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Tag Archives: Surprise twists!

Book Review – The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

ARC Received from Netgalley

Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout.

This book was a very welcome surprise for me. I knew it was a historical YA type read. I knew that it focussed on America amidst the women’s suffrage movement and I hoped it was really going to grab my attention. And thanks to very clever writing it absolutely did!

Olivia is the daughter of a dentist father, is supposed to be the perfectly behaved young lady that society expects her to be… She is also book smart and is a progressive thinker. She strives to be a part of the movement that intends to earn women the same rights as men and is enamoured with the changing tide of what is expected of women. She is, in so many way, the epitome of a teenager… She is just the 1900 equivalent to our modern day teens. These days we strive for our children to question everything, we encourage independent thought and tell them that they can do anything. However this was not always the case and if there is one thing this book does very well it’s that it reminds us to remember just how far we’ve come and what’s at stake if we become complacent.

I am a history buff, I love a good historical read, so this book was always going to catch my interest. However this book has something more than that, a point of difference that really makes its presence known. The very mysterious hypnotist Henri Reverie manages to bestow on Olivia a very unwelcome gift. Resulting in not only her seeing things ‘the way they really are’ but seeing them with so much gruesome detail that suddenly there are fangs, yellow eyes and evilness personified at every turn. THIS detail. THIS part of the story is what pushes this book into the ‘something special pile’.

At the very basis of the story it is a fictional telling of a young females experience during the time where women were fighting for their right to vote. For their right to be heard. For their right to fight to be equals. What the author has done so cleverly is write it in a way that it’s an accessible history lesson, rich in descriptive supernatural elements. This story is a story that makes me proud to be female, proud of where we’ve come. Education and entertainment wrapped so perfectly together you don’t realize where one ends and the next begins, definitely a ‘must read’.

The Cure for Dreaming

By Cat Winters

photo credit: El Bibliomata via photopin ccphoto credit: national museum of american history via photopin cc

Book Review – Nine Minutes by Beth Flynn

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WOW. I have just finished this book after absolutely devouring it in a day and I have SO MANY FEELINGS. This story was so much more than a romance. In fact, I would say that the romance came second to the characters and their story. Which was perfect for this particular story. 

Going into this book I had been warned by several people that it was a ‘dark’ read and I would need a friend (or therapy) afterwards. To be totally honest I didn’t find it that dark. Yes, some of the violence was pretty brutal, but it wasn’t described with a lot of detail so I didn’t find it particularly disturbing. Maybe I’m a weirdo? I just didn’t find it that difficult to read. 

The story spans over a long period of time – twenty-five years. We start off getting to know Ginnys day to day life as a fifteen year old and from there we follow her, her thought process, and her journey as she is kidnapped by a notorious motorcycle gang and ‘gifted’ to their leader. It’s a completely unconventional story of courage, obsession and love. 

Nine Minutes was absolutely full of deeply complex characters. Nobody was exactly as they seemed and everyone had secrets. There was so much ‘grey area’ within this book. Nothing was black and white, it was never a simple matter of god or evil. You don’t even truly realize the complexity of each character until the final chapters of this book, which threw me through the biggest loop.

Nine Minutes is gripping, captivating and brutally beautiful. There is no cliffhanger in the traditional sense of the word but you are definitely cut-off halfway through the story. I feel desperate to get to the bottom of this story and uncover all it’s secrets. There is so much more to be told and I’m looking forward to Book Two.

And if you need a buddy to talk you through that ending, then I’m your girl! 

See How She Falls (The Chronicles of Izzy #3) by Michelle Graves

Darkness is on the rise.

The prophecy has been called forth.

The Seer must fall.

Izzy knew she wasn’t safe, the lingering runes told her that much. What they didn’t tell her was how to lead the Council, stop the darkness, and keep everyone she loved safe.

With irreparable changes brought on by Aberto’s intervention, a relative she never knew existed, and a whole slew of horrifying visions assaulting her, will she be strong enough? Or will the darkness prevail taking her and everyone she loves down with it.

I loved the first book, LOVED the second and now I have no words left to describe how much I FREAKING LOVED THIS THIRD BOOK!!! Even though by the end I was almost beside myself, as in, I was literally a blubbering mess. If there is one thing I can recommend before you read this instalment, it is do NOT under any circumstances read any reviews with spoilers in! No matter how many times you see readers freaking out over what happens in this book. Do not read the spoilers. This is one of those books, where something is going to happen that is going to make you question absolutely everything that has happened so far in the books… But this isn’t a bad thing, it hurts, but it’s necessary. Even though it will feel like your heart has been ripped out and turned into confetti, you’ll slowly pick up the pieces and try to glue them back together and decide that actually, you’ll keep reading… once the shock has worn off.

Izzy’s world is quickly getting more and more out of control. If you thought she was having issues in the last book, that was nothing compared to what she must face in this book! Honestly, she is one tough cookie. I would’ve curled up and played dead long ago, but she keeps right on fighting her way through each obstacle, no matter how hopeless at times it seems, which is typical of her personality… And I have to say, I love that three books into this series, Izzy is still her same feisty, snarky, inappropriate, stubborn self. I love that she hasn’t morphed into some completely different version of herself, she’s definitely developed and grown, but even when she really doesn’t seem herself at all, she still has that Izzy spark. Which for me was really important since her character was a big reason why I became obsessed with this series. Love her!!!

Never fear, we also get a very strong dose of both Kennan and Aberto in this book. Swoon. What’s better than one potential book boyfriend in a story? TWO potential book boyfriends! Although considering Izzy is busy having runes carved into her, trying to keep the council in check and trying both not to die AND save the world from the darkness, swoon-worthy man moments are probably near the bottom of her list. But at least both Aberto and Kennan are heavily involved in the plotline and although we don’t get a heavy dose of romance (like I said, no time!) we do get the chance you see into the past and really get to begin to understand a lot more about their lives and about the history of Seers, Guardians and Old Ones. It really is fascinating stuff and very well thought out. Every detail is meticulous and everything was so perfectly layered that it was totally seamless flipping between the current day and visions of the past, something which is not always achieved as well as was done here.

By the time I finished this book (and calmed myself down) I decided that 1. I would forgive Michelle Graves for breaking my heart 2. I LOVED the direction the story was taking and 3. I did not know how I was going to be patient enough to wait for the fourth book! I usually am pretty strict about not wishing time away, but I am seriously tempted to start wishing for November to hurry up! I just know it’s going to be an amazing conclusion to one of the best series I’ve read in a long time!

Read my review for book 1: See How She Runs HERE

Read my review for book 2: See How She Fights HERE

photo credit: Le.Sanchez via photopin ccphoto credit: Kikasz via photopin cc