The Virgin Blue

The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier is an adult fictional novel with a historical feel.

Present and past collide when Ella Turner moves to France with her husband and begins having blue dreams. When Ella moved to France, she hoped to find a place and begin a family. But small town life and the French in general, don’t seem to agree with her. She feels out of place and watched; she no longer feels like herself. And worst of all are the dreams. Dreams, she soon learns, may be connected with her families past.

Isabelle du Moulin, 400 years earlier, lives a different sort of small town life. Persecuted because of her red hair and her love for the Virgin Mother, Isabelle finds herself constantly watched and judged. Superstition and fear guide this time period and that in itself can be dangerous.

What do Ella and Isabelle have in common? Secrets will be revealed and revelations made.

This is the book that was chosen for my next social book club. I will admit, I was kind of indifferent to it when picked, but I joined the book club to socialize and read outside of my comfort zone, so I gave it a try. This book was beautifully structured. The way the chapters go back an forth to reveal bits and pieces of the truth, was wonderful. The story itself didn’t wow me, it was good but that’s about it. But the trail the reader had to follow to get to the end was interesting.

I wasn’t so much into Ella’s character. I thought she could have been a little stronger. She had moments, I’ll give her that, but overall she needed something that I just can’t put my finger on. Isabelle was better and Jacob was really interesting. I really loved his cliff hanger at the end.

Another gripe I have was the French. If I was a more studious reader, I would have looked up the French and the book would have probably had a lot more meaning for me. But reading in bed or on my lunch, mehhhh. I would have liked to know what was being said sometimes, specifically instead of just inferred.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and I breezed through it. It’ll be interesting to see what the rest of my book club has to say about it. This one gets 3 stars from me.

That’s all for now!




Vengeful by V.E. Schwab is the sequel to Vicious Schwab’s first adult novel.

EO’s or Extra Ordinary’s exist. They are people who have died or have had near death experiences but wake up different–powerful. EO’s like Sydney can raise the dead, like Eli can heal, like June can shapeshift, they can ruin, shield, destroy and save. And all of them are being hunted.

When Sydney raised Victor from the dead, he didn’t come back entirely himself. His powers are running hot and he is running out of time. Now Victor, Sydney, Mitch and Dol are looking for a cure while on the run from a secret sect of the government that wants to capture all EO’s.

What is to become of Victor? Will all the EO’s have to run forever? And what will happen when faces from the past, surface?

I have to admit, this story probably deserves more than 3.5 stars but I just couldn’t get as sucked in as I feel like I should have because I could barely remember what happened in Vicious. This is totally my fault, I should have re-read the first book or at the very least searched for a good synopsis but I didn’t and so I didn’t have all the fun details that were probably in the first book and would have made this one that much more enjoyable. But I did enjoy the book, I just kept having those “oh yeaaa” moments, that sort of slowed my progress. This was also really, really hard to summarize, which again, tells you something.

I did really like the story behind this world. The idea that people who almost die might come back as something more then they were, isn’t a new concept but Schwab really writes it in a new way. And Victor is such an interesting character. He’s not a good guy but he’s not all bad either. I remember really liking him in the first book.

That’s really all I have for this one. A good read, but definitely read the two back to back–you won’t be sorry. This one gets 3.5 stars from me.

That’s all for now!


The Whistling Season

The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig is an adult, historical fiction novel that takes place in the Midwest around the 1900’s.

“Can’t cook but doesn’t bite.” Begins the newspaper ad for an expert housekeeper, with “sound morals, exceptional disposition.” Drawing the attention of a widower and his three boys, so begins the story of a housekeeper and her brother and their journey into the lives of a family that will never be the same.

One-room school houses, dry land farming, comets, bullies, boxing and betting, along with all the ins-and-outs of western living can be found in this gem of a book.

This is probably my third time reading The Whistling Season. I am just so in love with the language and setting Doig manages to snag his readers with. The writing, although not for everyone, is almost fluid and magical in its intricacies of language. For some people this is intimidating and hard to get into, but give it a try because it really is an excellent example of how a simple plot can just blow you away with the written word.

Doig is a master of description. Most of his books, if not all, take place in the Midwest and boy can he just paint a picture for you. For a girl whose never been west of Pennsylvania, I can almost see the setting. This is also a great little book because I think it is about a subject in history that there isn’t much written on, so it was neat to step inside that one-room school house, out on the plains.

I picked this one for my community book club when no one was jumping up to make a suggestion. And for a book that “wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea,” it was probably the longest we have every actually stayed on topic and discussed the book. So that in itself tells you something.

If you haven’t read Ivan Doig, give him a try. He writes, not overly serious books that are so lovingly written and perfectly described. This one will always get 5 stars from me.

That’s all for now!


The Endless Beach

The Endless Beach by Jenny Colgan is a Summer Seaside Kitchen book set on northern Scotland on a small island.

When Flora MacKenzie left her not-always-so glamourous life in London to return home the Mure, a small Sottish island, she didn’t realize how much peace she would find. Now, if only her American boyfriend could get his act together and open up, everything would be perfect.

Magical whale sightings, local community, scenery and a sense of belonging lull Flora into complacency. When superstition and terrible omens rear their heads, Flora will realize that the peace she’s found could easily be snatched away.

The Endless Beach is a chance for the reader to get back to Mure and fall back into the lives of the character’s they fell in love with in The Café by the Sea.

Well this was no Bookshop on the Corner or The Café by the Sea. It was the fluff, easy reading pick-me-up (sort of) that I wanted and in that it achieved it’s goal. I just didn’t feel as connected to the characters as I did in Colgan’s other books. The whole Joel, Flora back and forth was a bit annoying, although it was interesting to get into Joel’s head a little.

It also just ended. Yes, Flora and Joel’s story wrapped up nice and tidy but everyone else’s were just kind of left hanging. I mean what about Flinton? What about Sarif and Lorna? I almost wonder if Colgan plans on coming back to these characters; if she can’t let them go. I really don’t need another book set on Mure–give me a new story with new characters–but I wouldn’t mind getting a <100 novella to wrap up these other two stories.

Overall, this was an OK read. It didn’t impress me but I wasn’t bored. This one gets 3 stars from me.

That’s all for now!


Spinning Silver

Spinning Silver is a new standalone fantasy novel by Naomi Novik.

Miryem comes from a long line of moneylenders. Unfortunately, her father is too gentle hearted and a terrible lender. People take advantage of Miryem’s family, while they freeze and starve, until Miryem steps-in and embraces a talent she never knew she had–the ability to change silver to gold. And this is where her story begins.

When word of her talents reaches the mythical and dangerous creatures who haunt the woods, Miryem’s fate becomes entwined with their cold King whose interest in her in more than just gold. Now the future of two civilizations could hang in the balance and Miryem may be the only one with the ability to help.

You should all know that I loved Naomi Novik’s Uprooted. I’ve literally read it twice and listened to the audiobook three time. I just loved the world and the story, so I had really, really high hopes for Spinning Silver. And although I didn’t love it quite as much as Uprooted, I did enjoy this story a lot.

Novik just has a talent for world building without spelling things out for you. She just let’s the world reveal itself alongside the story. I love this. You get just enough to peak your interest and start building the world in your mind and then she leaves the rest up to you to fill in with your imagination.

The only reason this one doesn’t get 5 stars from me is because the beginning was a tad slow and I wasn’t really sure where things were heading. I think I was waiting for the magic to hit sooner than the few peeks we get here or there. But after awhile the pace increases and the story moves forward.

I also sort of wished that the women were the only ones who narrated the story. The women of this book were the heroes; they were the strong ones in a world where men rule. By adding the few chapters from the men’s perspective was fine but I think the same story could have been achieved without them.

This one gets a sold 4 stars from me. Keep ’em coming Naomi!

That’s all for now!


The Bookshop of Yesterdays

The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson is an adult fiction novel.

It has been sixteen years since Miranda Brooks last saw or heard from her Uncle Billy. When she was twelve years old, he disappeared from her life and at first this was very hard for her but as time went by, she he’s eccentricity became nothing but a fond memory–that is until she receives a mysterious package and news of Billy’s death.

Now Miranda finds herself the owner of Prospero Books, her uncle’s failing bookstore that was her favorite place in the world as a kid. Not only has Billy left her Prospero books but he also left her one last scavenger hunt. And it is a hunt to beat all scavenger hunts because with each clue Miranda will learn about the falling out Billy and her mother had sixteen years earlier, as well as parts of her own family history she never thought to question before.

Through Prospero Books, her uncle’s clues and the people she meets along the way, Miranda will embark on a journey of self discovery that could change her world forever.

Goodness! It is hard to write Miranda when your name is actually Maranda with an “a.” Anyway, I obviously had to pick up this one because of the title. Publishers know this… any book with the words “book,” or “library” in the title will sell to book lovers. I literally can’t pass up a book about books.

That being said, there was a lot about this book that I liked. Miranda’s quest to find out about her past, her uncle’s riddles and games, the bookstore itself, all bits and pieces that were totally up my ally. However, I found this book terribly predictable. Almost from the first chapter, I knew where we were heading and the one misdirection thrown in to make us think we were wrong, didn’t really do anything for me.

I couldn’t believe the little bubble of a world Miranda lived in. A world where she didn’t know herself, let alone her family history, to that extent seemed just a smidgen unrealistic to me. I know we are all oblivious about certain things but we are also a curious species sooo yea.

This would make a good weekend read or a good audio book for a car trip. This one gets 3.5 stars from me.

That’s all for now!


Eternal Life

Eternal Life by Dara Horn is an adult fiction novel.

Imagine a world where you couldn’t die? Generation after generation you are reborn and doomed to be eighteen forever. For Rachel and Elazar this is their reality. Doomed to live forever after making a vow to give up their death for another, they must now live with the consequences.

Today, Rachel is a widow with grandchildren who have children. Her business is failing and one of her sons is floundering. This is only the beginning of the troubles plaguing her in this life and she is tired… just so tired. Rachel has tried everything to end her life over the past 2,000 years and nothing has worked.

Filled with guilt and regret in an era where technology is increasing her chances of being discovered, Rachel must find a way out and for good this time. Can she do it? And will the faces and memories from her past get in her way?

I can totally see a ton of people liking this book. I liked it. Did it enthrall me until the bitter end? Mehhh. This is going to be a really hard review to write because I did like it a lot and there wasn’t anything I didn’t like but it just wasn’t one that left an impression with me. I could definitely see myself accidentally pulling it from the shelf a few years from now and vaguely remembering that I read it but having no recollection of what it is actually about.

I think if I had read this one for a book club or with more intention then a pleasure read, I would have gotten a lot out of it. Instead I sort of rushed through it because my loan was expiring–I finished with two hours to spare!

One of the things I did like about Eternal Life was how complex Rachel and Elazar’s relationship was. There were these layers to their lives that only revealed themselves as we delve deeper into Rachel’s memories. I’d actually would have liked to a chapter or two from Elazar’s perspective just to get into his head a bit.

There was nothing wrong with this book, it just wasn’t really for me. This one gets 3.5 stars from me.

That’s all for now!