catches Alexander in her snares. But as their wedding day approaches, Alexander unexpectedly meets her sister and falls in love with her. What follows is the tale of two lovers pitted against fate and fighting for their future and their country.

I wanted to throw this book across the room on so many occasions! Not because I hated it or because it made me disgusted. But because I got so frustrated with the characters. It seems like no matter what something always stood in Clementine and Alexander’s way! I love this book for that though! I love that I got so involved in their relationship that I was frustrated for them, cried with them, and laughed with them. While it felt like some bits of this story seemed a bit rushed or that the plot was suddenly “convenient”, I still enjoyed every minute of this spectacular novel. If I had to complain about one thing, I want more from the ending! But don’t we all say that?

**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.**

The Playlist Shuffle Tag

I’ve never done one of these and thought it might be fun to check out others’ playlists. Since I’m almost always listening to music, and have more than my fair share of playlists on Spotify, I thought this would be a good one to try out!

Rules:
1. Put your playlist on shuffle and listen to the first 15 songs (no cheating).
2. Tag 10 others to play along.

So I didn’t do number 2 but if you want to play along, have at it!

1. Clavicle – Alkaline Trio

2. Lupen Tooth – Blitzkid

3. Psycho Killer – Talking Heads

4. This Could Be Love – Alkaline Trio

5. Only Lovers Left Alive – The (International) Noise Conspiracy

6. America’s Suitehearts – Fall Out Boy

7. Pinball Wizard – The Who

8. 21 Guns – Greenday

9. I Hate Myself For Loving You – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

10. Heartbreaker – Pat Benatar

11. Crazy – Gnarls Barkley

12. Death of a Bachelor – Panic At The Disco

13. Crushcrushcrush – Paramore

14. Revenga – System of a Down

15. Gimme More – Britney Spears

So obviously my musical tastes vary widely. And this is just from one of my playlists! See anything you like? Any suggestions for me to add to my lists? Leave a comment!

Review: Hazel and Holly

IMG_0944Hazel and Holly is the perfect novel for those who love witchcraft and magic. Living in a little place called the Grove, Hazel and Holly are sisters trying to find their way in a world without their parents. Their mother, Willow, passed away but has been trapped in a geas by their necromancer father. And now, Hazel has made it her mission to track down their father and make him release their mother’s soul so she may finally be at peace.

Filled with quirky characters and a compelling storyline, Hazel and Holly is the best of the magical worlds. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, however, I did get a bit frustrated with the sisters here and there. Through making bad decisions and generally being annoying, they eventually became some of my favorite witches to read about.

There were a few moments where it felt as if the story dragged a bit but it quickly picked up again. I was expecting a epic ending to their journey but found it a bit anticlimactic for me. However, I do believe Snider left it open for more adventures from these two witchy sisters. Something I hope she delivers soon. Look for Hazel and Holly to hit shelves May of this year!

**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.**

Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Why does it still feel like Monday??? I’m trying to get back into a normal schedule after being gone last week. My actual job is starting to pick up and so I’m trying to find more and more time to read. Thankfully, I’m managing because I (seriously) need to get through my huge stack of TBR books that have been gathering dust.

IMG_0921Lara Jean is in love….or was in love…or at least thinks she was. Things are changing and it’s hard to cope with everything. Her big sister Margot is moving across the world for college. She’s starting her junior year in high school. And somehow, the love letters she’d written for the five boys she’s ever loved have been mailed out. Lara Jean is mortified and confused and now must somehow figure out how to navigate the fact that her biggest secrets have been released into the world.

When I first started reading To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before I wasn’t sure what to expect and honestly, I was afraid I wouldn’t like it. It seemed to much like a teen drama for me to enjoy. (I’m in my 30s for those curious.) And while I did get a bit bored in the beginning, it wasn’t difficult for my curiosity to be piqued. I wanted to know how Lara Jean would deal with all the things life was suddenly throwing at her. I got a bit annoyed in certain parts because it felt like the author was trying to move the story along without actually connecting the plot points. But it didn’t bother me enough to stop reading. I was especially annoyed with the ending of the book…because now I have to go buy the second one to find out what happens!

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a cute and quirky teen romance novel, mixed with a bit of coming-of-age story. Jenny Han pulls us into a family filled with love, laughter, and everyday relationships that anyone can relate to. It was an easy read with quick chapters. Overall, a typical love story with a unique twist. I’m just not sure it’s enough to make it stand out from other novels of its genre.