Tag: Contemporary

Book Review: The Cloisters by Katy Hays

The Cloisters
Author:
Katy Hays

Published: November 1, 2022
312 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

When Ann Stilwell arrives in New York City, she expects to spend her summer working as a curatorial associate at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Instead, she finds herself assigned to The Cloisters, a gothic museum and garden renowned for its medieval art collection and its group of enigmatic researchers studying the history of divination.

Desperate to escape her painful past, Ann is happy to indulge the researchers’ more outlandish theories about the history of fortune telling. But what begins as academic curiosity quickly turns into obsession when Ann discovers a hidden 15th-century deck of tarot cards that might hold the key to predicting the future. When the dangerous game of power, seduction, and ambition at The Cloisters turns deadly, Ann becomes locked in a race for answers as the line between the arcane and the modern blurs.

A haunting and magical blend of genres, The Cloisters is a gripping debut that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Kim’s Review:

My first book of 2023! And unfortunately it was kind of a dud. I went into it expecting a lot of supernatural mystery and spooky elements … what I got was adult drama and a murder mystery. The best thing about this book was the setting! Now I want to go to NYC and visit the Cloisters! The world of history and artifacts gets me all geeked out! There was a nice focus on some of those artifacts, but even then, it didn’t feel like enough. And there was some odd historical research that I really wasn’t able to follow; a lot of mental gymnastics that I don’t think would hold up very well in academia. Overall, I was just disappointed, I expected so much more!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Short Story Sunday: The Father Does Not Die at the End by Adam Silvera

The Father Does Not Die at the End
Series:
Death-Cast

Author: Adam Silvera
Published: November 1, 2022
42 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: January 2, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Jessica’s Review:

The Father Does Not Die at the End is the short story fans of They Both Die have been waiting for! It was recently published with the special Collector’s Edition of They Both Die at the End and continues the story with Mateo’s father coming out of his coma and finding out what happened to his son.

I was conflicted with reading it as I have been anticipating this short story, but knew it would become emotional as it deals with a father finding out his son has passed away (and how)  while being in a coma. And it was emotional. Silvera masterfully captured Maeto “Teo” Torrez’s emotions and feelings while continuing the story. Though sad, the ending was still optimistic. I had read that Silvera wants to continue in the world of Death-Cast and he has this reader (among many others) that will definitely be reading those!

Purchase Links for the Collector’s Edition:
Amazon US
Barnes and Noble

 

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A Review of Once Upon a Book Club’s 12 Days of Book-Club-Mas

Once Upon a Book Club is a monthly subscription box service that offers YA and adults boxes and very soon will be offering a middle grades box. Each month, subscribers receive a newly released novel and wrapped gifts labeled with page numbers. As they read the featured book, they are prompted to only open the gifts when they reach the specified page number. **Please note that I am not  a subscriber and have bought three boxes with my own money, including this 12 Days of Book-Club-Mas that my review today will be about. This is not a sponsored post with the company.**

  Once Upon a Book Club’s 12 Days of Book-Club-Mas
Series: Volume IV
Author: various

Published: December 1, 2021
230 pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 12-27, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars      

Book Description:

Volume 4 of The 12 Days of Book-Club-Mas features twelve, exclusive short stories from twelve authors who curated their stories around a specific wrapped gift that readers were meant to open as they read.

Jessica’s Review:

This was the 2021 version though I read it in 2022. That is because there were shipping issues that Once Upon A Book Club (OUABC) experienced. So yes, I held onto this box for a whole year! It is a book of 12 short stories, and at a certain point in the story you open your daily gift. The gift enhances the story and it was a fun experience!

The short stories are not Christmas related, but most were book related or dealt with some kind of death and grief.  I really enjoyed days 2,3, 6, and 10. Day 7 was my ultimate favorite story because like one character, I am a blogger!  I feel that the Day 6 short story should have actually been day 7 because the number 7 was consistent throughout the story.  OUABC missed out on that opportunity. 

The gifts were fun to get to and open each day. They range from books to curtains to more.  Some of the gifts I will use and the others I will have to figure out. 

I highly recommend giving OUABC ‘advent box’ a chance if you have the time for daily reads and the money for the box when it becomes available.  You would want to act fast as this box tends to sell out quickly!  Will I buy this box again in the future: More than likely!

Here are some of my pictures for an idea on what the box/gifts are like:

I shared each daily gift on my story on Instagram.  There is a photo album on my Facebook Page.

Day 8 was a gift smaller than my hand! It was an ornament of the book Jane Eyre:

Day 9 was uniquely shaped: It ended up being a bookend!

 The gifts ranged from as small as a keychain

To as large as curtains and a windshield protector for your car!:

 I wanted to get this review in early in the year!

To look into Once Upon a Book Club, their website is here.

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