Review: Still Me by Jojo Moyes

Louisa makes a go at being on her own in New York City! Moyes shows us that Lou is still a teensy bit not quite over the whole Will thing — and thankfully her city crush gets checked by reality before she gets too smitten. Caring for Agnes proves to be a struggle, kind of like it was with Will, but Moyes uses it as Louisa’s segue to better things.

By the end, Lou balances her natural talent for taking care of people with taking care of herself. Lou takes the opportunity to explore her passions, make new friends – shout out to Mrs DeWitt, the coolest building-mate ever – and grow up a little.

I don’t know what could be in store for a book four – maybe a year in the life of Lou and Sam – but I’m up for it!

-calliope

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Review: The Smallest Part by Amy Harmon


“Sometimes it’s the smallest part that steals the show.”

Emotional, devastating, healing, and magical. This book will bring all the feels. So go find a quiet place to read and react.

From the prologue, I knew this was going to put my heart through the ringer. I was right. Good grief, did it hurt. So bad. But it was a healing hurt. I was sucked in a felt everything. I won’t tell you too much, you must just go into this blind.

We met Dr. Noah Andelin in The Law of Moses. To be honest, it’s been so long since I read that, that I forgot who he was. But then it clicked and I was super happy to get his story.

This book is about family. Family isn’t always blood. In fact the best type of family is the one you choose. Blood doesn’t matter. Only the heart does. Cora, Noah and Mercedes were the three Musketeers. No matter what happens in life, they will always be there for each other.

Mercedes was the glue to her family. She would do everything and anything for them. Even stepping away from her true love, so her best friend could find happiness. She isn’t a martyr though. She genuinely wants everyone to be happy and is willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish that. I loved her. She was so real to me, that as I’m typing this out, I have tears in my eyes. The sacrifices she made for her family will shock you. But her heart is so big, she can’t help but to help.

I love Noah. He could do anything as long as he knew his best friend was there for him. And let me tell you, life sure tested this. Him and Mercedes were always close, and this book shows that. From a young age, through life’s ups and downs, they were always there. And when life decided to toss them a few curveballs, they stood strong and held on tight. To have a friend like that is inspiring.

“You may not be where you want to be in your life, Mer. But I’m so glad you’re in my life. Your birthday is one of my favorite days, because it means you exist, and I’m so grateful for that.”

I will say no more, except that you just need to read this. I don’t wanna say anything spoilerish, so I’ll leave you with this. The Smallest Part is a story that will break your heart and mend it at the same time.

Love can be found in the craziest of places if you only open your eyes, and heart, to it.

~Melpomene

Buy The Smallest Part http://amzn.to/2BXF4km

Quick Review: The Lucky Ones by Tiffany Reisz

Holy cannoli!! What a wild ride! Creepy and twisted and oddly addicting. Tiffany knows how to wield the pen and create fantastical stories that grab you from the very first page. From the moment I opened this book, I was sucked in and couldn’t put it down. I found myself talking out loud, and often, in order to make heads or tails about what happened. And I should pat myself on the back, because I was right!! Well, my first gut feeling was right. The more I read, the more I changed my mind, but I kept coming back to my original thought. Yay, me!

Allison goes back to house she grew up in, only to confront her past ghosts. Something happened that made her leave and she is determined to find out what really happened. She meets up with all her past family and finds out that there were more secrets than she ever imagined. But she will stop at nothing to uncover what really happened.

This book made me uncomfortable, and not because it’s made up, but because it’s probably real. While the story itself is made up, the finer points I’m sure happened. Sick and twisted, but forgiving and hopeful. That is all I will say. I want you to go in this with an open and clear mind.

The Lucky Ones is a standalone that will keep you engaged and guessing till the very end. I hope you love it as much as I did! Plus it has a character, from another book, that many may get excited about. I know I did. And it made me love this book even more.

~Melpomene

Buy The Lucky Ones http://amzn.to/2DsIu0x

Review: The Single Girl’s Calendar by Erin Green

Cute rom-com featuring Esmé who turns her life around from cheated-on-and-dependent to determined-and-independent. Loved the escapades while she shared the flat with four guys (and learned a little about herself in the process). Adored the neighbor lady and the relationship that was able to grow there. Was suitably annoyed by Esme’s brother – as anyone would be, even and especially Esmé! Green could’ve written better girl-friendships, and maybe had more memorable calendar ideas, but I enjoyed the read. Entertaining!

-calliope

Buy THE SINGLE GIRL’S CALENDAR

Review: Charlatans by Robin Cook

Medical mysteries are a dime a dozen these days. Great ones, however, are a different story. Robin Cook is one of the best, a master of the genre.

Boston Memorial Hospital. Noah’s finally achieved his dream of working at this state of the art medical institution. And everything is going his way. He’s busy and has almost no social life to speak of, sure. But he’s rapidly moving up the ranks and earning quite a reputation as a surgeon. And then several unexpected deaths occur. Not under his hand, but when he’s called upon to help investigate these deaths he finds himself right in the thick of it.

Enter Dr. Ava London. The highly regarded anesthesiologist is under suspicion of negligence and must prove her innocence. When Noah becomes involved with Ava, matters definitely become more complicated. As their relationship intensifies, Noah’s suspicions about Ava begin to grow. He starts to question himself. Is he just being paranoid or is she really hiding something?

This story reads like vintage Robin Cook. Medical jargon, secrets, murder, suspense…it’s all there. I did feel like the ending was rushed and left too many unanswered questions. Still, a good one!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Charlatans

Review: Check Me Out by Becca Wilhite


When I first saw this cover, I knew I had to read it. Besides it being another book in the Proper Romance series, it’s about a librarian, for crying out loud. Of course I needed it!

Greta has a great life. She has a job she loves and a best friend, Will, whom she adores more than anything. What could be better? Well, meeting a handsome stranger, that’s what. When Will introduces her to Mac, she thinks that he’s the perfect man for her. When her library is threatened with closing, she takes it upon herself to do whatever it takes to keep it open, even if they don’t all work out the way they should.

In the midst of all that, she find herself going to Will before Mac. I mean, he’s her best friend, of course she would go her to her best friend before her boyfriend, right? He really was the best. He said all the right things and was there for her the moment she needed him. There was no secrets from each other, at least on her end. But she soon finds herself wondering if her “perfect” man was right in front of her the whole time.

I loved this super cute, clean romance. It made my heart twisty and swoony and brought a smile to my face. Greta was a great girl. She had a good head on her shoulders. Her life was books and I can appreciate that. But the best part about her is her inner monologues. I was giggling so much listening to her.

It’s possible I stood the blinked for a minute or three. Then I remembered I was a grown-up. With a job.

She reminded me of me, if I’m being honest. A total goofball, but with a kindest heart ever. She may feel awkward on the inside, but she would never show it on the outside and make others feel it.

If you’re looking for a nice sweet romance filled with romantic poetry, and a cute, quirky librarian, then you should pick this up!

~Melpomene

Buy Check Me Out http://amzn.to/2D8cM8K

Review: Sad Girls by Lang Leav

I can honestly say I didn’t see the ending and then the epilogue coming. That doesn’t happen often. I can’t say I was shocked. I just didn’t see it coming.

If I had to find fault there are a couple of points that I think a good editor would correct. They just didn’t make sense. They might be minor details, but still, they were glaringly amiss for me and really bothered me.

However, once I started this novel I had a hard time putting it down. At first I just kept thinking that this would be a great novel for older teens. It would keep them engaged and hopefully some valuable life lessons could be seen. As I read I found myself not even thinking of the audience it could engage, as I was enjoying the novel more than I even expected, despite the couple of flaws that bothered me.

No the characters weren’t perfect. However, what 18 – 20-year-old is? Or, as this novel points out, what adult or parent is for that matter?

I have no problem at all as seeing this as a runaway hit when it’s finally released.

This review pretty much sucks, but in my defence, I’m really still a bit shell-shocked from the ending and I’m not at all sure how I feel about the whole thing…Despite that, I didn’t find it that it was done for shock value. I found it very true to the characters. Yes, both *surprises*…

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now Sad Girls by Lang Leav

ARC provided by Edelweiss for an honest review

Review: Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones

While I am very happy with the way Shadowsong ended, it took a lot to get there. A lot of stress and heartache, and more pacing. After we were left with our hearts on the floor, by the ending of Wintersong, I needed this book to put me back together. While Wintersong was about love, Shadowsong was about healing. Healing of families. Healing of hearts and healing of minds.

I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, when I first started. But soon I realized that this book was going to be nothing like the first. In fact, when I read the author’s note, I knew this was going to be totally different than the first book.

We rarely saw the Goblin King, but I understand why. It wasn’t really about him. It was about Liesl’s and her brother, Josef’s journey. They both are broken and troubled and trying to discover the pieces they need to put themselves back together. My heart was breaking for both of them. In the first book was find out why Josef is struggling. He is different but he doesn’t know it. Liesl needs to help him, while also helping herself.

This book was harder to read than the first. It was making me manic. The twists and turns of Liesl’s world had me reeling right along with her. My heart was breaking. My soul hurt. The world is falling a part and she’s the only one who can stop, but she doesn’t know that. And when she does, she has to make sacrifices that don’t only affect her, but her loved ones as well.

Again, I am happy with the ending, but I feel there could’ve been just a little bit more. There’s a few open ended stories that need to be written. *hint hint*

~Melpomene

Buy Wintersong~ http://amzn.to/2CPEZEJ
Buy Shadowsong~ http://amzn.to/2F8xIgC

Review: Sisters Like Us by Susan Mallery

Stacey and Harper are two very different sisters who each struggle to make their way in the world. Harper has a hard time navigating the financial and teen-parenting lands of the newly divorced, while Stacey makes bank but can’t respond to social cues to save her life.

Lucky for them, Susan Mallery has just the challenges they need to figure out that they can shift focus, ask for help, and come out the other side nearly unscathed. Nearly.

Harper’s story was a little better fleshed out than Stacey’s, but I enjoyed them both. Harper’s nutty mom, ex-husband, teenager, clients and new employees were rich fodder for big laughs and tender moments. Stacey’s story was going to break my heart until her husband’s nephew saved the day with his gentleness, gratitude, and earnestness. Just like in real life, sometimes all it takes is that one person to give a couple of meaningful minutes for you to realize you’re not alone, and you can do that thing you thought you couldn’t.

Really heartwarming, Susan Mallery. Those are some pretty awesome sisters, and they’ve got a pretty terrific circle around them.

-calliope

Buy SISTERS LIKE US

Review: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

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I love Kristin Hannah.  I gotta admit, though, I wasn’t sure about this one going in.  The description made it sound very much like outdoorsy adventuring type stuff.  Still, I jumped right in.  And I’m glad I did.

Leni and her family are at a crossroads.  Her dad, recently back from Vietnam, is suffering from the horrors of his past.  Leni’s mom is helpless to do anything to protect them.  And Leni, well, she loves her dad.  Unconditionally.  She remembers the good times.  So many of them, in fact, that it’s somewhat easier to overlook the bad times.  She and her mom just want to help him forget, to be the person he was before.

It’s no surprise, then, that when her dad comes home one day and says they’re all moving to Alaska that they all willingly go.  A new beginning is just what this young family needs.  A fresh start away from the pressures of society will be the cure to what ails them.  It’s nothing like a cozy family vacation, though.  Alaska is tough.  And her dad’s demons have made the journey with them.  Isolated and alone, who will help Leni and her mother when the darkness in her dad’s mind descends once again?

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this story.  I shouldn’t have been, I know.  Kristin Hannah just has that brilliance that authors of her calibre do.  Grab it, dive right in, and enjoy!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  The Great Alone