Book Review: I Am Still Alive

Have you ever just scanned over a books summary and kind of infer what you think the book is about? I totally did that. I first saw this book on Penguin’s First to Read Program, but didn’t get it. From what I read it was a book about a girl surviving in the wilderness and getting revenge and for some reason, I thought it had to do with high schoolers. So I assumed it was like a book about like a mean prank or something and they leave the main character in the woods and she has to fight for survival and then gets revenge.  BUT that is not what this book is about… it is about survival and revenge.. I just for some reason  made up the last part when skimming over the summary. Although, as I type this up.. maybe, i should write that book.. or does it already exist? It probably already exists. Anyways, with that in mind… when I received an e-mail from Penguin/Viking to review I Am Still Alive by Kate Marshall and participate in this blog tour (which upon editing have realized was suppose to go up YESTERDAY and not today.. OOPS!); I quickly said yes, thinking that was what the book was about.  Very quickly into the book however, I realized I was wrong and because it was so apparent in the beginning I wasn’t disappointed by it.

The book follows Jess Cooper who is reconnected with her estranged father after an accident kills her mom and leaves Jess disabled. Jess thinks he father lives in Alaska, but is in for shock when he lives off the grid, somewhere in the Canadian wilderness. Jess isn’t a fan of her time there, but is quickly in for a rude awakening when her father is killed and the cabin they live in burned down. She now has to fend for herself and plot revenge against the people who killed her Dad.

The book is told through Jess’ journal and the first half is told in Before the incident and after it. Then also broken down into seasons.  The book is a very quick read, when formatted like this. However, I think you could have done without the concept of her writing in a journal, as that is really all it is a concept, one we only know about cause she mentions it in the beginning but isn’t really executed in the writing style or important to the story line. With how quick paced the book is it only really feels like she has been in the wild for a few weeks not several months and frankly, with all the mistakes she made that would normally prove fatal. Realistically… Jess would not have survived. As far as the revenge part of the book goes.. It isn’t your typical idea of revenge. I would think of it more as trying to survive and a little bit of payback, not a scheme of revenge.

With all that being said.. I DID enjoy the book. It was a quick read that gave me every 80’s and 90’s kids surviving in the wilderness movies nostalgia. I think I would have enjoyed the book more if it went into greater depth. More back story of Jess’ life, more backstory of her Dad’s, more time of the two of them together and a few more actual challenges in the wilderness.  I’m Still Alive is a solid 3 star book. Not a bad book but not a book I loved, either.

 

 

 

**I was given this book in exchange for an honest review**

 

 

Book Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper

Several months ago, I was in a Target book aisle picking up two copies of A Court of Thorn & Roses by Sarah J Maas for Andrew and I to read for our book club. Like usual, I was looking at the rest of the books just to see if there was anything new out that I haven’t seen or heard of before.. when the cover of this book caught my eye. I’m a sucker for historical fiction especially when the cover has a girl in a pretty dress. Next being the title; I am morbid and have a slight fascination with unsolved crimes.  I hadn’t planned on buying a book for just myself. Especially, cause there were several other books on my TBR i needed to get to do (and still do) but the price was right and I felt compelled to do so.

As you can assume by the name Stalking Jack the Ripper is about pretty much just that. The author does a great job at combining the fictional story she is creating with the historical facts of the actual case. We follow Audrey a young high society lady who is fascinated in learning the work of her uncle…. a medical examiner. She loves the observation skills, medical knowledge and police work that goes into it but is very aware that it is frowned upon for a lady in general.. let alone her status to engage in.  Soon into the books we are meeting The Ripper’s victims and piecing the puzzle together. It seems the ripper could be someone close to her.. but we aren’t quite sure who just yet.

Audrey struggles with societal pressures, romantic feelings and an over protective father all the while trying to solve the case and catch Jack the Ripper. Although, I enjoyed the book overall. I would have been happy with a little more world building and the absolute ending wasn’t my favorite, but did the job. The one thing I struggled with was that I wanted Audrey to be a little more badass. (She is, and he knowledge of fighting is pretty historically accurate) BUT given the knife wielding girl on the cover; I was expecting someone more assassin like. Also,I am intrigued by the supernatural elements that will be at play in the next book in the series.. which I will eventually read but I am not dying to get my hands on at the moment.

Buy the book here: Amazon, Target, Barnes & Noble

 

 

 

 

This Blog Post Contains Affiliate Links

February TBBC Book Review: Midnight at the Electric

It’s June and I am finally reviewing our February Book Club read… GO ME!

Lol when I began the 2018 Boyfriend Book Club. I had jotted down a list of books we would read each month, pre-picked them. That way you guys would know what books to read and could follow along with us. However, after this book we have yet to read a book that was on the pre-made list. OOPS.

So, lets start off with how I discovered this book… there is a youtube channel, based off a blog, that is affiliated with a HarperCollins, but it is for their YA books (my preferred genre of reading) and on that channel Margot Wood did a segment talking about all the books on her TBR, that she had just read and that are going to be released soon.  Many videos ago… she talked about Midnight at the Electric and based off her description and mainly the cover I was sold.

Here is what I knew about the book. It tells the story of different people during different time periods. And yes, the book does just that. However, my feelings are super mixed from there. As we read we learned that there are 3 ladies.  Adri in the future, Catherine and her family during the dustbowl and Lenore is post WWI England.

Each of the stories are unique and interesting. Adri’s especially since it takes place in the future and you kind of feel this realistic dread that that is where we are heading if the politics stay as they currently are.  Catherine’s story is so heartbreaking as I think many of us don’t truly understand the devastation that the dust bowl actually caused for many people and Lenore’s story felt very much a catalyst but also, open-ended.

Now, the most intriguing part of this book and the title of the book is what happens at Midnight.. at The Electric?! Welp, if you were expecting some magical nightly occurence. Maybe ala Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. You will be sadly disappointed as The Electric has really zero importance to story.

Despite that flaw, Andrew and I did the book and were quite into the stories and the mysteries involved within the plot. Until the book did one of biggest pet peeves. Ended too soon! You know what I am talking about.. I just mentioned in my last post that How to Stop Time did this too.  You are nearing the end of the book and you realize their are 10 pages left and yet there is SO much story left to be told, so many questions and closure, how could they possibly wrap that up in 10 pages?! It does get wrapped up, but not ever how you truly would have liked or what would seem realistic.  Thats what happened here folks!  I felt there was SO much more that could have been told and so much more that needed to be answered. Andrew and I would have happily read another 100 pages of this story.

With all that being said. The story is a good story. I just went in with preconceived notions about the book, that messed with how i enjoyed it.

Available at Amazon & Target.

 

 

 

Disclosure Statement: Some of the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

Book Review: How to Stop Time

Full Disclosure… I did receive this book for review. However, I did not read or really review it in a timely manner and this is 100% an honest review.

A couple months ago, I got an e-mail asking if i would be interested in reviewing a book, that essentially had “time travel”, history and a little mystery in it and my mind exploded, cause it mixed everything I LOVE into one. So, obviously.. I said yes!

Right off the bat… I will say the book was not at all what I expected ( like it doesn’t actually have time travel) but in the most pleasant way possible it is a very quick paced book, with a Benjamin Button-Esque vibe to it. The main character Tom is an anomaly, he is in a small club/genetic mutation of people who age extremely slowly. So although, he appears to be in his 40’s he is actually several hundred years old. What I loved most about this twist, is he is still human, he isn’t immortal by any means, just resilient.  The story line bounces back and forth between present day, and lives from Tom’s past.

Tom works for a secret society, meant to protect people like him, all the while searching for his daughter, who is believed to be just like him and battling with falling in love, when he know it isn’t a sustainable relationship.  All of this is very well written and as the pages kept dwindling down to the end; I couldn’t believe we were nearing the end! I honestly, want this to become a series, as I feel there is great potential for that. And that is my only gripe with this book.  It doesn’t appear to be a series (although, I hope I am wrong) So it felt, like everything kind of comes to a climax and conclusion in the very last pages. Which is something, I  actually hate when authors do. As if, they got tired of writing the story, so they try to wrap everything up as quickly as possible. This is one of those stories that the author could of easily added 100 more pages to the storyline and I would still be intrigued by everything going on.

What also, made it fun reading this book, was that I was also reading it, while actively watching ABC’s show Timeless. So, it just added a nice touch, in the historic aspects. I do highly recommend reading How to Stop Time by Matt Haig and would love to know others thoughts and feelings on how it ended.

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January TBBC Book Review: My True Love Gave To Me By Various Authors

I am SO far behind on book reviews! OOPS!

In January Andrew and I embarked on our Book Club reads. Since then we have completed 2 more books, took a break due to the birth of Owen and currently awaiting for our May Read (That Summer by Caitlin Robbins).  While looking for books to semi schedule into our reading routine (although, I derailed that for our March Read) I stumbled across My True Love Gave To Me and knew I couldn’t wait until December 2018 for us to read it. It’s a book filled with Christmas related short stories and I was a big fan of pretty much ALL the authors.

One thing I definitely learned after reading this book and the book before it (Paris for One and Other Stories by JoJo Moyes) is that I am not a big fan of collections of Small Stories; because I if I like the story… I want to read more of it! but, I do appreciate them for what they are.  So I am not going to review all the stories but I am going to note the ones that were our favorites and least favorite stories.

We will begin with my favorites “Welcome to Christmas,CA” by Kiersten White & “It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown” by Stephanie Perkins. Both stories just made me happy and made me wish that they were snippets of a full blown book.

Runner ups would have been “Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus” by Myra McEntire &“Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me” by Jenny Han. And although, not my favorites I appreciated “Krampuslauf” by Holly Black and “Star of Bethlehem” by Ally Carter, as they were on par for their style of storytelling.

My least favorite which was also, Andrews least favorite was “The Lady and the Fox” by Kelly Link. I was intrigued by the story at first, but the ending just got really weird and had me scratching my head about what I read. While I didn’t hate it, Andrew most definitely did.

Weirdly, Andrew’s two favorites were ones that I didn’t care for as much. “Angels in the Snow” by Matt de la Peña and “The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer” by Laini Taylor. Although, if you asked him why they were his favorite.. i just get “I don’t know they just are..” I personally, felt like Laini Taylor’s short story, would have been better as a book, i didn’t feel it suited a short story narrative in my opinion. So, it wasn’t that I didn’t like it persay, i just felt it didn’t belong in this book.

Overall, I would recommend My True Love Gave To Me… IF you don’t mind short stories, like a handful of these authors and it’s around the holidays. Reading them after the holidays was a little odd.

Buy The Book Here:My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

5 Books You Should Read for World Book Day

As a former book blogger, I had to celebrate this day in some way!

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What Remains is one my absolutely favorite reads. Carole Radziwill tells her heartbreaking story about losing her best friends (Carolyn Bessette and JFK Jr.) as well as her husband (Anthony Radziwill) in the most elegant and raw way possible.

Buy Here:What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, and Love

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Narrated by Death and set in WWII Germany, it’s impossible to NOT bawl your eyes out while reading this book.

Buy Here:The Book Thief

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I’m going to be honest with you. John Green is a favorite author of mine and I would recommend reading all of his books. Paper Towns is actually my personal favorite, but a close second is Looking For Alaska; it is also a more universally enjoyed book than Paper Towns.

Buy Here:Looking for Alaska

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A Vampire story, that is WAY better than Twilight (and I did like Twilight) Richelle Mead creates a world you will never want to leave. So much so that after you finish this series, you will read the spinoff series as well and then STILL ask for more. Just don’t watch the movie.

Buy Here:Vampire Academy

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I have noticed that the books, I am recommending have a theme here… but really besides the tears, if you read this book be prepared to fall in love with Adam Wilde and then read the sequel to this book. You are welcome in advance.

Buy Here:If I Stay

Book Review: The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living

Once upon a time… I was a Book Blogger.

I had all this time to read and I LOVED it. I would spend ANY free time I had reading and most my nights up til the wee hours of the morning devouring books. It wasn’t uncommon for to read 3-5 books in a week. This little book blog became minorly successful and I began forming relationships with publishers and authors and being sent books for review. Which is basically a book lovers dream come true! Life took some turns and my passion for book blogging greatly diminished and my time for reading slowly went away. As you can imagine even more so, once I became a Mom.

However, I have still been lucky to receive some books to review. Although, admittedly I don’t get to the reviewing part of them very often. Around the end of November I was asked to read and review The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living: A Novel by Louise Miller and I am sure glad I did!

The blurb on the cover describes it as Gilmore Girls… but I would describe it as Hart of Dixie in Vermont, meets all your favorite Hallmark movies. It takes place within a year and has all the feel good moments, with a little mystery and some surprises along the way, mixed with of course romance. Personally, I could have read another 150 pages and really delved into the town and all the other characters besides just focusing on Olivia. The premise in short involves a city baker, (Olivia) who leaves her job after an embarassing incident and moves to a small town in Vermont to help the local innkeeper and to bake the best apple pie. Seems simple, but there is more to the story. It’s a cozy book and one that I would recommend for anytime of the year. Not just Winter. (Since the cover insinuates thats when this all takes place).