Book Review | Ornamental Graces

Ornamental Graces.jpgTitle: Ornamental Graces by Carolyn Astfalk

Pages: 366

Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Christian/Catholic

Publisher: Multa Verba Publishing (Oct. 11th, 2016)

Summary

After his duplicitous girlfriend left, Dan Malone spent six months in a tailspin of despair and destruction: emotional, physical, and spiritual. Just when his life seems to be back on track, he meets Emily Kowalski, younger sister of his new best friend.

Emily’s the kind of girl he’d always dreamed of—sweet, smart, and sincere. But he’s made a mess of his life and ruined his chances for earning the love and trust of a woman like her.

Could Dan be the man Emily’s been waiting for? How could he be when every time they get close he pulls away? And will he ever be free from his shady past and the ex-girlfriend who refuses to stay there?

Ornamental Graces 

what i thought

*I received a free copy of this book.  All thoughts and opinions are my own. A huge thank you to the author and publisher!*

As many of you probably already know, I love Christmas so much!  So, when I received Ornamental Graces for review, I was quite excited.  I’m a sucker for a Hallmark Christmas movie, and this book sounded just like one.  While I ended up enjoying this one just as much as any Hallmark movie, it was so much more than that, too!

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Book Review | Where the Crawdads Sing

where the crawdads singTitle: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Page: 384

Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons (Aug. 14th, 2018)

Summary

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.

Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

Where the Crawdads Sing

what i thoughtThis book. This book!! I don’t even know where to begin when it comes to reviewing Where the Crawdads Sing.  I’ll be honest, I only read this book because everyone on Bookstagram talked about this book daily.  I barely even knew what it was about, but I knew it must be good because the library waiting list was huge!! 😂  Where the Crawdads Sing was one of the best books I’ve read in a very, very long time.  It is truly deserving of every ounce of hype and praise it has received!

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Book Review | Five Feet Apart

five feet apart.jpgTitle: Five Feet Apart by Rachael Linnincott with Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis

Pages: 288

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (Nov. 20th, 2018)

Summary

In this moving story that’s perfect for fans of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, two teens fall in love with just one minor complication—they can’t get within five feet of each other without risking their lives.

Can you love someone you can never touch?

Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.

The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.

Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment.

What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?

Five Feet Apart

what i thought

After seeing so many people talk about this book on Bookstagram, and then seeing the movie trailer, I just knew I had to read Five Feet Apart!  Going into this book, I didn’t know how this story was going to play out, I just knew it would break my heart.  Let me just say that this book did not disappoint!

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Book Review | All in Pieces

all in pieces.jpgTitle: All in Pieces by Suzanne Young

Pages: 259

Genres: YA, Contemporary

Published by: Simon Pulse (Nov. 8th, 2016)

Summary

“Anger-management issues.”

That’s how they classified Savannah Sutton after she stuck a pencil in her ex-boyfriend’s hand because he mocked her little brother, Evan, for being disabled. That’s why they sent her to Brooks Academy—an alternative high school that’s used as a temporary detention center.

The days at Brooks are miserable, but at home, life is far more bleak. Savvy’s struggling to take care of her brother since her mom left years ago, and her alcoholic dad can’t be bothered. Life with Evan is a constant challenge, but he’s also the most important person in the world to Savvy.

Then there’s Cameron, a new student at Brooks with issues of his own, a guy from a perfect family that Savvy thought only existed on TV. Cameron seems determined to break through every one of the walls Savvy’s built around herself—except if she lets herself trust him, it could make everything she’s worked so hard for fall apart in an instant.

And with her aunt seeking custody of her brother and her ex-boyfriend seeking revenge, Savvy’s fighting to hold all the pieces together. But she’s not sure how much tighter she can be pulled before she breaks completely.

All in Pieces
what i thought
I received All in Pieces for Christmas from my TBTB Secret Santa, Andi, this past year, and I was so excited!  I absolutely loved Hotel Ruby and The Program by Suzanne Young, so even though this book seemed very different from those two, I had no doubt I would love this one as well.  I’m happy to say that it did not disappoint either!

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December/January Wrap-Up!

monthly wrapup

Hello! It’s been nearly a month since I’ve last written on here, but I am back!  January was just a busy month for me, and I didn’t end up having a whole lot of time for blogging. I also attempted to read through the entire Bible in a month, and so because of that, I didn’t have a whole lot of time for reading other books either.  I’m not quite done with the Bible, or the other two books I’m reading, Rebecca and Girl, Wash Your Face, so I’ve decided to just include those in my February wrap-up.

In December, however, I read four books!

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The Bookish Naughty List 2018!

bookish naughty list

Hey everyone! I know I’ve sort of fallen off the Blogmas train the past couple of days, but the final weeks of school were really kicking my booty.  That being said, I’m officially on winter break, and I could not be happier! 🙌🏼  This semester was b r u t a l!

Anyway, today I’m doing the Bookish Naughty List book tag again!  I did it last year, but let’s see how this year compares.  Will I be naughty or nice?!

Here we go!

Received an ARC and not reviewed it ✔

Ugh, yes I’ve done this and I always feel so bad about it!  I have every intention of reading all the ARCs I receive, I just don’t always get them done before they’re released.  I promise they’ll be read someday, though!

Have less than 60% feedback rating on NetGalley

Okay, so I really thought I was going to be naughty for this one.  I’m actually at 71% right now.  Plus, now that I’m on winter break, I’m hoping to read even more and get that percentage even higher!

Rated a book on goodreads and promised a full review was to come on your blog (and never did) ✔

Here’s looking at you Hocus Pocus and the All-New Sequel 😂🙈

Folded down the page of a book

Nope! Dog-earring books isn’t my style. 😂

Accidentally spilled on a book

I have in the past, but not this year, thankfully! 🙌🏼

DNF a book this year ✔

There were a few this year that I started, didn’t get very far in, and decided that they weren’t the book for me right now.

Bought a book purely because it was pretty with no intention of reading it

It may take me years, but I do always do plan on reading every book I buy.  Do I actually end up reading every book? No…but my intentions are pure, I promise!

Read whilst you were meant to be doing something else (like homework) ✔

Oh yes, I do this far too often.  In fact, I ended up turning in my final paper for the semester an hour before it was due because I may or may not have spent too much time reading instead of working…oops!

Skim read a book ✔

I’ll be honest, I don’t do this often, but if I’m reading a book that I’m really struggling to get through – especially when I’m almost done – I do skim some of the passages. 🙈

Completely missed your Goodreads goal

Not this year! 🎉🎉 I’ll have you all know that I’ve actually surpassed it! 💃🏼

Borrowed a book and not returned it to the library

My books may be returned late, but they always get returned!!

Broke a book buying ban ✔

Library book sales…I just can’t pass them up!

Started a review, left it for ages then forgot what the book was about

Hahaha! I’ve done this before, I admit. But not this year!

Wrote in a book you were reading

The only book I write in is my Bible, and I don’t really think that counts for this.

Finished a book and not added it to your Goodreads

I gotta make sure every book makes it to my Goodreads goal, so no for this one. Haha!

Borrowed a book and not returned it to a friend

No, I’m actually pretty good about returning things!

Dodged someone asking if they can borrow a book

😂😂 I’ve done this before, but I actually didn’t have to do this in 2018!

Broke the spine of someone else’s book

Not this year! 🙌🏼

Took the jacket off a book to protect it and ended up making it more damaged

Unfortunately, this happens to me a lot.  Surprisingly, this didn’t happen this year, though! 🎉

Sat on a book accidentally ✔

Yes, this has happened more times than I would like to admit. 🙈  Thankfully, the books were not harmed!

Final Score 7/20

Hey! I actually did pretty good this year! I guess I’m on the nice list after all!😁🎄


 

Are YOU on the bookish naughty list this year? I’d love to see your answers!


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Book Review | It’s A Wonderful Night | Blog Tour + Giveaway!

WONDERFUL NIGHT.jpg

Hello everyone and happy 1st day of Blogmas!  I’m so excited to kick off an entire month of daily blogging with my stop for the It’s a Wonderful Night blog tour.  Today I’m going to be sharing my review as well as how you can win a fun prize pack (UK only, sorry!)!

Alright, let’s get started:

It's a Wonderful Night-large.jpg

Title: It’s a Wonderful Night by Jaimie Admans

Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Holiday

Published by: HQ Digital (Oct. 5th, 2018)

Summary

Georgia Bailey is closing up her little charity shop in Oakbarrow when she gets a mysterious late night call from a stranger, threatening to jump off the town’s bridge.

Something about the man’s voice is faintly familiar but all she can do is stay on the line and, after talking for hours and losing sense of time passing, coax him back from the edge.

The next morning, Georgia walks to work, buys a festive latte from Leo (who she’s had a crush on for months!) at the local coffee shop, and is shocked when she suddenly recognizes the voice from last night…

A heartwarming festive love story that reminds us that even in the darkest of times, hope is always just around the corner!

It’s a Wonderful Night

what i thought

*I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. A huge thank you to the author and Neverland Blog Tours!*

It’s a Wonderful Night is such a sweet, romantic, and festive story!  This book pulled me in at chapter one and left me glued to it until the end.  It was one of those story that just left me feeling all of the emotions.  There were some moments where I was literally laughing out loud and other moments where I found myself tearing up.  This novel was so completely well done!

The characters in It’s a Wonderful Night were just so lovely. I absolutely adored them all.  I loved seeing Georgia and Leo’s relationship grow, and I loved getting to know them individually.

Another thing that I appreciated about this book was that while it could be considered a romcom, it’s so much deeper than that.  It deals with mental illness in an incredibly honest way.

This book is also filled with so many references to It’s a Wonderful Life! Being that I’ve only seen the movie once, years ago, I’m sure I still missed many more of the references.  I will say, though, it really made me want to watch the movie now!

Overall, this was such a lovely novel.  It’s so charming and heartwarming.  Jaimie Admans did such an excellent job balancing the lightheartedness and seriousness of this story.  I would definitely recommend It’s a Wonderful Night to anyone looking for a sweet, romantic, and Christmas-y read!

4 and half stars 2


Purchase It’s a Wonderful Night at:

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07D4679MT

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D4679MT

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/it-s-a-wonderful-night

Also available from all other ebook retailers!

 


giveaway

IAWN-giveaway.jpg

Click here to enter to win an It’s a Wonderful Night goodie bag (UK only)!! Goodie bag includes: 

*It’s a Wonderful Night notebook

*It’s a Wonderful Night fridge magnet

*A signed postcard of the cover

*A copy of It’s a Wonderful Life on DVD because this is the inspiration behind the story.

*An invisible spine Paris notebook because it’s where Georgia wants to go more than anywhere in the world.

*A light-up Christmas tree pen, because who doesn’t need a light-up Christmas tree pen at this time of year?!


about the author

Jaimie is a 32-year-old English-sounding Welsh girl with an awkward-to-spell name. She lives in South Wales and enjoys writing, gardening, watching horror movies, and drinking tea, although she’s seriously considering marrying her coffee machine. She loves autumn and winter, and singing songs from musicals despite the fact she’s got the voice of a dying hyena. She hates spiders, hot weather, and cheese & onion crisps. She spends far too much time on Twitter and owns too many pairs of boots.

She will never have time to read all the books she wants to read.

She is the author of chick-lit romantic comedies The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters, The Little Wedding Island, It’s a Wonderful Night, and Kismetology, and she has also written young-adult romantic comedies Afterlife Academy, Not Pretty Enough, and North Pole Reform School.

Connect with Jaimie Admans on:

 Website | Facebook | Twitter


Follow me on:

Bloglovin’ | Instagram Twitter Facebook Goodreads | Litsy (@thecalicobooks)

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October Wrap-Up!

monthly wrapup

Hello everyone! I’m back from an unexpected and unplanned hiatus!  The first half of November has been so busy and school has been so overwhelming, when I have free time I haven’t felt like reading or blogging very much.  That being said, I’m ready to start blogging and reading more again despite my busy-ness! So, here I am wrapping up October halfway through November, lol.

Okay, so overall, October was a pretty nice reading month for me.

Altogether I read six books during the month of October.

BOOKS READ

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– And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich \\ ⭐⭐⭐⭐

– Sunrise Cabin by Stacey Donovan (ebook) \\ ⭐⭐⭐⭐

– Small Spaces by Katherine Arden \\ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

– The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox (ebook) \\ ⭐⭐⭐⭐

– The Grownup by Gillian Flynn (ebook) \\ ⭐⭐⭐

– Hocus Pocus & The All-New Sequel by A. W. Jantha \\ ⭐⭐⭐

 

STANDOUT BOOK OF THE MONTH

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Omg y’all I loved this book SO much!!  Small Spaces was one of the best books I’ve read all year.  I just enjoyed this book so much! I want to read more Katherine Arden books now!

 

BOOKS REVIEWED

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton \\ ⭐⭐⭐1/2

Sunrise Cabin by Stacey Donovan \\ ⭐⭐⭐1/2

And The Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich \\ ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox \\ ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden \\ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

 

BOOK HAUL

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I received Bathed in Prayer by Jan Karon from Putnam Books.  So, a huge thank you to them!

I also received The Rule of One by Ashley & Leslie Saunders from Skyscape/Amazon Publishing.  A great big thanks to them as well!

 

MISCELLANEOUS 

I participated in Blogtober and Blogoween last month, so that meant I posted [nearly] every single day in October!

Some of the highlights of my month include:

October TBR

Blogtober Book Quotes

Top Ten Tuesday new

Waitingonwednesday

spookathon tbr

Spookathon TBR | Wrap-Up

Sbooktober Readathon TBR

Sbooktober Readathon TBR | Wrap-Up

FallenLeavesBlogTour

I got the opportunity to interview the author of Fallen Leaves, Tessa Emily Hall!

autumn bookshelf decorations

I also shared my autumnal bookshelf decorations!

October was also filled with some fun book tags including:

halloween creatures book tag 2

fall-book-tag

halloween book tag

spooky scary book tag

Some of my other favorite posts from this month include:

top 5 non horror halloween movies

My Top 5 Favorite Non-Horror Halloween Movies

bonded bewitched drowned

Bonded, Bewitched, Drowned, AKA Kiss, Marry Kill: Halloween Edition


And that wraps up my October! October was a really fun month for me!  While November has been busy, I’m still hopeful that it’ll be a great month and that the second half of it will have more reading and blogging. 🙂

Be sure to let me know how your October went and how your November is going so far!

Thanks for reading!


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Buy from:

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(I receive a tiny commission if you follow my BD links!)