Saturday, November 30, 2019

November 2019 EOM Wrap Up

I have read 8 books (not including children's books). *These qualify for the 2019 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
The How & the Why by Cynthia Hand
Eleventh Grave in the Moonlight (Charley Davidson, # 11) by Darynda Jones
How to Speak Boy by Tiana Smith
The Trouble with Twelfth Grave (Charley Davidson, # 12) by Darynda Jones
*Summoned to Thirteenth Grave (Charley Davidson, # 13) by Darynda Jones
The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising, # 1) by Kiersten White
Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn
Realm of Knights (Knights of the Realm, # 1) by Jennifer Anne Davis

I have reviewed 7 books. *These qualify for the 2019 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
Hope's Highest Mountain (Hearts of Montana, # 1) by Misty M Beller
*A Pursuit of Home (Haven Manor, # 3) by Kristi Ann Hunter
Aiming for Love by Mary Connealy
Diamond in the Rough (American Heiresses, # 2) by Jen Turano
The How & the Why by Cynthia Hand
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising, # 1) by Kiersten White

Other Posts:
Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 11/03/19
Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 11/10/19
Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 11/17/19
Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 11/24/19
Can't Wait for Regretting You by Colleen Hoover
Can't Wait for Echoes Between Us by Katie McGarry
Can't Wait for Hearts, Heroes, & Heath Hall by Kasie West
Can't Wait for Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn
2019 Series Enders Reading Challenge - November Wrap Up
October 2019 Wrap Up

Goals:
I'm 17 days ahead of schedule with my Bible-in-a-year plan.
I've read 92 out of 52 books (including children's books).
I've read 6 out of 5-10 series enders.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Can't Wait for Love Lettering

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Love Lettering

By: Kate Clayborn

Expected Publication: January 28th 2020 by Kensington Publishing Corp.

320 pages

Genre: Adult, Contemporary

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--In this warm and witty romance from acclaimed author Kate Clayborn, one little word puts one woman’s business—and her heart—in jeopardy . . .

Meg Mackworth’s hand-lettering skill has made her famous as the Planner of Park Slope, designing beautiful custom journals for New York City’s elite. She has another skill too: reading signs that other people miss. Like the time she sat across from Reid Sutherland and his gorgeous fiancĂ©e, and knew their upcoming marriage was doomed to fail. Weaving a secret word into their wedding program was a little unprofessional, but she was sure no one else would spot it. She hadn’t counted on sharp-eyed, pattern-obsessed Reid . . .

A year later, Reid has tracked Meg down to find out—before he leaves New York for good—how she knew that his meticulously planned future was about to implode. But with a looming deadline, a fractured friendship, and a bad case of creative block, Meg doesn’t have time for Reid’s questions—unless he can help her find her missing inspiration. As they gradually open up to each other about their lives, work, and regrets, both try to ignore the fact that their unlikely connection is growing deeper. But the signs are there—irresistible, indisputable, urging Meg to heed the messages Reid is sending her, before it’s too late . . .

I thought I was getting this for review a couple of months ago, but it turns out that it was one of those sneaky excerpts only. Oh well, the excerpt did intrigue me. I want to keep reading. What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Monday, November 25, 2019

2019 Series Enders Reading Challenge - November Wrap Up

Time for our Monthly Wrap Up for the 2019 Series Enders Reading Challenge hosted by Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know and Holly @ Words Fueled by Love!

Since our last monthly wrap up, Sandy finished Summoned to Thirteenth Grave (Charley Davidson, # 13) by Darynda Jones.

Which series enders did you finish? Link the up below. Don't forget to include the title, your name, & your blog name (Ex: Requiem - Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know) Also, the November giveaway runs from November 25th - December 23rd. On December 23rd we will use random.org and the linky entries to pull a winner.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

The Guinevere Deception - Review

The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising, # 1)

By: Kiersten White

Publication: November 5th 2019 by Delacorte Press

352 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--From New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White comes a new fantasy series reimagining the Arthurian legend, set in the magical world of Camelot.

There was nothing in the world as magical and terrifying as a girl.

Princess Guinevere has come to Camelot to wed a stranger: the charismatic King Arthur. With magic clawing at the kingdom's borders, the great wizard Merlin conjured a solution--send in Guinevere to be Arthur's wife . . . and his protector from those who want to see the young king's idyllic city fail. The catch? Guinevere's real name--and her true identity--is a secret. She is a changeling, a girl who has given up everything to protect Camelot.

To keep Arthur safe, Guinevere must navigate a court in which the old--including Arthur's own family--demand things continue as they have been, and the new--those drawn by the dream of Camelot--fight for a better way to live. And always, in the green hearts of forests and the black depths of lakes, magic lies in wait to reclaim the land. Arthur's knights believe they are strong enough to face any threat, but Guinevere knows it will take more than swords to keep Camelot free.

Deadly jousts, duplicitous knights, and forbidden romances are nothing compared to the greatest threat of all: the girl with the long black hair, riding on horseback through the dark woods toward Arthur. Because when your whole existence is a lie, how can you trust even yourself?

*THE FIRST BOOK IN THE CAMELOT RISING TRILOGY*

The problem with retellings is that readers may have both knowledge of the story you're retelling as well as strong attachment to specific pieces of the original. Think of it like this, in music let's say there's a famous song that everyone loves. But if an artist comes in to do a cover of this song there might be specific melodies or notes or inflections that if changed would leave the audience unsatisfied and wishing for the original. That's kind of how I felt about The Guinevere Deception. Granted, I haven't delved extensively into King Arthur's stories and what I have read was like ten or fifteen years ago. So not everything is fresh in my mind. However, there are certain key things that I knew I didn't want messed with or had been hoping Kiersten White would go in a specific direction. And well...she did not.

I was all for bringing some strong(er) female characters into this world, but one of the things that I'm coming to find is that oftentimes this is done at the expense of strong male characters. That's not always the case, but it does happen. And I was a little conflicted with how Kiersten White chose to go about her changes to the females in this story.

First there Guinevere who is not Guinevere. We still don't learn her real name, and honestly, I'm not sure she even remembers it by the end of the book. She's Merlin's daughter and thus can use magic. She believes she's sent to Camelot by Merlin to protect Arthur from an unknown magical threat. To remain close to him, they marry and she becomes queen. Even though she's active in trying to find the magical threat against Arthur, I was a little disappointed that her biggest accomplishment (from Camelot's view) is planning and executing a tournament. I feel like there could have been some better uses of her within the story and in Camelot that might defy the traditional role of a woman and/or a queen from that time period beyond the magical. My issues with this are complex and would take a great deal longer to discuss than I want to do here in this review.

Brangien is Guinevere's maid. She also becomes her closest friend. She came to Camelot with Sir Tristan when he was banished for his love affair with Isolde. Only Tristan wasn't the one in love with Isolde. So while I loved Brangien as a character, Tristan and Isolde's story is one of those pieces of the source material that I wasn't fond of being twisted. It's like taking the high note out of I Will Always Love You as sung by Whitney Houston.

Dindrane...I couldn't decide how I felt about her. She's one of those characters that most people would hate but Guinevere saw beyond the surface and took on as a friend. I guess knowing that the things she says are mostly her attempts at protecting herself emotionally helps, but at times she could appear delusional. Thankfully Dindrane knew that Guinevere wasn't really buying what she was selling and so her comments became comical where they could have been more grating. I wasn't sure she was fleshed out enough. Or maybe Kiersten White knew her well enough but the reader doesn't get to understand her as much as I would have liked. I was excited to see her have the possibility of a romance though.

Rhoslyn was fine. Nothing really to complain about there.

I (mostly) liked how Kiersten White chose to write Lancelot. I never have liked the love affair between Lancelot and Guinevere in the original legends. Lancelot probably accomplishes the most (beyond Guinevere) of what Kiersten White was trying to accomplish with her approach to this retelling. However, there's one line that becomes a Mountains Out of Molehills issue for me.

I definitely appreciated how Kiersten White chose to write Arthur. He is no less captivating than he should be. The way that he's written is supposed to keep you guessing as to his feelings and intentions toward Guinevere, but I found everything about him to be the exact reason for me pressing on and continuing this book when at multiple times I thought about putting it into the DNF pile. If anything, I am curious to see the continued development of Arthur as things move forward, but to be honest, I'm not sure I'll finish the series as further books are published. I'll see how I feel after some time has passed and what the descriptions look like for the remaining two books.

Mordred kept me guessing the most. Was he an enemy? An ally? In love with Guinevere? Would he expose Guinevere if he found out about her use of magic? So many of my questions revolved around him. And I bounced back and forth between whether I liked him or not.

Kudos to whoever designed the cover for this one because it is stunning in my opinion.

All in all, I felt like Kiersten White didn't just want to write an empowering, female-strong version of King Arthur and his court so much as a politically correct, LGBT friendly one which resulted in her twisting some of my favorite pieces of the original stories. In some areas, I enjoyed the twists, and in others, I felt like she strayed too far. The analogy I used above was of someone covering a Whitney Houston song without hitting the high notes or changing the melody. Some pieces of the original are too ingrained and left me feeling unsatisfied with the changes she decided to make. I bounced around so much with my enjoyment of the book. At times I was dying to get back to it, and other times I was considering DNFing it. I had to go back to my rating scale which lands me at 2.5 Stars. I can't say it was completely "ugh" but I don't think I can give it a "pretty good" either. Have you read The Guinevere Deception? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 11/24/19

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Finally a normal week! I really can't even remember if there was anything worth reporting from the early part of the week. The kiddos had yearly checkups on Thursday. Everything went great! They're healthy and right where they should be. They were so well behaved during the visit that we got Happy Meals on the way home. Thankfully the weather has been nice enough for us to walk every day. Man that was needed after the previous week of rain and really cold temperatures. I finished two books this week, and I have to say that I'm excited to check out the Stephanie Plum book that I got this week. It's kind of become a tradition (if you can count this being the 2nd time a tradition) to listen to a Stephanie Plum book while I'm decorating the Christmas tree. I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!

THE PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of The How & the Why by Cynthia Hand (4 Stars)
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Hearts, Heroes, & Heath Hall by Kasie West
Thursday: Review of Bone Gap by Laura Ruby (3 Stars)

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: 2019 Series Enders Reading Challenge - November Wrap Up & Review of The Guinevere Deception by
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday
Thursday: Happy Thanksgiving (US)

Don’t forget to link up for the 2019 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2019 to sing up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum, # 24)

By: Janet Evanovich

Publication: November 14th 2017 by Bantam

320 pages

Genre: Adult, Mystery, Humor

Source: Borrowed from the e-Library

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Trouble comes in bunches for Stephanie Plum. First, professional grave robber and semi-professional loon, Simon Diggery, won’t let her take him in until she agrees to care for his boa constrictor, Ethel. Stephanie’s main qualification for babysitting an extremely large snake is that she owns a stun gun—whether that’s for use on the wandering serpent or the petrified neighbors remains to be seen.

Events take a dark turn when headless bodies start appearing across town. At first, it’s just corpses from a funeral home and the morgue that have had the heads removed. But when a homeless man is murdered and dumped behind a church Stephanie knows that she’s the only one with a prayer of catching this killer.

If all that’s not enough, Diesel’s back in town. The 6-foot-tall, blonde-haired hunk is a man who accepts no limits—that includes locked doors, closed windows and underwear. Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli isn’t pleased at this unexpected arrival nor is Ranger, the high-powered security consultant who has his own plans for Stephanie.

As usual Jersey’s favorite bounty hunter is stuck in the middle with more questions than answers. What’s the deal with Grandma Mazur’s latest online paramour? Who is behind the startling epidemic of mutilated corpses? And is the enigmatic Diesel’s sudden appearance a coincidence or the cause of recent deadly events?

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Bone Gap - Review

Bone Gap

By: Laura Ruby

Publication: March 3rd 2015 by Balzer + Bray

345 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mystery, Magical Realism

Source: Free audiobook from Audiobook Sync several years ago

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps—gaps to trip you up, gaps to slide through so you can disappear forever. So when young, beautiful Roza went missing, the people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised. After all, it wasn’t the first time that someone had slipped away and left Finn and Sean O’Sullivan on their own. Just a few years before, their mother had high-tailed it to Oregon for a brand new guy, a brand new life. That’s just how things go, the people said. Who are you going to blame?

Finn knows that’s not what happened with Roza. He knows she was kidnapped, ripped from the cornfields by a dangerous man whose face he cannot remember. But the searches turned up nothing, and no one believes him anymore. Not even Sean, who has more reason to find Roza than anyone, and every reason to blame Finn for letting her go.

As we follow the stories of Finn, Roza, and the people of Bone Gap—their melancholy pasts, their terrifying presents, their uncertain futures—acclaimed author Laura Ruby weaves a heartbreaking tale of love and loss, magic and mystery, regret and forgiveness—a story about how the face the world sees is never the sum of who we are.

The description of Bone Gap is deceiving. The description seems to indicate that the people of the town are familiar with and aware of the mysterious and magical "gaps" in the town. However, that wasn't really true. They are familiar with people who want to and do leave the town. So no one was surprised when Roza disappears. They think she went back to Poland or just moved on in her travels. After all, she showed up suddenly. Why not leave suddenly too?

But Finn is not convinced. He witnessed an exchange between Roza and a man. Roza appeared to go with the man willingly, but Finn just felt that something was off. And his unusual way of describing the man has left everyone around him a little unbelieving. Eventually, Finn is the only one left looking for Roza. He will never give up because he feels like he could have stopped the kidnapping if only he'd realized sooner that Roza was in danger.

I loved Finn's story with Petey. Their relationship. How it builds. They way they were with each other. How Petey had Finn's back and figured out something very important about him that no one who knew him had figured out--even Finn himself. I loved the bees, the horse--Night---Finn's best friend Miguel. I even really liked Sean even though I won't say that I loved his character. And Roza. She was lovable.

I didn't enjoy the Rudes. Or the Scarecrow. Or really the magical aspects of the book. Without spoiling anything, I always seem to struggle with this particular type of magical element in stories.

I feel like my review isn't as thought out as I'd like for it to be, but I waited so long to type it up that I already felt like I was beginning to forget things about the story. Bone Gap was more enjoyable than I expected. I found myself more involved in the characters than I imagined I would be. Yet I still ended up feeling like I wasn't completely satisfied and struggled with the magical elements--especially considering that I must have missed that this was part of the story as who knows how long ago I actually read the description and added this to my TBR list. Regardless, Bone Gap gets 3 Stars. Have you read Bone Gap? What did you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Can't Wait for Hearts, Heroes, & Heath Hall - Review

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Hearts, Heroes, and Heath Hall

By: Kasie West

Expected Publication: March 3rd 2020 by HarperTeen

352 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--At sixteen, Hannah Moore knows exactly who she is—a swimmer who will earn a scholarship to college. Totally worth all the hard work, even if her aching shoulders don’t agree. So when a guy dressed as Hollywood’s latest action hero, Heath Hall, crashes her swim meet, she isn’t amused. Instead, she’s determined to make sure he doesn’t bother her again. Only she’s not sure exactly who he is.

The swim meet isn’t the first event the imposter has interrupted, but a little digging turns up a surprising number of people who could be Heath Hall, including Hannah’s ex-boyfriend and her best friend’s crush. She soon finds herself getting caught up in the mysterious world of the fake Heath Hall.

As Hannah gets closer to uncovering the masked boy’s identity she also discovers some uncomfortable truths about herself—like she might resent the long shadow her late brother has cast over her family, that she isn’t as happy as she pretends to be with her life choices… and that she is falling for the last guy she ever thought she would like.

What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Monday, November 18, 2019

The How & the Why - Review

The How & the Why

By: Cynthia Hand

Publication: November 6th 2019 by HarperTeen

450 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--A poignant exploration of family and the ties that bind, perfect for fans of Far From the Tree, from New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand.

Today Melly had us writing letters to our babies…

Cassandra McMurtrey has the best parents a girl could ask for. They’ve given Cass a life she wouldn’t trade for the world. She has everything she needs—except maybe the one thing she wants. Like, to know who she is. Where she came from. Questions her adoptive parents can’t answer, no matter how much they love her.

But eighteen years ago, someone wrote Cass a series of letters. And they may just hold the answers Cass has been searching for.

Alternating between Cass’s search for answers and letters from the pregnant teen who gave her up for adoption, this voice-driven narrative is the perfect read for fans of Nina LaCour and Jandy Nelson.

Adoption stories warm my heart. I am not completely closed off to the idea of adopting one day. I have cousins who were adopted. And another cousin fostered two amazing and sweet babies until the court placed them with their maternal grandmother. Sometimes adoption stories aren't always happy. So I was intrigued to read this one by Cynthia Hand considering her personal experience with being adopted.

Honestly, I started The How and the Why pretty quickly after being approved for it. But then the book starts with the biological mother writing a letter to her unborn child. She isn't forced to do so exactly but she isn't really into it either. That part didn't endear her to me. And then Cass tells her best friend that she thinks she's ready to have sex. And I was like "what?" And this is where I put the book back down again. I just questioned whether I wanted to read this book after all. But I gave it some time and then came back to it closer to publication.

And you know what? Like a paragraph later kind of helped me right on past my issues. I still think Cass's statement about being ready for sex wasn't fully explored. Perhaps discussing how certainly they're happy she is in their lives, but that she might want to avoid putting herself in a situation that could result in becoming pregnant herself the same way as her biological mother at 16. Granted, Cass was already 18 and considered an adult.

The other issue that initially caused me to put The How and the Why down for a bit was S, the biological mother. Her second letter explains a good bit more, and her subsequent letters even more so. We really begin to learn about her and connect to her. So I was able to move past the things that initially turned me off about her.

The How and the Why has no romance. Honestly, there wasn't much room for one, and the book was still good without it. Yet I always prefer a romance. Personal preference that is no fault of the book's but I feel I should mention.

I will say that The How and the Why made me want to be a part of the theater in some way. I wish I'd had the opportunity to do more of that kind of thing in school. Maybe my kids will enjoy it in the future.

The How and the Why ended up being a really good book. I enjoyed the process once I picked it up the second time. Honestly, the break was probably the best thing for my enjoyment of this book. My personal reading preferences missed the romance, but the book really didn't need one. I also teared up at one particular part, but no tears actually fell. The How and the Why gets 4 Stars. Have you read The How and the Why? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 11/17/19

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Monday was Veterans Day here in the US (Thank you to all of those who have and are serving!) so Little Girl was out of school. Husband was off work on Tuesday so that I could run to the dentist. I also went out to dinner with my friend, Kay, that night. Wednesday was a normal day, but Little Girl start feeling a bit crummy. Thursday she ran fever off and on all day. Friday I ended up taking her to the doctor. She just has a virus, and she was already feeling better come Friday afternoon.

THE PAST WEEK:

Tuesday: Review of Hope's Highest Mountain (Hearts of Montana, # 1) by Misty M Beller (3 Stars)
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Echoes Between Us by Katie McGarry
Thursday: Review of Diamond in the Rough (American Heiresses, # 2) by Jen Turano (2.5 Stars)

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of The How & the Why by Cynthia Hand
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday
Thursday: Review of Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Don’t forget to link up for the 2019 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2019 to sing up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

The Seventh Sun (The Age of the Seventh Sun, # 1)

By: Lani Forbes

Expected Publication: February 18th 2020 by Blackstone Publishing

336 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Thrust into leadership upon the death of his emperor father, young Prince Ahkin feels completely unready for his new position. Though his royal blood controls the power of the sun, he's now responsible for the lives of all the Chicome people. And despite all Ahkin's efforts, the sun is fading--and the end of the world may be at hand.

For Mayana, the only daughter of the Chicome family whose blood controls the power of water, the old emperor's death may mean that she is next. Prince Ahkin must be married before he can ascend the throne, and Mayana is one of six noble daughters presented to him as a possible wife. Those who are not chosen will be sacrificed to the gods.

Only one girl can become Ahkin's bride. Mayana and Ahkin feel an immediate connection, but the gods themselves may be against them. Both recognize that the ancient rites of blood that keep the gods appeased may be harming the Chicome more than they help. As a bloodred comet and the fading sun bring a growing sense of dread, only two young people may hope to change their world.

Rich in imagination and romance, and based on the legends and history of the Aztec and Maya people, The Seventh Sun brings to vivid life a world on the edge of apocalyptic disaster.

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave (Charley Davidson, # 13)

By: Darynda Jones

Publication: January 15th 2019 by St. Martin's Press

304 pages

Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Humor, Mystery

Source: Borrowed from the e-Library

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Grim Reaper Charley Davidson is back in the final installment of Darynda Jones’ New York Times bestselling paranormal series!

Charley Davidson, Grim Reaper extraordinaire, is pissed. She’s been kicked off the earthly plain for eternity – which is the appropriate amount of time to make a person starkraving mad. But someone’s looking out for her, and she’s allowed to return after a mere hundred years in exile. Is it too much to hope for that not much has changed? Apparently it is. Bummer.

She’s missed Reyes and her daughter, Beep, but now that she’s back on earth, it’s time to put to rest burning questions that need answers. What happened to her mother? How did she really die? Who killed her? And are cupcakes or coffee the best medicine? It all comes to a head in an epic showdown between good and evil in this final smart and hilarious novel.

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Diamond in the Rough - Review

Diamond in the Rough (American Heiresses, # 2)

By: Jen Turano

Publication: September 3rd 2019 by Bethany House Publishers

352 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--To save her family from financial ruin, Miss Poppy Garrison accepts an unusual proposition to participate in the New York social season in exchange for her grandmother settling a family loan that has unexpectedly come due. Ill-equipped to handle the intricacies of mingling within the New York Four Hundred, Poppy becomes embroiled in one hilarious fiasco after another, doomed to suffer a grand societal failure instead of being deemed the diamond of the first water her grandmother longs for her to become.

Reginald Blackburn, second son of a duke, has been forced to travel to America to help his cousin, Charles Wynn, Earl of Lonsdale, find an American heiress to wed in order to shore up his family estate that is in desperate need of funds. Reginald himself has no interest in finding an heiress to marry, but when Poppy's grandmother asks him to give etiquette lessons to Poppy, he swiftly discovers he may be in for much more than he bargained for.

So I finished Diamond in the Rough 2 1/2 weeks ago and am just now sitting down to write my review of it. I hate that I allowed that much time to go by but real life got in the way.

Diamond in the Rough was a little bit of a struggle for me. I'm not well-read in this time period, but I got so tired of seeing the phrase "diamond of the first water." Is that a legit thing from this time period? And if so, it's a dumb and long classification.

Poppy was a bit extra. I mean I just felt like the situations that she got herself into were too far-fetched and unrealistic. If nothing else, the frequency of these unrealistic events made them more unbelievable. A little less frequency and I might have been able to buy what Jen Turano was selling.

Reginald was okay. My biggest frustrations with him were surrounding his predictable conflict.

Which leads me to my next point. Despite the unrealistic nature of many of the events, the conflict was mostly predictable except the very last bit.

Overall Diamond in the Rough left me disappointed in most of the categories: heroine, hero, conflict, predictability, and realism. It wasn't awful, but I can't really say that I liked it. Diamond in the Rough gets 2.5 Stars. Have you read Diamond in the Rough? What did you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Can't Wait for Echoes Between Us

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Echoes Between Us

By: Katie McGarry

Expected Publication: January 14th 2020 by Tor Teen

384 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

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Goodreads description--Echoes Between Us is bestselling author Katie McGarry’s breakout teen contemporary novel about a girl with everything to lose and the boy who will do anything to save her.

Veronica sees ghosts. More specifically, her mother's ghost. The afterimages of blinding migraines caused by the brain tumor that keeps her on the fringes and consumes her whole life haunt her, even as she wonders if it's something more...

Golden boy Sawyer is handsome and popular, a state champion swimmer, but his adrenaline addiction draws him to Veronica.

A girl with nothing to live for and a boy with everything to lose--can they conquer their demons together?

What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Aiming for Love - Review

Aiming for Love (Brides of Hope Mountain, # 1)

By: Mary Connealy

Publication: October 1st 2019 by Bethany House Publishers

320 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

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*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Josephine Nordegren is one of three sisters who grew up nearly wild in southwestern Colorado. She has the archery skills of Robin Hood and the curiosity of the Little Mermaid, fascinated by but locked away from the forbidden outside world--a world she's been raised to believe killed her parents. When David Warden, a rancher, brings in a herd much too close to the girls' secret home, her older sister especially is frightened, but Jo is too interested to stay away.

David's parents follow soon on his heels, escaping bandits at their ranch. David's father is wounded and needs shelter. Josephine and her sisters have the only cabin on the mountain. Do they risk stepping into the world to help those in need? Or do they remain separated but safe in the peaks of Hope Mountain?

You guys, this book was so weird. I mean the description says it all, but I guess I just didn't really know what to expect. Aiming for Love was a quick read for me, but for many parts of it, I just kept shaking my head.

Jo and her sisters have lived on Hope Mountain all their lives. Their parents left many years ago and never returned, and their grandparents died one after the other. Now it's just the three of them. But they've lived by the rules their grandmother set about never leaving the mountain. When their grandfather was still alive, he would occasionally go into town for supplies, but none of the three girls ever have. This has created a real naivete about the outside world. And personally, I kept getting cult-like vibes from them. Ilsa is a female George of the Jungle with weaving vines and hanging them in the trees to swing from. Ilsa is the medicine woman of the three girls. Jo is silent as a deer and moves with the grace of one too. She's the hunter. And then there's Ursala, the gardener, the mother figure for the other two girls, and completely paralyzed with fear of the outside world.

The Warden family makes up the other major characters. There's Ma, which I found really weird for her to ask Jo and Ilsa to call her that. There's Quill, or Pa, who was shot and the real reason for the Wardens to interact with the Nordegrens. David is the leading male who moved up the mountain looking for land to settle his cattle ranch on and branch off from his parents. Mitch is the older brother who left for the war years ago and settled in New York. He's back at the ranch now and there will be much more to explore with him.

Jo and David were easy to root for. And they were the driving force for me to keep reading, especially when things got weird. I am interested in Mitch and Ilsa, but I'm a little unsure about Wax and Ursala.

I had a lot of thoughts while reading Aiming for Love. I read it quickly. I did enjoy Jo and David's relationship. I liked Ma. I'm intrigued by Ilsa and Mitch. But so many pieces were too weird for me, and my immediate thought upon finishing Aiming for Love was that I might not attempt to read the upcoming books in the series. Aiming for Love was unique for sure and gets 3 Stars. Have you read Aiming for Love? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 11/10/19

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

This has been a mostly normal week for us, which I really appreciate after the craziness of October. My niece's birthday was Monday. She's 16 now. And then my nephew turned 17 on Thursday. Neither read my blog, but a happy birthday to both of them. I can't believe they're growing up. I remember when they were born! Actually they're getting as old as I was when they were born. Crazy. Other than that, not much to report. I finished 3 books this week which is awesome.

THE PAST WEEK:

Tuesday: Review of Hope's Highest Mountain (Hearts of Montana, # 1) by Misty M Beller (4 Stars)
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Regretting You by Colleen Hoover
Thursday: Review of A Pursuit of Home (Haven Manor, # 3) by Kristi Ann Hunter (3.5 Stars)

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Aiming for Love (Brides of Hope Mountain, # 1) by Mary Connealy
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday
Thursday: Review of Diamond in the Rough (American Heiresses, # 2) by Jen Turano

Don’t forget to link up for the 2019 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2019 to sing up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

A Bad Day for Sunshine (Sunshine Vicram, # 1)

By: Darynda Jones

Expected Publication: April 7th 2020 by St. Martin's Press

400 pages

Genre: Adult, Mystery, Romance

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)

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Goodreads description--New York Times bestselling author Darynda Jones is back with the brand-new snarky, sassy, wickedly fun Sunshine Vicram series!

Sheriff Sunshine Vicram finds her cup o’ joe more than half full when the small village of Del Sol, New Mexico, becomes the center of national attention for a kidnapper on the loose.

Del Sol, New Mexico is known for three things: its fry-an-egg-on-the-cement summers, its strong cups of coffee—and a nationwide manhunt? Del Sol native Sunshine Vicram has returned to town as the elected sheriff--an election her adorably meddlesome parents entered her in--and she expects her biggest crime wave to involve an elderly flasher named Doug. But a teenage girl is missing, a kidnapper is on the loose, and all of it's reminding Sunny why she left Del Sol in the first place. Add to that trouble at her daughter’s new school and a kidnapped prized rooster named Puff Daddy, and Sunshine has her hands full.

Enter sexy almost-old-flame Levi Ravinder and a hunky US Marshall, both elevens on a scale of one to blazing inferno, and the normally savvy sheriff is quickly in over her head. Now it’s up to Sunshine to juggle a few good hunky men, a not-so-nice kidnapping miscreant, and Doug the ever-pesky flasher. And they said coming home would be drama-free.

More Than Maybe

By: Erin Hahn

Expected Publication: May 12th 2020 by Wednesday Books

336 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)

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Goodreads description--Growing up under his punk rocker dad’s spotlight, eighteen-year-old Luke Greenly knows fame and wants nothing to do with it. His real love isn’t in front of a crowd, it’s on the page. Hiding his gift and secretly hoarding songs in his bedroom at night, he prefers the anonymous comfort of the locally popular podcast he co-hosts with his outgoing and meddling, far-too-jealousy-inspiringly-happy-with-his-long-term-boyfriend twin brother, Cullen. But that’s not Luke’s only secret. He also has a major un-requited crush on music blogger, Vada Carsewell.

Vada’s got a five year plan: secure a job at the Loud Lizard to learn from local legend (and her mom’s boyfriend) Phil Josephs (check), take over Phil’s music blog (double check), get accepted into Berkeley’s prestigious music journalism program (check, check, check), manage Ann Arbor’s summer concert series and secure a Rolling Stone internship. Luke Greenly is most definitely NOT on the list. So what if his self-deprecating charm and out-of-this-world music knowledge makes her dizzy? Or his brother just released a bootleg recording of Luke singing about some mystery girl on their podcast and she really, really wishes it was her?

Echoes Between Us

By: Katie McGarry

Expected Publication: January 14th 2020 by Tor Teen

384 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)

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*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Echoes Between Us is bestselling author Katie McGarry’s breakout teen contemporary novel about a girl with everything to lose and the boy who will do anything to save her.

Veronica sees ghosts. More specifically, her mother's ghost. The afterimages of blinding migraines caused by the brain tumor that keeps her on the fringes and consumes her whole life haunt her, even as she wonders if it's something more...

Golden boy Sawyer is handsome and popular, a state champion swimmer, but his adrenaline addiction draws him to Veronica.

A girl with nothing to live for and a boy with everything to lose--can they conquer their demons together?

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Would Like to Meet

By: Rachel Winters

Expected Publication: December 3rd 2019 by G.P. Putnam's Sons

336 pages

Genre: Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)

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*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--In this charming, feel-good debut novel, a cynical assistant at a screenwriting agency must reenact the meet-cute scenes from classic romantic comedy movies in order to help her #1 client get his scriptwriting mojo back--but can a real-life meet-cute be in store for someone who doesn't believe in happily ever after?

After seven years as an assistant, 29-year-old Evie Summers is ready to finally get the promotion she deserves. But now the TV and film agency she's been running behind the scenes is in trouble, and Evie will lose her job unless she can convince the agency's biggest and most arrogant client, Ezra Chester, to finish writing the script for a Hollywood romantic comedy.

The catch? Ezra is suffering from writer's block--and he'll only put pen to paper if singleton Evie can prove to him that you can fall in love like they do in the movies. With the future of the agency in jeopardy, Evie embarks on a mission to meet a man the way Sally met Harry or Hugh Grant met Julia Roberts.

But in the course of testing out the meet-cute scenes from classic romantic comedies IRL, not only will Evie encounter one humiliating situation after another, but she'll have to confront the romantic past that soured her on love. In a novel as hilarious as it is heartwarming, debut author Rachel Winters proves that sometimes real life is better than the movies--and that the best kind of meet-cutes happen when you least expect them.

You Deserve Each Other

By: Sarah Hogle

Expected Publication: April 7th 2020 by G.P. Putnam's Sons

368 pages

Genre: Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)

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*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--For fans of The Hating Game, a debut lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy about two unhappily engaged people each trying to force the other to end the relationship--and falling back in love in the process.

Naomi Westfield has an Instagram-perfect life, including the perfect fiancé: Nicholas Rose holds doors open for her, remembers her restaurant orders, and comes from the kind of upstanding society family every bride dreams of being a part of. They never fight, complain, or disagree. They're preparing for their lavish wedding that's three months away. And they are miserably and utterly sick of each other.

Tired of contorting herself to fit the ridiculous standards demanded by Nicholas's family, Naomi wants out of the relationship. But there's a catch: Whoever calls off the engagement will have to foot the enormous bill for the wedding. When Naomi finds out that Nicholas, too, has been feigning contentment, the two of them go head-to-head in a battle of wills to see who can annoy the other into surrendering through pranks, sabotage, and all-out emotional warfare.

But now that they have nothing to lose, they're finally being themselves. They're having so much fun getting on each other's nerves that it starts to feel like something else entirely. As Naomi discovers hidden feelings for Nicholas buried under three years of simmering resentment, she wonders if he feels the same way. Suddenly, the countdown to the wedding that may or may not come to pass feels more like a race to mutual destruction--and Naomi doesn't want to be left alone at the finish line.

Every Reason We Shouldn't

By: Sara Fujimura

Expected Publication: March 3rd 2020 by Tor Teen

256 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)

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Goodreads description--Warning: Contains family expectations, delightful banter, great romantic tension, skating (all kinds!), Korean pastries, and all the feels.

Fifteen-year-old, biracial figure skater Olivia Kennedy’s Olympic dreams have ended. She's bitter, but enjoying life as a regular teenager instead of an athlete... until Jonah Choi starts training at her family's struggling rink. Jonah's driven, talented, going for the Olympics in speed skating, completely annoying… and totally gorgeous. Between teasing Jonah, helping her best friend try out for roller derby, figuring out life as a normal teen and keeping the family business running, Olivia's got her hands full. But will rivalry bring her closer to Jonah, or drive them apart?

Every Reason We Shouldn't by Sara Fujimura is a charming multicultural romance perfect for the many fans of Jenny Han and Rainbow Rowell.

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight (Charley Davidson, # 11)

By: Darynda Jones

Expected Publication: January 24th 2017 by St. Martin's Press

310 pages

Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Humor, Mystery

Source: Borrowed from the e-Library

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Goodreads description--A typical day in the life of Charley Davidson involves cheating husbands, missing people, errant wives, philandering business owners, and oh yeah...demons, hell hounds, evil gods, and dead people. Lots and lots of dead people. As a part time Private Investigator and full-time Grim Reaper, Charley has to balance the good, the bad, the undead, and those who want her dead. In this eleventh installment, Charley is learning to make peace with the fact that she is a goddess with all kinds of power and that her own daughter has been born to save the world from total destruction. But the forces of hell are determined to see Charley banished forever to the darkest corners of another dimension. With the son of Satan himself as her husband and world-rocking lover, maybe Charley can find a way to have her happily ever after after all.

The Trouble with Twelfth Grave (Charley Davidson, # 12)

By: Darynda Jones

Expected Publication: October 31st 2017 by St. Martin's Press

289 pages

Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Humor, Mystery

Source: Borrowed from the e-Library

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*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Grim Reaper Charley Davidson is back in the twelfth installment of Darynda Jones’ New York Times bestselling paranormal series.

Ever since Reyes escaped from a hell dimension in which Charley accidently trapped him, the son of Satan has been brimstone-bent on destroying the world his heavenly Brother created. His volatile tendencies have put Charley in a bit of a pickle. But that’s not the only briny vegetable on her plate. While trying to domesticate the feral being that used to be her husband, she also has to deal with her everyday life of annoying all manner of beings—some corporeal, some not so much—as she struggles to right the wrongs of society. Only this time she’s not uncovering a murder. This time she’s covering one up.

Add to that her new occupation of keeping a startup PI venture—the indomitable mystery-solving team of Amber Kowalski and Quentin Rutherford—out of trouble and dealing with the Vatican’s inquiries into her beloved daughter, and Charley is on the brink of throwing in the towel and becoming a professional shopper. Or possibly a live mannequin. But when someone starts attacking humans who are sensitive to the supernatural world, Charley knows it’s time to let loose her razor sharp claws. Then again, her number one suspect is the dark entity she’s loved for centuries. So the question becomes, can she tame the unruly beast before it destroys everything she’s worked so hard to protect?

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

A Pursuit of Home - Review

A Pursuit of Home (Haven Manor, # 3)

By: Kristi Ann Hunter

Expected Publication: November 5th 2019 by Bethany House Publishers

352 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

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*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--When she learns the family she thought dead might be alive and in danger, Jess Beuchene knows her secrets can only stay buried for so long. Desperation brings her to Derek Thornbury, an expert in history and artifacts, to help her decipher the clues in an old family diary. Will their search to uncover the truth of the past lead to a future together?

I have been a big fan of Jess since A Noble Masquerade. Honestly, it took me way too long to realize Jess was an overlapping character. But I've loved Jess and have been waiting to hear her story for a long time.

I'm not sure that Kristi Ann Hunter had Jess's entire history and story planned from the beginning or if it wasn't until this book that she explored it all. Either way, there were certain pieces from the very beginning that trickled into the big picture for Jess.

I wasn't certain about Jess pairing up with Derek who is essentially a huge art nerd. These two do seem to fit when all is said and done, but they certainly don't have a traditionally romantic story. What happened fits with these two characters, but it isn't my normal preference as I like a bit more.

The mystery Jess is involved in takes over the majority of the book. I couldn't decide if I preferred the completely fictional country and its issues or if I would have liked something more true to history. Everything made sense in the end, but I don't think A Pursuit of Home is my favorite of the Haven Manor series.

Jess is such a strong character. She jumped off the page from all the way back to a series where she was only a side character. I loved how Ryland and Miranda were involved in the storyline. But I wish there was a bit more romance between Derek and Jess even though what happened fits with the characters and the situation they were facing. A Pursuit of Home gets 3.5 Stars. Have you read A Pursuit of Home? What did you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Can't Wait for Regretting You

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Regretting You

By: Colleen Hoover

Expected Publication: December 10th 2019 by Montlake Romance

? pages

Genre: Contemporary

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*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--From #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends with Us comes a poignant novel about family, first love, grief, and betrayal that will touch the hearts of both mothers and daughters.

Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.

Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.

With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.

While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.

What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!