Book Reviews

Book Review: The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

Happy Monday bookish people! Today I’m bringing you two book reviews, of which this is the first, and I ended up reading both of these books in June.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little bit about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

The Lost Apothecary Plot:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

One of my favourite things about this book was the worldbuilding, for both the past and the present tense. I felt like I was walking the streets with the characters. This book is told through the interwoven stories of two, technically three but I won’t spoil anything there, women – one from the past and one in the present discovering what happened in the past while dealing with all the things happening in her life. The way the stories are interwoven is incredible, it was smooth and clear where we were and when and I loved being able to see both sides of the apothecary. This plot was very different to anything I’ve read before, it’s a combination between mystery and historical fiction. It’s actually the book that made me realise I really love historical mystery books (then I bought up a few of them…).

The Lost Apothecary Characters:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Both of the women that you follow within this book have many layers that are constantly being explored and challenged throughout the novel. One of the things I liked the most about them was that they had flaws, and these flaws are part of the catalysts that set events in motion. The way the women led this story was a great thing to see, they are strong in different ways and it shows them taking control of their own lives. I won’t spoil anything about the ending but the characters never stray from their personalities and this is what leads eventually to the ending – which by the way ended perfectly for me.

The Lost Apothecary Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

It did take me a few chapters to get comfortable with the writing style in this book however once I got past that I began to enjoy how it was written and how the writing style fit with both time periods and the characters within them.

The Lost Apothecary Overall:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I gave this book five stars overall because I just couldn’t give it anything less. The world building, the mystery, the strong female leads – everything about this book was amazing and I couldn’t put it down.

Blurb/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. 

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Monthly Wrap Ups

June Wrap Up!

Happy Wednesday bookish people! So we’re here, it is finally the end of June. This month has been completely up and down for me in terms of my general life but in terms of reading I think it might have been my best month of the year… I did not complete my TBR but I was part of a bunch of book tours for this month so I was prioritizing them.

Also this month I was taking part in the Whatever-You-Want-A-Thon which was created by Maddie at Book Browsing Blog on YouTube. This was so much fun to be part of, I was part of team dreams and drama queens and I think it was one of my biggest motivations to read this month.

Onto the wrap up!

My June TBR and Thoughts:

  • Charmcaster by Sebastien De Castell – I read the first chapter.. I’m not going to count this as reading because the first chapter is only about ten pages.
  • Deadly Curious by Cindy Astley – I did read this one! You can find my book review of it here:https://theblindscribe.com/2021/06/14/book-review-deadly-curious-by-cindy-astley/
  • The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater – I did not read this book.
  • Fable by Adrienne Young – I did not get around to this book.
  • The Hatmakers by Tamzin Merchant – I did read this book! My review of it is here: https://theblindscribe.com/2021/06/07/book-review-the-hatmakers-by-tamzin-merchant/
  • I Hope You’re Listening by Tom Ryan – I started this book while travelling to Bristol and back during this month but I wasn’t in the right mood for how dark this book is so I stopped reading at the halfway point.
  • Incendiary by Zoraida Cordova – I did not read this.
  • Master of One by Jaida Jones and Dani Bennett – I did not read this either.
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – I didn’t read this.
  • One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake – I didn’t read.
  • Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard – I did not read.
  • Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin – I read this! and LOVED it, I can’t believe it took me so long to get around to reading this.
  • Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri maniscalco – This was a reread but yes I did reread this! You can find my review here:https://theblindscribe.com/2021/04/26/book-review-stalking-jack-the-ripper-by-kerri-maniscalco/
  • The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner – I read this one also!
  • Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M McManus – I did not read.

So from my TBR I read 5 books and I started another two… that’s not bad. On top of this I read some book for book tours which were: Happy Ever After: Financial Freedom (Review here:https://theblindscribe.com/2021/06/03/book-review-happy-ever-after-financial-freedom-isnt-a-fairy-tale-by-the-seven-dollar-millionaire/ ), The Maidens by Alex Michaelides (Review here: https://theblindscribe.com/2021/06/17/book-review-the-maidens-by-alex-michaelides/), Embers by Josephine Greenland (Review here:https://theblindscribe.com/2021/06/18/book-review-embers-by-josephine-greenland/ ), Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon (Review here:https://theblindscribe.com/2021/06/21/book-review-instructions-for-dancing-by-nicola-yoon/ ), Murder at Rosings by Annette Purdey Pugh (Review here:https://theblindscribe.com/2021/06/25/book-review-a-murder-at-rosings-by-annette-purdey-pugh/ ), Fake News by C J Dunford (Review here:https://theblindscribe.com/2021/06/25/book-review-fake-news-by-c-j-dunford/ ) and Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone (Review here:https://theblindscribe.com/2021/06/27/book-review-mirrorland-by-carole-johnstone/ ).

I read 12 books and started another two so June was a pretty good reading month, hopefully July will be just as successful. That’s it for my June wrap up, I hope you enjoyed it!

Monthly TBRs

June TBR!

Happy Tuesday bookish people! It is the first of June and that means it is time to show you what I am planning on reading for this month.

So… May went okay it didn’t go terribly or brilliantly – I managed to read eight books, if you are interested in my May Wrap Up you can find it here: https://theblindscribe.com/2021/06/01/may-wrap-up/

Once again for June I have a mountain of books on my TBR – for a couple of reasons. First, my TBR game just loves giving me doubles and so many extra books – I always begin with twelve but end up with more. Secondly – and I am VERY excited about this… in June I am taking part in Whatever-You-Want-A-Thon. A readathon that has been created by Book Browsing Blog on Youtube. I am part of the team Dreams and Drama Queens. That team name is very fitting for me.. anyway, there’s all sorts of prompts and points you can get for different books – if you’re interested in it go and check out her channel on Youtube where she explains it all.

As well as my TBR books I also have some books to read this month for book tours and for publishers so we will see how well I do.

So onto my TBR for June!

  • Charmcaster by Sebastien De Castell – I am looking forward to reading this one, it is the third book in the spellslinger series and I have enjoyed both Spellslinger and Shadowblack.
  • Deadly Curious by Cindy Astley – a murder mystery set in Victorian London, it sounds like a very interesting premise.
  • The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater – I’m not looking forward to reading this one as much. This is the second book in the Raven Boys series, I thought the first book was okay but not brilliant and I do want to continue with the series so hopefully this will make me push through.
  • Fable by Adrienne Young – I’m so excited to read this one. The cover is beautiful, it gives me pirate themes… I’m excited.
  • The Hatmakers by Tamzin Merchant – I got this book for Easter from my parents and it is going to be the first book I read this month, I’ve been dying to read it since I got it but I hadn’t been able to get it onto a TBR until now.
  • I Hope You’re Listening by Tom Ryan – this book sounds so interesting, a girl witnesses her best friend be abducted and later hosts a cold case podcast type show where she is anonymous, there’s all sorts of secrets surrounding everything and it sounds like it could be a new favourite.
  • Incendiary by Zoraida Cordova – I can’t actually remember what this book is about but it has been on my Tbr for a while so it’s time I got around to reading it.
  • Master of One by Jaida Jones and Dani Bennett – I have had this one on quite a few TBRs and not gotten around to it so hopefully I will this month.
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – I loved The Starless Sea, also by this author, and anything circus I’m drawn to so hopefully I will enjoy this one.
  • One Dark throne by Kendare Blake – I’m not excited to read this one, it’s another series that I thought the first book was okay and I want to continue the series but I’m not very excited about it.
  • Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard – The cover is beautiful, the plot sounds interesting… it is a very big book though.
  • Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin – I need to read this book, it sounds great and I’ve seen a lot of people recommend it.
  • Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco – this will be a reread for me, I’m buddy reading it with some other whatever a thon people which I am very much looking forward to.
  • The Lost Apothecary by Sarah penner – this book sounds very different to anything I’ve seen before so I’m looking forward to reading it.
  • and finally Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M McManus – I’ve read the cousins by the same authot and enjoyed it so I’m hopeful for this one too.

That’s it for my June TBR, I hope you all enjoyed it!