The Beast Within: A Tale Of Beauty’s Prince by Serena Valentino [Book Review]

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Book Review: The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty's Prince | Fairy Tale Retelling | Fantasy | YA | RachelPoli.com

I bought the book.

Summary:

A cursed prince sits alone in a secluded castle. Few have seen him, but those who claim they have say his hair is wild and nails are sharp–like a beast’s! But how did this prince, once jovial and beloved by the people, come to be a reclusive and bitter monster? And is it possible that he can ever find true love and break the curse that has been placed upon him?

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

While the cover is pretty simple, I absolutely love how they did the hardcover. The sleeve is the beast as a beast, but when you take it off, it’s Prince Adam as a human. I thought it was clever. As someone who always takes the jacket off as they read, it was a nice surprise.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I love my fair share of fairy-tale retellings. It’s not often you get one of the villain (even though the beast isn’t technically the bad guy). So this is something I wanted to try out.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

The plot is simply Beauty and the Beast but through the Beast’s eyes. There are a few changes here and there, but for the most part, a lot is similar to the Disney movie.

The majority of this story is a flash back as the Beast searches for people to love after he’s cursed. Instead of one witch cursing him, it’s a group of sisters who do the deed after the Beast breaks up with one of their sisters. It’s certainly an interesting twist, but it didn’t really do it for me.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

Aside from the witches and Beast’s girlfriends here and there, the characters were all the same as the Disney movie. The difference being that I cared more about the characters in the movie than I did in this book.

Some parts seemed like they were taken straight from the movie, losing all originality for me. The witches were annoying and none of the characters seemed to develop at all… except the Beast, but we already knew that.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

The writing was too dry for me. I realize that sounds harsh, but there wasn’t any feeling behind the words. The dialogue was flat and the description could have been better. I appreciated the world the author tried to build, but it just didn’t work for me.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This book isn’t what I expected. It was either way too similar to the Disney movie or it was way off the marker. It’s good to try new things with a world that’s already been built for you, but when it’s such a classic, you have to be delicate with it. And it just didn’t work for this.

The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty’s Prince by Serena Valentino gets…
Book Review Rating System | 2 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com 2 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“To die, one much first have been alive. And the Beast could finally say that by finding love, he had lived.” –Serena Valentino, The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty’s Prince

Buy the book:

Amazon

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Rot 6: Filling Time By Aidan J. Reid [Book Review]

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!

Book Review | Rot 6: Filling Time by Aidan J. Reid | Short Story | Dark Comedy | RachelPoli.com

I received a free eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

The final instalment of the Ray Jones story.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I enjoy how simple and consistent the covers have been. This one is no exception. It’s bright and I think it’s a great shot of a certain character.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

After the cliffhanger from the last book, I was eager to read the finale in the story of Ray Jones.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

The plot in this one ties everything together. We’re at the pique and while things have been tense, this is the final showdown. Ray has Lena back and together they go to get rid of the Fairy Godmother once and for all.

They run into a couple more hiccups while doing so, which made the plot tenser. It worked.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

About half of this story was the final showdown and the other half was like an “aftermath” or “epilogue.” While I loved watching the plot wrap up, my favorite part was the ending.

The author did a wonderful job bringing the story full circle between the six parts of this short series. It was a sweet ending and I was certainly satisfied after being on such a journey with Ray.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was a great ending to a wonderful series. There are six parts, but each one takes about 30-45 minutes to read. You could read the whole series in one sitting if you had the chance. It’s certainly something different, fairly light-hearted, but tense with high stakes. Give it a try.

Rot 6: Filling Time by Aidan J. Reid gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com5 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“I’m half-expecting some horrific twelve-foot troll from the underworld to be parked outside.” –Aidan J. Reid, Rot 6: Filling Time

Buy the book:

Amazon

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Kitty Hawk And The Hunt For Hemingway’s Ghost By Iain Reading [Book Review]

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Book Review: Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway's Ghost by Iain Reading | Young adult | Mystery | RachelPoli.com

I received a free digital copy of this book from the author’s publicist in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost is the exciting second installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. This second book in the series continues the adventures of Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot who has decided to follow in the footsteps of her hero Amelia Earhart and make an epic flight around the entire world. After flying across North America Kitty’s journey takes her down south to Florida where she plans to get a bit of rest and relaxation before continuing on with the rest of her long and grueling flight. As Kitty explores the strange and magical water world of the Florida Keys her knack for getting herself into precarious situations sweeps her headlong into the adventure of a lifetime involving mysterious lights, ancient shipwrecks, razor-toothed barracudas and even a sighting of the great Ernest Hemingway himself. This exhilarating story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept across the landscape and history of the Florida Keys all the way from Key West to the strange and remarkable world of Fort Jefferson and the Dry Tortugas.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I enjoy this cover because it has little bits and pieces of what happens throughout the story. Each object on the cover is in the book and it’s almost as though the cover itself is a picture summary. The colors are bright and pretty, and while I like the font of the title, it is a little hard to read, especially with its size.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I read the first book in the series and enjoyed it. So, when I was approached to read this one, I said yes.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

Kitty has found herself in the middle of yet another mystery. Starting where we left off in the previous book, she has begun her trip around the world. She lands in Florida and learns a lot about Ernest Hemingway, including coming across his “ghost.”

She ends up in the middle of something much deeper (yes, that was a pun). I thought it was well done and everything tied together nicely. I think I enjoyed this one more than the first.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

I’ve come to realize Kitty gets herself into these messes because she’s extremely nosy. It reminds me a little of Nancy Drew. It works, though none of this would happen if Kitty just went on her merry way. She still has conversations with herself which still bothers me. However, it wasn’t as overbearing as the first book so it made the reading easier.

She meets Jack and Jodi, a couple who sort of take Kitty under their wing as she goes on her vacation in Florida before her long trip. I enjoyed their characters and what they brought to the table.

I even liked James, the tour guide, and wish he was in it a little more.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This mystery is easy to follow along yet it’s not so easy to figure out. I was intrigued from the moment Kitty seemed to have found Hemingway’s ghost in the beginning and couldn’t figure out what it was. The history wasn’t overbearing and I feel like I actually learned something, geography included, and even about Hemingway himself.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This is an enjoyable read. It’s entertaining, educational, and a fairly quick read. If you enjoy light mysteries and young adult, try this one out.

Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost by Iain Reading gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“And so it went, my imagination running wild and jumping from one absurd explanation to the next until I finally fell asleep.” –Iain Reading, Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost

Buy the book:

Amazon

About the Author:

Iain Reading | Kitty Hawk and the Yukon Gold | Book Review | YA Mystery | Historical Fiction | RachelPoli.comIain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations.

Iain is the author of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series, The Wizards of Waterfire Series, and the dragon of the month club. To learn more, go to his Amazon page.

Readers can connect with Iain on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Rot 5: Gum But Not Forgotten By Aidan J. Reid [Book Review]

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!

Book Review: Rot 5: Gum But Not Forgotten by Aidan J. Reid | Reading | Short Story | Dark Comedy | Books | RachelPoli.com

I received a free digital ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

Ray’s in a spot of bother.

The faun prophecy marked him as ‘the chosen one’.

Though they damn well didn’t make it easy.

Cast adrift in the human world. Watching his hopes fade with a dying faun.

The hopes of the Kingdom rest on his shoulders.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

Like the previous stories before it, this cover has a lot to say about the contents of this installment and it’s simple, so it works.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I’ve read the first four short stories of this series and I’m not going to stop now. It’s a good series though, so I wouldn’t stop anyway.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

Ray is cast out of the human world and back into his own. He’s still trying to find his wife, Lena, though he’s caught by the other fairies. Ray has a big mouth and gets himself into more trouble than he should, though he doesn’t resist too much.

I’ll admit, while I still enjoyed this part, I think this was my least favorite installment. Throughout the majority of this one we follow Ray as a prisoner and while his witty thoughts were entertaining, not much happened. That is, up until the very end where the story left off at probably the best cliff hanger I’ve seen in a while.

 

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This was a quick read, I feel like it was quicker than the other parts. Ray has not lost his sense of humor despite the pickle he’s found himself in so the story moved along quite nicely and added a lighter tone to something so dire. This picked up where the last part left off and left me with a great cliff hanger that I’m eager to read the next part. The author does a great job of staying consistent throughout the whole series.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This part wasn’t my favorite, but it was still enjoyable and easy to read through. I’m looking forward to part six, the final story in the series.

Rot 5: Gum But Not Forgotten by Aidan J. Reid gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Way to go lady. If he wasn’t dead before, he sure is now.” – Aidan J. Reid, Rot 5: Gum But Not Forgotten

Buy the book:

Amazon

Have you read this book? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to chat!

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Madam Tulip And The Bones Of Chance By David Ahern [Book Review]

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!

Book Review: Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance by David Ahern | Mystery | RachelPoli.com

I received a free eARC of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

A surprise role in a movie takes actress Derry O’Donnell to a romantic castle in the Scottish Highlands. But romance soon turns to fear and suspicion. Someone means to kill, and Derry, moonlighting as celebrity fortune-teller Madam Tulip, is snared in a net of greed, conspiracy and betrayal.

A millionaire banker, a film producer with a mysterious past, a gun-loving wife, a PA with her eyes on Hollywood, a handsome and charming estate manager—each has a secret to share and a request for Madam Tulip.
As Derry and her friend Bruce race to prevent a murder, she learns to her dismay that the one future Tulip can’t predict is her own.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

Like the first two books before this one, I like the cover. The colors go nicely together – as far as green and orange can go together. Yet, the orange really makes the green title pop and it works. The bird makes sense, even if the title doesn’t suggest so.
First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I enjoyed the first two books of the series, so when approached by the author to read this one, I was more than happy to give it a go.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

Madam Tulip has gotten herself into yet another pickle – and I’m not just talking about the crime sense either. Her publicity has taken an interesting detour, her parents are as neurotic as usual, and, of course, there’s a crime involved.

This plot is just as compelling as the rest of the series. The crime was woven in a way that it was easy to understand and it made sense. It was able to come together nicely by the end of the book.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

I’m still a huge fan of Derry – Madam Tulip – and Bruce. They made great protagonists and I love both of their voices.

I’ll admit, I could still do without Vanessa and Jacko, Derry’s parents. While their banter can be humorous, I sometimes didn’t think it fit well with the rest of what was going on.

Jessica and Sally were two great characters. I really loved their addition to the story and they really brought a lot to the table.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This book is easy to read and the crime is laid out well enough that I was able to understand it. I’ll admit I felt there were some scenes that weren’t needed, but nothing really jarred me out of the story.

While this is the third book in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone. However, there were a few references to the previous book, so I’d suggest reading it in order, if not just to get a feel for the characters.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was another great adventure for Madam Tulip. I enjoyed reading it from start to finish. While there were some slow parts, I never felt bored or had to stop for any reason.

Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance by David Ahern gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com 4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“‘I’ll try not to run anybody over,’ said Jessica. ‘I’d hate to make that woman’s career.'” –David Ahern, Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance

MADAM TULIP AND THE BONES OF CHANCE WILL BE OUT ON APRIL 12, 2018.

Buy the book:

Amazon

About David Ahern:

David Ahern, Author | RachelPoli.com

David Ahern grew up in a theatrical family in Ireland but ran away to Scotland to become a research psychologist and sensible person. He earned his doctorate but soon absconded to work in television. He became a writer, director and producer, creating international documentary series and winning numerous awards, none of which got him free into nightclubs.

Madame Tulip wasn’t David Ahern’s first novel, but writing it was the most fun he’s ever had with a computer. He is now writing the fourth Madam Tulip adventure and enjoys pretending this is actual work.

David Ahern lives in the beautiful West of Ireland with his wife, two cats and a vegetable garden of which he is inordinately proud.

You can learn more about David Ahern and Madam Tulip on his website.

Connect with David Ahern on Facebook and Twitter.

Does this seem like an interesting read to you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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An Abundance Of Katherines By John Green [Book Review]

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!

Book Review: Abundance of Katherines by John Green | Reading | Young Adult | Fiction | RachelPoli.com

I borrowed the book from my cousin.

Summary:

Katherine V thought boys were gross
Katherine X just wanted to be friends
Katherine XVIII dumped him in an e-mail
K-19 broke his heart

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun–but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I really like the cover. I’m a fan of the colors and showing the lot of girls, it fits nicely with the title. I didn’t understand the math equation at first but it made more sense after I had read the book.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I’ve been slowly going through books written by John Green. This was my third book by him. My cousin had it and read it for a school project. Before I could ask to borrow it, she asked me to read it so I could later help her with the project in case she needed it.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

Colin is depressed because his girlfriend, Katherine, has dumped him. This is the 19th time he’s dated and been dumped by a girl named Katherine. In order to help him get out of his funk, his friend, Hassan, and him go on a road trip.

While this plot idea wasn’t bad, it felt too unrealistic to me. I know it’s YA, but I was expect Colin to be a little older. How has he dated 19 girls in his life already when he’s just in high school? I love a good road trip novel as much as the next, but I wasn’t interested in anything they were doing.

In theory, this wasn’t a bad idea, but I think more could have been done with it. I felt as though nothing happened in this book.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

I think the hardest part for me about this novel was the characters. I didn’t like any of them. Colin wasn’t a great protagonist because he was just “woe is me” the entire time. He was full of himself in a way because it was almost as though no one was good enough for him unless her name was Katherine.

Hassan kept using “slang” words but he wasn’t actually swearing most of the time and that got real old real fast. The dialogue wasn’t enjoyable at all.

They meet a girl on their trip who Colin takes a liking to, but she was pretty bland to me. She was nice to Colin and Hassan but she didn’t do too much throughout.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

As always, John Green has a way with words. I enjoy his writing style and the book flowed well and was easy to it. It was language and tone of the characters that really bothered me. I felt as though I was constantly rolling my eyes. It was because of that it just wasn’t as enjoyable to me.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

Overall, not much happened in this book. Colin learns his lesson, but it’s an annoying process to get there. Despite that, none of the characters really developed at all and there were no tense moments. I won’t be giving this book another read.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green gets…
Book Review Rating System | 2 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com 2 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“What is the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?” –John Green, An Abundance of Katherines

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Madam Tulip And The Knave Of Hearts By David Ahern [Book Review]

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!

Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hears by David Ahern | Book Review | Suspense | RachelPoli.com

I received a digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

When out-of-work actress Derry O’Donnell moonlights as celebrity fortune-teller Madam Tulip in an English Stately home, she’s trying to make some cash.
Instead, she is drawn into an alien world of wealth, titled privilege and family secrets.

A countess once a chorus girl, a gambling earl and his daughters, a cultured and handsome art expert—all caught in a terrifying web of ghastly threats, murder and
abduction. As an aristocratic engagement party turns into a nightmare, Derry and her friend Bruce face the prospect of a gruesome and infamous death.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

While the cover is pretty simple, I do like the coloring of it. I think the font and size of it is appropriate. The main thing to take from this cover is the title and I don’t mind that.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I read the first Madam Tulip book and enjoyed it. When the author reached out to me about reading the third book, I wanted to read the second one as well.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

This plot turned out to be something that I didn’t expect, but I enjoyed it all the same. There was murder, kidnapping, forgery, and a lot more. While I felt as though the plot took a little while to pick up, once it did, it was a page-turner.

Derry get thrown into another mystery, this one bigger than the last. Still, with the help of Bruce and the others, along with her psychic powers, everything slowly comes along together. I enjoyed every step of the process from the moment the first mysterious package was dropped off.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

I still enjoyed Derry’s character as I did the first book and I loved Bruce. I liked all the characters, however there were a lot to keep track of. I didn’t think all the characters were needed and it was hard for me to keep it all straight.

Derry’s parents are as much of a mess as ever and I feel for Derry having to deal with her mother and father. I’ll admit I got a little annoyed with both of them, especially Vanessa. Though I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to have iffy feelings toward them.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

The book was certainly easy to read and it flowed well. Aside from it being a little slow in the beginning, I was eager to keep reading as the plot thickened. The mystery is pretty gruesome and is quite the thrill. The writing is so well done that I even had to put the book down and walk away because my own anxiety starting flaring. It was a good thing though.

The book is decent length and I felt as though everything was wrapped up pretty well. The mystery made sense and I didn’t have any questions or wonders by the end.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

I’ll admit I enjoyed the first book more. This book took a little while for the mystery to begin and I felt as though there were too many characters who didn’t seem to have a big role. However, it was well written and the plot thickened nicely with a nice tie-up for the mystery.

Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts by David Ahern gets…
Book Review Rating System | 3 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com3 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“What was it about today? The men were behaving like pigeons.” –David Ahern, Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts

Buy the book:

Amazon

About David Ahern

David Ahern, Author | RachelPoli.comDavid Ahern grew up in a theatrical family in Ireland but ran away to Scotland to become a research psychologist and sensible person. He earned his doctorate but soon absconded to work in television. He became a writer, director and producer, creating international documentary series and winning numerous awards, none of which got him free into nightclubs.

Madame Tulip wasn’t David Ahern’s first novel, but writing it was the most fun he’s ever had with a computer. He is now writing the fourth Madam Tulip adventure and enjoys pretending this is actual work.

David Ahern lives in the beautiful West of Ireland with his wife, two cats and a vegetable garden of which he is inordinately proud.

You can learn more about David Ahern and Madam Tulip on his Website.

Connect with David Ahern on Facebook and Twitter.

Have you read this book? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to chat!

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