Waiting to Begin by Amanda Prowse

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book
Waiting to Begin book cover with mirror
Book Genre Block - "Emotional" Person standing between bright earth and desolate earth

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This dual-timeline story follows Bessie as her 16-year-old self, and then 37 years later. Something happened to Bessie in 1984, and now, in the present day, it’s time to come to terms with the secrets she’s been keeping.

This was a story filled with emotion and beautiful writing. Prowse has created a wonderful story that shows amazing character growth for the MC. I really enjoyed the supporting characters throughout this story. She has strong relationships with many people, including her gay son, who is a newlywed. She and her daughter seem to have a slightly more strained relationship, but it’s still a good one, and I enjoy reading about it.

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The Witch Demands a Retraction by Melissa Balmain

Rating: 5 out of 5.
The Witch Demands a Retraction book cover with cartoon witch holding a sign that says wicked

This is a hilarious book of fairy tales that is meant for adults. It gives some great twists on stories that we know so well. I think this is a great book to have out on the coffee table to share with friends as they visit. It’s easy to flip through and the stories are short and easy to read.

Some are silly with a great twist on the original ending of the story. Other stories are spicy and definitely are meant for adult-only eyes. One of my favorites is what Goldilocks was really doing in the Bears’ home that day!

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When We Blinked by Stephanie Mack

Book Genre Block - "Rom Com" couple on bench
When We Blinked cover with landscapes and two figures sil
White library with lots of stairs and "Contemporary" text

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book was wonderful! I loved, LOVED all the amazing moments that felt perfect and were just what I want from a rom-com, but it was more than that. This book had emotion, heart, happiness, love, and life. I am enamored with it.

I really settled into these characters and this story. I enjoyed the POVs, and they felt fresh and new! This is absolutely a romance novel, but it feels real and fun at the same time. There were some heavy topics that were covered, and they were handled well. It was a great balance between life and love.

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Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess: Tough as Tulle by Deedee Cummings

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Welcome to the blog tour for Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess hosted by Iread Book Tours!
"Childrens" Genre Block - 4 kids laying on stomachs looking at book
Book cover with girl catching a football

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Kayla is such a special little girl. She is body-positive, friendly, family-centric, and all-around just lovely. In the third book in this series, Kayla considers how people view themselves. Their hair, skin, scars, and everything else. I love that she considers these things, but ultimately decides that those are the things that make us special.

Kayla has such a special message for young readers through this story, and I truly hope that it finds its way into every little reader’s hands. Reinforcing the importance of self-love is so important, and I’m so happy to see it written so strongly in this story. My daughter and I will be reading this again and again!

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Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess: Dishes, Dancing, and Dreams by Deedee Cummings

Kayla modern day princess book series tour banner
Welcome to the blog tour for Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess hosted by Iread Book Tours!
"Childrens" Genre Block - 4 kids laying on stomachs looking at book

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Kayla is at it again! In this book in the series, she becomes friends with a little boy that needs some support. I really love that this book features mental health, and shows what types of support we can offer people that need help.

Kayla is a great role model throughout this story, and I think that children everywhere can relate to her and her friend. They can also learn so much from them! My daughter enjoyed this book, and I think that children ages pre-school through middle elementary will enjoy this as well!

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Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess by Deedee Cummings

Kayla modern day princess book series tour banner
Welcome to the blog tour for Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess hosted by Iread Book Tours!
"Childrens" Genre Block - 4 kids laying on stomachs looking at book
Kayla Modern Day Princess book cover with girl hosting tea party

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Kayla is such a wonderful little girl. She has a loving mother who supports her and helps her see how special she is. I love the focus on family in this book. We really see what a lovely relationship Kayla and her mother have!

This is a story that so many children will love. It’s easy to connect with Kayla and for children to see themselves in her story. There is a great message about finding out who you want to be and pursuing that, as well as a wonderful reminder to enjoy your time together as a family! The illustrations are quite lovely, and my daughter absolutely enjoyed them!

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People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

Book Genre Block - "Rom Com" couple on bench
People We Meet on Vacation book cover with palm trees and two people on
White library with lots of stairs and "Contemporary" text

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book spoke to me. Like I am infatuated with this story. I need to own a physical copy now so that I can hug it every once in a while. It’s amazing.

This book is a friends to lovers trope, and I’m gonna be super honest here. I hate that trope. I have always been a firm believer that once you hit the friend zone, you can’t hit that romance space. I know that’s not true, but I’ve just never found a story where I’ve been convinced of the romance…UNTIL NOW.

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Far Gone by Danielle Girard

Person peeking through hole titled "Thriller"
"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and light in the distance

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was such an exciting, heart-racing thriller! Far Gone is the second book in the series Badlands Thriller, but I think this can be read as a stand-alone.

14-year-old Hannah witnesses the murder of the couple she is babysitting for. Detective Kylie is assigned the case, and she finds a connection to an old case. We alternate between three storylines, Detective Kylie’s investigation, Hannah’s experiences, and the old case that the new one is connected to.

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The Accidental Suffragist by Galia Gichon

"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
The Accidental Suffragist book cover of woman's outline with woman's face filling outline
Book Genre Block - "Emotional" Person standing between bright earth and desolate earth

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was a wonderful view of the Suffragist movement! I loved having one woman as the MC. I was able to follow her story through her work, her homelife, and how the movement fits into all the facets of her life.

Helen, the main character, is one that drives inspiration and action. As she is pulled into the suffragist movement, she begins to have the movement impact her life, her marriage, and her safety. I really enjoyed Helen’s story, and it’s going to stay with me for a long time.

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The North Face of the Heart by Dolores Redondo

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Person peeking through hole titled "Thriller"
The North Face of the Heart book cover with dark clouds and statues
"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and light in the distance

This was a thrilling story that takes the reader to New Orleans in the midst of a hurricane. I thought the author did a wonderful job of bringing the rage of the storm into the atmosphere of this story. It felt heavy and full of suspense, and I really enjoyed it!

Amaia is a detective from Spain, traveling to New Orleans to partner with the FBI to find a serial killer. I liked the mix between Amaia’s Spanish background and the American setting. I thought it was an interesting culture mix!

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How Lucky by Will Leitch

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book
"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and light in the distance

Rating: 5 out of 5.

First of all, this book was AMAZING! Just absolutely wonderful. Leitch’s writing makes this story such a joy!

Second of all, don’t go into this thinking it’s a thriller. That will be really disappointing for you. This is a story about life and finding joy and experiences even when you have incredibility tough circumstances. There is a mystery and there are some action scenes, but I really wouldn’t put this in the thriller category.

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The Essence of Nathan Biddle by J. William Lewis

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book
The Essence of Nathan Biddle book cover with large bird
Book Genre Block - "Young Adult" with 4 young adults

The Essence of Nathan Biddle is a timeless coming-of-age tale that, as novelist David Armstrong observed, “is like discovering The Catcher in the Rye all over again.” Protagonist Kit Biddle is a rising prep school senior who finds himself tangled in a web of spiritual quandaries and intellectual absurdities. Kit’s angst is compounded by a unique psychological burden he is forced to carry: his intelligent but unstable Uncle Nat has committed an unspeakable act on what, according to the Uncle’s deranged account, were direct orders from God.

The tragedy haunting his family follows Kit like a dark and foreboding cloud, exacerbating his already compulsive struggle with existential questions about the meaning of his life. When the brilliant, perhaps phantasmic, Anna dismisses him, Kit quickly spirals into despair and self-destruction. But when his irrational decision to steal a maintenance truck and speed aimlessly down the highway ends in a horrific accident and months of both physical and emotional convalescence, Kit is forced to examine his perceptions of his life and his version of reality.

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