Your Name (Books 1-3) By Makoto Shinkai And Ranmaru Kotone [Book Review]

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Book Review: Your Name by Makoto Shinkai and Ranmaru Kotone | Manga | Fantasy | Romance | Reading | RachelPoli.com

I bought all three books at Barnes & Noble.

Summary:

Book 1: A story of two people determined to hold on to one another. Mitsuha, a high school girl from a town deep in the mountains, dreams of an unfamiliar life in Tokyo. Taki, a high school boy from Tokyo, dreams that he is a girl living in the mountains. As the two begin swapping lives, a miraculous story is set in motion.

Book 2: No longer being able to swap bodies, Taki desperately searches for any traces of Mitsuha.

Book 3: To save Mitsuha and all of Itomori from the comet Tiamat, Taki joins up with Saya-chin and Tesshi to evacuate the town. But Mitsuha’s father is stubborn and refuses to listen…

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I find all the book covers to be absolutely gorgeous. The backs of the covers are super pretty with landscape art. The character designs are well done too.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I came across the first book at the bookstore and the blurb intrigued me. I’ve always wanted to read more manga and graphic novels. The other two books were there as well, on sale, so I bought all three at once.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

Each book has its own plot, of course. The first book shows the two characters trying to get use to each other’s bodies and lives. They try to figure out why they’re swapping but they enjoy it, so they don’t really complain. In the second book, Taki searches for any traces of Mitsuha when they no longer swap bodies. He discovers something awful and then the third book they try to spot it.

The overall story is pretty clever and it’s a fun, sweet read. I enjoyed where the plot went and I was always surprised by something.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

All the characters were well written and interesting to read about. Of course, my favorite characters were Taki and Mitsuha. They were great protagonists to follow and read about. I also loved Mitsuha’s little sister. She had a sassy personality which was just great.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

Being a manga, a lot of the story is told through the pictures. The art style was great. Although, I’m not used to reading right to left so I think I messed up some of the pages and had to re-read them. But that’s just me.

Overall, it was an easy read and all three books were quick to get through.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

The story was engaging and the characters were great to get to know. I believe it’s just the three books and the ending was so wonderfully satisfying but I still want more.

Your Name by Makoto Shinkai and Ranmaru Kotone gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com5 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“You’re weak, but you’re always so quick to fight.” –Makoto Shinkai, Your Name (Book 1)

Buy the book:

Amazon (Book 1) | Amazon (Book 2) | Amazon (Book 3)

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 Tragedy Of The RMS Titanic By Iain Reading [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: Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic by Iain Reading | Young Adult | Mystery | Review copy | RachelPoli.com

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

Summary:

Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic is the thrillingly cryptic fourth installment of the exciting Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series featuring the intrepid teenage seaplane pilot Kitty Hawk and her various adventures of mystery and intrigue as she follows in the footsteps of Amelia Earhart on an epic flight around the world. This fourth book in the series brings Kitty to the emerald hills of Ireland where she meets a handsome stranger and is quickly swept up in a perplexing hundred-year-old family treasure hunt involving secret codes and puzzling clues that lead her on a fast-paced adventure that carries her from Dublin to London – from the decks of the ill-fated ocean liner Titanic to the temples of ancient Egypt and the streets of Jack the Ripper – until she finally unlocks the mystery and discovers the long-hidden treasure. Much like the earlier books in this series, Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic is a perfect book to fire the imaginations of armchair detectives of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history the reader will find themselves immersed in brand new worlds that are brought to life before their very eyes as Kitty Hawk experiences the stories and history of a doomed ocean liner and unravels the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

As always, I love the cover. The art style is cool and I love the colors in this one.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I’ve read the first three books and enjoyed them so I was happy to read this one.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

Kitty is on another grand adventure as she continues her flight around the world. This time, however, her detective skills get hired rather than her eavesdropping on someone.

This book felt different than the previous ones, which I liked. The mystery started right away and we got the background information throughout the investigation. The only downside was that Kitty’s plane didn’t have as big a part like the previous books, which was something I missed.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

I enjoyed all the characters in this one. They were fun and quirky as they all tried to solve the mystery together. There was even a red herring character which was pretty clever. The antagonist was great too and I enjoyed each and every scene he was in.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This is a quick read being a little over 200 pages. The pace is steady and there’s plenty of dialogue and description alike. There were plenty of tense moments throughout.

I’ll admit the ending surprised me. The mystery wasn’t solved quite like I was expecting and I wanted to know more.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was a great read and another great addition to the Kitty Hawk series. It’s a fun, educational mystery and I’m looking forward to reading the last book.

Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic (Book 4) by Iain Reading gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Some have argued that the owners and builders of the Titanic never actually claimed that the ship was unsinkable, but rather that she was practically unsinkable or designed to be unsinkable. It’s just a matter of words at any rate.” –Iain Reading, Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic

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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What Book Bloggers Want Authors To Know

Book reviews are important for authors. It’s good for their sales and it gives them valuable feedback. Authors seek out book bloggers to send copies of their books to in exchange for honest reviews.

Some people see book blogging as fun and easy because you sit there and read before typing up your thoughts. But there’s a lot a more to it that people don’t realize. It’s hard work and it’s time consuming.

What Book Bloggers Want Authors To Know | Book Bloggers | Book Reviews | RachelPoli.com

Read Our Reviews/Review Policy First

If you want to ask a book blogger to read and review your work, you need to read their work first. Make sure you’re happy with the way they do their reviews and also make sure they review the kinds of books you write. Sure, it never hurts to reach out and ask if you have a question, but chances are the answer is already somewhere on their blog.

Be Personal And Professional

I mean, I’m not one to be too professional. I enjoy a good smiley-face in an email once in a while but a professional tone is nice. I like it when I get personalized emails using my name and talking about my own blog – not a general blog.

No Means No

I personally hate saying no to books. However, if I don’t think I’m going to enjoy the book or if I just have too many in my queue at the moment, I may not accept your request. If that’s the case, don’t keep emailing asking when I can accept your book or letting me know that you’re cool with waiting a while.

Don’t Send Too Many Emails

Speaking of waiting, if I accept your book I’ll let you know how long the wait will be. I don’t need you emailing me every week asking if your book is coming up next in my queue. I will get to it in the near future, otherwise I wouldn’t have accepted it.

Don’t Ask For A Good Review

Some reviewers don’t post reviews if they’re a certain low rating, but most reviewers post the review whether the rating is low or high. The point is, the reviewer is giving their honest opinion in exchange for a free book. If the book didn’t turn out to be their cup of coffee, they have the right to post the review no matter what. Remember, it’s just one person’s opinion.

Don’t Ask For The Reviewer To Pay For The Book

Sales are important and authors need to make a living, but asking for a reviewer to do you a favor and then have them use their own money just doesn’t fly. Book bloggers are doing you a favor so the least you can do is give us a free book in return.

Share The Review Around

Once the review of your book is up, please share the post around with your own followers and readers. As the book blogger is helping you by reviewing your work and sharing the review around, you can help the reviewer out by sharing the review too. It gives you exposure and it gives them exposure for their blog. It’d a win-win for everyone.

Say Thank You

Book bloggers live to read and review because we love the written word and we know how hard authors work. Most of us don’t expect anything in return and don’t charge for our book review services. So, after writing a review it’s always nice to get an email (or even a comment on the review) from the author afterwards with a simple thank you. Even if the reviewer gave the book a low rating, it feels good to get a thank you from the author.

I can’t speak for everyone, but I always feel bad giving a low rating – but the book just wasn’t my cup of coffee. So when I receive a nice email from the author afterward, appreciative of my work, it makes me feel good as well. I know my hard work was acknowledged and I’m sure I’ll be working with that author again in the future.

This goes especially for authors going through publicists. I’ve gotten most of my review copies from publicists and never hear from the author at all. I don’t mind working with publicists, but it’d be nice to know if the author themselves are reading my reviews of their books and not just trying to get a stack of reviews going.

Do you agree? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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My Book Review Format

I’ve changed the way I write book reviews over the years. I used to write a quick blurb about what I liked and didn’t like about the book and that was it.

Then I discovered Goodreads and realized that there’s a lot more to book reviewing than I thought. I took the biggest components of a book and put them together in a review – plot, characters, and writing style.

Now I do it a little differently and I’ve added more to my reviews.

My Book Review Format | Book Blogger | Book Reviews | RachelPoli.com

My Review

My review consists of six parts – Book Cover, First Thoughts, Plot, Characters, Writing Style, and Overall, a conclusion.

Book Cover

I talk about the book cover and my thoughts on how I like it and how it fits with the story itself. The book cover is the first thing people see. They say not to judge a book by its cover, but… come on, we’ve all done it.

First Thoughts

In this section I mention why I bought the book or why I decided to read it (if I get a free copy). I talk about what intrigued me about the book at first glance.

Plot

This one speaks for itself. I don’t typically summarize what happened in the book, but I discuss what I thought worked well for the plot and how unique the plot made the genre it’s written in. I say my thoughts on how well I think the author executed the plot.

Characters

Characters are what drive the story forward and are, in my opinion, the most important part of a story. In this section I discuss the protagonist, the antagonist, and any supporting characters. I talked about which characters I enjoyed and related to, and I also talk about how well they developed throughout the course of the story.

Writing Style

A book is only read well when it’s written well. The writing style section talks about how well the book flowed, the pacing and tension, as well as the POV and length of book.

Overall

This is the conclusion to the review. It’s a wrap up, just a sentence or two summarizing my overall thoughts before I give it the rating.

Extras

The actual review isn’t the only part of the book review post. Before I write my actual review I mention how I got the book and show the book cover along with its genre and publication date. I add in the summary of the book and then dive into the review.

At the end of the review, I post the rating – I use a 1-5 rating scale. After that I add in my favorite quote from the book which can be a funny line, a line that struck out to me for some reason, a great piece of description, or something inspirational. Anything, really.

Then I end the review with buy links to the book and an author bio, if provided.

It’s a much bigger process than it seems and it can be pretty time consuming. But this is the best way I’ve come up with writing my book reviews and it works for me.

How do you write your book reviews? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Should Book Bloggers Post “Bad” Book Reviews?

As a writer, when I read a book that I don’t particularly care for, I feel bad giving it a “bad” review. As a writer, I know how hard an author works on their book. I know the blood, sweat, and tears that go into it. I understand how time consuming it is, how much hard work and dedication gets thrown into the book.

Yet, as a book blogger, I’m obligated to be honest – but fair – in my book reviews. Especially if I get the book for free from the author.

So, what do you do when you don’t care too much for a book you read?

Should Book Bloggers Publish Bad Book Reviews? | Book Reviews | Book Bloggers | Reading | Books | RachelPoli.com

What is a “bad” book review?

To me, giving a book a “bad” review means giving it a 1- or 2-star rating. Of course, everyone’s rating system is different, but I typically go by the Goodreads rating system. To me, a 1 or a 2 means that I didn’t like the book that much and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever given a book a 1-star before, but I know I’ve given a couple books a 2-star rating before. As I said in my intro, I always feel bad doing this because I hate telling something I didn’t like their creative work.

But that just means it wasn’t my cup of coffee.

Not everyone reviews the books they read and book bloggers review books because they truly enjoy reading.

Reviews are super important to authors. It really brings the hype to their books and the feedback is wonderful for them.

Yes, it’s disappointing and disheartening when someone posts a bad review about their work, but you can’t please everyone. We all have different tastes in things, different likes and dislikes. I’ve come across a couple book bloggers who refuse to read books written in first person. It’s all a matter of perspective and opinion.

Should book bloggers published “bad” book reviews?

The short answer? Yes.

The long answer? Yes, because it’s the job of a book blogger and reviewer to be honest and give feedback to the author. The review serves two purposes: it shows potential readers of the book what to expect (if they read reviews before deciding to read the book) and it also gives the author feedback on their writing – what worked in their story and what didn’t.

As I said, you can’t please everyone. One person might have hated the protagonist, but three other people might have loved the protagonist. It’s a matter of opinion and now two people read the same story. It’s all perspective and what the book meant to them.

Remember to be honest, but fair and polite.

Just because you didn’t like it, doesn’t mean other people didn’t either. It also doesn’t mean the author doesn’t have feelings.

Every time I’ve given a book a 2-star rating, I always try to balance the review with the things that didn’t work with me along with things that did work well, but just wasn’t enough to do it for me. I also end the review with a recommendation.

Just because I didn’t like the book, doesn’t mean you won’t. If you thought the summary sounded intriguing to you, give the book a try.

What if you don’t want to give a bad review?

I’ve seen plenty of people say they won’t publish their review if it’s under 3 stars. Most authors prefer to not have the review published because they don’t want any low ratings. I understand that, but I personally don’t think it’s practical because not everyone is going to enjoy your work. It sucks, but it’s true.

So, if you don’t want to give a bad review, let the author know and tell them your feelings on why. There was a book I couldn’t finish one time and I explained why and deleted my free copy. That book wasn’t poorly written, but I couldn’t connect with the characters and the content of the book was pretty heavy on a topic I didn’t care to read about.

With that said, while I still post “bad” reviews, it’s okay to not review the book at all. As long as you email the author, if you got the copy for free from them, and explain to them why giving them your feedback privately, there’s nothing wrong with that.

It’s all up to you.

Some people don’t mind posting bad book reviews and others do. Just like the books themselves, it’s all a matter of opinion and whatever you feel is right.

Do you usually post a review for every book you read, no matter if it’s a high rating or not? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Should Book Reviewers Get Paid For Their Reviews?

I always say to myself, “I would love to get paid to read.” That would really be the ideal job, right? Sitting on your couch all day with your pet, beverage of choice, snuggled in your pajamas. You can read books upon books upon books. Then get paid to write a review for the books.

As lovely as that would be, who would be paying us? Do we really expect authors to pay for reviews even after giving us a free copy of their book?

Should Book Reviewers Get Paid for Book Reviewing? | Book Reviews | Book Bloggers | Blogging | Reading | RachelPoli.com

Getting Paid

I’ve seen some book bloggers post disclaimers about how they will never accept any monetary compensation for reviewing books. I’ve also seen some book bloggers offer paid services for their reviews. For example, an author can pay a fee in order to bump their book to the top of the reviewer’s TBR list.

I can certainly see why some book bloggers ask for monetary compensation to review books, though.

Book reviewing isn’t an easy as it seems. Yes, we book bloggers get a book, we read it, and then we write a review on it. It sounds simple, but it’s time-consuming and ironically a lot of work.

Book bloggers take on a lot of books at one time, often not being able to read what they want because they take on so many requests. We love books, so we get in over our heads.

Writing the actual reviews is time-consuming as well. We post it on our blogs, Amazon, Goodreads, and anywhere else. We share the review around for a while after we publish it.

Books are important to us and we know how difficult is it for authors to write and publish these books.

However, because we know how much work this is for authors, I don’t think it makes sense for book bloggers to ask to be paid. They’re already sending us a free copy of their book and authors already don’t get paid that much to begin with.

Am I saying book bloggers don’t work hard enough to get paid? No, absolutely not. Though I just think book reviewing is more a favor to our favorite writers and I think getting a free book in exchange is a good way to do things.

Donations

I have seen book bloggers ask for donations though. If they review a book for an author, they accept the free book and review it for free. However, they’ll ask the author if they want to donate to their website or blog in return.

I don’t think this is a bad way of doing things. Bloggers work hard and we put a lot of time and money into our websites. If an author is happy with the way the blogger handled the review process, then asking them to make a simple donation to keep their site up and running so they can add more book reviews, isn’t a bad idea.

Of course, it’s just a donation. People aren’t obligated to pay anything.

Being A Book Blogger

While being a book blogger is a job in itself, it’s fun and I enjoy adding books to my reading list as well as aiding authors out on their writing journey.

It would certainly be nice to get paid to review books because it’d be a fun and easy job, but I like the satisfaction of helping out fellow writers.

What are your thoughts? Do you think book bloggers should get paid to write book reviews? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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On The Devil’s Side Of Heaven By Roger Peppercorn [Book Review – Mystery Month]

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!

On the Devil's Side of Heaven by Roger Peppercorn | Crime Thriller | Mystery | Book Review | RachelPoli.com

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

Summary:

With the drop of a judge’s gavel, Walt Walker has finally lost everything. The badge and gun he used to carry and the moral certainty of right and wrong, good and evil that used to keep him grounded. Now Walt, sans gun, gets his badges from an Army Navy store. He spends his days in South Florida, working for a boutique insurance firm as their investigator. He spends his nights in dive bars, trying to forget the mess he has made of his life.

Ronald Jacobs always preferred the title Human Resource Manger to Hitman. But now that he’s retired, he can concentrate on living in the shadows as a respectable gentlemen farmer. Far from the reach and pull of his past life.

Their transgressions are behind them but a chance encounter and a failed assassination attempt sets the two of them on a collision course of violence and retribution. Hunted by contract killers, the law, and corporate bag men, they are pursued across the unforgiving adobes and the sweeping vistas of the Mesa Valley in Western Colorado.

Survival means putting their past in front of them and their differences aside, because in this world the only thing that matters is to cast not others on the devil’s side of heaven, lest you be cast in with them.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I like the cover, it’s simple and a pretty picture of a forest. One look at it and for reason I can tell what the genre of the book is.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

This was an instant read for me mostly due to the genre. I enjoy crime and thrillers and this was a little different from what I usually read.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

The plot isn’t a bad one as two old friends – who also happen to be brother-in-laws meet up once more to foil some bad guys’ plans. The plot itself was fairly well executed and certainly fit for a thriller. There was plenty of action involved and it moved pretty quickly.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

I’ll be honest, I couldn’t get into any of the characters. Walt, the protagonist, was a bit of a cliche – he lost his job, got divorced and lost his kids, and he sits in bars all night trying to drink away his problems. It kind of got old pretty fast.

Ronald wasn’t too bad of a character. However, he’s a retired hit-man but I couldn’t picture him ever being a hit-man other than the fact he was good with guns.

Even the group of bad guys. They acted tough, high-and-mighty, and swore a lot, but it seemed like it was all for the sake of them being the “bad guys.” There was no depth to it.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

I had a hard time reading the book due to the writing style. The POV switched between the characters. It was third-person omniscient, which is fine, but Walt’s parts were in first-person. So, sometimes I was reading the story along with Walt and other times I was with Ronald or an assassin with a third-party unknown narrator. I wasn’t sure which one to believe and it just made the story confusing, especially trying to piece the parts together.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This wasn’t a bad book, but it was hard for me to get into. I would have liked to see more consistent storytelling with more in-depth characters. It was hard for me to keep track of, though with the fast-pace action and high crime, you may want to give this one a try.

On The Devil’s Side Of Heaven by Roger Peppercorn gets…
Book Review Rating System | 2 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com2 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“He was a killer of all killers and he feared no man. But if his wife was mad, he came a-calling just as pronto as any lovesick dog.” –Roger Peppercorn, On the Devil’s Side of Heaven

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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Here Lies Daniel Tate By Cristin Terrill [Book Review – Mystery Month]

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: Here Lies Daniel Tate by Cristin Terrill | Young Adult | Mystery | RachelPoli.com

I bought a hardcover copy at Barnes & Noble.

Summary:

A young, street-savvy runaway looking for a place to call home realizes he might have conned his way into the wrong family in this fast-paced and thrilling novel from award-winning author Cristin Terrill.

When ten-year-old Daniel Tate went missing from one of California’s most elite communities, he left no trace. He simply vanished.

Six years later, when he resurfaces on a snowy street in Vancouver, he’s no longer the same boy. His sandy hair is darker, the freckles are gone, and he’s initially too traumatized to speak, but he’s alive. His overjoyed family brings him home to a world of luxury and comfort he can barely remember. In time, they assure him, he’ll recover his memories; all that matters now is they’re together again.

It’s perfect. A miracle. Except for one thing.

He isn’t Daniel Tate.

He’s a petty con artist who accidentally stumbled into the scam of a lifetime, and he soon learns he’s not the only one in the Tate household with something to hide. The family has as many secrets as they have millions in the bank, and one of them might be ready to kill to keep the worst one buried.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

The book cover is what originally caught my eye in the bookstore. The picture of Daniel Tate (or is it?) is like a puzzle which shows what the book is really about.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I’m a sucker for mystery and once I saw the cover, I was sold. I was intrigued by the title as well.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

Our protagonist, Danny – though we don’t know his real name – is a con artist. He ran way from home as a child and has been running, in and out of the system, ever since. After being put into a group home and playing the “traumatized” card, the staff there think he’d be more suited for a mental institution. In order to get out of that, he impersonates a missing child who resembles him just a little – Daniel Tate, missing since he was 10-years-old, six years ago.

This plot was twisted and there was a lot of drama involved, but it was so good and well woven together that I found myself sucked into the story the deeper I got into it. I thought I had figured out the mystery long ago, but more curve balls were thrown and you don’t know the “truth” until the very end.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

I enjoyed each and every character. The protagonist and narrator had a great voice to tell the story. He was such an interesting well-rounded character that I loved reading his story.

The members of Danny’s family were well-round too. Each one had a unique personality along with their own dark secrets to be kept. The family dynamic is similar to a soap opera’s, but it worked. Normally I don’t care too much for that, but the author made it work well.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

The story was written in first-person through “Danny’s” eyes. We see him before he arrives at the Tate’s house and beyond. The book is almost 400 pages long and there are no chapters, just page breaks. The page breaks didn’t always mean time was passing either. Sometimes it was an internal thought from Danny or it was just a new topic. It felt as though there were no chapters because I was going through the motions with Danny.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This book turned out to be a lot better than I originally thought. I was so invested in the mystery and the characters alike that I wanted it to end so I could know the truth – but also now that it’s over, I want more.

If you’re looking for a good mystery with lots of speculations, twists and turns, and well-rounded characters, give this one a try.

Here Lies Daniel Tate by Cristin Terrill gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com5 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“The room felt faded and stale, like it belonged to a world that didn’t exist anymore.” -Cristin Terrill, Here Lies Daniel Tate

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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Kitty Hawk And The Curse Of The Yukon Gold By Iain Reading [Book Review]

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Book Review | Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading | RachelPoli.com

I have received a free digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty’s adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada and as the plot continues to unfold this spirited story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada’s Yukon, the harsh land made famous in the stories and poems of such writers as Jack London, Robert Service and Pierre Berton. It is a riveting tale that brings to glorious life the landscape and history of Alaska’s inside passage and Canada’s Yukon, as Kitty is caught up in an epic mystery set against the backdrop of the scenery of the Klondike Gold Rush.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I love this book cover. It perfectly sums up some major events of the book – the plane, Kitty climbing the mountain, the whale in the background – and the art style is just great. I love looking at it and it certainly enticed me in.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I was approached by the author’s publicist about this book. I love mysteries and was intrigued by the “historical fiction” part of this story. I’ll admit, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up on my own, but I decided to give it a try.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

Kitty Hawk goes on an adventure flying off in her plane to Alaska in order to watch whales, observe, and study them. Then she runs into a group of gold thieves. She overhears their plan and they catch her before she can run away. Her mission is no longer whales, it’s the gold.

I felt as though this book was slow to start. I didn’t really get interested in it until Kitty ran into the thieves and that was around 100 pages or so into the story. When that happened, I got really into it. I felt as though the plot was cleverly crafted into the story making the history important, but not bombarding me with a history lesson.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

I enjoyed Kitty’s character. She was a strong protagonist and certainly knew how to take care of herself. However, a good chunk of her dialogue, especially in the beginning, was her talking to her internal self. It got confusion since her thoughts were in normal quotations and I also didn’t think it made any sense. She was having actual conversations with herself. It became annoying and I didn’t think it was needed.

Once I met Charlie, Buck, Will, and Jay, I enjoyed their characters a lot more. The four brothers were certainly a great addition to the cast. Though, I wonder if all four were needed. Their personalities were certainly different from each other.

However, Jay was the silent type. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it was almost as though he wasn’t even there. He didn’t start really speaking until the main part of their journey was halfway over. I had completely forgotten about him to the point that when his name was stated I had no idea who he was.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This story flowed well. As stated earlier, I felt as though the beginning was slow, but it did pick up when the adventure truly began. Once that happened it was smooth sailing. The history lessons were minimum but I learned a lot anyway.

I enjoyed all the description of their adventure, though a lot of the dialogue felt unrealistic to me. A lot of dialogue didn’t contain any contractions making the characters sound almost robotic. It just didn’t seem like something a person would say in real life.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

Overall, this was a great read. Once you get past the beginning it’s an enjoyable read. If you like a casual mystery and have a taste for adventure, give this one a try.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Apparently even in deadly serious situations boys simply can’t resist the urge to play like they are secret agents or something.” –Iain Reading, Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About The Series

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves.

There are currently five books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (book 1), Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost (book 2), Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue (book 3), and Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic (book 4), and Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces (book 5).

“In the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series the heroine finds herself in a new geographic location in each book. The series will eventually have a total of 13 books in it (maybe more) and her flight around the world will be completed in the end,” says Iain. “The books are sequential but one could definitely read any of the later ones before reading the earlier ones.”

For more information, go to Kitty Hawk World

Check out the book trailer: YouTube

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? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to chat!

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The Mystery Of The Hidden Cabin By M.E. Hembroff [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!

The Mystery of the Hidden Cabin by M.E. Hembroff | Book Review | RachelPoli.com

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

Summary:

After Bess Silver had settled into her new home in Pineview she thought her biggest problem would be settling into a new school. She was surprised to learn that it was a one room school house which was different from what she was used to.

That all changed when Megan Skye, her best friend and cousin, dashed into their kitchen late one afternoon with exciting news. Megan’s Father discovered an old cabin, hidden behind a wall, when he started doing kitchen renovations. Megan asked him to take the suitcases, ledgers and trunk they found over to Bess instead of throwing them out. Clues turn up in the suitcases and in a secret compartment in the cabin which leave Bess puzzled.
When she first looked around the cabin she sees a ghostly figure that disappears in an instant but was as real as Megan. Dreams about the cabin and occupants haunt Bess. These feel so real that Bess can’t shake the feeling that she was actually near them.

Who is the figure that Bess saw in the cabin? What is she trying to tell her? Why is she having dreams about the old cabin? Will Bess be able to figure out who the mysterious figure is? Or would these secrets remain secrets forever?

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I think the book cover is appropriate for the target age of the book. I enjoy hand-drawn covers anyway but I feel like the colored lines feel complete with the middle-grade genre.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I read and reviewed Bess’s Magical Garden and Gramma Mouse Tells A Story by this author. I enjoyed both so was more than happy to read and review this book when she approached me.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

I thought the plot had an interesting premise. I’m always down for a good ghost story. However, I’ll admit the summary makes it sound more interesting than it really is.

Bess is on the hunt to figure out who was living in the mysterious cabin as she read diary entries, talked to people, and explored the cabin and other places. Though not too much happens in between.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

I enjoyed the characters. I think Bess makes a great protagonist for a middle-grade audience. Her best friend, Megan, is a fun character as well.

I found all the kids in this book to be fun since Bess’s new school is a one-room schoolhouse. That was an interesting addition.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

While the story flowed well, not much happened. For a mystery, there’s no tension at all. Bess is a curious girl and enjoys searching for clues and solving mysteries, but I didn’t know why I was supposed to care about the cabin and the mystery behind it. Even when the mystery was solved, there was no real triumph.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was a great premise with age-appropriate characters, though I would have loved to see more stakes raised and more tension. It’s a nice quick read.

The Mystery of the Hidden Cabin by M.E. Hembroff gets…
Book Review Rating System | 3 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com 3 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“I gazed out the window at the blanket of snow covering the garden, where plants stuck out like skeletons.” –M.E. Hembroff, The Mystery of the Hidden Cabin

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | EBooks

About M.E. Hembroff:

M.E. Hembroff, Author | Middle Grade | Book Review | RachelPoli.comI grew up in rural Manitoba the fourth in a family of five. My parents were older almost old enough to be grandparents. When I was growing up we didn’t have a TV. I loved music and constantly listened to the radio. My dad often said I wore out the radio because he was constantly taking it into to town to replace the worn out tubes.  I was an avid reader and devoured every available book. One of my favorites was the Anne of Green Gables series. LM Montgomery was and still is my hero. I was creative and used my imagination to entertain myself. I would always dream up stories but never wrote them down because they looked pretty dismal on paper. I have always loved animals and every time I went for a walk our dog, Lady, a border collie and a string of cats followed me. I still have an dog, Odie and two cats Patches and Delihah.

I still like to read and read a wide range of books. I work in my garden and do art work in pencil, pen and ink, colored pencil and acrylic.

I have gone full circle. I grew up on the farm and then lived in the city for over thirty years. I now live in a scenic small town. It took me a long tine to learn to get out of my own way. Once I learned to relax the words started flowing and my characters were finally able to get out of my head.

Artists Statement

Writing is as natural as breathing and makes me a complete person. I was taught to keep my feelings hidden and often hid them from myself. Writing gets me in touch with my creative self, spirit and my inner child who finally can express herself. Writing makes me a rounder and fulfilled person. Writing is a must do not a want to. I have an inner compulsion to write that has to be listened to.

Art work has always been the same. I draw and paint because I have to. Drawing and painting releases pent up emotions and keeps me in touch with my creative side which grows stronger all the time.

There have been different artists and writers who influenced my style at first and I have gone on to develop my own unique style. Reading about other writer’s lives and meeting other artists has given me a great deal of encouragement during periods when I didn’t feel like continuing with my work.

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

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