Category: Book Reviews

ARC Reviews: A Dangerous Year, The Key to Everything, and The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett

Posted November 6, 2017 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: A Dangerous Year, The Key to Everything, and The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett

I immediately saw comparisons to Ally Carter’s books, plus a little bit of Pretty Fierce by Kieran Scott, when I first saw this book on Goodreads and Netgalley. I was definitely intrigued, as I love the whole teen-spy genre. Add in the fact that this takes place at a Connecticut boarding school and I was HERE FOR IT. I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. There were some potentially problematic sentences that really rubbed me the wrong way, and I initially felt that this book would definitely be under the three-star mark as a result. The author said things like “hooker red lipstick,” which is rude, and didn’t understand how something like Man Crush Monday or Woman Crush Wednesday worked. I know that one is small potatoes but it still definitely bugged me as I was reading. If you’re going to write for teens and about teens, you should run those passages by a couple of them. The cab driver said his name was Steve and the MC thought, because of his accent, it should be more like “Tariq or Malik.” And one other thing that bugged me, more in terms of the MC as a friend or human:  Aside from those things, the book was sub-par until the very end. The last 10% was an absolute whirlwind. I thought I had everything figured out pretty early on, but there were a LOT of twists. The ending was definitely a cliffhanger too, so I’m really curious to […]

Review Round Up | There’s Someone Inside Your House and The Fifth Letter

Posted November 2, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 4 Comments
Review Round Up | There’s Someone Inside Your House and The Fifth Letter

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! 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 […]

Series Review: Mara Dyer Trilogy

Posted October 25, 2017 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
Series Review: Mara Dyer Trilogy

As you know, I love to binge a good series when I can. It takes a lot for me to really keep engaged and read “the same thing” back-to-back like this… So when I do it, you know it’s worth it! I was definitely late to the party on this one and have no one to blame but myself. I love getting addicted to a world and seeing what happens post-cliffhanger in the next book. That was definitely the case for the Mara Dyer trilogy. I had put off reading these books for a while because they seemed a little… not Lauren-y? I like books about memory loss and the aftereffects, but this series seemed to weird and creepy for me. The plot summary gave almost no information and I really didn’t know if this was a mystery or paranormal series. Turns out, it’s a bit of both. Goodreads shelving can spoil you on that, so sorry if you didn’t know! Here are some mini reviews: This book caught me so off-guard. We chose it for book club and I was happy to finally read this series, since it’s been on my TBR foreeeever. I found myself incredibly addicted right off the bat. I was intrigued by the memory loss concept and honestly didn’t know what to expect genre-wise. It seemed like a big ol’ mindfuck… and that’s kind of exactly what happened. I was hoping to read a little bit before bed and absolutely could not stop reading no […]

Review Round Up | Ringer, The Broken World, and Turtles All the Way Down

Posted October 19, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 8 Comments
Review Round Up | Ringer, The Broken World, and Turtles All the Way Down

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! The cool thing about this series is that there are multiple ways you could read it. You can read one girl’s story all the way through and then read the second girl’s, or you could alternate back and forth to create a dual POV. I can’t help but compare this experience to REPLICA. In that book, I was equally interested in both Gemma and Lyra’s stories as I was reading them. I liked reading Gemma’s all the way through and then learning Lyra’s after to see how they connected. I could see how reading the book that way OR alternating back and forth would both work. I wish I could say the same about RINGER. I wasn’t a huge fan of this one. Gemma’s story, which I read first, was somewhat boring and not as shocking as I thought it would be. I wish I read Lyra’s chapters in between because I think that method actually would be better for RINGER. Lyra’s story was generally more interesting than Gemma’s and would have provided some extra context in between, plus balance out the boring parts. SO if you’re curious about what it would be like with both reading experiences for this series, I recommend trying REPLICA with all […]

ARC Review: The Nowhere Girls

Posted October 9, 2017 / Book Reviews / 3 Comments
ARC Review: The Nowhere Girls

Initial Excitement & Summary I was over the moon when I got approved for this book. It ended up being one of those digital ones you can’t use on your Kindle, so I added it to my other ebook app. Loooong, annoying story: the book was set to expire on 9/13 (and I just happened to open the book up that day, thinking maybe I’d read it). I decided to binge it in one day to finish before it expired, updated Goodreads, and made my reading plans for after work. The next time I opened the book that day, it had expired. I spent a good 30-45 minutes trying to figure out if I could redownload it and screaming at my computer. I ended up just having to go to Netgalley and redownload it onto my iPad. SIGH. ANYWAYS, all of these issues led up to me just reading the book anyways. The story is about three girls from very different backgrounds who band together against the horrible boys in their high school. A former student was gang raped and no one believed her. Grace, Rosina, and Erin start “The Nowhere Girls” to take on the school’s sexist, lopsided views of what happened and try to make it a better place. Storytelling & Characters The chapters focus on the individual girls, plus a bunch of chapters called “Us.” I thought those chapters were incredibly powerful, as they focused on various girls around the town and what they were feeling. Those […]

Bite-Sized ARC Reviews: 36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You & The Knowing

Posted October 5, 2017 / Bite-Sized Reviews, Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Bite-Sized ARC Reviews: 36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You & The Knowing

I know I have full reviews and I have mini review round-ups, but there are some books that could be reviewed in just a few sentences. This is mini round-up I’ll have sometimes for books that really don’t need much more than my small Goodreads review and progress updates say. First up, we have a pretty disappointing reality check for a book I was really excited about. I’ve heard about the 36 question study where people develop a connection by the end of it and the thought always fascinated me. When I saw a book based on that study, I immediately requested it. I wish I DNFed because it was not nearly as good as I expected. 🙁 Next, a companion novel I was SO excited for! I loved THE FORGETTING and was so excited to learn more about Canaan. I didn’t realize it was a companion novel at first, but I’m happy to report that it was as good as expected. Many thanks to Ellice for letting me borrow this one <3

ARC Review: The Dirty Book Club

Posted October 2, 2017 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Review: The Dirty Book Club

Initial Excitement & Summary Lisi Harrison’s CLIQUE series was one of my favorites back in the day. I used to count down new book releases on my white board before Goodreads was really a thing, and this was one of those series I’d try to track. When I saw that she was releasing an interesting-sounding adult contemporary, I was immediately on board. The book showed up on Goodreads YEARS ago and I was pretty convinced it would never come out. So, you can imagine how pumped I was when I was approved on Netgalley. I read it ASAP in July. 😂 The premise for this one is that MJ finally moves to California to be with her long-distance boyfriend. She befriends her elderly neighbor, Gloria, who once had a Dirty Book Club with a few of her best friends. They vowed to move to Paris when their husbands all died and the day finally comes, so they pass along the DBC to MJ and three other women. Storytelling I was looking for something like The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and honestly this book is the closest I’ve come in some ways. I loved the inter-generational storyline of both books and the fact that they revolved around some kind of media (Evelyn as a movie star and Gloria/her friends reading dirty books). Both involved magazines and journalist main characters too. I don’t think they’re exactly the same, but if you’re looking for something similar… maybe give this one a shot! Okay, so […]

Review Round Up | One of Us is Lying, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, and Always

Posted September 25, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 4 Comments
Review Round Up | One of Us is Lying, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, and Always

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! I was REALLY excited for this book for a long time, so I immediately put in a library hold for it. The physical copy was taking forever so I ended up requesting the ebook from there. I put my TBR on hold and dove right in. My memory is terrible with books, so I was happy when Carrie and I started chatting via DM about the book while we both read (that way I have some record of my initial thoughts and reactions!). I kind of suspected everyone and no one at the same time. I didn’t initially think any of the characters were capable of murder, even though McManus gave us plenty of red herrings for just about all of them. They each had suspicious excuses for that day, on top of dirty laundry they were trying to cover up. The more I read, the more I KNEW none of them did it. It just wasn’t possible. I developed a few theories but, as you know, I’m really bad about predicting murderers/mystery things. I genuinely loved all of the characters in this one. They had the stereotypical qualities of different types of high school students, but still felt real and unique to me. Bronwyn was the […]

Review Round Up | Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, Love & Gelato, and Finding It

Posted September 22, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, Love & Gelato, and Finding It

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 backlist books I’ve read or listened to recently. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! I had high expectations for this one since I’m a huge fan of Morgan Matson. I still need to read quite a few of her books and honestly wondered if I’d ever actually read AMY & ROGER. I love books about road trips and people who go on them together falling for each other, so it was actually right up my alley. I think I was afraid I’d be disappointed somehow. Yet again, my excellent book club was there to rescue me and force me to read things. Amy is dealing with the loss of her father when she embarks on a road trip with Roger, planned by her mom. They decide to take an ~epic detour~ to take care of business and sight see across the country. Her family has been in shambles since her dad died, with her mom moving to Connecticut (and making Amy move as well) and her brother in rehab in North Carolina. The story involves some really fun elements, like playlists, scrapbook pages, and other things they grabbed along the road. It was a nice touch for sure! The serious and sad elements were woven nicely throughout the story, between flashbacks and Amy finally opening up a little bit. I loved the different places that they decided to adventure to! […]

ARC Review: A Short History of the Girl Next Door

Posted September 20, 2017 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: A Short History of the Girl Next Door

Initial Excitement & Summary This book was added to my TBR the minute Laura announced it. I loved the premise and then, of course, the cover once it was released. Best-friends-to-more (especially if they were childhood friends and neighbors) is one of my favorite tropes. I was even more excited when I got approved on NetGalley for it and didn’t waste much time. (I read this back in July!) The synopsis shares that Matt has recently realized he’s in love with his best friend and neighbor, Tabby. This, of course, coincides with the time she finds an upperclassmen boyfriend instead. Matt’s still grappling with her new relationship and essentially pines after her for most of the novel. I can’t say much more, because spoiler city. Storytelling & Characters I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one, because you assume the book may go two ways. Is there a happily-ever-after, where she realizes that Matt is the one for her? Or does he move on and this book isn’t considered ~romance~ at all? Well, I can’t really answer that question because spoilers. But let me tell you, it was a rough ride to get there. I did not see anything coming. And that’s all I’ll say on that. I really liked Matt as a character. I feel like everyone’s been in his shoes before, pining over someone who isn’t interested in you. He was really honest too; being in his head was refreshing. He would think of something fucked up […]