Get Your Revenge At The Lost Apothecary

The best apothecary was one who knows intimately the despair felt by her patient, whether in body or heart

Sarah Penner, The Lost Apothecary

Usually within the first few chapters of a book, I can tell whether or not I’m going to love it, or if I’m going to leave it on my bookshelf to collect dust.

I didn’t just love this book – I LOVED THIS BOOK. I all caps loved this book. I will never allow this book to collect dust. EVER. I will be lending it out to everyone I know, and then I’ll read it again.

Side note: this book also has fun drink recipes at the end, one of which I tried, and it was delicious (no poison needed!)


Book Description (by yours truly)

Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London lies a secret apothecary that caters to women who have been afflicted by the greatest ailment of all time….BETRAYAL. We’re talking men betraying their women here. Real dark stuff.

Of course, Nella, the proprietor of this hidden/secret apothecary, knows all about this kind of betrayal. She knows the only way to bring these women justice is to sell them discrete poisons that are meant to end the lives of these horrible and oppressive men (ugh, men, am I right?) .

When Nella meets Eliza, a 12 year-old house maid of one of her customers, she doesn’t expect the child to take such a liking to her. She also doesn’t expect feel a similar connection. Nella takes the young kiddo under her wing, but chaos soon ensues when Eliza makes a fatal mistake – a mistake that endangers Eliza, Nella, and the apothecary that’s responsible for bring justice to women all throughout London.

Fast forward to present day London, where Caroline Parcewell finds herself celebrating her 10 year wedding anniversary alone and feeling betrayed by the man she’s spent most of her life with. When Caroline, also an aspiring historian, comes across an apothecary bottle related to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London during the 18th century, her life intertwines with Nella and Eliza in ways you’ll never expect.

Told from the perspective of these three empowering women, all different ages and coming from different walks of life – all of them united through The Lost Apothecary. You will NOT, I repeat, will NOT, want to put this book down until after you have read the very last page.


My Thoughts

Eliza

Eliza had to be my all time favorite character. I mean, they’re all great, but Eliza takes the cake.

First she is as loyal as a golden retriever (aka very loyal). She meets Nella when her mistress sends Eliza to the lost apothecary to pick up poison meant for the man who betrayed Eliza and her mistress, the master of the house. I think Eliza feels some sort of bond with Nella from the very beginning, and Nella tries very hard to keep Eliza away from her and the apothecary business. Obviously, all attempts are useless.

After the deed/murder is done, Eliza feels this horrible guilt. She feels that her master’s spirit is haunting her. It doesn’t help that Eliza actually gets her first period right when her master dies (from the poison she gave him). Of course any 12 year-old would assume that what she was experiencing was the demon in her belly instead of mother nature taking care of business. Honestly, that’s probably the funniest part of the book. I know I often think of my period as a curse more than a blessing. Such a mood.

I don’t only love Eliza because she was uninformed on feminine biology – she is also (in my opinion) the saving grace of this book. Even though she is the reason for everything falling apart, she redeems herself in the most amazing way.

Nella

Nella, another great character. At first, resistant to the adorable charms of Eliza, but not even Nella could keep the kid at arms length (she tried real hard though). I can also see why Eliza felt drawn to Nella. There’s something about Nella that is so intriguing. I mean, she sells poisons to betrayed women for a living – that would make me want to get to know the depths of her soul, or just the circumstances that led her to that profession.

That is something you learn more about when you read the book – Nella’s Big Betrayal (Prequel Idea?!).

It was Nella’s betrayal that turned her mother’s regular ole apothecary into an apothecary that caters to the broken hearted. A place for women to go to exact their revenge. She helps only women and she never kills women. She only helps women kill the men that betrayed them.

I like Nella because her life’s purpose is this mission and she’s determined to follow it through. You can tell as the book progresses that Nella also has some kind of illness, the same illness that took her mother from her. That doesn’t stop her from working #BAMF.

Caroline

Caroline has also experienced her own betrayal. The day before she and her husband are set off to go on their 10 year anniversary honeymoon trip, she discovers that he’s cheated. She sets off on their trip to London all by herself, trying to understand what she should do next.

While she doesn’t go to the lost apothecary to buy herself some revenge poison, she does end up finding herself again through uncovering the mysteries that lie behind Nella’s hidden apothecary.

I’d say more about Caroline, but I don’t want to give away any major spoilers. The whole fun of this book is watching Caroline uncover the big mystery while Nella and Eliza are living it out.


Just Read It

Three women – one story – all of them united through their own tragedies. I can’t tell you how empowering this book really is. All I can do is tell you to read it and see for yourself.

Sarah Penner, if you see this, please know: This is one of the BEST novels I have ever read and I cannot wait to see what else your brilliant mind comes up with next. I am not just saying this because we both spell Sarah with an “h” (although that is a big reason).


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Books I’ll Read in 2021 (Lies I Tell Myself)

I figured since it’s April that I would finally post my TBR list for 2021 because if there is one thing that I excel at, it’s procrastination.

Every year I put together a list of books that I hope to read. AKA it’s a list of books that I hope to have the motivation to read, but realistically I’ll probably end up reading a lot of books that are not on this list. Maybe I’ll surprise myself.

Enough babble! Here’s my list:

Fable by Adrienne Young

Trader. Fighter. Survivor. There is nothing I love more than a badass female lead.

Plus, if it’s good enough to be in Reese Witherspoon’s book club, then it’s good enough for me.

The Hunting Wives by May Cobb

Like the Real Housewives, but with murder, mystery, and mayhem. Also, this cover makes me want to buy some lipstick. Maybe I’ll wear lipstick whilst reading this book.

Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned – especially a woman with magical abilities.

This book is the prequel to Practical Magic, which if you live under a rock, was made into a movie with Sandra Bullock and a red headed lady I don’t know the name of. I figure if I’m actually going to read Practical Magic, then I should start with prequel, right? Or is this like the Hobbit, and I should start with Practical Magic and then the prequel?

6/10/21 edit: I now know the red headed lady is Nicole Kidman

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

See above statement.

I’m a fan of any and most books that involve magic and curses.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This book has some serious Get Out and Ghostbusters vibes.

The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen

Just your average teen girl spending her summer with her maternal grandma and cousins, trying to find where she belongs.

Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden

There’s a drug prob on the reservation – but Virgil is on the case, especially when his younger brother is involved.

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

The daughter of a meth dealer and one of her father’s thugs strike an unlikely friendship that blossoms into love – ah, I love love!

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

This book is 771 pages. 771 pages. I’m not even really sure why I’m putting this on my list – it’s like I’m setting myself up for failure. Everyone tells me it’s so good, so I don’t know, it could happen.

Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle

Girl’s life is falling apart, but when her great aunt dies and leaves her a house, things finally start to look up. That is, until she finds out she isn’t the only inheritor – the handsome groundskeeper has also been given this house (why???).

Not only does she have to deal with this handsome man, who of course annoys her, but she also has to fix the dumpy mansion with him *insert surprised ooo’s and aahh’s here*

Could this be love?!

Hour of the Assassin by Matthew Quirk

A spy is being framed for MUUUURDER! But did he actually do it?! I don’t believe he did, since this entire book is about him proving his innocence.

Spy thriller, here I come!

The Survivors by Jane Harper

Not gonna lie, the description of this book gives very little away on what to expect, and I kind of like that. We know a guy is returning home after being away for a very long time. We also know he made some bad choices and is now dealing with the consequences.

There could be a dead person and a missing person – I don’t believe they are the same person.

Obviously, I’m a sucker for the mystery/thriller genre, so I’mma try and read this.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

A single mother and her daughter rent a big ole house from a rich lady in the suburbs. Chaos ensues when this single mama’s mysterious past upends the ENTIRE COMMUNITY (hence the little fires everywhere).

I’m getting a lot of Big Little Lies vibes from this book and I’m here for it.

The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dare

A young girl growing up in a rural Nigerian village longs to find her “louding voice” – speak up for herself and fighting for her dreams. Another book with amazing reviews and if there is any book that I really hope to read on this list, it’s this one.


And that just about does it. A total of 14 books that I’ll try my darnedest to read. I will of course be writing book reviews for any book that I do read, so keep an eye out for that.

What’s on your 2021 reading list – I wanna know, so tell me in the comments.


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10 Anxious People Quotes That Might Make you Feel Less Anxious

As an anxious person, I have to say, I really enjoyed reading Anxious People by Fredrik Backman. Reading about a whole bunch of people who have anxieties, similar to mine, makes me feel like that final scene in High School Musical.

WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER (sing it with me). Once we know where we stand, hand in hand, we can do this!!!! Can’t remember the rest of the words, but you get what I’m saying.

I think that’s something we all need right now, with it being a year since the pandemic broke loose (along with our sanity). We need to feel like we aren’t alone because it’s true. We aren’t alone. Everyone is struggling and I think we need to normalize vocalizing our anxieties because chances are the person sitting next to you is feeling something similar.

There was some seriously good wisdom sprinkled throughout this book, so I’ve picked out some quotes that might make you feel less anxious – they might also make you feel more anxious (I’m sorry if they do).

Book Description (brought to you by Goodreads)

Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix up their own marriage. There’s a wealthy banker who has been too busy making money to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything, from where they want to live to how they met in the first place. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment’s only bathroom, and you’ve got the worst group of hostages in the world.

Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them—the bank robber included—desperately crave some sort of rescue. As the authorities and the media surround the premises, these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in a motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next.

The Anxious People Quotes You’ve Been Waiting Anxiously For:

Just Read It

This book had me laughing, crying, and it was thought-provoking – a triple threat!! Give it a read and let me know what you think in the comments.

Happy reading!!


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Addie LaRue is the Fantasy Fix you Need

What is a person, if not the marks they leave behind?

V.E. Schwab, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

Never ever ever ever ever, under any circumstances, ever, make strange deals with strange demons in the night time. Especially deals that involve your soul. It doesn’t matter if the demon looks like the love of your life, or could-be love of your life. Just say NO.

All kidding aside, this book shook me. This is the first novel I’ve read from V.E. Schwab, and I can tell you with certainty that I’ll be checking out her other books.

While this book is clearly titled The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, you will find that Addie LaRue and her story is anything but forgettable, and she is anything but invisible. While I’ve never experienced total isolation like Addie has, her experiences are more than relatable. Haven’t we all thought about how we can leave our on marks on the world?


Book Description Brought to you by GoodReads

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name. 

Why you Should Just Read The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

While this book has a somewhat slow start, once you get through the introduction chapters, you will find yourself addicted to Addie’s story.

Even as a kiddo, you can understand how Addie ends up making a deal with a demon. Addie always wants more. She wants to see more. She wants to leave her small town (in France), and not be tied down by anyone. She wants freedom. Something that women didn’t have a lot of in 1714.

Addie is a strong character. She trades her soul for immortality and a no strings attached existence. She ends up being cursed with an invisible life, and is continuously tormented by a demon who takes on the appearance of the perfect man she’s conjured in her mind during her adolescence, Luc.

Addie goes through many traumatic experiences throughout her existence as an invisible girl. Does she cry and pout the whole time? Heck no! She makes the most out of her circumstances. She still makes connections with people, and even when they inevitably forget her, she still makes an effort to reconnect with them.

While Addie is trying to make every day count, Luc is just waiting for her to give up. I think every book needs to have a sexy bad boy demon. I honestly can’t blame Addie for having an intimate relationship with him…when he acts and looks like the guy of her dreams, it would be easy to forget he isn’t human at all. He’s honestly one of the best written antagonists I’ve seen in a while. You hate him, but at the same time you don’t hate him. I kind of want a spinoff book starring Luc. I would read that.

Then we have Henry. The only man (Luc not included) to actually remember who Addie is. Henry and Addie end up sharing a lil romance together due to this stroke of luc(k). Henry is Luc’s exact opposite. First of all, he isn’t a demon, so he’s got that going for him. He’s also an adorable book loving nerd, who just so happens to also look like her dream man (the only thing him and Luc have in common).

My favorite part about this book was how many times Schwab managed to catch me by surprise with all of her little plot twists. I’m usually good at anticipating what’s going to happen in most books, but this one actually had me guessing more than once. I can assure you that you will not get bored reading this book.


So, we’ve got a book with great characters and an awesome plot with plenty of plot twists to keep you hooked. I think it’s safe to say that I’m going to tell you to read this book. So, Just Read It already!!


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Cheers to This Time Next Year

Be a good companion to yourself and you’ll never be lonely.

Sophie Cousens, This Time Next Year

This Time Next Year? As long as it’s nothing like 2020, then PLEASE TAKE ME THERE. Am I right? Can I get some snaps or claps of agreement?

For those of you who snapped/clapped, I have some good news. This beautiful book, written by the lovely Sophie Cousens, will temporarily take you out of 2020. You’ll be transported into an alternate reality where COVID and murder hornets don’t exist.

This is Sophie Cousens’ debut novel, which is available starting today. Let’s take a moment to applaud her for the wonderful story she created. You go girl!


Book Description Brought to you by Amazon:

Their lives began together, but their worlds couldn’t be more different. After thirty years of missed connections, they’re about to meet again…

Minnie Cooper knows two things with certainty: that her New Year’s birthday is unlucky, and that it’s all because of Quinn Hamilton, a man she’s never met. Their mothers gave birth to them at the same hospital just after midnight on New Year’s Day, but Quinn was given the cash prize for being the first baby born in London in 1990–and the name Minnie was meant to have, as well. With luck like that, it’s no wonder each of her birthdays has been more of a disaster than the one before.

When Minnie unexpectedly runs into Quinn at a New Year’s party on their mutual thirtieth birthday, she sees only more evidence that fortune has continued to favor him. The gorgeous, charming business owner truly seems to have it all–while Minnie’s on the brink of losing her pie-making company and her home. But if Quinn and Minnie are from different worlds, why do they keep bumping into each other? And why is it that each fraught encounter leaves them both wanting more?

A moving, joyful love story, This Time Next Year explores the way fate leads us to the people we least expect–no matter what the odds.


Why You Should Just Read This Time Next Year

  • Minnie Cooper’s mishaps will make you LOL. She believes that she is cursed on every New Year’s Eve and Day all because Quinn Hamilton was born one minute before her, making him the prized New Year baby, stealing all her luck. Obviously she has hilarious evidence backing this up.
  • Minnie and Quinn have an adorable Meet Cute. Minnie goes to this glamorous New Years Eve/Birthday Party with her boyfriend at this swanky club. While there, she ends up getting herself trapped in the ladies room. All night. Who rescues her in the early morning after everyone leaves? The beautiful Quinn Hamilton (insert heart eyes here).
  • This book teaches you an important life lesson. If this book teaches you any life lesson, let it be this: never tell anyone the names you have picked out for your children before they are born. Especially to someone who is in labor at the same time you are. Have some common sense.
  • The classic Pride and Prejudice theme. Quinn is a classic Darcy. Handsome and rich, plus well respected in the community. I mean, it doesn’t get much more Darcy than that. Then of course you have Minnie, who’s family is from a lower class. Not to mention, Quinn makes her feel like she’s less (at least in the beginning). Can you guess what happens? I don’t want to give it away, but girl realizes that the boy wasn’t who she thought he was, and they fall – oh wait, I almost gave it away!
  • You’re reminded that self-fulfilling prophecies are REAL. Connie, Minnie’s mom instilled the idea in Minnie that Quinn Hamilton stole all of her luck when he stole her name and title of “New Year’s Baby”. When you grow up being told this, you eventually believe it, and of course you begin expecting horrible things to happen to you #MindOverMatter.

I’m seriously giving this book five stars. I laughed, I cried, and I cheered for Minnie and Quinn the whole way. If you’re looking for a light read to brighten your day, then I sincerely suggest you crack open This Time Next Year. I promise, you won’t regret it.

The Sun Down Motel – Good Book, Bad Motel

How it was always girls who ended up stripped and dead like roadkill. How it didn’t seem to matter how afraid or how careful you were – it could always be you.

Simone St. James, The Sun Down Motel

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted on here, and my only valid excuse is that we live in a CRAZY world right now. With the election happening this week, I thought I’d distract my one audience member (me) from thinking about it. So, here I am. I’m back and ready to review a book that scared the shoot out of me.

I don’t think anyone really likes motels, but I really, really, really, don’t like motels. My main and, up until a few weeks ago, only reason for believing this was because of Bates Motel/Psycho. I mean you cannot watch that show/movie and not ever fear going to a motel.

After reading The Sun Down Motel, I’ve decided that the only thing motels are good for is as a setting to any horror-thriller book or movie. That’s it. I’m never staying at a motel ever.

Seeing as this book is a thriller, the whole creepy motel vibe really works.


Book Description (Brought to you by Goodreads)

The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.

Upstate New York, 1982. Viv Delaney wants to move to New York City, and to help pay for it she takes a job as the night clerk at the Sun Down Motel in Fell, New York. But something isnʼt right at the motel, something haunting and scary.

Upstate New York, 2017. Carly Kirk has never been able to let go of the story of her aunt Viv, who mysteriously disappeared from the Sun Down before she was born. She decides to move to Fell and visit the motel, where she quickly learns that nothing has changed since 1982. And she soon finds herself ensnared in the same mysteries that claimed her aunt.


I really did enjoy reading this book. Carly’s aunt’s disappearance is an Unsolved Mysteries dream episode that has never come close to being solved. Carly, who just so happens to love all things true crime has been obsessed with her aunt’s disappearance ever since she was told of it. When Carly’s mom passes away (cancer), she knows that it’s the perfect time to try and uncover a mystery that has long haunted (hehe) her family.

The true crime aspect of this book is the best part of this book, and my favorite part. In 2017 Carly is trying to investigate Viv’s disappearance, and in 1982, Viv is trying to uncover and connect a string of mysterious murders in Fell, that may or may not be committed by the same person. Seeing Carly and Viv investigate these crimes side by side, and ultimately discover all the answers to their questions, will have you feeling all kinds of excitement.

Along with true crime we’ve got some ghosts. Now, the ghost scenes tended to be a little over the top for me. Like way over the top. In fact, I think the book could have been so much better if St. James had just removed the ghosts from the book altogether, or if she had just toned down the theatrics. Some people like that kind of stuff, but I just didn’t see how it was necessary.

Immediately after reading this book I gave it to my roommate to read, who is a huge thriller/horror movie and book fan. I was very curious to know what she thought of this book because while the ghost parts were over the top, there were a lot of parts in this book that had me sleeping with my light on. Turns out, she wasn’t a big fan of the ghosts either. She also didn’t feel that this book was “sleep with your lights on” scary. Obviously our scared tolerances are vastly different.

For all you seasoned horror/thriller fans, like my roommate, just know that this book will not have you quaking with fear. At least there is complexity to the plot, and two strong, bamf female leads.

What more do you really need in a good read?


Just Read It!

Have I ever told you not to read a book?! Nope. And I never will, so Just Read It already!

I want to know what other thriller fans think of this read – did it scare you, or were you unimpressed?

In Need Of A Good Beach Read

Well, times are a little crazy, aren’t they?

You would think with the Stay at Home Order I’d have all the time in the world to write blog post after blog post. In actuality, I have found very little time to write. I’m fortunate enough to work from home, and while most people’s jobs aren’t as busy, my job has gotten crazier. It’s enough to make my time at home fly by, and I’m incredibly thankful for that. Being busy at work, and spending time with my family, I just haven’t had the motivation to write any posts.

It hasn’t stopped me from reading though. So far I’ve read The Two Lives of Lydia Bird (will review that soon) by Josie Silver and If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane. And of course, I’m re-reading the Harry Potter Series, because, why not? I got the time.

Another book that I’m really excited to read is called, Beach Read by Emily Henry. The day that I got Beach Read from BOTM I was going through some of my older paintings when I found this gem:

I painted this my senior year in high school when I was experimenting with watercolors. When I pulled this out of my portfolio all I could think about was reading Beach Read on a Beach with a Pina Colada in my hand. Ahhh, but alas, quarantine is preventing me from doing that. Instead, I’ll read it in my backyard, with a Pina Colada in my hand.

What books are you reading during this quarantine? Like always, I love getting book suggestions, so don’t be shy!

Happy reading, and stay safe!!!

These 15 Book Covers Will Have You Excited To Read The Books

People always say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but let’s be real, we are all judging books by their covers. How could you not? It’s the first thing you see when you’re picking out your next read.

Book covers are your first introduction to the book, so in an ideal world, the cover should be some kind of snapshot of the story you’re about to delve into. I prefer book covers with some kind of scene, but if I can’t have that, then I love a classic title with a great font and background. The best book covers make the most sense after you’ve read the books. They add something to the story, and vice versa.

Since I’m such a big book cover fan, I put together a list of 15 books that I’ve read or want to read solely based on the book covers. Let me know what your favorite book covers are in the comments 🙂

1 – Since You’ve Been Gone

2 – Dear Edward

You can check out my book review for Dear Edward here.

3 – Golden State

4 – If I’m Being Honest

5 – Bringing Down The Duke

6 – The Selection

7 – Well Met

8 – Where The Crawdads Sing

9 – A Woman Is No Man

10 – Long Bright River

You can check out my review for Long Bright River here.

11 – All The Bright Places

12 – Not If I Save You First

13 – The Sun Down Motel

14 – Save The Date

15 – The Silent Patient

There are many more books I wanted to add to this list, but I thought I’d keep it simple. There are a few books on this list that I’m either in the process of reading, or plan on reading: The Sun Down Motel, Save the Date, Not If I Save You First, A Woman is No Man, and All the Bright Places.

I am also currently working on book reviews for Bringing Down the Duke, Where the Crawdads Sing, and The Silent Patient, so stay tuned!

Book of the Month: Yay or Nay?

About a year ago I discovered something magical and life changing: An online book subscription. Can you believe I hadn’t discovered online book subscriptions until last year?!

I was bored one day just scrolling through my Facebook news feed when I came across an ad for something called Book of the Month (BOTM). I was immediately intrigued and clicked the link. All I had to see were the words “online book subscription” and I was already signed up. It was very impulsive, but I just couldn’t seem to help myself.

Feel free to comment your opinion on BOTM and other book subscription services below 🙂

What is Book of the Month (BOTM)?

It’s an online subscription service for books, which makes it so much more special than all the other subscription services.

This is how it works: BOTM features 5 different books each month for you to choose from, you select which book(s) you want to read, and then you get to read it. They do all of the research, so it’s easy breezy.

Some of the featured books are early releases or are highly anticipated novels from debut authors. No book is from the same genre, so you have a variety to choose from, which is nice. These aren’t just randomly chosen books either. The people at BOTM do all the research for which books to select each month. The only work you have to do is select the book and checkout.

The History of BOTM

Believe it or not, BOTM didn’t originally begin as an online subscription service. It originated in the 1920s and was known as Book of the Month Club. Subscribers would pay around $2 monthly for the book of the month. The book was chosen by a panel of judges, and whatever book that was chosen was usually a new release. The Book of Month Club became notorious for selecting books that were very well received by the public. For example, in 1950 the club chose Gone with the Wind as its book of the month, which as you know, has become a cult classic.

Everything changed for the Book of the Month Club when Amazon changed the way books were consumed. More and more people seemed to read their books using a Kindle. This new trend forced Book of the Month Club to temporarily close their doors in 2012, but thankfully they reestablished the club to be an online subscription service in 2015. They also changed the name to Book of the Month (BOTM). Much classier, eh? The man who relaunched BOTM figured since people (primarily women) were getting their clothes through online subscriptions, why not get their book that way too?

The sole purpose of the new BOTM was to stay true to its roots. A panel of judges would select not just one monthly book, but five monthly books for subscribers to choose from. BOTM didn’t want to just focus on highly anticipated books from well known authors either, they also wanted to give new/debut authors a chance to get their books read.

Learn more about the BOTM’s history here.

How much does this cost?

Your first month is only $9.99 and after that the subscription is $14.99 a month. Here’s the fun part: if you don’t like any of the book selections for the current month you can choose to skip your BOTM. When you skip a BOTM you will not be charged the subscription cost, and you can skip however many times you want. How neat is that?! Shipping is also included!

What Are Add-ons?

You have the option to add two additional books to your BOTM box each month. You can select from the current BOTM selection, or from the top books of any previous month. That means you can get up to 3 books for the price of $14.99 each month. Like I mentioned before, you can also choose to skip the month if you don’t like any of the book options.

Is it worth it?

I’ve been subscribed to BOTM for almost a year now and I have loved every book I’ve gotten from them. I’ve skipped a few months here and there too, which is a nice perk of the service.

One thing I really like about BOTM is that it forces me to explore other genres besides my usual YA romcom or Fantasy Adventure books. I’m sure I’ve passed on a lot of good books at bookstores or on Amazon because the genre wasn’t something I’d usually read. You also get introduced to books by debut authors.

All in all, I like BOTM, and I don’t think it hurts to try it yourself. If you end up trying it and love it as much as I do, then you are welcome. If you end up hating it, then I’m sorry and please don’t blame me.

Happy reading!

5 Reasons You Should Read Long Bright River

This was the secret I learned that day: none of them want to be saved. They all want to sink backward toward the earth again, to be swallowed by the ground, to keep sleeping. There is hatred on their faces when they are roused from the dead.

Liz Moor, Long Bright River

I read this book in one day. I picked it up one Saturday morning, and told myself I’d only spend a few hours reading it, then I would move on to something more productive. Lo and behold, a few hours come and go and I’m still reading Long Bright River. Once I hit the halfway point, I realized there was nothing I could do to stop myself from finishing this book. As someone who works full time, my weekends are very precious to me, so I would never sacrifice one my days off on a book that was just mediocre.

This is the first book I’ve read from Liz Moore, and after finishing Long Bright River, I can guarantee you it won’t be the last.

If I still haven’t convinced you then please skip down to my 5 reasons I think you should just read Long Bright River. If that still doesn’t convince you, then I’m sorry, and I’ll work on my persuasion skills ASAP.

Book Description

Brought to you by Goodreads

In a Philadelphia neighborhood rocked by the opioid crisis, two once-inseparable sisters find themselves at odds. One, Kacey, lives on the streets in the vise of addiction. The other, Mickey, walks those same blocks on her police beat. They don’t speak to anymore, but Mickey never stops worrying about her sibling.

Then Kacey disappears, suddenly, at the same time that a mysterious string of murders begins in Mickey’s district, and Mickey becomes dangerously obsessed with finding the culprit–and her sister–before it’s too late.

Alternating its present-day mystery with the story of the sisters’ childhood and adolescence, Long Bright River is at once heart-pounding and heart-wrenching: a gripping suspense novel that is also a moving story of sisters, addiction, and the formidable ties that persist between place, family, and fate.

5 Reasons I think you should read Long Bright River

1 – You’ll learn about Philadelphia’s opioid crisis

Liz Moore did a ton of research in preparation for writing this book, and it shows. The Philadelphia neighborhood where most of the book takes place is in Kensington, which is an actual Philly neighborhood that is strongly affected by the opioid crisis. In fact, Moore got to see the crisis first hand when she moved to Philadelphia in the early 2000s. She even taught a creative writing class in the Kensington area that was open to all people. Some of her students were recovering addicts. In this article from The Gaurdian, Moore goes into a little more detail about how her research and experience aided this story.

2 – There’s family drama that doesn’t quit

The family drama in this book is insane, and it stays that way throughout the book. We learn early on that Mickey and Kacey’s mother passed away from an overdose when they were very little, and their father left them not long after that. They were left in the care of Gee, their grandmother, who wasn’t the kindest or most loving of caretakers the girls could have had.

It’s interesting to see how two little girls, who grew up in the same exact environment, grow to have two very different lives. Mickey becomes a police officer, much to her family’s surprise, and Kacey becomes an addict and sex worker. Obviously these two very different paths the girls take makes for a very complicated sister relationship.

3 – The alternating chapters between past and present will keep you captivated

Just to be clear, every chapter is in Mickey’s perspective, and each chapter alternates between present and past. These alternating chapters allow us to see the progression of Mickey and Kacey’s relationship. As young girls, the two were very close, but as they get older things change. We basically get to see Kacey’s transformation from a sweet naiive little girl to a young adult whose life is controlled by addiction. We get a sense of what it’s like for Mickey to slowly lose the sister she knows and loves. We also get to see how Mickey ends up becoming a police officer, and how that decision impacts her relationship with not just Kacey, but the rest of the family too.

In all of the chapters set in present time, we see Mickey fighting to find her sister with the help of a few key players.

4 – There are multiple twists that you’ll (probably) never see coming

There’s the big overall mystery of what happened to Kacey, but there’s also a few other twists and turns that seem to come out of nowhere. I think I exclaimed, “What?!” way more than once while reading this book.

5 – There’s a host of complex characters

Obviously we have Mickey and Kacey, but wait there’s more!

  • Thomas – Mickey’s 4 year old son, who is ADORABLE. Mickey raises him by herself, so the two of them have a very close bond. Everything Mickey does is for Thomas.
  • Simon – Mickey’s weird ex-boyfriend. Not going to lie. Mickey’s relationship with this guy is all sorts of messed up.
  • Mrs. Powell – The quirky downstairs neighbor/landlord/sometimes watches Thomas. We don’t really get to know the real Mrs. Powell until halfway into the book, and when you do get to know her, you will love her. She’s kind of a surprising character.
  • Truman – Mickey’s hunky ex cop partner. The only reason he’s an ex partner is because of an injury he sustained when on the job. He tries to help Mickey find Kacey.
  • Gee – Mickey and Kacey’s grandma, but I have to say she’s not much of a grandmother, like I mentioned before. She was more of a roommate that Mickey and Kacey had to live with after their mother passed away and their father left.
  • Paula – Paula is Kacey’s childhood best friend, fellow addict, and sex worker. She also somewhat assists Mickey in finding her sister.

Just Read It

Need I say more?! Just read it already!

Let me know in the comments if you had a different reaction to Long Bright River. Just because I loved it, doesn’t mean everyone will. I always look forward to hearing what other people think, so don’t leave me hanging!

Enjoy this review? Make sure to also check out my review on Whisper Man!