Tag Archives: book review

The Absolution [NetGalley ARC Review]

The Absolution by Yrsa Sigurdardottir

Crime Thriller

NetGalley EARC

3 stars ⭐️

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.

Mini Reviews #2 [Thriller/Romance]

These are reviews that are late because I’m forgetful to post. I didn’t write long ones, so I thought I’d just add them together. Both are books I’d recommend. Both are 4 star ⭐️ reads. So check them out. Much thanks to NetGalley and the publishers.

This is the second book so I picked up the first one so I’m not lost. It works as a standalone, but it’s better when you’re reading them in succession.

Emily is back to take care of her dad after a heart attack. Her dad has been the doctor and medical examiner for a long time so Emily steps in when they start finding bones. She’s supposed to be going back to Chicago, but she’s needed in her hometown. Of course there’s a love interest in Sheriff Nick. The bones belong to someone he knew and they plan to investigate. All I can say is that it’s a little predictable if you read romance. I guess it’s like a cheesy episode of a crime show, but it’s not bad. I’d read this author again, but I don’t know if I would continue the series.

Thank you NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books.

I picked up the first book so I had a better understanding for this book. You don’t have to do that, but I prefer having a series make sense in my head.

Kerry and Rafe are OG friends with a past. Always an epic way to start a romance honestly. I live for this trope. Rafe was adopted by the Colton’s, and he has not talked to Kerry in like 13 years so that’s a lot of tension already. They have a history and he just stopped talking to her. He did it for a reason but she assumes he just cut her off. So she’s not exactly thrilled to have to see him again at first. She’s trying to solve who killed her brother and another detective case. So they both have a lot going on in their lives.

Rafe is the CEO of the family company so he’s all fancy, and he’s different from when they were young. But like he still has feelings for her. They have mutual feelings, but they aren’t acting on them at the start. It’s like they know they should be together but not. Kerry is like no no no, but since this is a romance you know it’s going to happen. And it’s so good when it does.

So they just have sex and like no big deal. Biggest trope ever. So yeah they do end up getting close because like how could they not. I was so happy the whole time I was reading this book, and I am so thrilled to know the author has more books in this setting because I need them all ASAP.

The suspense is good. I couldn’t stop reading once i started, but the romance is the best part. Kerry juts fights in but you can’t stop fate. I was so happy when she took the plunge and let herself fall in love with rafe. If you want a great suspense novel with a fantastic romance, read this book immediately. Then read everything else this author writes.

Thank you NetGalley and Harlequin for the advanced review copies. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

A Reckless Runaway [NetGalley ARC Review]

Genre: Historical Romance

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Review copy graciously provided by NetGalley and publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This was my first historical romance. I saw it being noted as available on netgalley, and I went for it. I’m glad I did because I enjoy the manner of writing Jess Michaels uses in this genre.

Anne is being forced to marry Harcourt, but she doesn’t love him. Luckily, Ellis Maitland is going to take her away and marry him. Except he leaves her stranded on an island with his cousin, Rook. Once it’s established Ellis is a slimy jerk, Rook becomes the hero! Or not because he’s got a terrible past of crime and horrible things he has to keep from Anne.

Alright, this book starts out slow. I wasn’t really loving it at first because I didn’t care about how Anne is a triplet or her family. I get it... triplets are a miracle during this time. Anyway! But once the tension starts building between her and Rook, this book is just one to be devoured.

The romance is lovely. The steamy scenes are excellent. The entire story is superb. Though this is the second book so I was a little lost but they explain it well enough. I still plan to read the first one, and the prologue has made me so eager for the story of the final sister.

I can’t recommend this enough to anyone who loves historical romance or just romance in general. Once you begin this book, it’s impossible to not race to the end to get the happy ending. I find it’s worth the time and swoon factor though. I love this book and this new to me author!

NetGalley ARC Reviews [A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, Scammed, and Cracked Up to Be]

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

YA Thriller

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

YA mystery

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

Contemporary YA

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.

Tweet Cute [Book Review]

Add on Goodreads

Genre: Contemporary YA Romance

Rating: 4/5 Stars

What a wonderful and cheesy book. I had to do that because this book has a burger joint in it. So it’s appropriate. Hahahahahah, I am so funny.

This book is peak YA contemporary romance. Like it could not be cuter. Or more fun. Plus, there’s twitter so that always mean there’s going to be a good time. Like, this book is fantastic.

Jack and Pepper attend the same school. But they don’t really talk. You get both POVs, and it’s so fun. Both are genuine voices. It gets even better when they end up in a Twitter war via their family restaurants twitter accounts. There’s sass, memes, and gifs happening. And it’s even cuter because they have to deal with each other because of swim team practice sharing space. The best part is they are talking to each other on an anonymous school chat app so it’s going to get even more… tense for their relationship possibly.

This book is so good. You should read it because it’s so adorable. But it will, make you hungry too.

I couldn’t stop reading this story, and Pepper and Jack are so great. Plus they have real relationships with their families which I love In books because it creates a more real story.

apparently it’s like you got mail, but I’ve never seen that. So… this would be a cute rom com series. I vote Hulu does it.

Probably going to be one of the cutest reads of 2020. I can’t wait to read more books from this author…. because this book is just so damn adorable.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely [Book Review]

Rating:4/5 Stars

Genre: YA Fantasy

Format: Kindle book I own

Well, I finally read this book. I’m so happy I read it because it was much better than I expected. I tried to read it last year, but my tiny human was only a few months old so it was hard to focus on such a rich retelling. So when the chance to buddy read it popped up, I decided to go with it since it has been sitting in my Kindle library almost a year.

Harper lives a life not great because her mother is dying, and her brother has to act as a violent enforcer for someone their father owns money to. Harper sees a girl being kidnapped and intervenes. Then she ends up in Emberfall, finding out the kingdom is cursed and the only way to save the kingdom is to fall in love with the prince, Rhen.

This is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but it’s unique. I did have a hard time with the first half of the book, but once I was in the book, I couldn’t stop reading. It’s a different kind of retelling because Harper is trying to save the people she loves… her family…rather than being swept up in a castle and falling for the prince. It’s actually not really a love story, but it’s still fantastic.

Harper is a bad ass. I love how fierce she is. She has cerebral palsy, but she doesn’t let it define her. The representation in the book seems like it’s good, but I can’t speak fully since I don’t have the experience. It’s like Kemmerer made her disability part of the plot overall rather than just a plot device to make her book stand out. I adore Harper and how she wants to save the kingdom as well. She cares about Rhen, but she’s not just like omg I need to fall in love. I am such a fan of romance, but with the context of this book, the way Harper is is so perfect.

Rhen is okay. He’s the prince. There was nothing special about him. I was saddened whenever Lilith would hurt him because she was brutal to him, but there was nothing about his personality which made me root for him as a love interest for Harper.

Grey is awesome. I think he’s a well developed character, and I was never bored when he was involved. I think his perspective would have enhanced the book because of what is revealed about him throughout the story. I know many are huge fans of him, but I’ll make my choice when I read the next book and actually see his perspective.

This is such a rich fairy tale retelling, I can understand why it’s so popular. I can’t wait for the next book, and I am looking forward to reading more from Kemmerer since I am giddy over how she writes fantasy.

Did you love this book? Are you planning on reading the next one? I’d love to hear about your thoughts on this book.

Cowboys Vow to Protect [Book Review]

Rating: 2/5 Stars

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Format: eARC via NetGalley

Trigger warning for mention of rape, assault, brief glimpse into dark thoughts of the rapist, and slight description of rape.

I’m not sure where to begin with this book. I’m going to share a few lines from the book which made me roll my eyes:

“ Then as he went up and down the grocery store aisles he filled his basket with the kinds of foods he thought a woman would like to eat. “


“ he didn’t get women in general. He found them mysterious alien beings. They were complex and filled with emotions he didn’t always understand.”

Alright… women just eat food. It’s not gendered. Seriously.

Also, I’m tired of this line acting like women are so weird. Just treat them like people and you’ll be okay. I just wanted to scream at this book a lot. At least regarding how much of the gender stereotypes it contained.

Madison is trying to leave town because of something that happened. But Flint finds her and says she can stay in his cabin. She confesses she was raped and beaten. He wants her to go to the police, but she is scared to at first. Both of them don’t think they deserve to fall in love, but they are going to because it’s a romance. I don’t know what to really say regarding this book because it’s kind of a hot mess of things going on. There’s heavy topics, but I think they are treated with a light hand. There’s no like recovery Madison goes through, just oh the magic of love and raising this baby will make me all better. Instead of maybe like going through therapy and dealing with the fears she had, she thinks just falling in love with a guy will solve all of her trauma. Flint says hey you should go to therapy and you probably have PTSD, but that’s it. I guess just love will get rid of her issues and it will just be all good. Sure. I suppose so. Also, flint has chronic pain. But it’s barely talked about. It’s just like thrown in there for a storyline, but it’s never given the respect and mention the rep of chronic pain deserves. I suppose I’m just upset with this book overall. It started out well, but it just became a jumble of problems. I can’t recommend it because of the content and how it was all handled. I’m disappointed because I really wanted to enjoy this book. Maybe it’s just the content, but I would suggest skipping this book altogether. There was no real suspense or romance. Just a lot of problems.

Thank you to NetGalley and harlequin for the eARC. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

No, We Can’t Be Friends [Book Review]

Add on Goodreads

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Format: eARC via NetGalley

This is my second book by the author. She writes good books, but I think sometimes the blurbs can be misleading. Ranald writes good books, no doubt. But they’re not these romantic comedies they are supposed to be. They’re more like realistic fiction. Which isn’t bad, but just change the wording so people aren’t misled.

Sloane has a marriage that’s falling apart. Her husband cheated, but she doesn’t want to believe it. They are remodeling their house, but life is falling apart for her. This book just kind of has events happening… I never really got to see beyond the surface for Sloane so it was hard to know what she feels or her thoughts on what’s going on. It’s all surface level and didn’t make for a good book.

You don’t get much about the marriage, you just found out there’s a companion that tells the before. But I don’t see the point when you’ve finished the story, so why go back when you know what would happen. You just see the relationship fall apart but there’s no emotional connection to care or understand what led to their ending.

Just call this women’s fiction because no “romance” until like 60% in, and it’s so… boring.

Okay but the clients she has in her business are so awesome. I’d read books about them. That’s who I cared about.

Kind of annoyed with the ending. She should have just kept the cat and that’s it.

Thank you NetGalley and the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Mini Reviews #1 [Indie Authors]

I was going to do a wrap up, but I’ve been reading rather oddly. I just thought it would be a good idea to share some of the indie books I’ve read recently. These are all books I got from a Facebook group called Young Adult Book Stop. It’s a great place to support indie authors if you enjoy YA. Here’s the link if you want to join.

I’m very grateful to all of the authors for sending me copies. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Just the typical disclaimer.

I like the premise of the story. I like the characters. So I do like this book, but I did have some issues with it. 

Eden is attending Shadow Academy as a witch but she has no powers. This means her parents have disowned her and she can be punished if the school finds out. Eden has to keep this big secret while other people who aren’t supernatural are being taken away for lying about who they are. She makes friends with a werewolf named Cress and kinda starts a romance with Liam, the principals son.

It’s got a decent foundation. I just thought the world building could have been better and the storyline better developed. I wanted to know more about the supernatural community, not just an explanation of the war and a big reveal related to the war. I wanted more in-depth details and hierarchical structure of the community at the academy. With the storyline, I wanted deeper relationships. Everything felt surface level and a little rushed. Especially when Eden meets her grandmother.

I’m super curious what’s going to happen next because of the major cliffhanger at the end of the book. I’ll probably be picking up the next book for resolution.

I could not put this down, it’s so unique. The world building is fabulous. I spent a few late nights reading this because I had to know how the story was going to progress. I can’t wait for more of Kalleah and her powers, along with her queen life.

For fans of Hex Hall and Vampire Academy.

This is such an awesome book. I enjoyed the storyline of witch and vampire hybrid going on. Katrina is a rare witch type and a powerful vampire descendant who’s sent to the vampire academy to train. The hierarchy of the school is interesting and easy to follow. I’m also invested in the darkness the vampires want to bring back. I think Katrina will be interesting since she’s light and dark, so I’m eagerly waiting to see which side she embraces. Either way, it will be worth the read. I’m also hoping for a romance to bloom. Definitely ready for the next one, coming in February.

This is a cool start to a series. The characters are well written, and the story is well paced. I couldn’t stop reading once I started. Mermaids are fab to read about, and I’m looking forward to a deep dive into the whole series. I have a strong feeling I’ll enjoy it highly. Definitely suggest to anyone who enjoys fantasy or wants a strong intro to a new series.

I enjoy reading indie authors, and I’m a sucker for anything academy books. I could read those all day long. But I’m trying to cut down on my eARCs so I’ll probably be requesting less of these unless they really catch my attention. So I’ll probably be still wanting to read a lot of academy books. I’m trying to get my reading to be a lot calmer, where I’m less stressed. I want to just stop the weight of the ARCs I have and enjoy my blog more. I hope you all will still enjoy if I’m not always doing new books.

Do you have any plans for the new year? And were these reviews mini enough?

The Most Fun We Ever Had [Book Review]

Oh, my goodness. It’s 2020. I’m talking about a book I finished last year. What audacity I have, yes? But also this book took me a month and a half. So I’m going to share my review. This is my first post of the new year so I’m excited. I’ll be sharing more about my posting schedule this weekend, for sure.

When Marilyn Connolly and David Sorenson fall in love in the 1970s, they are blithely ignorant of all that’s to come. By 2016, their four radically different daughters are each in a state of unrest: Wendy, widowed young, soothes herself with booze and younger men; Violet, a litigator-turned-stay-at-home-mom, battles anxiety and self-doubt when the darkest part of her past resurfaces; Liza, a neurotic and newly tenured professor, finds herself pregnant with a baby she’s not sure she wants by a man she’s not sure she loves; and Grace, the dawdling youngest daughter, begins living a lie that no one in her family even suspects. Above it all, the daughters share the lingering fear that they will never find a love quite like their parents’.

As the novel moves through the tumultuous year following the arrival of Jonah Bendt–given up by one of the daughters in a closed adoption fifteen years before–we are shown the rich and varied tapestry of the Sorensons’ past: years marred by adolescence, infidelity, and resentment, but also the transcendent moments of joy that make everything else worthwhile.

Spanning nearly half a century, and set against the quintessential American backdrop of Chicago and its prospering suburbs, Lombardo’s debut explores the triumphs and burdens of love, the fraught tethers of parenthood and sisterhood, and the baffling mixture of affection, abhorrence, resistance, and submission we feel for those closest to us. In painting this luminous portrait of a family’s becoming, Lombardo joins the ranks of writers such as Celeste Ng, Elizabeth Strout, and Jonathan Franzen as visionary chroniclers of our modern lives.

Add on Goodreads.

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Rating: 4/5 Stars

So this book technically took me a month to read. Normally when a book takes me this span of time, I give up. But I just had to see this book through. I don’t know why I couldn’t give up. I picked it up from the library, tried to start it, and I requested a longer check out time copy so I could finish. Then I renewed it. Still, I finished and am so proud of myself.

This is a rich family drama. I’m not normally a fan of family stories since mine is such a hot mess. This book follows the Sorensen daughters and their parents. It spans from when their parents meet to 2017. But it’s not told in a linear fashion. So there’s a lot of POV switching and time hopping. This was a little annoying when time periods would reveal different things, and I felt like the book was just dragging on at some points.

The book is weird because I liked it, but I was also mad at all of the characters. There were a lot of annoying traits they had, and sometimes their behavior was so… bad. The family is trying to deal with their second daughter have the child she gave up for adoption come back into the picture. Jonah is sixteen and ends up back in this family, due to circumstances that were unrealistic. This whole book can be melodramatic at times where I wanted to just scream at how ridiculous they would act. Jonah is the only character I liked. And the parents. The sisters were just so horrible in their own way, it’s like the author wants you to hate them. I ended up just deciding to buckle down and finish the book. I’m glad I did,but I think it could have been better if it was like a hundred pages shorter and more linear.

I look forward to reading more from Lombardo. Any fans of family dramas need to pick this up. Just be prepared to be reading this for a long time to come.