Book Review – If I Could Turn Back Time

This book was exactly what I thought it would be, and that is incredibly satisfying. If I Could Turn Back Time follows Amelia as she inherits her grandfather’s “haunted” cabin and tries to settle in a new town in a bit of a rough part of her life.

This book is light, but not shallow, funny, romantic, and all-in-all just the type of book that leaves a smile on my face. The time-traveling elements are well done, and the characters were likable, developed naturally, and had great chemistry. In general, the plot just flowed super well. The romance moves fast, but I think it skirted insta love territory (Steam level maybe a 4 out of 5.)

Basically, I think this would make a stellar chick flick, and I’d be stoked to watch it. Although it is technically it’s part of a series, I didn’t read the first one and this book reads well as a stand-alone. I totally recommend this for romance fans who like a little steam, and I’ll definitely be reading more by this author.

Thanks to the publisher and Booksirens for the free ARC! 


Solid light romance to give you a smile!

Thanks for reading!

Book Review – Zoo of the Dead & other horrific tales

Zoo of the Dead was a fantastic first read of 2022! I don’t usually pick up short story anthologies, but this one caught my curiosity… and then totally held it till the last page. Everyone one of these unique stories really embodies the best parts of the horror genre from a variety of angles. They kept me guessing while giving me those creepy, suspenseful, disturbing (hello, “Checking Out”) and in some cases, goofy (I’m looking at you, Dead Jimmy) vibes. I also really enjoyed the author’s note at the end of each discussing where she got her inspiration (Justice for Twinkie!)

Highly recommend for anyone looking for some great horror short fiction, and I will definitely read more from Iseult Murphy in the future. Minor content warning for body horror and suicidal scenes.


Tula’s quite pleased with this one and looking forward to more excellent 2022 reads!

Thanks for reading!

Book Review – A Heart Worth Healing

I loved this book! I picked up A Heart Worth Healing by Cara Devlin for my Little Free Library Contest a while back, and I’m so glad I get to pass it on to another lucky reader.

A Heart Worth Healing follows Dr. Ellie Lennox as she goes out west looking for a fresh start after an incident in the East turns her life upside down.

Honestly, what’s NOT to like about this book? It’s loosely inspired by a frontier physician Dr. Susan Anderson, it has a clean, slowburn romance, the protagonists are completely lovable, the conflict feels real and well-paced, and it really gives you a feel for the frontier west. It also leaves plenty of room for the sequel, which I will totally be picking up.

Highly recommend for any fans of historical fiction and clean romance!


It’s always exciting to put a great book in the little library!

Thanks for reading!

Audiobook Review – Three Halves of a Whole

Three Halves of a Whole follows Andrew as he struggles to cope with the downward spiral of his ex-lover. The story gives a brief introduction into how Andrew and Riley fell in love before bringing us to the present where Andrew has been forced to move on, even though he still cares deeply for the struggling Riley.

This short audiobook is well performed, beautifully written, and achingly poignant—making you wish you could reach in and pull the characters from their tragic trajectory.

My only real critique is that I wish we got to spend more time with Riley and be present while he and Andrew fell in love before diving into the aftermath. Mostly we see Riley through the lens of Andrew’s memories. But once I started listening, the story pulled me in and I flew through it.

Definitely recommend for those looking for a deeply emotional read that deals with grief, complicated relationships, and letting go. (Trigger warnings for substance abuse and suicide) 


In other news, I’ve realized that like 90% of my reads these days are audiobooks. O_O
In other other news, send audiobook recs!

Thanks for reading!

Book Review – This Last Adventure

This is one of those middle grade novels that makes me want to read more middle grade. This Last Adventure follows Archie as he navigates eighth grade while his grandfather and role model is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. As his grandfather’s condition worsens, Archie grapples for ways to help him hold onto his memories, learning about his grandfather’s triumphs, tragedies, and regrets along the way.

Beautifully told, This Last Adventure is about family, bravery, and what it means to be a good person. Archie comes across as a very believable eighth grader—dealing with crushes, school projects, peer pressure, as well as the weight of his grandfather’s illness. But I love how the story never underestimates Archie, and his emotions and realizations come across as thoughtful and heartfelt.

Neither too heavy or too light, the poignancy of this coming-of-age tale leaves you with a feel-good ending and plenty to think about. I’d definitely recommend to upper MG readers and those looking for a reflective tale that fully captures the uncertainty of growing up.

Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publisher for the free ARC! This Last Adventure comes out 1 Feb 2022, and you can preorder here. (OMG – I actually read a book before it came out, I know we’re all shocked.)


Excellent middle grade can be a tough balance – but this one’s definitely a winner!

Thanks for reading!

Audiobook Review – The Good Daughter

This book is Brutal. And it makes it a little tough to review.

Usually I shy away from super long books, but I was tired of having to pick out a new audiobook every few days, so I settled on the first thriller that caught my eye.

The story follows two sisters who, as children, survive a violent and horrific home invasion. In the first chapter we experience this visceral and gut-wrenching event right along with them, and it is HARD to read.

Then we fast forward three decades to where another violent school shooting shakes the survivors and the town they live in once again, unearthing unsolved mysteries from the past and present.

The Quinn family of lawyers is easy to root for, the banter between the sisters feels real, and the personalities of all the characters seem to pop off the page. Although this audiobook was 19 hours long, it felt like it passed quickly.

There are plenty of red herrings in this complicated mystery, and while some of the reveals were certainly unexpected there was at least one in there that didn’t feel quite right to me. But the real thing that I just couldn’t stomach was the brutality of the violence scenes. This book does not hold back, and it really comes off as disturbing. They actually tell the account of the original home invasion three times, and every time the details get worse.

Honestly, if I’d known there was… (*Spoilery Trigger Warning*)

…violent, onscreen child rape I would’ve passed this book by. (That’s what I get for picking it up books at random I guess.) But if extreme, realistic violence doesn’t bother you, you’ll probably enjoy this tense, complicated thriller. I really enjoyed the style of writing, and would probably pick up another book from this author (but you can bet I’ll check out the trigger warnings first!)


This is my disturbed face. I am disturbed. (You know, more than I was before reading, anyway.)

Thanks for reading!

Audiobook Review – Blink

So my office is going through an unconscious bias training, and I remembered that Malcolm Gladwell wrote a relevant book, so I picked up the audiobook at the library.

Although I don’t read/listen to a ton of nonfiction, Malcolm Gladwell and Erik Larson are my two favorites. I love how they can make real world stuff both gripping, educational, and accessible. These are the kinds of book that can fuel intelligent conversation for weeks and… I also like that I can listen to them with my kids in the car. XD

Blink tackles of the somewhat sticky subject of unconscious bias. Through case studies, theories, and research, Gladwell illustrates the power… and dangers… of snap judgments.

I came, I listened, I learned a lot, and as with all Malcolm Gladwell audiobooks I’ve come across so far, I highly recommend.


Do I look smarter? I feel smarter. Maybe I should read more nonfiction after all. 😂

Thanks for reading!

Book Review – Fatal Obsession

Fatal Obsession starts off with the assault of a star college football player, Deke, and then follows his fiancé, Sloan, as she tries to unravel the aftermath. This is a short, fast-paced mystery/mild thriller with a hook that’ll keep you turning pages and an interesting reveal. However, although we get the perspectives of Deke, Sloan, and the assailant, I thought the characters could’ve used a little more development, and the ending didn’t quite work for me (I thought it was a bit too happily ever after considering the circumstances.) Also, this could’ve just been the ARC format I received, but there were quite a few instances where words were missing between pages.

Thanks so much to BookSirens and the publisher for the free ARC!


I fear we are still wading through our reading slump. Send help. (And by help, I really just mean audiobook recommendations.) 😂

Thanks for reading!

Audiobook Review – The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires

Okay… here we go. This review is chock full of spoilers, because there’s really no other way to talk (read: rant good-humoredly) about this book, but I’ve marked spoiler territory below.

The first thing I will say is that if the main characters were REALLY like those from Steel Magnolias or The Fried Green Tomatoes… this book would’ve ended a lot sooner. Also, I have not experienced this level of frustration in a book in a long time, but I did give myself a week or two to cool off. With that said, let’s rant!

So I picked up this audiobook from the library after my coworker recommended it. The Steel Magnolias meets Dracula piqued my interest, so I was definitely curious to dive in.

And it starts off so well. This book takes place in the late 80s/early 90s in South Carolina. Patricia is a housewife that meets with her other colorful housewife friends every week for their true crime book club. But…


…After Patricia’s earlobe is bitten off by her elderly neighbor, her MIL is eaten by rats, the earlobe eater’s nephew’s van is linked to missing kids, and then she SEES this vampire feeding on a girl (with weird sexual undertones, not to mention the “insectoid appendage” in his mouth) – Patricia is naturally, a bit concerned.

So she tries to rally her book club to get rid of the child-molesting vampire, but the husbands step in, trying to convince them their minds have been rattled by all their true crime books. The wives are like, well I guess we have to obey our chauvinistic, manipulative (and in one case, wife-beating) husbands because they’ve gone into business with the child-molester.


Like… what?!??!

Okay. I can understand that maybe happening in the 1950s, but in 1990?! Come on. And maybe like one or two awful husbands & submissive housewives I can see, but all of them!? After Patricia’s earlobe was bitten off, the MIL was eaten by rats, and Patricia SAW the INSECT APPENDAGE?! She’s still going to let him into her house with her CHILDREN?!?!?!

Um no. The Steel Magnolia ladies would’ve pulled their guns out from under their mattresses and killed that guy right there.

But anyways, I digress. I figured I would stick in there, because surely the husbands get their just deserts in the end…

Double spoiler alert.
They don’t.

Which is all to say, the book was ridiculous horror fun up until the midpoint. Then it took a dive into some 1950 twilight zone of WTF that was SO incredibly frustrating, and it did not redeem itself. Honestly, I’m getting angry again just writing this review.

I need to tack on trigger warnings for gore and rape, but I’d still give it 2.5 stars for the premise, the flowing, descriptive style of prose, and a well-narrated audiobook. That said, I can’t say I would recommend to anyone, unless you want to go rant to your coworker… and your extended family over thanksgiving… and then the internet.


Let’s review the notes… shall we. 😂

Thanks for reading!

Book Review – Skyward

So, I guess I should start by saying I’m not a huge Sanderson fan. I read Steelheart and got maybe halfway through The Way of Kings before my library loan ran out and I didn’t renew. But, my husband (a huge sci-fi fan), had this downloaded on my Kindle and basically demanded I read it on our last roadtrip.

Told from the first-person, Skyward follows a girl on a faraway planet besieged by aliens desperate to prove herself as a fighter pilot after living in the shadow of her father’s legacy as a coward.

Things I liked: this was a fairly quick read, the battle-mechanics of the ships were cool to imagine, it definitely kept me reading with my questions about the aliens and Spensa’s father, and the world-building (in the typical Sanderson fashion) is impeccable.

But… I did think it started off pretty slow, and the characters, in general, just didn’t do it for me. I didn’t really love any of them, and since there are a lot of characters, I didn’t really feel the super strong bonds I thought they probably had. Although I enjoyed how the plot came together, it just seemed like there was something missing for me. I think part of it too was the comedic relief of one character just didn’t quite hit for me, although my husband thought they were hilarious, so you know… to each their own. (Also, I feel like I may be currently under the influence of a reading slump… so I’ll put that disclaimer out there too.)

A solid read recommended for anyone that enjoys YA SFF. Although I probably won’t read the sequel, I can totally see how someone could love this series.


I fear Locke has succumbed to the inevitable reading slump. Alas, what choice do we have but to press on!

Thanks for reading!