Genre: Mystery/Thriller

ARC Reviews: The Legacies and Dark Corners

Posted July 20, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: The Legacies and Dark Corners

It’s no secret around here that I love a “rich people behaving badly book” – there’s something about it that appeals to my Gossip Girl-loving heart. I KNOW they’re bad people and I’m okay with reading about them. I don’t have to like or root for the characters in every book I read. I know it’s a personal preference thing and I’m okay with that. Just be warned, if you aren’t a rich kid drama girlie, you probably won’t find much to like in this one. This book feels simultaneously similar and different than Goodman’s other books. I’ve rated her other books 3, 3.5, and 4 stars, respectively, so she’s always been a good-but-not-a-favorite author of mine. I still find myself so drawn to her synopses and eagerly await each new release! The whole vibe of this one (like her other three books) is more of a contemporary fiction book with some death and suspense as the backbone. Her books aren’t thrillers, they’re sort of mysteries, but they’re more like… mysterious contemporary fiction? This book is the first that features unlikeable rich kids at a prep school in NYC – the others are set in normal high schools or at summer camp. The story alternates between Bernie (a rich kid living in her mom’s shadow), Isobel (another rich kid and Bernie’s best friend with a substance abuse issue), and Tori (the scholarship kid whose mom died the year before). I enjoyed reading from each of their POVs for the most part […]

Review Roundup | The Wishing Game, Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers, and Live and Let Chai

Posted July 17, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | The Wishing Game, Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers, and Live and Let Chai

I was soooo looking forward to THE WISHING GAME. The book sounded so magical (while being realistic and not actually featuring any magic or fantastical elements) and the cover? Absolutely one of my favorites I’ve ever seen… which is why it’s such a bummer that I feel so incredibly mixed on this book. I had to really think about a rating for it. At its core, this book is a whimsical ode to children’s books and the lifelong impact they have on us. I loved that aspect! It was so cute in a lot of ways. If I sit here and think about the story as a whole and ignore a lot of the details that really bugged me, this could have easily been very highly rated. I appreciate the granting of wishes and foster care/adoption plotline in a general sense but I was really uncomfortable with how Lucy went about it all with Christopher. It’s one thing to want to adopt a child that needs it but I personally found it to be inappropriate that she was kissing his forehead and having him sit on her lap (and discussing her desire to adopt him before she was permitted to – I have to think, if it didn’t happen or come true, wouldn’t the kid be in a worse mental space? She even tried to argue that sleeping on the floor of her bedroom in a house she shared with drunk college students would be a better situation for him […]

Review Roundup | When in Rome, Bad Summer People, and Happy Place

Posted July 5, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | When in Rome, Bad Summer People, and Happy Place

I always expect the popular, hyped books to not be as good as others say (looking at you, Fourth Wing), but I was thrilled to be proved wrong with WHEN IN ROME! I suddenly had the urge to follow the hype (something I’m doing this year for some reason) and request this one from the library. I also requested the new companion sequel, PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT, at the same time. I thought I’d probably enjoy this one but I didn’t think I’d be adding my name to the list of crazed Sarah Adams fans… yet here we are with a new favorite five-star romance! This story follows Amelia, a super popular pop star who needs a break from it all, when her car breaks down in the middle of nowhere Rome, Kentucky. She’s saved by adorable baker Noah and he eventually offers up his guest room for her. She gets to know Noah, his sisters, and other locals around Rome, and pretty much falls for everyone very quickly. This was exactly the kind of low-drama romance I’m into these days! I don’t want to spoil anything but there’s really not any major events or miscommunications leading to a huge breakup of the main couple. It’s definitely got instalove (I mean, they knew each other for two weeks!!) and zero spicy scenes. It’s closed door, which is fine, but I do think the story could have used some! (Maybe I’m just biased toward that kind of romance these days lol.) I […]

Blog Tour: The Night It Ended

Posted June 30, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Blog Tour: The Night It Ended

Additional Purchase Links: HarperCollins // Bookshop // Books-a-Million Review I’ve been really into mystery/thrillers lately and this one definitely intrigued me! A boarding school setting is one of my absolute favorites, and this one was even creepier because the 95% of the campus was away for winter break. When a girl dies tragically on campus, Madeline (a psychologist who specializes in female violence) is brought on campus to investigate what happened with the private investigator, Matthew, the family hired. They don’t believe the local police that it was a tragic accident; the PI thinks Madeline can help crack the girls on campus to see what really happened that night. The book was a bit of a slow burn with not a ton happening in the first half, but the setting and characters were intriguing enough to continue. I liked the chapters from the past that were mixed in (an interview or interrogation between two people who are not named) to keep me engaged in multiple stories. I assumed I knew who was in that interview from the previous year, but wasn’t sure if it would be that easy or predictable! I won’t spoil it either way. Madeline was struggling with some mistakes she’d made in her past – I wanted to know more about what she did to make her act this way and/or lose contact with her family in some way. It was interesting because she often felt like an unreliable narrator based on her behavior and issues she was […]

Review Roundup | Before We Were Innocent and The True Love Experiment

Posted June 22, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | Before We Were Innocent and The True Love Experiment

I’m always drawn to these stories of complicated best friend groups, especially when there’s some overseas travel involved. I was thinking this might be like The Villa (and a few elements were definitely reminiscent of that) but I did like that book more. The premise is that Bess (our MC), Joni, and Evangeline head to Evangeline’s family vacation home in Greece for the summer before they’re due to go away to college. They’re thinking it’s a last hurrah before they all go to different schools. Evangeline ends up dying there and the two remaining girls are swept up in accusations that one or both of them killed her. This was interesting but definitely some mixed feelings. I think a lot of it reads like a very classic “three teens go on vacation, only two come home, did one of them kill the other one?” story. I had a (very obvious) prediction but the book ended up being less predictable than that… but I’m not sure that made it any better? I got to the end and just said “okay…?” Kind of a bit pointless yet heavy-handed with some of the messaging. One Goodreads review that I totally agree with said that it basically doesn’t do enough. It’s not enough of a mystery or enough of a “toxic best friends” story to really be that good. I could really picture the setting (Greece) during the chapters set in 2008, which made for kind of a fun summer read? There’s also a plotline […]

ARC Reviews: Liars Beach and Jana Goes Wild

Posted June 5, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: Liars Beach and Jana Goes Wild

I love Cotugno but haven’t read her latest releases for one reason or another. The synopsis of this one really appealed to me and I liked that she was working in a different genre. There are very few reviews and the overall Goodreads rating is pretty low, which is interesting, but I was still cautiously optimistic. I haven’t read THE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT STYLES but it’s definitely on my Agatha Christie to-read list now. Linden is off to Martha’s Vineyard to spend some time with his roommate Jasper and his family at their gorgeous house on the beach. He’s hiding a lot about his true background/socioeconomic status but tries to fit in with them nonetheless. He’s on a lacrosse scholarship at a fancy boarding school and has to keep up appearances. His childhood friend (his mom works for their family) Holiday is there too. When a body of a guy everyone hates shows up in the pool, Holiday and Linden set out to solve the mystery. I ended up really enjoying this! It’s a little surface-level and super short, which made for a breezy Memorial Day Weekend read on the porch in just a couple of hours. I don’t actually wish it was longer though – she achieved what she needed to in under 300 pages. There are definitely discussions on class, Great Gatsby vibes/themes, and manic pixie dreamgirl energy, which was all a part of the wider story and message Cotugno was trying to convey. The ending was interesting and […]

Review Roundup | What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez, Fourth Wing, and The Last Word

Posted June 1, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez, Fourth Wing, and The Last Word

This book was lowkey one of my most anticipated for the year. It just seemed like such an intriguing premise! Ruth Ramirez went missing after track practice when she was a kid and her family hasn’t been the same since. When one of her sisters sees “Ruthy” on a reality TV show, they are convinced that it’s really her. The synopsis reveals a bit more information that doesn’t even happen until the end of the book, so I’ll cut it off there. The story alternates between the three remaining members of the Ramirez family (with a few chapters from Ruthy’s POV sprinkled in): Jessica, Nina, and Dolores (their mom). It’s really a portrait of a grieving family and a story about where their lives went in the years since Ruthy went missing. The father of the family died soonafter and the rest had to carry on. It’s more “slice of life” despite the premise sounding a bit more meaty. I appreciated how real and raw it felt but it lacked a bit of depth. It kind of showed them going about their daily lives without going down one more level. The family’s Puerto Rican heritage was front and center throughout the story, which I definitely enjoyed reading about. The synopsis includes that it’s a “vivid family portrait, in all its shattered reality, exploring the familial bonds between women and cycles of generational violence, colonialism, race, and silence, replete with snark, resentment, tenderness, and, of course, love.” – All of these […]

Review Roundup | The Escape Room and Legends & Lattes

Posted May 11, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 2 Comments
Review Roundup | The Escape Room and Legends & Lattes

I’ve been working my way through Goldin’s books and she’s quickly become one of my favorite mystery/thriller authors. An absolute auto-read for me. (I’ve got one more backlist title to go now!) THE ESCAPE ROOM was on my radar but I never got around to it because I’ve always thought I don’t like locked room mysteries. I’m definitely curious to keep testing that theory because I think it’s wrong haha – I enjoy ones like this! It’s so intriguing to have two timelines or POVs and see what’s happening separate from the “locked room” (in this case, an elevator). This story centers around a few shitty financial/banking people who get trapped in an “escape room” elevator together. The other POV is Sara, a girl who busted her ass in the company’s graduate program and how she started rising up the ranks. Once the story gets going, there are some good twists and turns – I always found myself eager to check out what was happening in the other POV, which kept me turning the pages. I did finish this book in one day (great audiobook, btw!) but I don’t think I would classify it to other people as unputdownable. I just had the right kind of day to sit down and read or listen to the audiobook while multi-tasking all day. I do think it’s quite predictable overall – I wasn’t shocked by the ending and there was a lot of explanation and backstory when it got toward the end. […]

Review Roundup | Daisy Darker and Wrong Place Wrong Time

Posted April 26, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | Daisy Darker and Wrong Place Wrong Time

This was such an interesting reading experience – I can now see why this is such a polarizing book haha. This is my first Alice Feeney and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. I have really weird expectations for what her other books may be like?? DAISY DARKER follows Daisy and the Darker family as they head out to her grandmother’s island house for her 80th birthday. They all assume they’ll be learning what they’ll be getting for inheritances because her grandmother always expected to die at age 80. It follows the traditional AND THEN THEY WERE GONE plotline where people start being killed one by one. There’s a big ol’ twist that plenty of people predicted but I felt like an absolute idiot because I didn’t see it coming at all. The book itself was really sad, seeing how they treated Daisy throughout her life. It was super depressing. Because I managed to not really predict anything correctly, I can’t help but give this a pretty high rating. BUT the twist itself is kind of cheesy at this point. Even if I’m not sure I liked it in many ways, it’s definitely going to stick with me. I read this book in one day – I listened to the audiobook when tooling around the house and read the physical copy whenever I had the chance. I’m never mad about an unputdownable book, so I won’t complain too much! I’d been told by some friends I really […]

Review Roundup | Confessions, The Golden Spoon, and Lock Every Door

Posted April 13, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | Confessions, The Golden Spoon, and Lock Every Door

I recently shared that there are a number of books I planned to read this year based purely on the hype and their popularity in the community. A bunch of my favorite booktubers have read and loved this one, claiming that there is a twist or big reveal at the end of each chapter (there are 6 chapters across a quick book of 240 pages). I was curious (based on the premise) how they would pull that off and decided to finally go for it. After all, I don’t read a lot of backlist books and this looked promising based on everyone’s feelings! Unfortunately this book wasn’t what I expected and the hype was REAL. I couldn’t get everyone’s voices out of my head while reading. I expected wild jaw-dropping twists but it didn’t really read like that to me? Yes, it is definitely twisty and very well-plotted and well-written, but not in the same way people had built it up. Each chapter reveals some new information from a different person’s point of view so the backstory starts to slowly come together. My jaw literally dropped at the end of the first chapter and the build-up of reveals throughout the rest of the story was pretty great. The ending was strong – surprising and very clever. Again, the plotting made a big difference here and the order in which the author included the different character POVs. I expected a new favorite and ended up with a solid four-star read that […]