Review: You Can Go Your Own Way by Eric Smith

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Goodreads | Blackwells

Adam Stillwater is in over his head. At least, that’s what his best friend would say. And his mom. And the guy who runs the hardware store down the street. But this pinball arcade is the only piece of his dad that Adam has left, and he’s determined to protect it from Philadelphia’s newest tech mogul, who wants to turn it into another one of his cold, lifeless gaming cafés.
Whitney Mitchell doesn’t know how she got here. Her parents split up. She lost all her friends. Her boyfriend dumped her. And now she’s spending her senior year running social media for her dad’s chain of super successful gaming cafés—which mostly consists of trading insults with that decrepit old pinball arcade across town.
But when a huge snowstorm hits, Adam and Whitney suddenly find themselves trapped inside the arcade. Cut off from their families, their worlds, and their responsibilities, the tension between them seems to melt away, leaving something else in its place. But what happens when the storm stops?

Thank you to Harper 360 for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Well, this was adorable. I picked this one up as an audiobook which I really enjoyed, and it had all of the cozy winter vibes without being too Christmassy which I appreciated! This would be the perfect book to pick up a snowy winters day, and it just made me want to snuggle up in a blanket and grab some hot chocolate.

We follow two main characters, Adam and Whitney, who went from being friends to enemies (or frenemies?) and are now maybe finding their way back to being friends again. My main worry going into this story was whether this whole rift between them would feel realistic, but I was pleasantly surprised. Their friendship felt quite believable, my only complaint being that I didn’t fully understand the backstory of what caused the rift between them – so enemies to lovers might be pushing it.

Whitney and Adam were both likeable characters and I loved the nerdy parts of this book. Adam was such a pinball fanatic which was so unique and made him stand out so much. I also loved the sub-plot of Adam featuring a non-fiction pinball book, The Art of Pinball, in his chapters. There was so much depth to this book in ways I didn’t imagine, including some discussions about grief and loss, family troubles and relationships/friendships breaking down. Seeing Whitney grow as a character throughout the story was also so lovely to read about.

Although not perfect, I thoroughly enjoyed this one and if you’re looking for a book with cozy winter vibes and not too much focus on Christmas, I’d highly recommend it! The audiobook was really enjoyable to listen to as well.

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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Review: Stay Another Day by Juno Dawson

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Goodreads | Waterstones

When three very different siblings, Fern, Rowan and Willow, go home for a Christmas reunion at their family home in Edinburgh, it’s not long before some VERY BIG SECRETS threaten their cosy holiday …
The McAllister house on Arboretum Road has seen 120 Christmases since its completion.
This year, FERN is bringing her gorgeous boyfriend home and she wants everything to be perfect.
But her twin brother ROWAN would rather go on the pull than pull crackers with the family.
And their younger sister WILLOW is terrified of Christmas Day.
With FOUR sleeps till Christmas,
THREE secretive siblings,
TWO hot houseguests,
And ONE juicy secret …
This Christmas, there will be some BIG surprises under the tree.
Sometimes at Christmas, you don’t get what you want, you get what you need…

I don’t tend to read that many festive books, but I was drawn to this one and I ended up buddy reading it with a couple of friends for our December book club pick which was a lot of fun! I’ve read some of Juno’s books before and found them quite mixed, so I was a little hesitant going into this one but I really enjoyed it.

I was half expecting a thriller, from the taglines on the front of the book and synopsis. However, this is more of a high drama contemporary set around a family and written from the points of view of the 3 siblings. I really enjoyed the family drama and I could never guess where the book was going, which kept me interested throughout. I also liked the close-knit group involved in the story, and the side-characters began to feel like main characters the more we read about them.

There were a lot of heavy discussions throughout, including discussions about self harm and eating disorders. Although I can’t give my opinion on this from any kind of personal experience, I felt these discussions were handled with care and attention, and I appreciated the trigger warnings in the front of the book.

The characters were messy and chaotic, but Juno weaves something so clever throughout the story and I couldn’t help but root for them. They might make mistakes and not always treat people brilliantly, but they have their own reasons and it makes them real.

I also appreciated the non-binary and bisexual rep, and I loved having a non-binary side character without a coming-out story or discussion of their gender in depth, it just came across naturally. The discussions of racism, sexism and gender were witty and sharp, and again, felt very real.

Overall, there was a lot to love about this book and the short chapters and constant chaos made it very hard to put down. Although it was a little too neatly wrapped for the amount of mess that happened throughout the story, I couldn’t help but be happy for the characters and root for them. And it is Christmas, after all.

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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Stacking the Shelves #67

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga where we share books we’ve bought or received this week. Find out more and join in here!

Hi all! I’ve been buying or receiving pretty much 2 books per week recently, but I actually got 3 this week, oops. So here are the books I got this week!

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Oliver Marks has just served ten years in jail – for a murder he may or may not have committed. On the day he’s released, he’s greeted by the man who put him in prison. Detective Colborne is retiring, but before he does, he wants to know what really happened a decade ago.
As one of seven young actors studying Shakespeare at an elite arts college, Oliver and his friends play the same roles onstage and off: hero, villain, tyrant, temptress, ingenue, extra. But when the casting changes, and the secondary characters usurp the stars, the plays spill dangerously over into life, and one of them is found dead. The rest face their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, and themselves, that they are blameless. 

I’ve had my eye on this special edition of If We Were Villains for a while now, and I managed to find a copy this week! It’s so pretty and has black sprayed edges too.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

The dead of Loraille do not rest.
Artemisia is training to be a Gray Sister, a nun who cleanses the bodies of the deceased so that their
souls can pass on. She’d rather deal with the dead than the living, who point and whisper about the odd girl who was once possessed by a violent spirit.
When her convent is attacked by possessed soldiers, Artemisia fights back by awakening an ancient spirit bound to a high saint’s relic. It is a revenant, a malevolent being now whispering in her head. Wielding its extraordinary power almost consumes her in body and soul. But death has come to Loraille, and only a vespertine, a priestess trained to wield a high relic, has a chance of stopping it.
As Artemisia investigates a mystery of saints, secrets and dark magic, an ancient evil is stirring. Can an untrained girl, tormented by the burden of containing the revenant’s devouring power, have any hope of defeating it?

I also had a pre-order come through in the form of this beautiful Fairyloot edition of Verspertine. I’ve wanted to read a book by this author for a while, and I couldn’t resist the Fairyloot edition!

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Aideen has plenty of problems she can’t fix. Her best (and only) friend is pulling away. Her mother’s drinking problem is a constant concern. She’s even running out of outlandish diseases to fake so she can skip PE.
But when Aideen stumbles on her nemesis, overachiever Meabh Kowalski, in the midst of a full-blown meltdown, she sees a problem that—unlike her own disaster of a life—seems refreshingly easy to solve. Meabh is desperate to escape her crushing pile of extracurriculars. Aideen volunteers to help. By pushing Meabh down the stairs.
Problem? Solved. Meabh’s sprained ankle is the perfect excuse to ditch her overwhelming schedule. But when another student learns about their little scheme and brings Aideen another “client” who needs her “help,” it kicks off a semester of traded favors, ill-advised hijinks, and an unexpected chance at love. Fixing other people’s problems won’t fix her own, but it might be the push she needs to start.

I picked this one up kind of from the publishers/through the bookshop I work in, as I loved the authors’ other book The Falling in Love Montage.

Which books did you buy or receive this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Gods & Monsters (#3) by Shelby Mahurin

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Evil always seeks a foothold. We must not give it one.
After a heartbreaking loss, Lou, Reid, Beau, and Coco are bent on vengeance more than ever before—and none more so than Lou.
But this is no longer the Lou they thought they knew. No longer the Lou that captured a chasseur’s heart. A darkness has settled over her, and this time it will take more than love to drive it out.

Okay, this series has been an absolute rollercoaster. I loved the first book. It was one of my favourite books of 2020 and I fell in love with the characters so much. Blood & Honey though, was a bit of a let down and even though I liked some aspects I did find it a little disappointing.

I feel like Shelby Mahurin did a great job to bring some of the focus back to the relationships. Although there were some aspects of the relationship in Blood & Honey, there was more of a focus on found family, which I did like. My favourite aspect of the first book was the relationship between Lou and Reid, and some clever plot work in Gods & Monsters gave a new perspective on this one which felt like falling in love with the story and the pair over and over again.

Fear was inevitable. We all made our choices, and we all suffered our consequences. We all felt fear.

Although we still had quite an intense plot in this one, it wasn’t all about the action and the plot which made for a nice change. We had some downtime too, and I loved those slow and rambling moments. There was a specific scene in this book which made me very emotional, and it was actually a sex scene. I’ve always liked how Mahurin writes sex scenes as they always feel quite emotional, but there was something about this one that made me tear up. I loved how there was a strong emotional connection between the two as they made love, and it really surprised me how emotional it made me feel.

Although this one one was a little up and down and I didn’t love the entire thing, the second half was much more enjoyable than the first in my opinion, and once I got into the story I really liked it. What I loved about this book was how unpredictable it was, and both Alex and I (who were buddy reading it together) were a little nervous about where the book was going to end up.

The trick was learning to live with that fear, to continue forward in spite of it.

Overall, I did really enjoy this series and I’m so glad I’ve finally finished it! This one fell between Serpent & Dove and Blood & Honey for me, but the series as a whole I liked a lot.

★★★
4.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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Review: You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen M McManus

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Ivy, Mateo, and Cal used to be close. Back in middle school they were best friends. So, when Cal pulls into campus late for class, and runs into Ivy and Mateo, it seems like the perfect opportunity to turn a bad day around. They’ll ditch school and go into the city. Just the three of them, like old times. Why did they stop hanging out, anyway?
As soon as they pull out of the parking lot Cal knows why. Ivy’s already freaking out about missing class, and heartthrob Mateo is asleep in the backseat, too cool to even pretend like he wants to be there. The truth is they have nothing in common anymore.
At least they don’t until they run into the fourth student ditching school that day. Brian “Boney” Mahoney is supposed to be accepting his newly won office of class president. Which is why Ivy follows him into an empty building, only to walk into the middle of a murder scene. Cal, Ivy, and Mateo all know the person lying on the ground of that building, and now they need to come clean. They’re all hiding something. And maybe their chance reconnection wasn’t by chance after all.

Thank you so much to Penguin for gifting me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Karen M McManus has been an auto-buy author for me for a while now, and I was so excited to receive this one as a proof ahead of release – thank you Penguin! I’ve been wanting one of the beautiful ARCs of her books for a while so as you can imagine I was super excited to get my hands on this one.

I read The Cousins back in October finally and I really enjoyed it, so I was even more excited to pick this one up. I have to say, I really enjoyed it and it reminded me yet again how hard I find these books to put down! In previous books by McManus we’ve had small town and even island settings, but this one was a little different in being set just outside of Boston. Even though I did still enjoy this setting, I did slightly miss the small community vibes of other books by her.

You can be right in principle

As usual, this book was super fast paced and I really enjoyed going into it with no idea of the plot as my proof copy had no information on it. I immediately felt intrigued by the 3 main characters and their story, and I feel like McManus has nailed the multiple POV approach. I honestly didn’t want to put this one down, especially towards the end, and finished it in a couple of days.

I always like the mystery element and this one was no different, but as I’ve seen other people mention, the motive was definitely not my favourite. I really liked the family element of The Cousins, and I think in comparison this one just felt a little impersonal in the motives. I did really like the characters, however, and although they’re all flawed in their own ways I still found them likeable and enjoyed how they interacted with one another.

and still wrong in approach.

Overall, this one was another quick and enjoyable thriller from McManus and she definitely remains an auto-buy author for me.

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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Stacking the Shelves #66

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga where we share books we’ve bought or received this week. Find out more and join in here!

Hi all! I seem to have definitely gotten my book buying a little more under control, but it looks like my limit is 2 books per week as I seem to be consistently buying or receiving two each week at the moment! These are the two books I bought this week.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

When three very different siblings, Fern, Rowan and Willow, go home for a Christmas reunion at their family home in Edinburgh, it’s not long before some VERY BIG SECRETS threaten their cosy holiday …
The McAllister house on Arboretum Road has seen 120 Christmases since its completion.
This year, FERN is bringing her gorgeous boyfriend home and she wants everything to be perfect.
But her twin brother ROWAN would rather go on the pull than pull crackers with the family.
And their younger sister WILLOW is terrified of Christmas Day.
With FOUR sleeps till Christmas,
THREE secretive siblings,
TWO hot houseguests,
And ONE juicy secret …
This Christmas, there will be some BIG surprises under the tree.
Sometimes at Christmas, you don’t get what you want, you get what you need…

I bought this one as I’m going to be reading it with friends as part of a little book club we have. It sounds really interesting and I’m looking forward to reading something a bit different for Christmas!

Carry On - Simon Snow (Paperback)

Goodreads | Waterstones

Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.
That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.
Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here — it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

I also had my pre-order of this one come through in a beautiful Waterstones edition to match my copies of Wayward Son and Any Way the Wind Blows. It looks so pretty and the sprayed edge is to die for!

Which books did you buy or receive this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Books I Want to Read by the End of the Year

Hi all! I can’t believe it’s December and nearly the end of the year. I have so many books I’d love to read by the end of the year and I’m hoping to have a great reading month in December to smash through some books! I thought I’d do a post about what I’d like to read before the end of the year.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Way out in the furthest part of the known world, a tiny stronghold exists all on its own, cut off from the rest of human-kin by monsters that lurk beneath the Snow Sea.
There, a little boy called Ash waits for the return of his parents, singing a forbidden lullaby to remind him of them… and doing his best to avoid his very, VERY grumpy yeti guardian, Tobu.
But life is about to get a whole lot more crazy-adventurous for Ash.
When a brave rescue attempt reveals he has amazing magical powers, he’s whisked aboard the Frostheart, a sleigh packed full of daring explorers who could use his help. But can they help him find his family . . . ? 

This is one I’d definitely love to read over the winter season for obvious reasons! This one has been on my tbr for a while after Gavin from How To Train Your Gavin on YouTube raved about the series on a video.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

The Moomins, in case you didn’t know, are kind, philosophical creatures with velvety fur and smooth round snouts, who live in a tall blue house in a beautiful woodland valley beside the sea.
One summer a grumbling volcano causes Moominvalley to flood, forcing the Moomin family to leave their beloved home and find refuge on a floating theatre. When this casts adrift, leaving Moomin, the Snorkmaiden and Little My marooned on land, Moominsummer Madness ensues. Will they all be reunited before the final curtain?

My lovely friend Courtney gave me this Moomin book for my birthday. I’ve wanted to read this series for a long time and collect these beautiful editions, so she looked into the best one to start with and picked this up for me! Although it’s set in summer, I’d love to read it and start this series by the end of the year.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.
Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.

Alex and I have been trying to read more series this year and we want to read this one in December hopefully! We’ve both read the first book before but we want to carry on with it and complete it by the end of the year.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Adultery is not a typical Jane Austen theme, but when it disturbs the relatively peaceful household at Mansfield Park, it has quite unexpected results.
The diffident and much put-upon heroine Fanny Price has to struggle to cope with the results, re-examining her own feelings while enduring the cheerful amorality, old-fashioned indifference and priggish disapproval of those around her
.

I only have a couple of classics left in my Wordsworth set to read, and this is one of them! I’ve been slowly making my way through Jane Austen books recently and I’m excited to finish off with this one.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

The Little Prince is a modern fable, and for readers far and wide both the title and the work have exerted a pull far in excess of the book’s brevity. Written and published first by Antoine de St-Exupury in 1943, only a year before his plane disappeared on a reconnaissance flight, it is one of the world’s most widely translated books, enjoyed by adults and children alike. In the meeting of the narrator who has ditched his plane in the Sahara desert, and the little prince, who has dropped there through time and space from his tiny asteroid, comes an intersection of two worlds, the one governed by the laws of nature, and the other determined only by the limits of imagination. The world of the imagination wins hands down, with the concerns of the adult world often shown to be lamentably silly as seen through the eyes of the little prince. While adult readers can find deep meanings in his various encounters, they can also be charmed back to childhood by this wise but innocent infant.

This is the other classic I have left and I’ve been saving it for December! It’s only short so I know it will be a quick and easy one to get through which is exciting.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Nottingham, 1906
Marietta Stelle longs to be a ballerina but as Christmas draws nearer, her dancing days are numbered. At the wishes of her family, she will be obligated to marry and take up her place in society in the New Year. But when a mysterious new toymaker, Dr Drosselmeier, purchases a neighbouring townhouse, it heralds the arrival of magic and wonder in her life. Although Drosselmeier’s magic is darker than Marietta could have imagined…
When he constructs an elaborate theatrical set for her final ballet performance, Marietta discovers it carries a magic all of its own. As the clock chimes midnight, Marietta finds herself walking through a land of snow-topped fir trees leading to a frozen sugar palace silent with secrets and must find a way to return home.
In the darkness of night, magic awaits and you will never forget what you find here…

This one is already on my December tbr as I knew I wanted to read it close to Christmas, and I’m super excited to get to it soon. I’ve been looking forward to this one since hearing about it late last year when the original ARCs were released, and it sounds so good!

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Goodreads | Blackwells

Adam Stillwater is in over his head. At least, that’s what his best friend would say. And his mom. And the guy who runs the hardware store down the street. But this pinball arcade is the only piece of his dad that Adam has left, and he’s determined to protect it from Philadelphia’s newest tech mogul, who wants to turn it into another one of his cold, lifeless gaming cafés.
Whitney Mitchell doesn’t know how she got here. Her parents split up. She lost all her friends. Her boyfriend dumped her. And now she’s spending her senior year running social media for her dad’s chain of super successful gaming cafés—which mostly consists of trading insults with that decrepit old pinball arcade across town.
But when a huge snowstorm hits, Adam and Whitney suddenly find themselves trapped inside the arcade. Cut off from their families, their worlds, and their responsibilities, the tension between them seems to melt away, leaving something else in its place. But what happens when the storm stops?

I received this one from the publisher (thank you Harper!) and it sounds like the perfect cute christmassy read.

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Goodreads | Blackwells

North Carolina, 1863. As the American Civil War rages on, the Freedmen’s Colony of Roanoke Island is blossoming, a haven for the recently emancipated. Black people have begun building a community of their own, a refuge from the shadow of the old life. It is where the March family has finally been able to safely put down roots with four young daughters:
Meg, a teacher who longs to find love and start a family of her own.
Jo, a writer whose words are too powerful to be contained.
Beth, a talented seamstress searching for a higher purpose.
Amy, a dancer eager to explore life outside her family’s home.
As the four March sisters come into their own as independent young women, they will face first love, health struggles, heartbreak, and new horizons. But they will face it all together.

I would love to re-read Little Women over the Christmas period, but reading a retelling would also be amazing – which is why I’ve chosen to put this one on my tbr.

Which books would you like to read before the end of the year?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: The Sister Who Ate Her Brothers by Jen Campbell and Adam de Souza

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Do you dare read this collection of terrifyingly gruesome tales? In this gripping volume, author Jen Campbell offers young readers an edgy, contemporary, and inclusive take on classic fairy tales, taking them back to their gory beginnings while updating them for a modern audience with queer and disabled characters and positive representation of disfigurement.
Featuring fourteen short stories from China, India, Ireland, and across the globe, The Sister Who Ate Her Brothers is an international collection of the creepiest folk tales. Illustrated with Adam de Souza’s brooding art, this book’s style is a totally original blend of nineteenth-century Gothic engravings meets moody film noir graphic novels. Headlined by the Korean tale of a carnivorous child, The Sister Who Ate Her Brothers is a truly thrilling gift for brave young readers.

Thank you to the publisher, Thames & Hudson, for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

As soon as I saw that this book existed, I wanted to pick it up. This is something I’ve seen recently more with short stories becoming more diverse and retellings changing aspects (Vampires Never Get Old comes to mind)! This one is aimed at a middle grade audience, which also made it interesting to read.

I loved a lot of aspects about this book. The illustrations were drop dead gorgeous and complemented the stories beautifully. The whole design and layout of the book was so beautiful, and I also love how this took the fairytales from all over the world.

As always with short story collections, there are ups and downs. I liked a lot of these stories, but most of them didn’t blow me away and I didn’t love them. My favourite was definitely The House That Was Filled With Ghosts and is the only one that really stood out for me as being really enjoyable. I don’t know if that was because it was the least gruesome story and therefore just suited me a little more, so if you feel like you’d enjoy more twisted and dark stories this one is definitely for you!

I read this one in one sitting and it was such a fun and interesting journey. If it sounds like something you’d enjoy, I’d definitely recommend it, just be aware it does live up to it’s name!

★★★★
3.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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Review: Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune

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Goodreads | Waterstones

When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead.
Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village. On the outskirts, off the path through the woods, tucked between mountains, is a particular tea shop, run by a man named Hugo. Hugo is the tea shop’s owner to locals and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over.
But Wallace isn’t ready to abandon the life he barely lived. With Hugo’s help he finally starts to learn about all the things he missed in life.
When the Manager, a curious and powerful being, arrives at the tea shop and gives Wallace one week to cross over, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in seven days.

Oh my gosh. I wasn’t sure if TJ Klune could steal my heart in the same way he did with The House in the Cerulean Sea, but he did (review here!). He did it again. The House in the Cerulean Sea is my favourite book of the year so far, and this one is very close behind. In this book, we follow Wallace Price, who is dead. He’s lead, by a reaper, to a small tea shop in a forest, a tea shop that people are lead to on their way to the afterlife.

The setting of the tea shop was absolutely beautiful and I just loved it. It felt like such a cozy setting and I didn’t mind the fact we didn’t really leave the tea shop at all throughout the story. I love how familiar it allowed us to get with the tea shop and the people who lived in it.

The first time you share tea, you are a stranger. The second time you share tea, you are an honored guest.

For obvious reasons, this book talks a lot about death. Of course this made it very sad and emotional in places, but I also felt like it was handled so well and with such gentleness and care. Talking of emotion, this book really brought out the tears. I cried intermittently throughout this book and I admire how TJ Klune can draw me into a characters story within a few paragraphs and make me emotional over their story.

The writing, again, was so beautiful and I absolutely loved it. It felt so encompassing and although I read it quite quickly, it felt slow in the best way. I didn’t want this to end but equally couldn’t put it down at the same time. It was meandering and lovely, warming and beautiful. I became so attached to these lovely characters and by the end of the book I was sobbing constantly. I cried pretty consistently for the last 40 pages and sobbed for the last 10. I must point out this isn’t because it’s sad necessarily, although it is sad in places. It’s more beautifully bittersweet and full of hope, which is just the kind of ending I love.

The third time you share tea, you become family.

This book felt like a warm hug, being wrapped in a blanket, or that feeling of sipping hot tea and it warming your body on a cold winters day. It’s definitely a new favourite yet again!

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Flora’s Travelling Christmas Shop by Rebecca Raisin

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Flora loves Christmas more than anything else in the world, so she’s gutted when her Scrooge-alike boss fires her from Deck the Halls Christmas emporium. But now she finally has a chance to follow her dreams – and what better place to start than the home of Christmas?
Before she can say ‘sleigh bells’, Flora’s on her way to Lapland in a campervan-cum-Christmas-shop. She can’t wait to spend her days drinking hot chocolate and taking reindeer-drawn carriage rides, but something Flora didn’t expect was meeting Connor, a Norse god of a man who makes her heart flutter and snowflakes swirl in her stomach. There’s just one problem: Connor hates Christmas.
Can Flora convince Connor of the joys of Christmas – and will she find a festive romance along the way?

Thank you to HQ Stories and Midas PR for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

I don’t usually pick up festive books as such but this one called out to me and I couldn’t resist reading it! If you love cozy Christmas books and Hallmark movies, this one is definitely for you, and I had so much fun picking it up.

Flora’s story was so fun and I loved her eccentric nature and how she was true to herself. At the start of this book, Flora’s life is falling apart and she decides to follow a new Christmas dream to go to Lapland and set up a Christmas shop out of her campervan. I loved the setting of Lapland and the market Flora moves to just feels so festive and beautiful. I feel like the author did a great job of creating a festive atmosphere that shone throughout the book, and I could picture the locations really well.

Although I loved the characters, one of my big problems with this one was the dialogue. The writing wasn’t brilliant, but did get better as the book went on. A lot of my problem was in the dialogue. It wasn’t broken up properly in the text and most of the dialogue felt really unnatural. This book was also very far fetched in some ways and felt like a Hallmark movie, but if you can overlook and accept that, it’s a great festive read!

Overall, I did enjoy this one even though it didn’t blow me away. I appreciated how escapist it was and definitely put a smile on my face and made me excited for Christmas!

★★★★
3.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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