On Christmas Eve five years ago, Holly was visited by three ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she'd become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways.
And then she died.
Now she's stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge--as the latest Ghost of Christmas Past.
Every year, they save another miserly grouch. Every year, Holly stays frozen at seventeen while her family and friends go on living without her. So far, Holly's afterlife has been miserable.
But this year, everything is about to change. . .
Look, I get it. It’s July. Why on earth would you read a book about Scrooges in July? Answer: Because I can. Real Answer: Because I am a sucker for sappy Christmas stories. Even in July. Maybe especially in July. We had just been talking about the best Christmas Stories at work, Christmas Carol vs Grinch( I am firmly in the Dickens group), and then this book falls into my bag. Literally. I had pulled out the book next to it and this one fell off the shelf into my waiting bag. Seemed like fate so I gave it a whirl. (Don’t worry, it was at the library. I checked it out. Don’t steal books)
This book is not just what it says on the can. It not only follows the afterlife of Holly Chase but it gives us a peek into the Scrooge Project. A clandestine project determined to help better mankind. By scaring the bejeezus out of someone every Christmas. It doesn’t always work but when it does there is a warm glowing feel that saturates the pages. You probably need to know a basic storyline line about the Christmas Carol but with the way that it has seeped into pop culture, you might be okay without it. The struggles of this girl trapped as a 17-year-old, in a job that forces her to help those who tried to help her, shows the growth of the characters. There are a few moments that make you think that you know exactly how this is going to end. I need you to trust me. This ending is so good. It is bittersweet and delicious and the dark chocolate of romantic comedies. I loved it so much. I got the feel goods I needed and now I am ready to pass it on to other Christmas Carol lovers and the Scrooge fan club. Maybe this will even convince the Grinch lovers to switch teams!
When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers' leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the series.~Goodreads Blurb
GRAPHIC NOVELS ARE REAL BOOKS TOO!
I hate when people say that libraries shouldn’t have comic books because they aren’t good for young readers, that they “rot their minds.” Ew. That is not a thing. Newspapers aren’t going to make people less social, people aren’t going to get lazy because they can type and not write everything out by hand. Pictures are not bad. My thought is if you get drawn in my the picture, you’ll read the words, and any reading is good reading. A good reader is one who starts small and then grows to read the bigger books. I would not be the reader I am today if I got discouraged by War and Peace when I first started to read.
There that is my soapbox for the day.
I picked up this one in the YA on the same trip that I found the Queer history book from the last post. I had seen the cover of the Lunar Chronicles a near thousand and one times in TBR piles and Bookstagramers posts. But I was never really drawn into it. However I was drawn to this book by the cover art and flipping through it I loved the art style of Doug Holgate. The blues and black let my eyes rest as I raced through the pages. I would liken it to seeing the latest Star Wars and then going back to see the rest. I may have passed the previous books by but this GN gave me some insight into the world and now I find myself curious. I see all of these relationships all set up and I can’t help but wonder, what their story is.
This is an easy read but definitely not lacking in substance. With 238 pages this is no slacker of a book. You can read this as a standalone or a teaser if you are not sure if you want to read the series. Enough backstory is given to enjoy it but if you have read the story you are not overwhelmed by back story. The story follows an android who is one a top secret mission. One that leads her to question many things about her and her life as a sentient being. Is she an error in programming or does she have a soul? What makes a soul? It’s an exciting read and I would say that it is well done both on the art and the story side. Now if you excuse me, I have to go see if we have the second one of the series in stock or if I have to find who has the copy...
This first-ever LGBTQ history book for young adults will appeal to fans of fun, empowering pop-culture books like Rad American Women A-Z and Notorious RBG.
World history has been made by countless lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals—and you’ve never heard of many of them. Queer author and activist Sarah Prager delves deep into the lives of 23 people who fought, created, and loved on their own terms. From high-profile figures like Abraham Lincoln and Eleanor Roosevelt to the trailblazing gender-ambiguous Queen of Sweden and a bisexual blues singer who didn’t make it into your history books, these astonishing true stories uncover a rich queer heritage that encompasses every culture, in every era.
By turns hilarious and inspiring, the beautifully illustrated Queer, There, and Everywhere is for anyone who wants the real story of the queer rights movement.~Goodreads Blurb
It needs to made very clear that just because a section of the library is for younger or older people, that does not mean that you cannot go looking for books over there. Heck, I discovered that there were comics in the library at a young age by wandering around the nonfiction section.(741.5 for all you looking for comics if your library doesn’t have a Graphic Novel section) So I have always felt comfortable wandering into the YA section or the children's reading room if I want to find the latest Eoin Colfer book. (Because Artemis Fowl is a series that I need in my life) I went over to the YA section to see if there was anything new that didn’t have vampires or werewolves as I got my fill on those when I was younger and Twilight was everywhere. In Great Falls, Montana you might not expect people to be quite so open and to be fair we do fall into a number of stereotypes that don’t always make us look good. But it looks like the GFPL is doing something to fix that with the younger generation. I never thought I would find a book about Queer HIstory or BLM but there they were. I snatched up this latest book, “Queer There and Everywhere” Never would have thought to find a book like that in here when I was growing up.
I would consider myself pretty knowledgeable about history and I love the old idea of these two women lived together and called each other wife and had a boston wedding but they were definitely “Gals being Pals” There were entries in here that I had completely missed in history and I love that I was looking at different entries from new angles. The usage of the correct pronouns or in some cases the use of “they” when the person had never specified how they felt, gave me a warm feeling. To often we see people held up by simple pronoun changes. I am glad to have found this book lays it out in simple easy to read language that not only provides information but also has the footnotes to back it up. This is a great read for anyone who feels alone or different and is worrying about what they will be able to do. Even in the past people had to worry about their place in the world and this book shows that it does get better! I would recommend this book to everyone. To young kids reading about history, to adults who think this whole Queer thing is a phase, to members of the LGBT+ community who may not know their own history. Don’t be that person who doesn’t understand how important Stonewall was for everyone. I may have checked out this book from my library but you can be sure that I am already looking for my own copy.
“I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.”
January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….
As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.
Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.
It seems that it is not an unusual thing to hear about something new and then to see it everywhere. Surfing the internet one night I saw a trailer for a new film coming out in April. I then went used book shopping and at three of the shops saw this book. “ The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society” At the last one I broke down and decided to grab a copy, only to get home and realize that I already had a copy in my TBR to be read! (Later discovered that I was now the proud owner of 2 paperback and one hardback copies)
The book is written as a series of letters. At first I was not sure that I would like this format as I tend to like my historical fiction written in the novel style. I was pleasantly surprised and thrilled with how easy it was to slip back and forth between different writers voices. A few of them were very similar but on the whole it is a very easy and fun read. The events on Guernsey and the other islands in the English Channel are not ones that many of us are very familiar with and I love the fact that more and more people are writing about them. The Germans very nearly made it all the way to conquering England and many of us aren’t even aware of just how close they got.
The story doesn’t hit very much on the war except to use it as an explanation for many of the events that the readers have to be told about rather than shown. This is not the novel you read when you want a wartime action novel. It is more of a a happy uplifting potato chip read. There are times when you need a hearty meal of a book and there are times when you simply want to enjoy a light snack. Please do not mistake this fun lovely book for having no substance, as I found it nice and lovely. If you are looking for something to break a streak of darkness, I would highly recommend this book to give you a few laughs.
Sophia, 17, and her younger sister Kate, 15, are desperate to leave their horrific orphanage. Orphans, unwanted and unloved, they nonetheless dream of coming of age elsewhere, of finding a better life, even if that means living on the streets of the brutal city of Ashton.
Sophia and Kate, also best friends, have each other’s backs—and yet they want different things from life. Sophia, a romantic, more elegant, dreams of entering court and finding a noble to fall in love with. Kate, a fighter, dreams of mastering the sword, of battling dragons, and becoming a warrior. They are both united, though, by their secret, paranormal power to read other’s minds, their only saving grace in a world that seems bent to destroy them.
As they each embark on a quest and adventure their own ways, they struggle to survive. Faced with choices neither can imagine, their choices may propel them to the highest power—or plunge them to the lowest depths. ~Goodreads Blurb
Two sisters both so alike in their gift and yet so different in their dreams. They both long to be safe and happy, but the forms that these take will send them on an adventure that neither of them could imagine leaving the House of the Unclaimed. From the streets to the palace, Sophia longs to win safety in the halls of the most decadent, but will she aim too high and fall back to earth? Kate, the youngest, wants to be able to protect her self at all costs, but will her drive for strength and power cost her dearly?These two sisters, trapped in a life of servitude due to their status of Unclaimed, have been blessed by the gift of being able to read minds of those around them. For all their abilities, there seems to be little understanding of why this is such a scary thing. For some, the mind is their only safe place. These girls use their gifts to lie, steal, and con their way in life. Yet for all the lying, stealing, and barefaced treachery you can’t help hoping that one of them will catch a break.
Author Morgan Rice started this new series after the success of her series The Sorcerer’s Ring(a 17 book series.) Currently planned as a six book series, I have to wonder at why the story was broken up into such chunks. With each book under 200 pages, it is surprising that it was decided that stretching 6 books from what could easily be a nice trilogy was the way to go. After coming to the end of book 1, I felt cheated. The storyline just stopped. It was as if someone had simply taken the story and lifted off the first 186 pages. The story is nice and you get to the meat of the story pretty quickly, with the barest of world-building slapped on. It is an easy read and I would recommend giving them a read. My word of advice on this one though is to grab the second book so you don’t feel robbed. I am currently reading the second in the series, though if it drops me again at the end, I will not be carrying on. I am a great lover of cliffhangers but not a fan of books that simply stop. Fingers crossed for the second.
*This eBook was provided by Kobe Writing Life and NetGalley in exchange for honest feedback*
What happens when the line between the past and the present begins to blur...
Rachel Miller is on the cusp of a new life when she moves to Union Cemetery after marrying Adam, the 7th generation cemetery keeper. Though she's known him only twelve weeks, his tender love seems like a miracle of fate after her years alone.
On her first walk through the lush and silent grounds of her new home, Rachel discovers a stunning monument to Tillie Smith,who died in 1886. Reading the words carved into the stone, "She Died in Defence of Her Honor," Rachel is overcome by a powerful memory buried deep in her past.
A series of uncanny coincidences linked to Tillie Smith follows, setting Rachel on a journey that grows into an obsession: Why did the murder of a poor kitchen maid at the local seminary become a national sensation? Why were people in town trying to keep her from finding the truth? But most disturbing of all, why was Tillie reawakening a past Rachel chose to bury long ago. A past that could threaten her marriage.~Goodreads Blurb
Following the trend of many new books, the main character is first introduced to us through her husband’s occupation in the title. Instead of the focus being on this smart auctioneer/historian, we are introduced to her as the wife of the Cemetary Keeper. In the beginning, she is just barely that, as they have just been married. She has a secret and so does he. Instead of starting out this new path with a clean slate the author has decided that they should stumble through things trying to hide who they are and yet create a new life together. There seems to be a theme of new beginnings overshadowed by the darkness of hidden secrets of the past. Rachel, our main character, is drawn to a monument that the entire town seems bent on not talking about. Set in New Jersey, this small town full of secrets would not be out of place in the Deep South. Full of secrets and people insisting that “you should let things alone” it is no wonder that our lead is drawn into the history that combines the town’s past, her own, and perhaps even threatens the future she is so carefully trying to create.
Based on a true story, this is an excellent start for author Maryann McFadden to dip her toes into historical fiction. There is less time spent in the historical aspect and more time in the contemporary. While the search for the details of the case seems to be a bit too easy, I can understand how the fiction part of this can lend itself to an easier time. It would be a falt book if Rachel had to stop her search due to a fire or a flooded basement as many historians or genealogy researchers have had to do. This book brings up a lot of things that readers may find hard to read about but giving a voice to many college freshmen who find themselves victims during their first year is refreshing. It is nice to see that the women are seen as victims instead of fallen women. The push for mental health help is also refreshing in historical fiction where often the best path to relief is to seek revenge.
Even though it touches on several sensitive subjects, I would recommend this to readers who love contemporary fiction and are interested in historical fiction. There is very little that readers will need to know ahead of time, and the author does a great job of not only working explanations into the story line but also showing much of the details.
*This eBook was provided by Three Women Press and NetGalley in exchange for honest feedback*
As the First World War rages in continental Europe, two New York heiresses, Sydney and Brooke Sinclair, are due to set sail for England. Brooke is engaged to marry impoverished aristocrat Edward Thorpe-Tracey, the future Lord Northbrook, in thewedding of the social calendar. Sydney has other adventures in mind; she is drawn to the burgeoning suffragette movement, which is a constant source of embarrassment to her proper sister. As international tempers flare, the German embassy releases a warning that any ships making the Atlantic crossing are at risk. Undaunted, Sydney and Brooke board the Lusitaniafor the seven-day voyage with Edward, not knowing that disaster lies ahead.
In London, Isabel Nelson, a young woman grateful to have escaped her blemished reputation in Oxford, has found employment at the British Admiralty in the mysterious Room 40. While she begins as a secretary, it isn’t long before her skills in codes and cyphers are called on, and she learns a devastating truth and the true cost of war.
As the days of the voyage pass, these four lives collide in a struggle for survival as the Lusitania meets its deadly fate. ~Goodreads Blurb
It may seem a silly thing to remind one’s self of but there is a reason that historical fiction has a basic formula. The past has already been written and we are all just trying to fill in the blanks. Many Americans know that the sinking of the Lusitania was the catalyst for the American entrance into WW1 but I was surprised by how much I didn’t know. I suppose that the Titanic overshadows many stories about sinking ships these days. Once I had found myself caring about our lead characters, I have to admit I sort of cheated. Instead of finishing the book to find the answer, I ran to Wikipedia. My biggest fear was that it would read, “No Survivors.”
I think that shows a strength in the author's storytelling skills, that I could not wait until the end. What does that say about me? Well, I never really cared for surprises anyways. Some of my fellow reader/reviewers have dinged the author for carrying on too many storylines. I have to admit that there were times that I didn’t really care for one of them and I kept waiting to get back to the boat. Yet I understand the importance of the multiple storylines, even if they all didn’t collide as I would have liked. I would recommend this to those who like light romantic historical fiction and don’t mind love triangles too much.
*This eBook was provided by NetGalley and HarperCollins in exchange for honest feedback*
All sixteen-year-old Tommin wants is to make beautiful shoes and care for his beloved granny, but his insatiable need to steal threatens to destroy everything. Driven by a curse that demands more and more gold, he’s sure to get caught eventually.
When mysterious Lorcan Reilly arrives in town with his “niece,” Eve, Tommin believes the fellow wants to help him. Instead, Lorcan whisks him off to the underground realm of the Leprechauns, where, alongside Eve, he’s forced to prepare to become one of them.
As Lorcan’s plans for his “gold-children” are slowly revealed, Tommin and Eve plan their escape. But with Tommin’s humanity slipping away, the fate-crossed pair has everything to lose unless they can find a way to outsmart a magical curse centuries in the making.~Goodreads Blurb
An interesting twist on the leprechaun mythos and a couple of relatable characters really made this book for me. It was a different take on leprechauns than I had previously seen and it really worked. The first half learning all about the backstory and the world building really worked for me though I would have been more interested in Eve’s version. It was really intriguing to see the political maneuvers and the basic back stabbings of that world. If the story had continued like that it would have been great. I made it halfway expecting this kid to find his place and finally accept himself instead Part 2 happened.
The second half threw me. It felt jumbled and not really fitting with the back of the book or even the front half of the book. It’s hard to really sink into a book that tries so hard to throw you. Between the shift in location and time to the really unnecessary love story I lost interest in the characters. I kept hoping that the end would save the story but for me, I would say it’s a quick read and it isn’t a bad read. It just isn’t a book that I would reread in a hurry. It might really work for some readers and I won’t judge you for that. It just isn’t for me.
In the industrial 1860s at the dawn of the Carnegie empire, Irish immigrant Clara Kelly finds herself in desperate circumstances. Looking for a way out, she seeks employment as a lady's maid in the home of the prominent businessman Andrew Carnegie. Soon, the bond between Clara and her employer deepens into love. But when Clara goes missing, Carnegie's search for her unearths secrets and revelations that lay the foundation for his lasting legacy. With captivating insight and stunning heart, Carnegie's Maid tells the story of one lost woman who may have spurred Andrew Carnegie's transformation from ruthless industrialist into the world's first true philanthropist~Goodreads Blurb
A forbidden love between an employer and his employee can only end a few ways: badly, sadly, or very rarely, happily ever after. This follows the tale of a poor Irish girl who came to create a new life for herself and yet found herself slipping into someone else's life. She is pretending and yet at the same time feels more like who she should be. She has to find a way to retain her old self and this new girl that she is turning into. Throw into that the fact that she is falling for her employer and it is a bit of fun in old Pittsburgh.
Though I loved seeing a historical industrial fiction story away from NYC, I have to say that this was a bit unfair of Maire Benedict. She gave us a great beginning and strong middle and it seemed that the end was scooped together to wrap things up. We see barely any of the actual searchings for Clara, though it seems to be a massive catalyst for Carnegie's life. It goes from her leaving to the Epilogue. There seems to be a massive gap that the Epilogue tries to smooth over and yet I am left holding my hands out for those missing chapters. Perhaps there is hope for a sequel or another excerpt that will draw things tighter together and pad out a strange ending. If you enjoy Industrial Age historical fiction, this is a great choice. There is romance, class, opera, and fashion all wrapped together with "current" events. It evokes the period without dunking your head in a bucket of straight history.
*This eBook was provided by NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark*
Freelance Editor & Reviewer