The Nightingale

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Publication Date: February 3, 2015

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Synopsis:

It’s 1939 and war is raging in Europe. France has been preparing for war, trying to keep Hitler’s army out of its boarders. In the village of Carriveau, the Mauriac sisters are driven apart by their views on the war.

Vianne, the elder of the two, does not believe war will come to France. Even has her husband is sent off to war, Vianne chooses to believe life will go on as it has been. But when the Nazis invade her village, Vianne can no longer deny it. War has come to France. She must do everything in her power to keep herself and her daughter alive.

Vianne’s younger sister, Isabelle, does not agree with Vianne’s stance. Eighteen-year-old Isabelle would rather meet the war head on than mearly try to survive. She joins the Resistance and spends her time trying to save others.

As the war rages on, Vianne and Isabelle will make choices that tear them apart and pull them back together.


My rating: 5 out 5 stars


To be honest, I avoided reading The Nightingale. I wanted to read it, but I didn’t want to read it. I love Kristin Hannah’s books, but I heard it was a little slow and a lot sad. I checked it out twice from the library. The first time, I had to return the hardback before I had a chance to read it. Really, I just wasn’t in the mood. The second time, I checked out an electronic copy. I only read 18  pages before it magically returned itself. Then, my friend let me borrow her copy. It sat on my counter for two weeks before I picked it up. I’m really sad I waited so long to read it. It was really, really good.

I feel like no matter what I write about The Nightingale, it won’t adequately reflect my feelings about this book. It was heart breaking. It was beautiful. It was captivating. I couldn’t put it down.

I can tell The Nightingale is going to be a book that sticks with me long after I have finished reading it. Kristin Hannah did a wonderful job weaving the French history of World War II into her story. The Nightingale may have been fiction, but I could easily imagine it being real. It’s a devastating thought because the history of World War II is so devastating. It happened and a lot of people died. There’s no avoiding the truth of it all.

The Nightingale is a book I would recommend to readers who enjoyed Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. I would also recommend it to those reader who like historical fiction or just a really amazing book.

ARC Review: Shatterproof

shatterproof cover Shatterproof by K.K. Weil

Publication Date: October 28, 2015

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc

Synopsis:

Sculptor Griffin Stone may look just like his father, but that’s where the similarities will end — if he has anything to say about it.

Griffin’s watched his mother live with his father’s physical abuse for years. He knows what the statistics say. He’s more likely to become an abuser since his father’s one. So, Griffin’s going to avoid a relationship at all costs. He’s not willing to put a woman he loves at risk.

That’s why when Griffin meets aspiring photographer, Frankie Moore, he knows he should walk away. There’s something about Frankie that draws him to her, something he’s afraid may wake the beast inside him.

Aspiring photographer Frankie Moore knows she’s more impulsive than she should be. She makes decisions without weighing the consequences. Things don’t always turn out the way she hopes, but she can always see the positive in situations and people.

Frankie sees the positive in Griffin Stone from the moment she meets him. She just needs to help Griffin to see it, too.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


I love when books grab my attention from the very first sentence or paragraph. It’s amazing when just those few words have me wondering what will happen before I get to the words “The End.” Shatterproof was one of the rare books that did just that.

Shatterproof started out strong and never once faltered. From the beginning, I loved Griffin but feared for him. Would he become an abuser? Would he be able to handle a relationship with Frankie? Could he come to terms with his childhood? What would be the straw that broke the camel’s back? He seemed to be moments from combustion at all times.

And then there was Frankie. She may have judged herself to be a flake, but I only saw a sweet young woman who wanted to see the best in everything and everyone. She certainly only the saw the best in Griffin. I kept wondering what she was really getting herself into. I hoped it was a good thing, but I was scared for her, too! I didn’t know what K.K. Weil had in store for readers. Was she giving us a happily ever after or a cautionary tale?

It was all so intense!!! I was on edge the entire time wondering how things were going to end for Griffin and Frankie. They were both so broken in their own ways. I wanted them to become whole together.

I’m not going to tell you how it all plays out because I don’t want to ruin the story for anyone. I’m just going to say that I think K.K. Weil did an amazing job portraying a young man trying to break the cycle of abuse. The story felt raw and real. I would highly suggest Shatterproof to readers looking for an intense NA contemporary romance with real life issues.

**I was provided an ARC of Shatterproof by the author in exchange for an honest review.

ARC Review: Luxe

Luxe by Ashley Antoinette

Publication Date: September 8, 2015

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Synopsis:

Bleu Montclair’s life has been anything but easy growing up in Flint, Michigan. At eighteen, she’s seen and done things that no kid should have. Lucky for her, Bleu has a chance to get out of Michigan and go to college at her dream school, UCLA.

But living her dream is way harder than Bleu expected. Her partial scholarship doesn’t cover enough of her costs. She’s struggling and the only way out is to take an opportunity her roommate gives her to make a lot of money fast. The opportunity will either be her saving grace or her downfall.

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I’ve been sitting here trying to think of how to rate and review Luxe. It’s a hard one for me because while I didn’t enjoy the story, the writing was excellent. The book was fast-paced and had my attention from the first paragraph of the prologue. It felt real, raw and gritty.

I want to say it was too dark for me, but that can’t be the case. I’ve read books that are way darker and enjoyed them. I think it was more the hopelessness of the book. It started off with druggie parents, two deaths and a mention of a previous rape. That was all in the first 40 pages. It didn’t slow down from there. Horrendous situation after situation kept pushing Bleu down. Even things that should have been happy like college or a new amazing boyfriend were riddled with devastation. I didn’t see how things could get better. And just when I was starting to get my hopes up — BAM! Cliffhanger.

While there was nothing wrong with Luxe, I can’t say I enjoyed reading it. I needed a little sunlight in the darkness. So, I guess I just have to be honest and say it wasn’t the book for me.

Don’t let that deter you from reading it. Like I said, the writing was very realistic. If you’re a fan of complex characters dealing with drug addiction, violent crimes, etc. this might be the book for you.

**Thank you to Goodreads and St. Martin’s Griffin for the opportunity to read and honestly review an ARC of Luxe.