Tag Archives: NetGalley

The Furies: #bookreview

Can witches ever really have true friends? In The Furies by Katie Lowe, Violet learns about betrayal and witchcraft more than she learns about any other school subject.

The setting is Elm Hollow Academy, an all-girls boarding school, near a small town. It’s a boarding school but it doesn’t seem like the students live there. In the beginning, a student has been posed on the swings after her death. The narrator doesn’t tell the reader who the student is until the end.

Violet has lost her father and sister. Her mother is alive but stuck in a cycle of depression. Violet can get away with almost anything because her mother isn’t paying attention. She had been homeschooled for the last year. Violet took on the responsibility of her own education so she decided to attend Elm Hollow Academy.

There has been a student, Emily, that disappeared before Violet arrived on campus. Apparently, Emily and Violet resembled each other. Violet also became friends with Emily’s friends – Robin, Alex and Grace. The art teacher, Annabel, invited Violet to participate in a secret group that learned about the local women accused of witchcraft and Furies, goddesses of vengeance.

Violet and her group of friends go through all of the growing pains of friendship. Can they trust each other with their personal secrets? Are they more like enemies than friends? Maybe frenemies.

If you like “The Craft” or “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” then there is a good chance that you will enjoy “The Furies.”

Witch hunters and Nancy from “The Craft” will probably not be a fan of this book.

  • I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own. Obviously.

The Bear: #bookreview

The Bear by Andrew Krivak is set in a forested area at the base of a mountain. The technical term would be a Subalpine forest. It sounds like a beautiful place. There aren’t any other people besides the dad and his daughter. There seems to have been an end to civilization as we know it. The dad has taken his daughter to a place where they can live off of the land.

The girl is very young – maybe between 8-10. In the beginning of the book, she lives with her father in a cabin. He teaches her everything – how to read, hunt, make bows, etc. By the middle of the book, the girl is alone.

Well, she isn’t exactly alone. The bear keeps her from starving by giving her fish. The girl isn’t an expert hunter yet. She learns quickly otherwise she will starve because the bear goes into hybernation.

There is also a puma who saves her from drowning and catches some food for her. She can hear the bear and the puma talking to her. Were they really talking or was it a hallucination? It doesn’t matter because it got her through life for a little bit longer. Would any of us make it one day in the wilderness? They make it bear-able. Pun intended.

The girl is trying to get back to the cabin but it’s too difficult during the winter. Also, she cannot cross the river yet.

If you like post-apocalyptic stories without zombies, then this could be the book for you.

If you don’t like anything about doomsday prepping, survivalists or nature, then you might not like this book. The Bear really beautifully written so it’s too bad you are missing out because you aren’t into prepping.

FYI: Andrew Krivak the author is not the same Andrew Krivak that recently had a murder conviction overturned. They are different people.

  • I received an ebook from NetGalley in exchange for doing a review. All opinions are my own. Obviously.

Beyond the Moon: #bookreview

Not only is Beyond the Moon by Catherine Taylor set in France and England, one of the characters travels in time from 2017 to 1916 and back at least two times. Personally, I love books about time travel. I am still waiting for a time machine to be on the market.

In 2017, Louisa has been institutionalized since the doctors at the emergency room believe that she attempted suicide by throwing herself off of the South Downs cliff. She really was just drunk and slipped but she was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Her friend,Kerry, shows her a separate part of the Coldbook Hall psychiatric hospital that is closed off. It’s falling apart and set for demolition in the near future.

While wandering through the restricted part of the hospital, she finds Lieutenant Robert Lovett in a room by himself. She noticed that besides being blind, Lovett is dressed in clothing from a different era. Louisa is wearing clothes that belong to WWI nurse aide, Rose Ashby. This was probably all weird enough but then other people appear that cannot see or hear her.

Later, Lovett regains his sight but he can still see Louisa. When he tries to introduce her to his friends, they think he has lost his mind. Louisa tells him that they cannot see her and she is from the future. Lovett doesn’t take it well and distances himself from Louisa.

When Louisa falls through the floor of the restricted area, she is somehow transported to 2016. She is Rose Ashby in the flesh. In her mind, she is still Louisa. It seems that Rose and Louisa look exactly the same. Louisa gets a ride to her new post, where she is to be a nurse aide. Unfortunately, Louisa doesn’t know things like how to start a fire. She is without the luxuries of the 21st century like microwaves, light switches and indoor plumbing.

While Louisa/Rose is in 1916, she tries to find Robert but cannot find him anywhere. She doesn’t know that he has been taken prisoner by the Germans. Louisa/Rose finds a man that has studied psychic activity and hypnotizes her so that she can go back to 2017 and find information about Robert that could help find him in 1916.

If you like time travel, romance, historical fiction or characters that aren’t considered “normal” then you might like this Beyond the Moon.

If you aren’t a believer in romance or the possibility of time travel, then you might not like this book as much as I do. Also, Nazis will not appreciate it. I mean, they are Nazis – they are mostly chaotic evil. So I might read it again to spite Nazis. It’s totally worth the time and effort.

  • I received this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for doing a review. All opinions are my own. Obviously.

Keeping Lucy: #bookreview

Keeping Lucy by T. Greenwood is about Ginny, a housewife from Massachusetts, trying to get her life back on track by getting her daughter back.

The main characters travel from Massachusetts to Florida. It’s not your typical road trip but they have an interesting adventure. Their lives won’t be the same after this trip but you’ll have to read it to find out what happens.

Ginny is a mother who has had her child taken from her moments after childbirth by her husband, Ab, and his wealthy family. Lucy has Down’s Syndrome. It’s 1969 before people took care of their own children with disabilities. No one around the mother believes that Lucy should go home with the family. Ab’s family sends her to Willowridge, an institution for developmentally delayed children.

She has been a stay at home mother and done everything to support her husband. Before they got married, she was a librarian. Her husband wants her to forget about Lucy and get back to how things were before. For two years, she is depressed ànd going through the motions of daily life.

Ginny’s friend, Marsha, discovers that Willowridge is being investigated for having less than ideal conditions. Ginny talks Marsha into traveling to Willowridge to see for themselves. She is allowed to take Lucy for the weekend. After seeing how Lucy has been neglected – severe diaper rash, intestinal worms and lice – she cannot stand the thought of taking Lucy back.

So the group travels to Florida. Ginny decides along the way that she won’t ever take Lucy back to Willowridge. Her husband and father-in-law try to talk her into coming back but she refuses to allow them to take her child away again. There is a risk that she’ll go to jail for taking Lucy, but Ginny is unswayed. She is keeping Lucy.

I cannot think of anyone that won’t like this book. Maybe if you like books or characters that are exactly the same as everyone else. If you like boring books and cookie cutout characters, then this is not the book for you.

How Not to Die Alone: #bookreview

Have you ever been stuck in a situation by your own white lie?

How Not to Die Alone by Richard Roper is about Andrew, a middle aged man who searches for the next of kin of the recently deceased. He spends most of his time alone with his Ella Fitzgerald records. Andrew has told his co-workers that he is married with two children and it’s getting harder to maintain the lie. When a new co-worker, Peggy, enters his life, Andrew has to decide whether he going to tell the truth about his imaginary family.

Andrew seems like a decent guy who got mixed up in telling this weird lie. I really wanted him to be able to move on and have a relationship with Peggy. Peggy also has an alcoholic husband. So there’s another hurdle that Andrew needs to clear before he can even think about dating Peggy.

I wondered how the office would deal with the situation. Would he be fired for making up a family? Is Andrew’s lie worse than the co-worker with terrible hygiene and manners? It probably isn’t.

If you’ve ever had a co-worker with bad hygiene or manners– body odor, terrible breath, licking their fingers while eating etc. – then you know. (Licking your fingers while eating might not be bad manners, just irritating. So gross.) Lies are terrible but smelling bad in close quarters with other people is something difficult to deal with.

This book was funny and also had some more poignant moments. Once I got past the part with the finger licking co-worker, it was worth the read.

  • I received this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for doing a review. All opinions are mine. Obviously.

The Price of Paradise: #bookreview

The Price of Paradise by Susana Lopez Rubio and translated by Achy Obejas is about a young couple in Cuba in the late 1940s- Gloria and Patricio- who want to run away and start a new life together. The main obstacle is her mobster husband, Cesar Valdes. He is not a mobster with a heart of gold. He doesn’t have a soft spot for his family or animals. Gloria married him to protect her family from Cesar’s vengeful nature.

I chose this book based on the description on Amazon : Falling in love with the mobster’s young wife, Gloria, is suicide. But Patricio is irresistibly drawn to the beautiful girl with sad eyes, a razor-sharp intellect, and a penchant for both Christian Dior’s clothes and Einstein’s theories. 

I really enjoyed reading how each character became who they were. Patricio came to Cuba with no money but he became successful. Gloria could have gotten a formal education if she hadn’t met Cesar. She was very bright and always willing to learn.

How was Gloria ever going to get away from her husband? Would she ever be free? Would Gloria and Patricio ever be together?

There are some people on Amazon who are offended by the curse words in this book. I’m not one of those people. It does not have excessive profanity but if you’re easily offended then don’t read this one I guess. Good luck with finding something to read without curse words, though. Do you guys think that the use of curse words means that the writer is less creative?

After reading their reviews, I wonder if they even read The Price of Paradise or any other book written in the last ten years. Do you even read, bro?

Other reviewers on Amazon don’t think that this is historical fiction. According to study.com, the definition of historical fiction is “a work of writing that reconstructs the past.” The beginning date in this book is 1947 so it is technically historical fiction. A book does not have to be set in the 16th century to be historical. Some people . . . To h*#@ with those f+#*ing people. (Sorry, not sorry.)

Anyway, I enjoyed this book – the characters, the history, the different locations. Everything. I loved everything about The Price of Paradise.

Evvie Drake Starts Over: #bookreview

What would you do if you could change your life? Of course, you can always change things. It’s just difficult to get motivated sometimes.

In Evvie Drake Starts Over, Evvie (pronounced like Chevy) has almost finished packing up the car. She didn’t know where she was going but she knew she was leaving her husband. Then Evvie receives the call that her husband has been in a car accident.

How long was Evvie going to hide out in her house? She wanted to live a different life but she felt too guilty to do it. She wanted to please everyone else but herself. She even kept a set of dishes that she hated. We’ve all kept something around that doesn’t serve us anymore.

To make some extra money, Evvie rents out the apartment she owns to a former major league baseball player, Dean Tenney. I thought Evvie acted like an old lady until Dean came around.

Will she finally start living her best life? Will she get rid of those dishes?

The book was heartbreaking in some parts but also had quite a few humorous parts. Evvie was a hot mess but very likeable. You will definitely root for her to find happiness.

I suggest reading the book and finding out what happens. You can find it on Amazon.

  • I received the ebook from NetGalley in exchange for doing a review. All opinions are my own. Obviously.