Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Review Round Up | Girls’ Night Out, Maybe This Time, and Past Perfect Life

Posted October 9, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Girls’ Night Out, Maybe This Time, and Past Perfect Life

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! Backlist Review I’m glad that my adult fiction book club is making me read backlist Kindle books I’ve purchased! I’ve been really trying to get more into actually *reading* the adult mystery/thrillers I put on my TBR. The premises always excite me and then they sit and stew, never getting read. Anyways, GIRLS NIGHT OUT features Natalie, Ashley, and Lauren, as they “enjoy” a friendship-saving (hopefully) trip to Mexico. The book alternates between their points of view in the present and Ashley’s in the past, because she goes missing at the start of the book. Overall, this book was broadly fine? I was usually in the mood to read it, once I got going, but it it wasn’t necessarily unputdownable. I couldn’t keep ANY of the characters straight for the life of me. I also feel like the book specifically leads you to believe something happened so obviously that’s not what ACTUALLY happened. I also thought the “secrets” they were hiding from each other were pretty transparent. I couldn’t suspend my disbelief at times either – these ladies are 40 years old and one of them blindly trusts a stranger she meets in Mexico after two minutes? This trip was organized for them to reconnect but instead […]

Late ARC Reviews: When the Light Went Out and The Last Resort

Posted August 14, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Late ARC Reviews: When the Light Went Out and The Last Resort

I hadn’t seen much about WHEN THE LIGHT WENT OUT, both before I requested it and after the pub date. I went in with no preconceived notions or expectations. I think I did expect it to have more of a mystery/thriller vibe than contemporary, but not enough to have that ruin the book. I love books about scavenger hunts or to-do lists, especially when left behind by someone who has passed away. In this story, a group of neighborhood kids were forever affected when Marley was accidentally shot by Nick five years ago. Olivia, the main character, was the only one of the group who witnessed it. Bigs, Teeny, Ruby, Harrison, and Olivia’s sister Aidy, join in with Olivia and a returning Nick to follow on Marley’s final “Adventure” scavenger hunt for them. To be honest, there’s not much to say about these characters. They were all fine and moderately developed but there’s not much more. Marley was essentially a manic pixie dream girl character throughout most of the book, which was unsurprising – a lot of books like this memorialize and glamorize the lost person. I can’t even say too much about the plot without spoiling how everything ends. I will say that I really didn’t enjoy how it ended. I ended up starting this one on a complete whim one Sunday and finished it before the day was over. I didn’t want to stop reading; the writing style and setup were so intriguing. I’d read more from this […]

Late ARC Reviews: One Night at the Lake and The Flatshare

Posted July 15, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Late ARC Reviews: One Night at the Lake and The Flatshare

I’m genuinely shocked I waited this long to read ONE NIGHT AT THE LAKE. I’ve absolutely adored Chase’s other books – they’re some of my all-time favorites. One of my book clubs decided months ago that they wanted to read this one but they needed to wait until it was released… unlike me. I just have the worst memory so I kept putting it off and now here I am in July. I DIGRESS – on to the book! This book was very much not quite like her other books. I can’t say that it’s a bad thing, by any means, but it was my least favorite from her so far. I like that she had a bit more mystery in this one (not majorly – I would still classify this broadly as contemporary fiction but not necessarily romance). I definitely wanted more development in some spots. I hate to say this too but I didn’t really like Leah… or June that much either. It made a lot of chapters either frustrating or kind of boring as a result. June was a very bland character for me and Leah was too much on the opposite end of the spectrum… she was annoying. I liked how well the chapters alternated, going back and forth across time. June’s took place in present day, when she first returns to Seneca Lake with her now-fiancee (ex-boyfriend of her friend Leah, who died that summer 7 years prior). I thought that Chase masterfully wove the […]

Review Round Up | Always Never Yours, The Woman in the Window, and What If It’s Us

Posted June 13, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 2 Comments
Review Round Up | Always Never Yours, The Woman in the Window, and What If It’s Us

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! This is one of those books that I was super eager to read and still took forever to do so. I saw it referred to as a Shakespeare retelling in some places but didn’t fully believe that it was. I don’t think it fully tells any one Shakespeare story and it’s not a typical Shakespeare “retelling” but there are a lot of parts that line up to Shakespeare plot points or tropes? There are romantic entanglements, love triangles, miscommunications between characters, and countless references to Shakespeare’s plays (especially because the book centers around a Romeo and Juliet school play). The main character, Megan, is constantly compared to Rosalie from the play too. Anyways, I loved this. Megan was a fascinating character; she’s totally comfortable doing whatever she wants, pursuing guys, and flirting shamelessly. There are some pieces of her personality that could be considered ~unlikeable~ by some standards but I loved her for all of those reasons. Owen was ADORABLE and I loved the messy romance of this one, tbh. I think haters of love triangles and cheating (to an extent?) won’t like this one, but this felt super high school to me in a great way. It was real, in my opinion. The family dynamics worked […]

Blog Tour | Review: Only Ever Her

Posted May 31, 2019 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Blog Tour | Review: Only Ever Her

Review I was intrigued from the start with this book! I have been really trying to read more mystery/thrillers (especially the kind of domestic suspense genre like this one). ONLY EVER HER centers around the perfect small-town girl Annie, who goes missing days before her wedding. Did she leave on her own with a case of cold feet? Is her high school (guy) best friend, who clearly loves her, to blame somehow? Is this tied in to her mother’s murder and the previously-jailed suspect now walking free? The story alternated between a few points of view: Annie (at first), Kenny (the high school friend who loved her), Clary (her cousin), Faye (her guardian and aunt, who she lived with after her mom was killed), and Laurel (the reporter in the town who knew Annie from high school). Other relevant characters, who didn’t have specific points of view chapters, included Scott (her fiancee), the pastor who was set to marry them, Tracy (her best friend and bridesmaid), Hal (the sheriff)… and countless others. The small town had a lot of people who knew each other and loved Annie, which made it so interesting to see them rally around her. As you can guess, there were a lot of interconnected people and factors at play throughout the story, which made it fascinating to try to “solve.” I kept thinking that some ideas I had were too obvious and genuinely couldn’t figure out what had happened to Annie. It was refreshing, to be […]

Review Round Up | The Fairest Kind of Love, Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee, The Winter Sister, and I’ll Be There For You

Posted March 27, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 2 Comments
Review Round Up | The Fairest Kind of Love, Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee, The Winter Sister, and I’ll Be There For You

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! This series is something I would call a guilty pleasure if I believed in that term. I genuinely don’t. BUT it’s a whimsical, short, breezy, easy, and cute series. There isn’t a lot of substance involved but I love the magical beings and seeing what Amber gets up to next! This is the final book in the series, I believe, and it’s one I’ve remained loyal to over the past few years of new releases. I saw it on Hoopla and immediately downloaded it, of course. Amber is gearing up to meet with a matchmaker to determine a few things – can she get her powers back and functioning properly? AND, is Charlie her soulmate? Since her abilities have gone haywire, she’s been trying to figure out how to get them back and move on with her life after graduating high school. I liked that this installment involved fairies, my fave magical creature, and some of the classic elements you’re familiar with (like wishing using fairy dust and having to be very specific about what you want!). This one felt cheesier than the last two. I’m not sure if it’s just because there’s been enough time in between where I forgot what they were like, or if […]

ARC Reviews: The Au Pair and I Owe You One

Posted February 14, 2019 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
ARC Reviews: The Au Pair and I Owe You One

I’ve been requesting and reading an absurd about of books from Berkley / Berkley Romance lately. I can’t stop myself. EVERYTHING they put out has an adorable or intriguing premise, a cute cover, and/or a lot of buzz. I was initially interested in THE AU PAIR but held off on requesting it (somehow)… then I saw Cristina’s review. I don’t have a lot of success with mystery/thrillers in the sense that I don’t always rate them highly. I love reading them, but my expectations are always higher than reality. I’m going to include a snapshot of her review because it perfectly describes how I feel about this genre and my struggles/wishes: In today’s over saturated world of mediocre thrillers, it can be hard to find one that simultaneously manages to surprise me and that’s well written. So many thriller novels I actually find work better for me in a movie format, so I’m always on a hunt for a solidly written mystery/thriller that manages to create an unsettling, atmospheric world on the page. That’s exactly what I experienced with The Au Pair to my delight, and found myself completely immersed in a mystery that not only enveloped me in its setting, but actually had an ending that I didn’t foresee in advance. – The Au Pair review at Girl in the Pages I actually enjoyed a somewhat mysterious (more contemporary-ish, but you get the point) book earlier this year that was also set in England AND involved some kind of castle/huge house… so this […]

Rose Gardner Mysteries

Posted January 30, 2019 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Rose Gardner Mysteries

As you saw in my recent post about cozy mysteries and September TBR, I’ve been itching for books featuring small-town heroines solving murders and being annoying too innocent. The first series I embarked on was the Rose Gardner Mystery books, novellas, and eventually spin-off series. I don’t want to do full-blown reviews like I have in other series binge reviews, so here are some highlights on the whole thing.    |  |      |  |    |  |  These books did somewhat remind me of the Aurora Teagarden Mysteries movies that I love so much, but the town, local job, and main character don’t have the same appeal to me. I appreciated getting to know more about Rose and others in the town throughout the series though. Overall, the entire series got more and more interesting, complex, and BETTER with each story. Main characters Rose was overly innocent and naive, especially in the first book. She was under her mom’s thumb like nobody’s business and then went in the complete opposite direction when she was murdered (this was a good thing overall – her independence). The books were quite southern, which is generally not my cup of tea for whatever reason, but I was able to get used to it. I don’t know how to describe it but I was often frustrated by Rose as a character – her dialogue, interactions with people, and the way she was written overall. If I wasn’t determined to read this series and give […]

Blog Tour: After Nightfall

Posted August 8, 2018 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Blog Tour: After Nightfall

Review I’ve been trying to expand my reading horizons a little bit (especially after my mid-year goal check-in, when I remembered that I wanted to read 50% or less contemporary fiction books), so this story allowed me the opportunity to do just that. Not only is it a psychological thriller, but it’s also adult fiction instead of YA. I was intrigued by the premise because “friendship” stories are my cup of tea, especially when friends coming together can have disastrous consequences. I was excited to jump into this story. Marissa is getting married and decides to bury the hatchet with a friend who had long-ago betrayed her. She invites her to the engagement party… and then she ends up dead off the side of a cliff. Marissa decides to investigate the accident (or murder?) and finds so many people in her life are implicated. I appreciated Marissa’s dedication to her job as a SLP (this was a really detailed part of the book, even though  she was on leave throughout the story), but I otherwise didn’t love her as a main character. She poked and prodded to get answers but kept forcing things despite signs she should back off. I kept wanting her to tread more carefully. She didn’t trust anyone, which was mostly a good thing, but she was bulldozing into conversations with people without thinking of how they might be affected if what she knew was true.  She refused to believe that certain things were true, despite all […]

ARC Reviews: Frat Girl and The Elizas

Posted April 11, 2018 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
ARC Reviews: Frat Girl and The Elizas

This is the kind of book I’d recommend to feminists and non-feminists alike. A lot of it was heavy-handed in the messages and would have maybe made more sense in the journal entries instead of internal dialogue, but the content itself was good. (More on that later.) I definitely figured that her study wasn’t going to be all black and white, and the really positive moments were so heartwarming. I loved the relationships that were developed between her and the guys, and one particular night where a few boys really stepped up to help. I didn’t do the Greek thing in college but this was a fairly accurate portrayal of a lot of the college experience in general; it felt real, which was refreshing. Bambi, Duncan, and Jordan were so great. The characters made me laugh and smile so much more than expected for “just dumb frat boys” (what the MC seems to think heading into the book). I think I would have liked more depth to Cassie’s character (and even a few other side characters, including her family). She came across as very preachy at times and it was hard to connect with her. I liked how she started to learn from her mistakes, and tried to grow from her existing biases as well. Some people calling her out made her realize she was working from a very “white feminist” angle instead of thinking of the bigger picture (her mentor talks about this early in the book and I […]