“The Curse of Misty Wayfair” by Jaime Jo Wright—Book Review

About The Book:

Left at an orphanage as a child, Thea Reed vowed to find her mother someday. Now grown, her search takes her to Pleasant Valley, Wisconsin, in 1908. When clues lead her to a mental asylum, Thea uses her experience as a post-mortem photographer to gain access and assist groundskeeper Simeon Coyle in photographing the patients and uncovering the secrets within. However, she never expected her personal quest would reawaken the legend of Misty Wayfair, a murdered woman who allegedly haunts the area and whose appearance portends death.

A century later, Heidi Lane receives a troubling letter from her mother–who is battling dementia–compelling her to travel to Pleasant Valley for answers to her own questions of identity. When she catches sight of a ghostly woman who haunts the asylum ruins in the woods, the long-standing story of Misty Wayfair returns–and with it, Heidi’s fear for her own life.

As two women across time seek answers about their identities and heritage, can they overcome the threat of the mysterious curse that has them inextricably intertwined?

What I Liked:

The ghostly vibes. Going into a CF book that hints a ghost haunts its pages? This is Christian, so I know there aren’t gonna be any ghosts other than The Holy Ghost (*laughs at own joke*) (sorry). HOWEVER, somehow this book was just so chillingly atmospheric, it really had me convinced that there was a ghost.

Wright’s gorgeous writing style is out of the park. It’s breathtaking in its way of making a beautiful, melancholic world rise from pages with only words.

The seamless blend of modern and old. The story switches from present day to 1908, and the mystery builds as you explore both periods with the characters. It gave the story an added layer of mystery, for sure.

There was anxiety representation. One of the female leads lives with an anxiety disorder, and while it was painful to see some of my own issues in another, I think this book will give others some empathy to those who struggle. Also enjoyed the encouragement and pointing to Christ it gave me. As someone who lives with extreme anxiety, it was thought provoking.

Also, lowkey enemies to lovers. This trope never gets old. And it became one of the cutest relationships. *throws hearts*

What I Didn’t Like:

The ending kind of disturbed me. Which I’m sure would please the author immensely, ha ha. There was a shock, so I suppose the book gets points for making me overlook something for the majority of the story. But yeah, I was unsettled when I closed it.👀

I give this book a rating of four, and recommend to those who love a good faith filled story mixed with chilling drama and secrets.

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I Liked It!

3. Okay.

2. Did Not Like It Very Much

1. Did Not Finish

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“My Calamity Jane” by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows |Book Review|

About

Welcome to 1876 and a rootin’-tootin’ America bursting with gunslingers, outlaws, and garou.

JANE (a genuine hero-eene)

Calamity’s her name, and garou hunting’s her game—when she’s not starring in Wild Bill’s Traveling Show, that is. She reckons that if a girl wants to be a legend, she should just go ahead and be one.

FRANK (*wolf whistle*)
Frank “the Pistol Prince” Butler is the Wild West’s #1 bachelor. He’s also the best sharpshooter on both sides of the Mississippi, but he’s about to meet his match. . . .

ANNIE (get your gun!)
Annie Oakley (yep, that Annie) is lookin’ for a job, not a romance, but she can’t deny there’s something about Frank she likes. Really likes. Still, she’s pretty sure that anything he can do, she can do better.

A HAIRY SITUATION
After a garou hunt goes south and Jane finds a suspicious-like bite on her arm, she turns tail for Deadwood, where there’s been talk of a garou cure. But things ain’t always what they seem—meaning the gang better hightail it after her before they’re a day late and a Jane short

What I Liked

The western setting was part nostalgia, part fresh. I grew up watching old western shows, but there aren’t many YA books that take place in this period. Loved that this book took me on a journey that felt familiar yet unique. It’s like one of the humorous episodes of Bonanza, just with a dash of werewolves that would shock the old matrons from those 1950’s western movies.

Makes you wanna howl with laughter. You can’t go into this book expecting an accurate history immersion. It’s a whopper of a story written to “turn your frown upside down,” as the saying goes. It’s somewhat over the top at times, but perfect if you need a good chuckle.

I really liked that this book showed a female/male relationship that wasn’t romantic. We need more of that in books, just saying. (Hold your horses, there is romance for those of us who love that sort of thing.)

And over all the characterization was pretty darn tootin’ amazing. I think having three authors work together really makes for a strong story. Everyone seemed so real.

(Yes, I know they were real. I mean it was like I actually met them. 😂)

Didn’t Like

Some of the dialogue felt stilted and preachy. It was kind of like reading regurgitated sentences. Like I get they were trying to get a message across, but it didn’t always flow very well. 🤷‍♀️

“My Lady Jane” still reigns as number one in this series for me, but this one is a close second. I’m giving it a 4 and a half rating, and am looking forward to the authors’ upcoming comedies.

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I Liked It!

3. Okay.

2. Did Not Like It Very Much

1. Did Not Finish

Fresh Start.♡♡♡

There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.

||Beatrix Potter||

Oh my poor little blog…*hugs it*

I’ve been tempted to scrap this place and move on. Start fresh, like I did when I moved from blogger.

Nah.

I can start afresh here without picking up and moving to a new home. (Is this laziness or sentimentality? Who knows 👀).

You may notice some blog posts missing. I can assure you they were not kidnapped, and that new ones will be forthcoming to take their place. Until then, I hope you’ll stick around for future fangirling and all around silliness about books and television.

Here’s to a fresh start. ♡♡♡

“To Steal a Heart” by Jen Turano: Book Review

About:

After spending her childhood as a street thief, Gabriella Goodhue thought she’d put her past behind her until a fellow resident at her boardinghouse is unjustly accused of theft. Using her old skills to prove her friend’s innocence, Gabriella unexpectedly encounters Nicholas Quinn, the man she once considered her best friend–until he abandoned her.

After being taken under the wing of a professor who introduced him into society and named him as his heir, Nicholas is living far removed from his childhood life of crime. As a favor to a friend, Nicholas agrees to help clear the name of an innocent woman, never imagining he’d be reunited with the girl he thought lost to him forever.

As Gabriella and Nicholas are thrown together into one intrigue after another, their childhood affection grows into more, but their newfound feelings are tested when truths about their past are revealed and danger follows their every step.   

What I Enjoyed:

I’m a sucker for friends who grow apart but then later fall in love. And this book totally delivered in this department. It was also refreshing to see them first pick their friendship back up instead of going straight into romance. (I’d like to add that the reunion between hero and heroine was so very memorable in the best of ways.)

Wit and comedy thrive. Just like in all of Turano’s books, this story was generously sprinkled with clever dialogue and snort worthy humor. *happy sigh*. How does she do this with every book?!

Twists and turns. Whether it be as simple as a character doing something beyond outlandish, or the story’s path taking a turn not quite suspected, it has surprise. (And books with surprise are the best, in my opinion.) This one definitely didn’t fit a mold.

I found the social opinions of Gabrielle to be though provoking. Without being off topic preachy, she really makes you think on matters of class, and also just how shallow we can be when contentment doesn’t reign.

Not So Enjoyable:

Hm. I suppose one thing is that some of the descriptiove words were used on a more frequent basis than I personally care to see.

But overall, “To Steal a Heart” is definitely one of Jen’s best books. So if you are a fan of her works be sure to try it out. Or if you enjoy historical romance blended with amusing shenanigans aplenty. Four and a half rating.

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I Liked It!

3. Okay.

2. Did Not Like It Very Much

1. Did Not Finish

*Thanks to the author and publisher for a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

10 Contemporay Books I Want to Read This Summer.

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“P.S. I Still Love You” by Jenny Han • Yes, totally aware how late I am for the fandom train of this series. But I’m currently reading and LOVING “To All The Boys I Loved Before,” so I know I’m gonna want to get to this one, too. (And I can finally watch the movies! 😁)

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“Recommended For You” by Laura Silverman • This one is about two bookstore workers competing to be the best book seller for a competition. Sounds cute!

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“The Hate You Give” by Angie Thomas • I’m educating myself about the problem of police brutality our black brothers and sisters face in the U.S., and so I think it’s time to give this book a read.

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“What I Like About You” by Marisa Kanter • It’s a “love triangle” where a girl is competing with her online self over a guy. Sounds hilarious!

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“By the Book” by Amanda Sellet • This one is about a girl who helps friends with guy issues by using books.

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“There’s Something About Sweetie” by Sandhya Menon • Romantic comedy with a plus sized heroine? *give me hands*

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“By Your Side” by Kasie West • A girl and guy get locked overnight in a library? Mix that with Kasie West’s signature cuteness and I’m pretty sure this gonna be good. 😍

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“The Oppisite of Always” by Justin A. Reynolds • This one is a contemporary but it mixes in some scifi cause there’s time travel where the hero goes back in time to save his love (awwww!). Me thinks I will need tissues. 🤧

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“The Medieval Times of Kit Sweetly by Jamie Pacton • A girl trying to become a knight at her job where girls are serving wenches? Heck yeah. 🙌

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“Once Upon a Prince” by Rachel Hauk • Georgia woman meets prince, and I’m assuming they fall in love. Had this on my TBR for YEARS and summer time seems like the perfect time to finally get to it. 🙈

“Listen to Your Heart” by Kasie West ○○○ Book Review

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Kate is a lake girl that would rather be on the lake than in the spotlight. So when she ends up being picked as a host for her class’s podcast, she’s not so happy about it. Then there’s her best friend’s crush, Diego, the guy Kate is trying to convince to date her best friend. But what happens when her podcast and bestie’s love life meet?

What I Liked:

Simply Adorable. It was like fluffy cotton candy compared to other YA rom coms. So many sweet moments melting into a mouthful of awwwwwwwe.  😊

I loved seeing Kate crack out of her shell. She is a different person by the end of the book, and character growth is something I think we can all agree makes for a good story. Can I get a show of hands??? 🙋‍♀️🙋‍♀️🙋‍♀️

THE. BANTER. I’m a sop when it comes to characters flirting with whit. Makes me read with speed when I’m soaking in good dialogue. And the conversations were so natural. *happy sigh*

Loved that this story revolved around a podcast. Really enjoyed the glimpses of the episodes even if there were some incredibly awkward moments where I felt that dreadful secondhand embarrassment.

(Okay. lie. I secretly enjoy when an author can make me feel embarrassed for something that is fake.)

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 Kate’s family is close knit, and I loved seeing their love and boisterous life. I’m not sure how I would enjoy being next door neighbors with family? But this story made it looks tons of fun.

Dislikes

I feel like it wrapped up a bit too quick, but that may be because I loved the characters and didn’t want to say goodbye.

●●●●●●●●●●

This was definitely a great introduction to the author’s books. It taught me that when someone says a Kasie West book is cute, it’s totally cute. I had reservations (contemporary is hit and miss for me,and hype isn’t something I tend to trust…), but this book shut down those doubts. *waves goodbye to negative assumptions*

Giving “Listen to Your Heart” by Kasie West a rating of four.

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I Liked It!

3. Okay.

2. Did Not Like It Very Much

1. Did Not Finish.

Books and Anxiety.

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I’m donating a bunch of books to the thriftstore, and it’s all because of anxiety.

I’m one of those people with anxiety so bad I take medicine to help. Even then I sometimes still feel like my brain and heart are gonna collide from panic tearing through my body. O_O

Since we’re human (unless by some chance you’re a vampire…), in rough situations we like to find things that help us forget our issues. Food is my first, with icecream and honey hot puff cheetos being my thing these days.

The second?

Books.

I used to have a very anxiety inducing customer service job. By the end of the day I would be worn out and ready to get the heck home. On the extra stressy messy days, there just so happened to be a gigantic bookstore across the street. It glowed like a fairy in the night, showing me the way to my happily ever after.

Ha, in truth it was more like the store bank account’s happily ever after. Because to reduce the pain inside, I’d buy books that were popular and pretty.

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It made me happy; killed that need to ball up in a corner and sob for eternity because I want to jump out of my skin

Yet what I didn’t realize was that by buying more books than I could possibly read, I was making my anxiety worse.

Books need cases, so I sacrificed space for books. I reasoned it was worth it. My books made me happy, right? They were  soothing my soul as they piled up, gathering the dust of a thousand years of neglect. No problems here. Ha ha…

I’d already had a nice collection of books before that job, and they kept coming even when that bookstore was no longer a huge temptation. I’d get that high of “New Book!” “SOOOOO PRETTY!” Then it would fade until I went to the store, or I found deals on books I was mildly curious to read at the local library booksale. Of course I couldn’t get to them all before the next haul…

I was surrounded by so many books. So many that the vast selection made it hard for me to decide what to read. Or I had a popular book I felt I should read. Oh, then there were those mail order bride books from my teen years. They’d stare holes into me, making me feel guilty for not putting my old love as priority.

Y’all, my books were choking me, but I felt too stubborn—plus prideful— to admit it because I had put so much of my money and identity into being a book girl who needs all the books. And I still am, just with a wiser mindset and realization that sometimes it’s okay to purge shelves of books that are doing nothing but making me feel bad for not getting to them.

So I’ve been letting books go. Books I keep telling myself “someday I will read you ” and would probably still be saying the same thing 50 years from now. Books that no longer fit my taste. Books I did not finish reading and kept to give another chance because “everyone else likes it.” #sillyme

They were too much. Books should not be burdens, and many of mine have been weighing me for far too long. I was also running out of space, and clutter is something else that makes my anxiety as high as the sky.

So I just want to encourage you. If you feel anything other than joy about books, then maybe it is time to make a change. It’s OKAY to uhaul books. You’re all right if you are no longer interested in a series. Gosh, you might also feel less anxious if you downsize the amount of unread books surrounding you.

Yeah, I know. Good money was probably spent on them at some point. Totally get it. But I urge you to ask yourself, ” Is abook worth my mental health?”

Will I buy books in the future? If the chance provides itself, then yes. But I’m going to be MUCH more selective/picky. It will be because I truly want to read it, and no other reason.

Because anxiety is hard enough. I won’t let consumerism of books heighten it anymore.

Manga Mondayz (♡1♡) ~Dawn of the Arcana Volume 1

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In a world where only black haired people are royalty, a uniquely red haired princess with a complicated past is forced to marry a prince to form an alliance between their kingdoms.

 What I Liked:

I read this manga in one sitting, and wanted more. (Sadly I don’t have any of the other volumes. Why do I do this to myself? 😭)

Loved the heroine’s view that she must be strong if for no one other than for herself. I think something many people need to remember is that it’s okay to stand up for yourself. And dang, this girl was good at it.

Oh, my poor feelings. The backstory of  Princess Nakaba and Loki (her guard) pulled out my heart, broke it, glued it together, and then put it back as a big gloppy mess.

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While the prince is not perfect, he seems to have his own complicated past that made me cheer for him by the end. I see great potential for his character growth.

Dislikes…

Hm. Honesty, I don’t have much to jab at (because it was pretty awesome for the most part). The prince is a total jerk at the beginning, but like I said, he has potential to be better.

Final Thoughts:

“Dawn of the Arcana” gets a four from me. Super curious on how the rest of this series plays out, for sure. Just need to get a hold of them first, hahaha… *tears*

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I Liked It!

3. Okay.

2. Did Not Like It Very Much

1. Did Not Finish.

“Storing Up Trouble” by Jen Turano— Book Review

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When an adventurous heiress being sent to live with her aunt meets a straightforward scientist during a train robbery, a tale of humorous troubles follow…

What I Enjoyed 

It’s a hilarious tale of opposites attract. Norman and Beatrix were quite different people, so seeing their personalities clash as their lives are thrown together by bizarre circumstances was fun.

The romance was just so awwww. I mean, when Norman read etiquette books just to impress her? So cute. And gosh, so adorable how dedicated he became to winning her heart.

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The social justice issues that were conveyed really hit me. I usually read Turano’s books because they are simply light and funny. Yet this one had some great insight on how women suffered before they could vote. Also, customer service apparently stunk as bad in the 1800’s as they do now.

All the zany characters. Turano knows how to bring to life some intriguing characters that you just wish you could truly spend a day with because they are so funny.  They definitely add life to the story. I’d love to give examples, but won’t spoil it for you. 😉

Didn’t Like…

A couple of spots were slow reading. Felt like some conversations/scenes were unnecessarily long. 🤷‍♀️

“Storing Up Trouble” is an awesome conclusion to The American Heiresses series. I was thinking this series might be hard to like being about super spoiled rich women, but it was actually a delightful fiction escape.

I give “Storing Up Trouble” by Jen Turani a rating of four and a half.

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I Liked It!

3. Okay.

2. Did Not Like It Very Much

1. Did Not Finish.

*Thanks to the author and publisher for a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

My June 2020 TBR 🌻

I’m being ambitious with my June TBR. Coming out of MONTHS in the reading slump desert, just reading two books would be an accomplishment.

Yet I’m hoping with my widdle bookloving heart to read all on my list. Maybe even more? Hopefully more.

 

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“A Torch Against the Night” by Sabaa Tahir • I’m finally reading The Ember in The Ashes books, and am planning on reading the sequel this month. 😊

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“The Silence of Bones” by June Hur • This one is a historic Korean mystery. Ahhhhhh, so excited!!!

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“Roseblood” by A.G. Howard • I do enjoy singing along to the Phantom of the Opera. (“Inside my mind…” 🎶)

So I picked up this retelling at a discount store in hopes I’d enjoy it. The only thing is that the print for the whole entire book is RED. Not sure how my eyes will handle it. 👀

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“Alex, Approximately” by Jenn Bennett • This looks like a cute summer read. I decided to throw this in the tbr cause it looks fluffy, and I realized most of the books I decided for June are pretty emo. 😜

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“Wicked Saints” by Emily A. Duncan • Okay, this book is a wee bit darker looking than I normally read. But I saw that Stephanie Garber blurbed it, so it somehow ended up on my tbr shelf? Weird, I know. 🤷‍♀️ Might as well give it a go this month.

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“Quests for Glory” by Soman Chainani • I’m getting around to this book after abandoning it during a reading slump. But I’m glad I waited cause its sequels have released. Excited to see what hilarious issues Agatha, Tedros, Sophie, Hort, and the others will find themselves in.

What are you hoping to read in June?