Review: The Book of Speculation

The Book of Speculation
The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Dnf. Simon is too whiny and depressing. Just got to the part with grandma Visser and was disgusted. Maybe I will come back to this when I’m looking for a book to bring me down.

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Review: Trouble is a Friend of Mine

Trouble is a Friend of Mine
Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this novel about a few sixteen year olds trying to find out what happened to a fellow student who disappeared. There’s a side story that runs parallel about the disappearance of Digby’s sister, but clearly (hopefully) it’s a setup for the next book in a series.

I found the characters to be surprisingly likable and was rooting on Digby and Zoe. Sure, I don’t know anyone that thinks or talks like Digby. He’s extremely smart and seemingly knows what’s going on anywhere at anytime. But honestly, it’s a story. Suspend a little belief and just enjoy the snarky banter between the group.

If there were to be another story in this series, I would definitely read it.

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Review: First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen

First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen
First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen by Charlie Lovett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really liked this book. This book was one of the rare few books where you’re sad to leave their world. That being said… There were a few things that really irked me.

The minor issue was with Jane hanging out with a man sixty years her senior alone. I find that would have been no way possible for her to do so without a chaperone. But the author went through great lengths to make it seem no one minded. So whatever.

My biggest peeve was with Sophie and Winston. How is it possible that she mopes about her previous boyfriend and frightened to date, but then immediately hops into bed with Winston?

“Sophie sat bolt upright in bed. Was it possible that the printer who started the Bayfield library was Gilbert Monkhouse? And might some of Monkhouse’s books still sit in the family library? And did Winston know all this and think he could somehow extort these books from Sophie with his charm and good looks and promises of sex?”

Don’t be stupid this is the exact reason.

She finds out that no one by the name of Winston ever went to St. JOHNS, that he must have know the inscription was to Jane Austen and she ignores all that?

“After the first time, they ordered room service. After the second time, Winston fell asleep and Sophie was just drifting off to the muffled sounds of the Oxford traffic when she remembered something and nudged him with her elbow.”

Oh for god’s sake here we go again. Seriously, if you read this book and Winston’s name is mentioned it will be accompanied with something along the lines of having sex.

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Review: Cocktails at Le Carmen

Cocktails at Le Carmen
Cocktails at Le Carmen by Isabelle Andover
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

**I did not finish this book. I made it to about 16% and decided that this one wasn’t for me.**

Here’s a quote taken from the page NetGalley’s description on this book A delightful debut that harks back to the early days of Chick Lit when heroines were flawed, funny, and forever battling for love and happiness. With quirky characters and classic comedic charm, Cocktails at Le Carmen is pure fun from page one.

The main character Chloe is not flawed at all. So much so that her job didn’t fire her when they were downsizing, but instead promoted her. Not even a temp position in the mailroom, but a real promotion that would have her living in Paris of all places. Her boyfriend apparently is someone so good looking that she never thought he’d date her. “When ridiculously tall and good-looking Scott Mathews careered by in a conga line and pulled me into it, I immediately dismissed him as just another privileged idiot up for a laugh. Or rather, I suppose I’d salivated a little at the sheer attractiveness of him first, before quickly deciding that he was definitely out of my league…”. Yup, super flawed. So far the most flawed thing about her is she speaks French with an English accent *Gasps*! She didn’t go off on a tangent when she found two tickets to New York that her boyfriend was hiding, didn’t attempt to hint around them to see what he had planned. Didn’t get upset with him when he walked into her goodbye party already drunk. Didn’t spaz out when he had to “leave” for work instead of seeing her off to Paris. So far she’s the ideal, keeping it cool type of a girl. Seriously, there’s nothing flawed about her character at all. Her appearance was never really explained besides her mom instilling in her daughter the want for expensive clothes and that she has brown hair.

The thing is I just wasn’t excited to read about her. I’d find myself with some time to read and groan internally remembering that this was the book currently on my device. The story up to that part felt long and rambling, dense. Like a block of text that I could feel my eyes start to haze over when I’d go to read.

This book unfortunately just wasn’t for me.

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Review: Wicked Charms

Wicked Charms
Wicked Charms by Janet Evanovich
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have never read a Janet Evanovich book before, but have always wanted too. Thanks to NetGalley I got Wicked Charms to read and started right in on it after I was finished my last book.

I initially started off a little confused as to who was who and what they were. So to those thinking of picking up the series from here would benefit from reading the other two books first.

Without trying to give too much away I’ll say this book was like Scooby Doo and the gang for adults. It at times was so goofy that I rolled my eyes and thought that the situation literally made no sense unless I pretended I was watching an episode of Scooby Doo. Only Scooby Doo and the gang did less idiotic things.


Be prepared for someone to be abducted towards the middle of the story about every other five pages. Oh did Diesel leave Lizzy two minutes ago? Watch out, here’s the bad guys coming to abduct her! What’s Glo doing being repelled down into the middle of the scene after we’ve forgotten about her? Yes she was abducted. GRAMPS NOOOOO, NOT GRAMPS! That’s right, abducted! It was becoming painfully predictable that if Diesel left the scene, or when it was stated “we left them leave the security of their hiding place”, that someone was going to be snatched.

The story is all about finding the stone of avarice to unleash the great demon Mammon. So why in the whole wide world would M.Ammon’s trusted devotee after 80% of the story agree to return the stone his master fought so hard to gain control of for the treasure instead? That whole part made zero sense to me. Not even pretending this to be Scooby Doo helped. Speaking to this, again why would she go out to the enemies car, unaccompanied or without a weapon to try an identify the stone? Even though they didn’t *gasp* kidnap her at this point, it’s just a dumb thing to do. (Don’t worry folks, she’ll be kidnapped a few pages later, again.)

The ending was just so convenient that as soon as Rutherford got the gun I just knew that M.Ammon would die. Thus solving any real need for Lizzy to learn to protect herself or try to figure out a way for her to get herself out of the situation.


Most of the story wouldn’t have occurred if Lizzy possessed some self defense. Most of the time she was waiting for Diesel to save her.

Even though I had issues with the lack of woman power, and the situations they landed themselves in sometimes made no sense, I still wouldn’t mind reading the first two. Just have to have the mind frame that these are super goofy, and when Lizzy or another character finds themselves doing something stupid, I’ll just roll my eyes and think “oh that and their craziness!”

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Review: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I didn’t think I’d like the story very much. My first note I’d written down was “Sara’s a plain bookworm and Amy’s dead. Sara’s a plain bookworm and Amy’s dead. Repeat” Because by 13% that’s all I had felt that I’d read. Sara’s a plain bookworm and Amy’s dead. But by 30% I found myself stealing glances at my tablet at work trying to read a line or two, eventually giving up and placing my tablet right between my two monitors with a ready excuse of waiting for something to load in case someone asked.

After having finished the book I’m sad it’s over. I tend to like the accomplishment of finishing a book so much that I will see how many pages I have left, but at the same time (if it’s a good book) be sad when I realize it’s almost over. This was the case with ‘The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend’. I look forward to reading anymore Katarina Bivald writes.

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Review: The Last Bookaneer

The Last Bookaneer
The Last Bookaneer by Matthew Pearl
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love books about books. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers are my two favorites. I find it irresistible when I come across a book that is a story about books. Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan – awesome! The Club Dumas by Arturo Pérez-Reverte – great. Anyways, when I saw this book I knew I had to give it a chance.

I have in the past tried reading The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl and had given up only a chapter or two in, so I really didn’t believe I’d make it far. However this book was different. I found myself in the middle of the day wondering if Davenport would revel anything about himself. I wondered if Davenport and Fergin’s would be able to steal from Stevenson. I wanted to hear more of Clover’s story.

This book does not disappoint. If you love books about books, literary pirates, little island nations, love lost, then this really is a book you should read.

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Review: Letters to Zell

Letters to Zell
Letters to Zell by Camille Griep
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I didn’t finish it sadly. I started out about a week ago reading this and found it hard to want to complete.

At first, it was difficult to keep track of who was who. Had to make a Google Keep note on which princess was which. Then as the pages wore on I realized that I didn’t care much for the story, or the style. It’s all written as letters to Rapunzel. Perhaps had the story been written differently I wouldn’t have given up so soon.

As far as the characters go, the only one I liked was Cinderella (CeCi). She was the only one that was normal, not too naive and sweet like Sleeping Beauty (Rory), or an overbearing know-it-all like Snow White (Bianca).

Also, the talk of Pages that needed to be complete made no sense to me. Their story as far as it goes should have already been completed since it was set in our age. But speaking to that, had I been more into fairy tales I might have enjoyed this more. My only knowledge being Disney from when I was kid.

I found too the blending of other fairy tales and other alternative realities to be clumsy. Talk of going to Wonderland, or visiting Oz, getting something from the Hansel and Gretel bakery was too much. I get that this is a world of human imagination, it just felt as if it were all mashed into the story for the sake of being cute. It wasn’t, it got old.

I will say that I skipped all of the middle and read the end. The ending wasn’t bad and perhaps in the future I will come back and keep progressing through the story, even though the ending did a nice job summing everything up.

This is an honest review for my copy from NetGalley.

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Review: The Rose of Fire

The Rose of Fire
The Rose of Fire by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s work and this did not disappoint (even if it was only 16 pages long).

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Review: The Door

The Door
The Door by Mary Roberts Rinehart
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had a hard time getting into this book and remembering all the characters. Judy, Karthrine, Ms. Bell, Joseph, Jim, Sarah, Dick, and that’s those that I can remember, there’s more. I had a hard time too getting into the linear storytelling, “Had I known what I know now, this story would be different, but I’m not gonna tell you cause we aren’t at that part of the story, but only if!” Thinking back, that might have been the beginning to most of the chapters.

For all of its faults, I did like the characters and was a pretty decent mystery.

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