The Sunday Post/Book Haul

IMG_1619 The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. A post to recap the past week, and share news about the upcoming week.

Since today is also the last day in March I’m going to do my book haul as well.

My monthly book haul is where I take an account of all the books I have acquired this past month. March was a very productive month for me, both in terms of readings as well as in terms of reviews. I don’t review all the books I read. Some books I’ll write a small review on Goodreads, some I’ll just rate, and some reviews I’ll publish on this blog. I list books I acquired through purchase, library loans, monthly book box subscription, ARCs, as well as books received from authors. My TBR list continues to grow and I’m hoping to get through most of these titles by the next book haul at the end of April.

HARDCOVERS

Immortally

Blurb (Goodreads): One hundred and twenty-five years is a long time to nurse a crush. That’s how long it’s been since Beth Argenis first met Cullen “Scotty” MacDonald and he instantly became the star of her most X-rated dreams. Back then, he was rescuing her from a Rogue Immortal. Now Beth’s a Rogue Hunter—a damn good one. She doesn’t need saving anymore, despite what Scotty thinks. What she does need is the fierce, wild desire that finally erupts between them. Scotty has hesitated to claim Beth as his own. But one explosive kiss confirms what he’s long suspected: She’s his life mate. But Beth is tough, fearless, beautiful…and in immortal danger. Unless he wants to lose her forever, he’ll have to rethink everything he once believed about love and destiny as well as confront an enemy who’s terrifyingly close.

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Blurb (Goodreads): From Rupi Kaur, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of milk and honey, comes her long-awaited second collection of poetry. A vibrant and transcendent journey about growth and healing. Ancestry and honoring one’s roots. Expatriation and rising up to find a home within yourself. Divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, the sun and her flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. A celebration of love in all its forms.

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Blurb (Goodreads): Mara has become used to the extraordinary. Roaming from place to place with Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Carnival, she longs for an ordinary life where no one has the ability to levitate or predict the future. She gets her chance when the struggling sideshow sets up camp in the small town of Caudry and she meets a gorgeous local guy named Gabe. But before long, Mara realizes there’s a dark presence lurking in the town that’s threatening the lives of her friends. She has seven days to take control of a power she didn’t know she had in order to save everyone she cares about—and change the future forever

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Blurb(Goodreads):The Woman in White famously opens with Walter Hartright’s eerie encounter on a moonlit London road. Engaged as a drawing master to the beautiful Laura Fairlie, Walter becomes embroiled in the sinister intrigues of Sir Percival Glyde and his ‘charming’ friend Count Fosco, who has a taste for white mice, vanilla bonbons, and poison. Pursuing questions of identity and insanity along the paths and corridors of English country houses and the madhouse, The Woman in White is the first and most influential of the Victorian genre that combined Gothic horror with psychological realism. Matthew Sweet’s introduction explores the phenomenon of Victorian ‘sensation’ fiction, and discusses Wilkie Collins’s biographical and societal influences. Included in this edition are appendices on theatrical adaptations of the novel and its serialisation history.

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Blurb(Goodreads): For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens. Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps36586697

Blurb(Goodreads): Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she’s constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle class peers. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places…including several hazardous men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth. As Queenie careens from one questionable decision to another, she finds herself wondering, “What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Who do you want to be?”—all of the questions today’s woman must face in a world trying to answer them for her. With “fresh and honest” (Jojo Moyes) prose, Queenie is a remarkably relatable exploration of what it means to be a modern woman searching for meaning in today’s world.

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Blurb(Goodreads): Seventeen-year-old Keralie Corrington may seem harmless, but she’s, in fact, one of Quadara’s most skilled thieves and a liar. Varin, on the other hand, is an honest, upstanding citizen of Quadara’s most enlightened region, Eonia. He runs afoul of Keralie when she steals a package from him, putting his life in danger. When Varin attempts to retrieve the package, he and Keralie both find themselves entangled in a conspiracy that leaves all four of Quadara’s queens dead. With no other choices and on the run from Keralie’s former employer, the two decide to join forces, endeavoring to discover who has killed the queens and save their own lives in the process. When their reluctant partnership blooms into a tenuous romance, they must overcome their own dark secrets in hopes of a future together that seemed impossible just days before. But first they have to stay alive and untangle the secrets behind the nation’s four dead queens. An enthralling fast-paced murder mystery where competing agendas collide with deadly consequences, Four Dead Queens heralds the arrival of an exciting new YA talent.33296575

Blurb(Goodreads): Kerra Bailey is a television journalist on the rise, and she’s hot on the trail of a story guaranteed to skyrocket her career to even greater heights: an interview with the legendary Major Trapper. Twenty-five years ago, The Major emerged a hero from the bombing of the Pegasus Hotel in downtown Dallas when he was photographed leading a handful of survivors out of the collapsing building. The iconic picture transformed him into a beloved national icon, in constant demand for speeches and interviews–until he suddenly dropped out of the public eye, shunning all members of the media. However, Kerra is willing to use any means necessary to get to The Major–even if she has to wrangle an introduction from his estranged son, former ATF agent John Trapper. Still seething over his break with both the ATF and his father, John Trapper wants no association with the hotel bombing or his hero father, and spurns the meddling reporters determined to drag them back into the limelight. Yet Kerra’s sheer audacity and tantalizing hints that there’s more to the story rouse Trapper’s interest despite himself. And when her interview of a lifetime goes catastrophically awry–with unknown assailants targeting not only The Major, but also Kerra–Trapper realizes he needs her under wraps if he’s going to track down the gunmen before they strike again . . . as well as discover, finally, who was responsible for the Pegasus bombing. Kerra is wary of a man so charming one moment and dangerous the next, and she knows Trapper is withholding evidence collected during his ATF investigation into the bombing. But having no one else to trust and enemies lurking closer than they know, Kerra and Trapper join forces and risk their very lives to expose a sinuous network of lies and conspiracy running deep through Texas–and uncover who would want a national hero dead.

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Blurb(Goodreads): Fifth century Britain is a country of chaos and division after the Roman withdrawal. This is the world of young Merlin, the illegitimate child of a South Wales princess who will not reveal to her son his father’s true identity. Yet Merlin is an extraordinary child, aware at the earliest age that he possesses a great natural gift – the Sight. Against a background of invasion and imprisonment, wars and conquest, Merlin emerges into manhood, and accepts his dramatic role in the New Beginning – the coming of King Arthur.

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Blurb(Goodreads): Wizardwood, a sentient wood. The most precious commodity in the world. Like many other legendary wares, it comes only from the Rain River Wilds. But how can one trade with the Rain Wilders, when only a liveship fashioned from wizardwood can negotiate the perilous waters of the Rain River? Rare and valuable a liveship will quicken only when three members, from successive generations, have died on board. The liveship Vivacia is about to undergo her quickening as Althea Vestrit’s father is carried on deck in his death-throes. Althea waits for the ship that she loves more than anything else in the world to awaken. Only to discover that the Vivacia has been signed away in her father’s will to her brutal brother-in-law, Kyle Haven… Others plot to win or steal a liveship. The Paragon, known by many as the Pariah, went mad, turned turtle, and drowned his crew. Now he lies blind, lonely, and broken on a deserted beach. But greedy men have designs to restore him, to sail the waters of the Rain Wild River once more.

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Blurb(Goodreads): have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. You may have heard of me. So begins a tale unequaled in fantasy literature–the story of a hero told in his own voice. It is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man’s search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

PAPERBACKS

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Blurb(Goodreads): When Dr. Louis Creed takes a new job and moves his family to the idyllic and rural town of Ludlow, Maine, this new beginning seems too good to be true. Yet despite Ludlow’s tranquility, there’s an undercurrent of danger that exists here. Those trucks on the road outside the Creed’s beautiful old home travel by just a little too quickly, for one thing…as is evidenced by the makeshift pet cemetery out back in the nearby woods. Then there are the warnings to Louis both real and from the depths of his nightmares that he should not venture beyond the borders of this little graveyard. A blood-chilling truth is hidden there—one more terrifying than death itself, and hideously more powerful. An ominous fate befalls anyone who dares tamper with this forbidden place, as Louis is about to discover for himself…

ARCs

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Blurb(Goodreads): Newlyweds Brooklyn and Derek are enjoying the final days of their honeymoon in Paris. As they’re browsing the book stalls along the Seine, Brooklyn finds the perfect gift for Derek, a first edition James Bond novel, The Spy Who Loved Me. When they bump into Ned, an old friend from Derek’s spy days, Brooklyn shows him her latest treasure. Once they’re back home in San Francisco, they visit a spy shop Ned mentioned. The owner begs them to let him display the book Brooklyn found in Paris as part of the shop’s first anniversary celebration. Before they agree, Derek makes sure the security is up to snuff—turns out, the unassuming book is worth a great deal more than sentimental value. Soon after, Derek is dismayed when he receives a mysterious letter from Paris announcing Ned’s death. Then late one night, someone is killed inside the spy shop. Are the murders connected to Brooklyn’s rare, pricey book? Is there something even more sinister afoot? Brooklyn and the spy who loves her will have to delve into the darkest parts of Derek’s past to unmask an enemy who’s been waiting for the chance to destroy everything they hold dear.

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Blurb(Goodreads): Maddox Kinkade is an expert at managing the impossible. Tasked with neutralizing a lethal bioweapon, she turns to the one person capable of helping her stop the threat of pandemic in time: the love of her life, back from the dead and mad as hell at her supposed betrayal. Recruiting Cole to save millions of lives may be harder than resisting the attraction still burning between them, but Maddox will do whatever it takes…even if it destroys her. When Maddox crashes back into Cole Matthews’ life, he wants to fight back. He wants to hate her. But the crisis is too strong to ignore, and soon the two former lovers find themselves working side-by-side in a breakneck race to stop a world-class killer with a secret that could end everything

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Blurb(Goodreads): Lottie collects dead creatures and lovingly cares for them, hoping to preserve them, to save them from disintegration. Her father understands—Lottie has a scientific mind, he thinks. Her aunt wants it to stop, and she goes to cruel lengths to make sure it does. And her mother? Lottie’s mother died long ago. And Lottie is searching for a way to be close to her.The Art of Taxidermy is a heartbreaking verse novel exploring love and death, grief and beauty, and the ways we try to make sense of it all.

44301806Blurb(Goodreads): Dr. Leonid Altshuler M.D., a board-certified psychiatrist, went through years of misdiagnosis and suffering before he discovered what you are about to learn. Here’s how Dr. Altshuler puts it: “There are millions people all over the world going to see psychics, regularly, trying to find out what going to happen to them in the future.” One theory of how psychics achieve their succes is that there is a universal field of the energy, called the Akashic record, which contain all the information about all the events in the past, present and the future. We do not need a psychic to help us access this information. In this book I will describe a practical method of connecting to the Akashic record, which I learned on a trip to Nepal, where I spent a lot of time in a Temple, being tought by Masters. If you are in any way interested in how the past, present and future are connected this book is a must.41867421

Blurb(Goodreads): In return for a random act of kindness, scholar Li Bai Chang presents young cook Kat Holloway with a rare and precious gift—a box of tea. Kat thinks no more of her unusual visitor until two days later when the kitchen erupts with the news that Lady Cynthia’s next-door neighbor has been murdered. Known about London as an “Old China Hand,” the victim claimed to be an expert in the language and customs of China, acting as intermediary for merchants and government officials. But Sir Jacob’s dealings were not what they seemed, and when the authorities accuse Mr. Li of the crime, Kat and Daniel find themselves embroiled in a world of deadly secrets that reach from the gilded homes of Mayfair to the beautiful wonder of Kew Gardens.

AUDIOBOOKS

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Blurb(Goodreads):When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card. There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting. As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

Have you read any of these titles? Any particular opinion on them? Please let me know on the comments below and HAPPY READING! 🙂

 

The Tell All by Libby Howard

35443185Kay Carrera is in her sixties and going through a lot. She is grieving the loss of her husband Eli and recovering from cataract surgery. Kay knows she can’t afford her house anymore and her only options are to either sell her home or have it repossessed. Luckily, her friend advises her to get a roommate to help pay for the costs. Judge Beck is going through a divorce and looking for a place to live with his children for a couple of years. It seems like the perfect solution for Kay’s problems, but when she accidentally finds a body, she is going to need all the help in the world to elude the killer who’s coming after her.

This is book one in the Locust Point Mystery Book series. At barely one hundred and fifty-three pages, this little story is interesting enough from a character development point of view but lacks substance for plot development.

One of the first things I noticed about the book was that the summary on Goodreads alluded to ghosts and Kay’s ability to see ghosts. I believe that might be something that will get covered in other books in the series, but this first book does not mention it at all.

The Tell-All is a cute, cozy mystery that gives an introduction of the main characters in this series. Kay is a lovable widow in her sixties who is just trying to rebuild her life after the death of her husband. She works part-time for a P.I., she finds a body and a mystery she needs to resolve. She owns a cat named Taco, and her best friend is Daisy. About half of the book is just about presenting these characters, and whatever is left of the book is rushed to explain the mystery.

I’m hopeful that the other books will have more room to develop an exciting plot and mystery.


Format: Kindle Edition, 153 pages
Published: July 24th, 2017
ASIN: B072R235GS
Series: Locust Point Mysteries #1
Source: Purchased
Rating: 3 stars
Genre: Cozy Mystery

A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn

 

91gesYReZ1L It is 1887. London is a city preparing for the celebration of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, and Veronica is burying her spinster aunt. Orphaned Victoria is now free to resume her adventures and world travels. When she successfully defeats her own attempted abduction thanks to the help of a German baron, she is forced to seek sanctuary at the care of a man named Stoker. Shortly before the baron reveals what he knew about her attempted abduction; the baron is found murdered. Now, Veronica and Stoker are on the run searching for the truth about her assailant.

I’m going to start by saying that I’m probably in the minority here. I had read and heard raving reviews about this book and series, and I even bumped other books in my list to read this one first. So, what happened? Well, I’d like to start by saying that I love a strong female character. I have no problem reading historical fiction books that depict smart, independent women. The book, overall, is well written and I enjoyed the sparkling dialogue between Veronica and Stoker. However, the problem I found with Veronica Speedwell was that she just wasn’t that nice of a person. Witty, smart, and independent–yes. However, she was also extraordinarily narcissistic and insensitive. At the start of the book, she is attending the funeral of her aunt that adopted her, and she is lamenting the fact that she can’t even shed a tear over her aunt’s death? Another problem I found was with the mystery itself, which I found rather blah.

The book started slowly for me, and I struggled to get into it until chapter eight. After that, I was interested in the book for a while, and certainly enough to finish the book, but not enough to be looking forward to reading the next books in this series.


Format: Hardcover, 337 pages
Published: September 1st, 2015 by NAL/Penguin
ISBN: 0451476018
Source: Library loan
Rating: 3 stars
Genre: Mystery

Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier

915wEJd29NLDreamer’s pool is the first book in the Blackthorn & Grim series. It’s an easy fantasy book that tells the story of a healer, Blackthorn, who after being wrongly imprisoned, makes an agreement with a mysterious fey in exchange for help escaping prison.

Blackthorn travels north to Dalriada where she is bound to live and serve the population for seven years as part of her agreement. Unbeknownst to her, Grim, her prison neighbor follows her to Dalriada and together they will form a partnership.

Oran is the prince of Dalriada, and he’s engaged to beautiful Lady Flidais who he only knows through photographs and letters. Anxiously awaiting the arrival of his bride, Oran senses something is wrong when lady Flidais arrives, and she’s nothing like the sweet and sensitive woman he found in her letters. With the wedding imminent, Oran sees no way out of this engagement, and he will need the help of Blackthorn and Grim to get him out of this tight situation.

Dreamer’s pool is told by different characters with each chapter alternating between Oran, Blackthorn and Grim’s point of view. I liked the structure of this book as it allowed the reader to get to know a little more about the characters. The pace of the narrative is slightly slower than I would have liked, but not enough to ruin the experience. Fans of Daughter of The Forrest or any other book by Marillier will not be disappointed. The book has some mentions of rape and abuse, but nothing too graphic for sensitive readers. Blackthorn is a reliable and likable character, and I loved her quirky relationship with Grim.
I’m looking forward to seeing how their relationship develops in future novels.


The Sunday Post

 

IMG_1619The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. A post to recap the past week, and share news about the upcoming week.

Happy Sunday! It’s 69 degrees in Nevada and I’m not complaining! Spring has certainly sprung here with cooler mornings and warmer days. The pollen count is also super high, so allergies are at their worst this time of the year.

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I started out this week with a review of Melanie Golding’s Little Darlings, a book that, although not published yet, has generated a significant amount of buzz. Let me tell you that the buzz is worth it. This is probably one of my favorite books this year. Considering that this is Melanie Golding’s debut novel and there is already talk of a movie deal gives you a bit of perspective.

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Review of Little Darlings

I followed with a review of Adrienne Chinn’s The Lost Letter From Morocco a book that is by no means a bad novel, but just didn’t really live up to my expectations.

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 Review of The Lost Letter From Morocco

I finished the week with a book from my long forgotten The Classics Club Challenge list. I had five years to read fifty classics. In a little more than a year from now my challenge ends and I’m not even half-way done. Needless to say, I foresee a significant number of classic book reviews coming up this year.

Wide Sargasso Sea is Jean Rhys’ masterpiece. I mean, it only took her twenty-seven years to write it. I really loved this book. I think it was a great complement to Jane Eyre. It is definitely worth reading it, if not for some of the social/racial themes of the book and the beautiful and sensual imagery she uses to depict the Caribbean.

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Review of Wide Sargasso Sea

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We’ll start the week with a review of a fantasy book by the wonderful Juliet Marillier, The Dreamer’s Pool.

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We’ll move on to review the first book in the Veronica Speedwell series, A Curious Beginning.

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And we’ll finish this week with a review of Libby Howard’s The Tell-all, a Locust Point Mystery.

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How about you? How’s your Sunday going and what books do you plan on reviewing this week? Have you read any of the books listed? If you have, let me know your thoughts 🙂

 

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

 

25622780Wide Sargasso Sea is Jean Rhys’ account of Antoinette (Bertha) Mason (aka Cosway). Fans of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre will recognize her as Rochester’s insane wife from the West Indies he kept locked in an attic. Bronte never indeed developed the character of Antoinette, leaving readers to wonder what kind of life Antoinette had and had she always been mad? In 1966, Jean Rhys finally completed Wide Sargasso Sea after working on it for nearly twenty-seven years.

The novel is structured in three parts with Antoinette and Rochester’s alternating point of view. The first and second part takes place in the West Indies, and the third part is only Antoinette’s point of view while living in England.

The story starts with Antoinette’s description of her childhood and the difficulties her family faced living in Jamaica in the 1830s shortly after the end of slavery when racial tensions were at its highest. As a white Creole child, Antoinette lives with her mother and sick brother in poverty until her mother re-marries wealthy Mr. Mason.

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Racial problems are also one of the major themes of this novel. When racial tensions erupt during Antoinette’s childhood, black workers burn down her house, Coulibri, a plantation house and symbol of oppression. After the fire that culminates in the death of her sick brother, Antoinette’s mother goes mad, and Mr. Mason places Antoinette in a convent until the age of eighteen when she leaves to marry Rochester.

“They say when trouble comes close ranks, and so the white people did.”

Isolation is another strong theme in this novel, be social isolation, geographical isolation, as well as the isolation Antoinette suffers throughout the story. First, the abandonment and lack of love from her mother, the betrayal of her friend Tia, and ultimately the isolation she feels from Rochester. The entire novel has a very oppressive and claustrophobic feel to it.

The second part of the novel revolves around Antoinette and Rochester’s marriage. A marriage which is sour from the beginning. Rhys makes a point to demonstrate the couple’s incompatibility and inability to understand each other. Rochester’s failure to be flexible and to adapt to his new surroundings and new way of life, and Antoinette lack of communication skills.

“I hated the mountains and the hills, the rivers, and the rain. I hated the sunsets of whatever colour, I hated its beauty and its magic and the secret I would never know. I hated its indifference and the cruelty which was part of its loveliness. Above all I hated her. For she belonged to the magic and the loveliness. She had left me thirsty, and all my life would be thirst and longing for what I had lost before I found it.”

In the third and final part of the book, Rochester and Antoinette move back to England after the death of Rochester’s father and older brother. The story changes again to Antoinette’s point of view. The move to England and the isolation from everything she’s ever held dear, including Rochester, drives her to insanity, and the novel ends with the house fire.

I really loved this book. I think because I also felt a need to know more about Antoinette and Rochester’s story. I loved the way she depicted the Caribbean with such rich and sensual imagery. This is indeed a masterpiece where Rhys was able to beautifully merge her story to a very known novel and do it all with immense style and sensibility.

“She’ll not dress up and smile at herself in that damnable looking-glass […] I’ll take her in my arms, my lunatic. She’s mad but mine, mine. What will I care for gods or devils or for Fate itself. If she smiles or weeps or both. For me.”

This novel is part of my list of books in The Classics Club Challenge


Format: Paperback, 171 pages
Published: January 25th, 2016 by W. W. Norton Company (first published October 1966)
ISBN: 0393352560
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5 stars
Genre: Postmodern Literature

The Lost Letter From Morocco by Adrienne Chinn

 

42972180This is the story of Addy who lives in London and has breast cancer. During a break from her chemotherapy treatment, she comes across a lost letter in which her late father reveals that he had fallen in love with a Moroccan woman. Together with the letter she also finds pictures of her father and the Moroccan woman in which it appears the woman might have been pregnant.

Determined to find answers to this mystery, she decides to travel to Morocco to follow in her father’s footsteps and hopefully meet her half-sibling. In Morocco, she meets a Berber who starts out as her tour guide but soon develops into something else.

The Lost Letter From Morocco is the typical example of a novel that has all the elements to be a great read. Exotic place, the possibility of romance, a character battling severe illness, you get the idea. However, it failed to deliver it. I struggled with the end which I thought did not do service to the rest of the novel. It was not the type of book I expected to be.

I’d like to thank Avon Books and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Format: ARC
Published: March 7th, 2019
ASIN: B07H54D1GT
Source: Free copy provided by the publisher, Avon Books, and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review
Rating: 3 stars
Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction

 

Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

 

41806986Shortly after the birth of her twins, Lauren is recovering in the hospital when she hears a woman singing an eerie song. Concerned that the woman will wake up her twins, Laura approaches her and asks her to stop singing. The woman, dressed in ragged and dirty clothes seems to be singing to her own baby twins. When Lauren approaches her, the woman presents Lauren with an offer–her dirty and filthy creatures, for Lauren’s own sweet, perfect babies. When Lauren refuses, the crazed woman attempts to steal the babies away. Fearing for her life and for the lives of her twins, Lauren hides in the bathroom and calls the police. When the police arrive, there are no signs of an intruder in the hospital. Nurses and doctors deny the presence of an intruder and everyone turns to Lauren questioning her sanity. Could she be having some sort of post-natal psychosis?

If you have ever had children and by that I mean if you have ever birthed children, you are well aware of how exhausting the process is. If you ever had twins, then you also know the amount of work and lack of sleep that comes with them. Golding is superb in describing these initial days right after bringing a baby home. You can relate to the desperation that the new parents, Lauren and Patrick, are feeling. Lack of sleep and the constant demands of two newborn babies can drive anyone a bit nuts. Golding has a beautiful way of describing a scene that puts the reader in the middle of the action, and at times it’s hard to discern if Lauren is just one over-exhausted new mother, or if indeed some evil force is trying to take her babies away. Little Darlings is the debut novel of Melanie Golding. This is a suspenseful, addictive, and intelligent drama that mixes well the themes of myth, parenthood, pain, guilt, and psychosis. The ending is brilliant and by far one of the best novels I have read this year.

Little Darlings is scheduled to be published on April 30, 2019.

I would like to thank Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for providing me with an early copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Format: ARC
Published: Expected publication: April 30th, 2019 by Crooked Lane Books
ISBN: 1683319974
Source: Free copy provided by the publisher, Crooked Lane Books, and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review
Rating: 5 stars
Genre: Thriller

 

The Sunday Post

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The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. A post to recap the past week, and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog…

Happy Sunday, everyone! I’m very happy with my reading accomplishments this week and I hope you are too. I don’t always post a review of all the books I read in a week, but I can tell you that this week was a hodgepodge of really good books and not so good books.

Spring is such a great time to get some reading done. Not only because I teach a much fewer number of classes during spring, but because I’m just always so inspired to get out there and read. The weather is absolutely awesome in my neck of the woods, and I’m certainly taking advantage of this weather before the crazy, unrelenting summer comes around.

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I started this week catching up on some of my previous reads that had never made it into a formal review.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz opened the week with a bang. Although I gravitate towards books regarding the Holocaust and WWII in general, this book was not quite what I was expecting.

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Review of the Tattooist of Auschwitz

 

For quite some time I’ve considered myself an Agatha Christie fan, and that was because until recently I had not really found any books of hers that I didn’t like. Well, that all changed when I came across a little book called The Secret Adversary. The first book in the Tommy and Tuppence Series I really struggled to get through this book. Unlike Christie’s earlier books, such as the wonderful The Mysterious Affair at Styles, The Secret Adversary had a very strange format. It read more like a spy novel than a mystery novel, and the dialogue was strange and convoluted.

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 Review of The Secret Adversary

I ended the week with my third book by B.A. Paris–The Breakdown. B.A. Paris has a great talent for interesting stories and original plot. The Breakdown is a suspenseful novel that does not disappoint and will probably keep me going back to this author.

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Review of The Breakdown

 

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This upcoming week starts with a review of a novel by Adrienne Chinn, Lost Letter From Morocco set against the beautiful and exotic background of Morocco. Then I switch gears to a mystery thriller that has kept me up all night–Little Darlings by Melanie Golding. I top off this upcoming week with a much needed back to classics with my review of Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. Wide Sargasso Sea is one of the fifty books in my Classics Club Challenge.

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How about you? what will you be reading/reviewing this week?

The Breakdown by B.A Paris

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It’s late at night and Cassie is driving on a deserted road when she almost hits a car that seems to be broken down on the side of the road. When she drives by the car, she sees the figure of a woman on the driver side. It’s raining, and Cassie is hesitant about leaving her car to help a stranger. After mulling and weighing all the risks of helping strangers in the middle of the night, Cassie decides she is better off not getting involved and decides to drive home. The next day, Cassie learns in the news that a woman was brutally murdered on the same road around the same time she was driving the night before. Cassie becomes consumed with guilt over the fact that she didn’t stop to help the stranger, only to find out that the woman was no stranger at all but someone she once met at a party and even went out to lunch on one occasion. This knowledge plunges Cassie in a downward spiral of guilt, fear, and paranoia. Cassie, who once considered herself a little absent-minded now starts to forget everything from where she parked her car, to ordering an alarm system to her house, and buying a baby stroller when she is not even pregnant. Completely paranoid that she might be suffering from the same illness as her late mother–early onset dementia, the only people Cassie can rely on are her husband Matthew and her best friend, Rachael.

The Breakdown is the third book I read from B.A. Paris, and just like my last review on Bring Me Back, The Breakdown has a solid premise. Unfortunately, B.A Paris once again makes similar mistakes to her earlier novel. Unlike Bring Me Back where the end is entirely improbable, you figure out the plot of The Breakdown half-way through the book, and what follows is a series of Cassie’s constant whiny dialogues and endless pages of text messages that were completely unnecessary once you figure out the plot. The ending is anti-climatic and predictable.

On the positive side, I always give kudos to authors who can create characters that annoy me. Characters that are so well written that I can hear their voices in my head or imagine what they look like. These types of characters are alive, and Cassie was one of them, however much I disliked her as a person. For that reason and the fact that the book holds a lot of suspense and interest for the first half of the book, I’m recommending it to fans of the genre.


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