Book Review: DNF’d

Valentine

Hello friends,

Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore was a novel that I picked this up, and read three chapters, before I DNF’d it. The writing was good. Really, really excellent. But the story itself was not meant for me, as I was most definitely not the right target audience at this point and time.

Violent, gritty, the writing was easily some of my favorite; however I disliked the topic of the story, and the way it set up, in terms of justice, retribution, and the way things evolved. Three chapters probably isn’t fair, but I was hoping for something far more centered around survival out in the wilderness, than vengeance and graphic violence. Maybe I’ll pick it up again in another setting, but for now, it was just a bit too dark hearted for the mood that I was craving in terms of a good survival story.

A solid 3 stars.

Until later,

Pass Me That Book

Netgalley Review: For Love and Country

ForLoveandCountry

Hello friends,

For Love and Country by Candace Waters is a strong female character driven historical novel centered around the WAVES program and Pearl Harbor. While overall I found the plot fascinating, I also found several issues in this book that I wasn’t expecting to have encountered. This book is very Christian based. There’s praying every few chapters, an always when Charlotte Palmer, our heroine, prays she seems to be able to get what she wants, even if it takes a bit in doing so. She’s a ‘proper rich girl’ and though I admired her for leaving her home, she seemed woefully ignorant about a lot of things around the world, not just the war. Maggie was far more interesting to me, as a whole, and I identified with her a fair bit.

Men treated women harshly back then, I understand, and it hasn’t gotten much better if my mother being a car mechanic and carpenter is anything to go by. So this is accurate, but a lot of the men’s comments, and the fact that she got punished for the most minor of infractions is infuriating. I get that was what the author was aiming for, and applaud her dedication to the accuracy of her research in terms of writing this book. Even so, I despised a fair few male characters in this book.

I did like Charlotte, but she seemed to eager to please in terms of those that surrounded her. I wanted more from the story, and the way she handled Eugene could have been handled better, in my opinion. Overall the story was captivating, despite several issues that I had as a person. Others might not have the same issues. 4 solid stars for a new to me author, and I’ll definitely be keeping an interest in any of her future works.

Until next time,
Pass Me That Book

Book Review: The Winter Witch

 

The Winter Witch

Title: The Winter Witch
Author: Paula Brackston
Series: Book 1
Genre: Adult Fiction, Romance, Fantasy
Page Count: 400
Received: Library
Type of Book: Paperback, Physical Copy, Library Loan
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 3.5/5 stars
Notes: I loved the writing style, but the depressing mood the story set was not what I was after at all.

The Winter Witch is a book that’s been on my radar to read for a couple years now, and I’m pleased I finally got it done. The cover is one of my favorites, it’s a perfect holiday read, and the atmospheric writing and characters are beautiful and well wrought. With an air of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, I was certain that this would be a new favorite.

Fledgling witch Morgana must defend her love, her home, and her life in this enthralling tale perfect for fans of Discovery of Witches

In her small early nineteenth century Welsh town, there is no one quite like Morgana, who has not spoken since she was a young girl. Her silence is a mystery, as well as her magic. Concerned for her safety, her mother is anxious to see her married, and Cai Jenkins, a widower from the far hills, seems the best choice.

After her wedding, Morgana is heartbroken at leaving her mother, and wary of this man, whom she does not know, and who will take her away to begin a new life. But she soon falls in love with Cai’s farm and the wild mountains that surround it. Cai works to understand the beautiful, half-tamed creature he has chosen for a bride, and slowly, he begins to win Morgana’s affections. It’s not long, however, before her strangeness begins to be remarked upon in her new village. A dark force is at work there—a person who will stop at nothing to turn the townspeople against Morgana. Forced to defend her home, her man, and herself, Morgana must learn to harness her power, or she will lose everything.

-Summary as seen on Goodreads

This, however, was rather depressing, and almost lax in that there wasn’t hardly anything going on. I liked Morgana a lot, and I liked that the character had chosen to be mute. I rarely find that in adult fiction, and I feel as though it were well handled. But the sheer amount of bullying, hateful and cruel comments, and general disregard for her intelligent simply because she chose not to speak was a serious mood killer at times. I appreciate the author attempting to be historically accurate with this, and I rather enjoyed the descriptive scenes of passages throughout the book. It alternated between character povs as well, but I didn’t mind overmuch, as it neatly flowed throughout the story.

Overall, I’m giving this a 3.5 raising it to 4 stars out of 5. Strong writing, great main characters…if it wasn’t just so depressing and moody for Morgana, I might have enjoyed it more. I might try the author again in the future. Strongly recommend that the reader keeps a box of tissues on hand for possible triggers in regards to abuse.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Arc Review: Today We Go Home

Title: Today We Go Home

Author: Kelly Estes

Series: Standalone

Genre: Adult Fiction

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Sourcebooks

Type of Book: Arc, Kindle Ebook

Received: Netgalley, Publisher

Review Word Count: 500

Rated: 5/5 stars

Notes: Beautifully written and captivating!

This tells the story of Emily turned Jesse Wilson, a young woman donning man’s clothing and joining her brother in the war to save her family after her Pa and oldest brother are killed by senech rebels. A girl disguising herself as a man is one of my favorites tropes in fiction, and so I jumped at the chance to read this book. It’s a wonderful story; it alternates between her story and another woman’s tale during the present day, a woman named Linda who lost her sister Sarah to a war as well. Linda finds the diary that inspired Sarah into becoming a soldier, and dives into Emily/Jesse’s tale, and soon is captivated over her story. She reads the story to get over the loss of her sister, she reads the story to see what happened with Emily, and she reads the story because she has rarely heard of a woman becoming a man to join a war back in the civil war era.

This was a beautiful, yet long tale-it took me four days to read through, and admittedly I liked Emily/Jesse’s chapters better as they were far more interesting to me, but overall there were quite a few things I liked about both women characters. I should note warnings for PTSD, typhoid/detailed sick scenes in hospitals, civil war battle scenes, attempted suicide, and sexist assholes scattered throughout the story. There’s a mindfield of triggers scattered throughout for anyone whose ever been involved in war, or has a sibling/relative that was in the war, so take caution in reading this book, please.

But it is an important book, as the story shows that women aren’t just willing to be shoved aside, and treated as simple creatures. They’re willing to stand up for what they believe in is right, and won’t take no for an answer. They can fight with guns, crawl through mud just as well as a man can, and I admire these women in this book, because they are badasses.

My one complaint is the dual character pov, alternating between past and present. But the author handled that so well, that it’s a minor complaint, so. I’m giving this book a 4.5/5 stars, and rounding it up to a solid 5 because it’s well deserving of it. I plan on buying a copy to add a physical copy to my shelves here at home, it’s that lovely of a story. There are several sad scenes scattered throughout, so be prepared for a box of tissues when reading this book. Trust me, you’ll need them if your heart isn’t made of stone.

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Book Review: Courage to Be Counted

Courage to Be Counted

Title: Courage to Be Counted
Author: Elerie Grace
Series: Book One
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Bugle Call Books
Page Count: 400 pages
Type of Book: Arc, Kindle Ebook
Received: Netgalley
Rated: 3/5 stars
Review Word Count: 500
Notes: Interesting, just not for me.

Not for me, sadly. I wanted to like, I really did, and I give that cover 5/5 stars but the story itself just didn’t work for me. There’s nothing wrong with it, and the writing was perfectly fine, but I just didn’t care or connect with any of the characters. It seemed to be meant for a different audience, though I’m not quite sure how to explain it. My grandmother read it and very much liked it-more than I did-so perhaps it’s an age thing? While I appreciate historical fiction, and have an special fondness for WWII stories, I just wasn’t enthused about this one.

Vivian was still a likable character, but there was a fair bit of sexism in this story, as well as unrequited love between characters at the beginning of the story (poor Hank), and I didn’t like how the army/military treated women as though they were only there because they had no other men available. I get that it’s historically accurate, and as mentioned before, I appreciate historically accurate stories.

As the bombs fall on Europe, their new love must survive a deadly war…
Vivian Lambert wants to do her part. When she wins a coveted overseas post with the Red Cross, she focuses on her war service. Falling hard for a sexy pilot wasn’t part of her plan.
Jack Nielsen has a mission. Motivated by patriotic duty and desire to avenge the death of his best friend, Jack commands a ten-man B-17 crew. Keeping himself and his men alive in the fire-filled skies over Europe will require Jack’s full focus. Romancing a headstrong Red Cross Girl is a distraction he knows he shouldn’t indulge.
While Vivian’s work takes her across France and into the heart of Nazi Germany, mounting casualties drive Jack to confront his dwindling odds of survival. As Allied forces converge on all fronts, can Vivian and Jack’s relationship withstand an excruciating battle between love and duty?
Courage to be Counted is the first book in the Clubmobile Girls series of thrilling historical romances. If you like brave military heroes, trailblazing heroines, and romance under fire, then you’ll love Eleri Grace’s page-turning tale.
-Description As Seen on Goodreads

I hope to try this book again in the future, and see if I have a different opinion when I’m older. I thank the publisher as well as Marzie for introducing me to this book. It was an interesting read, even if it wasn’t to my tastes. Overall, I’m giving this 3/5 stars, and a DNF at 65%. Good luck to the author, and may the odds be ever in their favor.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Book Review: The Ventriloquists

The Ventriloquists

Title: The Ventriloquists
Author: ER Ramzipoor
Series: Standalone
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Park Row
Page Count: 600
Type of Book: Kindle Ebook
Received: Netgalley
Rated: 3/5 stars
Review Word Count:
Notes: DNF’d at 40%. This just wasn’t keeping my attention.

The Ventriloquists started out interesting, but about forty percent of the way through the book my attention wavered and then I just gave up reading it. While I liked the characters, especially Eliza’s eagerness to know the truth of what happened and how things became as they are, the amount of french, politics, and historical things within was over my head and didn’t keep my attention in the slightest. My apologies to the author, but I do believe this book was meant for more serious history buffs than myself. While I adore historical fiction, even I was a bit befuddled by a lot of things that were going on in this book.

In this triumphant debut inspired by true events, a ragtag gang of journalists and resistance fighters risk everything for an elaborate scheme to undermine the Reich.

Brussels, 1943. Twelve-year-old street orphan Helene survives by living as a boy and selling copies of the country’s most popular newspaper, Le Soir, now turned into Nazi propaganda. Helene’s entire world changes when she befriends a rogue journalist, Marc Aubrion, who draws her into a secret network publishing dissident underground newspapers.

Aubrion’s unbridled creativity and linguistic genius attract the attention of August Wolff, a high-ranking Nazi official tasked with swaying public opinion against the Allies. Wolff captures Aubrion and his comrades and gives them an impossible choice: use the newspaper to paint the Allies as monsters, or be killed. Faced with no decision at all, Aubrion has a brilliant idea: they will pretend to do the Nazis’ bidding, but instead they will publish a fake edition of Le Soir that pokes fun at Hitler and Stalin—giving power back to the Belgians by daring to laugh in the face of their oppressors.

The ventriloquists have agreed to die for a joke, and they have only eighteen days to tell it.

Told with dazzling scope, taut prose and devastating emotion, The Ventriloquists illuminates the extraordinary acts of courage by ordinary people forgotten by history—unlikely heroes who went to extreme lengths to orchestrate the most stunning feat of journalism in modern history.
~As Described on Goodreads

Overall, I may try to read this book again in the future but I highly doubt it. My thanks to the publish for allowing me a copy of this book to review, and I do wish that I could have given a better review than ‘it was alright’ or a 3/5 stars. Perhaps I may try the authors other works as well.

Until next time,
Pass Me That Book

Netgalley Review: Murder at Morrington Hall (Book 1 of a delightful new series!)

Murder at Morrington Hall

Title: Murder at Morrington Hall
Author: Clara McKenna
Series: Book 1
Genre: Mystery, Historical
Publisher: Kensington Books
Page Count: 300
Type of Book: Arc, Kindle Ebook
Received: Netgalley
Rated: 5/5 stars
Review Word Count: 1,000
Notes: My, that was a lovely read!

This was utterly delightful, and exactly the kind of book I’d been hoping for here as of late. A cozy mystery but with plenty of drama, a tiny spark of rebellious romance, and a good old fashioned ‘who-dun-it’ air!

Stella is an excellent female detective, and I loved her personality. While I hated most of the others around her, who are overbearing and downright hateful towards her at times, I did enjoy her steadfastness and intelligence, her wit and her daring throughout the book. She drove the old American cars without caring who saw. She wore trousers beneath skirts, rode horses and cared for them, baked in a kitchen despite the fact it was far beneath her station, was kind to servants and remembered their names and helped them whenever she could…just a basic, all american good lady.

Yet she’s taken aback and furious when she learns that the reason she and her family are visiting in England at a prestigious families house isn’t for the upcoming Derby and her horses, but because of an arranged marriage her father had created between her and Lyndy. She hates to be thought of as nothing more but a prized stallion to be bartered with and traded about. Even worse the implication once she’s done her duty and produced an heir and a spare, then he could just push her aside and find plenty of mistresses to fill his time with, never giving her any time of day unless it was important enough for him to do so.

There’s a fair bit of ‘women aren’t meant to do that’ in this book, which was infuriating to say the least, but Stella remains stubborn and prideful, though the others call her head strong and dangerous. I mean really, just because she bucks tradition, she’s considered to be ‘full of herself’? That’s ridiculous! I understand it was the times back then, but many women and men I very much wish to strangle. Grr…

Stella and Lyndy both talk, and get to know one another as they are now for all intents and purposes, engaged to be married. Stella wishes to speak with the vicar, and so while giving her a tour of the house, the two of them wind up to the library where they find the vicar…quite obviously dead, and in no mood to talk.

There’s an eventual missing horse, missing jewels, a meeting with the King while at the Derby, and more exciting adventures throughout this wonderful first novel. Stella is a true inquisitive lady, determined to figure out who killed the priest that was supposed to be the one to marry her, while Lyndy attempts to figure out who stole the jewels and their families latest and newest horse that was part of the wedding deal from Stella’s father.

(No harm comes to the horse at the end of the book, for those that are worried. It’s returned safe and sound, with not even a scratch on him-bonus points to the author for making sure the animal remains unharmed!)

I really enjoyed this book, and am now adding this author to my favorites list. This was clearly well written and researched, and there was a large cast protrayed so that one could continue to guess and still be surprised by the end of the book. I was half-right in who committed a certain crime, but the author surprised me completely with who was actually the killer, so more bonus points towards her as well. Though I’d paid attention, there were a couple of things I hadn’t considered towards the end of the book, and that was how she’d managed to surprise me, the sly writer.

5/5 stars for a splendid read, and I definitely aim to read more of this series as time goes on. For those that like Rhys Bowen’s Royal Spyness series, you might give this a try. Same kind of style, though not in journal format, it’s still got the adventurous feel and strong female character to enjoy reading throughout.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Netgalley Review: The Lieutenant’s Nurse

The Lieutenant's Nurse

Title: The Lieutenant’s Nurse
Author: Sara Ackerman
Series: ? Works as a Standalone
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Page Count: 300
Type of Book: Arc, Kindle Ebook
Received: Netgalley
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 2.5 rounded up to 3/5 stars
Notes: Pretty cover, meh story.

I really wanted to like this book more than I did. Sadly, there was a lot of discrimination against women in this book. Doctor’s acted like all-knowing assholes towards women, and the women barely stood up for themselves, afraid if they did they’d be fired and/or worse. It infuriated me how a lot of the nurses in this book were treated, as if they were to be tolerated for their unusual ways and not meant to be taken seriously in a ‘man’s world’. Ugh!

The historical aspects of the book were fascinating to read, set before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Normally the historical books that I read are focused ON the event, not the months leading up to the attack. It was an interesting read, and I give it slight bonus points for taking a different approach than what most authors generally use.

I know very little about Pearl Harbor. My grandfather’s time, and I didn’t have much interest in American History. I was more interested in Ancient History like with the Mayans and the Greeks and the Romans. Pearl Harbor was only of vague interest because I knew my grandfather knew people who were a part of that history, so that was part of why I selected this book for review. Another reason was because I wanted to read more ‘recent’ history, and because the story itself sounded interesting.

And it was, though not as good as I hoped it would be. It seemed to be strongly geared towards Eva finding a man to help her be more ‘controlled’ and less independent. It was very frustrating to read her falling for such an egotistical ass, and while eventually the guy lead character grew on me, it was a very long eventually to get there and he still wasn’t my favorite book boyfriend ever. It seemed to me like Eva was trying to hard to be the well-liked and normal nurse, as opposed to getting shit done and taking no prisoners approach.

Overall, I’m giving this 3/5 stars. Originally, it’s 2.5 rounded up to a solid 3 because of how interesting the historical bits were, and I *did* like Eva’s character, I just didn’t much like the story.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book.

Happy New Year: New Year, New Arcs!

There’s lots of new arcs that I was recently approved on Netgalley. I’ve done two reviews thus far, but am behind-again-but only because I’m working on other things too. It being the new year, there’s also little time for reading/writing with family over for the holidays, which makes it more challenging as well. But I decided to do a brief post where I display the upcoming ARCs that I plan on reading and reviewing. Here are the new books that I was approved on Netgalley, several of which I am eagerly anticipating!

 

I’m quite excited for “Romanov”, “Fog Season”, and “A Danger to Herself and Others” but I really am eagerly anticipating all of these, and can’t wait to start reading them! I hope I can get to them soon, because my Netgalley reading list is starting to become rather alarming.

Other books that I’m currently reading:

The Defiant Heir by Melissa Caruso

The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox

The Winter Road by Adrian Selby 

I should have reviews up for those three books soon. Be sure to keep an eye out for that, as well as several other updates I’m planning on doing. I’ve been working like made on the secret project, hoping to get it up soon. Otherwise, this is all the news that I really have to share with at the moment. I hope everyone had a lovely new year, and got approved arcs as well.

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book