Irena’s Children


Thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for the arc of Irena’s Children by Tilar Mazzeo! This true account of Irena Sendler and her friends in Poland warmed my heart and I was astounded by their bravery! Irena and her friends helped save Jewish families during World War II by placing themselves in grave danger, hiding and sneaking children to safety. This is a magnificent story of heroism that affected thousands of Jewish children and has since affected generations of families. This book needs to be read to get the full extent of what true courage Irena Sendler embodies! 4 stars.

Chasing Truth

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Thanks to Entangled Teen for the arc of Chasing Truth by Julie Cross! Wow, what a ride! This adventure, mystery, thriller, romance, young adult story held my attention from beginning to end.

Chasing Truth is cleverly written, with complex main characters and side characters, and mysterious because the main character has hidden agendas and a secrecy surrounding her. I like Ellie (Eleanor) with her clever, quick wit and the fact that she seems to care about people and also values integrity in others. Ellie’s friend, Simon, supposedly committed suicide but the investigation into his death is ongoing. This book is hard to put down and I just wanted to keep reading, but alas, life needs to be lived;).

I loved this line, “This makes me hate him 2 percent less, which is useful when I have to pretend not to hate him”. I laughed out loud! It’s priceless! Out of context, this line doesn’t make much sense, but when you get to know Ellie and how she is dealing with her con-artist background while trying to be normal, it makes great dialogue!

The mysterious background of Ellie and the mystery surrounding Simon’s death kept me riveted throughout the book, 5 stars!

Saving My Assassin


Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for the book of Saving My Assassin by Virginia Prodan. This memoir introduces Virginia Prodan in immediate danger in 1984, when her life was threatened. Chapter one takes us back to 1961, during Virginia’s childhood. Virginia grew up with abuse from her mother and taunting from her siblings. She is a real life Cinderella. Her upbringing was not to be the end of her struggles, though. With tremendous strength, Virginia shows us what she went through for her individual freedom and what she is willing to do for other’s freedom also. Learning about different cultures and symbolism is always interesting to me, even if I don’t agree or completely understand them. Communism feels confining, nerve-wracking and demoralizing. I appreciate the notes at the end of the book that clarify several questions that arose while I was reading Saving My Assassin. Courageous and inspiring – 4 stars!

Plant Craft


Thanks to NetGalley and Timber Press for the arc of Plant Craft: 30 Projects that Add Natural Style to Your Home by Caitlin Atkinson! The first project shown right off the start is a fun succulent planter!
The book contains facts, such as epiphytes are air plants (I didn’t know that), detailed plant care and maintenance for outdoor and indoor plants, charts for troubleshooting, suggested plants for projects and the care required for each one. Projects include color photos, materials and tools needed, step by step instructions with photos, watering, care and maintenance requirements and plenty of creativity – 4 stars!

The Reader


Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Group for the arc of The Reader by Traci Chee! Sefia and her “aunt” Nin are hiding from people who want them. Sefia thinks they’re wanted because of Nin’s thievery skills. Sefia goes to a village to sell animal pelts and when she returns, Nin has been captured. The story falls back to when Sefia was younger and living with her father. He was killed and his body torn apart and Sefia had been with Nin at the time. When she returned home, she found her father’s body like this. Even though she was terrified and distraught about her father, Sefia hid as always told to, since her family expected danger eventually but never telling Sefia why. Her parents had given her three explicit instructions: use the secret doors, go through the tunnel, find Nin. At the last secret door, a rectangular object fell out, a book. She took it with her, not knowing what it was.

Many alternating points of view confused me for a while. Lon is a young man with special sight and Erastis, the master librarian, takes him in as his apprentice. Captain Reed and his ship, Current (a remarkable captain and a remarkable ship). Assassins and trackers searching for something. Sefia reads about these people and the complicated stories found in the book turn out to be real people and their actual lives.

The Reader is interesting and complex with diverse characters, 4 stars.

Stalking Jack the Ripper


I thoroughly enjoyed Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco, with fantastic writing that delves into the infamous Jack the Ripper murders. Audrey Rose, a strong willed young woman in the late 1800’s, enjoys science and learning from her uncle, who teaches medicine with passion bordering on obsession. Audrey Rose is allowed to attend her uncle’s class if she dresses as a boy and speaks to no one. Another student, Thomas Caldwell, is working with Audrey Rose to solve the mystery of Jack the Ripper. The two of them become friendly rivals who grate on each other’s nerves. The twists and turns leave Audrey Rose not knowing who she can trust and the mystery keeps getting more personal than she feels comfortable with. Unbearable suspense and intense plot equal 5 stars!

Labyrinth Lost


A family that celebrates Deathdays instead of sixteenth birthdays, Bat Mitzvahs or Quinceaneras lives in Brooklyn, New York and everyone is excited to celebrate Alejandra’s (Alex’s) Deathday. Alejandra isn’t happy about the magic in her family and she is definitely not looking forward to her Deathday celebration. She has been told that she is an enchantrix, which means she is powerful. Alex wants it all to go away and she eventually gets what she wishes for. A shadow demon attacks their home, so the family decides to have Alex’s Deathday party the very next day. At the party, the ceremony backfires and a demon takes Alex’s family and she has only Nova, a mysterious young man, to help get them back. To save her family, Alex has to conquer the mythology of Los Lagos, another realm ruled by The Devourer. I enjoy Nova’s personality and the banter between him and Alex makes me laugh. This story is beautifully written and reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland and Greek mythology. Inspired by Latin American religions and cultures all brought into the present time – 4 stars!



Thanks to Clean Reads for the opportunity to read and honestly review Bottled by Carol Riggs! This fantasy story involves a woman trapped in a spell, cast by a djinn, who serves her changing masters over the centuries. A traditional story with a female protagonist, a horrible villain, romance and suspense. This is a clean read book and enjoyable!

The Lying Planet


Thanks to Entangled Publishing for the arc of The Lying Planet by Carol Riggs! Jay lives in a community that honors integrity and intelligence. The young people strive to live up to the high standards so they won’t be banished when they are eighteen. One night Jay discovers the sinister intentions of the adults in the community and he struggles to convince others and that’s when the chills begin. Complex characters, suspense and the insidious story make this an interesting read – 4 stars!