First Lines Friday – June 28

This is a weekly meme hosted by Wandering Words, where you give the first few lines of a book to hook your readers before introducing the book.

Here are my first lines:

“‘Can you come into my office?’ I look around at the desks beside me and then back at Frankie, trying to confirm to whom, exactly, she’s talking. I point to myself. ‘Do you mean me?'”

Do you recognize these first lines?

And the book is… The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

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Goodreads synopsis:

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ’80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Written with Reid’s signature talent for creating “complex, likable characters” (Real Simple), this is a mesmerizing journey through the splendor of old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it costs—to face the truth. 

Have you read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo? What did you think of it?

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Review: Jasmine: Crown of Kings

Title: Jasmine: Crown of Kings
Author: Howard Mackie, Deivis Goetten
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy
Publisher: Zenescope
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: ebook
Release Date: June 11, 2019
Rating: ★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When a fiery explosion erupts in the ancient city of Petra, Jasmine races against the terrorist group THE FORTY THIEVES to prevent the shattered pieces of the Crown of Kings, an object that haunts her past from being reunited and unleashing an unearthly power on the world and all that she holds dear. Collects Jasmine Crown of Kings #1 – 5.

Review:

I was interested in reading this book, since there has been a renewal in interest in Aladdin with the new movie. However, this graphic novel didn’t work for me.

Jasmine is a tough character in this story. She used to have magic, but now she is trying to stop Aladdin from stealing pieces of a crown. She ends up helping him when he can’t figure out what to do. She was a more powerful character than in the original story, because she has her own magic and fighting skills.

I didn’t like the illustrations in this book. The colors were dark, but that may have been just the e-ARC I was reading. The costumes could have been better. Jasmine was wearing revealing outfits, which didn’t match with her new active role. The book could have been much better if the illustrations were better.

Thank you Diamond Book Distributors for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Have you read Jasmine: Crown of Kings? What did you think of it?

TBR Thursday – June 27

TBR Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly Faye Reads, where you post a title from your shelf or e-reader and find out what others think about it.

My pick this week is Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson.

Goodreads Synopsis:

It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.

On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?

Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.

Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?

Kiss a stranger? Um… 

Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane’s list. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go skinny-dipping? Wait…what?

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Movie Scrapbook

Title: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Movie Scrapbook
Author: Rick Barba
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Source: Loot Crate
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: November 18, 2016
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Learn all about Newt Scamander and the incredible film from J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Peer inside Newt Scamander’s enchanted suitcase, encounter marvelous creatures, roam the streets of 1920s New York City, and meet Newt’s fascinating friends! This magical scrapbook takes readers on an interactive adventure through Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Filled with removable artifacts, such as wizarding newspapers, posters, and other fascinating finds, this book has something for everyone!

Review:

This book is about the first Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them movie. It has details about the movie, characters, and the beasts.

I loved these kinds of scrapbooks when I was a kid. This book has pieces that can be removed, including different kinds of cards and maps. It is a lot of fun to pull out these pieces and play with the different parts of the book.

I think fans of the book will love this fun book!

What to read next:

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander

Harry Potter: The Creature Vault by Jody Revenson

Have you read Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Movie Scrapbook? What did you think of it?

‘Waiting on’ Wednesday – June 26

This is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. In this post we highlight a book that’s highly anticipated.

The book that I’m waiting on this Wednesday is Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars #1) by Elizabeth Lim. The release date is July 9, 2019.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

What books are you waiting on this week?

Review: Dear Wife

Title: Dear Wife
Author: Kimberly Belle
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Park Row Books
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: June 25, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From the bestselling author of The Marriage Lie and Three Days Missing comes a riveting new novel of suspense about a woman who, in a fight for survival, must decide just how far she’ll go to escape the person she once loved

Beth Murphy is on the run…

For nearly a year, Beth has been planning for this day. A day some people might call any other Wednesday, but Beth prefers to see it as her new beginning–one with a new look, new name and new city. Beth has given her plan significant thought, because one small slip and her violent husband will find her.

Sabine Hardison is missing…

A couple hundred miles away, Jeffrey returns home from a work trip to find his wife, Sabine, is missing. Wherever she is, she’s taken almost nothing with her. Her abandoned car is the only evidence the police have, and all signs point to foul play.

As the police search for leads, the case becomes more and more convoluted. Sabine’s carefully laid plans for her future indicate trouble at home, and a husband who would be better off with her gone. The detective on the case will stop at nothing to find out what happened and bring this missing woman home. Where is Sabine? And who is Beth? The only thing that’s certain is that someone is lying and the truth won’t stay buried for long. 

Review:

I loved this suspenseful thriller.

There were three different perspectives in this story: Jeffrey, Beth, and Marcus. Jeffrey’s wife, Sabine went missing. Beth has changed her name and run away from her abusive husband. Marcus is the detective on the case of Sabine’s disappearance. It was a very clever mystery.

I figured out how some of the characters were connected halfway through, but I still loved reading through until the ending. I hadn’t figured out all of the pieces to the puzzle so I had more to discover. The only parts I didn’t really like were the scenes in the church. I didn’t think they added much to the story, but I can see that they developed the character of Beth more thoroughly.

This is a fantastic, fast-paced thriller!

Thank you HarperCollins Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle

Have you read Dear Wife? What did you think of it?

Top Ten Tuesday – Books On My Summer TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and it is now hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Books On My Summer TBR. Here’s my list:

1. The Evil Queen by Gena Showalter

2. The Best Lies by Sarah Lyu

3. Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

4. Wilder Girls by Rory Power

5. Please Send Help (I Hate Everyone But You #2) by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin

6. The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen

7. A Dress for the Wicked by Autumn Krause

8. Hello Girls by Brittany Cavallaro and Emily Henry

9. Love at First Like by Hannah Orenstein

10. The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

(All photos taken from Goodreads)