#BookReview Hope Has Two Daughters by Monia Mazigh

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Hope Has Two Daughters by Monia Mazigh is a beautifully written historical fiction.

This novel is set in Tunisia and follows Nadia and her daughter Lila – these two women’s stories are intertwined over generations (1980s and 2010s) that will leave you feeling breathless. Riots, studying Arabic, family tensions and drama all drive this story forward by the beautiful story telling from Monia Mazigh.

This novel shows the evolving stories of the two women, and how they aren’t so different. Despite being apart of different times, the themes in their lives remain the same. This story shows you hope and survival in different times of struggle, and can be very motivational if you read it under the right context. While this book may not be a non-fiction novel, it almost feels so real with Monia’s descriptive and realistic writing.

This isn’t the best book I’ve ever read, but it was a good read. While it may not be a five star book in my eyes, seeing how much potential this author has makes the book worth it. Yes, it’s not super fast moving. And of course, there is room to grow within the story (some plot lines could have been left out, there could have been more description in certain areas) but it still makes for a great read. It’s not a book I would leave out of conversations – it is a recommended read from my end. That being said, Monia Mazigh has room to grow as an author, and I’m sure the next book will be even better than this one (no matter what she chooses to write, whether it be a continuation/similar story or a completely different one). If her next novels feel as personal and touching as this one, I’m sure they will be fantastic.

Three out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

 

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#BookReview You Slay Me by Katie MacAlister

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#ThrowbackThursday time! Here’s another Katie MacAlister fave of mine!

 

 

Katie MacAlister first book in a riveting series is golden for romance/fantasy lovers everywhere.

It’s hard to believe You Slay Me was one of the first books in Katie MacAlister’s giant dragon universe (does it have an official name? All of the series within this universe? It probably does…). This book was the first of many cute, sexy, fantasy filled books focusing on dragons. And it’s safe to say – it’s fantastic! This is one of my many guilty pleasures that I keep on my shelf for when I’m having a rough day. It always makes me smile because it’s so sweet!

Katie is a funny writer – she’s not super serious, and that’s what makes this book work. It’s out of the ordinary (obviously, it has dragons and all sorts of crazy creatures in it) and totally addicting. It’s fast paced, full of ooey gooey romance, completely silly and filled with sexy men. It’s solid chick lit!!

I can definitely see some readers having faults with it – the book doesn’t take itself seriously. It’s full of funny tropes and understands that it’s a lighthearted, romance novel. But for me, it’s everything I want in more in a romance novel. I want happy endings, sexy scenes, hot men, quirky jokes and strong, sassy leads. Drake is a bit of a jerk, even I’ll admit that, but I like how his character progresses. I’m not sure how else Katie would have introduced these two in the realm of what this universe is, to be very honest.

So, overall, I love it! I’m kinda annoyed I haven’t been able to get to the very newest 2017 book yet because these books always make my day!

Five out of five stars.

Find Katie and all of her books on Goodreads: Katie MacAlister on Goodreads

Visit her website: KatieMacAlister.com

Or give her a shout out on twitter! @KatieMacAlister

Enjoy my reviews? Check out my Goodreads page! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Give me a shout-out on Twitter! Let me know your recent reads!!! Or give me some recommendations!  Briar’s Reviews on Twitter

Like this review? Check out another one you may enjoy! Book Review: His Custody by Tamsen Parker

#BookReview Oblivion by Kelly Creagh

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Oblivion by Kelly Creagh was a dark, twisted, must-read YA novel.

I’m heart broken because I’m pretty sure this novel was the finale of this series. While I hope Kelly Creagh continues this universe on into more books, I highly doubt she will due to the way the story ended. There were still many questions left to be answered, and there were still many moments readers wanted to and probably will never see.

I wanted way more of Varen in this book. Everyone I spoke to about this book (within my friend circle) all complained about the lack of Varen – and this didn’t get cleared up in this novel. He was a major part of this story, and he was just lacking. I adore his characters, and he’s one of my top YA male characters out there – he’s different, not your normal romantic interest, and he’s darker than the average character. So I loved him, and my heart was left to be shattered.

Kelly Creagh’s writing is memorizing, and I demand more novels by her!! She’s one of the few authors that can write in such a dark tone and yet be incredibly addicting. She’s not scary, she’s alluring with her writing!!

Her take on Edgar Allen Poe’s story is a great adaption. While seeing every fairy tale be retold over and over, I liked seeing a take on another great work. His dark poems were woven perfectly into this trilogy and novels, and I highly suggest people pick it up!!! Kelly deserves the support!!

Overall, I loved this series. It’s sad to see this series end, but the bittersweet feelings will go away when I see another fantastic title by Kelly Creagh end up on book shelves.

Five out of five stars.

 

Check out Kelly Creagh on Goodreads! Kelly Creagh on Goodreads

Or check out her website! Kelly Creagh.com

Did you enjoy my review? Check out Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Want to check out another review you might enjoy? Book Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

#BookReview So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum is a different look at the typical murder/kidnap storyline.

This book is an interesting read, and I wasn’t entirely sure what I thought about it that I had to sit on the story for quite a few days. There are multiple storylines, and not all are equal. The perspectives of Catherine and her professor really intrigued me, while the other point of views bored me and sometimes made me question why they were in the novel. Basing it off what the back cover says, it’s showing the “complexity of love and the power of stories to shape our lives”, but I’m not quite sure how they all fit in.

I do love Rebecca Rosenblum’s writing style. When I was reading Catherine’s point of view I was hooked and wanted to much more. I even expected so much more – since the ending left me feeling like there were parts of the story missing. Catherine and her husband’s desire to have a child just disappeared – it was such a big part of the story and it was never brought up again, not even a side line comment in regards to it.

This story wasn’t exactly a mystery or a thriller, but it wasn’t your typical murder/kidnapping story either. I enjoyed seeing the different points of view in regards to their feelings about the situation, but it just felt like there were pieces missing. I would definitely suggest reading this book because it’s style of writing is fantastic, but plot wise it could have been cleaned up a bit (in my opinion). There were also some points in regards to our character knowing her kidnappers name yet we never hear an introduction or how they knew each other. It was quite frustrating to me…

Overall, I think this story had so much potential and Rebecca will only grow the more she writes. I hope she comes back to this story at some point (perhaps a sequel?) and expands more on this concept. It was such a great idea and it was unique.

Three out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

 

Check out Rebecca Rosenblum on Goodreads: Rebecca Rosenblum on Goodreads

Or check her out on her website!  Rebecca Rosenblum

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#BookReview Captured by Maggie L Wood

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Who’s ready for #ThrowbackThursday review? This time, Captured by Maggie L Wood is on the pedestal! I read this back when it came out, so it’s thrilling to find it hiding on the back of my bookshelves to read again! Now, here’s the review:

 

Captured by Maggie L Wood is a fantastic retelling of a game of chess in a YA setting.

Back when there was an indie book store with fantastic deals, this book was one a giant cardboard cut out bookshelf with a for sale sign on it. At the time, I wasn’t a giant reader but I was getting bored with Twilight and vampire novels in general so I picked this book up. Little did I know, that I’d become obsessed, the third book would be in development for years and years and years and I’d forget this book was on the back of one of my shelves for YEARS. So, like I tend to do – I avoid my four giant to-read book shelves with physical copies and reread some old “classics”.

This YA book is truly incredible – yes it’s your typical romance, adventure, action and thriller story but instead of vampires or fairy tales – it’s chess!! I’m horrible at chess, but I love seeing someone make a book around it! It’s original, and while it’s probably been done before but I’ve never found the book, I really enjoyed it!

Our lead isn’t just some frail princess falling in love, no she’s ready to be a superhero in her own realm! At this time, most of the books I was reading were weak girls who just wanted a boyfriend. When I picked up this book and saw a strong heroine, I was amazed. And I still am! It’s such a great, unique story and it’s upsetting seeing that barely anyone has read or reviewed it!

This is a 110% recommended read from me. I would love to see more books by Maggie L Wood popping up on bookshelves all around the nation! She has a unique look on the world and her books aren’t the usual silly vampire story. If she had room to grow and write more books, I’m sure her writing ability would sky rocket and rival some of the best.

Five out of five stars.

 

Find Maggie on Goodreads: Maggie L Wood on Goodreads

Visit her website: MaggieLWood.com

Or give her a shoutout on Twitter! @MaggieLWood

Enjoy my reviews? Check out my Goodreads page! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Give me a shout-out on Twitter! Let me know your recent reads!!! Or give me some recommendations!  Briar’s Reviews on Twitter

Did you enjoy this review? Check out this one! Eighth Grade Bites by Zac Brewer

#BookReview Rogue Affair by Adriana Anders, Tamsen Parker and more!

Hot and sexy young couple in love embracing

Dedication of a Lifetime by Tamsen Parker

I’m torn – I don’t know how to feel about this story. I enjoyed it, but at the same time I was hoping for a little bit…more? Let me explain – I have many points!

1. I love Tamsen Parker and her writing style – she matches with me so well. So writing style wise, I really enjoyed this story. It is smooth and flows easily, which made it easy to read. She gets point for that.

2. But…I felt like there wasn’t much of a plot. It felt more like a discussion, a few random situations, and lots of “sexy time”. I couldn’t see the plot line this story was following. It just seemed to random for me.

3. That being said, this may not have been the best time for me to read it. I’m incredibly frustrated at the moment and I thought some reading would help me. Also, the tablet I read it on now has a random crack and that put me in an even worse mood – so I kept looking at the little crack in my screen as I read it…. Sooooooo… I think I just threw all of my frustration at this story. I picked it apart WAY more than I typically do when casually reading. So keep that in mind…

So, in summary – this book is another great read by Tamsen Parker. It’s an easy, contemporary (yet really sexy) read that is great for one sitting. It’s nothing mind blowing – no crazy “Inception” like plots to follow, it’s just a casual read. Which means, if you are looking for a nice, easy read that involves some heavy romance – you’ve got it!!

Four out of five Stars.

I also read through some of the other stories, so I will rate them as followed:
Ainsley Booth’s Personal Proposal – 4 stars.
I have never read anything by Ainsley Booth before (not that I can remember, anyways) and I think I might have to pick up a few of her books/stories. This story was definitely within my my interests.
Side note: AND SHE HAS A CANADIAN EROTIC ROMANCE SERIES?! I’m totally in. Where can I find this lady’s books?!

Olivia Dade’s Work of Heart – 3 stars.
I spent way to long spelling Olivia as Olicia as I tried to write this review.
This story was cute and I enjoyed it! I just found that this story didn’t wow my socks off. I would like to read more by Olivia to give her a chance because she seems like a really great author. I liked her writing style and the story moved at a good pace for me. I think if she had more room & chapters to expand her story, I would REALLY like her writing.

Kris Ripper’s The President’s Protector – 3 stars.
I’m not super crazy into political romances, but this story was a good read. It was very casual, and flowed easily. I liked Kris’s ability to build characters within this short amount of time – I just don’t think this specific story if my (personal) cup of tea. I would definitely suggest readers giving this story a try because it is REALLY good.

Amy Jo Cousins’s Fallacies & Flirtations – WAS NOT IN MY COPY. It’s in it when it’s released. I’m kind of sad, I won’t lie…but hey! You can’t have everything, can ya? 😉

Emma Barry’s The Fourth Estate – 4 stars.
I liked this story! I thought it was really sexy and I am determined to find more stories by Emma Barry! I love anthologies like this where I can find new authors easily by just reading little snippets of their work!! I really enjoyed reading about Drew and Brynn and their strange relationship. I would have loved for this little concept to be an entire book, because the writing was just fantastic!!

Adriana Anders’s Such Great Heights – 4 stars.
Adriana Anders is another author I HAVE to read more by. I keep falling in love with her little stories – so at some point I will read her books!!! Adriana has a lot of writing talent – her writing isn’t exactly my “style”, but I still get hooked and addicted. It takes quite a bit for an author to do that – so I’m impressed! The story is smooth, it moves fast enough to keep my attention held and it’s well written. Four stars Adriana!! Looooove it!

Kelly Maher’s Dissent and Desire – 3 stars.
Kelly Maher has a great story within this anthology! She definitely is a writer to watch out for!!

Stacey Agdern’s Mr. Klein Goes to Albany – 4 stars.
A Canadian hockey player turned diplomat…That alone got me hooked. I can’t help it, my inner Canadian gets excited about Canadian centered stories (that doesn’t mean every Canadian story is good, but this one was)!! This story had me hooked at the start and kept my attention all the way through. I definitely need to pick up more by Stacey! This story was a pleasant surprise! I’m always a little worried about silly Canadian stereotypes, but this story did not disappoint!

Jane Lee Blair’s Take a Knee – 3 stars.
Another story where the author’s writing shines through!! Jane’s story telling is addicting… I’m really interested in the stories she can tell with her voice!!

Thank you Tamsen Parker for sending me this wonderful advanced reader’s copy! It’s a real joy getting these books BEFORE all the spoilers come out – I’m horrible at reading spoilers!! It’s just to tempting…

 

Visit Tamsen parker at www.tamsenparker.com !!
Follow her on Twitter: @TamsenParker or Facebook! www.facebook.com/tamsenparker

Check me out on Goodreads where I post up to date reviews as soon as they happen! Be the first in the know!! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another one you might enjoy! #BookReview In Her Court by Tamsen Parker

 

#BookReview – Dancing with Fireflies by Clemens Carl Schoenebeck

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Dancing with Fireflies by Clemens Carl Schoenebeck

This memoir is a beautiful retelling of the author’s life – specifically how it was to live with a mother with schizophrenia.

Mental Illness is a big part of today’s society – mainly because people have finally accepted that mental health is a big issue, bigger than people ever realized. Reading a book that is a biography about mental illness and how it was in the past was truly a beautiful experience for me. This book was beautifully written and unlike some biographies seemed brutally honest. It didn’t sugarcoat this man’s life – it was an honest retelling, and I truly respect that.

The descriptions of Clemens’s family as well as his Mother’s illness and hallucinations was incredible. It spread some light on a mental illness that I have no relation to – I never understood it (apart from a man with schizophrenia coming into my Grade 11 Health class to explain what it was), and this book really helped me better grasp what it actually is (not what soap operas tend to tell us).

There is many layers to novel – of course there are sad times, but there is also joy and humor at different parts. This man is not asking for sympathy or trying to make you cry, he’s opening your horizons to a new experience and life experiences many might not have seen or understood before. It’s also written so anyone can pick this book up. You don’t need to have a doctorate, you don’t need to only read YA – it’s made for anyone and everyone (adult/YA age groups of course, not for children but it’s definitely a PG story).

I also appreciated the pictures that went along with this story. It helped you connect deeper with Clemens and his story – there’s pictures of people with faces and emotions. It’s truly beautiful.

Overall, this is a motivational and inspirational book for me. It shows someone else’s life and gives you a sense of empathy – you can understand how having a mother with schizophrenia would be hard, but that was still Clemens’s Mother. She was a real woman in this real world.

Five out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.