Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen are one of my favorite writing teams. When I read their first book, I was in awe. The second book was disappointing, but this one reminds me why I love their writing so damn much. This book is unsettling, shocking, riveting, and unforgettable.
Shay sees a woman commit suicide on a train platform, and she is sucked into the life of the woman by accident. She goes to her memorial service and meets her friends. Amanda had this group of friends, and two of them are sisters. Cassandra and Jane take a special interest in Shay. They start to spend time together and want to help Shay in whatever way they can. But as they get closer, Shay learns Amanda may have known something terrible and it could be a problem for Shay if she gets in too deep…
This book was so unsettling. I was on edge the whole time, wondering what was going to happen. I was shocked by how the sisters acted, and I loved finding out the full story. I was worried the whole time for Shay, and it was like one of those movies where you shout don’t go in there but the person never listens. It was so riveting, and I could not stop reading. I was mesmerized the whole time, and I can see myself reading this again even though now I know the outcome. I highly recommend this to all thriller fans, new and old alike. This writing duo does thrillers with a twist every time that will leave you breathless but needing more.
I did a post a few months ago talking about how ARCs are helpful and yet can hurt. I thought I was also going to end up reading less of them, but this did not happen. I said I would only be doing like one or two a month or stop requesting them. This did not happen at all. I ended up getting way into NetGalley all over again, and I have so many pending and to read.
I even joined this thing called ARCpocalyse, where you are supposed to like get all of your ARCS read in a timely manner. It’s been a cool way to meet friends and see how other people are doing, but it hasn’t worked out in the way I anticipated. But that is just fine with me. I know sometimes reading plans can change. I just ended up finding a lot of books I wanted to read so I just have not been able to stop.
I know ARCS are a good thing, but also sometimes not. I am very lucky to get the ones I do, and I am so grateful to every publisher who gives me the chance to read books early. It is one of my favorite things. I was even auto approved by a publisher, which I never expected. I hope I will get lucky more and more with this, but I am still so happy with what I am getting at this point.
I just want to say that ARCS are great, but they can also be bad. I think they can be bad when they are not given to the right people. I know that books need hype and promotion, but I think just always giving them to the big name people misses out on chances to make those books really mean something. I admit I have had back listed ARCS, but I have tried my best to stay on top of everything. But I have seen people who have so many that they never read them and just like sell them. I think there are some ARCS that should be going to like teens, POC, and those in the LGBTQIA community. There are so many people who deserve them, and I just get sad sometimes about how it seems like it can be unfair. But that is just how the world works and sometimes we have to do more for changes.
I am so thankful for all of the ARCS I receive, and this will never change. Here are just a few things I learned the past months of being a book blogger and the whole thing about ARCS:
Update your NetGalley stats regularly and make sure you update all the places you talk about books all of the time.
Share photos on Instagram and tag the publisher. You can also share in your stories.
Be concise in your bio and talk about the genres you read.
Be honest in your reviews,
Favorite your fav publishers so you know when books you may like are coming your way.
I still don’t understand how Edelweiss works.
ARCS are a privilege, but don’t stress yourself out.
Just try to have fun with them.
I am not sure why I wrote this, I just think I wanted to talk about my weird thoughts about ARCS. What are your feelings about ARCS? I would love to know all about them. Please share all your thoughts about them with me below.
I really wanted to like this book because it is blurbed by Karin Slaughter, and she’s one of my favorite authors. I’m not sure why, but this book was a big disappointment to me. I liked the beginning parts about the crimes, but it went downhill.
Stella is taken from her job at a movie theater and murdered. There’s a 2 under her body, and no one knows what this means.
Hudlar is the detective assigned to the case, and there’s also Freyja, the child psychologist. Both are working from different angles to see what happened to Stella. The police search through footage, but they are no closer to finding the killer. Freyja is interviewing classmates to see if anyone knew what could have happened to Stella. Her classmates actually saw the murder on Snapchat, but no one has answers.
Then they find out Stella was a terrible bully. She was setting up a horrible website about a classmate and even trying to sell her classmate online like a sex worker. Her phone shows up in the mailbox of a woman, but she says she has no idea why. Clearly, she’s connected somehow.
Then a teen boy goes missing and his body is found with a 3. There’s also Snapchat messages sent out about him as well. They contact someone who specializes in bullying, but there aren’t clear answers yet.
Normally I like police procedural books, but this one got so boring. I didn’t care about the characters and their lives. All the minute details of their lives were so boring to me, and I had a hard time finishing the book with all the extraneous details about everything. None of the characters were interesting, and I was annoyed that apparently Huldar and Freyja become a couple because there seems to no be no chemistry.
It was interesting to see how bullying interwove all the events, and I liked the gruesome parts. Not sure if I’d read more from the series, but I did like the gruesome. That was the only highlight for me. I ended up skimming towards the end. I will say the ending was super creepy, and I loved it.
Thank you NetGalley and St Martins Press for the ARC. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
All three of these published on February 4th, and I decided I was going to put all of the reviews together because it saves my sanity. I enjoyed reading all three of these books, and I highly recommend checking them out since they’re out now.
The Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
5 stars ⭐️
I love thrillers so much. Usually I read adult thrillers, but I’m so happy to see YA having more thrillers happening recently. They are among one of my top genres, so I can’t help but want to read all the ones I can possibly get my greedy hands on. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder has become one of my favorite thrillers I’ve read in a long time, and I hope Holly Jackson will consider also writing adult thrillers so she can get even more intense with her writing. Please.
Everyone in this book is so well written and interesting. This reminded me of like a true crime podcast and the whole Adnan Syed serif thing. So that was what was in the back of my mind the entire time. Pippa is such a strong character, trying to find the truth and do whatever it takes. She reminds me so much of a lot of the podcasters who got above and beyond to get the story, and I just couldn’t help but really love her immensely. Even the secondary characters have depth and breadth, genuinely contributing to the story and making it even better.
This is about suspense of what’s going on with Pippa looking for the truth interwoven with the crime of what really happened to Andie Bell. It’s addictive from the start and complex to the core. There’s so many pieces of the puzzle, and it just gets more shocking and interesting as time goes on. I was hooked
From the start and couldn’t put this book down. I loved this book so much. It may go down as one of my top thrillers of the year.
Thank you to Random House Childrens, Holly Jackson, and NetGalley for providing me with this Arc in exchange for my honest review.
Scammed by Kristen Simmons
4 stars ⭐️
Probably one of my most anticipated reads of this year. But the cover change didn’t make me happy.
Brynn is still at Vale Hall, but this time the stakes and cons are higher. I loved this book just as much as the first one, I was shocked the whole time.
It was awesome to see the other characters I hadn’t seen before in depth, and I liked them to be actual people instead of just fillers. I’m sad there wasn’t more with her friendship with Charlotte, I think the series would be stronger with a female friendship and not just a romance I’m not exactly invested in.
Simmons just writes in a way which makes me unable to put the book down. Her characters are well written and worth the page turning. I haven’t been this into a series for awhile. I’m already ready for the third book.
I recommend this to anyone who enjoys boarding school stories and shocking reveals.
Thank you NetGalley and Tor Teen for the advanced review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own,
Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers
4 stars ⭐️
I honestly am unsure of how to write this review because I have never read a book like this. I saw it on NetGalley, and I knew I needed it. I pretty much sped through it because I was ready for all of the answers this book was going to give me. Still, there are still some things I’m not sure of regarding this book. But that’s okay, I think.
Courtney summers states in the introduction she writes characters dealing with trauma. Already I’m like, alright this is going to be different. I skimmed over the intro at first, but I went back to it when I was deeper into the book and I appreciated it so much more. Just read this book is all I can say definitively.
Parker isn’t doing well. She’s gone from being perfect and popular to someone being watched and told she needs to be careful. She was drinking on school property and doing dangerous things. It came down to a suicide attempt and now she’s back in school on a tentative basis, talking to the guidance counselor and being monitored by her friends and teachers.
Parker is mean. She’s honest and states she hates people. She treats her friends so harshly and doesn’t even care about the consequences of her actions. She’s told again and again, she’s a bitch. She admits she’s a liar. Parker is a lot of bad things, but there’s also some issues she’s not dealing with. There are flashbacks to a party and the mystery of what happened to her best friend. It’s just so much happening… and it’s so real. I don’t think I’ve read anything this real in a long time, but I couldn’t help devouring it.
This book deals with some heavy topics. Trigger warnings for suicide attempt, drinking, rape mention, and animal death. It’s a very real book, and I don’t think it’s for everyone. But I definitely thought it was great. The ending wasn’t phenomenal, but I think the rest of the book makes up for it.
Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I loved all of these books a lot, and I’m so grateful to all of the kind publishers who allow me to read all of these wonderful books. You have no idea what it means to a bookworm like me. As a kid I would devour books like crazy, and now I’m lucky enough to be able to read so many early and share my thoughts with the world.
Have you read any of these books? Or maybe you would want to since reading my reviews? I’d love to know either way.
I really wanted to like this book. The cover is gorgeous, and the description sounds very like my wheelhouse. But all of my expectations fell short. Specifically, Heather the main character is the worst. She’s very annoying and unlikeable. She ruined the entire book for me.
The story starts out strange, and I had no idea what was going on. Heather is dealing with some trauma from when she was 12. She’s supposed to be a child psychologist, but I’d never trust my human spawn with her. She was in a group called Dead Girls Club. They liked serial killers and told stories about the Red Witch. Her best friend Becca died. But heather can’t recall what happened.
Now she’s being sent mementos from the past. And she wants to know what’s going on. She starts losing her mind and doing stupid things,
The last part of the book is very over the top and the reveals were ridiculous. This book lost my attention. What happened to Becca was stupid. Heather wasn’t worth her weight in salt. I don’t know how she was allowed to become a doctor. She should have been locked up. There was nothing supernatural, just a bunch of trash. Don’t waste your time unless you want disappointment.
Thank you NetGalley and Crooked Lane for the ARC. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
These are all my own thoughts and opinions. Everyone has different experiences so if you have different thoughts, I’d love to discuss them.
I’m going to talk about these points as well as my own complicated relationship with ARCs. First, let me show you what’s currently on my NetGalley TBR:
I’m finally happy with my tbr on NetGalley because I went through a phase where I was requesting way too many, and it was overwhelming. Especially when I didn’t like the books a lot or felt pressured to read them quickly since I was approved for a few which all came out the same day. These are all books I’m looking forward to reading and writing good reviews on.
And this is what I have pending:
I’m still waiting on these 7 books. The longer I’m waiting, the more I’m wondering why I even wanted them in the first place. Honestly I think there are two books on there I really want at this point… Love, Unscripted and A Good Girls Guide To Murder. The rest were part of binge requesting I now regret. The other books don’t make me excited. I wish there was a way to just cancel requests and just create a system so if you cancel, you can’t request again. It’s better than leaving a reader waiting and wondering if they will be chosen. I hate the am I good enough for this book game? It’s wearing thin, and it hurts me. I’m sure it’s not great for other readers either.
Yes, I was declined for 33 books. It’s a discouraging number, and I end up feeling like I am not good enough when I am trying my hardest. I understand publishers need to promote books and do their jobs, but I have been trying so hard with my blog it feels like I’m a failure when I get rejected. This makes me not want to read, and I don’t think this should be so tough on my reading. But it is. Reading should be fun, and I’m putting unneeded pressure on myself for a hobby I’m supposed to love.
Each post brought up some interesting points for me. Specifically, I want to bring up points from each because these posts were very thought provoking for me.
In regards to Morgan’s post, the points which really resounded with me were:
The NetGalley trap and how you end up with a huge TBR pile.
This has done so much harm to me as a reader since I decided to go back to blogging. I thought I needed to read all of these books and write the best reviews so authors and publishers would love me. Then I would have an amazing blog, and I would be so happy. All I did was place a lot of stress upon myself and made reading A chore. I am constantly stressing about how much time I have to read and how hard it is to finish books I don’t like so I don’t end up with lower ratios.
ARC policy and having to give a review.
I know ARCs are voluntary. But I end up feeling like I have to write a huge review to make the publisher or author happy. Sometimes I don’t have a lot to say about a book, other times I don’t. I end up stuck in this trap of forcing myself to write a good review even when I didn’t enjoy the book because the author sent me the book or because I don’t want to hurt my chances for approval. Especially when you are approved right before the release date and there seems to be even more pressure to get it done.
All the reviews that begin with I received this book in exchange… etc.
I am guilty of doing this too because it’s supposed to be done because of rules. I understand this. It just makes reading reviews less enjoyable. I wish there was a way to just send a thank you via NetGalley to both parties so reviews can stop being weighed down by this. I’ve grown so sick of writing in this my reviews, and I don’t even want to look at other reviews when this is all I see. I want to just send an email privately to say thank you instead of this whole writing in my reviews and causing me to not want to write reviews, which is something I enjoy doing.
With the post from Jess @ Fiction No Chaser, I really liked her points about:
ARCs can be very overwhelming.
This is all about NetGalley again. I like how you can request a lot, but I think there should be a limit. That way, you can actually get through all the books you need to and enjoy them. Otherwise it’s just getting them done by the pub date and either rating them low or writing a fake review just so you can keep up. It’s not good for anyone.
NetGalley and its ratio system
The ratio system is tough. It causes readers to either plunge down because of too many requests…or you just write poor reviews to keep it up. I feel way too much stress when I lose my 80% badge and then stress until it’s back. This takes away my joy from reading. I am sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.
eARCs… preference for them, how they should be available worldwide, and the harm of poorly formatted eARCs.
eARCs are easier for me. I can have them on my iPad or iPhone so I can read anytime or place, which is convenient. I also like how easily they can be accessed versus paper ones. Paper ones usually make me sad because I would see more popular people get those sent to them or at events. I understand these people have influence and work well to help promote books, but it’s hard when you don’t have the influence to get those books or the money to go to events. EARCs are accessible for everyone. That’s why they should be available all over the world. They are a lot of readers and they all deserve access to books, not just some people. Some people can’t afford books, and this gives me them a way to read. Poorly formatted ARCs just make me annoyed. I got a few from Harlequin, and I was shocked since they are since a big publisher. If you want your product to do well, take the time to do proper formatting so your readers can enjoy the book and not give it a lower rating for an easily fixed issue.
I’m curious to know what everyone’s thoughts on ARCs are. If you love them, awesome. Or if you feel like me, let me know. This is an interesting topic I’d love to talk about. I’m sure everyone can bring a different perspective to the table, and I would love to delve into all sorts of thoughts about this topic. Let me know below. And thank you once again to the people who inspired me to write this. You can find their blogs above. Be sure to check them out.