Thursday, June 24, 2021

Review of The Shell Collector by Nancy Naigle


Read for: Requested Review/Netgalley/Love the Author's Other Books!

Synopsis: "From USA Today bestselling author Nancy Naigle, The Shell Collector is a touching novel of a friendship that crosses generations, and learning how even the smallest gifts can change a life for good.

Two years after her husband's death, Amanda Whittier has two children to raise alone, an abandoned dream of starting a business, and a fixer-upper cottage by the sea. She has no room in her life for anything else and little interest in moving on after losing the man she loved.

Paul Grant is a relative newcomer to the area, and his work with former military dogs needing rehabilitation has been good for the town. Though he loved once before, he's convinced he's not suited for romance and is determined to find meaning--alone--through his work and role in the community.

Widowed Maeve Lindsay was born and raised on Whelk's Island. Spirited, kind, and a little mischievous, she pours her life into the town. But she carries a secret that shapes her every move.

Together, these three souls find encouragement in the most mysterious places and discover a love that's bigger than their pain, healing their wounded hearts in ways none of them could have hoped for or expected."

My Review: I have come to really count on Nancy Naigle to give me a great book when I need it, and she did not disappoint with this one. Forewarning, be prepared with tissues for this emotional journey, I was in tears within the first half hour of picking this book up and I can't tell you how many times they came back while reading it. With that said it isn't just a said story, it is also beautifully hopeful and uplifting. I absolutely loved the mentor feel in this book, I seriously loved Maeve! I also really enjoyed Paul and Amanda's characters though the romance does come on rather quick and strong but the back story is developed though we find it later in the book. It was definitely an emotional book but (now give me a bit of freedom with my words here) a cleansing emotional book, it felt good to cry with the characters. I definitely recommend picking this one up and it makes such a great summer read.

My Rating: While I have loved every other one of Nancy Naigle's books I have read, this might be my favorite! It was beautiful, emotional, hopeful and just a perfect book to kick off summer.  I give it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!

I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley, the above is my honest review and opinion. 

You can find out more about Nancy Naigle and her books on her Goodreads Page or Website.

The Shell Collector was just released last month on May 11th, so you can now pick up your own copy in print or digital format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or request it at your local library or bookstore. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Review of The Secrets of Star Whales by Rebecca Thorne


Read for: Requested Review/ Netgalley

Synopsis: "On the small space station Azura, Maxion Belmont is constantly torn between his two passions—engineering and music. Both are hobbies handed down from his father, which is bittersweet since his death two years ago. While his hydrodriver is great for repairing starship parts, his father’s old string instrument tugs at the latent grief Max hides from his mom and classmates with each chord he strums.

When a foreign starship appears on the horizon, Azura welcomes their first tourist in years. Enter Mr. Hames, starship captain and space-brained traveler. But there’s something weird about the stranger-turned-substitute teacher. He has no idea how to teach and thinks enlisting a group of twelve-year-olds to become his starship “crew” is totally normal. Or maybe it’s the fact he keeps raving about the existence of alien creatures in the vacuum of space: star whales.

As Max and the rest of Mr. Hames’s class/crew uncover the mysteries of the star whales, they discover they aren’t the only ones looking for the elusive creatures—and not every whaler has good intentions. Confronted with questions about his own father’s history with the star whales, Max must decide how far he’ll go to understand not only his father, but also the boy he’s become since his death . . . even at the expense of the star whales themselves."

My Review: I originally picked up this book because of the beautiful cover but I got so much more than expected. As someone who has only just begun reading Science Fiction books, I wasn't sure what a Middle Grade would be like. It was actually pretty easy to get into and imagine through the descriptions Thorne gives, making it a vivid setting. I also enjoyed the undertones in this coming of age story of friendships growing and changing. We also get to see a variety of adult to kid interactions and some great lessons about whom to trust. Don't get me wrong, this is definitely not all emotion, there is some great action and awe inspiring moments. I was left really hoping there is such a thing as Star Whales out there in the universe.

My Rating: I was very pleasantly surprised with this book, Thorne did a fantastic job of intertwining real life situations young readers face with a out of this world setting so vivid you can picture it.  I give this one a rating of Four Paws!

I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley, the above is my honest review and opinion. 

You can find out more about Rebecca Thorne and her books on her Goodreads Page or Website

The Secrets of Star Whales was released earlier this year so you can obtain your own copy now in print or digital format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or request it at your local library or bookstore.