The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic 0.5) by Alice Hoffman book review


Find your magic

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man. Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk. From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse. The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.

I have no words…. Alice Hoffman took my heart and soul with this book. I am not battling book hangover. I am so happy that I finally got to read the Aunt’s story. I loved the aunts in Practical Magic. They were so much fun to read in that book. While you technically could read this book first I recommend reading Practical Magic first as it sets up the aunts story just a bit more. There is so much character depth here. This book had me crying out of heart ache for the aunts and laughing at their behavior along the way. This book had so much magic and imagery. It was written with beautiful prose. This book is wonderful and I loved the writing. Hopeful and dark, funny and sad, I could not put it down. This book shows us that although we may know the ending to our life, its more about the journey and how we get there. This book will surely be a chart topper. I also hope they turn this one in to a movie as well. I received this book in exchange for my honest review as an invite from the publisher to read on net galley. 5 stars from me.

The Smallest Thing by Lisa Manterfield book review



The very last thing 17-year-old Emmott Syddall wants is to turn out like her dad. She’s descended from ten generations who never left their dull English village, and there’s no way she’s going to waste a perfectly good life that way. She’s moving to London and she swears she is never coming back.  But when the unexplained deaths of her neighbors force the government to quarantine the village, Em learns what it truly means to be trapped. Now, she must choose. Will she pursue her desire for freedom, at all costs, or do what’s best for the people she loves: her dad, her best friend Deb, and, to her surprise, the mysterious man in the HAZMAT suit?  Inspired by the historical story of the plague village of Eyam, this contemporary tale of friendship, community, and impossible love weaves the horrors of recent news headlines with the intimate details of how it feels to become an adult—and fall in love—in the midst of tragedy.


Holy smokes, Lisa Manterfield blows me away again. This is my second book by her and I cant wait to read more! SO for the fun tidbits…. EM, what a heart breaking character. This poor girl goes through so, so much. She literally goes through the whole “what else could go wrong” stage over and over. She really comes into herself throughout this novel and you see her and remember the feels of young love and heartache as you read her. Ro makes me want to go through the book and strangle him. Lisa wrote his character so flawlessly that you will hate him as he is a piece of crap. Aidan was beautiful. I really loved him. He is such a wonderful person. To see all that he does for Em is just nothing short of amazing. Again in this book Lisa has flawless writing and I am loving her more and more as a writer. Her stories are always full on intrigue and become a 1 click read for me. Her books are way too hard to put down until you finish them and then you will be left reeling and with ultimate book hangover. 5 stars from me.

The Leaf Reader by Emily Arsenault book review



Maybe, occasionally, some of the pictures I saw in teacups were not for the tea drinkers. Maybe some of them were for me.

Marnie Wells knows that she creeps people out. It’s not really her fault; her brother is always in trouble, and her grandmother, who’s been their guardian since Mom took off is…eccentric. So no one even bats an eye when Marnie finds an old book about reading tea leaves and starts telling fortunes. The ceremony and symbols are weirdly soothing, but she knows—and hopes everyone else does too—that none of it’s real. Then basketball star Matt Cotrell asks for a reading. He’s been getting emails from someone claiming to be his best friend, Andrea Quinley, who disappeared and is presumed dead. And while they’d always denied they were romantically involved, a cloud of suspicion now hangs over Matt. But Marnie sees a kindred spirit: someone who, like her, is damaged by association. Suddenly the readings seem real. And, despite the fact that they’re telling Marnie things about Matt that make him seem increasingly dangerous, she can’t shake her initial attraction to him. In fact, it’s getting stronger. And that could turn out to be deadly.


OH MY GOSH!!!! I could not put this book down.. Like at all. I have lost a lot of sleep due to this book. This is a truly, truly, wonderful read. First off, let’s talk about that gorgeous cover. This is what drew me into this book. I loved the dark, grim colors and the shattered tea cup. The more you read the book, the more this cover fits as it foreshadows the feel of the story. This is a fast paced read. It is full of dark captive moments where your pulse will be pounding. Also on  a small note I want to point out how my book came with a tiny insert of a book that explained how you did tea leaf readings and a gave a good lengthy list of common sightings in the tea leafs and what they mean. This little extra made me love the book all the more. I found it to be the perfect accompaniment to the book. Now for the good stuff….. I really loved the characters in this book. All of them brought something to the table and I never saw the main bad guy coming. I was so sure i knew who it was and I got a total shock in the end. Marnie was such a great character to read. Her background story is a little heartbreaking but at the same time I felt it was necessary as to making her into who she is as a person. I also liked Matt but in some ways he is such a typical guy with the whole not being good with his feelings towards Marnie. The rest of the supporting cast was great. They all held their own and no one got lost in the background and I felt each one was essential to the story. The plot was terrific and brilliant. I loved how insightful in some parts it was. The book really has some deeper stuff going on. Especially with the dream sequences that Marnie has. This author is definitely one to watch for as I think she will become a chart topper. This book while sent to me by Soho Teen for review, all thoughts opinions and beliefs are my own. 5 stars from me.

Missing Tyler by Tamara Palmer book review



Summer break has just begun and Kit Carlin is on her way to a funeral — to bury her twin brother. Kit has to find a way to put the broken puzzle of her life back together following Tyler’s death. She navigates through grief and family trauma by finding support in unexpected places, and in a growing understanding of what comes after life. There’s laughter and tears, summer beach time on the New Jersey shore, and the complicated “rollercoaster” of young love, jealousy, and sex. The joys and pains of Kit’s fifteenth summer lead her through a unique journey of recovery and self-discovery — and leave her changed forever.


What a wonderful coming of age novel. This book is full of firsts, heart ache, what it means to grown up and how tragic events shape us and how we cope. This book was the perfect summer read. I truly love Tamara Palmer’s writing and I cant wait to read more by her. Beautifully written, this book spins so much emotion. You will be pulled along as you reel from the grief of watching the main character go though losing her twin brother, her growing up, having to make most difficult decisions, rites of passage as a youth. This story made me remember some of the hard choices i had to make as a young adult. Beautifully heartbreaking, this is a fast read as you will not put it down. 5 stars from me.

Beautiful Animals by Lawrence Osborne book review



On a hike during a white-hot summer break on the Greek island of Hydra, Naomi and Samantha make a startling discovery: a man named Faoud, sleeping heavily, exposed to the elements, but still alive. Naomi, the daughter of a wealthy British art collector who has owned a villa in the exclusive hills for decades, convinces Sam, a younger American woman on vacation with her family, to help this stranger. As the two women learn more about the man, a migrant from Syria and a casualty of the crisis raging across the Aegean sea, their own burgeoning friendship intensifies, and when a simple plan of revenge goes horrifically wrong, Faoud must go on the run while the women come to terms with the terrible consequences they have set in motion


This well written fast paced thriller is one I was not able to put down. This story shows how manipulation sometimes wins and how it can influence people. This story evokes much feeling from within, as you continue to read on wondering how it will all come to term. The characters are well written and each bring o much emotion to the table. I loved this book more than words can say. This book left me raw and I still have not recovered from reading it. The plot holds so much and it is more than just your average book portraying revenge, manipulation, and classes vs society. Truly a wonderful read!

Perfect Imperfections (Moments Series, #1) by J. Wells book review



At the age of 27, Natasha is just a few months away from marrying her long-term boyfriend, Josh. Suddenly, he is called out of the country to take over the running of his father’s business. While he’s away, Natasha arranges a surprise wedding present for him – a portrait of herself. The handsome artist who agrees to paint the portrait is Gabriel Owens, a gifted painter who is partially sighted. He is sarcastic and brash, and Natasha finds herself always saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. It turns out that Josh isn’t the perfect fiancé that Natasha believed him to be and she is left reeling, her life in free fall. Does Gabriel have the tenacity and inner strength to pick up the pieces when he himself has so many insecurities and his own life is far from perfect?


I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Forewarning though, this book is written in British English (which I enjoy), to new readers it may take a little bit to get use to. The book starts off a little slow but for good reason. The author gets you acquainted with the characters and who they are as people. You get to see inside Natasha’s life and what makes her tick so to speak. Natasha has a lot going on in her life. From a nagging, whiny sister to a meddling mother, mixed in with a d-bag fiance, life is complicated. Natasha goes to do a portrait sitting for a wedding present for her husband. When she meets the artist Gabriel hitting it off is anything but. The two don’t really get along, until later. It was fun to watch their relationship unfold and circumnavigate through the choppy waters of complications that exist in both their lives. I was left shell shocked when I saw what kind of person Josh turned out to be. Then when that bomb of what happens to Natasha is dropped I was left reeling. The writing while different, is terrific. I cant wait to see book two as i’m told it will be in alternating persons and I’d love to see Gabriel’s side of things. The story builds slowly on itself and quickly picks p sped to where you can not put this book down. The character progression is wonderful to see and the overall plot is top notch. Plus i love that book cover. 4 stars from me!

Jane of Austin: A Novel of Sweet Tea and Sensibility by Hillary Manton Lodge book review



“Know your own happiness. You want nothing but patience – or give it a more fascinating name, call it hope.”―Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

Just a few years after their father’s business scandal shatters their lives, Jane and Celia Woodward find themselves forced out of their San Francisco tea shop. The last thing Jane wants is to leave their beloved shop on Valencia Street, but when Celia insists on a move to Austin, Texas, the sisters pack up their kid sister Margot and Jane’s tea plants, determined to start over yet again. But life in Austin isn’t all sweet tea and breakfast tacos. Their unusual living situation is challenging and unspoken words begin to fester between Jane and Celia. When Jane meets and falls for up-and-coming musician Sean Willis, the chasm grows deeper. While Sean seems to charm everyone in his path, one person is immune – retired Marine Captain Callum Beckett. Callum never meant to leave the military, but the twin losses of his father and his left leg have returned him to the place he least expected—Texas.

In this modern spin on the Austen classic, Sense and Sensibility, the Woodward sisters must contend with new ingredients in unfamiliar kitchens, a dash of heartbreak, and the fragile hope that maybe home isn’t so far away.


Totally loved this book! i am a Jane Austen addict and this is a delightful modern spin on Sense and Sensibility. Told in alternate pov’s between Callum and Jane, this book made my heart swell. i loved seeing how each character dealt with their problems as well as how they interacted around others concerning them. This story was sweet and endearing. Each of the three sisters brought a refreshing take on this classic story. The book is very close to Jane Austen’s writing, just with a more updated twist. I appreciated the homage to one of my favorite classics. The dynamic between the sisters was delightful and I could not put this book down!  I read it all in one day. One thing I thoroughly enjoyed was how the author included recipes of foods, and drinks mentioned throughout the book! I’m eagerly anticipating making them all. The other thing I enjoyed were all the quotes at the beginning of each chapter! I love quotes like that in books! I truly can not say enough good things about this book! 5 stars from me!