Sophomore Year Is Greek to Me is the second book I’ve read by Meredith Zeitlin. A few years ago her book Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters cSophomore Year Is Greek to Me is the second book I’ve read by Meredith Zeitlin. A few years ago her book Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters came out and that book totally blew me away with it’s hilarity. It was a book I connected with extremely well. So I’ve been eager for more from the author. Despite this having a matching title it is not a series. It could be a companion but that’s even stretching it. Zona goes to the same school as Kelsey and we do see Kelsey very briefly in a scene. But there’s no other connection that I saw. Not only that but the majority of this book takes place in Greece. So new characters and mostly new setting.
I love, love, LOVE books set in other countries. I love learning about other cultures or just random bits of information. In this book Zona is to meet her Greek family from her dead mothers side. She’s spent her whole life not wanting to meet them, thinking they hate her and want nothing to do with her. There is more to that story and it is fantastic to get to know some Greek culture through an American who it’s all new to as well. Zona is staying in Athens with her father but for Spring break she goes to Crete where she spends some time with this family she never knew. So it’s only a quarter of the book or so that takes place on Crete with this family. But the time in Athens, making new friends, going to a new school, getting use to a new culture, it’s all fascinating and entertaining as well.
Zona’s father is a journalist and she wants to be one as well. They communicate often through headlines they write to each other. It was pretty cool. Also sprinkled through the book are journalist pieces that talk about Zona’s experiences. It gave a different angle to things but sometimes I just wanted to jump over them and get back to the story.
Zona is an entertaining character but I felt like when I compared her to Kelsey she was missing a little *something*. But perhaps Kelsey was so entertaining because she got herself into totally crazy situations and then had some great and dramatic humor about it all. Zona’s life was definitely different and her personality was a bit milder. She has her dramatic moments, but mostly it’s in her head. She’s a responsible teenager who thinks things through before taking action.
This was a really fun book with moments that made me laugh. But I have to admit that the author handled the serious really well. There’s a classmate of Zona’s that clearly has an eating disorder. This is a small bit of the book but adds a lot and makes you think. No one else thought anything was wrong with her but Zona couldn’t ignore it. There’s also the issue of her family. Her mom died when she was born and she says she doesn’t miss her because she never knew her. She doesn’t feel a lot of drama and grief about it. But when meeting her family she never really knew about she learns more about her mom and there were plenty of moments I found myself tearing up. There are a lot of issues to get past and it was handled well. There’s also some stuff discussed about Greece’s economy. Zona’s dad is there to write about it so it opens up some good dialogue about it. How it got that way, how people handle it. How Greeks feels about it, etc. I actually learned a lot myself but never felt like it was there as a learning piece but just part of the story.
Sophomore Year Is Greek to Me was a fabulously fun story and I’m very eager for more from Meredith Zeitlin!
I kind of hate when books are compared to other books but sometimes it's just something you can't help. When I was reading Traveler I kept having thisI kind of hate when books are compared to other books but sometimes it's just something you can't help. When I was reading Traveler I kept having this feeling that the book felt similar to a Dresden Files book or the Alex Verus books. But without magic. This is an urban fantasy feeling book but the 'fantasy' is more sci-fi since it's more about parallel realities. Although... there is a bit of an almost magic. It's just presented in a more scientific way. Anyway Trav Becker has that fabulous personality that really fits with the urban fantasy genre and maybe that's because I read more urban fantasy than I do sci-fi. I just wanted to point that out.
I really liked Trav a lot! But it was kind of a 'grow on me' kind of thing. In the very beginning he's really at his lowest point and from that point on his character really grows. Though I really feel it's his true self coming out because of the situations he's in. It's how he reacts that I was so impressed with. I loved how he treated others and dealt with the situations that came his way.
Sci fi can be a little over my head at times, especially with the parallel universes. But this book was explained so well that it never got terribly confusing. I did notice that it was easier to follow if I didn't take many breaks. I read the first half in a few sittings but the entire second half was read in an evening and I really HAD to finish it once I got to that halfway point. The last quarter has a lot of things that come together and it's best to read it at once so you can put it together with less confusion. I read that last bit in bed and I think I had a huge smile on my face as things came together. It was just so well done with with twists and turns I never saw coming! I absolutely loved it!
I recommend this to fans of sci-fi and urban fantasy. It's a quick read and not a big time commitment but you'll really find yourself thinking about it even when you're done. Highly recommend!...more
Fifth Avenue Fidos: A Modern-Day Fairy Tale with “Bite” is an adorable story about two quirky, slightly awkward characters that come together in NYC.
FFifth Avenue Fidos: A Modern-Day Fairy Tale with “Bite” is an adorable story about two quirky, slightly awkward characters that come together in NYC.
First- I really loved the characters! I loved Mable’s humor that lightened most situations. I also liked that she had some growth in the book, going from a low self esteem to feeling confident and happy. I loved that Jason is an animal lover and is a bit awkward. The two of them fit together perfect. I also loved all the secondary characters (or hated those that were meant to be disliked). All the characters were really well done and so easy for me to connect with.
The romance is very slow but that allows for some good character development and growth. I liked those little moments of connection, even if things didn’t go anywhere for quite a long time.
I also loved the animals and how important they are to the story. I’m a dog person and had a Pekingese not long ago so I was reminded of her and her total Peke personality.
The issues I had was the book felt really long and the pacing felt off to me. Sometimes I couldn’t put it down and other times I just got a little bored with it. I had to take breaks and read other books. This was kind of a big negative to me, but I feel like it’s still SO worth reading because the characters and overall story are REALLY good....more
The thing that most excited me about Treasured Secrets was the adventure. And wow, was there adventure! We get to visit Australia first and then we moThe thing that most excited me about Treasured Secrets was the adventure. And wow, was there adventure! We get to visit Australia first and then we move on to Italy where we see some gorgeous scenery before moving to the Greek Islands where I could clearly picture the gorgeous ocean water and the islands themselves. I can only dream of visiting there one day myself. One of my biggest dreams. The adventure is fantastic of course, with racing from one place to another trying to discover more clues relating to the treasure they are seeking. There’s some twists and turns regarding some characters they meet and some places they visit. It kept me fully captivated and reading as quickly as possible! The characters are also really great. I had first worried about the drama regarding the romance but while there’s some ‘issues’ it is never overly dramatic and it was surprising how well behaved and grown up the characters acted. There’s a lot of history between some of them while others were strangers. The way they work together to find the treasure was something I found myself really admiring about them. Sure, there’s romance drama but it’s just so light considering the situation. I was really glad and grateful for this because it would have distracted from the rest of the story. I was thoroughly impressed with how the author made these characters so complex and flawed but yet still mature at the same time. Not only that but they were all so easy to like. There were moments when each of them frustrated me, but I genuinely liked them and understood those moments they weren’t at their best. I love a good adventure, especially with a lot of travel involved and this one has a fun mystery that was also full of intense moments and danger. It was hard to put down and I can’t wait for more!
Unfortunately I read this book at a time when I was super occupied with things and I didn't get a review up right away. So now I'm stuck with a somewhUnfortunately I read this book at a time when I was super occupied with things and I didn't get a review up right away. So now I'm stuck with a somewhat vague review.
For me this book is unforgettable, but the intense emotions and feelings it gave me were largely because of some of my own experiences and beliefs. This is a fictional book but there's so much here about history and reincarnation that can really open our minds to some new beliefs, or just further anchor what we already believe. At the same time, it's something that some won't be ready for or won't really understand.
But you can go into it just for the fun experience. It's an epic love story and has some incredible history in it as well. There's no preachy aspect and the characters are fully fleshed out. It's a long story, and it requires a bit of a time commitment, but in my opinion it's totally worth it!
I highly encourage checking out the authors website at OneGreatYear.com and watching the video about the research they did. It's fascinating! ...more
Murder and Moonflowers is the first book in The Herbalist series. It’s very short at just over 100 pages, but it’s a complete story. And one I enjoyedMurder and Moonflowers is the first book in The Herbalist series. It’s very short at just over 100 pages, but it’s a complete story. And one I enjoyed quite a lot! I liked that it was a simple easy read but I also connected very much with the main character, Melissa. I can imagine living her life as we have so many things in common. I loved the way she thought and how laid back she was. She’s someone I’d really want to be friends with.
This is a cozy mystery and the mystery aspect was done well. I didn’t guess who it was and was wrong in who I thought it was. Though only partially wrong. The small town aspect was done really well. With the townsfolk you can’t help but love and those you can’t help but hate. It was done in a way that it was low angst but still had enough drama to keep it engaging.
There’s a touch of what could become a romance. In this book there wasn’t enough time for things to really go anywhere but I loved their interactions and how drama free they were. I’m looking forward to see where it goes romantically.
I really enjoyed this book and am anxious to continue the series!
Charmer’s Death picks up a few months after Delayed Death. I liked this aspect for sure because I tend to always think in my head how unrealistic it iCharmer’s Death picks up a few months after Delayed Death. I liked this aspect for sure because I tend to always think in my head how unrealistic it is that one person runs into so many murders in such a short period of time. I can’t say it’s ever become a negative, but it does run through my head. Having some time pass helps with that. One thing that did pick up where it left off was the romance. Or maybe I should say potential romance, because it really hadn’t had a chance to go anywhere. Because of busy schedules and things that came up they hadn’t been able to see each other much. I liked this because I didn’t want to miss anything!
Carlina is a character I really like. She runs her own business and she does it well. We don’t get much of the boring stuff of running a business but in this book we did see it more as it was the setting for some of the scenes with some action involved. I really liked this because for some reason I’m really drawn to her store. I also like how she always thinks the best of people. She doesn’t get all suspicious of every person and always gives them the benefit of the doubt, always feeling those she knows well certainly couldn’t be responsible for a murder.
The mystery in this book is layered. I loved that aspect! I love that you uncover one thing after another before you ever discover who the true murderer is. So of course I was just sure of several people being the murderer and I was wrong every time! When it was finally revealed I NEVER would have guessed! It was a total shock to me.
I love the setting of Florence Italy, of course. And I also loved all the secondary characters. Carlina’s large and quirky family is always entertaining. I don’t always like them, but they sure are fun to read about!
I can’t wait to read the next book, Banker’s Death.
I love books that take place in other countries so I was really looking forward to reading Foreign Exchange by Denise Jaden.
The international travel dI love books that take place in other countries so I was really looking forward to reading Foreign Exchange by Denise Jaden.
The international travel didn’t start until later in the book, close to the halfway mark. But it still worked for me because there had to be some time for the romance to slowly develop, and for the mystery aspect of it to piece together. I found myself totally sucked into the story and wondering where the mystery aspect of it would go.
Jamie was a pretty great character. She felt pretty real to me and I loved how she cared for her severely disabled brother. I saw her frustration with her mom and brother so well but also felt how much she loved them. And her best friend Tristan. Right away I knew Tristan had to have kept some serious secrets from her, but the mystery is, what is she doing in Europe and is she safe? Jamie and her Tristans brother, Sawyer, are brought closer together with Tristan gone. They can now communicate without Tristan getting jealous. That bit right there just made me not like Tristan at all. I wanted Jamie to discover that Tristan was a total crazy b*tch. But like always, there’s more to the story.
I liked how things developed pretty slowly. But at the same time it somehow felt fast. These two have known each other for years but I had to remind myself of that because they really never were able to talk or hang out. So when things started happening it almost felt weird. But later in the book I realized some things and found that it all worked perfectly.
I will mention that I liked Sawyer just fine. But I never felt like I fully knew him. Which was weird. I felt like he was in the picture quite a lot. So I think maybe it would have benefited from having his POV in some chapters. But not a big negative.
The international travel aspect was really great. It was very fast as they are on the move the whole time with no time to really site see. But the few minutes they were able to stop and breathe and take in the sites, I really felt it.
The ending is very intense. I did plenty of inner screaming of ‘No, don’t DO that, use your brain!!!!’ but it was done well. While all decision weren’t smart, they were ones I understand a teenage girl would make. There is a very good message here that not everything is safe and especially when you go out of the country without your parents. If you tell people you put a mark on your back. It was a really great message that I think every teenage girl could use the reminder of.
I highly recommend this one! I had a very hard time putting it down!
I got A Skeleton in the Family on audiobook when it was on sale prior to Christmas. Because I’ve been enjoying cozy mysteries I thought this fit the bI got A Skeleton in the Family on audiobook when it was on sale prior to Christmas. Because I’ve been enjoying cozy mysteries I thought this fit the bill. While it took me a little while to warm up to it, the whole ‘living’ skeleton was a little weird, I ended up enjoying it a lot. It was also a very unique mystery and didn’t follow the average formula.
The main character of A Skeleton in the Family is Georgia and she’s a professor who has just moved back to her home town with her teenage daughter. Georgia was a character that I could connect with pretty well. She never really bugged me in any way and I liked that she was able to deal with things in a relaxed manner. She didn’t get all worked up about everything. When people teased her or gave her a hard time she dealt with it really well. I also loved her interaction with Sid, the skeleton.
That brings us to Sid. This seems a little odd since it’s a pretty contemporary feeling story. But Sid is a skeleton who walks and talks and is like a person. But without skin, or brains or eyes. But it’s like he has them. He lives in the attic and obviously no one except family can see him. Sid is a smart guy but he doesn’t remember anything before Georgia. Georgia was a young child when he came to live with them and it’s a story that is revealed in the book, how that occurred. I do wish we’d gotten it sooner cause the entire previous part I was constantly wondering how Sid ended up there. Anyway, Sid doesn’t remember who he is. When he recognizes someone it gets the two of them thinking and they decide to figure out who he is. So, that’s the mystery. There is another murder but the real mystery is figuring out his past and if it relates to the new murder, etc.
The mystery wasn’t one I figured out. But I really enjoyed listening to the audiobook of A Skeleton in the Family and was eagerly awaiting some answers. When things started coming together I found every excuse to listen just a little bit more.
The narrator of this audiobook was pretty good. She fit perfect for Georgia and she got the voices different for the characters so things didn’t blur together. She managed to also bring Sid’s personality out really well.
While it was an odd story in the beginning I found myself really getting into it and enjoying it quite a lot. By the second half I was fully invested and the fact of Sid being a skeleton no longer felt so strange. I’m definitely looking forward to continuing this series!