Quick Update

Just an FYI, I’m going to be absent for some time. My dad is getting sicker and I’m dealing with that, plus the normal isolation struggles. The blog is just too much for me to want to deal with right now. I miss you all. See you soon, hopefully.

The Watchmaker’s Daughter by C.J. Archer

Title: The Watchmaker’s Daugther

Author: C.J. Archer

Genre: fantasy, historical fiction

Source: library (Hoopla)

Publication Date: June 28, 2016

India Steel’s life has taken a turn for the worse. Her father is dead, her fickle fiancee has dumped her and stolen her watchmaking shop, and she’s about to be kicked out of the attic room she’s been staying in. Worse, no one will employ her, despite the fact her father has been training her for yeas. In fact, the other watchmakers seem frightened of her, for reasons she cannot fathom.

Then, a chance meeting with the mysterious Matthew Glass changes her luck. Glass is looking for a watchmaker he met in America five years ago. He hires India to help him find the mysterious Chronos. India is thrilled, until her suspicions are aroused by a newspaper article about the Dark Rider, an American outlaw who’s in London. Has India thrown her lot in with an outlaw? Or is there more to this story than appears. And what is so special about the watch Glass wants fixed, one that glows purple and seems to revive him of a mysterious illness?

This is a very fun read. India is a great heroine. She’s strong and smart and, at the same time, awkward and unsure of her place in the world. I like her confidence in her watchmaking skills and her curiosity about the world. She’s outspoken without being brash or rude, and stands up for herself without hesitation.

Matthew Glass was a great character, too. He’s mysterious and funny. You want to know more about him just as much as India does, and can get frustrated by his secretiveness. But is chemistry with India is great and I loved when he’d flirt with her, leaving her bewildered as to what was going on. There were several very heated scenes that left me wanting more.

I think that, overall, this was a good introduction to this word. The overarching mystery isn’t solved and will continue into the next book, but there are smaller mysteries that are unveiled, mostly the ones that would have prevented a further relationship between India and Glass’s gang. I loved all the characters and how much they cared for each other and Glass. I liked that India was an open, warmhearted woman and Glass was, too. He has a gruff exterior, but a heart of gold.

I would definitely recommend this book. It’s not particularly deep nor complicated, but it’s entertaining with a great cast of characters. It’s the perfect book for these troubled times.

Weekly Wrap-Up March 29, 2020

What a week. I mean, not that I did a lot or anything, but it still feels like it was a busy week. I’ve been really diligent about trying to keep myself busy and focused during my self-isolation. I vlog every day and post it on YouTube; not many people are watching, but it makes me feel less alone, so I’ll keep doing it. I exercise every morning, which helps keep my mood stable. I watch a lot of YouTube, but not as much Netflix and Disney+ as I was expecting. Maybe that will increase as time goes by. I also go for a walk every afternoon and I’m finally getting back into writing every day. That’s been the hardest part.

Overall, my mood’s been remarkably stable during this time. I think had I not done all that therapy over the summer, I’d be in a much darker place. For many reasons, I’m grateful I did that, and this is one of them.

I’m finally getting on track with reading and blogging again. I finished two or three books this week and have a bunch more to tackle. Of course, that’s not stopping me from ordering books to read as well. I’ve never had a TBR this big and I’m not helping myself by ignoring it to read other books. But, whatever; these are trying times.

Also, I cannot get WordPRess to work for me, so I won’t be posting my links to last week or what I’m doing next week. Is anyone else having trouble with WordPress?

Review: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Title: The Starless Sea

Author: Erin Morgenstern

Publisher: Doubleday Books

Genre: fantasy, modern fairy-tale

Source: Library (and then Target)

Publication Date: November 5, 2019

Zachary Ezra Rawlins, son of a fortune-teller, finds a door. It’s beautiful and entrancing and calls to him. Unfortunately, it’s painted on a wall, so he doesn’t try to open it. But the memory stays with him right up to the moment he finds that memory written in a strange book he finds in his university library. Most intriguing is the mention of the Starless Sea that he didn’t find. Not yet.

Now, Zachary is obsessed with finding another entrance to the Starless Sea and the vast library it holds. All he has to go on is his book and the symbols of a bee, a key, and a sword. These symbols lead him to the intriguing characters of Mirabel, a pink-haired painter, and Dorian, a handsome storyteller. Together, they will venture into the Harbor where Zachary will find wonders he never dreamed. But there is a dark force trying to stop him, stop them. Will he find the answers he searching for? Or is he too late?

OMG, this book was amazing. From beginning to end, it envelops you in a magical world that’s just so fantastical. This is a fairy tale of the best sort. The characters are real, but at the same time, they’re tinged in fantasy. The whole book has a dreamy feel which sometimes made it hard to concentrate on, but it’s just wonderful the way it pulls you in.

I don’t have much to say other than to gush. I will give a bit of advice if you read it: tab the stories. Every other chapter in this book is a story from a book that a character owns. These stories are very important and are referred to throughout the story. I found that I forgot the gist of some of the stories as I read and needed to flip back frequently. When I reread, I plan to tab the stories with sticky notes so I can go back and reread them when I stumble across the references in the main narrative.

I loved the way the stories intertwined and came back. Little insignificant things become very important, and that was amazing.

The characters were great, too. My favorite was the hero, Zachary, who was romantic and searching, smart and strong, and well developed. My second favorite was Dorian, who I wish we could have gotten to know a bit better. He was a well of mysteries, and even when they were somewhat explained, there were depths there that I wish could have been explored more. But that would have added a whole other five hundred pages to the narrative, so I get why he remains shrouded.

I didn’t see the ending coming. I had no idea what the narrative thrust was until the last quarter of the book, and that was great. It kept me guessing, kept me reading, and kept me enthralled. The language was beautiful and lyrical and there were a few lines that I want to have framed just so I can read and ponder them and be inspired them daily.

YES!! If you haven’t read it yet, go get it and read it ASAP. You won’t regret it. It’s the perfect escape for right now.

Top 5 Reasons I Rate a Book 5 Stars

It’s Tuesday, but it feels like Monday. And last weekend felt like a month. It was something of a week, which you know if you read my weekly wrap-up. But, now it’s back to real life.

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah at the Bionic Book Worm. Each week, participants are given a topic to answer. This week’s topic is Top 5 Reasons I Rate a Book 5 Stars.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

This is an interesting topic. I’ve really never thought why I give 5 stars, I just know when I need to. But, here I go.

Reason 1: When I’m finished with the book, I feel like bursting into song.

I know it’s a five star book when I finish and I’m super happy. And I show happiness by singing and dancing. So, when I finish a book and I’m ready to start singing, I know it’s a five star read.

Reason 2: I can’t put it down.

When I can’t go five minutes without reading the next bit of that book, it’s a five star read. If I have to put it down, and I’m eagerly anticipating reading it again, can’t think of anything else, I know that it’s got me hooked and is something special

Reason 3: I can’t wait to tell everyone about it.

I don’t know many readers in real life, but when I finish a book that I love, I just don’t care. I want to tell everyone about it and try to convince them to read it. If I’m ready to call up my aunt I only see at Thanksgiving and gush about the book, I know it’s five stars.

Reason 4: I want to reread it ASAP.

I reread books all the time (or, at least I used to before my TBR grew out of control). But I only very rarely pick up a book I just finished and read it again. If I want to do that, it’s a five star read.

Reason 5: I want to live in the world.

Some worlds, you just want to live in. Harry Potter, Infernal Devices, Parasol Protectorate, Narnia. They are just immersive and overwhelming and you want to wrap yourself in. If I want to do that, I know it’s been a five star read.

Those are my reasons for giving 5 stars. What are some of yours?