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:

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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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 Book Review) Madness

This week I read:

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This is all I want in a book. Mystery. Suspense. Intrigue. So many twists and turns that it’s impossible to peg the exact truth down, and then, at the reveal, everything makes sense because all the groundwork has painstakingly been laid. I’m satisfied yet yearning for more. This is my happy sigh. SIGH.

Five students, a storm, and sabotage. Read my ARC review of this twisty YA                                  thriller here.                             Expected release: October 6, 2020

I just started:

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ARC Review: Kind Of A Big Deal by Shannon Hale

50884610. sy475 From Goodreads: From bestselling author Shannon Hale comes Kind of a Big Deal: a hilarious, deliciously readable YA novel that will suck you in—literally.

There’s nothing worse than peaking in high school. Nobody knows that better than Josie Pie.

She was kind of a big deal—she dropped out of high school to be a star! But the bigger you are, the harder you fall. And Josie fell. Hard. Ouch. Broadway dream: dead.

Meanwhile, her life keeps imploding. Best friend: distant. Boyfriend: busy. Mom: not playing with a full deck? Desperate to escape, Josie gets into reading.

Literally. She reads a book and suddenly she’s inside it. And with each book, she’s a different character: a post-apocalyptic heroine, the lead in a YA rom-com, a 17th century wench in a corset.

It’s alarming. But also . . . kind of amazing?

It’s the perfect way to live out her fantasies. Book after book, Josie the failed star finds a new way to shine. But the longer she stays in a story, the harder it becomes to escape.

Will Josie find a story so good that she just stays forever?

My Review: I was a little worried at first with this one. The writing was good, but the main character was shallow and while the premise was interesting, I was afraid it was going to be stupid rather than silly – but I’m glad I stuck with it! The story grew depth and direction and ended up being great fun!
I enjoyed the story and found myself laughing out loud several times. It has a good message, the MC grew and matured over the course of the pages, and even though this book definitely falls under the ‘clean teen’ category, there’s still plenty of entertainment! And the ending? Completely took me by surprise!

I feel that this one probably appeals most to traditional aged YA readers. 3.5/5 stars

I received an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Expected release: August 25,  2020

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ARC Review: Even If We Break By Marieke Nijkamp

51210722From Goodreads:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marieke Nijkamp comes a shocking new thriller about a group of friends tied together by a game and the deadly weekend that tears them apart.

FIVE friends go to a cabin.
FOUR of them are hiding secrets.
THREE years of history bind them.
TWO are doomed from the start.
ONE person wants to end this.
NO ONE IS SAFE.

Are you ready to play?

My Review:

Heading in, I didn’t know what to expect. I thought the cover looked cool, and I read This Is How It Ends by this author several years ago and recalled really liking it, so I was excited to give this one a chance. 

What I got was a fast-paced, interesting YA mystery thriller.

Diverse characters and a suspenseful plot kept me turning the pages, but it was the mystery that kept me hooked. I enjoyed the way the characters’ RPG roles intertwined and influenced their realities, but found the game itself a bit distracting (although I’m sure there are people who will love it).

The mysterious ghost story about the cabin was a nice touch – I would have liked to see a little more of this element, if only to keep the reader guessing, as the ending was a little predictable – not enough was done to make everyone a viable suspect. But all in all I enjoyed this story and look forward to her next book!

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Monday (Mini Book Review) Madness

This week I read:

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This one held my attention, but to be honest, I liked the idea of the plot better than Swanson’s execution of it. The story was fast-paced and enthralling, but parts fell a little flat for me. I didn’t care for any of the characters and was looking for a twist that would knock my socks off, which didn’t happen, and I found the ending underwhelming. Still, I would recommend it, but with the warning that there are spoilers for more books than just those with the 8 ‘perfect murders’.

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       Expected release: August 4, 2020         To read my ARC review, click here.

I just started:

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Monday (Mini Book Review) Madness

This week I read:

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Very simplistic in its style, and a little bumpy in places, but it’s a CLUE pastiche! CLUE!!! After a childhood (and adulthood) spent defending my undefeated CLUE championship title, I feel like there was no way that I couldn’t have loved this book – and I did! Looking forward to the next book in the series! 

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I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as The Sundown Motel, but still a solid, suspenseful ghost story. Plenty of atmosphere and mystery made this a hard book to put down!

I just started:

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Monday (Mini Book Review) Madness

This week I read:

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This book was EVERYTHING! I laughed, I cried, and still I want more! Irreverently funny, obscene, and yet at times poignantly deep. Totally not the type of book I typically read, but so worth the departure from my norm. The zombie apocalypse told from the perspective of animals, mainly a crow, as they try to rescue the pets locked in their homes and survive the zombies and changing world. 5 blinding stars! Recommended for everyone, because this is the first book I’ve read this year that makes me feel that way.

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I really enjoyed this one, despite being a bit disappointed by the direction it went. It was quick paced, tensely plotted, and kept my mind racing with thoughts about what must really be going on. Recommended for readers looking for a twisty thriller. Not recommended for readers who want a completely believable tale.

I just started:

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Monday (Book) Madness

Last week I read:

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Great ‘YA book with a purpose’. The MC always knew she’d need a liver transplant… someday. She just didn’t expect someday to arrive her senior year of high school. Mad props to the author – totally didn’t see the ending coming! (On a side note, I met this author once years ago before she was published and she wrote MG fiction, and she was so incredibly nice and friendly! So happy for her success!)

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I’d heard a lot about this book (both good and bad) so I had no idea what to expect when I started it. It’s not my preferred genre, but I’ve been slowly trying to expand my comfort zone – a little dystopian here, a little sci-fi there – and while it wasn’t my favorite book I’ve read so far this year, there’s no denying that I did enjoy it. Some beautiful prose, some vivid (nightmarish) descriptions and an engaging story made this one a win for me.

I just started:

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