reader notes: a mini review

Seascapes by Evelyn Grace.

2020 reads: book 13

5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This book was too short. I need more about Haven and Kate and Drew, and more about Peter and his church windows. This was a sweet, summery read with a classic Maine vibe. I pulled it out a couple times today because I was about three quarters of the way through and I wanted to know how it ended. I can’t WAIT for the second in this series!

This novel is similar in writing and storytelling to Karen Kingsbury and Lindsay Harrell.

Fun fact: Evelyn has been a family friend for years and years, and was partly responsible for my poetry writing!

An Abundance of Katherines

Reader Notes: a mini review

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

2020 read: book nine

4/5 stars


I liked this one, but it lacked a little of the finesse and emotional impact of John’s later books. It’s not necessarily one I’m going to go re-read, but it’s one I’ll keep on my shelf and hand to my teenagers if I ever get around to that stage of my life.

Colin sort of annoyed me, but at the same time I liked him. I am not good at math, my dyslexic brain has trouble with reading the numbers right so while I can grasp a lot of the theory, I tend to read 6 instead of 9 and so the math doesn’t work out right — I solved the problem correctly, I just didn’t solve the correct problem. But anyway for all that I still did high school math team from age 12 to age 17 (I opted not to graduate early because I liked math team so much) so I like math, I just struggle with doing the correct problems. Which is a little bit like Colin. I think he struggles to do the correct problems, and that is most of the issue. But he seems to work it out in the end.

Lindsey is wild and I love her. And Hassan is MAGNIFICENT..

All in all, I enjoyed the read.

Three Things I Know Are True

Reader Notes: a mini review

2020 reads: book eight

Three Things I Know Are True by Betty Culley

Tell Me Three Things: there is only one rule. You have to tell the truth.

Five out of five stars

Betty’s debut novel is deep, aching, and had me fighting tears in the waiting room at the car repair shop. I’ve never read a verse novel before but it was the perfect form for this story and even helped me see how one of my stories would like to be told.

My favorite part was how Jonah stayed human. How Betty exposed the humanity, the exquisite beauty of broken bones and broken brains and broken hearts. It is so important to remember that brokenness isn’t always visible, and so important to touch those around us with soft fingers. “Where are you? What lives in your world?”

Liv reminds me of myself when I was 12 – fidgety, words turning into mashed potatoes when they come into my ears. Jonah… oh, Jonah. I know you. My Jonah was five years older than me. Her name was Heidi and she was one of my best friends when I was five. She and I would sing together because we could.

I felt like I knew this story, even though I’ve never read it before, never read the reviews. This is a story about my people. About my world.

Tell me three things.

There is only one rule.

You have to tell the truth.


Reader Notes: a mini review

2020 reads: book six

Reformed by H.L. Burke.


It’s up for preorder until release day, May 1st, and if you like superheroes, sassy books, magnificent cats, and strong characters (both male and female), you want to read this one.

5/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I’ve read a few superhero stories and this one takes the cake. Reformed has all the character depth and development as a Marvel movie, with an incredible cast of characters, Burke’s usual sassy tone, and some genuinely heartwarming moments. This story is about young adults, mid twenties mostly, but would be suitable for superhero fans ages 13 and up.

Aiden is my favorite, by the way.

Guest appearance by Westley who’s so black he screwed up the white balance in the photo.

Reader Notes: The Worst Best Man

The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

2020 reads: book five



I think this just wasn’t my book. There was quite a bit of language, which I don’t really mind but it did seem out of place or excessive, and there were several graphic steamy scenes that I skipped over. I hadn’t expected that content based on the summary, and found it jarring. I don’t mind a little well-done heat but again, it felt excessive and I skipped the scenes.

But Max and Lina were so sweet and precious that I had to keep reading to find out if they got their Happily Ever After. And the last couple of chapters… oh, those were beautiful.

Was amused by the old car breaking down. Also confused. Does Lina not have AAA? 🤪

I appreciated the author’s ability to weave a compelling story… I just think I’d be happier sticking to YA and NA rather than adult romcoms.

As Many Nows As I Can Get

As Many Nows As I Can Get by Shana Youngdahl

5/5 stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

2020 reads: book four

I very much enjoyed this one. It made me think, and made me feel, and made me evaluate my own measure of humanity the same way Scarlett had to. The actual writing is very curious, with hopping around in time, but I didn’t have the trouble I often have with a non-linear timeline.

Scarlett, Mina, David… they’re very real in my mind. I feel as though I could find Scarlett, touch her shoulder, and say, “I know what it’s like, I’m here.” But as we weave our way through the story it becomes plain that Scarlett is here, too, and that she’ll come out okay.

(That ending. I cried at my little brother’s soccer game.)

Due to subject matter I’d recommend for 17-18+. Definitely a higher end of the YA spectrum and deals with some challenging subjects in a way that doesn’t disguise or belittle them, but presents them honestly–openly–as the fact of the matter.

Darling Rose Gold

Reader Notes: a mini review

My Elli Girl

2020 reads, book 3: Darling Rose Gold, Stephanie Wrobel’s debut novel.

Releases March 17, 2020.

Dark. Gripping. Sharp. 5/5 stars.


I don’t usually go for psychological thriller type books but I picked this ARC up at my library, and oh. my. word. I read the last third of the book in an hour yesterday afternoon which had orginally been planned for a nap, but I started reading and couldn’t put it down until I got to the end and figured out what was going on.

My new kitten, Emma Indie

Wrobel’s story telling is incredible. She flawlessly captures the flawed nature of humanity. She peels back the layers of human relationships and human behaviours and makes no conclusions, merely lays the pieces before you. She made me think with this book; I had a ‘book hangover’ for the first time in a while with this one.

Recommended for thriller fans 18+

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird

Reader Notes: a mini review

2020 reads, 2 – The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver.

I got an ARC of this book from one of my libraries, and I’ve just been eating it up. This is one I would go back and reread for the sweet, poignant prose and the beautiful story. Lydia walks us through the question: what would you do if you had more time with the person you love?

This story spoke clearly about love and loss and the transformation that comes with healing. You never quite get over the hole they leave, but you can go forward anyway.


5/5 stars for a brilliantly done novel. This beautiful story releases on March 3rd, 2020, and if you’re interested in a sweet adult romance, I’d recommend this for 17+.

A Thousand Perfect Notes

Reader Notes: a mini review

2020 reads: book 1, A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews

January 11, 2020

Oh. My. Heavens.

This book is sweet and bitter and I can’t tell if it feels like 90% dark caoco, or like I got hit in the mouth and am tasting blood. It’s deep and dark and golden and violently beautiful and it feels like the deep woods that I’ve only haunted a few times but are always calling me back. This book is elegant in its catastrophe, and devastating, and simple, and just STUNNING.

My favorite quote:

He likes her because there’s sunshine in her eyes and she knows the secrets to smiling.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (five out of five stars)

Turtles All the Way Down


Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

About the book: 

“Wrenching and revelatory.” An instant #1 bestseller, the widely acclaimed Turtles All the Way Down is John Green’s brilliant and shattering new novel.

“A tender story about learning to cope when the world feels out of control.” – People

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.



My Review: 


Five stars

It’s been a month since I finished reading this one and I still don’t have words for it. So sorry.

felt this one more than his others, and a little like Jack Black in Jumanjii, I forgot that he’s not, in fact, a teenage girl. It was that kind of relatable.

I thoroughly enjoyed it, but the language and some of the content means I recommend for 16+.