all things bookish | 5 mini book reviews + never have I ever book tag!

Hello! I hope you’re doing well. ❤ Today I have some book reviews for you! (For the first time in forever 😂) I’ll also be doing the Never Have I Ever book tag at the end, so stay tuned for that. I hope you enjoy this post!

an old-fashioned girl ~ louisa may alcott

pages: 345 || recommendation: all ages || genre: drama, comedy

This was an absolutely delightful book! Polly’s character is a breath of fresh air. ❤ The characters, main plot, and side plots worked together so well. I enjoyed this read!

An Old-Fashioned Girl is the story of Polly. Chronicling her experiences while staying with some family friends, you really get to know Polly’s heart and the beautiful effect she has on those she meets.

It actually took me a bit to get into reading An Old-Fashioned Girl. I found it hard to transition into reading a novel written in the late 19th century. Before that, I had been reading quite modern books 😂 which did not prepare me for Louisa’s beautiful English. The pace of the book is a bit slow as well, which I grew to like but it didn’t help in encouraging me to read it haha

I’d recommend this book to all girls, young and old! Whether you read it yourself or your mom does a read-aloud with you and your siblings, this book has so much to share that girls really need to hear. With it, you also get a great story. ❤

made in scotland ~ billy connolly

pages: 263 || recommendation: 18+ || genre: autobiography

Oh. My. Goodness. 🤣🤣🤣 this is the first book in YEARS that I finished reading in less than a day! Once it arrived in the mail and I started on the first chapter, I could not put it down except to eat and sleep.

Billy Connolly is one of my all-time favorite famous people. He’s got that charm, wit, and love of life I adore finding in others, and his is the first autobiography I’ve successfully finished! He talks in such a real way about things, and whether he’s writing or speaking, he knows how to be authentically himself.

In Made in Scotland, he talks all about his upbringing and the things he went on to do in his life. He talks about work, school, friends, family, music, comedy, Scotland (especially that wee country), and much more. His book made me smile, laugh, think, and dream. He reminded me of how much I love books, making people laugh, and enjoying life in my own way. Thank you, Billy!

I’d recommend this book to a young adult/adult audience 18+ interested in reading a great autobiography! If you love Scotland, funny people, don’t mind some mature themes, and are looking for a hilarious quick read, this is the bOOK. 😂💙

casualties of war ~ chris lynch

pages: 182 || recommendation: 14+ || genre: juvenile history

I read this book over the course of a few days, and it ended up being one of my favorites in the series! The MC isn’t mentioned much in the other books, and then his book ended up being the fourth in the lineup lol 🤷 so it was nice to get to know Beck better. He’s a really great character.

Just like with other choice paragraphs in the series, I did some “bounce-reading” to get through the graphic war accounts. Like, I understand why it had some intense moments. If it hadn’t, I’d accuse Chris of making the Vietnam War look like a piece of fluff 😂 which it was not. So in pursuit and favor of historical accuracy, the writer did a fine job, but I read the series to learn about how the war affected people emotionally, not for the physical warfare.

Chris Lynch’s writing style is splendid – he does an awesome job of connecting you to the characters in a journal writing style, without it feeling like a diary you just opened. It feels like you’re living it with the character.

I will say I didn’t like the ending of Casualties of War, but I won’t give it away. I will have to read the fifth book in the series now for the closure I desperately need 😂💕

This is a series I’d definitely recommend to an older teen audience interested in history/the Vietnam War! It’s well-written, really interesting, and shares the perspective of how the young men who got drafted must have felt while overseas. Trigger warning: violent war/battle descriptions

blood on the vine ~ jessica fletcher

pages: 260 || recommendation: 17+ || genre: cozy mystery

I really enjoyed this Murder, She Wrote book! I was easily able to keep up with who everyone was (some of the other mysteries I’ve read in the series had a confusing suspect lineup). Jessica’s Scottish friend George Sutherland starred as her mystery-solving companion in this one, and he was a great character. The graphic descriptions were minimal, and the suspects all had good motive (which helped hide the culprit in plain sight).

Sometimes, after reading one of these books or watching one of the episodes, I’m not convinced with who they chose to have committed the crime, but they did a fine job with this one. In truth, I would have been more satisfied if it had been someone else, but it also fit who killed the guy. Does that make sense 😂

Blood on the Vine had some more adult themes than the other books in the series (like ‘a maine mutiny‘ and ‘trick or treachery,’ which I reviewed here). So if you’re interested in reading one of these books, I wouldn’t start with this one. I’d actually recommend starting with A Maine Mutiny! You can go read my review which I linked if you’re interested 😊💕

jane in love ~ rachel givney

pages: 434 || recommendation: 16+ || genre: romance

What really drew me to this book was the beautiful cover! I was also intrigued by what I glimpsed of the synopsis (I read just enough not to spoil it 😂💕), and I ended up finishing Jane in Love in just a couple days.

The third person POV switched back and forth between two characters betwixt the chapters, which was nice but I really enjoyed the perspective of one of the characters more.

Two characters especially – Fred and Dave – really stole my heart. Their personalities were so sweet and if they were real people, I could see myself really getting along well with them.

I was quite disappointed in the ending. The decisions characters made and the reasoning behind it just kind of hurt my empathetic nature. So, I enjoyed the writing style, the main character (Jane Austen), the actual experience of holding the book (soft cover + a beautiful serif reading font = 😍), but I would not recommend it. Some of the values presented in the book did not match my own and the ending really rubbed me the wrong way. 🤣

never have i ever
book tag

I found this tag on Millay @ Millay’s Musings and I’d love to do it! So thanks for the open invitation Millay 😄💜 You can go read her answers to the questions here!


♥ Link back to original creator
♥ Link back to the person who tagged you or the blog where you first saw this tag
♥ Answer all prompts
♥ Add one more prompt of your own
♥ Tag at least 5 people
♥ Don’t lie
♥ Have fun!

Never Have I Ever…read a later book
in a series before reading the first book

Aye, that I have. *looks a bit guilty* Either because it was a series you can pick up anywhere so I read it in any order I liked (i.e. Nancy Drew Notebooks, Boxcar Children *nostalgiaaa!*), or I found the second book in a series you’re supposed to read in order at a library or bookstore and I was too excited to wait for the first. Call me impatient lol

Never Have I Ever…burned a book

*clutches me heart* I most CERTAINLY have not! The only things I burn are candles and food. 😂

Never Have I Ever…read a book I knew I would hate

Um, no? I’ve given a few books a chance over the years to prove me wrong (like if I really thought I wasn’t going to like it), but I don’t intentionally attempt books I despise.

Never Have I Ever…wrote a fanfiction
about my favorite books

*goes to excitedly answer, then stops short* I actually haven’t! I’ve written fanfictions about the One Direction boys and my favorite movies, but alas, no books about books.

Never Have I Ever…loved a book
when I was young, yet hated it
when I got older

That hasn’t happened yet, but there have been a few times where I’ve thought about books I loved when I was a kid, and I wondered how did I ever think this was interesting? 🤣

Never Have I Ever…dressed up as
one of my favorite literary characters

Alas, I haven’t. Wouldn’t that be lit, though?

Never Have I Ever…hated a book
by an author I love

I was gonna say yes, but then I thought more about it. There are some books by authors I love that just didn’t interest me.

Never Have I Ever…gone into a bookstore
to buy one book and
come out with many more

I rarely go to bookstores, so I’m gonna change ‘bookstore’ to ‘thrift store’ since that’s where I get most of my books! YES I’ve done this 😂 I go in with just my purse and when I come back out to the car, it appears as though I’ve been hit by a literary tornado!

Never Have I Ever…read the ending
of a book before reading the beginning

Uh, yeah. *scratches head awkwardly* When I was younger and I read the first few chapters of a book, didn’t like it, but was interested enough to see what happens on the last page, I snuck a look. It was quite an informative peek, but without knowing how the characters got to that point, it was inconclusive. lol

Never Have I Ever…read I book
without the dust cover

Yeah I have! If the book didn’t come with one I’d read without it of course, and any time there’s a dust cover, I have to take it off. I worry I’ll bend the pretty dust jacket and it slips around most unpleasantly in my hand. (reads Millay’s answer to this prompt) Oh and if it’s a library book, then the dust cover is taped on and I don’t mind it then!

Never Have I Ever…skim read
nearly half a book

Oh yes 🤣 if halfway through, the pace really started to drag, I’d skim-read to my heart’s content! There were always so many more books to get around to reading, I had not the time to read through a boring (to me) book!

My prompt:

Never Have I Ever… fallen asleep
while reading a book

InDEED I have! I used to read all the time in bed when I was younger, with my pillow propped up and my little flashlight’s battery draining. 😂 On more than one occasion, I’d startle awake to my open book flopping onto my chest and knocking the flashlight back. Those were the days. *happy sigh*

I tag:

You! (aka whoever would like to do it 😆) I wrote about this through an open nomination, so I’m passing it on. 😊

Thank you so much for reading! Well, this post ended up being longer than I’d anticipated, but I definitely enjoyed writing these reviews and answering those prompts.

Which books have you recently finished? Which book are you going to read next? Let’s chat in the comments!

18 thoughts on “all things bookish | 5 mini book reviews + never have I ever book tag!”

  1. Nice! I’m reading Pride and Prejudice right now, and I’m actually enjoying it. I just finished reading the first three books in The Mysterious Benedict Society series. I really recommend that series!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OOHh these seemed like they were all pretty good reads overall!! Loved hearing your thoughts on these and yeess, the never have I ever book tag was fun to see too!
    Great post!
    -kaelyn 😛

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I reread Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years in Solitude, finished Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas! Most of the classics I read as a kid were all abridged 😂 so I’m trying to read the original versions now!

        Liked by 2 people

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