• Book Review: The Aurora Cycle Trilogy Review

    Rating: 3.5 Stars

    Book Blurb for Aurora Rising:

    The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the academy would touch . . .

    A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
    A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
    A smart-ass tech whiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
    An alien warrior with anger-management issues
    A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

    And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem–that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline cases, and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.


    This was a buddy read of the series with my husband. After starting the first book, I thought I had found a smart, witty and humorous science fiction YA series and in the beginning I was right. I enjoyed the humor and the twist and turns of the story. Then as the second book progressed and I read the final book Aurora’s Echo, I began to feel the story was drawn out and dragged to a pretty predictable ending. It’s a trilogy and I don’t want to spoil it but it was a bit of a let down for me. I felt like this could have been a duology. I had other issues with the book, but I will allow others to draw their own conclusions.

    There are better YA sci-fi stories to be read. This wasn’t terrible by any means entertainment wise, but I could take it or leave it.

  • Reading Update and Reviews: 4/10/23

    It’s been a busy past couple of weeks!

    We commemorated the death of Jesus this past Tuesday, we always do it on the day that corresponds to Nisan 14 every year. Our congregation had a great turnout. We had a campaign inviting everyone locally. My husband had the privilege of doing the Memorial talk and he did a wonderful job. I am so proud of him. More importantly, it was a great time to meditate on what Jesus did and is still doing for us.

    I didn’t get much reading done.

    Since I last posted I read a horrible book Same Beach, Next Year by Dorothea Benton Frank. I stayed with it because it was recommended to me. But the core issue in the book ..ugh. It was basically two couples who summered together every year and two of them were in love with the other’s spouse. It was more of an emotional affair. What made it worse was the other spouses knew about it – and kinda… tolerated it. This book was not for me and I should have DNF’d it. I just got more and more annoyed as the book went on and when it ended I just felt…ugh.

    I DNF’d Pillars of the Earth. I just didn’t like it.

    I read and enjoyed :

    I gave this 4 stars!

    I really enjoyed this!

    After reading a bad book and DNFing another I was in a bit of a reading slump. This was the palate cleanser I needed. It’s fitting a fairy tale retelling brought me out of my slump. Hopeful, idealistic…

    I like Odette’s writing, it is very accessible and I felt myself immersed in the story. I looked forward to reading this book at the end of my busy days.


    Next up I believe I am going to be doing a buddy read with my Husband. A YA trilogy that he has been enjoying. What is it? Stay tuned!

  • Book Review: hello, summer

    Author: Mary Kay Andrews

    Rating: 4/5 stars

    Book Blurb:

    It’s a new season…

    Conley Hawkins left her family’s small town newspaper, The Silver Bay Beacon, in the rearview mirror years ago. Now a star reporter for a big-city paper, Conley is exactly where she wants to be and is about to take a fancy new position in Washington, D.C. Or so she thinks.

    For small town scandals…

    When the new job goes up in smoke, Conley finds herself right back where she started, working for her sister, who is trying to keep The Silver Bay Beacon afloat—and she doesn’t exactly have warm feelings for Conley. Soon she is given the unenviable task of overseeing the local gossip column, “Hello, Summer.”

    And big-time secrets.

    Then Conley witnesses an accident that ends in the death of a local congressman—a beloved war hero with a shady past. The more she digs into the story, the more dangerous it gets. As an old heartbreaker causes trouble and a new flame ignites, it soon looks like their sleepy beach town is the most scandalous hotspot of the summer.

    This was a solid read!

    This was a mix of women’s fiction, romance and mystery – and it was a nice balance. When I saw the book was 472 pages, I was a bit discouraged because lately I have not been too successful with reading anything over 350 pages. I keep losing interest. However, I breezed through this book. It read like a really long cozy mystery. That may be a turn off for some, but for me it was a nice fit. I liked spending time with these different characters.

    I didn’t agree with all the decisions Conley, the main character, made. She was intrusive as a reporter and I felt she may have crossed the line a couple of times with trying to figure out what was behind the senator’s death. Her grandmother was endearing and supportive of her granddaughters throughout the book. The story had a strong sense of family and a hometown feel that I appreciated. The story was a bit twisty, things that seemed connected weren’t and vice versa.

    Overall this was a joy to read, which is all I ask for really. I look forward to reading more of Mary Kay Andrews books.

  • Reading Wrap-Up and Reviews

    Happy Friday everyone!

    I continued on my rom-com kick and I say that even though two of these books were NOT rom-com. And I must say…reading them sent me into a little bit of a reading slump.

    First up…

    Love and Other Words – 3.75/5 stars

    It is this book that taught me that I do not really care for the miscommunication trope. I hate things that can be solved by two people just sitting down and having a real conversation. I get why this book is popular. Young love that lasts forever and all. As I read through the book and watched these two people fall in love, I kept wondering what in the world tore them apart for so long and so irrevocably and when it was finally revealed I um… I had a hard time buying that all those chips fell into place that way to keep them apart. I dunno. This book was SAD but engaging.

    Heart Bones – 2/5 stars

    Oh Colleen Hoover. I have had issues with her books in the past. I find them toxic and unhealthy with the tacit messages being very, very troublesome. This book was no exception. I gave her another try but I think we will be parting ways. When we got to the reveal at the end, I wanted our main character to run in the other direction from the love interest. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. I don’t want to spoil the book, but let’s just say had it been my daughter, best friend – there would have been an intervention of sorts.

    Stuck with You- 4/5 stars

    It was a short novella, quick. If you skip the love scenes even quicker. It was cute, well written story. I just realized- this was miscommunication and I didn’t hate it. So maybe it’s more in how it is done…

    I think I may be moving on from this rom com phase. Or taking a break from it. I am not sure. I am going to take a day and then pick up my next book.

    I hope everyone has a good weekend and Happy Reading!!!!!

  • Reading Reviews: Three Books By Fave Rom-Com Authors

    So I put together a TBR of books by authors whose RomComs I have really enjoyed in the past. Did I love them? Were their loved books one-hit wonders for me?

    Let’s dive right in…

    The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

    4.5 /5 stars

    I had previously read Love on the Brain and really liked it. I enjoyed this one even more! IMHO as far as banter, Ali Hazelwood, is in a league of her own. I laughed out loud at this book. It was a solid read. Not a closed door romance by any means and there is quite the scene in this book for those who care. The story is still great if you intend to skim past it. She is an auto buy for me. I think all I have left to read is her novella collection before her new release later this year. 4.5 stars!

    Beach Read by Emily Henry

    3/5 stars

    Book Lovers is one of my favorite books. This book? Not so much… I like my romance books sans religious cults. Every time that part of the story came up I thought “Seriously?!” This book was heavy, too heavy for what I was in the mood for. Emily Henry gives great banter and that was the case here, but I was not eager to pick this book back up after setting it down. It was kinda depressing. BUT if you want a rom com with depth, this will work. I gave it 3 stars.

    Second Chance Romance by Sally Thorne

    2/5 Stars

    Sally Thorne wrote one of the best romances I’ve ever read. The Hating Game was amazing, is amazing. What happened? This book was quirky and odd. I guess this was supposed to be cozy. It wasn’t. This book felt dialed in. Not engaging. There was not a lot of character development. It had some great lines and her turn of phrase and style are so darn good at times that it hurts that I didn’t like this book more. I like her style so much I will continue to pick up her books in hopes that magic happens again.

    Though they weren’t all amazing reads, I did enjoy my readings of these three.

    Hope you have a great weekend and Happy Reading!

  • Reading Update: More Book Reviews and Reading Plans…

    Happy Thursday!

    So this past week I have continued on my Rom-Com/Romance kick and I have to say I am enjoying it. This is going to seem ironic when you see the reviews for the books I read. Let’s get down to it…

    This book is about two journalists competing for a column, inappropriately pitted against each other by their boss.

    The premise was a bit ridiculous from an HR standpoint. The things they had to do for “work…” But All Aboard!

    This was a bummer. The premise seemed fun. I settled in expecting some witty banter and funny shenanigans. What I got was…not so much. My main problem is I could not relate to or empathize with the main character, she seemed extremely self absorbed. She was self destructive. She would drink a lot, like ALOT alot. She was constantly drinking to the point of excess and doing just crazy things. At one point she tried to get with this one while she was committed to that one. Um what? I couldn’t understand why the main love interest even liked her, she was that grating. I wanted to see an about face change and it really never came.

    I gave it 2 stars.

    Alrighty, so this one. This one is about a writer hired to do a profile on a famous movie star. Her resulting profile was soooo amazing and goes soooo viral it changes both of their lives. Everyone was asking if something happened between them during this multi-day interview…

    I saw this book everywhere. EVERYWHERE. People raved about it. And then there’s me…

    This book y’all. This book was better but I did not like it. And what bugs me is I should have! It had dual timelines and the story was told with blog and magazine excerpts. I usually eat that up. This time I was like…meh. I also didn’t feel the two main characters had any chemistry. NONE. This book was so hyped on Booktube and was even on the Booktok table at Barnes and Noble. I was left scratching my head, befuddled. It’s probably me.

    I also gave it 2 stars.

    What’s positive about these two books is that I was still able to make it through without DNFing them. I also didn’t feel like I completely wasted my time. I gave each book a chance and each had their moments.

    This week I am reading three books by authors I have loved to see if they are one hit wonders. Do they become favorites? Do I rethink my taste in books?

    Stay tuned and Happy Reading!

  • Reading Update: Reviews, Reading Plans and the Like…

    Happy Friday!

    It has been a busy week again. I did get some reading done but didn’t have a lot of time to post reviews and updates so I am condensing it all in one post…

    First up, I finished The Circus Train:

    This book was about two kids raised around a circus who come of age at the start of WWII. When WWII happens they are separated and this is about their time together and whether they find their way back to each other. This was well written and had some interesting historical details about the prevalence of polio and the popularity of circuses at the time. A lot of it was predictable but it was an engaging read. I gave it 3/5 stars.

    Nothing was grabbing my attention, so I picked up a rom-com book.

    Synopsis: Bee is a offered the lead on a neuroengineering project partnering with NASA. She could not be more excited. The catch is her co- lead is her nemesis from grad school. Throw in that someone seems to be tampering with their project and you have a pretty good recipe for an entertaining story.

    What a pleasant surprise this book was! I enjoyed the banter and the science based setting. This is a welcome change and I want to read more of Ali Hazelwood’s books. This book made me laugh out loud in parts. This is not a closed door romance so you would have to skip some pages, so be forewarned. I gave it 4/5 stars.

    Things are a bit stressful, but that’s life. I find it hard to concentrate on anything heavy, so I am sticking with rom-coms for now.

    Next up is:

    This one is about a journalist who, after a breakup, is competing with an ex for a column about being single. Her boss even tells her she needs to stay single for a while. Would that ever happen? No, but I am here for the sheer ridiculousness of it all!

    I am toying with the idea of reading some of the books cited in book blurbs. Do you ever read books cited in blurbs? I don’t. I usually could care less. But it might make for an interesting post to see if it is a reliable way to find your next read.

    Stay tuned!

  • Reading Update: 2/17/23

    Currently Reading/About to Pick up

    This was a so- so week of reading. There are so many things vying for my attention as of late. But I want to to get back on track. I was able to finish Sold on a Monday at least.

    Some of my reading goals have fallen by the way side – and that’s not a bad thing. I am still holding to the reading before bed. That has proven beneficial.

    I wanted to read more from my subscription services and I could not get into doing so… so rather than force myself – I decided to cancel them. This lead me to a declutter of the tv streaming services as well. So in the end, the goal lead me to make positive choices – so it’s a win.

    Book buying ban? A book I was itching to read was on sale and I bought it. BUT I have been more mindful of my book purchases and I have spent less. I utilize Libby a bit but I do like owning the book on Kindle. So I have resolved to really uitlize the sample feature to decide what to read next.

    Curiously, I have discovered the The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. It is a British Literary Award. I checked out some of the winners and found a couple that piqued my interest.

    I will check out their samples and see if they are books I want to dive into.

    And Officer and a Spy is about an event I know nothing about which is what I want in my historical fiction. It seems like the historical fiction thrown at us here in the States is about the same things over and over. Or maybe it’s just the books I am seeing.

    Anyways, Happy Reading!


  • Book Review: Sold on a Monday

    Author: Kristina McMorris

    Rating: 3/5 stars

    Book Blurb:

    2 CHILDREN FOR SALE. The sign is a last resort. It sits on a farmhouse porch in 1931, but could be found anywhere in an era of breadlines, bank runs and broken dreams. It could have been written by any mother facing impossible choices.

    For struggling reporter Ellis Reed, the gut-wrenching scene evokes memories of his family’s dark past. He snaps a photograph of the children, not meant for publication. But when it leads to his big break, the consequences are more devastating than he ever imagined.

    Inspired by an actual newspaper photograph that stunned the nation, Sold on a Monday has celebrated five months on the New York Times bestsellers list and continues to especially captivate fans of Lisa Wingate’s Before We Were Yours and Kristin Hannah’s The Four Winds.

    This was pretty good! It was a solid 3 star read and made good use of some cliffhanger chapters. I have realized I am a fan of the cliffhanger chapter, used right it keeps me coming back.

    The story is told between the viewpoints of two characters – Ellis and Lily, though only Ellis is mentioned in the blurb. Ellis is the photographer of the photo of the children being sold. And the decision to use it is instigated in part by Lily. This sets in motion a twisty chain of events.

    I found the real life photo that inspired this story in an interview done by the author. It’s from 1948:

    I also found out that the “twist” involving the photo may also have been true.

    The story was exciting and peppered with historical events of the day, some I was familiar with, some I was not. I liked the way the author wove these different events into the narrative. I also liked how Lily’s character was handled, showing a woman’s viewpoint of that time period. I also will mention this is not Christian fiction by any means, but a mention of a character’s faith was handled in a respectful way.

    I will definitely be reading this author again. I even have the next book picked out.


  • Reading Update: 2/11/2023

    Hope everyone is having a good weekend. Wanted to give an update on my reading plans…

    I DNF’d this book. It read like YA. Slow YA. It wasn’t what I expected nor was it what I was in the mood for. So I put it down. Next!

    Currently reading this one, I am almost done actually. Surprisingly engaging historical fiction.

    This WWII historical fiction is next up. It’s well reviewed and the synopsis has grabbed my attention.

    Sunday should be quiet, will definitely be spending time with this munchkin:

    Addie with his favorite blanket.

    Happy reading!!!!!