[Blog Tour] Book Review | Shimmer by Paula Weston

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Authour:shimmer
Paula Weston
Format:
Trade paperback, 400 pages
Publication date:
March 8th 2016
Publisher:
Tundra Books
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:

“The piazza is in chaos. It seethes with more Rephaim than I’ve ever seen in one place: punching, kicking, and wrestling each other with blinding speed.Shouting, swearing, Grunting.” – p. 154

I’m fortunate to once again have the opportunity to be on the blog tour for another book in Paula Weston’s Rephaim series. (I will also be on the blog tour for the final book in the series as well) However, while I absolutely adored both Shadows and Haze I was surprised to find that I was not as enthusiastic when it came to Shimmer. I believe this may have to do with the fact that Gaby and Rafa are separated for the majority of this book and since their dynamic is such a core element of the series it didn’t feel the same. Nevertheless, I did appreciate that this book focused on the twins and the other Rephaim relationships and dynamics. Furthermore, we do learn more about the other players in the conflict, and once again it appears that things are not as the initially appear. All of this makes Shimmer a necessary addition to the Rephaim series.

On a whole other note, it’s been awhile since I read the previous book, Haze that I completely forgot how short the chapters were since it makes for an excellent work commute read. I also loved the chapter titles that they are (usually) appropriate and always hilarious. Shimmer also has one hell of a cliff-hanger ending, as just when things are starting to pick up again the reader is thrown a major curveball. As a result, I am eager to read Burn as soon as possible in order to see where this new development takes our characters. Additionally, I am looking forward to seeing how Paula Weston concludes her Rephaim series. Having invested a great deal in the series that I initially thought wouldn’t be my cup of tea, I am both curious and excited to read the conclusion. Hopefully since all the key players and pieces are now gathered, Burn will be filled with more action and excitement.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Book Review | Dear Emma by Katie Heaney

emmaAuthour:
Katie Heaney
Format:
Advance Reader Copy, 303 pages
Publication date:
March 1st 2016
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
Having read Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date and enjoyed it I was curious to see how Katie Heaney would approach fiction. Furthermore, the fact that the book was set in college meant that the characters would be closer in age to me and therefore extra relatable. Although a work of fiction, I believe Dear Emma shares a few similarities with Katie Heaney’s first book which was a memoir of sorts. What the two books have in common, is that both appear to be tributes to female friendships. When it comes to Dear Emma if you are looking for a book with romance in it, then you’re best looking elsewhere. The focus of Dear Emma remains truly on female friendships and college life.

What’s intriguing with Dear Emma is that not only did the author say it was inspired by Jane Austen’s Emma (albeit incredibly loosely) in addition it was also inspired by the authour’s own college experiences. As a result, it was incredibly relatable and it made me nostalgic for my university days. And sure I didn’t live away from home or near my school however I had several friends who did and the stories I’ve heard from resemble the lives of Harriet, and. That’s probably why this book resonated with me, it wasn’t too long ago that I was hanging out with my friends in one of the school’s cafeterias and/or getting together for study group sessions.

To be honest, not much happens in Dear Emma. There remains a bit of relationship drama here and there however it was only in tiny doses. I did however appreciate the fact that Harriet had her own column in her college’s newspaper as I loved reading her reactions to the letters/emails she gets in addition to how her personal life slowly collides with her “private” work life.

Dear Emma is definitely a book that could make several of us nostalgic for our postsecondary days. After all as Dear Emma demonstrates, college is a time that you may or may not find the love of your life however it’s more likely that you’ll form some memorable friendships that will have a lasting impact on you instead.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Mystery Monday | A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

Mystery Mondays

Mystery Mondays is an occasional review feature here on Words of Mystery that showcases books in the mystery (and on occasion thriller) genre that we are currently reading and our thoughts on them. Feel free to comment and leave suggestions as to what we should read and review next.

Who is it by? Brittany Cavallaro is a poet and fiction writer. A Study in Charlotte is her debut novel, and the first in a new trilogy. The rights for its publication have been sold in Brazil, Portuguese, Germany, Japan, and France and Taiwan. Currently, she lives in Wisconsin with her husband, cat, and cat. You can follow her on Twitter at @skippingstones.

What is it about? Jamie Watson is a descendant of the Dr. John H. Watson, so it seems that he was fated to meet Charlotte Holmes, the great-great-great grand daughter famous Sherlock Holmes. And since both are related to the original crime-solving duo, they were bound to get themselves caught up in a few mysteries themselves. Despite, an unpleasant introduction to each other, the two are forced to work together when it appears that someone is trying to frame them for the murder of one of their classmates.

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Where does it take place? A Study in Charlotte is set in Sherringford, a fictional Connecticut prep school. Like most boarding schools, many of the students come from well-to-do families while others like Jamie attend the school on a scholarship.

Why did I like it? I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I not usually a fan of retellings of my favourite classics however A Study in Charlotte had me intrigued at its synopsis. From the beginning, I loved the boarding school setting which was perfect for this modern, YA spin on the crime solving duo of Holmes and Watson.

Also while it is a retelling of sorts, A Study in Charlotte is about the original Holmes and Watson duo, instead it focuses on two of their teenaged descendants. Jamie and Charlotte’s dynamic is very reminiscent of their ancestors, although both are also able to stand on their own as original characters. And while there is an inkling of romance between the two, it does not eclipse the mystery and investigation aspect of the plot. For those of you who are fellow Sherlockians, I think you will appreciate the numerous allusions and nods to the original duo. These include the relationship between Charlotte and her brother as well the tension that continues to exist between the Holmes’ and Moriarty family. One of my favourite things about this book, is all the lamp shading that occurs, for instance many of the original Holmes’ cases are referenced, as well as what happened to the Watsons’ rights to the Holmes’ stories. Additionally the guide to dealing with the Holmeses that Jamie’s dad has is hilarious in that many of the things mentioned are pretty much spot on which makes sense after all its all the information that has been collected by the previous Watsons who’ve worked with and/or interacted with a Holmes.

There are many adaptations and spin offs of the Sherlock stories, however A Study in Charlotte featuring some descendants of the original Holmes and Watson is one that fellow Sherlockians should definitely check out especially if they enjoy YA fiction. Thus, I know I will definitely be looking forward to the next installment in this trilogy.

When is it out? March 1st 2016

Publisher Social Media: Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.