#BookReview The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

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The Light Between Oceans is a bittersweet novel that will crush your soul (in a good way).

This is M.L. Stedman’s first book, and it is one fantastic first novel (to be brutally honest). This book was beautifully written, it pulled at my heart strings and it demanded my attention. Typically fictional novels that are more focused on “drama” don’t pull me like this book did! I was obsessed and had to finish reading it, I had to know what was going to happen to Tom, Isobel and Lucy.

The layers of love and affection in this story, mixed with the difficult decision making (and catch-22’s, as most reviewers are saying) make this a really intriguing story. It really made me question myself and my own choices – if I was Isobel in that time period (or Tom for that matter) and went through what they had been through, would I keep the baby? Would I admit I kept the baby? What would I do?

It’s a difficult decision, and you see one plot line of how this story can go. It’s not like a crazy soap opera, it seems realistic (to me, anyways). It’s a story all about bad decisions being made by good people, and the tension and fall outs that happen because of it. Were they really doing a bad thing, if their hearts were in the right place?

This book seems to be 50/50 for people – you either love it, or you don’t. I enjoyed the slight romance, dramatic fiction, heart wrenching tale that it is….but…I also didn’t read any reviews before and went in knowing I just wanted to read the book to see the movie. I had 0 expectations, and I came out loving it. In my opinion, some people seem to be reading way to far into the book. Are there themes? Yes. Is this a book that will be compared to Shakespeare (or even It…) in relation to it’s themes? No. Does it identify how good people can make bad decisions? Yes. Do you have to agree with their decisions? No. Do the characters decisions have to be your decisions? No. It’s simply a novel that is well written and shows one story of bad decision making.

Overall, this book is well written and is a fun read. All I can say now is, I can’t wait to watch the movie!

Five out of five stars.

 

Did you enjoy this book? Review not enjoy another! #BookReview The Winter Family by Clifford Jackman

In the comments below, tell me your favourite book that has a film adaption!!

Check out M.L. Stedman and her work! M.L. Stedman

 

Photo from Goodreads.

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#BookReview The King’s Peace by Kevin Hammond

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The King’s Peace is an epic fantasy read to add to your collection!

Fantasy is one of those genres where it can go anywhere – medieval, dragons, superheroes, magic, gods, monsters, creatures, etc – so reading a fantasy book is always a pleasant surprise! This novel focuses on Kings, Dragons, Magic, Gods and action adventure. We follow Nathaniel on his journey, where the King has been murdered and drama and hectic adventures ensue. The book is fast paced and will keep you interested at every turn. For me, I felt this book teetered close to an R rating – so maybe don’t read this to your children. There were dark parts of this book, but it’s not unbearable R (no endless swearing, excessive gore, etc).

The descriptions of the action in this novel are phenomenal. I really felt like I was transported into this story through Kevin’s writing. Mixing that in with the fantastical quest Nathaniel embarks on makes this book soar to a whole new level! I really enjoyed the action and found myself finding this book fun! Throw in a few funny comments and enticing characters, and this book is all around good fiction!

When analyzing the characters, I liked how Nathaniel developed throughout his quest – the thief is sometimes portrayed as a silly or dumb character, but Kevin makes Nathaniel likable and have an actual personality.

Additionally, the further I got into the novel, the more interested I was in the book. Since the writing style doesn’t coincide perfectly with my reading style, it took me a little longer for me to attach to the story. At about page 85 I found myself gripping my device and yearning for more, unable to put it down!

My con for this book is the con I have with all fantasy book – I never know how to properly pronounce the names! All of these cool names are introduced with Kevin’s characters, and I’m lost and probably pronouncing every name wrong! It doesn’t ruin this book at all, but it always makes me chuckle when I look up the pronunciation of the names after I’ve read the book and I’ve created some really weird sounding names in my head. For example – Kelda. Kee-lda? Kel-da? Is the l silent? Is the d silent? Is the k silent? Such a beautiful name, but I probably pronounced it wrong the whole book!

Personally, the writing style didn’t mesh well with my reading style. Just because that little fact is true, doesn’t mean that this book isn’t good. Honestly, it was fantastic! It was kind of nice to have a change from my normal reads to dive into this beautifully written tale.

Overall, this book was awesome! I think it’s a fun fantasy book that should be on my local bookstore’s shelves! Considering this is more of an indie fantasy novel, it will really blow you out of the water! I never expect this much talent and creativity in a novel, let alone from an indie author! This book could be converted to the big screen with how beautifully it was written.

I’m giving it a 3 out of 5 based on my rating system – 3 means I like it! If you look at the Amazon rating, it’d be a 4.

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

 

Find out about the King’s Peace on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21279183-the-king-s-peace

Purchase this book on: Amazon.com – The King’s Peace or Amazon.ca – The King’s Peace

If you read this novel, give me a shout out on Twitter using the hashtag #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

 

Comment below with your favourite fantasy novel!!

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#BookReview Driving on the Left by Gail Ward Olmsted

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Driving on the Left is a beautiful character drama following a mother and a daughter on their trip in Ireland.

This beautiful story really blew my socks off – I wasn’t expecting this fantastic story in what sounded like a cheesey romance novel. Following Jackie and Becca and their somewhat parallel stories was breathtaking and addicting! Seeing two women develop over this novel and how their lives are intertwined was a real treat that I highly recommend!

When reading the book, I drew parallels to Big Little Lies in the character development aspect (not the murder or soap opera like story lines), and the elegance of The Crown. While the book was more heavily focused on growth and development (with a splash of romance) over action, this book was still fast paced and kept me hooked. Having Jackie and Becca switch point of views also gave unique perspectives into the same situations (both past and present). And seeing these characters make big, life changing decisions along the way was also so incredibly moving. It was a book I’d love to bring to a book club and digest with an entire group of women!

The background of Ireland was also incredible. I’ve never been to Ireland, so I had to do some research online to see what Gail was talking about, but I felt like she gave the right descriptions to set the tone. Her descriptions were breath taking enough that I want to go to Ireland now and have my own little adventure!

This book was easily read as a stand alone (but apparently it’s a part of a series!), and would be a great book to devour in one sitting. I want a sequel to see how these characters grow and develop more, since Gail did a tremendous job of making me fall in love and feel for these characters. She does it so flawlessly, and I didn’t even notice myself yearning to know these characters and relating to them.

My only con for the book is that I want more! I want more of these characters as soon as possible! This book tells a lovely tale of reminiscing and life changes through the ages. With the addition of a Mother-Daughter story on top of the drama and romance… yeah, it’s a real hit!

Five out of five stars!

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

 

About Driving on the Left:

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To move forward, you need to let go of the past…. Jackie Sullivan decides it’s time for a fresh start, after her marriage falls apart and she loses her job. Meeting a sexy tour guide inspires her to build a new life for herself among the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona. But Jackie is looking for more than just romance. Fueled by an unflagging sense of humor and lots of caffeine, she sets out on a journey of self-discovery and she plans to get it right this time. Jackie’s had her happy, now she wants her ever after!
Purchase the book on Amazon:

Amazon.com – Driving on the Left

Amazon.ca – Driving on the Left

 

Find Gail Ward Olmsted on her website: http://www.gailolmsted.com/

Or give us both a shout out on Twitter! @GWOlmsted & @ReviewAlholic

 

Comment below – what is your favourite romance novel?

#BookReview The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane by K. Kris Loomis

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The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane is a unique space drama that follows the character development of Bethany Ann Crane.

This book was truly mesmerizing! It’s hard to describe how interesting this book really was for me to read in just words. I couldn’t put this book down since it was so unique and addicting.

Throughout this novel, you follow the character Bethany Ann Crane and her life experiences. The character study starts off when she is very young to her “older years”. On top of following this beautiful character, there’s a subplot featuring space travel that really hits the sci-fi genre. The small town of Grover Springs is transported to another planet and their aging and diseases seem to stop completely – yet this small town is expected to live and grow within their new community.

Having us follow Bethany Ann is a really interesting spin on this story line – she notices the small things like rainfall being the same everyday, and she manages to mature and expand her technical skills (like playing the piano and chess) because there isn’t much else to do in this small community. The older and more bored she gets, the more she learns and begins to question everything that is happening. The girl tries to mature and feel love, but in such a small community life becomes very difficult. Especially since no one can leave the experiment!

K. Kris Loomis always has themes in her books (which I am the biggest nerd for). There were some religious and spiritual comments in the book, which makes you question reality versus religion. Additionally, this young girl wants to grow and mature and be an “adult” (like some of the boys who see themselves as “men”) yet in such a small town where nothing can move past where they are… how can she? She’s young yet feels so different. Another side of his story is the sci-fi and technology aspects – is all of this development really good for the people? What happens when it “backfires” or we decide to stop using it?

Somehow, despite K. Kris Loomis having all of these “big” questions and heavy hitting plot lines, this book didn’t feel difficult to read or too much. It all was woven into a really lovely tale that makes you think and pick apart the story. I truly found it engaging and would suggest anyone who wants a book that will make them think to pick it up! That being said, if you want a mindless read then this probably isn’t for you. It’s very thoughtful, like a book we should have read back in high school.

I couldn’t find many faults with this story – sometimes the story got a little slow, but since this book is more of a character development/big question type of novel, it doesn’t affect my overall rating that much. I might have liked some more background into the science and technology of the experiment, but that’s me picking it to pieces and being picky.

Overall, this book was really cool! It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read and I love it! K. Kris Loomis has a real talent!

Five out of five stars!

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

 

Find K. Kris Loomis on her website: http://www.kkrisloomis.com/

Or give both of us a shout out on Twitter! @KKrisLoomis & @ReviewAlholic

 

Find this book:

On Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40131752-the-sinking-of-bethany-ann-crane

On Amazon.com – Amazon.com

On Amazon.ca – Amazon.ca

 

And check out another book review of a K. Kris Loomis novel on my blog: #BookReview The Monster in the Closet and Other Stories by K. Kris Loomis
Comment below – have you read anything by K. Kris Loomis?

 

#BookReview Someone You Love Is Gone by Gurjinder Basran

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Someone You Love is Gone by Gurjinder Basran is a beautiful novel centered around grief.

Picking this book up, after losing my own Father years ago, was kind of like therapy. I was able to see someone else facing the exact thing I had (keep in mind a different gendered parent) and having a similar response to me. Gurjinder Basran does a fantastic job of showing how grief affects a person.

The small losses of temper, without meaning to was a big part of mine and my Mother’s grief. Seeing this happen was truly incredible – our main character Simran does not purposely yell at her daughter or her husband, it just happens. The emotions that go through someone when experiencing grief is very expressive in this book – and it shows how talented this author is.

I’d hate to say this book is like a “slice of life” novel, but it is – but a slice of grief and the life that comes after. So many sayings that you don’t think about – like how you just get used to grief and it doesn’t get better – are displayed in this story. Before someone dies, you say that but don’t realize how true those sayings really are. You don’t realize how haunting it is to be here and that person who’s in your memories and clothes are still in their closets are just not there – they don’t exist anymore. This beautiful novel shows all of this, and it almost made me cry thinking about how honest this book is compared to my own grief.

I relate a lot of Sim, and I think this is why the book speaks to me so much.

<spoiler> When her husband comes home from work only to get changed to go out for drinks for work, leaving Sim behind when she really needs someone (and her daughter goes back to school and won’t even hug her mother goodbye) speaks to me on so many levels. All of my friends and family ditched me as soon as my Father died, leaving me alone for the final month of high school. Literally alone. It speaks to me so much on so many levels to see THIS IS REAL. This was not just my small reality, but this can be others as well – even if this book is fictional. </spoiler>

Overall, this book is truly beautiful. I could go on and spoil everything, but I would rather just state my opinion to finish it off.

This book shows the gradual change in grief – immediately losing a parent, dealing with the emotions after, dealing with relationships during grief, trying to pick what’s best and how to grieve, and the finale of finally accepting it.

This book should be read by those experiencing or who have experienced grief to understand. This was far better than any therapist or book I was forced to read during my grief – those self help books are rarely helpful, let’s be honest.

Five out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

 

Check out Gurjinder Basran on Goodreads! Gurjinder Basran on Goodreads

Or check out her website! Gurjinder Basran

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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

Quick Book Review: Perfect (Pretty Little Liars #3) by Sara Shepard

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Photo via Goodreads.

I am so annoyed at this book but I love it at the same time! I am annoyed at wanting to know who A is and why he or she is going after Spencer, Aria, Hanna and Emily.

This series is continuing to bring me back to the ever frustrating life of the girls after Allison died. The novel is a very quick read and is full of twists and turns that I shouldn’t have expected (except for the fact that I have looked ahead by watching the television series Pretty Little Liars). I cannot wait to get the next novel in the series and start reading it! Hopefully soon A will make an appearance as a character!

The only thing I found wrong with the novel was some of the girls got more ‘screen’ time than the others. I would have liked to see the girls all together in some scenes, or experience more time with each of the girls by themselves. The plot was easy to follow and the chapters moved fast enough that I wasn’t getting bored.

I can’t complain about this novel! It is perfection in my eyes, except for the fact that I am desperate to know who A is! But that’s good for this kind of novel.

Five out of five stars! I love it!