Review

Review – Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake

Book cover of Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake

Title: Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake
Author: Alexis Hall
Rating: ★★★★☆
Read: October 24-28, 2021
Book Read in 2021: 120
Format: Audiobook
Page Count: 448
Genre:
Romance
Publisher:
Forever

Synopsis: Following the recipe is the key to a successful bake. Rosaline Palmer has always lived by those rules—well, except for when she dropped out of college to raise her daughter, Amelie. Now, with a paycheck as useful as greaseproof paper and a house crumbling faster than biscuits in tea, she’s teetering on the edge of financial disaster. But where there’s a whisk there’s a way . . . and Rosaline has just landed a spot on the nation’s most beloved baking show.

Winning the prize money would give her daughter the life she deserves—and Rosaline is determined to stick to the instructions. However, more than collapsing trifles stand between Rosaline and sweet, sweet victory.  Suave, well-educated, and parent-approved Alain Pope knows all the right moves to sweep her off her feet, but it’s shy electrician Harry Dobson who makes Rosaline question her long-held beliefs—about herself, her family, and her desires.

Rosaline fears falling for Harry is a guaranteed recipe for disaster. Yet as the competition—and the ovens—heat up, Rosaline starts to realize the most delicious bakes come from the heart.

Review: A highly entertaining romance novel that left me wishing there was a baking competition romcom movement for upcoming novels.

I need more and I need them all. Please let this become the new “it” thing!

Review

Book Review – And Then There Were None

Book cover of And then there were none

Title: And Then There Were None
Author: Agatha Christie
Rating: ★★★★★
Read: October 25-26, 2021
Book Read in 2021: 119
Format: Audiobook
Page Count: 300
Genre:
Mystery
Publisher:
HarperAudio

Synopsis: First, there were ten—a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a little private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they’re unwilling to reveal—and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. A famous nursery rhyme is framed and hung in every room of the mansion:

“Ten little boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were nine. Nine little boys sat up very late; One overslept himself and then there were eight. Eight little boys traveling in Devon; One said he’d stay there then there were seven. Seven little boys chopping up sticks; One chopped himself in half and then there were six. Six little boys playing with a hive; A bumblebee stung one and then there were five. Five little boys going in for law; One got in Chancery and then there were four. Four little boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one and then there were three. Three little boys walking in the zoo; A big bear hugged one and then there were two. Two little boys sitting in the sun; One got frizzled up and then there was one. One little boy left all alone; He went out and hanged himself and then there were none.”

When they realize that murders are occurring as described in the rhyme, terror mounts. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. Who has choreographed this dastardly scheme? And who will be left to tell the tale? Only the dead are above suspicion.

Review: After reading a retelling of this story, I felt an overwhelming need to do a reread of one of my favourite books ever.

This is one of Christie’s most famous books for a very good reason. With a twist that will leave your jaw on the floor for days and a completely unnerving setting, this addictive read will make you understand why she’s called the Queen of Mystery.

Review

Book Review – Ten

Book cover of Ten

Title: Ten
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Rating: ★★★★☆
Read: October 23-25, 2021
Book Read in 2021: 118
Format: eBook
Page Count: 294
Genre:
YA Mystery
Publisher:
Balzer + Bray

Synopsis: It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie are looking forward to two days of boys, booze, and fun-filled luxury. But what starts out as fun turns twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine. And things only get worse from there.

With a storm raging outside, the teens are cut off from the outside world . . . so when a mysterious killer begins picking them off one by one, there’s no escape. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on one another, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

Review: If you’re planning to read this, I would suggest reading And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie first. It’s a great book so you should read it anyway.

Ten was a pretty solid YA retelling. Entertaining and thrilling, as well as being full of your expected YA tropes.

I recommend this if you’re a YA mystery fan.

Review

Book Review – The Bone Houses

Book cover of The bone houses

Title: The Bone Houses
Author: Emily Lloyd-Jones
Rating: ★★★★★
Read: October 21-23, 2021
Book Read in 2021: 117
Format: Audiobook
Page Count: 335
Genre:
YA Horror
Publisher:
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Aderyn (“Ryn”) only cares about two things: her family, and her family’s graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don’t always stay dead.

The risen corpses are known as “bone houses,” and legend says that they’re the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?

Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them deep into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the long-hidden truths about themselves.

Review: This was an excellent read for spooky season. A very atmospheric adventurous tale… that happens to involve the world’s goodest goat and zombies.

I honestly went into this book blindly; I had no idea what a bone house was. I thought it was brilliant that it’s a zombie. Calling zombies “the bone houses” is my new favourite thing.

Reading this made me wish that streaming services would have something like a recommendation day where fans of books could suggest a book that they want adapted, because I would campaign the heck out of this book. It was such a visual story that it played like a movie in my head. Seeing it on screen is my new dream.

The audiobook was excellent and I recommend it.

Review

ARC Review – Mr. Wrong Number

Book cover of Mr. Wrong Number

Title: Mr. Wrong Number
Author: Lynn Painter
Rating: ★★★★★
Read: October 20-22, 2021
Book Read in 2021: 116
Format: eARC
Page Count: 352
Release Date: March 1, 2022
Genre:
Romance
Publisher:
Berkley

Synopsis: Things get textual when a steamy message from a random wrong number turns into a thrilling anonymous relationship in this hilarious rom-com by Lynn Painter.

Bad luck has always followed Olivia Marshall…or maybe she’s just the screw-up her family thinks she is. But when a What are you wearing? text from a random wrong number turns into the hottest, most entertaining–albeit anonymous–relationship of her life, she thinks things might be on the upswing….

Colin Beck has always considered Olivia his best friend’s annoying little sister, but when she moves in with them after one of her worst runs of luck, he realizes she’s turned into an altogether different and sexier distraction. He’s sure he can keep his distance, until the moment he discovers she’s the irresistible Miss Misdial he’s been sort of sexting for weeks–and now he has to decide whether to turn the heat up or ghost her before things get messy.

Review: I’m calling it right now. Lynn Painter is going to become a huge name in romcoms. Whether it be YA or adult or both, Painter is going to be a STAR!

I read and devoured Painter’s YA novel Better Than the Movies, so needless to say, I was very excited for Mr. Wrong Number.

The anonymous relationship trope is my number one ultimate favourite romance trope. Having my new favourite author write a book with my forever favourite trope was like a gift from the heavens.

I adored every single thing about this book and its characters. Olivia is the BEST! I love her so much. If you love Hazel from Christina Lauren’s Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, then you are going to adore Olivia.

All of my fellow romcom lovers are going to want to pick up this adorable story.

*Disclaimer* I received an eARC of this book. An honest review was provided.

Review

Book Review – As Good as Dead

Book cover of As good as Dead

Title: As Good as Dead
Author: Holly Jackson
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Read: September 16-20, 2021
Book Read in 2021: 115
Format: Audiobook
Page Count: 464
Series:
Book 3 of A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder
Book 1 Review:
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder
Book 2 Review:
Good Girl, Bad Blood
Genre:
YA Mystery
Publisher:
Delacorte Press

Synopsis: Pip Fitz-Amobi is haunted by the way her last investigation ended. Soon she’ll be leaving for Cambridge University but then another case finds her . . . and this time it’s all about Pip.

Pip is used to online death threats, but there’s one that catches her eye, someone who keeps asking: who will look for you when you’re the one who disappears? And it’s not just online. Pip has a stalker who knows where she lives. The police refuse to act and then Pip finds connections between her stalker and a local serial killer. The killer has been in prison for six years, but Pip suspects that the wrong man is behind bars. As the deadly game plays out, Pip realises that everything in Little Kilton is finally coming full circle. If Pip doesn’t find the answers, this time she will be the one who disappears . . .

Review: I can describe this book in one word: disappointing.

If you had any interest in reading these books, I suggest sticking with book one and marvelling in its glory. If you move on to book two, you’ll be left wanting closure so you’ll be drawn to read book three which will leave you feeling as annoyed as I am right now.

Review

Book Review – There’s Someone Inside Your House

Book cover of There’s Someone Inside Your House

Title: There’s Someone Inside Your House
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Rating: ★★★★★
Read: October 13-14, 2021
Book Read in 2021: 114
Format: Audiobook
Page Count: 287
Genre:
YA Horror
Publisher:
Dutton Books for Young Readers

Synopsis: Love hurts…

Makani Young thought she’d left her dark past behind her in Hawaii, settling in with her grandmother in landlocked Nebraska. She’s found new friends and has even started to fall for mysterious outsider Ollie Larsson. But her past isn’t far behind.

Then, one by one, the students of Osborne Hugh begin to die in a series f gruesome murders, each with increasingly grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and her feelings for Ollie intensify, Makani is forced to confront her own dark secrets.

Review: I have no idea why this book got so many 1-3 star reviews. This book was a hoot. It was like revisiting all of my favourite 90s movies.

As a girl who spent most of her teens devouring slasher movies, this felt like the ultimate nostalgia for me.

Review

Book Review – Some Girls Do

Book cover of Some girls do

Title: Some Girls Do
Author: Jennifer Dugan
Rating: ★★★★☆
Read: October 9-12, 2021
Book Read in 2021: 113
Format: Audiobook
Page Count: 336
Genre:
YA Contemporary
Publisher:
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Synopsis: In this YA contemporary queer romance from the author of ‘Hot Dog Girl’, an openly gay track star falls for a closeted, bisexual teen beauty queen with a penchant for fixing up old cars.

Morgan, an elite track athlete, is forced to transfer high schools in her senior year after it turns out being queer is against her private Catholic school’s code of conduct. There, she meets Ruby, who has two hobbies: tinkering with her baby blue 1970 Ford Torino and competing in local beauty pageants., the latter to live out the dreams of her overbearing mother. The two are drawn to each other and can’t deny their growing feeling. But while Morgan – out and proud, and determined to have a fresh start – doesn’t want to have to keep their budding relationship a secret. Ruby isn’t ready to come out yet. With each girl on a different path toward living her truth, can they go the distance together?

Review: If you’re going to read Jennifer Dugan’s books, I honestly can’t stress this enough: read the audiobooks.

Dugan has been audiobook blessed! Every single narrator has been beyond perfect.

Some Girls Do is probably my favourite audio of the three currently published, but Verona Comics is my favourite story.

Great reads if you’re wanting great LGBTQ+ rep YA books.

Review

Book Review – The Hawthorne Legacy

Book cover of the Hawthorne Legacy

Title: The Hawthorne Legacy
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Rating: ★★★★★
Read: October 7-9, 2021
Book Read in 2021: 112
Format: Audiobook
Page Count: 386
Series:
Book 2 of The Inheritance Games
Book 1 Review:
The Inheritance Games
Genre:
YA Mystery
Publisher:
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Synopsis: Intrigue, riches, and romance abound in this thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Inheritance Games

The Inheritance Games ended with a bombshell, and now heiress Avery Grambs has to pick up the pieces and find the man who might hold the answers to all of her questions—including why Tobias Hawthorne left his entire fortune to Avery, a virtual stranger, rather than to his own daughters or grandsons. 

Thanks to a DNA test, Avery knows that she’s not a Hawthorne by blood, but clues pile up hinting at a deeper connection to the family than she had ever imagined. As the mystery grows and the plot thickens, Grayson and Jameson, two of the enigmatic and magnetic Hawthorne grandsons, continue to pull Avery in different directions. And there are threats lurking around every corner, as adversaries emerge who will stop at nothing to see Avery out of the picture—by any means necessary. 

With nonstop action, aspirational jet-setting, Knives Out-like family intrigue, swoonworthy romance, and billions of dollars hanging in the balance, The Hawthorne Legacy will thrill Jennifer Lynn Barnes fans and new readers alike.

Review: Just as addictive as it’s predecessor, The Hawthorn Legacy felt faster paced to me. I actually loved this one even more than book one! Which I hadn’t expected.

This series is fantastic and I recommend the audiobooks.

Review

Book Review – Jerusalem’s Lot

Book cover of Jerusalem’s Lot

Title: Jerusalem’s Lot
Author: Stephen King
Rating: ★★★★☆
Read: October 9, 2021
Book Read in 2021: 111
Format: eBook
Page Count: 70
Genre:
Horror

Synopsis: “Jerusalem’s Lot” is an epistolary short story set in the fictional town of Preacher’s Corners, Cumberland County, Maine, in 1850. It is told through a series of letters and diary entries, mainly those of its main character, aristocrat Charles Boone, although his manservant, Calvin McCann, also occasionally assumes the role of narrator.

Review: Spooky and atmospheric, this is a fun read for fans of epistolary storytelling in horror.

Having read ‘Salem’s Lot it was actually neat to see how King was able to still make this feel like you’re there. When in Jerusalem’s Lot, I felt like I’d been there before. I have no idea how he pulled it off, but he did.

Review

Book Review – Origin

Book cover of Origin

Title: Origin
Author: Dan Brown
Rating: ★★★★★
Read: October 4-7, 2021
Book Read in 2021: 110
Format: Audiobook
Page Count: 480
Series:
Book 5 of Robert Langdon
Book 1 Review: Angels & Demons
Book 2 Review:
The Da Vinci Code
Book 3 Review:
The Lost Symbol
Book 4 Review:
Inferno
Genre:
Thriller
Publisher:
Doubleday

Synopsis: Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend a major announcement—the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.” The evening’s host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon’s first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough . . . one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence. As the event begins, Langdon and several hundred guests find themselves captivated by an utterly original presentation, which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch’s precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret. Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon and Vidal must evade a tormented enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain’s Royal Palace itself . . . and who will stop at nothing to silence Edmond Kirsch. On a trail marked by modern art and enigmatic symbols, Langdon and Vidal uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch’s shocking discovery . . . and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us. Origin is Dan Brown’s most brilliant and entertaining novel to date.

Review: This is definitely one of the better story arcs within the Robert Langdon series. I enjoyed the pacing a lot more than the previous two.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. This entire series is pure entertainment and that’s why I love it.

Review

Book Review – Inferno

Book cover of Inferno

Title: Inferno
Author: Dan Brown
Rating: ★★★★☆
Read: October 1-4, 2021
Book Read in 2021: 109
Format: Audiobook
Page Count: 480
Series:
Book 4 of Robert Langdon
Book 1 Review: Angels & Demons
Book 2 Review:
The Da Vinci Code
Book 3 Review:
The Lost Symbol
Genre:
Thriller
Publisher:
Doubleday

Synopsis: Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon awakens in an Italian hospital, disoriented and with no recollection of the past thirty-six hours, including the origin of the macabre object hidden in his belongings. With a relentless female assassin trailing them through Florence, he and his resourceful doctor, Sienna Brooks, are forced to flee. Embarking on a harrowing journey, they must unravel a series of codes, which are the work of a brilliant scientist whose obsession with the end of the world is matched only by his passion for one of the most influential masterpieces ever written, Dante Alighieri’s The Inferno.

Dan Brown has raised the bar yet again, combining classical Italian art, history, and literature with cutting-edge science in this sumptuously entertaining thriller.

Review: The “main character has amnesia” trope in thrillers is something I’ve always weirdly enjoyed, so I knew this was going to be a win for me.

This is a highly entertaining book BUT if you’re planning on reading this one, I might recommend waiting a few years.

Reading about a plague threat isn’t exactly easy to read about when we’re living through a global pandemic. So take heed with this one.

Review

Book Review – The Lost Symbol

Book cover of The Lost Symbol

Title: The Lost Symbol
Author: Dan Brown
Rating: ★★★★☆
Read: September 28-30, 2021
Book Read in 2021: 108
Format: Audiobook
Page Count: 528
Reread: 2nd time reading
Series:
Book 3 of Robert Langdon
Book 1 Review: Angels & Demons
Book 2 Review:
The Da Vinci Code
Genre:
Thriller
Publisher:
Doubleday

Synopsis: WHAT IS LOST…
WILL BE FOUND

In this stunning follow-up to the global phenomenon The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown demonstrates once again why he is the world’s most popular thriller writer. The Lost Symbol is a masterstroke of storytelling – a deadly race through a real-world labyrinth of codes, secrets, and unseen truths…all under the watchful eye of Brown’s most terrifying villain to date. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, DC., The Lost Symbol accelerates through a startling landscape toward an unthinkable finale.

As the story opens, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned unexpectedly to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol Building. Within minutes of his arrival, however, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object – artfully encoded with five symbols – is discovered in the Capitol Building. Langdon recognizes the object as an ancient invitation…one meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of esoteric wisdom.

When Langdon’s beloved mentor, Peter Solomon – a prominent Mason and philanthropist – is brutally kidnapped, Langdon realizes his only hope of saving Peter is to accept this mystical invitation and follow wherever it leads him. Langdon is instantly into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and never-before-seen locations – all of which seem to be dragging him toward a single, inconceivable truth.

As the world discovered in The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, Dan Brown’s novels are brilliant tapestries of veiled histories, arcane symbols, and enigmatic codes. In this new novel, he again challenges readers with an intelligent, lightning-paced story that offers surprises at every turn. The Lost Symbol is exactly what Brown’s fans have been waiting for…his most thrilling novel yet.

Review: While I may not have enjoyed the story of this one as much as it’s two predecessors, it’s still an entertaining read.

Review

ARC Review – Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships

Book cover of Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships

Title: Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships
Author: Sarah Grunder Ruiz
Rating: ★★★★★
Read: September 25-30, 2021
Book Read in 2021: 107
Format: eARC
Page Count: 336
Release Date: November 23, 2021
Genre: Romance
Publisher:
Berkley

Synopsis: Sometimes a yacht, a bold bucket list, and a kiss with a handsome stranger are all a person needs to dive into the deep end of life.

For the last year, yacht stewardess Jo Walker has been attempting to complete a bucket list of thirty things she wants to accomplish by her birthday. Jo has almost everything she’s ever wanted, including a condo on the beach (though she’s the youngest resident by thirty years) and an exciting job (albeit below deck) that lets her travel the world.

Jo is on track until a family tragedy turns her life upside down, and the list falls by the wayside. But when her two nieces show up unannounced with plans to stay the summer, they discover her list and insist on helping Jo finish it. Though the remaining eight items (which include running a marathon, visiting ten countries, and sleeping in a castle) seem impossible to complete in twelve weeks, Jo takes on the challenge.

When she summons the courage to complete item number five–kiss a stranger–and meets Alex Hayes, all bets are off. As her feelings for Alex intensify and Jo’s inability to confront difficult emotions about her family complicates her relationships, she must learn to quit playing it safe with her heart before she loses what matters most.

Review: It’s a wonderful feeling when you’re reading a book and, even before you’ve finished the first chapter, you know it’s going to end up being a five star read.

That’s what Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships is. It’s a book that immediately grabs ahold of you and doesn’t let you go.

This became not only one of the best romance books of 2021 for me, but it’s also become one of the best books I’ve read all year period.

With the topic of grief being prominent within this story, you may feel that you’ll want to put it off, but I’m begging you not to. The author touched my heart and soul throughout the entire book. It’s a beautiful and meaningful read that I’ll never ever forget.

It mixes those heavy topics perfectly with joy and humour and, of course, romance.

What I think I loved the most about this book is how many different types of love were portrayed. Naturally, you have a budding romance between the protagonist and the love interest, but the story also focuses on the love between siblings, best friends, new friends, parent and child, and aunt and nieces and nephews. It turned out to be SO much more than a romance and I can’t recommend it enough.

*Disclaimer* I received an eARC from Berkley Publishing Group on NetGalley. An honest review was provided

Review

ARC Review – Once Ghosted, Twice Shy

Book cover of Once Ghosted, Twice Shy

Title: Once Ghosted, Twice Shy
Author: Jessica Arden
Rating: ★★★★☆
Read: September 16-29, 2021
Book Read in 2021: 106
Format: eARC
Page Count: 330
Release Date: September 14, 2021
Series:
Book 1 of Ghosted Cozy Mysteries
Genre:
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
Publisher:
Wayfarer

Synopsis: Professor Pickett in the cafe with the Mardi Gras beads?

New Orleans ghost tour gift shop manager, Paige Harrington, makes a wish for her twenty-fifth birthday: to find the one thing she can be as passionate about as her cancer-curing scientist parents.

She doesn’t, however, expect her calling to come in the form of a mysterious app on her phone that matches her up with the ghost of a cute bartender who wants her to solve his murder. Nor for her pet hedgehog, Auguste, to start talking to her with a French accent. 

When her favorite professor turned cafe owner, Liz Pickett, is framed for the murder, Paige can’t sit by and let all of this happen. Even if uncovering the truth means tangling with the Enclave, a secret society with the power and connections to make someone like her asking too many questions disappear without a trace. 

With the Enclave and their dark secrets dogging at her heels, Paige will have to step up her sleuthing skills and unmask the real killer before she ends up their next victim.

Review: I don’t know how Arden did it, but somehow the entire time I was reading this, I felt tense. Like I was reading with my shoulders up at my ears. Which was FUN!

I really enjoyed this cast of characters. Especially being blessed by a hedgehog that talks with a French accent (which I never knew I needed).

*Disclaimer* I received an eARC from Wayfarer on Netgalley. An honest review was provided.

Review

Book Review – The Da Vinci Code

Book cover of The da Vinci Code

Title: The Da Vinci Code
Author: Dan Brown
Rating: ★★★★★
Read: September 25-28, 2021
Book Read in 2021: 105
Format: Audiobook
Page Count: 489
Reread: 4th time reading
Series:
Book 2 of Robert Langdon
Book 1 Review: Angels & Demons
Genre:
Thriller
Publisher:
Doubleday

Synopsis: While in Paris, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is awakened by a phone call in the dead of the night. The elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum, his body covered in baffling symbols. As Langdon and gifted French cryptologist Sophie Neveu sort through the bizarre riddles, they are stunned to discover a trail of clues hidden in the works of Leonardo da Vinci—clues visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.

Even more startling, the late curator was involved in the Priory of Sion—a secret society whose members included Sir Isaac Newton, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci—and he guarded a breathtaking historical secret. Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine puzzle—while avoiding the faceless adversary who shadows their every move—the explosive, ancient truth will be lost forever.

Review: This isn’t my first reread and it won’t be my last. This book is completely big dumb fun, and if you can’t have fun while reading, then what’s the point?

I enjoy being entertained, and that’s what this whole series is, entertainment.

Review

Book Review – Angels & Demons

Book cover of Angels & Demons

Title: Angels & Demons
Author: Dan Brown
Rating: ★★★★★
Read: September 19-25, 2021
Book Read in 2021: 104
Format: Audiobook
Page Count: 596
Reread: 3rd time reading
Series:
Book 1 of Robert Langdon
Genre:
Thriller
Publisher:
Atria Books

Synopsis: World-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a cryptic symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist. What he discovers is unimaginable: a deadly vendetta against the Catholic Church by a centuries-old underground organization — the Illuminati. In a desperate race to save the Vatican from a powerful time bomb, Langdon joins forces in Rome with the beautiful and mysterious scientist Vittoria Vetra. Together they embark on a frantic hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, and deserted cathedrals, and into the depths of the most secretive vault on earth…the long-forgotten Illuminati lair.

Review: Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon series has always been a favourite of mine. They’re pure entertainment.

Since the new TV series for The Lost Symbol is starting soon, I thought I’d have some fun with a reread of it.

Angels & Demons is a fascinating story. I can’t stop myself from being endlessly impressed with the amount of research Brown must have put into creating this and the books that come after.

Review

ARC Review – Cupcake

Book cover of Cupcake

Title: Cupcake
Author: Cookie O’Gorman
Rating: ★★★★☆
Read: September 21-24, 2021
Book Read in 2021: 103
Format: eARC
Page Count: 302
Release Date: November 2, 2021
Genre:
YA Contemporary
Publisher:
Entangled Teen

Synopsis: I know what you’re thinking.

You’re thinking this will be just one more story of the ignored, “big-boned ” girl, who sheds her glasses and a few extra pounds and finally attracts the notice of the most popular guy in school.

Except it isn’t. Because I’m not unpopular. Not all that ignored. And I love the way I look―just as I am.

Then someone puts my name in for Homecoming Court.

The bigger surprise?

People actually vote for me!

Now, I’m a “princess”―whether I like it or not―but the guy I’m paired with isn’t exactly Prince Charming.

Rhys Castle is the strong, silent type who always wears a frown―he’s certainly never smiled at me. I’m 99.9% sure he hates being on Court and being my partner, but surprisingly…he doesn’t switch when he gets the chance.

Turns out Rhys has a secret―something that makes him run hot and cold throughout the entire three weeks of Homecoming festivities. Whether he’s stepping on my feet during dance lessons or gallantly escorting me through the Homecoming parade, I can’t get a read on this guy, and for the first time, I find my confidence wavering.

But there’s more to Rhys than meets the eye. And the more the spotlight shines on me, I realize there’s more to me, too.

Review: As the title would suggest, this book was oh so sweet. All the while reading it I kept saying “this is so adorable” to myself.

As a fat girl, I definitely wish I had a book like this when I was a teen. I ended up fully sobbing when I read O’Gorman’s acknowledgements because of this: “[…] my hope is that this book will be one of many that shows young readers—and all readers—that everyone, regardless of size, is worthy of kindness, love, and happily-ever-after.”

It’s such a meaningful thing to have the plus-sized girl love herself and her body and doesn’t need a “makeover” to be happy. I absolutely loved this book!

*Disclaimer* I received an eARC from Entangled on NetGalley. An honest review was provided.

Review

ARC Review – Well Matched

Book cover of Well matched

Title: Well Matched
Author: Jen DeLuca
Rating: ★★★★☆
Read: September 17-20, 2021
Book Read in 2021: 102
Format: eARC
Page Count: 336
Release Date: October 19, 2021
Series:
Book 3 of Well Met
Book 1 Review: Well Met
Book 2 Review: Well Played
Genre: Romance
Publisher:
Berkley

Synopsis: An accidentally in-love rom-com filled with Renaissance Faire flower crowns, kilts, corsets, and sword fights.

Single mother April Parker has lived in Willow Creek for twelve years with a wall around her heart. On the verge of being an empty nester, she’s decided to move on from her quaint little town, and asks her friend Mitch for his help with some home improvement projects to get her house ready to sell.

Mitch Malone is known for being the life of every party, but mostly for the attire he wears to the local Renaissance Faire–a kilt (and not much else) that shows off his muscled form to perfection. While he agrees to help April, he needs a favor too: she’ll pretend to be his girlfriend at an upcoming family dinner, so that he can avoid the lectures about settling down and having a more “serious” career than high school coach and gym teacher. April reluctantly agrees, but when dinner turns into a weekend trip, it becomes hard to tell what’s real and what’s been just for show. But when the weekend ends, so must their fake relationship.

As summer begins, Faire returns to Willow Creek, and April volunteers for the first time. When Mitch’s family shows up unexpectedly, April pretends to be Mitch’s girlfriend again…something that doesn’t feel so fake anymore. Despite their obvious connection, April insists they’ve just been putting on an act. But when there’s the chance for something real, she has to decide whether to change her plans–and open her heart–for the kilt-wearing hunk who might just be the love of her life.

Review: I think we can all agree that Mitch has been a standout for this whole series and I’m so happy we got this story.

I’ll admit I feel a little worried that this is the end of this series? I HOPE NOT! We better be getting a Lulu book next!

*Disclaimer* I received an eARC from Berkley Publishing Group on NetGalley. An honest review was provided

Review

ARC Review – Once Upon a Broken Heart

Book cover of Once Upon a Broken Heart

Title: Once Upon a Broken Heart
Author: Stephanie Garber
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Read: September 10-15, 2021
Book Read in 2021: 101
Format: eARC
Page Count: 416
Release Date: September 28, 2021
Series: Book 1 of Once Upon a Broken Heart
Genre:
YA Fantasy
Publisher:
Flatiron Books

Synopsis: From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Caraval, the first book in a new series about love, curses, and the lengths that people will go to for happily ever after.

Evangeline Fox was raised in her beloved father’s curiosity shop, where she grew up on legends about immortals, like the tragic Prince of Hearts. She knows his powers are mythic, his kiss is worth dying for, and that bargains with him rarely end well.

But when Evangeline learns that the love of her life is about to marry another, she becomes desperate enough to offer the Prince of Hearts whatever he wants in exchange for his help to stop the wedding. The prince only asks for three kisses. But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’s pledged. And he has plans for Evangeline that will either end in the greatest happily ever after, or the most exquisite tragedy…

Review: I do wish I had enjoyed this one more. Garber absolutely has a flair for storytelling. Her writing style is lovely and detailed.

Unfortunately, this story went a few places I didn’t really like. It hurt my heart that I actually kept rolling my eyes at certain points. I can’t get into it without spoiling things, but I was left feeling disappointed.

The long and the short of it is: it was completely underwhelming. There’s basically no plot to speak of, every character (yes even Jacks) fell flat.

There was a subplot point that didn’t even feel like it fit into the world Garber had created (again I don’t want to spoil anything). But all the while I was reading this part I kept thinking “this is so dumb”.

I don’t know if I’ll pick up the sequel.

*Disclaimer* I received an eARC from Flatiron Books on NetGalley via Raincoast. An honest review was provided.