BOOK REVIEW : DAISY JONES & THE SIX

Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.


review

You know those books that rip your heart apart and then mends it back? This was one of them. Except my heart doesn’t feel very much mended. There is an ache. And it’s the worst kind of ache.

The way this author explores addiction in this book is just too stark and raw. The addiction felt like a character itself. It was fascinating to see how differently all the characters dealt with their addictions. These characters were all too real. Billy and Daisy especially. Billy is a man I’d respect a lot if I met him for real. That doesn’t mean he’s perfect. In fact, he’s as imperfect as one can be. He’s a larger than life character with an ego too big. He also got on my nerves a lot and did things that I didn’t wish for him to do.

If this book has a heart then that lies in Daisy Jones. I can’t remember the last time a character made me feel so many things at the same time. I just wanted to hug her and tell her that she’s not alone. She’s the baddest bitch with the softest heart. I won’t lie, I even shed some tears for her. She just made me feel really sad. If nothing else, I’d suggest everyone to read this book just for her.

The music plays such a big part in this story. If Daisy is the heart of the story then music is its soul. I hear that a web-series is about to made based on this book. And my heart is not ready.

Do I recommend? Absolutely. It’s not an easy read. But if you love rock n’ roll, music, damaged characters and feel connected to a story, this one’s definitely it for you.

I now need a really fluffy romance to get over this book. Any recommendations?


ratings

★★★★★


 

ARC REVIEW : WHAT THE WIND KNOWS

In an unforgettable love story, a woman’s impossible journey through the ages could change everything…

Anne Gallagher grew up enchanted by her grandfather’s stories of Ireland. Heartbroken at his death, she travels to his childhood home to spread his ashes. There, overcome with memories of the man she adored and consumed by a history she never knew, she is pulled into another time.

The Ireland of 1921, teetering on the edge of war, is a dangerous place in which to awaken. But there Anne finds herself, hurt, disoriented, and under the care of Dr. Thomas Smith, guardian to a young boy who is oddly familiar. Mistaken for the boy’s long-missing mother, Anne adopts her identity, convinced the woman’s disappearance is connected to her own.

As tensions rise, Thomas joins the struggle for Ireland’s independence and Anne is drawn into the conflict beside him. Caught between history and her heart, she must decide whether she’s willing to let go of the life she knew for a love she never thought she’d find. But in the end, is the choice actually hers to make?


I am a massive fan of Amy Harmon. She has yet to write a book that I haven’t adored. So you can imagine my excitement at getting the ARC for her newest book!

The author writes a very beautiful note at the end citing her own journey to Ireland, the homeland of her great-grandfather, to discover her heritage. It was amazing to find out about all the little details from her life that she added to her book. That note added to the poignancy of the story.

After Anne’s best friend in the world, the man who alone raised her, her grandfather Eoin dies, she travels to his hometown in Ireland to fulfill his last wish of spreading his ashes in the lake he grew up around. A renowned author, Anne has only ever heard and read stories about Ireland from Eoin but never allowed to visit the place until now. Something out of a fairytale happens to her in Eoin’s hometown. She finds herself in the Ireland of 1921. A spitting image of Eoin’s mother also called Anne, a six year old Eoin thinks he got his mother back who everyone thought had perished with his father back during the revolution. Eoin lives with his grandmother under the care of his father’s best friend Doctor Thomas Smith now. Thomas Smith and everyone else are mystified at her supposed reappearance and Anne is caught between a rock and a hard place.

Suddenly all the cryptic words of her grandfather makes sense. Did he know this would happen? Did he always know that Anne would go back in time to be with him again? Should Anne tell Thomas the truth? Will anyone believe her? How can she go back? Does she want to go back leaving behind the only person she ever loved to a time where he is dead?

The writing and the story is just something else! How beautifully does Amy Harmon portray the feelings of Anne here? The suspicions and confusion of Thomas and everyone else was also amazingly brought to life. My only complaint from the story is that the love story did not get enough time to grow and breathe on its own. But there was so much emotions in this book that everything else can be forgiven. I particularly liked the element of suspense. Also, despite it being a historical romance in its essence, the pace never felt too slow or boring. Even though I knew the bare minimum about Ireland’s history, I was completely engaged by the story.

I give this story an extra star just for the emotions it made me feel and for how well-researched it is. Highly recommended!


★★★★★


Publication Date: 1st March, 2019.
Source: ARC from Publisher (via Netgalley)

Links – Amazon| Goodreads | Book Depository

Book Review : Muse of Nightmares (Strange The Dreamer #2) by Laini Taylor

Sarai has lived and breathed nightmares since she was six years old.
She believed she knew every horror, and was beyond surprise.
She was wrong.

In the wake of tragedy, neither Lazlo nor Sarai are who they were before. One a god, the other a ghost, they struggle to grasp the new boundaries of their selves as dark-minded Minya holds them hostage, intent on vengeance against Weep.

Lazlo faces an unthinkable choice–save the woman he loves, or everyone else?–while Sarai feels more helpless than ever. But is she? Sometimes, only the direst need can teach us our own depths, and Sarai, the muse of nightmares, has not yet discovered what she’s capable of.

As humans and godspawn reel in the aftermath of the citadel’s near fall, a new foe shatters their fragile hopes, and the mysteries of the Mesarthim are resurrected: Where did the gods come from, and why? What was done with thousands of children born in the citadel nursery? And most important of all, as forgotten doors are opened and new worlds revealed: Must heroes always slay monsters, or is it possible to save them instead?

Love and hate, revenge and redemption, destruction and salvation all clash in this gorgeous sequel to the New York Times bestseller, Strange the Dreamer.


It looks like Laini Taylor can never disappoint me. This sequel did things I’d never imagined it would. I’m thoroughly satisfied.

I was at my wit’s end, when I finished Strange The Dreamer, thinking about how Lazlo and Sarai would be able to escape the predicament they were in at the end. It’s not even a predicament. Sarai is dead. A ghost! How do you even overcome that? But I forgot that it’s Laini freaking Taylor! She can make anything possible and that too convincingly.

Right at the beginning, we get thrown into the story of two brand new characters. And I never like when that happens in a sequel. I find it very difficult to invest in the story of new characters when there’s already-established favorite characters I’m worried about! It was the same for me here when we get introduced to the twin sisters Nova and Cora. But Laini weaved such a beautiful tale that slowly and surely I was hooked.

The plotting is done brilliantly. Every little detail is made relevant. The way Taylor connects everything and executes her ideas is nothing short of genius. The book lives up to its title. It’s the Sarai Show. I’d actually thought that with Sarai being a ghost, it would all be up to Lazlo to save the day. But that wasn’t the case. Rather, he takes the backseat to Sarai more often than not in this book.

I can’t remember the last time I was this satisfied with character development in a book. There isn’t one character I couldn’t empathize with. There’s no villains here. Even the characters I absolutely despised in Strange The Dreamer undergo such growths that one can’t help but feel for them. At times I didn’t even need any character-growth to feel empathy. For instance, I found myself empathizing with Miniya even when she was unleashing her cruelty on Lazlo and Sarai. But I think the character-growth that most pleased me was Thyon. His arc was one of the most interestingly written ones.

Lazlo and Sarai were as amazing as ever. Their faith and love for each other was beautiful. I especially loved how Lazlo played a big part in Sarai building her self-confidence. And their capability to empathize and be inherently good earned my appreciation even more. Though, I gotta say that most of their romance scenes were a bit on the fluffier side. Not something I could enjoy when there was so much at stake. It also made for a slower pace at the middle. I think I’ll enjoy those fluffy scenes more my second time reading it as I won’t be in a rush to find out the answers to my questions.

The second half was more tightly paced and only then I could realize how brilliant the build-up to it was in the first half. I loved the epilogue too. There was a part in the end with a clever reference to Taylor’s Daughter of Blood and Smoke. That had me grinning widely!

(Funnily enough, I couldn’t help but think of an adventure game scenario when I was reading the climax. That actually made me realize that this series could be adapted perfectly into a RPG/adventure game.)

Only Laini Taylor can combine a character driven story and a strong plot with enough twists and turns to make it exciting. I would give this 6 stars if I could.


My Rating: ★★★★★

Book Review: Sadie By Courtney Summers

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meagre clues to find him.

When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.


This book.

This. Freaking. Book.

This book has wrecked me real good.

You know those books which leave you content? Sadie isn’t one of them. This book leaves you emotionally ruined.

Sadie is on a journey to get justice for sister’s death. Except, Mattie wasn’t just Sadie’s sister. She was the purpose of her life. The reason she woke up every day.

“Sometimes, I feel made of Mattie’s absence, this complete emptiness inside
me and the only thing that makes it bearable, that quiets it, is moving, is putting
distance between her murder….”

The author alternates chapters between Sadie and the radio show where West McCray is on a journey of his own to track Sadie down. The two are not at the same time line.  The books starts off as just any crime novel. But the more you read, the more it grips you with chill and anticipation of what’s to come.

Sadie is not a lovable protagonist. She’s icy. And yet the love you feel for her, it feels as real as the book feels.  Sadie is a character written so well, that your heart stutters for her just as she stutters in her speech. She’s had a troubled life. The scene where she meets people her age with normal lives is very sad. This is just a young girl, vulnerable and tired. Life has taken so much from her that has her feeling she has nothing to live for.

“I wish this was a love story because I know how it goes in one like mine, where the only moments of reprieve are the spaces between its lines.”

I can’t disclose the plot more than what’s being said in the synopsis. I went in blind and I loved it. There are so many twists. You can never really guess what direction the book would next take. There is this revelation in the end which is delivered so subtly and yet it hits your gut like a punch.

There are dark themes in this book. But the author keeps it clean. I love how even though this book covers some ugly and repulsive topics, there’s still no direct mention or visuals about them. This book covers adult themes and yet manages to remain a Young Adult. That in itself is a big achievement.

This is as real as a fiction can get. If you go into this book looking for answers, then you’ll be disappointed. But if you go just for the journey, it’ll be totally worth it. I had to stop at many points during my read to think about the choices Sadie had and how important every one of them were.

“I can only feel the weight of it, all of it, of every Sadie I’ve been, every choice that she’s made, and everything she could have possibly gotten so wrong that she’d end up here”

If you’re a fan of crime thrillers, suspense and mystery, then this is the perfect book for you. This was my first read from Courtney Summers but it won’t be the last.

My rating: ★★★★★

Book Review: Transcend (Transcend Duet #1) by Jewel E. Ann


“In another life, she was my forever.”

An unexpected tragedy leaves Professor Nathaniel Hunt a widower alone with a newborn baby.

He hires a nanny. She’s young, but well-qualified, with a simple life, a crazy name obsession, and a boyfriend she met at the grocery store.

Over time, he discovers she knows things about him—things that happened before she was born—like a hidden scar on his head, his favorite pizza, and how he cheated on a high school Spanish test.

She speaks familiar words and shares haunting memories that take him back to over two decades earlier when he lost his best friend in a tragic accident.

“I’m afraid of what’s going to happen when you realize I’m not her.”

Transcend is a sexy, mind-bending journey that uncovers possibilities, challenges beliefs, and begets the age-old question: is there life after death?


 

“A single touch can say things twenty-six letters can’t even begin to say.”

Some books stay with you long after you read them. Transcend was one of them.

This book has had me so strongly in its grasp from the very first line. And I was drawn right from the beginning. Some books take a long time for you to slowly drown in it. To engage you from the very first line? That in itself is a gift for an author.

The plot was just as the blurb describes but yet so much more. I don’t want to spoil it for you. Just if you believe in fate, you’re gonna love this book.

However, it’s quite clear that this book plays with the theme of reincarnation. And that was the only thing that had me dubious about starting the book. Reincarnation is not my thing, really. But the blurb had me fascinated and so I went in any way. Suffice it to say, I wasn’t disappointed.

I was afraid about how the book would play out the reincarnation plot but the author handled it in such a believable way. And she wrote the characters so beautifully.

I’m in love with the female protagonist. Swayze was strong, fierce and vulnerable all at the same time.

The two male characters had me so conflicted. Like, they both seemed perfect to me. Griff might just take the award for the best book boyfriend. He seemed so perfect at times that it felt unrealistic. Because let’s face it – not guy can be this perfect. Nate, on the other hand, had my heart aching for him. I felt like splitting Swayze up so that both guys would get their happy endings. Yeah, I’m crazy like that.

“The people in our lives give color to our existence. When we love, we choose to let part of our heart—part of our soul—live inside of another person. Their happiness is our happiness. Their grief is our grief. And when they die … part of us dies too.”

I need to be able to relate with the characters for me to like a book and sure enough, I loved Swayze. Something in me resonated with her. It also helps that Nate and Griff are so polar-opposites and yet equally swoon worthy. I wanted to give them hugs.

This is a read I won’t easily get over. I have high expectations from Epoch now!
Jewel E. Ann, don’t let me down!


My Ratings: ★★★★★