Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

I’m breaking the first rule – I’m going to talk about Fight Club! This was an interesting read. I saw the movie years ago and remembered the twist, which was unfortunate because I would have liked to have experienced the surprise while reading it. However, even knowing what happens, the way Palahniuk artfully weaves his web of in your face deception is fascinating. A great study in unreliable narrators for writers and entertaining to boot!

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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:

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.

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:


I loved “Killer Triggers” by Joe Kenda! It read very much like his old show, Homicide Hunter on Discovery ID – so much so that I could practically hear Kenda narrating the text inside my head! As Kenda leads us through a handful of his memorable cases, readers will find the text rich with his distinctive mix of wit, humor and bada$$ery!

Even those who have never heard of him before will enjoy this in depth look at how homicide cases were investigated during his tenure at the Colorado Springs PD. A must for any true crime fan!

What I enjoyed the most, though, was how Kenda makes himself vulnerable in this book, discussing his own PTSD demons and promoting the importance of cops, EMTs, etc. to reach out and discuss the traumas they experience on the job to keep it from festering and leading to negative behaviors.

Thanks to NetGalley and the Publishers for an advance copy in exchange for an unbiased review.

For some reason I thought this was going to be a YA book. Then, I was slightly concerned because I felt an immediate disconnect with the MC and the situation. And then . . . I fell in love. This is one of those stories where you expect one thing – some ridiculousness or humor – and you find something else – So. Much. Heart. Much in the vein of “There’s Nothing To See Here”, this story will draw you in and endear you to everyone in it. Sweet and magical and delivers all the feels!

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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:

I was surprised when I looked at the reviews for this one to discover that many readers liked it more than the first – it’s not often that a sequel exceeds the original, but after finishing the book I have to admit that this story was on fire! Not quite as good as the first, but pretty close! High stakes, high tension, and high action will leave you breathless! In this one, November leaves the Academy and takes us on an adrenaline ride across oceans, beneath cities, and inside the darkest corners of a Secret Society in an attempt to save her father.

I was really excited to receive this ARC of a YA horror book by the author of “Bird Box” and “Malorie”. The premise sounded incredibly creepy (I mean, a house at the bottom of a lake!) and while the book delivered all the spooks and chills, I’d have to say it falls more into the speculative category than horror, and I was a little underwhelmed. While a good, quick read, I wanted more – more depth from the YA characters, more horror in the plot, and more like I was a part of the story – the narrative didn’t draw me in and make me feel as vested as I would have liked.

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

This is an ARC of a book PLL’s author Sara Shepard wrote with a 16 year-old influencer, and I have to say that, unfortunately, it shows. While the story is good and shows an interesting insider’s view of the influencer industry, it’s not quite as compelling as Shepard’s books usually are, and there’s something distinctly juvenile about the writing style. I’d say this one’s best for younger readers. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4.

Secret organizations, ancient families, and a school that teaches its students deadly skills? Yes, please. This was a fast paced, enthralling YA book that was so much fun that I had to start the sequel ASAP, even though book one has a nice conclusion if you don’t want to read on. Plenty of fun and useful info too!

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

This was an interesting book. A teenage girl with schizophrenia deals with her illness while also trying to lead a somewhat normal life in high school, if there is such a thing. Her issues with determining what was real and what was part of her psychosis leant itself well to the plot. It was an interesting portrayal of mental illness and ultimately I really enjoyed it.

This is the book upon which Hitchcock based the legendary movie, only in the book, what takes place happens against the backdrop of France during WWII. I really had to push through this one. I only continued to get to the payoff I knew was coming, but I found even the ending a bit disappointed. This is one of the rare instances where I’d recommend watching the movie and skipping the book.

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

Two girls alone in a cabin in the middle of the woods waiting for their mom to come home with their sick little sister – this one had me hooked from the start. It switches points of view from one of the girls to a childless woman who hopes to become a foster parent even though she suspects her husband is cheating on her. This one was so good up until the twists, which were a little disappointing. Still a well written and engaging story, just a touch unbelievable at times.

Anthologies are tough because you’re never going to like all the stories – or perhaps I should say almost never. While there were definitely certain stories in this collection that shone brighter than the others, I didn’t dislike any of them. They were all interesting and well written and clever! While the theme was YA horror shorts, these would easily be enjoyed by adult fans of the genre as well.

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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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