Thursday, July 11, 2019

TBR Thursday (2)

So I stumbled upon this feature at Purple People Readers (I am totally in love with the blog name LOL) and was originally created by Kimberly Faye Reads.

As you may know, I like so many other book lovers out there am struggling with a towering TBR.  I have been currently working on narrowing it down a little (check out my Instagram stories for Trash My TBR Thursdays). But I thought I would also bring that idea to my blog, where you can get a bit of a say in what stays on my TBR and what books it may be time to let go.

So let me know, should I keep it on my TBR, prioritize it, or let it go.  Have you read it? Let me know your thoughts on . . .

Title: The Girls of Mischief Bay
Author: Susan Mallery
Series: Mischief Bay (4 books so far)
Genre: Romance/Chick Lit
Format: Paperback
Length: 416 pages
Average Rating on Goodreads: 3.89 stars
Time on TBR: Since February 26, 2016
Synopsis: "Nicole Lord wants to be a good wife, but there's a difference between being supportive and supporting her husband, who quit his job to write a screenplay she's never seen. He won't even help take care of their son, leaving Nicole to run the house and work full-time at her Mischief Bay Pilates studio. Can she say enough is enough without losing the man she loves? 

Sacrificing a personal life for her career is how Shannon Rigg rose to become vice president in her firm, but she wonders now whether she made the right choice. An exciting new relationship with a great guy convinces her that it might not be too late—until he drops a bombshell that has her questioning whether she can have it all. And if she can, does she want it?

Although Pam Eiland has a beautiful house and a husband she adores, she feels… restless. She wonders who a stay-at-home mom becomes after the kids are grown. Finding sexy new ways to surprise her husband brings the heat and the humor back to their marriage, but when unexpected change turns her life upside down, she'll have to redefine herself. Again.

Through romance and heartbreak, laughter and tears, three very different women will discover that friends can become family, and that life is richer with sisters at your side."

I picked this book up after really enjoying the Lone Star Sisters series and I really liked the idea of best friends in mid life.  I thought it would be a little more relatable for me. I did try to listen to this one on audio book first and I was really struggling to keep the characters straight so stopped and put it back on my TBR. I do think this would be a great summer read. 

So should I give it another shot in print or send it on to the library for someone else to enjoy?

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Review of Midsummer's Mayhem by Rajani LaRocca

Read for: Recently added

Synopsis: "Can Mimi undo the mayhem caused by her baking in this contemporary-fantasy retelling of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream?

Eleven-year-old Mimi Mackson comes from a big Indian American family: Dad's a renowned food writer, Mom's a successful businesswoman, and her three older siblings all have their own respective accomplishments. It's easy to feel invisible in such an impressive family, but Mimi's dream of proving she's not the least-talented member of her family seems possible when she discovers a contest at the new bakery in town. Plus, it'll start her on the path to becoming a celebrity chef like her culinary idol, Puffy Fay. 

But when Mimi's dad returns from a business trip, he's mysteriously lost his highly honed sense of taste. Without his help, Mimi will never be able to bake something impressive enough to propel her to gastronomic fame.

Drawn into the woods behind her house by a strangely familiar song, Mimi meets Vik, a boy who brings her to parts of the forest she's never seen. Who knew there were banyan trees and wild boars in Massachusetts? Together they discover exotic ingredients and bake them into delectable and enchanting treats.

But as her dad acts stranger every day, and her siblings' romantic entanglements cause trouble in their town, Mimi begins to wonder whether the ingredients she and Vik found are somehow the cause of it all. She needs to use her skills, deductive and epicurean, to uncover what's happened. In the process, she learns that in life, as in baking, not everything is sweet. . . "

My Review: When I saw this purple cover, I knew I had to read it, then I also found out it was a MG re-telling of Midsummer Night's Dream and it was even more enticing. This was a perfect summer read full of magical realism, and food. I really enjoyed the family dynamics, and small town feel of the neighborhood and woods. And the FOOD! Oh my word, I was constantly trying to find something to satisfy the sweet tooth brought on by reading about all the delicious treats Mimi created. If you are familiar with the Shakespeare play, you will quickly pick out the characters and story resemblance, but it has been a while since I last read any plays so it took me a bit but I thoroughly enjoyed those elements. It also has great messages behind the story about friendships and families and our individual talents and strengths. Definitely an enjoyable summer story, now I am off to try my hand at a few of the recipes included in the book!

My Rating: Magical realism isn't normally my thing but in this story it definitely worked and was very enjoyable to read.  I highly recommend this one if you are at all a foodie like me! I give it a rating of Four Paws!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Review of Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Read for: Anticipated Release/ Netgalley/ Requested Review

Synopsis: "Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she'll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There's just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia's task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor's reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined."

My Review: I have been highly anticipating this book since the beginning of the year and was approved early for an ARC but for some reason I got really nervous and didn't pick it up until right before release day. I shouldn't have been nervous at all it was a really engrossing, quick and entertaining book to read. It definitely does pull in elements from a lot of familiar stories/movies/etc., sometimes to the point of being a little too much and reading like a story read before, but those familiar elements lent to a very easy read. I loved the way that all the various influences were woven together, so many of my favorite tropes are included impossible contest, woman disguised as a man and out doing them at their thing, a quest throughout the land and more! I really grew to love Maia, though she does come off as a bit of a Mary Sue, I still couldn't help but love her. Edan was a great counterpoint to Maia's character, mysterious, selfish, confident, and powerful. Even the side characters were multi-dimensional. I was really sucked into the story and consumed it at a very quick pace. I kept waiting for a nice little ending but we are going to need the next book for that (I hope) and I can't wait!

My Rating: This was such an enjoyable book to read, I couldn't put it down! I love the characters and the way the tropes were woven together.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via Netgalley. The above is my honest opinion.

To find out more about Elizabeth Lim and her books, visit her Goodreads Page or Website.

Today is release day for Spin the Dawn so you can now obtain your own copy in print or digital format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or check at your favorite local bookstore.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Monday Reading List

It is Monday again, and time to update with what I read last week, what I am currently reading and what to look forward to next week.

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
The Silence Slips In by Alison Hughes (Bedtime Story)
Sea Sirens by Amy Chu (Graphic Novel)

 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Spin the Dawn
Pirate Stories
The Silence Slips In
Midsummer's Mayhem

Currently Reading:

Realm by Alexandrea Weis - Ebook - 11%

Pages Read/ Time Listened
351:45 Hours Listened (None listened this week)
18,206 Pages Read (960 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
The Snow Gypsy
Lost Boy
Year One
Girl Who Drank the Moon
King of Scars
Dactyl Hill Squad
The Darkdeep
Lord of the Fading Lands
Shadow of Doubt
Gates of Stone
A Conspiracy of Truths
Vortex Visions
Through the White Wood
Descendant of the Crane
Holy Sister
The Emperor of Evening Stars
Dark Harmony
We Rule the Night
The Sea Queen
The Mountain of Kept Memory
Misfits of Avalon Vol. 1
Misfits of Avalon Vol. 2
The Sea King
Ride Hard
Ride Rough
Ride Wild
Irresistible Force
Force of Attraction
Primal Force
Rival Forces
A Rogue by Any Other Name
A Scot in the Dark
The Day of the Duchess
The Pirate Bride
Pirate Stories
Man Made Boy
This Monstrous Thing
The Case of the Missing Moonstone
Dear Santa
An Endless Christmas
Christmas Magic
Falling Softly
Christmas Town
The Christmas Star
Crazy Rich Asians
Once and Future
Highland Crown
Gris Grimly's Frankenstein
The Case of the Counterfeit Criminals
The Case of the Perilous Palace
The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter
The Beholder
We Hunt the Flame
Dark Shores
Dreaming the Bear
A New Hope
The Trial of Joan of Arc
Midsummer's Mayhem
The Monsters We Deserve
Strange Star
Hephaistos: God of Fire
Ghostly Tales from the Lost Summer of 1816
Till There Was You
Sea Sirens
The Bride Test
The Kingdom
Storm and Fury
Queen of Ruin


What a whirlwind last week was between a short work week and long holiday I felt like I was constantly off by a day.  I didn't get as much reading done as I wanted but I have found some real gems this week. I have started my Medieval-a-thon with my first book so I have already upped my rank and at least I have a cloak so I am no longer naked.  I might go for a weapon next just to be on the safe side ;)  I have also gotten going on some of my other books on my summer TBR.  I am still really far behind on my requested reviews so that will have to be my focus this week, but there are some really great audio books I can't wait to listen to as well! This has become my problem, I have the opposite of a reading slump, a want to read all the books right now, so it is hard to focus on one or two books with all the others screaming to be picked up too.

Have you ever had that problem where you can't focus on the book you are reading because you have so many others you are eager to read as well?