Browsed by
Category: Celeste’s Reviews

Book Review: We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

Book Review: We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker


We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher, Macmillan Audio, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

We Begin at the End has been on my radar since my co-blogger Emma read it and loved it last year. Petrik and TS decided to pick it up as well, even though it’s not something within their usual genre wheelhouses. Again, they loved it. But they warned me that it was heartbreaking and, since I had been going through a particularly rough patch in my life, I held off until I felt like I was emotionally strong enough to handle it. I’m so glad I did, because I can say without a single qualm that it will be only my list of favorite books read in 2021, but the heart-wrenching emotion of it would have kept it from the same list last year. It really pays to wait until the right moment to read this type of book, and I’m glad I had friends to caution me in that regard.

Read More Read More

Book Review: Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1) by Jay Kristoff

Book Review: Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1) by Jay Kristoff


Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can’t quite figure out why I waited so long to read this book. This might be in part due to the fact that it’s labeled, quite wrongly in my opinion, as young adult. The only thing young adult about this book is the fact that young adults serve as the main characters. Whatever the case may be, I’m incredibly glad I finally decided to read Nevernight, and that it turned into a blog wide reading/rereading/rehashing event. I was utterly captivated by this bloody, beautiful, snarky story and the equally bloody, beautiful, snarky cast.

“Never flinch” A cold whisper in her ear. “Never fear. And never, ever forget.”

Read More Read More

Rock Stars on the Record by Eric Spitznagel

Rock Stars on the Record by Eric Spitznagel


Rock Stars on the Record: The Albums That Changed Their Lives by Eric Spitznagel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher, HighBridge Audio, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

What’s a song that changed your life? One that moved you, inspired you, broke down a wall within you and helped you grow? What song can bring back a memory as sharp as a snapshot, bringing you back to a time and place and smell and one prismatic moment any time you hear the first notes playing through a speaker? I don’t think any other art form on the planet can so deeply evoke sense memories and wildly variant emotions that music. While I love books with every fiber of my being, it’s music that has the most power to move me. And I think this is true for far more people than realize it. Music is the language of the soul, and it’s fascinating to see what speaks to the hearts of different people. Especially those who move others with their own music.

Read More Read More

Book Review: Outlawed by Anna North

Book Review: Outlawed by Anna North


Outlawed by Anna North
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Outlawed is an alternate history in which a Great Flu wiped out 9/10ths of the U.S. population, the country fell apart, and now a woman who can’t pop out babies to rebuild that population is branded a witch and hanged. As a barren woman myself, this premise hit incredibly close to home for me. I loved seeing how all of these women dealt with such superstition and blatant inequality.

“People cry witchcraft whenever they don’t understand something.”

Read More Read More

Book Review: The Labyrinth of the Spirits (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #4) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Book Review: The Labyrinth of the Spirits (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #4) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón


The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
My rating: 6 of 5 stars

For years, I thought The Shadow of the Wind was a standalone novel. When I learned that wasn’t the case, I ignored that information for more years. I thought The Shadow of the Wind was pretty nearly perfect on its own, and didn’t need expanded upon. I’ve read some marvelous books that should have been left alone, that had further books tacked on later that didn’t measure up to the first, and somehow manage to tarnish that first book. I didn’t want that to happen to my magical experience with The Shadow of the Wind, so I just ignored the rest of the series for a long time. But then, I found a gorgeous copy of The Labyrinth of the Spirits, the last of the quartet, on sale. I had to buy it for the cover alone, because it just captivated me. But I still didn’t think I intended to read it, or the two books between it and that first novel I had so loved.

Read More Read More

Book Review: The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

Book Review: The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins


The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I received an audio copy of this book from the publisher, Macmillan Audio, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Wife Upstairs is an updated, reimagined Jane Eyre. It’s an interesting twist on a classic story, and I’m loving how many such novels have come out recently and how many more are scheduled for publication soon.

Read More Read More

Book Review: Across the Green Grass Fields (Wayward Children, #6) by Seanan McGuire

Book Review: Across the Green Grass Fields (Wayward Children, #6) by Seanan McGuire


Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher, Tor.com, in exchange for an honest review.

Over the past few years, I’ve come to love Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series fiercely. And thanks to the wonderful people at Tor.com, reading the newest installment a bit ahead of its publication date has become something of a Christmas tradition for me. These novellas are all beautifully written and poignant and full of heavy topics handled with a light but respectful touch. Across the Green Grass Fields is no exception to this rule.

“Girlhood wasn’t destiny unless you wanted it to be, and she had accepted her destiny wholeheartedly. Anything to be normal.”

Read More Read More

Book Review: Wintersong (Wintersong, #1) by S. Jae-Jones

Book Review: Wintersong (Wintersong, #1) by S. Jae-Jones


Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been in the mood for anything wintry, and this book seemed like just the thing. It’s young adult, which I’ve struggled with in the past, but I decided to give it a go anyway. I’m so glad I did, because Wintersong is a beautiful story. A retelling of the movie Labyrinth, it’s a captivating take on the Goblin King and his Underground, with music at its core.

“You are the monster I claim.”

Read More Read More

Book Review: A Deadly Education (The Scholomance, #1) by Naomi Novik

Book Review: A Deadly Education (The Scholomance, #1) by Naomi Novik


A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The synopsis for A Deadly Education filled me with so much excitement when I first read it a year ago. And yet I put of reading it for months after its release, because I was scared. The reason for that fear? In a word: Uprooted. While I didn’t loathe it with every fiber of my being like my co-blogger Petrik did, I very much did not understand the love for that book. So many people adore it. And I desperately wanted to share in that adoration, I really did. On paper, it should have absolutely worked for me. Rich setting, interesting magic, a fairytale retelling that flips its source material on its head. It should have become an instant new favorite for me. And yet, it didn’t. I struggled my way through it. So you can see why I’d be scared to try A Deadly Education, right? I have a huge weakness for magic schools, but I wondered if maybe Novik’s writing just wasn’t for me.

I am excited to report that my fears proved themselves to be unfounded. I took to this book immediately and loved every single page. Whatever my disconnect was with Uprooted, Novik’s a gifted author with a talent for immersive writing, and I’m already counting down the days until The Graduate, the second book in the Scholomance series, is published.

Read More Read More

Book Review: Why She Wrote by Hannah K. Chapman and Lauren Burke, Illustrated by Kaley Bales

Book Review: Why She Wrote by Hannah K. Chapman and Lauren Burke, Illustrated by Kaley Bales


Why She Wrote: A Graphic History of the Lives, Inspiration, and Influence Behind the Pens of Classic Women Writers by Lauren Burke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher, Chronicle Books, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Why She Wrote is not a book I would have stumbled upon without NetGalley, and I would have been missing out. This collection of graphic biographies takes 18 women who wrote and, in sets of three, seeks to illuminate their lives and motivations just the tiniest bit. I really like the way this is presented. Each author gets a page-long bio, followed by a short comic answering the titular question of why she wrote, and finished off with a list of published works and important facts. It reminded me of Rejected Princesses, though I can see where it would have even more in common with Monster, She Wrote, which I have yet to read.

Read More Read More

%d bloggers like this: