Tag: Books: First Reads


Review: The Wishing Thread

Posted 26 August, 2013 by Lianne in Books / 5 Comments

The Wishing Thread
By: Lisa Van Allen
Format/Source: galley courtesy of Ballentine Books via NetGalley

The Van Ripper women have been the talk of Tarrytown, New York, for centuries. Some say they’re angels; some say they’re crooks. In their tumbledown “Stitchery,” not far from the stomping grounds of the legendary Headless Horseman, the Van Ripper sisters—Aubrey, Bitty, and Meggie—are said to knit people’s most ardent wishes into beautiful scarves and mittens, granting them health, success, or even a blossoming romance. But for the magic to work, sacrifices must be made—and no one knows that better than the Van Rippers.

When the Stitchery matriarch, Mariah, dies, she leaves the yarn shop to her three nieces. Aubrey, shy and reliable, has dedicated her life to weaving spells for the community, though her sisters have long stayed away. Bitty, pragmatic and persistent, has always been skeptical of magic and wants her children to have a normal, nonmagical life. Meggie, restless and free-spirited, follows her own set of rules. Now, after Mariah’s death forces a reunion, the sisters must reassess the state of their lives even as they decide the fate of the Stitchery. But their relationships with one another—and their beliefs in magic—are put to the test. Will the threads hold?

The premise of this novel sounded very interesting; it didn’t hurt that the blurb also mentioned that fans of Sarah Addison Allen’s books would enjoy this novel (and if you’re a regular at my blog, you probably know that I love Sarah Addison Allen’s novels ^_~). I was approved of a galley copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. This novel will be available on September 3rd.

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Review: The Returned

Posted 19 August, 2013 by Lianne in Books / 3 Comments

The Returned
By: Jason Mott
Format/Source: galley courtesy of Harlequin MIRA via NetGalley

Jacob was time out of sync, time more perfect than it had been. He was life the way it was supposed to be all those years ago. That’s what all the Returned were.

Harold and Lucille Hargrave’s lives have been both joyful and sorrowful in the decades since their only son, Jacob, died tragically at his eighth birthday party in 1966. In their old age they’ve settled comfortably into life without him, their wounds tempered through the grace of time. Until one day Jacob mysteriously appears on their doorstep, flesh and blood, their sweet, precocious child, still eight years old.

All over the world people’s loved ones are returning from beyond. No one knows how or why this is happening, whether it’s a miracle or a sign of the end. Not even Harold and Lucille can agree on whether the boy is real or a wondrous imitation, but one thing they know for sure: he’s their son. As chaos erupts around the globe, the newly reunited Hargrave family finds itself at the center of a community on the brink of collapse, forced to navigate a mysterious new reality and a conflict that threatens to unravel the very meaning of what it is to be human.

I forgot where I first heard about this novel (NetGalley newsletter? GoodReads?) but it was promising that this novel was going to be the next best thing so naturally I was intrigued. There seems to be a strong sense of science fiction (or the paranormal? I actually found it a bit difficult to classify this novel) running through this novel which had me curious so I was pretty happy to have been approved of a galley of this novel in exchange for an honest review. This novel will be available on August 27th.

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Review: The Girl You Left Behind

Posted 9 August, 2013 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Girl You Left Behind
By: Jojo Moyes
Format/Source: galley courtesy of Penguin Group Viking via NetGalley

France, 1916: Artist Edouard Lefevre leaves his young wife, Sophie, to fight at the front. When their small town falls to the Germans in the midst of World War I, Edouard’s portrait of Sophie draws the eye of the new Kommandant. As the officer’s dangerous obsession deepens, Sophie will risk everything—her family, her reputation, and her life—to see her husband again.

Almost a century later, Sophie’s portrait is given to Liv Halston by her young husband shortly before his sudden death. A chance encounter reveals the painting’s true worth, and a battle begins for who its legitimate owner is—putting Liv’s belief in what is right to the ultimate test.

I’ve been hearing and reading a lot of buzz about her other book, Me Before You, but I haven’t read it yet. I was however curious about this title–I enjoy historical fiction and mysteries like the premise of this novel–so I was pretty happy to have been approved of a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I think it’s already been out for a while in Europe/internationally but it’s coming out here in North America on August 20th.

This book is part of the Books on France Reading Challenge 2013 that I am participating in.

Contains some spoilers ahead!

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Review: Fancy a Cuppa by the Cathedral?

Posted 8 August, 2013 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

Fancy a Cuppa by the Cathedral?
By: Simon Duffin
Format/Source: galley courtesy of Troubador Publishing via NetGalley

Fancy a Cuppa by the Cathedral? takes you on a whistle-stop tour of the UK’s cathedrals and suggests the best place to go for a tea, coffee and cake afterwards. Yorkshire author Simon Duffin has produced the perfect guidebook to take on a day trip. You’ll get a sense of the cathedral’s place in history and the coffee shop or tea room’s place in the town centres of today.

Simon’s focus is on the stories our cathedrals can tell rather than the architecture or the theology. There are such stories as the Native American Chief buried in Southwark Cathedral graveyard; the Alice in Wonderland stories inspired by Lewis Carroll’s time as a choirboy; or the Portuguese Princess who landed in Portsmouth and demanded tea rather than beer before her wedding.

In seeking out places for a refreshing beverage after you’ve toured the cathedral, Fancy a Cuppa lists independent coffee shops and tea rooms that not only provide top-quality coffee and tea but also have an intriguing story behind them. Some of these are contemporary, others artisan and some sell themselves on their historic location. Seek out the wonderful tea room in Bristol named after the tea clipper captain who was the owner’s great grandfather; the coffee shop built right on Durham’s mediaeval walls; or the hotel in Westminster where spies swapped intelligence during the Cold War, but there are now 200,000 bees on the roof!

This is the perfect guidebook to have on your smartphone or tablet. In just a minute, you’ll have some quirky facts about the cathedral town or city you’re in, you’ll see the highlights from each of the cathedrals – across all denominations – and you’ll have a good idea where to go for a cuppa and cake!

The title of this book caught my attention and the premise definitely solidified my interest. I always enjoy a good travelogue/travel-related non-fiction title and I was definitely intrigued by this book (especially as I’ve never been to the UK; makes for a good head start in planning my eventual trip there!). I was approved of a galley copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: With All My Love

Posted 18 July, 2013 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

With All My Love
By: Patricia Scanlan
Format/Source: Advanced reading copy courtesy of Simon & Schuster CA via GoodReads First Reads programme

On a crystal clear Mediterranean day, Briony McAllister sits playing with her four-year-old daughter Katie while she waits for her mother Valerie to join them. Valerie has recently moved to a picturesque town in southern Spain to forget her turbulent past and find the peace that has always eluded her.

But Briony and Valerie’s relationship is about to change.

As Briony studies an old photo album from a box in her mother’s new home, a letter falls to the ground. My Darling Briony, it begins. Reading the words that follow, Briony is seized with a stunning realization: her mother lied about what happened to her beloved grandmother Tessa all those years ago, denying Briony the very relationship Valerie now enjoys with Katie. It is just the beginning of a series of discoveries that revisits a complex past—and changes forever the lives of three generations of women.

The premise of this novel sounded really interesting. I’m always up for a good family drama and this book sounds like it fits the bill perfectly. I won a copy of this novel through the GoodReads First Reads programme in exchange for an honest review.

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