Odd and Bookish

Odd and Bookish

With a Dreamy Far-Off Look and Her Nose Suck in a Book

Reading progress update: I've read 226 out of 352 pages.
The Lost Coast - Amy Rose Capetta
Review
4 Stars
Unopened - Doug Hoekstra

I received this book for free from JKS Communications in exchange for an honest review. 

 

This was interesting poetry collection. It’s different than the type of poetry I usually read (I usually read more of the Instagram poet type), but I still enjoyed it. I liked that, unlike a lot of Instagram poems, some the poems were longer (more than a page long). I like it when poems are a bit longer because it allows you to go more in-depth. There was a good mix of both short and longer poems.

 

 

 

I liked how the book was divided into three sections. All the poems fit well into the section they were in and I could tell the themes (family, nature, music, etc.) of each section without it being overly obvious. It was subtle which is sometimes very hard to do.

 

Additionally, I loved the story behind the cover. It added a really nice personal touch. 

 

My one critique is that the book should have been longer. I would have loved to seen at least 20 more poems to really make it more impactful and feel more complete. I felt like I got a small taste of his poetry, but I wanted more. 

 

Overall, this was an enjoyable and unique poetry collection. 

Review
4 Stars
We Hope for Better Things  - Linda Davis;Erin Bartels;Stephen G. Eoannou;Morgan Hunt;Christine Venzon;Robert Steven Williams;Mary Flynn;Sharon J. Mondragon;Johanna Bilbo;Kendall Klym;Bill Wasserzieher ;Elizabeth Brown;Willa Elizabeth Schmidt;Barbara Yost;Jacquelin Cangro;Elizabeth Ro

I received this book for free from the publisher (Revell Reads) in exchange for an honest review. 

 

This was an insightful historical novel about three generations of women from Detroit. It takes place during the civil war, the Detroit riots, and present day. 

 

Out of the three stories, I found Mary’s (the civil war one) to be the most compelling and interesting. The present day storyline was probably the weakest just because there wasn’t anything super exciting going on and it was more focused on discovering what happened in the past. 

 

 

I liked how the three stories intersected and connected. The events were woven together nicely and I liked how the secrets slowly unraveled. I also liked that it took place in Detroit and talked about the riots because that isn’t a topic that is often discussed. 

 

I also appreciated that the author included a note at the end of the book discussing that any shortcomings or pitfalls are her own fault and acknowledging the fact that she is a white woman writing about people of color. I love that level of awareness and am always happy to see authors admit that. 

 

The thing that prevented me from giving it 5 stars, was that it took me a while to connect with the story and characters. It wasn’t until I was near the end that I felt that emotional connection with them. 

 

Overall, I enjoyed this look into the past and found this to be a wonderful debut book. 

Review
3 Stars
Snowed in with the Cowboy - Maisey Yates

This story was included at the end of A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas (which I received for free from Harlequin as part of their Bookstagram Christmas mailing). 

 

Since this was a novella, it was pretty short and that was my main issue with it. The whole romance happened at lightning speed so it felt rushed. This would have been better as an actual novel so that the feelings and emotions could develop more fully.

 

I was also not the biggest fan of the step-sibling trope. It felt a little weird, given the fact that I didn’t know much about the characters (I never read any of the previous novellas). As I mentioned, the romance happened fast so that made the step-sibling trope even weirder. I do have to say, Chloe and Tanner do make a nice couple minus the step sibling thing. 

 

But for what it was, it wasn’t that bad. It’s a quick holiday romance that’s short and sweet with a little bit of holiday spice. 

 

Review
4 Stars
A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas - Maisey Yates

I received this book for free from the publisher (Harlequin) as part of their Bookstagram Christmas mailing.

 

This was my first time reading Maisey Yates and I throughly enjoyed it. I obviously haven’t read any of the other books in this series, but that did not hinder my reading experience. I was able to read this as a standalone with no problems. 

 

I loved Grant. He was a tall, dark cowboy with a tragic past. So swoon worthy. 

 

 

Plot-wise, the storyline was pretty good. It was well paced and the romance happened at just the right speed. However, Grant being a virgin was a bit unbelievable and kind of threw me for a loop. 

 

I loved the wintery Christmas spirit that the book had. I could just picture Gold Valley all decorated for Christmas. Also, McKenna’s search for a family and Grant overcoming his grief fit in perfectly with the holiday theme. 

 

The one thing that I didn’t like was that there was too much inner dialogue that didn’t really do much of anything. It got repetitive after a while. It felt excessive and could have been cut down significantly. 

 

Overall, I enjoyed this Christmas themed cowboy romance!

 

Note: This book also contains the novella, Snowed in with the Cowboy, which I will be reviewing separately. 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 218 out of 496 pages.
A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas - Maisey Yates
URL
I made a "virtual" TBR jar

Check out my latest blog post about my TBR jar. 

Reading progress update: I've read 113 out of 496 pages.
A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas - Maisey Yates
Review
3.5 Stars
My Favorite Half-Night Stand  - Christina Lauren

I received this book for free from the publisher (Gallery Books) in exchange for an honest review. 

 

So I liked this book. But did I fall completely head over heels in love with it? Not really. 

 

Basically, I found this to be a solid contemporary romance. It was fun and a little sexy. It hit all the marks on that. I just wasn’t super blown away by it. Millie and Reid are a cute couple, but I I didn’t feel anything particularly special about them. I wanted to fall in love with their romance, but sadly it never happened for me. That being said, there were some things I really loved about it.

 

 

I loved how current it was, especially with the pop culture references. At one point (page 125) the main characters debate which is the most underrated comic in recent years and my fav, Squirrel Girl, gets mentioned (it’s totally true by the way, her comics are so underrated). 

 

I also really liked the layout of the messages that the group sent each other. They had cute little profile pics which I thought was a nice touch. 

 

Lastly, this isn’t completely relevant but I just had to share. This book hit close to home for me, but not in the usual way. My grandfather recently passed away a little over a month ago. I found it to be such a coincidence that Reid’s birthday is April 2nd (my grandfather’s birthday) and that Millie’s dad has Parkinson’s (which my grandfather also had). I just thought that was the weirdest thing ever. 

 

Overall, this was a really cute romance, but for me it was just missing that special something to really make me fall in love with it. 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 219 out of 384 pages.
My Favorite Half-Night Stand  - Christina Lauren
Review
4 Stars
The Lost Carousel of Provence - Juliet Blackwell

I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Berkley Books) in exchange for an honest review. 

 

This was such a charming and quaint story!

 

The book started off a bit slow. It took a while for the story to actually take shape and for the historical parts to start making sense (the book has dual storylines, one historical and the other contemporary). But once the main character, Cady, went to France, the story really took off and from there it was magnifique!

 

 

I loved the way the author described France, particularly the small village Cady visited and the chateau she stayed at. From the scenery to the food to the carousel, she made it sound so enchanting and beautiful. I wish I was actually there! 

 

I also loved the little nods to the Bay Area. The author is from the San Francisco Bay Area (like me) and the main character is from Oakland. Anytime Cady would mention something about Oakland, I’d always think to myself, yup that’s so true. 

 

As for the characters, I loved them all, especially Fabrice, the owner of the chateau. He was such a mystery and I enjoyed unraveling his past. 

 

Overall, this is the perfect historical fiction and contemporary read for anyone who wants to spend time in a chateau in the French countryside.

Reading progress update: I've read 337 out of 384 pages.
The Lost Carousel of Provence - Juliet Blackwell
Reading progress update: I've read 85 out of 384 pages.
The Lost Carousel of Provence - Juliet Blackwell
Review
3 Stars
Scrapbook of an Unfound Songstress - Vicky Nolan

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

 

This book is an autobiography about the author’s own experiences trying to make it as a pop singer. I loved getting the behind the scenes look of the music industry. It was really fascinating seeing how hard it is to break into the business. 

 

My favorite parts of the book were the parts that focused on the trial. As a law student, I do love reading about the legal system. It was particularly interesting to see how different the British legal system is compared to the American system. Like the whole having both a lawyer and a barrister is such a strange concept to me. 

 

 

I also loved the subtle Alice in Wonderland references, like the one towards the end where she is dreaming and it parallels Alice’s. Alice in Wonderland is a favorite of mine so I enjoyed that touch.

 

I also enjoyed the layout of the book. It felt like a written scrapbook. Interwoven in the story were journal type entries and script excerpts. They offered a nice glimpse into her life and personality. 

 

I did listen to some of her songs that were featured in the book and they are pretty good. She has a beautiful voice. 

 

The only things I had issues with were the writing style and the organization of the book. The writing style could have been improved upon, and the book could have been organized more chronologically as opposed to jumping around from point to point to better convey her experiences. However, the author is a singer/songwriter first and foremost, so that is totally understandable. Kudos to her for actually writing a book. 

 

Overall, this was a quick and fun read about chasing your dreams and bouncing back from adversity. 

Reading progress update: I've read 107 out of 186 pages.
Scrapbook of an Unfound Songstress - Vicky Nolan
Review
3.5 Stars
The Orphan of Salt Winds - Elizabeth L. Brooks

I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Tin House Books) in exchange for an honest review. 

 

 

This was an incredibly atmospheric read. The setting, particularly the marsh, had a life of its own. The author did a fabulous job describing the setting which helped set the tone and the mood for the novel. 

 

As for the story itself, I was into it, but I wasn’t thrilled by it. I think it was because I had such high expectations going in. On the cover, the book is described as being reminiscent of Jane Eyre, which is one of my all time favorite books. It’s really tough to top that book. As I was reading the book, it was hard not to compare it to Jane Eyre. The story just didn’t move me as much as I would have liked it to. I never felt that connected to Virginia. 

 

 

I did like the dual storylines of Virginia when she was adopted (which was the main storyline) and Virginia as an old woman. I think the alternation between the two were really well done. The author coordinated the unfolding of events between the two perfectly. The contemporary chapter would subtly reveal something that the next historical chapter would delve into in great detail. 

 

For me, the strongest part of the book was Mr. Deering. He was a fearsome villain. I never knew what he was going to do because he was so unpredictable and creepy. It was so unsettling every time he entered Salt Winds. He’s one of the best villains I’ve encountered in literature this year. 

 

Overall, this book has a fantastic setting and villain, but the story leaves more to be desired. 

currently reading

Progress: 226/352pages
29 Dates - Melissa  de la Cruz
Mistletoe Miracles - Jodi Thomas