Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Pub Date: 6-29-21
Adult - Contemporary

To Sir, With Love- Lauren Layne: Gracie Cooper has spent her entire life holding out hope for that fairy tale ending. After her father passes away, Gracie puts all her dreams on hold to take over the family business. Unfortunately, a small champagne shop in Manhattan isn’t all that profitable and Gracie finds herself struggling to make ends meet. When a giant corporation proposes a buyout, Gracie knows she should take it, but she can’t bring herself to throw away her father’s dream to the frustratingly handsome Sebastian Andrews. Not wanting to admit to her family how overwhelmed she truly is, Gracie turns to “Sir”-- the faceless mystery man she met on a blind dating app. Despite never meeting or even seeing one another, Grace and Sir connect on so many levels and the flirty messages they’re constantly trading have Gracie falling hard and fast. But what happens when they finally meet and it turns out Sir has been closer to Gracie than she thought?

The moment I saw this was compared to You’ve Got Mail, I was sold. It had all the charm I was hoping for and then some. Gracie had such a vivacious whimsy to her that I thought was so infectious and I admired her positive outlook on life. Sebastian came across as this gruff broody guy, but you could tell he had a soft squishy side underneath. I think they complemented each other really well, and their chemistry felt very natural. I loved seeing their relationship blossom both through anonymous messages and in real life. The side characters also brought such a nice dynamic to the story. They were all so quirky and supportive of Gracie. If you’re looking for an unbelievable sweet less steamy romance to binge in one sitting, pick this up.

Rating: 4/5

Pub Date: 5-4-21
YA - Historical Fiction

Luck of the Titanic- Stacey Lee: Seventeen-year-old Valora Luck has two goals: to reunite with her twin brother Jamie, who works on the newly built ship the Titanic, and for them to go to New York to become acrobats in the circus. Thanks to her quick thinking, Val manages to stow away on the ship and talks herself into first-class accommodations, and sets off to find her brother. When the twins are reunited, Val soon learns that Jamie isn't as keen on the life she's purposing. Not only are her plans thrown for a loop and her ruse starting to crumble around her, but a disastrous accident causes the unsinkable ship to start plunging into the cold North Atlantic waters, and Val and her companions find themselves fighting to survive.

Lee has this beautiful way of writing historical fiction that fully transports you to whatever period that I admire. Everyone knows about the events of the Titanic, so it's hard to find a fresh take on it, but somehow Lee delivers. I also enjoyed how Lee weaved together accounts from actual Chinese passengers of the Titanic because it made it more emotional. My favorite part of this was the characters. Val was interesting to follow. She was so headstrong, and a little stubborn, in her desire to reunite with her brother and start a new life in America. I also liked her relationship between Jamie and the other laborers. The only issue I had with this was the pacing. Some bits felt dragged out, especially around the middle, and I found myself losing interest until we finally got to the sinking. While I wasn't fully invested, this was still a beautifully written story and worth the read if you're a historical fiction or Titanic fan.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 3-6-18
Adult - Horror

The Silent Companions- Laura Purcell: When Elsie married the dashing Rupert Bainbridge, she believed her life had finally taken a turn for the better. But only a short time later, Elsie is left widowed with a baby on the way and carted off to Rupert's family estate in a small village full of resentful townsfolk who want nothing to do with any Bainbridge. The only company Elsie has is Rupert's timid cousin Sarah and a small household staff of subpar servants. While exploring the house, Elsie and Sarah come across a locked room, and when they finally pry the door open they're met with an unnerving sight. For inside the room is a wooden figure, known as a silent companion, and it bears an eerie resemblance to Elsie. Believing it all to be a strange coincidence, Elsie shrugs off the figure but when strange occurrences start happening and more silent companions are found lurking about, Elsie can't help but feel like something sinister is living in her house.

This was so creepy and I was here for every bit of it! There was that typical slow-burn uneasiness you usually get from Gothic horrors, and sometimes I can get a bit bored waiting for something to happen, but Purcell kept me on edge the entire time. This jumps between two different points in time: in 1865 you follow Elsie who's in an institution retelling the events at Bainbridge house, and then also in 1635 you follow her late husband's family at the estate and you learn how the silent companions came to be in their possession. Each facet of the story was fascinating and even with jumping back and forth, everything flowed so well and you were able to get a full picture of what occurred. Knowing that Elsie was in an institution, I was immediately under the impression that maybe she wouldn't be the most reliable narrator because who knows how much of what she's recounting is fact or not, but she was so compelling and you end up feeling so sorry for her by the end. If you're looking for something that'll keep you in suspense and jumping at the slightest sounds while also solidifying the fact that dolls are the worst, pick this up.

Rating: 4/5


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