Mini Reviews: Netgalley Edition

With my recent vacation, I have fallen a bit behind in posting reviews and wanted to take a chance to catch up on some of the books I’ve received from Netgalley in the past few months. Thank you to Netgalley and Publishers for allowing me to read and review these books!

Something New by Dianne Christner
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Something New was full of realistic characters, great plot building (the backstory was really well done at the beginning of the book) and a sweet, but predictable romance.

I really liked Lily, and found her relatable. Fletch? He was great, one of my favorite “heroes” that I’ve read in Mennonite/Amish romance books! And I found his work at the Animal Shelter just one more notch in his “Why I Love this Hero” category.

My only real complaint about this book was that it ended abruptly, which I’m sure was an attempt to set up/cliff hang for book #2. But, I have to say it felt like it was lacking.

In the end? I really enjoyed Something New, it was a great start to a new series. I recommend this book to all fans of Amish/Mennonite fiction! Dianne Christner is now among my top authors for this genre.


Escaping Titanic: A Young Girl’s True Story of Survival
by Marybeth Lorbiecki
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I was so excited to receive a review copy (ebook/netgalley) for this book! I love the All things titanic. (Yes, even the over-priced, over-hyped Hollywood portrayal!) And to be able to share this picture book with my daughter was even better!

The art in this book was beautiful, my daughter asked to keep my iPad after I’d read it so she could look at the pictures as she fell asleep. And the story realistic – while it is not gruesome it is truthful which may make it a difficult subject for sensitive children. One specific mention of boys as young as 12 being turned away from the lifeboats because they were “men”.

For me, aside from the amazing artwork? This was a fantastic way to share history with my daughter and I love that it’s a non-fictional picture book. I think this book would be an excellent classroom tool for elementary children.

by Catherine McKenzie
Rating: DNF

I love gossip rags, I loved the idea of this story. A reporter following a star to rehab? The whole mess that comes with the lies she must tell to get the story and ultimately the job? Great ideas! Unfortunately, for me this story just fell flat. I felt like there were too many un-resolved plot points and many of the characters were not realistic for my liking. Perhaps the alcohol/rehab storyline was too personal to me, or the celeb aspect just not my thing anymore. Whatever the case, I got a little over halfway and completely lost interest.

However, just looking at the good reads page? There are lots of people who love this book, it just wasn’t the book for me. I would like to give some links to reviews where the readers really enjoyed this book so you can more accurately make your decision on if you want to read or not!

Book Hooked Blog
The Book Chick
That’s What She Read
Chick Lit Reviews and News

Various Positions
by Martha Schabas
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥

Ballet books have been all the YA rage lately – Audition & Bunheads being two of them. I loved Audition, and I was really excited to read Various Positions. That said? I went into it with the VERY wrong idea of what I was getting. I hadn’t read a review, I hadn’t read much more than the Synopsis.

Let me start by saying I would probably still classify this book as YA, but I would definitely say that there are some MAJOR adult themes in this book. (Although, if you were a 14 year old like I was? These adult themes would be fine, but if you were more innocent like my sister? I would NOT advice this book.)

Georgia is a talented ballerina, who feels most herself when dancing. She does fall in love with her 40 year old instructor, and there are pornographic aspects to this. (Well, they’ve been described that way in other reviews I’ve read – really? She takes sexually provocative photographs of herself with her teacher in mind. You’ve been warned – as I’m sure many parents would be hoping to be. )

Various Positions is a good read, although if you’re looking for something more ballet focused or innocent? I would probably recommend the two above before this.


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