Book Update & Latest Reviews

I know you’ve spent the last couple months staring at your inbox, awaiting my return with bated breath. No fear! I’m back, and with a new and improved website! Please check it out.

An update on the book: The book has been sent out to beta readers for feedback! Depending on whether I hear, ‘THIS IS FABULOUS, DON’T CHANGE,’ or ‘ERM, WHAT’S YOUR BACK UP PLAN?’, there will be another edit and several fights. Then, we’re off to agents! It’s a thrilling, process, really. Want to read the prologue and a bit of chapter one? You can do so, here.

All right, let’s get to it. Here are my favorite books from the last few months:

The Song of Achilles

“We were like gods at the dawning of the world, & our joy was so bright we could see nothing else but the other.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles

Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been banished from his homeland. Achilles, son of the great King Peleus, is everything Patroclus is not: handsome, strong, and ‘The best of all Greeks.’ Despite their differences-and knowing the gods are against them- two become inseperable. When Achilles is called to war, Patroclus, torn between love and fear, follows. Soon, the merciless Fates take hold, testing them both like never before.

What I liked:

  • Heartbreaking in a ‘does love that pure exist’ kind of way.
  • Like reading Romeo and Juliet: You want to step in and save the characters from themselves.

What I needed:

  • Nothing!

Overall: *****

There are books you want to clutch to your chest when you’ve finished reading. This is one of them. If you’re not a fan of Greek Mythology (high school flashbacks, anyone?) don’t let that sway you away from picking up The Song of Achilles.

Note: Written by a high school classics teacher, TSOA is based on the Illiad.

Radar says: **** I didn’t know puppies could ugly cry.

This Tender Land

“If we were perfect, the light he shines on us would just bounce right off. But the wrinkles, they catch the light. And the cracks, that’s how the light gets inside us. ― William Kent Krueger, This Tender Land

1932, Minnesota. Hundreds of Native American children have been separated from their parents and sent to the merciless Lincoln Indian Training School. Orphaned brothers Odie and Albert, despite being the only white faces at the school, are on less than good terms with the superintendent. After they commit a grievous crime, the boys, along with their friend Mose and a struggling girl named Emmy, flee for their lives. The four vagabonds travel the Mississippi River, encountering other lost souls and adventures as they attempt to find a place to call home.

What I liked:

  • Modern-day Huck Finn
  • Literary fiction, adventure, & mystery
  • Beautifully, beautifully written.

What I needed:

  • Nothing. This is a nearly 500-page tome and still, I could have kept reading!

Overall: ****.5

Heart-warming, emotional, and healing: This book is a big hug. Krueger’s characters, landscape, and prose are vivid and unforgettable. By the time you’re finished, you will feel as though you’ve traveled the Mississippi and emerged renewed. Read this book!

Radar’s Review: * I thought it said, ‘This Tender Lamb.’ Highly disappointed. Not a cookbook!


Book Lovers

“Sometimes, even when you start with the last page and you think you know everything, a book finds a way to surprise you.” ― Emily Henry, Book Lovers

Nora Stephens is a dogged literary agent… and the anti-heroine of her own story. When her sister, Libby, persuades Nora to spend the summer in quaint Sunshine Falls, North Carolina, the last person Nora expects to find is Charlie Lastra—the grump but surprisingly cute editor she just met back home.

What I liked:

  • Turns the classic Hallmark-movie trope on its head.
  • Characters with real depth and dimension.
  • Funny from the start. Great one-liners.

What I needed:

  • More book.

Overall: **** (within its genre)

  • Another great beach read from the author of Beach Read! If you’re looking for a cozy, feel-good life-affirmation with a tinge of heartache, you’ll love Book Lovers.


  • All women really want is someone to look at them the way Charlie looks at Nora and say, “You [redacted] undo me.”

Radar’s Review: **** “You undo me.” Can we go play now?


That’s it! Thank you for reading and please, don’t forget to share and like!

Read on,


Want more? Find me on… Instagram: @catreadsandwrites Twitter: @catcastell

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