Tag Archive: netgalley



The Rules Do Not ApplyThe Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a fan of fiction more than any other kind of reading, it is alway hard for me to “grade” an autobiography. It isn’t up to me to judge another’s life or path, so I feel I am invading a bit when it is time to review. Yet this book called to me from NetGalley as one I might like to read and review.

I have to admit it kept my interest. Many reviewers say the author’s emotions are raw in this memoir. That may be so. I just found them honest and refreshing. As a fertile-Myrtle, who had, as most of my generation, my children in my early twenties, I never heard that egg-timer to get pregnant or forget it. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have another?” and boom I was pregnant. So the despair of the author seems another reality I’ve not been close to. In that case, I think it right to go into the depth with her and see what her reality has been. Would my story of a baby every couple years and only at home ever be as interesting to her generation? So I find her lucky to have experienced so many things I never got to see. That she had the freedom to explore her sexuality after being an adult, who got to see the world I may never see, isn’t sad. Those were the parts of the story I truly enjoyed.

But I don’t want to demean or in any way put down her path and especially not the sad parts of it. That need to reproduce is very strong in many of us and to have that turn out so badly hurts my soul for her.

That is why I like to read autobiographies. I can lead many lives that way. I can see how things might have been had I made other choices or had nature played nasty tricks on my life. I think it helps to develop empathy to read another’s story. And this may be one you might like. Give it a try.

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The Last Chance Matinee (The Hudson Sisters #1)The Last Chance Matinee by Mariah Stewart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of the things I noticed as I wished this story hadn’t ended was that it has a series name: The Hudson Sisters #1. Yay! I don’t have to leave my new friends forever! And while I am talking about the ending, relax, it isn’t a cliff-hanger. Everyone is safe. I just miss them.

You can look up the blurb to see what the book is about. I try to concentrate on my feelings about the story. What I noticed most of all, was the lack of conflict and yet I kept wanting to read more. I suppose the conflict is the undertone of how the characters ended up owning a theater. They had to spend the time getting to know each other and see how they fit into the scheme of things. But there was no great adventure, no one is in grave danger. Yet through each of their perspectives, you see their birth order and history.

It was because of the description of the story on the blurb on NetGalley dot com that I picked this up to review. I am so glad I did. It is quite an interesting story. I look forward to book two so I can see these women and watch them remake a theater together.

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The Shadow LandThe Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

THIS is my kind of book! Okay, it isn’t fantasy or sci-fi but the elements I love in those stories are here. Adventure, new horizons, philosophies, some things to learn and think about. Those are all present in this book. I am sad that it has ended and think I may have to read it again sometime with Audible version. The text-to-speech was great but with this taking place in Bulgaria, I needed someone to pronounce words better than the British female robot. Which usually works quite well for me, but there were some names that when I was reading with my eyes too, I could see they were not pronounced anywhere NEAR right.

The main character is well developed, the secondaries not as deeply but the story wasn’t about them so that was okay by me. With the person so developed and the world so real I felt I was watching a movie. In fact, this would make a marvelous movie, there is just so much depth here!

The time of the book moves back and forth from about WWII and now. The political themes presented seem very poignant, and apropos warnings to our current system and how delicate it is.

But my favorite part of the book, though the saddest, was how music played a part in the day to day survival of the musician. I don’t want to expound on this as it would be a spoiler. Needless to say, it gave me the unavoidable courage to face the cold of my studio and play the piano for as long as my fingers could move, and then left me with a fire to get back in there as soon and as often as I can as Spring brings warmer weather.

Oh, how I wish there were a book two. I don’t know how it could be done as none of the situations or people remain in the right places for that. But I did want to see what happens now that the main character has made friends with the musician’s son. What could they give each other? Will they become more than friends? And what about the taxi driver? Is there happiness in his future? What a cool guy he was! Like I said, I am left wanting more and that may have to happen by re-reading with audio.

By the way, I was given this version for review by NetGalley dot com. Please, if you get the chance to read this, do. I hope you love it as I did.

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Dreams Before the Start of TimeDreams Before the Start of Time by Anne Charnock

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received this book free of charge from NetGalley.

This story called to me. It is labeled as sci-fi. But mostly it seems a good excuse to do character development stories. It was for that that I kept reading and actually finished the book. In fact, as I was listening and suddenly it was the Acknowledgements. I don’t know what the ending was.

The other thing about the book was it was presenting the idea that shows results of natural pregnancy versus choosing a child gestated out of the womb. Then the story follows the parents and children and grandchildren of these differing beginnings.

But I never got to know anyone enough to care. After just having read something similar and not finishing it, I found myself trying not to give in and toss the book. But I got through it and I am left feeling I wasted time. I know I won’t remember this book. I am only giving 3 stars because I finished. So I guess the stars are for me. Not the book. I am so sorry to feel this way about it. I hope others love the book and maybe I will go back someday and find it wonderful.

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Say Goodbye for NowSay Goodbye for Now by Catherine Ryan Hyde

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Do you remember ‘Pay It Forward’? If you live under a rock or somehow never got to see it, I’m about to give a spoiler. Skip to the next paragraph where I will strictly talk about this book. The author, Catherine Ryan Hyde, wrote that book which became the most up-lifting and crash ending movie. I bought the movie because I loved that concept so much. But the ending of the movie, when the main character was killed, keeps me from watching it ever again. Ms. Hyde, though set up the foundation of Pay It Forward which is a marvelous way for folks to live. Maybe I will buck up and give it another try for the meat of the movie (or read the book). I would have loved to know that about the author before I began reading this book. But unfortunately, that information was in the back of the book after the book club questions.

A series of events in the 1950s gives the reader so many character-lines to follow that one wonders where this is leading. A wolf-dog hit by a car. An abused but wiser-than-his-age boy tries to find help for this poor creature. Seem to make it look like a simple book, a boy and his dog, kind of thing. But the story gets deeper and deeper. Some surprises happen as opposed to how the reader may think they would. The story was well-written and draws one in. The characters are deeper than some books offer. Sometimes I wanted more. But I think the author knew how to pull us through.

Yes, there is a bit a romance but it isn’t the leading subject. But neither is the dog. Have I made this vague enough to incite interest? Don’t come into the book thinking, like I did that it was going to be a sweet book about a boy and his dog. This book is worth the read. I wish there was a book two as I already miss these character and wonder what happens next.

By the way, I received this book free of charge from NetGalley. Thank you!

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Review:


All Our Wrong TodaysAll Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It has taken me a long time to read this book. That mostly has to do with the formatting for Kindle/text-to-speech. On almost every page there is a S32 or N33 or words not connected. L ike th at n eeds t o b e f ix ed! By the way, things like f ix get read by text-to-speech as ‘f’ 9.

But I got used to the crazy formatting problems. Most ly. I did have to keep an eye on the text to make sure I understood what was being said. THEN there are several pages of F*ck and Sh*t. I understand that Julie Andrews is a fairly competent cusser along with being a fantastic actress and singer. Since I have my TTS set to be British female who sounds like Julie Andrews, I had to read all those pages to make sure my TTS was really working and not a reincarnation of a bad Mary Poppins. Honestly, that wasn’t needed in the story. Sure the character was angry and in shock but a good writer could have shown it with more class.

This was a good science fiction story. That is why there are three stars and not just one. It was a time travel adventure. And I love the concepts presented, though very slow in the lecture not showing. Still, I forgave that and kept with it. I didn’t like the main character most of the time. I’d give you his name but it changes a lot. Only toward the very end did I feel the character had something redeemable.

Gee, the more I write this the more I feel it should be a two star or less. But I want to encourage the author to clean this up. I am absolutely surprised that this book had as many editors and readers as is indicated in the author’s notes. This coming from a person who cannot edit worth beans. But this story has promise. It could be a fun adventure. But make the main character more real and worthy of the reader’s care. But the subject matter brings the story to–2.5 stars round up.

I picked this copy up from NetGalley. I’m thankful for the opportunity. And I hope others get a chance to read a better copy.

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Bluewater Walkabout: Into Africa, Finding Healing Through TraumaBluewater Walkabout: Into Africa, Finding Healing Through Trauma by Tina Dreffin

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Just couldn’t get into this book. There were some adventures I enjoyed, but not the rest. Sorry, I couldn’t come up with more to say about the book. But maybe you’ll enjoy it more.

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Everything Belongs to UsEverything Belongs to Us by Yoojin Grace Wuertz

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

NetGalley gave me this book to read and review. Thank you.

Maybe it’s the busyness of the holidays or my usual ADD, but I found this book confusing. I must’ve read the first six chapters 5 times. Once I was understanding whose point of view I was reading, I found the story engaging enough. In fact, I wanted to know what was happening to the characters. But…

The ending was dull, the ending was cheap, and I felt like I had wasted my time. I wanted to feel that the characters had achieved at least the title of the book. But it just left me flat.

That said, taking my ADD and the holidays into consideration, maybe you will love this book. And maybe I need to read it again someday.

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The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds (The Malayan Series)The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds by Selina Siak Chin Yoke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed reading this book. At first, I got mad at the ancient order of things where females were worthless and could only hope to marry well. But keep reading. The main character grows on you. By the end, I was crying for her. I’d say more but–spoilers!

I hope I can read the rest of the series.

The book is about seeing the world through another woman’s eyes as she grows through her life. I love reading about other cultures. Though we have many differences, the female experience is what we have in common. Some of that we humans need to work on, but some of it is unique to being a woman.

This version was courtesy of NetGalley. Thank you for letting me read this!

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Victoria: From the creator of the ITV television seriesVictoria: From the creator of the ITV television series by Daisy Goodwin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this edition from NetGalley to read and review. It is an Uncorrected Digital Galley copy. Yet, these eyes didn’t see any mistakes.

This was very interesting. I thought at first that I wouldn’t like it. I neither like history books nor Romance novels. There is both ‘herstory’ and romance in this book. But not a lot. This is more a queen’s coming of age story. In that, I thought it well done and an interesting read.

I loved watching this young person, in her teens, deal with the angst we all have gone through with our parents and breaking out into our own lives. Except, most of us don’t have to assume the responsibilities of the throne and a whole nation while going through these growing pains.

In the acknowledgments at the end of the book, the author mentions she wrote this while making the television (I think it was) show. I will be looking it up to see it. I think it could be done well.

Though not the best book I’ve read, I think you will find this an interesting read.

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