Sep 30, 2019

Lost Roses(Lilac Girls,#2)

Lost Roses.
Lilac Girls, #2
 martha hall kelly.

Publisher  Ballantine Books.
Publication Date: April 9,2019
Genre: Historical Fiction.
 Format|Pages: Hardcover|448.
 Source:  Goodreads|Library.


It is 1914 and the world has been on the brink of war so many times, many New Yorkers treat the subject with only passing interest. Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to St. Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanov's. The two met years ago one summer in Paris and became close confidantes. Now Eliza embarks on the trip of a lifetime, home with Sofya to see the splendors of Russia. But when Austria declares war on Serbia and Russia's Imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. In need of domestic help, they hire the local fortuneteller's daughter, Varinka, unknowingly bringing intense danger into their household. On the other side of the Atlantic, Eliza is doing her part to help the White Russian families find safety as they escape the revolution. But when Sofya's letters suddenly stop coming she fears the worst for her best friend.

From the turbulent streets of St. Petersburg to the avenues of Paris and the society of fallen Russian emigre's who live there, the lives of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka will intersect in profound ways, taking readers on a breathtaking ride through a momentous time in history. 


A beautiful story about love, family, friendship, hope and courage.

I read LILAC GIRLS few months earlier and fell in love with the story. I loved Caroline and was excited to read about her mother, Eliza. I was not disappointed, and even though I loved LILAC GIRLS , I fell in love with LOST ROSES . First, don’t you love that title? Since it is prequel to LILAC GIRLS, it can be read as stand-alone. From a moment that I started to read it I knew that I was going to love this book, however I did not realize how much I would enjoy it. A book that I found myself thinking about when I wasn’t reading it. The emotions in LOST ROSES were all over the place, and there were quite few parts that were hard to ready. All of the emotions that were described in the book were vivid that I felt that I could feel them all, along with all of the characters. I felt as I was experiencing everything that Eliza, Sofya and Varinka were. It was real.

Eliza and Sofya were my favorite and I don’t think that I would be able to pick between the two of them. Both of them are the type of characters that I would love to be friend with. The two of them were through so much, and yet not once did they give up. What Sofya went through, I cannot even begin to imagine going through what she had face, especially with someone that she trusted. All through the book, I hoped that she would be able to locate her son and get him back. I cannot imagine being away from your child as long as Sofya was. I did wonder if Max would recognize her and hoped that he would. Varnika, I had mixed feelings about her, there was part of me that liked her and felt sorry for her, considering what she had deal with. Yet, another part of me wasn’t happy how she took Max and then refused to give him back. He was not hers to keep. I was kind of hoping that she would come to her senses and return Max where he belonged. I feel that she would not, if she wasn’t caught. I do wonder what happened to her afterwards.

I love the friendship between Eliza and Sofya, what the two of them had is a friendship that would last for years to come. The way Eliza tried to see what happened to Sofya after her letters stopped coming, and helping her get Max back. Their friendship reminded me a lot of my best friend. Of course I loved that the parts of it took place in Russia since I am from there. I loved reading a book that took place in my country. I could tell how much research was put into this book. Now that I read LOST ROSES , I am eager for her next book to come out. MARTHA HALL KELLY is an remarkable author and has already became one of my favorites. I would highly recommend this book to everyone. LOST ROSES will keep you on edge of your seat from beginning to end. A story that will stay with you.

Sep 21, 2019


Dumplin', #2
 julie murphy.

Publisher  Balzer+Bray.
Publication Date: May8,2018.
Genre:YA Contemporary.
 Format|Pages: EBook|448.
 Source:  Goodreads|Library.


It is a companion novel to Dumplin', which follows supporting characters from the first book in the months after Willowdean's star turn in the Clover City pageant.

Millie Michalchuk has gone to fat camp every year since she was a girl. Not this year. This year she has new plans to chase her secret dream—and to kiss her crush. Callie Reyes is the pretty girl who is next in line for dance team captain and has the popular boyfriend. But when it comes to other girls, she’s more frenemy than friend. When circumstances bring the girls together over the course of a semester, they will surprise everyone (especially themselves) by realizing they might have more in common than they ever imagined. 


JULIE MURPHY had me falling in love again. I have been reading her books since 2014, and every time I read her book, I cannot stop. I have read DUMPLIN’ back at the beginning of 2019 and I loved every minute of it. I was excited when I found out that there was a sequel, so I finally got a copy from the library and the moment that I started reading it, I was hooked. PUDDIN’ is one of those stories that you cannot help but fall in love with, especially the characters. I was not as hooked as I was in DUMPIN’ at least not at first, but the book picked up fast, and once it did, it was impossible to put it back down. Every page, every chapter had me wondering what was going to happen next. I liked Millie back when she appeared in DUMPLIN’ and was excited to read a book about her. Now that I have read the book, besides Willow dean, she has become my favorite character, and there is a part of me that wonders what happened after.

Callie and Millie’s friendship was unexpected, considering how she acted towards Millie at first. As time passed, I could tell how much she started to care for Millie, even if she would not admit it at first. I believe that Millie helped her to get through the tough time, considering how her friends ditched her. I do wish that Millie told her sooner than she had, that she was the one who were Callie caught, but I understood why she did not. At the same time, if she told her right away, the two of them might not become friends. Callie became the type of friend that Millie needed, and Callie. Her dance team friends, they not friends. What kind of friends let her take the fall and then refuse even to acknowledge her? I am glad that Callie had Millie. I had a feeling that Callie would find out the truth, and hoped that they would get their friendship back on track, they needed each other.

I enjoyed reading the book from both Millie and Callie’s point of view, and I felt as I got to know both girls better. I saw how much Callie changed through the book. Both of them came a long way since the beginning of the book. I do hope that the two of them could stay friends for years to come. After reading PUDDIN’ it is clear to say that JULIE MURPHY became one of my favorite authors and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. I would highly recommend this book.

The Paris Seamstress.

the paris seamstress.
natasha lester.

Publisher  Forever.
Publication Date:September 18,2018.
Genre: Historical Fiction | Romance.
Format|Pages: EBook|455.
 Source:  Goodreads|Library.

1940: As the Germans advance upon Paris, young seamstress Estella Bissette is forced to flee everything she's ever known. She's bound for New York City with her signature gold dress, a few francs, and a dream: to make her mark on the world of fashion.

Present day: Fabienne Bissette journeys to the Met's annual gala for an exhibit featuring the work of her ailing grandmother - a legend of women's fashion design. But as Fabienne begins to learn more about her beloved grandmother's past, she uncovers a story of tragedy, heartbreak and family secrets that will dramatically change her own life.

"The Paris Seamstress is a gorgeously rich and romantic novel about young women finding their way in the world." -Kate Forsyth, author of Bitter Greens. 


Outstanding. Heartbreaking. Unforgettable.

Once again, so many emotions went through me while reading it. I came across THE PARIS SEAMSTRESS while browsing through the library’s digital collection, and I am glad that I did. There were days that I wished I had more time to read it, and every day I look forward to picking up again, finding out what happens next. Reading THE PARIS SEAMSTRESS , it is clear how much research put into this book. A book that made me fall in love with historical fiction more than I have been already. I loved that the story went back and forth between the 1940’s and present time, and fact that it was written from Estelle and Fabienne point of view which fit the story perfectly. I loved both of the girls in the story, but Estelle’s story fascinated me more, and I found myself that I could not put the book down. The way that it was written, and all the emotions in the story, I could feel them all and I felt as I was there along with Estelle and then Fabienne. A part of me did not want the story to end because I became so attached to the characters and the story. I have a feeling that it will be one of the books that I will go back to and re-read, in the future.

One of the things that I loved about the book was the mystery that was added to the book. Historical Fiction with mystery, now that sounds like a type of book that I would love. When Fabienne set out to find out the truth, I wondered if she would and what she would find out. I had a feeling that there was something that Estelle was not telling her granddaughter, but it wasn’t what I had expected. I was in shock. There were quite few unexpected twists through the book. I loved the twists and turns which made the book so much more interesting to read. When I came across THE PARIS SEAMSTRESS , I didn’t know what to expect since this is the first book that I have read by NATASHA LESTER , but I have seen quite few good reviews, and now that I read it, I know why. I did think the ending was a bit slow, but not for a long time. If you love historical fiction with mystery and romance in the mix, THE PARIS SEAMSTRESS is the one you should check out. Be prepared for emotional ride, but it’s worth every single page.

Sep 8, 2019

The Life She Was Given.

the life she was given.
ellen marie wiseman.

Publisher  Kensinghton.
Publication Date:July 25,2017.
Genre: Historical Fiction | Mystery.
Format|Pages: EBook|304.
 Source:  Goodreads|Library.


On a summer evening in 1931, Lilly Blackwood glimpses circus lights from the grimy window of her attic bedroom. Lilly isn't allowed to explore the meadows around Blackwood Manor. She's never even ventured beyond her narrow room. Momma insists it's for Lilly's own protection, that people would be afraid if they saw her. But on this unforgettable night, Lilly is taken outside for the first time--and sold to the circus sideshow.

More than two decades later, nineteen-year-old Julia Blackwood has inherited her parents' estate and horse farm. For Julia, home was an unhappy place full of strict rules and forbidden rooms, and she hopes that returning might erase those painful memories. Instead, she becomes immersed in a mystery involving a hidden attic room and photos of circus scenes featuring a striking young girl.

At first, The Barlow Brothers' Circus is just another prison for Lilly. But in this rag-tag, sometimes brutal world, Lilly discovers strength, friendship, and a rare affinity for animals. Soon, thanks to elephants Pepper and JoJo and their handler, Cole, Lilly is no longer a sideshow spectacle but the circus's biggest attraction. . .until tragedy and cruelty collide. It will fall to Julia to learn the truth about Lilly's fate and her family's shocking betrayal, and find a way to make Blackwood Manor into a place of healing at last.


Heart-wrenching. Extraordinary.

My feelings. There were so many emotions; I think that it’s one of saddest books that I read this year. When I came across THE LIFE SHE WAS GIVEN at library, I had a feeling that it was going be a story that I was going to enjoy. I had a feeling that it was going be a sad one when I read the summary of the book, but I was not prepared how emotional it would be. Even after finishing reading, I cannot get the story out of my mind. THE LIFE SHE WAS GIVEN is a book that you won’t forget; it will stay with you long after you reach the last page. I had always loved books about circus; one of my best friends does that, Circus. For as long as I remember, it always fascinated me and THE LIFE SHE WAS GIVEN wasn’t any different, even if there were times where it was hard to read the book because of what was happening. I enjoyed reading both from Lilly and Julia’s point of view, though Lilly’s story pulled me more into the story. I was curious what Julia would find out, though it wasn’t what I was expecting at all, took me by surprise.

THE LIFE WAS GIVEN Is a story that will pull you in, but at the same time there will be times where it get hard for you to read. You will cry, I did. That ending, I wasn’t expecting and with everything that happened, even I did not expect that ending. I loved Lilly, and out of all the characters in the book, she was my favorite. Considering everything that she went through, she kept on going and that takes a lot of courage. There were times when I wanted to give her a hug and just hold her. All the feelings that Lilly was feeling, I found myself having the same feeling while I read the book. I prayed for her to get out of the situation and find some happiness. It seemed like there was always something going on, and the way she was treated at the circus. I am glad that she at least had Cole. I was hoping and rooting for her happy ending. I still cannot get over how the story ended. There wasn’t anything I didn’t like about this book, I couldn’t put it down despite the fact how sad it was.

THE LIFE SHE WAS GIVEN was the first book that I read by ELLEN MARIE WISEMAN and now that I have, I am eager to check the other books that she had written. If you love historical fiction with some mystery in the mix, be sure to check out THE LIFE SHE WAS GIVEN. Be prepared for emotional roller coaster ride.


Story For Dessert Published @ 2014 by Ipietoon