Book Review: A Final Call by Eliot Parker

A FInal call on wooden background with a blue candle, notebook, pen, a forensic science book and a pair of binoculars

59148763._SY475_Title: A Final Call 
Author: Eliot Parker
Genre: Mystery, thriller
Date of Publication: October 19, 2021
Publisher: Headline Books


Synopsis

Cleveland Homicide Detective Stacy Tavitt is contacted by a former college classmate who asks for help in finding her missing son, Colton. Still reeling physically and emotionally from her last investigation—which led to the disappearance of her brother–Stacy reluctantly agrees. At first, there is little reason to suspect foul play in his disappearance until he becomes the primary suspect in the murder of an ex-girlfriend. It’s a race against the clock as Stacy tries to find out what happened to her brother and clear his name, all while stopping a lethal killer who continues to target the friends and family connected to Colton. Beset by threats inside and outside of her life, Stacy must go to great lengths to find a killer and save her brother.

Goodreads

My Thoughts

A Final Call is a fast-paced procedural thrill ride, chock full of twists and genuine surprises in the plot. Told in third person, we get multiple perspectives throughout the book, which layers on levels of depth to an original storyline and engaging voice.

The heroine, Detective Stacy Tavitt, is far from perfect, making her the perfect protagonist. She’s dedicated to her job, but after her brother, Chance, went missing, she’s been driven to find him–no matter the cost. In addition to these conflicting drives, she also has a medical condition that impairs her ability to do her job. She has something called ‘thoracic outlet syndrome’, which makes it difficult for her to breathe at times, causing her to pass out and require oxygen. This adds yet another layer of suspense to the novel, because she’s vulnerable, and you never know when an attack might flare up, putting her in even more danger. Though, her condition does make her more reckless than I would have liked (Maybe don’t run into a burning building when your lungs can barely handle a jog through the woods?) As if all this isn’t enough to make Stacy a memorable heroine, she also has complex relationships with her coworkers and family members, which adds yet more drama and tension to an already engaging story.

I recommend this book to those looking for a jam-packed thrill ride with lots of twists and an intriguingly unique protagonist. 

A FInal call on wooden background with a blue candle, notebook, pen, a forensic science book and a

*Thank you to Blackthorn Book Tours and the author for the ebook to review*

Find the book:

Goodreads | Amazon

Book Review: I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston

Book cover surrounded with white roses and a green book

I Kissed Shara Wheeler book coverTitle: I Kissed Shara Wheeler
Author: Casey McQuiston
Genre: Romance, Young Adult, LGBTQ+
Date of Publication: May 3, 2022
Publisher: St Martin’s Press


Synopsis

From the New York Times bestselling author of One Last Stop and Red, White & Royal Blue comes a debut YA romantic comedy about chasing down what you want, only to find what you need…

Chloe Green is so close to winning. After her moms moved her from SoCal to Alabama for high school, she’s spent the past four years dodging gossipy classmates and a puritanical administration at Willowgrove Christian Academy. The thing that’s kept her going: winning valedictorian. Her only rival: prom queen Shara Wheeler, the principal’s perfect progeny.

But a month before graduation, Shara kisses Chloe and vanishes.

On a furious hunt for answers, Chloe discovers she’s not the only one Shara kissed. There’s also Smith, Shara’s longtime quarterback sweetheart, and Rory, Shara’s bad boy neighbor with a crush. The three have nothing in common except Shara and the annoyingly cryptic notes she left behind, but together they must untangle Shara’s trail of clues and find her. It’ll be worth it, if Chloe can drag Shara back before graduation to beat her fair-and-square.

Thrown into an unlikely alliance, chasing a ghost through parties, break-ins, puzzles, and secrets revealed on monogrammed stationery, Chloe starts to suspect there might be more to this small town than she thought. And maybe—probably not, but maybe—more to Shara, too.

Fierce, funny, and frank, Casey McQuiston’s I Kissed Shara Wheeler is about breaking the rules, getting messy, and finding love in unexpected places.

Goodreads

My Thoughts

Casey McQuiston’s young adult debut is just as riveting and beautifully written as her adult books! 

Like with One Last Stop, this book has a cast full of lovable, three-dimensional characters who (sometimes) steal the show. Any one of them could be an engaging protagonist in a book about their own life story, which to me shows the depth with which McQuiston writes everything, even side characters.

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Book Review: Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Book Lovers book cover surrounded by orange flowers, an orange card catalogue made of lego, reading is sexy magnet, and romance books on a wooden background

58690308Title: Book Lovers
Author: Emily Henry
Genre: Romance
Date of Publication: May 3, 2022
Publisher: Berkley


Synopsis

One summer. Two rivals. A plot twist they didn’t see coming…

Nora Stephens’ life is books—she’s read them all—and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby.

Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away—with visions of a small town transformation for Nora, who she’s convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute.

If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again—in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow—what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves. 

Goodreads

My Thoughts

This book provides an original perspective–that of the self-proclaimed “Other Woman”. In Hallmark movies and traditional romance novels, there will be the “other woman”–the woman that the hero is dating before he finds his one true love. Nora self-identifies as the career-driven, city woman who’s dated not one, not two, but four different men who left her for their soulmates in romance novel trope-like situations. Nora is a cutthroat literary agent, and in this book, her sister, who’s pregnant for the third time, decides to take her to a small town for a much-needed break. But Nora doesn’t want a break. She loves her job. She loves the city. Everything about this small town goes against everything she is and everything she wants out of her life. As much as Nora wishes she could be something that she isn’t, the truth is, heartbreak aside, she’s happy with her career-driven life. 

But then she keeps bumping into an editor from the city that she doesn’t get along with. It turns out that he’s from this small town, and he’s back to help his father who’s sick. They’re both working remotely (much to Nora’s sister’s dismay), and they grow closer as they start to edit a book together. Sure, Nora is viewed as a shark in the industry, but is it possible that someone can love her because of it, not despite it? 

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Book Review: A Far Wilder Magic by Allison Saft

A Far Wilder Magic book surrounded by yellow flowers, pine cones, a green candle, and stacks of books

48909025Title: A Far Wilder Magic 
Author: Allison Saft
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Date of Publication: March 8, 2022
Publisher: Wednesday Books


Synopsis

When Margaret Welty spots the legendary hala, the last living mythical creature, she knows the Halfmoon Hunt will soon follow. Whoever is able to kill the hala will earn fame and riches, and unlock an ancient magical secret. If Margaret wins the hunt, it may finally bring her mother home. While Margaret is the best sharpshooter in town, only teams of two can register, and she needs an alchemist.

Weston Winters isn’t an alchemist–yet. Fired from every apprenticeship he’s landed, his last chance hinges on Master Welty taking him in. But when Wes arrives at Welty Manor, he finds only Margaret and her bloodhound Trouble. Margaret begrudgingly allows him to stay, but on one condition: he must join the hunt with her.

Although they make an unlikely team, Wes is in awe of the girl who has endured alone on the outskirts of a town that doesn’t want her, in this creaking house of ghosts and sorrow. And even though Wes disrupts every aspect of her life, Margaret is drawn to him. He, too, knows what it’s like to be an outsider. As the hunt looms closer and tensions rise, Margaret and Wes uncover dark magic that could be the key to winning the hunt – if they survive that long.

Goodreads

My Thoughts

A Far Wilder Magic is a unique, epic young adult fantasy with a splash of romance. 

The world that Allison Saft has created is unique and intricately crafted. As a somewhat casual fantasy reader, the level of depth of the worldbuilding was at times overwhelming. The beginning of the book had quite a bit of information for me to consume and interpret before the action begins. Once I pushed through that part, the book became compelling enough that I wouldn’t have been able to stop reading if you’d paid me. 

The novel’s world is full of magic and mystery, and the writing style reflects this original approach. The book feels like it could be set in a present day world where magic reigns. There’s mention of modern technology, but the book has a bit of a medieval fantasy edge to the plot, setting, and language used. The author’s writing style, while antiquated, has quite a bit of dry humor and hilarious lines interspersed in the descriptive language. 

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