Book Reviews

ARC Review: How Not To Die Alone

Release date: May 28, 2019

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary

Rating: 🌟🌟

“Up to that point I’d never realized that life, just sometimes, can be wonderfully, beautifully simple.”

Plot: This is a story about a man who is given a second chance at life and love as long as he exposes a little white lie that he told many years before….a little white lie that has grown into so much more.

Review: Special thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Group Putnam for the ARC. The ARC was given in exchange for an honest review.

This has got to be one of the strangest, uniquely set books that I have read in a long time. I do not recall ever reading a book where the majority of the it is set around an agency like this one.. It is both ludicrously morbid and spectacularly brilliant in one. Why? Because Andrew, the main character, has a job working for a government agency that requires him to sift through a dead person’s belongings to find any sort of next of kin. Since most of the dead are of the lonely sort, there is normally none and Andrew will then arrange the funeral. Although it is not part of his job description, Andrew often attends the funeral so the person is not entirely alone which is actually kinda sweet.

Andrew is also a lonely sort due to his past until he meets Peggy. Peggy makes his realize his loneliness and Andrew begins to see he needs to live his life instead of going through it with implicit numbness. I really enjoy being able to watch characters personally grow like Andrew does.

With all this said, I don’t know what to make of this novel. Although, the story itself is unique and humorous at times, it is extremely sad. Depressingly sad. And to top it all off, there were one too many times where I became extremely bored reading and ended up skimming most. I am a reader that needs / wants more entertainment and this severely lacked it.

Recommendation: You can pass on this one.

Book Reviews

An American Girl and a Prince…it’s The Royal We

Genre: Chick Lit / Fiction / Romance

Rating: DNF

Synopis per Goodreads: American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy-tales. Her twin sister Lacey was always the romantic, the one who daydreamed of being a princess. But it’s adventure-seeking Bex who goes to Oxford and meets dreamy Nick across the hall – and thus Bex who accidentally finds herself in love with the eventual heir to the British throne. Nick is everything she could have imagined, but Prince Nicholas has unimaginable baggage: grasping friends, a thorny family, hysterical tabloids tracking his every move, and a public that expected its future king to marry a native. On the eve of the most talked-about wedding of the century, Bex reflects on what she’s sacrificed for love — and exactly whose heart she may yet have to break.

Review: In light of recent news that Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan (The Fug Girls πŸ’• ) are writing a squeal and in lieu of the fact that this has been on my To-Read list since 2015 (oh the shame!), I finally began to read The Royal We.

The synopsis makes it seem as if It is as soapy as General Hospital or The Young and The Restless (I mean that in the best way) and within all that drama is a modern day fairy tale between a common American Girl and a Royal Prince….it’s 100% Prince William and Kate fanfic (except for the whole American detail change).

And you know what? I did not finish. I got 28% into the novel and I was so bored. So, so bored. As a reader, I try to read any novel in it’s entirety; however, it….it just became a task to pick up this novel….Just thinking about it made me miserable. So I gave up (Go ahead: Shame me! Judge me! But know this is not normal).

I had hopes for this one. I’m pretty bummed.

Recommendation: One cannot recommend if one DNF.

All The Stars, Book Reviews

Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Genre: Fiction / Mystery

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Recommended By: Reese’s Book Club, Hello Sunshine

“Sunsets are in disguise, covering truths, covering lies”

Review: Where the Crawdads Sing is a beautifully written narrative that doubles as a murder mystery and a coming of age novel.

Kya, the main character, is a sensitive and intelligent young child who endures years alone in the marsh. The people who were suppose to love her left, forcing Kya to grow up in solitude in a marsh where she learns and documents its way of life. The town folk think she is just as wild as the creatures and birds of the marsh and deem her the nickname, “The Marsh Girl”. However, Kya is a warrior, a survivor who is so lonely it is simply tragic. She protects the marsh and the marsh protects her. As Kya comes of age, she attracts two young men from town with her natural, alluring beauty.

The first male, Tate, will capture your heart from the start. He loves the marsh just as much as Kya does. He does not judge her. He teaches her to read and write. He gives her the attention she so desperately needs. I loved watching them fall in love slowly. There is just something about a first love that gets me every time. First loves imprint on your heart or so I’ve always believed. It was a special kind of love and my romantic heart ate it up.

The second male, Chase, is a different story. He is the stereotypical popular, privileged boy. He is a big fish in a little pond. He is deceptively charismatic. The entire town loves him yet I doubt the readers do. Despite all of it, I can’t help but point out that Delia’s character is so brilliant in the aspect that I suspect deep down we all know or knew a Chase (and a Tate for that matter) which makes the story pull at your heartstrings.

Recommendation: A must read! I cannot stress this enough. The story has it all: heart break, hope, survival, mystery, murder, first loves, a trial, beautiful scenery, the bigotry of a small southern town, and a biology lesson along the way. Delia Owens’s story is tragic, haunting and beautifully written. It is the type of novel type that will stick with you / keep you thinking for days.