Review: The Return of Ellie Black

The Return of Ellie Black
The Return of Ellie Black by Emiko Jean
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was creepy and disturbing and also eminently readable. A girl comes back from being missing. She seems to be holding something back and is acting weird. And man oh man it only gets crazier from there. A lot of trigger warnings with this one so be careful. It got so disturbing at some point I just wanted to put it down.

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Review: How to End a Love Story

How to End a Love Story
How to End a Love Story by Yulin Kuang
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Sorry this was not a winner for me. So obvious and so plain. I don’t understand what I am missing.

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Review: This Summer Will Be Different

This Summer Will Be Different
This Summer Will Be Different by Carley Fortune
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5

I liked this one but didn’t love it as much everyone else seems to have. It was a sweet, expected romance.

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Review: Real Americans

Real Americans
Real Americans by Rachel Khong
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this generational book. It says so much about family, immigration, parenthood. It has some unexpected twists too. I liked the first and last story the most.

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Review: The Paradise Problem

The Paradise Problem
The Paradise Problem by Christina Lauren
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Christina Lauren never disappoint me. I love them, I always laugh and I always enjoy their whimsy and fun stories.

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Review: One Year Ago in Spain

One Year Ago in Spain
One Year Ago in Spain by Evelyn Skye
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There’s something special about Skye’s writing that makes all her books magical for me. The descriptions are so visual and so whimsical in all the ways that make me feel like the book comes alive when I read it.

This beautiful story between Mattias and Claire is no exception. I loved every description of his paintings. I loved seeing Spain through Skye’s eyes. I loved how all of my senses come alive when I read her stories. And how they stay with me. The peacock in the park, the delicious food, the angry sibling. I can visualize and imagine every one of them.

I love the premise of this story. How do you get your love who doesn’t remember you to fall back in love with you so he can wake up from his coma? How do you make it so he can find his way back to you? These characters will all stay with you long, long after you finish the last page.

with gratitude to netgalley and Del Rey for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review

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Review: Slow Dance

Slow Dance
Slow Dance by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This will absolutely be one of my favorite reads of this year, hands down.

I loved Rowell’s Eleanor & Park years ago but I hadn’t read another novel by her in a long time. I wasn’t sure if this would read like YA even though it’s not. I was worried I might not like it.

But I was wrong.

I fell in love from the moment I started this story. Shiloh and Cary have known each other forever. They were best friends. And then they fell out of touch. And suddenly they see each other at a wedding. And they find their way back to each other.

Shiloh and Cary broke my heart and then put it back together. The emotion is so palpable and so beautiful in this story that it was impossible not to root for these two broken souls. It’s impossible not to fall in love with them.

Rowell knows how to write love. She does an exquisite job here. I won’t forget this story for a long long time.

with gratitude to netgalley and William Morrow for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review

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Review: One Big Happy Family

One Big Happy Family
One Big Happy Family by Jamie Day
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow this was one evil family.

Three sisters come back home to the bed and breakfast they own with their families so be there for the reading of their dad’s will. The lawyer is there, the maid who works at the inn, the stowaway they are hiding and the cook and keeper who decide to leave for the weekend.

There’s a death. there’s a storm. there’s no internet. No one is leaving. Another death. Ominous messages.

A locked-door mystery that comes with twists. Even though I guessed some of them, I still enjoyed this nonstop action packed story.

with gratitude to netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review

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Review: Toward Eternity

Toward Eternity
Toward Eternity by Anton Hur
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’ve read and loved Hur’s translations so I was truly looking forward to this book. but alas it was either the wrong book at the wrong time or the wrong audience because I could not ever get into the story.

I loved parts of the writing and much of the dialogue. I was intrigued at the idea of this story but the execution just didn’t make it for me. I kept getting pulled out of the story, not able to follow the narrative and the combination of plot and musings and character just never came together for me.

I will still make sure to read Hur’s next book because he’s such an excellent writer.

with gratitude to netgalley and HarperVia for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review

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Review: Lenny Marks Gets Away with Murder

Lenny Marks Gets Away with Murder
Lenny Marks Gets Away with Murder by Kerryn Mayne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s a skill to be able to have a novel tackle serious subject matter without having the reader be devoid of hope. It’s a skill to be able to write characters who are neurodivergent without them feeling quirky or cute.

And Kerryn Mayne has done both in this novel.

This is the story of Lenny who lives her day by her schedule. Who has endured more trauma and tragedy than anyone should ever have to and has found a way to pull her life together anyway. And as is often the case, one thread gets pulled and the whole things starts to unravel…

This was a tough novel to read but it left me with hope and I am so glad I read it.

with gratitude to netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review

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The Joy of Art – May 29, 2024 at 06:35AM

Here the bonus one that I have since I must have clearly posted a double at some point. And this marks all of them.

#art #the100dayproject #pantonechallenge #pantonechallenge2024 #paintinglandscapes #100dayproject #gouache #acrylicgouache #acrylagouache #holbeingouache #pantone #painting #watercolorfun #gouachefun #nightlandscape #seascapes #cityscapes #cityscapepainting #snowymountains #snowscape #snowscapepainting #seascapepainting #sograteful #clouds #sogratefulforart

The Joy of Art – May 28, 2024 at 05:11AM

Here they all are. 100 pieces. 100 days. That’s 3+ months of life. Lots of individual pieces that weren’t my favorite and still love seeing the whole set so much. What a gift this project always is.

#art #the100dayproject #pantonechallenge #pantonechallenge2024 #paintinglandscapes #100dayproject #gouache #acrylicgouache #acrylagouache #holbeingouache #pantone #painting #watercolorfun #gouachefun #nightlandscape #seascapes #cityscapes #cityscapepainting #snowymountains #snowscape #snowscapepainting #seascapepainting #sograteful #clouds #sogratefulforart