Genre: Mystery/Thriller

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 […]

Review Round Up | The Lovely and the Lost, Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck & Fortune, and Passion on Park Avenue

Posted July 10, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | The Lovely and the Lost, Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck & Fortune, and Passion on Park Avenue

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’ll be 100% honest: if Jennifer Lynn Barnes didn’t write this book, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up based on the synopsis alone. The MC was found in the woods by a family who trains search-and-rescue dogs, and she quickly joins that family business with them. There’s a survival element here that doesn’t usually appeal to me, but I DID like the idea of tracking down a missing child and solving a mystery in that way. It’s purposefully hard to connect with the main character because she had such a closed-off upbringing. She’s meant to be challenging and distant, so I understood why I wasn’t able to connect with her on the level I usually might’ve when reading a book. I loved her though – she was fierce and extremely loyal to her found family. Jude, Free, and her mother Cady were all fascinating characters. I loved getting to know the people surrounding the state park they went to to find Bella. There were a LOT of twists and turns for a book I would generally consider to be more of a contemporary book than a mystery book. I’m totally counting it as mystery for my challenges 😉 There were a lot of elements at the […]

ARC Review Round Up | The Truth About Leaving, You Owe Me a Murder, and The Dating Game

Posted April 26, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 5 Comments
ARC Review Round Up | The Truth About Leaving, You Owe Me a Murder, and The Dating Game

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 sincerely loved Blitt’s debut and have been eagerly awaiting her next YA release! THE TRUTH ABOUT LEAVING intrigued me, as I haven’t read many books involving Jewish characters (especially ones straight from Israel, now living in the United States). I actually read this book in one sitting without planning for it; it was easy to fall into and get lost in. Blitt’s writing is easy in that way, which is a great thing. The story centers around Lucy, who is in her final year of high school and trying to balance everything – helping with her brothers while her mom is away, figuring out what she wants to do about college, getting back into her old hobbies, and that new boy in town. Dov is the aforementioned character who comes to the US from Israel for a year, transferring into her senior class. Despite the very different futures they have planned, they quickly fall for each other. While the plot itself is pretty straightforward and simple (meaning not much actually happens – just a lot of character development and “finding yourself” moments), the bigger issues are definitely covered well. They have different lives, different plans, and different family situations. I thought they had pretty good chemistry […]

Blog Tour Review & Cover Colors: Last Girl Lied To

Posted April 10, 2019 / Book Reviews / 3 Comments
Blog Tour Review & Cover Colors: Last Girl Lied To

Review I was a huuuuge fan of Flynn’s debut novel, FIRSTS, so I was super eager to find out what she’d be writing next. She started with a contemporary and then, for her sophomore novel, moved into mystery. I could totally see her knocking this kind of book out of the park, along with a new-ish pen name to match the new genre. Needless to say, I signed up for this blog tour so quickly! This book was incredibly addicting. There’s something about her writing that makes you want to keep reading until the book is over; I remember the same feeling with FIRSTS and reading it in 1-2 sittings. It also helped that the chapters were often really short and easy to breeze through, eager to see what would happen next. Fiona recounts the night Trixie supposedly walked into the ocean and various points of their friendship, while living her life in present day, trying to figure out what happened that night. I liked that the book was mostly about Fiona’s relationship with herself (and her body image issues), trying to remember who she was before and during her friendship with Trixie, in order to figure out who she actually is without any friends influencing her too much. There was a common pattern where she’d mold herself into whatever her friends needed her to be, which caused her to lose sight of things she loved (like fashion and making clothes). As I said, she’s also trying to figure out what […]

Review Round Up | Archenemies, The Vanishing Stair, and Two Can Keep a Secret

Posted February 28, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 2 Comments
Review Round Up | Archenemies, The Vanishing Stair, and Two Can Keep a Secret

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! As usual, it took me a long time to read this one. The combo of me reading less physical copies AND the fact that this book was a million pages? Yeah, I spread this shit out. Luckily my book club was on the same page as me! We decided to read half of the book for our January meeting and finish the other half to chat about in February, just because we knew we’d struggle to finish. We procrastinate… it is what it is! After the first meeting on the 22nd, I kind of spread the rest of the book throughout the final 9-ish days of the month, reading a set number of pages per day. Interesting developments started happening near the halfway point too, which made me eager to read it… finally. (I got caught up a little bit trying to prepare for KING OF SCARS by reading CROOKED KINGDOM but I still managed to get this one done for the end of the month.) While it IS a long book, the story is super easy to read. I think this primarily speaks to the writing style of Marissa Meyer. Even though I enjoy her writing a lot, this book could have used a lot of […]

Review Round Up | Last Seen, The Proposal, and This Lie Will Kill You

Posted January 18, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 1 Comment
Review Round Up | Last Seen, The Proposal, and This Lie Will Kill 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! I can’t believe this series is over… hopefully! The ending wasn’t exactly ambiguous but I suppose there’s always a chance Shepard continues the series multiple times a la Pretty Little Liars. Jokes aside, this was a REALLY strong end to this trilogy! The main issue I had throughout all of the books was that I was disconnected from the characters. I never warmed up to them or felt anything for them – didn’t care about the ships, was uninterested in any of their personal lives, etc. I’m not sure if, again, it’s because it was a mystery and I was on edge or not trusting anyone? But I just could never get on board with them. I think it’s an interesting twist when you know who the murderer/culprit is AND get to read from their point of view. Sometimes it can take a little bit of the fun out, but that was certainly not the case here. There were SO MANY twists and connections that were built throughout the whole trilogy that I never would have picked up on. Just because you knew the killer and what he was doing, definitely did not mean that you knew why he was doing it or how he picked his victims. […]

ARC Reviews: Little White Lies and The Geography of Letting Go

Posted October 22, 2018 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: Little White Lies and The Geography of Letting Go

I loved THE FIXER duo so much (and it should be a trilogy — still something that makes me incredibly sad and bitter) and have been saving THE NATURALS series for when I’m desperate for more words by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I decided not to resist this one though… and I’m glad I didn’t wait! I read it during ARC August and was definitely what I needed to break the semi-slump I was in. I was just forcing myself to read (not because I wanted to read) and this book changed me for the month. It centers around Sawyer, a young mechanic who learns that her mom’s estranged family are filthy rich and only live 45 minutes away. When her grandmother shows up and offers her half a million dollars for college/life if she moves there and participates in the debutante season, she can’t resist the opportunity to find her biological father at the same time. She quickly falls in with her cousin, Lily, and her friend, Sadie-Grace… and unfortunately also with the evil Campbell. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this story, to be honest – I was kind of expecting something similar to the REBEL BELLE series with all of the ball gowns and southern traditions (minus the paranormal stuff). I did kind of get that, but there was a great mix of contemporary-mystery that Jennifer Lynn Barnes does so well. If you like her writing, I would have to recommend this book. It’s easy and addicting […]

Review Round Up | Strange New World, One Was Lost, and In Other Lands

Posted September 19, 2018 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 4 Comments
Review Round Up | Strange New World, One Was Lost, and In Other Lands

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 loved the first book in this duo and was eagerly waiting for book two! It had a major cliffhanger (which I, OF COURSE, didn’t even mention what it was in my review so I couldn’t even remember what happened) that I was dying to see through. I picked up on what happened pretty quickly though, so all was well. This one was not quite as interesting as the first one IMO but that’s because it was just different overall? The first book followed Dahlia 16 as she tried to escape Lakeview and learn what was really going on beyond those walls. Once she found herself in the real world, reality hit her like a ton of bricks. I thought the life inside of Lakeview was fascinating with all of the clones, so I think that piece was more interesting overall. This book, on the other hand, had REALLY cool futuristic technology that was fun to unpack. I didn’t like the storyline as much with book two but it’s not like it was BAD. Just a bit different. For some reason this book also took me a looong time to read – I read the first one in just a few sittings at most. Dahlia 16 learns […]

ARC Reviews: My Plain Jane and To Catch a Killer

Posted June 25, 2018 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
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 […]