All the Little Hopes (by Leah Weiss) … a delightful story of two girls growing up in the South

A new historical fiction book that gives a different view of WWII.  I absolutely loved this book.  Lucy Brown and Allie “Bert” Tucker are delightful girls growing up in the early 1940s.  The author provides a wonderful picture of life in a small town in North Carolina.  The characters are well developed and while there are a lot of them, it is not difficult to keep up with them all.  There are so many aspects to this story that will delight the reader.  You have precocious girls who are determined to be the next Nancy Drew.  There are German prisoners in the POW camp in their town who work for the family.  Bad men are missing.  There are crazy people, those with the gift of “sight,” and family and community relationships.  I loved how the chapters were told from the viewpoint of Lucy and Bert.  You are told at the beginning whose view you are reading, so it’s important to check before you start the chapter to save any confusion.

The friendship that develops between the two girls is precious.  And the fact that Lucy’s family takes Bert in and makes her part of the family will bring tears to your eyes.  They are such a wonderful family and the loving and caring nature of the community is touching.  I am so pleased I was given the opportunity to read this book.  I can’t say enough positive things about this story.  I strongly encourage you to put this on your to-be-read list.

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebook Landmark for my advanced review copy.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Bad Witch Makes a Blunder (by K. M. Waller) … quirky characters with a great mystery

This is a great second book in the Bad Witch series by the author.  She always has me entertained from the first page.  The characters in the book are well developed.  You find yourself laughing and cringing at some of their antics.  There are twists and surprises … something you can expect from the author.  The mystery is interesting and keeps your attention.  But when you get to the final chapter, get ready for a shocking surprise.  Grab your copy and get started in the adventure with Lola.

Thank you to BookSprout and Kizzie Waller Books for my advanced review copy.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

The Beantown Girls (by Jane Healey) … delightful and moving story of the Red Cross Clubmobile girls

I really enjoyed this delightful story of three girls who serve as part of the Red Cross Clubmobile crew during WWII.  The cover caught my attention and then the book pulled me in.  I learned so much.  The characters are so well developed.  You really feel like you know each girl and you feel their joy, fear, sorrow, and anxiety as you travel with them through the pages.  While the girls have fun, their experiences are amazing.  They endure bombs being dropped around them, seeing the trauma the war has on the soldiers, the lack of food, having to live in tents, etc.  But they are so strong and resilient and you love their ability to grin and offer positive comments to the men with whom they interact.  I am so glad I was given the opportunity to read this wonderful book.  What an inspirational story that will have you laughing and crying … cheering and booing … sitting on the edge of your seat to find out how the story will end.  It’s worth the journey and I hope you put this at the top of your to-be-read list.

Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for my advanced review copy.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

What’s Worth Keeping (by Kaya McLaren) … an emotional read

This was an emotional read.  The characters are well developed.  They are dealing with issues … cancer diagnosis, secrets being kept, and fears.  Art and nature play a major role in the healing of the family.  But, they must heal within themselves before they can do so as a family unit.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Griffin for my advanced review copy.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

The Lost Manuscript (by Cathy Bonidan) … a different format type of book

While quite a few characters in the book, the author helps by making each one a different personality.  I appreciated the premise of the “lost” manuscript that impacts the lives of the characters.  The letter format of the story was unique and a different read for me.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for my advanced review copy.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Take It Back ~ Zara Kaleel #1 (by Kia Abdullah) … emotionally difficult read

This was an interesting read with lots of facets.  You will experience the dynamics of a rape accusation and trial, physical disability, and racial tensions.  It was emotionally difficult to read and you keep turning the pages while wondering what will happen.

Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins Publishers for my advanced review copy.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

The Arctic Fury (by Greer Macallister) … not what I was expecting

I was disappointed with this book.  I was anticipating an exciting arctic expedition.  Instead there was more attention on the trial and the courtroom.  I also felt that the ending was rushed so that I closed the book and thought, “Oh well.  That’s all?!”

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for my advanced review copy.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

The Last Sailor (by Sarah Anne Johnson) … a lot of emotions will be experienced

This book is an exploration into relationships . . . a myriad of relationships.  There are a lot of emotions experienced.  You will feel grief, fear, anxiety, anger, and loss.  While you travel through the pages with these emotions, the boat will finally come into port with forgiveness.  A slow read that did not keep my attention.

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for my advanced review copy.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

The Sowing Season (by Katie Powner) … analogy of reaping what you sow

This is the fourth and final book in the Verity Kent series.  This is the first book I’ve read in the series . . . and by the author . . . but it works well as a standalone.  I am not a big fan of books set during the time during and immediately after WWI, but I found the storyline to be interesting.  The characters are well developed and you will enjoy traveling through the pages with Verity and Sydney.  This is a good book to read if you enjoy historical mysteries.

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for my advanced review copy.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.