Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

This was definitely a #BlameItOnLitsy choice. Despite being published almost 20 years ago, it’s been getting a lot of attention – and good reviews – lately. So much so that when it showed up as a Kindle daily deal, I had to snatch it up. It was definitely suspenseful and interesting, but, to me, it felt like the author took the long way around. Heavy on the court drama and the did she/didn’t she. The twist at the ending did blindside me, but I felt a bit underwhelmed. If you like legal mysteries, this one’s for you.

This book was described as “an homage to 1980’s slashers and mall culture,” How could I resist? The short answer is that I couldn’t. It was a quick, fast paced, fun read. That said, it was rough in some areas and seemed almost as much of a social commentary on consumerism as a teen slasher. It took an odd, unexpected turn that I felt detracted from what was promised. Definitely campy, but that’s the point. 3.5 stars rounded up.

Thanks to NetGalley, the Publisher and the Author for an advanced copy for review.

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

There’s so much going on it this book! A teenage boy struggling to reconcile the wild stories his grandfather told him with reality after his loss. A mysterious island where he meets mysterious children that give him a glimpse into his grandfather’s past. And . . . Nazis? Yeah, Nazis. But the author does an excellent job of weaving all the threads together, making the outlandish and impossible seem quite sane and able. I found myself accepting even the paranormal-ish aspects of the book without question. An enjoyable adventure!

I’ve read several of White’s books before, and can usually count on her for a good thrill. This one felt different from the start, though. Usually her books center around the suspense of who will be murdered, but this one starts with the murder and switches between what led to the crime and the trial. Still a compelling read, but it didn’t keep me on the edge of my seat quite as much as I’d hoped. It did, however, wrap up with a nice twist!

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

This book was well written, insightful, and at times, poignant. But if I’m being honest, I didn’t really care. This was a good book, but I had to battle my way through it. The plot had me hooked – a plane crashes, and only a single young boy survives. But, while I sympathized for the character who lost his entire family in the crash, I didn’t like him, which made me feel bad. Some of his actions and reactions didn’t ring true. I preferred the scenes without Edward because I felt the author did a better job of letting me know who those characters were. If you’re looking for an emotional character ARC, this one’s for you.

This book is about a podcaster who debarks from her norm of investigating – and solving – cold case murders to covering a rape trial for her third season. While there, a fan who’s case she chose not to pursue baits her with letters about the crime. The scenes shift between her podcast, the courtroom, the letters written to her, and her actions as she investigates the second case when she should be focusing on the first. This book has received All. The. Hype. And while there’s plenty of suspense in this one, I just wasn’t feeling it as strongly as I had hoped. It’s a good book with an engaging story, but it didn’t hit me as intensely as I had anticipated. 4/5 stars.

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

There are a lot of books on craft, some of them better than others. This is one of the good ones. If you’re looking for a reader friendly tutorial that will help inspire and renew vigor for your own writing, I suggest giving this book a shot. It’s short, easy, and most important of all, filled with useful information!

This book has all the suspense! After a car accident that left her mother dead and herself injured, Jess is sent to live with her father in the extreme northern wilderness. She barely knows him and doesn’t want to be there. But after he dies, leaving her stranded, disabled, and alone, with the harsh winter coming, Jess is forced to fend for her own survival – or die trying. I really enjoyed most, but not all, of this book. Worth a read but brace yourself.

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

This was definitely an interesting book. Three sisters being raised as extreme ‘Preppers’ encounter issues with other members inside their group, which is paralleled by another storyline that would give too much away if I revealed it. I enjoyed reading about the survival skills, gear, acronyms preppers use, etc., and found several of the characters likeable. Humor helped to balance out the tense subject matter, but this in no way detracted from the suspense. An enjoyable read.

In this book, two half sisters learn about each other and their dad’s secret other life after he dies in a plane crash. I’d heard good things about this book, and really liked the other work I’ve read by this author, but was hesitant to give it a try because it’s written in verse. IDK why I thought this meant it would rhyme and be awkward to read but it didn’t and it wasn’t. I liked the characters, the plot, and the heart in this book. Not my favorite by Acevedo, but still a stellar read and worth a try.

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

Two teachers quit their jobs and decide to build a house themselves in a remote Vermont town on land that used to be owned by witches. This book had a really interesting take on the whole haunted house trope – the freshest execution I’ve read in a while. It was a bit sluggish at times, and I didn’t love the writer’s style in the beginning, but by the end I couldn’t put it down because I had to know what happened!

This book was super creepy. Something bad is going down in the cities of the world, so the MC is on her way to pick up her aunt to take her to her sister’s compound, where they hope to stay safe. Except she gets in a wreck on the way, and can’t remember what was going on, how her wreck happened, how she got her injuries, or how she ended up in a secret mansion hidden in the woods with a strange man.

There’s so much suspense while you’re waiting for the reveals to start rolling in, because there were so many ways this one could have gone. Then it lost me a bit at the end for a couple of reasons. I won’t be reading the sequel, but I very much enjoyed this one.

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

This book is strange and weird but also kind of wonderful. It wasn’t the crazy spoof I was expecting – it’s about a pair of twins who spontaneously catch fire. There are so many ways that plot could veer towards the absurd. But rather than being silly, it was touching and full of heart. I think the author does a great job in the way he crafts this story and his characters. I’d definitely read more by him.

This is about a girl who attends a prestigious school on scholarship, is inducted into an elite social group, and whose bestfriend is murdered freshman year, but doubts about the identity of the killer arise her senior year.

This one was good, but I wasn’t really feeling it. I didn’t connect with any of the characters and thought certain aspects of the plot were a bit too far fetched. I did want to know what happened, and there were just enough red herrings to keep me reading and guessing, but it was always going to be one of two suspects. I wanted more.

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My Top 10 Books Of 2020

I had to wait for the last minute to make this list because I’ve read SO MANY good books this year and they just keep coming! I wish I could include them all, but unfortunately, that’s not how these lists work! These are the top 10 books I read this year that I’d recommend adding to your TBR pile:

Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton

1) Hollow Kingdom

This one was a HUGE departure from what I normally read, but I loved it so much! It made me laugh, cry, and think.

In an Instant by Suzanne Redfearn

2) In An Instant

This is one of those books that breaks you, then puts you back together again. Keep tissues handy.

Heroine by Mindy McGinnis

3) Heroine

Readers of Mindy McGinnis know that she doesn’t pull any punches. This book was raw and brutal and should be required reading for high schoolers.

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

4) The Sun Down Motel

This book had all the atmosphere! It also gave me ghost story fever and influenced what I read quite a bit in the months after I finished it.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

5) Anna Dressed In Blood

You wouldn’t expect a YA horror book to be so good, but this one really was. It was deep and poignant and much more than I ever expected.

The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson

6) The Hand On The Wall

This entire trilogy was just so perfect, from the dual mystery, modern day and historical, to the characters. It was an absolute pleasure to read! (And I hear there’s a fourth book in the works!)

#NoEscape (Volume 3) by Gretchen McNeil

7) #NoEscape

I’m a big Gretchen McNeil fan, and this one did not disappoint! Plenty of suspense, horror, and so, so smart!

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

8) With The Fire On High

This book didn’t have a lot of suspense, it had zero horror, but it had a lot of heart. It had me cheering for the main character because I cared about her future.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

9) Home Before Dark

For some reason I got the biggest kick out of this book. It was a good balance of humor and horror, fact and fiction, and I really had fun reading it.

I'm Not Dying with You Tonight by Kimberly   Jones

10) I’m Not Dying With You Tonight

This wasn’t the best written or the most emotional, but it kept me on the edge of my seat! Incredibly suspenseful because it was such a pertinent book for our times, 2020 in particular.

Have you read any of these? Where did they rank with what you read this year?

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

This isn’t one of my normal genres, but I’m a fan of the author and decided to give it a shot. Set in a dystopian future where water is scarce and the earth is wild, this YA story pulls no punches with nail-biting suspense and plenty of tension. It center’s on one girl’s fight for survival, and the ways she’s forced to grow. Not my favorite by this author, but good.

This is a “James Patterson Presents” book, which means he reads it and writes a forward. The plot is pretty simple and can be gleaned from the cover – a group of high school kids are in a plane crash in the middle of the jungle and do their best to survive. Told from the point of view of one boy, the writing is

I just started:

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