Following the story of Helen from Lithuania to America was just wonderful. Helen is the kind of character you just need to see succeed. I loved reading about her story and her determination.
This historical fiction is based on the author’s grandmother’s experiences,but is a work of fiction. Helen (Hinde), just sixteen-years-old, lives in war-torn Lithuania where Jewish people are persecuted daily. At her brother’s 12th birthday, the army comes to take him away to force him into their ranks. After hiding him during the army’s visit, the family knows that they must leave to keep their children safe.
Helen’s father is first to go to America, working to save enough money to bring Helen over next so that she can assist in working and saving money to bring the next family member over until everyone is safely in America.
Helen travels by ship from Lithuania to America in search of a better, safer life for her and her family. She begins work in the garment section of New York and works hard to bring her siblings to America.
How I Felt:
Stitching a Life: An Immigration Story follows Helen on her journey to America and her life there. It was a beautiful story featuring a determined, hardworking main character, and her love for her family.
No One Will Hear Your Screams had an excellent plot that had some great twists that kept me on the edge of my seat! I loved how the pieces all fell into place rounding out the entire stories and leading to those great “AH HA!” moments as the book wrapped up.
Homicide Commander Lieutenant John Driscoll is back with another case to solve. Someone is murdering prostitutes through the city of New York. The killer is calling himself Tilden and he has set out to rid New York City of what he considers utter filth.
As Lieutenant John Driscoll dives into this case, he finds that Tilden is an eccentric murderer. Driscoll discovers that the women are being embalmed while still alive, leading to more questions about who Tilden is.
Can Lieutenant John Driscoll and his team find and stop Tilden before he kills again?
How I Felt:
This book had a great plot that I felt was really well put together. All the pieces fell into place and there was a good amount of suspense and surprise throughout the story.
Freeda the Frog and the Two Mommas Next Door is a beautifully written children’s book that features the different ways a family can be built. I loved that this book was focused on love being the important thing to build a family, not the gender of the parents.
How I Felt:
Freeda the Frog and the Two Mommas Next Door is an easy-to-understand children’s picture book. I liked that the parents are frogs with tadpole children. My daughter loved that! The story is not complicated, which I greatly appreciate because I feel this is an important message. The easier it is for a child to understand, the better!
Chasing Pebbles has this wonderful message of being who YOU are, not what others expect you to be. I thought it was just an absolutely lovely thing to weave into this beautiful story.
Frida left home a year ago, and she never intended to look back. After losing her living arrangements, she is forced to head back home. Filled with anger, she arrives like a storm and intends to stay that way until the moment she can leave again.
In steps Oliver. Oliver and Frida had been best friends once long ago, but after rumors and deceptive actions ruined their connection, Frida never expected to see him again. Oliver has other plans though. He fully intends to make things right with her. He’s got the summer to do it, and he doesn’t plan to fail.
How I Felt:
I loved that this story was told from both Frida and Oliver’s (Ollie) POVs. They are both wonderfully lovable characters, and I found myself rooting for them from the start. Ollie and Frida are both goofy in their own ways, and it made them relatable and real for me. Felicia Blaedel did an excellent job creating and building their characters!
This Eternity of Masks and Shadows had this fabulous mix of mythology creatures and stories that made the overall-fantasy of this book so exciting! I really enjoyed that this was all layered into a murder mystery! It was an interesting story and a good read!
How I Felt:
This story’s world has humans and gods walking around together, living life side-by-side. I loved the research that the author so obviously put into the mythological creatures as he built this story. I found that the references and descriptions fit into the plot really well.
The pace for This Eternity of Masks and Shadows was probably too fast. I would have enjoyed this a bit more with a few additional breaks in the action to build the world a bit more, and focus on the character building. It was, however, FILLED with action. There was a lot going on, and it led to a very fast-paced, quick read. Readers that enjoy action-packed stories are going to love this one!
Charles Martin has this beautiful writing style that draws the reader in immediately. I enjoyed every word in this book because of his prose.
How I Felt:
Murph, the main character, was heartbreaking and raw with emotion, and yet he finds it in himself to overcome those feelings to help others every time he can. He comes across a multitude of characters on his journey and they are all wonderfully built and add so much to the story.
This book was crazy! I really enjoyed the twists that were carefully woven into the story to provide lots of heart-racing moments! I especially enjoyed that we get to read the POV of the antagonist as well as the protagonist. It created an interesting perspective for me as I was reading, and I loved it!
Freya Miller is trying to get her life in order after the death of her husband. Without a job, she’s quickly running out of money. She has sold her home and is prepared to temporarily move into a friend’s place when the opportunity of a lifetime falls into her lap.
Dr. Marsden is looking for a new tenant and a coffee shop accidental meeting leads him to believe Freya is just what he is looking for. Freya quickly agrees to this upscale, beautiful apartment for such a ridiculously low rent, she can’t believe her luck.
Freya is soon moved in but doesn’t even get a chance to be happy. Everything seems a little off. Dr. Marsden and Mrs. Marsden seem extremely controlling. They want to install a video camera in her apartment entrance, and they don’t like visitors. The list goes on and on.
The apartment building, Adder House, seems to have a dark history that people won’t tell Freya about. She begins hearing sounds and voices, and things are moved around in their apartment. Freya is starting to think this was too good to be true.
How I Felt:
The plot for The Apartmentwas so good! I felt like all the pieces fit together perfectly to provide an exciting thriller for the reader. I did guess what was going on but didn’t have all the details figured out. I don’t mind guessing at a thriller, I like to see if I’m right. So, it doesn’t bother me as long as it’s still a good story.
I really enjoy seeing children’s books that help them to understand and manage their emotions. Adults struggle to handle their emotions sometimes, so helping a child to understand something can be extremely difficult. The Adventures of Gunner the Poodle Pony is a wonderful book that introduces grief for a child in a way that is uplifting, and I loved that.
Gunner, a very special dog, is heading to work at the Hospice center. He enjoys helping people feel better when they are sick or sad. He meets Stella at the center, a young girl who is visiting her sick grandmother.
Stella and Gunner become fast friends, and Gunner helps Stella to understand her emotions and help her to feel a bit better. He promises to tell her more stories when they see each other again, which makes me think there might be more Poodle Pony books coming!
How I Felt:
I thought this story was written so that it is easy for a child to understand. It is told through Gunner’s perspective, which makes it fun for a child, but Stella’s emotions are easy to relate to.
Life’s a Witch is a perfect book to jump into if you are looking for a new paranormal romance series! It’s book one in the Guild of Guardians and is a spin-off story of one of the characters, Astra.
Astra has been convicted of theft and is sentenced to The Guild of Guardians, a prison for the supernatural. The prisoners spend their sentences working to capture other criminals. Astra is assigned to a group with a cast of characters that hit on a ton of personality types. Knoxe, Tor, Raze & Pascal are the others in her group, and she finds them less than friendly at first, but soon finds a rhythm with them.
Well, this book was just fabulous! I absolutely loved that the story kept taking me in a different direction. I would think I knew what was happening, and then something would change, and I’d be blown away by the new information. It was absolutely wonderful!
Eleanor Hardwicke has just found out that her father, a man she wholly loves and respects is not actually her biological father. She has just the name of her actual father and begins to research who he is. What she finds is a half-sister she didn’t know she had living the life she feels was meant for her.
Victoria, Eleanor’s newly-found sister seems to have everything and as Eleanor learns more and more about Victoria, she wants nothing more than to be her.
How I Felt:
The characters in this book drew out such emotion from me. I would be infuriated by Eleanor’s actions, and then the next minute, I would totally understand her anger and resentment. She is a deeply flawed character, and I felt that this made her easier to connect to. Eleanor’s relationships with everyone, except her father, are terrible. She has trouble connecting with others, and I really enjoyed her character arc as she begins to explore who her real father and his family are, and what kind of relationship she could have with them.
The Guest List had so many questionable characters and it made it impossible for me to figure out who the killer was. I loved that suspenseful feeling the story gave me! Every chapter brought new information, building a motive for each character!
How I Felt:
The story is told through the point-of-view of multiple characters as well as an omniscient narrator. The narrator’s story is told in the present, during the discovery of the murder. The other POV’s sort of rewind to the beginning of the weekend and progress in time to the wedding night and murder. I thought that the author found a way to write these different views in a way that was easy to follow, which was much appreciated! Each chapter started with the character’s name as well as their character title, such as “Wedding Planner”, “Plus One”, and “Bridesmaid”. These labels helped to keep everyone straight throughout the story.
Everyone has traveled to a secluded Ireland island for the wedding of Jules and Will. Each character has something to hide. The book starts with an “event” that has happened at the wedding, but you don’t quite know what it is. You do know that it’s not good. There’s clearly chaos and confusion, but it’s a mystery. As the story progresses, you learn about each character and their connections to other characters. More details about the “event” are revealed and you begin to suspect everyone of everything!
The Wives had an awesome premise that had me so excited to pick this book up. I loved all the secrets that surrounded the intricacies of this relationship!
Thursday is married to Seth. Seth is married to Thursday…and two other women, sort of.
Thursday went into her marriage fully aware that Seth had two other wives, but she was okay with the arrangement because she loved him so much. She’s happy with their arrangement. She gets to see him once a week, and that makes her content.
Until she accidentally finds the identity of one of his other wives and a receipt for a prenatal doctor’s visit. One thing leads to another and Thursday finds herself on the doorstep of this wife to see what she’s like.
Thursday’s life begins to spiral out of control from there as she suspects Seth of abusing this other wife. Except that her Seth is nothing like that…is he?
How I Felt:
This story did not go where I thought it was going to go and it threw me for a loop! I was really hooked on the whole plot until about halfway through. Then everything kind of got turned upside down, and I felt like I was reading a different book. The story completely changed and it felt less like a thriller and more like an odd domestic fiction.