Review: HausMagick

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received this book for free as part of an Instagram tour (TLC Book Tours specifically) I did to promote the book. 

I was so excited to read this book because I am super interested in witchcraft and I love interior design and all things homey. I was not disappointed.

First off, this is a beautiful coffee table book. Everything about it is high quality from the pages to the photos. It makes the perfect addition to any coffee table or bookshelf display. 

Just a little side note: since this is a coffee table book, this book is not meant to give you a large or comprehensive overview of witchcraft. If you’re looking for that, I suggest reading something else. 

Secondly, I love love LOVE that the author brings up cultural appropriation in witchcraft. It’s a small little mention but much appreciated. She also includes a recommended reading  list at the end for those who are interested in learning more about the original context of some of the practices. 

I also loved the self help elements. Even though this is a book about homes, the self-help elements felt very natural. It ultimately boils down to how YOU connect with your space.

Overall, this is the perfect coffee table book for those looking to add a little magick to their home and life. 

Review: You Must Not Miss

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Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free from The NOVL in exchange for an honest review. 

Going into this book, I had no idea what to expect. But damn, this book was so unique and different that I ended up loving it.

When the book started, I wasn’t super into it since it started off like any other high school drama. There’s the bullied girl who befriends other outcasts, the mean girl, etc. To me it seemed to be going down a  path that I’ve seen one too many times.

Then about halfway through, the magical realism element to the story came out and it got weird. But I liked it. As the book progressed, it got darker and even more weird. And I still liked it. A lot. The whole plot and storyline just worked for me. 

What really made the book successful was the the writing style. It went so well with the book. It was easy to read and captured the mood and tone of the book perfectly. It had that contemporary feel with more mysterious and darker undertones. 

Overall, this is one of those books that you have to read for yourself to see if you like it. It’s so unique and different that it’s hard for me to say who would enjoy it. It may be a bit bizarre for some people, but for me that was what made me like it so much.  

Review: Love and Other Things

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Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

This is a really sweet and touching collection of poetry. 

The poems really resonated with me and I found them to be authentic and very “real”. The poems never felt like they were trying too hard to convey a particular message. They also didn’t feel like imitations of other poems or poets. They seemed to come straight from the author’s heart in a beautiful and effortless way. 

Some of my favorites were, “Rosie,” I did it for the boys,” “L-O-V-E,” “Dear Sophia,” and “My girl.” My favorite poems centered on the theme of motherhood. Prior to reading this book, I hadn’t read any poems that dealt with that particular topic so it was wonderful to read about the love between mother and daughter. That was really special.  

My only critique is that I wish the collection was longer. I really enjoyed the poems so I wanted a bit more. The author has the potential to expand this collection more and make it even more powerful. 

Overall, I really recommend this short and sweet poetry collection. 

Review: When Summer Ends

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Rating: ★★★★½

I received an ARC of this book for free as part of a Storygram book tour. 

When I first started this book, I just thought it would be your typical YA summer romance book. Something generic and cliched. But it ended up exceeding my expectations and being so much more. 

This book was so damn cute. Aiden and Olivia had such a cute relationship. Like that is the teen summer romance that I have always wanted. They were so good together and brought out the best in each other. They complemented each other so well. And Aiden in general is just amazing. Like he’s total boyfriend goals. 

I also enjoyed the writing style. It was easy and effortless and the POV changes were done very well. Because of this, reading this book was a breeze. I flew through it. 

I loved that this book dealt with a teenager with vision loss. That’s something that I haven’t come across in a YA book before so it was nice to see that representation. 

The only critique I have is that I wanted a little bit more closure in the epilogue. It was short and only from Aiden’s perspective. There was something in Olivia’s life that I had wanted to see how it played out. 

Overall, if you’re looking for a cute YA romance to read for the summer, definitely pick up this book! 

Review: Intermission

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Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

I really enjoyed this short little memoir!

At first I wasn’t quite sure if I would like it, but the more I read, the more I liked it. 

Her story isn’t necessarily told in chronological order; there is a little bit of jumping around, but it totally worked. 

The best part of this memoir is Mindie’s sense of humor. She always had a positive attitude towards whatever life threw her way. I think that is a really wonderful way to live. Bad stuff happened to her, but she got through it and is happy with where she is in life. 

I also loved how respectful she was towards the people who hurt her in the past. At one point she talks about a former friend/associate that she ended up suing for going behind her back and creating her own PR business while still working for Mindie. Instead of pointing fingers and naming names, she just called the woman, Jane Doe. Even when talking about her divorce and ex-husband, she still treats the whole situation as fairly as possible. She brings up some unsavory things, but never vilifies her ex. 

Overall, this is a great memoir that makes for a super quick and sometimes humorous read. 

Review: Fat Angie Rebel Girl Revolution (Fat Angie #2)

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Rating: ★★★½

I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Candlewick Press) in exchange for an honest review.

First off, I just want to put out a trigger warning since this book deals with a lot of serious topics such as fat shaming, bullying, grief, homophobia, and self-harm. 

This book is the sequel to Fat Angie, and going into this book I did not know that. I had thought it was a standalone book. Even though I did not read the first book, I was still able to understand what was happening in this book. There were a few things that I was confused about in the beginning, but I managed to figure it out. 

I liked the plot of the book, particularly the road trip aspect. The reason why I wanted to read this book was because it was about an RV road trip. I’m an RVer so that appealed to me. The best parts of the book involved the road trip. The beginning of the book is really heavy subject-wise, so the road trip came at the perfect time. 

However, the execution of the book wasn’t great. The writing style wasn’t my favorite. It was a bit awkward and clunky at times. I wished it flowed more smoothly. 

Overall, I enjoyed the story despite some flaws in the execution. 

Review: California Girls

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Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free from TLC Book Tours as part of a review tour. 

This was my first time reading a book by Susan Mallery and I enjoyed it. 

This book was a classic chick lit novel. 

I loved the dynamic between the sisters. That felt very real and organic. The sisters did have their differences but were still able to come together when it mattered. 

I also loved how each of their stories were different. Even though they all had the commonality of getting dumped at the same time, they all went down different paths. I thought that was really important to show because everyone is different and deals with things in their own way. 

The one thing I didn’t like was how some of the situations that the characters found themselves in weren’t that realistic. For example, the way Finola found out about her husband’s affair (her husband told her right before she went on air, plus the mistress was the pop star she had to interview, who also confronted her about the affair). But this is a chick lit novel so I can look past that. Part of the fun of reading chick lit is the over the top scenarios that happen. 

Overall, this was a solid chick lit book perfect for reading while sunbathing in the warm California sun.


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SYNOPSIS:

The California sunshine’s not quite so bright for three sisters who get dumped in the same week…

Finola, a popular LA morning show host, is famously upbeat until she’s blindsided on live TV by news that her husband is sleeping with a young pop sensation who has set their affair to music. While avoiding the tabloids and pretending she’s just fine, she’s crumbling inside, desperate for him to come to his senses and for life to go back to normal.

Zennie’s breakup is no big loss. Although the world insists she pair up, she’d rather be surfing. So agreeing to be the surrogate for her best friend is a no-brainer—after all, she has an available womb and no other attachments to worry about. Except…when everyone else, including her big sister, thinks she’s making a huge mistake, being pregnant is a lot lonelier—and more complicated—than she imagined.

Never the tallest, thinnest or prettiest sister, Ali is used to being overlooked, but when her fiancé sends his disapproving brother to call off the wedding, it’s a new low. And yet Daniel continues to turn up “for support,” making Ali wonder if maybe—for once—someone sees her in a way no one ever has.

But side by side by side, these sisters will start over and rebuild their lives with all the affection, charm and laugh-out-loud humor that is classic Susan Mallery.