Book Reviews

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

“If you knew all the answers, there’d be no need for trust, little one.”

What an absolutely charming and enthralling read! I was blown away by every splendid detail. This was a story about love, abuse, literature, friendship, and faith. 

“It is not hopeless,” he said with surety. “It is uncertain, and this is the cross God always gives us in life, uncertainty. But it is not hopeless.”

To begin, who doesn’t love C.S. Lewis? The Chronicles of Narnia have held their popularity since their publication and his theological literature is profound. So, of course, I was intrigued by the woman who influenced and fell in love with him. She was his match in every way! And she was smart and brave and faithful. Even when her first husband was unkind, she was determined to make things work. She didn’t just go off dallying with other men or entertaining fancies about Jack (C.S. Lewis); no, she was committed to fulfilling her marriage vows. Despite, this there came a point where her husband became too terrible and they divorced. Even then, Jack and Joy kept their relationship within the friend boundaries; although, Joy did develop a huge crush on him. As was mentioned before, they eventually got married and enjoyed three happy years together as husband and wife before Joy passed away. 

“God might not fix things for me, but he would be with me in whatever waited ahead, that was clear.”

Not only was the story beautiful, but the writing was stunning as well. It was decorated with velvet and filigree and I loved that! As you may know from my other reviews, I am not a fan of plain writing (simply telling the story with little artistic flourish). This was not at all like that. The author also did a lovely job setting the scene in both America and the various locations in England. In this, and the letter-writing and dialogue, it was clear that she had done her homework. Bravo!    

Lastly, this was a clean read. Sex is alluded to but is not at all blatantly described.

Altogether, I think this is one of my favourite reads of 2020. 

“We’re connected everywhere. Even before we met, we were all of us tied together with these funny little threads. I love those small hints that God brings people together and says, ‘Here you go. This one’s for you.”

 

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Book Reviews

Pawsitively Swindled by Melissa Erin Jackson

A Witch of Edgehill Mystery (4 book series) Kindle EditionHere we are again with another fabulous story from the cat-loving town Edgehill. This one brought together more witches and delivered a mystery that was a tricky one for Amber and her friends to solve. And get this: Today is the release day! So make sure you head on over to Amazon and purchase this wonderful book. While you’re there, you may as well get the rest of the series too! Book #1 has less than 200 ratings! It deserves more, so please take the time to check it out. Cat Silhouette Rubber Stamp

Anyway, about the book. Amber is back and I feel like she’s so much more confident about her magic. Yes, she still has her insecurities, but she is stronger than she was at the beginning. I also found that the slight trauma she has from Kieran Penhallow’s attack was really realistic. He almost killed her! Yes, of course she would have nightmares. The relationships in this book were fabulous. I loved Kim! And Jackson did a great job making her come alive. As I read, I could see her reactions. Edgar and Amber’s relationship was really sweet, but I feel so bad for Edgar! Hopefully he gets the Kieran thing figured out soon. As always Chief Brown and Amber were fun to read about and I liked that their relationship was so clearly defined. And of course Jack… I’ll be honest, I haven’t really been crazy about him, but things were better in this book. I think the thing with him is that he doesn’t really do much in terms of the action. Maybe it’s just me, but I would like it better if he was a little more involved. Slate wall sticker: cat silhouette pattern | Etsy

The plot was interesting and I did not find myself getting bored. As always, I loved the setting. We spent some time in Edgehill, but also branched out to different places. It felt like this, along with the whole magic veins thing, gave the book a wider scope. I also, really liked that there was a “Previously” section at the beginning of the book. It was a nice refresher and allows readers to jump into the series without being totally lost. 

Lastly, the ending! What’s going to happen?!?!

Altogether, I absolutely recommend this book (and the rest of the series for that matter) and I can’t wait till the grand finale in a couple of months!!!   

Thank you to NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Bye Cat GIFs | Tenor

Book Reviews

Lost Shadow Chanda Hahn

Thats All Folks GIF - Find & Share on GIPHYAaah and that was the great finale! What a crazy, intense, exciting read! I’ve been in love with series since book #1 and in this last book, all the pieces come together to create this insane conclusion. Reading this book made me want to start all over again at book #1 so I can take this journey again. 

As always, I loved the characters and with the stakes so high, they were constantly being thrown into dangerous situations and sacrificing themselves to save the others. Hahn did a fantastic job keeping things going while not making me feel overwhelmed. And wow! Just wow! The way she took elements from the original story and twisted them to create her own unique take on the fairytale was impressive. 

A few notes on the ending… I felt like their time in Hollow Dome could have been drawn out. It was this fantastic, chilling setting that seemed like it could have been developed a little more. That being said, I did read through it all pretty fast, so it may just be me. On the other hand, I loved how Hahn took some time at the end to just calm things down. It wasn’t ok, we win. The End. No, she explained what happened and gave an indication about the future too. Except, hold on. Jeremy! I am not sure what to think of that! I don’t think Wendy and Peter can take anymore. Maybe Hahn just left it open because she felt like it…? 

Lastly, this was also a really sweet clean read. 

I highly recommend this series. And if my gushing isn’t enough to convince you, it only has 71 reviews on Goodreads! It deserves more! A review doesn’t have to be more than a few sentences. Definitely consider it. 😉 

Neverwood Chronicles | Chanda Hahn

 

P.S. Did anyone get this reference?!?! I laughed so hard when I read it!    

“I signed up for a three hour cruise on the tour ship called the Minnow and-” 

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Book Reviews

Pawsitively Cursed by Melissa Erin Jackson

44161129. sy475 I could not put this book down! It was so good! Book #1 was amazing, but this one brought everything up to the next level.

Amber went from fearing and hiding her powers at all costs, to embracing them. She still had insecurities, but throughout this story, she became stronger and more confident. I loved the addition of Willow and Aunt Gretchen! It was really fun to see how Amber interacted with her family and other witches, and also to see what other witches are capable of. We didn’t get to see as much of Chief Brown as we did in the last book which was a little disappointing – I did end up liking that guy. But the tension with him that showed up at the end of book #1 was resolved. That was a huge relief! Ugh and Jack. At first, I thought he was sweet, but by the end, he was such a wimp. Poor Amber. I really hope she gets her happy ending. 

The plot was thrilling and the villain’s ability to change faces was so intriguing and nerve-wracking. For a while, I had this theory that Jack was a Penhollow and that Amber and him would fall in love and break the curse. Honestly, though, I’m glad it didn’t end up that way. Which brings us to… You guessed it! The ending. It was epic and satisfying but left enough room for development. There are so many directions book #3 could go!

Image result for cat silhouetteLastly, this was mostly a clean read, but there was some language. 

Altogether, I am super excited for book #3! I loved #1 and #2 and I can’t wait to see where Jackson will lead Amber next.  

Thank you to NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

 

Book Reviews

The Navigator by Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown

Often I love the first book of the series, but then I’m not as crazy about the second one. The Navigator though… it was amazing! Related image

The story started out a little slow, but once the crew arrived in Neverland… I had to hold on to my hat because I got sprinkled with pixie dust and there was no way I could keep my feet on the ground. Neverland was a magical and beautiful place that held many marvellous things such as mermaids, dragons, imps, and of course, the much-feared Croc. This last one, the croc, was intelligently worked into the plot and I wonder if he’ll come up in the next book. I have a suspicion that he might…  

Now, of course, Wendy Darling. As usual, she was brave and daring and although she was looked down upon as a woman, she made a place for herself as the navigator. The naivety that she seemed to possess in the first book, dissipated as she experienced death and war. Really, her character development was phenomenal! Over the span of these two novels, she has grown so much. Now about Peter… In this book we learn a detail about Peter’s past that was so shocking, yet made complete sense. I did not see that one coming! And suddenly, I totally love Peter and I am desperate to know what will happen to him. Is there something between Wendy and Peter? I’m not sure… I suppose I will have to find out. Related imageYet, of course, I must mention Captain James Hook. I’m still not sure how I feel about him. He’s somewhere between villain and good guy, but it’s a little grey. I don’t like how he treats Wendy most of the time, but he does have his moments where he seems to have a heart. 

Once again, the writing was beautiful! It was neat, but at the same time colourful and exciting. 

“The gray veil now hung behind them, and before them lay the sun-bright shores of Neverland, its emerald green foliage and pearl white beaches stretched out upon a turquoise sea.” 

Lastly, this was a clean read. There was violence, but there were no sex scenes and the level of language is very low. Which makes me love this book even more! 35510314. sx318

I’m am so excited for book #3! And if you haven’t read either of these books yet, then you must! They are absolutely captivating and will keep you reading far into the night because you just need to know how this adventure will unfold. 

P.S. Book #1 only has 229 reviews! This is horrendous! Please, give it a read and write a review. Even if it’s only a few sentences, it will be helpful. 

Book Reviews

Lost Girl (Neverwood Chronicles #1) by Chanda Hahn

This book was AMAZING!!! I could not put it down and it easily became my favourite Peter Pan retelling. It is such a unique twist on the story – it is a MUST read. 

The characters were absolutely loveable. Wendy was smart and brave even though she faced great challenges. And Tink…! I was never a huge fan of Tinkerbell, but in this one, she stole my heart. Of course, we can’t forget about Peter. What a darling. 😉 He was a leader, but he was also vulnerable and sweet.  

The writing was enjoyable. There were a few typos here and there, but it was nothing terrible. And the plot totally had me hooked. XD I was in over my head the entire time. Image result for tinkerbell gif

I can’t go without mentioning the ending, though. ARRRGH what a steep cliffhanger! After everything that happened Wendy… Well, I better not spoil it. Haha

Lastly, this was mostly a clean read. There is mention of Tink swearing, but her words are covered by bells that ring at the same frequency as her voice.

So anyway… YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK. It is incredible and it only has 232 reviews on Goodreads! It deserves more than that so please, give it a try.     

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Book Reviews

Waterfall (River of Time #1) by Lisa Tawn Bergren

This was my second time reading Waterfall, but I still enjoyed every bit of it! 

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but the decision that something is more important than fear.” 

The main character Gabriella was absolutely amazing. She was brave and intelligent and kind, but not perfect – I actually really enjoyed being inside her head and getting to know her. Bergren does an excellent job keeping things interesting and balancing between Gabi’s thoughts and actions. The love interest, Marcello, was definitely your chivalrous knight in shining armour. I did like him; although, I felt we didn’t get to know him super well. Also, their relationship wasn’t quite as developed as I would have liked. But, hey, there are two more books. So we have time for that.

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“Sometimes the heart tells us to venture where the mind fears to tread.”

The setting was 14th-century Italy and Bergren made it feel quite authentic. It’s clear that she did her research. Her writing was also delightful. It was not flowery, but it was engaging. I felt drawn into the story from the very start and there was no point where I felt like skimming because I was getting bored.     

My greatest qualm, though, is the title. It’s beautiful and compelling, but while reading, I never made a connection. I get that the girls fell into a “river of time” and fell down a “waterfall” into the 14th century, but that was never brought up in the book. 

Lastly, this was a clean read.

“We all have freedom of choice. Over and over again, minute by minute. How will you live your life? For yourself? Or for others? For something good? For love?” 

I definitely recommend this book to those who love an adventure tinged history and romance.  

 

Book Reviews

Pawsitively Poisonous by Melissa Erin Jackson

This was a thrilling, enjoyable, and magical read!

Instantly, the title and cover captured my attention. It came across as quirky and unique and lately, I’ve been craving a fun, well-written book. Pawsitively Poisonous did the trick. Well, except that now I want a second book! Hopefully, it’s in the works!Image result for cat silhouette

Amber was a quiet, sweet, and mature individual with a huge heart. It was refreshing to have a main character who wasn’t a teenager and had already put down her roots. Another aspect that was different, was that there was no love interest. It seems like every book these days has to have at least some level of romance, so it was nice to have a break from that.  

The writing was lovely but simple and the voice that Jackson used fit the story perfectly. I also need to mention the setting… Edgehill: A town obsessed with cats. Loved it! ❤ ❤ All the little shops (Quirky Whisker, Purrcolate) were adorable, as well as the cast festival (Here and Meow Cat Festival).

Lastly, this was mostly a clean read. There were no sex scenes, but the mystery did sort Related imageof revolve around infidelity and there was some minor language.

This was a great read, though, and if you’re looking for a paranormal cozy mystery, this is the book for you.

“A deep-green tie lying across the cement walkway that led to the porch’s steps, looking more like a slithering snake than a discarded accessory.”  

“It wasn’t depressing, per se, but cheery didn’t come to mind either.”

Thank you to NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

 

Book Reviews

The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross

“She walks with grace upon the clouds, and the stars know her by name.”

What a  stunning read! There were many things I expected and many did not come to pass. Which was wonderful. It just proved that this was not a novel I could predict and this made me enjoy it all the more.

Although some may say that the story began slowly, I found that this time which Brienna spent at the school, allowed for some wonderful world building and also allowed me to become well acquainted with Brienna. Who, by the way, was quite sweet and brave. She was so loyal as well – she risked her life for her country and for the people she cared about.

“There are many secret doors around us, in plain sight. We just don’t take the time to find and open them.”

The writing was lovely. It was colourful, but not in a pretentious way. It flowed naturally through the story and gave it a delightful flavour.

This was also a clean read. Which I honestly was not expecting, but it was a pleasant surprise. 38739550

But wait, I cannot go without vaguely mentioning the ending. I loved it! Not what I was expecting, but I’m glad it unfurled this way. Also, it ended with a neat closing. This could definitely be a stand-alone. Yet, there is a second book? I’m not convinced it’s necessary, so I suppose I will have to read it and find out.   

“Passion is wholehearted devotion; it is fervor and agony; it is temper and zeal.”

Ta ta for now!  

P.S. Aren’t they both beautiful covers?!? Simply gorgeous! ❤

 

 

Book Reviews

Hunted by Meagan Spooner

“There’s no such thing as living happily ever after — there’s only living. We make the choice to do it happily.”

It took me a bit to get into this one, but once I did, I loved it. This was a fresh spin on Beauty and the Beast which combined the popular fairytale with the story of Ivan, the Firebird, and the Gray Wolf.

“Fairy tales are about lessons. Those who are virtuous and true are rewarded, while those who are wicked and greedy are punished.”

Fierce and brave, Yeva was determined to avenge her father, even if it meant facing the beast who killed him. I loved this twist on Beauty’s character and the way she played a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with the Beast. I’m not convinced about their relationship, though. I felt that it was surface level and could have been fleshed out a bit more. The other characters were interesting and I liked the twist on Gaston. For a change, he was actually a decent and kind fellow. Lastly, I loved how Asenka’s story ended. Actually, I think that was one of my favourite aspects of the story. She deserves a novel dedicated entirely to her.

The writing was beautiful and despite the fact that the plot was slow to start, its pace picked up as the story went along. I’m not sure about the ending, though. The whole point was that they had been longing for something their entire lives, that there had been disquiet in their hearts and that this was finally annulled by their love for each other. I liked this book, but I was left with an empty feeling. Sure, it’s romantic and all, but it was a little shallow for my taste.

Finally, this was an enjoyably clean read.  

If you love fairytale retellings, you must put this one on your to-read list.