Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Still Me - Book Review

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is an unforgettable book. Whether you agreed with Will's choice or not, it forced the reader to think about topics through the experiences of sympathetic and human faces that made the reader ache and cry and feel. It harnessed the power of fiction to start a conversation that is important and turned Louisa Clark from just an eccentric character in a novel into a beloved character that we couldn't forget.

I wasn't sure Louisa Clark needed sequels. Initially, I was okay with just assuming that Louise would pick herself up and move on. It's what I liked about her--she was vulnerable but strong. But I couldn't resist After You and it was a given that I'd read Still Me. I'm still not fully convinced that the sequels are necessary. They lack the overall intensity of emotion of Me Before You. Ultimately, that's a good thing for Louisa. What the sequels do well is show how an emotionally fragile and broken girl can continue to live her life. It might not be easy and life may throw more curve balls but she can take it. She can continue to grow stronger and maybe even love again.

Turns out, Still Me was exactly the kind of book I needed last week. I needed a feel-good, hopeful novel with a character as adorable as Louisa. She doesn't always know the right thing to say. She's often unsure of herself. But she's kind and honest and trustworthy and all the things I would want in a friend. And that's what Louisa feels like now--a friend. Reading Still Me allowed me to root for my friend and so I loved it.

You can enter to win a free copy of Still Me on my Instagram Account @UtahMomsLife

Still Me by Jojo Moyes is published by Pamela Dorman Books and released on January 30, 2018.

**I received a complimentary copy. This review reflects my honest opinions. No compensation was received.**

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Everything is Beautiful Here - Book Review

Lucia is a young, brilliant woman. She learns languages quickly and loves traveling the world. People are drawn to her fun and vibrant personality and she's stunningly beautiful. She's in college the first time she hears the voices. After a manic episode, her sister Miranda swoops in to make sure Lucia is well cared for. Overprotective and vigilant, Miranda cannot keep Lucia from her beautiful life and Lucia continues to love and live. But the episodes that leave Lucia out of control and uncertain what is real are increasing in frequency and Miranda struggles to convince her sister to keep taking the pills.

Everything Here is Beautiful is the debut novel from Mira T. Lee and it is stunning in it's quiet and tender reflections on family and mental illness. Lucia and Miranda are lovingly and gently portrayed in this novel that shows the human side of a misunderstood illness, while being a compelling novel that moved me to tears and laughter.

Lucia is at once spontaneous and witty. Her heart is huge and she loves fiercely. She lives a large and colorful life. In contrast, Miranda is careful, loyal and devoted. Their story is important and heartbreaking. Mira T. Lee writes a masterpiece.

Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee is published by Pamela Dorman Books and released on January 16, 2018.

**I received a complimentary copy of Everything Here is Beautiful. This review reflects my honest opinions. No compensation was received.**

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A Treacherous Curse - Book Review

Deanna Raybourn introduced the world to Veronica Speedwell in A Curious Beginnings (read my review *here*). A scientist who travels around the world to study butterflies, Veronica finds herself mixed up in a mystery and with the brutish but daring Stoker. A Treacherous Curse is the third novel in the series and Veronica and Stoker are involved in yet another dangerous intrigue.

Stoker's ex-wife's husband has vanished along with a valuable diadem from the Egyptian archaeological dig where he was working as a photographer. Could it be just another example of the Egyptian curse that has plagued the entire dig? The archeologist's are determined to have the diadem returned before their exhibition and a nosy journalist is already implying that Stoker was involved in the disappearance of de Morgan. Veronica is determined to clear Stoker's name and solve the mystery.

I fell for the spunky and witty Veronica Speedwell in her first novel. I did buy the second copy but I didn't get the chance to read it before the third novel arrived. I think it is important to read the first one to get to know the characters before reading A Treacherous Curse but I didn't find it necessary to have read A Perilous Undertaking (I do plan to read it soon). Veronica and her partner Stoker are definitely the best part of these mysteries. Raybourn creates characters that are delightful and fun. The chemistry between the two is palpable yet leaves the reader hungry for more.

The plot moves along at a steady pace though there are extensive interviews with people who were actually at the dig in Egypt. But Veronica and Stoker have several near scrapes as they discover that their own lives are in danger. The mystery keeps the reader guessing while extorting the occasional chuckle from Veronica's jocular observations and responses.

A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybourn is a wonderful addition to the Veronica Speedwell mysteries. I'm definitely a fan.

A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybourn is published by Berkley and released on January 16, 2018. 

**I received a complimentary copy of the book. This review reflects my honest opinions. No compensation was received.**