TLC book tours

Adé by Rebecca Walker


Just so you know, I received this books for free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest thoughts about said book. I received no other compensation, etc, etc. Thank you to TLC for letting me participate!

Ohhh, love stories. I’m a sucker for them, and Adé delivers. Here’s what the book jacket says:

In this stunning debut novel, Rebecca Walker turns her attention to the power of love and the limitations of the human heart. When Farida, a sophisticated college student, falls in love with Adé, a young Swahili man living on an idyllic island off the coast of Kenya, the two plan to marry and envision a simple life together – free of worldly possessions and concerns. But when Farida contracts malaria and finds herself caught in the middle of a civil war, reality crashes in around them. The lovers’ solitude is interrupted by a world in the throes of massive upheaval that threatens to tear them apart, along with all they cherish.

Haunting, exquisite, and certain to become a classic, Adé will stay with you long after you put it down. This is a timeless love story set perfectly, heartbreakingly, in our time.

Adé is really short – only 112 pages, which I think really makes it more of a novella or short story. But the more I think about it now that I’ve finished it, the more I’m appreciating it. I always adore a love story about two people from different backgrounds, and Adé was such a good man. You don’t get to know him TOO well, because again, it’s so short, but you come to know the young couple enough that you’re rooting for them the whole way.

The most important thing in a novella, really, is the writing and I liked Rebecca Walker’s style. Her writing was a little flowery in the beginning, but it quickly became more simple and beautiful. I’d be happy to read more by her, even if she wrote a novel that’s considered “literary” fiction, because her characters were engaging and her writing was great enough. My only complaint here is that it was too short! I wanted to know MORE, I wanted the story to keep going.

Adé is a great little book if you’re in the mood for a not-necessarily-happy story about a young couple in love, and I highly recommend it for book clubs. There’s more things I have to say about the book, but I don’t want to be spoilery, so really a book club environment would be perfect for discussion.

What’s that, you say? You would like a copy for your book club? Or just to read on your own? WELL, you’re in luck because TLC Book Tours is allowing me to offer a copy of Adé by Rebecca Walker to giveaway to one of my readers! Just leave a comment below (with your email address, please) telling me about your favorite love story – whether it’s happy, sad, short, long, real, or fiction. Sorry to my international pals, but this one is only open to US and Canadian readers. The giveaway will end on Friday 11/29, and I’ll contact the winner via email to get mailing info.

And don’t forget to check out the other stops on the book tour as well!

Sarah Says: 3.5 stars


November Monthly TBR

Hey guys. I cannot believe October is over. It absolutely flew by me. It wasn’t great, reading-wise. Let’s take a look:

October Monthly TBR completed

Out of that GIANT pile, I only finished 6. And I’m about 200 pages into The Woman in White, but I’m still reading it. I’m bummed I didn’t get to some of these (especially the Thursday Next book), and might come back to them next month. I also finished 5 others that weren’t in this pile, bringing my total to 11, which isn’t terrible but some of those were tiny little quick reads. I just didn’t really have a lot of time this month. Le sigh. Let’s move on then.

November monthly book pile

November’s TBR

From the top down…

  • The Deaths of Tao by Wesley Chu – This is the sequel to The Lives of Tao, and it just came out this week. I am super psyched to read this.
  • Ade by Rebecca Walker – I’m reading this as part of a TLC Book Tour. It looks like kind of a sad love story, so right up my alley.
  • The Gates by John Connolly – Remember how much I ended up liking The Book of Lost Things? Now I’m trying another one by the same author. I have high hopes.
  • The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente – I don’t even remember why, but I’m been meaning to read this kids book for ages.
  • The Thicket by Joe R. LansdaleRory says that if you liked True Grit, you’ll like this too. And I obvs loved True Grit, so here we are.
  • The Everything Store; Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone – I usually go for a science-y nonfiction pick for the month, but I’m going bookish non-fic here. This is apparently about Bezos and Amazon (duh), and while I’m not expecting it to be objective I think it’ll be informative. We’ll see.
  • The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith AKA J.K. Rowling – I found this last month for $5 at the library’s used bookstore. Clearly that’s a sign that I should read it sooner rather than later.
  • The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch – This is the book I’m MOST RIDICULOUSLY EXCITED to read this month, because it’s the third Gentleman Bastards book and I can’t wait to get back to Locke Lamora’s world.

Also, want to read Mansfield Park by Jane Austen too. I remembered Mansfield Park after I already took the picture of my stack and was too lazy to redo it. This month’s pile is a lot less ambitious than recent months, mostly because I know that November is likely to be busy, what with the holiday season and stuff. And because I’m trying to take a chill pill and just read whenever I can and not stress about it. Not that I’m stressing about wanting to read more books per month, but more that it bums me out when I go a couple of days in a row without even opening a book. That’s always sad.

Anyways, here’s to a great November! What are you guys hoping to read this month?


White Raven; The Sword of Northern Ancestors by Irina Lopatina


Good morning guys! I agreed to read White Raven by Irina Lopatina as part of TLC Book Tours*. I really like fantasy, and anything with a bit of a Russian-feel, so I was really excited to read this! And I was pleasantly suprised. Here is the book description from the TLC tour page:

In the kingdom of Areya, humans, animals, and the magical creatures that inhabit the Eternal Forest have long coexisted peacefully, but now something is horribly wrong. A terrifying stream of monstrous creatures has begun to emerge from the secret depths of the earth, terrorizing all of Areya’s native inhabitants. From the tiny, wise drevalyankas to the bellicose cave-dwelling gnomes to the devious kikimoras who gather roots and herbs in the marsh, everyone is in danger.

With the aid of Urart, the magical sword that has been passed down from the time of the ancient northern ancestors, Grand Duke Vlady can offer temporary protection to his people. But Prince Vraigo, Vlady’s nephew, who is endowed with magical power himself, understands that the source of the evil monsters must be found if there’s any hope of survival. Along with a motley crew of his forest-dwelling friends, Vraigo sets off on a perilous quest in search of the koschei, the powerful, corrupt Archmagus whose mission is the destruction not just of Areya, but of the entire world.

When Urart disappears from the duke’s stronghold, Areya is doomed, and only Vraigo, the White Raven, can possibly retrieve the sword. This journey requires Vraigo to use all of his keen wits and magical abilities, as well as to ally himself to dangerous creatures like yagas and werewolves, natural enemies of man, and precipitates the young prince into the most bewildering, complex challenge he has faced yet: life in the twenty-first century.


White Raven was great for a couple reasons. First, I really liked the magic and how it worked – those able to do magic do it by reaching for energy from the “magic veil” in the sky. Also, there are a lot of quirky little creatures in this book: the drevalyanka, kikimoras, gnomes, pikshas, etc. And there’s a character and creature glossary in the back of the book with little pictures, which was really helpful. (My personal favorite was the drevalyankas.) Vraigo is a fun hero. He’s very powerful and skilled, but he’s a good person. I also liked that there seemed to be a concept of other dimensions or universes in the book – since I’ve actually been reading up on multiverse theories, it was fun to see something like this in a fantasy book – it’s surprisingly rare in fiction. In fact, this book definitely stands out in the fantasy genre, and it’s refreshing to see something new and unique.

The story itself was fun, but a bit long-winded. It read a bit like a fairy tale, but there were times that I felt the story was moving a bit too slowly. The sword that gets stolen and leads Vraigo on a hunt to find it doesn’t actually happen until almost halfway through the book. It was really fun to see Vraigo suddenly try to manage in the 21st century though. The book definitely ends on a cliffhanger, and leaves you wanting to reach for the sequel immediately.

Overall, this was a fun new twist for the fantasy genre and I look forward to more from the author! And thank you TLC Book Tours for the chance to read it.

Sarah Says: 3.5 stars

Also, TLC asked me to mention some special promotions going on for White Raven right now. Orders placed through the Light Messages site will be $12.00 per book instead of $16.95 (that’s about a 30% savings), and folks will also receive a PERSONALIZED, signed post card from author Irina Lopatina. Postcards feature landscapes from Altai, Siberia––the inspiration for White Raven’s Kingdom of Areya. The promotion goes for 14 days after today.

And if readers submit photos of themselves with their copies (or e-copies) of the books, then Irina will send them a personalized, signed book plate for the front of their book. Go here and use the Contact link to submit the photo.

Visit the White Raven website.

Follow White Raven on Twitter.


Visit the other stops on the tour!

Monday, July 30th: Just Joanna

Thursday, August 2nd: Books Without Any Pictures

Friday, August 3rd: Geek Banter

Monday, August 13th: Imaginary Reads

Tuesday, August 14th: Book Spark

Wednesday, August 15th: The Written World

Wednesday, August 15th: Reading Reality

Thursday, August 16th: Sarah Says Read

Friday, August 17th: Words I Write Crazy

Monday, August 20th: Pieces of Fate

Wednesday, August 29th: Laura’s Reviews




* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and received no compensation.

The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern

The Book of Tomorrow, Cecelia Ahern

Even though I hear such good things about Cecelia Ahern, and even though I actually own some of her books, and even though I’ve seen P.S. I Love You and really enjoyed it… The Book of Tomorrow is the first novel of hers I’ve ever read! I guess I was looking for a kick in the pants to finally read one, so I am extremely pleased I got to be part of the TLC Book Tour for The Book of Tomorrow!*

Here’s the synopsis of the book from the TLC website:

Raised in the lap of luxury, spoiled and tempestuous sixteen-year-old Tamara Goodwin has never had to think about tomorrow. But when her world is irrevocably shaken by her father’s self-imposed death, she and her mother are left drowning in debt and forced to move in with Tamara’s peculiar aunt and uncle in a tiny countryside village.

Lonely and bored, Tamara’s sole diversion is a traveling library. There she finds a large leather-bound book with a gold clasp and padlock, but no author name or title. Intrigued, she pries open the lock, and what she finds takes her breath away—for what’s written inside is not only impossible and magical . . . it’s her future.


I was looking forward to The Book of Tomorrow a lot for the magical realism element – a book that tells the reader what will happen to her the next day? Awesome! Sadly, this didn’t really come into play until almost 100 pages into the book, so the beginning was a bit slow. You get to know Tamara pretty well – she’s spoiled, immature, and really a horrible teenage girl. I know that she deserved some sympathy for her father’s death and for her whole lifestyle being ripped away from her… but I kind of thought that she deserved it. Younger readers (I’m 25, so I suppose by that I mean teenage readers) might find Tamara more likable, but I did not.

It’s really hard to keep me engaged when I dislike the main character, but luckily the mystery of this book was enough to keep me reading and I finished the book in only two days. Tamara’s aunt and uncle are really strange and seem to be obviously hiding something, and she’s having trouble getting through to her mom. When everything was finally revealed at the end, I was happy to finally learn the big secret but I still felt like there was something I wasn’t getting. Mostly I was like “Well that was weird” and shut the book and didn’t really think about it after that.

I get the feeling that this is a “miss” for an otherwise really good and popular author. While I don’t think I’d recommend this book to others, I’m actually looking forward to reading more of Cecelia Ahern’s books because I still feel like I would enjoy them and that this one was just a fluke. Maybe I’ll try P.S. I Love You next, seeing as how I saw the movie and enjoyed the basic storyline.

Sarah Says: 2 stars

About the author:

Cecelia Ahern

At twenty-one, Cecelia Ahern wrote her first novel, P.S. I Love You, which became an international bestseller and was adapted into a major motion picture starring Hilary Swank. Her successive novels—Love, Rosie; If You Could See Me Now; There’s No Place Like Here; Thanks for the Memories; The Gift; and The Time of My Life—were also international bestsellers, published in forty-six countries and selling more than 15 million copies collectively. The daughter of Ireland’s former prime minister, Ahern lives in Dublin, Ireland.

Visit her website here.

The Book of Tomorrow is already out, so you can visit your favorite bookstore or online retailer to purchase!

The tour is far from over! Please visit some of the other stops to see more reviews:

Tuesday, July 24th: The Lost Entwife

Wednesday, July 25th: I Read. Do You?

Thursday, July 26th: Kristina’s Favorites

Monday, July 30th: Twisting the Lens

Tuesday, July 31st: Sarah Says Read

Wednesday, August 1st: Why Girls Are Weird

Thursday, August 2nd: A Novel Source

Monday, August 6th: Drey’s Library

Wednesday, August 8th: A Chick Who Reads

Friday, August 10th: Just Joanna

Saturday, August 11th: Doing Dewey

Date TBD: My Bookshelf


And thank you SO MUCH to TLC Book Tours for letting me a part of this tour!



*I was given this book in exchange for an honest review, and I receive no compensation of any sort.

Sarah Sunday!

From the pier.

View from the pier, all instagram-d up.


Good morning people!

Sarah update: This week was largely spent on the Bout of Books Readathon. Even though I bombed on my goals some days, it’s been so much fun and I’m sad that today is the last day of it. I’ve read 2.5 books so far this week, and will hopefully finish other today. Compared to my reading habits for the year, this is awesome.

Anyhoo, I guess there was a life outside of books. Sunday was Mother’s Day & my sister Amanda graduated from college! Yay for her! And she’s slowly finding out her grades for this last semester and she’s gotten 4 A’s out of 6 so far. Yay Amanda! I did 5 whole loads of laundry on Monday, which sounds like no big deal, but YOU should run up and down 4 flights of stairs lugging laundry back and forth and you’ll be appropriately impressed. Tuesday night was game night, and I very happily got to indulge in wine and several amaretto sours with my friend Doni, and that was lots of fun. For some reason, her husband and my honeyman did not enjoy it as much. We must be a little silly when we drink. I can’t wait until we can have another girl’s night again.

And so Wednesday kind of flew by, and I’ve worked from Thursday to today. I was VERY grumpy on Friday, which sucks. And I feel KINDA bad for all the drivers that I snap at, but you know… it happens. Saturday at work was MUCH better, it was slow and I was able to read a whole lot. And because the weather has been GORGEOUS, the honeyman and I went out to dinner at Cheeburger Cheeburger and then walked around the beach and it was lovely. Walking around together was basically all we did when we first started dating almost 5 years ago and it’s so rare that we get to do it now, so when we do go walking around places it makes me extra happy. I wanted to take lots of pictures at the beach, but there was people everywhere and I don’t want a bunch of stupid people in my pictures, so I didn’t.

And now here it is, Sunday! Last day of the readathon, and I have about 7 hours to squeeze lots of reading in, because it’s date night tonight! I think that might involve going to see that new movie Dictator, which looks hilarious. It’s the first Sacha Baron Cohen movie I’ve actually wanted to see.

Tomorrow (Monday) I’m torn between making it a spring-cleaning kind of day, or just laying around and catching up on tv type of day. I’m leaning towards a lazy day, but we’ll see.



My Gabby girl ❤


Reading update:  Well, the Bout of Books Readathon, duh. Which by the way, the next one I think is going to be sometime in August and you should all participate. It’s a week long and so much more relaxed and groovy than a 24-hour readathon. I actually think this might be my favorite readathon of all the thons.

Anyhoo, I’m also still reading for the American Gods Readalong, which is going lovely. I finished two books so far this week, The Dead and The Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer (lame) and Aloha From Hell by Richard Kadrey (awesome). I’m about 2/3 of the way through Why Does E=Mc2? by Brian Cox & Jeff Forshaw, and I have to say that I’m not crazy about it, but I’ll explain all that in my eventual review. Hopefully I can finish it today.

I also participated in my first TLC Book Tour this week, with my review of The Cottage at Glass Beach by Heather Barbieri. I enjoyed working with TLC, but the downside is that seems like I’m getting a whole bunch of random review-request emails now and it doesn’t seem like they’re from TLC. It’s kind of annoying because my review policy says that I generally don’t accept review requests – I am that one that requested to be part of the TLC Tour for this book, so that was different. Oh well. It was still exciting to be a part it!

And lastly, Armchair BEA is coming up the first week of June! Is anyone else joining in? This will be my first year so I’m looking forward to it. In past years it always seemed like I found out about it too late, but this year I was on the lookout for it! So you know, who else is gonna do it?


And now I shall get back to my reading for the day. I hope everyone has a wonderful week!!




The Cottage at Glass Beach by Heather Barbieri

The Cottage At Glass Beach

I’m very pleased that I got to be a part of the TLC Book Tour for this book!* If you’re one of my regular readers, you know that I don’t usually accept ARC’s for review, but I have read previous works by Heather Barbieri and enjoyed them so much that I asked TLC Book Tours if I could be a part of reviewing her newest book, The Cottage at Glass Beach.

For simplicity’s sake, here’s the synopsis from the TLC page:

Married to the youngest attorney general in Massachusetts state history, forty-year-old Nora Keane is a picture perfect political wife and doting mother. But her carefully constructed life falls to pieces when she – along with the rest of the world – learns of her husband Malcolm’s infidelity. Humiliated, hurt, hounded by the press, Nora packs up her daughters, Annie, seven, and Ella, twelve, and takes refuge with her maternal aunt on Burke’s Island, a craggy spit of land off the coast of Maine.

 Settled by Irish immigrants, the island is a place where superstition and magic are carried on the ocean winds, and wishes and dreams wash ashore with the changing tides. Nora spent her first five years on the island but has not been back to the remote community for decades—not since that long ago summer when her mother disappeared at sea. One night, while sitting alone on Glass Beach, below the cottage where she spent her childhood, Nora succumbs to grief, her tears flowing into the ocean. Days later she finds an enigmatic fisherman, Owen Kavanagh, shipwrecked on the rocks nearby. Is he, as her aunt’s friend Polly suggests, a selkie, a mythical being of island legend, summoned by her heartbreak; or simply someone who, like Nora, is trying to find his way in the wake of his own personal struggles? Just as she begins to regain her balance, her young daughters embark on a reckless odyssey of their own, a journey that will force Nora to find the courage to chart her own course—and finally face the truth about her marriage, her mother, and her past.


My thoughts:

Man am I a sucker for books set in small coastal towns. The Cottage at Glass Beach is no different. I loved reading about the simple life of the people living on Burke’s Island – the neighborliness, the fresh healthy food, the breezes coming in from the sea, the storms, the cottages… I would love to live in a town like this. And this town proves to be a great place for Nora to escape from the humiliation of a messy public divorce. She finds a true friend in her Aunt Maire, and explores what’s best for her and her daughters while putting together the pieces from her childhood.

I liked Nora, overall. She was the perfect image of a woman stifled by a hectic, busy life who rediscovers the simpler joys in life. Nora really tries to do what’s best for her children, and I respected that. I really loved Aunt Maire, cause she was such a sweet and spirited little old lady. Nora’s daughters play a large part in the story and while I really connected with the younger one, Annie, I couldn’t stand the older daughter, Ella. She was really ungrateful, mean, and just kind of a brat. (Although, I suppose this is pretty realistic of a young pre-teen girl.) I also really enjoyed the references to older times, and to the legends of the selkies.

My only complaint about this book is that I wish it had been longer. The 300 pages were taken up largely by description and by Ella’s whining, and it didn’t leave room for the story to completely develop or finish. I was left kind of confused by Owen’s place in the story, and I wish there had been a more concrete ending.

If you’re going to read a Heather Barbieri book, I highly suggest The Lace Makers of Glenmara, but The Cottage at Glass Beach is the perfect book to read on a lazy summer afternoon.

Sarah Says: 3 stars

About the author:

Heather Barbieri

The author of two previous novels, The Lace Makers of Glenmara, and Snow in July, Heather Barbieri has won international prizes for her short fiction. She lives in Seattle with her family.

Visit her website.

Visit her on Facebook.


The Cottage at Glass Beach was released on May 15th, so you can visit your bookstores or go online to purchase!

And the tour is far from over! Visit the other stops:

Tuesday, May 15th: 2 Kids and Tired
Wednesday, May 16th: Seaside Book Nook
Thursday, May 17th: Sarah Says Read
Friday, May 18th: My Two Blessings
Monday, May 21st: Savvy Verse & Wit
Tuesday, May 22nd: Amused By Books
Tuesday, May 22nd: Paperback Princess
Wednesday, May 23rd: All Grown Up?
Friday, May 25th: Kritters Ramblings
Tuesday, May 29th: Bookstack
Wednesday, May 30th: A Cozy Reader’s Corner
Thursday, May 31st: My Bookshelf
Monday, June 4th: Life In Review
Tuesday, June 5th: Drey’s Library
Wednesday, June 6th: Good Girl Gone Redneck
Thursday, June 7th: Peeking Between the Pages
Monday, June 11th: Tiramisu Mom
Friday, June 15th: Luxury Reading


And thank you so much to TLC Book Tours for letting me a part of this tour!





* I received the ARC of the this book for free in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation or anything like that.


Sarah Sunday!


Gabby 🙂

 Good morning folks!

Sarah update: For the most part I had a lovely week. I did a lot of laundry, lots of cleaning. I got to read and relax with the kitty a lot, as you can tell from above (she tends to crawl/walk all over us if we’re sitting for an extended amount of time). Gabby is just too cute and so much fun and I’m so happy we got her. I’ve daydreamed for a long time about having a furry reading buddy to hang out with me at home. I watched like the first 5 episodes of Star Trek Voyager with the honeyman this week, and I’m enjoying it so far even though the dire-look-on-face-when-something-dramatic-happens thing is just very silly. Work on Thursday was okay up until the last like 2 hours, in which it was horrible and immensely irritating, and the honeyman took me out to dinner and bought me books to make me feel better. Lovely man, isn’t he? Friday at work was actually MUCH slower and I was able to finish reading Bitterblue! And Saturday at work was nice too – I watched Charmed, read, and blogged. All lovely. Gabby had to go get her first kitty shots yesterday, and Treland took her to do that while I was at work. I really wanted to be there to ask a million questions and fuss over her, but I couldn’t get out of work. She apparently took the shots pretty well and was real sweet, but once she got home she was very sleepy and not her usual fun-loving self. Poor girl 😦

We’re actually leaving very early this morning to drive an hour and a half away for my little sister’s graduation! Amanda is getting her bachelor’s degree this morning – the first of us siblings to successfully complete college (I went, but didn’t even finish my associate’s degree). She’s getting it in… Language? Or Spanish? I forget, but basically she majored in Spanish and she wants to go work in like Customs / Border Control type stuff. Seriously though, the fact that she was able to complete her degree and she has a 9-month old baby is pretty incredible. Go Amanda!

So we’re driving out to see her graduation – WHY her college decided to have the ceremony at 10 AM on Mother’s Day, I’ll never know. But afterwards we’ll hopefully all go out to lunch, both to celebrate for Amanda as well as my mom. Both are quite incredible women 🙂 (As well as my sister Heather, who is a mommy too. Unfortunately we might not get to see her today though, since she’s probably doing mom-stuff with her husband and kids. Hi Heather!) 

Oh also, good news this week – two shows that I like, Whitney and Once Upon  a Time, have both been picked up for second seasons. Yay! 

So- a graduation, Mother’s Day… today’s a big day.  

Life As We Knew It, Antimatter

My honeyman spoils me ❤

Bookish update: Well, I read and finished The Cottage at Glass Beach by Heather Barbieri this week, and the review will go up on Thursday as part of TLC Book Tours. I also read and loved and reviewed Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore. Being able to read and finish two books in one week makes me very, very happy.

I’m also still reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman as part of Jenn’s readalong, and that’s going well. And yesterday I started Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer and I’m really enjoying it so far. In fact if I finish today and really like it, then I’ll probably rush out to buy the other two books in the series. As you can tell, this was one of the books that the honeyman bought for me. I also picked out Antimatter by Frank Close. It’s about antimatter, in case you couldn’t tell. It’s less than 200 pages, so I might make that some of my non-fiction reading this week.

And tomorrow starts the Bout of Books week-long Readathon! I’m very excited – I’m even hosting one of the challenges for it, so that will be up first thing tomorrow morning! Look at me, participating in stuff and such. I’m trying to be a little more active in the blogging community. I’m hoping to get a crap ton of reading done this week). I have to go back to work on Thursday, so the beginning of the week will probably be the most productive. Luckily I don’t have nearly as much laundry and cleaning to do this week, so maybe I’ll even get the chance to take my reading outside!

Anyways, gotta get going. Lots to do today! I need to stop and buy flowers for Amanda and my mom. But last week was lovely, and it looks like this week will be pretty nice too. I’m feeling very content 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!  Hope everyone has a great week!