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Hello, all!

Pub Date: 6-27-23
Adult - Historical Fiction

A Most Agreeable Murder- Julia Seales: Beatrice Steele is the farthest thing from being considered a true lady. She'd much rather read about true crime than practice her needlework. She lives a perfectly normal life in the village of Swampshire with her marriage-obsessed mother, prankster father, and two younger sisters, Louisa and Mary. For her family's sake, Beatrice hides her morbid curiosities, but when a wealthy bachelor drops dead at a ball, Beatrice seizes the opportunity to uncover a murderer. With a storm raging outside, the guests are trapped and starting to panic. Beatrice must team up with the disgraced detective, Vivek Drake, to find the culprit before they strike again.

I'm a little conflicted with this one. On one hand, I found it entertaining, but on the other, it was way too ridiculous. I went into it thinking it'd be a typical historical mystery, but what I got was straight satire. So many moments were over the top, and this is coming from someone whose favorite movie is Clue. The best way I can describe it was wacky. The writing felt modern, which also kept throwing me off. It was a lot slower-paced than I was expecting as well. The first bit of the book introduces you to the characters, and the murder doesn't happen until about 30% of the way in. Seales does throw in some twists I didn't see coming, so I'll give her that. I didn't think this was a bad book, it just wasn't what I thought it'd be, and if you're in the mood for a quirkier read, I'd still recommend checking it out.

Rating: 3/5

*Big thanks to the publisher for the copy!

Pub Date: 6-29-21
YA - Fantasy

This Poison Heart- Kalynn Bayron: Briseis has spent her whole life hiding part of herself from the world. She was born with a gift that allows her to grow plants with a single touch. Bri was just a baby when she was adopted, so she never learned where this strange gift came from or how to tame it. When Bri discovers an aunt she never knew existed has passed, leaving her an estate in rural New York, she and her parents leave their Brooklyn apartment and head up for the summer, hoping that being in the middle of nowhere will help Bri harness her power. But the estate isn't what they expect, and Bri is tasked with specific instructions, an old-school apothecary, and a poison garden to tend to. As Bri digs deeper into the grounds and her heritage, she finds there's more to her sudden inheritance than meets the eye.

I've had this on my radar for a while, and I'm glad I finally picked it up. It was so much fun. I loved Bayron's interpretation of the myth of Medea and Jason. It was such a fresh spin on a Greek mythology retelling. My favorite thing was the magic system; I found it so fascinating. I loved how Bri could command all these different plants and how she was immune to even the most toxic of them. I also liked learning more about her family's history and how she came to have these powers. My only issue was that I felt the plot took a while to kick off, but other than that, I enjoyed it and can't wait to pick up the next one.

Rating: 3.5/5

Pub Date: 6-6-23
Adult - Contemporary

Same Time Next Summer- Annabel Monaghan: Sam used to count down the days until her family would leave their stuffy apartment in Manhattan for the sandy dunes of Oak Shore. She loved spending her days swimming in the Atlantic and her nights in the treehouse next door with the first boy she ever loved. Sam and Wyatt first met when they were kids, and their friendship soon developed into something more when they were teens until one night ruined it all. But now Sam is gearing up to marry her long-time boyfriend, and reluctantly agrees to tour a wedding venue near her family home and is shocked to find Wyatt there. Neither has seen or spoken to the other since everything fell apart, but Sam can't help the memories from flooding back, and soon she finds herself having to make the biggest decision of her life.

Do you know those books where you finish and have no feelings towards them at all? That was me with this book. I didn't love it, but I also didn't hate it. I feel very neutral about the whole thing. I mainly picked it up because it took place on Long Island, and I liked how I could picture everything while reading. I enjoyed getting the full scope of Sam and Wyatt's relationship with the dual timelines and POVs. While I didn't feel the connection between them, I was still interested in seeing how it would all work out. Second-chance romances are always hit-or-miss for me, and the pacing of this one felt a bit rushed. I wish there would've been more room for it to breathe. Even though it won't be a memorable read for me, I'd still recommend it if you're looking for a new beach read.

Rating: 3/5


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