#BookReview Shadow Child by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto

Shadow Child by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto is a beautifully written tale about the struggles of a set of twins.

When I sat down and started this book, I was absolutely floored. The writing style was so stunningly beautiful, I couldn’t help but metaphorically describe it as fine wine. Rahna has a wonderful sense of story and her word choice is magnificent. I didn’t want to put the book down.

But then I got to the meat and plot of this story.

I didn’t fully know what was going on and my questions weren’t answered. So many parts of this story were hinted at but then just fell through. There’s also four different story lines going on so it required a lot of brain power to keep track of what was going on. On top of that, Koko is a nickname of both girls, so those sections had me using extra brain power to try to figure out if this was one or both girls or neither.

I liked learning about their Mother’s back story, but I didn’t think she was the main protagonist of this story. I was far more interested in the twins’ stories than hers. While their Mother’s narrative was interesting to follow, I just didn’t care as much. I wanted to know what was going on now since there was a lot more drama during the present time in the story. Hana and Kei had such a thrilling narrative that I needed that story more.

This book felt more like a novel I’d read in an English class than one I would enjoy in my hobby reading. I seriously want someone to pick apart this novel and explain it to me. Is there a reason why we didn’t get all of the information about what happened? Is there a reason why we needed to know so much about the Mother and not the girls? I’d absolutely love if the author even explained the themes. I think I’d appreciate this book more if I could pick it apart and analyze it.

Honestly, I have the feeling that there is a piece of this book missing somewhere. The two halves of this book don’t intertwine perfectly and it just gives me this strange feeling. The story isn’t finished so I don’t totally feel satisfied. While I think the writing is beautiful and Rayna’s talent is obvious, I’m not one for cliffhangers or non-endings. I need to know what happened, so I don’t feel strongly about this book.

Overall, this book is interesting. I’d love to see it in an English class setting or have a BookTuber explain all the ins and outs so I can appreciate it more.

Two out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.


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Find out more about Rahna Reiko Rizzuto on:
Twitter – @r3reiko


If you’re looking for some more books to top up your TBR shelf, here’s some you might enjoy:
#BookReview Law and Addiction by Mike Papantonio
#BookReview Deep Cosmos by Project Kyle
#BookReview The Age of the Child by Kristen J. Tsetsi


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#BookReview The Heirs by Fran Hawthorne

The Heirs by Fran Hawthorne is a delightful, contemporary novel that lit up my bookshelf.

Eleanor’s Mother, Rose, has a terrible fall and is suddenly speaking Polish. For many years, Rose has kept her history of the war a secret and not shared a word to a single soul. This sudden change sparks interest in Eleanor and the hunt for a secret past begins. Family secrets are unlocked, drama ensues and life lessons are learned. Will her marriage survive? Will her Mother and her’s bond survive? Will her son ever enjoy soccer?

I found this book truly intriguing an addicting. It’s hard to tell which way this book is going to go right off the bat, which is why I truly enjoyed it. There’s so many secrets hidden and discussed, slowly being revealed as each chapter rolls on. Eleanor’s entire life seems to be falling at the seams, and yet she keeps her cool and manages herself through all of it. Not only was this book about discovering the past, it was also about taking control of your present and future! Eleanor has to manage taking care of her Mother while trying to be a wife and a Mother. Not all of her life is sunshine and roses: her relationship with her Mother is strained, her cousin seems to have a better relationship with Rose, her marriage isn’t in tip top shape, her son isn’t interested in sports, and there may be a man flirting with her! There’s so much going on for Eleanor and yet she handles it all like a pro (with some stumbles, but we all stumble once and a while).

Fran crafted this story wonderfully. I think enough information is released piece by piece, but it also moves at a fast enough pace to keep the reader interested. It’s full of contemporary drama and insights into the past (specifically World War ll).

I can truly respect this book. I found it super engaging and I definitely want more. I could analyze this book while also drifting off into another world that reflects my own.

I can’t find any real negatives about this book, if I’m being honest. I never studied much history or took a giant interest in it, so I felt like I didn’t connect with the history as much as my history buff friends could have. People who enjoy history might like the little splash of Poland that is thrown in.

Overall, I’d highly suggest this book. I think Fran has crafted one of the best books of 2020 and I will be singing it’s praises for years.

Five out of five stars.

I received this book for free from the author, Fran Hawthorne, in exchange for an honest review.


Check out this book on:
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You can find out more about the author, Fran Hawthorne, on:
Twitter – @hawthornewriter


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#BookReview Carry Me by Peter Behrens


Carry Me by Peter Behrens is a beautifully woven tale of the world wars that gives a unique perspective into the life of people in those times.

The first half of this book was incredibly addicting to me, and I could hardly put it down. It was a solid five out of five stars, and I wish I could have kept reading! Unfortunately, life hit me and I came back a week later to this novel. When I started reading at about page 243 I found myself not as interested and the story began to drag on and on and on. Some of the information could have been left out and the story would have felt just as full when I got to the end.

While this book seemed a little to long, I think the descriptions Peter wrote were divine. I couldn’t believe how clear I could imagine this story in my head! The beauty in Peter’s words truly wow-ed me, and if you love a descriptive author/book then this one is for you! It’s truly exquisite, and I’m surprised this book hasn’t won many awards for it’s intense descriptions.

The story goes back and forth between World War 1 and World War 2. Sometimes I found it hard to distinguish between the time lines (even though it stated which was which), and I almost wish Peter would have written the timelines in different tones. This wasn’t a major issue, but it did make this book a little more confusing for me (personally).

There is a small bit of romance in this novel, but you can hardly call it romance. While that was part of what drew me to the novel (you read the back of the book and it makes it seem like an epic war story with a splash of romance), yet there wasn’t much there in terms of romance. There was attraction and sweet comments, but it was more just happening in the story – there was no focus on the romance specifically. This could be a pro or a con for you, but to me I felt the marketing portrayed the romance as more than it was.

The battles in this story were well written – the war itself, the battle between leaving and staying in a place you love, and the troubles of complete opposites (woman vs men, idealisms, romanticism, etc). If you’re into themes and like reading into a book, there is so much potential to pick apart in this novel.

And then the ending is somewhat expected (I mean, most people know about history so we kind of know where it was going), but it still blew me away. Without spoiling, I think the way Peter tied this story together and increased conflict was truly incredible.

Overall, this piece of writing is a definite must read for fans of history, war stories, descriptive fiction and historical fiction. I normally stray far away from novels about history, but this one was fantastic!

Three out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.


Comment below with your favourite historical war stories!

Check out my review on Goodreads: Carry Me Review by Briar’s Reviews

Find Peter Behrens on his website: http://www.peterbehrens.org/

Or give us a shoutout on twitter! @PHBehrens and @ReviewAlholic

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview Do Not Ask by Elaine Williams Crockett

#BookReview A Long Way Back by J. Everett Prewitt


A Long Way Back by J. Everett Prewitt is a gripping story that will leave you breathless.

This book is one of the novels that have been sitting on my to-read shelf behind other books and I didn’t see. I would have read it ages ago, but my silly placement pattern didn’t work as well. Normally I put books I have read already to the back of my deep bookshelves, but somehow this book snuck into that pile. Since I found it, I decided I might as well spend my time reading it and leaving a gracious review to this author on Goodreads. They deserve it! I was the silly one who “lost” the book after they sent me a copy!

When you pick up this book, you’ll be amazed at the topics it can tackle. Military, secrets, drama, PTSD, and soldiers are all stuffed into this literary package.

J. Everett Prewitt clearly has a passion for this topic. His words flow smoothly and the story seems effortless. The points of view switch throughout the book which make it even more impactful (is that even a word?!) and meaningful.

This is a fresh take on history, and I was honestly surprised how much I like this book. I hated history in high school and while I love reading it I only want it in short bits and pieces. This novel is quite long (about 300 pages, which is a lot for me when reading history) and does a miraculous job of keeping me interested.

You might call this book a “horror” in some aspects – due to it being war and brutal, but I wouldn’t say this is Stephen King horror. It’s more of a war novel with realistic horrors within it.

The characters seem real, and their development is stunning. It’s not a super fast paced story, but it moves at just the right speed and introduces development and plot twists at just the right time to keep the reader going. I get bored INCREDIBLY easily and I didn’t want to put this book down.

Downfalls? Some of the chapters aren’t as exciting as others, or don’t seem to be written “as well”, and they hinder the story a bit. They keep the plot going, but it’s just not as good as the rest of the story.

Overall, this powerful novel is amazing! I would love to see this pop up in my local bookstores or libraries so it has more circulation. I could even see this book being a “work study” for English or History classes, that is how well-written and vivid this novel is. It makes you feel like you’re in the novel! 100% recommendation from this reviewer right here!

Four out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.


Check out J. Everett Prewitt on Goodreads: J. Everett Prewitt on Goodreads

Or find him on his website: E Prewitt.com

Or give him a shoutout on Twitter!! @Prewittx

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Quick Book Review: Into the Blizzard: Walking the Fields of the Newfoundland Dead by Michael Winter

In honour of Canada Day, here is my review of a book about Canada (well, Newfoundland)!!


Photo via Goodreads.

Since I am a Canadian, I decided this book would be an interesting read that would enhance my knowledge of Canada. And surprisingly, I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected!

I wanted to read the book to gain more knowledge, but I ended up really enjoying the book and getting into it.

The book follows the journey of the author through Newfoundland and past battlefields and grave sites of soldiers. The chapters in this book were short and sweet, but the nicest little gem was how much information and facts that were within the small chapters. Each chapter involved a small journey or task completed by the author, but little facts either about the author’s childhood or the wars were included. These facts, despite being anywhere from one sentence to only a few paragraphs in length, gave an amazing and gigantic insight to how the War was fought and dealt with by soldiers.

The only downfall I saw to this book was how simple some of the language was. The read was smooth and quick, and I didn’t find myself getting bored with the facts and plot laid out in the story. Overall, this book was incredibly well written and a gem I would definitely read again or suggest to anyone who is interested in history, wars, or specifically Canadian history.

I believe this book would help many high school students studying history understand it a bit more (considering the fact that this book would have helped me a lot when I sat bored in history class).

Amazing book! Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Quick Book Review: The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti


Photo via Goodreads.

I usually do not read this kind of book, but I must say it wow-ed me on so many levels. It started out to slow for my liking, but after about three chapters I was highly addicted and I wanted to know the life story of Ichmad Hamid. This book follws the life of Ichmad Hamid from when he was a child to when he begins an elderly man. You learn of the bright mind that Ichmad has and how he tries to get a better life for his family because of his gifted mind. I learned quite a bit about culture from this book, and I learned an even greater amount of knowledge on racism and hatred. This book centrals around a main concept (at least what I got as the main theme) of family. No matter what happened in this book Ichmad cared greatly about his family and always focused on that. When Ichmad went through school, he made sure to consider his family before every move. Ichmad made sure to think of his family when he started to develop farther in his love life as well.

I only had two problems with this book, and one was what was centered around Nora. She did go along well with the theme of family, but her storyline did break my heart quite a bit.

My second problem was that the book just seemed to end. I didn’t really see a resolution of any form happen, it felt as if the author ran out of words she was allowed to use and ended it. If some form of slowing down or conclusion would have happened, it could have been a much better book.

Either way, I believe it deserves 5 out of 5 stars for the beautiful message it sends.

Side note: I received this book free through Goodreads First Reads.