Arc Review: House of Yesterday by Deeba Zargarpur

Title: House of Yesterday
Author: Deeba Zargarpur
Genre: YA Contemporary / Paranormal
Publication Date: November 29th, 2022
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a complimentary audiobook to review! All opinions are my own.

“Struggling to deal with the pain of her parents’ impending divorce, fifteen-year-old Sara is facing a world of unknowns and uncertainties. Unfortunately, the one person she could always lean on when things got hard, her beloved Bibi Jan, has become a mere echo of the grandmother she once was. And so Sara retreats into the family business, hoping a summer working on her mom’s latest home renovation project will provide a distraction from her fracturing world.
But the house holds more than plaster and stone. It holds secrets that have her clinging desperately to the memories of her old life. Secrets that only her Bibi Jan could have untangled. Secrets Sara is powerless to ignore as the dark truths of her family’s history rise in ghostly apparitions — and with it, the realization that as much as she wants to hold onto her old life, nothing will ever be the same.
Told in lush, sweeping prose, this story of secrets, summer, and family sacrifice will chill you to the bone as the house that wraps Sara in warmth of her past becomes the one thing she cannot escape…” (Goodreads)

This was a unique read and one with a powerful message that many will be able to relate to. The audiobook was nicely done and I enjoyed listening to the narrator.

The book is told from one point-of-view and it comes from Sara. Her story isn’t the only one we are following though. There are flashbacks from her families life and they are very interesting! They can also be on the darker side as well. I haven’t read many inter-generational books but I enjoyed learning more about Sara’s family past and what it means for her future.

Sara is very strong willed and it can put her in dangerous situation, and does, as well having her come off as selfish in a way. I think that all of her feelings are valid though. Her parents are going through a divorce and it isn’t easy on her or seeing her mother have to deal with the aftermath. It is very messy and when you add in her father being in a new relationship it just takes it to a whole other level. I have not personally had to deal with divorce parents but my husband has and I’ve had to see him deal with it when we were younger as well as trying to play it safe when figuring out holidays etc. It is a lot of work and can definitely be stressful and hard.

Her grandmother is a key part of the story and the key to unraveling the mystery that surrounds her family. I could understand trying to find answers and hitting a brick road when the person you need to talk to the most is struggling with the decline of their mind. I have seen it happen with my own grandmother and it is heartbreaking to watch.

There is so much to unpack from this story and it feels like I have only touched the surface.

Overall, this was worth the listen. I liked the narrator and the beautiful story that unfolded even if it was sad. I do think that there was some hope sprinkled in, especially at the end.

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Audiobook Review: The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston

Title: The Dead Romantics
Author: Ashley Poston
Genre: Adult Contemporary / Romance / Paranormal
Publication Date: June 28th, 2022
Publisher: Berkley
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

“Florence Day is the ghostwriter for one of the most prolific romance authors in the industry, and she has a problem—after a terrible breakup, she no longer believes in love. It’s as good as dead.
When her new editor, a too-handsome mountain of a man, won’t give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye. But then she gets a phone call she never wanted to receive, and she must return home for the first time in a decade to help her family bury her beloved father.
For ten years, she’s run from the town that never understood her, and even though she misses the sound of a warm Southern night and her eccentric, loving family and their funeral parlor, she can’t bring herself to stay. Even with her father gone, it feels like nothing in this town has changed. And she hates it.
Until she finds a ghost standing at the funeral parlor’s front door, just as broad and infuriatingly handsome as ever, and he’s just as confused about why he’s there as she is.
Romance is most certainly dead… but so is her new editor, and his unfinished business will have her second-guessing everything she’s ever known about love stories.” (Goodreads)

This was probably one of the most unique romance books I have ever read to date. I feel like it will be hard top this when it comes to that category. For the most part, I liked this book but there were some things that led me to have a disconnect from the story.

The book is told from one point-of-view and it comes from Florence Day. She comes from a family of undertakers but decided that wasn’t for her and wanted to pursue writing. I did like learning about her family and they do take up a significant role in the book. Florence is dealing with the loss of her father and the grief that comes with it as well as being on a deadline for a book. It’s tough for her and it doesn’t help she can’t seem to write romance after the ending of her last relationship. The author paints a great picture of how a person’s life is never perfect and there are struggles and sometimes they just pile on and it’s hard to breathe. In this sense, and the grief, I did connect with Florence, but I also didn’t fully connect and when big plot twists happen it just didn’t grip me.

The other characters in this book were also nice to get to know as well. I don’t think that there were any that left me wanting more for. They weren’t flat, not even her dillweed of an ex.

The uniqueness of this story is that Florence sees ghosts and sometimes helps them move on. It wasn’t always easy for her to have this gift and in the past it had led to bullying. The ghost that unexpectedly showed up was a surprise but with a couple hints thrown out within a few scenes of them I knew where the book was going and predicted the end. It was still a nice ending but did lose it shock value.

Overall, this was a good book. I would definitely recommend it if you are looking for a different type of romance and one that is perfect for this season.

Goodreads Monday: A Lullaby for Witches by Hester Fox (11/8/21)

Hello Readers!

Goodreads Monday is hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners. To participate, choose a random book from your TBR and show it off.

Title: A Lullaby for Witches
Author: Hester Fox
Genre: Historical Fiction / Fantasy / Paranormal
Publication Date: February 1st, 2022
Publisher: Graydon House

Two women. A history of witchcraft. And a deep-rooted female power that sings across the centuries.

Once there was a young woman from a well-to-do New England family who never quite fit with the drawing rooms and parlors of her kin.

Called instead to the tangled woods and wild cliffs surrounding her family’s estate, Margaret Harlowe grew both stranger and more beautiful as she cultivated her uncanny power. Soon, whispers of “witch” dogged her footsteps, and Margaret’s power began to wind itself with the tendrils of something darker.

One hundred and fifty years later, Augusta Podos takes a dream job at Harlowe House, the historic home of a wealthy New England family that has been turned into a small museum in Tynemouth, Massachusetts. When Augusta stumbles across an oblique reference to a daughter of the Harlowes who has nearly been expunged from the historical record, the mystery is too intriguing to ignore.

But as she digs deeper, something sinister unfurls from its sleep, a dark power that binds one woman to the other across lines of blood and time. If Augusta can’t resist its allure, everything she knows and loves—including her very life—could be lost forever.” (Goodreads)

I have read other books by this author so I am looking forward to her latest!

Does this one sound like something you would read?

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

Resurrection Girls: NetGalley Review

NetGalley Review

 

44174348.jpgTitle: Resurrection Girls
Author: Ava Morgyn
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: October 1st, 2019

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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Synopsis: “Olivia Foster hasn’t felt alive since her little brother drowned in the backyard pool three years ago. Then Kara Hallas moves in across the street with her mother and grandmother, and Olivia is immediately drawn to these three generations of women. Kara is particularly intoxicating, so much so that Olivia not only comes to accept Kara’s morbid habit of writing to men on death row, she helps her do it. They sign their letters as the Resurrection Girls.

But as Kara’s friendship pulls Olivia out of the dark fog she’s been living in, Olivia realizes that a different kind of darkness taints the otherwise lively Hallas women—an impulse that is strange, magical, and possibly deadly.” (Goodreads)

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My Review:

You ever read a book and the first thought that pops into your head after you finish is, “What the heck did I just read?”. Well, this is how I am feeling! It’s not in a bad way but the whole book just caught me off guard.

The main character of this book is Olivia and the plot focuses around her family and how each one is dealing with the loss of her little brother. Grief is a terrible thing and can take over our life and can lead us down a path of bad decisions. The way that grief plays out in this book is unique and adds a touch of supernatural. It breathes life into their family once again.

I enjoyed reading about Olivia as well as the quick friendship she finds herself in with Kara. Olivia is more timid and focuses on the bad while Kara is wild, careless, and wants to pull Olivia out of the grief that is consuming her life. Kara brings out another side of her and things get quite interesting when they start being pen pals with murderers!

The plot was more interesting than what I had expected and the added plot twists were  either bizarre or just shocking, but I was definitely here for it.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and if you are intrigued by the synopsis or my review, definitely check it out!

A Pack of Love and Hate: ARC Review

book review

 

40527975._SY475_Title: A Pack of Love and Hate (The Boulder Wolves #3)
Author: Olivia Wildenstein
Genre: Paranormal/Shapeshifter Romance
Publication Date: July 30th, 2019

eARC provided by author. All opinions are my own.

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Since this is the last book in a series, I will not be adding the synopsis here like I normally do. If you are curious as to what the third book is about, you can click here.

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My Review:

I don’t know where to begin with this review! I have loved every moment of this series and am so sad that it has finally come to an end. My heart is still dealing with the aftermath of everything that happened and honestly, never has a book left me so anxious leading up to the last 30% of the book. I will do my best to articulate everything that I am feeling!

Ness is back and dealing with a lot. Love, wolf business, and just trying to figure out everything can be rough. She is very relatable and I could see myself making the exact same decisions as she did. Although her actions don’t always have the best consequences. It’s a good thing she is strong-willed because she needed every ounce of it!

My wonderful Liam, where do I begin with him? He can be a jerk and definitely has a huge ego. I mean that’s nothing new and have seen both of those come into the play throughout each book when it comes to him. And yet, I still like him. There are some plot twists that involve him which I was blown away by. There’s so much I want to say but I can’t because I want this to be spoiler-free!

August is another big character for a reason that if you haven’t read the second book would be a spoiler. He has always been there for Ness and does want what is best for her. I enjoyed seeing what this book had in store for them but I can’t say I was overly happy about it. He is a great guy but sometimes my heart is just set on the bad boy, which doesn’t happen too often.

The relationship in this book definitely intensifies and there is a couple steamy moments.

As for the plot, it’s intense! New characters are introduced and there are quite a few deaths. There are also some new beginnings and an old character who finds redemption. It was hard to put this one down even when it got close to when I go to bed. I found myself constantly thinking about it until I could pick it up again.

Overall, I did really enjoy this final book in the series. I will miss these characters dearly but am glad I had an opportunity to read all these books early on and become so attached to the characters and the plot.

A Pack of Blood and Lies: NetGalley Review

37531542Title: A Pack of Blood and Lies
Author: Olivia Wildenstein
Publication Date: April 30th, 2019
Rating: 4 stars

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley

->Click for Synopsis<-

A Pack of Blood and Lies follows Ness as she returns to her hometown after her mother dies. One Secret Boulder keeps is that there are werewolves. Ness is one and since being absent her pack is all but inclusive especially because of her gender. As she vies for the alpha role, she must confront her past head on and the secrets that could change everything.

Ness is a girl who is strong and independent and her background has molded her into that. She is loyal and stands up for what she believes and doesn’t back down when times get tough. Even though she is cocky at times, her actions are always normal human responses and I appreciate her being so real. The banter between the younger pack members was wonderful and made me want to be a part of their bunch. The relationship in this book is your typical hate/love and it had its cheesy moments but I was all for it!

Going into this book I wasn’t sure what to expect and frankly I was pleasantly surprised. I love a good werewolf plot and this one did not disappoint. There were a lot of twists and even though a few were obvious, a couple of them took me by surprise. There is romance, murder, and unique family dynamics like the wolf packs.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable read and even when I took a break from reading I still kept thinking about the book and what could happen next. It drew me in and I literally can’t wait for the next book to see what the pack is doing. If you are a fan of Twilight or just enjoy a good werewolf romance then this is the book for you!