Verity by Colleen Hoover Review

Verity|Colleen Hoover

If you are hunting a great psychological thriller, Verity is the book for you. I kept seeing it all over the bookish internet so I finally read it. It is completely worth the hype!

When bestselling author Verity Crawford is injured in a tragic car accident her publisher hires struggling writer, Lowen Ashleigh, to finish her series. Lowen temporarily moves into the Crawford’s home to sort through Verity’s notes. While she is there Lowen finds a horrifying unfinished autobiography that admits what happened on the day Verity’s daughter died. Lowen tries to hide the manuscript from Jeremy Crawford even as her feelings for him intensify. She knows that the truth in the manuscript is just too much for the grieving father to handle.

My Thoughts on Verity

I was hooked from page one. I can’t say very much about the book because I don’t want to spoil it, but believe me when I say you need to read this.

The thriller plot was great, but I also liked how it focused on the writing process. It showed a sneak peek inside the publishing world.I am sure I have read from an author’s perspective before but it’s still not a perspective I read often.

Reading from the unfinished manuscript was horrifying. It gave a great insight into Verity’s mind and writing style. In her best selling novel series she writes from the villain’s perspective. I really wish they were real novels because they sound amazing.

This is the first book I have ever read by Colleen Hoover. I never realized that she had written a mystery/thriller. I am going to have to research her to see if she has written anymore thrillers because I would definitely read more of her work.

My Rating: 5/5

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My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows Review

My Lady Jane is unlike anything I have ever read before. It had been awhile since I read the synopsis so the inclusion of animal shifters took me by surprise. I have mixed thoughts on this read, so let’s discuss.

King Edward is dying at sixteen. He needs an heir to take his throne. Through the advise of his council he decides to have his cousin, Jane, marry Gifford Dudley to secure the throne. Unfortunately, no one told Jane that Gifford is a horse. As if marrying a horse isn’t enough to deal with they uncover a conspiracy that has left Jane the title of Queen of England. Little do they know that is just the beginning of their problems.

My thoughts on My Lady Jane

The thing that hooked me into reading this is the fact that it was a retelling of the story of Lady Jane Grey. However, it is very loosely based. It is meant to be a satire so there is no historical merit to it at all. If that is what you are looking for this one isn’t for you.

The narrators are hilarious. That is the best part of the story. It is an easy read and perfect if you need a laugh.

My major complaint is that it seemed entirely too long. When I had about a hundred pages to go I just wanted it to end. It just felt like too much time was spent on unnecessary parts. I think if the story had have been a bit more concise I would have enjoyed it more.

My Rating: 3/5

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The Whole Town’s Talking by Fannie Flagg Review

The Whole Town's Talking|Fannie Flagg

I wanted to love The Whole Town’s Talking, but unfortunately I can’t even say that I like it. The concept was great, but the execution fell flat. I read this to complete the “read a book by a local author” prompt on the Modern Mrs. Darcy Challenge.

Something strange is happening in Elmwood Springs Cemetery. Lordor Nordstrom and his wife Katrina founded Elmwood Spring and the cemetery. Little did he know, Elmwood Springs would become a bustling town. We follow his descendants through the years as the town and cemetery changes.

The Whole Town’s Talking

I really liked the concept of following the descendants and watching the town change. Unfortunately, I couldn’t connect with any of the characters. Even the ones we watch from birth felt like strangers to me. I think Flagg tried to focus on too many different people. Instead of creating a community it just became muddled.

There also seemed to be inconsistencies in the timing. Some events were drawn out to the point of boredom and others were glanced over and left me wanting more.

I wish there had have been more focus on the cemetery and the events taking place there. I figured since it was the basis of the book it would have been more prominent.

I honestly can’t believe I finished this one. Usually, I leave positive comments because I don’t have the self discipline to finish a book I dislike. I hung on to the end hoping for more, but I despised the ending. It was so out of the blue. Really I felt like I had read the ending to a different story. It drove the nail into the coffin of my dislike.

My Rating: 2/5

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Mountain Climbing with Dinosaurs by Doug Goodman

I was given a chance to read this in exchange for my honest review. As soon as I saw the word dinosaur in the title I was hooked. I read Jurassic Park several years ago and really like it. I wanted to give another dinosaur book a try. Don’t compare this to Jurassic Park. The only similarity is the dinosaurs. I actually liked this better than Jurassic Park.

Twin brothers, Brady and Travis, are known world wide for their mountain climbing skills. Their world is shattered when they survive a mass shoot that took the lives of thirteen of their classmates. After that day, they set a goal to climb thirteen mountains to honor their friends. New Profanity Peak is next. It is their most dangerous climb. Not only is it a restricted area, it is a dinosaur preserve. This climb will change their lives forever.

I loved the motivation behind climbing the mountains. Adding the mass shooting in was an interesting twist to the story. To see the impact of that through the view of a teenager is horrifying. I knew going into this that it is a horror story, but I still got attached to the characters, against my better judgement.

This is a fast moving story that flashes from past to present. It fully develops the story within a short space of time. It helps to understand the characters motivations and mindsets during the climb. The dinosaurs are always in the background of the climb, but then they come in and attack full force. I think I would have liked to seen them included just a bit more.

My Review: 4/5

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Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, everyone! It is strange not to be with family or in church this morning. I took a little bit of time to read over some Easter verses and I wanted to share them. It’s going to be a short post today, but it’s on my heart!

John 11:25-26

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

1 Peter 1:3

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Luke 24:6-7

He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,

Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.

Romans 6:8-11

Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Luke 24:2-3

And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.


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Sin and Zen by S.W. Stribling

Sin and Zen by [Steven Warren Stribling]

Sin and Zen was an interesting ride. I was given a copy of the audio book in exchange for my honest review, so here we go.

When Will Strief suffers an injury to his leg in the French Foreign Legion his military career is brought to an end. At twenty three he finds himself in Marseille, France far from home with no responsibility to anyone. He is living the dream of most twenty three year old males. He’s living the rockstar life. This book dives into the mind of a man trying to learn about himself and the world.

This one might not be for everyone. To be honest, I wasn’t sure it was for me at first. Will isn’t the most likeable character you will ever meet but over time he becomes tolerable. The lack of plot was interesting to me. It was like you were inside his mind. His thoughts and actions are at the forefront of the story. There is no rhyme or reason, just like in real life. We live day to day and try to figure it out as we go along. 

Will had his fair share of bad romances. Man, most of the relationships he had were toxic but yet I kept rooting for them. I would find myself wanting to yell at both of them and tell them how ridiculous they were being. Again, though sometimes that is reality. Not every romance ends like a fairytale. 

An interesting aspect that I really enjoyed was the mountain climbing. I would have loved to have seen more of that. It was such an interesting journey. The whole story could have been based on that and I would have been fine. The author’s writing is great. His descriptions really take you there. I also loved some of the dark humor he included. 

Sin and Zen is a quick read that takes your mind off of where you’re at in the world and puts you in the mind of Will. If it sounds like something you’re interested in it would be a great way to escape the chaos of the world right now.

My Rating: 4/5

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House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas Review

It’s no secret that I love Sarah J Maas. I was so excited to finally get my hands on this book, but I was also nervous that I wouldn’t love it. Luckily, I did but it did have a rough start so lets discuss.

Bryce Quinlan had no worries in the world. She worked during the day and partied at night. Tragedy struck when a demon murdered a her best friend. A couple of years later the murders start up again leaving her in the middle of the investigation. Her partner, Hunt Athalar, is not the easiest person to work with. He is a fallen angel who has to deal with his boss’s enemies. During the investigation they grow closer and become great friends. Life is looking up until they discover a dark secret that threatens to put the entire city at risk.

The beginning of this one is so painfully slow. I considered dnfing it, but I was afraid I would miss a great read. There is a lot of info dumping about the hierarchy and frankly it was confusing. About 100 pages in the story started picking up and I was hooked.

The slow beginning is my only true complaint. When I was going back through my notes I wrote down that I thought Bryce and Hunt’s partnership was contrived. That thought became void because Maas tied up her loose ends later in the book. I have learned to trust her process.

The rest of this review is just going to be a gush. Hunt and Bryce are perfect. I love their character development as individuals as well as partners. They have so much chemistry. Bryce is just the perfect character. She is strong willed and determined.

Toward the end of the book there was a plot twist that destroyed my heart. I was skeptical as to how Maas was going to repair the situation. She really went above and beyond. Again, trust the process.

As I have said countless times I have been in a fantasy slump. The inclusion of a murder mystery in this fantasy was a great way to pull me out of that. I would love to see her write a thriller because the plot and mystery were so thought out. I think I am ready to jump back into fantasy after reading this.

My Rating: 5/5

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My Favorite Indie Bookstores

My list of favorite indie bookstores is small. I haven’t been to many, because to my knowledge there aren’t any near me. It’s always a highlight of a vacation or trip if I get to visit one. I have seen so many other bloggers doing similar posts to help bring awareness to the fact that some indie bookshops are in danger right now. Less tourism means less sells, so we as a book community need to support these hidden gems.

E. Shaver, Bookseller

I can’t begin to tell you how much I loved this store. It is located in a historic building in downtown Savannah, Georgia. When you walk in you feel at home in this beautiful, cozy bookstore. They have the friendliest staff and three gorgeous bookshop cats. I know I will have to go back to Savannah one day just to visit the shop again.

https://www.eshaverbooks.com/

Parnassus Books

Located in Nashville, Tennesse this beautiful store is co-owned by author Anne Patchett. I may or may not have planned an entire vacation around visiting this bookshop. It was so worth it. Their selection is huge and I loved their merchandise. Surprisingly, I bought more store merchandise than books. I bought a mug and a t-shirt and they are high quality. If you want to check out the mug check out my last Instagram post @readinginthewildwood.

https://www.parnassusbooks.net/

McKay’s

McKay’s is a a massive used bookstore in Chattanooga, Tennessee. They have everything you could ever want. They have more shelves than you could ever browse in a day. You can’t purchase from their website, but if you’re ever in the area you need to check it out.

http://www.mckaybooks.com

So that is my list of favorite indie bookstores. I hope to add the the list while I travel. While I love Books a Million. You can’t replace the character of an indie bookstore. So take the time and order from your local bookstore or even order from one from across the country. They need our support.

Recipe Taste Test: Quarantine Edition

So I am late on March’s recipe taste test. This month I wanted dessert, but the stores didn’t have a lot on the shelves. This recipe for an Icebox Cake in the Pioneer Women’s new cookbook only had four ingredients. Three of the ingredients, heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla, I already had on hand. So I only had to buy Oreo thins. The recipe calls for mint Oreo thins, but the store only had originals. I replaced the peppermint extract with vanilla. It was a hit with my husband. He loves all things cookies and cream. It was so light and tasty. The Oreo’s softened the perfect amount. It is a great recipe for quarantine because it has so few ingredients. I have been really impressed with this new cookbook. Every recipe I have tried has been great. I highly recommend it.

ThePioneerWomenCooks:TheNewFrontier


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