Review: The Lost Apothecary

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner
Publisher: Park Row
Pub Date: 3/2/2021

GoodReads Synopsis: A female apothecary secretly dispenses poisons to liberate women from the men who have wronged them—setting three lives across centuries on a dangerous collision course.

Rule #1: The poison must never be used to harm another woman.

Rule #2: The names of the murderer and her victim must be recorded in the apothecary’s register.

One cold February evening in 1791, at the back of a dark London alley in a hidden apothecary shop, Nella awaits her newest customer. Once a respected healer, Nella now uses her knowledge for a darker purpose—selling well-disguised poisons to desperate women who would kill to be free of the men in their lives. But when her new patron turns out to be a precocious twelve-year-old named Eliza Fanning, an unexpected friendship sets in motion a string of events that jeopardizes Nella’s world and threatens to expose the many women whose names are written in her register.

In present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, reeling from the discovery of her husband’s infidelity. When she finds an old apothecary vial near the river Thames, she can’t resist investigating, only to realize she’s found a link to the unsolved “apothecary murders” that haunted London over two centuries ago. As she deepens her search, Caroline’s life collides with Nella’s and Eliza’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive. 

Review: The Lost Apothecary was my March BOTM pick. The storyline and mystery intrigued me. I really loved Nella and Eliza’s historical perspectives which really got me hooked. I could care less about Caroline’s present day perspective which didn’t add any insight to the story. Despite this having a gorgeous cover, this book ended up being a solid three stars for me. If it didn’t have Caroline’s perspective in here, I would have rated it higher.

Review: The Woman In The White Kimono

The Woman In The White Kimono by Ana Johns

Publication Date: 5/28/19

Publisher: Park Row Books (Harlequin)

Rating: 4/5

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced reader copy of this book from TLC Book Tours & Harper Collins in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review or rating.

Review: Ana Johns’ debut novel, The Woman In The White Kimono, is told in alternating perspectives from 17-year-old Naoko living in Japan in 1957 Japan and Tori Kovac, an investigative journalist, living in present day America. Overall, I found this novel to be beautifully written and heartbreaking. The story reminds me a bit of Memoirs of a Geisha and the writing style reminds me bit of Lisa See’s writing. Ana Johns does a great job portraying post-WWII and describing the relationship between America and Japan. I really loved reading Naoko’s perspective as her story was fast paced and kept me on my toes. I found Tori’s perspective to be less interesting and at a slower pace, but understand the importance of her character in the story. Though I found some parts of the book to be a bit predictable, I really liked the way that Ana Johns ended the story. I would recommend reading this novel if you love historical fiction and/or interested in Japanese and American history.

Best 9 Books I Read In 2017

This year I decided to pick up my old hobby of reading. I couldn’t remember the last time I read a novel for leisure. I used to read a lot back in middle school and high school and dropped it off after I went to college. After that, I made up excuses of work, lack of time or that I didn’t have the attention span for it anymore. But then something in me changed for the better this year. Getting back into the habit of reading was difficult at first, but I slowly gained momentum and finally realized what I’ve been missing out on these past few years.

When I started to read again this year, I didn’t set up any goals on how many books I would read in a month or how many I wanted to read by the end of this year. I didn’t want to set too high expectations so then I could easily get discouraged.

I don’t think I’ll do a reading goal for next year either. For me, it’s not about the quantity of books. It’s about the quality that I read and finding ones that resonate with me.

Without further ado, here are the best 9 books I read in 2017 in no particular order: Continue reading

Review: Shanghai Girls Series

Book 1: Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

Clues to describe this book: Sisterhood, Paris of Asia, Secrets, American Dream / Nightmare

Book 2: Dreams of Joy by Lisa See

Clues to describe this book: Mother / Daughter Relationships, Patriotism, Strength, Forgiveness Continue reading

3 Black Friday Amazon Kindle Book Deals

Amazon has some great Black Friday Kindle book deals going on right now that I couldn’t resist. I ended up buying three books under $10 which was an awesome bargain. Here are the books I bought:

Irresistible? by Stephanie Bond
Kindle Price: $0.99
This was an impulse buy. I never heard of the author before, but the premise of the story looked funny and light-hearted. Also there were positive reviews from Amazon readers so I thought why not? This romantic comedy is about Elle participating in a four-week clinical study which involves taking a pill that makes the taker more attractive to the opposite sex. Based on the plot, this could either be really cheesy and bad which then I would have wasted a dollar or it could be really intriguing and laugh out loud funny so then it would be totally worth every cent. I guess I’ll need to read to find out.

The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon
Kindle Price: $1.99
I was so excited to see that this book was part of the Kindle Deals on Amazon. I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while, but it’s on a long hold list at the library and before then, I was on the fence of whether to buy or not since it’s a YA novel. This book is about two teens with completely different lives and backgrounds falling in love. I heard such great reviews about this book and originally found it on Book of the Month so when I saw the price drop on this then I knew I had to get this.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Price: $3.99
This book has been on my TBR list for a while as well. I read Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee and fell in love with her writing so I was excited to hear about her newest book. The book is about four generations of a poor Korean immigrant family living in Japan in the 20th century. Pachinko has been on the best seller’s list for Amazon for quite a while and it is a National Award Finalist as well. So seeing the price drop on this was definitely a treat and I can’t wait to pick this up.