Tag Archives: book reviewer

Queenie [Candice Carty-Williams – Book Review]

Title: Queenie

Author: Candice Carty-Williams

Genre: Fictional Biographical/Coming of Age

Publisher: Orion Publishing

Rating: 4 stars

When I started this book, I thought it was going to be an easy read. Just like a simple story about a woman living in London. I guess this book was supposed to be like modern version of Bridget Jones, but I have not read those so I can’t actually say. This book suddenly turns into a darker kind of book really quick. This book is dark and intense, it is about Queenie who is trying to find her place in the world after losing her boyfriend and being unsure of who she is as a black woman in the world.

This starts out with her breakup with Tom, her longtime boyfriend she thought was going to be the man she married and spent her life with. She thinks their break will just reunite them, so she pushes down a lot of her emotions and jumps into random relationships with men to avoid feeling anything at all.

She starts having sex with random men and not caring about her feelings. She comes to see that her job and having a relationship with Tom wasn’t making her as fulfilled as she thought. With the loss of Tom, she just jumps into the wrong end of her emotions and sleeps with various men to try and quell the pain she doesn’t want to face.

She then ends up losing one of her best friends because of a situation which is not her fault. It was more like just choosing the wrong man to sleep with. She then ends up getting rejected by her past flames and is put on leave from her job because of one of the men she slept with. This is when she realizes she needs to reevaluate her life and make some better choices to avoid hurting herself again and again.

As a child, she felt ignored and unloved and this is why she feels like she is not worthy of love or having a good life. Hitting the bottom for her helps because she seeks help and learns how to forge a better life for herself. She learns she is worthy of love, she learns to connect again with her mother, and she plans to move on from her past to make better choices for her future.

This book contains so many layers. Queenie learns about her own worth, what she wants from life, self respect, and the importance of family and good friends.

This book is beautiful, and I loved every moment. I learned more about the experience of a black woman, which I thought was very insightful. I could also relate to all of her bad choices about men because I have been there, and it is hard but sometimes good to see yourself in a book. I remember going through a similar journey, and I am grateful to have come from the other side safely.

This was a solid debut novel, and I look forward to reading more from this author.

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler [Book Review]

Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Format: Read via Kindle Unlimited

I picked up this book from Kindle Unlimited because it was suggested. I liked the cover and title. I glanced at the synopsis, but I didn’t have an extensive knowledge of what the book was about when I started to read.

Amy is a single mother who works as a librarian at a private school. She has a sixteen year old daughter and a twelve year old son. She has been raising them on her own since her husband boarded a flight to Hong Kong and said he couldn’t do it anymore. She’s been doing her best to raise her children alone, and she’s proud of herself. Then she seems John in the local drugstore, and he says he wants to be a part of the children’s lives again. Amy is torn, also wondering if she’s going to reconcile with John.

John wants to spend a week with the two children, getting to know them again and make up for what he’s missed. Amy reluctantly agrees, and she decides she’s going to attend a librarian conference in New York City. Afraid of being away from her family, she’s nervous about the trip. Still, she goes to New York City and meets hot librarian, Daniel. She’s still married to John, but she’s ready to move on. One of her closest friends, Talia also works for a magazine and they want to do a story on Amy called momspriga about her finding time away from herself as a mom and being a person.

The story is also told from a reading journal Amy has her older daughter Cori keep, and I love seeing how the daughter has her own way of reading. It’s just a darn good book, I could not stop reading. As a parent, it’s relatable because children take up a lot of time and it’s hard to distance yourself from the role when it’s a big part of your identity. It’s also very relevant to me because I want to be a librarian, and I liked the way it was included in the book via the conference and a program she wanted to introduce in schools to promote literacy among younger readers.

Honestly, it’s just a really great story because it’s so real. Amy has actual emotions, and she’s not perfect. There’s discussion of how she hasn’t moved on from what John did and she enjoys to make herself the martyr so she needs to learn and grow to move beyond that. I loved reading about her journey to finding herself and becoming a stronger person. I guess I was just really akin to the book as a parent and because of my love for books/desire to be a librarian. Anyone who enjoys women’s fiction or family based stories will love this book. I highly recommend this, and I would definitely read more from this author.

Until I rant about books again,

Thin Air [Book Review]

Genre: Thriller

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Format: Read via Kindle Unlimited (located in popular category)

Thrillers are amongst my favorite genres. I am often hopeful when beginning a new series I will leave the book with another recommendation or next book to look forward to. So I picked this one up from Kindle Unlimited, but I didn’t know what to expect.

Jessica Shaw is originally from New York. She’s been traveling around doing private investigator work around the country since her dad died. His death has hit her pretty hard… since he’s been gone, she’s been drinking, smoking, and getting a lot of tattoos to grieve in her own manner. She gets an anonymous email with a picture of a missing little girl from 20 years plus before. Jessica is shocked to realize she’s the little girl in the photo. She finds out her actual mother was murdered, and she has been missing since the night it occurred. Now she’s wondering what secrets her father had been keeping. There’s also the storyline of a sex worker who was murdered, and a detective named Pryce trying to solve the case. The threads which connect Jessica to Pryce are revealed, but I don’t want to spoil the book.

Overall, I did like the book. I was invested in the story and discovering what happened to Jessica after her mom’s murder. The entire story I never believed her father was the one who was the murderer. Even though the town blamed him for it, none of the signs pointed to him, at least in my experience in reading thrillers and mysteries. At times, the book wasn’t written the best with the same reiteration of Jessica being upset about her dad dying. I understand grief is strong. Gray just overused it when she seemed at a loss on how to explain who Jessica was or her feelings. I can connect to the feeling on a person level, but a dead parent isn’t a personality trait and I wish books would stop trying to make it one.

I did not like the whole killer revealed mystery because on second thought, it was plain as day when the character is introduced. I know it’s meant to be shocking or whatever, but I was annoyed at the big reveal. The ending of the book seemed rushed and sloppy… it was like Jessica finds out some news, getting ready, mystery reveal, disappointment last chapter, the end. The rest of the book was really good, which is why I didn’t give it a lower rating. I plan to read the next book,I just hope it’s written better.

Until I rant about books again,

Culling my Goodreads Shelf [Unhaul in my mind]

So I’ve had a pretty big Goodreads TBR for awhile, and a lot of the books have just been sitting on the shelf for a long time. So this is an unhaul of sorts. Here are some books I’ll be removing from my Goodreads TBR because I’m never going to read them. I did remove more than ten, but some of them I had no clue how they got on there so I have no desire to look them up and explain about them. Honestly, if you’re dreading your TBR on Goodreads, you should Marie Kondo it. This makes me feel a lot better when I do it.

And you can add me or follow me on Goodreads if you’re interested.

American Psycho is a huge pass because I couldn’t handle the dog dying in the movie so I don’t think I could get through the book. I love reading about serial killers, but I also heard this book has other issues so I think it’s just going to a hard pass for me.

All of the books from the Bloodlines series. Listen, I could barely finish Vampire Academy. I can’t invest myself in another mediocre series. The only thing that would be worth my time is Adrian, but I know it won’t be written the way I want so… thank you, next.

The Foxhole Court is so boring. I tried to read it before and literally nothing was happening? Why did I buy this entire series on Kindle when it’s just really like stupid to me? It’s cool if you like it, I just don’t.

Restore Me. Why couldn’t they just leave Shatter Me as a trilogy? It was just fine. I should not have wasted money on this book, and I have no plans to read this. The trilogy is the end for me, and that’s just fine. I don’t need more added on. Warner is great how he is. I don’t need more complications added to my boy.

So if you like these books, that’s awesome. I don’t so I kicked them off my Goodreads shelf. I’m curious to know if anyone else culls their Goodreads shelf from time to time ? If you do, let me know. I would love to talk about books kicked off the shelves.

Until I rant about books again,

Another Mash Up Post [Mini Reviews]

Genre: Paranormal Romance

My rating: 4/5 Stars

Format: Read via NetGalley

Thank you NetGalley and Source Books Casablanca for the advanced reader copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Since this is the ninth book in the series… I was a little lost. Oops. It definitely will make more sense reading all the prior books because things are mentioned that you miss or may not understand. Meghan and Peter want to mate for life since they are silver wolves. But Meghan is scared to tell peter she sent a fellow wolf to prison and peter doesn’t know how to tell Meghan he’s been mated before. Also, Meghan can talk to ghosts. So they both have secrets they are keeping from each other, making them unsure about their future.

This is an adorable holiday romance. The couple do belong together. They just have some issues to work through, but there’s no doubt they should be mated for life. They still have been mated officially because of the secrets going on. Of course there’s Christmas going on too. The pack has a great relationship so I was loving that. They just wanted all of the secrets and issues to end so the couple could be together. I love when the town has a personality, it adds so much to the story.

Overall, this is a good read. It begins slow, but the pace picks up eventually. You just have to stick it out when you start because I was bored at the start bu when the paranormal and suspense kick in, you won’t be able to stop reading. You can read this book alone, but it probably works better as part of the series so you can get another look at previous mentioned book couples.

Genre: Romance

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Format: Read via NetGalley

Thank you NetGalley and Harlequin for the advanced review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Imogen owns a fancy hotel in the Canadian mountains. Specifically the Rockies. She’s grown up around famous people so she’s had a lot of celebrity acquaintances and gotten a lot of autographs. She’s the only one still living in her small town since her sisters left and her parents moved to a warmer place. So this hotel is often visited by the rich and famous, and there’s a prince coming to visit. She’s getting the hotel ready when the prince shows up early in helicopter.

So Prince Luca shows up in his helicopter and she’s a little bit panicked because the hotel isn’t fully ready yet and it looks like it’s going to snow so the chef gets supposed to have may be late. Then one of the hotel staff goes into early labor so she’s taken by helicopter to the hospital in the city. It starts to snow so it’s just Imogen and the Prince. The Prince is dealing with his marriage not happening because of a family secret. Imogen is still healing from an engagement ending when it’s found out she can’t have babies. Both of them are dealing with a lot of baggage, but the snow and Christmas magic are going to bring them together. Except Imogen’s best friend may know something about the family secret the Prince is dealing with so it’s going to be interesting.

This is part of a trilogy so you know more is going to be happening. Imogen and the Prince have sweet interactions with each other. It’s even more lovely when Imogen is like I’m going to give you a hallmark type Christmas to Luca because he was deprived of the chance since he was like a super fancy prince and that doesn’t happen to them, I guess. Even though it’s still too early for Christmas, this book sets the holiday tone and you’ll want to put up the tree and enjoy some hot dogs by the fire (this makes sense when you read the book).

Thank you for checking out my mini reviews. I’d love to know if you’ve read these or would be interested in either. They are both awesome Christmas romances. I know it’s early, but start stocking up on those Christmas books now.

Until I rant about books again,

October TBR [Blogtober]

I haven’t been sticking to a TBR recently because I have been trying to get through the massive amount of NetGalley books I’ve accumulated. I’m currently down to 14 I need to read with 12 pending. I do not plan to go on a requesting binge again because it almost drove me to a massive slump. My TBR can change. So this is a tentative TBR for this month.

The first two books on my TBR are for sure since these are the ones I’m currently read. They are:

The Young Elites has been on my TBR for years. Something told me to read it finally. The supernatural power thing definitely seems like an October feels thing. I am liking this book so far. I have liked everything I’ve read by Marie Lu.

This is a thriller I picked up from kindle Unlimited. I need a break from romance for a bit so this was in the popular section. I just started it, but I’m curious to see how Jessica Shaw is going to handle the situation of finding out she was a missing child and the story behind what happened. I have a feeling I am going to really like this one.

Here are a few more books I want to read this month (hopefully):

Started this last month, need to actually finish it.

This just seems like a fitting October read.

Since I’m reading the first one… makes sense to read the second.

Of course I need to know how it all ends.

Cats. Enough said.

I love my cats. Here they are:


These are some books I hope to read this month. At least I want to try and stick to some type of list. I’m also going to be reading NetGalley books, but I think most of them come out next month (I could be wrong). There will also be more kindle Unlimited books in the mix. I’m really unsure.

If you are doing Blogtober, I’m excited to see the posts and TBRs. It’s cool to be doing an event like this. I wanted to do a readathon… and I’ll possibly be doing Trope-athon at the end of the month. Readathons usually make me nervous, but I am weighing towards actually doing it so be on the look out on a TBR for that soon.

Until I rant about books again,

The Girl’s Guide To Homemaking by Amy Miller [Mini Review]

Genre: Romance

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Format: Ebook via NetGalley

Thank you to the publisher, Bookouture and NetGalley for the advanced review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Juliet wants the perfect life, and she thinks she’s found it with Simon. They are living together and now all of the unhappiness of her childhood can be erased. Until they are lying in bed and Simon calls her by their previous roommate’s name. Juliet has found her life is now falling apart, and she has no clue what she is going to do.

I liked this book a lot because it’s so sweet. Juliet is an awesome narrator who made me want to keep reading. The story is also more than just romance. It has layers, which makes me even more invested in a book. There’s the story of Juliet and her broken family and its impact on her. The relationship she had with her grandmother. Juliet has a best friend and they have an amazing friendship. The story is multifaceted, and I longed to keep reading because I cared. When a book causes me to care, this is when I know it’s worth my time. I became invested in Juliet dealing with her breakup, navigating a life without Simon, a letter where she finds out her mother had a secret, and so much more.

Amy Miller has a talent for writing a book the reader can get lost in. I’m so glad I picked up this book, and I highly look forward reading more of her work in the near future.

Until I rant about books again,

Privileged by Carrie Aarons [Review]

Privileged by Carrie Andrews Genre: Romance, Young Adult Rating: 3/5 Stars Format: Read on Kindle Unlimited. Synopsis: In a world of wealth and power, the rules of love and war are nothing as they seem.

Nora Randolph never wanted a life of luxury. But when her mother falls in love with the heir to the British throne, their small-town lives are uprooted and every little girl’s fantasy becomes her reality. All too quickly, she learns the dangers of running in circles with the world’s elite, especially when she attracts the attention of Winston Academy’s resident golden boy.

Asher Frederick has known nothing but favor and fortune. The son of London’s most influential family, his future has been written in stone since infancy. But a tragic childhood loss redirects his course, and revenge has been boiling in his blood for years. When innocent and unaware Nora lands in his path, it’s as if the universe hands him the ammunition to finally drag his enemy through the mud.

But as his plan for vengeance gets more twisted, so do his feelings for Nora. And as her immersion into the upper crust dives deeper, she struggles to keep the secret she’s been guarding for eighteen years.

Heavy lies the crown, and when the ultimate betrayal blindsides her, will either of them survive the consequences that come crashing down on their heads?
This was a suggestion from Stephanie from Steph’s Romance Book Talk. Check her out on YouTube. She makes great videos! I love books about the rich and elite. Gossip Girl was one of my favorite book series when I was a teen. I also went through a phase where I was obsessed with British culture. Bearing these things in my mind, I expected to love this book. This didn’t happen, and I’m disappointed because I placed high expectations on the book which fell really flat.

There’s a book which takes place in the same universe, and I’m hoping I do enjoy it more. I even picked up a different book by Carrie Aarons because I believe I will like her other writing. Aarons can write romance well. Nora and Asher have this chemistry between them right from the start. Even though Asher wants to destroy Nora, he also seems to have a genuine curiosity in getting to know her much better. Nora is adjusting from being the daughter of a single mother to becoming royalty. Asher wants to ruin Nora because her step dad is the reason his mother is dead. There’s already a lot of tension between the pair. Nora is suddenly attending this fancy private school and living the jet set life. Asher has been privileged all his life so he plans to have fun with Nora before he crushes her heart and gets the revenge he wants so badly. Asher has a group of friends who he hangs out with, constantly getting into trouble and being teenagers. Nora is welcomed into this group, but she also knows they look down on her. There’s also Nora’s mother and stepfather who are planning a wedding while Asher’s father wants the family destroyed. Many events are happening to the pair, and it’s clear someone is going to get hurt no matter what.

Nora and Asher grow closer, but he’s only doing it because his father wants him to destroy Nora. Of course, he has feelings for her but doesn’t want to think about those when he wants the revenge for his mother even more than he craves Nora. She is happy getting close to him because she believes this will be a chance for her to fall in love, shedding her innocence and becoming a new person. Their friends know they are involved, but they both deny being a couple in the beginning because Asher is too much of a player to settle down.

Nora and Asher are spending more time together. Nora has feelings for him, but Asher convinces himself he doesn’t really feel the same for her. Asher is focused on wanting the chance to confront Nora’s step dad to share how he ruined a family.

So there’s a few issues I had with this book. It’s written in present tense, but it would switch to past tense in the same sentence. This got on my nerves so badly because I want to know why the author could not make the effort to double check her work and make sure the tenses match. It really threw me off because it doesn’t sound right when reading, and I hope someone tells Aarons she should fix this issue because it made the book harder for me to enjoy. This is literally the main reason I didn’t like the book as much.

My other issue… Nora keeps talking about how she was looked at weird in her hometown and people saw her different because of her ability. Since this was referred to in such a vague way, I kind of expected her to have a superpower. I thought she was going to be a witch or something. Turns out, she’s just a genius. And part of Mensa. Honestly, it’s just mentioned like hey I’m a genius. It’s a personality trait for her, and it didn’t really add anything to the story so I’m wondering why it was needed. Maybe the author was trying to show Nora is special, but I just see it as the character is a genius and it adds nothing to the plot. Okay then.

It’s kind of meant to be enemies to lovers. But it’s just Asher wanting revenge and Nora thinking Asher is amazing. I didn’t really buy the royal family aspect because I thought they had rigid rules, and it seems like Nora has a lot of freedom to do what she wants. I may be wrong, but I was pretty sure its inaccurate.

Asher ends up trying to get his revenge, but it just seems so rushed. He goes from I hate Nora to maybe I like her to let’s ruin her whole family. Then after he tells her step father what’s going on, the step father is just sad and is like your mother would not want you to be like this… so it’s not even dramatic. Just a life lesson where Asher and Nora fall apart.

So, I guess my takeaway is Nora is a genius and Asher is a broken man who needs to fix himself. The tension between them is great. I love how they interact and are written. I just hated how it seemed so rushed.

Nora and Asher do get their happy ending. Of course. It’s just weird the epilogue was after the book ended? I’m going to read the standalone novel in the same universe, and I’m hoping I like it more than this one.

I would say if you like books like Gossip Girl, try this one out. But beware of how annoying the tense changes are. I couldn’t get over them, and I still can’t. It’s definitely a YA read, but the author does write well. I’m planning to read Aarons other works, and I’ll make a better informed decision about my thoughts on the author.

Until I rant about books again,

First Line Fridays [September 20]

This is my first time doing this so please bear with me if I’m bad at it!

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Here’s the first few lines:

Everyone had their dirty little secret, and Darla Michaels fully intended to keep hers under wraps. She cinched the belt on her trench coat, pulled a long brunette wig over her short black hair, slipped on her Jackie O sunglasses, and climbed out of her cherry-red Mercedes roadster, which she’d parked across the street in case anyone she knew happened to drive by.

What book is this from?!! 🤔🤔🤔🤔







When the beloved Farm Café in Topaz Falls burns to the ground, widow Darla Michaels comes up with the perfect plan to help her friends rebuild — a Cowboy Christmas Festival complete with a sexy bachelor auction and a benefit rodeo. But to pull it off, she has to pretend to be engaged to Ty Forrester, the irresistible bull rider who keeps testing her keep-things-casual policy.

A fake fiancée wasn’t on Ty’s Christmas list this year, but it’s the only way to get his family to visit over the holidays so his NFL-star brother can draw more tourists to the festival. The engagement wouldn’t be such a problem if Ty wasn’t starting to have real feelings for Darla. Knowing he can’t go on pretending, Ty prepares to tell his family the truth-but then he and Darla discover a precious little Christmas surprise that just might help them embrace a whole new life together.

This book is being released on October 29th so be sure to check it out if you enjoy Christmas stories and cowboys. And check back around then for my full review. I’m currently reading this book and enjoying it so far. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley.

If you’re interested in reading this book, preorder through Amazon.

Until I rant about books again,

2019 DNFs [So Far]

I know book reviews and wrap ups are great. But I’m also trying to write other posts which could be interesting. I used to not be someone who DNFs books, but I have too many books to read at this point. Not to mention, I have a five and a half month old so my reading time is precious to me. I DNFd 15 (!!) Books this year. So far.

I used to push through books but now I just DNF them. That’s easier. Sometimes I just remove them completely and don’t even count them to DNF if I just read a short bit. It’s how I make my reading system work for me.

I got this book from booksirens. It was much too sci-fi for me, I just couldn’t get into the premise. I would say it would be great for YA sci-fi fans. Just not for me.

Another book from booksirens. The problem with this book is I did not enjoy the romance. I was like three chapters in and the main character was being asked by her potential love interest to show him her goodies. This was so he would agree to fake marry her. I couldn’t stop rolling my eyes so I decided no.

The dialogue in this YA book was too simplistic. It seems like it was meant more for tweens. I liked the message of being eco conscious with clothes and such. I also didn’t love the gay best friend being a stereotype.

Just another new adult romance I couldn’t get into. I think my issue was yet another cliche romance I wasn’t feeling. This seems to happen a lot with the office romance books to me.

This is about two people who meet after bad relationships and fall in love. It just was not interesting. I felt like nothing was going to happen so I just ended up being unable to finish the book at 75%.

The narrator was a mess in this book. And I just was so upset when I read reviews to see if other people shared my thoughts. I want to avoid spoilers, but I don’t understand the appeal of this book.Didn’t like the language and structure of the book. I only made it ten pages in before I gave up.

I thought this was going to be an adorable romance. It was a Christian romance though so it wasn’t for me. The story had cute aspects, but I’m not religious so the book wasn’t the right fit for me.

I read this while I was being induced and dealing with a newborn. I wasn’t about a really long book regarding dragons I found super boring so I just put it down. I am not a huge adult fantasy fan. I do love Samantha Shannon’s other series though… I can’t wait for the last book. It’s been so long…

This book was too dry for me. I also think I had issues reading it because I was pregnant with a boy at the time. Not that I’m worried about Ever becoming like the child in the book, but I just couldn’t deal with the narrator incessantly going on and on. I plan to try again in the future with this one since I have heard it’s worth the time. I will probably do it on audio.

I only tried up to page 50, but I didn’t feel any desire to read this book. I thought the forensics and setting could keep me going, but I did not care. Also, the spoilers I read about annoyed me. Maybe I’ll try this again someday, but I have other books to read so this will be a did not finish for now.

This book was annoying at the start when the main character went on and on about being a social media influencer. Then it got worse when the love interest when mmm juicy ass and she walked in on the guy just grabbing his balls while he was naked.it was supposed to be like some cute story, but I was super turned off so no thanks.

I just saw this as a bad rip off of The Kiss Quotient, but just bad. It was so dry and uninteresting. The reviews also aren’t great.

I just was not in a good mindset to read this book… it’s about homelessness and mental illness. I know it’s going to be a good book, but I have been reading a lot of romance so it just doesn’t work currently. I will probably pick up a copy from Amazon soon though.

And those are all-of the books I have put on my DNF list for now. I’m hoping the rest of 2019 is just filled with good reads but I’m currently in a reading slump so guess I shall see what the rest of the month will bring…

Until I rant about books again,