Saturday, December 28, 2019


"Dear Edward" by Ann Napolitano

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆

At age 12 Edward is the sole survivor of a plane crash that takes the lives of his entire family. The story follows two timelines, one is a coming of age story of Edward as he struggles to find his place in his new life after the accident. The second follows the events and people on the plane leading up to the crash. This story is for anyone that wanted to love "The Goldfinch" but didn't. Great for adults and young adults.

Thank you to Ann Napolitano, Random House Publishing Group and #NetGalley for allowing me to read an advance copy of this novel in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are my own. 

Unputdownable-ness: Medium-High
LOL: Low
Ugly Cry Potential: Medium-High
Steaminess: Low
Character Development: High
Originality: High
Intellectual Depth: Medium-High
Light Read: Medium
https://aesopsfable.com/products/charles-dickenss-a-christmas-carol-a-book-to-table-classic?_pos=3&_sid=6f0a80ade&_ss=r

"A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐✰

I adored this beautiful copy of the Charles Dickens classic. The same wonderful story but with gorgeous food art and recipes. I read this aloud to my 9 and 12 year old. While some of the language was a bit of a struggle, they understood the concepts and enjoyed the story. It's a quick read and perfect for the holiday season.

"Behind Every Lie" by Christina McDonald

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐




Eva wakes up in a hospital after being struck by lightning and learns that her mother has been murdered and that she is a suspect. If only she could remember the events that led up to her being struck! The back story and the events leading up to the murder are filled in for us in alternating POVs (Eva and her mother, Kat).
While I enjoyed reading this novel and found the relationships to be authentic, I felt like there was a lot going on which made it a little difficult to keep track of the details and to really connect with the story. I also found the twists to be predictable.
Thank you to Christina McDonald, Gallery Books and #NetGalley for allowing me to read an advance copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.


"My Side of the Mountain" by Jean Craighead George

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I read this aloud to my 9 year old and we LOVED it. It's the empowering story of a young boy who decides to run away and live alone in the wilderness. Packed full of survival skills and ingenuity. Great for kids who love the outdoors and yearn for independence.

Enjoyable by kids and parents: Yes
Offensive Language: NoViolence: NoAdult Concepts: NoAge Range: 7 and up




"To Night Owl from Dogfish" by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

I read this aloud to my 9 and 12 year old and we all enjoyed it. It's a sweet story of two girls who reluctantly become friends after their dad's send them to camp together to get to know each other. The entire novel is composed of emails and letters sent back and forth between the different characters. My youngest had a hard time getting into the format but came around pretty quickly and this ended up being one of his favorite books that we read this year.

Enjoyable by kids and parents: Yes
Offensive Language: NoViolence: NoAge Range: 8 and up




"The Wives" by Tarryn Fisher

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐✰

You know when you're on a roller coaster and it starts out slowly chugging uphill and you're enjoying it, but it's not all that exciting? Then you reach the apex and suddenly you're barrelling down the other side and whipping around corners and flipping upside down? Yup. That's what it was like to read this book. And when it stopped I wanted to get back on and do it again.

I won an ARC of this book on goodreads and wasn't sure what to expect. Initially I was put off by the fact that the main character is one of several wives. I had a hard time relating to her and respecting her, but then everything went topsy-turvy and I was in. I would caution you to not read too many reviews on this one before you read the book. I went through them after I finished and I was amazed at the number of spoilers that I saw.


Thank you to Tarryn Fisher and Graydon House Publishing for allowing me to read an advance copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 

LOL: LOL

Ugly Cry Potential: Low
Steaminess: Low
Originality: Medium-High
Intellectual Depth: Medium
Light Read: Medium


Unputdownable-ness: Medium-High


"Beartown" by Fredrik Backman


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Frederik Backman's novels are always over-flowing with heart and this one is no exception. Beartown is a hockey town and they take their sport seriously. There is a fierce sense of loyalty, not just among the players, but throughout the town. When a traumatic event occurs in the life of a young girl, the entire town is sent into a tail-spin of anger, fear and revenge and we are shown how loyalty can bring out the best in people, but also the worst. With heart-stopping, philosophical insights into human nature, Backman's characters will repeatedly surprise you.

Unputdownable-ness: Medium-High
LOL: Low
Ugly Cry Potential: High (do not make the mistake of trying to read this while waiting for your client to show up like I did)
Character Development: High
Originality: Medium
Quality of Writing: High
Intellectual Depth: High
Light Read: No