Whimsical Novel from Canadian Author: The Lonely Hearts Hotel – Review #spoilerfree

Like a tough meat turning tender in a homemade beef stew, Heather O’Neill’s newest novel, The Lonely Hearts Hotel, will toughen your heart with the abuse of two orphans, then mend it with a timeless love story of two quirky, yet magical destined sweethearts called Rose and Pierrot. This dark, peculiar, imaginative fairy-tale takes place in Montreal and NYC from the 1910s to 1940s.

lonely hearts hotel

Published in 2017 by HarperCollins. Picture from Goodreads.

After being sexually abused by her cousin, “Iggy”, a young teenager gave birth to her baby at the Hôpital de la Miséricorde. The baby was born blue, declared dead, then somehow came back to life. “The nuns at the orphanage called this baby Pierrot because he was so pale and he always had a rather stupid grin on his face.”

Another teenage mother gave birth to a baby girl in a bathtub, relinquished her newborn to a woman who, for a small fee, promised she would find a good home. The woman left the baby, and other infants, in a park to freeze in the snow. Miraculously, the baby girl was found and brought to the orphanage with blue marks on her cheeks. “All the girls at the orphanage were named Marie, and so was this baby girl. But her nickname, which she would always be known by, was Rose, because the two bright spots on her cheeks had turned from blue to red, then took two more weeks to disappear”.

Pierrot grew into a tall, blonde, slender performer with a natural piano-playing ability. Rose bloomed into a stunning young lady with dark hair, also an artist, she loved to create hilarious skits, and dance to Pierrot’s beautiful music.

Sister Eloïse had been sexually abusing Pierrot for years and was insanely jealous of how close Pierrot and Rose were becoming, which was heightened when Mother Superior decided to send Pierrot and Rose out to perform at local old-age homes and in order to make money for the orphanage. These outings gave them a chance to fall head-over-heels in love, and make plans for their Snowflake Icicle Extravaganza circus that they would one day run together.

A rich elderly man named Irving stopped at the orphanage to give his usual donation when he heard Pierrot playing the piano. He loved it so much that he adopted Pierrot so that he could listen to the alluring music every day. Sister Eloïse ripped up Pierrot’s goodbye letter to Rose while Rose was locked in the cupboard. Rose’s heart broke thinking she had been abandoned yet again. She left to work as a governess where she would mainly be looking after two children, Hazel and Ernest McMahon.

Pierrot wrote letters to Rose for years, which Sister Eloïse destroyed. And so, the two attempt to live life without each other, yet always yearning for the other. Rose becomes McMahon’s mistress, then porn actress, while Pierrot ends up a heroin addict playing the piano at a movie theater.

I love the way O’Neill writes. It’s absolutely sublime to read:

“His pupils always dilated for a split second when he was confronted with the truth. Once she saw his eyes turn black, he had already confessed to her.”

“She looked at the cheap wedding ring on her finger. She would always wear it. It was like a small snowflake that had landed on a mitten – and it was so beautiful. It was always just about to melt.”

The perspective bounces back and forth between Rose and Pierrot frequently. Sometimes you’ll get a full chapter from one perspective, then other times you only get one sentence. I found this annoying at first, but eventually became used to it, and as the story progressed found myself enjoying the jumping as if it were piano notes hopping around creating the rhythm of their story.

The Lonely Hearts Hotel reminds us about the importance of art, and how it can positively affect people even during the saddest, most desperate times. O’Neill also uses this story to highlight gender expectations, and I love the fact that Rose is a strong female, unafraid of the glass ceiling.

My only critique is that the lengthy section of the book where Rose and Pierrot are separated. We are left yearning for them to find each other for about two hundred pages. I was beginning to get a little bored with their continuous pining for each other.

The Lonely Hearts Hotel ultimately is about the power of hate versus the power of love. O’Neill weaved a story set in the Great Depression, with graphic sex scenes, drug addiction, abuse, violence, yet managed to teach us a touching lesson about true love, and forgiveness.

 

Truth or Dare #BookTag

Questions are down below so you can copy/paste. Be sure to share the link for your Truth or Dare Book Tag in the comments! I tag anyone who would like to do this tag 🙂

1. What book has been on your shelf the longest?

I’ve had Ramona and her Father on my shelf since 1989.

Ramona and her Father

2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?

lonely hearts hotel

 

Current Read: The Lonely Hearts Hotel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Tapestry of Tears

 

 

Last Read: A Tapestry of Tears

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outlander

 

 

The book I’ll read next: Outlander

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. What book did everyone like, but you hated?

girl-on-the-train

 

Over 1.1 million ratings on Goodreads, with an average rating of 3.88. I didn’t HATE it. I don’t think I HATE any book, that’s a strong word. It’s not that I disliked The Girl On The Train, it just didn’t live up to the hype for me.

 

 

 

4. What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?

A Suitable Boy.jpg

 

A Suitable Boy, it has a great rating on Goodreads and sounds like a great read, however, it has 1474 pages, making it the longest book on my TBR at the moment. I’d love to read it, but not sure when I’ll be able to make that kind of commitment haha!

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. What book are you saving for retirement?

See question 4. LOL

6. Last page: read it first, or wait ’til the end?

Wait till the end!

7. Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?

I always read all of the notes and acknowledgements. It’s an interesting glimpse into the author’s support system.

8. Which book character would you switch places with?

Miss Peregrine from Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children because it would be kickass to be able to change into a bird and fly.

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (Place, time, person?)

I was introduced to The Wheel of Time series by a friend while attending University, so when I think of those first books we read and discussed together it always brings me back to then.

10. Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

The book from question 1…is a book I borrowed from the library of my elementary school…but never returned. *SHAME*

11. Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

I love to give books away…I try to find a book that I think they would like, can take something from, will make them laugh, or is pertaining to something they are going through at the time.

12. Which book has been with you most places?

The book from question 1 again…I’ve had it when I lived in Labrador, Newfoundland, British Columbia, and Ontario.

13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?

Shakespeare! I disliked it in high school, but when I read it in University for an English course I really liked it a lot.

14. Used or brand new?

Both, but new books do smell fantastic.

15. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Not yet, but I have two on my shelf that I bought at a library sale.

16. Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

Little-Women-bookcover.jpg

 

I loved the book Little Women, but the movie was even better. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched the movie. I just love it so much ♥♥♥♥

 

 

 

 

 

 

17. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included?

I own about 15 cookbooks, and every single one of them make me hungry!

RockRecipesCVR_FA_WEB

 

Rock Recipes is one of my favourite cookbooks. I was born and raised in Newfoundland, so I love to make “Newfie” meals.

 

 

 

 

18. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

My Dad and I share similar book taste, and Oprah has great book recommendations.

19. Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?

Dragon Teeth

 

I highly doubt I would have ever picked up Dragon Teeth to read. It was recommended to me by Netgalley, and have to admit I enjoyed every chapter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post the link to your Booktag in the comments! Or answer the questions in the comments 🙂

QUESTIONS:
The questions:
1. What book has been on your shelf the longest?
2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?
3. What book did everyone like, but you hated?
4. What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?
5. What book are you saving for retirement?
6. Last page: read it first, or wait ’til the end?
7. Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?
8. Which book character would you switch places with?
9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (Place, time, person?)
10. Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.
11. Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?
12. Which book has been with you most places?
13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?
14. Used or brand new?
15. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?
16. Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?
17. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included?
18. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?
19. Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?

May TBR

What I plan to read this month 🙂

Share your TBR in the comments!

lonely hearts hotel

 

The Lonely Hearts Hotel

By Heather O’Neill

Goodreads Blurb:

“With echoes of The Night Circus, a spellbinding story about two gifted orphans in love with each other since they can remember whose childhood talents allow them to rewrite their future.

The Lonely Hearts Hotel is a love story with the power of legend. An unparalleled tale of charismatic pianos, invisible dance partners, radicalized chorus girls, drug-addicted musicians, brooding clowns, and an underworld whose economy hinges on the price of a kiss. In a landscape like this, it takes great creative gifts to thwart one’s origins. It might also take true love.

Two babies are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1910. Before long, their talents emerge: Pierrot is a piano prodigy; Rose lights up even the dreariest room with her dancing and comedy. As they travel around the city performing clown routines, the children fall in love with each other and dream up a plan for the most extraordinary and seductive circus show the world has ever seen.

Separated as teenagers, sent off to work as servants during the Great Depression, both descend into the city’s underworld, dabbling in sex, drugs and theft in order to survive. But when Rose and Pierrot finally reunite beneath the snowflakes after years of searching and desperate poverty the possibilities of their childhood dreams are renewed, and they’ll go to extreme lengths to make them come true. Soon, Rose, Pierrot and their troupe of clowns and chorus girls have hit New York, commanding the stage as well as the alleys, and neither the theater nor the underworld will ever look the same.

With her musical language and extravagantly realized world, Heather O’Neill enchants us with a novel so magical there is no escaping its spell.”

Outlander.jpg

Outlander

By Diana Gabaldon

Goodreads Blurb:

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.”

The STonekeeper's curse

 

The Stonekeeper’s Curse
Book 2 of the Amulet series
Graphic Novel
By Kazu Kibuishi

Goodreads Blurb:

“In this thrilling sequel to AMULET #1: THE STONEKEEPER, Emily and her brother Navin head for Kanalis, a beautiful and mysterious city of waterfalls, where they hope to find the antidote for the poison that felled their mother. That cure lies in the eggs of a giant serpent atop Demon’s Head Mountain, but the kids’ archenemy, Trellis, is headed for the peak, too. A battle that will engulf all of Kanalis is looming. It’s up to Em to triumph over evil while controlling the amulet’s power . . . without losing herself!”

Illuminae

Illuminae

By Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Goodreads Blurb:

“This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.”

The Friday Night Knitting Club

 

The Friday Night Knitting Club

By Kate Jacobs

Goodreads Blurb:

“Once a week, an eclectic group of women comes together at a New York City yarn shop to work on their latest projects – and share the stories of their lives…

At the center of Walker and Daughter is the shop’s owner, Georgia, who is overwhelmed with juggling the store and single-handedly raising her teenage daughter. Happy to escape the demands of her life, she looks forward to her Friday Night Knitting Club, where she and her friends – Anita, Peri, Darwin, Lucie, and K.C. – exchange knitting tips, jokes, and their deepest secrets. But when the man who once broke Georgia’s heart suddenly shows up, demanding a role in their daughter’s life, her world is shattered.

Luckily, Georgia’s friends are there for encouragement, sharing their own tales of intimacy, heartbreak, and miracle making. And when the unthinkable happens, these women will discover that what they’ve created isn’t just a knitting club; its a sisterhood.”

April Reading Wrap Up

Books I read in April 🙂

library of souls

Library of Souls
by Ransom Riggs

“The adventure that began with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and continued in Hollow City comes to a thrilling conclusion with Library of Souls. As the story opens, sixteen-year-old Jacob discovers a powerful new ability, and soon he’s diving through history to rescue his peculiar companions from a heavily guarded fortress. Accompanying Jacob on his journey are Emma Bloom, a girl with fire at her fingertips, and Addison MacHenry, a dog with a nose for sniffing out lost children.”

My review for Library of Souls

 

murder by family

 

Murder By Family
By Kent Whitaker

Kent Whitaker’s story of how an unknown assailant opened fire on his entire family, killing his wife and teenaged son, and how his heart-wrenching decision to forgive begins a journey toward redemption and faith when he discovers that the one responsible for the attack is his other son.

My Review for Murder By Family

 

Turning

 

Turning

By Jessica J. Lee

At the age of 28, Jessica Lee–Canadian, Chinese, and British–finds herself in Berlin. Alone. Lonely, with lowered spirits thanks to some family history and a broken heart, she is ostensibly there to write a thesis. And although that is what she does daily, what increasingly occupies her is swimming. So she makes a decision that she believes will win her back her confidence and independence: she will swim fifty-two of the lakes around Berlin, no matter what the weather or season. She is aware that this particular landscape is not without its own ghosts and history.

My Review for Turning

The Only Child

The Only Child

By Andrew Pyper

The #1 internationally bestselling author of The Demonologist radically reimagines the origins of gothic literature’s founding masterpieces—Frankenstein, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Dracula—in a contemporary novel driven by relentless suspense and surprising emotion. This is the story of a man who may be the world’s one real-life monster, and the only woman who has a chance of finding him.”

My Review of The Only Child

 

Dragon Teeth

 

Dragon Teeth

By Michael Crichton

Into this treacherous territory plunges the arrogant and entitled William Johnson, a Yale student with more privilege than sense. Determined to survive a summer in the west to win a bet against his arch-rival, William has joined world-renowned paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh on his latest expedition.  But when the paranoid and secretive Marsh becomes convinced that William is spying for his nemesis, Edwin Drinker Cope, he abandons him in Cheyenne, Wyoming, a locus of crime and vice. William is forced to join forces with Cope and soon stumbles upon a discovery of historic proportions.  With this extraordinary treasure, however, comes exceptional danger, and William’s newfound resilience will be tested in his struggle to protect his cache, which pits him against some of the West’s most notorious characters.

My Review for Dragon Teeth

A Tapestry of Tears

 

A Tapestry of Tears

by Gita V. Reddy

Set in the early nineteenth century, A Tapestry of Tears is about female infanticide, and the unmaking of tradition. If a woman gives birth to a female child, she must feed her the noxious sap of the akk plant. That is the tradition, parampara. Veeranwali rebels, and fights to save her offspring.
The other stories span a spectrum of emotions and also bring to life the varied culture and social spectrum of India. Woven into this collection is the past and the present, despair and hope, and the triumph of the human spirit.

Click here for my review of A Tapestry of Tears

 

 

 

 

A Tapestry of Tears #SpoilerFreeBookReview

A Tapestry of Tears is a collection of beautiful yet heart-breaking short stories from India.

A Tapestry of Tears

“Set in the early nineteenth century, A Tapestry of Tears is about female infanticide, and the unmaking of tradition. If a woman gives birth to a female child, she must feed her the noxious sap of the akk plant. That is the tradition, parampara. Veeranwali rebels, and fights to save her offspring.
The other stories span a spectrum of emotions and also bring to life the varied culture and social spectrum of India. Woven into this collection is the past and the present, despair and hope, and the triumph of the human spirit.”

Published 2016

The first story shares the same name as the book, A Tapestry of Tears. This story highlights a prevalent subject that I think many of us face which is the big question  – Should we choose love for our partner over family obligation?

Other stories talk about an elderly woman’s first day at an old age home, and the inner-struggle her family members have wondering if putting her in the home was the right thing to do. Reddy doesn’t shy away from big topics like terrorism, and discusses it’s impact in This Love Business. In Aalaya we are given a story about hope, family, perseverance, love, and hard work.

Division Into Two is another somber story about a tough women named Waseema, called Bibi by most, who lived through the violent Partition which divided Pakistan and India. Her brother, on his death bed, has sent his son Om to meet Waseema and beg for his forgiveness 53 years after he had betrayed her.

“…if a human being is divided with his body in one place and his heart in another, the sun of the parts does not make a whole”

The Empress’ New Gowns is a quirky story about two clothing designers coming to visit the Emperor, and end up teaching the Emperor and Empress a lesson on self-confidence.

Never Ever is about one of the toughest life events that too many of us face – divorce. It doesn’t just break up a family, it also breaks up friendships. I could relate to this one because my parents divorced when I was young, and now as an adult I have a few close friends who went through divorce/separation this year and it has caused big changes for our group of friends.

The other stories in this collection all tackle some of life’s toughest challenges. It’s amazing to realize that it doesn’t matter where you’re born, what religion you may follow, or how much money you have – we all face many of the same obstacles in life. We can choose to let them defeat us, or we can choose to find a way to thrive.

If you enjoy stories about family, hardships, life, and hope, I highly recommend you pick up A Tapestry of Tears. It’s available on Amazon.

Check out the author’s website: http://www.gitavreddy.com/

 

 

Dragon Teeth #BookReview #SpoilerFree

Dragon TeethMichael Crichton, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Jurassic Park, returns to the world of paleontology in this recently discovered novel—a thrilling adventure set in the Wild West during the golden age of fossil hunting.
Goodreads Blurb

When HarperCollins sent me a complimentary Advance Reader’s E-Proof of Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton for review I was convinced that I wouldn’t enjoy it all that much. A book about Paleontology in the Wild West isn’t something I would have ever selected to read. By the end of the first chapter I was hooked.

Dragon Teeth is a thrilling historical fiction novel set in 1870’s, before the Wild West was “conquered”. After a terrible first year at Yale, William Johnson, a young man from Philadelphia and grandson of a Scottish immigrant, accepts a bet of $1,000 proposed by Harold Hannibal Marlin to go West on an expedition with Paleontologist Professor Marsh. The expedition was expected to be about 2.5 months long, but for William it ended up consuming a year of his life.

Professor Marsh’s arch rival is Professor Edward Drinker Cope. Marsh is a paranoid man who believes Cope is always spying on him. They are two Paleontologists competing in the strange new world of finding fossils, and naming undiscovered species of dinosaur.

William is given a list of supplies he’ll need, which include a knife, revolver, and rifle. That alone is enough to tell you that the next few months will be life-changing and life-threatening.

Some of the characters in Dragon Teeth were based on real people, and actual events.

Edward Drinker Cope was a “paleontologist who discovered approximately a thousand species of extinct vertebrates in the United States and led a revival of Lamarckian evolutionary theory, based largely on paleontological views.” https://www.britannica.com/biography/Edward-Drinker-Cope

Othniel Charles Marsh “spent his entire career at Yale University (1866–99) as the first professor of vertebrate paleontology in the United States. In 1870 he organized the first Yale Scientific Expedition, which explored the Pliocene deposits (2.6–5.3 million years old) of Nebraska and the Miocene deposits (5.3–23 million years old) of northern Colorado.” https://www.britannica.com/biography/Othniel-Charles-Marsh

Wyatt Earp was a “legendary frontiersman of the American West, who was an itinerant saloonkeeper, gambler, lawman, gunslinger, and confidence man.” https://www.britannica.com/biography/Wyatt-Earp

Charles Hazelius Sternberg “was an American fossil collector and amateur paleontologist.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Hazelius_Sternberg

William Johnson, is an entirely fictitious character who undergoes a tremendous attitude change throughout the novel. There are themes of Greed vs Downfall, Betrayal, Heroism, Sacrifice, and Isolation. During a time when Americans were at war with Native Americans, before the Wild West was won, this novel was bound to be a page-turning thriller.

 

Also by Michael Crichton:

Westworld originalWestworld is an American science fiction–thriller media franchise. It began in 1973 with the release of the film Westworld, written and directed by Michael Crichton. It depicts a technologically advanced, Western-themed amusement park populated by androids that malfunction and begin killing the human visitors.

It was followed by the sequel film Futureworld (1976).

In 1980 there was a short-lived television series, Beyond Westworld. A new television series from HBO, based on the original film, debuted on October 2, 2016.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westworld

Jurassic Park book

 

Jurassic Park is a 1990 science fiction novel written by Michael Crichton, divided into seven sections (iterations). A cautionary tale about genetic engineering, it presents the collapse of an amusement park showcasing genetically recreated dinosaurs to illustrate the mathematical concept of chaos theory and its real world implications. A sequel titled The Lost World, also written by Crichton, was published in 1995. In 1997, both novels were re-published as a single book titled Michael Crichton’s Jurassic World, unrelated to the film of the same name.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jurassic_Park_(novel)

 

 

For more info about Michael Crichton’s work visit http://www.michaelcrichton.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Only Child #bookreview #spoilerfree

The Only Child

The Only Child is a thrilling horror-mystery story weaved by bestselling Canadian author Andrew Pyper. Have you ever stopped to wonder if Hyde, Dracula, and Frankenstein were the same monster? What if that monster had a child?

When Lily was a child her mother was killed by a monster in an Alaskan cabin. Thirty years later Dr. Lily Dominick is the assistant Director of Forensic Psychiatry at a maximum security institution where her job is to interview “monsters”. Her next client to interview is an unnamed, lean, broad-chested man with a defined jawline, gray eyes, and a strange accent. After the strange interview Lily can’t shake the strange feeling that she somehow knows this man. He later claims that he is Michael, the 222 year old monster who inspired some of the most famous horror authors of our time: Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde; Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein; and Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula.

The Only Child is a thriller from the first page to the last word. I didn’t want to put it down, and found myself reading in bed well past my bedtime. I loved how Lily traveled from Manhattan to Budapest, Geneva to London, Romania to Yukon, seeking to discover if Michael really is who he claims to be, and in the process she learns much more about herself than she ever could have imagined.

One of my favourite aspects of this novel are the old diary entries from Michael’s journals which provided insight into how he met Robert Louis Stevenson, Mary Shelley, and Bram Stoker.

The strange sexual attraction Lily had to almost every man she met in the story was confusing. I’m guessing Pyper did this as a way to show how much she was deviating from her normal non-impulsive, controlling personality. But as a woman I found that annoyingly sexist. The love-interest trope was completely unnecessary in my opinion. When we met Lily she was a strong, independent, smart, successful woman, and then she became weak, dependent on Will. I didn’t quite appreciate her character “arc”, which wasn’t really an arc at all.

The horror Gothic feeling is there, simmering below the surface, covered in unnecessary tropes. It’s one of those instances where less is more. We needed less Michael being hunted, less father-daughter-incest thoughts, less romance, and more monster scariness. It’s not a bad book by any means. As a fan of classic horror stories, I loved the idea and concepts here. It just wasn’t one of the best I’ve read.

Expected publication date is May 23rd, 2017.

Other books by Andrew Pyper:

The Demonologist.jpg

“Professor David Ullman is among the world’s leading authorities on demonic literature, with special expertise in Milton’s Paradise Lost. Not that David is a believer—he sees what he teaches as a branch of the imagination and nothing more. So when the mysterious Thin Woman arrives at his office and invites him to travel to Venice and witness a “phenomenon,” he turns her down. She leaves plane tickets and an address on his desk, advising David that her employer is not often disappointed.

That evening, David’s wife announces she is leaving him. With his life suddenly in shambles, he impulsively whisks his beloved twelve-year-old daughter, Tess, off to Venice after all. The girl has recently been stricken by the same melancholy moods David knows so well, and he hopes to cheer her up and distract them both from the troubles at home.”

Lost Girls.jpg

“Attorney Bartholomew Crane doesn’t belong in the small town of Murdoch. And the town of Murdoch doesn’t want him there. Even Crane’s client, a teacher accused of killing two girls, his own students, doesn’t seem to care if Crane gets him off or not. But Bartholomew Crane has come to Murdoch to try his first murder case — and he intends to win at all costs.

That is, until the case takes an unexpected turn. For as Crane begins to piece together a defense for his client, he finds himself being drawn into a bizarre legend at the heart of the town’s history — a legend that is slowly coming alive before his eyes.

Unnerved by visions he sees on Murdoch’s dark streets, by the ringing of a telephone down the deserted hallway of his hotel, Crane is beginning to suspect that what is happening to him is happening for a reason. And that the two lost girls of Murdoch may be intricately tied to the town’s shameful history … and to a dark episode in his own long-forgotten past.”

http://www.andrewpyper.com/

The publisher kindly sent me a complimentary advanced digital copy in return for an honest review.

I like Big Books and I cannot lie #monthlyrecs

i like big books.jpg

The Monthly Recommendations Goodreads Group has chosen a theme for April 2017 and it’s …….. Big Books!

Here are some of my favourite tomes ♥

 

 

The eye of the world

 

 

The Eye of the World (Book One of The Wheel of Time series) by Robert Jordan. This tome has over 800 pages, and the following books in the series are all big beautiful books that require an enormous commitment, and likely note-taking, in order to follow along. It puts the “epic” in Epic Fantasy.

 

 

 

 

A Game of Thrones.jpg

The first novel of “A Song of Ice and Fire” series written by George R. R. Martin is A Game of Thrones. This 835 page Epic High Fantasy novel inspired the TV Show, Game of Thrones.

Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must … and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty.”

 

 

Winter_Cover

 

Winter is book four of “The Lunar Chronicles” written by Marissa Meyer. It has over 800 pages, however, it didn’t feel that big when I read it. Marissa writes fantastic stories that wrap you up in a fantastic world, with well-rounded, interesting characters, and a plot that keeps the pages turning fast.

 

 

 

 

 

harry_potter_and_the_goblet_of_fire

 

I cannot talk about big books without mentioning the Harry Potter series. The first few books aren’t tomes – but Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is a whopping 734 pages – quite large for a “middle grade” novel.

 

 

 

 

The Forgotten Garden.jpg

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.

Cassandra is lost, alone and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident ten years ago, feels like she has lost everything dear to her. But an unexpected and mysterious bequest from Nell turns Cassandra’s life upside down and ends up challenging everything she thought she knew about herself and her family.”

 

 

 

pet Sematary.jpg

 

Pet Sematary by Stephen King

Sometimes dead is better….When the Creeds move into a beautiful old house in rural Maine, it all seems too good to be true: physician father, beautiful wife, charming little daughter, adorable infant son — and now an idyllic home. As a family, they’ve got it all…right down to the friendly cat. But the nearby woods hide a blood-chilling truth — more terrifying than death itself…and hideously more powerful.

 

 

 

What are some of your favourite BIG BOOKS?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The eye of the world.jpg

The Goodreads Tag #BookTag

The Goodreads Booktag

I watched Peter Monn’s Youtube video doing this tag (his video is below).

I tag anyone who would like to do this tag – link yours in the comments! 🙂

Add me on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/amandadroverhartwick

Questions are below to easily copy/paste.

1. What was the last book you marked as ‘read’?

Turning

Turning by Jessica J. Lee

“Through the heat of summer to the frozen depths of winter, Lee traces her journey swimming through 52 lakes in a single year, swimming through fear and heartbreak to find her place in the world.”

At the age of 28, Jessica Lee–Canadian, Chinese, and British–finds herself in Berlin. Alone. Lonely, with lowered spirits thanks to some family history and a broken heart, she is ostensibly there to write a thesis. And although that is what she does daily, what increasingly occupies her is swimming. So she makes a decision that she believes will win her back her confidence and independence: she will swim fifty-two of the lakes around Berlin, no matter what the weather or season. She is aware that this particular landscape is not without its own ghosts and history.

Expected Publication Date: May 4th, 2017

2. What are you currently reading?

man-gone-down

Man Gone Down by Michael Thomas

In May 2014 I started reading this book, but stopped at page 246. This January 2017 I decided that one of my goals for this year was to start from the beginning and actually finish it. I’m on page 195. *hangs head in shame* I really need to pick this up again. Perhaps if i just focus on reading one chapter at a time I can get through it.

 

 

 

 

 

The Only Child

 

I started reading The Only Child by Andrew Pyper on April 8th, and am 47% done. LOVING this one so far.

Expected Publication Date: May 23rd, 2017

The publisher kindly sent me a complimentary copy for review.

 

 

 

 

 

3. What was the last book you marked as ‘TBR’?

Harry Potter The Prequel

 

The Harry Potter Prequel is an 800-word story written by J. K. Rowling, and was published online on June 11th, 2008. Set three years before the birth of Harry Potter, the story recounts an adventure had by Sirius Black and James Potter.

 

 

 

 

 

4. What book do you plan to read next?

Dragon Teeth

 

Michael Crichton, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Jurassic Park, returns to the world of paleontology in this recently discovered novel—a thrilling adventure set in the Wild West during the golden age of fossil hunting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Do you use the star rating system?

Yes, but I have a really hard time deciding what to rate a book.

6. Are you doing a 2014 Reading Challenge?

I’m doing the Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2017 and I’m also doing a few more challenges on Goodreads:

Let’s Turn Pages Challenge

A to Z Challenge (Location Edition)

Dewey Decimal Nonfiction Challenge

7. Do you have a wishlist?

Not really. I have some books in my cart at Chapters website, Amazon.ca website, Bookoutlet.ca, and a TBR. But not an official “wishlist”.

8. What book do you plan to buy next?

Hmmm…I’m slowly buying all the books in the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind. I’m also keeping an eye out for Stephen King books. I want to read the unread books on my shelf before buying more. (hopefully, haha!)

9. Do you have any favorite quotes, would you like to share a few?

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ~ Oscar Wilde

“Unless you have been very, very lucky, you have undoubtedly experienced events in your life that have made you cry. So unless you have been very, very lucky, you know that a good, long session of weeping can often make you feel better, even if your circumstances have not changed one bit.” ― Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

“Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.”
Stephen King

“Sometimes, making the wrong choice is better than making no choice. You have the courage to go forward, that is rare. A person who stands at the fork, unable to pick, will never get anywhere.”
Terry Goodkind, Wizard’s First Rule

10. Who are your favorite authors?

Stephen King

Robert Jordan

Marissa Meyer

Veronica Roth

J.K. Rowling

Ransom Riggs

Sandra Gulland

William Shakespeare

J. R. R. Tolkien

Lisa Genova

George R. R. Martin

11. Have you joined any groups?

2017 Reading Challenge

ReadingRealm ReadAlong

County of L&A Libraries – Online Book Club

Monthly Recommendations

BooktubeSFF Awards

Fiction Writing

The Book Bound Society

 

THE QUESTIONS:
1. What was the last book you marked as ‘read’?
2. What are you currently reading?
3. What was the last book you marked as ‘TBR’?
4. What book do you plan to read next?
5. Do you use the star rating system?
6. Are you doing a 2014 Reading Challenge?
7. Do you have a wishlist?
8. What book do you plan to buy next?
9. Do you have any favorite quotes, would you like to share a few?
10. Who are your favorite authors?
11. Have you joined any groups?

Spring Reading #BookTag

I tag anyone who would like to completely this booktag! Be sure to link yours in the comments 🙂

 

1. What books are you most excited to read over the next few months?

The Only Child

 

I’m currently reading The Only Child by Andrew Pyper and loving it. The publisher kindly sent me an Advanced Reader Copy to review. Expected publication is May 23rd, 2017.

The #1 internationally bestselling author of The Demonologist radically reimagines the origins of gothic literature’s founding masterpieces—Frankenstein, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Dracula—in a contemporary novel driven by relentless suspense and surprising emotion. This is the story of a man who may be the world’s one real-life monster, and the only woman who has a chance of finding him.

Dragon Teeth

 

Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton was another e-book sent to me by the publisher for review. I’ll be reading this after The Only Child. Expected publication date is June 1st, 2017

The year is 1876. Warring Indian tribes still populate America’s western territories even as lawless gold-rush towns begin to mark the landscape. In much of the country it is still illegal to espouse evolution. Against this backdrop two monomaniacal paleontologists pillage the Wild West, hunting for dinosaur fossils, while surveilling, deceiving and sabotaging each other in a rivalry that will come to be known as the Bone Wars.

A Tapestry of Tears

 

After Dragon Teeth I’ll be reading A Tapestry of Tears by Gita V. Reddy.

Set in the early nineteenth century, A Tapestry of Tears is about female infanticide, and the unmaking of tradition. If a woman gives birth to a female child, she must feed her the noxious sap of the akk plant. That is the tradition, parampara. Veeranwali rebels, and fights to save her offspring.
The other stories span a spectrum of emotions and also bring to life the varied culture and social spectrum of India. Woven into this collection is the past and the present, despair and hope, and the triumph of the human spirit.

 

2. What book most makes you think of Spring, for whatever reason?

The Hobbit

 

Bilbo sets off on a great adventure in The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, going through incredible changes leading him to become an unlikely hero.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Rosie Project.jpg

 

 

No idea why, but The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion reminds me of Spring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. The days are getting longer – what is the longest book you’ve read?

Lord of Chaos

 

Lord of Chaos (Book 6 of The Wheel of Time) written by Robert Jordan. 1011 pages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. What books would you recommend to brighten someone’s day?

momswhodrinkandswear

 

Moms Who Drink and Swear by Nicole Knepper is hilarious! Highly recommend this read 🙂

 

 

 

 

5. Spring brings new life in nature – think up a book that doesn’t exist but you wish it did. (eg by a favourite author, on a certain theme or issue etc)

Harry Potter The Prequel

 

J.K. Rowling did write an 800 word Harry Potter prequel, but I selfishly want more LOL A whole book, or shall I be so bold as to ask for a trilogy about Harry’s parents growing up as children attending Hogwarts, then becoming adults, leading up to the first Harry Potter book?

 

 

 

 

6. Spring is also a time of growth – how has your reading changed over the years?

As a young child and teen I basically only read fiction and school-required books. While attending University I read only fantasy and required reading for school. Now, in my mid-thirties, I read many different genres, and this past year has been my best reading year since I was thirteen years old.

7. We’re a couple of months into the new year – how’s your reading going?

Since January I have read 23 books, which is already more than the number of books I read ALL of last year. 🙂

8. Any plans you’re looking forward to over the next few months?

Well, now that I’ve been reading a lot more the past six months I’ve decided to get back to writing two stories that I’ve been working on for awhile. I’m hoping to finish them this year, and look into getting published.

My “To be read” list is getting completely out of hand. Once I finish all the books that I received to review, I will be reading all of the books on my bookshelf that haven’t been read yet, then tackling all the unread books on my KOBO before I delve into my TBR list. That’s the plan HAHA!

 

Tag questions:
1. What books are you most excited to read over the next few months?
2. What book most makes you think of Spring, for whatever reason?
3. The days are getting longer – what is the longest book you’ve read?
4. What books would you recommend to brighten someone’s day?
5. Spring brings new life in nature – think up a book that doesn’t exist but you wish it did. (eg by a favourite author, on a certain theme or issue etc)
6. Spring is also a time of growth – how has your reading changed over the years?
7. We’re a couple of months into the new year – how’s your reading going?
8. Any plans you’re looking forward to over the next few months?