Full Pour Review: The Paris Library

Okay, it’s official. I’m falling in love with historical fiction. The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles is another wonderful WWII novel based on the true story of the incredibly brave librarians working at The American Library in Paris who joined the resistance and fought the Nazi’s through books for their Jewish subscribers. This book was incredibly well researched, beautifully written, and I loved how clearly evident the author’s passion for this story was throughout the entire book.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “Paris, 1939: Young and ambitious Odile Souchet has it all: her handsome police officer beau and a dream job at the American Library in Paris. When the Nazis march into Paris, Odile stands to lose everything she holds dear, including her beloved library. Together with her fellow librarians, Odile joins the Resistance with the best weapons she has: books. But when the war finally ends, instead of freedom, Odile tastes the bitter sting of unspeakable betrayal.

Montana, 1983: Lily is a lonely teenager looking for adventure in small-town Montana. Her interest is piqued by her solitary, elderly neighbor. As Lily uncovers more about her neighbor’s mysterious past, she finds that they share a love of language, the same longings, and the same intense jealousy, never suspecting that a dark secret from the past connects them.

A powerful novel that explores the consequences of our choices and the relationships that make us who we are—family, friends, and favorite authors— The Paris Library shows that extraordinary heroism can sometimes be found in the quietest of places.”

The characters in this story are absolutely wonderful and will tug at your heartstrings. I adored Odile so much. Her bravery, resilience, and intelligence were absolutely captivating and inspiring. Odile began the story as a young and naive woman who wasn’t exposed to many dangers of the world but we were blessed to see how much she grew as a character and into a powerful force to be reckoned with. The unlikely friendship between Lily and Odile was something I enjoyed too and I loved how much they helped one another overcome serious pain they’ve carried for a long time, transforming into better people because of it.

My favorite part about the characters though are that several of these characters are in fact the real names and backgrounds of the individuals working at the library during WWII. The authors note at the end of the story had a ton of fascinating information about these characters, making this story even more magical.

While this book addresses a lot of heartbreaking topics such as grief, loss, betrayal, and violence, there are also a lot of joyful moments about friendship, hope, love and forgiveness. If you’re looking for a slow paced, but highly enjoyable, WWII story that’s unique, exciting and heartwarming, I highly encourage you to check out The Paris Library, coming out 2/9. I can’t recommend it enough.

Thank you so much Atria and NetGalley for gifting me this wonderful eARC in exchange for my honest review 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles is best paired with Chai Milk Stout (Nitro) by Left Hand Brewing Company. This delicious beer is incredibly smooth and tastes just like a chai latte 🍻

Full Pour Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

Oh my god… what a beautiful, intriguing and mind blowing story! I wanted to kick off 2021 with something magical and that is exactly what The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab is – pure fucking magic.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever―and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.”

I can honestly say that this is one of the most beautifully written stories I’ve ever read. I’m normally not a fan of fantasy, so I was admittedly anxious about reading this one, but the storyline was so captivating and well put together, I was instantly drawn in to the magic of the blended fantasy/historical realism. The characters in this story are absolutely brilliant and I really enjoyed how the story bounced back and forth between timelines, locations, and even character perspectives at random times as we got to know more about Addie’s and Henry’s unique stories. I was so fascinated by this book that I slowly read it over the course of eleven days because I didn’t want to rush through any of it. This story was so incredibly gratifying and went down like a satisfying sip of champagne.

Needless to say, this book absolutely lived up to the hype that we’ve all been seeing online and I will happily add to it- I truly cannot recommend this book enough and already know that this will fall in my top 10 for 2021. This was the first book I’ve ever read by V. E. Schwab and I look forward to reading more by her 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab is best paired with Sour Me Unicorn Farts by DuClaw Brewing Company and Diablo Doughnuts. This incredibly unique glittered sour ale is brewed with fruity cereal mashed in, bringing forward a bouquet of fruit flavors & a hint of biscuit 🍻

Full Pour Review: Lana’s War

I really enjoy a good World War II historical fiction story and Lana’s War by Anita Abriel definitely did not disappoint! This was a captivating story that takes place during WWII on the French Riviera with intriguing characters and wonderful imagery.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “Paris 1943: Lana Antanova is on her way to see her husband with the thrilling news that she is pregnant. But when she arrives at the convent where he teaches music, she’s horrified to see Gestapo officers execute him for hiding a Jewish girl in the piano.

A few months later, grieving both her husband and her lost pregnancy, Lana is shocked when she’s approached to join the resistance on the French Riviera. As the daughter of a Russian countess, Lana has the perfect background to infiltrate the émigré community of Russian aristocrats who socialize with German officers, including the man who killed her husband. 

Lana’s cover story makes her the mistress of Guy Pascal, a wealthy Swiss industrialist and fellow resistance member, in whose villa in Cap Ferrat she lives. Together, they gather information on upcoming raids and help members of the Jewish community escape. Consumed by her work, she doesn’t expect to become attached to a young Jewish girl or wonder about the secrets held by the man whose house she shares. And as the Nazis’ deadly efforts intensify, her intention to protect those around her may put them all at risk instead.”

There were quite a few things that I really liked about this book. First, I enjoyed the fact that this book started off at a really fast pace, making this a fairly quick read. Within the first few pages, Lana’s world comes crashing down when she experiences the death of her husband and her unborn child at the exact same time. Shortly after, she receives an offer to join the resistance on the French Riviera that will change her life forever and then we immediately get to join Lana on her new adventure, which is regularly packed with surprises.

Second, the imagery. Anita Abriel did a fantastic job at illustrating both stunning landscapes and heartbreaking scenes in this book, allowing me to feel immersed in Lana’s world.

Third, the characters. I absolutely adored Lana and her bravery. She experienced such tragic loss and it was liberating to witness her strength and resilience from this loss, and ultimately helping to honor her late husbands life by carrying out his mission of protecting Jewish families from the Germans. Her heart was also incredibly pure and kind, and I love how her relationship developed with Odette, a young Jewish girl, throughout the story. I also really liked Guy Pascal and the relationship he developed with Lana.

Finally, the ending. I thought Anita Abriel did a wonderful job at tying up all of the loose ends. While I would have appreciated more focus on Guy and Lana’s relationship, that ultimately wasn’t the point of this story and I was still satisfied with the way it ended- it was beautiful and heartbreaking, yet fulfilling all at once.

If you’re looking for a new historical fiction story, or are relatively new to historical fiction and trying to step out of your comfort zone, I recommend checking out Lana’s War by Anita Abriel, coming out 1/12. Thank you so much to Atria Books and NetGalley for gifting me this eARC in exchange for my honest review.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Lana’s War by Anita Abriel is best paired with Apple Pie Blonde Ale by Flying Dog Brewery. This highly enjoyable seasonal blonde ale is brewed with apples, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla and lactose 🍻

Full Pour Review: Jackie and Maria

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Historical fiction is a genre that I have not explored much of, but am working on changing that! Jackie and Maria by Gill Paul is a wonderful historical fiction novel that focuses on Jackie Kennedy and Maria Callas and their connection with one another through their involvement with shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, one of the world’s most richest and captivating men. I was so intrigued by these women and their experiences that I binged this book pretty quickly, struggling to put it down.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: The President’s Wife; a Glamorous Superstar; the rivalry that shook the world…

Jackie Kennedy was beautiful, sophisticated, and contemplating leaving her ambitious young senator husband. Life in the public eye with an overly ambitious–and unfaithful―man who could hardly be coaxed to return from a vacation after the birth of a stillborn child was breaking her spirit. So when she’s offered a holiday on the luxurious yacht owned by billionaire Ari Onassis, she says yes…to a meeting that will ultimately change her life.

Maria Callas is at the height of her operatic career and widely considered to be the finest soprano in the world. And then she’s introduced to Aristotle Onassis, the world’s richest man and her fellow Greek. Stuck in a childless, sexless marriage, and with pressures on all sides from opera house managers and a hostile press, she finds her life being turned upside down by this hyper-intelligent and impeccably charming man…

Little by little, Maria’s and Jackie’s lives begin to overlap, and they come closer and closer until everything they know about the world changes on a dime.

Gill Paul is an incredible writer and storyteller and I found myself in awe of her skills. She will take you on a mesmerizing emotional rollercoaster with this one as you navigate through the years preceding JFK’s presidency and after his assassination. Alternating between both Jackie’s and Maria’s perspectives, this book was full of glitz and glamour that featured a lot of beautiful Mediterranean background. I was INVESTED in these characters- I absolutely adored learning so much fascinating info about these two beautiful, complicated women and my heart ached for them throughout the book as I learned about the infidelity and fertility issues that both women faced and how these experiences shaped their lives. The small glimpse of the PTSD experienced by Jackie Kennedy after JFK’s assassination was truly heartbreaking to read about as well.

I enjoyed this book so much and if you haven’t already read this book, I highly recommend checking it out. Not only is it a wonderfully written and captivating story in general, it’s a wonderful read for those interested in Jackie Kennedy and Maria Callas, as well as anyone (like me!) who doesn’t read much historical fiction or know much about these women at all! Thank you so much WilliamMorrow for gifting me this wonderful story in exchange for my honest review! I will be thinking about this one for a while 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Jackie and Maria by Gill Paul is best paired with Native Peach by Downeast Cider House. This deliciously refreshing peach cider is both sweet and tart with subtle flavoring in the beginning that grows with every sip 🍻