Review – The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

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Title: The Unhoneymooners

Author: Christina Lauren

Rating: 4 / 5

 

This is another spectacular story from my favorite writing duo, Christina Lauren. I love that each story is fresh and doesn’t leave you feeling like the writing is formulaic. The characters seem like real people. They are flawed and have depth.  I adore the characters witty banter. 

 

Olive always seems to be down on her luck. She’s a twin, and while her twin sister Ami seems to win every contest she enters, Olive can’t seem to keep the great things going in her life. Ami is getting married and has won just about every element for the wedding for free – from her dress to her honeymoon. Everyone’s luck is about to be reversed, when at the wedding reception everyone except for Olive and the groom’s brother Ethan gets sick after eating  the seafood. Olive is allergic and Ethan avoids buffets like the plague. Now their siblings are trying to convince them to steal away on their honeymoon. Ethan and Olive have had a pretty hate-filled relationship from the beginning, so it could get interesting. Everything is about to change. 

 

I loved this enemies turned lovers story. These books are always a cute, fun read. I love quirky characters and that their story was not perfect. It’s fast paced and makes you want to finish it one sitting.

 

Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for my free review copy. All opinions are my own and I truly enjoyed this newest Christina Lauren book.

What’s On My Bookshelf Tag

Happy Saturday, book friends! I was tagged by Jess and Teagan at Fiction No Chaser . Go check out their blog if you haven’t yet because it’s fantastic!

RULES:

  • Link back to me so I can see everyone’s answers! (Delightful Narratives)
  • Also link back to the person who tagged you!
  • Name one book for each category; try not to repeat books to make this more fun!
  • Tag at least 5 people

A LIBRARY BOOK

I went to the library this week and came home with a nice, little bookstack. I picked up The Death of Mrs. Westaway, Beartown (my current read), The Burned Page, Dear Mrs. Bird, I Am I Am I Am, and Fruit of the Drunken Tree

A BOOK I GOT AS A GIFT

Red Rising

A CHILDHOOD BOOK

Dear American Series

A MAGICAL BOOK

Throne of Glass – I’m just obsessed with Sarah J. Maas!!!

A ROMANTIC BOOK

Daughter of Smoke and Bone – A love that defies societal norms. A little Shakespearean with a hate that spans the ages (Romeo and Juliet)

A STEAMY BOOK

A Court of Mist and Fury – Oh definitely! This entire series really! 

AN OLD BOOK

A 1950’s set of Sherlock Holmes books that were my husband’s grandmother’s.

A BOOK THAT MAKES ME HAPPY/LAUGH

Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me? – I just love Mindy Kaling!

A BOOK THAT MADE ME EMOTIONAL

Currently Beartown!

A BOOK WITH AN ENDING I DISLIKE

Allegiant, for sure. I stopped reading and didn’t even finish the last little bit. I was so mad.

A BOOK I WISH HAD ILLUSTRATIONS

The Hush, Hush Series.

A BOOK OR GENRE I LOVE TO READ WHEN IT’S RAINING

I don’t really have a preference. It’s just nice to be stuck inside reading sometimes. Sitting on the sofa with a warm blanket and drinking some hot chocolate.

NOMINATIONS

As always, no obligation on tags EVER! Just have fun.

Review – The Shadow of the Wind

 

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Title: The Shadow of the Wind

Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Publisher: Penguin Books

Source: I purchased for a read along

Links: Goodreads , Amazon

Rating: 4/5

   The Shadow of the Wind was equally dark and beautiful. The prose was eloquent and witty. I feel like it takes immense talent to write a story that is both disturbing and comical. This story is set in Barcelona in the year 1945. Daniel’s father owns a bookstore and he has a deep love of stories and words. He happens upon a book, The Shadow of The Wind by Julian Carax. This is a very rare book and not much is known about its author. It becomes Daniel’s ambition to learn more about the author and his writing. While he is trying to learn more, he ends up in the midst of a darker, dangerous plot. Someone has been destroying all of Carax’s work.

   This story has several elements. It’s a story about the love of reading and writing. There’s a mystery with several twists and turns. Also, there is a love story and a city that is in a severe state of turmoil post-war. There are characters that are deeply troubled and circumstances that absolutely break your heart.

   Zafón perfectly portrays a post-war world. There is tremendous chaos and people have seen or done some deplorable things. It may have permanently altered others; while  some characters demonstrate considerable resiliency. I feel like a great example of this would be Fermin’s character. He is definitely a shining light in this dark tale. He tries to find humor where he can despite his circumstances. War leaves no one untouched though. There will always be shadows left behind.

Review – Daughter of Smoke and Bone

 

 

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Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Author: Laini Taylor

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Rating: 4/5

Links: Goodreads Amazon

 

   Daughter of Smoke and Bone was a phenomenal read. Laini Taylor created a fascinating world and heart-breaking characters. Her prose was elegant and infused with beautiful vocabulary. She developed enchanting imagery with her character descriptions and you could feel the emotionality of her characters.

 

   Karou is our main character. She is an artist who lives in the human world, but her sketches of creatures and other worldly things just might be real. Even she seems to have unique qualities like growing blue hair, she can speak several languages, and she disappears for days at a time only to turn up again beaten and bruised. Strange things start happening in her other world. There is this guy, Akiva, they seem destined to be enemies; however, there is a strong pull that neither of them can explain.

 

   We follow Karou on this journey of self discovery.  This books has major themes of discrimination, stereotyping, and prejudice; which, have led to an all encompassing war that has been ongoing for as long as anyone can remember. Karou means hope. Is there any hope for these characters locked into the societal norm or can they break the mold? I can’t wait to follow the rest of this story.

 

   “Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.”

Where the Crawdads Sing Review

 

Where The Crawdads Sing

Book: Where the Crawdads Sing

Author: Delia Owens

Rating: 5/5

 

Delia Owens created a beautiful, breathtaking debut novel.  This is one of the most wonderfully crafted mysteries I’ve ever read. Meet Kya, also referred to as the Marsh Girl. You are brought alongside Kya as she grows from a young, timid, little girl into a woman shadowed by prejudice and hardship. This book flashes back and forth from past to present time setting. In this small North Carolina town, one of its other well known residents, Chase Andrews is found dead. Delia developed magnificent character foils. Where Kya is known for being the poor outcast; Chase is the star quarterback whose family is well off and has a prominent business within the community.

This book explores prejudice, racism, love, loss, and the human condition. Reading this story was an extremely visceral experience. I could feel the magnitude of Kya’s isolation. These characters are very well developed and the plot flows expertly.

The Invisible Library Review

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Book: The Invisible Library

Author: Genevieve Cogman

Rating: 4/5

      Genevieve Cogman’s The Invisible Library is a fun, whimsical story following a librarian on a mission to collect books from different realities. The librarian, Irene, is given her first apprentice Kai. We follow them into this other world on a quest to retrieve a specific book for the library. They have to deal with several obstacles and they end up playing detective in order to find what they are looking for. This book is fast paced and I couldn’t put it down. I haven’t read anything quite like this, so it was refreshing to read something that hasn’t been overdone. Cogman’s influences shine in this novel. Her love for books really brings the story to life. This is a great read about a character that also enjoys the reading life. It feels very meta. Cogman makes many references to beloved characters and authors, such as Sherlock Holmes. This one will make your literary heart happy.

This Is How It Always Is

If you haven’t read This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel then I highly suggest you run to the nearest library or bookstore. This story is about a family and their struggles with feeling unaccepted because they are different. Rosie and Penn meet, fall in love, and build a family together. They have 5 boys (they kept trying for a girl) and their youngest son Claude likes to wear dresses and wants to be a girl. They struggle with how to deal with everyone’s opinions and reactions to their family. They are open, loving, and completely supportive of whatever makes Claude happy. The real struggles stem from how everyone else will treat Claude. Within their story there is a deeper story that could help foster conversations about this topic and hopefully lead to some greater understanding in the community.

 

This book is doing great things. You truly feel the love this family has for one another. It really makes you question why we have to make it so much harder for the people around us. Why is it so hard to accept everyone for who they are even if it’s outside the boundaries of what you consider normal? Why does that threaten someone else? The beauty in the world comes from our differences. I went through so much heartache right alongside this family. It makes you realize we all have differences and struggles and we need to be more compassionate and more understanding. I sincerely hope you check this out. This book grew a little bit out of Frankel’s family being able to relate to her characters. It’s not based on her family’s story specifically, but she certainly drew a lot of inspiration from elements they can relate to.