Monday, December 9, 2019

Only a Breath Apart - Review

Only a Breath Apart

By: Katie McGarry

Publication: January 22nd 2019 by Tor Teen

368 pages

Source: Personal Kindle Library

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--Are our destinies written in stone? Do we become nothing more than the self-fulfilling prophesies of other people's opinions? Or can we dare to become who we believe we were born to be?

Jesse Jameson is in line to inherit the land that's been in his family for generations--there's just one catch: to prove his maturity, he has to win the approval of his former best friend, Scarlett Copeland, and her father. But when Jesse finds out that Scarlett's father is abusing her, he must decide what truly matters most: his family's land or helping the girl he's fallen in love with.

I finished Only a Breath Apart several days ago*, but I put off writing my review because I just wasn't sure what I was wanted to say. This turned out to be one of those "it was good but..." books for me.

"It was good but..." It wasn't what I was expecting. While each of the things the book is focused on is mentioned in the description, I guess I thought there would be less surreal/fantasy (i.e. the curse and psychic stuff), less controlling father, and more midnight meetings.

"It was good but..." The plot left me wanting more. While I enjoyed the controlling, abusive father storyline from one standpoint... It's real. It's sad. It happens entirely too frequently. I wish there had been a happier theme running throughout this story. While Scarlett and Jesse both work to overcome their issues and move forward with their lives the majority of the book was kind of sad to me rather than hope-filled. The ending had hope and I guess that's what really counts.

The romance "was good but..." I wanted more. Jesse and Scarlett have a lot of history to work through before they can get to the juicy stuff.

I'm not sure there was exactly anything wrong with Only a Breath Apart beyond not being what I expected it to be. Katie McGarry is still a favorite author of mine. And in truth Only a Breath Apart does have a deep and important message. I particularly liked the inclusion of Pastor Hughes. Only a Breath Apart gets 3.5 Stars. Have you read Only a Breath Apart? What did you think? Let me know!

*Review first written February 2019, but first published on Somewhere Only We Know December 2019.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Sunday Post - 12/8/19

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.

I can't believe I missed another weekly wrap up, but it just got away from me. So let's see, Little Girl was out of school all week two weeks ago. Tuesday, Grammy kept the kids while I decorated to house for Christmas. I typically prefer to wait until after Thanksgiving, but these days I have to do it when I can. Wednesday was just a normal day. Thursday we went to Grammy's for Thanksgiving. And Friday we traveled south to Mobile to visit my grandmother. Husband started feeling sick on the way home from Mobile, and Saturday he spent most of the day in the bathroom and the rest of it in the bed. Sunday we had fellowship meal at church and dinner with Grammy. Monday was back to school for Little Girl and back to normal for us. Except that by Tuesday Little Boy was showing signs of an upset stomach. Wednesday he had diarrhea and vomited all before taking Little Girl to school. Shortly after lunch on Wednesday Little Girl got hit with diarrhea as well. And we spent the next 24-36 hours in a whirlwind of poop and vomit. It was awful. Friday I kept Little Girl home from school just in case. Saturday I did my grocery shopping, we went for a walk, played outside, and then went out to eat and to our local zoo for their festival of lights. It was a little disappointing, but the purpose was spending time together.

THE PAST TWO WEEKS:

Monday 11/25: Review of The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising, # 1) by Kiersten White (2.5 Stars) & 2019 Series Enders Reading Challenge - November Wrap Up
Wednesday 11/27: Can't Wait for Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn
Saturday 11/31: November 2019 EOM Wrap Up
Monday 12/2: Review of The Dating Charade by Melissa Ferguson (4 Stars)
Wednesday 12/4: Can't Wait for Rage and Ruin (The Harbinger, # 2) by Jennifer L Armentrout
Thursday 12/5: Review of Realm of Knights (Knights of the Realm, # 1) by Jennifer Anne Davis (4 Stars)

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday
Thursday: Review of Maybe Now (Maybe, # 2) by Colleen Hoover

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!

Holly and I plan to be back in 2020 with the Series Enders Reading Challenge, but I'm behind on getting the graphics and post updated. Be on the lookout for it coming soon though.

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, December 5, 2019

Realm of Knights - Review

Realm of Knights (Knights of the Realm, # 1)

By: Jennifer Anne Davis

Publication: September 10th 2019 by Reign Publishing

270 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

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--Reid has spent her whole life pretending to be a man so she can inherit her father’s estate, but when a chance encounter threatens to expose her lie, she is forced to risk everything.

In the kingdom of Marsden, women are subservient to men and land can only pass from father to son. So when Reid Ellington is born, the fifth daughter to one of the wealthiest landholders in the kingdom, it’s announced that Reid is a boy.

Eighteen years later, Reid struggles to conceal the fact she’s actually a young woman. Every day, her secret becomes harder to keep. When one of Marsden’s princes sees her sparring with a sword, she is forced to accept his offer and lead her father’s soldiers to the border. Along the way, she discovers a covert organization within the army known as the Knights of the Realm. If Reid wants to save her family from being arrested for treason and robbed of their inheritance, she will have to join the Knights and become a weapon for the crown.

To protect her family, Reid must fight like a man. To do that, she’ll need the courage of a woman.

Realm of Knights was quite a bit different from what I expected based on the description. I was expecting Reid to be hiding her gender through the entire book, but her identity is revealed to the princes pretty quickly and from there on it isn't much of a secret except from a few people.

I know that the societal roles of women in this world are important for comparing and contrasting Marsden with other places. This is necessary for the story, but there were times when I was so over the discussion of how bad women have it in that society. It did make me thankful for how far we have come from a time in history that was similar or even worse on women than what was portrayed in the culture of this fictitious nation.

My biggest frustration with Realm of Knights was how quickly things seemed to happen, big decisions being made, feelings declared, a little too easy fixes. Reid is swept away from home to the castle. Revealed to be a girl. Joins the Knights without really finding out what that means. Sent on a mission with zero real skills to accomplish said mission. The same complaint goes for Reid and Gordon. Reid finds him attractive and he's pretty much the first person she's ever had a crush on. She and Gordon really didn't have enough interactions for me to have built any level of depth to their relationship.

Ultimately that ending is what saved Realms of Knights for me. I can't stop thinking about where that ending might go. Which direction is Jennifer Anne Davis going to take this in? I went hunting for book 2 even though this one has barely been released.

Realms of Knights wasn't without issues for me. I was reading it quickly and wanted to know what was going to happen, but I felt the writing could have been stronger. Until that ending. I just need to get my hands on the next book to see what's going to happen. Realms of Knights gets 4 Stars. Have you read Realms of Knights? What did you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Can't Wait for Rage and Ruin

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.

Rage and Ruin (The Harbinger, # 2)

By: Jennifer L Armentrout

Expected Publication: June 9th 2020 by Inkyard Press

576 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

( 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--Dangerous secrets and forbidden desires lead to shocking consequences… Don’t miss book two of the fantastical Harbinger trilogy from #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout.

“Jennifer L. Armentrout’s intoxicating new fantasy is her best yet!” — New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter on Storm and Fury

A half human, half angel and her bonded gargoyle protector must work with demons to stop the apocalypse while avoiding falling in love. The Harbinger is coming…but who or what is it? All of humankind may fall if Trinity and Zayne can’t win the race against time as dark forces gather.

As tensions rise, they must stay close together and patrol the DC streets at night, seeking signs of the Harbinger, an entity that is killing Wardens and demons with no seeming rhyme or reason. Forbidden to be with each other, Zayne and Trinity fight their feelings and turn to unusual sources for help—the demon Roth and his cohorts. But as deaths pile up and they uncover a sinister plot involving the local high school and endangering someone dear to Zayne, Trin realizes she is being led…herded…played for some unknown end. As anger builds and feelings spiral out of control, it becomes clear that rage may be the ruin of them all.

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

Monday, December 2, 2019

The Dating Charade - Review

The Dating Charade

By: Melissa Ferguson

Publication: December 3rd 2019 by Thomas Nelson

336 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--Just when you think you’ve met your match . . . the charade begins.

Cassie Everson is an expert at escaping bad first dates. And, after years of meeting, greeting, and running from the men who try to woo her, Cassie is almost ready to retire her hopes for a husband—and children—altogether.

But fate has other plans, and Cassie’s online dating profile catches the eye of firefighter Jett Bentley. In Jett’s memory, Cassie Everson is the unreachable girl-of-legend from their high school days. Nervously, he messages her, setting off a chain of events that forces a reluctant Cassie back into the dating game.

No one is more surprised than Cassie when her first date with Jett is a knockout. But when they both go home and find three children dropped in their laps—each—they independently decide to do the right and mature thing: hide the kids from each other while sorting it all out. What could go wrong?

Melissa Ferguson’s hilarious and warmhearted debut reminds us that love can come in very small packages—and that sometimes our best-laid plans aren’t nearly as rewarding and fun as the surprises that come our way.

Have you ever had a friend that you don't see regularly, but when you finally get an opportunity to see each other, they talk to you about things like you stay caught up with each other daily? I don't mean in a pick-up-where-you-left-off kind of way, but like they're talking to you about things as if you're already aware of who certain people are or events like you've already discussed them. Like picking up in the middle of a conversation, but you missed the entire first part? Well, that's how The Dating Charade felt to me at times. Too many instances where I felt like I was missing the first half of a conversation and had to use context clues to figure it out. Of course, I could do that, but each time I felt pulled out of the story and had to stop and backtrack to see if I'd missed anything.

I did enjoy The Dating Charade. I have a special place in my heart for people who step up for children in need. My cousin fostered two kids before they were placed with their maternal grandmother, and two of my cousins were fostered and ultimately adopted. Doing this in my own life is not out of the realm of possibility. So both Cassie and Jett's stories were wonderful.

I felt emotionally invested in every single character. I loved Cassie and Jett and each of the six kids involved in this story. I loved Sunny and Sarah. And I even loved the brief scenes involving Cassie's mom and best friend Bree.

I will say that this is one book I wish was a little longer. We can obviously tell that Cassie and Jett have a great first date and feel a connection. But their interactions beyond that are pretty short and infrequent since each is dealing with some major home challenges and changes. We're told how much they connect, but I just wish we could have experienced it more first hand. A show vs tell situation here.

The Dating Charade wasn't a perfect read for me. I wanted more romance. Understandably, the two struggled to get any alone time considering their home situations, but I felt like one or two more in-depth dates would have benefited the story significantly. The side characters all came to life, and I cringed for each and every one of the children--especially as a mother. I just wanted to love on them all. The Dating Charade gets 4 Stars. Have you read The Dating Charade? What did you think? Let me know!