The Left Behinds: Abe Lincoln and the Selfie that Saved the Union

The Left Behinds: Abe Lincoln and the Selfie that Saved the UnionThe Left Behinds: Abe Lincoln and the Selfie that Saved the Union by David Potter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Honestly, I didn’t really enjoy the book. I will say that despite my not liking it, I do think that it is a great addition to middle grade historical fiction. Those who read The Magic Treehouse series will see many parallels, with the added modern technology twist.

Review: Heartache and Other Natural Shocks

Heartache and Other Natural ShocksHeartache and Other Natural Shocks by Glenda Leznoff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Being a Torontonian may have influenced my choosing of this book a little more than I would like to admit. However there were other factors that drew me in as well; the shakespearean connection, the coming-of-age struggles, and brutal rivalry of teenage girls.

The beginning of the novel was a bit slower than I was expecting, but it still kept my interest enough to keep reading. Once the pace picked up a bit more I was completely drawn in. I loved so much about this book, the subtle historical references–just enough to give the time period, but not too in-your-face. The raw look inside underage drinking and drug use that is so honest it is perfect. The hard realization that not all families are perfect, and how utterly heartbreaking that can feel.

While there are some very minor things that kept this book from being an five star favourite for me, I absolutely adore this book and will be keeping an eye out for more of Glenda’s books.

Review: The 12 Brides of Summer- Novella Collection #4

The 12 Brides of Summer - Novella Collection #4The 12 Brides of Summer – Novella Collection #4 by Vickie McDonough
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

All three novellas are by different authors, but are all similar, while still being unique stories. However, I am slightly torn for the rating of this book. Part of me loves these quaint stories about love in the late nineteenth century, but part of me strongly dislikes the multitude of God references.

I finally decided on five stars, primarily because when I selected this book it was clearly stated that it was a Christian romance, but also because I shouldn’t be judging a book by it’s character’s religion. Much to the same way I can read book with characters of a different sexual orientation than myself–I can read books, and not take offence to, with different religious beliefs.

Review: These Shallow Graves

These Shallow Graves
These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The story takes place in New York City in the 1890s, upper class, rich privileged girl is all but engaged to New York’s wealthiest bachelor. Feeling like there is more to life she struggles with being an obedient future wife–that is until her father dies. His death is the trigger that sends our protagonist on a mission to defy social norms and catch her father’s murderer.

With the help of some new–less privileged friends, Jo manages to dig up long hidden truths, but will they find out the truth about her father–before it’s too late?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the mystery that Jo helps to uncover. I love that there were some hidden clues that I didn’t catch right away and that there was more than one plot tied in neatly together. I loved that while it was a romance of sorts, romantic love wasn’t the focal point of the novel and the protagonist didn’t NEED a man (mentally, to society at the time she did).

If there was half stars I would most likely be giving this book 3.5, but given the ending was different (read: unique, but good) than I expected I rounded up to a four. It kept you guessing up until the very end and while it appears to be a stand-alone, I would most definitely read the sequel if there ever was one.

Review: Making It Home

Making It Home
Making It Home by Suzanne Roche

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have received this book in exchange for an honest review through NetGalley.

The concept is quite unique, I loved this historical integration. Assuming the historical parts are true (I’m Canadian, with very little American history knowledge) I actually felt that I learned something while reading this book.

However, the dialogue was not fun. It was quite choppy and kept flipping tense without much notice. One moment Peri is taking to her brothers, the next she is ‘talking’ to herself about the past.

The other thing that made this book hard to read was the fast pace the ‘background’ characters jumped in and out of the story. We hear their names once, their background, and that’s it.

The book would be great with a little tidying up. Time travel is always an interesting topic.

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THE GOOD SOLDIER by Paul C. Steffy

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was free to read in exchange for a review through NetGalley.

I’m a fan of military and historical books, and the title and cover caught my eye, so I decided to download this book.

Not what I was expecting at all. The feeling of seeing first hand how veterans feel everyday was a moving experience, although I don’t agree with war, I respect and salute those who fight and protect once there is a reason.

As a Canadian, we don’t learn about the wars from the twentieth century in the same manner as our American neighbours. This novel opened my eyes to that a little more.

The basic plot line was sad, but beautiful but it read as if the author was writing from memory. Conversations cut a little short, minor details not included, but basic concepts are spelled out for the reader.

Not somthing I would recomend, until some touching up has been done, but overall I’m glad I picked it up.

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Review: Marking Time

Marking Time
Marking Time by April White

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve always loved the idea of travelling to the past. It would be surreal to experience history first hand. Add in the idea that the main character was actually conceived in the past, throw in some real facts (Jack The Ripper, etc) and I am in LOVE. I absolutely LOVE the characters. The book could use a little tidying up, but otherwise it is amazing.

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Review: The Book Thief

The Book Thief
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I did not like the first 50 pages of this book. It annoyed me that the narrator talked in this weird ‘third-person/dictionary’ way. Looking back I guess I was more so annoyed that Hitler’s people were practically forcing a mother to give up her children.

I guess I’m giving [b:The Book Thief|19063|The Book Thief|Markus Zusak||878368] five stars instead of my original four might be because of how strongly I thought I was going to hate this book (after reading the first fifty or so pages). I became drawn in and learned to love Liesel, Papa, Mama, Rudy, and Max.

The one thing that I would love to know is who Liesel married. I personally think that it’s Max, I know there is a fourteen year age gap, but from watching their relationship I guess I’m kind of hoping that they find true happiness in each other.

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