‘Waiting on’ Wednesday – May 27

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 10 Things I Hate About Pinky (Dimple and Rishi #3) by Sandhya Menon. The expected publication date is July 21, 2020.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The follow-up to When Dimple Met Rishi and There’s Something about Sweetie follows Pinky and Samir as they pretend to date—with disastrous and hilarious results.

Pinky Kumar wears the social justice warrior badge with pride. From raccoon hospitals to persecuted rock stars, no cause is too esoteric for her to champion. But a teeny-tiny part of her also really enjoys making her conservative, buttoned-up corporate lawyer parents cringe.

Samir Jha might have a few . . . quirks remaining from the time he had to take care of his sick mother, like the endless lists he makes in his planner and the way he schedules every minute of every day, but those are good things. They make life predictable and steady.

Pinky loves lazy summers at her parents’ Cape Cod lake house, but after listening to them harangue her about the poor decisions (aka boyfriends) she’s made, she hatches a plan. Get her sorta-friend-sorta-enemy, Samir—who is a total Harvard-bound Mama’s boy—to pose as her perfect boyfriend for the summer. As they bicker their way through lighthouses and butterfly habitats, sparks fly, and they both realize this will be a summer they’ll never forget.

What books are you waiting on this week?

Review: Here Comes Hercules (Hopeless Heroes #1)

Title: Here Comes Hercules (Hopeless Heroes #1)
Author: Stella Tarakson, Nick Roberts (illustrator)
Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: Sweet Cherry Publishing
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: February 22, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When Tim Baker breaks his mum’s favourite vase, it’s the least of his problems. The Greek hero he’s released is in danger of doing far worse. To the flowers, the rug—Oh, no! Not the kitchen!

Hercules is only trying to be helpful but he’s just hopeless. It’s time to send this dim demigod home before Tim becomes ancient history.

Review:

While cleaning his house one day after school, Tim knocks his mother’s ancient Grecian vase over and breaks it. This releases Hercules from the vase, where he was trapped by Hera. Hercules tries to help Tim around the house, but he makes everything even worse. The problem is that while Hercules is causing all kinds of trouble, but Tim is the only one who can see him. Tim has to figure out a way to fix Hercules’s messes and send him back into the vase.

I love Ancient Greece, and I especially love when it’s featured in children’s books. In this story, Tim wasn’t familiar with the story of Hercules or the gods of Ancient Greece. The reader can learn alongside Tim throughout the story as he learns more about Hercules. I didn’t read stories about Ancient Greece when I was a kid, though I became interested in them as I got older. I think I would have loved this story when I was a kid.

This was a funny story. Hercules had a lot of strength but no common sense, so he was constantly messing up things in the house. For example, when Tim asked him to weed the garden, Hercules ended up cutting up all the flowers and burning them because he thought they were all enemies. When Hercules would cause trouble, Tim was blamed since no one could see Hercules. Even though Hercules caused some problems for Tim, he was able to chase away Tim’s bullies, so they helped each other in a way.

This was a great middle grade story.

Thank you Sweet Cherry Publishing for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Hera’s Terrible Trap (Hopeless Heroes #2) by Stella Tarakson, Nick Roberts (illustrator)

Arachne’s Golden Gloves (Hopeless Heroes #3) by Stella Tarakson, Nick Roberts (illustrator)

Other Books in the Series:

  • Hera’s Terrible Trap
  • Arachne’s Golden Gloves

Have you read Here Comes Hercules? What did you think of it?

Top Ten Tuesday – Best Opening Lines

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 Best Opening Lines. Here’s my list:

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.” – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

“Sometimes it seems like all I ever do is lie.” – The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

“It wasn’t a very likely place for disappearances, at least at first glance.” – Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

“I have just returned from a visit to my landlord – the solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with.” – Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” – The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

“‘We should start back,’ Gared urged as the woods began to grow dark around them. ‘The wildlings are dead.’” – A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

“I’d never given much thought to how I would die – though I’d had reason enough in the last few months – but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this.” – Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

“The toffees for the window display had been carefully painted with strong poison.” – The Mothers of Quality Street by Penny Thorpe

“There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.” – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

(All photos taken from Goodreads)

What’s your list of books on your Top Ten Tuesday?

Happy Pub Day – May 26

Happy Pub Day to all of these new books!

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

The Fiery Crown (Forgotten Empires #2) by Jeffe Kennedy

Cat’s Café: A Comics Collection by Matt Tarpley

Out Now: Queer We Go Again! by Saundra Mitchell (editor)

Sister Dear by Hannah Mary McKinnon

Parachutes by Kelly Yang

The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor

Recipe for Persuasion (The Rajes #2) by Sonali Dev

The Archer at Dawn (The Tiger at Midnight Trilogy #2) by Swati Teerdhala

What books are you most excited for this week?

Blog Tour Review: Sister Dear

Title: Sister Dear
Author: Hannah Mary McKinnon
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: MIRA
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: May 26, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Beauty. Wealth. Success.

She’s got it all.

And it all should’ve been mine.
 

When Eleanor Hardwicke’s beloved father dies, her world is further shattered by a gut-wrenching secret: the man she’s grieving isn’t really her dad. Eleanor was the product of an affair and her biological father is still out there, living blissfully with the family he chose. With her personal life spiraling, a desperate Eleanor seeks him out, leading her to uncover another branch on her family tree—an infuriatingly enviable half sister.

Perfectly perfect Victoria has everything Eleanor could ever dream of. Loving childhood, luxury home, devoted husband. All of it stolen from Eleanor, who plans to take it back. After all, good sisters are supposed to share. And quiet little Eleanor has been waiting far too long for her turn to play.

Review:

Just before her father dies, Eleanor overhears him say that he isn’t her father. She’s left with just the name of her real father. She follows him and discovers his family. When he doesn’t want anything to do with her, she reaches out to his daughter, Victoria, to design her website. Eleanor doesn’t tell Victoria that they’re sisters while becoming friends with her. Eleanor wants to steal the successful life Victoria has, which Eleanor could have had if her real father had acknowledged her.

This story started out as an intriguing thriller. It took a little while for the real suspense to start. The middle of the story seemed like a light romance, with Eleanor getting into a relationship with her neighbour. In the last quarter of the book, the pacing sped up, becoming a suspenseful page turner.

I was so shocked at the ending. Looking back on the notes that I had written while I read it, I had gotten the story completely wrong. The ending made sense, but it was unexpected. I’m always pleased when I’m surprised at the ending of a thriller.

This was a great, slow burn thriller.

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

What to read next:

Her Secret Son by Hannah Mary McKinnon

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

About the Author:

Hannah Mary McKinnon was born in the UK, grew up in Switzerland and moved to Canada in 2010. After a successful career in recruitment, she quit the corporate world in favor of writing, and is now the author of The Neighbors and Her Secret Son. She lives in Oakville, Ontario, with her husband and three sons, and is delighted by her twenty-second commute.

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

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? – May 25

This blog meme is hosted by Book Date. It is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

What I just finished:

This weekend I finished Sister Dear by Hannah Mary McKinnon.

What I’m currently reading:

I’m currently reading Recipe for Persuasion (The Rajes #2) by Sonali Dev.

What I’m reading next:

Next I will be reading Out Now: Queer We Go Again! by Saundra Mitchell (editor).

What are you guys reading this week? Have you read any of these books?

Jill’s Weekly Wrap-Up – May 24

Here are my reviews for the week with my ratings:

I did 9 weekly blogging memes:

How was your week? What did you guys read?

Sundays in Bed With… Sister Dear

The meme that dares to ask what book has been in your bed this morning? Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed, or which book you wish you had time to read today! This meme is hosted by Midnight Book Girl.

This Sunday I’m reading Sister Dear by Hannah Mary McKinnon.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Beauty. Wealth. Success.

She’s got it all.

And it all should’ve been mine.
 

When Eleanor Hardwicke’s beloved father dies, her world is further shattered by a gut-wrenching secret: the man she’s grieving isn’t really her dad. Eleanor was the product of an affair and her biological father is still out there, living blissfully with the family he chose. With her personal life spiraling, a desperate Eleanor seeks him out, leading her to uncover another branch on her family tree—an infuriatingly enviable half sister.

Perfectly perfect Victoria has everything Eleanor could ever dream of. Loving childhood, luxury home, devoted husband. All of it stolen from Eleanor, who plans to take it back. After all, good sisters are supposed to share. And quiet little Eleanor has been waiting far too long for her turn to play.

What book are you in bed with today?

Six for Sunday – Favourite Characters from Harry Potter

This meme is hosted by Steph at A little but a lot. The weekly prompts for 2019 can be found here.

This week’s prompt is Favourite Characters from a Series, so I decided to do my Favourite Characters from Harry Potter. Here’s my list:

1. Hermione Granger

2. Molly Weasley

3. Minerva McGonagall

4. Neville Longbottom

5. Dobby

6. Sirius Black

(All book cover images from IMDb)

Did you make a Six for Sunday list?

Review: Romanov

Title: Romanov
Author: Nadine Brandes
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The history books say I died.

They don’t know the half of it.
 

Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them, and he’s hunted Romanov before.

Nastya’s only chances of saving herself and her family are to either release the spell and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya has only dabbled in magic, but it doesn’t frighten her half as much as her growing attraction to Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her.

That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.

Review:

When her parents and sister were sent away from her home, Anastasia’s father, the Tsar, gave her the task of smuggling a special Russian doll with a hidden spell to their new hideaway. However, the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them and he knows that Anastasia has the secret magic. Her situation is further complicated by her sudden attraction to one of the soldiers who is guarding her family. Anastasia will only be able to use the spell when the moment is right, so she has to hang onto the doll until she can save her family.

I knew of the Romanov’s before reading this book, but I didn’t know the details of what happened to them. It was a tragic story. I kept looking up the details of the real Anastasia’s life while I was reading, to find out what was fact and what was fiction. This story follows the real history of what happened to the Romanov’s quite closely.

One part that is fictional is the fantasy aspect. Anastasia wasn’t the keeper of a special spell to save her family. However, the fantasy aspects serve to fill in a gap in Anastasia’s story. Her body wasn’t discovered with her family’s bodies. There were women over the years following their death who claimed to be Anastasia. That was a fascinating story to read about! I don’t want to give anything away, but this story attempts to give an alternate history for Anastasia Romanov to account for the reason her body wasn’t buried with her family.

This was an amazing historical fantasy story!

Thank you Thomas Nelson for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes

My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies #1) by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

Have you read Romanov? What did you think of it?