Monday, September 1, 2014

Review: Love by the Morning Star by Laura L. Sullivan

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Pages: 320
Received: Received a copy from the publisher through Netgalley

Release Date: June 3, 2014
Buy From / Buy From

Goodreads Synopsis:

Upstairs, downstairs, and in which lady’s chamber?

On the brink of World War II, two girls are sent to  the grand English country estate of Starkers. Hannah, the half-Jewish daughter of a disgraced distant relative, has been living an artistic bohemian life in a cabaret in pre-war Germany and now is supposed to be welcomed into the family. Anna, the social-climbing daughter of working-class British fascists, is supposed to be hired as a maid so that she can spy for the Nazis. But there’s a mix-up, and nice Hannah is sent to the kitchen as a maid while arrogant Anna is welcomed as a relative.

And then both girls fall for the same man, the handsome heir of the estate . . . or do they?

In this sparkling, saucy romance, nearly everything goes wrong for two girls who are sent to a grand English estate on the brink of World War II—until it goes so very, very right!

My Review:

Well, this was an interesting enough book, but it took me some time to get through everything that was happening. Through an honest mistake two girls seem to get mixed up when they are sent to the same house under different circumstances. There are so many little mistakes that make this book what it is, a cute and funny story about unknown identities.

I really can say that I adored Hannah in this story, she is a cute girl who is very new to this world, and it really shows in the way she acts. What really makes everything in this story is the joy that Hannah brings to everyone around her. Hannah is such an upbeat person, who is always found singing whenever and wherever she can. I enjoy how Hannah just says what is on her mind, she is very open, yet at the same time very naive to what is happening around her. Anna on the other hand is someone who is difficult to like, she seems to be a bit stuck up, but I can see why she is so hardened to the world around her. Anna does not truly understand everything that is happening during the war, and is really only taking cues from those closest to her.

The romance aspect in this book is fun and so cute, I enjoyed how both of these girls fall in love with the same man, and yet their stories are so different. The romance for both of them starts off in a similar way and yet each of them take a different turn, they are always meeting in the dark of night and their discussions are so brilliant and cultured.

Though I could see where things were going with this story, it was enjoyable. One of those books where things just seem to get worse and each mistake leads to another, yet despite these small things there is a good amount of humour to everything that happens, with all the drama you have to have some cuteness added in. I can guarantee this is not a book for everyone but it is a quick read that fans of a writer like Sophie Kinsella will enjoy. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 310
Received: Received a copy from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: July 8, 2014
Buy From / Buy From

Goodreads Synopsis:

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now.

Maybe that was always beside the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts . . .

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

My Review:

I will say this again and again when a new Rainbow Rowell book comes out, she has my heart and I will love anything that she writes, young adult or adult, all her books are adorable and I just want to curl up with the story. Landline is no different, this is a great book about looking back on past mistakes and trying to fix them, seeing where things have gone wrong.

This book really made me think about the things I would be able to do if I could contact someone from my past. How would things change for me now if I could change an old relationship? I really love how Rainbow Rowell shows that by going back, a person can realize their mistakes and try to work through their problems.

Georgie really has the chance to reflect on one of the most difficult times of her life and it makes her wonder if her life would have been better if things ended up differently. There are a lot of great flashback scenes to when Georgie and Neal first meet, and readers really get to see how their relationship grows. The flashbacks to their first meeting and Georgie trying to get Neal's attention really were my favourite parts of this book, because it gives us a deeper look into their relationship.

This story is a great way to be able to reflect on the past and wonder what route would be the best for both parties. Honestly, I love that Rainbow's adult books are different than her YA, these books deal with such different topics and yet it is still a great book about relationships, and in a way growing up. If you haven't experienced Rainbow Rowell's adult writing I think this is a great one to start with, though you definitely should also pick up all of her backlist titles, just to see how she grows with each book she writes. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Giveaway: Omens and Visions by Kelley Armstrong (CA only)

Kelley Armstrong is an amazing Canadian writer and if you haven't had the chance to check out her newest adult series The Cainsville Series, you should definitely start. Today the second book in the series (Visions) comes out in hardcover, and the first book, Omens (which I was lucky enough to review last year) is available in paperback.

Thanks to the amazing people over at Random House of Canada, I am giving away a copy of Omens in paperback and a hardcover copy of Visions. This contest is available only for Canadians. So if you want to start the series, here is your chance with the first two books. You can enter the contest below. Check out more information below on both books.

Twenty-four-year-old Olivia Taylor Jones has the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy, prominent Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education, pursues volunteerism and philanthropy, and is engaged to a handsome young tech firm CEO with political ambitions.

But Olivia’s world is shattered when she learns that she’s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers serving a life sentence. When the news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fiancĂ©, Olivia decides to find out the truth about the Larsens.

Olivia ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her efforts to uncover her birth parents’ past.

Omens, the first installment in Kelley Armstrong’s exciting new series, introduced Olivia Taylor-Jones, daughter of notorious serial killers, and Gabriel Walsh, the self-serving, morally ambiguous lawyer who became her unlikely ally. Together, they chased down a devious killer and partially cleared her parents of their horrifying crimes.

Their success, however, is short-lived. While Olivia takes refuge in the old, secluded town of Cainsville, Gabriel’s past mistakes have come to light, creating a rift between the pair just when she needs his help the most.

Olivia finds a dead woman in her car, dressed to look like her, but the body vanishes before anyone else sees it. Olivia’s convinced it’s another omen, a sign of impending danger. But then she learns that a troubled young woman went missing just days ago—the same woman Olivia found dead in her car. Someone has gone to great lengths to kill and leave this young woman as a warning. But why? And what role has her new home played in this disturbing murder?

Olivia’s effort to uncover the truth places her in the crosshairs of old and powerful forces, forces that have their own agenda, and closely guarded secrets they don’t want revealed.

I'm already starting book two, because I am so excited to see more of these characters and reimmerse myself in the creepy world that Kelley has so expertly created. Once again this contest is only open to Canadian residents.

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