Category Archives: Book Reviews

Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop of Dreams Review

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(*This photo is my own)

Author: Jenny Colgan

Release: 2012

Genre: Chick Lit

Pages: 465

 Do you like the feeling of nostalgia that classic candy stores give you? The glistening jars, the old-style register and the memories evoked upon walking in? Well readers, look no further than Welcome to Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop of Dreams.

As a candy enthusiast, as well as a fan of Ms. Colgan’s work, I was enveloped in the sweet stories and idyllic scenery presented in this book. I myself have never travelled to the United Kingdom, but a village such as the book’s Lipton is exactly the type of place I’d want to go to.

The book presents its readers with two lovable protagonists; Rosie Hopkins and her great-aunt Lilian Hopkins. Rosie is a 30-year-old auxiliary nurse living in London with her childish boyfriend of 8 years. Lilian is the aging proprietor of her family’s sweetshop in the countryside village of Lipton. Lilian has her own backstory that is explained through heart wrenching flashbacks depicting the world during World War II, and how it affected everyone.

When Rosie is sent by her mother to help Lilian, she finds that her city life makes her a sort of exotic bird in the quiet countryside. The relationship between the two protagonists, and their love stories, is written elegantly with Ms. Colgan making the entire book relatable as well as hard to put down.

Rating: 5/5 sweets

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The She-Hulk Diaries Review

Author: Marta Acosta

Release: 2013

Genre: Superhero/Fiction

Pages: 328

I could not put this book down! Found on a fluke, I’ve never been so happy to give a book I haven’t heard about a chance.

In all honesty, I didn’t even know that there was a She-Hulk comic book character. Jennifer Walters is a lawyer by day who is often frustrated with the She-Hulk persona who takes over her consciousness in times when The Avengers, or New York City, need her.

The constant power struggle of humanity versus (super)heroism is a central theme in this book, with the two polar opposites existing as one yet finding it necessary to reach a agreement with one another. I know that sounds like a confusing sentence, but think of She-Hulk like a modern day Jekyll and Hyde and it will be easier to understand.

The characters jump off the pages, especially if you’re even the slightest bit familiar with the Marvel universe as Iron Man/Tony Stark makes a few appearances throughout.

This book has even motivated me to go out and buy some of the actual Sensational She-Hulk Comic Books, which are proving to be just as entertaining.

Rating: 5/5 comic books

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Operation Grizzly Camp (Poppy McVie Adventures #3) Review

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(*This photo is from goodreads.com)

(I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review)

Author: Kimberli A. Bindschatel

Release: 2016

Genre: Adventure, Thriller

Pages: 184

Bravo! That’s the first sentiment that comes to mind after reading the newest installment in the Poppy McVie series focusing on the title characters adventures as an animal protection agent.

This outing tells the story of Poppy and her partner Agent Dalton’s mission to catch a poacher hunting bears under the guise of a legal hunting lodge in the Alaskan wilderness. The descriptions of this area are next to none, with the beautiful writing driving home the underlying message about the importance of conversation.

“Glacier-covered peaks along the shoreline, dotted with alpine lakes, offered streams that meandered downward, through the patchwork of green, toward the satiny blue sea. Beautiful, untouched, the way it was meant to be. Alaska was truly the last frontier. I held my breath, taking it in.”

Upon embarking on the hunting trip, Poppy comes face to face with dangers posed by both nature and humans themselves. The suspense in the wilderness scenes had me reading voraciously to discover what would take place next. Whether you agree with hunting or not, Ms. Bindschatel’s fact-based books will make you evaluate your views regardless without being preachy.

An absolutely wonderful addition to the series, watch out for the next book Operation Turtle Beach, coming soon.

Rating: 5/5 vistas of Alaskan wilderness

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First Among Sequels Review

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(*This is a photo from goodreads.com)

Author: Jasper Fforde

Release: 2007

Genre: Fiction

Pages: 363

Fourteen years after the events of Something Rotten, we catch up with Thursday Next who now has three children and is still heavily involved in the happenings of Bookworld.

This book brings together the cast of characters from the previous books in the series while introducing readers to new characters (most notably her children), this book ensnared me in its twisting plotlines.

Whenever Thursday is in the Bookworld, I want to be right there with her. Honestly, what could be better than interacting with book characters and seeing your favourite tales from the inside? It’s like reading a bookworm’s dream come true.

I can’t wait to continue reading the books in this series. If you want a treat for your book-loving soul, be sure to pick up First Among Sequels.

Rating: 5/5 LiteraTech Agents

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The Fourth Bear Review

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(*This is a photo from Goodreads)

Author: Jasper Fforde

Release: 2006

Genre: Fiction

Pages: 382 

Have you ever wondered what the world would be like if nursery rhyme characters were real? Neither did I, until I started reading Jasper Fforde’s Nursery Crime books.

The Fourth Bear is the second outing in this series, with Nursery Crime police Jack Spratt and Mary Mary trying to solve two different cases involving interesting characters. First you have the case of the missing reporter, Goldilocks.

Next comes the escape of the sadistic serial killer the Gingerbreadman. Yes, that Gingerbreadman. I was beside myself laughing reading about him, as I often think of the cute little cookie from the Shrek movies. But this Gingerbreadman is over 6 feet tall and tears off peoples’ limbs as people often do with his cookie type.

Treat yourself to this delightfully written book that explores nursery rhymes in a way that is hilarious you need to read more.

Rating: 5/5 contraband bowls of porridge

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Rest in Peach Review

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(*This is a photo from goodreads.com)

Author: Susan Furlong

Release: 2016

Genre: Mystery/Cozy Mystery

Pages: 304

**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review, with no **

The setting of this book instantly drew me in from the first chapter to the very last page. And as a peach lover, I was delighted to read a book about the products while effortlessly weaving a mystery into the setting.

Nola Mae is an absolute delight of a character, and I especially loved the fact that her time as a humanitarian shows through in her compassion for others.

When the cotillion preparations begin to ramp up in Cays Mill, it’s up to Nola Mae to be the cool-headed one amidst the hyper mothers and daughters. When a murder occurs, it’s also up to her to clear her friends name before its too late.

To readers everywhere, do yourself a favour and pick up this delightful book. While you’re at, brew yourself a cup of delicious peach tea and envelop yourself in the fabulous writing of Ms. Furlong.

Rating: 5/5 Peachy Keen Preserves

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The Astronaut Wives Club Review

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(*This is a photo from goodreads.com)

Author: Lily Koppel

Release: 2013

Genre: Non-Fiction

Pages: 272

As I didn’t grow up in this generation, there was a lot I wouldn’t have known about the space program if I hadn’t picked up this book. Having seen the numerous commercials for the mini-series last year, the story intrigued me. When I found the book for $2, I figured it was meant to be.

I absolutely adored this behind the scenes look at the space programs. I never really knew anything about the space programs, save for watching Apollo 13 years ago. I couldn’t help but sympathize for the wives whose husbands were being launched into such an unknown territory while still having to put on a brave face for their children and the Life Magazine reporters following their every move.

The Original Seven wives were my favourite, each with their own distinct story and personality. If I were a woman in that era, I definitely would be a huge fan of Annie Glenn.

Being terrified of the vastness of space ever since I can remember, this book gave me a new respect for the women having to cope here on Earth and for the men who are brave enough to go into parts unknown.

I cannot wait to start reading more about the generation, as I am now utterly fascinated.

Rating: 5/5 Astronaut Wives

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Lair of Dreams Review

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(*This is a photo from goodreads.com)

Author: Libba Bray

Release: 2015

Genre: Fiction/Supernatural/Thriller

Pages: 613

Want a book that will leave you gripping the edge of your seat and insatiably hungry for more? Look no further than Lair of Dreams, the sequel to 2012 bestseller The Diviners.

Picking up where the last book left off, readers find their favourite crew of Diviners living out their best lives in 1920s New York City. However, a new plague has swept the city and it’s called the sleeping sickness. Written so devastatingly realistic, it’s a wonder that this disease actually doesn’t exist in the world; and for that we all need be excessively thankful.

Lair of Dreams introduces new characters to the already familiar cast, with dreamwalker Ling Chan being the most pre-eminent and drawing readers into her story as Ms. Bray flawlessly weaves it into that of a main character.

Once you begin reading this book, it will be hard to put down. I read nearly the entire second half of the book in one sitting because I couldn’t possibly wait to find out what happens next. The well-paced, extremely suspenseful book will captivate readers of all ages and urge them to never answer yes to the recurring adage of come dream with me.

Rating: 5/5 Sweetheart Seers

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Off the Books Review

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(*This is a photo from goodreads.com)

Author: Lucy Arlington (aka Susan Furlong)

Release: 2016

Genre: Cozy-Mystery/Mystery

Pages: 273

**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review**

It’s not often when I can say that I couldn’t figure out the killer of a mystery by the halfway point. In this case, I could not; and that’s a very good thing in my books!

If you haven’t read any of the series, you’re in for a treat. Set in the North Carolina literary town of Inspiration Valley, the city feels like a cross between Westbridge (of Sabrina the Teenaged Witch) and Gilmore Girls’ Stars Hollow. And the characters bring just as much zest to the table. Literary agent Lila Wilkins is a protagonist that is so loveable, you want everything to work out just right for her.

When a murder occurs at the bridal expo that her employer, Novel Idea Literary Agency, is helping run turns into the scene of a crime, Lila and her gang of friends must solve the mystery before they become the next victim.

An absolutely delightful read from start to finish, readers and cozy mystery fans alike would be foolish to miss out on such a gem of a book that leaves bookworms wanting more as soon as they put the book down.

Rating: 5/5 caramel lattes from Espresso Yourself

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The Bone Season Review

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(*This is a photo from goodreads.com)

Author: Samantha Shannon

Release: 2013

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 452

Truly one of the most engaging and addictive books I have read in a long time, I could not talk myself into putting The Bone Season down once I had started it. Ms. Shannon immerses readers in an alternate version of Europe, where the Scion rules supreme and works to stop the onslaught of clairvoyants roaming in the nations.

Our protagonist comes in the form of Paige Mahoney, a powerful clairvoyant who works in the underground world of London for the Syndicate. After being captured and forced into a world previously unknown to her, Paige is embroiled with new information that will change her world forever.

The sheer thought and detail gone into the creation of this world makes me believe that Ms. Shannon will soon become recognized as one of most inventive, groundbreaking authors of her generation.

I encourage you readers who have not entered this amazing world of Scion Europe to do so as soon as you can. Let yourself escape to a place where your mind will never stop trying to figure out various nuances. You won’t regret it.

Rating: 5/5 dreamwalkers

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