‘Waking Gods’ Bonus Book Review

A young girl in a small town in South Dakota rides her bike one day and discovers a large hole, where a giant metal hand is at rest. Seventeen years later, more of these artifacts are being discovered and the mystery is still unsolved. What are they? How old are they? Who made them? The young girl mentioned earlier, Rose, is now an adult and a physicist who had a military team and the backing of the American government to find out the answers.

At first, it’s a little confusing, getting used to who is who, coming into this sequel. You never realize how much these characters mean to you until stuff starts hitting the fan. We only get dialogue in this series, so it amazes me how close we get to these characters. I loved them and was worried for them.

As stated, before this is only dialogue, a file format. We do not really have an atmosphere only names of locations. However, Mr. Burns, my favorite character, gives us a lot of world building by the history and what not.

We were kind of thrown into this book and that’s the only reason why I am not giving it a full five star. I think we are something like eight years after the events of ‘Sleeping Giants’. I was very confused for the first quarter of the book. However, this was fast so fun to read but I did skim over the parts that were filled with science as that just went over my head.

The plot was amazing! Neuvel is an author who is not afraid of what he is writing and that will only tug at the heartstrings of the reader. Simply amazing with believable plot twists. The constant of having to make theories and then change them. The reader will never be left bored.

It truly amazes me how connected we get with these characters as this book is only dialogue, it’s in a file format. You never realize how much the characters mean to you until they get thrown into the action and then it’s just crazy. We don’t really have an atmosphere as this story is told through diary entries and files. However, the character of, Mr. Burns, really brings in a lot of world building by telling the history. The only reason why this isn’t a full five star is because we’re just thrown into the story. I was confused the whole first quarter of the book. I skimmed over a lot of the in-depth science talk, but I did enjoy the scenes with genetics. With this being a multimedia book, it is very fast, and you could probably read it in one day. The plot was just plain out amazing, the author is not afraid of what he is writing and that only leaves us getting out heart strings pulled. I loved this book.

‘The Poppy War’ Book Review

“It was somehow beautiful, … lovely and terrible all at once.”

Rin was a war orphan, a shop girl, poor and unloved. the only way to get out of that life is to marry an old man or get an education. She does not want to marry a man who is three times older than she is, and she does not have the money for a tutor, but she studies on her own, endlessly, to get herself into the highest-ranking military academy in the empire. Once at the academy, she must deal with the prejudices that other students hold against her. She is too dark, too poor, a girl. They judge her for everything that is until she shows them what she can do. That she is committed and willing to learn the powers of those used by shamans. She is willing to end the war that is yet to come.

These characters are not likeable in the slightest, but I could not help but care for them. I was so scared for them and just emotionally connected overall. No one was black or white, these characters were realistic with strengths and weaknesses. Rin was the one that was an annoyance to me at first, but she did develop more and more throughout the course of the story. I do love the feminist vibes of her though, the woman wanting power and going after what she wants was amazing to read. I have never read a story with a female character like that I am honestly shocked by how much she developed as a character. At first, I did not think this was a character driven story, I am still not sure if it’s more character or plot but for the most part the characters were well written. I did confuse a lot of the ‘Cike’ guys as I feel like none of them had any real defining traits and just blended into one another. I am impressed with how the main characters developed throughout the novel, though.

I was not a fan of the school setting in part one of the story. I did not realize that I am not a fan of academy settings in fantasy until this one. There was nothing wrong with it, but I just found it boring as we were just following a tedious routine. Though, as Rin learned with her studies, the reader did as well and it was a good form of world building. However, I am fascinated how this is inspired by Asian history, the Second Sino-Japanese War, as I do not know much about that part of history, so I am going to read up more on that now that I have finished the book.

Again, with the first part, the writing was not special and just felt tedious. I was constantly looking to see how much more of the chapter I had left. Just wanting it to end. Then, we get to part two and in the middle of a war. This book just changed completely once we got to that part. The reader is given lyrical and beautiful scenes that can be vividly imagined. Part two is filled with great dialogue, in my opinion the character of Altan had the best dialogue of the whole book. In part three, we randomly get a scroll, I think this was out of place and not necessary. The writing has a sudden snap between parts one and two but boy am I glad that it did. Kuang really knows how to show the brutalities of war. I have not seen a writer in television or in novels showcase it in such a brutal, dark, and realistic way. She was not afraid of what she was writing.

As stated before, the plot in the first part of the story really slogged by. Get to the second and third part, it flew by, and I was shocked by how fast that I was getting through one hundred pages. This was not predictable; I am looking through my annotations and so many of my theories were wrong! That is fun though because it was a constant page turner and all the twists made sense. The main themes of the story to me are the cruelty of war and what war can do to a person, to a society. The reasons that this book is not getting a five star or even a four and half is because the way that part one was paced and then chapter twenty-three and twenty-four just kind of lost me. I did not like that part of the story.

The main characters are well developed and a new edition to the adult portion of the fantasy genre. No one was black or white, these characters were realistic with strengths and weaknesses. The reader will never expect the people these characters become. The setting did not play a huge role in the story; however, the school setting and the characters learning was a good way to show world building. The author really knows how to show the brutalities of war. I have not seen a writer in television or in novels showcase it in such a brutal, dark, and realistic way. The first part of the story was very slow and then the middle and end were fast paced. I wish the pacing was arranged better. I will be continuing this series, I hope that we can see this story brought to a screen, one day soon.

4 out of 5 stars.

‘Mexican Gothic’ Book Review

Noemí’s father, receives a troubling letter from her cousin, Catalina. The letters entails that the cousin is be poisoned by her new husband and that ghosts float around her new home. Something obviously is not right there and Noemí’s father sends her on her way to see what the matter with Catalina is.

Noemí is a city girl, having grown up in Mexico City. her family is that of new money from their dye and paint business. Noemí lives a life of fine parties and debutante balls. She does not seem like the likely superhero. She goes to the strict country home Catalina is living with her husband’s English family. There are rules of no smoking, no talking at the table, no leaving the house unattended. It is like a prison to Noemí. She is barely allowed to see her cousin and the only one she becomes close to in the family is the youngest son, Francis. He is the one to help her uncover all the secrets of the High Place house.

Starting with the first chapter, I liked Noemí. She is a strong and intelligent woman and not afraid to march to the beat of her own drum. However, throughout the story we come to find that there are not really any negative traits coming from her. She is a Mary Sue. The tension with Noemí and Virgil was so good at the start but just like her, he was only seen in black and white. These characters are one dimensional, either good or evil, no one is morally gray. I wish that Moreno-Garcia would have expanded their stories more so that we could connect with them.

The atmosphere was perfect and exactly is what the title of ‘Mexican Gothic’ describes. In the story, the characters even compare the house to that of the houses in Wuthering Heights and other Bronte novels. This really does read like a book out of the Victorian era even if it takes place in the fifties and was written in 2020. I love stories set at manors and this one did not disappoint with that setting.

The writing did not impress me. It was rather dry and at times I just felt myself skimming through the paragraphs, especially when I was convinced that this story would not be getting any better. Also, there were a few typos, like missing apostrophes and comas! As this is a horror, I expect to be creeped out or made uncomfortable but for that first 70% I was just like; “okay, kind of messed up but moving on”. I did not really feel anything for the writing until the last three chapters when the emotions were flying off the pages and into the reader’s mind.

The author truly took her time with this one. For the first seventy percent of this book, I just wanted something to happen instead of wandering around this manner and having the main character complain about all the rules and the members of the Doyle family. I do think taking time with your plot is a good thing but not when your characters are so flatly written so the reader does not have characters to analyze or a plot to enjoy! The element of horror that was present here was not to predict. I was able to find out the basis of it but not the little details. I wish that we would have had more building on this element and magic as we are just presented it with not a ton of background knowledge, I would like to know more. I was just bored, and I was scared that this would send me into a reading slump.

The characters were dry and flat, there was no development to them. Everyone was either good or evil, no one in the middle. Mexican gothic, that was exactly the atmosphere we were given, and it was perfect. It had the eerie feeling of a classic novel even if we were in Latin America. I really enjoyed the atmosphere, and it was the only thing I liked in this story. The writing was like the characters, flat and I found myself skimming a lot, which is never a good sign. The plot took a while to get into, most of the book. The pace did not pick up until the last three chapters of the whole novel. This is the second book that I have read from this author, and I will give her one more chance. This story did not impress me and if I did not have to write a review, I would have marked it as a DNF.

‘My Best Friend’s Exorcism’ Book Review

Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since elementary school, when Gretchen was the only one to show up to Abby’s birthday party. Flash forward to high school, after an experience of trying acid, for the first time, things get strange. Gretchen keeps feeling like something is touching her, she stares off at nothing, and says random things that do not make any sense. Aby concludes that her best friend must be possessed by a demon. She now must set out on a mission to get her best friend back.

The characters were interesting – one of the best parts. Gretchen had a fascinating backstory and was the most developed character, even though she was not the main point of view that the reader follows. However, Abby, was very relatable and my favorite character. One let down is that I wish the side characters had been developed more.

The atmosphere was my favorite part. As everyone knows, I love the eighties. just the fashion and pop culture references were so much fun. Another thing is that the book takes place in South Carolina, my home state. I loved reading about locations that I am familiar with.

The writing was nothing special. The plot took a long time to get into. This is a short book, barely over three hundred pages but felt way longer. It could have been diced down a lot. The writing just didn’t grip me.

By the description on the back of the book the plot sounds interesting. As sate before, it took a while to get into. There was lots of buildup and then the exorcism was only a few short chapters. That should have been played out more as it is the title of the book.

The characters were interesting. Gretchen had a good backstory and I felt as though she was the most developed, even though she wasn’t the POV. However, Abby was relatable, and I couldn’t help but have her as my favorite character. The atmosphere was by far my favorite part. It’s setting in South Carolina and in the eighties, what more could I ask for? The writing was average. It felt so slow even though the book was a little over 300 pages. It just didn’t grip me. The plot had a lot of buildup and then the exorcism was a few short chapters. If you’re a fan of Fear Street, I got a lot of those vibes, mix in IT and Stranger Things season two. Not the best book that I’ve read but I don’t regret the experience.
3.5 out of 5 stars.

September 2021 Reading Wrap-up

In September I read 1,915 pages across five different books. It was an average reading month. One of the books I would consider great, two were good, one was average, and sadly, one was bad. I completed my to be read list so that means next month I get to read a book of my choice instead of one that was pulled out of the TBR jar. Here are my thoughts on the September books!

I really enjoyed this installment in the Stranger Things books. Max was already one of my favorite characters and this just made her feel a little bit more relatable. (I still think Robin is the character I relate to the most by the Rebel Robin podcast.) We really get to see Max develop through this story and we get to see how her relationship with Billy got to point it is at and why they are so tense with one another. The reader also gets to immerse themselves into Hawkins as that has not been done in any of the previous books, it feels like home in a way. This book was fast paced but I would not say thrilling, I almost wanted to binge read it, but I stood my ground and kept my read a book in three days going. The plot might throw some readers off, but I thought it added more to season two as we got to see it through another set of eyes.

The characters of this novel were amazing and well developed. Throughout my time reading this, I was thinking of actors who could play them in a film. (Anya Taylor-Joy for Camila, by the way). I will be thinking about them for a while. The setting was very well fitting for a story such as this one. The writing was poetic, but it dragged and seemed to go on for ages. I would really recommend this to fans of Pat Conroy. This plot was interesting, and I was wondering how it would end and what would happen, but the writing just wore it down for me. (I did the audiobook for this one).

The characters were not anything new to the genre, if you have read any other recent young adult fantasy than you are more than aware of these traits. The setting of an English manor is always one that piques my interest and if you like gothic or classic British literature then you will probably enjoy this setting. The writing was fast paced and easy to read. The plot was something new but just was not done properly, there was not enough building or foundation on the magic system. An average read.

I did enjoy this read. The characters did annoy me at times but overall, they were well written, and I can see that sometimes just committing to someone is hard for some people. I like that we did get both women’s perspectives to see what Jake was trying to choose between. I don’t think these characters were likeable, but they were real. Elin Hilderbrand can paint a beautiful setting and really immerse you into it. The writing was fast, but you never truly felt like anything was left out. I don’t think this needed to be a forbidden romance but then it wouldn’t be as exciting, would it be?

Kya is an unforgettable character, and, in a sense, we really grow with her throughout the story and become connected with the marshlands that she calls her home. In my head I can see the shack and have a perfect picture of what the marsh and the small beach community look like. This is a science and English lover’s dream of a book; beautiful writing yet that sense of biology and learning about the ecosystem. The plot is unique like our main character and had tropes that I love. There were some things that I thought were random and some lose ends that I found that did not tie together nicely but I cannot discuss that here as there would be spoilers. Overall, this was a good book to end September with and I look forward to future books that the author might release.

The overall average for the rating of the September books are a 3.5 out of 5 stars!

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‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ Book Review

The golden boy, Chase Andrews, of a small, coastal North Carolina town is found dead in the marsh that surrounds the community. In the marsh resides, the Marsh Girl, or Kya. The townspeople think that Kya is feral and wild. She cannot be put in with modern society. All of that is wrong though. She had learned almost everything she knows from the land around her and is a budding biologist even though she has only attended one day of school in her life. She is desperate for love and a family after all those close to her have left her behind to fend for herself. Kya is not truly the monster that society sees her as.

Kya is a character that will be hard to forget. I truly have not read any other story that has a character even close to being like her. It’s truly interesting to see how one develops being out in the wild with slim human contact. I have read real life cases of children being raised by animals and how some can develop to learn to speak and write and then some are nonverbal for the rest of their lives. Now, that’s not the situation for Kya as she had lived with her parents and siblings for seven years for her life but much of her life she was on her own and fending for herself. Reading this however, there is a suspension of disbelief as it is hard to believe that a seven-year-old child could make do with no family and out in the wild.

Obviously for me, a book set in the Carolinas is always fun as that is where I am from. Barkley Cove, North Carolina is the fictional town where this novel takes place. I wish we had a more precise location of where it would be located as North Carolina does have quite the coastline but it’s about an hour from Greenville. The dialect was spot on throughout the book, sometimes I struggle with how dialect is written in books but this one really hit the nail on the head for how we, Carolinians, speak. This is a knit pick and most probably would not pick up on it, but it seems like Asheville is the only city that characters really go to. Asheville is a good six hours inland so it’s hard for me to believe they would go that far when there are places like Charlotte, Fayetteville, Raleigh, and Wilmington that are much closer.

One of the lines in the book says, “written so often in biological phrases blended with poetic descriptions,” I think that is the perfect way to describe the writing that Delia Owens has presented the reader in ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’. The writing is immersive and really gets you into the story. It was never too much, and it was not too little either.

The plot in this is very fascinating and unlike any other that I have read. It really hits a lot of the boxes that I like, dual timeline, Carolina setting, and midcentury. I was trying to solve the mystery of the book throughout and was kind of let down by how it played out. There are still some loose ends there. I was not a huge fan of the poetry aspect, either, I have nothing against poetry but just felt like it was randomly thrown in. As stated in the character category, the reader will need to have a suspension of disbelief as some of this is hard to believe that these events could really happen. However, I emotionally felt attached this book and was having real outload reactions to what I was reading and felt strongly about the points that were taking place inside of the plot. This plot was like non other, and I do not think that I will forget it. There is so much that I could say but I think this is a good book to go into having a little bit of mystery around it.

Kya is an unforgettable character, and, in a sense, we really grow with her throughout the story and become connected with the marshlands that she calls her home. In my head I can see the shack and have a perfect picture of what the marsh and the small beach community. This is a science and English lover’s dream of a book; beautiful writing yet that sense of biology and learning about the ecosystem. The plot is unique like our main character and had tropes that I love. There were some things that I thought were random and some lose ends that I found that did not tie together nicely but I cannot discuss that here as there would be spoilers. Overall, this was a good book to end September with and I look forward to future books that the author might release.

4 out of 5 stars.

Check out my YouTube, I did live discussions for this read. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2fN0pKnNYQhyA_hRCYm8tg

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’28 Summers’ Book Review

In 1993, Mallory Blessing inherits a home, on Nantucket, from a beloved aunt. Her older brother wants to host a guys weekend at the house but that results in all the guys leaving except one, Jake. Jake and Mallory spend the rest of Labor Day weekend alone and agree to be “same time, next year’ lovers with one another. This goes on for the next, you guessed it, 28 Summers.

Flashforward to the spring of 2020. Mallory is terminally ill and asks her son to call a phone number that is in a hidden envelope. The number belongs to Jake McCloud who is married to the woman that is likely to be the next president of the United States. The son thinks this must be some kind of mistake, but little does he know of the secret life that his mother has been having.

The characters were the highlight of this but also the downfall as well. Is that not strange? They were so realistic and developed throughout the novel. I mean, hopefully they would be as we did experience the majority of their lives alongside them. Mallory is obviously the main character here, even ahead of Jake. This is made clear towards the last quarter as we get less and less Jake and get ‘chapters’ at his wife’s perspective instead of his. I don’t think this is a mad thing as we get to see both women and how different they are from each other, but I think we still should have had more Jake towards the end. Now, here is why they were the downfall. It might just be because cheating frustrates me, I just don’t get why these two could not get together. Later, in the more recent years it makes sense as Ursula, Jake’s wife is a famous politician, but before that when they’re all young and out of college. Why could they not just start a relationship? I think it is really immature from both our main leads.

Elin Hilderbrand does a great job at making the reader visualize Nantucket. I have never been, but I did not have a hard time at all picturing the little beach cottage and then the island in my head. I also liked how the majority of the characters were from Baltimore as that is an important place to me. Shoutout to the University of South Carolina representation as well!

Early on the writing felt as though we were reading a gossip column but later, I felt as though it got more like a novel, more personal. Again, Hilderbrand is a descriptive writer, but she does not go on and on and I really appreciate that. This was fast paced even though this is over four hundred pages, which is huge for a romance novel! I was shocked how fast it went by, sometimes I did not believe that I had read eighty pages. Quick and fun read.

I think that I gave enough of my thoughts on the plot in the character category. I just don’t understand why this was considered a forbidden romance at the start. I feel like if they really did truly love each other as much as they seemed to, then they would just come clean and become a couple. It just really bothered me. I do not know if it was pride of immaturity that they would not do it, who knows. I do like that we went through this much time with the characters as most romance books last only a week or month but here, we went through three decades, pretty amazing.

I did enjoy this read. The characters did annoy me at times but overall, they were well written, and I can see that sometimes just committing to someone is hard for some people. I like that we did get both women’s perspectives to see what Jake was trying to choose between. I don’t think these characters were likeable, but they were real. Elin Hilderbrand can paint a beautiful setting and really immerse you into it. The writing was fast, but you never truly felt like anything was left out. I don’t think this needed to be a forbidden romance but then it wouldn’t be as exciting, would it be?

4.5 out of 5 stars.

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‘Shatter the Sky’ Book Review

Maren’s girlfriend is kidnapped by the Aurati, prophets for the emperor. Maren has to do everything in her power to get Kaia back… that includes stealing a dragon. She becomes an apprentice in a faraway kingdom to one of the women that took her love. Maren uncovers all kinds of secrets about princes and empires all while trying to save Kaia from a terrible end.

The characters in this were like the characters in every other young adult fantasy novel on the shelf. Seventeen, outcast, and on a mission, that describes Maren and most fantasy heroines. In an honesty she a was a bit of a Mary Sue. This book was nothing new and I will continue to say that throughout this review.

World building was one of the pluses for this novel. The start a book really shows you how this world is and how the emperor rules with an iron fist. I just wish that there would have been a map somewhere in this book. There might be in other editions but not in the Litjoy Crate version!

The writing was not anything special. It seemed like the characters teleported a lot. Again, there was no map so I am not sure the distances of each kingdom but the characters made it seem like it would be a long way and then they would get to said location in five pages. I don’t know.

The plot has all the common tropes of the fantasy genre. Saving someone taken by evil forces, a tyrant ruler, a lost prince, the chosen one, love triangles, all of that! Everything that readers have seen and read before. It brought nothing new to the table.

I feel as though this was not intriguing for me. The moments that were supposed to be big plot twists, they didn’t wow me, I was just like ‘okay, cool.” Nothing too exciting. This has just all been done before. Lots of common tropes.

This was an average read for me. It was not bad it was just like I had already read this story before. I think if you are a fan of young adult fantasy novels, like Girls of Paper and Fire, then you might enjoy this one. I will not be picking up the second book, I think it will be very similar to this one just with some of the roles reversed.

3 out of 5 stars.

I filmed my experience reading this book, you can check that out here: SHATTER THE SKY: READING VLOG | MARCH 19 – 22, 2021 – YouTube

It will up on my Facebook page later this week! Izzy Rain | Facebook

‘She Would Be King’ Book Review

Three people are born into the world in the nineteenth century. They all have the world against them but each of the three is born with a gift. Gbessa is born in a West African village on the day that a terrible event has occurred, therefore she is cursed and exiled from her people. She cannot be killed. June Dey, is born to two people who both foster paranormal powers, both parents die when he is young. His power is super strength which he uses to survive in a Virginia that is known for its plantation slavery. Lastly, there is Norman, his father was a British Colonizer in Jamaica who took advantage of his Maroon slave, Norman’s mother. Norman shares the same powers as his mother, he can disappear. They all come together in Monrovia to use their gifts to fix the rifts that are held between the African American settlers and the native tribes.

There were three main characters and they all felt like main characters. Each and every one of them felt important to the story and they were all equally interesting. A lot of books have that issue when there are multiple point of views, where it is obvious the author had a favorite character and did not build as much on the others. That is not an issue with ‘She Would Be King’, Moore did a fantastic job at making sure all the characters had depth to them and that they developed throughout the story. Another thing that I would like to point out is that their powers did not define them, they had something to them other than their gifts.

The reader really gets immersed into this story. I do not know what did it, I think maybe it was just the history and a world that I did not know much about. I like that our characters all came from different backgrounds but yet were still similar and you could see how they can relate to one another. Even though their walks of life were all so different.

The writing did have a magical feel to it to go along with the magical realism genre that is thrown into this story. I think that the author could really succeed in building her own world in a fantasy or sci-fi novel. This is Moore’s debut work and I would like to see what other ideas she has.

This plot reminded me a lot of One Hundred Years of Solitude, with it being magical realism and then the story has a location building around it. In the case of this novel it is a country rather than a village. I am so happy that all our characters did have to come together as well. I hate when you read a novel with multiple view points but they never connect, the reader will not get that here. I learned so much here. I have, of course, heard of Liberia but I honestly do nothing else behind the name and location. I have zero idea why we did not learn this in school. I think it is important to American history to learn how freed African Americans made their way back to Africa to start a country of their own. Very interesting.

My one complaint is that the ending was not satisfying. It is open-ended. I feel like maybe we, the readers, can have a sense of hope or worry about what might happen to the characters. If this is what they were made to do, if this is how they are supposed to end. We don’t know but maybe that is poetic in a way.

I enjoyed this novel as it opened so many doors of research for me. Trust me, I will be on my phone all night researching this time period, cultures in Africa, and the history of Liberia as a country. I learned so much, that is something I always want to get out of reading and life in general. I want to learn everything there is to know. I want to gain some bit of knowledge out of everything that I do and I gained a lot of that with She Would Be King. I will be adding any other work by Wayetu Moore onto my to be read list as I do think she is a good writer. I recommend this book to all of you!

3.5 out of 5 stars.

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March 2021 Anticipated Releases

This list is all going to be historical fiction. It seems in the historical romance genre most of the releases are continuations of series that I have not read. Other genres, I just could not find any books that I would be interested in reading. Be sure to comment and let me know of any books that I might have left out!

In eighteenth century London, Nella was once a healer but has taken those talent to the more evil side of things. She now runs a business that makes poisons to sell to women who are looking to kill a man. A young, preteen, girl comes into Nella’s shop one winter night. This sets the ball rolling on something that might expose all the women she had sold her poisons to. Two centuries later, Caroline finds an old vial near the Thames. It links back to a series of apothecary murders from the past. You guys can pick this as your Book of the Month pick this month!

Vera is the illegitimate daughter of one of San Francisco’s notorious proprietors. They deal with the cities scheming politicians and the more underground and gritty criminals. Vera is stuck between the two worlds, the posh life of the rich or the violent life of her family. The two words collide just like the tectonic plates on the day of the great San Francisco quake. This book was released this week on March 2, 2021.

This story crosses generations of French women who have come to this castle across hundreds of years. We first come across Adrienne Lafayette, who’s husband was known for helping the Americans get their freedom from the English. His idealism has inspired their home country to start a revolution of its own. Almost two hundred years later, we meet an American socialite, Beatrice Chanler. She sees firsthand the damage that is being done by the first world war in France. She takes on for what seems like an impossible challenge, to get America to come to the aid of the French. In 1940, teacher, Marthe Simone, is just trying to ignore the war that is happening in Europe. That is until her country is taken over by the Nazis. Her life is transformed as she tries to find solace in these castle walls. You can purchase this book starting on March 30, 2021!

Jeanette is struggling to overcome an addiction in modern day Miami. She is the daughter of a Cuban immigrant. She wants to know more about her family history but her mother is hesitant to talk. Her mother, Carmen, is dealing with the struggles of being a mother and then the strained relationship she has with her own mother who is back in Cuba. Jeanette is tired of getting out nothing out of her mother so she decides to go to Cuba on her own to meet with her grandmother. Secrets come out going all the way back to the nineteenth century. This book will also be released on March 30, 2021.

Let’s take things back to World War II, shall we? Nina has never wanted the life that women of her time are supposed to live but she feels stuck when her brothers moves to America and her mother is left alone in Italy. She cannot just abandon the women who raised her. Her childhood friend returns to their small village after a time apart. A spark lights up between the two of them as tensions rise in Europe. Her friend has to return to his job in the states and Nina is left once again wanting to go with him but cannot. Nina’s dreams get tossed aside as her country is taken under the control of Mussolini and she loses contact with her lover, Pietro. This book will be available to read on Tuesday, March 8, 2021.

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