Format: eARC

ARC Review: One Last Summer

Posted June 10, 2024 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: One Last Summer

I absolutely loved Kate Spencer’s first book and was soooo excited to read her sophomore novel, especially when I read the synopsis. I love a friend group coming back together and anything relating to summer camp! I actually had started this back in April and was really loving the first handful of chapters. I put it aside when I got home from Disney to read another highly anticipated release and picked it back up in early May. I was never motivated to read it unfortunately, even though I generally liked it when I did make myself start reading. Honestly it put me in a bit of a slump throughout the month but I’m glad I ended up finishing it. Clara has missed the past few camp reunions at Pine Lake because of her busy job and life in the city. This year, however, her boss just requested in front of the whole company that she is suffering from burnout and needs a micro-sabbatical. There’s a huge pitch at work the following week that she needs to prep for so it couldn’t come at a worse time, but she IS ready to see her friends again. The crew consists of Sam, Nick, Trey, Eloise (and her new boyfriend Linus), and (of course – her summer crush that still works at the camp) Mack. I guess I was kind of expecting HAPPY PLACE vibes here with the group of friends but it missed the mark a lot of the time. I liked […]

Recent Reads | The Other Lola and Just for the Summer

Posted March 21, 2024 / Book Reviews, Recent Reads / 0 Comments
Recent Reads | The Other Lola and Just for the Summer

I didn’t love Ripley Jones’ debut for a variety of reasons (the number one is that I fully predicted the mystery/whodunnit and thought it was absurdly predictable). For some reason, I told myself I’d give their second book a shot. I ended up liking THE OTHER LOLA more, so I’m glad I did. This story centers around another missing girl from the same town as the first book. I didn’t fully realize this was a companion novel but it follows Cam and Blair, the podcasters from MISSING CLARISSA. They are approached by a younger girl at their school whose sister went missing five years ago and suddenly returned. The catch? She thinks this Lola is an impostor. Her family doesn’t believe her so she enlists the help of Cam and Blair to figure out what’s actually going on. I thought the mystery here was quite interesting but took a little while to get going. Cam and Blair are going through their own stuff, which takes up a lot of the plot. If I really think about the progression of the mystery and investigation, it honestly didn’t get as much page time. I liked the found family vibes of this one with Cam’s mom’s new boyfriend and Mattie joining in their little crew a bit. Those were wholesome chapters. This book has a ton of political references and discussions. I don’t want to get into it in depth here but I am a very liberal person, so I agree with many […]

ARC Reviews: Listen for the Lie and The Heiress

Posted February 28, 2024 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: Listen for the Lie and The Heiress

This book was exactly what I needed! I’d been slogging through HOFAS the entire month of February and kept telling myself I should just pick up a mystery/thriller and break my slump. I don’t know why I kept delaying but once I finally did it, I knew it was the right choice. LISTEN FOR THE LIE was an incredibly engaging story that I never wanted to put down. I’m sure it’ll end up on some of my best-of lists this year. Lucy’s best friend was found murdered… and then Lucy was found wandering around with her friend’s blood all over her. The town made assumptions while Lucy couldn’t remember anything from that day/night. When she finally returns to town around the same time a new true crime podcast releases about the case, she ends up working with the podcaster to try to figure out what happened… even if that means she learns she’s the guilty one. As usual, I loved the mixed media elements of this story. I don’t care what anyone says… I love a true crime podcast plotline still! There were a lot of interesting characters and connections that you learn throughout. I didn’t see the ending coming but I wouldn’t be surprised if other readers were able to. The main character was super funny and sarcastic; she wasn’t always likeable but she was very entertaining, which helps! I liked that Lucy made mistakes a lot because she felt real but she definitely could frustrate some readers. I […]

Review Roundup | The Mystery Guest, The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels, and Raiders of the Lost Heart

Posted January 3, 2024 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | The Mystery Guest, The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels, and Raiders of the Lost Heart

THE MAID was a pleasant surprise and a bit of a roller coaster for me (which is weird considering it’s a somewhat “basic” cozy mystery). I almost DNFed if because I just wasn’t connecting with the story and didn’t really care about what was happening. As usual, a chapter or two after considering the DNF, I became a bit hooked… and I ended up giving the book 4.5 stars! I was excited by the premise of the sequel and immediately requested it from the library. I was really intrigued by a second story with Molly and loved how this one tied into her past. Molly is solving another murder mystery – this time it’s the famous author that her grandmother once worked for. The story involved flashbacks to her time spent in his mansion and all of the goings-on there. It didn’t feel like the author was retroactively adding things or changing things to make the plot work either – enough negative things were included about the victim from book one to make me feel like this was a well-planned sophomore follow-up. There are some times with these books where I start to lose interest a little bit and that’s the only reason for a 4.5 rating instead of 5 stars. I just don’t get THAT feeling unfortunately. I was sad that Juan Manuel was missing throughout this book because he was visiting family but it made sense to keep the mystery plot moving without getting the romance in the […]

Review Roundup | Sister of the Bride, Drowning, and Murder in the Family

Posted September 27, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | Sister of the Bride, Drowning, and Murder in the Family

I’ve enjoyed Morrill’s YA books before – they’re usually nice and bantery, super easy to read, and a lot of fun. I was so excited when I saw she wrote an adult contemporary romance and requested it immediately. SISTER OF THE BRIDE is apparently a Father of the Bride retelling (?) but I haven’t seen the movie. I loved the premise of a girl having to plan her sister’s wedding while falling in love with her best friend. This is the kind of book that you could easily sit and read in one sitting so I’m a little annoyed it took me so long to finish it! I started it right before my birthday weekend, which always gets too busy for reading. In any case, the Italian food and Boston vibes were immaculate in this book. I’m from Connecticut so Boston is an hour and a half from where I live. It was fun to see what they included and how they presented the story. It was a really unique situation for the MC Pippin and it was fun to see how she would move on with her life after literally everything changed. She was occasionally frustrating but I have to say, the lack of drama and miscommunication in this one (especially in a few key areas near the end) was just perfect. She would get annoyed about something and freak out, then come back to earth and apologize. It was refreshing that she didn’t let things get to her for too long and […]

ARC August Reviews: All That’s Left to Say and Same Time Next Summer

Posted September 8, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC August Reviews: All That’s Left to Say and Same Time Next Summer

Emery Lord has been one of my favorite authors since I first started my blog in 2014. It’s kind of alarming to see how underrated this book is (literally, there are only a few hundred reviews and ratings on Goodreads!). Remember when she was the top author in YA?? I feel like some of my fellow YA comrades have fallen off a bit (which I understand) but she’ll be an auto-buy forever for me. I joined some reading sprints on booktube the other day and people didn’t even really know Emery Lord when I mentioned this was my current read. I MUST EDUCATE EVERYONE. As you can see, I’ll read her books immediately regardless of topic. This book is about very fresh and unexpected grief, which is not something I like to read about. I don’t pick up sad books on purpose and just try to escape to a happier place when I read (or solve a murder mystery – nothing more or less!). Reading about the opioid crisis was even harder. However, as always, Emery Lord treated the topic with care and created a very emotional and powerful story. In ALL THAT’S LEFT TO SAY, Hannah is reeling from losing her cousin Sophie to an extremely unexpected overdose. Perfect, vivacious Sophie would never take pills on purpose! The story features her immediate grief and how she decides to get to the bottom of what happens to her. This includes transferring to Sophie’s school and trying to track down where […]

ARC August Reviews: The Last One and Business or Pleasure

Posted August 24, 2023 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
ARC August Reviews: The Last One and Business or Pleasure

If there’s one thing Will Dean has, it’s the audacity. What an ending!! I did not see that coming at all. (Had to get that off my chest first, now on to an incredibly vague review!) The synopsis of THE LAST ONE intrigued me so much when I watched a the booktuber vlog her reading experience. Basically the first 10% of the book is the synopsis and a bunch of other stuff happens after that – I strongly recommend going into this book as blind as you can so I’m definitely not going to share anything else that happens lol. My main theories right off the bat were some of the classics (everyone is dead including the MC, it’s all a dream, etc.) – needless to say I won’t tell you if anything was right. I couldn’t put this down and finished it in one day. Once some ~things~ happen and are revealed, the book is a pretty slow-ish thriller. It’s not fast-paced like many others but I still couldn’t stop reading because I was dying to know what would happen next. There are some strong twists but not too many, which was really nice (no whiplash like other thriller books/writers). It’s a little slower at parts like I said and thus I think it’s a LITTLE too long, but the ending was so good. I can’t believe how the author chose to end this lol. There was a lot of character backstory that I think was supposed to make us […]

ARC August Reviews: In Nightfall and The Blonde Identity

Posted August 16, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC August Reviews: In Nightfall and The Blonde Identity

As everyone around here knows, I’m a huge fan of Suzanne Young and all of her books. She’s such a talented writer and her prose is so accessible (definitely mean that as a compliment – I read her stories SO quickly!). IN NIGHTFALL is a bit different for her in some ways, and different for my reading tastes as well… which I loved! The story follows Theo and her brother Marco as they head to Nightfall, Oregon with their father for the summer as punishment for a big party they threw. Her dad is originally from there and his mom lives there, so they stay with her. She’s been an enigma in the kids’ lives and they’re basically meeting her for the first time. She’s prickly and has a lot of weird rules, like don’t stay out after dark and don’t talk with the locals. Naturally both of them ignore these rules and immediately fall in with some local teens. The town (and most people there) are really creepy and mysterious. There are some upcoming traditions that they want Theo and Marco to partake in, as well as their nightly parties on the beach. Theo starts to feel like something weird is in the air in Nightfall and these two podcasters in town for the Midnight Dive event are investigating it as well. The book is a little creepy but breezy and easy to read as well. I really liked the tension being slowly turned up throughout the book as […]

ARC Reviews: The Legacies and Dark Corners

Posted July 20, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: The Legacies and Dark Corners

It’s no secret around here that I love a “rich people behaving badly book” – there’s something about it that appeals to my Gossip Girl-loving heart. I KNOW they’re bad people and I’m okay with reading about them. I don’t have to like or root for the characters in every book I read. I know it’s a personal preference thing and I’m okay with that. Just be warned, if you aren’t a rich kid drama girlie, you probably won’t find much to like in this one. This book feels simultaneously similar and different than Goodman’s other books. I’ve rated her other books 3, 3.5, and 4 stars, respectively, so she’s always been a good-but-not-a-favorite author of mine. I still find myself so drawn to her synopses and eagerly await each new release! The whole vibe of this one (like her other three books) is more of a contemporary fiction book with some death and suspense as the backbone. Her books aren’t thrillers, they’re sort of mysteries, but they’re more like… mysterious contemporary fiction? This book is the first that features unlikeable rich kids at a prep school in NYC – the others are set in normal high schools or at summer camp. The story alternates between Bernie (a rich kid living in her mom’s shadow), Isobel (another rich kid and Bernie’s best friend with a substance abuse issue), and Tori (the scholarship kid whose mom died the year before). I enjoyed reading from each of their POVs for the most part […]

Review Roundup | The Wishing Game, Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers, and Live and Let Chai

Posted July 17, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | The Wishing Game, Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers, and Live and Let Chai

I was soooo looking forward to THE WISHING GAME. The book sounded so magical (while being realistic and not actually featuring any magic or fantastical elements) and the cover? Absolutely one of my favorites I’ve ever seen… which is why it’s such a bummer that I feel so incredibly mixed on this book. I had to really think about a rating for it. At its core, this book is a whimsical ode to children’s books and the lifelong impact they have on us. I loved that aspect! It was so cute in a lot of ways. If I sit here and think about the story as a whole and ignore a lot of the details that really bugged me, this could have easily been very highly rated. I appreciate the granting of wishes and foster care/adoption plotline in a general sense but I was really uncomfortable with how Lucy went about it all with Christopher. It’s one thing to want to adopt a child that needs it but I personally found it to be inappropriate that she was kissing his forehead and having him sit on her lap (and discussing her desire to adopt him before she was permitted to – I have to think, if it didn’t happen or come true, wouldn’t the kid be in a worse mental space? She even tried to argue that sleeping on the floor of her bedroom in a house she shared with drunk college students would be a better situation for him […]