{Book Review}: No Words By Meg Cabot

My Review:⭐️⭐️⭐️/ 5 stars 

This romantic fiction is about a book festival in Little Bridge Island in the Florida Keys, focusing on the “enemies to lover” relationship between tween author Jo Wright and successful  fiction writer Will Price. He had ridiculed her work to the New York Times and Jo has done everything in her power to avoid him – except he is organizing this book festival with a hefty stipend. Jo needs the cash and surprise, she sees him, they bicker, and on and on. I loved the location of the story, but other than that, Jo seemed very immature with her nonstop kitty references. Yeah, we get it that you write tween books about a kitty detective, but it really distracts from the story. Also, I felt it was not enough tension between the two main characters – it was obvious from the start he had a crush on her and she was overthinking everything. If you like a quick beach read with just 1🌶 , then this would be more your speed. 

Thank you to William Morrow books and NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for my honest review!

{Book Review}: A Mad Womens Ball by Victoria Mas

My Review:⭐️⭐️⭐️.5/ 5 stars 

A historical fiction that is translated from a best-selling French book – that is also now a movie on Amazon! It takes place in 1880’s France at the Salpetriere Asylum where Dr. Charcot famously practiced different methods of hypnotism on these “insane” women to cure them. This is the abyss that society’s men send their unwanted wives, sisters, mothers, and  basically any women that proves to be difficult. There are multiple POVs including nurse Genevieve at the asylum and Eugenie, a young woman from a wealthy family that was placed in the custody of the asylum after she told her grandmother she was able to see dead spirits. Eugenie tells Genevieve about her dead sister that no one else could possibly know – making her doubt her logical thinking in regards to the supernatural. Once a year the Asylum throws a ball aka the “Madwomen’s Ball” where the rich and privileged come to gawk at the patients who get dressed up for the night. It is the night the women look forward to the most. It is also the best opportunity for Eugenie to escape.

This was a great story that gave a brief insight into the lives of these women who had their lives stripped from them – and then flaunted like they are objects. However, the ending and the events leading up to the ball were lackluster. I expected more from Eugenie’s perspective. How about a scene or two in which Genevieve is evaluated herself? Or from Eugenie’s own family at the end? I liked the premise, but overall it fell short. 

Thank you to Abrams Books and Netgalley for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review!

{Book Review}: Under The Whispering Door by TJ Kline

My Review:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5/ 5 stars 

Under the Cerulean Sea was one of my favorite books of 2020 and I was very excited to read this new book by TJ Klune. I absolutely love his writing  – and the elaborate and colorful world building.

Wallace Price was a miserable human being – nearly hated by everyone who knew him. Until he dies and reflects on his life as a ghost at his funeral. A reaper named Mei shows up three days late to escort him to the “ferryman” named Hugo.  The “ Ferryman” eases a spirit into the next phase of the afterlife no matter how long it takes for them to move on and go “home” by entering a mysterious door in the ceiling of Hugo & Mei’s teahouse. This location serves almost as a way station for ghosts to transfer them to the next part of their existence.  However, Wallace soon realizes he is finally living his best life after his death, truly appreciating and enjoying the company of his friends, including his blossoming feelings for Hugo. 

Klune’s main characters are always so charismatic – even when they are not supposed to be. The love & romantic scenes are perfectly subtle, earnest,  and honest. Even though there are paranormal elements regarding the afterlife and ghosts, Klune writes in a way that makes it seem completely normal to see your body after you are dead at your own funeral. Completely loved it!

Thank you to Tor Books and Netgalley for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review!

{Book Review}: The Missing Hours by Julia Dahl

My Review:⭐️⭐️.5/ 5 stars 

Claudia Castro, an NYU student, wakes up feeling hungover and covered in bruises after a night out. She knows something happened to her, but doesn’t recall what. She finds comfort in Trevor, a fellow student on her floor near her dorm room. Soon what happened that night comes back to haunt her as she and Trevor are both sent videos of the terribly violent act done to her while she was clearly too inebriated to consent. They both try to piece things together about who was involved and how to find justice.

The book starts out immediately making you feel so horrified about what happened to Claudia. However the tone quickly pivots from a violated woman to a thriller about revenge. Also the multiple POVs shift the perspective but it makes you like Claudia a little bit less, because she is supposed to be the poor little rich girl who is a bit selfish. Trevor is selfless and the one that gets hurt by being associated with her – and overall, the story felt like two different books and I didn’t like any of the characters to care at the end. Overall, not my cup of tea, but had a lot of promise.

Thank you Minotaur Books and Netgalley for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review!

{Book Review}: Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno Garcia

My Review:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/ 5 stars 

Silvia Moreno Garcia has become an auto-buy for me. This one is a paranormal/fantasy horror novel with all kinds of different vampires in Mexico City, focusing mostly on the blossoming friendship/romance between Atl and teenage garbage collector Domingo. In this world, vampires are born, not created. The variations of vampires are very different based on where their origins are. In Atl’s case, she is descended from Aztec blood drinkers and could shift into a bird – and she has talons. She is on the run from a Narco-type rival gang that murdered her family – and  she finds quick friendship with Domingo.

I loved reading about the world Silvia created with the different “species” of vampires. Her writing is so enticing – All I wanted to read more about was the other vampire species  – this is a re-release of he 2016 book with a new cover so I wonder if a sequel is eventually in the works.  I certainly hope so. The relationship between Domingo and Atl is not forced and  allowed to slowly progress and flourish throughout the book. Also, there is a companion dog – so naturally I was sold.

Thank you Macmillan/ Tor/Forge Books and Netgalley for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review!

{Book Review}: The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell

My Review:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/ 5 stars 

Lisa Jewell never disappoints. I loved The Family Upstairs and the Melody Browne book – so I was excited to read her newest book! This is a multi POV where it shifts between Talulah in 2017, Tallulah’s mom Kim, and Sophie in 2018.  Talullah, a  19 year old mom, who lives with her mom, bf, and her son Noah, disappears after a date with boyfriend after going to the pub. Her friends thought she left in a taxi, but weren’t sure. Her mother, Kim, has been trying to keep the police involved in finding her daughter, who would never just abandon her young son . The other POV is  Sophie, who is a crime mystery writer who moves to the area where her boyfriend is the new headmaster. She finds a strange sign in their backyard that says “Dig here” with a mysterious item that furthers her curiosity into the local investigation. 

I loved how subtly thrilling this was – it had a steady pace, but kept you interested the whole way through. I had a few guesses as to what really happened but this had me on my toes the entire time. This was a great book to get me out of my reading slump. 

Thank you Atria Books and Netgalley for eARC in exchange for my honest review!

{Book Review}: The Paris Connection by Lorraine Brown

My Review:⭐️⭐️⭐️.5/ 5 stars 

This story is about Hannah, a 30 year old woman, in a relationship with Si, who basically takes really great care of her. They are heading to Amsterdam from London to attend his sister’s wedding – on the train, she falls asleep in another seat after she moves to get away from the noise. When she wakes up, she realises that she and a French man were on the wrong part of the train. Their train was diverting to Paris – She is without her suitcase, wallet, and phone – forced to spend the day in Paris while waiting for the next train to Amsterdam. Leo, the fellow French passenger, decides to show Hannah a tour of Paris on a motorbike (after some bickering and banter of course). Being with Leo for just a few hours makes Hannah realize what she lacked in her relationship with Si. On her way to Amsterdam after a memorable day with Leo, she realises she has to make a decision.

The story is cute – I enjoyed the chemistry from both Leo and Hannah. However, I felt the end was a bit unrealistic. Beyond flirting, there is not much spice at all, which makes sense because she has a boyfriend almost the entire time. SPOILER ALERT –  I wish there was more after they meet up. Also, how were they not texting or even emailing the entire time – no contact seemed a bit unrealistic? She did have his cell phone number because she was calling her friends through his phone. Also, there should have been more AFTER they meet up – give me something in the epilogue, after reading a whole book about them just flirting. Overall, a cute flirty romance, but needed more.

Thank you to Putnam books and netgalley for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review!

{Book Review}: Lightning Strike by William Kent Krueger

My Review:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/ 5 stars 

I loved This Tender Land – so I was so excited to read the prequel to the Cork O’Connor series, which I have not read (yet). This story takes place in Aurora, Minnesota in the 1960s. Young Cork finds a man, who he knew, hanging at Lightning Strike, from what appears to be a suicide. Cork’s father is the town sheriff and must skirt sensitive issues of tensions between the way the treats those on the reservation and the white people of Aurora. As the Sheriff continues to investigate, it appears the scene is much more than just a suicide. Cork and his friends also go about town to do their own investigation into the mystery of Big John’s death.

The first few chapters were very slow as you are learning all the characters but it is so well written you know you have to keep going. I trusted Krueger wouldn’t let me down…As soon as you warm up to Cork, his friends and family, the story all falls into place. What baffles me is the kid being allowed to just wander around and camp overnight in previous murder sites – so many red flags. But then it is the 60’s. If you are looking for a fast breezy beach read, this isn’t it. This is so much more than that and the ending really broke my heart and now I could see how it could have changed/motivated Cork in the future series. 

Thank you to Atria Books and netgalley for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review!

{Book Review}: The Guilt by Sandie Jones

My Review:⭐️⭐️⭐️.5/ 5 stars 

My family rescued a new doggie this week and we have had our hands full so my reading has slowed down to a full stop. This is a thriller that revolves around 6 friends and a wedding destination weekend in Portugal. Jack/Rachel and Paige/Noah are friends – mostly because Rachel/Noah are best friends from University. Jack and Paige just had to go along with the ride – and now they are going to Jack’s brother’s wedding to Ali, a former associate of Jack (who is acting really weird about Ali). Naturally, Rachel thinks Jack and Ali are having an affair. She spends most of the wedding weekend trying to find more clues to their past while discovering new secrets about her own group of friends. 

The story was ok overall. Reading it feels like I am in the middle of a very awkward dinner party where the hosts are fighting amongst each other. It got a bit confusing because even though Rachel is the narrator, you still don’t really know what’s going on in her head. This whole group of friends lie to each other so I am surprised they even are friends. The characters were all a little bit unlikeable so it was more difficult to care about what happened to them. I wished I liked this a lot more, but it was ok!

Thank you to Minotaur Books and netgalley for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review!

{Book Review}: The Family Plot by Megan Collins

My Review:⭐️⭐️⭐️.5/ 5 stars 

I have been in such a reading slump all of a sudden. Is anyone else in the same boat?

I thoroughly enjoyed Megan Collins’ last book, The Winter Sister, and this new book seemed to check off all the boxes for an exciting read. The Lighthouse family are renowned in their local town as strange, mysterious, and secluded, penning their house “Murder Mansion.” The matriarch of the family is obsessed with true crime murder after the grisly murder of her own parents. The 4 kids, including Dahlia and her twin brother Andy grew up learning about the different popular murders like her namesake the Black Dahlia, etc. After her father dies, Dahlia comes back to attend the funeral and they uncover her missing brother Andy’s body in their father’s plot. He looked to have been  murdered. Is he the victim of the same local serial killer that was never found? Dahlia questions the locals and her family about what really happened to her brother – and what other secrets her  family could be hiding. 

The premise is very original and the Lighthouse family upbringing is very unnatural – even to the true-crime junkie like me. The vibe is creepy and intriguing in the first few chapters, but then my interest teeters off. There should have been multiple POVs – maybe Andy’s leading up to his death – as Dahlia is not that interesting of a character to fill the whole book. Also, I would have loved to read more about the Honorings and even more about their father before he died. Overall, it was OK, but not my favorite.

Thank you to Atria Books and netgalley for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review!

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