November 20, 2019

Mini-reviews: Winterwood + Twice in a Blue Moon

pub 11/5/19 by Simon Pulse
Young Adult - Fantasy
Received e-ARC from pub for review
⭐⭐⭐ 3 stars | Winterwood is my first Shea Ernshaw novel so I went in with zero expectations. Her writing was engaging and I was intrigued by the haunted, magical woods of Fir Haven and what rumored witch, Nora Walker, was capable of. It was these two aspects – the magic and the heroine – that kept me reading even when the plot turned out to be completely predictable. The predictability is what ultimately lowered my enjoyment of the book because it was too obvious as to where the plot was headed and I say that as someone who usually terrible at calling the twists and turns. Still, the atmospheric writing and the mystery around the Walker women reeled me in, in spite of that. Nora and her ancestors have always shared a special connection with the woods and each is blessed (some say cursed) with unique abilities. That's how Nora is able to find Oliver Huntsman alive and well despite having disappeared from the Camp of Wayward Boys weeks ago. But he doesn't remember what happened to him and Nora takes it upon herself to find out, especially as they become close and she begins to care for him. He has secrets of his own though and the story's intensity grew as those secrets, and the involvement of others who wanted his memories to stay that way, came to a head. But as I mentioned earlier, I found the ending disappointing in its predictability and rushed, convenient wrap-up.

Do I recommend? | It wasn't for me but despite that, I would be interested in reading more of her work in the future. If you really want to read this, I'd recommend borrowing from the library.


pub 10/22/2019
Romance - Contemporary
Received ARC from pub for review
⭐⭐⭐💫 3.5 stars | I'm a sucker for second chance romances and when it's one written by Christina Lauren, I know it's going to be a doozy. In other words, a whole lot of feels! It all begins in the past when Sam and Tate meet during a two-week vacation abroad with their respective grandparents. They fall in love in that intense first love kind of way where they share everything about themselves. That's how Tate ends up revealing that she's the long-lost daughter of a famous movie star and soon after, it's clear her trust was misplaced. Flash-forward to fourteen years later when Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, steps onto the set of her newest film only to find Sam, her not-so-forgotten first love, there as well. What transpires is a whole lot of angst, slow reveals to the past and getting to know one another in the present. Christina Lauren really do excel at making readers believe in that rare, immediate connection with someone at first-meet and the notion of "one true love," both of which can be seen here. It's not a perfect story and I actually would've loved to see more of Sam and Tate as individuals in the past, during the years apart and when they're reunited again. I think knowing more history and more character development would've given the story more emotional impact. But I honestly didn't mind it much. I felt very invested in the present romance and watching these two individuals who never forgot one another, slowly work their way back.

Do I recommend? | I do! Twice in a Blue Moon is my favorite of their two 2019 releases but the title of ultimate fave still belongs to Sweet Filthy Boy.

1 comment

  1. I really liked Twice in a Blue Moon for the most part, even though there were definitely details that didn't sit too well! And I am still curious about Winterwood (though I didn't love Shea Ernshaw's debut) too.

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