Books

Books

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Chasing The Taillights by Kate Larkindale



Chasing The Taillights by Kate Larkindale

Publisher: Evernight Teen

Publication date: 26 Feb 21

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


The link above is an affiliate link. If you make a purchase through it, I will receive a small amount of the sale, at no cost to you. It helps me make a little money to support my book reviewing hobby. Thank you! 


Publisher's description:

Lucy and Tony share nothing except genes. Tony’s the champion diver destined for greatness. Lucy’s biggest concern is getting Cute Guy from the burger joint to ask her out.


After an accident kills their parents, the siblings are forced to rely on one another—and decide whether to reveal their secrets.


Lucy can’t tell Tony what she knows about the accident for fear of destroying the tentative bond between them. If she doesn’t confess, she might lose her mind. If she does, she might lose the only person she has left who loves her.


Tony has problems too. Between diving practice, classes, and concealing the crush he has on his best friend Jake, Tony needs to find room in his life for his sister, but his own stability dwindles with every passing day.


As the siblings struggle to overcome a lifetime of past conflicts and jealousies, they discover they might have more in common than a love of rock music


My review:

I received a free copy of the ebook from the author in exchange for my review. All opinions shared are 100% my own.


What a heartbreaking and compelling story. As a mom, I just wanted to scoop both of these kids up and hug them and just BE there for them. I also wanted to yell “You need counseling!!!” so many times. Who leaves a couple of children to not only fend for themselves physically but also emotionally and mentally, after both of their parents die?! Their lousy uncles, that’s who? 


This was a particularly heartbreaking story to me because I see my own two kids’ distance from one another as similar to Tony and Lucy. My kids are also four years apart, older brother/younger sister. It just makes me so sad when they argue and push each other away. Your sibling relationship will be the longest relationship you have in your life! It should be cherished. My sister and I - ten years apart in age - have always been there for one another. It gets better as they get older, right? 

While many questionable choices were made by different characters, all in all, the story of navigating grief, learning about love and family, and finding yourself shines through. It does feature some triggering situations (parental death, car accident, homophobia, alcoholism, deteriorating mental health) so I don’t think this book is for everyone, but it is a well-written and respectful handling of complex issues. 


Fun stuff:

Author’s blog: http://katelarkindale.blogspot.com/ 


About the author:

From the author’s blog: Author of CHASING THE TAILLIGHTS, AN UNSTILL LIFE, STUMPED and THE SIDEWALK'S REGRETS, I am a writer, marketing executive for a national film agency, film reviewer, and mother to two boys. As you can imagine, with all that going on, I don't sleep much.


Thursday, June 10, 2021

GIVEAWAY: A Blueberry Bay Giveaway from Whiskered Mysteries


Another super cute giveaway from Whiskered Mysteries. Enter today to win a a paw-some prize pack inspired by Blueberry Bay including a blueberry muffin-scented candle, an animal lover's mug, a muffin-in-a-mug kit, a plush Puffin, and a $10 Amazon gift card!

 

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Never Say Never by Justine Manzano

 


Never Say Never by Justine Manzano

Publisher: Sword and Silk Books

Publication date: 15 Jun 2021 

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars


The link above is an affiliate link. If you make a purchase through it, I will receive a small amount of the sale, at no cost to you. It helps me make a little money to support my book reviewing hobby. Thank you! 


Publisher's description:


Brynn Stark is NEVER going to fall in love.


After she walks in on her mom doing the horizontal mambo with a man that's decidedly not her dad, Brynn Stark swears to never fall in love. One of her friends—Val— reveals her true identity—Aphrodite, goddess of love, and promises to show Brynn why she shouldn't lose faith.


But when Brynn realizes she's beginning to fall for Adam, Aphrodite's boyfriend, Brynn's forced to decide if she'll choose her goddess-given fate, or risk it all for the wrong-but-right guy.


One thing's for sure. Love sucks. And it's all about to blow up in their faces.


My review:


I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my review. All opinions shared are 100% my own.


What happens when you find out your best friend’s foster sister is actually the Greek goddess, Aphrodite? And you’re falling in love with her boyfriend? That’s where Brynn finds herself during her senior year of high school. The more she tries to deny her feelings, the more circumstances keep putting her on a path with Adam and in conflict with Val/Aphrodite. 


It definitely takes some willful suspension of disbelief to buy into an ancient Greek goddess hanging out in high school, but overall, it’s a cute story about friendship, family, and the power of love. There are some tense moments (particularly when a certain high-powered “Dad” gets involved). It’s a fun ride though with a sweet ever-after ending. There is a lot of typical, high school drama that is all dealt with in mature, positive ways. A few potentially upsetting themes are parental divorce, a parent committing adultery, an asthma attack, and people being caught outside in a lightning storm. 


Fun stuff:


The author shares some fun extras, like a character interview and social media graphics on her website here: https://justinemanzano.com/never-say-never-extras/ 

About the author:


Justine Manzano is a YA author who prides herself on her ability to juggle motherhood, writing, editing, and the very serious businesses of fangirling and multiple forms of geekery. When she’s not flailing about her favorite characters and actors, she struggles to create her own characters with the hopes someone will flail about them one day. Her debut novel, The Order of the Key, a Young Adult Urban Fantasy, is available everywhere books are sold from Black Rose Writing. Reviews have called it “Season 5 of Buffy meets the X-Men,” and Justine will likely live happily off of that description alone for the rest of her days. It was a finalist in the 2020 IndiesToday Awards. 


Her sophomore release, Never Say Never, a Young Adult Contemporary Romance with Fantasy Elements, will be released on June 15, 2021.



Tuesday, June 1, 2021

The Adventures of Dagobert Trostler by Balduin Groller

 


The Adventures of Dagobert Trostler by Balduin Groller

Publisher: Kazabo Publishing

Publication date: 28 November 2017

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars


The link above is an affiliate link. If you make a purchase through it, I will receive a small amount of the sale, at no cost to you. It helps me make a little money to support my book reviewing hobby. Thank you! 


Publisher's description:

Dagobert Trostler is the Sherlock Holmes of Vienna . . . with a twist. Like Holmes, he's the most famous private investigator in Vienna. Unlike Holmes, he's a bit of a party animal. While he loves a good mystery, he also loves good food, good company and a good time. He's a bon-vivant and right at home in the brilliant social scene of Vienna in the heyday of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

These stories, written by Balduin Groller and published in Vienna between 1889 and 1910, are a glimpse into the sparkling, forgotten world of turn-of-the-century Vienna. Hugely popular in the German-speaking world, they are now available in English for the first time exclusively from Kazabo Publishing. If you love Sherlock Holmes, you need to read these stories!


Contents:

"The Fine Cigars"

"The Great Embezzlement"

"Anonymous Letters"

"An Arrest"

"The Cheat"

"The Mysterious Box"


"The Adventures of Dagobert Trostler" is the first in a series. Watch for The Memoirs of Dagobert Trostler and The Casebook of Dagobert Trostler.


My review:


I received a free copy of the ebook from the publisher in exchange for my review. All opinions shared are 100% my own.


I have never read Sherlock Holmes before so I can’t really say how well this book compares to the books from that series. It was told in an interesting manner. Rather than the reader being privy to the action, for the most part, Dagobert’s adventures are told to the reader as the hero himself tells his stories to his friends in their salon after dinner. And rather than bringing the wrongdoer to civil or criminal justice, Dagobert favors solutions that allow everyone involved to “save face”. Propriety is of utmost importance in turn-of-the-century Venice apparently. 


It was an interesting read and definitely different than anything I have read before. Certainly, there were lots of whodunnit aspects to keep a mystery lover engaged and reading. I doubt personally I will read more in the series, but it was an entertaining peek into another time and place. 


About the author:


Balduin Groller is the pseudonym of Adalbert Goldscheider (1848 – 1916), an Austrian journalist and author as well as the founder of the Austrian Olympic Committee.