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.

I just started:

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

This novella was a quick, down and dirty slice of horror by the author of “Clown In A Cornfield”. The MC is a grocery store worker by day, a horror movie director by night, and was developed in a way that felt true to life. But what happens when one of the actors takes things too far? It’s interesting to see the evolution of a writer’s style and talent from their earlier works. This one was a bit rough in places, but it kept my attention more than several more polished works have lately. I understand what Cesare was going for with the ending, and I like it, but I felt it needed just a little bit more, a page, maybe two, to give the reader the payoff they deserve.

This book is a modern day, YA retelling of some of Edgar Allan Poe’s works, and OMG does the author throw references to enough of them in here – I lost count. I am a HUGE McGinnis fan, and a Poe fan, so my expectations were really high for this book. But whereas McGinnis’s characters usually feel deep and developed, in this book they felt kind of shallow and flat. We get slices of the story from both MC’s perspectives, but even though all the reasons are there to feel for the girls, I didn’t. And there’s motivation, sure, but not enough to explain why things would be taken so far. It ends on a cliffhanger that feels more like the book just stopped in the middle. There is a sequel in the works that will hopefully wrap up the loose ends and answer all the questions, but the way it ended with really nothing to satisfy the reader who just spent 370 pages with the book was frustrating. Good, but not as great as I was expecting.

I just started:

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

This book has such an exciting premise! Drawn by her dreams into the past, the MC joins her relatives on the Titanic – but someone may be trying to keep her there! Full of suspense, this one didn’t have me reading with quite the urgency as Mather’s other stories, but it kept me hooked! I’m officially a fangirl of this author!

This book! The MC is sent to spend the summer with her uncle who works for a circus on a remote island in Louisiana after he summons for her – only he didn’t. And it’s not just called the Circus Of The Dead – people actually die there, sometimes as part of the acts. Once on the island, she’s desperate to find a way to escape all the ghosts and danger and . . . boys? I really liked this book, but the MC was a little too boy crazy for my taste. Also, while I expected a cliffhanger ending since this is part of a series, I didn’t expect such a sudden and unfulfilling end.

I just started:

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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.

I just started:

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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:

Secrets, lies, and betrayal? Yes, please! Honestly, I wasn’t feeling this one at first. It took me a while to warm up to the characters, and even the plot – an estranged family full of secrets – didn’t seem like it was going to deliver the payout I’ve come to expect from McManus. Then the twists started rolling in like waves during a storm, relentlessly crashing against me – and forcing me to change my mind. Not my favorite by the author, but way more than I initially expected. She’s sure to blindside you at least once with this well thought out mystery.

The YA Silence Of The Lambs

I think the cover and the title of this one don’t do it justice. I was expecting a somewhat hokey teen slasher. What I got was the YA The Silence Of The Lambs! Creepy, suspenseful, and atmospheric in an eerie Hannibal Lecter perfect villain that you can’t quite hate kind of way! I will say that while I love the use of an incomplete sentence for effect, this author does at times take it to extremes. But, I got much more than I bargained for with this one, so no complaints here. So good!

I just started:

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

Which is scarier? Clowns? or Cornfields? Why not both?!?! This one brings plenty of thrills to the table like a good teen slasher should. Easy reading and big on the entertainment factor without being poorly written. Spoiler alert: The clown did it!

I feel like this one was as much of a social commentary as a horror novel, maybe even more so. There are some good scenes if horror is what you’re after, but if that’s all you’re after, and you want the pacing and tension of a horror novel, you might find your attention straying in spots, especially in the beginning. Good but not spectacular.

I just started:

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5 More Horror Books To Add To Your Reading List

Okay, so maybe Halloween is over, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to end! Here are 5 more horror books to add to your reading list!

If you’re looking for a time warp back to the 80s try:

If you’re looking to learn something new try:

If you’re looking for something with serious ick factor try:

If you’re looking for a ‘killer’ twist try:

If you’re looking for ghosts try:

For more reading recommendations check out:

5 Gory Books For Your Spooktober Reading List

5 Atmospheric Books For Your Spooktober Reading List

5 Fun YA Books For Your Spooktober Reading List

5 Books Like Agatha Christie’s ‘And Then There Were None’

5 Fictional Serial Killer Books To Add To Your Reading List

Click the links to friend me on Litsy or Goodreads and unite our bookish communities!

Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

What an odd book! Interesting characters, intriguing premise (a haunting in a store instead of a house), and some intense scenes. I didn’t connect with the characters as much as I would have liked, which kept me from being overly vested in the outcome, but overall, great entertainment!
What I loved most about this book was the sense of 80s nostalgia. The plot was intriguing and while a horror story, it was also a book about friendship and coming of age, with just enough tongue in cheek humor to keep you smirking between wincing.

I just started:

Click the links to friend me on Litsy or Goodreads and unite our bookish communities!

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