Saturday, October 31, 2020

Graphic Novel Review of Maids by Katie Skelly


Read for: Graphic Novel/ Recently Added

Synopsis: "Christine Papin, an overworked live-in maid, is reunited with her younger sister, Lea, who has also been hired by the wealthy Lancelin family. They make the estate's beds, scrub the floors, and spy on the domestic strife that routinely occurs within its walls. What starts as petty theft by the maids — who are flashing back to their tumultuous time in a convent — shortly turns into something more nefarious. Madame Lancelin’s increasingly unhinged abuse ignites the sisters' toxic upbringing and social class exploitation and explodes into a ghastly double murder, an event that shocked and fascinated 1930s France and beyond. Maids has high bravura and high intrigue, all drawn in Skelly’s highly stylized manner, which combines the best of pop art, manga, and Eurocomics."

My Review: I have been loving darker stories lately and when I saw this graphic novel version coming up I had to pre-order it. I know this is based on a true story and I really like that aspect, and we get a little update on what happened to Christine and Lea after the fact and I really loved that little tidbit. I really loved the art style in this one, it is so different from any of the other graphic novels I have read. This was a short read, but I feel like I missed some things, and maybe that is because of a gap in knowledge as to what actually happened, but the jump to the murder was pretty quick. I missed some tension that would lead to the drastic measure the sisters took. I do like the way their relationship with each other is shown in the story, from supporting each other in the convent after being forced from home, to their separation and their reunion again. It is an intriguing and dark tale, perfect creepy read for this time of year (you can even read it between trick or treaters at the door).

My Rating: This is definitely a dark and twisted tale, and it is made all the more so that it is a true story. I loved the illustration style too. I give it a rating Three Paws.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Bedtime Story: The Monster in My Basement by Dave Preston and Illustrated by Heather Lynn Harris


Read for: Requested Review/ Children's Books

Synopsis: "There's a monster in Dave's basement! His name is Howard and he's very hungry. Howard invites Dave to dinner. But will Dave eat dinner or BE dinner? The thought makes Dave shake a little bit, shake a little bit, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake. Has Dave made a big mistake?"

My Review:  I was so excited to read this book, basements are such scary things for little ones (and lets be honest some big people too). This is a perfect read around Halloween when everything seems scary especially strange noises (like the heat kicking on for the first time in a while) and the darkness of fall. While this book does seem rather scary and spooky, have no fear, it really isn't like that at all. The illustrations are bold and pretty bright and honestly awfully cute for a monster book. It has a great message about making assumptions on what you see and hear about other . . . creatures. Kids will love the ending of this book and it will leave you all on a high note, no fear about nightmares or monsters in the basement. On an added note, this book has the extra benefit of having a song that goes with it that will get the little ones up an moving too!

My Rating: This was such a fun book, just spooky enough for the Halloween season but not over the top scary for those little ones.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The above is my honest review and opinion.

You can find out more about Dave Preston and his books on his Goodreads Page or Website (you can also listen to the song on his Website). 

The Monster in My Basement was just recently released and you can obtain your own copy now in print or digital format from Amazon or direct from the author or request it at your local bookstore or library.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Review of Murder Past Due by Miranda James

Read for: Recently Added

Synopsis: "There's a cat in the stacks...

...and he makes the purr-fect partner for a librarian-turned-sleuth.

Everyone in Athena, Mississippi, knows librarian Charlie Harris-and his Maine coon cat named Diesel that he walks on a leash. They also know his former classmate-turned-famous bestselling novelist, Godfrey Priest.

But someone in Athena took Godfrey off the bestseller lists- permanently, and with extreme prejudice. Now, Charlie and Diesel must browse through the history section of the town's past to find a killer."

My Review: If you put a cat in a book or on a cover, I am going to want to read it. Now that I have discovered the enjoyment of Cozy Mysteries, it opens up a bunch more options for me. I picked this book up purely because of the cat on the cover and ended up really enjoying it for many reasons. This is the first book in this new to me genre I have read with a male lead character. Even with the lack of the touch of romance that many of them have had to this point, I still really enjoyed it and didn't miss that element. I really liked the small town feel of this story, most of the side characters have a connection going back several years. I also like the almost family feel as the MC, Charlie, takes on border house mates. This is definitely a case of gossip and sticking noses deeper into an investigation that one should, but I found I didn't mind it as much because Charlie wasn't making stupid or dangerous choices. We are given several potential culprits and are clearly lead down a certain path, so the twist throughout the story are mostly surprising and I enjoyed each new added element to the story.

My Rating: I really am glad I picked this book up. It is different from the other Cozy Mysteries I have read and gives me an idea of the variety out there. I really enjoyed it and look forward to trying more in this series. I give it a rating of Three Paws. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Book Review: Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Read for: Recently Added/ Audio Book

Synopsis: "Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou's, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou's most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all."

My Review: I have held off on reading this book for quite a while, with all the hype around it I had a feeling I would want to binge it with the second book. Sadly, that will not be happening. As much as I wanted to like this book, I just couldn't get into it. It is an interesting premise, forcing two types of people who hate each other together. This give a nice redemption arc option and the opportunity for plenty angst. I just didn't get on with the characters, Lou irritated the heck out of me, Reid is a self-righteous you know what, even the side characters really didn't appeal to me, other than Ansel. I would have appreciated more of a focus on the political dynamics of the world as opposed to the two characters I didn't enjoy. I felt like of the 500+ page book, about 300+ pages of it nothing really happens.  The big conflict/climactic scene was so rushed that I really couldn't even follow what was happening. So much was left off page and not explained, I felt like I was missing a few key pieces of information. I think this is just a case of not the right book for me.

My Rating: This just didn't work for me, I felt the world building was lacking, the characters were obnoxious and the story dragged on with little to no development.  I give it a rating of Two Paws. Sadly, I had already purchased the second book and ordered a book box of items for the series, that was how sure I was that I would enjoy this one.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Monday Reading List


  It is Monday again and it is 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

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
Desdemona and The Deep by C.S.E. Cooney
Drac and Frank A Happy Little Story by Jason L. Witter (Bedtime Story)

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

Murder Past Due
Serpent & Dove
Sweet Little Lies

Currently Reading:

Dracula by Bram Stoker - Audio/Print - 13%

Pages Read/ Time Listened
831:37 Hours Listened (26:35 listened this week)
25,506 Pages Read (478 This week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
The Eyes of Tamburah (gift)
The Wolf in the Whale
~~~~~~~~~~March Birthday Waiver Books ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Rain Dragon Rescue
The Order of the Unicorn
All the Wandering Light
Life on the Leash
Phoenix Unbound
You Can't F*ck Up Your Kids  (gift) - READ
Mary Shelley Monster Hunter Vol. 1 - READ
The Caged Queen
The Mum Who'd Had Enough
The Voyage to Magical North
The Overdue Life of Amy Byler
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~End Birthday Waiver~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Scavenge the Stars
Hades & Persephone
Dark Skies
No Country for Old Gnomes (gift)
About That Kiss
The Girl and the Stars
A Choir of Lies
Loving Cara
Girl of Fire & Thorns (gift)
Murder Past Due - READ
Fury of a Phoenix
Homicide in Hardcover (gift)
Unravel the Dusk
Ruthless Gods
Blood & Honey - UNHAUL
Scrooged - READ
Gnomes - READ
Comfort Food - READ
Maids - READ


I really love coming to the end of the month and seeing all the books I have managed to check off the list this month! While it wasn't the greatest reading month, it has certainly a great reading selection!  I participated in Dewey's Readathon over the weekend and it was great to spend at least some of the day making reading my priority.  I majorly paid the price on Sunday though and wasn't able to kick back and relax at all but it was still worth it.  I have so many more books that I want to read but I am running out of time for my spooky books! I am hoping to squeeze in a couple more before the end of the month, at least finish Dracula, which has been fantastic by the way.