Format: eBook

Summerween Reviews | Every Time I Go On Vacation, Someone Dies and Summers End

Posted July 18, 2024 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Summerween Reviews | Every Time I Go On Vacation, Someone Dies and Summers End

Summerween is a readathon hosted by GabbyReads that runs in early July each year. This year’s readathon was hosted July 5th through 11th with the following prompts: read a book in the dark, read a thriller or horror book, read a book with a night sky on the cover, read a book with 5 words in the title, and read a book set during the summer. For more information click HERE. Okay, this was really fun for me! I can absolutely see this as a polarizing book and the low-ish rating doesn’t surprise me. I think you have to be in the mood for something a little different, where the narrator breaks the third wall and involves the reader in the story. There are a couple of other reasons people don’t love this one but I’ll get into that shortly. This book follows Eleanor, bestselling author of the Vacation Mysteries series, as she travels on a “book tour” kind of giveaway event in Italy. Along for the ride are a few other authors (including her ex), the man who inspired her first book, her sister (slash person who manages her entire life), and some fans who won a giveaway to join them. Connor, the hero-turned-nemesis, thinks someone is trying to kill him and the group spends the book trying to figure out who’s doing it, if he’s the real target, and more. I haven’t yet read EVERYONE IN MY FAMILY HAS KILLED SOMEONE but from what I understand about the narrative style, […]

Recent Reads | True Crime Story and Very Bad Company

Posted June 20, 2024 / Book Reviews, Recent Reads / 1 Comment
Recent Reads | True Crime Story and Very Bad Company

This is one of those books that has intrigued me for years and I just kept delaying picking it up. I knew it was going to (likely) be right up my alley based on its mixed media format (mostly interviews, some newspaper clippings, etc.) and topic (a girl disappearing). I knew the book was a bit meta and weird, including a self-insert by the author, and that it reads more like a true crime book than fiction. It reminded me a lot of THE MYSTERIOUS CASE OF THE ALPERTON ANGELS and MURDER IN THE FAMILY, which are really good mixed media mysteries that also have similar vibes plot/author-wise. The book centers around the disappearance of Zoe Nolan from a university party right before Christmas, never to be seen again. Joseph Knox, the author, is a character in the story – he’s compiling all these interviews with Zoe’s friends and family along with emails between himself and the woman who begins researching what happened to Zoe. It kind of has a slow start – it’s just a lot of interviews and finger-pointing between Zoe’s friends. I like that the tension slowly built up throughout the book. Even though it felt like not much was happening and the plot wasn’t progressing, I couldn’t put this down. The audiobook has a full cast and it’s excellent, so I was frequently going back and forth to finish it quickly. I got spooked and didn’t want to read it at night! Knox did a great […]

Recent Reads | The Twyford Code and Kill for Me, Kill for You

Posted March 28, 2024 / Book Reviews, Recent Reads / 0 Comments
Recent Reads | The Twyford Code and Kill for Me, Kill for You

Janice Hallett has continued to cement herself as a favorite author. Even though this was technically my least favorite of her books, she still managed to pull one over on me and keep me engaged when I was doubting it. THE TWYFORD CODE centers around Smithy, recently released from prison, recording audio files on his son’s old iPhone. The book begins with the transcript being sent over for interpretation. Smithy tries to find out what happened to his missing teacher from when he was a kid and how her disappearance may be connected to Twyford’s books. Is there a secret code in there? Intermixed in his investigation, he’s talking about his young life and how he ended up in a gang. I was really intrigued by the initial investigation and the format – the story reads as if you’re literally reading the transcripts of audio files. I love a mixed media novel but this has less of the same vibe. Kind of reads like a sort of real novel, compared to her other books with emails, texts, and articles. I lost interest a little bit toward the end but as usual, she brought me right back in with the twists! I thought the reveals were a bit lame until they weren’t 😉 Hallett knows how to write a layered and intriguing mystery. When you think you have it figured out, she finds a way to surprise you. I’m so sad to be caught up on all of her books!! Phew, […]

Crescent City Series Review

Posted March 6, 2024 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Crescent City Series Review

I knew this series was a bit different than her usual books. I haven’t read a ton of urban fantasy before and the concept feels a little foreign to me! I wasn’t sure what to expect and kept putting these books off. All in all, I’m glad I waited – I found myself in a little group of people who were mostly rereading the first two in order to prepare for the third book’s release. I managed to fit both in and finished HOSAB on the same morning HOFAS released. I’m writing these reviews a bit late so details are fuzzy and reviews may be brief for the first two, but here we go! SJM baby girl this book did not need to be this long. That’s my only qualm. I really kind of loved this otherwise. It definitely took some getting used to with the cell phones and email addresses mixed in with fae and angels and witches. Absolutely nothing wrong with the genre but it’s so weird to see it from Maas! I liked Bryce as a character even though she wasn’t written to be a super likeable MC. She was stubborn and made some dumb decisions but it was cool to see her evolve and understand why she acted certain ways. I liked the friend group, including Hunt, that started to develop in this book. I also really enjoyed that there was kind of a mystery at the center – it was more interesting to learn about […]

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 […]

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 […]

Series Review: Once Upon a Broken Heart

Posted November 2, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Series Review: Once Upon a Broken Heart

I was a huge fan of the CARAVAL trilogy and can’t really think of a good reason for not reading this spin-off trilogy until the same year the final book was released! I kept seeing amazing reviews where so many people read and loved this (without even reading CARAVAL). My expectations were pretty high. I decided to finally take the plunge and read all three books in October (right after another series binge by a favorite author). I didn’t remember anything from CARAVAL really but definitely found that you don’t need to. I think the backstory on Jacks and the previous trilogy as a whole were helpful in understanding the world for sure, but I can see why many people jumped right into these books. I would honestly recommend reading CARAVAL first though – that’s just my opinion! Without further ado, here are my thoughts on the ONCE UPON A BROKEN HEART trilogy. I was shocked at how quickly I read this book, considering that fantasy usually takes me a looong time to get through. I would absolutely recommend this series (as well as CARAVAL) to anyone who is curious about fantasy but nervous about understanding a new world. This is super accessible fantasy that anyone could read and enjoy IMO. Garber has a great writing style. This story follows Evangeline Fox and Jacks, the Prince of Hearts, from the first series. I really like that the synopsis doesn’t give away nearly anything in the book! You only learn that […]

TOG Review: Empire of Storms, Tower of Dawn, and Kingdom of Ash

Posted October 2, 2023 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
TOG Review: Empire of Storms, Tower of Dawn, and Kingdom of Ash

I recently decided to reread the Throne of Glass series in order to finally finish it off and shared some thoughts on each of the first few books in the series. Now, we’re into the books I never got around to during my first read! I remember wanting to put off Empire of Storms for a few months after finishing Queen of Shadows just because I had read all of those initial books in such a short amount of time… but I just never got to it. Ever. Somehow??? I’m glad I decided to wait though because I was introduced to the concept of tandem reading for this book and Tower of Dawn. If you’re not familiar, someone realized that because Tower of Dawn and Empire of Storms take place at the same time but involve different characters in each book, you could read them at the same time and see what was happening with EVERYONE all at once. You basically read a few chapters in one book, switch and read some in the next, and keep going back and forth according to this schedule: I went through and bookmarked each section off so I knew when to switch back to the other book and its next set of chapters. I also kept this guide very handy just to be safe! I got both books in all formats (ebooks, hardcovers from the library, and audiobooks) so I could switch back and forth based on what I was doing. I had a weekend trip to Maine planned one weekend so I was […]

Review Roundup | The Honeymoon Crashers, None of This is True, and One of Us is Back

Posted September 14, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | The Honeymoon Crashers, None of This is True, and One of Us is Back

I was so excited when I learned that THE UNHONEYMOONERS was getting a “sequel” in any capacity. Learning it was an audio exclusive with a full cast, sound effects, and generally full production was even MORE exciting for me. This novella-length audiobook follows the best man and maid of honor for Olive and Ethan’s wedding on Maui! The two announce to Olive’s family they’re just going to elope and get married on the island alone. Cue her twin sister Ami and brother Diego deciding instead to invite 18 family members to surprise the two of them there with a real wedding instead of an elopement. The production here was awesome, and appropriately sparse (if that makes sense) – there were a handful of scenes with background noise and sound effects like the ocean or breezy music, but not all the time. It was perfectly done to not be distracting! Many of the conversations between characters alternated between them like they were actually talking, with the voice actors taking turns and no “he said” or “she said” in between like you would read in the book. I liked Ami and Brody a lot – I think the book did a good job of building up their romance and chemistry in a shorter time period, but I totally could have seen this being a full-length book instead. They had different personalities but in a way that balanced each other out. Plus, you learn a bit more about Brody at the end of […]

Series Review: Crowns of Nyaxia

Posted August 7, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Series Review: Crowns of Nyaxia

(These titles are too long to include in the blog post title.) I surprised everyone on Threads when I put vampires last on my “fantasy creatures” ranking. Honestly it’s because I’ve basically only read TWILIGHT? I can’t think of many other vampire books I’ve actually read lol. Regardless, the hype was getting to me with this series! I read the first book on a whim a few days after I checked it out from the library, also on a whim. I wasn’t expecting to see it on the shelf! I thought it would be something I’d read on Kindle Unlimited when I did my annual “one month of KU” subscription to read a few things before cancelling. Once Jamie posted about loving it and reading it in 24 hours, I decided to just go for it. Yes, it delayed me finishing the ToG series yet again but it was worth it. I ended up also subscribing to KU so I could read it on the go, and then I figured I’d start the second book while I had the subscription. I was advised to actually read the novella (#1.5) in between the books so I went for that first, and then launched into the official second book. I’m sorry in advance for how this review is mostly built around a comparison to FOURTH WING, but hear me out. I basically heard about these books at the same time. Both were popular romantasy series getting SO much hype out of nowhere. […]