Mini Reviews #3

I have been collecting Nancy Drew books my whole life and there are about ten that I currently own that I have not read. I decided after my last read to just grab a random one off my shelf. I don’t think Nancy Drew warrants a whole review post to itself so I thought I would do another set of mini reviews.

101001

Nancy drew arrives in Phoenix, Arizona, eagerly looking forward to a fun-filled vacation at Shadow Ranch, but abruptly finds herself involved in a baffling mystery. The ranch is being haunted by a phantom horse and maliciously damaged by an unknown enemy. Local people believe that the ghostly animal is carrying out the curse of Dirk Valentine, the romantic outlaw who was killed many years ago at Shadow Ranch, where he had gone to fulfill a promise to his sweetheart.

Suspecting that a treasure hidden by Valentine may be at the root of the Shadow Ranch mystery, Nancy undertakes a challenging search, aided by her friends Bess Marvin and George Fayne. The first vital clue is found in an antique watch and sparks a series of clever deductions and dangerous developments. While seeking further clues, the girls’ investigation in a ghost town ends in a near disaster when Nancy is trapped inside a building that is toppled by a rockslide – a rockslide which is deliberately caused. But the pretty titian-haired detective remains undaunted in her determination to solve the mystery.

Goodreads

I will always love Nancy Drew because the mysteries are always so fun and I have never been let down by an ending. I believe this book was written in the 60’s and the age of the book is definitely starting to show. There was one glaringly inappropriate thing said about a female characters weight and there was definite misappropriation of Native American culture. But I think that’s part of the fun in reading these books since we get a good chance to see how different things used to be.

Rating: 4/5

25322449

What if everything you set yourself up to be was wrong?

Frances has always been a study machine with one goal, elite university. Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret – not even the person she is on the inside.

But when Frances meets Aled, the shy genius behind her favourite podcast, she discovers a new freedom. He unlocks the door to Real Frances and for the first time she experiences true friendship, unafraid to be herself. Then the podcast goes viral and the fragile trust between them is broken.

Caught between who she was and who she longs to be, Frances’ dreams come crashing down. Suffocating with guilt, she knows that she has to confront her past…

She has to confess why Carys disappeared…

Meanwhile at uni, Aled is alone, fighting even darker secrets.

It’s only by facing up to your fears that you can overcome them. And it’s only by being your true self that you can find happiness.

Frances is going to need every bit of courage she has.

Goodreads

This is a coming of age story about characters who are at the end of high school (one has just finished high school) and their struggles with figuring themselves out. This book does such a great job of portraying how truly difficult it can be to be 17/18. You are learning about yourself and have to figure out your future while also dealing with some heavy duty life stuff. I also felt that Oseman is an amazing writer and she had such a honest way of writing. A lot of characters in this book are struggling with their sexuality and I think the author went about it in a really authentic way. The mystery and podcast elements were really secondary to everything else happening in the book.

*This book is set in the England so I believe they are in secondary school which is the American equivalent of high school. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

Rating: 4/5

35393004

After a string of violent murders occur in their town, the senior class of Redwood High School is terrorized by a masked killer. Charlene Sanchez, a popular senior, believes everyone is a target—and everyone is a suspect. When videos of the murders begin to surface on social media, Charlene enlists the help of her closest friends and races to find the serial killer. Can she stop the killer before he stops her?

Jon Athan, author of Butcher Road and Camp Blaze, brings you another violent slasher inspired by the classics.

WARNING: This book contains scenes of graphic violence. This book is not intended for those easily offended or appalled. Please enjoy at your own discretion.

Goodreads

I found this book on Kindle Unlimited one day and it was a pretty quick fun read. The writing is not the best and I didn’t understand why Charlene cared so much about finding out who the killer was. The whole motive of the killings didn’t even really involve her and there was a few random things thrown in (like a teacher-student romance) that weren’t necessary to the plot. This book was like a graphic version of a Fear Street novel.

Rating: 2/5

22609310

Auburn Reed is determined to rebuild her shattered life and she has no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to become deeply attracted to the studio’s enigmatic artist, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a chance and puts her heart in control, only to discover that Owen is hiding a huge secret. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything Auburn loves most, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it—but can she do it?

Goodreads

I really enjoyed this book. I love the romance between Auburn and Owen. This book is told through both of their perspectives and I really liked seeing the same scene through both of their eyes. I was annoyed with both of them throughout different parts of the book though because I wish they had more of a backbone. They would just let stuff happen and not really say anything, Auburn especially. The ending was really full circle and I enjoyed how all the pieces came together.

Rating: 4/5

31450908

Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.

This is the story of what happened first…

Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.

Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you’ve got.

They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted.

They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices.

Goodreads

I think almost everyone knows how good this series is. I love how dark and gothic this story was. I was annoyed by Jack and Jill’s parents but thats obviously the point of them so that’s definitely not a negative. I gave this four stars because the beginning, before they go through their door, dragged on a little bit too long for me.

Rating: 4/5

~Cassie

 

Advertisements

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

I received this book for free on Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

 

511yFhQlY7L._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_

Title: The Last Time I Lied

Author: Riley Sager

Pages: 336

Publication Date: July 3, 2018

Publisher: Dutton

Genre: Thriller

Rating: 5/5

Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their tiny cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. The games ended when Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin in the dead of night. The last she–or anyone–saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.

Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings–massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. The paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the socialite and wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale. When Francesca implores her to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor, Emma sees an opportunity to try to find out what really happened to her friends.

Yet it’s immediately clear that all is not right at Camp Nightingale. Already haunted by memories from fifteen years ago, Emma discovers a security camera pointed directly at her cabin, mounting mistrust from Francesca and, most disturbing of all, cryptic clues Vivian left behind about the camp’s twisted origins. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing threats from both man and nature in the present.

And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale, the more she realizes it may come at a deadly price.

Goodreads

My favorite book of the year! This was a masterfully crafted thriller that I know I will reread multiple times during my life. The characters, setting and story are so well written and so well done. Riley Sager is now firmly established as one of my favorite authors.

The setting was so brilliantly done that I could see it vividly in my head. I am a lover of horror movies and this book made me nostalgic for Friday the 13th (obviously) but I also kept getting Scream vibes from it. There was one scene toward that end where Sager so perfectly captured Emma’s surroundings that I felt myself tense up and hold my breath.

Speaking of Emma, the characters in this book were amazing. There were so many characters that were suspicious that I couldn’t wait to get to the end and figure it all out. I loved the enigma of Vivan, the mystery of Franny, the intrigue of Theo. Not a single character felt flat and they were all useful at propelling the story forward at a good pace.

The book is told through present day narrative and also flashbacks of 15 years before. The flashbacks fit so well into the story and the slow reveal of what really happened then is so good. Also, the twists. Oh my gosh, the twists. So good and so well done. I’m usually pretty good at picking up on where a story is leading to but all but one were complete shocks to me. I finished this book and actually laid on my bed and just marveled at what an amazing job Sager did at constructing this story.

So, this was obviously the most fan girl book review ever but I am seriously so in love with this book. My favorite thriller of all time. My favorite book of the year. Please read this. If you enjoy thrillers at all (or even just a little bit) this is a book that I cannot (obviously) recommend to you enough. Please read it. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do. Also, since this book doesn’t come out until July 3 and if I have at all intrigued you as to the greatness of this book, consider reading Sager’s debut novel, Final Girls. It is another amazing thriller and definitely in my top five favorites of all time.

~Cassie

 

Dodging and Burning by John Copenhaver

35407587

Title: Dodging and Burning

Author: John Copenhaver

Pages: 288

Publisher: Pegasus Books

Publication Date: March 6, 2018

Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction, LGBT

Rating: 3/5

A lurid crime scene photo of a beautiful woman arrives on mystery writer Bunny Prescott’s doorstep with no return address—and it’s not the first time she’s seen it. The reemergence of the photo, taken fifty-five years earlier, sets her on a journey to reconstruct the vicious summer that changed her life.

In the summer of 1945, Ceola Bliss is a lonely twelve-year-old tomboy, mourning the loss of her brother, Robbie, who was declared missing in the Pacific. She tries to piece together his life by rereading his favorite pulp detective story “A Date with Death” and spending time with his best friend, Jay Greenwood, in Royal Oak, VA. One unforgettable August day, Jay leads Ceola and Bunny to a stretch of woods where he found a dead woman, but when they arrive, the body is gone. They soon discover a local woman named Lily Vellum is missing and begin to piece together the threads of her murder, starting with the photograph Jay took of her abandoned body.

As Ceola gets swept up playing girl detective, Bunny becomes increasingly skeptical of Jay, and begins her own investigation into the connection between Jay and Lily. She discovers a series of clues that place doubt on the identity of the corpse and Jay’s story of how he found it, and journeys to Washington, D.C. in search of Lily. In D.C., Bunny is forced to recognize the brutal truth about her dear friend, and sets off a series of events that will bring tragedy to Jay and decades of estrangement between her and Ceola.

Goodreads

This was in my Paige Habit box and I’m happy that I received it from them because I never would have picked it up on my own. This is advertised as a mystery about a dead girl but it is really a story about Jay, Bunny and Ceola. The book is told through the perspectives of Bunny and Ceola and is about their relationship with Jay. This book has a lot of intrigue concerning Jay and it is truly a wild twisty ride of a story.

The first half of this book took me a long time to read. The blurbs on the back of the book told me that this was about gay characters so I assumed that would be something that is a part of the book early on. And while it is definitely alluded to it is not a prominent part of the book until the second half on. The LGBT aspect of this book is so huge and really the driving force for a lot of different things happening. It was rewarding to finally reach that point of the book because it got a lot better from then on. I flew through the second half because it was so much more fast paced and so much was happening every chapter.

I also really enjoyed the historical side of this book. I felt like I learned a lot about a very marginalized group of people in our history and how it related to WW2. My heart broke for how badly treated LGBT people were during that time. It’s also sad to me to realize how far society still has to go even roughly eighty years after the time period this book is set in.

This book is definitely more of a historical fiction and less of a mystery. There was a really good story inside a story that was slowly told at the end of some chapters. This short story mirrored things that were happening in the main story and was a really cool addition. During the first half I was motivated to keep reading to get to another part of the short story. I really loved the twist in the short story and the whole thing was just really well done.

~Cassie

The Selection by Kiera Cass

13101912.jpg

Title: The Selection

Author: Kiera Cass

Pages: 339

Publisher: Harper Teen

Publication Date: April 24, 2012

Genre: YA dystopian, romance

Rating: 4/5

I was scrolling through my Kindle Unlimited last month and I saw this and decided that it was a sign that I finally had to read this. I don’t read a lot of YA anymore but this book was everything that I love in a YA dystopian. I thought I would be disappointed because I’ve heard such mixed reviews but it was everything I wanted to be. I have even reached the point in my life that when the book neared the end and we had the cliche love triangle come into play I found the joy in it while I was reading. (Which is just another way of saying that I laughed and cringed all at the same time.) I loved the world building in this book. I really hope that the world continues to get flushed out in the remainder of the series.

The two main characters were really enjoyable and I was so into their romance. I love how slow paced it all was. I definitely ship America and Maxon so we can just forget all about her old boyfriend, Aspen. I enjoyed reading about the other girls and I look forward to finding out what Marlee’s big secret is. I hope the payoff is worth the build up of this secret. Celeste was another character that I like because she is so vastly different than America and she brings so much drama to the scenes she’s in.

I am on the waiting list for the next book at my library but as soon as it is available to me I will be reading it. I seriously can’t wait to find out what happens next! This book also makes me want to read some more YA dystopian because it used to be one of my favorite genres but I’ve gotten away from that in recent years. If you have any recommendations for me I would love to hear them 🙂

~Cassie

May Book Haul

I can’t believe May is already over! My boys only have a few more days left of school and summer will be here. Summer is my favorite time of the year and I definitely enjoy the more relaxed pace of life after a hectic school year. I hope you all had an awesome May and have an even better June!

Here’s the books I bought in May:

I bought these to have the whole trilogy of The Girl In 6E by A.R. Torre. Although I’m still not 100% sure that Torre isn’t going to come out with more books in the series. I read the first one earlier this month and I enjoyed it so much I bought the other two.

51C4xxzWsHL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_

I’m super excited to read this one. I will definitely be reading this next month.

35887193

I have already read and reviewed this book.

36162290

I received this book yesterday in my PaigeHabit box. I also really want to pick this one up soon. It’s only 200 pages and it’s and Irish ghost story which just sounds so amazing.

That’s the end of my book haul. I don’t track my ebooks because I get a lot of them for free or extremely cheap and I honestly get them knowing that I won’t be reading them for awhile. Which is terrible I know but I have a need to just own all the books. I should also add that I bought more books then this but they are all preorders so I will just share those the months they come out.

~Cassie

Mini Reviews #2

Hello again everybody! I was inspired to do another round of mini reviews because I recently finished a book I received for review and I just did not like it. There is no way I could do a full review of the book when I only need a few sentences to say how I feel about it. I will also be reviewing four books I have read earlier in the year.

THANK YOU TO BOOKTASTERS AND THE RIAN HARRISON FOR ALLOWING ME TO READ THIS BOOK FOR FREE IN EXCHANGE FOR MY HONEST REVIEW.

18523103

Dr. Cylus Pine, an experimental psychologist takes in serial criminals to rehabilitate through group therapy.

Remus enters Dr. Pines facility after exacting revenge of his abusive father. He begins his therapy with a serial killer, a mother, a bomber, and rape victim. Through the course of their therapy they discover the true effects of their crimes.The cause though is up to their interpretation of their own truth.

PROGENY is the first of six novels.

Goodreads

I have no doubt that there is an audience for this book but it is definitely not me. Progeny is very graphic in its details of abuse, rape and murder but it was the writing style that turned me off. I have discovered through reading this that I very much like structure to the books I read. This was very flow of thought and constant switching between stories and time periods. Nothing felt real and none of it felt very believable.

Rating: 1/5

38447

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…

Goodreads

This book is a classic for a reason. I think everyone knows what this about because of the tv show. I recently started watching it with my husband and we are enjoying it a lot. I subtracted a star from the book because some parts got a little dry and boring for me.

Rating: 4/5

32489449

From New York Times bestselling author of the “twisty-mystery” (Vulture) novel In a Dark, Dark Wood, comes The Woman in Cabin 10, an equally suspenseful and haunting novel from Ruth Ware—this time, set at sea.

In this tightly wound story, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…

With surprising twists and a setting that proves as uncomfortably claustrophobic as it is eerily beautiful, Ruth Ware offers up another taut and intense read.

Goodreads

This is my second Ruth Ware book and I am happy that I own all four of her books because they are such compelling thrillers. I can so easily see in my head the world that she is describing.  I did find myself becoming a little bored with the main character and I saw the twists coming but overall this was really well done mystery.

Rating: 3/5

23587984

Colleen Hoover, the New York Times bestselling author of Maybe Someday brilliantly brings to life the story of the wonderfully hilarious and charismatic Warren in a new novella, Maybe Not.

When Warren has the opportunity to live with a female roommate, he instantly agrees. It could be an exciting change.

Or maybe not.

Especially when that roommate is the cold and seemingly calculating Bridgette. Tensions run high and tempers flare as the two can hardly stand to be in the same room together. But Warren has a theory about Bridgette: anyone who can hate with that much passion should also have the capability to love with that much passion. And he wants to be the one to test this theory.

Will Bridgette find it in herself to warm her heart to Warren and finally learn to love?

Maybe.

Maybe not.

Goodreads

This was a really fun side novella to Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover. I love that it was written to take place the same time as things that happened in Maybe Someday. It was like reading the behind the scenes stuff from that book and I really loved Maybe Someday so this book was a wonderful bonus. I also really like the character of Warren and it was nice to hear things from his point of view.

Rating: 4/5

23848102

When the two strangers turn up at Rowena Cooper’s isolated Colorado farmhouse, she knows instantly that it’s the end of everything. For the two haunted and driven men, on the other hand, it’s just another stop on a long and bloody journey. And they still have many miles to go, and victims to sacrifice, before their work is done.

For San Francisco homicide detective Valerie Hart, their trail of victims–women abducted, tortured and left with a seemingly random series of objects inside them–has brought her from obsession to the edge of physical and psychological destruction. And she’s losing hope of making a breakthrough before that happens.

But the murders at the Cooper farmhouse didn’t quite go according to plan. There was a survivor, Rowena’s ten-year-old daughter Nell, who now holds the key to the killings. Injured, half-frozen, terrified, Nell has only one place to go. And that place could be even more dangerous than what she’s running from.

In this extraordinary, pulse-pounding debut, Saul Black takes us deep into the mind of a psychopath, and into the troubled heart of the woman determined to stop him.

Goodreads

This was a really interesting crime thriller because we get to read from the perspectives of the detective, the killers, and the victims. It helped to give a really well rounded story and added more intensity to the story. I really did not like the character of the FBI agent. Her interactions with detective Hart where annoying and completely unnecessary to the story. If you enjoy crime thrillers then I definitely recommend this book to you.

Rating: 3/5

That’s all for today. If you know of any books that you think I might be interested in don’t hesitate to let me know!

~Cassie

We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

11717915

Title: We Need To Talk About Kevin

Author: Lionel Shriver

Pages: 400

Publisher: Harper Perennial (was originally published by Counterpoint LLC)

Publication Date: 2003

Genre: Fiction

Rating: 5/5

Now a major motion picture by Lynne Ramsay, starring Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly,Lionel Shriver’s resonant story of a mother’s unsettling quest to understandher teenage son’s deadly violence, her own ambivalence toward motherhood, andthe explosive link between them reverberates with the haunting power of highhopes shattered by dark realities. Like Shriver’s charged and incisive laternovels, including So Much for That and The Post-Birthday World, We Need to Talk About Kevin isa piercing, unforgettable, and penetrating exploration of violence, familyties, and responsibility, a book that the Boston Globedescribes as“sometimes searing . . . [and] impossible to put down.”

Goodreads

I love this book. It is such an exploration of motherhood, femininity, and America’s culture of violence in schools. This book was written in 1999 which makes it even more heartbreaking that this book is still so relevant to the world we live in. This book is so much more than just an in depth look at the mother of a school murderer. To classify it as such is an injustice because the real heart of this book is motherhood. The struggles of motherhood. The sacrifices of motherhood. Is it even possible to mother a child who seems/is so inherently evil?

This book is told through letters from Eva to her husband Franklin. The letters tell a chronological story of how, why and what happened to lead up to this horrible event. There is also a good sprinkling throughout the letters of what has happened post event. Telling the story this way is so brilliant because the letters are inherently intimate due to the nature of Eva and Franklin’s relationship. Also, Shriver has such a beautiful way with words where she can so easily show the reader Eva’s struggles with mothering Kevin.

Kevin is quite simply every parents worst nightmare. I can’t even imagine how anyone could parent a child like Kevin. Most of the letters center around how Eva can plainly see and feels from the beginning that something is not right with her son. On the other hand, Franklin has an excuse for everything that Kevin did and sometimes even encourages the behavior. It was infuriating to read sometimes because I just wanted to shake Franklin and scream at him to listen to his wife. It is not just Eva who can see that Kevin does not behave like he should but Franklin makes excuses about that too. My take on Franklin is that he had the biggest blinders on because he just loved Kevin so much that he actually wasn’t capable of seeing what everyone else could see.

I adored the character of Eva. I found her to be real and relatable. There are many instances in the book where Eva says she is a bad mother or questions what kind of a mother she is but I never once thought that she was a bad mother. I think that her husband influenced a lot of her negative thoughts about herself as a mother. I will even go so far as to say that Kevin might have turned out differently if she had been able to mother him the way she wanted. I see this book as a failure of the father and not the mother. It was so obvious to me that she was devoted to Kevin and even if she didn’t/doesn’t like Kevin she has still never turned her back on him. She was always there  with him and for him. One of the most consistent things in the book is that Eva is always trying with Kevin. Kevin truly does some awful stuff and there is his mother, always right in his corner. How can that not be love? Liking someone is not a prerequisite of love. Also, who knows how Kevin would have turned out if Eva was able to discipline him and set boundaries with him. I’m not saying that he would have been miraculously a good person (in my opinion Kevin was either born evil or was born with a severe personality disorder. The book never makes the distinction either way.) but maybe things wouldn’t have gone down the way they did.

The beginning of the letters I struggled a little bit to get through but the majority of this book I flew through. I am still giving this book 5 stars though because I ended up just really loving the story and Eva’s character so much. She is so misunderstood but at the same time she isn’t perfect and is paying for her downfalls as a mother. However, no parent is perfect and I think one of the big questions that runs throughout the book is how responsible is a parent for their child’s actions? Or to phrase it another way: how much is nurture and how much is nature?

This book has been made into a movie that I can’t wait to watch. I know I won’t like it nearly as much (we all know that movies are never as good as books) but it’s still fun to watch. The movie is on Amazon Prime if any of you stream movies on there.

Happy reading (or watching)!

~Cassie

Mini Reviews #1

In order to get all caught up on the SIXTY TWO books I read while I was taking my break from blogging, I have decided that it would be best if I just gave a sentence or two review for them. It would take me forever to catch up on all those reviews and still stay current with my recent reads. I am going to be working backwards so these will be the five books I read right before I got back into blogging.

34953103

A woman stumbles onto a dark road in rural Oregon–tortured, battered, and bound. She tells a horrific story about being kidnapped, then tortured, until she finally managed to escape. She was the lucky one–two other women, with similar burns and bruises, were found dead.

The surviving victim identifies the house where she was held captive and the owner, Alex Mason–a prominent local attorney–is arrested. Although he loudly insists upon his innocence, his wife’s statements about his sexual sadism and the physical evidence found at the scene, his summer home, is damning.

Regina Barrister is a legendary criminal defense attorney, known as “The Sorceress” for her courtroom victories. But she’s got a secret, one that threatens her skill, her reputation, and, most of all, her clients. And she’s agreed to take on the seemingly impossible task of defending Alex Mason.

Robin Lockwood, a young lawyer and former MMA fighter, has just left a clerkship at the Oregon Supreme Court to work for Regina Barrister. The Alex Mason trial is her first big one, a likely death penalty case, and she’s second chair to Regina. Increasingly, she’s worried her boss’s behavior and the details in the case against their client don’t quite add up.

Goodreads

This was a decent crime thriller even though I figured out the twist pretty early on. The amnesia part of the story line was intriguing but I feel like there were some character’s perspectives that were unnecessary to read from.

Rating: 3/5

29610595

Sloan will go through hell and back for those she loves.
And she does, every single day.
After finding herself stuck in a relationship with the dangerous and morally corrupt Asa Jackson, Sloan will do whatever it takes to get by until she’s able to find a way out.
Nothing will get in her way.
Nothing except Carter.

Sloan is the best thing to ever happen to Asa. And if you ask Asa, he’d say he’s the best thing to ever happen to Sloan. Despite Sloan’s disapproval of Asa’s sinister lifestyle, he does exactly what he needs to do in order to stay a step ahead in his business. He also does exactly what he needs to do in order to stay a step ahead of Sloan.
Nothing will get in his way.
Nothing except Carter.

From New York Times bestselling author, Colleen Hoover, writing as C. Hoover.
This book was originally written as a side project by the author. It previously appeared on other platforms under the same title, but has since been slightly edited from its original content and formatted specifically for kindle. Please note that the content of this book is more graphic than the content of other books written by this author, hence the distinction between the names. This title is recommended for mature audiences only due to extreme graphic content. Recommended for readers 18+.
Warning: For readers who might be triggered by sensitive subject matter, this book contains scenes which depict rape, murder and other graphic violence.

Goodreads

I really didn’t like this. There was no believability in any of the actions that the characters took and what really cemented my low rating of the book was the excessive epilogue. It was not needed and really brought down whatever good stuff this book had going for it. There is one scene in particular that really made me hate this book and I am annoyed now just thinking about it.

Rating: 1/5

23638955

A chance encounter sparks an unrelenting web of lies in this stunning new psychological thriller from national bestselling author Mary Kubica

She sees the teenage girl on the train platform, standing in the pouring rain, clutching an infant in her arms. She boards a train and is whisked away. But she can’t get the girl out of her head…

Heidi Wood has always been a charitable woman: she works for a nonprofit, takes in stray cats. Still, her husband and daughter are horrified when Heidi returns home one day with a young woman named Willow and her four-month-old baby in tow. Disheveled and apparently homeless, this girl could be a criminal—or worse. But despite her family’s objections, Heidi invites Willow and the baby to take refuge in their home.

Heidi spends the next few days helping Willow get back on her feet, but as clues into Willow’s past begin to surface, Heidi is forced to decide how far she’s willing to go to help a stranger. What starts as an act of kindness quickly spirals into a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated.

Goodreads

This was an average domestic thriller. The main character, Heidi, could be annoying at times but her character arc in this book is brilliantly written. I also was shocked by the twist and I thought it was really well done. Some parts of the book dragged on but overall that was an enjoyable read.

Rating: 3/5

5-COMIC-SANS-MURDER

Clare Henry’s snowy Star City, Utah, oasis turns deadly in the third Dangerous Type Mystery from the New York Timesbestselling author of Bookman Dead Style and To Helvetica and Back.

SOMETHING’S AFOOT….

The visit of quirky world-famous horror author Nathan Grimes to Star City is especially thrilling for Clare Henry and her grandfather Chester. As the owners of The Rescued Word, a charming boutique shop in town, Clare and Chester specialize in restoring old typewriters and repairing beloved books. They’ve invited Nathan to their shop to use their equipment for his next book.

But all plans to work on the book take a step in the wrong direction when a tourist discovers an abandoned ski boot on the slopes–and the only sign of the owner is the dismembered foot he left inside! Nathan’s writer’s curiosity for all things horror is further piqued after the body of Clare’s high school friend Lloyd Gavin is discovered sans one foot. When all toes point to a class reunion gone wrong, Nathan can’t help but join Clare and her best friend, police officer Jodie Wentworth, as they hurry to track down the killer before more former classmates become Most Likely to Be Killed.

Goodreads

If you enjoy cozy mysteries and like learning a bit about the history and types of typewriters then this is definitely a book for you. This book is part of a series but I was still able to fully understand everything.

Rating: 3/5

25111004

Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse.

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

Can Ben’s relationship with Fallon—and simultaneously his novel—be considered a love story if it ends in heartbreak?

Goodreads

I really wanted to like this but sadly this was another Colleen Hoover book that I really didn’t like. Sometimes the plot of this book worked and other times it was so unbelievable and just bad. Also, I didn’t see the point of the twist at the end. The one thing this book had going for it was that I really did believe in the romance between Ben and Fallon but that just ruined it for me. I also felt that there were times when Ben was too aggressive towards Fallon but she always made excuses for it and all I wanted was for her to stand up to him and take ownership of her body. It would have been different if there was some sort of dialogue in the book that made it clear that this kind of behavior for guys is unacceptable but there was none of that.

Rating: 2/5

So there are my first five books I wanted to review.  If you have any questions or want to know more about my thoughts on them then just let me know and I will be happy to talk more about them.

~Cassie

Reading Challenge Update

Last August I found a reading challenge that I wanted to complete before the end of last year. I didn’t complete it but I have read most of the books on the list and I hope to finish the last few this year. I thought it would be fun to update you on the 15 books that could be this year’s Gone Girl and show you what I have read and what I still have to read.

  1. I See You by Clare Mackintosh
  2. Ill Will by Dan Choan
  3. The Girl Before by JP Delaney
  4. Everything You Want Me To Be by Mindy Mejia
  5. The Secrets You Keep by Kate White
  6. A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell
  7. Behind Her Eyes by Sara Pinborough
  8. Little Deaths by Emma Flint
  9. Into The Water by Paula Hawkins 
  10. The Child by Fiona Barton
  11. Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica
  12. Final Girls by Riley Sager
  13. The Breakdown by B.A. Paris
  14. The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
  15. A Stranger In The House by Shari Lapena

I have I See You on hold with my library and I just bought A Stranger In The House so I will be reading that one soon.

Happy Reading!

~Cassie

Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage

REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS

th-3

Title: Beautiful Broken Girls

Author: Kim Savage

Pages: 336

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)

Publication Date: February 21, 2017

Genre: YA Contemporary with Magical Realism elements

Rating: 2/5

Remember the places you touched me.

The parts of Mira Cillo that Ben touched are etched on his soul.

Palm. Hair. Chest. Cheek. Lips. Throat. Heart.

It was the last one that broke her. After her death, Mira sends Ben on a quest for notes she left in the seven places where they touched—notes that explain why she and her sister, Francesca, drowned themselves in the quarry. How Ben interprets those notes has everything to do with the way he was touched by a bad coach years before. But the truth behind the girls’ suicides is far more complicated, involving a dangerous infatuation, a deadly miracle, and a crushing lie.

Goodreads

This book started off with Virgin Suicides meets 13 Reasons Why type of vibes and then quickly turned into a not fully actualized magical realism YA contemporary. The switch between the two was kind of jarring but this is also the first magical realism novel that I have read so maybe that’s why? I feel like I would have liked it more if I had known about it going in so I could have been looking for signs of it. Which may have been my fault because I didn’t really look into this book too much before reading it.

There was so much I didn’t like about this book and one of my main issues was that Ben and Mira were supposed to be in love and I just didn’t buy into at all. They seemed to barely know each other and Mira even believes an obvious lie about Ben without ever confronting him about it and that’s what “broke them up”. I say that with quotation marks because I don’t think they were ever really dating. Hooking up yes but dating no.

My other big issue with this book is that neither the characters or the story felt fully developed. I found Ben to make the most ridiculous decisions and I was annoyed reading from his perspective most of the time. His character sort of just became a sponge for whatever character he was interacting with at the time. Ben had no real ideas or thoughts for himself. When another character mentions something so far fetched he just immediately believes it and starts spreading it around. Also, why the hell did Mira do everything Francesca wanted to do. Even when her ideas were dumb as hell there was Mira just going right along with it. None of the the other characters are even worth mentioning because they were pretty much the same person just different names. All people that were standing in the way of Ben figuring out Mira’s story. The only other notable character is Ben’s friend Kyle who had some kind of mysterious relationship or interaction with Francesca that we never get to know about.

I did like the darkness of some of the characters and once I got over my shock about the magical realism I enjoyed that too. I just wish so badly that things would have been more fully actualized because I really did enjoy the premise of the story. Also, the ending for me fit into the weirdness of the story and I liked the full circle aspect of it.

This book definitely romanticizes a lot of heavy duty stuff, such as suicide and molestation so I wouldn’t recommend this if that is a deal breaker for you. If you want to know more about how this book romanticizes these issues, you should check out some of the Goodreads reviews of this book because they do a much better job than me at detailing them. I have heard good things about Savage’s other novel, After The Woods, so I think I am going to give that one a try before I decide if this author is for me or not.