The Ghost of Christmas Past by Angie Fox Review

Dessert saves the day in this A Christmas Carol retelling. Verity, a small town ghost hunter, is getting ready for a Christmas party with her boyfriend’s family when an unexpected package shows up on the porch from his disapproving mother. After having a squabble with her before the party Verity decides to stay home. Just when she thinks she is going to have a cozy night in, an unexpected ghostly visitor shows up with a mission for her. What starts as a simple animal rescue ends in a life-altering way.

I would like to think NetGalley and Moose Island Books for the opportunity to read this advanced readers copy. I really enjoyed it. A pet skunk, a mobster ghost who makes jello salad, and a family redemption plot make for a fun Christmas read. I was very shocked that I enjoyed it so much. When I first jumped in I didn’t realize it was part of a series. However, it gave plenty of background so I never really felt confused. The conflict at the beginning slightly annoyed me. I think it could have been handled in a different way, but it ending up setting up the rest of the book well. I think it is the perfect lighthearted Christmas read that isn’t focused completely on romance. It also made me want to add a pet skunk to my Christmas list, to my husband’s disapproval. It’s going to be published November 29, 2019, if you want to pick it up for the holiday season!

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas Review

I have just finished Kingdom of Ash and I am NOT ok. I have been reading this series on and off since March. I feel like a chapter of my life has just ended. Also, fair warning, this review might spoil the rest of the series. I won’t spoil Kingdom of Ash, but I can’t discuss it without spoiling all the previous books.

This book starts out grim. It is time for the final battle and Aelin is trapped in an iron coffin. She is being held by the Queen of Fae. She endures months of torture that alters her indefinitely. The Aelin at the end of the book is not the person we met so many books earlier. The battle begins without her. Her closest friends try to hide the fact that the Fire-Bringer is missing. Each day Aelin’s resolve fades and the fact that she is not there to lead them will soon be discovered. Friends come together and bonds are severed all in the fight to save Erilea.

I will be honest. This story starts out slower, in my opinion, than most in this series. But it is necessary. The suspense builds dramatically. The lives of our main characters all blend together for the last battle, with hopes of building a better world. The ending was bitter-sweet and had me in tears. It is the most satisfying ending to any series that I have ever read.

If you have not read this series I highly recommend it. I will be doing an entire series review coming this week, so look out for that!

******MILD SPOILER*********

I have to mention one part. It doesn’t really spoil the plot and most people already know that a reference to the A Court of Thorns and Roses series is made. What was revealed made my heart stop. It was pure bliss.

The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh Review

When this was released it was marketed as “the book to bring back vampires.” I knew immediately I had to pre-order it.

In 1872, Celine Rousseau found sanctuary in New Orleans. After fleeing from Paris she takes up residence in a local convent. Her skill as a dressmaker gets her an invitation to the world of La Cour de Lions. While there a girl from Celine’s convent is found dead. Celine suspects Sebastian Saint Germain, the courts leader. Celine has to fight her attraction and her suspicion. to discover who is killing the girls in her community. All the while, she is getting pulled deeper and deeper into the underworld.

I have several thoughts on this. The first being, there are not many vampires. If I had not have read the summary and the reviews I would not have known it was a vampire story until the end of the book.

Celine was an interesting character in the beginning. Toward the end I felt like she became one-dimensional. The only thing I really know about her is she makes dresses and she is stubborn. There is very little character growth. Also, a lot of time was spent saying that she is “two sides of the same coin” but not a lot of action on Celine’s part to back that up. She is supposed to have underlying darkness but nothing really built that up. It is just said multiple times.

The mystery part of the story was the only thing that saved it for me. I would not have guessed the ending. The only problem is there was no resolution. If anything part of the story is unwound at the end. It is an interesting way to set up the next book, but I don’t think I will continue on with the series. I know I gave this three stars in my October Wrap Up, but the more I am thinking on it I have decided to drop my Goodreads score to two stars. I am just really unsatisfied and have so many unanswered questions. I did enjoy the gothic vibes the author created, but there is just so much more I want from it.

Books and Bakes Tag

This is going to be a bit of a different post. I saw this tag on Thoughts on Tomes Youtube channel and thought it was so much fun. Besides reading, another hobby of mine is cooking and baking. I have a family of good cooks, so I think I would be disowned if I didn’t enjoy it lol.

I will be given a baking related prompt and then I will choose a book that fits. I hope you enjoy!

1, Cupcakes- Name a collection of short stories, poems, or anthologies where you couldn’t read just one section and had to go back for more.

Thirteen Alabama Ghosts and Jefferey won by default. This is really the only book of short stories I own. I really enjoy it and it probably would be a favorite even if I owned multiple collections.

2. Lemon Pound Cake- Name a book that has 400 pages or more that you considered a comfort read and a classic.

Gone with the Wind is well over 400 pages. It will always be a classic. I will say it’s not necessarily a comfort read. It handles very hard topics, but I love it nonetheless.

3. Red Velvet Cake- Name a book that you thought was one thing, but ended up being another.

I bought Hex thinking it was going to be a spooky little town. While, that was the case it was a whole lot more militarized than I expected. I also was shocked to find out that the towns people scared me more than the witch. Check out my full review here:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough- Name a book or book series that you can read over and over again even though you know it is bad for you.

The A Court of Thorns and Roses series is controversial. I personally loved it. I don’t really re-read books, but if I did I would want to re-read this one.

Gingerbread Cookies- Do you like your gingerbread crunchy or soft? If you like your cookies soft name a book that was squishy in the middle, but the beginning and end were really good. If you like your cookies crunchy, name a book you finished, but you wanted to throw at a wall, or snap.

I like my cookies crunchy. I wanted to throw The Missing Season at the wall multiple times. It was supposed to be about a mysterious monster that stalks a small time. Somehow, though, it spent more time focusing on the love interest than talking about the monster. I read until the end hoping something would happen, but it never really did.

Brownies- Are you a corner piece or a middle piece? If you’re a corner piece, name a book that starts of strong and then all comes apart. If you’re a middle piece, name a book that kept you in the feels the entire time.

I am a corner piece. My pick is very controversial. I did not love The Diviners. I should have. It started out promising, but it tried too hard to use the ligo from the time period and it really got on my nerves.

Birthday Cake- Name a book series or an author that you feel like keeps coming out with a book, short story, or novella every year.

Riley Sager comes out with a new mystery every summer. I have read all three so far. I will not complain. Keep them coming. I love his work.

Carrot Cake- Name a book that sounded healthy for you but ended up being unhealthy either with content, or put you in a reading slump.

Uprooted put me into a reading slump. I could not force myself to finish it, and I had to take a break from reading for a day or two.

Apple Pie a la Mode- Name a book that was really food but could have been better with a little bit of ice cream.

Sawkill Girls was great in a lot of way. However, I really didn’t like or connect with any of the characters.

So that was the Books and Bakes Tag. If you want to play along, consider yourself tagged!