Kait's Bookshelf

Book Reviews and Literary Services


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Book Review: My Lady’s Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris

My Lady's Choosing

Cover art is copyright of Quirk Books

When I was a kid, I loved “Choose Your Own Adventure” books. In case you’re not familiar with that kind of storybook, the story starts like any other story but soon a decision will need to be made. Do you go right down the nice looking path? Or do you go left down the twisty, scary looking path? Do you investigate the strange sound you hear? Or do you keep going on your way? The story would change depending on the choices I made and then I could go back and make different choices and read a completely different story. My favorite was How to Wake a Sleeping Beauty. It’s been years, okay decades, since I read a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book. So when I heard about My Lady’s Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel, I was intrigued. A “Choose Your Own Adventure” book for adults? I had to check it out!

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Friday Firsts: My First Romantic Read

friday-firsts.jpgFor this Friday Firsts post, I’d like to talk about my first romantic read. Let me start by saying that I read a ton of romance novels in my twenties. Favorite authors included Danielle Steel and Nora Roberts. My first Danielle Steel novel was Star and I read it after I saw a Lifetime TV movie version of the film starring Jennie Garth (I know, I’m dating myself here) 🙂 The book was very different, as tends to be the case, but I loved it and I was hooked. From there, I progressed to Nora Roberts novels which I loved because, they not only had romance but usually quite a mystery as well. I would stay up reading into the early morning hours because I just had to find out whodunit and if the couple was really going to end up together – spoiler alert – yes, they always did! In trying to pinpoint which of these novels was my first real romance book, I found myself going back earlier than my twenties, or even my late teens. I found myself remembering a book I read in my early teens, a time of just discovering boys and really not even understanding what romance was. Continue reading


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2017 Wrap-Up and Reading Plans for 2018

2017-wrap-up.jpg

I love New Year’s Eve/ Day! It is always so nice to get a fresh start. I often get the urge to clean and organize my house around the New Year holiday. This includes my bookshelves. I often rearrange them and round up a box of books to be donated to the library. I have a really hard time letting books go, so these are usually books that I finally read over the previous year and don’t feel that I will re-read them. Or they are books that served a purpose during certain periods of my life and are now no longer necessary. Cleaning out and rearranging my bookshelves always makes me anxious for new reads and nostalgic for some old reads, too. Here are my highlights from 2017 and my reading goals for 2018.

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July Wrap-Up!

kait_webIt’s hard to believe that August is here already. I’m starting to see back-to-school sales everywhere I go. The funny thing is that every time I see one, I do a little happy dance inside. Because I don’t have to prepare for back-to-school! Because I did it! Because I graduated!

One of the perks of graduating is that I now have much more time to spend reading, blogging, and working. Speaking of working, I am excited to announce two new services available through Kait’s Bookshelf – book promotion and product promotion. In addition, I am excited to have taken on some new writing opportunities this month, and I will share more on that later. I am also very proud to share the new official Kait’s Bookshelf logo. Honestly, when I think about all that’s happened in July, it’s a little overwhelming. It is an exciting time for sure and I will continue to share as I have news regarding the website, the business, and new services.

But for now, it’s time for my July wrap-up, a brief summary of the book reviews and blog posts I shared this month in addition to highlighting my favorite title from this month’s reads. So, without further ado, my July wrap-up!
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Book Review: Revival by Stephen King

RevivalI recently took to social media to ask my fellow book lovers which of Stephen King’s many novels they would recommend for my very first Stephen King read. I got a lot of responses and many of them were similar. Many people suggested I go with his earlier works, and titles like The Shining, Carrie, and Christine came up multiple times. Some suggested I just close my eyes and grab one off the shelf because I couldn’t go wrong that way.

It is interesting to me that it has taken me thirty-five years to read Stephen King, one of the best-selling authors in the world. To be honest, I think the movie versions of his films are what kept me at bay for so long. I don’t like scary movies and I remember films like It and Carrie scaring me as a child and I thought, “No way would I ever read this book!” So I guess you could say that up until now, I’ve been too chicken to read his work.

For my introductory novel, I chose one of his recent releases, Revival. It was recommended to me by a few people and many were describing it as similar to his earlier work. I was assured by a friend that it wasn’t scary – creepy for sure and disturbing at times – but not scary. I decided it was a good place to start and started Revival on what turned out to be a very dark and stormy week in the northeast…how appropriate!
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Book Review: Sisters One, Two, Three by Nancy Star

Sisters One Two ThreeThis was the first novel by Nancy Star that I’ve read, and I’ll be honest: my first impression was that I didn’t like it and wasn’t going to enjoy the book. The subject matter is emotionally heavy and rather depressing. The main character, Ginger, who takes us through her childhood and adult life, is somewhat irritating. She is always on the look-out for something bad to happen. The writing style wasn’t my favorite, with sentences sometimes feeling choppy and incomplete. All that being said, I ended up reading the first half of this book in one day. So, subject matter, irritating characters, and confusing writing aside, the story itself was intriguing and kept me turning the pages.

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ARC Book Review: Hello Sunshine by Leila Howland

Hello Sunshine

Cover art is copyright of Disney-Hyperion

I was absolutely thrilled when I received an advanced reader copy of Hello, Sunshine from Disney-Hyperion because I’ve loved all of their young adult novels that I’ve read in the past. Hello, Sunshine did not disappoint. While this was the first book by Leila Howland that I’ve read, I can assure you that it will not be my last.

The synopsis of this book intrigued me right away. An eighteen year old prep school graduate finds herself doing the walk of shame through her school hallways and pretty much all over town when she is not accepted into any of the colleges she’s applied to. So she decides to do the next best thing and most logical thing in her eyes – move to L.A. to become an actress. What could go wrong?

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ARC Book Review: The Writers’ Retreat by Indu Balachandran

The Writers Retreat

Cover art is copyright of Jacaranda Books

I received an advanced reader copy (ARC) of this book from Jacaranda Books, so I owe them a big thank you! I requested a copy of this book after reading the synopsis which sounded right up my alley. A woman named Amby is fed up with her corporate life at a bank and decides to pursue writing full time. Sound familiar? If you’ve read any of my past blogs about my decision to leave my corporate life to go back to school in pursuit of my degree in writing, then you understand why this resonated with me. I had to read this book!
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BookExpo and BookCon 2017

book-heart2If you are anything like me (and I’m assuming you are because, hey, you’re reading my book blog!) when you hear things like BookExpo or BookCon, you immediately conjure images of rows upon rows of books, authors, authors signing books, people standing in clusters discussing their favorite books and new and upcoming books…basically you picture book heaven. With this year’s BookExpo and BookCon over, I have seen a lot of highlights popping up in my social media feeds. What I have found interesting is that while many people have heard of BookExpo and BookCon, there is still a lot of confusion around just what they are. Are they the same thing or two different events? Are they open to everyone? Where is it held? And the ultimate question…when will the next one be and can I go? I tackle these questions and more in this post dedicated to the annual BookExpo/ BookCon.

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Book Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything EverythingThis is one of those rare instances when I’d heard of a movie before I’d heard of the book it was based on. My hubby and I made a trip to the movies recently, and one of the trailers we saw was for a new movie about a young girl with a rare illness that prevents her from going outside. Basically, she lives as a girl in a bubble. But what happens when she falls in love with the boy next door? Will she risk everything to be able to go outside, to be a part of his world, of the world? The trailer looked great and reminded me of Me Before You, a great read about a relationship dealing with circumstances beyond control. So imagine my joy when I heard the line, “based on the best-selling book.” I knew I had to read Everything, Everything!
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