#BookReview Warming My Winter Heart by Michelle Cornish

Warming My Winter Heart by Michelle Cornish is a delightful and sweet romance read!

I’m the kind of girl who likes to curl up on the couch with a blanket, a warm cup of tea and a great contemporary book that will whisk me away into a story. Warming My Winter Heart did just that! This adorably fun romance novel will let you escape and have a little soap opera-esque drama in your life as well.

Lexi Blair is coming home from L.A. because she heard her ex-fiancé has died. Even if they didn’t get along, the poor girl is upset over this. Yet, surprises are bound for this girl because he’s not actually dead… and he wouldn’t mind getting back together. This nasty scheme implemented by people in her close circle is just one of many dramatic plot twists that will have you glued to the edge of you seat and enjoying the soap opera-ness this book has to offer! But it gets better guys! There might be another handsome man waiting in the wings that Lexi can chase after… John is just the guy for her, but he’s got his own problems to deal with.

I really liked this book! It’s a soft, sweet, contemporary book that is easy to read and moves at a fast pace. The romance doesn’t start until about halfway through the book so it’s also quite the slow burn. The world develops, we meet the characters and then we get into the real action.

Other positives in list form:

  1. A puppy named Prince William – because why not? He’s adorable, he’s got an awesome name and he’s quite the trouble maker.
  2. Oh Canada! This book is set in a fictional Canadian city but it’s a great Canadian read regardless! I love supporting Canadian authors and I love reading Canadian fiction. Have I said Canadian enough for you yet? No? How about one more “Canadian” to make a statement?
  3. Accounting and Marketing are mentioned in this book as careers. For some reason, I rarely come across romance novels that have those careers. It’s kind of random, but to me it was a bonus!
  4. The world and characters are not perfect. Don’t you hate those characters that are Mary Sue’s and seem to have it all going for them? These characters have real problems and act real. I felt like I would actually now some of these characters if they magically popped out of the book and came alive. I like stories where the people are realistic and relatable. Not everyone has a perfect, little life!
  5. The best friend’s name is Briar. I am Briar. This is mega cool! Other than Sleeping Beauty (Briar Rose), I rarely see the name Briar pop up anywhere. It’s goofy, but again – you gotta find the small things in life that make you happy.
  6. The book is about 200 pages long, which for me is the perfect length for a dramatic romance. The book doesn’t feel like it’s too short and it doesn’t feel like it drags on. The length is literally perfect in my mind. It’s also not so big and daunting that you don’t want to read it. The book is manageable – which sounds awful in writing but is a huge bonus for readers like me.
  7. You can easily put this book down and jump back into it later. Because the book is not overly complicated, it’s one of those books that if you don’t want to binge read it (why wouldn’t you though? It’s amazing), then you can set it down for a couple days and come back to it. I also like that as a reader who tends to have a lot going on (and I read this over the holidays, so as you can imagine things can get a little crazy).
  8. The cover is adorable! And did I mention there’s a tree farm in the book? Yeah. This book has so many Canadian winter vibes. I love it!

Overall, this book is spectacular, fantastic and marvellous!

I, of course, am a little biased because a character is named after me (yay best friend Briar!) and I was mentioned in the author’s notes (literally one of my life goals!) but I still think it’s an amazing read. I highly recommend it to romance lovers seeking an easy read with lots of drama. Michelle Cornish is a writer to watch out for! Seriously, her books need more attention. I’ll be grabbing more of Michelle’s book as soon as possible. Join me in this adventure! Grab this book and chat (or gossip) with me about it!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author, Michelle Cornish, in exchange of an honest review.

You can purchase this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
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Check out the author, Michelle Cornish, by clicking on the links below:
https://www.michellecornish.com/
Twitter: @Chellevester
Instagram: @michellejcornish
Goodreads Author Page

Looking for more romance? Here are some other indie romance books featured on my blog that you might enjoy:
#BookReview My Christmas Charade by Melanie Ting
#BookReview Love Comes for the Rock Star by Savannah Adams
#BookReview Donut Disturb by Melissa Williams

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#BookReview My Christmas Charade by Melanie Ting

Ooooohhhh boy!

I was seeking holiday books this year, and this one did not disappoint! Like normal, Melanie Ting has crafted a perfectly swell book that will make your heart flutter.

My Christmas Charade (the third book in the Holiday Hat Trick series) is about a sweet, Government financial analyst named Emily who fake dates the snarky, sarcastic and crude former hockey player Ian. She brings him home for Christmas after her boyfriend of ten years breaks up with her (his name is Lucas, FYI), to show her family how her new flings are totally acceptable. Because, obviously, a brutally honest, rude jerk with a mullet like Ian could not possibly be liked by her parents. Until, you know, everyone loves him – including her!

This book is packed full of Canadiana and I LOVE IT. Seriously, I love a good book that represents my home country in a variety of ways. Hockey players from Timmins? Yup. I’ve heard those jokes before! The ridiculous expensive of an NHL ticket (especially the Toronto Maple Leafs), yuuuuuuuup! Honestly, this book packing so many little Easter eggs for Canadians was just incredible. I loved it!

Throw in these other awesome notes:

  1. Em’s real name is Emerald – that’s ridiculously awesome.
  2. Em owns a hedgehog. YES A HEDGEHOG LIKE OMG CUTENESS.
  3. The relationship not being like BAM! instalove is totally appreciated.
  4. The comments about protection and being healthy in the sexual department – respect!
  5. Melanie Ting writing this book so well that the chemistry between Ian and Em felt real – awesome!
  6. Enemies to lovers, kind of? I wouldn’t say they are necessarily enemies but they don’t get along. This is a trope I haven’t read much of, so it was nice to slip into it.
  7. So many great one liners or just snarky comments. I love some sarcasm and wit in my books! Loooove it!
  8. Lots of hot sex. Melanie Ting is great at writing sex scenes. Seriously. Woooo. It was hot.
  9. Can we make the whole foul mouth hockey player a trope yet? It totally is a trope in real life up here in the good ol’ North.

Overall, this book is magical and fun! It’s a great romance that should be hitting the rounds and getting more readers. It’s a hidden gem that I highly recommend.

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author, Melanie Ting, in exchange of an honest review.

Click on the links below to send you off to some purchasing sites:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Indigo
Kobo
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Check out the author, Melanie Ting, on:
Goodreads Author Page
http://melanieting.com/
Twitter @MelTing21

Seeking more romance reads in your life? Check out some other books reviewed on my blog:
#BookReview My Hallowe’en Heartbreak by Melanie Ting
#BookReview Christmas Treats by Piper Rayne, Melissa Williams and more…
#BookReview Seeing Colour by Amber Faucher

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#BookReview Urban Gothic by Stephen M. Coghlan

Urban Gothic by Stephen M. Coghlan is the dark, mythic novel I’ve been searching for.

Do you remember back in English class where they said don’t use words in the sentence to describe the sentence? Well, I’m gonna break that rule. This book FELT gothic. It gave me goth vibes in so many ways, and somehow Urban Gothic fit the book just right.

The writing is tremendous. I felt whisked away and enchanted, unable to pull myself from the beautiful writing in this book. It felt like artwork, which I can’t always say for reading (yeah, yeah… I know… writing is an art… hush now).

Our lead Alec works in a hospital as a cleaner (but used to be a Medical Technician – what a down grade. That majorly sucks). His past trauma weighs down on him and makes it impossible for him to truly experience his life and dreams. We open on his walking about, and suddenly he sees a woman and three men. It’s not looking good for the lady, so he kills those three wicked attackers, and then tries to save our lady Veleda. She’s quite mystical and fantastical, making Alec’s life forever changed. He chooses to go on quite the adventure with her, and disappear into a world of gothic insanity.

The dreamscape and the other realm with different people (and their kooky abilities) was so cool. It’s one of those unique imaginative ideas that you’ve probably dreamed about and wanted to write about, but never did. It gave me those dreamy vibes and made me just so impressed. The story really pulled me in, and I am totally enchanted by Stephen’s writing and ideas. Like, I can’t express it enough. The descriptions alone gave me wonderful and intense images in my head. I love this! It’s so cool! The story is so good at whisking the reader away.

But that’s just me – me and my nostalgic love of gothic reading. It gave me dark Alice in Wonderland vibes, mixed with Donnie Darko and Rocky Horror-esque niche-ness.

There’s also a fair amount of action throughout the pages. I loved the mix of dramatic story telling and thrills packed tight in this story. It’s just enough to pull you along but also keep you intrigued.

Ah, I love this.

Five out of five stars.

I received this book for free from the author, Stephen M. Coghlan, in exchange of an honest review.

Check out this marvellous book on:
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Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
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Find out more about the author, Stephen M. Coghlan on:
Goodreads Author Page

If you enjoyed this review, check out some other books featured on my blog that you might enjoy:
#BookReview Fallen: Princeborn Stolen by Jean Lee
#Book Review Boston Metaphysical Society By Madeleine Holly-Rosing
#BookReview The Dark and Other Love Stories by Deborah Willis

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#BookReview My Hallowe’en Heartbreak by Melanie Ting

Okay, so if I have to pick one sentence to describe this book it would be: double finger guns of awesomeness!

My Hallowe’en Heartbreak is a fabulous romance novel packed with Canadian culture and kooky comedy!

Sophia goes to a Halloween costume party with her boyfriend Elliott, and of course he turns out to be jerk bag #1. He gets it on with some chick in a bathroom, and thus the relationship is over. Nothing sucks more than breaking up with your boyfriend dressed up as Pikachu. Well, there probably is worse things but that sounds kinda brutal, eh?

But, don’t worry! Sophia runs into her old high school crush Henry MacDonald, a super hot musician who ends up offering her a ride. They get kinda cozy, and things begin to blossom. Of course, along the way Sophia’s lawyer job has some bumps on the road, Henry’s superstar ex makes a play and Elliott is well… Elliott. Not a good dude. But it’s all good, because this romantic comedy will leave your heart swimming and head singing!

I really liked this book! Romantic comedies are totally my thing and having a Halloween themed one made it every better (it’s my fave holiday, what can I say?). Diving into this book was a nice way to escape and have a few giggles, plus… SO MUCH CANADA! Canadian indie band touring the maritimes? CHECK! Shout out to Justin Trudeau (and making fun of him, because us Canadians like to make fun of ourselves), CHECK! It just keeps piling up and makes me feel like this book is totally what I expect, and can respect, as a little Canadian book reviewer.

Add in the whole ‘seeing your crush again and having a second chance at love’ trope, and I’m totally game. It’s adorable, what can I say?

So, if you want a single line to pimp out this book, it’d be this:
This book has snarky comedy that gives romantic comedy movies a run for their money!

Five out of five stars!

Extra bonus points: Each chapter is the title of a Canadian indie song! Holy moly I’m so proud and impressed and this book deserves all the love! My goodness. Go Melanie!

I received this book for free from the author, Melanie Ting, in exchange of an honest review.

You can find this fantastically written book by clicking on the following links:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo
Indigo
B&N

Check out the author, Melanie Ting, on:
Goodreads Author Page
http://melanieting.com/
Twitter @MelTing21

If you’re seeking some more romance books in your life, grab one of these books recently featured on my blog:
Another Canadian read: #BookReview Seeing Colour by Amber Faucher
A Sweet Clean Romance: #BookReview Love Comes for the Army Ranger by Savannah Adams
A Sassy, British Comedy: #BookReview A Bicycle Made for Two by Mary Jayne Baker

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#BookReview Donut Disturb by Melissa Williams

Donut Disturb is an absolutely delightful romantic comedy by Melissa Williams!

This book is sugary sweet, absolutely adorable and utterly cute! I always love a good romantic comedy, but this one just hits the spot.

We follow Cassidy Daniels, a Torontonian baker at Bake, Rattle and Roll. She owns the place with her brother and works mighty hard to make donuts there, while her brother specializes in cupcakes. She runs into Baxter DeCavhalo at the grocery store and then finds out he is her next door neighbour. How did she find this out? He basically broke in while she was blasting her music and baking donuts. The following budding friendship and romance is fun, thrilling and romantic! There’s Tangled frying pan to the face vibes, MMA fighting, a thrilling side plot and some hot sex scenes littered throughout this book.

I can relate to Cassidy. She’s a hard working woman who would die for her craft. She’s stubborn, intelligent and knows it’s hard to find a good guy sometimes.

But… be warned… this book will 100% make you hungry. The donuts sound AMAZING. It’s super not fair that Melissa would torture us with such marvellous descriptions of food. It’s truly cruel.

I love this book! It was a fun yet quick read that made me remember why I love romantic comedies so much. Melissa Williams has created a wonderful book and I can’t wait to grab more by her! I would highly recommend picking this book up if you want a fun and light read, love romantic comedies, or want to expand your TBR to include some more indie authors.

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author, Melissa Williams, in exchange of an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo
B&N

You can find Melissa on:
Goodreads Author Page
Twitter – @ReadMel6

If you’re looking for more romance to add to your TBR, here are some other books recently featured on my blog that you’ll love:
#BookReview After the Sack by Savannah Adams
#BookReview The Perfect Fit by Mary Jayne Baker
#BookReview Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead

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#BookReview Chain Reaction by Tara Wyatt

If you’re looking for a slow burn romance with action and suspense woven throughout, Tara Wyatt’s Chain Reaction is the book for you!

Why didn’t I read this book sooner? Romance, a Canadian author, and a sexy man on the cover are three awesome traits of this book that make it a must have in my collection. This book has it all – drama, suspense, thrills, romance and some incredibly sexy scenes. Zack is mega hot, Alexa is a Hollywood star looking for something different and they are a match made in heaven! It helps that they’ve been pining after each other in secret for the past year.

This Bodyguard series seems to be centered on, you guessed it, bodyguards protecting a woman and then falling in love with them. It’s kind of the damsel in distress narrative, but with a little more ‘umph’. The duo seem to fall in love way too quickly, but it’s a romance novel so it’s easy to suspend reality on that front. But, the falling in love fast story line makes this book feel passionate and sexy. While it won’t work for all readers, it sure worked for me!

I liked Tara’s writing style – it was fast enough to keep me hooked, it was descriptive enough to make me feel like I’d been whisked away from reality, and it was easy to read. I found myself binging the whole book because I felt for Zack and Alexa and needed to know how it ended. She also wrote Alexa, a character with obvious flaws, really well. I honestly wanted her to have the happy ending she deserves. Buuuuut… yep, a but, I would have loved to have seen her past fleshed out a bit more. She’s a really interesting character who I want to follow more of. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll be getting anymore epic side stories about Alexa and Zack (at least… not yet!).

The plot itself is exciting and full of soap opera like turns. Alexa’s Dad is a bad guy, and there’s many more reveals to come. Alexa and Zack decide to ‘fake’ a relationship to not tip off any of the bad guys, but we all know how well that goes in romance novels.

On a side note: This book was easily read as a stand alone. I had no idea what happened in the past books, even though the novel hinted at them along the way, but that didn’t affect the quality of this book. As a reader, I was able to nod along and follow the plot without needing to search up the prequels. I absolutely want to read the two previous books now because this book was just so darn good!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book! I can easily recommend this to romance lovers who like a little action mixed in with their story.

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

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Check out this book on:
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Amazon.ca
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Check out Tara Wyatt on:
http://www.tara-wyatt.com/
Twitter – @taradwyatt

 

Looking for more romance books? Check out some others you might enjoy!
#BookReview The Inside Track by Tamsen Parker
#BookReview Blood Lust by Alexandra Ivy
#BookReview The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty

 

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#BookReview The Extra Cadaver Murder by Roy Innes

The Extra Cadaver Murder by Roy Innes is honestly one of my new fave mystery books!

Canadian book? Check! Murder mystery? Check! Female lead who is realistic? Check! What more can a Canadian book lover, like myself, ask for?!

Roy Innes has crafted one amazing book that had me hooked to every word. I almost binged this book (you can blame all of my homework for that one) and I could barely put it down! Seriously, it was a real struggle walking away from this book!

James and Coswell work on identifying the murderer of a university professor, all the while dealing with gender biases. Throw in the RCMP, some very complicated relationships and twists and turns you won’t see coming, and you’ve got yourself a real hit!

There were times in this book where the speed slowed down and it dragged on. Despite the small pacing issue, I had no problems with this book. It felt like a standalone, it didn’t have a cliffhanger and it felt really smart. I’d absolutely read another book by Roy Innes any day of the week! I just have to get my hands on one of those suckers…

In general, the book doesn’t stand out or do anything that other mystery novels haven’t already. We have a female lead dealing with gender bias, an aging officer dealing with all the joys of getting old and the obvious “who dunnit?’ storyline that leads you one way then takes you another. You wouldn’t be able to see the ending coming since not all characters are introduced right away, but I still think it’s a fun ride. I absolutely enjoyed this book and want more!

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free via Goodreads First Reads.

 

Find out more about this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Indigo
Kobo

 

If you like murder mystery novels, you might enjoy some of these other books:
#BookReview And The Wolf Shall Dwell by Joni Dee
#BookReview The Mountain Man’s Dog by Gary Corbin
#BookReview Gun Kiss by Khaled Talib

 

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#BookReview The Gift by Stephanie M. Matthews

The Gift by Stephanie M. Matthews was a horrific, thrilling treat!

This psychological, thrill ride of a novel showcases a unique take on religion. If Fae crazy? She’s hearing voices and a Gift from her grandmother has led her into some tempting and daunting situations. Will she get out alive? Will her friends survive? You’ll have to read to find out…

I was honestly surprised by this book – it had so many layers to it that I had to re-read a lot of chapters to really get the point (in a good way, of course). When you look at all of the aspects of this book, you get a real good idea of how talented Stephanie is. Christmas Day, German roots, bountiful landscapes, religious views and arts, and a dark yet intriguing writing style all creates a dark yet vibrant story. I kept getting pulled back into the book as I left it since I really had to know what was going to happen. This is one of the few books that I didn’t see the ending coming, which was nice.

Throw in a Frankie Valli reference, and I’m always game. On top of that, Stephanie is from Canada! It’s like this review was meant to be.

The genre of this book is hard to pick. It had a mixture of horror and thriller in there. I would recommend this book for at least 13+ if not an adult audience. There’s no crazy gore or R rated scenes, but the religion debate has a big influence on this novel.

If I had to summarize this book in one quote from the novel, it would be, “Sin is just what religious people call personal choices the church doesn’t like.” Seriously, that line gave me SHIVERS.

I don’t really have any negatives for this book, but I will say it’s a bit of a niche novel. It’s written beautifully, but some people might not like the themes. So, buyer beware (as always…) – research your books before you read them.

Overall, I liked this book. You could easily binge or set this book down, depending on your mood. I loved the prose and writing style Stephanie uses because it was absolutely perfect for the tone of this book. I’d love to read more from Stephanie in the future, because she’s clearly one talented author.

Four out of five stars.

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

 

You can find this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo
Barnes & Noble
Indigo – Canadian Retailer

 

Find out more about Stephanie M. Matthews:
Goodreads
www.stephaniemmatthews.com
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*Photo courtesy of the author, Stephanie M. Matthews

#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 Under The Visible Life by Kim Echlin

Under The Visible Life is a moving story by Kim Echlin that will knock your socks off!

To be blunt and up-front, this book was not the book for me. That being said, it was a truly mesmerizing story! It was very hard for me to get into this book but it was still beautiful nonetheless. I want to say that upfront since my rating is based off my opinion of the book (and I wasn’t pulled into the book) but the story is still a worthwhile read! I am sure many other readers will be able to connect with this story and fall in love with it in ways that I couldn’t. Kim Echlin is amazingly talented and I highly suggest this novel.

I did love that this story revolved around women and their realistic lives. The book didn’t feel over the top. It felt honest and real in ways that other books haven’t lately. I think this is how the book will sit well with people. Somehow, this story felt like I could have been hearing or reading a non-fiction novel. The struggles felt real and the characters felt like I could have walked by them on the street. Kim Echlin deserves a lot of recognition for just being able to do that in one book. It’s mind-blowing!

So, why was this book not for me? I found it really hard to sink into. I had to force myself to read each chapter and it felt way too slow. I like a fast paced book that gets me hooked, and this book is not that. It’s raw, real and slower paced. The book isn’t boring by any means, it just wasn’t made for me (which is a good thing!). As a reader, sometimes you have to admit that you won’t love ALL books. But that’s art! I can still appreciate how absolutely stunning this book was. And I will highly recommend it every single day because this book is definitely made for other readers!

I will say my favourite part about this book: it has a lot of culture. It will open you up to worlds you may not have known about before (Afghan culture, for example). Books that include other cultures (in a respectful manner, on top of just including them) are books that need to be read! So, I will shout from the hill tops that this book needs to be read! I liked reading about a culture that is not my own.

Three out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

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