Reviews

Review: Nevernight ~ By Jay Kristoff

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Review: Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicles #1) ~ by Jay Kristoff

429 pages (hardcover) ~ Adult Fantasy

August 2016 ~ St. Martin’s Press

My Rating: 5/5

Click here for Nevernight’s Goodreads Description

My Thoughts:

This book came as such a surprise to me. The first 100 pages or so I kept asking myself, “do I like this?” It was so different than anything I have ever read before that I had to keep checking in with myself. But the more I read, the more I loved it, and here’s why….

  • Jay Kristoff’s writing is so unique. There is so much wit and sarcasm that I had to read certain sections twice to really appreciate all of the little nuances. The structure of the book is also so unique – certain descriptions would be repeated verbatim but applied to very different things. This was such a clever way to connect things and provide so many “light bulb” moments. I freaking loved it!
  • Because I listened to most of the book on audio, the footnotes were really bugging me at first because it was hard to tell when I switched from story to footnote. But after a while, and once I started to recognize the shift, I came to appreciate the footnotes. There was so much world building and history in them, and most of them were just plain hilarious. Some seemed to exist for nothing more than to make us laugh.
  • The Red Church was such an amazing concept. I really loved the sanctity and ritual of it all. I was raised Catholic so these types of rituals will always appeal to me. This “school” is like a bloody version of Hogwarts, where you die if you don’t pass your OWLS.
  • All of the teachers had unique gifts and personalities. I loved Mia’s interactions with each of them. Spider Killer was my favorite.
    Every character, including the minor ones, had intricate and interesting backstories. I loved all of them.
  • The ending took me completely by surprise! I don’t know what I was expecting, but it was not that! The last 100 pages were completely suspenseful and packed full of action.
  • The set up for the next book was complete and tied so well to what Mia went through in book 1 and before.

I would have liked more of the backstory on each of the members of the Red Church. Though, I have a feeling I may get more of this in the next books. I would have also liked more information on the Ashkahi blood magic that Adonai uses as transport. This was such a fascinating concept to me and I just wanted more. But again, maybe in the next book. Overall, this was a perfect start to what is shaping up to be an amazing series!

You can find more information about Jay Kristoff here, on Goodreads

You can find me here SomewhereinPages on Instagram
And here SomewhereinPages on Goodreads

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Reviews

Book Review: In the Woods ~ by Tana French

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Review: In The Woods (Dublin Murder Squad #1) ~ by Tana French

Penguin Books/464 pages (paperback)

2008 – Mystery, Detective Genre

My Rating: 4/5

Click for Goodreads Description

My Thoughts:

In general, I think that I am pretty tough on most mystery novels. They have a tough job- they have to present just the right amount of detail about the case to be solved, they have to introduce suspects without clueing us into the “who done it,” they have to keep our interest in the case as well as in the lives of those surrounding the case, and they have to surprise us in the end. This is really difficult, which is why I am so rarely blow away by most mysteries.

“In The Woods” definitely ticked all of these boxes for me, and, more importantly, it ended up being a really insightful and fascinating story outside of the murder plot. Rob and Cassie were such complex and interesting characters – I could have read a book that just focused on their relationship and their individual pasts. French really shows the intricate working relationship between these two flawed detectives and how their pasts have colored every case that they come to. She also shows the unique relationship with the truth that most cops struggle with, and really gets into the mind of our lead detective (Rob). French’s writing is incredibly detailed, complex, and so so insightful.

So why didn’t I give it 5 stars? Without giving anything away, I will just say that the ending was slightly anticlimactic. I didn’t have a problem with the direction that the ending went plot wise, it just didn’t have the same punch that the rest of the book did.

If you are a fan of detective crime dramas, and specifically dramas that get into the mind of the detective, you should definitely give French’s work a look.

There is also a brand new Starz series of ‘In the Woods’ that begins on November 10th. I looks amazing – watch the trailer here

For more information on Tana French, you can find her here on Goodreads

You can find me on Instagram @somewhereinpages & Goodreads @erinrossi

Reviews

Book Review: Again, but Better ~ by Christine Riccio

Book Review: Again, but Better ~ by Christine Riccio

Wednesday Books

2019 – YA Romantic Comedy 

My Rating: 5/5

Goodreads Description:

This story brought the perfect amount of giddy, warm fuzzy, and lovely feelings into my life. I listened to the audiobook and would practically skip to my car after work so that I could listen to more. 

I went into it a little apprehensive because I have read books by other BookTubers and been let down. But, I was honestly so pleasantly surprised by Christine’s unique writing style and this wonderfully whimsical story.

Christine’s writing embodies so much of her personality. It is open, honest, funny, and energetic. The same energy and passion that you get in Christine’s videos, is here on every page. My daughter and I have been watching Christine’s videos for years now, and this book made me love her even more. So much of Christine’s heart and soul are here for us to read and it was honestly so endearing. 

As an avid reader and all-around fangirl, I have a strong passion for the things that I love. I really fell in love with the heroine, Shane, because she has this same passion and tries to connect with people through the things she loves. Since this is something that I also do, I found it really relatable. I think this is something that most bloggers can relate to.

Pilot: “I’ve never met someone as outwardly passionate about their favorite things as you.” 

Shane: “Well, things inspire me and make me happy and feel more understood…if I can give that to someone else by recommending my things, I want to.” 

I loved that Shane and Pilot developed such a strong friendship founded on mutual respect and admiration. They encouraged each other’s creative endeavors, they had such great witty banter, and they were just adorable all around. 

If you love a good, heartwarming, funny, and magical YA romance, this is most definitely for you! 

For more information on Christine Riccio, you can find her here on Goodreads 

Follow me on Instagram @somewhereinpages & Goodreads @erinrossi

Reviews

Review: Next Year in Havana ~ by Chanel Cleeton

Review: Next Year in Havana ~ by Chanel Cleeton

356 pages (paperback) ~ Historical Fiction, Contemporary Romance

February 2018 ~ Penguin/Berkley 

My Rating: 4/5 

Goodreads Description:

After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity–and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution…

Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba’s high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country’s growing political unrest–until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary…

Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa’s last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth.

Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba’s tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she’ll need the lessons of her grandmother’s past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.

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My Thoughts:  

It’s been a while since I’ve picked up a Historical Fiction novel, and this book reminded me why I need to do it more often. Next Year in Havana was a heartbreaking journey of two women, grandmother, and granddaughter, who are living through similar experiences decades apart and both facing repercussions of the 1958 Cuban Revolution. 

What I loved: 

  • The Cuban History- I knew nothing about Cuban history and this element of the book was absolutely fascinating. It was told through everyday events, struggles, and daily life, so I never felt like I was witnessing something epic, but rather I was witnessing the slow change that had horrific repercussions. 
  • Characters – The pieces of history are given through the eyes of a wide range of characters – a rich upper-class woman, a struggling revolutionary, a teacher who is trying to survive and make a difference, and an outsider who wants so badly to belong to her Cuban Heritage. This gave the history a well rounded and whole view. 
  • Connection to family/heritage – This book really expressed the inherent need to feel a connection to our blood, to our heritage, and to a land that embodies both. This was heartbreaking and beautiful simultaneously and was so well done. 

What I didn’t love: 

  • The romance between Marisol and Luis was pretty lackluster. I didn’t get the feeling that there was any kind of passion or all-consuming love between them. I would have liked as much insight into their relationship as we got from Elisa and Pablo’s relationship.
  • The stories of the two women definitely paralleled each other, but it felt like we got much more insight into Elisa’s story, while Marisol’s was kind of a side note. I would have liked it if both women’s lives were equally fleshed out. 

This was my first Chanel Cleeton book and I’ll definitely plan to read more from her. 

For more information on Chanel Cleeton and her books, check her out on Goodreads 

Click here > SomewhereinPages < to find me on Instagram and here > SomewhereinPages < to find me on Goodreads. 

 

Reviews

ARC Review: Lock Every Door ~ by Riley Sager

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Review: Lock Every Door ~ by Riley Sager

384 pages ~ Thrilling Mystery, Suspense 

July 2, 2019 ~ Dutton

My Rating: 4/5 

Goodreads Description:

No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story . . . until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.

Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s dark past and into the secrets kept within its walls. Her discovery that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing at the Bartholomew pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.

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My Thoughts:  

I am a huge fan of Riley Sager’s other two novels, Final Girls and The Last Time I Lied. The Last Time I Lied is one of my favorite thrillers EVER. So I am very grateful to NetGalley and Dutton Books for allowing me to read Lock Every Door early. Although Lock Every Door didn’t have the same type of “keep you up all night” suspense factor that Last Time did, I still really enjoyed it. It was exactly what you would expect from a Sager thriller. The first half of the book is spent building the history of The Bartholomew building. This layering adds to the very unsettling, lurking evil aura around its past. Halfway into the novel, it beginnings to pick up as Jules starts to dig deeper and deeper into the buildings dark legacy and from that point forward, I was completely hooked. Below are my pros and cons: 

What I loved: 

  • Jules- I found Jules, our heroine, to be super relatable and funny. Her tragic past and resent misfortunes really endeared me to her. She is a loyal friend and morally good despite the horrible situation she finds herself in. 
  • Rich vs. Poor– Sager did such a great job of showing the huge disparity between the rich and the poor of New York City. We see this in Jules’ past, in the homeless shelter, and, most importantly, in the Bartholomew itself. Without giving anything away, the ending also manages to capture this disparity and I felt that it was really thoughtfully done. 
  • History of the building– I loved that Sager went into the construction of the Bartholomew, its dark history, and the unexplained events that have occurred there since its construction.
  • The Investigation– Because Sager did such a great job of establishing a connection to the history of The Bartholomew, when Jules finally puts her investigator’s hat on and gets down to business, it was a really thrilling ride. I loved traveling with her around New York in order to uncover the buildings dark past. 

What I didn’t love: 

  • The “big reveal” (or lack thereof)– Jules, and therefore, the reader, figures out the “who done it” with 25% of the book still remaining. As she goes through the process of investigation and finally believes she has her answer, I was thinking – “this can’t be it, there has to be a twist somewhere.” Well, there was, in fact, a twist, but the twist only related to motive and not to who actually committed the crime. Because of this, there was a lack of suspense in the climax of the book, which is supposed to be the most exciting part. This was a little bit of a let down for me. 
  • Some moments were also a little cliche and had me rolling my eyes. It didn’t take away from the enjoyment of the novel, but it did make it harder to suspend belief. 

Overall, this was an enjoyable and thrilling mystery. Fans of Sager’s other work will not be disappointed. It will be a perfect summer beach or vacation read!

Lock Every Door is out today, July 2nd, 2019!!! 

For more information Riley Sager and his books, check him out on Goodreads

Click here SomewhereinPages to find me on Goodreads.

Reviews

ARC Review: Twice in a Blue Moon ~ by Christina Lauren

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Review: ARC of Twice in a Blue Moon ~ by Christina Lauren 

Gallery Books

October 22, 2019 – Adult Romantic-Comedy 

My Rating: 4/5 

Goodreads Description:

Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.

During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.

Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.

With Christina Lauren’s signature “beautifully written and remarkably compelling” (Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author) prose and perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner, Twice in a Blue Moon is an unforgettable and moving novel of young love and second chances.

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Note: I received an ARC of Twice in a Blue Moon from Gallery Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are all mine. 

3edaa2d8-9887-495f-ac9a-d2f90de31223My Thoughts: 

I am a huge fan of Christina Lauren’s romance novels. They have never disappointed me, and Twice in a Blue Moon was no exception. While it was not my favorite of theirs, I still really enjoyed it and had tons of fun while reading it. 

Highlights: 

  • Tate and Sam’s whirlwind romance lasts a short two weeks while they are on vacation in London. Even though this is such a short period of time, the story really captured how, when you are young and falling in love for the first time, two weeks can seem like an eternity. CLo really managed to capture what it is like to experience this overwhelming and intense emotion for the first time, and how first love never really fades. 
  • Sam was the first person to ever really know Tate and the first person to encourage her to go after her dreams. In such a short period of time, they manage to help each other figure out who they are and who they want to become as adults. Because of this, their intense connection is even more profound. After all, isn’t this what love is really all about? 
  • The connection to the love story between Luther & Robert/Ellen & Richard was beautifully done. Through the filming of the fictional movie, Milkweed, the reader not only gets to see Tate and Sam’s love story unfold, but also the love story of Sam’s Grandparents. This added a really heartwarming connection and wisdom about love that both Tate and Sam learn from.

Drawback:

  • The only drawback for me was that it ended rather abruptly. I really think that the book needs an epilogue where the authors sum up all of the loose threads. For example, what happened at Tate’s press release? How was the movie received? What did Tate and Sam end up doing with their fame? These were all things that I think most readers will also want answers to. 

Thank you so much Gallery Books and NetGalley for allowing me to read this early edition in exchange for an honest review. Twice in a Blue Moon is out October 22, 2019! 

For more information on Christina Lauren and their books, check them out on Goodreads 

Follow me on Instagram @somewhereinpages & Goodreads @erinrossi

Reviews

Book Review: The Simple Wild ~ by K.A. Tucker

 

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Review: The Simple Wild ~ by K.A. Tucker

388 pages (paperback) ~ Contemporary Romance, New Adult

August 2018 ~ Atria Paperback

My Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Description:

Calla Fletcher wasn’t even two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when Calla learns that Wren’s days may be numbered, she knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born.

She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this rugged environment, Jonah—the unkempt, obnoxious, and proud Alaskan pilot who helps keep her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild.

Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. Soon, she finds herself forming an unexpected bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago. It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.

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57a10808-3179-4f57-99af-1216d1cb7b65My Thoughts:  

This book was exactly what I needed right now- something full of warm fuzzy feelings, humor, love, and hope.

I loved:

  • The father/daughter connection between Wren and Calla. It was complicated, heartwarming, bittersweet, and real. Humans are not perfect, and this book really captures the importance of forgiveness, how difficult it can be, and how worth it it is in the end
  • Jonah and Calla’s relationship is so much fun. They bicker and tease, but there is such an honest and genuine love story between them. They support each other through grief and develop a deep appreciation for one another
  • Lastly, the setting! This book is so picturesque. It has caused me to move Alaska to the top of my bucket list. I loved the descriptions of Western Alaska, the lives of the bush pilots, and the stories of the people they help. This was such an interesting element to the book and it was really well done

You would love The Simple Wild if:

  • You have an ongoing obsession with Alaska like I do
  • You enjoyed “Flying Wild Alaska” on the Discovery Channel- which is a really interesting documentary about the life of bush pilots in Western Alaska
  • You like romance with a bitter-sweet edge- The Simple Wild is an adorable love story, but Calla’s journey is not easy. She experiences a lot of loss and it does have moments of sadness. However, Tucker does a great job of balancing it with humor and hopefulness
  • You like romance with adventure, such as The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren, or London Belongs to Me by Jacquelyn Middleton
  • You are a shameless fan of the enemies to lovers trope, such as The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

This was my first K.A. Tucker book and it definitely won’t be that last! I am really looking forward to reading more from her!

For more information on K.A. Tucker and her books, check her out on Goodreads

Click here > SomewhereinPages < to find me on Instagram and here > SomewhereinPages < to find me on Goodreads.