Sunday, September 25, 2016

Book Review: Ghostly Echoes

Ghostly Echoes (Jackaby, #3)Author: William Ritter
Publication Date: August 23, 2016
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Series: Jackaby # 3

Jenny Cavanaugh, the ghostly lady of 926 Augur Lane, has enlisted the investigative services of her fellow residents to solve a decade-old murder—her own. Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer, Detective R. F. Jackaby, dive into the cold case, starting with a search for Jenny’s fiancĂ©, who went missing the night she died. But when a new, gruesome murder closely mirrors the events of ten years prior, Abigail and Jackaby realize that Jenny’s case isn’t so cold after all, and her killer may be far more dangerous than they suspected.

Fantasy and folklore mix with mad science as Abigail’s race to unravel the mystery leads her across the cold cobblestones of nineteenth-century New England, down to the mythical underworld, and deep into her colleagues’ grim histories to battle the most deadly foe she has ever faced.

Some corners of the city, I was coming to find, were always dark, as if to spite the sun.

“Send your expenses to my office, Miss Rook. You two are on the case.”

Jenny Cavanaugh was dead, and she wasn’t happy about it.

There is so much to love about this series. Firstly, it is perfect for Halloween and got me in the mood for all things spooky and supernatural. The series contains so many loveable characters and while eerie and haunting at times, there are added bits of humor thrown in to provide comic relief. In this third and most dark installment of the series, our investigators, Jackaby and Abigail Rook, are finally able to investigate the death of their favorite ghost, Jenny Cavanaugh. I found it so interesting that Jenny’s cold case was brought to light and I was thankful that so many questions I had have now been answered. This cast of characters is not one that you will forget easily. They are all unique and special in their own way. I was up way past my bedtime reading this one!

I am unsure what to think about another book. I am reading a lot of reviews where people seem to believe there will be more, but I have also heard talk that this book will be the last in the series. Either way, this is not a story that you want to miss out on. Like I said, these books are perfect for the spirit of Halloween, and this third book in particular has been the spookiest of all. There were times where I was unsure that I was going to be able to keep reading at night. William Ritter had me squinting my eyes, scared for what I would read next. I am so pleased with this series; I can honestly say that it gets better with each and every book!

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Algonquin Young Readers in exchange for my honest review***

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Book Review: Root, Petal, Thorn

Root, Petal, ThornAuthor: Ella Joy Olsen
Publication Date: August 30, 2016
Publisher: Kensington

In this beautifully written and powerful debut novel, Ella Joy Olsen traces the stories of five fascinating women who inhabit the same  historic home over the course of a century—braided stories of love, heartbreak and courage connect the women, even across generations.
Ivy Baygren has two great loves in her life: her husband, Adam, and the bungalow they buy together in one of the oldest neighborhoods in Salt Lake City, Utah. From the moment she and Adam lay eyes on the  home, Ivy is captivated by its quaint details—the old porch swing, ornate tiles, and especially  an heirloom rose bush bursting with snowy white blossoms.  Called the Emmeline Rose for the home’s original owner, it seems yet another sign that this place will be Ivy’s happily-ever-after…Until her dreams are shattered by Adam’s unexpected death.
Striving to be strong for her two children, Ivy decides to tackle the home-improvement projects she and Adam once planned. Day by day, as she attempts to rebuild her house and her resolve, she uncovers clues about previous inhabitants, from a half-embroidered sampler to buried wine bottles. And as Ivy learns about the women who came before her—the young Mormon torn between her heart and anti-polygamist beliefs, the Greek immigrant during World War II, a troubled single mother in the 1960s—she begins to uncover the lessons of her own journey. For every story has its sadness, but there is also the possibility of blooming again, even stronger and more resilient than before…

Relieved to take a break from the sad twist in my own tale, I was more than eager to consider hers.

He was picturing his home freshly built, his wife a young woman with a baby on her hip. He was pondering 1944.

She smiled and leaned into him. “Yes, this house has harbored its fair share and it’s still standing. Surely it can handle you.”

This book is such a charming, cozy read. The book starts out with Ivy Baygren and her sudden bout of grief because of her husband’s unexpected passing. She tries to work through her husband’s passing by working on the sweet, little house that they purchased together. As Ivy works in and around the house she and her husband shared together, she starts to wonder about the history of the house and others that lived in it before her. Ivy finds small mementos left by other females that have lived in the house from 1913 onwards. As readers, we get a peek into the lives of each of these women. The story is told from alternating viewpoints and each character is just as crisp and carefully written as the last.

Each of the women who lived in the house had such interesting stories to share. I was so excited to get to a new chapter for each woman so that I could continue their stories. This book is so magical in its delivery. All of the lives you will read about are enchanting and personable; you won’t be able to put this book down. There are many emotional parts of this book. You will feel the same pains as the characters and you will find yourself rooting for their happily ever afters. I was so enthralled by how eloquent and completely endearing this book was that I struggled to put it down. I even woke up early one morning just to read some more!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Kensington in exchange for my honest review***