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:

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 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.

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

This was a really interesting book. The author creates a work of fiction while also drawing on her own family roots based on being one of Cotton Mather’s descendants. She parallels the Salem Witch Trials to modern day bullying in high school while also weaving in a some ghosts and modern day witches. It was fun and suspenseful, with likeable characters, witty dialogue, and plenty of action. I enjoyed this one so much I already bought the sequel!

I’m quickly becoming a big fan of Weiland’s books on the craft of writing! They’re full of useful information, they’re entertaining, and with the many examples she gives using both popular books and movies, they’re easy to understand. I’ve always focused on plot when writing because while reading, even a book full of characters I hate can keep my attention if the plot is good enough, but after reading this I’m going to work on making my stories deeper by developing my character arcs!

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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.

I just started:

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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:

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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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!

I just started:

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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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