Review: Live Your Best Life According to Nala Cat

There’s nothing like enjoying cute kitty photos and positive affirmations together with your own kitty.

Every night before bedtime The Boyfriend and I, along with our sweet kitty, Cora, read stories together. Living Your Best Life According to Nala Cat was so sweet with so many adorable photos of @nala_cat.

This would be a great book to keep in your desk for days you need a little positive encouragement in the middle of the day.

Review: Lore Olympus

Lore Olympus was such a #bookstagrammademedoit book. The illustrations were beautiful – the colors so vibrant – and the story of Greek gods in graphic novel form I just couldn’t pass up reading this one.

I’ve been in such a reading slump, too. So graphic novels have been my go to books recently, and Lore Olympus was definitely and indulgent read while I’m in this slump.

I really enjoyed reading this story – especially the beginning of Persephone and Hade’s relationship. But the parties and relationships between the gods on Olympus.

I read this quickly, but I didn’t find myself connecting with any of the characters. I think it would be difficult to connect with Greek gods, to be honest.

That said, I am absolutely looking forward to reading the next volume of this series, which releases this July.

Review: Kingston and the Magician’s Lost and Found

I couldn’t read Kingston and the Magician’s Lost and Found fast enough. 

Kingston has moved back to Echo City, the last place his father was seen alive, and King is determined to find his father again. Except King’s Mom wants nothing to do with magic in their lives anymore.

But when King sees a reflection that looks like his Dad in the closed down theater he was last seen in, he makes a plan with his friends to break in and figure out what’s going on.

There were so many twists and turns in this book, and I was on the edge of my seat so often! I could not believe this was a middle grade book!

Review: Cupcake

Cupcake was such a cute read! Ariel, whose nickname is Cupcake, is nominated for homecoming court her senior year of high school And while she’s not unpopular, she doesn’t describe herself as the “princess type.”

The prince Ariel is paired with for homecoming court, Rhys, is the quarterback of the high school football team.

The friendship that builds between Cupcake and Rhys was super cute and (spoilers!) I loved the very slow burn to them kissing.

This was definitely a feel good YA read with lots of different representations. Absolutely an enjoyable read!

Review: Midnight Confessions

I always enjoyed Stephen Colbert’s Midnight Confessions segment on The Late Show. I’m actually a little disappointed he stopped doing it. (That and the big furry hat!)

So when I saw Midnight Confessions on the clearance rack at Barnes and Noble, you know I had to pick it up.

And let me tell you. I laughed just as hard at this book as I did when Colbert did this segment on his late night show.

This was a quick read but definitely brightened up my day every time I cracked it open.

Review: The Layover

The Layover will not be one of my favorite romcoms – but I did enjoy the settings for this story.

Ava is engaged to Alexander, but he wants her to quit her job as a flight attendant. On her last trip, she has an overnight layover in Belize that gets extended because of mechanical issues.

During the layover, Ava realizes she loves her job and doesn’t want to quit – she enjoys being a world wanderer. When she calls Alexander to tell him her decision, things go awry.

Here’s what I didn’t like:

—Ava’s relationship with Alexander: This relationship felt very toxic. It felt like Alexander was 100 percent in charge and just wanted a pretty wife to show off.

—Ava’s relationship with Jack: It happened too quickly. They went from enemies to kissy faces too quickly for me and I just didn’t believe it.

—Ava’s insecurity in herself: Hello, girl! Let’s talk! You’re a freakin’ world traveler, have great stories to share, and secure enough to wander around a city alone. Embrace your self and take up the space you deserve.

Here’s what I did like:

—I absolutely want to plan a trip to Belize now! Swimming in bioluminescence lagoons sounds amazing.

—The competition between Ava and Jack on the plane to Belize and the competition between Ava and Gen on the plane headed back to the states.

Review: Travel Hacks

If I had purchased this book – I would have been really disappointed. Travel Hacks – while a great concept – was a let down.

Granted, I am a pretty seasoned traveler and know a lot about the ins and outs of airline travel. However, there were a lot of poor suggestions in this book. Some of the “hacks” have even been disproven. (Like looking for airline tickets on an Apple vs. a Windows computer for cheaper rates – while fares vary, they don’t vary by computer type.)

There were also a bunch of recommendations for different apps to use while traveling. I wanted to check out some of them because they sounded useful. However, most of them were not listed in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

The author also recommends checking out locations on FourSquare to find wifi passwords – I’m pretty certain FourSquare is no longer the social media platform it used to be.

I can’t say I would recommend this book. I did find it interesting to see what “hacks” the author decided to include, though. If you’re a new traveler and looking for travel tips, this is definitely NOT the book to read.

Thank you to NetGalley for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest opinions.

Review: Beast and Beauty

Beasts and Beauty was such a great read to kick off Spooky Season! This is a collection of twelve twisted fairy tales – all drastically different from the original (and VERY different from the Disney version!).

Most, if not all, of the fairy tales were set in a different culture than the original, which added a unique twisted element to the story.

I really like that this book was set up in twelve short stories, which meant I had the option to devour the whole thing in one sitting, or could choose to spread out my reading over a few days or weeks. (However, the writing is so good, you’re definitely going to wind up devouring this one.)

While some of these tales are definitely darker than others, this book would be perfect for upper-middle grade readers who are into some spookier readings, as well as adults who have a love of fairy tales and fairy tale retellings.

Thank you to Turn the Page Tours, Soman Chainani, and HarperCollins for the review copy and for having me on this tour!

GIVEAWAY:

Enter for your chance to win one (1) finished copy of BEASTS AND BEAUTY: DANGEROUS TALES by Soman Chainani! Open USA only. 

Giveaway starts: Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Giveaway ends: Tuesday, September 28, 2021

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1e4a114d52

Book Description: 

You think you know these stories, don’t you?

You are wrong.

You don’t know them at all.

Twelve tales, twelve dangerous tales of mystery, magic, and rebellious hearts. Each twists like a spindle to reveal truths full of warning and triumph, truths that capture hearts long kept tame and set them free, truths that explore life . . . and death.

A prince has a surprising awakening . . .                           

A beauty fights like a beast . . .

A boy refuses to become prey . . .

A path to happiness is lost. . . . then found again.

New York Times bestselling author Soman Chainani respins old stories into fresh fairy tales for a new era and creates a world like no other. These stories know you. They understand you. They reflect you. They are tales for our times. So read on, if you dare.

Author Bio:

Soman Chainani’s first novel, THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL, debuted on the New York Times Bestseller List, has been translated into 26 languages across six continents, and will soon be a major motion picture from Universal Studios.

The sequels, A WORLD WITHOUT PRINCES and THE LAST EVER AFTER, debuted on the New York Times Bestseller List as well. Together, the books of the series have been on the print and extended NYT lists for a total of 33 weeks.

As a writer and film director, Soman’s films have played at over 150 film festivals around the world, winning more than 30 jury and audience prizes, and his writing awards include honors from Big Bear Lake, New Draft, the CAPE Foundation, the Sun Valley Writer’s Fellowship, and the coveted Shasha Grant, awarded by a jury of international film executives. 

When he’s not telling stories or teaching in New York City, Soman is a die-hard tennis player who never lost a first-round match for ten years . . . until he started writing THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL. Now he loses all the time.

Author Links:

https://www.instagram.com/somanc/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/780120.Soman_Chainani

Julia Iredale is an artist who works as a freelance illustrator for clients around the world. Her work is informed by her love of mythology, dark fantasy, and human psychology, weaving these together to create beautiful, mysterious characters and worlds. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia.

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56922552-beasts-and-beauty

Book Purchase link:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Beasts-Beauty-Dangerous-Soman-Chainani/dp/006265263X/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Beasts+and+Beauty%3A+Dangerous+Tales&qid=1632055202&sr=8-1

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beasts-and-beauty-soman-chainani/1138730848?ean=9780063142701

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Beasts-Beauty-Soman-Chainani/9780062652638?ref=grid-view&qid=1632055205652&sr=1-1

Indiebound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780062652638

Review: Sweet Tea

Have you ever felt like you’ve just read a movie? I listened to Sweet Tea as an audiobook, and it felt exactly like listening to a Hallmark movie.

This was such a sweet, clean romance story. And while the central relationship is Althea and Jack, the healing relationship between Althea and her grandmother is so endearing. I actually loved Granda – she was the sassiest lady and stole every scene she was in.

I do feel like the reason Althea was in the south from New York was forgotten about for a while in the middle of the middle of the book. But I did really enjoy the story.

The feast fundraiser for Milford College was such a fun idea, and I was definitely craving some biscuits and corn bread.

Thank you to NetGalley and Piper Huguley for the advanced listening copy in exchange for my honest opinions.

Review: Call Me Athena

Call Me Athena was such an entrancing book. I absolutely found myself completely enveloped in the story and multiple POVs and the 1930s era Detroit.

This was my first time reading a book in verse and I listened to this one on audiobook, narrated by Gail Shalan, Hope Newhouse and Ramiz Monsef. I honestly wish I had read this instead to enjoy the beauty of the story and verse more.

The other (minor) issue I kept running into in the beginning was names. Once I realized Mary was reading Jeanne and Gio’s love letters, the story really took off. This probably wouldn’t have taken as long is I had been actually looking at the names rather than relying on my memory between chapters.

That said, I absolutely LOVED the love story between Jeanne and Gio. The love letters were both heartbreaking and swoon worthy. This was made even better by the author’s note at the end of the book that noted the story was loosely based on the author, Colby Cedar Smith’s maternal grandmother. 

Call Me Athena publishes on August 17, 2021. Thanks to Andrews McMeel Audio and NetGalley for the advanced review copy.