Review: A Stone’s Throw by James W. Ziskin

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Release: 2018
Publisher: Seventh Street Books, Prometheus
Genre: Mystery & Thriller

First of all, although I want to read the first books in a series, it is not necessary that you’ve read the previous books in order to enjoy A Stone’s Throw. It was my first time following Ellie Stone’s adventures and I must admit that I’m already a fan!

Although I could never enjoy living in the 60s because of how women were treated, I really liked reading about Ellie’s investigations and the battles she had to fight because of the time she was born. She has a great sense of humor and although not everyone appreciates it, I sure did!

The mystery was well-done and one thing I found exciting is that Ellie wasn’t a detective, like Tennison or The Craftsman’s Florence, but a journalist. I’ve loved all journalist-focused stories that I’ve read in recent years and this was no exception. It reads like a traditional procedural but the perspective is quite different at the same time.

If you enjoy mysteries set in the past and fierce heroines, you will surely enjoy this new installment in the Ellie Stone series: A Stone’s Throw.

Many thanks to the publishers for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review

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Review: Side by Side by @jennilwalsh @MacmillanUSA

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Release: 2018
Publisher: Macmillan – Tor/Forge
Genre: Historical Fiction

If you’ve been reading my blog for some time, you’ll probably know that Becoming Bonnie was one of my top reads of 2017. I found Bonnie’s story wonderful and although I knew some things about Bonnie & Clyde because I had watched the 60’s film, the truth is that I had no idea of how Bonnie became that person and what had led her to live that kind of life.

Side by Side (what a beautiful title!) was quite different from Becoming Bonnie. It is action-packed, it’s a road trip book, an adventure, and of course, it is also a love story. Because if there hadn’t been love, Bonnie wouldn’t have ended up in that situation, that’s for sure. Based on what I read, do I think Clyde loved Bonnie? Sure, he adored her. Was he good for her? Absolutely not.

I found myself sympathizing mostly with Blanche (Bonnie’s friend) in this book. I loved Bonnie in Becoming Bonnie because I could relate to her and could understand why she did the things she did. In Side by Side, though, I didn’t like her so much. I can understand that being in love can make you do crazy stuff, but was Clyde really worth it? Come on, he wasn’t even that fun to be around. And poor, poor Blanche! Don’t get me started on that.

One thing that I want to highlight is how much I love Jenni L. Walsh’s writing. Ever since I read her previous book, she had me completely captivated. In Side by Side, it was no different. She’s done so much research to be able to write these books, and I feel like sometimes we don’t really appreciate this kind of effort. From the way the characters talk to the clothes they wear and everything in between, there is so much to take into account.

Side by Side is a thrilling and emotional ride that you can perfectly read as a standalone. However, I wouldn’t want you to miss the prequel, as it’s still a favorite and I’ll always remember it fondly.

Many thanks to the publishers & Netgalley for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows #ThrowbackThursday

Renee @It’sBookTalk began this Throwback Thursday meme as a way to share some of our old favorites as well as sharing books that we’re finally getting around to reading that were published over a year ago. 

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Release: 2008
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genre: Historical Fiction

Ever since I saw the trailer, I decided I wanted to read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society before watching the actual movie. The title was funny and weird, and I’ve always loved stories about book clubs and people gathering together, so I thought this could be a nice change from all the murders and psychopaths. And it was! I loved this cute little story and I can’t wait to watch Lily James as Juliet, Matthew Goode as Sidney and, of course, Michiel Huisman as Dawsey.

When I started the book, I totally thought Dawsey was a woman (I’m sorry, I’m not used to this kind of weird names!) Then I went back and read the first two letters again, just in case I had missed any flirting! I’m talking about letters because this is an epistolary novel, so everything is told in letters. It was fun and refreshing, I don’t think I had read a book like this since Where Rainbows End.

Ultimately, this was the definition of a feel-good story. I loved Juliet’s voice, she was strong-willed and fun, she’s the kind of character I love to read about. My favorites, however, were Sidney and Isola, who were amazing supporting characters. The story dragged a bit in the middle, but overall, I found it to be really cute and charming.

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The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa #ThrowbackThursday

Renee @It’sBookTalk began this Throwback Thursday meme as a way to share some of our old favorites as well as sharing books that we’re finally getting around to reading that were published over a year ago. 

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Release: 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Historical Fiction

The German Girl was a beautiful historical book set in 1939 and telling the story of Hannah (and Leo), who suddenly see their lives change when the Nazi rise to power. Hannah, her family, and her friends decide that they will move to Cuba, a place that is supposed to welcome them with open arms… or maybe not? At the same time, we learn about Anna, a twelve-year-old girl living in Manhattan who suddenly receives a letter from a distant relative from Cuba…

This book was indeed similar to The Light We Cannot See and The Nightingale, but, perhaps because I read those first, or because it wasn’t the right moment for me, I didn’t fall in love with this one as much as I did with the others. Something was lacking. At the same time, I need to say that I felt deeply moved by this novel and the fact that it was based on real events, but I found the present storyline to be pretty dull in comparison to Hannah’s perspective. Her relationship with Leo was so beautiful… And what about that ending? The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa is the perfect book for those who’re looking for a story that is both hopeful and heartbreaking.

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Review: The Cursed Wife by Pamela Hartshorne @PamHartshorne @PanMacmillan

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Release: 2018
Publisher: Macmillan
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Historical Fiction

I’m so happy I decided to read The Cursed Wife! It was nothing like I expected, but I really enjoyed reading something so different and fresh. I had been wanting to read a novel by Pamela Hartshorne for years, but somehow I never did. As soon as I saw this beautiful cover, I knew this would be my first.

What makes The Cursed Wife, so different from my other reads is that it is a psychological thriller -the kind we’ve all read and enjoyed-, but set in the XVIth century! If you’re wondering how that can be possible, I can honestly tell you that it did read like a true psychological thriller, and the fact that it was a historical read made it even more enjoyable in my opinion. After all, psychopaths had it harder back then.

This novel tells the story of a woman with a secret… and what happens when the past catches up with her. You know from the start that there’s a death, but you don’t know who’s the victim or the killer, although you know who was present at the time of the murder. In The Cursed Wife we find two different perspectives and two different timelines as well. The two main characters are called Mary and Cat. Neither of them is a saint, but Cat was one of those characters that you can’t help but despise with all your heart. My god, was she manipulative! And Mary, despite everything, I kind of felt bad for her.

Both the present and the past timeline were captivating, and I really wanted to find out what exactly had happened years ago between them. The ending featured an unexpected turn of events that I didn’t see coming. And that last paragraph was so creepy that I finished the book feeling quite satisfied. Pamela Hartshorne has delivered a unique and creepy historical novel blended with the best ingredients of a modern psychological thriller.

Many thanks to the publishers for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review

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