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Friday, September 25, 2015

The Sea Keeper's Daughter by Lisa Wingate

When struggling restauranteur Whitney Monroe gets a phone call summoning her to the North Carolina Outerbanks she returns to the summer home of her youth. Her family history and legacy is waiting for her to uncover and decipher the truth. 

The fact of it is, Whitney has lost both herself and her way and must find out how to get them back. Will the unshared past of her great aunt and her stepfather help her to find them? Will she ever find a friendship with the cranky surf shop owner? Will she allow progress to threaten the historic building of which she is the custodian?

The Sea Keeper's Daughter was a wonderful read. The story is fascinating and the book only gets better the longer you read it. By the end, I wanted to move to the North Carolina coast and find my way into the community there. 

There is a historical aspect to this story that centers on a group of people known as the Melungeons. I had not heard of this group of people and found their story fascinating. I am always glad when any historical fiction piece is true to the history. While there were implications in the story, nothing was overtly stated that could be considered made-up-history.

This is a Christian Fiction book, but it was not preachy. In fact other than a few places where religion was discussed there was not much of a religious theme.

I definitely recommend this book. While it would be great beach reading, it is also a great curl-up-somewhere-cozy book.

A copy of this was provided to me from the publisher (through NetGalley) in exchange for a review of the book. I really enjoyed this book and I think that most people would too.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

In Search of Sam by Kristin Butcher

In Search of Sam is Kristin Butcher's follow up to Truths I Learned From Sam (*). I should tell you that I read In Search of Sam as a stand alone novel, and it stood well. There were a few times that I got the sense that there was probably more to this story (reader sense told me it was in an earlier book), but it did not affect the plot. This review will likely have some spoilers for the first book, just so you know. If you don't want it spoiled, don't read after this picture:


Dani Lancaster is eighteen and a newly minted high school graduate when she finds out that her father, Sam, has passed away. Dani heads to his small town to claim her inheritance. This is just the start of a journey that will change her life and help her to come to terms with her ancestry. Dani and Sam were estranged for most of her life and only spent six weeks together. She wants to know more about this man: where he came from and who he was. 

She begins following leads that send her all over Canada, but doesn't seem to lead her any closer. 

This book was a fairly light considering its heavy themes. Dani is a likable character and a good narrator. She is relatable and I found myself cheering her on, hoping she would get what she was after. This would make good summer reading material. 

A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher (through NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Awake by Natasha Preston

I was recently given the opportunity to read Awake by Natasha Preston through NetGalley.

The story was very interesting and believable. The book changes perspective between the two main characters which makes it a bit hard to read. Not because it was hard to know who was speaking, but because you knew what the other character was thinking. I think I would have enjoyed it more from just one perspective. 

The idea of a cult as the enemy, as opposed to a society or government (like many dystopian-esque) stories was an interesting twist and what made the story so intriguing. I found myself drawn into the fears and beliefs of the characters. I was not too excited by the overly dramatic teen angst and felt some parts of the story could have been left out without hindering the plot. 

Overall I would recommend this book if you like YA and dystopian novels. 

An advance copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford

Like most 26-year-olds Evelyn Beegan is in search of the perfect job, the perfect man and the perfect life. So when she gets an interview for a new social media platform geared for the elite upper class, she exaggerates her connections. Capitalizing on the friendships she developed while in high school she finds herself drawn into the world she thought she deserved. The only question is will she survive? 

Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford is a fast-paced, fun ride. You will simultaneously love and hate most of the characters, especially Evelyn. This story was great! I thoroughly enjoyed it and didn't want it to end. Clifford's characters are believable and the type of people you kind of wish were your friend. Evelyn's story was real enough that it could have been me, you know if I went to a elite boarding school for high school and had a mother that was determined to see me married to a rich guy, and was desperate enough to fit in with a new set of friends and was willing to lie to get what I wanted. Suddenly I'm grateful for the life I do have and for parents who taught me how important it is not to lie. 

Should you read Everybody Rise? For sure. You won't regret it. 

A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. It was a great book and I definitely recommend it.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Come Winter by Clare Guiterrez

If you are a fan of imagination gripping historical fiction you will love Come Winter by Clare Guiterrez. The book follows the life of Lady Caterina Tabor. When she leaves her English parents who are living in Italy bound for the court of the Queen she is kidnapped. Her journey begins when she is being held in the Scottish highlands castle against her will. She struggles to decide if she should stay or flee and what each option means for her future. Ultimately her decision changes the course of her life and her station. 

Come Winter was fantastic! While this is historical fiction it is not set in such specific circumstances that the fiction leaves you feeling betrayed by history. The descriptions of all of Caty's different locations are fascinating and really leave the reader intrigued. I highly recommend this book. I don't know that it would be great summer reading by a pool or beach, but it would be great reading by a fire come fall or winter.

Honestly, it won't matter when you read it, you will be so wrapped up in the story. 

An advance copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher through Net Galley. All opinions are my own. I have already recommended this book to several friends and now to you!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Material Girls by Elaine Dimopoulus

Material Girls by Elaine Dimopoulus is a dystopian novel set in a world where fashion and careers in the creative sector are the most important to society. Employees for those jobs are tapped at the age of twelve to begin their careers. Marla was tapped to the world of fashion and at the age of seventeen sits in one of the highest positions of her designer's headquarters. It is her job to determine if an item can become a trend or if it is no good. But, what happens when she is no longer considered to be on target with her decisions? 

Material Girls takes a hard look at the roles fashion and celebrity play in culture. The mix of dystopian ideas with Gossip Girl was a unique approach. I really enjoyed this book and felt like it was a fun read. I would definitely recommend it to readers age twelve and up. This book is from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group so I imagine it is geared toward young teens. I am not a young teen and really found it interesting and insightful. 

Themes in the book include: fashion, fame, wealth, recycling and appropriate conditions for workers. 

A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I really did enjoy this book.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Min Pin Monday - 3.30.15

Happy Monday, Everyone! I hope that your day was great. As I am not writing this until the evening I can check on you. How are you holding up? Are you going to make it through this week?

At least Monday is over :)

I probably wouldn't be posting except this: 

Somebody's posing! I hope that you have a great week! Check back tomorrow for a book review.