[#BookReview] Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J Pearce @ScribnerBooks @ajpearcewrites #HistoricalFiction #ChickLit

Genre: Historical Fiction, Chick Lit

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

What It’s About

London 1940, bombs are falling. Emmy Lake is Doing Her Bit for the war effort, volunteering as a telephone operator with the Auxiliary Fire Services. When Emmy sees an advertisement for a job at the London Evening Chronicle, her dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent seem suddenly achievable. But the job turns out to be typist to the fierce and renowned advice columnist, Henrietta Bird. Emmy is disappointed, but gamely bucks up and buckles down.

Mrs Bird is very clear: Any letters containing Unpleasantness—must go straight in the bin. But when Emmy reads poignant letters from women who are lonely, may have Gone Too Far with the wrong men and found themselves in trouble, or who can’t bear to let their children be evacuated, she is unable to resist responding. As the German planes make their nightly raids, and London picks up the smoldering pieces each morning, Emmy secretly begins to write letters back to the women of all ages who have spilled out their troubles.

My Thoughts..

Dogs are like children. Noisy, trainable, but dim and likely to smell disagreeable on the arrival of guests.

-Mrs. Bird

I don’t read a lot of historical fiction, but every now and then, one will catch my attention.

This was a bit of chick lit, mixed in with historical fiction making it a fun and lighter read.

Definitely perfect for summer reading, and one I’d recommend 🙂

The Characters..

Emmy (Emmeline Lake)

I enjoyed getting to know Emmy. She was ambitious and empathetic towards other women and their “troubles”.

Bunty

Emmy’s BFF and roommate. She was the kind of friend you’d want in real life.

My faves

Mrs. Bird

Her tell-it-like-is attitude towards women was hilarious. She definitely had a stick up her butt, but she was enjoyable to read about.

Charles

He wasn’t a huge character in the story, but he was such a sweetheart! A true gentleman..Definitely the guy you want to snag before anyone else does.

Least fave

Edmund

I seriously wanted to punch this guy!

Have you read it? Do you read historical fiction?

If so, what has been your fave so far?

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[#BookReview] The Next To Die by Sophie Hannah

The Next to Die: A NovelThe Next to Die: A Novel by Sophie Hannah

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A special thanks to the publishers for gifting me this eARC

DNF 😭

Womp, womp..

The premise of the story was great, and there were parts that actually weren’t bad..like Kim’s character. I liked her morbid sense of humor in the beginning, but I just couldn’t push through this one. It was mostly underwhelming. The argument and explanation of Billy Dead Mate’s nickname went on and on for majority of the chapter, that I just couldn’t take it anymore! Seriously?! That part only needed to be one quick summary (1 page) and was pretty self-explanatory the first time it was mentioned. There really wasn’t a need for the two detectives to argue about for a whole chapter! 🙄

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[#BookReview] To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han @jennyhan @simonschuster @SimonSchusterCA

Genre: YA, Chick Lit

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What It’s About..

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them… all at once?

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control

My Thoughts..

They aren’t love letters that someone else wrote for me; I don’t have any of those. These are ones I’ve written. There’s one for every boy I’ve ever loved—five in all

OMG. Talk about book hangover! I actually stayed up till 6am just cause I wanted to see how everything ends!! Totally worth the lack of sleep.

I have to say, I am pleasantly surprised by this one! You know the saying “never judge a book by its cover”? Well..I totally overlooked this one when it first came out.  I thought the cover was a little too girly for my taste.  But thanks to the  Netflix trailer, I knew I would enjoy the book.

I’ve been on this chick lit binge and devoured every moment of it. There were parts that caught me by surprise, cause it was not the way I thought it would go.

The Characters..

MY FAVES

Kitty

-Outspoken & wise beyond her years.  She reminds me a little of myself: will stop at nothing to get what she wants (in a good way of course).

Kavinsky aka Peter K

-He may have been the popular, “Handsome Boy”, but he was so not what I was expecting.  I found myself rooting for him.

ONES I DIDN’T CARE FOR

Josh

-Sure, he was the nice guy and literally the guy next door.  But for some reason he annoyed me.

Lara Jean

-I had a love/hate for her.  She was cute and quirky, but it bothered me how afraid she was to speak her mind.

THE BEOTCH

Genevieve

-As despicable the as the villain is with every story.  I also happen to find myself loving the bitchiest characters.  Why? Because they are always, in my opinion, the ones who are well-written.

I definitely wanted to punch her!

Have you read it? Did you have a favourite character?? Who’s excited for the film?

 

[#BookReview] The Woman In The Window by A.J Finn

The Woman in the WindowThe Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After being #21 on the waitlist at the library, I was very excited to get my greedy hands on this one.

Let me start by saying that this book had its moments and most of these, I really had to push through to finish (which wasn’t a good thing). To be honest, I nearly gave up.

The good..

-Like I already mentioned, the first two chapters start off well. It’s a bit confusing, but it unravels as you read further and discover more about Anna.

-Anna is such an unreliable character that it only made me curious enough to want to skim to the end to see what happens.

The not-so great..

-The storytelling becomes repetitive and slow. I get it, Anna suffers from agoraphobia and has PTSD. But I feel like this book could have been cut down to 200-300 pages max. After chapter 3, it became long-winded. I actually felt exhausted by the time I got to chapter 7 and almost added this to my DNF pile.

Overall, it wasn’t a terrible read. Would I recommend it? Sure, but I would suggest finding it at your local library.

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[#BookReview] Bruja Born by Zoraida Cordova @raincoastbooks @sourcebooks #BrujaBorn

**I’d like to thank Source Books & Raincoast Books for my ARC**

Genre: Young adult

Publication Date: June 5th, 2018

Publisher: Source Books

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2 (3.5 stars)

Book Blurb

Lula Mortiz feels like an outsider. Her sister’s newfound Encantrix powers have wounded her in ways that Lula’s bruja healing powers can’t fix, and she longs for the comfort her family once brought her. Thank the Deos for Maks, her sweet, steady boyfriend who sees the beauty within her and brings light to her life.

Then a bus crash turns Lula’s world upside down. Her classmates are all dead, including Maks. But Lula was born to heal, to fix. She can bring Maks back, even if it means seeking help from her sisters and defying Death herself. But magic that defies the laws of the deos is dangerous. Unpredictable. And when the dust settles, Maks isn’t the only one who’s been brought back…

My Thoughts..

Magic transforms you. Magic changes you. Magic saves you. I want to still believe in all those things

I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either.

What I enjoyed..

  • I really liked the whole idea of witches,curses, magic and paranormal beings.
  • The characters were well developed with a good storyline.
  • I particularly like that this story was immersed in the Hispanic culture and beliefs.  I found that very interesting and something that is quite new to me.

So why didn’t I like it more?

What I didn’t like..

  • The story slowed down when I was at the 30% mark, making it hard to stay focused.
  • Although this was an easy read, it was a little more juvenile than I wanted it to be. It seemed more like a middle grade novel and not quite what I was looking for.

Like always, I am in the minority with books that everyone else seemed to love and this was just, meh for me.  Maybe if this were made into a Netflix series/movie with some editing, it would or could be really great.

Have you read it? What did you think?  Are there any books you’ve read where you thought if it was turned into a movie or series, it would actually be better than the novel?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[#BookReview] Caraval by Stephanie Garber #YALit @SGarberGirl @Flatironbooks

“Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world.”

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Genre: YA, Fantasy

Publication Date: Jan 31, 2017

Publisher: Flatiron Books

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What It’s About..

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

My Thoughts..

I know there are few that would beg to differ, but for me this book was dark and magical. Nothing like anything I’ve ever read! I felt like I was Alice in Wonderland, in a world that was splendid, yet didn’t make any sense.

“Remember, don’t let your eyes or feelings trick you.”

I do have to say that there was one character that bothered me, and it was Scarlett. While I don’t blame her for being secluded on an island & sheltered by her father, I found her rather annoying at times. She was incredibly naïve and hopeless..the opposite of the strong female leads I’m used to. But on the same note, it was very refreshing. Even though she was weak (in my opinion), her will and determination to finish the game and find her sister were admirable. I particularly liked Julian. He may have appeared to be a bit of a ladies’ man in the beginning, but he had a lot of redeeming qualities as the story progressed and quickly became my favourite character.

This story had it all in my opinion: adventure, tragedy, mystery & happy endings..

Personally, I loved this book and can’t wait to read the next installment!!

Have you read this book? If so, what did you think? Who was your favourite or not-so favourite character?

Any plans to read Legendary?

[#BookReview] Into The Water by Paula Hawkins #Overhypedbooks

Into the WaterInto the Water by Paula Hawkins

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

2.5 stars

This was just meh..

What I liked..
The Mystery: The first page starts off with a nice teaser that eases you into what you think is going to be a great mystery/crime thriller.

instead..

You get a mix of characters narrating the story, jumping back and forth between timelines making it confusing. Now don’t get me wrong, I happen to love multiple POV’s when it’s done well. But this just had too many all at once.

I also felt like the story was a bit repetitive each time a new character was introduced and just seemed to drag on and on.
There was a twist at the end, but in my opinion, it was nothing to get excited over.

Overall, this wasn’t for me 😦

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Have you read this? Did you enjoy it more than I did?

[#BookReview] The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw #DNF

The Wicked DeepThe Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

DNF

Womp Womp..

I know! With the pretty cover, mention of witches and great intro:

“And so at the end of June, when the moon was nothing but a thin shard in the overcast sky, stones were tied to the sisters’ ankles, and they were dropped into the ocean just beyond the cape, where they sank to the bottom and drowned. Just like the ship they arrived on.”

I was sure I would enjoy it like the majority…WRONG!

After the first page, I swear this book read like someone speaking in ridiculously slow monotone.

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UGH..I gave up after page 15. Sorry this wasn’t better!

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[#BookReview] Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan @kevinkwanbooks @Doubledayca #CrazyRichAsians #Goodreads #ChickLit

Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance

Published: June 11, 2013

Publisher: Doubleday

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Book Blurb:

When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick’s formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should–and should not–marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider’s look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.

My Thoughts…

The more I read, the more guilty I was of loving this book! I do have to say, it’s not for everyone. Think trashy Hollywood gossip, The Real Housewives and Young & the Restless, but with an all-Asian cast. If you’re rolling your eyes and this isn’t your thing, then stop right now and don’t waste your time.

Since I’m Chinese, it was an added bonus in understanding the humor, language and culture. However, it’s not a requirement and footnotes are included which is very helpful.

For me, it was incredibly addictive and entertaining. There were times I even found myself giggling in the middle of night while in my bed reading on my phone. I loved all the characters, including the ones you want to hate.

NOTE: If you haven’t read it and plan to, don’t get too caught up in trying to keep track of who’s who, cause there are ALOT of characters and families mentioned.

And OMG..the way Kwan described the food and coffee..YUM!! Made me wish I was a Leong or Khoo, just so I could fly a private jet to Australia for the perfect latte.

I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next in the series.

Have you read it? If so, any plans to watch the film?

[#BookReview] Rust & Stardust by T.Greenwood @NetGalley @StMartinsPress @tgwood505 #Goodreads #NewRelease #HistoricalFiction #Netgalley

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Publication Date: Aug 7, 2018

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Book Blurb

Camden, NJ, 1948. When 11 year-old Sally Horner steals a notebook from the local Woolworth’s, she has no way of knowing that 52 year-old Frank LaSalle, fresh out of prison, is watching her, preparing to make his move. Accosting her outside the store, Frank convinces Sally that he’s an FBI agent who can have her arrested in a minute―unless she does as he says.

This chilling novel traces the next two harrowing years as Frank mentally and physically assaults Sally while the two of them travel westward from Camden to San Jose, forever altering not only her life, but the lives of her family, friends, and those she meets along the way.

My Thoughts…

This was a very well-written novel based on the true story of Sally Horner. I actually had no clue who that was or any previous knowledge of her case, which made this all the more intriguing.

For those of you like me, here are some quick facts:

  • Florence Sally Horner (11 yrs old) was abducted old by 50 yr old child molester Frank LaSalle in 1948.
  • Frank pretended to be an FBI agent after catching Sally steal a 5 cent notebook in Camden, NJ
  • For more info, visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Sally_Horner

The last book I read that was based on true events, did not work for me. But this one totally did! I loved how Greenwood chose to stick with the same chain of events, names and timelines. Definitely not what I was expecting. It was told from multiple POV’s, which made this a truly enjoyable read. Because this was based on real events, it made it an even more emotional read..or at least for me it did. Without giving too much away, I actually found myself wanting to slap some of these characters. Especially near the end with Susan and Vivi! I don’t think I would have been as nice as Susan was!

Have you heard or read this book? Do you like to read books that are based on true stories or real people?