Review: The Return of Norah Wells by Virginia Macgregor

3112057424997133(Titled The Astonishing Return of Norah Wells in the UK) ** spoiler alert ** I have to say that I read this book quickly. I really felt compelled to finish it to the end. I had to see how it ended.

Having said that, well….that’s all I can really say…I found the writing style not only distracting, but also confusing. I found many parts of the novel repetitive. I found the children to be the only mature characters in the novel. I understood their confusion. I understood their emotions and feelings going back and forth. The adults however…I just couldn’t relate to. Their constant going back and forth. Their seeming ability to let 6 years go by and every one of them thinking things could/would go back to how it was before.

How does one expect us to feel sorry for the one that left, when she only came back for the reasons she did…I might not agree with her leaving…or why she left…but I could try to relate and understand it somehow…but let’s face it, if she wasn’t facing a life changing situation, she would still be off doing whatever it is that she did the previous 6 years…

The father…don’t even get me started on him. I understand not being perfect. I understand being confused…but he just took it to another level, didn’t he?

The “otherworldliness” stuff…again…I just don’t get it…sure, I understand that the author might have felt she was adding to the story and trying to stick in clever bits of symbolism, but seriously? It just added to the confusion and the not connecting to the story…as did all the strange “prominent but not prominent” twitter cast.

Finally, the different POVs….I don’t mind stories told in different POVs…but when the character in the chapter refers to themselves in 3rd person…it just does my head in…I’ve never before read anything like that…it’s almost like the characters decided to play both character and a narrator and that they couldn’t even keep their roles straight and kept getting confused and that’s why they slipped into 3rd person narratives from time to time…

Honestly, I’m not trying to rip this book to shreds. It was an interesting storyline. People do walk out of their lives. Sometimes they decide to come back. Often for the exact reasons described in this novel. However, I just don’t think many of them come back and expect to pick up exactly where they left off…they come back hoping to mend fences and make amends….not to step right back into the life they walked away from..as if nothing happened….as if they hadn’t been heard from in 6 years…as if time froze and did not move one once they left…and certainly, not one, but several adults expecting that to happen for various different reasons…

When it’s all said and done, am I glad I read this book? Yes. Was I in a hurry to finish so I could see what happened? Yes. Did I SOOOOO wish it was written differently? Hell yes…

Until next time…
Urania xx

Review copy provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy it now The Return of Norah Wells by Virginia Macgregor

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Review and Giveaway: The Bachelor Auction by Rachel VanDyken

bach I always look forward to Rachel’s releases. When life gets to be a little too serious I can count on her to bring out the funny and make me smile. This newest book is no exception.

Blurb
Jane isn’t entirely sure that Cinderella got such a raw deal. Sure, she had a rough start, but didn’t she eventually land a prince and a happily-ever-after? Meanwhile, Jane is busy waiting on her demanding, entitled sisters, running her cleaning business, and . . . yep, not a prince in sight. Until a party and a broken shoe incident leave Jane wondering if princes—or at least, a certain deliciously hunky billionaire—maybe do exist.

Except Brock Wellington isn’t anyone’s dream guy. Hell, a prince would never agree to be auctioned off in marriage to the highest bidder. Or act like an arrogant jerk—even if it was just a façade. Now, as Brock is waiting for the auction chopping block, he figures it’s karmic retribution that he’s tempted by a sexy, sassy woman he can’t have. But while they can’t have a fairy-tale ending, maybe they can indulge in a little bit of fantasy . .

When I think of Cinderella, I definitely think of Jane. She gives and gives and never receives. This girl can never catch a break. She works tirelessly just to make ends meet, with zero help. I just kept waiting for her prince to come. At first I was irritated with her, for taking so much from her sisters and not giving it back to them, but then I knew there would be a breaking point. I just had to hold on and be patient.

Brock is a complex guy. He has a pain deep inside that he tries to hide. He’s afraid to say no, so he finds himself in a life that wasn’t of his choosing. And now he finds himself being auctioned off like a piece of art. But what he really wants is to take his Cinderella and live happily ever after.

The tension between Brock and Jane was off the charts. I was one very happy girl. And when you toss in Brock’s brothers, this book had everything I like. It had my emotions all over the place. I was happy, then angry, then I was swooning. So many feels. A great way to start this series. I can’t wait to read the brothers’ books.

~Melpomene

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Review: Claiming Noah by Amanda Orlepp

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What would you do if you desperately wanted a child but were unable to have one? What lengths would you go to and where would you draw the line?

Catriona and James badly want a baby, James a bit more so. After trying unsuccessfully, they agree to try IVF. And it works. They soon find themselves the parents of a healthy baby boy. Diana and Liam are in the same predicament. They explore many options before eventually settling on embryo donation. And they, too, are successful. Another healthy baby boy.

But Catriona doesn’t find herself easily settling into motherhood. She’s soon in a downward spiral, deep in the throes of postpartum depression. Diana, on the other hand, quickly adjusts to being a mom. All is going well until the day her baby is taken right out from under her.

This story was completely different from what I expected. For that, I give props to whoever wrote the description. There’s not much worse than a book blurb that gives too much away. No such worries with this one. And I’m not going to give anything else away, either, other than to say that there are several juicy little twists and turns on the path to the final conclusion of this story.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Claiming Noah

Review: Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris

15790837Oh my word. I just love David Sedaris. I would love to try to match wits with him at least a few times…perhaps pick up trash with him on summer afternoon. I love to enjoy his books via audio simply because he is just so delightful. His voice and his delivery is half the fun when it comes to enjoying his book.

This one is no different than any of his other books. I love hearing about his family. I marval at how he has moved beyond his wayward youth…

I also never giggle more with any other author. I am often shocked and outraged. So much so that I can’t stop laughing! Outraged or not, he is spot on! That’s what makes him so brilliant! If only we were all so brave to be so honest and open with the things we see around us…

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris

Review (revisited): Life or Death by Michael Robotham

25674405Okay, I’m a bit perplexed. All of my friends loved this book. Even one whom I never would have imagined to! For me however it was just okay. I did enjoy it. But I found it too much of a dramatized Hollywood made for telly movie of the week.

For me, a novel has to be believable. Even a fantasy books have to be believable. That’s why I get so excited when I read one that makes me forget that the characters aren’t real! This novel, well, I just didn’t find it believable. Trust me, I have no issues in finding certain people in society that we perceive as good turning out to be the bad guys. I also have no problem with parts of the criminal justice system being corrupt. Nor do I have issues with people who have amazing good luck and bad luck….

But this novel just had too much of all of the before mentioned all wrapped together in a nicely decorated package for it to work well for me.

Yes, this novel was entertaining. Yes, I say again, I did enjoy the majority of it, but towards the end it had just went on for too long with endless improbabilities for me to continue to enjoy it.

Until next time…

Urania xx

Review copy provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy it now Life or Death by Michael Robotham

Review: Death of a Nurse by MC Beaton

25747142This was an okay read for me. Not a brilliant read, but certainly not a rotten one either. I can easily imagine having rated the book higher if I were more familiar with Hamish and his very quirky acquaintances. I love thriller crime stories, but perhaps murder mysteries of the good old-fashioned Agatha Christie style just aren’t really my cup of tea…However, since I’ve never actually read Agatha Christie I can’t really say that for a fact…

I did read enough to know that I would like to go to the start of the series and see if I can fall in love with Hamish as I see so many other fans have. I do see his appeal, however, coming into his entire weaponry of charm (hahahahaha) unprepared was perhaps my downfalling. I think I needed to gradually introduce myself to him and all of his charms…not just jump in buck naked and unprotected**….

**I hope you note my sarcasm and see that although I didn’t rate this book as high as I might have that I am very much worthy of learning up enough to become an avid fan

Until next time…

Urania xx

Review copy provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy it now Death of a Nurse by MC Beaton

Review (revisted): I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai, Christina Lamb

20131210-215528.jpgIf you live under a rock and don’t know who Malala is please read this book. If you know and have no interest because you don’t wish to hurdle into a group based on her religion or nationality, read this book. If you have little hope for the future of humanity, again, read this book. Finally, if you’re aware of who Malala is and commend her for all that she has done, if you think you grasp most of the facts, please, take a moment and at least read the epilogue. I learnt a lot from this read. I learnt more about the politics of Malala’s country then I have reading several more famous books. Every bit helps in my understanding of the complexity of these countries. Especially hard to do when you’re like me, and lucky to be born into a country that has a stable government. Where it is safe to walk the streets unescorted. Where a girl can walk without fear whilst holding a book in public. Where a woman can walk into any hospital unescorted and be treated for injuries. Malala and millions of other women have not been so lucky. However, Malala, even as young as she is, has a passion for politics and understands them…she is even, at times, able to manipulate those political unrests and bend them to her favour. She is also young enough to be frank about politics and to be sensible about them. She is not trying to bend or mould them into something to ensure her own political gain. It’s so much easier to see things when the speaker is not trying to manipulate the story to cover their own agendas. Malala is honest and upfront with her desires. A world where we are all equal, educated, and free to follow our own heart’s calling….

The epilogue is a true bright and shiny gem. It sums up the changes and challenges she and her family now face. It sums up her belief system and her love for her country. As well as why she can’t go back. But mostly, I hope that you can see the young woman who has sacrificed so much and asked for so little. Sacrifices I dare say that no one reading this review (myself included) would ever be brave enough to make…and she does it with such grace to make it look like it wasn’t a sacrifice at all, but an honour. She might be a noble peace prize winner…but first and foremost, she is a young girl, a daughter, a silly girl with silly friends, a student, a misfit, a nerd, a Muslim….first and foremost, she is just like any of us…

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now I Am Malala