The Glovemaker’s Daughter #BookReview #SpoilerFree #Netgalley #SimonSchuster #HistoricalFiction

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38087630

Title: The Glovemaker’s Daughter

Author: Leah Fleming

Published November 2018 by Simon Schuster

Genre: Historical Fiction (17th Century)

Page Count: 432

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38087630-the-glovemaker-s-daughter

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The Glovemaker’s Daughter begins in Good Hope Township, Pennsylvania, 2014. After seeing a ghost in a three-hundred-year-old Meeting House (Quaker Church), Sam finds a notebook hidden in the walls. He connects with Rachel Moorside, a descendant of the person who wrote the ledger, in order to find out more about the Meeting House and the people who built it. Through mainly journal entries from the 17th century ledger, we are told the story of a young woman named Rejoice (Joy) who embarks on an epic journey from England to the New World.

Fleming creates incredible characters filled with personality, description, and emotions that they feel like real people that I actually know. I found Joy to be annoying, but I appreciated that she always learned from her mistakes, and I admire her perseverance.

Joy’s story grabbed me from the very beginning. I love Fleming’s writing style and definitely want to read more by her.

Some readers have described this as a mystery, but it doesn’t feel like one. The present day part of the book doesn’t really serve a purpose to the plot. I think if there had been more from Rachel and Sam’s perspectives it could have been more exciting. The ending feels incredibly rushed as well.

The Glovemaker’s Daughter is a slow-burn historical tale about a young girl’s epic journey discovering family secrets, peace, and love. I recommend this one to readers sixteen-years-old+ who enjoy slow-paced stories filled with tons of description and history.

Setting: 3/5
Plot: 2.5/5
Characters: 4/5
Writing: 3/5
Message: 2.5/5
Overall: 3/5

Thank you to Netgalley and publisher for the complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.

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Leah Fleming was born in Lancashire and is married with three sons and a daughter. She writes from an old farmhouse in the Yorkshire Dales and an olive grove in Crete.”

http://www.leahfleming.co.uk/

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Father Christmas and Me #BookReview #SpoilerFree #Netgalley #CanongateBooks #MiddleGrade

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Title: Father Christmas and Me (Christmas #3)

Author: Matt Haig

Illustrated by: Chris Mould

Published October 2018 by Canongate Books

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Page Count: 304

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40942018-father-christmas-and-me

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The end of Matt Haig’s trilogy, Father Christmas and Me is an imaginative story that takes place in a fictional town called Elfhelm. In a previous adventure Amelia helped save Christmas, and now she’s the only human living in an elf town. Feeling like an outcast, Amelia struggles with elf school and feels like she doesn’t belong. She learns that Father Vogol, the elf that used to rule Elfhelm before Father Christmas, wants to get his power back. Amelia also learns that the Easter Bunny feels resentful since the war with the elves hundreds of years ago. With the help of friends Amelia uses her strengths to overcome challenges and remember the true meaning of Christmas.

“An impossibility is just a possibility you don’t understand yet.”

The characters are intriguing, filled with personality and emotions. Amelia is likeable, with strengths and flaws, and a wonderful personal growth arc. While doing a little research to write this review I discovered my favourite character, The Truth Pixie, has her own book! I can’t wait to read it! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41443051-the-truth-pixie

“There was a reindeer clock in the living room, which was like a cuckoo clock but instead of a cuckoo popping out it was a reindeer. Oh, and it didn’t tell ordinary human time with boring things like ‘six o’clock’ and ‘twenty past nine’. It told elf time, and elf hours were called things like Very Early Indeed and Way Past Bedtime.”

I’ve read two books by Matt Haig now and I have to say I quite enjoy his writing style. With an exciting pace, Father Christmas and Me is a very fun and festive read for all ages.

“‘Books,’ said Father Christmas, ‘are the greatest gifts of all. Nothing else comes close.'”

Setting: 3.5
Plot: 4
Characters: 4
Writing: 5
Message: 3.5
Overall: 80% 4/5 Stars

Thank you to Netgalley and publisher for the complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.

*Quotes taken from an ARC copy and subject to change*

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Matt Haig was born in Sheffield, England in1975. He writes books for both adults and children, often blending the worlds of domestic reality and outright fantasy, with a quirky twist. His bestselling novels are translated into 28 languages. The Guardian has described his writing as ‘delightfully weird’ and the New York Times has called him ‘a novelist of great talent’ whose writing is ‘funny, riveting and heartbreaking’.

His novels for adults are The Last Family in England, narrated by a labrador and optioned for film by Brad Pitt; The Dead Fathers Club (2006), an update of Hamlet featuring an 11-year-old boy; The Possession of Mr Cave (2008), about a man obsessed with his daughter’s safety, and The Radleys (2010) which won Channel 4’s TV Book Club public vote and was shortlisted for a Galaxy National Book Award (UK). The film rights to all his adult novels have been sold. His next adult novel is The Humans (2013).

His multi-award winning popular first novel for children, Shadow Forest, was published in 2007 and its sequel, The Runaway Troll, in 2009. His most recent children’s novel is To Be A Cat (2012).” https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/76360.Matt_Haig

http://www.matthaig.com/

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My Favourites Books of 2018

Here are the best books I read in 2018 🙂

13124003

The Last Unicorn

By: Peter S. Beagle

Published by Penguin Books July 2008 (first published 1968)

Genre: Classic, YA Fantasy

294 pages

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13124003-the-last-unicorn

31410964

Wonder

By: R.J. Palacio

Published Sept 2017 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published February 2012)

Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary Realistic Fiction

352 pages

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31410964-wonder

35604686

The Astonishing Color of After

By: Emily X.R. Pan

Published March 2018 by Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Genre: YA Contemporary, Magical Realism

462 pages

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35604686-the-astonishing-color-of-after

27840861

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2)

By Leigh Bardugo

Published Sept 2016 by Henry Holt and Company

Genre: YA Fantasy

546 pages

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27840861-crooked-kingdom

36304254

Thief of Happy Endings

By Kristen Chandler

Published June 2018 by Viking Books for Young Readers

YA Contemporary Romance (horses)

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36304254-thief-of-happy-endings

38926487

All Your Perfects

By Colleen Hoover

Published July 2018 by Atria Books

New Adult Contemporary Romance

306 pages

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38926487-all-your-perfects

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The Hate U Give

By Angie Thomas

Published February 2017 by Balzer + Bray

YA Contemporary

444 pages

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32075671-the-hate-u-give

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The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

By Stuart Turton

Published September 2018 by Sourcebooks Landmark

Mystery Thriller/Sci-Fi

432 pages

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40033006-the-7-deaths-of-evelyn-hardcastle

12163580

Frankenstein

By Mary Shelley

Published October 2011 by Naxos Audiobooks (first published January 1818)

Classic Gothic Horror, Sci-Fi

I listened to the Audiobook on Scribd

17378527

The Raven King

By Maggie Stiefvater

Published April 2016 by Scholastic Press

YA Fantasy, Paranormal, LGBT

439 pages

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Stargirl

By Jerry Spinelli

Narrated by John Ritter

Published May 2002 by Listening Library (first published August 2000)

Audiobook on Scribd

Middle Grade Realistic Fiction

39019053

The Girl They Left Behind

By Roxanne Veletzos

Published October 2018 by Atria Books

Historical Fiction (WWII)

368 pages

My Year in Books 2018 #GoodreadsChallenge Complete!

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In 2017 I read 55 books – 17,819 pages

In 2018 I reached my goal of 75 books – 24,410 pages

The shortest book I read was The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

The longest book I read was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

My average Goodreads rating this year was 3.9

17 Five Star

32 Four Star

21 Three Star

5 Two Star

The majority of my 5-Star reads are Fantasy and Contemporary, which is a little surprising. I’ve always thought I didn’t like Contemporary Romance, but have now figured out I do like it if it’s realistic fiction, or hard-hitting, or sprinkled with a little magical realism.

One of my goals was to try an audiobook, which I did and discovered I quite enjoy them.

I finished the Six of Crows series by Leigh Bardugo, The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, Monsters of Verity by Victoria Schwab, and the Furthermore series by Tahereh Mafi.

Looking forward to starting a new reading year! Happy New Year!

MIA

Just wanted to check in and let you know I’m reading like crazy trying to finish my Goodreads Challenge. I’m one book away from reaching my goal of reading 75 books this year. Once I’m done I’ll be writing reviews for the last four books I’ve read. Here are the books I’ll be chatting about soon 🙂

38087630

The Glovemaker’s Daughter

Written By: Leah Fleming

Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery

Published by Simon & Schuster

ISBN 9781471141003

40942018

Father Christmas and Me

Written By: Matt Haig

Middle Grade Fantasy

Published October 2018 by Canongate Books

ISBN 9781786890689

79420

Man Gone Down

Written By: Michael Thomas

Published December 2006 by Grove Press, Black Cat

Fiction, Cultural (African American)

41219211

Watching You

Written By: Lisa Jewell

Published December 26, 2018 by Atria Books

Mystery, Thriller

ISBN 9781501190070

 

Thrilling Thriller Book Tag #TagTuesday

Booktag Time! 🙂

1. What was the last thriller you bought?

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2. Show us the thriller you most recently added to your TBR?

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3. What thriller did you have high expectations for but ultimately let you down

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5. Recommend an underrated thriller

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6. Pick three thrillers from your shelves; 2 you’ve read and one you haven’t. Get your viewers to comment which one they think you haven’t read.

Guess which one I haven’t read!

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King

The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins

7. People are often intimated by the thriller genre. Recommend a thriller for beginners.

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8. What is your all-time favourite thriller?

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Currently Reading…

Cat, Glasses, Eyewear, Pet, Furry

38087630

Title: The Glovemaker’s Daughter

Author: Leah Fleming

Publisher: Simon Schuster

Date Published: November 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction

Page Count: 432

From the acclaimed author of The Last Pearl and The Postcard, a beautiful and epic novel spanning three generations of one family’s dark secrets, betrayal, love, and redemption.

1666. A child is born in the farmhouse at Windebank, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Named Rejoice (Joy) by her dying father, Joy grows up witness to the persecution of the farming community for following a banned faith. Defying the authority of the local priest, she joins a group of Yorkshire pioneers traveling to the New World to form a Quaker colony close to Philadelphia—a passionate, rebellious, and courageous woman fighting against the constraints of the time. Will she find peace and love?

2014. A leather-bound book is found buried in the walls of the Meeting House in Good Hope, Pennsylvania. Its details trace the owner back to a Yorkshire farm in the Dales. And so a correspondence begins between Rachel Moorside and the man who found the journal, Sam Storer, as Rachel uncovers the tumultuous secrets of her family’s history.

Emotionally powerful, moving, and filled with rich historical detail, this compelling journey into the past will stay with you long after the final page is turned.”

 

The Girl They Left Behind by Roxanne Veletzos #BookReview #HistoricalFiction #Netgalley #AtriaBooks

Powerful and inspiring, The Girl They Left Behind is an important, heart-wrenching historical fiction novel based on true events that left me feeling incredibly grateful for my life and children.

about the book xmas

39019053

Title: The Girl They Left Behind

Author: Roxanne Veletzos

Publisher: Atria Books

Date of Publication: October 30, 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction WWII

Page Count: 368 (e-book)

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39019053-the-girl-they-left-behind

A sweeping family saga and love story that offers a vivid and unique portrayal of life in war-torn 1941 Bucharest and life behind the Iron Curtain during the Soviet Union occupation—perfect for fans of Lilac Girls and Sarah’s Key.

On a freezing night in January 1941, a little Jewish girl is found on the steps of an apartment building in Bucharest. With Romania recently allied with the Nazis, the Jewish population is in grave danger, undergoing increasingly violent persecution. The girl is placed in an orphanage and eventually adopted by a wealthy childless couple who name her Natalia. As she assimilates into her new life, she all but forgets the parents who were forced to leave her behind. They are even further from her mind when Romania falls under Soviet occupation.

Yet, as Natalia comes of age in a bleak and hopeless world, traces of her identity pierce the surface of her everyday life, leading gradually to a discovery that will change her destiny. She has a secret crush on Victor, an intense young man who as an impoverished student befriended her family long ago. Years later, when Natalia is in her early twenties and working at a warehouse packing fruit, she and Victor, now an important official in the Communist regime, cross paths again. This time they are fatefully drawn into a passionate affair despite the obstacles swirling around them and Victor’s dark secrets.

When Natalia is suddenly offered a one-time chance at freedom, Victor is determined to help her escape, even if it means losing her. Natalia must make an agonizing decision: remain in Bucharest with her beloved adoptive parents and the man she has come to love, or seize the chance to finally live life on her own terms, and to confront the painful enigma of her past.”

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“In anguish and despair we release this child into the hands of God, with hope and faith that she may be saved.”

Based on true events, The Girl They Left Behind is an emotional story that begins when a concierge finds a four-year-old girl alone in Bucharest, January 1941. I teared up many times while reading this, and enjoyed every single second.

Anton and Despina are a wonderful couple who face many challenges, and even when they don’t agree they find a way to always respect each other. Stefan and Maria are another great couple who adopt Natalia. I didn’t enjoy Victor’s character until later in the story. He just is…just…ugh I don’t want to give anything away. He’s just great.

The beautiful writing tells the story of family, war, heartbreak, loss, grief, resilience, courage, survival, hope, freedom, and peace.

“In his long stare, Natalia saw a trace of sadness and something she had never glimpsed before: fear. Perhaps he had always feared this moment, this exact moment when he would have to reckon with his past and be forced to make amends, excuses. But she would not be the one to give him redemption.”

I liked the pacing of the plot, except that the middle felt a little bogged down. There are some mentions of women “obeying” and being “delicate” without much said to counter the sexism. However, I understand this story takes place in a different time. It didn’t affect the story for me, so it won’t affect my rating either.

Deeply moving, The Girl They Left Behind gave me goosebumps. Highly recommend this to readers thirteen-years-old+.

Plot: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Overall: 5/5

Thank you to Netgalley and publisher for the complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.

*Quotes taken from an ARC copy and subject to change*

About the Author Xmas

Roxanne Veletzos was born in Bucharest, Romania and moved to California with her family as a young teen. Already fluent in English and French, she began writing short stories about growing up in her native Eastern Europe, at first as a cathartic experience as she transitioned to a new culture. Building on her love of the written language, she obtained a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has worked as an editor, content writer and marketing manager for a number of Fortune 500 companies. Since 2012, Roxanne has been writing historical and contemporary fiction and is the author of two novels.”

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17709452.Roxanne_Veletzos

https://www.roxanne-veletzos.com/

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Blog Tour Buddies #ThePsychologyofTimeTravel @KateMascarenhas@crookedlanebooks

I’m very grateful to have been invited to take part in a blog tour for a new Sci-Fi/mystery coming out in February 2019 called The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas. Big thanks to Sarah Poppe at Crooked Lane Books for inviting me to join. Click on the blog names below to check out my Blog Tour Buddies!

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A Reader’s Journey

Shelf Stalker

Read this, Not That

Confessions of an Avid Reader

Book Babble

The Bookish Libra

Books with Jams

This is My Truth Now

 

City of Ghosts by @veschwab #bookreview #MiddleGrade #Fantasy #audiobook #scribd

From number-one New York Times bestselling author Victoria Schwab comes a sweeping, spooky, evocative adventure, perfect for fans of Stranger Things and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.” 

about the book xmas

41557218

Title: City of Ghosts

Author: Victoria Schwab

Narrated By: Reba Buhr

Publisher: Scholastic Audio

Date of Publication: September 2018

Length: 5 hrs 2 mins

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy (Paranormal)

Ever since Cass almost drowned (okay, she did drown, but she doesn’t like to think about it), she can pull back the Veil that separates the living from the dead…and enter the world of spirits. Her best friend is even a ghost.

So things are already pretty strange. But they’re about to get much stranger…”

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41557218-city-of-ghosts

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“People think that ghosts only come out at night, or on Halloween, when the world is dark and the walls are thin. But the truth is, ghosts are everywhere.”

City of Ghosts takes place in Edinburgh, Scotland. Cassidy’s parents chose Edinburgh as the first location to film content for their new paranormal show. Her parents don’t know that Cassidy’s best friend Jacob is a ghost, and their twelve-year-old daughter is able to travel to through the veil into the ghost world.

“Some people call it intuition, others second sight. That tickle at the edge of your senses, telling you there’s something more.”

I love how Schwab’s characters are well-developed with distinct traits. She’s able to create an air of mystery around the characters, drawing the reader in. Cassidy is a down-to-earth girl who has a quirky friendship with Jacob, who is a very polite boy. Her parents are adorable, attentive, and awkward. I’d love to know more about Lara and the villain, Raven in Red.

“Embrace your strange, dear daughter. Where’s the fun in being normal?”

I love Schwab’s writing and enjoyed the Harry Potter references. The audio book narrator is great, she uses different voices for each character. I have just one small complaint, why is there a cat on the cover when it has such a small part of the story?

“Sometimes help is a place and sometimes it’s a person, and sometimes it’s a bit of both.”

Charming and funny, City of Ghosts is a fun, kinda creepy story about friendship, courage, family, and finding your purpose. It reminds me of Stranger Things, Ghosthunters, and Coraline.

“Ninth rule of friendship,” he says, “ghost-watching is a two-person sport.”

Plot: 2.5/5
Characters: 4/5
Writing: 4.5/5
Overall: 3.6/4 rounded up to 4 on Goodreads

About the Author Xmas

“Victoria “V.E.” Schwab is the #1 NYT, USA, and Indie bestselling author of more than a dozen books, including Vicious, the Shades of Magic series, and This Savage Song. Her work has received critical acclaim, been featured by EW and The New York Times, been translated into more than a dozen languages, and been optioned for TV and Film.”

https://www.veschwab.com/

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