Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Art of the English Murder by Lucy Worsley

This book could not have been more up my alley. It covers both true crimes and British mysteries, Sherlock Holmes (my all-time favorite fictional character), Agatha Christie (my all-time favorite author), Alfred Hitchcock ( a favorite film director), Ngaio Marsh (another favorite author), Jack the Ripper (a true crime I am fascinated by)...I had really high hopes for this book that seemed tailor-made for me, and Worsley did not disappoint.

Worsley expertly weaves together the history both of the public's fascination with crime, and the authors' renderings of it. From broadsheets to puppet shows to Penny Dreadfuls, through the Detection Club and the impact of war, Worsley shows how humanity both takes refuge in and is titillated by, the retelling and reenactment of crime, and the resolute denouncement we all demand, whether by real-life execution or fictional summation.

4/5 stars

Thursday, November 26, 2015

I am thankful for...

I have a few minutes before we go to our neighborhood's annual Turkey Trot, and I've seen so many wonderful thankful posts on here.

This year I am thankful for change. This is a rarity for me. Change spikes my anxiety, can make me sad, and just generally tends to be something I am afraid of. But this year, I embraced change, and it was beautiful. I left a job of four years that was no longer the right place for me, and followed my dream of becoming a lead teacher. I moved out of the apartment I had lived in for seven years, and found a new, cozy, wonderful apartment.

I am thankful for my family and friends, and my furry baby Sherlock.

I am thankful for books, and book bloggers, and for getting the courage to become part of this wonderful community.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

So Thankful

I'm at my parents' for Thanksgiving, so I won't be posting much for a few days, but I wanted to make sure I said thank you to everyone for making my first few months on this blog so great!

Keep an eye out for my Nonfiction November wrapup coming soon!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Need by Joelle Charbonneau

YA Psychological Thriller

No one gets something for nothing. We should all know better.

In this gripping novel (I read it in less than twenty four hours, and couldn't put it down for the last third of the story), Charbonneau expertly tackles loaded and terrifying questions. How far would someone go to get something they think they need? How well do you really know the people you see everyday? And just how far can social media's influence go, and what can it get people to do?

Kaylee Dunham is a girl no one believes, not since what she did to try to help her brother. Her brother desperately needs a kidney transplant, and so when Kaylee is invited to NEED, a new social media site, she clicks yes. She knows what she really needs. Not the new phone, or purse, or concert tickets her peers ask for. But a kidney for her brother.

But Kaylee quickly realizes the site is asking for more and more from its participants who want their desires filled, and as the body count rises, Kaylee realizes she may be the only one who can figure out the truth behind NEED.

This is a thriller that starts out slow, building the tension as readers meet more and more characters, and begin to gather information about what NEED really is. This is how a YA thriller should be written.

4/5 stars

Reading Challenges 2016

Here is where I will be keeping track of the reading challenges I sign up for for the upcoming year. I will update on what I've finished.

*Cruisin' Thru the Cozies

Cozy Mystery Reading Challenge-runs from January 1st 2016 through December 31st 2016.

I've signed up for Level 4-Sleuth Extraordinaire-Read 21 or more cozy mysteries

1) The Christie Curse by Victoria Abbot
2) The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer by Krista Davis
3) Downward Facing Death by Michelle Kelly
4) Death of a Nurse by M.C. Beaton
5) The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts by Lillian Jackson Braun
6) Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton
7) Dragonwell Dead by Laura Childs
8) Death With an Ocean View by Noreen Wald
9) Skinny Dipping With Murder by Auralee Wallace
10) Wedding Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke
11) The Semester of Our Discontent by Cynthia Kuhn
12) Dying to Call You by Elaine Viets
13) And Then There Were Nuns by Kylie Logan
14) Ghouls Just Haunt to Have Fun by Victoria Laurie
15) Out of Circulation by Miranda James
16) Pattern of Betrayal by Mae Fox
17) Breach of Crust by Ellery Adams
18) Buzz Off by Hannah Reed
19) Murder in the Secret Garden by Ellery Adams
20) Caught Bread Handed by Ellie Alexander
21) Pumpkin Picking with Murder by Auralee Wallace
22) The Book Club Murders by Leslie Nagel
23) First Degree Mudder by Kate Dyer-Seeley
24) The Doctor Makes a Dollhouse Call by Robin Hathaway
25) Killer Insight by Victoria Laurie
26) Roast Mortem by Cleo Coyle

I desperately need this one! I cannot resist free Kindle books, especially free cozy mysteries, and have recently joined NetGalley. This challenge began December 19, 2015, and is now over.

1) Bryant & May & The Burning Man by Christopher Fowler
2) Cinnamon Toasted by Gail Oust
3) A Fatal Twist of Lemon by Patrice Greenwood
4) Thirty-Eight Witnesses: The Kitty Genovese Case by A.M. Rosenthal
5) What She Knew by Gilly MacMillan
6) The Case of Lisandra P. by Helene Gremillon
7) Downward Facing Death by Michelle Kelly
8) The Secrets of Lizzie Borden by Brandy Purdy
9) Find Her by Lisa Gardner
10) The Steel Kiss by Jeffery Deaver
11) The Widow by Fiona Barton
12) The Lies We Tell by Jamie Holland
13) Death of a Nurse by M.C. Beaton
14) The Passenger by Lisa Lutz
15) Shock and Awe by Abigail Roux
16) Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon
17) She's Not There by Joy Fielding
18) 3 Truths and a Lie by Lisa Gardner
19) Holding Court by K.C. Held

I'm locking in for Mt. Kilmanjaro (60 books off my TBR shelves), with hopes of meeting that and going for an even higher goal.

1) The Christie Curse by Victoria Abbot
2) The Island of Dr. Libris by Chris Grabenstein
3) Sanctum by Madeleine Roux
4) He Killed Them All: Robert Durst and My Quest for Justice by Jeanine Pirro
5) The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer by Krista Davis
6) Jackaby by William Ritter
7) The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill
8) The Black Crow Conspiracy by Christopher Edge
9) Scream: Chilling Adventures in the Science of Fear by Margee Kerr
10) As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley
11) Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone by Eric Klinenberg
12) The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts by Lillian Jackson Braun
13) Bullies: A Friendship by Alex Abramovich
14) Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton
15) The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender
16) Finding Jake by Bryan Reardon
17) Dragonwell Dead by Laura Childs
18) A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
19) Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The Great Gatsby by Sarah Churchwell
20) The Dead Lie Down by Sophie Hannah
21) Killing the Poormaster by Holly Metz
22) Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
23) In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
24) Emma: A Modern Retelling by Alexander McCall Smith
25) Yes Please by Amy Poehler
26) Catacombs by Madeleine Roux
27) The Asylum Novellas by Madeleine Roux
28) Ghouls Just Haunt to Have Fun by Victoria Laurie
29) Pattern of Betrayal by Mae Fox
30) Buzz Off by Hannah Reed
31) Nonna's Book of Mysteries by Mary Osborne
32) Curtsies and Conspiracies by Gail Carriger
33) H is for Homicide by Sue Grafton
34) The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat by Oliver Sacks
35) The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen
36) The Cases That Haunt Us by John Douglas
37) The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne
38) The Unraveling of Mercy Louis by Keija Parssinen
39) A Mind to Murder by P.D. James
40) The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
41) The Cradle by Patrick Somerville
42) The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
43) The Chicago Way by Michael Harvey
44) Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
45) Before He Finds Her by Michael Kardos
46) Mini-Mysteries by Julia Remine Piggin
47) I Want My Mummy edited by Alfred Hitchcock
48) Chime by Franny Billingsley
49) Death in Ecstasy by Ngaio Marsh
50) The Children of Men by P.D. James
51) In with the Devil by James Keene with Hillel Levin
52) Jazz by Toni Morrison
53) A Study in Terror by Ellery Queen
54) The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
55) The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz
56) Rebecca's Tale by Sally Beauman
57) The Doctor Makes a House Call by Robin Hathaway
58) Killer Insight by Victoria Laurie
59) Roast Mortem by Cleo Coyle
60) Slay Ride by Alfred Hitchcock

Falling For YA

I'm going to try for Level Gold, 50 books.

1) Thirty-Eight Witnesses: The Kitty Genovese Case by A.M. Rosenthal
2) What She Knew by Gilly MacMillan
3) The Case of Lisandra P. by Helene Gremillon
4) Downward Facing Death by Michelle Kelly
5) The Secrets of Lizzie Borden by Brandy Purdy
6) Find Her by Lisa Gardner
7) The Steel Kiss by Jeffery Deaver
8) The Widow by Fiona Barton
9) The Lies We Tell by Jamie Holland
10) Death of a Nurse by M.C. Beaton
11) The Passenger by Lisa Lutz
12) Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon
13) She's Not There by Joy Fielding
14) 3 Truths and a Lie by Lisa Gardner
15) Holding Court by K.C. Held
16) By Flower and Dean Street by Patrice Chaplin
17) All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage
18) Relic by Gretchen McNeil
19) Death With an Ocean View by Noreen Wald
20) Mean Sisters by Lindsay Emory
21) The Unforgotten by Laura Powell
22) Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
23) Tragedy Girl by Christine Hurley Deriso
24) Skinny Dipping With Murder by Auralee Wallace
25) Wedding Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke
26) London's Glory by Christopher Fowler
27) Dream House by Marzia Bisognin
28) The Semester of Our Discontent by Cynthia Kuhn
29) The Midnight Assassin: Panic, Scandal, and the Hunt for America's First Serial Killer by Skip Hollandsworth
30) Sister Dear by Laura McNeil
31) The Drowning Girls by Paula Treick DeBoard
32) I Let You Go by Claire Mackintosh
33) And Then There Were Nuns by Kylie Logan
34) The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude
35) True Crime Addict by James Renner
36) Genius by Leopoldo Gout
37) Please Don't Tell by Laura Tims
38) A Game For All the Family by Sophie Hannah
39) Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
40) Grunt by Mary Roach
41) The Girls by Emma Cline
42) Breach of Crust by Ellery Adams
43) I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid
44) Walt by Russell Wangersky
45) Endgame by Jeffrey Round
46) All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda
47) The Trap by Melanie Raabe
48) The Wicked Boy by Kate Summerscale
49) The Last One by Alexandra Oliva
50) All These Perfect Strangers by Aoife Clifford
51) The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
52) Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
53) The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells
54) The Assassin Game by Kirsty McKay
55) Murder in the Secret Garden by Ellery Adams
56) Caught Bread Handed by Ellie Alexander
57) American Heiress by Jeffrey Toobin
58) Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter
59) Pumpkin Picking with Murder by Auralee Wallace
60) Surrender, New York by Caleb Carr
61) You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott
62) As I Descended by Robin Talley
63. The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan
64. Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd by Alan Bradley
65. The Wonder by Emma Donoghue
66. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
67. We Could Be Beautiful by Swan Huntley
68. All Her Secrets by Kate Avery Ellison
69. The Dead Boyfriend by R. L. Stine
70) The Book Club Murders by Leslie Nagel
71) The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics
72) Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys
73) His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet
74) The Woman on the Orient Express by Lindsay Jayne Ashford
75) Hi, Anxiety by Kit Kinsman
76. Eggnog Murder by Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, and Barbara Ross
77. Stone Coffin by Kjell Eriksson
78. First Degree Mudder by Kate Dyer-Seeley
79. Mind Games by Heather W. Petty
80. The Twilight Wife by A.J. Banner
81. The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much:The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession by Allison Hoover Bartlett

Is it possible to love books too much?

This is a true story about a man named John Gilkey, a man who loved books. He didn't love to read them, he was obsessed with collecting them, with how having them made him look to other people.

So John Gilkey stole rare books, from book dealers, bookstores, and libraries. He came up with elaborate and successful credit card scams. He got away with thousands of dollars worth of books.

And then Ken Sanders, a book dealer, became obsessed with tracking him down and bringing him to justice.

Bartlett is given unparalleled access to Gilkey, Saunders, and a myriad cast of characters caught in the web of Gilkey's thievery and deception, as she works to answer the question, is it actually possible to love books too much?

4/5 stars

Friday, November 20, 2015

Five Friday: Five Good Books That Start With B

This is part two of my ongoing Alphabet Series. Once again, I've tried to pick books that might not be as well known, or that I haven't talked about on this blog very much if at all.

1. Bad Things Happen by Harry Dolan 

  • Mystery magazine central part of plot-some of the murders even emulate some of the stories
  • Mysterious protagonist with secrets in his past
  • Excellent writing
  • Strong female detective

2. Black Chalk by Christopher J. Yates
  • Tagline says it all-One game. Six students. Five survivors.
  • Reminiscent of The Secret History
  • Brilliantly unreliable narrator
  • Jaw dropping twist midway through the book
  • Slow, relentless build up of tension

3. Black Water by Joyce Carol Oates
  • Based off a true crime
  • Oates' incredible, lyrical writing style
  • Short, but deep and involved read
  • Packs an emotional punch

4. Broken Harbor by Tana French
  • Really unique, creepy psychological thriller, involving everything from unexplained baby monitors to mysterious noises in the attic
  • One of my personal favorites of French's amazing Dublin Murder Squad series
  • Story is complex, full of twists and turns, and packs an emotional punch

5. Best in Show by Laurien Berenson
  • Fun, light cozy mystery read
  • Set in the world of dog shows
  • Has humor, mystery, and romance

Thursday, November 19, 2015

True Crime Thursday: The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale

This is one of my all-time favorite true crime books. I've read it twice, and plan to re read it again someday.

The crime itself is full of drama, heartbreak, obsession, and scandal. A three year old boy was found murdered in an outdoor privy, and Scotland Yard was called in. The lead detective on the case, Whicher, became fixated on the idea that someone in the boy's family was the murderer, and was consumed by the case. Five years later, the true killer came forward.

Summerscale has an excellent writing style that presents facts and theories in a fascinating, gripping way. The book is also a literary theory of sorts, discussing how Whicher is considered the basis for detective characters such as Sam Spade. Fans of true crime, as well as detective stories, will love this book.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Quotes I Loved From Books I Read This Year ; Ho Ho Readathon Tally; New Book!

Ten Quotes I Loved From Books I Read This Year:

1) “It’s impossible to resist the kindness of strangers. Someone who looks at you, who doesn’t know you, who tells you it’s OK, whatever you did, whatever you’ve done: you suffered, you hurt, you deserve forgiveness.” -The Girl on the Train

2) “I need not be visibly odd. I could engage in the protocols that others followed and move undetected among them. And how could I be sure that other people were not doing the same - playing the game to be accepted but suspecting all the time that they were different?” -The Rosie Project

3) “You can’t go through life not listening to music.” -The Rosie Project

4) “What Kevin had done — though I would never admit it — had somehow become my story, my trauma, tangled my life up in ways I still find complex and uncomfortable."-Visiting Hours: A Memoir of Friendship and Murder

5) "Please don't tell me you're fighting over that piece of paper," said Ed.
"He's not sharing!" screamed Chloe. "Sharing is caring!"
"You get what you get and you don't get upset!" screamed Fred.
-Big Little Lies

6) "Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas."-Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

7) "“Don't think of introversion as something that needs to be cured.” -Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

8) “Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you're supposed to. Stay home on New Year's Eve if that's what makes you happy. Skip the committee meeting. Cross the street to avoid making aimless chitchat with random acquaintances. Read. Cook. Run. Write a story. Make a deal with yourself that you'll attend a set number of social events in exchange for not feeling guilty when you beg off.” -Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

9) "I’m no recluse, but, like an introvert, I need a lot of time alone to reflect and recharge, and I am easily drained by being around others, but at the same time, like an extrovert, I’m energized by parties and conversation.” -Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own by Kate Bolick

10) "“She loved so many things—cats, dogs, roses, people—that sometimes I wonder if she chose to be alone to best enjoy them all.” -Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own by Kate Bolick

For the Ho Ho Ho Readathon I read:
*Jingle Bell Bark by Laurien Berenson
*Real Elves by Helen Smith
*Tied Up in Tinsel by Ngaio Marsh
*A Cup of Cozy 2 by Nancy Jill Thames

Finally, I was lucky enough to win Read Now Sleep Later's giveaway for the Spooktacular Giveaway, and got my prize in the mail today-a copy of The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender!! hanks so much again Read Now Sleep Later!!

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Shelfie Hop!

This is my beloved Agatha Christie bookcase, where I keep all the different editions, versions, title variations, and amazing amazing books Agatha Christie wrote, plus some biographies of her. 

This is my other bookcase of books I have read and kept. The top shelf is all Sherlock Holmes, canon and non-canon. The rest of the bookcase contains predominantly mysteries and true crime, with some young adult and graphic novels. I definitely need more space for all the books I have read and want to keep! Someday, in the near future I hope, I'm planning to get two taller, wider bookcases.

This is one of my TBR bookcases, near my reading corner.

These are my two other TBR bookcases, which are in my bedroom.

A lot of other blogs are taking part in this really fun hop! :

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sunday Roundup!

This week The Bookkeeper's Apprentice joined Instagram! You can find me there at @BookkeepersApprentice , or find the link in the sidebar.

I finished four books this week:


I've now read two books for Nonfiction November: The Temptress: The Scandalous Life of Alice de Janze and the Mysterious Death of Lord Erroll, and Dead by Sunset. 

Jingle Bell Bark was my first finished read for Ho Ho Ho Readathon, and I also read a short holiday-themed story, Real Elves by Helen Smith. I'm starting Tied Up in Tinsel by Ngaio Marsh tonight as my next book for the Readathon.

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! Besides reading, I went to an NBA game with my dad, and spent today cooking with my mom and our friend.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

What I'm Reading Wednesday (& Ho Ho Read-A-Thon!)

On Librarything, I am participating in Nonfiction November! I just finished one history/true crime book, The Temptress: The Scandalous Life of Alice de Janze and the Mysterious Death of Lord Errol. My two current nonfiction reads are In a Different Key, an ARC about autism, and American Ghost, which traces the history of a woman whose ghost is said to host her old home.

The other two books in the pile are my choices for the Ho Ho Ho Read-A-Thon, hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer & Book Shelfery : Tied Up in Tinsel, and Jingle Bell Bark. I'm really excited to get started with the Read-A-Thon tomorrow!

What are you reading this week?

Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-thon

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

We'll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean

A YA thriller, We'll Never Be Apart is one of those books that has left me unsure exactly how I feel about it.

The story is an intriguing one. Alice Monroe is in a mental ward on Savage Isle, locked in with her fractured memories of the fire that killed her boyfriend, a fire that was set by her twin sister. The story is told through present day scenes, as well as journal entry flashbacks. As Alice regains more of her memories, the readers learn more about what happened.

So why am I left giving this book a middling score?

On the one hand, I found it really gripping. I read it in about twenty four hours, and felt my heart in my throat in a couple places towards the end as the action really started to pick up. I definitely wanted to keep reading to find out the truth behind what happened.

On the other hand, it read as frankly ridiculous at times. Even accounting for sweeps of the imagination and unreal, given the setting and protagonists, parts of it just seemed overwrought and so unlikely. To me, the main twist was slightly predictable, but mostly reasonable given the context of the story itself, but so many little moments just jolted me out of the story with how unlikely they truly were.

Also, I found it completely impossible to like Cellie, the twin sister, at all. I suspect this was done purposefully by the author, but having a main character so unlikable with seemingly no true redeeming qualities can make for a less than engaging read. I did not completely find myself on the side of most of the other main characters as well, which was also an issue. I completely understand that because of their circumstances, the author wanted readers to find them sympathetic in their flawed natures, but Jean went, in my opinion, too far in emphasizing those flaws.

In the end, this was a suspenseful, flawed book with an interesting twist that kept me flipping pages, and left me somewhat unsatisfied. I'd be curious to see what Emiko Jean comes out with next as she grows more as a writer.

2.5/5 stars

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

This is a fun, clever read that was sent to me by a dear friend, and book twin, Nicole, who knows my tastes very well. I enjoy horror, as well as twists on classics, and this book fit the bill perfectly, besides being very funny to boot.

The characters are the same in name, and mostly in deed, save for some being expert fighters of the dreaded zombie hordes that swarm through England. The classic romances, and lines are all there, with some bawdy humor and a multitude of cracked skulls, beheadings, and honor duels mixed in as well.

I feel like this is a book that you can enjoy if you haven't read the original, but that you get more joy out of if you have partaken in Austen's classic previous to the reading of this zombie-infested version.

I'm definitely looking forward to the movie of this book.

3.5/5 stars

Friday, November 6, 2015

Five Friday: Five Good Reads That Start With "A"

(I tried to pick books I hadn't talked about at length on this blog before, which is why books like And Then There Were None aren't in this post.)

1. As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride is one of my all-time favorite movies, and this trip down memory lane is a true delight. This is one of those books that, as I sometimes say to my students, makes your heart feel happy.


2. The Art Detective: Adventures of an Antiques Roadshow Appraiser

Mould discusses not only unique finds, but forgeries, lost art, and mysterious paintings. It's a fascinating read.

3. Asylum by Madeleine Roux

This is a super creepy YA book that is the start to a trilogy. I haven't read the other two yet, but definitely want to.


4. After Her by Joyce Maynard

This book draws its inspiration from a real crime spree, and is a haunting and expertly plotted mystery wrapped up in a coming of age tale.

5. American Lightning: Terror, Mystery, The Birth of Hollywood, and the Crime of the Century by Howard Blum

I am a big fan of Blum's true crime books. In American Lightning, he weaves together a bombing, the American Sherlock Holmes, Hollywood, and the famous Clarence Darrow.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

What Has Become of You by Jan Elizabeth Watson

This is a psychological thriller with some mystery thrown in, centered around the character of Vera Lundy, a teacher who also wants to be a true crime writer. Vera's deep interest in true crime began when she was a child, and has led her to seek connections among recent murders of young girls.

Meanwhile, Vera is subbing in as an English teacher at a prestigious private girls' school, where she meets a girl named Jensen Willard, who continuously turns in long journal entries that have a troubling undertone. When tragedy hits Vera's classroom, she is forced to confront truths about her students and herself.

Vera comes across as a bit of a twisted Harriet the Spy, especially in regards to what we learn about her past. I actually wanted to learn more about these important events from when she was a teenager, as they seem fundamental to who she became as an adult. Vera herself even says she sometimes feels she is still the same fifteen year old girl on the inside. The past events are teased out, but I would have liked to see them fleshed out even more.

As a teacher myself, there were a lot of instances when I was grimacing at the choices Vera was making in regards to her class and her students. She desperately wanted to be "the cool teacher". But it made sense in the lens of what she went through as a teenager.

Watson does a great job with the slow burn. The story gradually builds until you realize you haven't put the book down in hours. The lines between fiction and truth begin to blur, and you're not sure what to believe anymore. I found the ending satisfying and fitting, though I know not all readers did.

3.5/5 stars

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward to Their Sophomore Novel

(hosted by The Broke and Bookish )

Top Ten Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward to Their Sophomore Novel

1. Paula Hawkins

2. Jessica Knoll


3. Amy Butcher


4. Ami Polonksy

 5. Joel Dicker

6. Maggie Mitchell


7. Christopher Bollen

8. Christopher J. Yates

9. Jane Shemilt

10. Kate Bolick