Genre: Fiction / Literature

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Nov 17
Blog Tour: Review-Charlee Fam’s Last Train to Babylon + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Review-Charlee Fam’s Last Train to Babylon + Giveaway

I’m always a bit unsure about books where suicide is part of the plot because it can be a wonderful read or just an emotional drain where you can’t get out of an emotional funk. I really enjoyed Charlee Fam’s Last Train to Babylon and am really glad I was able to participate in the blog tour. We have good character development. Our main character is Aubrey Glass and she’s your typical adult, fresh out of university, and is struggling with everyday life. She reluctantly goes home where she has to come face to face with her teenage past. We have several secondary characters that play a vital role including Rachel, Aubrey’s childhood best friend. While we don’t get to spend much time with Rachel in terms of the present,… Read more »

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Apr 08
Book Review: Catherine McKenzie’s Hidden

Book Review: Catherine McKenzie’s Hidden

Catherine McKenzie is well known for writing about life and the complexity of relationships. Hidden is her fourth novel and it’s a complex story about a man and the two women in his life who struggle in the aftermath of his death. We have good character development. Despite having three main protagonists (and even one that dies early on), we get to know each of them well enough. Jeff is an accountant who returns to live in his hometown after college. He loves golf and in many ways comes off as carefree. His wife, Claire, is a lawyer turned daycare owner and while we don’t get to really know her, we do get enough to form an idea of who she is. I really liked Claire and despite a few… Read more »

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Mar 03
Book Review: Charles Finch’s The Last Enchantments

Book Review: Charles Finch’s The Last Enchantments

There’s always a bit of anxiety when a favorite author departs from their established genre and dabbles in a new one. When I heard about Charles Finch’s The Last Enchantments, I didn’t have those feelings because I knew he would take care of me. That being said, this is the hardest review I’ve had to write as a blogger and it’s not because I’m a fan of his, but rather I don’t know what to say other than to use shouty capitals: GO BUY THIS BOOK AND READ IT NOOOOW! After John Kerry loses the 2004 presidential election, William Baker decides to pursue a postgraduate degree in literature at Oxford University. Leaving behind political dreams he soon finds himself immersed in academic life and contemplating his future. Will isn’t prepared… Read more »

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Feb 04
Blog Tour: Review- Katharina Hagena’s The Taste of Apple Seeds + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Review- Katharina Hagena’s The Taste of Apple Seeds + Giveaway

Originally published in German, Katharina Hagena’s The Taste of Apple of Seeds is a beautiful coming of age story where the secrets of the past are revealed and one woman grapples with what could have been. As for characterization, Hagena does a great job introducing us to a wide array of characters who play a vital role. Our primary character is Iris and she inherits a house she doesn’t want. Iris is very quiet and innocent. During her childhood flashbacks, we get to experience her naivety and her attempt to seem worldly to her friends. I liked getting to know Iris and hated the position she was put in. We then have Max who Iris calls the wimp and he’s a bit withdrawn, but as the story progresses we get… Read more »

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Dec 02
Blog Tour: Review-E.L. Farris’s I Run

Blog Tour: Review-E.L. Farris’s I Run

E.L. Farris’ I Run is an emotional journey as one woman tries to outrun her personal demons from the past and raise a family. As far as characterization, we have good character development. Sally is our main character and she’s married and a mother to three children. She’s been struggling since the accident and it’s easy to like her. There’s some personal trauma that she’s been trying to remember and yet can’t. Then we have her husband William who at times comes off as passive and I’m still trying to wrap my mind around him and what he thinks of Sally. We have a variety of secondary characters who play a vital role including Sally’s mother who is a first grade bitch. Then we have Sally’s friend Beth who has… Read more »

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Nov 04
Book Review: Diane Setterfield’s Bellman & Black

Book Review: Diane Setterfield’s Bellman & Black

Imagine for a moment that a childhood incident defines rest of your life. How would you react? Diane Setterfield’s Bellman & Black is an eerie, macabre tale that will leave you looking at life and death a little differently. As children, we’ve all done stupid things and ten year old William Bellman is no different. Hanging out with friends, they see a rook and dare him to use a slingshot on it. Thinking he’ll miss, he’s surprised when doesn’t, and the outcome weighs heavily on him. He suppresses the memory and grows up to become a successful entrepreneur. Several years later, an illness sweeps through the town and everyone begins to die. Desperate to save his family William makes a pact with the unknown Mr. Black. He spends the rest… Read more »

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Jul 15
Book Review: Marisha Pessl’s Night Film

Book Review: Marisha Pessl’s Night Film

Without a doubt Marisha Pessl’s Night Film is probably going down as my favorite read of the year. It is also the most difficult book I have yet to review. There’s so much I want to discuss and analyze, but I can’t without giving spoilers and I feel that no review can live up to how amazing Night Film is. Scott McGrath, a former investigative journalist, is surprised to hear of Ashley Cordova’s death. Ashley was a young and brilliant pianist whose father is Stanislas Cordova, a notorious filmmaker. Cordova has always been a shadowy figure and goes at great lengths to hide what he looks like. Only one known photograph exists and that’s in a 1977 issue of Rolling Stone. Scott has plenty of reasons to dislike Cordova; after… Read more »

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Jul 11
Book Review: Elizabeth L. Silver’s The Execution of Noa P Singleton

Book Review: Elizabeth L. Silver’s The Execution of Noa P Singleton

Regardless of which side you’re on concerning the issue of the death penalty, Elizabeth L. Silver’s The Execution of Noa P. Singleton is a thought provoking debut. Six months before her execution, Noa P Singleton receives an unexpected visit. The mother of her victim, Marlene Dixon, informs her she’s had a change of heart and doesn’t believe in capital punishment. Working with her associate, Oliver Stansted, she creates an organization, MAD (Mothers Against Death), but Noa doesn’t want anything to do with Marlene or her organization. Oliver works tirelessly on Noa’s behalf, but Noa doesn’t talk. As the countdown begins to her execution, we’re left with questions regarding Noa’s version of events. Will Noa be granted clemency or will she be tied to her fate? Narrative is first person and… Read more »

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May 22
Blog Tour: Review-Tanya J. Peterson’s Leave of Absence

Blog Tour: Review-Tanya J. Peterson’s Leave of Absence

What is normal? That’s one of the questions Tanya J. Peterson has us asking while we read Leave of Absence. It’s an engaging, heartbreaking read and if you only read one book this year, it HAS to be Leave of Absence. You won’t regret it and you’ll see the world a little differently. Peterson has done a phenomenal job writing about a taboo subject. In a world filled with science and understanding, you’d think we’d be more open to talking about mental health, but we shy away from it. Oliver Graham lost his wife and son in a terrible accident and blames himself for their deaths. Wanting to numb the terrible pain he attempts to commit suicide, but when his attempt is thwarted he’s taken to Airheaven Behavioral Center. There… Read more »

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May 01
Book Review: Peggy Riley’s Amity & Sorrow

Book Review: Peggy Riley’s Amity & Sorrow

Once in a while, there’s a book that comes your way and it just falls into your lap. Amity & Sorrow is a book that came my way by accident. I received notification that I was pre-approved for a few titles from Little Brown and Company and decided to check them out. I devoured Peggy Riley’s book and it’s a powerful debut. Amaranth and her daughters are on the run and by the fourth day, exhausted due to lack of sleep, Amaranth crashes into a tree. She finds a gas station and pleads for help, but the farmer, Bradley, in charge of the station tells her he can’t. He insists she needs to call her husband for help, but she refuses. Taking shelter under his porch, Amaranth and her daughters… Read more »

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Mar 11
Book Review: Margot Berwin’s Scent of Darkness

Book Review: Margot Berwin’s Scent of Darkness

A few weeks ago, I read a short review in Entertainment Weekly for Margot Berwin’s Scent of Darkness. It sounded intriguing and when I found out my local library had a copy, I quickly requested a hold. I can’t describe how I feel about Scent of Darkness because I just don’t know what to say. Berwin’s Scent of Darkness is a coming of age story. Eva grew up with a mother who resented her because she was the product of a one night stand. Being Catholic, her mother didn’t get an abortion and made it her mission to spend little time with Eva. Eva was raised her by grandmother, Louise who is a perfume maker and teaches her about how scents play a central role in our lives. When Louise… Read more »

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