Genre: Mystery/Thriller

ARC Reviews: My Plain Jane and To Catch a Killer

Posted June 25, 2018 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
ARC Reviews: My Plain Jane and To Catch a Killer

After absolutely loving MY LADY JANE (despite not knowing much about the actual history/true story inolved), I was incredibly excited and optimistic about MY PLAIN JANE. Like the first book, I’m actually not well-versed in Jane Eyre, the heroine for this retelling. I’ve never read the book and actually, in hindsight, it would have been nice to read that beforehand (considering it’s on my “classics I might want to read soon” list). I can’t speak to how it compares to the original source. I can’t lie – this book was a bit disappointing compared to MLJ. I know it had big shoes to fill since I loved it so much, but I found myself slogging through it sometimes (mostly in the first half). I had to start and stop this one quite a few times for other reading commitments, but when I did have time to read it, I was never really compelled to pick it up. It wasn’t as funny for engaging as MY LADY JANE was. I started to get into it a little more in the second half of the book but this definitely felt too long. I never read JANE EYRE so I have no idea how it compares but I have to say I’m a little more interested in reading it now. Jane, Charlotte, and Alexander were interesting main characters and I liked being inside each of their heads. Despite all of those complaints, MPJ got more interesting as it went on and I really enjoyed the […]

Review Round Up | Not If I Save You First and A Court of Frost and Starlight

Posted May 18, 2018 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 4 Comments
Review Round Up | Not If I Save You First and A Court of Frost and Starlight

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’m a big fan of Ally Carter… clearly, if you look at all the reviews up at the top there. She writes some of the most fun and engaging “light mystery” kinds of books. I love all of them for different reasons. I was pretty excited to explore a standalone too! This was a first for her. The whole Alaskan survival thing didn’t exactly appeal to me but I can’t resist her stories, so I dove in soonafter it came out. I enjoyed Maddie and Logan, and the complexities of their relationship. I’m a huge fan of childhood-friends-to-more, especially if there’s hate-to-love involved. This checked off a lot of boxes for me in terms of tropes I love! There was a decent amount of build for their relationship and understanding where they both were coming from. I shipped them but not to OTP levels. The survival aspects were nicely done and not overkill, considering that I don’t love that genre/topic in general. The journey was really quick (the book itself is quite short and I listened to the audiobook, which was only around 6 hours). I think I would have liked a little more to the story? It was kind of simple, if that makes sense. I […]

Review Round Up | Infamous, The Chaos of Standing Still, and Sweet Southern Hearts

Posted April 18, 2018 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Infamous, The Chaos of Standing Still, and Sweet Southern Hearts

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! Let me do a little plug here about Scribd again (link gives us each a free month if you sign up!) – I was hoping this book would be added because some of the others were on there, but I kept checking and didn’t see anything yet. I went on Scribd late in the day on April 3rd (its release day!) and found it, when I was super in the mood to read it. I love that they have new releases THAT day! So overall, this was a pretty good series finale. I didn’t find it quite as captivating as other books in the trilogy (and honestly I’m probably rounding up my rating a bit because of how much I enjoyed the series overall). There have been a couple of book series that I liked but didn’t love, where I thought about it a lot in between books and highly anticipated each release, but they never blew me away. This is definitely one of those series. I never connected with any of the characters and wish this book had more recap in the beginning. I forgot SO much of what happened in the previous book and there aren’t any recaps anywhere, so I just tried to re-learn […]

Review Round Up | Truly Devious and Renegades

Posted February 22, 2018 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 2 Comments
Review Round Up | Truly Devious and Renegades

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 love books about boarding school and have really been meaning to read Maureen Johnson, so it’s only natural that TRULY DEVIOUS intrigued me right away. I requested it from the library before it even came out, so my hold came in immediately. I quickly started reading… and quickly finished in two sittings. I read 70% of a 400+ page book in one night and could not stop reading if I tried, even though my eyes kept closing on me from exhaustion. I was fascinated and intrigued by the story from the very beginning. Everything from the setting (remote Vermont boarding school for incredibly smart kids) to the mixing of past and present (1936 when the first murders and kidnappings happened and present day when Stevie attends the school) kept pulling me in. While there were some parts that dragged a little and even confused me (why so many characters?!), I was hooooooked. Stevie was an interesting main character and I LOVED her interest in true crime. I’m a podcast addict when it comes to that topic as well. Her friends and housemates were all unique and compelling from the beginning, even though it was sometimes hard to keep track of all the characters involved. There are […]

ARC Reviews: Pretty Dead Girls and As You Wish

Posted January 18, 2018 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Reviews: Pretty Dead Girls and As You Wish

I was looking forward to this book but I’m always nervous about mystery/thrillers. I’ve said in the past how I’m not really great at figuring them out, so if I DO happen to determine whodunnit too early… the book gets a little ruined for me. Frankly it’s because I don’t read a lot of murder mysteries; I tend to think all of the ones I read are SO good because they always manage to blow my mind. I wish I could say that was the case here. So aside from that element, which I’ll get to after, I didn’t love a lot of the OTHER parts of this book either. The main character, Penelope, is characterized as this perfectionist with parents who push her into doing everything. She has siblings who suffered the same fate but they’re all apparently well-adjusted kids still. I thought this sounded like a recipe for disaster, but instead it was completely glossed over and barely discussed. It’s the kind of thing that could lead to some major character flaws or a showdown later in the book. Unfortunately, Penelope just completely fell flat for me. Her internal monologue and constant need to start fights with Cass was increasingly annoying with every fight she instigated. I totally get being cautious because you barely know the dude and there’s a murderer out there… but this was so excessive and REPETITIVE. She accused him of the same things and they had the same conversations all the time, as if […]

Review Round Up | Kissing Max Holden and Follow Me

Posted December 4, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 3 Comments
Review Round Up | Kissing Max Holden and Follow Me

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! My sister lent me her copy and has been bugging me for MONTHS about reading it. I can’t say that I blame her now that I’ve finished it. What a wonderful contemporary I didn’t know I needed! I had just went through a binge of mysteries and other non-contemporaries when I decided I should give this one a try. It ended up being so perfect that I read it in one sitting and stayed up until 3 AM to finish. I would call this fluff, but it’s a liiiittle more serious that fluff often implies. There is a LOT going on, family-wise, in this book. I absolutely hated her dad the entire time I was reading and was hoping she would tell him off at some point. The familial relationships were incredibly complex, both for Max and Jill. Max’s dad was recovering from a stroke that changed their relationship and, as I mentioned, Jill’s dad was basically a dickhead. I loved seeing her relationship with her stepmom grow throughout the book too. The romance was solid. I love childhood friends/neighbors-to-more SO much, because you can just feel the history bubbling into something new. They had a solid base to build a real (romantic) relationship and it showed […]

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 […]

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 | The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service and Ten

Posted September 14, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service and Ten

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 absolutely loved the last series I read from Beth Kendrick, and was a pretty big fan of one of her standalones as well. It took me a while to figure out what book to read that had an animal name in it for the Reading Quest, but I was happy to remember THE LUCKY DOG MATCHMAKING SERVICE as a light summery contemporary. I found the audio on Hoopla for the few days I was commuting into work recently and finished up with the physical copy afterwards. Anyways, this book was pretty good. It’s perfect for a dog-lover. And by dog-lover, I mean someone dog-obsessed. That person is not really me. I like them enough, but (don’t judge me) animals aren’t my thing as much as other people. I was frequently frustrated with Lara’s attitude about the dogs, their behavior, and her ex. I don’t know how I always come across adult contemps where the parents are basically like toddlers and the main character gives into their every whim, or falls for their traps. Her mom was so irritating and clearly didn’t care about bonding with her daughter. Her dad was the type of person who would fly into her life and then fly out whenever he wanted, […]

Review Round Up | Here Lies Daniel Tate, Just Dreaming, and Same Beach, Next Year

Posted August 3, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 4 Comments
Review Round Up | Here Lies Daniel Tate, Just Dreaming, and Same Beach, Next Year

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 was pretty eager to get my hands on HERE LIES DANIEL TATE. I’ve thought about ALL OUR YESTERDAYS so much since I finished it a few years ago and have been hoping for a new book from Terrill. This one seriously did not disappoint! I expected something twisty that I couldn’t put down and I totally got that. “Daniel” is the ultimate unreliable narrator. He blatantly lies, tells you that he was lying, and always implies that maybe some of the story isn’t even true. I can’t say too much about him or the plot without giving a lot away about what happens, but just know that his unreliability does not change. I still, weirdly, found myself liking him as a main character. Mia was super adorable and Nicholas was really interesting as well. I have a few issues overall, but not much. I think the inclusion of some kind of “romance” was definitely not necessary. I mean, I can sort of see why it was included? Minor spoiler in italics: I think it was to show that the MC was really a normal human boy with feelings, or at least was starting to develop them. It added a little bit to his character because part of him really just wanted that normal life and […]