Review: Daughter of the Pirate King

image1 (7)Title: Daughter of the Pirate King

Author: Trisha Levenseller

Series: Daughter of the Pirate King, #1

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, YA, Fiction

Publication Date: February 28, 2017

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ (3.5 stars)


There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.
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Review: The Favorite Sister

image1 (5)

Title: The Favorite Sister

Author: Jessica Knoll

Genre: Fiction, Drama, Mystery

Publication Date: May 15, 2018

Rating: ⭐️⭐️✨ (2.5 stars)


When five hyper-successful women agree to appear on a reality series set in New York City called Goal Diggers, the producers never expect the season will end in murder …

Brett’s the fan favorite. Tattooed and only twenty-seven, the meteoric success of her spin studio – and her recent engagement to her girlfriend – has made her the object of jealousy and vitriol from her castmates.

Kelly, Brett’s older sister and business partner, is the most recent recruit, dismissed as a hanger-on by veteran cast. The golden child growing up, she defers to Brett now—a role which requires her to protect their shocking secret.

Stephanie, the first black cast member and the oldest, is a successful bestselling author of erotic novels. There have long been whispers about her hot, non-working actor-husband and his wandering eye, but this season the focus is on the rift that has opened between her and Brett, former best friends – and resentment soon breeds contempt.

Lauren, the start-up world’s darling whose drinking has gotten out of control, is Goal Diggers’ recovery narrative – everyone loves a comeback story.

And Jen, made rich and famous through her cultishly popular vegan food line plays a holistic hippie for the cameras, but is perhaps the most ruthless of them all when the cameras are off.

The Favorite Sister explores the invisible barriers that prevent women from rising up the ranks in today’s America—and offers a scathing take on the oft-lionized bonds of sisterhood, and the relentless pressure to stay young, relevant, and salable.

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Review: The Liar’s Girl

image1 (4)Title: The Liar’s Girl

Author: Catherine Ryan Howard

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction

Publication Date: February 27, 2018

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)


Will Hurley was an attractive, charming, and impressive student at Dublin’s elite St. John’s College — and Ireland’s most prolific serial killer. Having stalked his five young victims, he drowned them in the muddy waters of the Grand Canal. Sentenced to life imprisonment when he was just nineteen, Will is locked away in the city’s Central Psychiatric Hospital.

Freshman Alison Smith moved to the Big Smoke to enroll in St. John’s and soon fell hard for Will Hurley. Her world bloomed . . . and then imploded when Liz, her best friend, became the latest victim of the Canal Killer — and the Canal Killer turned out to be the boy who’d been sleeping in her bed. Alison fled to the Netherlands and, in ten years, has never once looked back.

When a young woman’s body is found in the Grand Canal, Garda detectives visit Will to see if he can assist them in solving what looks like a copycat killing. Instead, Will tells them he has something new to confess — but there’s only one person he’s prepared to confess it to.

The last thing Alison wants is to be pulled back into the past she’s worked so hard to leave behind. Reluctantly, she returns to the city she hasn’t set foot in for more than a decade to face the man who murdered the woman she was supposed to become.

Only to discover that, until now, Will has left out the worst part of all . . . Continue reading “Review: The Liar’s Girl”

Review: I See You

image1 (3)Title: I See You

Author: Clare Mackintosh

Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Publication Date: July 28, 2016

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ (3.5 stars)


It all starts during her commute home one night. Zoe Walker glances through her local paper and sees her own face staring back at her in a classified ad. With the grainy photo is a phone number and a listing for a website called FindTheOne.com.

In the following days, she sees other women in the same ad, a different one every day, and nearly all of them show up in the newspapers as victims of increasingly violent crimes–including murder.

With the help of a determined cop, Zoe uncovers the ad’s twisted purpose…And suddenly, the man on the train sitting across the car–the one smiling at Zoe–could be more than just a friendly stranger. He could be someone who has deliberately chosen her and is ready to make his next move…

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Review: All the Things We Never Knew

image1 (2)Title: All the Things We Never Knew

Author: Sheila Hamilton

Genre: Non Fiction, Mental Health, Memoir

Publication Date: January 24, 2017

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)


I missed much of the unfolding of my husband’s mental illness. By the time I’d pieced together the puzzle of who David actually was, he was falling apart.

All the Things We Never Knew is the powerful true tale of Sheila Hamilton’s struggle to understand and cope with her husband’s mental illness and suicide and its effect on her family. With the brutal benefit of hindsight, Hamilton walks you through their tumultuous relationship in its entirety and into the difficult years following David’s choice to end his life.

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Popsugar Reading Challenge: 2018

I’m a tad late to the game in posting, but this year, I’m tackling the popular Popsugar Reading Challenge, which offers a varied 40 prompts, as well as 10 advanced prompts for overachievers. Even though I managed to sneak in a bunch of titles already in my TBR, I can tell that some of these are going to force me to stretch myself outside my reading comfort zone – and I couldn’t be happier!

If you’re anything like me, there’s an immense sense of satisfaction that comes from ticking off check boxes. I thought I’d turn that aspect of the challenge into something fun, too. I’ve been getting into the concept of bullet journaling lately because I wanted a less daunting way of tracking my fitness and diet routines as I prepare for fights. It’s a lot of fun and strangely relaxing, and if you haven’t heard of it before, I definitely recommend you check it out!

For the Popsugar challenge, I’ll be coloring the book spines as I go, so at the end of the year, I’ll have a unique souvenir of all the varied reading I did 🙂

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Review: This Is How It Always Is

This Is How It Always IsTitle: This Is How It Always Is

Author: Laurie Frankel

Genre: Fiction

Publication Date: January 24, 2017

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)


“So these kids just get to pick who they are?” Frank searched for an apt metaphor and finally settled on, “It’s like a video game.”

“No, it’s like a fairy tale,” said Penn. Rosie rolled her eyes at him. “Maybe you look like a filthy scullery maid, but inside, you’re really a princess, and if you’re good, you find the right grave to cry on or the right lamp to rub, and you become a princess on the outside too.”

This Is How It Always Is is, without a doubt, one of the most emotional and important books I’ve ever read, and it’s going to resonate with me for a long, long time.

At its core, this is a story about family, about learning to embrace and celebrate change, and about fairy tales and how happily ever after might not exist … but that’s okay because it isn’t a happy ending you should be striving for, but a happy now.

There’s something instantly recognizable in the hectic Walsh-Adams family. The anecdotal nature of the storyline makes it easy to find something to connect with, whether it’s the challenges of parenthood or the endless frenzy of a bunch of siblings. Aspiring novelist Penn and resourceful doctor Rosie already bring diverse personalities to the table as parents, and the chaos of having four boys in the household creates an loving environment equal parts open and unpredictable. There’s surly Roo, precocious Ben, and the wild twins Orion and Rigel. And then, of course, there’s Claude.

When Claude begins to express his desire to grow up to be a girl, it’s refreshing how willingly his family embraces the idea and allows him to become Poppy. But the safe haven of their household can’t blanket the entire world, and closed minds and brushes with violence prompt the family to relocate to more liberal Seattle. Suddenly, the promise of a fresh start and the question of whose business is Poppy’s history anyways has the Walsh-Adams unintentionally keeping a secret that feels weightier and riskier with every year that passes. Until suddenly it’s not a secret anymore.

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