Review: Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley

This is going to be (no going to be…IT IS….) a wonderful series.

If I have one complaint on this one, it’s that Ally is a bit too perfect to be believable for me.

I am also finding out that I am struggling to stay in the present when what I really want is more of the stories we have of the past. It was the same in book 1. However, it was very noticeable in this novel, as I just didn’t connect with Ally like I wanted to. Perhaps it was that so much was going on in Ally’s own story that I felt disjointed. Really, though, I just don’t think I liked her much. That saddens me to say that, as I don’t want to put anyone off of this series. I still loved this novel! It is well worth the time to read these books. They are long books! Don’t despair though, there is much going on, but they won’t leave you lost…if anything they leave you wishing for more!

I can already tell that the wait between each book is going to drive me MAD!!!! I so want to get into the other sister’s stories! Hints are being dropped all over the place! There are so many things I want answers to!!!


Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley


Review: Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Sure this is going to be perhaps my shortest review ever, but face it, you guys probably already know everything there is to know about the book. If I had to read all 900 plus pages myself, I shouldn’t also have to tell you guys all about my sufferings to finish those pages now should I?

So here goes…

Deets, Po, Newt and Augustus get 5 stars. Of course Augustus also gets minus 5 stars as well. The rest…meh. Woodrow…well I won’t even waste me breath on that one…

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Review (Revisited): The Simplicity of Cider by Amy E. Reichert

So glad I gave Richert another try after the disaster of her last book (sorry, but I hated it!). After falling in her love with her first book, I really wanted her to redeem herself with this one…and boy did she ever! If I had any complaints I just wish it was a bit longer and had some more details with a few minor characters. I am really hoping one comes back and has her own book soon.

Sometimes reading a book is just what you need to reset your spirit and get your head in the right place. This is that book. Having attempted and abandoned 2 books previous to this one…and having read several in a row that were just so-so…well this is exactly what I needed to clear out all the clutter in my head.

As in her first book, I couldn’t wait to finish this one and had problems putting it down once I started…Another book I finished in less than 24 hours…that hardly EVER happens in my life anymore and now I have found an author that has inspired me to do it TWICE!

Can’t wait to read what she comes up with next…

Until next time…
Urania xx

ARC provided by Netgalley for an honest review

The Simplicity of Cider by Amy E. Reichert

Review: A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett

house-in-the-skyI’m having a *really* hard time with this book. I find Amanda Lindhout a very selfish person. I think she was completely full of entitlement.

Of course, I feel sorry for her. I wouldn’t want anyone to go though this experience. It must have been beyond imagination.

However, from the very start Lindhout put herself in danger time and time again. Why? She seems to just have a wanderlust that she desires to fill. Work, save money, then off again until the money runs out. She seems very clear that she became a journalist simply because it was a way for her to continue to travel and skip the going home part, waitress, save money, repeat. At no point in time did she show any desire to better the lives of the people she exploited (sorry, but it was an income to her, nothing more, that to me is exploiting). She would go to hotels and demand rooms from men that were very animate that she should not be there unsupervised. She would be turned away and then become enraged and go down the street from hotel to hotel with the same response.

Of course this is not a great way of life. However, it is THEIR RIGHT to live that way. It is their country. Lindhout was told it was not safe and her naivety (her words, not mine) didn’t really feel that applied to her. That’s the entitlement I felt she displayed.

As people from 1st world countries often do, Amanda felt that the entire world was open to her. That she should be able to come and go as she wanted. If she hasn’t felt that entitlement, hadn’t felt she had the right to do as she pleased (despite her parents warnings and pleas, despite the warnings from governments, despite the warnings from thee citizens of the countries she went into, despite the warnings of the other reporters, despite, despite, despite!) and go where she wanted, none of this would have happened.

I could almost forgive her if she had truly been trying to help the people who suffered in these countries, but again, she is quite clear (her own words) that she was just looking for a sensational story to win her a sponsorship to a major network without having to take the normal route. She simply decided to call herself a freelancer and went out….without training, without schooling, again, without, without, without…she simply went with the first person that would hire her and didn’t even bother to check what they stood for or if she agreed with any of their viewpoints…

Then there is Nigel. Perhaps this is where I disliked her the most. I firmly believe that there are always two sides to every story. The facts are, she invited Nigel (she later admits she did so in order to screw with his mind, again, Lindhout shows how self involved she is). She goes on and on about him crying all the time…like there is something shameful in that. She gets angry when he has relationships with some of the captors. She damns him for not being supportive enough, for not touching her or talking at times….and yet she tells the reader time and time again how weak he is. He doesn’t want to pretend to be muslim, she decides that it is for the best and just does it without his approval and forcing him to do the same. Again, Lindhout shows the world that it’s what she wants and that’s final. The rest can just deal with it. Here’s the thing, Nigel’s life is on the line as well and perhaps he is just trying to survive. Why is okay for Amanda to cry, and we should feel sympathy for her, but if Nigel does, it’s said in such a way that we should feel shame for him?

Again, I am sorry, I know everyone I know has loved this book. It just made me angry. Angry that she was in the position in the first place. Angry that so many people suffered. Angry that the governments of the captives had to deal with the political fallout from all of this. Angry that people think that they are above what everyone else is saying…

I really don’t care if this experience changed her. I don’t really care what humanitarian things she does now. I feel strongly that she gets well paid for all of it. She isn’t doing it for free. If she were, I somehow doubt if she would be doing it. Don’t misunderstand me, sure you can get paid for these things…the difference is, would you do so regardless of payment? What are your motives? I’m pretty sure where Lindhout’s stem from…

(side note) FWIW, many journalists criticized this book because it contradicted much of what Nigel wrote in his memoir that came out prior to this book…there are a few other instances that her integrity came into question and many believe she has lied about other events (prior to the kidnapping). Many things I read in this book (about her behaviour) didn’t ring true to me….

Until next time…

Buy it now A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett

Review: It Happens All the Time by Amy Hatvany

This book needs to be required reading for all high school and college kids. I’m not even kidding. It’s graphic and disturbing, but it’s real. As the title says, it happens all the time. That needs to stop. NOW.

Amber Bryant and Tyler Hicks have been best friends since they were teenagers—trusting and depending on each other through some of the darkest periods of their young lives. And while Amber has always felt that their relationship is strictly platonic, Tyler has long harbored the secret desire that they might one day become more than friends.

Returning home for the summer after her college graduation, Amber begins spending more time with Tyler than she has in years. Despite the fact that Amber is engaged to her college sweetheart, a flirtation begins to grow between them. One night, fueled by alcohol and concerns about whether she’s getting married too young, Amber kisses Tyler.

What happens next will change them forever.

In alternating points of view, It Happens All the Time examines the complexity of sexual dynamics between men and women and offers an incisive exploration of gender roles, expectations, and the ever-timely issue of consent.

I am in a state of utter disgust and anger after finishing this book. My heart is cracking for the boys and girls who go through this. I swear to God, more parents need to talk to their children about behavior. There are too many people who point fingers at the wrong person and are experts at the blame game.

“Everything about your behavior and your words might have said yes, but the moment you changed your mind, the moment you withdraw your consent either by physically struggling to get away or by telling him no, he was committing a crime.”

This book brought so many things to my attention, I’ll admit, in the past, I may have thought a few of things before. I’m not proud of that. In fact, I’m sick over it. As I watched the suffering that transpired between these two, I realized that so many in this day in age still think like this. The stats alone have me ill. Our culture has this all wrong. It’s been twisted in our minds. Something needs to change.


Buy It Happens All the Time HERE

Review: The Children’s Home by Charles Lambert


This was one weirdly confusing book. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It left me thinking for a bit, wondering exactly how I wanted to proceed with my review. Because it’s a story that’s not for everyone. Some will love it, some will not.

The story opens with the arrival of children. Nobody knows where they came from or how they got there. And that remains the case for the entirety of the story. But they arrive one after the other, some left on the doorstep and some simply wandering up to the door.

As owner of the sprawling estate, it falls on Morgan to decide what to do. As a hermit, he’s lonely from time to time and comes to enjoy the company of the children as does Engel, the caretaker. Who, by the way, also showed up mysteriously shortly before the children. Strange children are accompanied by strange happenings, of course.

So here is the overriding mystery of the story. But another equally compelling mystery concerns Morgan’s reclusiveness. What happened during his childhood to horribly scar him? Yet another intriguing tidbit the author drags out as long as possible.

I guess I’m not sure exactly how to describe this book. It’s good, but frustrating at the same time. I wanted more answers but in a way am glad they weren’t given to me. And if I’ve confused you even more, so goes The Children’s Home.


Buy It Now:  The Children’s Home

Review: Wonderland by Jennifer Hillier

wonderland-9781501115189_hrJennifer Hillier is one messed up writer. And I mean that in the best possible way. I mean, how else can you explain the brilliance of Creep, Freak, and then the Butcher? And then along comes this one. And there are clowns. And scary dolls. All of the most important elements of one heck of a scary story.

Vanessa is forced to return to her hometown after a scandal nearly cost her a career. With the help of some much needed connections, she’s able to secure a job as Seaside’s chief of police. There’s some comfort in bringing her children home to the place where she grew up, a small touristy town that owes its existence to the omnipresent Wonderland. Everyone wants to be there, and everyone has been at one time or another.

But her less than happy homecoming is thwarted when she’s immediately thrown into the thick of things. A dead man has been found inside the amusement park, after hours no less. And he’s been dead for a very long time. Is this connected to the spate of missing teens that nobody wants to talk about? And what kind of secrets are lurking behind the gates of Wonderland, just under the smells of cotton candy and the cheerful sound of carnival music?

At the very surface, this is your basic scary-mystery-serial killer-slasher story. All the elements of the genre are there. But it goes much deeper than that, thanks to the brilliance of the author. She knows how to set the stage and how to build suspense from page one. This story is scary, and the fears are real. Grab it and settle in for a good read. With the lights turned down low. And then be prepared to sleep with the lights turned back on.


Buy It Now: Wonderland