In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews!
There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Horror, Young Adult
Published by Harper Collins, Penguin on September 26th 2017
Also by this author: Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, Isla and the Happily Ever After, My True Love Gave To Me, Summer Days & Summer Nights
Format: eBook, Hardcover (287 pages) • Source: Library, Purchased
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Scream meets YA in this hotly-anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss.
One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.
International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that’s fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.
Unlike many other readers before me, I was really happy to find out that this book was more of a contemporary mixed with horror. I don’t do horror – even in October – but knew I needed to read this book because of its author. Anyways, I agree with everyone else that said basically not to go into this expecting an actual horror novel. There’s a lot of romance with a bit of killing thrown in throughout. The premise is that a serial killer starts attacking high school students in a small Nebraskan town. I can’t really say too much more on that end, except that the typical hysteria starts spreading throughout.
Not a lot really stuck out about the characters or even the romance. Makari and Ollie were cute enough and liked them together. They definitely found plenty of time to fool around even though their classmates were dropping like flies, but I guess there’s not much else to do when a killer is on the loose and no one has school to keep them busy? Her whole backstory wasn’t that interesting… even though it was built up throughout to be this big surprising reveal. Her friends, Alex and Darby, seemed to be okay friends? I didn’t get the squad goal feels I’m always hoping for, because those two were closer to each other than Makari. So yes, overall I LIKED the characters but I wasn’t overly enthralled with them.
I think the pacing was a little weird but some of the ~reveals~ happening when they did made the book different than others like it, I think. View Spoiler »Because you find out who the murderer is about halfway through, it creates a bigger hysteria in the town while people are looking for someone specific. « Hide Spoiler It just created a new dynamic for the second half of the story. Sometimes I liked it and sometimes I wish things hadn’t happened that way.
I completely binged this in one day (it would have been one sitting if we didn’t leave for the pumpkin patch in the middle of me reading), so you could say I thought it was interesting enough to keep plugging along! It was also really quick, coming in at less than 300 pages.
TL;DR? I wouldn’t recommend this book to hardcore horror fans, especially if they don’t also read contemporary. It really feels like a strong combination of both genres, which totally worked for this reader!
The Fifth Letter by Nicola Moriarty
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Published by Harper Collins on January 24th 2017
Format: eBook (288 pages) • Source: Purchased
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A fun vacation game turns destructive, exposing dark secrets, deeply buried grudges, and a shocking betrayal in Nicola Moriarity’s intriguing debut.
Four friends . . .
Joni, Deb, Eden, and Trina have been best friends since high school, sharing a bond that has seen them through their teenage years and into adulthood. But now, time and circumstance is starting to pull them apart as careers, husbands, and babies get in the way. As their yearly vacation becomes less of a priority—at least for three of the women—how can Joni find a way to draw the four of them back together?
Four secrets . . .
During a laughter and wine-filled night, the women dare one another to write anonymous letters, spilling their deepest, darkest secrets. But the fun game turns devastating, exposing cracks in their lives and the friendships they share. Each letter is a dark confession revealing shocking information. A troubled marriage? A substance abuse problem? A secret pregnancy? A heartbreaking diagnosis?
Five letters . . .
Late on one of their last nights together, after the other three have gone to bed, Joni notices something in the fireplace—a burnt, crumpled, nearly destroyed, sheet of paper that holds the most shattering revelation of all. It is a fifth letter—a hate-filled rant that exposes a vicious, deeply hidden grudge that has festered for decades. But who wrote it? Which one of them has seethed with resentment all these years? What should Joni do?
Best friends are supposed to keep your darkest secrets. But the revelations Joni, Deb, Eden and Trina have shared will ripple through their lives with unforeseen consequences . . . and things will never be the same.
I saw a lot of three star reviews for this one so I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect from it. The concept intrigued me SO much, so I went in with an open mind. It worked, because I kind of loved this and couldn’t put it down. I’m a huge fan of Liane Moriarty, so I was definitely comparing these sisters’ writing, and I have to say… Nicola is just as good. For me at least! The story was very reminiscent of something Liane would write. I was kept guessing until the very end. This was full of secrets and intrigue.
I was often confused between Joni and Trina for some reason but Deb and Eden were very memorable. Don’t get me wrong: Joni and Trina were good, interesting, complex characters, but I kept forgetting who the narrator was. All four women definitely made some mistakes and kept secrets from each other, so it was cool to see all of those unravel throughout the book.
The format of the story was really cool. I loved all of the confessions with the priest, snippets from the letter, and story mixing in together. I actually thought I had it figured out multiple times and ended up being way off-base for everything. It was very addicting to read because everything would HAPPEN and you’d be ready for shit to hit the fan, but it kept going with more twists and craziness.
This is a more intense contemporary, sort of mystery, that I would recommend overall to anyone into that type of book. I would also say fans of Liane Moriarty should check this out, because I felt like I was reading one of her books a lot of the time.