Book Review

Book Review: The Flight Girls by Noelle Salazar

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Historical fiction romance
Length: 384 pages
Author: Noelle Salazar
Publisher: Mira Books
Release Date: July 2nd, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A stunning story about the Women Airforce Service Pilots whose courage during World War II turned ordinary women into extraordinary heroes

1941. Audrey Coltrane has always wanted to fly. It’s why she implored her father to teach her at the little airfield back home in Texas. It’s why she signed up to train military pilots in Hawaii when the war in Europe began. And it’s why she insists she is not interested in any dream-derailing romantic involvements, even with the disarming Lieutenant James Hart, who fast becomes a friend as treasured as the women she flies with. Then one fateful day, she gets caught in the air over Pearl Harbor just as the bombs begin to fall, and suddenly, nowhere feels safe.

To make everything she’s lost count for something, Audrey joins the Women Airforce Service Pilots program. The bonds she forms with her fellow pilots reignite a spark of hope in the face war, and–when James goes missing in action–give Audrey the strength to cross the front lines and fight not only for her country, but for the love she holds so dear.

Shining a light on a little-known piece of history, The Flight Girls is a sweeping portrayal of women’s fearlessness, love, and the power of friendship to make us soar.

ABSOLUTELY A NEW FAVORITE.

Read in a day alert. If you’re a historical fiction fan, add to your TBR ASAP. Oh my gosh I’m in a puddle over here, little bird. *cue tears*

I loved the story of Audrey and her cohorts turned closest friends. What a hard life so many of them chose to walk to support the fight in WW2. Not being recognized until long overdue for everything they gave in the fight against Germany. I haven’t learned much about this facet of history and appreciated getting a nuanced story.

THE ROMANCE. Definitely the forefront of this book and it was everrryyything. EVERYTHING. I was begging the author to give me a happy ending. Waiting for this book to make me sob (which tears frequently hit my eyes throughout). Nothing short of miraculous how those final pages went down. Perfect ending. My heart is still feeling all of the emotions Audrey and James love story elicitied.

Seriously, if you’re at least a romance fan. Read this one. It was a stunning book and I can’t believe myself for letting it sit on my shelf for so long.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical fiction romance
  • Language: some
  • Romance: closed door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: war themes (specifically Pearl Harbor), multiple deadly plane crashes, a loved one MIA, PTSD, depictions of grief and depression

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Book Review, Monthly Wrap-Up

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: August 2022

I finally had a great reading month again! Only one 2 star read and I am hoping to ride this high through the fall.

Favorites this month:

  • The River of Silver
  • Well Traveled
  • A Tale of Stars and Shadow (full series)
  • Miss Newbury’s List
  • A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting
  • The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy
  • Kiss and Tell
  • Eloise and the Grump Next Door
  • Violet Made of Thorns
  • Royally Rearranged (reread)
  • Red Rising (reread)
  • Begin Again
  • Complete
  • Hidden Waters
  • The Paris Secret

Least favorite:

  • The Even Odder Couple
  • Echoes of TIme
  • In the Weeds
  • Love on the Brain
  • Back to You
  • The Reigning and the Rule (Surviving Trace #2) by Calia Read
  • [ARC] Defend the Dawn (Defy the Night #2) by Brigid Kemmerer
  • All Tricked Out (Wayfair Witches #13) by A.A. Albright
  • The River of Silver (The Daevabad Trilogy #4) by S.A. Chakraborty
  • The Even Odder Couple (Apple Valley Love Stories #4) by Julie Christianson
  • [ARC] Wild is the Witch by Rachel Griffin
  • [ARC] Well Traveled (Well Met #4) by Jen DeLuca
  • Scales of Ash & Smoke (Ash & Smoke #1) by Emily L. Schneider
  • A Tale of Stars and Shadow (A Tale of Stars and Shadow #1) by Lisa Cassidy
  • [ARC] Miss Newbury’s List by Megan Walker
  • Echoes of Time (Surviving Time #3) by Calia Read
  • Luna and the Lie by Mariana Zapata
  • Faking it (Wayfair Witches #14) by A.A. Albright
  • A Prince of Song and Shade (A Tale of Stars and Shadow #2) by Lisa Cassidy
  • Brought to Light by Allie Lewis
  • A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting by Sophie Irwin
  • [ARC] The Do-Over by Lynn Painter
  • [Reread] Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown
  • Testing Times (Wayfair Witches #15) by A.A. Albright
  • [ARC] The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen
  • Upgrade by Blake Crouch
  • Kiss and Tell (Creekville Kisses #3) by Melanie Jacobson
  • [ARC] Eloise and the Grump Next Door (Oakley Island Romcoms #1) by Emma St. Clair and Jenny Proctor
  • Violet Made of Thorns (Violet Made of Thorns #1) by Gina Chen
  • [ARC] In the Weeds (Lovelight #2) by B.K. Borison
  • [Reread] Royally Rearranged (Sweet Royal Romcom #1) by Emma St. Clair
  • [ARC] Begin Again by Emma Lord
  • [ARC] Ledge (The Glacian Trilogy #1) by Stacey McEwan
  • A King of Masks and Magic (A Tale of Stars and Shadow #3) by Lisa Cassidy
  • A Duet of Sword and Song (A Tale of Stars and Shadow #4) by Lisa Cassidy
  • A Duel with the Vampire Lord (Married to Magic #3) by Elise Kova
  • The Hookup Plan (The Boyfriend Project #3) by Farrah Rochon
  • [ARC] To Capture His Heart (Matchmakers #2) by Nancy Campbell Allen
  • Complete (The Sweet RomComs #3) by Kortney Keisel
  • [ARC] The Liar’s Crown (Dominion #1) by Abigail Owen
  • Unhappening Ever After (Wayfair Witches #16) by A.A. Albright
  • Promised by Leah Garriot
  • Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood
  • A Confirmed Rake (The Donovans #2) by Martha Keyes
  • Back to You (San Diego Marines #1) by Jess Mastorakos
  • Hidden Waters (Tattered & Torn #3) by Catherine Cowles
  • The Paris Secret by Natasha Lester

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Book Review

Book Review: The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott

Rating: ☆☆
Audience: Historical Fiction
Length: 368 pages
Author: Lara Prescott
Publisher: Knopf
Release Date: September 17th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Secretaries turned spies, love and duty, and sacrifice—inspired by the true story of the CIA plot to infiltrate the hearts and minds of Soviet Russia, not with propaganda, but with the greatest love story of the twentieth century: Doctor Zhivago.

At the height of the Cold War, two secretaries are pulled out of the typing pool at the CIA and given the assignment of a lifetime. Their mission: to smuggle Doctor Zhivago out of the USSR, where no one dare publish it, and help Pasternak’s magnum opus make its way into print around the world. Glamorous and sophisticated Sally Forrester is a seasoned spy who has honed her gift for deceit all over the world–using her magnetism and charm to pry secrets out of powerful men. Irina is a complete novice, and under Sally’s tutelage quickly learns how to blend in, make drops, and invisibly ferry classified documents.

BORING.

Ohhhh my goodness.

When I pick up a historical fiction book I really enjoy learning about the time period or whatever aspect is being used for the historical portion. I had to look up so much more information after reading this book because I felt like I gained nothing.

Most of this book was focused on the external relationships of all of these characters. Who they were dating and why, etc. etc. So instead of learning about WHY this book was important to the CIA and the Cold War I learned about some typists and who they liked. I just didn’t care. If it truly pertained to everything else it would have been fine, but this is a rare case of me saying, it needed less romance. I would have loved more espionage and action.

I felt like I knew what was happening and had no idea all in the same breath. It was convoluted and I don’t want to drag this review out anymore. Big miss. Wasn’t worth the time.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical fiction
  • Language: some
  • Romance: kisses to closed door scenes
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: racism, sexism, homophobia, rape (on page), sexual harassment, cheating, suicide and suicide ideation, loss of a parent, internment camp

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Book Review

Book Review: The Devil’s Thief (The Last Magician #2) by Lisa Maxwell

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: YA Historical Fantasy
Length: 704 pages
Author: Lisa Maxwell
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: October 9th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In this spellbinding sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Last Magician, Esta and Harte set off on a cross-country chase through time to steal back the elemental stones they need to save the future of magic.

Hunt the Stones.
Beware the Thief.
Avenge the Past.


Esta’s parents were murdered. Her life was stolen. And everything she knew about magic was a lie. She thought the Book of Mysteries held the key to freeing the Mageus from the Order’s grasp, but the danger within its pages was greater than she ever imagined.

Now the Book’s furious power lives inside Harte. If he can’t control it, it will rip apart the world to get its revenge, and it will use Esta to do it.

To bind the power, Esta and Harte must track down four elemental stones scattered across the continent. But the world outside the city is like nothing they expected. There are Mageus beyond the Brink not willing to live in the shadows—and the Order isn’t alone in its mission to crush them.

In St. Louis, the extravagant World’s Fair hides the first stone, but an old enemy is out for revenge and a new enemy is emerging. And back in New York, Viola and Jianyu must defeat a traitor in a city on the verge of chaos.

As past and future collide, time is running out to rewrite history—even for a time-traveling thief. 

WAY TOO LONG.

I finally picked this series back up (I don’t know why it took me so long, I loved The Last Magician!). This was a hefty tome to read, and was filled with a lot…and nothing…all at the same time.

My biggest complaint is the length, there was no way this needed to be 700 pages. It became very unfocused and searching after ONE stone took up the entire book. It led to off pacing, moments where the characters themselves were dragging their feet and I was wishing things would get a move on.

The writing is great though. Even with how thick it is, I didn’t start feeling that strain until late in the second half of the book. I wanted to read every word, wanted to know what was going to happen next. I think it’s also because I enjoy most of the characters. They’re endearing and frustrating, which makes them feel real. Esta probably annoyed me the most because she kept FLAT OUT REFUISNG to let Harte help her with anything. It was like she had to prove she could do anything on her own, every. dang. time. I need this character arc to bring in some ability to ask for and accept help.

There’s MANY points of view here. Some that made sense, I understood, was overall fine with. Then, there were others that I’m questioning why they were necessary? I don’t think the handful of them really added anything and probably could have been left out and the story wouldn’t be lacking.

The historical aspects of this were interesting. I haven’t read a book set in this time period and in this location. I liked the Author’s Note at the end as well that explained some more of the history, her writing choices and other books to read on the subject. I love when this is put in there for historical fiction-ish based books.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Historical Fiction / Fantasy
  • Language: some
  • Romance: kisses to heated make-out
  • Violence: physical altercations, explosions, magical attacks, train wrecks, poisoning
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: hate crime, racism, substance abuse, pain-med addiction

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