Genre: Mystery/Thriller

ARC Review: The Long Game

Posted July 13, 2016 / Book Reviews / 5 Comments
ARC Review: The Long Game

You guys. I just can’t with this book. I was completely smitten with the first one and was SO EAGER to get my hands on the next. I was counting my lucky stars when I ended up with a copy from ALA Midwinter because I planned to read it ASAP after finishing the first one. However, in typical Lauren fashion, I ended up waiting until a few days before its release. I totally shouldn’t have waited because some of the previous book’s plot was a bit muddy in my head. Either way, it didn’t take long for me to settle back into this world. I absolutely loved Tess in this book. I didn’t think it would be possible, but the stakes were even higher. The twists were even twistier. The characters were even asdfghjkl-ier. Sorry, no words there. Just feels. So fucking many feelings about everyone and everything. In the first book, there was literally zero romance. The author hinted at two romantic prospects in general but there really wasn’t even any tension to suggest that necessarily. I won’t spoil anything for this one. Just keep in mind what I said. I love books where you think everything has settled after the main climax, and then the author manages to toss in a few more curveballs. Totally happened here. I read very few mystery/thrillers because not many work for me. Add in politics and I’m even less sure I’ll like it. This duo seriously has me adding political dramas to my […]

ARC Review: The Leaving

Posted May 30, 2016 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments
ARC Review: The Leaving

Wooof I haven’t been THAT addicted to a book in a long time! I sat down at 10:30 PM on a Friday night to start this book and finished it three hours later without stopping. I’m not a huge mystery/thriller reader but some of them just speak to me. This was definitely one of them. Six kids went missing eleven years ago, and then five of them randomly return. None of them remember what happened. MEEP. I didn’t have any theories while reading (for the most part) so that made it even more fun. I had no idea what was going on. This was the epitome of a page-turner. I sat and literally could not stop reading. I tried to stop when I got tired and ended up reading through bleary eyes for an extra two hours. I loved the style of the story; the chapters were super short and alternated between three characters. Avery is Max’s younger sister (the only person who didn’t return), and Lucas and Scarlett were two that returned. Lucas and Scarlett had some cool effects with the writing style. Hers were kind of written like poetry, with different symbols and text effects. Lucas had some parts (memories) that popped onto the page in black boxes. It’s hard to explain, but it was cool. It added to the effect of the memory loss story. The characters were interesting because they don’t know who they are or what they’re like. They don’t remember anything about their lives, […]

ARC Review: Unrivaled

Posted May 9, 2016 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
ARC Review: Unrivaled

This was a super super super addicting read! I don’t know how else to explain it, except I’ve never said “okay just one more chapter” more times in my ENTIRE life. I planned to read up to the 200 page mark before bed and ended up staying up for 2 more hours to just finish. I kid you not, every. single. chapter. I kept saying I would quit and I couldn’t. I needed to see what was going to happen! So aside from the addictiveness, there wasn’t a heck of a lot of substance. My gut reaction is to give this book like 5 stars because I was so enthralled while reading, but I can’t ignore some major issues. First of all, I didn’t like the characters at all. None of them had any qualities or personality traits that resonated with me and they absolutely felt like cardboard cut-outs. I don’t need to LIKE a character to like a book, but I at least need to understand them and feel like they’re more than a stereotype. These people were walking stereotypes of a wannabe journalist (Layla), wannabe actress (Aster), and wannabe musician (Tommy). I liked the chapters with Madison the best because she had a secretive, mysterious past that I was determined to figure out. Overall, they weren’t great people. They were all attracted to fame and fortune, plus winning the competition… so yeah. Not perfect. AGAIN this is fine for me usually, but they were too blah for me to care […]

Review: Liars, Inc.

Posted March 30, 2016 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Review: Liars, Inc.

I totally thought The Art of Lainey would be my first Paula Stokes book because, c’mon, it’s right up my alley. I ended up adding this one to the poll for my YA book club and it was chosen for March’s read. I finished the book within two sittings – it was super fast but unfortunately predictable for me. I always say that I’m terrible about guessing mysteries, but that’s changed recently. Maybe I’m reading too many books like this (even though it doesn’t feel that way) or I’m too comfortable with YA. All of the YA mystery/thrillers I read tend to follow a similar formula and I find myself guessing whodunit without much thought. I know I’m not the target age for them necessarily, so I hope teens have a better time with them! I said during my reading progress on Goodreads that it’s always hard to believe YA mysteries because it just doesn’t feel logical that teens are this involved in murder mysteries. Brittany said it better over here too. The story set-up was kind of cool too. The book started at the end-ish, then jumped to the beginning to backtrack, then went back to the end. I liked that it started the story with a “bang” (haha, literally). That always adds some intrigue to stories for me. Anyways, yeah – this one was too predictable for me. I skimmed a few reviews on Goodreads and it seems like most people were surprised by the ending. Don’t get me […]

ARC Review: Wink Poppy Midnight

Posted March 11, 2016 / Book Reviews / 18 Comments
ARC Review: Wink Poppy Midnight

I’m the kind of person who usually writes reviews immediately after finishing the book. I just really don’t even know what to say about this one and decided not to write the review right away, just in case it would come to me or something. This was a mistake because I’m struggling to even remember anything besides: this book was really fucking weird. While my rating report below leans strongly towards 2.5, I just can’t bring myself to do it. It’s been a couple of days since I finished the book and (a) I barely remember what happened and (b) I don’t like anything that I do remember. Within the first handful of pages, I could see the comparison to We Were Liars. As we all know by now, that book didn’t work for me in any way. I should have DNFed this one once I saw the comparison but something compelled me to keep going. For a while, I was glad I did! Things got really creepy and interesting for a handful of pages. But, then the end disappointed me. As I said in my Goodreads review (at the bottom here), the entire first half or so of the book felt incredibly pointless. We learn a bit about the characters and their weird relationships, but that’s about it. There were short, easy “chapters” to highlight each character, so that helped with being able to read it quickly, but that was the only thing that kept me going for a while. Things […]

Blog Tour | Review: A Study in Charlotte

Posted February 25, 2016 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Blog Tour | Review: A Study in Charlotte

I’m always interested in retellings – even the non-fairytale ones. Those are more common, for sure, but some of the historical retellings are more unique. I don’t have a lot of knowledge about historical figures, so I’m usually entering them blindly… but still end up enjoying them! I’m not overly familiar with Sherlock Holmes stories, so this was another where I luckily didn’t have a lot of historical expectations. It’s nice because I go into it with a wide-open attitude, instead of preparing to make comparisons to the real text. In this story, Sherlock and Holmes were real people that Arthur Conan Doyle wrote about. The main characters are Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes, the descendants of the famous detective duo. One of the cooler parts of the book for me is the fact that it takes place in my state – Connecticut! I don’t see a lot of books happening here, so that was almost reason enough to add it to my TBR. It’s funny because the Holmes/Watson relationship ended up being my favorite part of the book! I loved the dynamic between the two of them. I hope it lines up well with the original stories, but from someone who doesn’t know – it was awesome. From what I do understand, they both had similar personality traits to their ancestors. It was cool to see how they come together at the beginning of the book, and how their relationship grows. Great chemistry! The dynamic was definitely different because […]

Mini Reviews: See How They Run and The Fixer

Posted February 15, 2016 / Book Reviews / 9 Comments
Mini Reviews: See How They Run and The Fixer

I read two mystery/thriller stories in a row, and neither of them disappointed! They both had interesting political elements and little to no romance. (I had grown sick of reading back to back to back (etc.) romancey books in December and needed a new vibe to kick off the year.) I’m bringing some mini reviews your way for both of these highly recommended stories. After the major cliffhanger in ALL FALL DOWN, I was so anxiously waiting to see how things picked up in SEE HOW THEY RUN. I definitely should have reread the ending of the previous book before starting it, because I was a little lost for a while, but I started to remember things as time passed. It did generally take me a while to fully feel invested in the story. I think the action didn’t take off right away and for some reason I wasn’t pageturning like crazy. Don’t get me wrong – some crazy twists and turns happened in the beginning of the book too! It just didn’t click with me right away. In my review for ALL FALL DOWN, I said how I wanted more of her friends and to finally meet her brother. One of these hopes did come true, as her brother Jamie comes to Embassy Row with his friend from West Point. He was definitely a big presence in the book, but her friends weren’t. The pace quickened around the 200 page mark and I didn’t stop reading until I was finished. I […]

GIF Review: I Am Princess X

Posted January 9, 2016 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
GIF Review: I Am Princess X

I’ve never done a full-on GIF review before, but I don’t think I have much to say about this book that can’t be said in GIF form… so here we go! I added this book to my TBR and thought it was some kind of paranormal, actual superhero book. Come to find out, it was just a mystery-esque book. Shelving it on Goodreads became an issue for a while because I was totally thinking it was something different. As I kept reading, I was actually pretty happy that it was more a mystery book. I was intrigued by the storyline even though it wasn’t what I expected at all. The story started coming together and the concept was incredibly cool. I liked following May and Patrick try to figure out clues from the comic and track down Libby, who she suspected was still alive. A lot of the clues were really unexpected and awesome. The more I kept going… the more far-fetched it got. They made a lot of obscure connections really quickly, as if they’d been cracking codes and finding murderers since birth, a la Nancy Drew. It kind of lost me for a little bit towards the middle-end. I mean, come on. I kept reading reviews from my IRL book club girls on Goodreads where they said it was far-fecthed and I didn’t think it was possible (back when I was convinced it was a paranormal book). Like, how could it be far-fetched? Well the amount of things […]

The Nostalgia Project | Gallagher Girls

Posted November 18, 2015 / Book Reviews, The Nostalgia Project / 10 Comments
The Nostalgia Project | Gallagher Girls

The Nostalgia Project is my way of revisiting and rereading old favorites from my young adulthood to see if they still resonate with me. Learn more here and read old posts or reviews here! My first successful series revisit within The Nostalgia Project has come to an end! Let’s be honest, I totally cheated with this one. I had determined last year that I was planning on rereading the Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter because there were three remaining books I never managed to read. I started listening to the audiobooks back in October 2014 and steadily trucked through the series until December. I then bought books five and six to finish off my collection… and didn’t get around to reading them. I finally picked up book five to finish them off before the end of 2015. Because I individually reviewed the previous four books, I’m going to continue that here first. Then, you’ll see my thoughts on the entire series and what I learned at the bottom. This has to be one of my favorite books in the series. It’s hard to say that now, considering that all of the previous books blend together when you haven’t read them in a year, but I just feel it. I haven’t physically read a book in this series since the first few books came out and I forgot how addicting they are! It’s a totally different experience with the audiobooks. I thought that some parts of the book were frustrating because of the […]

ARC Reviews: The Lies About Truth and Hotel Ruby

Posted October 30, 2015 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
ARC Reviews: The Lies About Truth and Hotel Ruby

This book started off kind of weird for me. I had a feeling I wasn’t going to like it for some reason, but I’m SO glad that changed pretty quickly! The book slowly gave some details away about what happened and who the characters were. I finished this book a few days ago (at the time of writing this) and to be honest, I don’t remember much about Sadie – the main character. Nothing really stuck out about her and I think that’s because the book is so focused on the accident and how she copes with it. It’s something that seems to consume the most space in her brain, so there wasn’t really room for her to feel like herself. I loved how complex the relationships were between all of the characters. Sadie’s family was in a sort of group with a few other families; they’d go on vacation and spend a lot of their time together. It was five kids – Sadie, her then-boyfriend Gray, her best friend Gina, Gina’s boyfriend Trent, and Trent’s brother Max. (Phew.) I won’t get too much into why their relationships with each other were complicated, but just know that they definitely were. They all had some healing to go through when they were involved in an accident that killed Trent. There were lies and secrets between ALL of them. The focal point of the story is that Trent’s family moved to El Salvador for a year and is coming back to town. In the […]