Kaerou Time to Go Home Review

Thank you B. Jeanne Shibahara for sending this book to me! I am providing my honest review to you all on my blog in exchange!

GoodReads Blurb:

In Japan…everywhere…red strings tie all people we meet together. Some strings are weak. Some have tangles. Some strong.

Meryl—Vietnam War widow—misses her grown son, feels left out after her father’s recent marriage. A WWII Japanese flag falls into her hands. The gentle push of a love-struck professor starts her adventure—take the flag home. From the neon of Osaka, to the ancient capital Nara, to the forests of Akita, the trail follows a newspaper reporter, factory manager, ikebana teacher, a Matagi hunter and winds through Japanese culture, past and present. A story of shared humanity and love in the simplest things.

This book was hard to define in simple terms, I did really enjoy it, especially at around page 25 I think something just really really clicked for me. There were elements here that I typically enjoy in a book, the history of things, the going back and forward of thinking of the past and progressing in the present, these are always huuuuuge pluses for me.

This story is more than just about Meryl, and in fact, the quote at the top of the blurb is my favorite in the book and is said by my favorite character, Ms. Kawanishi. The landscapes that Shibahara describe are utterly beautiful and it makes you want to go hop on a plane and go explore Japan. There’s an ample cast of characters and they’re all a variety of personalities.

Shibahara not only does a great job describing gorgeous locations, she also has a rather poetic or lyrical style! It actually took me a little while to get into it but it’s something I enjoyed after adapting to it [Note, probably about 25 is when I got used to the rhythm of it.]

The book is about finding love and about letting go of those we love as well. Meryl is delivering a flag to a man’s family who never thought they would get him home again, but she’s bringing them a beautiful chance while also dealing with the fact that despite her love for her husband she couldn’t condone everything he did and it makes her connect with the man she’s bringing home and his family. An unknowing level where thoughts are shared between her and the family as they have to face the brutality of what war cost in a time of peace.

There were some small issues, I wasn’t sure I always appreciated some of the stereotypes of some of the characters, or always completely enjoyed Meryl but as I said my favorite character was Ms. Kawanishi anyway, and I really thought this book was just a very lush one in its details of Japan and elsewhere. I would definitely recommend to those who like Eat, Pray, LoveUnder the Tuscan Sun, or The Sandalwood Tree. Not to mention the covers both front and back are absolutely lovely as you can tell from the featured image, front on the left, back on the right.

I enjoyed this and I foresee myself reading it again in the next couple of years and I am already planning on sending it to my sister who I think will really enjoy it too. [But her own copy damn it cause she doesn’t understand what the word borrow means] This go around I didn’t want to put a rating, I want you all to read the review and decide for yourself if you’d like to give it a read and if you want to discuss it more with me feel free to reach out to me!

Mini Reviews

 

I was going deviate from a review to do this lovely post on how I became a reader and love books so much, but, I just want sinus meds and a nap and to eat soup. So! A couple of mini reviews!!


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GoodReads Blurb:

What would you do if your whole life was a lie and learning the truth could cost you your life? 

From New York Times bestselling author of the Shadow Falls series comes C. C. Hunter’s new YA thriller about a girl who learns that she may have been kidnapped as a child, and must race to uncover the truth about her past before she winds up a victim.

Chloe was three years old when she became Chloe Holden, but her adoption didn’t scar her, and she’s had a great life. Now, fourteen years later, her loving parents’ marriage has fallen apart and her mom has moved them to Joyful, Texas. Starting twelfth grade as the new kid at school, everything Chloe loved about her life is gone. And feelings of déjà vu from her early childhood start haunting her. 

When Chloe meets Cash Colton she feels drawn to him, as though they’re kindred spirits. Until Cash tells her the real reason he sought her out: Chloe looks exactly like the daughter his foster parents lost years ago, and he’s determined to figure out the truth. 

As Chloe and Cash delve deeper into her adoption, the more things don’t add up, and the more strange things start happening. Why is Chloe’s adoption a secret that people would kill for?

Chloe Holden has always known she was adopted, her parents love her and she has a good life. Suddenly her parents are divorced and Chloe and her Mom are left to deal with cancer and a move to Joyful, TX right before Chloe starts her senior year.

While Chloe’s life is turning upside down, she meets Cash a foster kid of the Fullers who lost their daughter, Emily Fuller, 15 years ago, kidnapped under the watch of her Nanny.

What’s the connection between Emily and Chloe?

The plot keeps you engaged and entertained, you really feel bad for both Chloe and Cash for their own respective hard points in their lives. There’s more of Chloe’s parents in this book than most YA novels so that was actually a nice change.

The characters are not very deep but the fast pace of the plot makes up for it and you do get enough into Chloe and Holden’s heads that it doesn’t feel like they’re shallow, just that you could have left wanting more.

There’s some awkward writing at some rare moments (I’m not clear why boobs are such an awkwardly written thing in this but they are), but overall Hunter was fun to read and there are definitely some stereotypes but that didn’t take away from it being fun to read.

It was paced fast enough that I really didn’t want to put it down after starting it and I thought the ending was great. I felt not as much sympathy for Chloe’s Mom or for Mrs. Fuller but you could at least see where they were coming from and the interaction between Chloe and Cash was quite cute in the end.

An enjoyable and easy read, I would recommend it to those who like this sort of YA ‘mystery’ genre or looking for a quick read. I would pick up another book by C.C. Hunter.

I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

 


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GoodReads Blurb: When Sarah takes a job with occult expert Dr Matthew Geisler, he promises to help her understand the sorrowful spirit that seems to have attached itself to her.

As Sarah struggles to cope with the ghostly presence, she runs into Zeke, the man who left her six months earlier and is recovering from injuries suffered in an alleged accident. But Zeke has secrets of his own, and when an attempt is made on Geisler’s life, Sarah finds herself caught in a struggle between the living and the dead.

Unsure who she can trust, Sarah must solve the mystery of the soul determined to haunt her, and save Dr Geisler and herself from an unknown threat.

[This book was previously published as WEEPING IN THE WINGS.]

[Note: This is the SECOND book in a series, which may cause some confusion for the first couple of chapters.]

I would say this was a solid good read. Enjoyable, great pacing, and not too long. It had hints of paranormal, it was a good mystery and though you may find you could pinpoint ‘whodunit’ early on, it doesn’t take away from the entertainment value. It’s the sort of book where I KNOW I’ll want to read the next one each time and I appreciated the writing style as well. It wasn’t too flowery or heavy and it’s a blissful escape from a stressful day, the sort of read where it won’t drain you but it will keep you intrigued.

Another point I loved about this book was that you could really enjoy the WWII era of it and, this is a small thing but I LOVE that Thomas remembered about food rationing and made a point of including it during the food parts of the book, you want bacon in California in WWII? Too bad! So, HUGE kudos to historical accuracy on that front!

Zeke was pretty interesting but I think my favorite part was that he didn’t take over the storyline, in the end it was still about our Protagonist Sarah, she solves things without him and uses him as a sounding board, and guess what? It works and you still can appreciate the romance part of it without being like ‘please stop ruining the character(s)’.

I would recommend this to any mystery/paranormal reader and would definitely recommend reading the first book, well, first. It’s light, it’s fun, and yea probably predictable but sometimes that’s the kind of read I need.

I received this book from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

** Just a note guys, to me 3 cups of coffee ain’t nothing to be ashamed of, it means I find a book enjoyable and maybe wasn’t my favorite read but it was still good ***

 

 

The Spitfire Girls ARC Review

First off, guys, I’m wheezing because I accidentally wrote Spitefire and I feel like that was my subconscious talking.

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Blurb: At the height of World War II, the British Air Transport Auxiliary need help. A group of young women volunteer for action, but the perils of their new job don’t end on the tarmac. Things are tough in the air, but on the ground, their abilities as pilots are constantly questioned.

There is friction from the start, between the new recruits. Spirited American Lizzie turns heads with her audacity, but few can deny her flying skills. She couldn’t be more different from shy, petite Ruby, who is far from diminutive in the sky. It falls to pragmatic pilot May to bring the women together and create a formidable team capable of bringing the aircraft home.

As these very different women fight to prove themselves up to the task at hand, they are faced with challenges and tragedies at every turn. They must fight for equal pay and respect while handling aircraft that are dangerously ill-equipped; meanwhile, lives continue to be lost in the tumult of war.

Determined to assist the war effort doing what they love, can May, Lizzie and Ruby put aside their differences to overcome adversity, and will they find love in the skies?

[^ Let me tell you if I read that last little line/rhetorical question, I may not have jumped so eagerly to read it.]

Pros:
-Freakin WWII Women Pilots, I mean, seriously, how awesome is that?!
-Women Pilots
-Women Pilots flying huge bomber planes
-Are we seeing my pattern here yet?
-It’s sweet and fluffy and a book you can pick up and read while waiting for an appointment without getting too consumed.

Cons:
-Cringe-worthy stereotypical characters: You have the brash rude and horrible American, the demure, sweet, insecure small girl, the stoic ‘I can’t show emotions’ Commander.
-Honestly, the American in the first chapter is just shown as headstrong but then suddenly when we see her next she’s a spoiled little princess, or at least that’s what Lane wants you to think and I ended up just liking her more because she was competitive, ambitious, and went after what she wanted.
-The rivalry between the American and little Ms. Perfect was vomit inducing, of course, the sweet quiet one is the favored one, who wouldn’t want an insecure pilot flying a bomber plane?
-Of course, we have to have the overly confident one go through a personality change -ugh-.
-She switches between three characters and it just feels like they have no depth and their love stories are mushy gushy, so if you like that [the mushy gushy], throw it up in the pros!

Really I’m just not a sweet and fluffy person but I can tell you one thing, had this been a movie, I would have probably thoroughly enjoyed it. Also, I wanted to give this 2.5 but I realized, why should I rate a book so low just because I’m an unbelievable cynic? I hate sweet fluff with no depth, but, you know what, sometimes it’s nice to read that and not have to deal with a book that will emotionally drain you, plus it’s nice that she chose to focus on these women in history. I just feel that others have and will do better with this time in history. I intend to look into more books about our female WWII pilots.

This book comes out on February 26, I read this in exchange for an honest review and received it via NetGalley.