Book Review: The Life You Stole ( The Life Series #2 ) – Jewel E. Ann

Sex. Lies. Revenge.

On the heels of a devastating loss, Evelyn fights to put her life back together.
Only … part of her husband belongs to another woman, and the devil owns her soul.

“If you tell her the lie, I will tell her the truth.”

When her best friend goes to great lengths to protect Evelyn from destruction and devastation, mistakes are made, lines are crossed, and all trust is shattered.

“We weren’t unbreakable.
I just needed to believe we weren’t unrepairable.”

Don’t miss the explosive conclusion to this unforgettable thriller by Jewel E. Ann, bestselling author of The Transcend Series.


 

Screw whatever I said in my review for book #1, The Life That Mattered by author Jewel E. Ann. All confusion and mixed feelings vanished after having read The Life You Stole, book #2 from The Life Series.

Holy shitcakes… this was an intense read. So much drama, so much emotional pain, so many crippling highs and lows. I wanted it all to end but the bookish sadist in me wanted more!

There was only one thing that bothered me. Something this story could´ve lived without. The supernatural bit. Have you ever seen the movie 1996 movie Phenomenon? The one with John Travolta? This story is similar to the movie only with a focus on romance and friendship ( and lies, heartbreak, betrayal, money, death, sex, snow, power, etc ).

I like to think the story would´ve been perfectly fine without the supernatural bit. It certainly would´ve been just as painfully emotional. But other than that, I can´t complain. I´ve been through bookish hell and back with this read. That´s exactly what I want when reading a book.


 

Would I recommend this book? Yes! I think, even if I thought book #1 was slow, it was the perfect build up for what happened in bok #2. A necessary calm before the storm, if you will. A reader gets a slow-burn romantic start with a shit – has – properly – hit – the – fan romantic ending. It´s a romance, y´all.

Would I reread this book? I´ll definitely reread bits of book #2 in the near future just to torture myself a little.


 

The Cover:  3 Stars – Still not my cup of tea. At least it matches the cover of book #1.

The Story:  4 Stars – A little over the top but still enjoyable. Certain scenes are very intense. Disliked the supernatural addition.

The Characters:  5 Stars – * standing ovation * Great character development. Loved Evelyn and Lila.

My emotional state after finishing this read: So pooped that I need a large cocktail.

 

 

The Life You Stole by Jewel E. Ann is available on Amazon.com

 

Book Review: How The States Got Their Shapes – Mark Stein

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Why does Oklahoma have that panhandle? Did someone make a mistake?

We are so familiar with the map of the United States that our state borders seem as much a part of nature as mountains and rivers. Even the oddities—the entire state of Maryland(!)—have become so engrained that our map might as well be a giant jigsaw puzzle designed by Divine Providence. But that’s where the real mystery begins. Every edge of the familiar wooden jigsaw pieces of our childhood represents a revealing moment of history and of, well, humans drawing lines in the sand.

How the States Got Their Shapes is the first book to tackle why our state lines are where they are. Here are the stories behind the stories, right down to the tiny northward jog at the eastern end of Tennessee and the teeny-tiny (and little known) parts of Delaware that are not attached to Delaware but to New Jersey.

How the States Got Their Shapes examines:

Why West Virginia has a finger creeping up the side of Pennsylvania
Why Michigan has an upper peninsula that isn’t attached to Michigan
Why some Hawaiian islands are not Hawaii
Why Texas and California are so outsized, especially when so many Midwestern states are nearly identical in size
Packed with fun oddities and trivia, this entertaining guide also reveals the major fault lines of American history, from ideological intrigues and religious intolerance to major territorial acquisitions. Adding the fresh lens of local geographic disputes, military skirmishes, and land grabs, Mark Stein shows how the seemingly haphazard puzzle pieces of our nation fit together perfectly.

 


 

My Thoughts 2

 

If you´re interested in American state history then look no further. This book is exactly what you need to understand how borders formed and reshaped throughout the early period of America.

Interesting. Insightful. Fascinating.

 

`How The States Got Their Shapes`  is exactly what the title suggests. A book on how each of the 50 states got their shapes. Not necessarily important to know but interesting nonetheless. How the states got their shape

If you´re anything like me you´ll inhale this book and appreciate the knowledge handed out here. Some things I already knew about but some other things, like- the equality of height of the prairie states and the equality of width of the western states is just…

 

A great read with tons of facts on states. My expectations were met.

The only complaint I have is about how some states didn´t receive as much detailed spotlight as others. I don´t know why. Maybe there wasn´t enough available info? Who knows.

America is one big fat game of Tetris.

 


 

Would I recommend this book? Sure. It´s a quick read with loads of interesting facts.

Would I reread this book? Yes, I would.

Since this is a History / Geography book on American History I will skip my usual 4 point speed rating. 

4 stars

 

You can purchase `How The States Got Their Shapes` by Mark Stein on Amazon.com

 

Book Review: The Diary Of A Bookseller – Shaun Bythell

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Shaun Bythell owns The Bookshop, Wigtown – Scotland’s largest second-hand bookshop. It contains 100,000 books, spread over a mile of shelving, with twisting corridors and roaring fires, and all set in a beautiful, rural town by the edge of the sea. A book-lover’s paradise? Well, almost … In these wry and hilarious diaries, Shaun provides an inside look at the trials and tribulations of life in the book trade, from struggles with eccentric customers to wrangles with his own staff, who include the ski-suit-wearing, bin-foraging Nicky. He takes us with him on buying trips to old estates and auction houses, recommends books (both lost classics and new discoveries), introduces us to the thrill of the unexpected find, and evokes the rhythms and charms of small-town life, always with a sharp and sympathetic eye.


 

My Thoughts 2

 

What a charming read. A pessimistic bookseller ( Shaun, the author ) reveals what goes down in his bookshop. Not the first person who had this idea for a book but, to be honest, I don´t mind that at all.

`The Diary Of A Bookseller` by author Shaun Bythell is the most charming ( with a less charming bookstore owner ) and charismatic non-fiction/memoir I´ve read this year.

 

Peculiar. Sarcastic. Amusing. Enlightening.

 

Online sales, customer dealings, employee interaction, book sales/trades/purchases,… So much wonderful insight presented in a diary format. This sounds like a book lover´s dream come true. And, it IS a book lover´s dream come true. For everyone else, this is probably the worst book that has ever ben published. The Diary Of A Bookseller

I really enjoyed this book but I would have enjoyed it more had it not been so repetitive at times.

The issue with a 310-page book that is filled with diary entries is: It´s hard to keep them exciting all the time. I admit- I felt a strong urge to skim every other diary entry, but I didn´t. I felt I owed it to the bookshop owner for some reason.

Here´s a guy who´s put so much time and effort into documenting his experiences. His snarky comments, the sarcasm, his voice… I fully appreciated everything. This book deserves attention from a book lover.

After having read this book I´m 100% positive that I never want to be a bookshop owner. Like- Ever. Hats off to Shaun, though. For keeping the bookstore tradition going.


 

Would I recommend this book? Yes. I would. If you love the diary format then you´ll love this non-fiction. Also a great read for fans of bookshop owner Bernard Black from the British sitcom Black Books!

Would I reread this book? Probably not. There are definitely parts I´d like to reread sometime but from start to finish? I don´t think I will.


 

 

The Cover – 4 Stars:  A perfect cover for this book. Very fitting.

The Story – 3 Stars:  The book is a memoir. The author graciously granted insight on the monotonous life as a bookseller. If it wasn´t for the dragging entries…

The Character – 4 Stars:   You could feel sorry for Shaun but then again- He chose the bookshop and it looks like the shop has turned him into a snarky yet humorous person. He´d be my friend in real life, I´m sure.

My emotional state after finishing this read – Satisfied.

 

4 stars

 

You can buy `The Diary Of A Bookseller on Amazon.com

 

Book Review: The Black Witch – Laurie Forest

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A new Black Witch will rise…her powers vast beyond imagining.

Elloren Gardner is the granddaughter of the last prophesied Black Witch, Carnissa Gardner, who drove back the enemy forces and saved the Gardnerian people during the Realm War. But while she is the absolute spitting image of her famous grandmother, Elloren is utterly devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above all else.

When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren joins her brothers at the prestigious Verpax University to embrace a destiny of her own, free from the shadow of her grandmother’s legacy. But she soon realizes that the university, which admits all manner of people—including the fire-wielding, winged Icarals, the sworn enemies of all Gardnerians—is a treacherous place for the granddaughter of the Black Witch.

As evil looms on the horizon and the pressure to live up to her heritage builds, everything Elloren thought she knew will be challenged and torn away. Her best hope of survival may be among the most unlikely band of misfits…if only she can find the courage to trust those she’s been taught to hate and fear.


My Thoughts 2

This will be the hardest review I´ve ever written. Not because I´m not able to find the right words to describe my feelings towards this book – It´s more because I´m not able to form any thoughts without spoiling this story. And I feel that whatever I will say will most definitely spoil a good portion of the story. * sigh *

That´s why I´ll just tell you to read the synopsis very carefully. What´s revealed there is more than enough to either whet your reading appetite or to turn you off. black witch

What I will throw into this review is the fact on how controversial this book is. I see lots of people hating or loving `The Black Witch` ( The Black Witch Chronicles #1 ) by Laurie Forest. I found the story itself great. So great I´m actually looking forward to read more. You won´t get your every day, typical witchy read with this one because the story is dark and carries topics that evoke strong feelings from readers.

The characters are, in my opinion, strong and very diverse. Also good to mention would be the slow character development. Although this is something that usually brings me to the brink of insanity I found myself enjoying the slow growth. It added depth to the story. To a story that´s already interesting and exciting.

Now, as for the controversial issue: I don´t mind books that tackle strong and often unlikable topics. I can oversee these while reading and just appreciate a story for what it is: A story about a witch. ( that´s in a nutshell, y´all. I can´t go into more details, I SWEAR!) It´s a fantasy with magic and all.

With that being said- If you´re a reader who wants their Heroes / Heroines squeaky clean and completely flawless then `The Black Witch` might not be for you. There are no hearts and flowers or rainbows and unicorns here. Also- If you´re the sensitive type then just go ahead and skip this read. There´s no reason to read this book knowing full well you´ll be appalled.

If you´re like me and can set your own personal beliefs aside then go for it. Have fun with the story. Just keep in mind that it´s not for everyone. You´ll either love it, like it or hate it.


 

The Cover – 5 Stars: This is the type of cover I would love to see more often. It´s quality. The whole thing is just harmonious.

The Story – 4 Stars: The story isn´t anything new but I did enjoy the vibe it gave. Plus the writing was great.

The Characters – 4 Stars: Although I did have a few hiccup moments I ended up loving these characters for who they were. Without them- the story wouldn´t have been what it was.

My emotional state after finishing this read: Excited for the next installment.

4 stars

Buy the book! Amazon.com ◊ Amazon.co.uk


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Book Review: His Wounded Light ( The Light In The Wound #2) – Christine Brae

synopsis book 2

The perfect life. 

The perfect marriage. 

The jilted lover. 

Their worlds collide.

Fate intervenes twelve years later and their paths intersect once again. All three will question whether the heart is truly capable of dividing and being divided; each will decide whether it matters who you loved first or who you love last. 

Together they will learn that in the end, there can always only be one.


My Thoughts 2

It´s truly a rare moment when you favor book #2 more than book #1. Maybe it´s because I read `His Wounded Light`( The Light In The Wound #2 ) by Christine Brae before I read `The Light In The Wound`? I´m not entirely sure but I will say this:his wounded light

I totally enjoyed this book. It was deep. It made me say “Oh shit.” more often than I thought it ever would. It´s one raw piece of romance that seeps into your bones and stays there.

This book confronted me with real life issues I didn´t necessarily want to be confronted with.

You know- Those situations where you have to make life changing decisions? The “What would happen if this and this or that would happen to you/to us…”

This book has those types of situations and it´s not pretty to read about. But even life´s ugly sides can turn an everyday romance into something great.

There was so much tension in this book. So much devastation and longing and fear. I´m telling you, it´s deeper than the first book by a long shot.

And that´s basically what I loved about this story. It has more of everything.

  1. The pacing was much better.
  2. The character development was great.
  3. The issues dealt with were brutally realistic
  4. The romance / romantic aspect was captivating

You felt the love between the main characters. You felt the nasties this couple went through because the author painted out a horrific picture of it all. She made me believe with the right words / the right emotions the characters felt. I know this because I personally have dealt with at least one of the included issues myself and have seen another of the included issues happen to close friends.

As much as I enjoyed this read there were two minor things that didn´t sit well with me.

  1. The third-party. I didn´t necessarily like seeing one of the love interests from book 1 in this book. He felt out of place. The story itself was strong enough without him.
  2. The rich people party. This is not really something to complain about because, in the end, this is just a story. But I would have loved it if the characters were more poor – middle class. Would have made the characters more relatable. Not all of us can just effortlessly buy a plane ticket and fly across the country to clear our minds.

As I´ve said- this is a minor issue. I just don´t like characters with money. I´d rather see them financially suffer, like the rest of us.  Lol.

All in all I truly enjoyed this read and do NOT regret having read book #2 before book #1. While I understand that this might not work for others… it worked really well for me ( because I don´t care )


Would I recommend this book? Yes and no. This book carries topics such as: miscarriage, depression, drug abuse, and cheating. I can see readers being triggered left and right. If you´re anything like me and can stomach any of these topics then I´d say- go for it! It´s a romance with a great ending.

Would I reread this book? Yes.


The Cover – 4 stars: An improvement compared to the book cover for the first book.

The Story – 4 stars: Call me a schmuck because I do love myself a angsty story that puts me in a miserable state.

The Characters – 4 stars: Again, an improvement! I even liked the Heroine a lot more in this one.

My emotional state after finishing this read: Happy I read this one first because after the first one I don´t think I would have continued with the story.

4 stars

This book can be purchased on Amazon.com


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