I have loved every minute of blogging. I am so happy to have found this passion and community! When I started Reading in the Wildwood, I never imagined it would grow into this. I’m so thankful and blessed! I thank you all from the bottom of my heart!
With that being said, let’s move on to my exciting news! I’m rebranding! I’ve spent countless nights praying and planning, and now I feel like it’s time to take that leap. I love Reading in the Wildwood with all my heart, but it’s time to introduce the next chapter. I will now be blogging at Wildwood Reads! It’s still the same concept. I will still talk about my love of books and nature, but I have so many plans for the future! I hope you guys will join me in this new journey! Be sure to check out the new blog and subscribe. I have a ton of announcements coming your way! Starting today, all of my new content will be at Wildwood Reads. As always, thanks for the love and support!
I wanted to love The Devil All the Time. I tried so hard to love it, and I did in the beginning. However, things fell apart pretty quickly.
Set in 1960, Ohio and West Virginia, The Devil All the Time follows a unique cast of characters. Willard Russell returned from World War II tormented by the carnage. But the hardest thing he will ever face is the death of his wife. He prays and offers sacrificial blood, but nothing calms the cancer. Then there’s Carl and Sandy Henderson who travel the country looking for models to feature in their deadly photographs. You can’t forget to mention the spider handling preacher and his sidekick who are running from the law. Finally, there’s Arvin, Willard and Charlotte’s orphaned son, who grows up in the thick of it all.
The Devil All the Time starts well. It’s atmospheric and gritty. It has the promise of a great story. In the beginning I was hooked.
Unfortunately, the more I read the less interested I became. I could care less about most of the characters. I also thought Arvin would be more involved. He really didn’t become prominent until the end.
Basically, everything happened at the end. The pacing felt off and the payoff comes late. It just kept building and build. And frankly, I got bored. In the last few pages everything finally started to come together, but by that point I’d lost interest. I’m bummed that I didn’t like The Devil All the Time more. I had high hopes for it.
I’ve wanted to read Kingdom of the Wicked for a long time. I finally sat down and made the time for it. Here are my thoughts.
After the murder of her twin, Emilia is out for vengeance. Emilia and her family are witches who live secretly among the humans. She will find her sister’s murderer at any cost, even if she has to use dark magic. This forbidden magic leads her to Wrath, a prince of Hell. Wrath claims he is on Emilia’s side, but the Wicked can’t be trusted.
The beginning of Kingdom of the Wicked is amazing. I love the world building and magic system. It is everything I look for in a story about witches. It’s full of herbal spells, tinctures, and candles. I love the cottage core vibes.
Plus, the food sounds mouth watering. I was hungry during a majority of the book. I also loved the hustle and bustle of the family restaurant. It was quaint and cozy. Unfortunately, that doesn’t last.
The murder of Vittoria completely changes the book’s direction, obviously. Emilia begins to lose interest in the family business. She only wants to find Vittoria’s murdered and make them suffer. She starts using dark magic, which is where Wrath comes in.
I really liked Wrath. I like the chemistry between Emilia and Wrath. However, their relationship didn’t develop as much as I wanted. I know this is a series, so I hope that comes in the later books.
Another thing I didn’t love was the big reveal. I guessed who the murderer was in the first few pages. Sometimes that can be saved if the motive was fulfilling, but I didn’t feel that way about this one. It just seemed lackluster to me.
All in all, I think this was a decent start to a series. On it’s own I didn’t love it, but I like what it set up for the next book.
Stand By Me has always been one of my favorite Stephen King movies. There’s just something special about it. So I wanted to read The Body to see if I felt the same way. I did. It was so good. It’s definitely one of my favorite King stories now.
It’s 1960 in Castle Rock, Maine. When a boy from a nearby town goes missing, Gordie Lachance and his three friends set out on a quest to find his body. This coming of age story explores contrast between loneliness and friendship as the boys face life and death.
I loved The Body. I’m so glad that I finally made the time for it. It gives more depth into the mind of the main character. Years after the event, Gordie became a successful writer and The Body is his memoir. I’m impressed by King’s ability to create an entirely different tone from his own. There are glimpses of Kings style, but it truly feels like this was written by someone else.
While this is considered a coming of age story, it is overwhelmingly nostalgic. We get to see how the events in this story effected an adult Gordie. He shares the good memories along with the bad. King captured the feeling of a late summer day as a kid. I started to miss my own childhood friends.
The Body deserves a ton of love. It shows King’s talent. It’s out of usual style, but it’s wonderful nonetheless.
I had to see what the hype was all about. From Blood and Ash has been everywhere. Let’s get to it.
The Maiden is chosen by the gods to bring in a new era. She can’t be touched, spoken to, or interacted with. Poppy’s life is not her own. All pleasure is forbidden until after Ascension. And even then, she doesn’t know what awaits her. Her guard, Hawke, catches her eye. He makes her question….everything…. Poppy’s world will never be the same.
The beginning of From Blood and Ash was slow. There’s no way around it. It takes a bit to build the world, and I still never had a completely clear grasp of it. However, all that will be solved later.
Poppy is hard to get to know in the beginning. I wasn’t convinced that I would like her. Luckily, she develops more throughout the book. By the end, I liked her. I think she’s a great character.
I liked Poppy as a character, and I loved the romance between her and Hawke. They are both so sassy. I love a good witty romance.
Lastly, I expected the twist. It was quite obvious, but I loved the execution. It brought the whole story to a place I loved, and answered all of my question. Not to mention, that cliff hanger was killer. It set up for the next story perfectly. I need it now.
I finally read Siege and Storm. I’ve wanted to move on with this series for a minute, but I kept procrastinating. Unfortunately, after reading Siege and Storm, I’m not sure if I want to continue this series. Let’s get into my review.
Alina and Mal have fled the Fold, but darkness still haunts them. The Darkling survived that monumental day on the Fold and brought a new power with him. With the help of a charming privateer, Alina chases her new destiny. As her power grows, her connection to Mal suffers. She will have to decide if she wants to save her country, or lose everything she has ever loved.
Ugh, the angst. The whole book was focused around the angst between Mal and Alina. Even during major events. Mal was almost never off of Alina’s mind. Plus, there is a possible love triangle, or square, developing. Let’s just say Alina has a lot of options. It was all very dramatic.
After getting past the angst, the story is mostly filler. A few new characters and plot points were introduced, but it mostly felt like filler to start the next book.
I was disappointed by this. It didn’t give me the sequel I wanted. I loved Shadow and Bone, but Siege and Storm wasn’t great. But it did set up an interesting power change for the last book. I might continue on with the series just to see how it plays out.
When I started Reading in the Wildwood, I had no real working space. I worked mostly from my living room couch. I also didn’t have shelves. As you can imagine, that was a huge problem for an avid reader. I had books everywhere. It was getting out of hand. So this year my husband and I decided to turn one of our extra bedrooms into an office/book room.
That wasn’t as easy as it sounds. The bedroom we chose had some moisture damage, so we basically had to start from scratch. And by scratch, I mean we had to rip out all of the walls and the carpet. When we got the carpet ripped out we noticed that there was some damage to the subflooring as well. So, of course, that had to go. I’m not exaggerating when I say that we basically started from the ground up.
Right when we decided to do this my husband’s job started to pick up, which is a total blessing. However, he is the construction master of this marriage. I know nothing about it. I just wanted to get past this part, so that I could pick out paint colors. Luckily, my grandfather has a construction company. He came and put my floor and walls back together. Let me just tell you. That was a process, but we got through it.
After the Construction
So now the walls are painted and the flooring is down. This is where I come in. This is what I’ve been waiting for. It’s time to turn this room into my dream room.
Piece by Piece
My husband bought my this awesome antique roll top desk for Christmas(below). This was the first piece of furniture to go in this room. Now I’ve got a little recliner for reading in the corner of the room. It’s right next to a window with a beautiful view.
Slowly, the pieces are coming together. Last night we brought in my shelves and my books. I’m going to find some contact paper to wrap the white shelf in. It has some damage and since it’s not real wood I can’t paint it. But I think contact paper will work just fine.
Today, I’m organizing my shelves and getting everything into place. I still have a few more pieces of furniture that I need, but it will all come with time. I’m so ready to start decorating, and I’m ready to finally have the book room of my dreams. I’m so thankful and I’m definitely blessed. I can’t wait to share the finished book room with y’all!
The new dog walker is all anyone in Thornfield Estates can talk about. Her name is Jane and she is new to Birmingham, Alabama. None of her wealthy clients notice that jewelry and trinkets disappear after Jane’s arrival. That’s because no one notices Jane outside of her dog walking duty. That is until she meets Eddie Rochester. He is Thornfield Estates mysterious new widower. All Jane sees in Eddie is opportunity. An opportunity to enter the lifestyle of the wealthy and to finally have the protection she craves. However, only on thing stand in her way. The presence of Eddie’s wife Bea still haunts the home even after her mysterious disappearance.
My Thoughts on The Wife Upstairs
The Wife Upstairs is an imaginative retelling of Jane Eyre. Hawkins done a great job capturing the gothic feel of Jane Eyre in a modern setting. That in itself is impressive.
Hawkins also managed to make characters that were likable and loathable at the same time. Most of them were not great people, but their motives made sense. I knew that Jane was super manipulative, but I still wanted the situation to go her way. The juxtaposition of those two feelings really grasped my attention.
Lastly, the mystery was well thought out. It kept me guessing almost the entire time. And I lovedddd the plot twist. I never saw it coming. There had to be a tiny bit of suspension of belief at the end, but all-in-all I completely loved it.