#BookReview Reclaiming Raven by Mary Holt

 

 

Reclaiming Raven is an intense thriller by Mary Holt.

If you’re looking for a book that will blow your mind, Reclaiming Raven fits the bill. I was truly blown away by the intensity of this book, since I really wasn’t expecting it to be so wild. Raven is trying to escape her abusive husband, and she will do anything to keep herself safe. Cole, on the other hand, is doing everything in his power to try to get Raven back (hence the title, Reclaiming Raven). Our lead character has disabilities, but that doesn’t disable her from being one epic female lead in this novel.

This book felt like the intensity of Jaws and Terminator mixed with the thrills of a James Bonds or Mission Impossible movie. You feel like the story is going one way, only for the book to flip it on it’s head and take you in another direction. The fast pace and thrills make this book a really interesting read. The book is violent and rough around it’s edges though, so it might not be the best book for every thrill seeking reader. I would definitely five it an R rating for it’s abusive relationship. The abuse and violence is described, not just suggested, so this book would not be a good fit for younger readers.

My biggest pet peeve of the novel was Raven being naive. This tough female leader can kick some serious behind and keeps herself safe, yet she still gets herself into some really stupid situations. Just leave the man and get away! Don’t trust an abusive man! My gosh, that annoyed me. It somehow works within the story, but it’s a general peeve of mine in general. This entire peeve could be a potential trigger for some readers, so readers beware! Always research a book before you read it.

On a side note, I loved that there was a dog in it – Millie! The dog didn’t feel forced and fit super well within the book.

Overall, I think this book is a unique, dramatic, thrilling ride. The story is written in an easy to read and follow style, and it moves fast enough to keep the reader interested. It’s rough, tough and violent, but if you’re into that sort of thing this book will fit perfectly on your shelf!

Four out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author, Mary Holt, in exchange for an honest review.

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#BookReview The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale is a book that I have been debating over since high school. Everyone I know from high school absolutely HATED this book (with a ridiculously strong passion) yet I had this feeling that I should read it anyways. After watching the 2017 television adaptation and LOVING it, I decided it was probably best to just bite the bullet and pick up this book. Of course, I had to remember to buy it to be able to read it and that took some time.

So, during this wonderous break from school and work I decided to indulge myself a little and pick up a book I REALLY wanted to read. Luckily, this book was within sight and reaching distance so I devoured it in under two hours. I binged this book SO HARD and it was SO WORTH IT.

If you’ve watched the television show, you know the basis. The show expands a lot more on the content (and changes some) but you’ve got the jist of the story. Offred is a Handmaid to the Commander and Serena Joy. Her “goal” is to get pregnant and give them a baby, and that isn’t going to well. So she hatches a plan with Serena Joy to be able to have a baby to get out! But… nothing ever goes to plan, and chaos ensues. That is the non-spoiler synopsis.

This book feels all too real even all these years later. It faces political, environmental and religious tones in such an amazing way that it really blew my mind. Margaret Atwood’s writing just adds to this story and gives it way more depth than I ever expected. Every little twist and turn makes me question who you can trust, if Offred is a reliable narrator (at times) and if this world can ever change. Unfortunately, you don’t find that last point out in this novel. The book ends rather abruptly and leaves me feeling cheated. I want to know what happens OH SO BAD. That’s the only reason I enjoy the television show just a little bit more – it expands a lot on the narrative and we will most likely get some kind of ending (eventually… it’s only at two seasons currently at the time I write this review).

You could definitely tear this book apart for “plot holes” – like… how did society crumble so fast? How could these women not over power some of these leaders? How did people let this happen? There’s so many questions that I want answered, but I don’t think that’s the purpose of this book. It felt like a warning tale, like 1984 by George Orwell or any of the Shakespeare tales. It’s a different take on society as a whole and is criticizing it in some way (and it’s also just really good fiction, let’s be honest).

My biggest flaw is how short this book is – I want more and I want to understand more. This world is just way too good, complex and big to not explore! I hear there’s another book coming out soon (oh please give us a sequel I want mooooore) but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Overall, this is a book that makes you think. I love books like that because I can sink into my chair (or couch… or bed…) and just let myself fall into the story. I escape this world and all of my worries and just take in this whole new world. I think Margaret Atwood is a seriously good author with ridiculous amounts of talent and I will for sure be looking for more books by her. Books like this make me SO happy that I love to read and have the time and ability too. Books like this make reading an absolutely breath taking hobby!

Seriously, if you love dystopian fiction, books that you can theorize and form conspiracies over or books that you probably would have read back in your high school English class- PICK THIS BOOK UP!

Five out of five stars.

 

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If you enjoyed this review (or book!) check out another you might enjoy: #BookReview Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

#BookReview A Cup of Redemption by Carole Bumpus

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If I had to describe this book in one word, I’d use the word “journey”.

This incredibly breath-taking tale by Carole Bumpus wow-ed me more than I can say in a few words. When I started reading this book, I just figured it was another Women’s Fiction novel that would be a great ‘on the side’ read to keep my mind off of my homework. Once I got into the book, I was instantly hooked and amazed at how Carole can weave words into the most beautiful and heart breaking tale I’ve ever read! It’s an Oscar-worthy book that is shockingly under-appreciated! Seriously, this is in my Top 10 reads now from how freaking fantastic is was!

A Cup of Redemption follows multiple generations in one family. Sophie’s Mother (Marcelle) has just passed and she is asked to investigate her family tree. She goes on this wild adventure about her heritage with her friend Kate, and enlists the help of some of her siblings. Along the way, we learn about the haunting past of her, her mother and her grandmother. These tales are seamlessly written and tie in with one another throughout the story. This book will break your heart, warm your heart, and then make you believe in familial love all over again.

There’s a splash of history in this book, since it goes over the World Wars and other historical events that occur behind the scenes (or during the scenes!) of the story. There’s a wee bit of romance, a whole lot of drama, and a splash of mystery as well! If you like fiction where the story slowly unfolds and everything comes into view, then you will love this book! The ending isn’t right out there, you have to learn through Sophie and the other characters what really happened in the past – and I loved that aspect. I’m glad the ending wasn’t obvious like some mystery novels.

I loved the characters and how they interacted with each other. Even when Carole is changing back and forth between the decades, she makes these characters lovable and feel real. At times, I could relate way harder to these characters than I ever expected to. That realism is what really sets this book apart from other stories like this. I almost felt like this could be a non-fiction retelling of a woman’s life. Seriously, it’s that good.

The downfalls of this book are as followed:
1. There’s a lot of characters to follow, and if you put down this book a few times like me – you might forget who’s who!
2. There are some plot points that don’t end up resolved, but they aren’t major ones. I would have liked a few more of my questions answered, but the story does come to a close so I guess that’s a bit of a positive…
3. This book can be quite…upsetting. There’s rape, sexual assault and other dark occurrences in the book that aren’t for the light of heart.

By the end of this book, I couldn’t put it down! I absolutely loved it! Even with the slow start, it slowly burned a hole into my heart and I absolutely need more by Carole Bumpus! If you haven’t picked this book up, seriously, get on it! I’m utterly surprised by how well this book connected with me and I want to make sure more readers are able to connect to books with this much talent in it!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Find this book on:

Kobo

Indigo/Chapters/Coles – eBook

Indigo/Chapters/Coles – Paperback

Barnes and Nobles – Paperback

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

 

Find out more about Carole Bumpus on:

Goodreads – Carole Bumpus

http://www.carolebumpus.com/

Twitter – @CaroleBumpus

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While you’re at it, check out another book review you might enjoy! #BookReview Driving on the Left by Gail Ward Olmsted

#BookReview Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

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I have been wanting to read books by Agatha Christie for years, yet whenever I made it to a bookstore I would get lost in the aisles and forget about my desires. Luckily for me, Kennett Branagh decided to remake Murder on the Orient Express. The movie was fantastic and everything I wanted it to be, which gave me perfect reason to find the book and give it a shot! And it was INCREDIBLE.

I’m amazed by how talented Agatha Christie was. The pure talent for writing shown in this book is so shocking, and it makes me desperate to read every other book she has written. Hopefully, I’ll be able to find them in my adventures!

This book is the 10th novel in the series, but it is very easy to pick up and start reading. I had no issue being pulled into the story and not wanting to put the book down. The language is a bit old fashioned (since it’s an older book) so there may be a disconnect for some present readers, but that seemed to be the only issue I could find when I picked this book apart.

In short, the plot for this book is there is a murder on the Orient Express train and Hercule Poirot (a wildly famous detective) is determined to solve it. The twist? Multiple suspects aboard a stalled train.

The book is fun, fast paced and wildly addicting. If you love a good mystery, trying to solve this story is absolutely delightful! Everyone has an alibi and Poirot can only find out information by asking questions and looking at their reactions (because…GASP!…there’s no electronic devices in the time period this book is set in). I knew the ending already from watching the movie, but trying to pick out the evidence that led to Hercule’s final thoughts was so much fun! I scrambled along the way and enjoyed every second of this book.

Overall, this book is a great read! If you want to read a classic, a mystery or just a fun book I really suggest this one! It’ll keep you hooked and make your head spin in circles.

Five out of five stars!

 

What is your favourite “classic” read? Comment below!

Did you enjoy this book review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort

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#BookReview The Gaucho’s Lady by Genevieve Turner

 

The Guacho’s Lady was the cutest, sweetest, most adorable historical romance I’ve read this year!

I won’t lie, when I first started this book I was a little wary. Historical romances have been hit or miss for me, but somehow Genevieve Turner craved a beautifully written tale that really had me hooked. Seriously, I couldn’t put the book down. I had to for about twenty minutes to drive home and it was absolute torture! I managed to find time to binge the rest of this super cute book so I didn’t have to wait to know how my new fave characters ended up.

So, onto the good part!

This is a historical romance following Eliana and Juan. Juan is a Gaucho, who Eliana enlists to help “kidnap” her and whisk her away from a potentially horrible marriage. As she runs away from her Father and this wicked husband-to-be, the pair begin to grow on each other. Juan has his own difficult past, with a deceased wife and child that are haunting his thoughts. The pure, innocent Eliana has her eyes open to a new world with Juan! And, of course, there’s a little bit of an adventure along the way!

I would highly recommend this book if you love romance books that aren’t just purely romance (but are mostly romance). The world building and little side adventures that happen along the way were a nice touch! Juan and Eliana’s romantic story is a little typical (fearless hero with a tragic back story and a pure, innocent lady who needs to be shown the world) but it worked so well! Seeing both characters change and grow within the story made that trope turn into a fabulous plot point instead of a ‘con’.

Another nice point about this book is that it talks about Argentina. I don’t know about other readers, but that’s not a setting I read about very often! While it’s a small little thing to notice about a book, I like it when books open up new worlds and introduce us to other cultures. I don’t know if the book is wildly accurate, but it may open some readers up to learning more!

To sum of some of the ‘touchy’ points for some readers, here’s an attempted spoiler free list:
1. Marriage of convenience
2. Death of wife/unborn child (don’t worry, it’s not graphic or described – it’s just in passing, but it’s still sad)
3. Super, sheltered, innocent virgin

To me, those points weren’t necessarily a bad part – but I’ve seen many readers out there who despise those tropes. So, if you’re one of those readers, you’ve been warned!

If I had to list the best parts of this book, it would be as followed:
1. A man who knows consent! OMG Juan cares about his lady and wants to only have sexy time when they both want it AND wants to consider her feelings. Do you know how nice that is to see in literature?! 10 stars for that alone!
2. Headstrong, ‘feminist’ woman. She knows what she wants and doesn’t necessarily want to be submissive. I like that she had her own mind and was willing to learn, change and adapt.

My two cons are as followed:
1. The word “mound”. Yes, an entire word is one of my two cons. That’s my version of “moist”. Is it a con for the story? No. But I just don’t like the sound of it. What can I say? I’m picky.
2. Juan teaching Eliana the ways of ‘sexy time’ was a little cheesey. I understand why it happened and it was cute and silly, but I found it to be just past the amount of cheese I wanted. It also didn’t take away from the story, but for me…well, I don’t know what would have been better.

My overall opinion on this book is that it’s amazing! It was fun, cute and absolutely lovely! I love a good romance story that whisks me away to another world and has a lovely, fulfilled ending. If I get the chance, I absolutely am picking up more stories by Genevieve Turner.

I 100% recommend this book to those who love romance, historical romances, light-hearted and fun stories (even though there is some “darker” content suggested), and who want a bingable story.

Five out of five stars!!

I do owe a GIANT thank you to the author Emma Barry who recommended this book to me and gave me the opportunity to read it. Without her, I wouldn’t have realized how amazing this book was!

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Kobo

Barnes & Nobles

Coles/Indigo/Chapters

 

Check out the author, Genevieve Turner, on:

Goodreads – Author Page

Twitter – @GenTurner5

 

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#BookReview Lovely Chaos by Joe Montaperto

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Lovely Chaos by Joe Montaperto is a vivid retelling of a Comedian’s life.

This book surprised me! I wasn’t sure what to expect since I was stepping out of my comfort zone for the types of books I normally read, but Joe really hit it out of the park! This comedian take on an acting student turned Comedian’s life really hit me in all the right places! Joe is trying to figure out what to do with his life, and then one day he takes a Comedy class. Throughout this journey, Joe experiences all of the typical 80s tropes (parties, girls, drugs, etc), but somehow this book felt real!

Joe’s style of writing feels real. The realistic descriptions are insanely vivid and make you feel like you are right there alongside our narrator. The story also feels like Joe is literally talking to me, telling me his exciting tale. This raw style worked really well within the story, and is the reason I hung onto this book for so long. Add in the hilarity of Joe explaining Chi-Chi Gonzalez and Doobs, and you’ve got one epic book!

This is by no means a boring story. It’ll keep you hooked and addicted at every turn. It has the pull of a fantastical, fictional tale yet it makes you feel like you know Joe. Seriously, I loved that personal touch Joe was able to get across to the reader.

The best line in the whole book is definitely “Thou shall not be a cornball”, and I felt like that literally summed up the novel for me. The comedic yet truthful take on a man trying to figure out what to do with his life worked oh so well!

If there is any cons to this book, it’s that the story jumps around a little bit. At times, I wasn’t sure how far apart in the timeline the chapters were, and it felt like there were parts of the narrative missing. Additionally, if you are a reader who doesn’t like this particular style (personal yet comedic) then this book might not sit well with you. I feel like this book is almost in it’s own little niche corner, which might turn some readers away.

That being said, I really enjoyed this book! It was a fresh, new take and is definitely a change from my normal reads. Joe Montaperto is an excellent author, and I’d love to see more by him in the future. Oh, and I’d definitely recommend this book!

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free from the author Joe Montraperto in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

Summary of the book by the author:

The second of my memoirs, entitled – ‘Lovely Chaos’ – a story of life in 1980’s New York City and the adventures, opportunities and diversity one could find on the gritty streets, including a stint in a prestigous acting school, life as a nut vendor in Hell’s Kitchen, a spiritual journey in a city ashram, performing stand up comedy on the circuit with such names as Jon Stewart, John Leguizammo, and Dave Atell. Also, the seedy nightlife, spending time at bars like Rudy’s, populated by various denizens of the Hell’s Kitchen population, and the ensuing confrontations with the ever-present hordes of crackheads who roamed the city streets late at night. There’s quite a bit more, but you get the picture.

 

Find this book on:

www.joemontaperto.com

Goodreads – Lovely Chaos

Amazon.ca – Lovely Chaos

Amazon.com – Lovely Chaos

Smashwords – Lovely Chaos

and on Authors Den!

 

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Comment below – will you be picking up this book?

 

#BookReview Light My Fire by Katie MacAlister

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Aisling Grey is by far my favourite of all of the women in this dragon universe by Katie MacAlister! She is cute, sassy and the perfect female lead for this comedic, fantastical romance!

Drake and Aisling are definitely the “perfect” pair, at least in my eyes. Their relationship is definitely not “normal” by any means, but they work well together! As characters, they have the perfect mix of getting along, sexiness, and generalized drama and sassiness. I honestly couldn’t see this pair with anybody else! However Katie made this pair, she did really well!

Aisling is becoming a Guardian, while her lover is a dragon. They have since “mated”, so the story builds and gets more interesting from here. This is the second last book in the series for now, but I do hope we get more! Since I’ve read most of the dragon books, I can say she appears in future books but she isn’t the lead.

The comedy in this book is spot on and amps it up from the last book. It definitely keeps the plot moving forward with lots of funny quirks, mixed in with the sexy Drake, super cute romance scenes and drama thrown in throughout. While the story does leave off in a place that feels like it doesn’t need to be continued, I wish it would! These characters bond way too well together for this to be the absolute end. Maybe, if we’re lucky, Katie will one day continue this series. So, cross your fingers!

I would definitely recommend this book to readers who love romance with a lot of comedy in it. The book doesn’t take itself too seriously, with an abundance of jokes (and a lot of Jim, the main source of comedy, present again) throughout the book. The book has many fantasy elements (obviously – dragons), but isn’t a purely dramatized novel. It’s very fun, is borderline PG-13, and has ooey, gooey romance that makes you squirm and giggle along the way.

Overall, I love this book! I’ve read it way too many times to count and I’ll keep reading it! It’s one of those books I like to read when I’m having a bad day because it’s just so much fun! Katie MacAlister is the QUEEN of dragon books!

Five out of five stars!

 

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.com – Light My Fire

Amazon.ca – Light My Fire

 

Check out the entire Aisling Grey series (which is apart of the Dragon Sept series): on Goodreads.

Or find out more about Katie MacAlister, one of my fave authors, on:

Goodreads – Katie MacAlister

http://www.katiemacalister.com/

Twitter – @katiemacalister

 

If you enjoyed this review, check out more of my reviews of Katie MacAlister books:

#BookReview Men in Kilts by Katie MacAlister

#BookReview In The Company of Vampires by Katie MacAlister

#BookReview You Slay Me by Katie MacAlister

Comment below – what is your favourite type of fantasy books?

And if you enjoyed this review, check out my twitter for urgent updates! @ReviewAlholic