Book Review: Still Me

Author: JoJoMoyes

Pages: 390

Me Before You #3


Louisa Clarke is back and this time she’s taking on New York City. Fresh off of her acceptance of Will’s death, Louisa takes a job in the big apple where she finds herself working with millionaires, taking on an adventure, meeting new people and finding out who Louisa Clarke is. But at the same time, she’s struggling with being away from her family and ambulance Sam. Can Louisa have it all?


“I remembered Agnes’s words: that we who traveled far from home would always have our hearts in two places. I placed my hand on the candlewick bedspread. And, finally, I wept.”


Let me start by saying that I loved Me Before You and After You. When I finished After You, my first thought was — I want more Louisa Clarke. At the time I didn’t know there was more to her story so when I found out you can bet I was really excited. Louisa Clarke is the girl who I wish was my best friend. She’s quirky, she’s kind, she puts others before herself and she’s somewhat of a mess and I love all of that about her. She seems so real.

“Oh, Louisa, you can hang on to your hurt out of some misplaced sense of pride, or you can just let go and relish whatever precious time you have.”

That’s not just it though, I find myself growing with Louisa. Her faults, anxieties and circumstances at 29 aren’t much different than any 29 year old. She works hard, she doesn’t always see a reward for it, but she keeps her chin up and she keeps trying. And while Louisa moves on and becomes her own person, she’s still connected to Will, like all of us when we lose someone close — whether a significant other, parent, friend or grandparents — we keep moving just Louisa but they are always with us.

She doesn’t always have it all together but that’s the beauty of her story. She learns a lot about herself in this one and I found that in a way it was like a book of therapy — her whole story, from Me Before You to this one, teaches you something about yourself and what you can handle.

And this, right below, is the epitome of book quotes:

“I had a choice. I was Louisa Clark from New York or Louisa Clark from Stortfold. Or there might be a whole other Louisa I hadn’t yet met. The key was making sure that anyone you allowed to walk beside you didn’t get to decide which you were, and pin you down like a butterfly in a case. The key was to know that you could always somehow find a way to reinvent yourself again.”

Overall Rating: 5/5




Book Review: Daughter of A Siren Queen

Author: Tricia Levenseller

Pages: 352

Synopsis: Alosa is on a mission, now that they have all the pieces to the map they can search for the treasure that has been guarded by the Sirens for all these years. She sees it how it is — her and her father reaching the treasure and being heroes in the eyes of all their pirates. But before this can happen, Alosa learns a secret, a secret so life altering that it changes her whole perspective on who she is, on her love for her father, what she’s capable of, and who to trust.


Review: This is the end of Alosa story, I recently read that this series is only a duo-logy and unfortunately I think that it’s all we needed in this. I remember enjoying Daughter of a Pirate King. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Daughter of a Pirate King but this one fell a little flat for me. I wanted more swashbuckling, I wanted more romance, I wanted more of something but I’m not entirely sure what. It could just be my age, maybe I’m too old for these now (which I’m also okay with). While Alosa’s story definitely had some character development I still felt like something was missing either with her or the other characters, maybe I needed more closure? More of a WOW moment? Like I said before I couldn’t really pinpoint what I needed.

Overall Rating: 2.5/5 stars (I rounded up on Goodreads — can’t do half stars there)

The Mermaids Chair

Author: Susan Monk Kidd

Pages: 368

Goodreads Synopsis: “Telling the story of Jessie Sullivan — a love story between a woman and a monk, a woman and her husband, and ultimately a woman and her own soul”


It’s taken me a really long time to sit down and actually review this book and that’s not a good thing. I honestly could not come up with any words that worked for me. I loved The Invention of Wings. I thought, hey, I enjoyed that book maybe I’ll enjoy another by the same author. But unfortunately that wasn’t the case. To me, The Mermaid’s Chair was somewhat of a story of a woman going through a midlife crisis. The only positive I could find from this story was her eventual understanding of herself and who she wants to be as well as the spiritual aspect of this story.

However, that’s where it ends for me. I forced myself to finish this book, I am one who tries to always a finish a book no matter what I think of this, and this was one of those stories that was very hard for me to get through. Multiple times I thought about stopping but I trudged along.

Overall Rating: 2/5 stars

Empire of Storms

Currently Listening to: Selena Gomez

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass #5

Goodreads Synopsis: “The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.

With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.”


Review: Well, after Queen of Shadows, I couldn’t keep my goal of reading only one of these a month (PS- I’m already halfway through Tower of Dawn). This one was just as good as Queen of Shadows and I finally feel like I understand why someone who likes Game of Thrones would like this series. There’s magic, there’s death, there’s all these forces against each other while not realizing they need to work together on a bigger darkness than imaginable.

Of course I was a little disappointed that Chaol wasn’t in this one. Yes, I still love Chaol, I’ll leave it there since Tower is Dawn is mostly about him. I found myself really falling for some old and new characters more. Is it weird I love the complicated character Lorcan? I must go for the bad guys, Manon — the witch who has struggled for awhile with what’s in her heart has finally won me over, while Elide shows that the mind can win wars just as much as brute. With these new characters emerging, new friendships are being forged in very unlikely situations, again, reminding me of Game of Thrones — where enemies or adversaries have to work together for the better good. You have human working with Fae working with witches and people with magic — putting their differences aside to understand what’s needed.

On top of that, the romance is very “adult”. Romantic relationships might not last, but in this series, Maas finds away to make all these mature, understanding and she doesn’t let them fall into a pit of misery, you find them excelling at their new romances instead.

Unfortunately I’m still not a huge fan of Aelin and Rowan but I understand the appeal and the strength they bring as main characters in this story. Aelin is that complicate heroine who will do just that for the people she loves and this story brought that to light more, while I’m still not a huge fan, I find myself understanding the difficult position she has been thrown in and how she’s smarter than she lets on in the story. She sees how everything is going to play out before anyone else. I can appreciate what Maas has done there.

This story in general was somewhat of a blur for me, I couldn’t put it down, I needed to know what happened next and for once Maas left us with a cliffhanger! Ugh! She’s been so good at leaving me satisfied with the endings but this one left so much open that’s its going to be hard to wait it out (PS- I already pre-ordered the next book, more on that in a later post).

I feel like Empire of Storms showed that one person cannot win a war, no matter if it’s fantasy or real life. You need people around you that you can trust, you need to know when to divulge information and you need to know when to keep them to yourself for the very end.

Overall Rating: 4/5 stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Could Re-Read Forever

The Top 10 Books I Could Re-Read for Ever seems like it would be an easy one but I’ve struggled a lot with trying to figure out which books would fall into this category. Thanks again to the Artsy Reader Girl for giving me a Top 10 that really made me think.


Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone

This has to be on the list for me, it might not be my favorite book in the series but it’s the reason why I love to read so of course I could re-read it forever. Of course my collection has grown, it’s hard not to collect everything from a series (if possible).



The Bear and The Nightingale

I actually haven’t re-read this one but I know I will. This is one of my all time favorites, with it’s magic and fantasy. I can’t get enough.






Like Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone, I haven’t just re-read this, I’ve re-re-re-read it! There is something so magnificent about this first story. It always leaves me wanting to re-read the entire series.




Chronicles of Narnia

This is just one of those stories that every kid should have the pleasure of hearing read to them or maybe just one they read themselves. PS– how gorgeous is the book I have of it? It has ALL the stories and you can purchase it at Barnes and Noble. 






The Nightingale

This book left me emotionally wrecked, one of the true stories that I can say (other than A Man Called Ove) which did just that. I loved every second of this one and could re-read this over and over even though it depicts the horror of WWII.




 A Man Called Ove IMG_20170427_081126_058

Ugh, where to begin with Ove, I feel like a little part of me is like him which made me love him so much. I could re-read this one over and over and honestly have given it to so many people — you’ll learn about loss, strength, friendship and maybe just appreciating everyone a little bit more in life.





A Court of Mist and Fury

Usually the third story in a (sort of) trilogy isn’t necessarily the best — it’s the middle book for a reason, to fill the holes left by the first and get you read for the last. A Court of Mist and Fury wasn’t that at all however. It was the perfect second story in a trilogy (though I guess now that Sarah J. Maas is continuing on it might not be considered a trilogy anymore).



While not pictured below, Poldark will always have a special place in my heart because it opened me up to a world I hadn’t seen yet — a world that was real and it made me love every minute of it. But it was also the characters that made the first story and then all the rest so memorable. I already know I’ll be re-reading this more than once.


Not pictured above:

The Kite Runner:
I haven’t read this one in awhile and not since I started this blog but as horrifying as this story is, I could re-read it forever. I remember the first time I read it in high school, I was so happy there was a book out there that depicted some of the awful times in the Middle East, information that my friends at the time had no clue about.

The Hobbit:
It’s hard not to appreciate The Hobbit and Lord of The Rings. Everything it brought to literature still amazes me. The Hobbit is still my favorite in the series, though it took me years to finally decide to read it, I’ll never remember the fun I had on Bilbo’s adventure.


What are the 10 books you could re-read forever? Any of them hit my list above? I’d love to know! I’m sure there’s a bunch I’m missing and maybe haven’t even read at all! Leave your comments below 🙂

Queen of Shadows

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass, Book #4

Synopsis: Aelin has finally decided to become who she was always supposed to be. But before she can do that, she must become Celaena one more time for revenge on the people who took everything from her.  In order to do so and fight for her kingdom, she will need the help of some unlikely friends and the people who are closest to her.


Review: Wow you guys, just wow. You might have remembered my review of Heir of Fire. I was not a fan, in fact I considered not even continuing the series at that point but I’m so glad I did. Queen of Shadows is my favorite so far in the series. I seriously could not put it down. Below is my review of what I liked and what I didn’t like:

What I didn’t like:

The only thing with this series is that I find myself seeing glimpses of A Court Of Thorns and Roses (Sarah J. Maas’ other series) too much. Aelin and Rowan’s relationship seems so similar to Feyre and Rhys that I find myself rolling my eyes (like a passage onn page 436, I won’t ruin it for you but I felt like it was exactly the same as a line from A Court of Mist and Fury. I’m also not going to lie, I am probably the only one who thinks this but I find Rowan meh, maybe it’s because he reminds me so much of Rhys (Who I did like) or maybe it’s just how he’s written, I don’t find him at all intriguing.

It was like a bucket of water had been dumped on her. She blinked. She could have warned them — could have tried. Later — she’d this about that later. ‘It doesn’t matter, she said. Right now we need to help Aedion and Dorian’.” (pg. 50)

I’m also not a huge fan of Aelin. I know she puts on a brave face but the lack of humility in the beginning of the book was too much. Her character development definitely got better by the end of the book.

What I did like

Okay, now that that’s taken care of, let me tell you about all the reasons this is my favorite book in the series.

First off, the new characters are awesome. I love Nesyrn, like she might be my favorite female character in this whole series. Nesyrn is one of those badass female characters that is just “plain human” but still lethal in a world with fae, magic and witches. Lysandra, Elide and Aedion (though I know he was in the Heir of Fire) are pretty awesome too. They are all these strong characters that have done what they needed to survive all these years.

“What if we go on,” he said, “only to more pain and despair? What if we go on, only to find a horrible end waiting for us?”

Aelin looked northward, as if she could see all the way to Terrasen. “Then it’s not the end.” (pg. 521)

This also had more of Chaol developing as a character. I don’t care that I’m one of the only people that seem to like him but I love him. I feel like he grew a lot in this story and I loved his moments with Aelin. I have finally warmed up to Manon too, I can’t wait to see what she does next with her witches and how it connects with Aelin and her story. Manon is such a complicated character, a witch who should have a heart but seems to be struggling all the time with her feelings.

I also loved how fast paced this story was, it seemed like every chapter was jam packed with drama, fighting or character development. I was almost never bored and tried to read whenever I got a chance (sorry to my boyfriend for telling him to go away while I read). We also learned so much to lead up to the next installment and finally have some closure with our characters that was satisfying.

Overall I give this book 4.5/5 stars, if it wasn’t for me comparing it to ACOTAR I probably would have given it 5/5.

Have you guys read this one? What did you think?

We Were The Lucky Ones

Author: Georgia Hunter

Pages: 416

Goodreads Synopsis:

“It is the spring of 1939 and three generations of the Kurc family are doing their best to live normal lives, even as the shadow of war grows closer. The talk around the family Seder table is of new babies and budding romance, not of the increasing hardships threatening Jews in their hometown of Radom, Poland. But soon the horrors overtaking Europe will become inescapable and the Kurcs will be flung to the far corners of the world, each desperately trying to navigate his or her own path to safety.”


This was one of those books that I didn’t need to know the synopsis of to know I wanted to read it. I remember first seeing the above cover and thinking how heartbreaking but beautiful this cover was, and if the cover was that magnificent then I hoped the story would be just as powerful.

Ever since I started to really read, I’ve been fascinated with WWII– especially for what it was like in Europe at the time. As someone from the U.S. our history classes were based primarily on what happened to America not Europe during these wars. It wasn’t until I started reading historical fiction– from The Book Thief, to The Nightingale, or All the Light We Cannot See, that I really got an appreciation for what it was like in Europe during the time of WWII.


However, this is the first book that I’ve read that is specific to what occurred to Jewish families during the war. This is a story of a real family and their hardships during WWII in Poland, Germany, The Soviet Union and France. Each chapter is about a different family member, I have to admit this was cleverly thought out but sometimes became confusing because you would jump from one family member to another and I had trouble keeping track of each storyline. I found myself having to read back chapters to remember who these people were. However, this is the only downfall to this story, I loved that Hunter included history highlights before some chapters; for example, what happened on a certain day and year before letting us know where the family was and what was happening to them. It also helped me keep track of history at the same time as following the family through their survival.

I am in awe of the strength of these people and all like them. They took risks every day to stay alive. They were exiled and beaten, starving, prisoners, and fighting for their lives every day. On top of that, they had no idea where their family members were half of the time if not the whole time during the war. They had no way to contact them, when one disappeared, they assumed they had died but yet they found a way to keep living. This story is not just about how lucky they were but how survival was the only option even at their most difficult moments.

I found myself smiling with tears in my eyes when families met again after such a long time apart or frowning with tears in my eyes when a family member found out the horrible fate of a loved one. This book truly brought everything to light of what it was like not only in Poland at the time but what Jewish families had to go through during such a difficult history.

I gave this book 4/5 stars on Goodreads.

If you read this, don’t stop at the end, I recommend you read the story behind Hunter’s reasoning for writing this and what it meant to her and her family. She has definitely given me inspiration and motivation to find my ancestral history and appreciate what I have.