Genre: Adult

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, […]

Summerween Reviews | Middle of the Night and One Perfect Couple

Posted July 9, 2024 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Summerween Reviews | Middle of the Night and One Perfect Couple

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. I read one Riley Sager book before and didn’t love it as much as I had hoped. MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT was much better for me – I’m a big true crime consumer but only if it’s about missing persons and unsolved cases. This book scratched that itch for me for sure. The story follows Ethan as he returns to his childhood home 30 years after his best friend Billy was kidnapped from the tent they were camping in in the backyard. The crime remains cold and unsolved… until Ethan begins noticing some hints of Billy around the neighborhood. He sets out to solve the mystery with the help of old friends and neighbors. I really enjoyed this! The way that Sager structured the book is alternating chapters between present day and the day in 1994 when Billy went missing. There were a lot more POVs in the past chapters, which I really enjoyed – they were well-timed with what Ethan was discovering in the present. I was always itching to keep reading; Sager had some kind of cliffhanger or dramatic […]

Recent Reads | The Midnight Feast and The Ballad of Darcy and Russell

Posted July 8, 2024 / Book Reviews, Recent Reads / 0 Comments
Recent Reads | The Midnight Feast and The Ballad of Darcy and Russell

I am a Lucy Foley fangirl and kind of think she can do no wrong. I even loved THE PARIS APARTMENT and would tell you if you didn’t, this one may bring you back to her. For some reason this was yet another highly anticipated book that took me forever to get into but really paid off by the end. Like her other books, I totally could have read it in one sitting if I tried. The book centers around multiple POVs and I thought all of them were super interesting (and relevant by the end). As the synopsis states, we follow the founder, the husband, the mystery guest, the kitchen help… and then a couple more I won’t spoil just in case. Foley does such a good job with the initial slow drip of information through each person and timeline that makes you curious to learn what happened, and then the multiple twists toward the end bringing everything home. I was convinced I wouldn’t love this one compared to her others but there were a LOT of good twists. The little horror-esque elements didn’t turn me off like I expected, and I really loved how all of that ended up. The Birds and local lore were fascinating elements and I can now see how the info she shared during her book signing connects to everything. She was inspired by similar events (non-local people buying up land and making posh getaways in the farm-y countryside to piss off locals) but […]

Recent Reads | A Call for Kelp and Summer Romance

Posted June 27, 2024 / Book Reviews, Recent Reads / 0 Comments
Recent Reads | A Call for Kelp and Summer Romance

A CALL FOR KELP follows Everly as she helps her aunts get their beekeeping documentary off the ground. They were chosen among a ton of applicants, so a film crew heads down to Charm, NC to begin shooting. The old school actress leading the project and providing the voiceover turns up dead and as usual, Everly springs into action. I’m still enjoying this series overall but this one was too predictable for me. I knew within the first few chapters who the murderer was even though their motivations were not super clear… even in the end! Baker could have used a little more development there. There were a lot of chapters were something dramatic would happen to end the chapter and then the next chapter would jump ahead in time, allowing Everly to reflect on what happen but the reader didn’t get to see it. For example, she got locked in a library and was panicking at the end of the chapter. The next chapter begins and she’s already rescued, explaining to the reader how she got out. Why not just give us the scene? The other major issue: Everly’s obsession with her weight and her fitness tracker was unbearable in this one. It felt like every single chapter she had to reference her size, the fitness watch beeping at her, how hard it was to move around at a size 12 (!!) – the list goes on and on. I just did not want to hear it for so […]

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 Last Murder at the End of the World and Past Present Future

Posted June 12, 2024 / Book Reviews, Recent Reads / 0 Comments
Recent Reads | The Last Murder at the End of the World and Past Present Future

I enjoyed Turton’s debut after being pretty confused throughout the story, and the same thing basically happened here. I was expecting a weird mystery and that’s exactly what I got – it’s not the type of mystery I’d pass along to my mom to read. She would hate it lol. Turton clearly has a specialty for writing odd mysteries with extremely unique premises and I definitely commend him for that. The end of EVELYN HARDCASTLE, to me, made up for the confusion I experienced throughout. The same can’t be said for this latest release unfortunately. The story follows a post-apocalyptic society living on an island, trapped by a deadly fog. One of the scientists is brutally murdered and a villager (Emory) and her daughter (Clara) try to figure out what happened in order to save them all. The fog will inch closer and closer until the murder is resolved. It definitely had a lot of sci-fi elements in a way that makes it hard to classify. It also barely felt like a mystery novel. Yes, there IS a murder mystery at the base of the plot but there was so much other stuff with world-building that took me out of it. Emory and the other characters ask so many questions and tell random stories – it felt like a lot of telling instead of showing. She would have realizations about things that the reader didn’t see so she just talks it out and gets everyone on board. There was a […]

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 | This Summer Will Be Different and Falling

Posted May 30, 2024 / Book Reviews, Recent Reads / 0 Comments
Recent Reads | This Summer Will Be Different and Falling

I read both of these books Memorial Day weekend but also managed to finish one book per day across Sunday and Monday. Finally brought me current on my reading challenge! Carley Fortune has been an interesting author for me (and many other readers, as far as I can tell!). Many of us fell in love with EVERY SUMMER AFTER and all of its messiness. MEET ME AT THE LAKE didn’t quite have the same charm or affect on its audience but, to me, was still a worthwhile read. I was looking forward to checking out whatever she did next… and boy did she knock THIS SUMMER WILL BE DIFFERENT out of the park. One summer, Lucy heads to PEI to visit with her best friend and hooks up with a hot restaurant worker named Felix. The next morning, they quickly realize that Felix is actually Wolf and Lucy is Bee – she just hooked up with her best friend’s brother and she’s already landed at their summer home. The two of them end up hooking up on and off throughout the years and it’s just an occasional secret fling… or is it? I loved that this was sort of quiet and slow-moving throughout the romance/plot, despite the initial hot start between the characters. Lucy and Felix really needed to find themselves and it didn’t feel rushed at all, even though every reader probably knew exactly where it was heading. While I do think this is her actual best book, it’s […]

Recent Reads | The Paradise Problem and The Search Party

Posted May 24, 2024 / Book Reviews, Recent Reads / 0 Comments
Recent Reads | The Paradise Problem and The Search Party

Man, Christina Lauren has truly done it again. I know I’m a relatively new reader of theirs but I just think they’re in the top-echelon of contemporary romance / rom-com writers. I noted on my Instagram caption that each year I most look forward to new books by Emily Henry, Abby Jimenez, and Christina Lauren. These gals are my top auto-read authors for romance… and none of them have disappointed. ALL three 2024 releases by them were five stars for me. THE PARADISE PROBLEM has a marriage of convenience trope, super duper rich people with inheritance on the line, a tropical setting with a wedding involved… genuinely what more could I want? Excellent characters with fun personalities, a ton of sexual tension, and really funny moments? Yes, all of those too! Anna and West got married almost five years ago to secure cheap family student housing. Anna didn’t exactly read the finer details of their contract and surprise! They’re still married and West needs her to be his guest to his sister’s wedding on a private island in Indonesia so he can collect his multi-hundred-million-dollar inheritance. While this was the usual steamy, tension-filled rom-com from Christina Lauren, there were definitely some heavier elements involved too. West’s family is…something else. The two of them were not set up for an easy trip, especially with Anna actually being a broke artist instead of the med student he thought she was when they first got married. It was so frustrating to read about […]

Recent Reads | The Reappearance of Rachel Price and Funny Story

Posted May 2, 2024 / Book Reviews, Recent Reads / 0 Comments
Recent Reads | The Reappearance of Rachel Price and Funny Story

I never got around to reading Jackson’s previous release after the AGGGTM series but there was something about this book that called to me. I think it’s because I only listen to true crime podcasts centered around missing people and unsolved cases. I always thought about how insane it would be to have someone who was missing for so long, presumed dead, turn up VERY much alive. That’s the basis for this story – Bel Price has always assumed that her mom was kidnapped (right from the car they were in together when she was two years old) by an evil stranger and murdered. Her case became one of the more popular ones in New Hampshire and her family was in the middle of filming a documentary when the unthinkable happened… Rachel Price reappeared. I didn’t love Bel as a character – she was definitely prickly and jaded, which was fine, but just didn’t make for the most fun main character POV. There were plenty of times where she annoyed me (ex: asking someone to explain themselves and then repeatedly interrupting them so they couldn’t get a word in). There was an unnecessary romance that I wish wasn’t in there – I think it made the book longer than it needed to be and could have been tighter without it. On that subject – it IS very long for a mystery/thriller but I wasn’t able to put this down. I read it so quickly and used up a lot of my […]