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Anticipated 2022 Read!

Thursday, September 16, 2021

A spell-binding retelling of The Nutcracker, filled with enchanted toys, decadent balls, fierce feminine friendships and a forbidden romance. For fans of The ToymakersCaraval and The Bear and the Nightingale.

There’s nothing Marietta Stelle loves more than ballet, but after Christmas, her dreams will be over as she is obligated to take her place in Edwardian society. While she is chafing against such suffocating traditions, a mysterious man purchases the neighbouring townhouse. Dr Drosselmeier is a charming but calculating figure who wins over the rest of the Stelle family with his enchanting toys and wondrous mechanisms.

When Drosselmeier constructs an elaborate set for Marietta’s final ballet performance, she discovers it carries a magic all of its own. On the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve, she is transported to a snowy forest, where she encounters danger at every turn: ice giants, shadow goblins and the shrieking mist all lurk amidst the firs and frozen waterfalls and ice cliffs. After being rescued by the butterscotch-eyed captain of the king’s guard, she is escorted to the frozen sugar palace. At once, Marietta is enchanted by this glittering world of glamorous gowns, gingerbread houses, miniature reindeer and the most delicious confectionary.

But all is not as it seems and Marietta is soon trapped in the sumptuous palace by the sadistic King Gelum, who claims her as his own. She is confined to a gilded prison with his other pets; Dellara, whose words are as sharp as her teeth, and Pirlipata, a princess from another land. Marietta must forge an alliance with the two women to carve a way free from this sugar-coated but treacherous world and back home to follow her dreams. Yet in a hedonistic world brimming with rebellion and a forbidden romance that risks everything, such a path will never be easy.


This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber

Monday, June 24, 2019

A love worth fighting for. A dream worth dying for. An ending worth waiting for.

It’s been two months since the Fates were freed from a deck of cards, two months since Legend claimed the throne for his own, and two months since Tella discovered the boy she fell in love with doesn’t really exist.

With lives, empires, and hearts hanging in the balance, Tella must decide if she’s going to trust Legend or a former enemy. After uncovering a secret that upends her life, Scarlett will need to do the impossible. And Legend has a choice to make that will forever change and define him.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun. There are no spectators this time—only those who will win, and those who will lose everything.

Welcome, welcome to Finale. All games must come to an end…

Goodreads Summary

I was so excited when our library received this arc! I have loved the first two books in this series and regularly recommend this book to patrons from teens to adults. It's difficult to write a review without any accidental spoilers. I really enjoyed the world-building that Garber is so famous for. The scenery is vivid and the dialogue jumps off of the page. I was a little surprised that this book focused so much on Tella. I can't decide whether I prefer Tella's character over Scarlett's, but I was anticipating more of Scarlett's point of view. I would have preferred to see the sisters develop a deeper relationship throughout this book, but I was pretty happy with the relationships that continued to deepen. Tella and Legend are legendary in the book world (as far as relationships go) to me. Scarlett and Julian are an interesting twist. Donatella, who I regarded as a strong character, seemed to exist merely as part of a love triangle (which I admit to hating). 

The plot was fairly strong. I think I appreciated the first two books more, but I still enjoyed how fast-paced and easy it was to read through the lengthy novel. I had trouble putting this book down and even took it to the beach with me. I loved learning more about the Fates; they were such a dark and mysterious part of this trilogy for me and I finally felt more satisfied as this book was concluding. I wish the ending was a little more fleshed out. I have a lot of unanswered questions and I'm still hoping for a prequel or two.

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

HALLMARK LAUNCHES CHRISTMAS IN JULY WITH “CHRISTMAS CAMP" (Movie & novel both written by Karen Schaler)

The Breaking News We’ve Wanted to Share with You Since Last December:

Last winter, Karen Schaler first wrote the movie AND then the book CHRISTMAS CAMP – now, the CHRISTMAS CAMP movie is premiering as a Hallmark Original Christmas movie on July 11th, as part of a special “Christmas in July” celebration!

About the Book:
From Karen Schaler, screenwriter of the smash Netflix hit A Christmas Prince, comes CHRISTMAS CAMP, a heart-warming holiday novel about a woman’s journey to Christmas Camp, where she discovers her Christmas spirit…and a special someone to love.  Currently available as a trade paperback original, William Morrow will release CHRISTMAS CAMP as a mass market paperback on 9/24/19.  The new edition includes the bonus sequel novella CHRISTMAS CAMP WEDDING and exclusive Christmas Camp recipes and activities. 


Haley Hanson’s idea of the perfect Christmas is escaping to the Caribbean to work so she can avoid all the traditional Christmas distractions. Over the years, she’s sacrificed her personal life to climb the corporate ladder at a prestigious Boston advertising agency. Now she just needs to land a coveted Christmas toy company account to make partner. But first her boss thinks she needs a holiday attitude adjustment and ships her off to a Christmas Camp at Holly Peak Inn to help her find her Christmas spirit.

Arriving at the charming mountainside inn, Haley meets the owner’s handsome son, Jeff, and feels an instant spark, but resists the attraction, refusing to be distracted from her goal of doing all the required Christmas tasks as fast as possible so she can get back to work.

At first Haley struggles with all the traditional Christmas Camp activities. It’s not until she finally allows herself to slow down, live in the moment, and let Christmas back into her heart, that she begins to grow closer to Jeff. But when he finds out Haley’s come up with a plan to help his dad save the struggling inn while he’s been trying to convince his dad to sell it, their relationship takes a serious holiday hit. Now it will take the magic of the season to bring these two hearts together. 

Trade Paperback (available now) 9780062883698
Mass Market (on-sale 8.26.19) 9780062950239
eBook (available now) 9780062883681
Digital Audio (available now) 9780062909312

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

The Best Lies by Sarah Lyu

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Remy Tsai used to know how her story would turn out. But now, she doesn’t even know what tomorrow will look like.

She was happy once. Remy had her boyfriend Jack, and Elise, her best friend—her soulmate—who understood her better than anyone else in the world.

But now Jack is dead, shot through the chest—

And it was Elise who pulled the trigger.

Was it self-defense? Or something deeper, darker than anything Remy could have imagined? As the police investigate, Remy does the same, sifting through her own memories, looking for a scrap of truth that could save the friendship that means everything to her.

Told in alternating timelines, Thelma and Louise meets Gone Girl in this twisted psychological thriller about the dark side of obsessive friendship.

Goodreads Summary

I've noticed that in books (and probably life) that boys often get in the way of friendships. Remy and Elise were the best of friends, supporting each other through thick and thin. Remy doesn't have a perfect home life and Elise makes that bearable. When Jack enters her life she feels like things are looking up. He is a kind, sweet man who treats her well and seems very invested in her. I didn't get any bad or unusual vibes off of him and their romance seemed to develop normally. When Jack is shot through the chest and Elise is implicated as a suspect in his murder Remy doesn't know who to trust or what to believe.  

I liked how this book focused so much on female friendships. The author took a darker view on them for the purpose of the plot, but it felt more like the book was about friendship and that the romance was a side-plot. I loved the chilly atmosphere (especially during Elise's portion of the books). Although I could see where (in a sick, weird way) Elise may have been coming from I didn't really understand why she took it so far. Remy was a bit frustrating. There were points where I wanted to shake her. I think the author writes characters very cleanly and helps the reader connect to them. I could foresee the ending coming before it came, but that didn't make it any less satisfying. I am definitely looking forward to more from this author and can't wait for her next novel!

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ