adult · historical · romance

To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters

To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Diana sagged. “Morals,” she said simply. “So tiresome.”

To Have and to Hoax is witty, smart and charming as a whole, filled to the brim with revenge schemes and intriguing characters that made this a page-turner for me. The premise is intriguing, it’s about a married couple who are plagued by misunderstandings, which eventually leads to a cruel (and hilarious) game that threatens to tear them apart.

This book is filled with wonderful writing that flows perfectly, and characters that feel so real it’s marvellous. I loved the witty banter in this book, I found myself laughing and smiling a whole lot while reading this. I find that most books that brand themselves as romantic comedies usually come off as forced, but certainly not with this book. It was genuinely funny and I highlighted an unhealthy amount of passages while reading (some that may have been a page-long or so).

The characters that graced the pages were just so wonderful and I haven’t felt this amused by dialogue alone since reading The Raven Boys. The characters felt very real and I loved learning more about them and their backgrounds.

Overall, I highly reccomend this novel. It’s engaging, funny, and delivers a punch. I’m hoping the author may bless me with a sequel including any one of the side characters.

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for providing me with a review copy. All opinions are my own.

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contemporary · fiction · suspense

The Harpy by Megan Hunter

The Harpy by Megan Hunter

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

❝ Sometimes I question whether anyone can know what it’s like before it happens. Marriage and motherhood are like death in this way, and others too: no one comes back unchanged. ❞

I don’t know how I feel about this book. It’s dark and gritty, fused with themes of infidelity and abuse strewn in. The writing style was very poetic, and I thought the author’s writing was beautiful, but some of the descriptions felt a bit unnecessary. The Harpy follows the life of Lucy as she learns of her husband’s infidelity. She’s tossed into a never-ending cycle of pain and obsession, and begins to deteriorate. This book definitely drove me into a bad mood, left me with a sour taste in my mouth and I couldn’t help sympathizing with Lucy for everything she went through.

It was a short read, and the last few pages really left me wishing for more. I thought that the ending would leave me surprised or lead into something much more grand, maybe even feeding off into the glint of horror that had started to appear throughout the book, but it was none of that. It left me conflicted and confused more than anything, and for me, it was unsatisfying. I wish that some questions would be answered and we’d know more about Lucy’s unique situation towards the end, but I think this book is meant to serve more as a portrait of identification and finding oneself than resolving one’s problem, though I can’t hide my discontent nor curiosity towards the matter.

I’m kind of stuck on how to rate this, on one hand, this book was very poetic and beautiful in a twisted kind of way, but also left me bitter and wanting more. I definitely reccomend checking this out for yourself, but be warned that it deals with dark topics & situations and will definitely leave you in a sour sort of mood.

Review copy provided by the publisher and netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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contemporary · young adult

Jack Kerouac Is Dead to Me by Gae Polisner

Jack Kerouac Is Dead to Me by Gae Polisner

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I liked how it felt to be out of control, a moth on a carnival ride, ready to be swept off by the wind, every tenuous hair, every fibre, every quivering speck of me, lit up, on end, and electrified.

This book made me feel so many emotions all at once.

It left me conflicted, hurt, betrayed, and wanting more. This novel is a raw and gritty portrayal of a teen’s life, and the struggles they have to face each day. The conflicts that arose in this book left me feeling inexplicably sad, and questioning everything.

I honestly can’t find the words to explain my fascination with this book. Some topics that were mentioned and issues portrayed hit me like a train, and gave me nostalgia and left a bad taste in my mouth.

I found myself relating to the protagonist a lot, who I thought was a realistic portal of a teen, confused and conflicted. I loved this story. It truly made me sit down and think. It impacted me in a million ways and I questioned everyone in this novel.

I love books that rip my heart out and ruin my state of mind. And I never thought i’d find that in a YA novel that I assumed would be a sweet romance/coming of age or something along those lines. There’s nothing wrong with those books either, but this was so much more than that.

It dealt with real issues. It showed life through a teen’s lens, and never hid the dark bits that lurk beneath everyone’s story. I think that’s what I truly loved about this novel, it didn’t sugar-coat anything. Everything was left out in the open to judge. Mistakes were made. Battles were lost. Memories were re-lived. And love tied them all together.

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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