Five-Star Predictions for Books Released in 2021

I’ve made two other five-star prediction posts that I’m aware of, and out of all of the books on those lists, I’ve only read one. Can you guess the rating?……..FIVE STARS! It was He Started It by Samantha Downing. She really came through for me with that one. Should I read what’s on those lists before I make ANOTHER list? Probably. Am I going to? Ha ha, no. I think I might focus this on upcoming releases in 2021. I’m sure you’ll know from the title what I end up doing. Anyway, let’s get into it.


The Music of Bees by Eileen Garvin

Publication: 4/27/21

“A heartwarming debut novel for readers of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, following three lonely strangers in a rural Oregon town, each working through grief and life’s curveballs, who are brought together by happenstance on a local honeybee farm where they find surprising friendship, healing–and maybe even a second chance–just when they least expect it.”

This one sounds right up my alley. I’m hoping I’ll find another favorite group of friends, and maybe learn about a honeybee farm and how it’s run. Who knows? The world is Eileen Garvin’s, and we’re just living in it. Also, that cover is just cute as a button.

I have this one on NetGalley, so thank you to Dutton Books and NetGalley for the early digital copy.


What Could Be Saved by Liese O’Halloran Schwarz

Publication: 1/12/21

“An enthralling, redemptive novel set in Bangkok in 1972 and Washington, DC, in 2019 about an expatriate child who goes missing, whose family is contacted decades later by a man claiming to be the vanished boy.”

I’ve never read a story like this, especially one set in Bangkok! Again, sounds right up my alley. I love a good hard-hitting adult fiction novel. They’re always bound to be AT LEAST four stars. I have high hopes for this one!

I won this in a Goodreads giveaway, so thank you to them and Atria books for the early physical copy!


Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Publication: 6/1/21

“Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them . . . and what they will leave behind.”

I’m a little nervous to include this one. I loved The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, but I truly didn’t care about Daisy Jones & The Six. I think she’s going to be a hit or miss author for me, but I’m really hoping this one will be a hit. It sounds like something I’d pick up regardless of who the author was. Fingers crossed!

I was able to receive an early digital copy from NetGalley and , but I also pre-ordered it on Amazon.


When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McLain

Publication: 4/13/21

“A detective hiding away from the world. A series of disappearances that reach into her past. Can solving them help her heal?”

I loved Love and Ruin by this author, and I believe I own two other books by her that I want to read. This one isn’t historical fiction, so I’m hesitant, but I have high hopes. I’ve read some reviews that said it wasn’t like her other novels.

I have an early digital copy from NetGalley.


The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

Publication: 2/2/21

“From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale and The Great Alone comes an epic novel of love and heroism and hope, set against the backdrop of one of America’s most defining eras—the Great Depression.”

I’ve never read anything by Hannah, but this one really called out to me—even more than The Nightingale. It’s almost 500 pages so that makes me weary, but I’m excited to get to it, regardless.

I have an early digital copy from NetGalley!


I’m excited to get to all of these even if they don’t end up being five stars. There are so many good books coming out in 2021 that I couldn’t figure out which ones I wanted to focus on. Are any of these on your five-star predictions list?


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Blogmas Day 16: Favorite Authors

Happy BLOGMAS Day 16!

I never talk about who my favorite authors are. I don’t know if you have to read so many books from a certain author to consider it a favorite, but I don’t really want to follow the rules. These are the authors I have read book(s) from and loved. I will also link the Goodreads page to the book(s) that made me love these authors.

P.S: I apologize these posts have been so simple. I definitely expected more out of myself, but my internet has been out and I’ve been working. I get them written/scheduled when and if I can. I hope you all understand. There are 15 more posts to come, so I hope you all stay excited!

William Kent Krueger

This Tender Land

Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

The Evidence of the Affair

Christina Lauren

Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating

The Unhoneymooners

Claire Lombardo

The Most Fun We Ever Had

Rachel Kadish

The Weight of Ink

Celeste Ng

Little Fires Everywhere

Riley Sager

Lock Every Door

Final Girls

Paula McLain

Love and Ruin

Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner

The Sea Prayer

J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Honorable Mentions

A.S. King

Everybody Sees the Ants

Dig

Catherine Chung

The Tenth Muse

Samantha Downing

My Lovely Wife

J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit

The Fellowship of the Ring

Alex Dahl

The Boy at the Door


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Top Ten Inspirational & Thought Provoking Quotes from Books (4/30/19)

Go check out the host of TTT: That Artsy Reader Girl. The rules are also on her blog in case you don’t know what Top Ten Tuesday is.

These quotes were just what I could find on my phone or tabbed in some of my books. I read a lot of library books that I wasn’t able to tab and I never saved the quotes. Please enjoy!

So how, children, does the brain, which lives without a spark of light, build for us a world full of light?” All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

“It may be the luckiest and purest thing of all to see time sharpen to a single point. To feel the world rise up and shake you hard, insisting that you rise, too, somehow. Someway. That you come awake and stretch, painfully. That you change, completely and irrevocably-with whatever means are at your disposal-into the person you were always meant to be.” Love and Ruin by Paula McLain

For thousands of years, human beings had screwed up and trashed and crapped on this planet, and now history expected me to clean up after everyone. I have to wash out and flatten my soup cans. And account for every drop of motor oil.” Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Some want it to happen. Some wish it would happen. Some make it happen.” The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy

It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.” The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Great danger is always associated with great power. The difference between the great and the mediocre is that the great are willing to take that risk.” The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

Within the team there was no gender. We were all equal in everything. We had a strict code of ethics and discipline. At that time, the most important goal was the spirit of being together as a team, and overcoming the distance.” Dead Mountain by Donnie Eichar

“I think given the choice between loving Mare-betrayal included-and never knowing her, I’d choose love. I risked, and I lost, but the risk was worth it. It’s the same with my friends. Suspicion is healthy in our profession-but only to an extent. I’d rather trust my men than worry about what will happen if they turn on me.” The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

“We must not cower in the dark because we’re afraid of the spark within us. The answer is not to put out the spark, but learn to control it.” Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

“Who knew being a heartless killing machine would present so many moral dilemmas.” Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells


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Book Review: Love and Ruin by Paula McLain

Thank you Penguin Random House (Ballantine Books) for sending me a finished copy of this novel for an honest review.

Love and Ruin
By: Paula McLain
389 pages
ISBN: 9781101967386 (Hardcover)
Published: May 1, 2018 by Ballantine Books
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis:
If you are an Ernest Hemingway fan, specifically a fan of his marriages, then this should be up your alley. I have not read The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, but I guess that one also talks about Hemingway. Love and Ruin focuses on Martha Gellhorn, an independent twenty-eight year old woman with more ambitions than she can count on both of her hands. Her biggest goal is to become a writer and prove to all the men in the field that women can do the same thing, if not better. She ends up traveling to Madrid during the Spanish Civil War (heartbreaking by the way) to report on what is happening. She becomes attached to not only the tragedy that is taking place but also Ernest himself. They end up falling in love, but when WWII starts showing it’s face it goes downhill from there. He is more interested in getting drunk and writing his books than loving and supporting Martha. She has to decide if she wants to spend her life being compared to her husband, or spend it becoming her own person, creating her own path to success.

The War:
I figured I would talk a little bit about what is happening while we are following our main character, Martha. She travels to Madrid in the midst of the Spanish Civil War. I’m going to be honest with you, I had absolutely no idea what took place/why the war happened in the first place. I’m sure I learned it in school, but I don’t remember it at all. I’m not going to give a history lesson, because ya’ll don’t want that, but I’ll just give a brief summary if you are interested. Basically, there was a great divide between the Republicans and the Nationalists that were led by Francisco Franco. The Nationalists wanted to take over the country from the already established government. As a result to both sides being reckless, so many people died. Eventually the Republic fell, and Franco took over. However, that was not the end. The Spanish citizens had started to break into barracks, which the Nationalists were not prepared for. They had to ask for assistance, and of course they had Hitler, Mussolini and Salazar on their side. You probably know where it goes from there.

There was the Spanish Civil War, the Winter War, WWII, just so many conflicts took place throughout this story. It was very intense and heartbreaking.

Characters:
Ernest Hemingway:
I hated his character in the novel. He was a drunk that married so many women because he couldn’t stand not being married. He never supported Martha, even though all she did was love and support him. She knew that he was one of the best writers of his time. I thought I liked him in the beginning, but as soon as he had Marsha hook, line and sinker he changed completely. He knew that she wanted to be on site for a report that she wanted to write, and he would always be one step ahead of her and ruin her chances (hence the name Love and Ruin). It was all just out of spite. She traveled because she loved it, but he thought that because they were married she had to be next to him 24/7.

Martha Gellhorn:
She is probably one of my favorite female protagonists, ever. She is strong-willed, independent and smart. According to the author’s note in the back of the book, Martha Gellhorn reported on almost every conflict for sixty years. Which is pretty bad ass if you ask me. It takes so much dedication and strength to withstand all of that. Obviously she wasn’t always morally correct, but everyone makes mistakes. It just proves that she is human like the rest of us. It helps me relate to her a little more. It breaks my heart that she was such a wonderful woman who was treated like garbage when all she wanted to do was make sure everything was okay. What she does in the end of the book just makes me super happy. I’m so proud of her, and she will forever be one of my favorite people.

Edna (Martha’s mother):
I thought it was sweet that no matter what she was doing she always greeted her husband at the door when he came home. However, I found out later that Martha’s father wasn’t the greatest person in the world. Edna wasn’t a bad character, and definitely encouraged Martha more than probably any other character. I’m going to assume that Ernest’s support was totally fake. Edna made herself more known as the story came to a close. She came in right when Ernest and Martha had their issues and falling out.

Overall:
The story is very much character driven even thoughshe does throw in a lot about the setting. I loved learning from this book, even though it’s fiction. I had no idea what the Winter War was until it was mentioned in the book. McLain knew how to give you all the details of the war while sticking with the main issues at hand. It never felt info dumpy (lol). I could see how it might be to other people, but I like learning new information. I recommend this even if you don’t read historical fiction. Martha Gellhorn is definitely a person I’d like to know more about.

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