Month: November 2023

Review Roundup | The Maid, Bookshops and Bonedust, and Twilight Falls

Posted November 30, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | The Maid, Bookshops and Bonedust, and Twilight Falls

THE MAID is a book that I’ve debated reading for a while. I wasn’t sure if it would be for me but I ended up snagging a cute little paperback copy and staring at it on my shelves for a long time. I wasn’t sure what to read earlier this month and it was calling to me, so I picked it up. I won’t lie, it took me a while to get into. I wasn’t sure if I could get into Molly’s head. That ended up not being the issue but I’ll get to my thoughts in a second. This story follows Molly the maid, who stumbles upon the dead body of a frequent guest at the hotel she works at. She ends up getting mixed up in everything (a few crimes) without even knowing what’s going on. She struggles with social situations and appears to be neurodivergent (not given a name on page and everyone else seems to think she’s just quirky or “bad” at reading social cues). The book was hard to read for me in the first half. It just felt like she was getting taken advantage of over and over again by bad people, and I was really upset reading it. I don’t pick up books where people like this are being taken advantage of or bullied because honestly it’s one of those things that just hits me too hard. I contemplated DNFing multiple times because it was simply hard to read and I wasn’t sure […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #431: CT Setting

Posted November 28, 2023 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 0 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #431: CT Setting

Setting Freebie: Favorite Books Set in Connecticut Top Ten Tuesdays were started by The Broke and the Bookish and are now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, where we make lists of our top ten books (or something else!) based on that week’s prompt. The topics are provided ahead of time and can be found here. Book links bring you to Goodreads or my review. I live in Connecticut and grew up here (minus one year in Maine and four years for college in Rhode Island) so any book set in Connecticut is going to make it on my TBR! It’s not the most common book setting unless the author has some ties to the area. I decided I would share my ten favorite books or series set in my home state.

Books I Can’t Believe I Didn’t Read This Year

Posted November 23, 2023 / Book Lists, Features / 2 Comments
Books I Can’t Believe I Didn’t Read This Year

There were so many books I was totally convinced I would get to in 2023 and even included them on multiple monthly TBRs. Eventually I got sick of seeing them and just knew it wouldn’t happen so they were removed in favor of other books I hopefully will read someday. I do plan on creating a “24 in 24” list of books I need to read next year, so many of these books will appear on that, but hopefully not all of them. I’m aware that I’m posting this in November so anything can happen but honestly… I could have added like 5 more books to this. I’m DETERMINED to read them instead of include them here lol.

Holiday Reviews: The Christmas Guest and Emergency Contact

Posted November 20, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: The Christmas Guest and Emergency Contact

Story This was my first holiday-themed mystery and I’m really excited for the others I have on my TBR now! This story follows Ashley, an American girl studying in England, who is invited to her friend’s family estate for the holidays. She immediately falls for her friend’s charming older brother and is brought into their cold, not-so-comforting home (and family) for the holidays. The brother, Adam, has been accused of murdering a local girl but this doesn’t really deter Ashley. Surely he had nothing to do with it? This is a story-within-a-story where someone is reading  a diary years and years later. I really enjoyed the twist in this one! After it was revealed, I did lose interest for a few pages, but Swanson brought me back in somewhat quickly. I think the story took a few interesting turns and I really enjoyed how everything was revealed. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels The holiday feels are interesting in this subgenre. Yes, it was creepy and gothic and had a mystery element. But it definitely also had cozy scenes in pubs and festive decor around the dinner table. It was a fun mix, to be honest! It creates a different kind of holiday feel but the setting was cold and wintery for sure. Overall I’m really glad that Swanson made this short as a novella – I truly think it was the perfect length and format for this kind of story. The twist packed more of a punch for me. Going […]

2024 Review Copies

Posted November 16, 2023 / Book Lists, Features, TBR Lists / 2 Comments
2024 Review Copies

I’ve gotten a few exciting review copies already for 2024 and thought I would do a little post to share what those are so far! Some of these have been waiting on my Kindle for a long time and I can’t believe I haven’t been tempted to dive in… Mystery/Thriller and Fantasy   Contemporary and Literary  

Top Ten Tuesdays #430: Popular Authors

Posted November 14, 2023 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 3 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #430: Popular Authors

Mainstream/Popular Authors I Haven’t Read Top Ten Tuesdays were started by The Broke and the Bookish and are now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, where we make lists of our top ten books (or something else!) based on that week’s prompt. The topics are provided ahead of time and can be found here. Book links bring you to Goodreads or my review. I’m going to use this to discuss mainstream and bestselling authors who are clearly popular, but also some of the more “super hyped on booktube and booktok” authors as well. I know that’s less “mainstream” but usually these authors gain a ton of popularity and the hype becomes super intense. R.F. Kuang / I’ve said this before but her books intimidate me a bit! Between BABEL’s length and YELLOWFACE’s hard-hitting topic, I just have not plucked up the courage to read her books yet. Mona Awad / She’s another one on that list of books/authors who scare me. I know BUNNY is a mindfuck and I’m super curious to read it, but her books seem complicated lol. Stephen King / I promise I won’t spend the whole TTT referencing the same blog post but Stephen King is another intimidating, major bestselling author. I’m not a huge horror reader so a lot of his books aren’t on my list, but I would love to read a few (FAIRY TALE, BILLY SUMMERS, and 11/22/63).   Simone St. James, Ruth Ware, Shari Lapenia, and Alex Finlay / There are a ton of super popular, bestselling mystery/thriller authors […]

Review: Iron Flame

Posted November 13, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Review: Iron Flame

Usually I do review round-ups at this point in my blogging life but because this book took me longer to read and I assumed I’d have more to say about it, I thought I would do an old-fashioned single book review here. It’s no secret that I did not love FOURTH WING as much as everyone else did. I ended up rating it higher than it probably deserved at 3.5 stars because of how addicting it was and how intriguing the ending was as well. I was curious to read IRON FLAME for sure and even preordered a copy to partake in the nonsense of release week with everyone else. I didn’t like the cringe-worthy romance and cheesy writing of the first book.  I really thought it was like a mash-up of every fantasy book written before. I can totally see why people read it and got similar nostalgic vibes of some early YA paranormal/fantasy books, but that didn’t make it a five-star read for me. The…interesting…writing was still very much present in this book. The conversations sounded so weird sometimes and language felt out of place. For example, she says at one point that her heart is beating like a hummingbird’s wings (or something like that). Are there hummingbirds in this world somehow? Just out there flying around with the dragons? Are there dogs and other normal animals too? The world-building here is so weird! Another moment that stuck out was when her and Rhiannon were chatting before class […]

Review Roundup | The Brothers Hawthorne, Project Hail Mary, and The Pumpkin Spice Cafe

Posted November 10, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 3 Comments
Review Roundup | The Brothers Hawthorne, Project Hail Mary, and The Pumpkin Spice Cafe

I’m really bummed by this one to be honest – it was really just FINE. I’ve loved this series so much and was excited to get into the heads of a couple of the brothers for this “spinoff” fourth book. It follows Jameson and Grayson as they embark on their own individual journeys. (It may have been more fun to follow Nash and Xander instead because they were featured less than Grayson and Jameson in other books.) Grayson’s part of the story was more interesting as he learned more about his father and the family that he never knew about. There was a little mystery there for him to solve and some lovable new characters introduced. Jameson is also dealing with his father and more games/riddles. I thought the concept behind his part of the book was good but not executed in a way that made me want to keep reading? It took me all of September to read this one because I just kept being more interested in other books. I did end up reading the final section pretty quickly and was curious to see how things would wrap up. I’m glad there’s another book and I’m hoping it’ll be more interesting than this one was. I really enjoyed THE MARTIAN despite not usually reading adult science fiction. (Even YA sci-fi is lower on my list unfortunately, despite enjoying them!) I kept seeing insanely positive reviews for this one and decided I should give it a try. The audiobook […]

2023 Holiday TBR

Posted November 8, 2023 / Book Lists, Features, TBR Lists / 1 Comment
2023 Holiday TBR

I decided to remove the holiday movie section of this post because I just have not been on my game this year! If I get my crap together, I may feature some holiday movies on my watch list in a different post. This year we’ll focus on the MANY holiday books I could pick from. I also will do my usual past holiday post roundup at the bottom. Here’s a roundup of ALL of the holiday books I may read, including review copies (both backlist and current year), new releases, and backlist titles that have intrigued me.   I have five review copies this year. Last year I only managed to read two of the four I had! Yikes. This year my number one goal is to read all of these without exception. 2023 really goes hard for holiday book releases. I’ve never seen so many! I did a roundup of a bunch of them that were announced by July (in my Christmas in July post) but I added a lot more to my TBR after that. I know I won’t get to all of these (obviously) but I hope to read more than I did last year. I keep deleting older books on here that I lost interest in but there are some that I still can’t believe I haven’t read yet (PRINCE IN DISGUISE, hello??). I added 2022’s books I didn’t get to on here as well. I think I’m going to put all of these titles on […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #429: Newspaper Headlines

Posted November 7, 2023 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 3 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #429: Newspaper Headlines

Book Titles that Would Make Good Headlines Top Ten Tuesdays were started by The Broke and the Bookish and are now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, where we make lists of our top ten books (or something else!) based on that week’s prompt. The topics are provided ahead of time and can be found here. Book links bring you to Goodreads or my review. I really didn’t know what to do for this one at first but it was really fun to track them down! I decided to approach this as good headlines in general: whether for a newspaper or for magazine articles. I focused first on unreleased and upcoming books that are on my TBR. Newspaper Headlines I thought all of these ones would make for classic newspaper articles. FINLAY DONOVAN ROLLS THE DICE could probably be a magazine article too but it seemed like it would be more of a headline. THE NIGHT OF THE STORM could detail a recent natural disaster. THE DISAPPEARNACE OF ASTRID BRICARD and THE REAPPEARANCE OF RACHEL PRICE are both potential articles and headlines where someone goes missing or returns from being missing. Magazine Article Titles Magazine articles could consist of “how to” lists and discussions as well as opinion pieces. HOW TO SOLVE YOUR MURDER could even be a satire. THE PERFECT GUY DOESN’T EXIST seems like it could be a Cosmo article. RED STRING THEORY would be instructional – teaching the reader specifically about this theory as it relates to life and love. […]