And The Mountains Echoed

Abdullah and Pari are two young children living in Afghanistan in a little poverty-ridden town. Their father makes a choice and the two siblings are never the same. Follow the choices of one man through the decades and how far-reaching our choices, and our family, can be.

828913B5-2F1E-44D8-A19B-5AFF3BC1A90BAfghani culture is not something I claim to understand, let alone the ins and outs of family in that part of the world. But And The Mountains Echoed give just a glimpse of the way things are (were?) in Afghanistan. I’ll be honest, most of the time I had a difficult time following Hosseini’s plot through all the time warps. This book was hard to read from an emotional standpoint as well. If you’re expecting a happy feel good novel, I highly recommend that you move on. Hosseini drags you down into the darkest depths of emotion and doesn’t let go.

While at times it seemed that certain parts of the story didn’t fit together, Hosseini is able to tie up everything towards the end of the book. This definitely would not have been a book I’d just pick up off the shelf but it’s a beautiful work of fiction. Hosseini is almost poetic with his writing, bring to life the harsh reality of Afghanistan and the not so glamorous side of life in the middle east.

Harley Merlin and the Secret Coven

*taps microphone* Is this thing on?

Hey guys, it’s been a hot minute since I’ve been on and even posted a review. But here I am! I promise, I didn’t die or anything. Just life kind of got super busy in a good way.

Anyways, I’d been seeing recommendations and reviews floating around about Harley Merlin and the Secret Coven. Things like “Adults who grew up on Harry Potter will love this!” Well, you know me. I absolutely adore Harry Potter, and pretty much any book with magic is going to pique my interest. So I bought it, and while it took me a while to read it (my own fault), it’s worth it!

97F0E024-3574-4043-98C5-9E8B13E1B01FHarley Merlin is an Empath and an orphan and working for a casino. But this night, her world gets turned upside down as she deals with a gargoyle attack and the introduction of one Wade Crowley. In the same night, she finds out she’s a magical with some interesting powers. But before she can even begin to get acquainted with this new person she’s become, she finds herself in the middle of an investigation. One involving the gargoyles, the coven, and her family that she’d lost long ago.

Bella Forrest does a wondrous job of creating characters both full of snarkiness, sarcasm, and just enough insecurity to be relatable. Forrest established a world all her own, and while I can see some similarities between Harley Merlin’s magical realm and Harry Potter’s, there’s not enough there to feel like it’s a copycat story. I am definitely looking forward to reading more of Forrest’s magical works!

If you’re looking for something a little fantastical with a strong female lead and touches of humor throughout, I highly recommend picking this one up and getting enraptured with it as much as I have.

Review: Project Duchess

Fletcher Pryde, Duke of Greycourt, has not had the happiest of childhoods and it shows. He is cold, wealthy, and carries a reputation he didn’t ask for. But when his mother is widowed yet again, the winds of fate may change for Grey and the life he envisioned for himself.

517CefsaNLL._SX304_BO1,204,203,200_Beatrice is not your average woman. Having dealt with the inappropriate affections of her uncle, she has no interest in being with a man. Let alone a man like Greycourt. His arrogance is off-putting and getting to know him is not easy. But when Grey’s mother turns Beatrice into one of her ‘projects’, he can’t help but involved. However, family secrets run deep on both sides and as they get to know one another, uncovering those secrets could cost them much more than they bargained for.

I absolutely love historical romance. It’s one of my favorite genres to read. But I’ve never had the pleasure of reading any of Sabrina Jeffries’s books, and I just may have to start bingeing them all! Project Duchess is the first in a new series for Jeffries. Telling the story of a family wrought with tragedy and an underlying mystery they’re desperate to solve, it was easy to get sucked into the intrigue and intimacy this book provided. The characters, while seemingly your typical romance characters, were easy to enjoy and I wanted to know more about them.

However, what is up with evil uncles??? It seems like the biggest villains in this book were the uncles who mistreated their relations. It was a bit annoying that it seemed to always come back to how uncle so-and-so did this. It also seemed as if the ending was a bit rushed. The writing became sloppy and amateur at best. But Jeffries did manage to leave a cliffhanger that makes the reader want to pick up the next book in the series.

While probably not my favorite romance novel, Project Duchess was an enjoyable and easy read. If you’re looking for a romance series to get into, this may be the one for you. Look for Project Duchess on shelves June 25th!

Review: Three Dark Crowns

A47B1A61-FCE9-4353-B78F-7ECBD9009857Three sisters. Three queens. One crown.

Life for Katharine, Arsinoe, and Mirabella is anything but normal. They are gifted girls, each with a special power. Katharine has the gift of poison, able to withstand ingesting any poison she comes in contact with as well as mixing intricate potions to dispatch her enemies. Arsinoe is a naturalist, a gift that allows her to make plants bloom and call animals to her. Mirabella is an elemental with the ability to control the weather as well as the elements. But only one of them can take the throne.

In a novel filled with rituals and long-standing traditions, Kendare Blake weaves a dark tale of magic, romance, and evil. The three sisters are unique characters on their own. However, I felt a bit inundated with the other characters (i.e., the priestesses, the council, etc.). It became intricate and at times hard to follow. There were also places where I questioned why the characters would make that decision. Nothing leading up to it seemed to make sense and nothing after made sense either. As if it was spur of the moment and simply to move the story along.

Blake of course left Three Dark Crowns with a cliffhanger, and one I definitely wasn’t expecting. With a significant twist in the story (saved for the last page), Blake left me wanting more and curious to see how the triplets would continue in a world that seems set against them killing one another. All in all, a decent read but probably one I wouldn’t pick up again. However, that could all change with the sequel to this one, One Dark Throne.

Review: Daisy Jones & The Six

It’s the late sixties in Los Angeles and Daisy Jones is living the life. Sneaking into clubs, sleeping with rockstars, and yes doing drugs. But amidst it all, she just wants to sing. When she hits her twenties, her voice is finally garnering some attention, and so are her looks.

39DB3A87-6022-4ABB-8506-BB1AA38BC418Billy Dunne and his band, The Six, are trying to break into the rock n’ roll scene. In the process, Billy struggles with his sobriety and balancing his rockstar lifestyle with the family he’s building. Along the way, a producer introduces Daisy to Billy and suddenly a legend is born.

Ok, so I love music. Like, really really love it. My husband used to be a bassist in a band for years. So when I heard about Daisy Jones & The Six I desperately wanted to read it. It took me forever to find a copy because everyone kept selling out of them!

I could not put this book down! I loved every minute of the story. Taylor Jenkins Reid writes from a unique perspective which sucks you in. My only complaint would be that I wish I could hear the songs mentioned in the book. The multiple characters that make up the story are easy to like, although you may question some of their decisions. But that’s rock n’ roll, right? Daisy Jones & The Six is sure to make a splash for all book lovers.

Review: P.S. I Still Love You

IMG_5515C7CD3073-1Lara Jean and Peter were never supposed to be together. But once they started the faux relationship, the feelings turned real. But when another boy from her past shows up, Lara Jean remembers all the reasons she had fallen for him too. Is it possible to be in love with two people at once?

Jenny Han does it again with this sequel to To All The Boys I’ve Loved BeforePS I Still Love You is a timeless romance novel with classic themes of a conflicted heart. As usual, it’s hard not to fall in love with the main character Lara Jean as she tries to navigate the choppy waters of teenagedom and the perils of teen romance. And it’s hard!

With light humor and heavy drama, PS I Still Love You is the perfect continuation of Lara Jean’s love story. While I love Han’s writing, and I did enjoy this book, I felt like it was a bit bland compared to To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. I’m holding out hope that the third installment will pick back up. But it may be a while before I delve into this series again.

Review: Songlines

It’s hard enough being a teenage girl trying to make it through high school. But when you find out that you’re a Guardian of the Garden of Eden…well, things get much harder.

Songlines-Full-Res-Bookcover-whiteLainie Gracewood has lived her whole life in Nalong and has dreamed of leaving the farmland she knows for big adventures in the city. But when she suddenly starts getting visions, things get complicated. Harry, a farmhand, breaks the news to Lainie that she is in fact a Cherubim that has been appointed to guard the entrance to the Garden of Eden. However, with the threat of miners looming on the horizon, Lainie doesn’t have the easiest job.

Songlines is a unique tale told from an Australian standpoint, not something you see these days. Carolyn Denman does a fantastic job of blending religion with fantasy in this inspiring novel of family, friendship, and responsibility. With flair for the dramatic, Denman produces a story that you won’t want to stop reading. While I felt that the beginning was a little dull (and we were suddenly thrown into the meat of the story), I couldn’t make myself put this one down. You can bet I’m eagerly awaiting the second installment of this fabulous story!

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

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!