Quick review: Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington

I haven’t read a single contemporary YA in over four months. So this story was like a breath a fresh air. A nice change a pace. A second chance romance with music intertwined throughout it. In fact my heart was all a flutter.

After breaking her heart two years ago, Virginia(Vee) and Cam will be spending the summer, along with their friends, in a bus touring for a band contest/reality show. What could go wrong?

After having her heart broken two years ago, Virginia(Vee), will be spending the summer touring the country, for a rock band/reality show, in a bus filled with her friends, and Cam. Cam, the one who did the breaking of her heart. Cam, the reason she moved away, is now going to be a bed away from her for three months. What’s a girl to do?

This book alternates between the past and current while showing you what went wrong in the past and how it affected the future. Lots of secrets and heartaches. But with love at the center of it.

Since I’m an adult, most of the time, I could see what was happening before they did. I wanted to reach in and bonk their heads together. They needed to share their pain, not hold it inside. If you can’t be truthful to the one you love, you must not love them completely. Cam lived through something horrific and held on to it, not sharing, until it was too much for Vee. And without sharing that, he kept a piece of him from her and it festered.

But when these two finally were forced to confront their demons, the light shined down upon them. The heavens opened up. The angels sang the Hallelujah chorus. OK, I’m being dramatic. Channeling my inner dramatic 20-something self. All in all, when these two finally opened up, all was well in their world. They could move forward together.

~Melpomene

Grab Love Songs & Other Lies https://amzn.to/2F7CPMI

Advertisements

Quick review: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Not enough stars!! When I first saw this cover, I knew I had to read it. I didn’t even care what it was about. I just knew that I needed it. And let me tell you, I am so glad I did. I just finished this and now I’m sitting here with a big dorky smile on my face. Such a good book. Exciting and adventurous. Romantic and sweet. It’s just like Amazon said, Wonder Woman meets Vikings. I am dying to listen to the audible. I bet it’s gonna be just as amazing.

Eelyn is a warrior. Raised to believe the Riki are enemies. But when she’s captured and enslaved by them, she comes to the realization that they aren’t much different than her own clan. In fact, she learns that if they’re being honest, they have a common goal, and sets out to show them that. There are a few surprises for her and us, but it makes the story that much more exciting.

I loved the romance weaved throughout this. It’s very subtle. I wondered if there was even going to be a romance, and amazingly I was okay if there wasn’t. I was that hooked. But when it showed up, I was super happy. All stories need a little love.

There’s so much I wanna say, but I’ll let you read it and enjoy it for yourself. But the best part is that it’s a standalone! This wonderful story is all wrapped up in one spectacular package. It’s also going on my YA list. The teens in my life will love this. I can’t wait till my daughter reads this book. She’s gonna love it. LOVE IT. Ax and knife throwing is a hobby of hers.

This is Adrienne Young’s debut and I’m telling you, I found a new author to obsess over. I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next.

Melpomene

Buy Sky in the Deep https://amzn.to/2Hm7rvZ

Review: Gun Love by Jennifer Clement

Sometimes the most unusual stories are the ones that you most enjoy. And that was the case for me with this one. It’s odd, but in an intriguing way. Part commentary on the state of guns in America, but also a reflection of social divisions, it’s one young girl’s tale of living life on the fringe of mainstream society.

Pearl and her mother are homeless. Have been for as long as Pearl can remember. Well, technically they’re homeless. They do have a very large car to live in. Parked outside a trailer park in Florida, it holds everything they own in the world.

During Pearl’s young life she’s witnessed far too much. All around her she sees poverty and deceit and crime. Oh and the guns. They’re everywhere. Her relationships, and some friendships, with the residents of the trailer part are very much entwined with the presence of guns. There’s no way this kind of a story can have a happy ending.

This is a very different kind of story. It’s lyrical with beautiful language throughout. Farfetched and improbable? Maybe. But most stories are.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Gun Love

Review: Stoner by John Williams

Bollocks!!!!

That’s all I can think of about this book. Yet I give it 5 stars! Ha!

I know people like Stoner exist. You have a young man who is, if not happy to work on his family’s farm, he is at least not unhappy. There’s not much doubt that his parents are the same. That their parents were the same as well. Hard workers and not much for complaining. Then Stoner goes off to college and a simple reading of literature changes everything. I found it a bit sad that Stoner couldn’t even imagine a new life until someone said it out loud first.

That’s due to my own personal experience. Books have always been what sparked my imagination and desires. Then there is Stoner. Moved as much as he can be and still left for someone else to imagine a different future for him.

Then there is his wife. Eyy eyy eyy. How I did not like this woman. But yet again, you see Stoner, more or less resigned to his fate…until once again, someone imagines a different life for him and he suddenly moves ahead and makes a change.

The entire novel is like this. Who am I to feel sorry for Stoner? Any disappointment he meets in life he just gets on with it. He doesn’t dwell on it time and time again. He is just resigned to his fate. He doesn’t shake his fist and yell at the Gods.

He proves a man strong in his convictions. He doesn’t back down. But nor does he make waves.

What makes this book such a compelling read? Was it my desire to finally see Stoner stand up and wave his fists in defiance?

Well I certainly hope not, or else I would be well disappointed.

I listened to this book on audio, and the narrator did a superb job with the reading. However, John Williams is an amazing writer. How the hell do you evoke so much emotion from what you do not write as compared to what you do write. Somehow, Williams does exactly this. That is why the narrator is so brilliant as well. Stoner, the narrator and Williams himself leave it to the reader to be outraged and to wave their fists at the Gods, whilst all three of them just simply carry on. If anything we are like the hare, flighty and weaving all about, whilst they are the tortoise that just plods along steady as they go.

I have wanted to read this book for about 5 years now. All the while I was angry at myself for not being motivated to actually start it. Now that I’ve read it, I’m even more angry at myself for not having started it sooner. And yet….

I am disappointed that I’ve finally read it. It really is something to be savoured. It’s such a difficult book to pin down. It’s difficult to explain. It’s difficult in so many ways…

But it’s not difficult to love…even though it might be very difficult to explain just why…

As you’ve always heard, it’s the quiet ones you have to watch out for…Stoner is that quiet one sat in the corner. That person whose story is bigger than they let on…

This story is one that is so much bigger on the inside of your mind than it appears on the pages of the book…and isn’t that the very best kind?

Don’t put it off…read this one…

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now Stoner by John Williams

Review: The Secret to Southern Charm by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Can’t beat a story about three sisters, all together for the summer with their families – including mother and grandmother. One of my own favorite memories is of visiting my childhood home at the same time my brother and sister were there. We enjoyed that at-home feeling. Not that we didn’t have our own homes, but there was something comforting about being in the backyard while Dad grilled dinner, mom brought out the sides, and we all talked. Easy, cozy, safe.

That’s the mood Harvey sets forth in Southern Charm. The three sisters get along, annoy but love each other, and take care of each other’s families. My favorite part was when Sloane’s husband wasn’t sure they should take Caroline’s offer to stay in her house for a while. Sloane said that what was Caroline’s was hers, because she, Caroline and Emerson were all the same one person.

Despite the ups and downs of life, the heartbreak and the grief, that’s how I feel … my siblings and I will always be the same person. We are rooted in our parents love, as are these three Southern sisters.

The book is a little slow (boring? overly descriptive) in some places, and could use some tightening up. There are also a few plot lines that I take moral issues with. Besides that, I enjoyed it, and it brought back some nice memories for me.

-calliope

Buy The Secret to Southern Charm

Quick Review: Traitor Born by Amy Bartol


Oh my gosh!!! Exciting, emotional and non-stop action. Seriously. I couldn’t put this down. I need to sit down and collect my brain after that ending. I mean, holy crap. Amy knows how to get my blood pumping. You must read Secondborn before you even think about diving into this book. If you don’t have time to sit, grab the audible. I did my reread via audible and it was just fabulous.

Roselle is doing everything in her power to change the world around her. She’s surrounded by those who are supposed to be helping her but the more she’s involved, the more I realize that she’s utterly clueless. And then SHE doesn’t realize that until it’s too late.

No spoilers here, no worries. By the time I was at the ending, I had quite a few “Holy frak” moments. Just when I thought I knew what was going to happen, the rug was pulled out from under me. This girl can’t seem to catch a break. She wants to trust everyone, but she really can’t. Everyone has an agenda. And if she’s not smart, she going to be taken out of the picture.

That being said, I have a few predictions and a few “I hope…” ideas, but I’ll just have to sit here and wait. Gah!!

~Melpomene

Grab
Secondborn https://amzn.to/2J3kFhp
Traitor Born https://amzn.to/2H8SWLG
Pre Order
Rebel Born https://amzn.to/2JQdvOX

Review: Every Note Played by Lisa Genova

I should have expected it. Every book I’ve read by Lisa Genova has pulled on my heartstrings, tugged at something inside me. But she still throws me for a loop every single time. I think it’s because she writes stories that could happen to anyone, tales of heartbreak that are far too real.

Richard and Katrina were in love once, the deep kind of love that’s supposed to last forever. Their love didn’t last, though. Richard became a world-renowned pianist. And Katrina? She gave up her dreams so that he could follow his. Eventually they drifted apart, and then finally their love was no more. In fact, it became a deep hate on both sides.

And then Richard becomes ill. More than just ill, however. He’s diagnosed with ALS. Denial at first, but that’s not enough to keep its progression at bay. When Katrina finds out she’s torn. She wants to feel compassion for him but it’s hard. Soon enough, the day comes when Richard can no longer live on his own. To her surprise, Katrina does the only thing she knows to do. She moves Richard and all of his medical equipment back home, to the home they once shared. And thus begins their journey to the end.

This story makes you feel so many things. It could easily happen to any of us. And how would we react? Would I be able to put my feelings of resentment and anger aside as Katrina did? Would I be able to put my life on hold to care for a person who I once loved but now hated? The answer is, I don’t know. None of us do until we are in that situation. And if we’re lucky, we never will be.

~ Thalia

Buy It Now: Every Note Played