All posts by bookqueenshelby

About bookqueenshelby

Avid reader, coffee drinker. Evil Queen wannabe Find me at Goodreads at

A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck

A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck

This is one that I have no clue how to rate.

I do have to admit that part of it may be the fact that I was stupid enough to read some reviews before I read this one and I got spoiled. DON’T DO THAT. This one has to be read without knowing anything about the plot twists.
I also probably would have given this a million stars if I had read it a few years ago.

Why didn’t I? It felt too short and choppy. I felt like it tried TOO hard with the readers emotions without giving us enough about the characters.

I still read it in one sitting and would recommend it. Call your bestie afterwards and share some Nerds.

Booksource: From Publisher in exchange for review.


American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee

American Wolf by Nate Blakeslee

3.5 stars
I’ve always been a wolf fan. They are majestic animals and not just because I love reading the porny books featuring wolf shifters.

Back in the day my now ex-husband and I heard about a man that bred hybrid wolves. We were interested and that’s way before any legal aspects were really talked about. (I know..I’m old as crap.)
We visited the man and we immediately fell in love with one of the pups. He was a shy little guy but the owner would not just let us take him. We had to meet with him several times before we could take the animal. I never really knew the animals wolf percentage but at the time I was young and stupid enough to think it would all be okay. I know his mom was an Alaskan Malamute but I knew that there was definitely wolf blood in the pup.
We named him Diablo and he really did become a member of our family.

(My kids face is blurred on purpose even though this pic is over 20 years old…because trolls) Diablo was a pup in this photo.

Now I’m going to admit. I loved that animal. He was extremely protective of my family. Would I do it again? Not on your life. Now as I’m older I know that wild animals should be wild and not bred with domestic animals. I love and appreciate them but we went through hell with him just being a mixed breed. Not because of the animal. My neighbors hated him. Not dislike. HATE. If he left our property (as animals will tend to do) people freaked out. Diablo was shot by my neighbor while he was standing in my yard. While we were outside with him. Was he doing anything? No, that didn’t matter though. He was hit by a car once..on purpose. We went to court about him twice. Finally he was found poisoned when we returned home one day. I still miss him.

If he had been an alpha male we probably would have had some trouble. I know this so don’t troll me and tell me how stupid we were. Like you’ve never been stupid.

Anyways, this book tells about wolves being reintroduced into Yellowstone Park. It does try and tell both sides of the story. From the hunter/farmer side to the wolf enthusiast. It is obvious that the author is pro-wolf though. As am I.
He follows the story of one of the most famous wolves called O-six. She is an alpha female and it follows her from the time she meets her mate until she is killed.

I’m not going to describe her life because I think you should read this book. I do know that it sucks that wolves have such short life spans. Not just because natural events happen that lessons their chances of survival, but that people hate what they really don’t understand or can control.

I will admit that when this wolf dies in the book I spent a good thirty minutes crying…and I hardly ever cry. I felt gut punched when I read that her mate cried over her body.
Stop this stupid, people. Go read up on all the good things that happen when you have natural predators in an ecosystem.

Booksource: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for review.

Grand Central Market Cookbook by Adele Yellin and Kevin West

The Grand Central Market Cookbook by Adele Yellin

This book just made me mad that I don’t live near Grand Central Market. It gives the background of the market and then the bestest part ever happens. You get some of the recipes.

That has got to be the best name for a recipe ever! I want to make it just so I can say I’m serving you some Egg Slut and you best eat it. But I know these male people that live in my house are weird about eggs being burnt to death and they would never even get it near their lips. The more I look at it though the more I want it. Pureed potatoes with a poached egg on top..yum.
Don’t knock it. I never imagined that I would ever go for an egg that wasn’t completely what I’d call done either until a week or so ago, the chef that I work with made a kale Caesar salad that had a poached egg on top of it with a brioche crouton comes to see me in my dreams now. It’s better than porn.

I was actually going to cook some of these recipes before I posted the review but I had already gone to the grocery store and there is no way in heck I’m venturing that twice so soon. #ain’thappening

There are several of these recipes that are on the flying monkey house menu in the next week or so though…because

Even my crappy photo skills can’t mess up how good all that looks.

I LOVE this book, it has so many things that I now must eat and since I’m too poor to get on the plane every day for Los Angeles I’ll have to give up and cook them myself.

Booksource: I received a copy of the book in exchange for review from the publisher.

What We See in the Stars by Kelsey Oseid

What We See in the Stars by Kelsey Oseid


We took a family trip to a planetarium last year. The boy child swears that I liked it the most of anyone in the family. (I totally did) But it did give us the ‘want to know more’ when it comes to looking up at the stars. I snatched up this book when given a chance.
It has images of the constellations…

With little tidbits about each.

A section on the moon.

The sun.

The planets.

Cute little guidebook!

Booksource: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for review


The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne

This book starts with a young girl being kicked out of her church because she is pregnant. The church and her family toss her out and she heads off to Dublin.

On reading the first bit of this story I thought everyone five starring this book had lost their minds…it wasn’t bad but I was not turning pages very fast. (Partly due to being sucked into the Netflix void called Wentworth..not sorry)

Then the baby is born and we meet Cyril…and then I began to understand the rave reviews.

Cyril is given up for adoption by that young girl and is adopted by Charles and Maude. Charles and Maude Avery are a different kind of couple..and they make sure that everyone knows that Cyril is not a ‘real Avery.’ They don’t mistreat Cyril so don’t think it’s the poor abused orphan story..they are just very different. (You are going to have to read this one because nothing can describe this book.)

Cyril starts to grow up and begins to realize that his feelings for his best friend Julian are not what the people around him would feel comfortable with. Including Julian himself. So Cyril must keep his true feelings hidden except for going to confession with a priest. (That goes so badly but I snorted coffee out my nose and across the room.)

This book is the story of a life. The ups and downs. The funny and the heartbreaking. It takes you through that life with Cyril and you live though the fear that homosexuality might be discovered where it was illegal. You live through the early AIDS live this life right alongside this character.
And it’s a magical trip.

The only thing I’d have to say bad about this book is that I think the size of it may keep people from reading it. They are going to miss out because I loved every single page.

Booksource: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for review.

Cottonmouths by Kelly J. Ford

You know that feeling when you see a book that you KNOW is the one for you?

This is one of those books for me. I saw it many months appear on GR and kept stalking waiting for it. I had really high hopes for it. Then I got denied for it. I whined to everyone that would listen without telling me to shut up with my first world problems. Okay, so I whined to the ones that told me that also.
Then finally I threw all the craps to the wind and resorted to a different avenue.

Not only for myself but for one of my besties since she had a birthday coming. I have zero shames. She and that boar will cut someone in their sleep.

I need to shut up rambling because now the police are looking for me to serve that restraining order.

Emily has returned home to the small town of Drear’s Bluff. She and her Christian Values mother aren’t telling the story of how Emily dropped out of college after failing a few classes. That would not look good in the town of “let me one up you’s”..something else that wouldn’t go over real good in that town is Emily’s yearnings for her former best friend Jody.

But guess who else is back in town? Jody is back and has a baby attached to her hip. She has way more going on than Emily bargained for. Including that little meth den in the chicken house.

Now ask yourself before you get all judgy on some meth stuff…have you ever really yearned for something so badly that nothing else in your whole life could enter into the picture. Image taking that and putting it into some of the most spare, beautiful words that you have held in your hands in years.
That’s this book.

Booksource: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. They didn’t ask for anything because I think they were busy on the phone with the cops. We won’t go into further comments because this could be evidence. I still loved this book.

Seven Days of Us by Francesa Hornak

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak

It’s Christmas..that happiest time of year. When your family gets together to spread the joy and love!

The family in this book is no different than the rest of us.

They all are going to Weyfield Hall, their falling down aging country home. They will be quarantined there for seven days.
With each other.
And each of them has secrets.

The youngest daughter, Phoebe. She has just gotten engaged and is the favorite child.

Other daughter, Olivia. Who is the cause of the quarantine. She took herself off to Africa to help fight a deadly disease called Haag. I have her cast in my head perfectly….

Mom Emma, who has a secret she won’t let out until after Christmas because she wants the family all together and not fighting. Good luck with that.
Andrew the father, is a former war correspondent turned snooty food critic.

This was a really decent book. It’s not filled with twisty turny stuff and it’s not needed. I can only imagine buying this near Christmas and curling up in front of the Christmas tree with it for a good time with a family like this one. Because I love ‘looking in windows’ at other people’s family drama. I always hope that they are as bat-shit crazy as my family is.

Booksource?: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. How cool is that? They didn’t ask me for any thing but as soon as I find a big enough box I’m gonna send them a certain family member of mine. I’m a giver.

Here And Gone by Haylen Beck

Here and Gone by Haylen Beck

I’ve never read anything by Stuart Neville, I have no clue why he choose to write under a pen name for this one…but dammmmnn.
Now I want to read all his books.

I’m sure if you’ve seen my reviews you are seeing that I get a tad ticked off when all the newer thriller authors think that they have to have shocking twists in the story to make the reader stay interested. This book shows that you don’t need that crud if you have the writing chops to just tell a story and keep the reader turning pages. You tell a good (or even better a great) story and we will come.

This one is hard to review and not spoil so hopefully I won’t tread there. It starts off as an abused woman running from her husband story. Audra is hoping to just get away with her two kids when she is pulled over by a small town sheriff in Arizona.
Things go very wrong during that stop after the sheriff ‘finds’ a bag of drugs in the trunk of her car. He calls a deputy to take her two children to a ‘safe place.’
Once at the jail Audra realizes that things are much worse than she originally thought when she asks where her children are and gets the reply “What children?”

This may seem like a told and retold storyline but it wasn’t for me. I started this book and didn’t stop reading until the very end. I HAD to know how things were going to wrap up.

And that wrap up wuz good. Sometimes you just mess with the wrong woman.

Booksource: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for review. Thank you!

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant..I love you.

Eleanor lives a pretty solitary life. She really doesn’t understand people. She spends most of her time alone in her apartment, reading interesting books and having her Wednesday afternoon phone calls with “Mummy.”

She is fine with that. Along with her little treat.
Vodka is, for me, merely a household necessity, like a loaf of bread or a packet of tea.

One day she sees the man that is going to change her life and starts changing things in order to be ready when he realizes he loves her.

Eleanor gets ready to………..

Then she and a scruffy co-worker stumble upon an old man that has passed out and Eleanor’s life begins to change.
But she is still Eleanor…

I loved this book. I thought it was going to make it to one of my favorites.

But then that stupid ending.
That made me almost one star this book.

When are authors going to realize that every book doesn’t have to have a dramatic twist? This book was perfect and deserved so much better. I’m still pissed.

Crazy Old Lady by Angel Gelique

Crazy Old Lady by Angel Gelique

When I saw the title alone I knew this book was me was going to be good. I have a thing for old peoples, probably because I’m right there with them. We are tired of some young people’s shit. We gonna own the world one day.

If we could remember it.

This little story is packed full of surprises. If you have ever read anything by Angel Gelique you might know that she is one of the sweetest people on Goodreads but you better get ready to read one of her books.

Two neighborhood losers have decided to rob and kill the town’s ‘crazy old lady.’ No one sees her much anymore because she rarely leaves her house. One of them gets bored and leaves. His buddy decides that she is easy pickings and he can get all the loot and snuff her out with no help from anyone.

That works out real well for him.

Never, ever underestimate the old ladies…we will kick your ass.
Especially one like the one in this book-who might be spoiling for some fun times.