Monday, June 10, 2019

Book Review: The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh

Title: The Beautiful
Series: The Beautiful #1
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Publication Date: October 8th, 2019
Publisher: G. P. Putnam Sons for Young Readers
Source: Publisher
Format: Edelweiss
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she's forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city's glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group's leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien's guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret. When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

If there was ever a moment I thought I would never fall in love with a vampire novel  that has now obviously changed. Renee Ahdieh is a brilliant author who has this amazing ability to tell stories that will capture you from the first page. Knowing she was writing what could and will be the next big vampire story, I knew I would not be able to pass this up. 

Taking place in 1872 New Orleans, Celine Rousseau flees Paris and moves into a covenant for safety even though the city is ruled by the dead. When murders start happening around the city Celine starts to investigate but soon she finds herself in the middle of the city's darkest secrets. With more murders occurring and Celine a potential target, she must figure things out before it is too late. 

Ahdieh's writing is so elegant and beautiful which allowed the story to flow smoothly.  There is dark tone to the plot that really emphasized the mystery behind the events that were taking place. The chemistry between Celine and Sebastien proved to be intoxicating as the narrative progressed. Their relationship is one that you both shy away from but also are mesmerized by the idea of finding out more. 

Ahdieh has written yet another masterpiece that will imprint on the hearts of readers. There is a feeling when you know a novel could be the next big thing to hit the shelves and this is one is it. Ahdieh is a brilliant storyteller who always brings the right amount of magic to her stories that make them more memorable but impactful! 

I give this book 5 souls! 

Monday, June 3, 2019

Book Review: Dear Sweet Pea by Julie Murphy

Title: Dear Sweet Pea
Author: Julie Murphy
Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Publisher: Blazer + Bray
Source: TLA 2019
Format: ARC
Age Group: Middle Grade
Genre: Contemporary

Patricia “Sweet Pea” DiMarco wasn’t sure what to expect when her parents announced they were getting a divorce. She never could have imagined that they would have the “brilliant” idea of living in nearly identical houses on the same street. In the one house between them lives their eccentric neighbor Miss Flora Mae, the famed local advice columnist behind “Miss Flora Mae I?”Dividing her time between two homes is not easy. And it doesn’t help that at school, Sweet Pea is now sitting right next to her ex–best friend, Kiera, a daily reminder of the friendship that once was. Things might be unbearable if Sweet Pea didn’t have Oscar—her new best friend—and her fifteen-pound cat, Cheese.Then one day Flora leaves for a trip and asks Sweet Pea to forward her the letters for the column. And Sweet Pea happens to recognize the handwriting on one of the envelopes.What she decides to do with that letter sets off a chain of events that will forever change the lives of Sweet Pea DiMarco, her family, and many of the readers of “Miss Flora Mae I?”

I do not think that there are enough words to describe how amazing of person Julie Murphy is. i remember meeting her for the first time at the Texas Teen Book Festival when her first book Side Effects May Vary published and from that moment on she has become an author favorite. Knowing she was going to publish her first middle grade I couldn't be more excited.  

In a story that follows a young girl, Patricia DiMarco, otherwise known as 'Sweet Pea,' whose life becomes upturned when her parents announce they are getting divorce, she has to spend her time in two different homes, and she now has to sit next to her ex-friend. However, when her advice writing neighbor leaves on a trips and entrusts Sweet Pea to forward her letters, Sweet Pea decides to take a different approach. 

What makes Julie Murphy's writing amazing is that it is relatable. Especially in today's times. There is this finesse that Murphy possesses when writing that people of any age can connect with and think back and say I felt this or I am currently feeling this. She opens doorways for readers to have conversations about different family dynamics that we see in our regular lives. She writes from a place that feels personal and thus makes it more memorable. 

There are certain moments where the right book can make all the difference and for me this book did just that. Murphy took me to a place with the story that allowed me to forget the reality that was happening around me. A story written for middle grade but can transcend to any reader, Julie Murphy is a diamond in the rough and I am glad to see her shine. 

I give this book 5 souls!