The Alchemy Thief Will Steal Your Heart

I’ve got a new book for you hungry hungry readers and it’s a good one (per usual).

The Alchemy Thief, by R.A. Denny, is a book that will take you by surprise in the best way possible.

I was not expecting to love it as much as I did. I was a wee bit skeptical, but opted for keeping an open mind and I’m glad I did. Because WOW. Wow, R.A Denny. You wrote a pretty awesome story, and it’s pretty obvious that you did your research.

I dare to even say that this book stole my heart.


Book Description

2019: A young woman finds a relic engraved with a mysterious symbol off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. Terrorists in Morocco steal a 17th-century book engraved with the same symbol. As the woman struggles to unravel the secrets behind the symbol, her life changes in ways she could never have imagined.

1657: Transported back in time, she meets the alchemist, John Winthrop, Jr. who is plotting to lure the greatest scientific minds to the New World. But the more she learns, the more she fears for the lives of the loved ones she left behind.

In a stunning twist of fate, a modern terrorist has traveled into the past, where he has become a Barbary Corsair. He has plans of his own. And he will stop at nothing to succeed.

(Brought to you by Amazon)


It’s a book about a book

This book centers around a book, which I low-key love. We’re taken to Morocco 2019 where a young boy and his mother are plotting to steal a book from a museum and hand it over to the Islamic State. After craziness ensues the mom sadly detonates a suicide bomb so that her son can get away with the book in question.

The son, Ayoub, hands the book to the Islamic State not really knowing why they even want it. He does take a small bodkin hidden in the spine before handing it over. A bodkin that coincidentally transports Ayoub back in time to the year 1647. Lucky for Ayoub, he gets adopted by some pirates and adapts well to that lifestyle. The only reason he wants to go back to modern-day is so he can gather all of the AK-47s and bring them back to the 17th century and become super powerful and dangerous. Oof.

The question of what the Islamic State will do with the book Ayoub stole is brought up throughout this twisty and turny story. We know this book contains some super secrets about a powerful weapon or weapons. I think it’s safe to say that one of those weapons is time travel.


Time-traveling fun

Then we have the lovely Experience/Peri Fuller who ends up finding a bodkin in the shallows of the ocean in Martha’s Vineyard. Can you guess? She also gets taken back in time. Except she ends up in New England/early America in the year 1657. Ten years after Ayoub. That means Ayoub is a few years older than Peri when she travels to the 17th century.

She settles in with Thomas Mayhew’s colony, who also happens to be her 7th or so great grandfather. She has this crazy family reunion with the Mayhew family, which would be great if she wasn’t trapped in the 1600s.

A lot of the Pilgrim/Puritan/Native American history that I remember from school consists solely of the mistreatment of Native Americans and the puritans/pilgrims causing that mistreatment. It’s not a secret that early settlers of America were no bueno in a lot of ways, but where there are a-holes there are also decent people. I would consider the Mayhews to be decent people. Were they perfect? No. But they were known to be the most respectful settlers towards Native Americans in Early America.

The Wampanoag Native Americans and the Mayhew colony seemed to have a courteous relationship. Mayhew had minister children who spent a lot of time preaching the word o’ God to a lot of the Native Americans in their vicinity. In this story, you see a lot of Native Americans who do convert. You also see plenty who refuse to convert and just go about their lives with no evil or hatred coming from the Mayhew’s side.


Love is in the air

I mean so far this book kind of has it all. How could romance not be included? Our young Peri forms a strong love connection with Daniel who is Native American and a Christian convert. He also happens to be a co-writer (along with John Winthrop) of the secret weapon book that Ayoub steals for the Islamic State.

Daniel helps Peri become an apprentice for John Winthrop and that’s where she learns more about the book Winthrop is writing and the alchemy it contains. He also saves Peri’s life when some townspeople catch her on her cell phone and call her out for being a witch. Woof.

That was a real issue for ladies in the 17th century. Not the having a phone part, but being called out for being a witch.

Honestly, their relationship is adorable and I really enjoyed seeing their love blossom. Ah, love!


Just Read It

The Alchemy Thief had me saying “What?!” as I flipped through its pages, not entirely believing what I was reading. I went into this story not knowing a lot about Puritan and early American history and knowing nothing about Moroccan history. There’s nothing I love more than enjoying a good plot line and learning new things.

If you’re looking for a new fantasy book then I insist that you give this book a lil read. I think you’ll enjoy it.

And while it might seem like I discussed every aspect of this book, I really didn’t. There is so much I didn’t cover.

The book comes out July 16 (tomorrow), and you can find it on Amazon.

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5 Reasons You Must Read Malibu Rising On The Beach

That is the thing about the water, it is not yours to control. You are at the mercy of nature. That’s what makes surfing feel like more than a sport: It requires destiny to be on your side, the ocean must favor you.

Taylor Jenkins Reid, Malibu Rising

Obviously, you can read whatever book you want on the beach, but I have to say there are better ones to read than others. Malibu Rising, written by the lovely Taylor Jenkins Reid, is a clear beach read winner.

You see, I didn’t know that when I started it so unfortunately I didn’t get that opportunity, which is why I’m here today imploring you to get this book and read it on the beach. Learn from me.

Check out the lengthy description below and then enjoy the 5 Reasons You Must Read Malibu Rising on the Beach.


Book Description

Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of the summer. But over the course of twenty-four hours, their lives will change forever.

Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer, and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together, the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over—especially as the offspring of the legendary singer, Mick Riva.

The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud—because it is long past time to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.

Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there.

And Kit has a couple secrets of her own—including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.

By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come bubbling to the surface.

Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them… and what they will leave behind.

(Brought to you by Goodreads)


1. It’s basically a big party…on the beach

My golden rule is if the setting of the book takes place on the beach, then you too must read the book on the beach. It allows you to get into the characters’ state of mind.

The day starts at 7 am and goes into the wee hours of the next morning, each chapter detailing out the hour for each sibling. If you think I’m exaggerating about the book taking place on the beach then I do insist you read it and see for yourself. There are a limited number of scenes that don’t take place on the beach, and even then the beach is across the street.

2. There is a lot of sibling bonding (on the beach)

Nina, Jay, Hud, and Kit have all been through some trauma, and that is what has tide 😉 them together. Nina kind of acts as their pseudo mama and from the way she is constantly checking on her siblings, you can see that she would do anything for them.

These four peas in a pod are what I like to call “friblings” they are siblings, yes, but they are also best friends. Despite a few tiffs, there doesn’t seem to be anything that could break them apart.

3. There is lots and lots of surfing

The one thing that truly united the Riva siblings was surfing. From a young age when their father abandoned them and then when their mother passed, it seemed surfing was their only escape. For most of the sibs, it’s more than a hobby, it’s a way of life.

Reading about them surfing almost made me want to surf myself. Seeing as I live in the midwest, I don’t really see that happening.

4. It’s a very fast read…perfect for the beach

Taylor Jenkins Reid does an incredible job of writing complex plots while still making the book an easy and fast read. I didn’t know anyone could be so talented, yet, here we are.

I think it helps that you get so many different perspectives from all of these characters and it just hooks you in. Each character is interesting and you keep wanting to know more from their perspective.

The whole plot of this book takes place in 24 hours. Along with some chapters that outline the origin of June and Mick Riva’s relationship, which allows us to see how the siblings became who they are.

5. There’s a lot of juicy drama

This book is filled with all the juicy drama you could ever want in a book. It’ll be so juicy that you’ll want to drink it.

When you have a party filled with high and drunk people (including famous people), plus all the side drama coming from the Riva’s personal lives, you get a big hot mess. This also ends with a giant fire, so I don’t think the mess could get any hotter. Don’t worry, it’s a good hot mess (except the fire isn’t great).


Just Read It

While I aimed to make this post light-hearted and didn’t go into a deep analysis (this is a beach read after all) there is a lot more depth to this book than meets the eye. I highly suggest you read this book, not just for the hot juicy drama, but for all of the beautiful character developments and plot twists. There is a lot to unpack there.

If you’re ever interested in making this your next book club read then you can check out some awesome guides that I found:

  1. Reading Group Guide
  2. Book Club Chat

Like I said, there really is a lot to discuss with this book. Don’t miss out on a fantastic read 🙂

Happy Reading!


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The Last Thing He Told Me Should Be The First Thing You Read Today

We don’t turn away from the parts of someone we don’t want to see. However quickly or long it takes to see them. We accept them if we are strong enough. Or we accept them enough to not let the bad parts become the entire story.

Laura Dave, The First Thing He Told Me

As I sit and write this, I’m getting pumped up to go on vacation – yeah, that’s right – I’m going on a vacation for four whole days. Up north in the great wilderness of Wisssssconsin. Thankfully, I managed to get another quick read in before I depart for my 4th of July festivities.

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave was a book I wasn’t expecting. From the summary, I assumed it might be just okay, but decided to give it a chance anyway. When in doubt always give a book a chance. The worst thing that can happen is you end up hating it, and the best thing that can happen is you fall in love.

Anywho, this book had some twisties and turnies that almost blew me away. Luckily, I was wearing my cement shoes as a preventative measure. Otherwise, I would have been gone in the wind.

Let me hit you with a summary and my insightful thoughts on this exciting read.


Book Description

We all have stories we never tell.
Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to smuggle a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her.

Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers: Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.

As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered; as the FBI arrests Owen’s boss; as a US Marshal and FBI agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity—and why he really disappeared.

Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth, together. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realize they are also building a new future. One neither Hannah nor Bailey could have anticipated. 

(Brought to you by Goodreads)


*Takes Just Read It stamp out* *Stamps the cover of The Last Thing He Told Me* *Hugs book gleefully*

This book. This book, you guys, was a good book. A really good book. From the first chapter you are instantly ensnared by the plot – there is no time wasted. Protect her. Hannah’s mission; a mission given to her by her husband of one year who has abandoned her and his 16-year-old daughter Bailey, for unknown reasons.

You’ll be taken on an adventure from California to Texas while you follow Hannah and Bailey on their never-ending quest of finding Owen. Hannah’s love and fierce determination to protect Bailey never lets up. Even when the chances of seeing Owen again become slimmer and slimmer.

Their relationship is reminiscent of Elsa’s and Loreda’s in The Four Winds. A rebellious teen girl resists the love of her mother, but that never diminishes the love that her mother feels for her daughter. Of course, in the instance of this book, Hannah is Bailey’s stepmom, which is just one reason Bailey keeps her distance.

*Kind of a spoiler in below paragraph – skip if you don’t want to know*

At the conclusion of this book, you will probably grieve what could have been. You can see how loving and beautiful Owen and Hannah’s relationship was, and it will definitely make you sad when you realize that their relationship won’t blossom beyond the two years they had together. The fact that Hannah sacrifices any semblance of a life she could have had with Owen, to protect his daughter, just goes to show how much she really loves him and Bailey. Woof.

Also, Bailey lost her mother when she was only a small child, so when her dad leaves it’s pretty devastating to her (understandably). This is what brings Hannah and Bailey closer. Much to Bailey’s dismay – Hannah is all she has left and vice versa.

This book might also make you want to buy a houseboat in Sausalito, California. I’ve already looked up some options on Zillow dreaming of all the possibilities. I suggest you do the same whilst reading this book.

Now please enjoy a picture of a houseboat:

Look at that little turret! So charming.

Just Read It

If you want to feel like you’re being immersed into a puddle of love and intrigue then you should definitely just read it 😉


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8 LOTR Quotes That Will Teach You How To Adult

I’ve never been able to finish reading The Lord of the Rings. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great story, and the writing is BEAUTIFUL – shout out to J.R.R Tolkien for sharing his gift of writing with the world – but I still can’t seem to finish the books. The same also goes for watching the movies.

Not having finished these books or movies has not stopped me from obsessing over all the inspiring LOTR quotes. If you don’t live under a rock, then you’ve probably heard these quotes yourself.

I’m just here to remind you of their beauty and the lessons they reveal. So, without further ado, enjoy these 8 LOTR quotes:

1. Don’t be an idiot

It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.

“Keep your feet” aka, don’t be an idiot. It’s good to go on adventures and have fun because that’s the best part about life: you never know where it’s going to take you. Tolkien reminds us to hold on to our common sense so we don’t make stoopid decisions.

And because I love The Office, I will share another relevant quote: “Whenever I’m about to do something, I think, ‘Would an idiot do that?’ and if they would, I do not do that thing.”

So don’t be an idiot and you’ll be okay.

2. Darkness never lasts

But in the end it’s only a passing thing, this shadow; even darkness must pass.

It’s important to remember that shit happens, but it never lasts. The pandemic weighs heavy in my mind when I think about this quote. I truly thought the quarantine would never end, and while it’s not completely over, I think we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

3. You’re capable of greatness

Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.

I know in the context of LOTR, Frodo is considered a tiny hobbit, so I’m thinking this quote is in reference to how no one would expect Frodo to change the course of the future when he’s small in stature…? Obviously Frodo proves everyone that he his capable of awesomeness.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter what your physical limitations are – you have the capability of achieving wonderful things.

4. Live your life to the fullest

‘I wish it need not have happened in my time,’ said Frodo. ‘So do I,’ said Gandolf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.’

Kinda like the “live each day like it’s your last” mantra. We don’t get to decide everything that happens in our life. All we really have control over is what we do with the time that we have left on this crazy planet. Live your life the way you want to. Go on some crazy adventures and try new things, meet new people, etc.

5. Life is full of surprises

None knows what the new day shall bring him.

Suuuurpise! The unknown can bring a lot of stress into your life, but isn’t that the fun of it all? I also think Forest Gump summed it up pretty well: “Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get!”

This is a reminder not to worry about the future, since it’s unknown, and we have little to no control over it.

6. Don’t get going when the going gets tough

Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.

In life, we encounter a lot of challenges and we’ll be stronger for having gotten through those hard times versus abandoning all effort because we’re feeling scared or uncomfortable. I kind of think of it as staying strong, holding on to hope, and/or never giving up.

7. It’s okay to cry

I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil

It’s healthy to cry and sometimes very necessary to our mental health. Especially when you’ve endured something emotionally traumatic. If you need to cry, you cry. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks or says.

8. Make your own path

Not all those who wander are lost.

This is one of my favorite quotes of all time. You really don’t know where life is going to take you, and it might take you a lot of exploring to figure out where you want to be. During this time of exploration, don’t let anyone second guess your path.

I think this quote also shows us that it’s okay to be different. Just because you’re figuring out life, or going down a path no one else is following, doesn’t mean you’re lost.

Thanks for Reading!

Let me know what your favorite LOTR quote is in the comments below 🙂


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4 Reasons The Four Winds Will Blow You Away

The four winds have blown us here, people from all across the country, to the very end of this great land. And now, at last, we make our stand, fight for what we know to be right. We fight for our American Dream, that it will be possible again.

Kristin Hannah, The Four Winds

There’s nothing more uplifting than reading a book set during the Great Depression. What’s not to love? People starving, losing jobs, living in large dirty camps, and let’s not forget about the dust bowl. Mix all that in with a woman who has literally been through hell and back, and you have The Four Winds.

You might wonder, whilst reading this book if Elsa and her family will ever catch a freaking break. There may also be a moment or two when you want to throw your book across the room because of all the emotional devastation occurring. Devastation or not, I can assure you that this book is well worth the read.

This is why I’m sharing with you today the 4 reasons The Four Winds will blow you away (as it did me).


Book Description

Texas, 1934. Millions are out of work and a drought has broken the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as the crops are failing, the water is drying up, and dust threatens to bury them all. One of the darkest periods of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl era, has arrived with a vengeance.

In this uncertain and dangerous time, Elsa Martinelli—like so many of her neighbors—must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or go west, to California, in search of a better life. The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American Dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation.

*Warning: this book will make you cry tears of joy and sadness (if you consider yourself a highly sensitive person).

(Brought to you by GoodReads)


4 Reasons this Book will Blow you Away

1. Elsa’s unforgettable character transformations

A warrior believes in an end she can’t see and fights for it. A warrior never gives up. A warrior fights for those weaker than herself. It sounds like motherhood to me

Kristin Hannah, The Four Winds

The winner for bestest character transformation goes to Elsa Martinelli! She began this story as a sheltered, emotionally abused, scared, and incredibly self-conscious young woman. She’s like a nervous turtle hiding in a shell, wanting to leave, but not really knowing how. She has a difficult time finding her voice in the beginning.

By the end of this story, we see a strong, fearless woman ready to take on the world during an impossible time. It’s inspiring to see Elsa become this warrior mother. She will do anything for her kids, no matter the cost to her.

Motherhood helped her find her voice.

2. Because LOVE

Love is what remains when everything is gone.

Kristin Hannah, The Four Winds

As I mentioned in my intro, there is a lot of suffering that happens in this book. Things go from bad to worse real quick for Elsa and her family. Thankfully, the bad times don’t last. Kristin Hannah reminds us that even in the darkness, love still remains. Love endures through it all.

Elsa instills this into her kids throughout the story. She does everything she can to make it known how much she loves them. Elsa didn’t grow up with parents who loved her, so she knows how isolating that neglect can be.

When you have nothing, having just a bit of love can make all the difference.

3. All the beautiful and complex relationships

Elsa hadn’t known until right then how much difference a friend could make. How one person could lift your spirit just enough to keep you upright.

Kristin Hannah, The Four Winds

The most pivotal relationship in this book is Elsa and Loreda (Elsa’s daughter). Loreda’s feelings toward her mother, in the beginning, aren’t the warmest. You have to remember, she’s 13/14 when this book takes place, and we all know how rough puberty can be. Their bond quickly grows stronger as the family leaves their Texas farm and embarks on a journey to California.

The family learns early on that life isn’t as green in the West as it’s being advertised. I mean, visually there is a lot of greenery, but there isn’t much money. This forces the family to live in a camp with other people in the same boat. As horrible as it is, Loreda sees how much her mom has been sacrificing to give her and her brother a better life.

Another important relationship visited in this book is with the Dewey family. Elsa becomes close friends with the matriarch of the family, Jean. Coming into the camp, Elsa has no idea what to do or how to survive. Jean becomes an important confidant to the family. Both families give each other hope when all things seem lost.

4. The Great Depression – Woof

How can we call ourselves the land of the free when people are living on the streets and dying of hunger?

Kristin Hannah, The Four Winds

Most of my knowledge of the Great Depression came from my Kit Kitridge books. School too, but I really only retained info from Kit. Of course, her story, while a bit heartbreaking, is nothing compared to what the Martinelli family endures. I knew it was bad, but when you’re reading this book you can really feel it. It’s like you’re suffering with them when the worst happens and cheering them on when they run into a bit of luck.

Kristin Hanna does make a note that some history was fudged a bit to fit into the timeline of her story. She has some awesome resources on her website, so if the book isn’t enough, then you can check those out here.

Just Read It

I feel like I don’t need to give you any more reasons to read this book. Just read it and see for yourself 🙂


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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

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 housemaid of one of her customers, she doesn’t expect the child to take such a liking to her. She also doesn’t expect to 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 bringing 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 is another great character. At first, resistant to the adorable charms of Eliza, but not even Nella could keep the kid at arm’s 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

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.

(brought to you by Goodreads)

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 nighttime. 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 are 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 own marks on the world?


Book Description

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. 

Brought to you by GoodReads

Why you Should Just Read The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

While this book has a somewhat slow start, once you get through the introductory 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 he 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

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.

Book Description Brought to you by Amazon


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.


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