Book Review | The Poppy & the Rose by Ashlee Cowles

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The Poppy & the Rose by Ashlee Cowles
Release Date: October 6th, 2020
Genre: Young Adult > Historical Fiction
Source: NetGalley (thank you NetGalley and Owl Hollow!)
Format: Ebook
Summary:

1912: Ava Knight, a teen heiress, boards the Titanic to escape the shadow of her unstable mother and to fulfill her dream of becoming a photographer in New York. During the journey she meets three people who will change her life: a handsome sailor, a soldier in the secret Black Hand society that will trigger World War I, and a woman with clairvoyant abilities. When disaster strikes the ship, family betrayals come to light.

2010: When Taylor Romano arrives in Oxford for a summer journalism program, something feels off. Not only is she greeted by a young, Rolls Royce-driving chauffeur, but he invites her to tea with Lady Mae Knight of Meadowbrook Manor, an old house with a cursed history going back to the days of Henry VIII. Lady Knight seems to know a strange amount about Taylor and her family problems, but before Taylor can learn more, the elderly woman dies, leaving as the only clue an old diary. With the help of the diary, a brooding chauffeur, and some historical sleuthing, Taylor must uncover the link between Ava’s past and her own….

Amazon* | Goodreads

I love the idea of historical fiction however, I don’t pick it up enough and I’m not really sure why. The Poppy & the Rose not only brought me back to the Titanic (something I’m always fascinated with) but also gave me one of my novel weaknesses: duel timelines.

I’m not going to recap what this book is about, that’s what the summary is for. Though it is hard to remember not to for like word count reasons.

Whatever, anyway, we’re placed in London by Taylor who somehow ended up there just to figure out who some lady in a photo with her father was. Her father passed away btw, and while I get it… I mean I have a ton of questions for my own father who recently passed away; she could had easily I don’t know? Asked a family member? A friend of her dad’s? Like you really went and hopped the pond for that? I’m adventurous but I don’t think I would had went to THAT much of an extreme.

Our second timeline we’re boarding the Titanic with Ava and her father who seems to also be hiding shit from his daughter. See a theme here? Daughters with daddy’s who keep secrets. Daddy’s, DO NOT KEEP SECRETS FROM YOUR DAUGHTER. You think their mama is bad? She ain’t got shit on a curious daughter let me tell you. Parents who don’t provide full transparency get on my nerves; ya’ll always the ones messing up some shit!

Of the two timeline’s I gotta admit, Ava’s was the one I was most invested in. I felt like Taylor’s entire trip just didn’t make sense. She meets up randomly with an older woman named Lady Knight who ends up passing away the day that Taylor is set to have afternoon tea with her. Some of her servants blame Ava… somehow… even though she just met the lady WHO ASKED HER TO COME OVER IN THE FIRST PLACE and she didn’t even know where this manor even was before that day.

So you spend the book wondering who killed Lady Knight? Who IS Lady Knight? And does Lady Knight know Taylor’s dang daddy or not? And how the hell does this have anything to do with Ava? Well it does. But when all of this is revealed, you should had seen how flat my face fell. Like that’s it? That’s the big secret? It wasn’t the big reveal I was hoping for, or that I had assumed it was going in the direction of, but it definitely reminded me that even though I think MY family has problems (both sides are obsessed with money and so on and so on), there are some families who are just manipulative for fun.

Back to Ava; there were so many different characters and stories and potential endings… I wanted to know where Ava ended up later. I mean it’s lightly covered but I wanted to know KNOW what her life after the Titanic looked like. There was a huge twist I didn’t see coming when it came to Ava and it had something to do with the bigger part of what drove her. My heart broke when her dad decided to slap her with reality. Loss is hard for everyone but I think her dad was 100% selfish.

If Ava ever gets a spin off novel or if we get a peak inside the life of Lady Knight after Titanic, I’m so here for it all.

Winter 2020 TBR

As I mentioned before I’m aiming to read at least half of the 9 NetGalley books I have to review as well as a few fun reads on my TBR I’ve been putting off. I know I won’t get through all of these (hell I might not even get through the half for NetGalley) but ya girl is a dreamer so we’re gonna see how well we do at the end of the month!

NetGalley TBR

I have the other 2 books in The Conjurer series but I heard you don’t have to read these in order.

I previously reviewed the sampler for Lore and ended up being approved for the full copy; I had mixed feelings by the end of the sampler so we’ll see how this goes!

I’m currently reading The Poppy and the Rose and The Last Tiara is one I really want to get to even though it doesn’t release until Feb. I’ve just in the mood for duel time frames lately.

Scribd TBR

I LOVE Scribd. Like it’s insane how much I love Scribd. But it’s such a great resource esp when buying new titles start to add up. Most new releases are audiobooks but there’s no wait list or hold time or anything which is nice!

This is a mix of holiday reads and some titles I’ve wanted to read that I feel like still fit the theme of “holidays”. For some reason I think of the Grim Reaper during Christmas? I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. I’ve always had a Gregory Maguire on my TBR but haven’t gotten around to reading one of his titles yet, this one sounds perfect for the holiday season.

Kindle TBR

I thought I had more on my Kindle TBR but thankfully I only have 2 lol. The Haunting of Beatrix Greene is a lay over from Halloween, I tend to read most of what Rachel Hawkins writes. I loved Hex Hall so much so I’m down for anything supernatural she writes! I just love Sophie Kinsella (honestly who doesn’t)! Love Your Life has been on my radar for the last half of 2020, for sure.

I’m sweating from how ambitious this looks already. I can barely sleep and I really think I’m going to read all these books?! Well yeah, duh. Don’t I always? Ya’ll, send me good thoughts this month lol.

What are you looking forward to reading this December?

Book Sample Review | Lore by Alexandra Bracken

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Lore by Alexandra Bracken
Release Date: Jan 5th 2021
Genre: Young Adult > Retelling
Source: NetGalley (Thank you NetGalley & Hyperion!)
Summary:

Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.

Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths.

Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.

The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.

Amazon* | Goodreads

I’m so sad to say that as many books of Bracken’s I have on my Kindle and forever TBR, I haven’t read anything of her’s until now. I’m a sucker for Greek Mythology and maybe it was because I’m watching Great Greek Myth’s on Amazon Prime (which I just watched the episode about Gorgons which I had no idea were a group of sisters! The story of Medusa was much shorter than I had thought and was really sad. The irony that Athena is the one asking for help.

The story for me had a bit of a slow start. We meet Lore who goes by Lauren and she’s a street fighter. That’s how she makes her money, and how she I guess deals with her demons. She’s successfully avoided all this crap the mortals and God’s are in until an old friend finds her. I had a hard time grasping what was going on since we only got bits and pieces of her past. We’re introduced to her friend Miles who is seriously friend goals to the max. It wasn’t until Athena shows up that starts finally started to make sense. And things start to get interesting.

In this short book sampler we’re introduced to the basics of the story and the main characters. I’m definitely going to pick this up on release day! I need to know more!

Are you into mythology/retelling’s? What is your favorite one?