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My thoughts on what I've been reading!

Month

September 2016

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware-5 Stars

the-woman-in-cabin-10

The Woman in Cabin 10 tells the story of Lo, a journalist, who has been given the opportunity to sail on the maiden voyage of a luxury cruise ship for a story. Several days before departure her house is broken in to while she’s sleeping, and she comes face to face with the burglar, who took her purse with many of her personal items, makeup, phone, etc., and hit her in the face with the door before leaving. Lo takes anxiety pills for panic attacks and this incident really shook her up. She also has a drinking problem. All that combined makes for little to no sleep and a ton of anxiety.

Fast forward to the ship. This cruise is luxurious. As Lo is getting ready in her fancy gown, she realizes she forgot to buy new mascara as her other one was in her purse that got stolen. She goes next door to cabin 10, bangs on the door, and is abruptly met with a young, pretty, dark haired woman who hastily gives her mascara and insists Lo doesn’t return it. (First off, ew! You’re borrowing mascara from a stranger on a ship?!) The ship, while luxurious, is still small, and Lo finds herself panicking and drinking too much. There’s several other journalists, photographers, the owner of the ship and his cancer-stricken wife on board. An ex-boyfriend, also a journalist, is on the ship, and Lo finds herself accosted by Ben on her way back to her room. Sometime after they make amends, Lo has finally fallen asleep only to be awakened by a splash right next door in cabin 10! She looks out the veranda and sees a woman’s hand in the water and blood on the glass door of 10….. yet she’s told room 10 has been empty, as the guest suddenly had to cancel…did she drink one too many the night before? Was lack of sleep causing her to imagine things? But Lo know’s what she saw and heard and she will not stop digging for the sake of the woman she knows exists.

With an unreliable narrator who has to take pills, has sleeping issues and a drinking problem, I thought I had the story figured out but I was all wrong. This was a super fast read that totally caught me off guard and I loved it! It really messes with your mind. Highly recommend for thriller lovers!

Serafina and the Twisted Staff by Robert Beatty- 5 Stars

serafina-twisted-staff

Review to Serafina and the Black Cloak here.

Robert Beatty is back and even better with the sequel to Serafina and the Black Cloak. Serafina and Braeden, along with their animal friends defeated the man in the black cloak, thinking that all would go back to normal after his death. But the second book brings more trouble. Animals are fleeing the forest, and a detective, Mr. Grantham, arrives, who is looking in to Mr. Thorne’s (the man in the black cloak) murder. Book two also introduces another new character from England, Lady Rowena, who quickly makes friends with Braeden.

This book is ten times scarier than the first book! It was full of non-stop action, suspense, plot twists, thrills, and mystery. Serafina is a brave heroine who isn’t afraid to fight for what she believes is right. She desperately wants to shift into her catamount form but hasn’t succeeded. While struggling with her sense of belonging, she learns many lessons and proves to be a great role model for young readers. Strange, magical, unexplainable things are happening at Biltmore  and Serafina is the only one who truly understands what is going on, but doesn’t know how to stop the evil.

The author creates such an amazing, magical world at Biltmore, complete with characters so real, you find yourself experiencing their same emotions. You’ll find yourself cringing in fear, crying, and pumping your fist in the air over successes. I can’t wait for the next book!

* I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review!*

A Proper Tea: An English Collection of Recipes

 

a-proper-tea

A Proper Tea is a beautifully illustrated collection of recipes for tea parties, complete with beverages and food. It also has interesting history of tea, tea sets/dishes, and the designers of specific dish collections! descriptions of tea and how to serve them. I especially loved the illustrated story of how the Blue Willow design came to be. Recommend for any lover of tea!

 

Green Tea Latte To Go (Life, Love and Lattes #1) by Aven Ellis- 5 Stars

A hot, British, exotic vet- check

Duchess Kate loving blogger/concierge- check

Mini pigs with a penchant for Cheerios- check

A mixed up coffee shop order that leads to a perfectly imperfect romance- CHECK.

***

Aven has unique characters and story lines that are so detailed and engaging. Her books are the kind that just literally make your face hurt from smiling so much and your heart burst from all the romance. It’s so easy to get lost in Aven’s stories…even when I wasn’t reading, I felt myself drifting back to Brooks and Payton’s swoony romance with all the feels and I have to distinguish what’s fiction from reality! Her books are THAT good- you do not want to stop reading. It’s the perfect kind of romance book-ones that are actually believable and relatable but full of chemistry and great characters! I don’t know how Aven does it-literally every one of her books are filled with the right balance of love, friendship, family, perfect setting, entertaining and upsetting mishaps, and well-developed characters to the point where you feel like you’re right in the book.

***

“You are my sunshine, Payton…I never realized how the sun was missing in my life until you entered it.”

***

I received a copy of this novel from the author. Thank you!!

Book Review: Broken Crowns (The Internment Chronicles, #3) by Lauren DeStefano-4 Stars

What do you do when both kings love their country, to the point of taking drastic measures such as MURDER to keep their home the way it’s always been? “Broken Crowns” picks up where “Burning Kingdoms” left off- Morgan and her friends who escaped to the ground are realizing the horrors of two combating kingdoms and everyone is trying to plan how to remedy the situation. I really didn’t care for the second book, and I didn’t think I would ever finish this one-it was SO slow moving but the turning point happened when Basil and Morgan finally  make it back to Interment from the ground and find Celeste…(no spoilers!) I thought Celeste’s plan to unite the two kingdoms was very brave and seemed exactly the kind of decision she would make!

The character’s were very well thought out, as they have been from book one. No one is boring or flat, and every character offers something to the point of the novel, they aren’t just fillers. Pen was my least favorite character in book two, but I absolutely loved her in “Broken Crowns.” She is brilliant, stubborn, loyal, and thinks for herself. While on the ground, Pen calculates that Internment is sinking slightly each time the jet from Havalais travels back and forth, which could eventually cause serious problems for Internment. My favorite quote in the book came from her: ” A girl should never stop thinking…otherwise we’ll become what our world thinks of us….dull, simple creatures that must belong to someone lest we hurt ourselves” (p. 224)

Although it took me some time to get really in to it, “Broken Crowns” is full of shockers and twists you don’t see coming. DeStefano created such imaginative worlds with impressive characters that really draw you in to the story. I felt it was the perfect wrap up to this trilogy.

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