Book Review: The English Wife by Lauren Willig

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The English Wife by Lauren Willig /  ★★★.5

Summary: Bayard, from the esteemed Van Duyvil family, is found with a knife in his chest, and his wife, Annabelle, goes missing, presumed drowned, on the night of their Twelfth Night ball. The press goes wild with rumors, but Janie, Bay’s sister, teams up with an unlikely reporter to uncover the truth.

It wasn’t the big decisions that set the course of one’s life; it was the slow accretion of all the little ones.

This book was a fun mystery! It was a relatively quick, dramatic read, and if you’re looking for something dark, yet entertaining, this is a great book to pick up. I loved the format- it jumps around in time and switches between the POVs of our main character, Janie, who is trying to solve the mystery of her brother’s death and sister-in-law Annabelle’s disappearance, and Annabelle herself, and the events leading up to that fatal night. I love the un-chronological reveal of information, and the guessing game this book had me playing. It was definitely full of twists and turns.

I think the thing that docked this book a star was that I simply wasn’t fully invested in the characters. The romance – though fitting with the style of writing and with the drama of the story – was a bit theatrical for my taste. I liked the characters, but no one really made me care deeply about how the whole story played out, and I really just wasn’t invested in the romance. Some parts of this book were also a bit draggy, and descriptions and dialogue were a bit kitschy,  but for the most part it kept me interested.

This is a book that really keeps you guessing. Except! While I wouldn’t describe this book as being predictable, about halfway through I took a stab at randomly predicting who I thought the killer might be- and ended up being right. So in the end, while I didn’t love this book, it did leave me feeling satisfied and somewhat victorious.

Book Review: The Curse of the Wendigo by Rick Yancey


The Curse of the Wendigo by Rick Yancey (The Monstrumologist #2)/ ★★★☆☆

Summary: When young Will Henry and his mentor, the Monstrumologist, are called on to save a man from the Canadian wilderness, they must come to terms that perhaps the man that they pull out isn’t the man who went in- if he is still a man at all.

This was his universe, and no doubt, if every particle of light had been sucked from out atmosphere he could have found his way through the utter blackness left behind.

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Book Review: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi


The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (The Star-Touched Queen #1) / ★★★☆☆

Summary: Maya is cursed with a future marriage destined for death and destruction. When her father’s attempt to marry her off turns into something more dastardly, she runs away with with the  trustworthy Amar and soon finds herself the Queen of Akaran- an empty place full of locked doors and a voice that calls to her.

Although I had never envisioned marriage, I had thought of love. Not the furtive love I heard muffled in the corners or rooms of some of the harem wives. What I wanted was a connection, a shared heartbeat that kept rhythm across oceans and worlds. Not some alliance cobbled out of war. I didn’t want the prince from the folktales or some milk-skinned, honey-eyed youth who said his greetings and proclaimed his love in the same breath. I wanted a love thick with time, as inscrutable as if a lathe had carved it from night and as familiar as the marrow in my bones.

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Book Review: Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis


Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis (The Space Trilogy #1) / ★★★☆☆

Summary: Ranson is kidnapped from Earth and brought the Malacandra, where he is to be used as a human sacrifice. He escapes and instead befriends the creatures of the planet- until the men who kidnapped him turn violently against them.

“And I say also this. I do not think the forest would be so bright, nor the water so warm, nor love so sweet, if there were no danger in the lakes.”

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Book Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven


All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven / ★★★☆☆

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and is constantly dreaming up different ways of killing himself. Violet Markey just wants to get through life after the loss of her sister. They meet on the ledge of a bell tower.

It’s my experience that people are a lot more sympathetic if they can see you hurting, and for the millionth time in my life I wish for measles or smallpox or some other easily understood disease just to make it easier on me and also on them.

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Book Review: The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones


The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones ★★★☆☆

Summary: In a world in which body parts are exchanged to demons for wishes, Dee finds herself unable to pay for school and desperate not to return home. When she asks a demon for money, he asks her for her heart – and to take part in a mission.

She had walked willingly into a fairy tale, into a world where she could trade her heart for her freedom. She may as well have donned a red cloak and strode into a darkened forest. 

She had always known there would be wolves. 

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Book Review: Beneath Wandering Stars by Ashlee Cowles

Beneath Wandering Stars by Ashlee Cowles / ★★★☆☆

Summary: When Gabi’s brother gets terribly injured in war, she discovers that his dying wish is that she would make a pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago through Spain with his best friend, Seth. The problem is, she and Seth do not get along.

I don’t know much, but I know this thing, this mystery, must be behind the desire that stirred millions of pilgrims across the centuries. Why else would people walk hundreds of miles to a place they’ve never seen? What is it that our restless hearts are searching for?

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Book Review: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

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When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon /★★★☆☆

Summary: Dimple Shah’s dream is to break out of her parents’ mold, go to Stanford and become a web developer. Rishi Patel is a romantic who values tradition and seeks to honor his parents. When an arranged marriage and a competition brings them together, things don’t go as expected for either of them.

“What are you asking? Why would I want to go out with you if it doesn’t involve marriage as the end result?” 

Dimple was grateful for the misty darkness. “Yeah,” she said quietly. “I thought that was the whole point for you. Marriage, following your parents’ wishes, all of that. And if it is, then I’m definitely not the right girl for you.” 

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Book Review: Feel Me Fall by James Morris


Feel Me Fall by James Morris ★★★☆☆

Summary: Emily Duran is the lone survivor of a plane crash that left her and her friends stranded in the Amazon. As they fight for their lives, their histories catch up with them and they find themselves not only in battle with the jungle, but each other.

I had one thought over and over: I don’t want to die. Someone else, but not me.

I held onto that seat cushion for dear life and plunged into the rapids. I was a human rag doll. The torrent sucked me into a watery hell and I couldn’t breathe; my eyes shut, mouth shut, face tight against the murk, willing everything to stop. I couldn’t breathe. I started to panic.

Someone else, but not me.

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Book Review: Kids of Appetite by David Arnold

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Kids of Appetite by David Arnold 

One sentence summary: Vic runs away from home, taking his father’s urn with him, and meets a group of kids who help him unravel the mystery of where to scatter his ashes.

We are all part of the same story, each of us different chapters. We may not have the power to choose setting or plot, but we can choose what kind of character we want to be.

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