Title: The Lightest Object in the Universe
Author: Kimi Eisele
Page Count: 336
Publishing Date/Publisher: July 9, 2019 by Algonquin Books
Review: For people who enjoy realistic dystopian fiction, this would be a great book recommendation. There is nothing unique about this book that sets it apart from other books I have read in this genre, but I did find the setting and backstory to be very plausible. I also thought it was very romantic to have one character trekking across the United States to be reunited with his faraway love.
There was nothing particularly surprising about this story (no plot twists); however, it kept a steady pace and was a pretty quick read. I had a little bit of trouble at times following the plot because the formatting was off in my ARC copy (it would switch POV without warning), but I assume this will be fixed when the book goes through its final edits.
Title: The Psychology of Time Travel
Author: Kate Mascarenhas
Page Count: 372
Publishing Date/Publisher: 12 February 2019 by Crooked Lane Books (originally published August 9th 2018 by Head of Zeus)
I don’t think I can accurately describe just how much I love this book, but I will try.
It had me hooked from the start, grabbing me instantly with the strong, smart, vulnerable women, and kept me hooked through the entire story. The relative lack of men was an added, welcome, and refreshing change of pace from most books I’ve read. I’ve also noticed that most books and movies/television shows involving time travel make the reader/viewer do some mental gymnastics in order to wrap their head around the whole concept, however Mascarenhas does all that for you, leaving your brain free to try to dissect the murder mystery.
I also loved how the story is woven together and how organized it is, despite it being about a very disorganized subject. This made it easy to read and impossible to put down.
I have already started telling all my friends about this book and will continue to bother them until each and everyone of them reads it. I was utterly blown away and loved every minute of it.
Review: This book thoroughly boggled my brain. The concept of time travel makes absolutely zero sense to me. This book is technically a murder mystery, but oddly it didn’t feel to me like a murder mystery at all. The mystery itself became more of a subplot as I struggled to wrap my head around the various concepts detailed in the book pertaining to time chronology, “genies”, and other time travel concepts. I liked the book, but I was honestly too confused by it to love it.
Title: The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
Author: Abbi Waxman
Page Count: 352
Publishing Date/Publisher: July 9, 2019 by Berkley
Review: This was a smooth, enjoyable read. The author’s personality comes through very strongly, though I am not sure if this is intentional or unintentional. I found her wit to be charming for the most part, though I wish that the reader had received more insight into Nina’s thoughts. It was fun to see a lot of my own character traits in Nina: bookish, anxious, and obsessed with planners.
The plot felt very formulaic, and at one point a character made an off-handed joke about something that later actually happened. I wonder if this was meant to be a humorous jab at the formula.
In terms of the long lost family storyline, I was not too sold, but I was definitely sold on the characters, which is why this rating hovers between 3 and four stars for me.
Title: Lovely War
Author: Julie Berry
Page Count: 480
Publishing Date/Publisher: March 5, 2019 by Viking Books for Young Readers
Review: In the past I have enjoyed both books relating to Greek mythology and World War I/II. Never before have a read a book that combines both themes. It is an interesting concept, and I gave the book an extra half star in my rating for originality.
There were parts of the story I really enjoyed, however, there were also parts that I felt fell short of my expectations. This story is meant to be a sweeping romance, intertwining three sets of lovers, but I did not feel swept away by any of the couples. It is a very sweet story, and I greatly enjoyed the historical aspects. The two mortal lovers are struggling through a very dark point in history, World War I. This is a less common setting than the more commonly discussed World War II.
Trench warfare is truly heinous, and I think the author did a good job of depicting how wretched and traumatizing fighting in this war was. I was less of a fan of the insta-love that sprang up between the two mortal couples. I know that war has a tendency to heighten emotion, but the complete and utter devotion that the couples felt towards each other upon meeting was a bit difficult for me to wrap my head around.
I was not at all a fan of how the author incorporated the mythological aspect of the Greek gods into the story. To be honest, it didn’t really seem as well constructed as the rest of the story, and it did not really add much to the plot other than an introduction of the mortal characters. I think the story would have read equally well if this portion of the story had been eliminated entirely.
In the end, I can safely say that I liked the story but did not love it.
Title: Famous Assassinations
Author: Sarah Herman
Page Count: N/A
Publishing Date/Publisher: Nov. 9th, 2018
Review: There have been a great number of assassinations in human history, and Sarah Herman describes a good deal of them. She separated them by time period and job type (royalty, president, dictator, etc.), taking us from the Roman Empire to Bin Laden.
Each main assassination is broken down into victim, assassination, assassin, and aftermath (or some amalgamation of the sort), making it a relatively quick read, as well as being very organised.
Herman writes very academically, while still being easily read by the public, which is a rare skill. I highly recommend this to anyone at all curious about the history of assassinations.
Author: Alexa Martin
Page Count: 320
Series: Playbook, Book 2
Publishing Date/Publisher: April 23, 2019 by Berkley
Review: This was one of those books that teetered between a 3 and 4 star rating for me. The story is very cute, and there were certain aspects that I thought were worthy of note, but there were also a few places it fell short for me.
The main character, Poppy, was great and I loved how down to earth she was. However, I personally did not think that there was enough build up leading to her rekindled romance with TK. He did not have to work very hard to be back in her life, and the attraction between them seemed mostly sexual. I would have loved to see them connect on a deeper level beyond their shared child. I did, however, really like that TK idolized her post-pregnancy body. This really spoke to me, because I have struggled with accepting the permanent changes in my body post-pregnancy, and it made me feel good to see stretch marks, saggy boobs, and a few extra pounds portrayed as desirable and beautiful.
I also don’t think that the author ever really provided an explanation as to how TK missed out on the news regarding Poppy’s pregnancy. It is implied that this was a machination of his meddling mother, but it was not explained how she got to his text messages before he did. And who was the girl that answered his phone? I suppose we may never know.
This is actually the second book in a series, and I like how the author incorporated characters and storylines from her first book into this one. From early on, it seemed pretty obvious that her next book will focus on a romance between two supporting characters, Maxwell and Brynn, and I think that will be fun.
It should also be noted that the author spent 8 years as an NFL wife, so I assume that her depiction of what life is like for the wives and girlfriends of players is pretty accurate.
Title: The Lady in the Cellar
Author: Sinclair McKay
Page Count: Unknown
Publishing Date/Publisher: 30 October/ White Lion Publishing
Review: I really enjoyed this book. Sinclair McKay has an amazing writing style, bringing the historical mystery to life and giving enough background information without it feeling like you’re being bogged down with too much information.
The mystery is so engaging and kept me guessing the whole time, which is not something I can say about too many mysteries these days. They tend to be predictable and the twists and turns aren’t actual twists and turns. This one had me at the edge of my seat, so definitely no complaints there.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a good yet quick read.