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:

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.

I just started:

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

This book was engaging and kept me up late reading. Blake’s writing draws you in and keeps you in the story’s grasp. Good ghost scenes and action. Not as haunting as the first, but a good sequel.
This one was crafty. I thought I knew what I was in for, then it took a turn that had me worried I was mistaken, then *pow* it was back on track, hunting the characters down through the pages and delivering exactly what I wanted!

I just started:

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Monday (Mini Book Review) Madness

This week I read:

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This book was glorious and brutal and thrilling and heartbreaking and wrong. But SO right. You can always count on McGinnis to emotionally destroy you. If you need to cry, she’s your girl. If you need a lift and some strength, she’s your girl, too. Officially crushing on this author. (Is it wrong that I plan to use this book as my defense in court if I ever go on a rampage?)

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I felt kind of blah about this one. It was on a list of titles with killer twists, so my expectations may have been unfairly high. There were plenty of twists, but they left me underwhelmed – I didn’t experience the highs and lows I expect from a thriller. That said, it was well written and a different reader may really enjoy it.

I just started:

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ARC Review: Five Total Strangers By Natalie D. Richards

sFrom Goodreads: A hitched ride home in a snow storm turns sinister when one of the passengers is plotting for the ride to end in disaster.

When Mira flies home to spend Christmas with her mother in Pittsburgh, a record-breaking blizzard results in a cancelled layover. Desperate to get to her grief-ridden mother in the wake of a family death, Mira hitches a ride with a group of friendly college kids who were on her initial flight.

As the drive progresses and weather conditions become more treacherous, Mira realizes that the four other passengers she’s stuck in the car with don’t actually know one another.

Soon, they’re not just dealing with heavy snowfall and ice-slick roads, but the fact that somebody will stop at nothing to ensure their trip ends in a deadly disaster.

My Review: I read One Was Lost by this author last year and really liked it, so I was excited to get my hands on this one!

This book drew me in and kept my attention. Fast paced and suspenseful, every time I thought I knew what direction this twisty thriller was going to go it shifted gears and surprised me! Craftily plotted and with plenty of red herrings, the author keeps you guessing until the end. So get in the car and prepare yourself for a ride full of nail biting tension!

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

Expected release: October 6, 2020

Monday (Mini Book Review) Madness

This week I read:

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I picked this one up, then almost set it down after a few pages. I didn’t like the writing and could tell right away that at least one of the characters was going to rub me the wrong way, but I had just seen the title on a list with many books that I had enjoyed, so I kept reading. It never shocked me like the cover blurb promises, but it ended up being decent with a nice twist. 

Mexican Gothic
This was a #BlameItOnLitsy read because this book is getting so much hype right now. While it was definitely creepy with well developed characters, an eerie setting, and plenty of atmosphere, I found that at times the descriptive writing broke up the suspense with all its details. Good, but not as good as I was hoping.

I just started:

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ARC Review: The First To Lie by Hank Phillippi Ryan

52383175From Goodreads: 

Bestselling and award-winning author and investigative reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan delivers another twisty, thrilling cat and mouse novel of suspense that will have you guessing, and second-guessing, and then gasping with surprise.

We all have our reasons for being who we are—but what if being someone else could get you what you want?

After a devastating betrayal, a young woman sets off on an obsessive path to justice, no matter what dark family secrets are revealed. What she doesn’t know—she isn’t the only one plotting her revenge.

An affluent daughter of privilege. A glamorous manipulative wannabe. A determined reporter, in too deep. A grieving widow who must choose her new reality. Who will be the first to lie? And when the stakes are life and death, do a few lies really matter?

My Review:

Wow!!! Hank has done it again! This suspenseful tale is full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the end! Craftily plotted, oozing with suspense, and with just a touch of sinister intentions, this book will have you asking yourself – “Who isn’t lying?”

Great subject matter with a plausible storyline that kept me engaged and enthralled.

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 was sweet, and cute, and everything good. I didn’t like it as much as Simon, but it checked all the boxes you look for in a feel good YA story. Quick and easy and fun (and funny!), well developed characters and a plot that makes you care.

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I almost DNFed this multiple times. There were too many POV characters, and Hawkins didn’t develop them well enough in the beginning for me to keep them straight and know who was who, which I found frustrating. It finally picked up about 60% in. Yikes! It ended up a decent story, but I doubt I’ll read one of her books again.

I just started:

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

Monday (Mini Book Review) Madness

This week I read:

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You may have noticed by now that I love the whole trapped in an isolated situation with a killer trope. This one made for easy reading. While I figured out the who (but not the why) early on, I must say that the author did a great job of handling so many characters – I was able to keep them straight right away, which isn’t always the case. Recommended for readers who want a fun, quick paced, mystery. Not recommended for those who want an intricate, hard to solve mystery.

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This is the sequel to The Things You Find In Rockpools, which I loved. While this one was good, the author normalized the MC too much, losing some of the quirky charm that made the first book so appealing. Recommended for readers looking for a fun, if somewhat unbelievable, dual mystery. Not recommended for readers who are driven crazy by typos, etc. – while the first book was clean, this one was in dire need of a good edit. Dire. Need. My head almost exploded.

On audiobook:

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This was the second audiobook I’ve finished, and, again, I really wish I’d have read it instead of listening to it (it took me several months to finish). It seemed like a fun YA mystery thriller. There was a lot going on, and I feel I lost a lot in translation with the frequent gaps and breaks I took in listening to this. I liked it enough to read another of her books.

I just started:

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I used to LOVE this author, then her books sort of . . . lost my interest. Really looking forward to seeing if the spark is reignited!

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

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