Recent Reads and Mini Reviews #2

Welcome to another recent reads and mini reviews! This is my second one and I certainly enjoyed writing the first one. If you missed it, you can check it out here. For today’s post, I will be talking about two books: No Exit and Sadie.

All my thoughts are spoiler free


39938177Title: No Exit
Author: Taylor Adams
Genre: Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: William Morrow
Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis:
On her way to Utah to see her dying mother, college student Darby Thorne gets caught in a fierce blizzard in the mountains of Colorado. With the roads impassable, she’s forced to wait out the storm at a remote highway rest stop. Inside, are some vending machines, a coffee maker, and four complete strangers.

Desperate to find a signal to call home, Darby goes back out into the storm . . . and makes a horrifying discovery. In the back of the van parked next to her car, a little girl is locked in an animal crate.

Who is the child? Why has she been taken? And how can Darby save her?

There is no cell phone reception, no telephone, and no way out. One of her fellow travelers is a kidnapper. But which one?

Trapped in an increasingly dangerous situation, with a child’s life and her own on the line, Darby must find a way to break the girl out of the van and escape.

But who can she trust?

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Whew. Okay where to start? This book is fast paced and definitely a page turner which I enjoyed. It didn’t take long to get to the plot. We meet Darby Thorne who’s driving in the worst conditions ever to see her dying mother, however because it is dangerous to drive, she stops at a rest stop. She meets a few people there and everything seems normal till she’s looking for cell signal and while passing one of the cars, she sees a little girl trapped in a dog crate. Darby is low-key freaking out and at one point even thinks she’s hallucinating till she checks again later on and sees that she isn’t.

My problem with this book were the characterizations and the plot twists. At some points I found Darby to be bland and at others I was routing for her. I’m done with the book and still don’t know how to feel about her. The other characters were also “meh.” I love books that have unreliable or unlikable characters. However, this just felt like neither of the two. I didn’t care about what was going to happen to them. The reason for the girl being kidnapped and all that was behind the plot line was disappointing and I felt like it was incomplete. I asked myself “umm that’s it?” It was just okay to me. I was expecting so much more and I thought there was room for it to be better. It’s as if the author knew what he wanted the book to be about but didn’t execute it all that great.

The writing was well done and good. I liked the narration and how quick this book was. Overall, the book was a solid 3 stars.

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img_0007Title: Sadie
Author: Courtney Summers
Genre: YA Mystery
Publisher: Macmillan
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis:
Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meagre clues to find him.

When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

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This book contains trigger warnings for: sexual abuse, pedophilia, murder, blood, violence, and drug abuse.

This was my first audiobook ever!!! Well the first one to really grab my attention. I’ve tried other audiobooks years ago and couldn’t get into them at all. I found myself constantly bored. However, this one was perfection. It has a full cast. And because this book has chapters of a podcasts, it has all those elements to it which made it even better to listen too.

This book is hard-hitting and sad. We meet Sadie who’s life has never been easy but she’s always been second person to her little sister, Mattie, who is now dead. Sadie goes missing after Mattie’s death to try and avenge her death. She wants justice. When Sadie goes missing, a radio personality hears about the story and decides to go on a mission to find her and get to the bottom of the what happens. This book is told in alternating chapters of Sadie’s POV and “The Girls” Podcast.

From beginning to end this book had me at the edge of my seat. I loved all the characters involved and the way the author portrayed them each. Summers really showed how each of them experienced their own grief and how they handled it. Sadie being unstoppable and getting to the bottom of it, going through lengths.

I liked the plot, the style of the this book, all the emotions it left me with, and the themes of it as well. The realistic theme that people tend to forget about the missing girls, the dead girls, the forgotten girls. Summers didn’t shy from the theme of sexual abuse. I didn’t have to guess it, it was raw and to the point. This story although fiction, rings true. I highly recommend this 5 star read.

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That is all I have for today! Have you read these books? What are you currently reading? Have a great day xo

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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?

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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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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?


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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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books i would like to read this year

It’s been so long since I’ve spoken about books on this page. I had briefly spoken about why I’ve been in a long reading slump on Twitter. However, I wanted to share it here and please be advised that word vomit will now commence: I’m no longer in love with YA (young adult). For a very long time I didn’t want to accept it. I didn’t want to accept that I had fallen out of love with a genre that made me fall in love with reading in the first place. This is not to say that I’ve completely cut off YA. However, it’s to say that my reading taste has changed. I forced myself for over a year trying to read YA and found myself constantly bored. Alongside this huge year long reading slump, being an author and dedicating time to my books/deadlines has become a priority. Also life but life always happens right? And yeah, letting go of YA has been very freeing. I accepted that letting go of a particular genre does not mean I’m letting go of the book community and that’s okay.

Any-who, I know I’m super late but these are books that I would like to read this year. I’m so excited to get to these. I’m not sure if I’ll post reviews for them because I’m still slowly figuring out what I want to do with this blog and I’m also not sure if I’ll get to all these books but I think I can do this. *crosses fingers*

The books are not in order of what I want to read, I did try to group them by genre though. The titles of the books will link you straight to Goodreads.

 

  • The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
    Genre: New Adult Romance
    City girl Calla Fletcher attempts to reconnect with her estranged father, and unwittingly finds herself torn between her desire to return to the bustle of Toronto and a budding relationship with a rugged Alaskan pilot. (full synopsis on goodreads)
  • Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren
    Genre: Romance, Fiction
    After a decade apart, childhood sweethearts reconnect by chance in New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren’s touching, romantic novel Love and Other Words…how many words will it take for them to figure out where it all went wrong? The story of the heart can never be unwritten. (full synopsis on goodreads)
  • Until It Fades by K.A. Tucker
    Genre: New Adult Romance
    And then one foggy night, on a lonely road back from another failed attempt at a relationship, Catherine saves a man’s life. It isn’t until after the police have arrived that Catherine realizes exactly who it is she has saved: Brett Madden, hockey icon and media darling. Catherine has already had her fifteen minutes of fame and the last thing she wants is to have her past dragged back into the spotlight, only this time on a national stage. So she hides her identity. It works. For a time. (full synopsis on goodreads)
  • Crown of Lies (Truth and Lies Duet #1) by Pepper Winters
    Genre: Dark Romance
    THREE YEARS
    Since I ran away for the night, danced in New York streets, and almost got killed in an alley by two thieves. Until he showed up and saved me.
    THREE DAYS
    Since I threw a drink at the man my father expected me to marry, then found myself slammed against a wall with Penn Everett’s seductive voice whispering a proposal I couldn’t refuse.
    (full synopsis on goodreads)

 

  • Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
    Genre: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller
    In the last days before her death, Nel called her sister. Jules didn’t pick up the phone, ignoring her plea for help. Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules has been dragged back to the one place she hoped she had escaped for good, to care for the teenage girl her sister left behind. But Jules is afraid. So afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of knowing that Nel would never have jumped. And most of all she’s afraid of the water, and the place they call the Drowning Pool . . .
  • Ink and Bone by Lisa Unger
    Genre: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller
    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. (full synopsis on goodreads)
  • Sadie by Courtney Summers
    Genre: YA Mystery
    Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water. But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him. When West McCray―a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America―overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late. (full synopsis on goodreads)

 

  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
    Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
    Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? (full synopsis on goodreads)
  • Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
    Genre: Historical Fiction, Music
    Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.
    Book is told in interview format. (full synopsis on goodreads)
  • Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatolv Pass Incident by Donnie Eicher
    Genre: Nonfiction, History, Mystery
    In February 1959, a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects of the incident—unexplained violent injuries, signs that they cut open and fled the tent without proper clothing or shoes, a strange final photograph taken by one of the hikers, and elevated levels of radiation found on some of their clothes—have led to decades of speculation over what really happened. This gripping work of literary nonfiction delves into the mystery through unprecedented access to the hikers’ own journals and photographs, rarely seen government records, dozens of interviews, and the author’s retracing of the hikers’ fateful journey in the Russian winter. A fascinating portrait of the young hikers in the Soviet era, and a skillful interweaving of the hikers narrative, the investigators’ efforts, and the author’s investigations, here for the first time is the real story of what happened that night on Dead Mountain.

 

  • The Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy #2) by Katherine Arden
    Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
    The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege. Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.
  • King of Scars (Nikolai #1) by Leigh Bardugo
    Genre: YA Fantasy
    Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army. Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.
  • Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer #2) by Laini Taylor
    Genre: YA Fantasy
    In the wake of tragedy, neither Lazlo nor Sarai are who they were before. One a god, the other a ghost, they struggle to grasp the new boundaries of their selves as dark-minded Minya holds them hostage, intent on vengeance against Weep. Lazlo faces an unthinkable choice—save the woman he loves, or everyone else?—while Sarai feels more helpless than ever. But is she? Sometimes, only the direst need can teach us our own depths, and Sarai, the Muse of Nightmares, has not yet discovered what she’s capable of. (full synopsis on goodreads)

And that is all for this post! Any of these books you’ve read or interest you? I think I’m most excited to read Taylor Jenkins Reid and K.A. Tucker. Fun Fact: It’s my first time reading Taylor Jenkins Reid! I cannot wait to read her books, all I’ve heard is praise. Hope you all have an amazing day/evening/night on whatever side of the planet you’re on! xo


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september book haul

it’s rare that i do a book haul. however, september was my birthday month and it was also hot new releases month. i think all of us book worms can agree that september is one hot month for book releases lol. i am seriously looking at the pile that is on my night table wondering WHERE will these books go. *freaks out forever* nevertheless let’s get started!

*titles will lead you to goodreads page

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These three were gifted by my wonderful twin Lilly @ Lair of Books. Check out her beautiful diverse book blog where she’s always reviewing the newest releases.

  • Monstress Vol. 2: The Blood by Marjorie M. Liu
    A continuation of the graphic novel/comics. Filled with steampunk elements, witchcraft, poet cats, and monsters. I cannot wait to read this one. I have a full review for Vol. 1: Awakening here.
  • They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera
    “On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure and to live a lifetime in a single day.”
  • Ringer (Replica #2) by Lauren Oliver
    The continuation of a YA Sci-Fi trilogy about clones aka replicas. Oliver takes us to questioning humanity, what is real, and life between two girls. In a dystopian world, Oliver creates a book that can be read in three different ways. I have a full non spoiler review for the first book Replica, here.

 

15993203I also was gifted The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen #1) by Alison Goodman. A huuuuuuge thank you Debbie @ alwaysbooking for this book!! I cannot wait to read it. I know a few bloggers who highly recommend this one. The setting is perfect and definitely something I would read.
“London, April 1812. On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?”

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  • The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell
    “In modern-day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic—the Mageus—live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power—and often their lives.
    Esta is a talented thief, and she’s been raised to steal magical artifacts from the sinister Order that created the Brink. With her innate ability to manipulate time, Esta can pilfer from the past, collecting these artifacts before the Order even realizes she’s there. And all of Esta’s training has been for one final job: traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order—and the Brink—before the Magician can destroy it and doom the Mageus to a hopeless future.
    But Old New York is a dangerous world ruled by ruthless gangs and secret societies, a world where the very air crackles with magic. Nothing is as it seems, including the Magician himself. And for Esta to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.”
  • Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2) by Jay Kristoff
    An adult fantasy book (or crossover genre of YA and Adult) where we continue the journey of Mia Corvere. The first book follows Mia going to a school of assassins in order to learn and then avenge for her family’s death. Mia who also happens to have a gift for speaking with shadows is also on the run. I have a non-spoiler review for Nevernight here.
  • Warcross (Warcross #1) by Marie Lu (arc review here)
    “For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.
    Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.”

  • Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper #2) by Kerri Maniscalco
    After the events of Stalking Jack the Ripper, our main character Audrey Rose finds herself in what might be a similar situation. This YA Historical Fiction/Mystery will have you wanting to know what takes place after each page. I have a non-spoiler review for Stalking Jack the Ripper here.
  • The Chaos of Longing by K.Y. Robinson
    If you’ve been following me for a while, you might be wondering what is this collection doing in this book haul. The wonderful K.Y. Robinson got published by Andrews McMeel and this version was revised with more new poems!! This collection is about “trauma, shame, injustice, and mental illness.” I have a review for the self-published version here.
  • The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo
    “Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.
    Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.
    Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.
    This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.”

32711722I tried for the most part to participate in #ARCAugust before life came and hit me. At the beginning of #ARCAugust, I was a part of the twitter chat that was going on. I ended up winning an ARC!! Thanks to @shellysrambles for this ❤

These Things I’ve Done by Rebecca Phillips
“Before: Dara and Aubrey have been inseparable since they became best friends in sixth grade. Dara is the fearless one, Aubrey the prodigy, yet despite their differences they support each other unconditionally. However, as they begin their sophomore year of high school, cracks in their friendship begin to form, testing the bond they always thought was unbreakable.
After: It’s been fifteen months since the accident that killed Aubrey, and not a day goes by that Dara isn’t racked with guilt over her role in her best friend’s death. Now, after spending a year away from home in order to escape the constant reminders of what happened, Dara is back at her old high school to start her senior year. Dara thought the worst thing about coming home would be confronting the memories of Aubrey that relentlessly haunt her, but she soon realizes it’s not half as difficult as seeing Ethan, Aubrey’s brother, every day. Not just because he’s a walking reminder of what she did, but because the more her feelings for him change, the more she knows she’s betraying her best friend one final time.”


and that is it for today’s post! have you heard or read any of these books?? what were your thoughts? let’s chat in the comments! ❤


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Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco Non-Spoiler Review

Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Genre: YA Historical Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

28962906Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

 

 

 


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Set in the late 1800s, the opening pages start with our main character Audrey Rose in a laboratory working on a cadaver. Immediately you get the feel and tone of the book, very mysterious and dark. In a society where misogyny is on a all time high, many people expect Audrey Rose to hide her love for science and all things forensic medicine which includes dead bodies, Audrey Rose has a different take.

To get away from her father’s madness and society’s rules, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory. Audrey has been helping her uncle with the corpses of this madman serial killer, theorizing and trying to figure out who it is and why are they doing this. When trying to go public with help backfires on her, she starts secretly searching for clues and the answers she is searching for will lead to something never expected.

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The writing was very well done. I honestly feel that the author wrote this book in a realistic way. Yes, some parts were boring but they felt authentic and necessary. Kerri Maniscalco definitely gets into detail with the mutilation of the bodies and how they were killed, therefore please read with caution if gore isn’t your thing. Definitely do not eat and read this book at the same time. However, I actually loved that the author wrote those scenes in such detail, showing us how dark this book can get without filter.

“the dead speak to those who listen. Be quieter than even them.”

The setting and society were very on point. Maniscalco definitely does not hold back with how misogyny took place in this time, sometimes to the point where it was a burden on our main character, Audrey Rose. It also made me cringe sometimes. It sucks that this was something that was very prevalent in that day and age (we still live through it now just not as heavy), however, Maniscalco took that and made it her own. She wrote scenes that showed us how strong Audrey Rose is.

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We meet a few characters throughout the book. Some of my faves including Audrey Rose, Thomas, and the Uncle Dr. Jonathan Wadsworth. All three of these are on the same hunt for the serial killer. Thomas who was pretty much Dr. Jonathan Wadsworth apprentice definitely gave me bad vibes in the beginning of the book due to his quiet sarcastic attitude. There were times when I told myself “booooyyyyyy if you do not stop right now” lol. I loved the banter between him and Audrey though! They had me giggling.

“Science never abandoned me the way religion had that night.”

I definitely grew a soft spot for Audrey’s uncle because he always meant well and definitely tested Audrey and Thomas’s limits when it came to forensic medicine. I was sad to find out that Dr. Jonathan Wadsworth and Audrey’s father, Lord Edmund Wadsworth were not in speaking terms. In actuality, Lord Edmund hated the thought of her daughter being in that laboratory for reasons the book gets into later on.  Lord Edmund’s paranoia left Audrey and her brother Nathaniel in a state of despair, not knowing what to do. Lord Edmund’ s madness is due to the death of his wife, Audrey and Nathaniel’s mother. I also enjoyed Nathaniel’s character and their sibling relationship. He was very understanding to his sister’s love for the science and curiosity but also very cautious.

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Overall, I really enjoyed this book and cannot wait to read the second installment, Hunting Prince Dracula. The character development and the way things flowed was great. Now if you’re wondering as to why I gave the book 4 stars it’s because I found the book to be a bit predictable and some scenes were just boring. Other than that, I really enjoyed Stalking Jack the Ripper.

I loved the characters, the setting, and even the subtle steampunk elements. If you know me, you know I love steampunk. I am also a huge sucker for late 1800s to early 1900s London except for the misogyny of course because we don’t need that. Kerri Mansicalco definitely did a great job with transferring me to this world every time I opened the page.

And that ending??!!?? Although I predicted it, I was still shocked with how some things came about and I kept flipping the pages like nobody’s business. I would highly recommend this!

 


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have you read stalking jack the ripper? what are your thoughts? do any of you anticipate hunting prince dracula? let’s chat in the comments!


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