Recent Reads and Mini Reviews

I have come to the conclusion that I loathe writing full length reviews and since blogging is a hobby/something I do for fun, I wanted to change it up a bit. I still want to give my thoughts so what a perfect way to let you know my recent reads with a mini review added to it? Okay I hope this works out lol. Also, all my thoughts are spoiler free!

Recently I finished three books: The Simple Wild, The Broken Girls, and The Silent Patient. All amazing reads!


img_0005Title: The Simple Wild
Author: K.A. Tucker
Genre: Adult Romance
Publisher: Atria Books
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis:
Calla Fletcher wasn’t even two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when Calla learns that Wren’s days may be numbered, she knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born.

She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this rugged environment, Jonah—the unkempt, obnoxious, and proud Alaskan pilot who helps keep her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild.

Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. Soon, she finds herself forming an unexpected bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago. It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.

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I wasn’t sure what I was expecting from The Simple Wild. I hadn’t read a K.A. Tucker book in years. I heard so much high praise for this book and it deserves the hype it’s gotten. It has one of my favorite book tropes ever which is “hate to love” and that slow burn romance. The Simple Wild isn’t so much about the romance but it’s more so about a young woman, Calla Fletcher, finding herself while trying to reconnect/salvage a relationship with her father whom she hasn’t spoken to in years. And the only reason she’s even talking to him is because of a terminal illness that has overtaken his body.

This book has so much depth which is what made me thoroughly enjoy it. I cried and laughed a lot. Jonah is such a sarcastic asshole and he was mean to Calla but she did not let him win at all, she always came back with a punch. This book was definitely a page turner and it had it’s moments. The only slight tiny little problem I had with it was that I did find Calla to be a little annoying, a little too self-absorbed, and that made me roll eyes at times. Other than that I would highly recommend if you’re looking for something cute with meaning and a little laughter.

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35305625Title: The Broken Girls
Author: Simone St. James
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Berkley Books
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis:
Vermont, 1950. There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants–the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it’s located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming–until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . .

Vermont, 2014. As much as she’s tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister’s death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can’t shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past–and a voice that won’t be silenced. . . .

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ONE OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS OF ALL TIME. OMG THIS BOOK NEEDS TO BE READ BY EVERYONE RIGHT NOW!!! Okay now that I’m done screaming, let me tell you that this book had me gushing every which way. It is such a page turner and I was sucked in from the prolouge. It’s my first ever time reading a book by this author and I need to check out all of Simone St. James’s books!! I was not expecting to love this book as much as I thought I would to be completely honest. However it gave me all the feels/vibes. Dark, atmospheric, hollow, scary, mystery, ALL OF IT. Plus add Vermont and boarding schools which are my faves and we got a win here.

The characters were so well done too. And the timeline from 1950 to 2014 was on point. I was never bored with either or. Both timelines kept me interested. I didn’t find myself wishing it was more than the other. In the 1950 timeline we follow the boarding school and a group of girls, then in the 2014 timeline we follow a journalist who is still on the hunt of getting answers from her sisters death. I loved every single one of these characters and their stories. There were a few subplots/side stories but they were perfectly crafted into one another. There was also a paranormal element of it.

I had gotten a copy from the library but then I ended up buying the book because I needed this on my shelf. I cried so much while reading this book and lost sleep. The writing, the storyline, the plots were everything. Each plot/storyline had an ending. I was very satisfied that there weren’t any loose ties. Highly recommend!

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40097951Title: The Silent Patient
Author: Alex Michaelides
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Celadon Books
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis:
ALICIA
Alicia Berenson writes a diary as a release, an outlet – and to prove to her beloved husband that everything is fine. She can’t bear the thought of worrying Gabriel, or causing him pain.

Until, late one evening, Alicia shoots Gabriel five times and then never speaks another word.

THEO
Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is convinced he can successfully treat Alicia, where all others have failed. Obsessed with investigating her crime, his discoveries suggest Alicia’s silence goes far deeper than he first thought.

And if she speaks, would he want to hear the truth?

plot-4

I am shocked with how great this book was for 323 pages. I finished this book in two days and the chapters were also very short! From page 1 I was intrigued. I would consider The Silent Patient a psychological thriller as well because it definitely gets your mind thinking and I even found myself rereading the last page because that plot twist WAS WILD!! I wondered if Alicia really did kill her husband and had suspected others, then I kept guessing other twists. I was doubting myself over and over again. However, I was not expecting that ending at all. I was surprised and couldn’t believe it. The characters are unlikeable and not reliable at all which added a great detail to the story. The writing of this book was amazing too. I can’t get into it because of spoilers but oof how the author wrote The Silent Patient was a great touch to the conclusion of this story. I look forward to seeing what else the author releases in the future.

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And that is all! Have you read any of these books or would recommend books in these genres?

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Twitter: @chicnerdreads

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When is enough, enough? Social media breaks, mental health, and pressures.

I’ve been wanting to do this discussion post since late March when I took a week off social media. I know a week isn’t a long time, however, it gave me a lot to think about. Furthermore, thinking more and more about it even after the break.

The past few months I find myself wanting to disconnect from social media. Being a self-published writer/poet who’s audience is via internet means it’s pretty hard to not stay connected. Especially if you want to keep growing/do well. There’s this ongoing pressure of always needing to stay on top, needing to know how to constantly win over the Instagram algorithm, figuring out how to use the hashtags, what time and day to post, feeling like I have to always prove something, cross-posting on all social media platforms, always showing that “I’m doing something”, on and on and on and it’s gotten exhausting. Do I ever look up from my phone at this point in my life?

Have we started measuring our success through likes? Are we constantly comparing ourselves to other people’s followings and likes? There are days when I feel like the answers to those questions are yes. And comparing isn’t always a bad thing because we can draw inspiration from others. However, when do we stop and say “hey it’s okay” “I’m okay with what I got” “take a break”?

I have found myself to not really care about social media anymore and like I said on twitter a few weeks ago, I’m probably self-sabotaging my writing career, however I’m not enjoying my life because I’m always on my phone. And I would much rather experience my real life than live it through other people’s accounts “wishing” that was me.

The algorithm olympics are tiring and I am no longer running in it. My mental health has also taken a toll. Because I was always on that thought pattern of needing to post daily and be on the move (online), I was ignoring my mental health and not taking care of myself as I should’ve. There came a point during this week off break when I sat and was thinking of all I was doing and got overwhelmed with so much sadness because it was during the time off that I noticed how time consuming it is. It was as if I have been robbed from time. And guess what? Time can’t ever be given back. I got so much done throughout that week and I really got to spend time with myself with no interruptions. I enjoyed that time.

This is not to say that social media is bad.  That’s not what I’m saying at all. Because of social media, I have met some of my closest friends and have gotten to connect with people all over the world. I understand that people (such as myself) have built a platform online and therefore we feel the responsibility to let you all know when we need a break. And I’m totally fine with that (I hate worrying people). What I’m trying to say is that there should be balance and not feel guilty at all when we want to shut off from the online world. There shouldn’t be any bad feelings when wanting and/or needing to unplug.

Lastly, I’m also frustrated with how much we have to do in order to be seen. For example, if I want to get a publishing deal, I have to meet a certain criteria. That criteria means how much traffic I’m getting on all my platforms (numbers on followers, likes, comments, etc.). On top of that, I have to work so much harder because I’m marginalized. I am a Latina from the Bronx, I don’t write pretty shit, I have a language barrier therefore I’m not eloquent, I don’t have the following to even get glanced at, etc. etc. So yeah it’s pretty frustrating when people don’t even look at your content, they look at your numbers first and if those numbers aren’t up to their standards, then forget the work. And also, seeing people with bigger followings just blatantly steal work/copy from smaller influencers is disheartening. I’ve seen this happen way too many times to my friends and I.

Thanks to therapy, I’ve learned to let go because there came a point where I was letting the frustration of social media consume me. I tried it all: posting daily, getting in chats so we can like our content immediately, always commenting, always sharing, etc. etc. Slowly I pulled back and asked myself when is enough, enough?

April Wrap-Up 2019

I am rusty, dusty, and cruuuuusty with these wrap-ups lol. I haven’t done one since Fall of 2017. You know what? This is a free judgment zone so please don’t lmao!

Alright so I want to do something different with these wrap-ups. I not only want to share what I read but also other things so let’s get started!!! All book titles will link you to Goodreads.


What I Read

  1. Ink and Bone by Lisa Unger ★★★★
    A mystery thriller novel with paranormal elements. My first Lisa Unger book and I really enjoyed it. Definitely has that atmospheric dark tone read but not scary at all. I have a non-spoiler review here.
  2. Baptized in Moonlight by Morgan Scott ★★★★
    A poetry collection on self, growth, journey, and many other topics. I am so glad that I got to this! I have a full review with some of my favorite poems here.
  3. Sanctuary (Beards & Bondage #2) by Rebekah Weatherspoon ★★★★
    An adult erotica romance, this is my second time reading the author’s work. I definitely enjoyed the first one a lot more. What I love most about the author’s books is that it includes people of color as her characters which make it that much more fun. No review but I would definitely recommend, starting with the first one, Haven.
  4. Miracle Creek by Angie Kim ★★★
    A courtroom drama mystery thriller novel about a Korean Immigrant family and an explosion that happened. I have my full thoughts in a non-spoiler review here.
  5. Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens ★★★★
    A historical fiction coming of age novel with a little mystery in it. Wow, my favorite read of the month!!!! This book will stay with me for a long time. I have a full non-spoiler review here.
  6. The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker ★★★★.5
    An adult contemporary romance about a young woman who’s absent father is sick and she goes to visit him to possibly reconnect somehow. However, during the trip to Alaska, she was not expecting to bond with the guy who’s been an asshole to her since she landed. This book has the hate to love trope and is definitely a slow burn romance. I highly enjoyed this book because it was more than the romance, it was about self as well.

After typing out all the books I’ve read, I’m really surprised with how much I read. I think I found the genres that are for me (Mystery, Thriller, Adult Romance).


Books Acquired

IMG_5564
ICYMI, I did my first ever monthly subscription box to Book of the Month! Check this post if you want to read all about it. I received Miracle Creek by Angie Kim.

 

6B9416F5-7861-4ABE-90C7-B7297F1B0D6F
One Saturday after my therapy session, I wanted to go book shopping and spend some money on myself. I missed roaming Barnes and Noble in peace and looking at the books, deciding which books to get. I bought these three books that were on my TBR shelf (two already read *high fives myself*).

Books in photo:
Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

 

 

I feel like I’m doing so good with acquiring books and reading them right away! I’ll be starting Love and Other Words this week so I’m on track!


What I Watched

the-orderThe Order is about a secret society in a university. Except this secret society is filled with witches and warlocks. However, other monstrous things start taking place. I loved this and I hope there’s a second season.quicksand-netflix-reviewQuicksand is a 6 episode mini series about a school shooting. The episodes are a timeline of what led to the school shooting and what we see in the courtroom. I didn’t love this mini series but it definitely kept me interested, wanting to know who really did it and who was going to be prosecuted. Trigger warnings for school shootings, blood, suicide, and drug use.
AAAABTmInXtUWRG5D2F8YeNXd-a3HKryfQYLYa94N-GMP59U_Fw5juFG51curJ3UaPH4VAQo5wK64Mq2ndET3xbt587vc7m1XO-cOkay so this was a total rewatch for me. I’ve watched this movie like 4 times already lol. It’s the true story of two former Texas Rangers who killed Bonnie and Clyde. I love it because they don’t romanticize Bonnie and Clyde. I also really do love a good ole drama thriller set in the 1930s. Old crime stories really fascinate me.

And last but definitely not least lol. Are we surprised? C’mon are we actually surprised? Of course I watched Endgame the first weekend it showed and I enjoyed it!! Game of Thrones also started in April and FINALLY!!! The wait is over, we will get to know what happens. Yes I have watched every episode since it has aired. What a time to be alive!


Other Mentions

IMG_6114In April, I went to go see Bad Bunny in concert!!! If you don’t know who Bad Bunny is, he is a Puerto Rican Latin Trap Artist. This is my second time seeing him live and wow what a great time I had. I definitely love his new album X100PRE and he never disappoints! Arcangel and El Alfa also joined the stage with him to sing some of their songs together. I got to meet up with some of my friends who I haven’t seen in a long time and I also got to look super cute lol. After the concert was over, I was starved. So my friend took me to this spot called The Meatball shop which was my first time ever trying. The food was great and I want to go back!

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But let’s talk about one of the most exciting things that happened this month!! BANKS came out with a new single titled Gimme and I have not stopped playing it at all. I have been waiting forever for Banks to drop something. She’s been hinting working in the studio for quite some time now and when this bop came out, I was not disappointed at all. I am so ready for an album. And I really hope she goes on tour to NYC so I can see her!

 


And that is all I have for today! What was the highlight of your April? Let’s chat in the comments!

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Twitter: @chicnerdreads

Where the Crawdads Sing Non-Spoiler Book Review

37703550Title: Where the Crawdads Sing
Author: Delia Owns
Genre: Historical Fiction, Adult, Mystery
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: August 14, 2018
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis:
A novel about a young woman determined to make her way in the wilds of North Carolina, and the two men that will break her isolation open.

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. She’s barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark.

But Kya is not what they say. Abandoned at age ten, she has survived on her own in the marsh that she calls home. A born naturalist with just one day of school, she takes life lessons from the land, learning from the false signals of fireflies the real way of this world. But while she could have lived in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. Drawn to two young men from town, who are each intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world–until the unthinkable happens.


plot

A contemporary coming of age story sprinkled with some mystery told in a timeline from early 1950s to the 1970s. We follow Kya Clark from the age of 6 and her story to adulthood. Always known as “The Marsh Girl”, life hasn’t been very nice to Kya. She’s had to deal with abandonment since she was 6. Slowly but surely her whole family walks out on her and at the age 10 she has to learn to survive on her own. She becomes familiar with her surroundings and her friends are nature. There have always been stories of “The Marsh Girl” in Barkley Cove, North Carolina. However no one knows that Kya didn’t chose this lonesome path, she craves love and touch and familiarity. She’s just scared that if she gets close, people will leave her again. While reading about Kya, we also learn that in late 1969, Chase Andrews is found dead, and everyone easily suspects Kya Clark, the girl raised from the wild. Jumping timelines, we watch Kya grow and learn about Chase’s involvement in Kya’s life.

“There are some who can live without
wild things, and some who cannot.”

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WHAT A WORK OF ART!!!! This book is so lush and every single word captivates you. I even learned about animals, the marsh, the waters, and nature. I loved the added pieces of poetry too.

This book deals with a lot of abandonment and loneliness. And let me tell you that the author knows exactly how to convey that. I felt it all throughout the book, I cried many times while reading this, feeling for our MC Kya. My chest was hollow time after time. The author articulated every little thing perfectly. I found no flaws with the writing and pacing and flow of the book.

This novel was heartbreaking, beautiful, and haunting. Very atmospheric. I cried and rejoiced with the character, I screamed when she screamed, and felt her frustrations. The added mystery to the novel was a plus. It was very well done. I wouldn’t go into this book thinking it’s a Mystery Novel because it’s more so a coming of age story.

I loved how the author didn’t shy away from what was occurring during that time period 1950s-1970s. We see racism (with other characters) and how a whole town had it against Kya. I felt sucked into this timeline every time I picked up this book.

“Don’t go thinking poetry’s just for sissies. There’s mushy love poems,
for sure, but there’s also funny ones, lots about nature, war even.
Whole point of it–they make ya feel something.”

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I absolutely loved this novel. Everything, from the characters, the scenes, the stories, the mystery was just written beautifully. From beginning to end, I was engrossed in this book and was left thinking about it even after I finished. Those are good books right? The ones that really mark you and leave you lingering days after? I am so happy to know that it has been picked up for a movie. I know for a fact that I will need a lot of tissues for it. This was such a great debut. The author always transported me to this world when I opened the book. Where the Crawdads Sing is captivating in every which way. I loved all the themes of strength, resilience, hope, desperation, etc. I’m a huge fan of Mother Nature and I felt connected to it through this book as well. I highly recommend!

“I’m sure you know that most stars are too far away for us
to see. We see only their light, which be can be distorted
by the atmosphere. But, of course, the stars are not
stationary, but moving very fast.”


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I’m starting to think that I’ll probably have to check out Reese Witherspoon’s book club picks. First Daisy Jones and now this? Have you read Where the Crawdad Sings?


Instagram: @chicnerdreads
Twitter: @chicnerdreads

jodios pendejos

you say feminist like if i’m going home
with you tonight. you say feminist like if
we flirtin’ all night. like if..life if i’m gettin’
wet for you tonight. oh, you ain’t know?
it’s the sahara desert down there.

you say feminist the same way you
say babygirl and mami. you know i
like that shit. you say it like if..like if
you’re waiting for me to call you papi.
the only man i call papi is my papi.
the man who gave me life and wings to fly.

you say feminist in the same breath you
degrade women. like if..like if i’m supposed
to take that as a compliment. like if a man
runs up on her, you expect me to say that
she deserves it cause her skirt too short.

oh you ain’t know? i like wearing the skirts
and the dresses that hug the curves i was
blessed with. does that mean i deserved it too?

you say feminist like if gold drips out your
mouth and i’m supposed to swallow it.
thank you for the flaunting, i’ll see myself out now.

Miracle Creek Non-Spoiler Book Review

40121959Title: Miracle Creek
Author: Angie Kim
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Adult, Literary Fiction
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: April 16, 2019
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Synopsis:
A literary courtroom drama about a Korean immigrant family and a young, single mother accused of murdering her eight-year-old autistic son

My husband asked me to lie. Not a big lie. He probably didn’t even consider it a lie, and neither did I, at first . . .

In the small town of Miracle Creek, Virginia, Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine—a pressurized oxygen chamber that patients enter for therapeutic “dives” with the hopes of curing issues like autism or infertility. But when the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes, killing two people, a dramatic murder trial upends the Yoos’ small community.

Who or what caused the explosion? Was it the mother of one of the patients, who claimed to be sick that day but was smoking down by the creek? Or was it Young and Pak themselves, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? The ensuing trial uncovers unimaginable secrets from that night—trysts in the woods, mysterious notes, child-abuse charges—as well as tense rivalries and alliances among a group of people driven to extraordinary degrees of desperation and sacrifice.

Angie Kim’s Miracle Creek is a thoroughly contemporary take on the courtroom drama, drawing on the author’s own life as a Korean immigrant, former trial lawyer, and mother of a real-life “submarine” patient. An addictive debut novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng, Miracle Creek is both a twisty page-turner and a deeply moving story about the way inconsequential lies and secrets can add up—with tragic consequences.


Trigger Warnings: Sexual abuse and Suicide

plot

One day in Miracle Creek, Virginia an experimental medical treatment device aka Miracle Submarine explodes out of nowhere and kills two people while injuring others. Now, the mother of a patient is on trial for the murder and attempted murder of everyone involved. Told through different perspectives and following the trial, we will uncover what really happens and the aftermath of the explosion. Are the owners of Miracle Submarine, Young and Pak Yoo, really innocent? Is the mother actually capable of killing her only child? Or have one of the other patients commit the crime? Many speculations, a tense trial, what is really the truth here? And at what cost do they hide that truth?

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This is Angie Kim’s debut novel and she definitely knows how to write a good book with flushed out characters and knows how to keep you interested in the plot. There are trigger warnings to Sexual abuse which involve a minor with an adult and I’m probably giving away a lot here. However, I was really uncomfortable with the scene because the author didn’t allude to what happened, she wrote out exactly what happened and that was a bit much for me. Therefore, if this is something that you wouldn’t like, please read with caution or don’t read at all. I also felt that suicide was used as a plot twist and that left me feeling “meh.” I really don’t know how to feel about that, I mean we finally learn the truth through this unfortunate event. I was just left with this question of “was that really necessary?”

Because Miracle Creek is about a Korean Immigrant Family, we learn a lot about their culture, them coming to the United States, their language barriers, and what they went through while being here. I really enjoyed those aspects of the book and learning as well. It definitely added to the story and the characters without taking away from the plot of the book.

Angie Kim wrote this book through different character perspectives while still keeping it in 3rd POV which I also found interesting. Usually when books are told through different perspectives, it’s written in 1st person. I thought that for a literary fiction novel, the pacing was great in the first half of the book. However, it definitely dragged and slowed a lot down. We were getting more back story and the characters were frustrating me. There was a lot of back and forth between the characters which is okay, I just thought that it got dragged out for too long. And, I have no problem with unlikeable characters, I usually like them the most but I hated all the characters (except for Elizabeth and Teresa).

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I feel like the book was okay and I liked how it concluded. I won’t lie that I started skimming through the book in the last chapters because I wasn’t that much interested anymore. I also do feel like I’m in the minority because it’s gotten tons of hype and buzz.

My favorite parts of this book were the chapters about the Courtroom. Ugh the scenes were so good. This book would do really great as a movie or even a short mini-series like The People v. OJ Simpson. I can definitely see this book becoming that and would probably had preferred it rather than reading it.

There were a lot of characters in this book but they were distinct and I think that’s so important when it comes to books. Even if I had to stop midway through a chapter, once I picked the book up, I wasn’t confused as to who’s characters perspective I was in.

Overall, I would recommend it if you’re into Courtroom Drama and Thrillers.


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Thoughts and opinions? Have you read this book or plan on to? Let’s chat!


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Ink and Bone Non-Spoiler Review

img_0013Title: Ink and Bone (#5)
Series: The Hollows
Author: Lisa Unger
Genre: Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Paranormal
Publisher: Gallery Books
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Pub. Date: June 7, 2016

Synopsis:
In this explosive psychological thriller by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Unger, a young woman’s mysterious gift forces her into the middle of a dangerous investigation of a little girl’s disappearance.

For as long as she can remember, twenty-year-old Finley Montgomery has been able to see into the future. She dreams about events before they occur and sees beyond the physical world, unconsciously using her power to make supernatural things happen.

But Finley can’t control these powers—and there’s only one person who can help. So Finley moves to The Hollows, a small town in upstate New York where her grandmother lives, a renowned seer who can finally teach Finley how to use her gift.

A gift that is proving to be both a blessing and a curse, as Finley lands in the middle of a dangerous investigation involving a young girl who has been missing for ten months and the police have all but given up hope.

With time running out there’s only so much Finley can do as The Hollows begins to reveal its true colors. As she digs deeper into the town and its endless layers, nothing is what it seems. But one thing is clear: The Hollows gets what it wants, no matter what.


plot

Main character, Finley Montgomery, can see into the future since a child and needs help. However, the only person who can help Finley lives across the country. So Finley packs her stuff and moves in with her grandmother, Eloise Montgomery, to The Hollows, NY. Finley’s grandmother is a seer and she can teach Finley about her gift. Not only is Eloise a seer, she sometimes helps Detective Jones Cooper with his private investigations. This time though, when a young girl goes missing and things start unraveling, The Hollows demands help from Finley. Jones and Finley team up. Following different perspectives from Finley and the parents of the missing girl, things slowly come together and the truth will reveal what happens next.

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This is my first Lisa Unger book and honestly I’m kind of mad that I didn’t read the other books in this series before. Simply because I felt like there were things mentioned that I didn’t understand. For example, the story of PI Jones Cooper, we meet a character who makes a reference to Eloise helping him before and I just didn’t get it, etc. etc. Maybe if I would’ve read those books, then my enjoyment of this book wouldn’t have felt so empty.

Lisa Unger’s writing style is simple, easy to read. She wrote this Thriller in the way I love to read Thrillers: with different perspectives till it all comes together in the end. We have Finley’s and Merrie’s (the missing girl’s mom) perspectives. In some chapters with Merrie we even jump back to before the investigation and learn how everything came to be with her daughter missing.

The reason why I gave this book a 4 star is because of the pacing. I thought it dragged out more than it should. At some point I said “I don’t care about their past anymore, can we just get into the investigation already?” I was already past the 70% mark and when we did get into the important parts, the author still added parts of the characters background that I thought weren’t necessary during the climax.

I loved the paranormal elements of this book. It felt natural and not something extra. I loved how the author weaved all of that in together perfectly.

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I usually add a character section to my non-spoiler reviews. However, I’ll put it simply: I liked them all. I really enjoyed Finley’s character arc. Her independence, her strength but still loving and caring. I loved the grandmother, Eloise, she definitely had all those grandmotherly vibes and always gave out words of wisdom. Merrie and Wolf (husband) were the typical dysfunctional couple and I liked how Lisa Unger wrote them out.

Overall, I did like this book and plan on reading more books from this author. I liked the dark tone of this book and the author really knows how to set the vibe. I was always transported to this world when I opened the book and was kept interested the whole time regardless of the problem I had with it. I would recommend this book for sure!


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So far I feel like I’m doing good with tackling my “books I would like to read this year” TBR. I know I’m super late to the Lisa Unger bandwagon, any other books you would recommend by her? What are your favorite mystery/thrillers?


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