The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas

I’m a sucker for time travel novels. And, isn’t this cover beautiful?! Thank you crooked lane books for my copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis from Goodreads: In 1967, four female scientists worked together to build the world’s first time machine. But just as they are about to debut their creation, one of them suffers a breakdown, putting the whole project—and future of time travel—in jeopardy. To protect their invention, one member is exiled from the team—erasing her contributions from history. Fifty years later, time travel is a big business. Twenty-something Ruby Rebello knows her beloved grandmother, Granny Bee, was one of the pioneers, though no one will tell her more. But when Bee receives a mysterious newspaper clipping from the future reporting the murder of an unidentified woman, Ruby becomes obsessed: could it be Bee? Who would want her dead? And most importantly of all: can her murder be stopped?

I LOVED the premise of this book – a story about 4 women scientists who’ve developed the ability to travel through time (woohoo, go girl science power)! The problem with this one was how quick the story went. I wanted more detail about how their scientific discovery went in the beginning of the book. The first few chapters were so crucial, I just felt like they flew by! The story takes a quick turn to focus on a murder mystery, almost leaving the revel of discovery behind in the dust. A very unique story, but I just wanted more.  I’m not sure if I liked having to switch to the mindset of being between a sci-fi novel, contemporary fiction novel, and a mystery.

3/5 Stars

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One Fatal Mistake by Tom Hunt

What happens when a cover up goes really, really bad?

Thank you Berkley publishing for sending me a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis from Amazon: When eighteen-year-old Joshua Mayo takes a man’s life in a terrible accident, he leaves the scene without reporting the crime to the police. He hopes to put the awful night behind him and move on with his life. But, of course, he ends up telling his mother, Karen, what happened. Karen has raised Joshua on her own in Cedar Rapids, Iowa–and she’d thought they’d finally made it. He was doing well in school and was only months away from starting college at his dream school. After hearing his dark confession, she’s forced to make a choice no parent should have to make. A choice that draws them both into a web of deceit that will change their lives forever–if they can make it out alive.

What a roller coaster ride! It’s a little predictable and a little crazy, but it is well written and a quick, easy read. It’s an entertaining thriller and one to pick up if you aren’t used to reading thrillers but want to keep your eyes glued to the page. I think the twists got a little too carried away for my liking.

3.5/5 Stars

More Than Words by Jill Santopolo

We interrupt your regularly seen thrilling book reviews for a romance read because…February. I needed a good switch-up from my usual, and this was just calling my name!

Thank you Putnam Books for my free copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis from Goodreads: Nina Gregory has always been a good daughter, a good girlfriend. Raised by her father, owner of New York City’s glamorous Gregory Hotels, after her mother’s death, Nina was taught that family, reputation, and legacy are what matter most. And her boyfriend Tim, thoughtful, kind, and honest, not to mention her best friend since childhood, feels the same. But after Nina’s father passes away, she learns he may not have practiced what he preached. As her world falls apart, Nina begins to question everything she thought she knew and to see the men in her life–her father, her boyfriend, and unexpectedly, her handsome and attentive boss, Rafael–in a new light. Soon Nina finds herself caught between the world she knows and loves, and a passion that could upend everything. More than Words is a heartbreaking and romantic novel about grief, loss, love, and self-discovery, and how we choose which life we are meant to live.

I love romance stories where the girl has to fight over choosing between men. Call me cliche, but I dig it. Without having read Jill’s previous book (I know, I’m crazy to even admit it), this wasn’t a story that completely captivated me. It was a good escape from the ordinary. I thought it was heartfelt, romantic, and endearing. Really, a must-read for those February lovers out there. Nina’s life changes and decisions are admirable and heartwarming to read about. I could see myself reading this book again.

4/5 Stars

Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler INTERVIEW

Okay, I think my new favorite thing now is being able to interview authors! This one was a lot of fun! Getting a glimpse at their passion and what makes them so great at writing is awe-inspiring!

Don’t Wake Up was just released in the United States this week and Liz was welcoming enough to share some background with me! In the meantime, add this book to your must-read list this Winter. It’s phenomenal! Thank you Harper Books for my free copy!

1. What inspired you to become a writer?

I think nursing must have influenced me to one day pick up a pen and start writing. I think years of witnessing grief and loss, hope and joy banked a lot of memories inside my head and writing was kind of a catharsis. A place to lay the memories. It’s strange the things that stay in your mind, the small things you witness that make your heart ache. The old man who sits beside the bed of the old lady and he combs her thin hair so gently. He then takes the wisps of her hair from the comb and places them in his handkerchief, tucks it in his breast pocket and pats his chest as if feeling her there.  

2. What is the hardest thing about being a writer? Easiest thing?

I hit writing as if I’m going to run out of time, mostly from around 07:00 in the morning, and then wonder when I’m jerked awake at the end of the day, because my husband has done that hand on your shoulder shake-thing to see if I’m conscious (he works in a hospital) why he’s at the ready to resuscitate me. But mental exhaustion is not the hardest thing. It is fear that the book is finished; it is now out of your hands and it will be read.

The easiest thing has to be beginning a new day fresh and motivated to do it all over again.

3. What inspired you to write Don’t Wake Up?

I suspect many things I heard or read or even experienced as nurse stored a place for dark things and a hospital setting was the surrounding where I always saw Alex. And while what happened to Alex is imagination, bullying and cruelty does happen in hospitals, care homes and in all places where people are vulnerable and defenceless in the hands of the wicked. Often when we hear of a place being shut down because of mental or physical cruelty we ask, how could that happen? And the saddest answer is – because it can.

4. If Don’t Wake Up turned into a movie, who would you want to play Alex? Laura? Greg? (any other characters)?

Ooh what a lovely question! I feel like I’ve just walked into a sweet shop and can pick and choose. There are many greats to choose from but I think Amanda Seyfried would make for an interesting Alex and Rosamund Pike for Laura. Benedict Cumberbatch could prove a good fit for Greg!

5. What do you hope readers take away from reading Don’t Wake Up?

Not being believed when you are telling the truth is an awful thing to happen. Not being believed when you’ve be assaulted or raped would be horrendous to bear. Many of the characters during the story had something bad happen to them or behaved in a way that was wrong. If they’d been less quiet, less afraid, not let their life be defined by resentment and jealousy, as in the case of some, they would have seen they were better or stronger people than the ones they let themselves become.

6. Can you tell me a little about other books you’ve written?

My second novel I’ll Find You has just been published in the UK and it’s a story about loss and how far one is driven to find or make safe the one they love, so I’m biting on my nails at the moment what with that, and with Don’t Wake Up now out in the United States. Fingers crossed!

7. What has been your favorite book you’ve read this year?

 It’s now February and it’s been slow reading with getting ready for publication day, but I’m halfway through The Tattooist of Auschwitz and it has me gripped!

We Told Six Lies by Victoria Scott INTERVIEW!

I think people tend to forget how wonderful mysteries and thrillers are in young adult novels. I’m here to revive your beliefs! Thank you Entangled Teen for my free copy! This was such a fun read, and I was blessed with the opportunity to interview the author Victoria Scott! Check it out:

1. What inspired you to become a writer?A love of books! It was the only love I’ve had my entire life outside of my family.

2. What is the hardest thing about being a writer? Easiest thing?Hardest is sticking with a manuscript through the doubts. Easiest is those first few pages, when the words fly.

3. What inspired you to write We Told Six Lies?I got the idea for Molly in my head – this strange manipulative character in my head – and couldn’t let her go. I had to tell her story. 

4. What do you hope readers take away from reading We Told Six Lies?Honestly? My only wish for my readers is that they lose themselves for a few good hours. Life can be hard, and reading is a beautiful escape.

5. Did you get to choose the cover? (It’s gorgeous by the way!)I didn’t, but I’m absolutely in love with it! I’ve been blessed by the cover gods once again.

Go pick up your copy of We Told Six Lies today!

Nick and June Were Here by Shalanda Stanley

I have been reading a lot of heavy mysteries and thrillers lately, so I figured this would be a good light read for me. I was wrong, but in a different way…

Thank you Knopf for sending me a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Nick and June have been best friends for many years. A recent relationship change has happened due to the fact that Nick and June are closer than ever: boyfriend and girlfriend. The two of them are struggling with big issues on their own. June is experiencing some scary mental illness symptoms, only to be diagnosed with schizophrenia not much later. Nick is trying to make up for lost money from his father’s poor decisions by involving himself in illegal matters. Can the two of them work through these big changes on their own? Can they come out on the other side of this stronger than ever?

I don’t know why I thought this book would be lighthearted. The synopsis mentions the mental illness issues, something that is never lighthearted in itself. This was an emotional, deep read, but very well written. The only thing that deterred me from this was that I felt like it was a typical good girl/bad boy runaway novel. There are a lot of young adults like that out there in the world. I didn’t feel like this was unique enough to distinguish from others. Regardless, I think Shalanda did a wonderful job sharing the importance of mental illness care.

3.5/5 Stars

Love Where You Live by Shauna Pilgreen

My husband and I talk about moving from time to time. We’ve lived in the same place for the last 9 years. Growing up, I moved almost every 2 to 3 years until my parents finally settled down to where they live today. I was almost getting used to moving and expected it. Sometimes, I still do! There are things about where we live that I really struggle with. The busyness, the people, the lack of jobs, you name it. Again, moving seems to be the easy way out. But will moving make the difference that I’m looking for?

With these struggling thoughts, I felt very compelled to jump on the opportunity to read “Love Where You Live”, all thanks to Revel for sending me a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis from Goodreads: Despite being part of one of the most mobile societies in history, it’s easy for us to feel stuck where we are. Whether because of a recent move or because we’re still in the exact same place we’ve been for years, many of us just aren’t where we thought we’d be or doing what we thought we’d be doing. Sometimes we may wonder if God knows what he’s doing. How can this be part of his plan? With enthusiasm and contagious joy, Shauna Pilgreen assures readers that, yes, God does have a plan and a purpose for them–right where they are. In fact, he sent them there. She invites readers to “live sent,” showing them how to see their surroundings with fresh eyes and renewed energy. Weaving her own remarkable story with biblical habits readers can incorporate into their daily routines, Pilgreen equips us to reach out into our communities with God’s love, knowing that our efforts are never in vain. 

Shauna is an extremely talented writer. I felt as if I was sitting right next to her, chatting about our life over a cup of coffee. She writes with eye-opening wisdom and never tries to convince you of believing one specific thing over another. Reading this showed me that we matter no matter where we live. We are meant to be there for a reason. Her stories from her own lifetime help encourage you to make relationships with people you may not have thought would be fruitful. God will meet you where you are at. If you struggle with even that thought, Shauna encourages you to lean into Him. He is our shelter. This was a refreshing read and something I really needed to hear at just the right time.

5/5 Stars