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1/31/2022 • comments off • Filed Under: Fantasy, Middle Grade

Publication date: February 1st 2022
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
ISBN: 1616205067

Tick . . . tick . . . tick . . .

Time is running out in the empire of Rheinvelt.

The sudden appearance of a strange and frightening statue foretells darkness. The Hierophants—magic users of the highest order—have fled the land. And the shadowy beasts of the nearby Hinterlands are gathering near the borders, preparing for an attack.

Young Prince Alphonsus is sent by his mother, the Empress Sabine, to reassure the people while she works to quell the threat of war. But Alphonsus has other problems on his mind, including a great secret: He has a clock in his chest where his heart should be—and it’s begun to run backwards, counting down to his unknown fate.

Searching for answers about the clock, Alphonsus meets Esme, a Hierophant girl who has returned to the empire in search of a sorceress known as the Nachtfrau. When riddles from their shared past threaten the future of the empire, Alphonsus and Esme must learn to trust each other and work together to save it—or see the destruction of everything they both love.

Thank you so much for to Algonquin Young Readers and Brian Farrey for having me today on the blog tour for The Counterclockwise Heart! I’m so excited to be featuring and reviewing this book in today’s post.

It’s been such a long time where I’ve been able to sit down with a middle grade novel, and not only that, but just sit down and enjoy myself. So much of my reading lately has been just . . . not fun and that’s entirely my fault, but to say this book was a breath of fresh air after starting and stopping so many other books over the past few months would be an understatement.

I kind of knew from the opening chapter that I was going to love it; it reminded so much of the books that made me fall in love with reading when I was younger. The mystery, the centering of a story on anything involving a clock always drew me in and still does. The setting was vast and varied, exploring numerous parts of the kingdom that Alphonus’ mother ruled over; I hate to call it a fun adventure, given the reasons the characters were doing it, but the exploration really did make it more fun.

Perhaps my favorite part though was the heavy German influence woven throughout the story. As a descendent of someone who was a burgermeister in the old country, I was ecstatic when I first saw the word pop up in the book. Then to notice details, big and small, throughout that hinted at said German influence . . . it was so cool to see. I can’t say I’ve read other books like that so an MG novel having it was exciting!

I wish I would’ve had this book when I was ten. I think that’s the age when I would’ve really loved and enjoyed it most, but I’m so glad I was able to read it now. Brian Farrey is an incredible storyteller and that shines brightly in The Counterclockwise Heart.

The Counterclockwise Heart releases tomorrow, February 1st! You can click the links* below to order your copy! <3 You can visit Brian on his website and on Twitter.
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository
(*links are not affiliate links.)

1/18/2022 • comments off • Filed Under: Adult Fiction, Romance

Publication date: January 18th 2022
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
ISBN: 1250624185

Sexy, grumpy neighbor who is going to get in the way of your plans? Check. Unfortunately.

Grace Travis has it all figured out. In between finishing school and working a million odd jobs, she’ll get her degree and her dream job. Most importantly, she’ll have a place to belong, something her harsh mother could never make. When an opportunity to fix up—and live in—a little house on the beach comes along, Grace is all in. Until her biggest roadblock moves in next door.

Noah Jansen knows how to make a deal. As a real estate developer, he knows when he’s found something special. Something he could even call home. Provided he can expand by taking over the house next door–the house with the combative and beautiful woman living in it.

With the rules for being neighborly going out the window, Grace and Noah are in an all-out feud. But sometimes, your nemesis can show you that home is always where the heart is.

I realize it’s been . . . forever since I last posted. Oopsies. It’s not like I haven’t posted on Instagram but posting here has been a chore I haven’t managed to get done. It’s a promise you’ve heard before but that is changing! Lots of content and change is coming to this website super soon and I’m thrilled about it. More on that later. For now, though, let’s talk about a book for the first time in 2022.

First of all, thanks so much to St. Martin’s Press for providing me an e-galley of How to Love Your Neighbor by Sophie Sullivan! I haven’t read a lot of chicklit/romance, not for lack of trying—more just because I’m typically set in my ways (which has long been various YA genres) and haven’t really read outside of it. Bookstagram has made me realize I need to branch out so I was ready to jump the second the email came in!

A few chapters in, I got super nervous about what I’d gotten myself into, namely because I had an exceptionally bad neighbor up until 2020 and it began to bring out some . . . harsh feelings. To say the least. Noah was a jerk and it was so hard to like him for a long time. He was a spoiled rich boy with no regard for anyone else; even being described as attractive really wasn’t doing it for me! Yet.

I was startled by just how much I related to Grace and I think that was what really made me fall in love with this book. She’s a 27-year-old college student nearing graduation with no money, no relationship and still trying to figure out her life. I rarely see myself, at the stage I’m at, represented in the media I take in; normally 27-year-olds are married or divorced with kids and are beginning their lives again. From my perspective, life hasn’t even really started. And that’s how it was for Grace. I loved her so much! Not just because of those things; she was independent and strong-willed and flawed and I understood her all too well.

I’m not sure at what point I started to like Noah but there was this switch moment where I found myself rooting for them so hard. The beach setting was cozy but I found myself loving the character more than I cared about the setting. This was such a fun, fluffy read and, especially in the last 40%-ish, I was giggling and enjoying myself so much. If there’s one thing I learned out of this book, it’s that I really, really love fluffy romances. It was pointed out to me that this is a “Grump meets Sunshine” trope and I totally agree. If you love that trope—I found out that I do—then this is the absolute perfect book for you.

I also found out that Sophie Sullivan is a Disney fan like me and seeing that made my LIFE. How to Love Your Neighbor is out today!

Currently Listening To: Daylight - Taylor Swift