eARC Review: Meet Cute Club, by Jack Harbon

meet cute club jack harbonRating: ★★★☆☆

Categories: M/M Romance

Goodreads

I received an advance copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Meet Cute Club has been the one thing Jordan is truly passionate about, and he always looks forward to spending his Saturday afternoons talking about romance books and eating delicious baked things. But attendance is dwindling and the club can’t survive anyone else leaving, so when the rude new bookseller from Jordan’s favorite bookstore decides to join it, he can hardly refuse. After all, romance is for everyone, right? Even for rude, handsome Rex and his insufferable attitude… right? Continue reading

Review: Falcon Trilogy, by Gabrielle Mathieu

I don’t often review full trilogies, but this is a small press series that doesn’t get much hype, so I thought it would be more useful to review all three books at once than, for example, book 2 of it alone. I have a full review of the first installment, The Falcon Flies Alone, which you can read here: Review: The Falcon Flies Alone (Falcon Trilogy #1), by Gabrielle Mathieu

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Genres: Young Adult, New Adult, Fantasy

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I have received this book series from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Falcon Trilogy tells the story of Peppa, who one day wakes up and finds herself alone, naked and on a rooftop. She has hazy memories about turning into a falcon and killing a man, and doesn’t know what to make of it. When she learns that her animal totem has woken up inside her after she was drugged with Compound T, she must uncover her family’s secrets and find out who drugged her. Continue reading

Review: A Thousand Ships, by Natalie Haynes

a thousand ships natalie haynesRating: ★★★★☆

Categories: Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Greek Myth Retelling

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A Thousand Ships is a retelling of the Odyssey through the eyes of the women. The narrators are, ostensibly, Muses to whom a poet prays for inspiration. But each character gets their own chance to narrate, and stories that should not have been forgotten, are finally told.

This was so enchanting, beautiful and I devoured it in two sittings. A Thousand Ships is exactly what I hoped The Silence of the Girls would have been, and I am pleased that, despite my initial hesitation towards this book, it surprised me with how good it is! Continue reading

Mini-Review: Red at the Bone, by Jacqueline Woodson

red at the bone Jacqueline WoodsonRating: ★★★☆☆

Categories: Contemporary Fiction

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Red at the Bone tells the story of Melody and her family, going through different point of views as they revisit their relationships with each other as the years go by.

It’s hard to describe this book, mostly because there isn’t too much of a plot, except that Melody and her family tell their stories, their dreams and their frustrated ambitions. It’s a book about family versus dreams, about family heritage versus new beginnings. It’s a beautifully written story, which had its moments of brilliancy, but that left me wanting so much more out of it. There was hardly any emotional connection with the characters, the ending felt weird and forced, and there was little development for most of the characters. I loved the story of Melody’s mother, a difficult woman who did not want to be a mother and chose her career instead, but who would like to reconnect with her daughter one day. Who falls in love with a woman but can’t help but lie to her. In the end, I would have loved this book a lot more if it had been through her perspective, a hard-hitting book full of emotion and pain, but as it was, Red at the Bone didn’t leave much of an impression on me. Still, it was a nice afternoon read!

eARC Review: Beach Read, by Emily Henry

beach read emily henryRating: ★★★★☆

Categories: Romance, Contemporary Fiction

Goodreads

I received an advance copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Beach Read tells the story of January, a romance writer who recently moved into her father’s secret house near the beach, where he lived with his lover, which January knew nothing about until That Woman showed up in his funeral with a letter and a key to the house for her. Now January’s life is in shambles, as her long-term boyfriend broke up with her, her father was a cheater and a liar, her mom refuses to talk about it and she can’t write her next book, which she absolutely needs to write. When she meets an old nemesis from University, Augustus Everett, and finds out he’s her new neighbor, it gets initially even worse. Except – he’s not all that terrible. As they cautiously become friends, they place a bet: he will write a romance book, and January will write a sad literary book, the kind that Gus writes. Continue reading

Review: The Mirror and the Light, by Hilary Mantel

the mirror and the light hilary mantelRating: ★★★★☆

Categories: Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction

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The Mirror and the Light is the third and final installment of the Cromwell series, which has had my whole heart since I started it a few years ago. It tells the story of Thomas Cromwell, his ascension into power and trust of King Henry VIII. In this last installment, we have seen Anne Boleyn fall from the king’s graces and lose her head – and although Cromwell has more power and wealth than ever, his enemies are gathering to plot his fall.

This trilogy takes a long time to read, not only because it’s nearly 900 pages, but also because of the sheer amount of characters, plots, subplots and the amount of attention the reader has to pay to details (absolutely worth it). It’s a series to get immersed into, and I loved spending around two weeks reading this – it’s one of my favorite series of all times, of all genres I read. Mantel turns Cromwell into a character so full of life, complexity, sharp wit, intelligence and ambition it’s truly refreshing to cheer for someone who is clearly not the classical hero in historical fiction stories. I’ve read a few Tudor books, and none have the brilliance of this series. Continue reading

eARC Review: Death in Her Hands, by Ottessa Moshfegh

Death in Her Hands Ottessa MoshfeghRating: ★★★☆☆

Categories: Literary fiction, mystery

Goodreads

I received an advance copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Death in Her Hands starts with a mysterious note Vesta finds one morning during her daily walk with her dog. The note says Magda is dead, and no one will ever know who did it. There is no body, no signature, no clues. As Vesta gets more involved, her quiet routine becomes more turbulent, and it will make her face the truths about her marriage, the death of her husband and what it meant for her freedom.

As much as I tried to make the synopsis not sound like this is a murder mystery, it still kind of does – don’t be fooled, it is not. I started this book somehow convinced it would be basically a literary whodunit, and after half of it had gone by, I started to accept that I was wrong. It was a frustrating couple hundred pages, so I warn now early in the review: this book is about Vesta, her past, her thoughts, perhaps her descent into confusion and grief; it’s not exactly a murder mystery. I don’t know if this spoils the book somehow, but I think not, as I could only enjoy this book once I understood this. Continue reading

Review: A Morte de Ivan Ilitch e Outras Histórias / The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories by Leo Tolstoy, edition in Portuguese [EN/PT]

a morte de ivan ilitch e outras historias leo tolstoiAnother bilingual review, I’m quite excited to write those! It’s been a while that I’ve read this much in my own language, and I’m enjoying it, it’s much easier to grasp the meaning of words and how the characters feel, even with old-fashioned writing and long, fancy words.

[English]

Rating: ★★★★☆

Categories: Classic Fiction, Russian, Translated Fiction

Goodreads

This is the first time I pick up Tolstoy, whose writing I’ve always heard was rather inaccessible, mainly because of how lengthy the books are – so picking up his short stories seemed to me like a good way to get to know his writing before committing to such long books.

This book contains the following short stories:

  • The Death of Ivan Ilyich
  • The Kreutzer Sonata
  • Father Sergius

Continue reading

Review: Severance, by Ling Ma

Severance Ling MaRating: ★★★★☆

Categories: Literary Fiction, Dystopia

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In Severance, the world has collapsed into apocalypse after fungal spores infected and slowly killed everyone. Inexplicably, Candace survived, and so did a few other people, who she joined in an attempt to survive.

Disclaimer: Due to current events, if you find the content of the book to be potentially triggering for you, definitely give it a pass. I did not find it was a problem for me, and found comfort in a story that had parallels, but was very different, to our situation and had no stakes on my real life. This is however a very personal experience and I don’t recommend everyone read it at this time.

This is a surprisingly beautiful and character-driven book, unlike any other apocalypse story I’ve ever read. Candace joins a group of other survivors, who have not showed symptoms of the strange disease that slowly kills its victims, taking away their consciousness until they perform nothing but their muscle memory routines, stuck serving dinner, or getting ready to go to work, for weeks and weeks until they starve to death. What starts as a survival measure, slowly turns into a cult and Candace is in more danger than she knows. Continue reading

Review: Actress, by Anne Enright

actress anne enrightRating: ★★★★☆

Categories: Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction

Goodreads

Actress is the story of Katherine O’Dell, a glamorous Irish actress who famously shot a man in the foot and was institutionalized for being mad, as told by her daughter Norah.

This was one of the books I was most excited for in the Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist of this year! It has everything I love in fiction: glamour, secrets, gorgeous writing and an alluring, difficult main character. I loved Katherine O’Dell as a character so much, and spent the entire novel wishing the story was told from her perspective instead of Norah’s. I did not care much for Norah, nor understand why she addresses the book to her husband in “you” format. Having the point of view this way certainly added a certain mystery and glamour to Katherine, but would have enjoyed the book a lot more if it had been told in third person. Continue reading