Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Blog Tour and Review: The Wife Between Us

Title: The Wife Between Us
Authors: Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
Publication Date: January 9, 2018
Genre: Psychological Suspense/Thriller
Recommended If You Like: books that keep you guessing, books that completely surprise you, female characters as the main characters, twisty psychological thrillers

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself. 

The Book:

This book gives very little away in the summary, and I will follow its lead. The Wife Between Us is billed in its description as a story that appears to be about a classic love triangle (ex-wife, her former husband, his current fiance), but may not be all it appears.

What I Liked:

I liked everything about this book!

It's rare every part of a book can completely surprise me, but this story absolutely did. I never knew what was coming next. This was one of those books that had me literally gasping out loud in total shock at numerous parts of the story. I immediately started looking back at previous pages, and the story completely held up when viewed through the numerous new lenses Hendricks and Pekkanen created.

Anything I Didn't Like?

For me, there honestly wasn't anything not to like about this book. It's so clever, and so well-orchestrated.


Read this book! You will not be able to put it down, and, like me, I suspect you will love every minute of being fooled by the authors' fantastically twisted tale.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Review: The Takedown

Kyla is one of the most popular girls in her school, picked to join a clique that has ensured her the high school existence she was sure she wanted-until someone comes along to tear it all down. A sex tape of Kyla and one of her teachers is released, but Kyla knows she hasn't slept with anyone. As she fights to discover who is trying to destroy her life, she's forced to examine just how great a life it is that she's been leading

The world Wang creates is also extremely unique. The book is set in the far future, when our obsession with new technology and social media have been taken to extremes. Screens are everywhere, and no one takes a single step without their Doc, a tablet that contains their whole life. Thanks to social media, everywhere you go, someone is always watching, and your every move is documented virally for the world to see.

This book takes topics that have been covered before-popularity, mean girls, the effects of social media, and society's views on women-and looks at them through a really creative and unique lens. Wang tackles all this while also making her book a twisty mystery that kept me guessing the whole time. I honestly never saw the denouncement coming.

I would definitely recommend this book. It's a unique and gripping addition to the young adult suspense genre.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Review: Death of a Pumpkin Carver

Title: Death of a Pumpkin Carver
Author: Lee Hollis
Publication Date: August 30, 2016
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Recommended If You Like: quick fun reads, mysteries set around Halloween, a female protagonist who knows herself, recipes with your mystery

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself.

The Book:

Hayley's ex-husband is back in town-and the prime suspect in a murder. Now, during the Halloween season, she must juggle writing her column and raising her children with clearing the former love of her life's name.

What I Liked:

This is a quick read, a fun cozy mystery that hits so many of the classic cozy mystery high points-including a strong female protagonist, romantic developments, and a small town setting. Hayley is a lot of fun to take a book journey with, and I love how well she knows herself.

The mystery was a fun one, and setting it around Halloween made it even more fun. There's all the trappings that come with Halloween, including a haunted house, a horror writer, and the pumpkin carver of the title.

Anything I Didn't Like?

I was able to call most of the twists in the mystery, including some of the biggest ones.


I enjoy this series, it's a lot of fun, and Hayley is a great protagonist. I definitely could read the rest of this series at some point.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Review: Death on the Patagonian Express

Title: Death on the Patagonian Express
Author: Hy Conrad
Publication Date: December 27, 2016
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Recommended If You Like: travelogues, mother-daughter duo, settings as characters

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself.

The Book:

Amy and her mother, Fanny, run and write a highly successful trendy travel blog, TrippyGirl. Because of this, they are invited to ride on the New Patagonian Express, and blog about their experiences on a trip through South America. But when Fanny spies a corpse, that then disappears, and then possibly reappears, Amy and Fanny must prove there is a murder to solve, and find the answers.

What I Liked:

Fanny and Amy make a fun and unique duo, both as mother and daughter, and as crime solvers. They bring originality and humor to the story.

The setting was a great one, factual and fascinating, described in great detail. The traveling aspect allows readers to feel like they're seeing so much of South America.

Anything I Didn't Like?

The ending felt a little out of character for who the murderer was revealed to be. It took me by surprise, which is always good, but didn't really ring true to what had come before.


I liked, but didn't love this book. I felt like the mystery sometimes got lost in the characters and settings. This was a fun read, but I won't be rushing to get the rest of the series read.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Review: The Vineyard Victims

Title: The Vineyard Victims
Author: Ellen Crosby
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Recommended If You Like: the past coming back to haunt the present, strong female protagonists, wine facts

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself.

The Book:

When Lucie witnesses the death by car crash of a former presidential candidate-in the same spot where her ex-boyfriend once brutally crashed their car-she is sure it wasn't an accident. But everyone else wants her to leave well enough alone.

Lucie, however, refuses to drop her inquiries. As she discovers a connection to a past crime, she finds herself in danger from someone who thought their crimes were buried long ago.

What I Liked:

I love mysteries about crimes from the past, and Crosby does a really good job of weaving in the past into the present. Clues come out as Lucie learns them, upping the tension and the mystery.

Lucie is a great main character and narrator. She is strong and stubborn, refusing to give in when others would have given up. Her relationship with her fiance Quinn is a pleasant happiness in the midst of murder.

The setting also becomes its own character, which is always something I enjoy. The town really comes alive.

Anything I Didn't Like?

The solution is a good one that fits with everything that came before, but the very last few pages of the book come across as a bit cliched and don't entirely seem to fit with what we have learned of Lucie's character in the previous pages.


I really enjoyed this cozy mystery. I definitely would like to read the rest of the series at some point.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Reviews: The Dark Lake

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself.

Title:  The Dark Lake
Author: Sarah Bailey
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Genre: Mystery/Psychological Suspense/Psychological Thriller
Recommended If You Like: female detectives, complicated relationships, intertwining between past and present

The Book:

Rosalind Ryan is dead, murdered and left in the lake surrounded by red roses. Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock, who has personal connections to Rosalind from their school days, attempts to solve the case while figuring out her own complicated personal life, past and present.

What I Liked:

Gemma is a complex, complicated character with imperfections and truths all her own. Taking the journey with her as she struggles to not only solve a case, but the uncertainties of her own life, really connected me to the book.

Bailey does an excellent job of building up suspense through the integration of well-timed flashbacks, giving readers information and motivations piece by piece that change everything we thought we knew about the story.

The mystery is also a good one, with an ending I did not see coming. Looking back though, I can see how so many of the clues were in place, hidden but there.

Anything I Didn't Like?

There wasn't really anything I didn't like. I did feel the book could have been tightened up a little here and there, but there wasn't really anything specific.


This isn't my favorite psychological thriller I've ever read, but it is a good one. It's definitely worth a read when you get the chance.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Mini Reviews!

I really enjoyed Roux's Asylum series, so had high hopes for her new series. House of Furies did take a while for me to get into, I actually thought about putting it aside at one point. But I am glad I stuck with it, because it did pick up and get really creepy. I'm just not sure if it was enough for me to read the next book in the series.

I received an ARC of this middle grade book at ALA, and it was a great read for the month of Halloween. It's got two strong female protagonists, a spooky storyline, and a surprising twist at the end.

The next four books I read for the Dewey 24 Readathon:

This was a brilliant book, a quick read that is important in today's times, told from the point of view of a young person who society identifies as a boy, but who knows she is a girl.

This book unfortunately wasn't that good. It was a mystery that kind of meandered around, and didn't really hold my attention. It had its moments where I was intrigued and wanted to find out the solution, but I ended up finishing it because I had already committed to it and it was short.

This was another fun middle grade paranormal ARC I received a copy of at ALA. There's a great strong female character, an endearing friendship, and some spooky fun.

I loved this book! It was beautifully written, creative and unique, with such compelling characters, and parts I never saw coming.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Review: Final Girls

Title: Final Girls
Author: Riley Sager
Publication Date: July 11, 2017
Genre: Psychological Thriller/Suspense
Recommended If You Like: slasher films, strong and complicated female characters, twists and turns

The Book:

Quincy Carpenter is a Final Girl, a title she never wanted and still can't accept. She was the only survivor of a massacre at Pine Cottage, where all her friends were murdered. Now, a fellow Final Girl has died, and another has shown up at Quincy's door, forcing her to remember what she hasn't been able to face for ten years.

What I Liked:

This book was so good! I could not put it down.

Final Girls is almost unbearably suspenseful throughout. Sager masterfully weaves flashbacks of Pine Cottage into the narrative. What especially ups the ante is that Quincy cannot remember what happened the night of the massacre, so the reader isn't provided with all the facts until the very end.

The twists in this book were phenomenal! I did not see any of them coming, and was completely shocked. It is rare that a book can completely surprise me on all levels, but this book pulls it off.

Anything I Didn't Like?

I really can't find anything not to like about this book. I just really, really enjoyed it.


Read this book! Seriously, it's a great psychological thriller, with tons of suspense, and so many surprises.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Review: Within These Walls

Title: Within These Walls
Author: Ania Ahlborn
Publication Date: April 21, 2015
Genre: Supernatural/Paranormal/Horror/Psychological Thriller
Recommended If You Like: haunted houses, stories about cults, family drama, ghosts, stories about the occult

The Book:

Lucas Graham, true crime writer, hasn't had a successful book in years. So when Jeffrey Holcomb, infamous cult leader and murderer, who has never told his story to a soul, reaches out, Graham can't believe his luck. All he has to do is move into the house where Holcomb spilled so much blood. But Holcomb has a plan that Graham and his teenage daughter can't begin to comprehend, one that reaches into realms Graham can't yet fathom.

What I Liked:

A book that promises cults, a true crime writer, and supernatural/paranormal horror is one that I'm going to have to read. Ahlborn does a great job of dropping in other true crimes and true crime books, and weaving the story of this fictional cult into the narrative. The use of flashbacks building to the cult's terrifying and cumulative event creates an eerie and gripping suspense.

The horror aspect is one that is truly creepy. It builds and builds to the point where you absolutely cannot put the book down.

Anything I Didn't Like?

I had a little trouble with the main characters of the father, daughter, and mother. I had trouble finding a lot of redeeming qualities in them, and just wanted to shake them as events began to pile up. I understand that a lot of their story was influenced by Holcomb, but I still struggled with them.


This was a really interesting, gripping story, with a lot of unique twists and turns. While I sometimes struggled with the main characters, I really appreciated and enjoyed how this book kept me guessing and never went where I expected it to.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Review: The Quality of Silence

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself.

Title: The Quality of Silence
Author: Rosamund Lupton
Publication Date: November 15, 2016
Genre: Psychological Suspense
Recommended If You Like: family-driven stories, strong female protagonists, settings as their own characters

The Book:

Yasmin and her daughter Ruby (deaf since birth) set off through the Alaskan wilderness to find Matt, Yasmin's husband and Ruby's father. Everyone is telling them Matt is dead, victim of a tragedy in a small village, but Yasmin and Ruby refuse to believe it. As they travel through one of the most isolated places on Earth, they begin to fear that someone is following them, stalking them through the snow.

What I Liked:

Yasmin and Ruby are great characters, especially Ruby. They are strong, complex protagonists who readers can't help but root for. I love seeing such strong complex female characters, and watching them grow.

The setting is incredible as well. Alaska really becomes its own crucial character in the book. Lupton makes you feel like you are there, in the truck, in the snow, and that just ups the suspense even more. This book was highly suspenseful, as I really didn't know what was going to happen to the characters.

Anything I Didn't Like?

I missed the mystery aspect that had been present more in Sister, one of Lupton's previous books. There was a mystery in The Quality of Silence, but it frequently felt like it was on the back burner.

The  book also occasionally felt like it got too caught up in communicating a message as opposed to telling a story, particularly at the end. I really enjoy books that teach me something, but I like it better when the message is more integrated.


This was a good book, but didn't live up to how much I loved Sister. I would definitely recommend reading it, as Lupton has a beautiful writing style that really makes you feel like you are right there with her characters.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Review: A Witch in Time

This is a series I like, but don't love, which would probably explain why two books from the Bewitching cozy mystery series have been setting on one of my TBR shelves for quite a while.

Maggie O'Neill is a fun, engaging protagonist living in a small town and trying to figure out her intuitive powers. She has a family who irritates her, but she is still always there for, and a new boyfriend who is pushing all the right buttons.

When she goes to visit her sister, Mel, in the hospital, who is due to give birth, Maggie overhears a seemingly sinister conversation, and finds out about a tragic death. Trying to balance her love life, powers, and familial obligations, Maggie must also solve the mystery before someone else gets hurt.

I think the reason I like but don't love this series is that it takes a long time to get to the mystery, and once the mystery starts, there's so much going on it almost feels like the mystery is a minor storyline. Because I'm going into these books wanting the mystery to be the focus, it can drag a little when that's not the case. The last few chapters, which focus on the mystery predominately, flew by for me, and the solution was really clever (even though I had called a bit of it, I still enjoyed it).

Eventually I will get to the other book from this series I own, but I suspect I will read the series that focus on the mystery first.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Review: Death on Tap

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself.

Title: Death on Tap
Author: Ellie Alexander
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Recommended If You Like: strong female protagonists, learning about breweries, small town settings

The Book:

Sloan feels shattered after catching her husband with another woman. Working hard to pick up the pieces, she finds work at the new brewery in town, only to find a dead body in the fermenting tub. When her husband is accused, and her new work place threatened, Sloan is determined to solve the mystery.

What I Liked:

Sloan is a great character-she's strong, smart, and really good at brewing. I really liked her relationships with her son, her in-laws, and her new boss.

The mystery was an intriguing one as well. There were a lot of interesting suspects, and a lot of twists and turns. The way the brewing process was integrated and explained really added to the story.

Anything I Didn't Like?

The ending seemed a little rushed. The solution to the mystery made sense, and was intriguing, but I wanted a little more time spent on it.


I'm excited for this new series-Sloan is a character I look forward to following in more mysteries to come.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Review: Alex and Eliza

I love the musical Hamilton , and have started reading everything I can get my hands on about Alexander Hamilton since seeing the show. When I heard an author I had enjoyed in the past had written a young adult version of the story of Alex and Eliza, I knew I had to check it out.

Alex and Eliza was pretty good. I found, for me, it started out a little slow. I know the buildup was supposed to create conflict and tension before they admit their love, but it actually had me putting the book down a few times to pick up other books. It took me a while to actually finish the book because of this.

But once this story got going, I couldn't put it down. Even knowing how the true story ends, I was in suspense. De La Cruz made Alex and Eliza and all the real-life characters surrounding them come alive again.

So stick with this book. Give it some time. It's worth it in the end.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Review: There's Someone Inside Your House

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself.

Title: There's Someone Inside Your House
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publication Date: September 26, 2017
Genre: Horror/Psychological Thriller/Suspense

The Book:

Makani, a teenager now living in Nebraska, is haunted by her past and her present. Her classmates are dying one by one, picked off by a mysterious serial killer, and Makani might be next.

What I Liked:

This is like a 90s teen slasher film in book form, and I loved it! I had actually just done a rewatch of one of my favorite scary movie series, the Scream movies, before reading this book, which put me in the perfect mood for this story.

This is creepy, and clever, and keeps you on your toes. Perkins manages to create jump scares using her words, no visuals, and lulls you into a false sense of security in between each death. She makes you really care about the characters and what is going to happen, which just ups the tension even more.

Anything I Didn't Like?

I had some trouble with how gorey the book was-I'm the one who loves scary movies, but covers my eyes at the blood. I couldn't cover my eyes and still read the words, so I read the gore, and it definitely got to me.


I definitely enjoyed this book. It's a great spooky read, perfect for this month.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Review: The Girl With Kaleidoscope Eyes

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself.

Title: The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes
Author: David Handler
Publication Date: August 15, 2017
Genre: Mystery
Recommended If You Like: celebrity stories, mysteries about the rich and famous, tough wisecracking protagonists

The Book:

Stewart Hoag ("Hoagy") was once a famous writer, but now is a celebrity ghostwriter. When another once-famous writer seemingly resurfaces, Hoagy is tapped to write the story, but finds himself drawn into a murder mystery.

What I Liked:

Hoagy is a great character, with a great dog, surrounded by a unique and colorful supporting cast. It is easy to differentiate who is who, and to keep track of what is happening.

I really enjoyed the mystery aspect as well. It had a slow buildup that really worked, and a denouncement that was surprising but made sense.

Anything I Didn't Like?

The reveal felt a little rushed with the slow buildup that had preceded it. It still worked, but I would have liked Handler to have spent a little more time on it.


This was a unique, character-driven mystery that I definitely enjoyed.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper

I really wanted to love this book. It's about Jack the Ripper, with a female protagonist billed as smart and defying society's conventions, and published under James' Patterson's new imprint. Plus the next book in the series features Dracula.

Sadly, I did not love this book.

It's not a bad book by any means, I just didn't feel it's a very good book either. It starts out strong, with Audrey Rose Wadsworth, born into wealth and high society, but with a passion for forensic medicine. She is drawn into the Jack the Ripper murders by working on the corpses of the unfortunate victims.

But it's here that the book started to lose me.  A lot of the character development just doesn't make a lot of sense. The writing unfortunately starts to veer into corny and cliched, and a lot seems to come out of left field. Also, why is Audrey Rose allowed so much police access-not only allowed, but specifically brought in (she is seventeen years old)? I saw the ending coming from a long way away, and thought the very last chapter didn't make any sense in the context of all the characters had done and said before.

This book definitely has potential. The romance has some good banter, and Audrey Rose is a strong female character to carry the book. The author discusses in the back of the book all the liberties she took with dates and times and historical facts surrounding Jack the Ripper, and I think that shows in the story. The book meanders around, and it's disjointedness keeps it from holding itself together as the good book it could have been.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Review: The Van Gogh Deception

Title: The Van Gogh Deception
Author: Deron Hicks
Publication Date: August 29, 2017
Genre: Middle Grade/Mystery
Recommended If You Like: art and art history, smart kid characters, quick fun mysteries

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself.

The Book:

When a young boy with amnesia is found sitting in The National Gallery, it sets off an adventure full of art and mystery.

What I Liked:

I loved all the art and art history in this! It was really well integrated and added a lot to the book.

The main characters of Art and Camilla were a lot of fun too, and made a great pair. I loved that the kid characters were well-rounded, smart, and loyal.

Anything I Didn't Like?

The book occasionally felt a little slow at times. I did feel it could be tightened up a bit.


This was a fun, quick read that I think adults and middle graders alike could and would enjoy. The art history aspect was a wonderful bonus.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Review: The Fever

I am a big fan of Megan Abbot's books. She creates these amazing mysteries, but what's perhaps even more impressive is the story she tells around the mystery.

In The Fever, a group of girls begin to exhibit mysterious symptoms, that seem to have no rhyme or reason to them. While various theories are frantically bandied around, and public health services are called in, a small town becomes terrified, searching for anyone and anything to blame for what is happening to their children.

Abbot really gets at the psychological underpinnings of what makes us human. She explores how much the unknown frightens us, and how the desire to turn the unknown to known, and to protect our families, drives us to do things we never would do otherwise. Abbot also unpicks the heart of female friendships, their complexities and depths, and the way the world views women.

When you read an Abbot book, you are getting not only a great mystery full of surprises, but psychological suspense that delves deep into the heart of humanity.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Review: The Drowning Tree

Title: The Drowning Tree
Author: Carol Goodman
Publication Date: December 28, 2004
Genre: Psychological Suspense/Mystery
Recommended If You Like: Goodman's other books, psychological explorations, art woven into mysteries

The Book:

When Juno reluctantly attends her college reunion, only there to support her best friend Christine as she gives an art history lecture, she doesn't expect to have Christine's speech spiral out in dangerous repercussions that will reverberate throughout her past and present, and challenge everything she thinks she knows.

What I Liked:

I love Goodman's writing style. It feels so immediate and puts you right in her characters' heads.

Goodman does an excellent job of exploring so many different types of relationships, from female friendships, to mother and daughter, to sisters, to lovers.

And of course the mystery-there are so many layers to it, and I was constantly being surprised by new revelations.

Anything I Didn't Like?

There was so much going on, that occasionally it got a little confusing. I really appreciated how many storylines Goodman was able to weave together, but I did sometimes struggle to keep everyone and everything straight.


This is a beautiful, introspective, and twisty mystery full of powerful characters and lots of surprises. I definitely recommend this book.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril XII Signup!

I always look forward to the R.I.P. Challenge, it's so much fun!

As described on the blog:

The purpose of the R.I.P. Challenge is to enjoy books that could be classified as:
Dark Fantasy.
The emphasis is never on the word challenge, instead it is about coming together as a community and embracing the autumnal mood, whether the weather is cooperative where you live or not.

Peril the First:
1) Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane (reread)
2) The Drowning Tree by Carol Goodman
3) The Fever by Megan Abbott
4) Crazy House by James Patterson
5) Cross the Line by James Patterson
6) Pekoe Most Poison by Laura Childs
7) The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagencrantz
8) Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
9) The Store by James Patterson
10) There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
11) Death on Tap by Ellie Alexander
12) A Witch in Time by Madelyn Alt
13. Hell House by Richard Matheson
14) Within These Walls by Ania Ahlborn
15) House of Furies by Madeleine Roux
16) Midnight Reynolds and the Spectral Transformer by Catherine Holt
17) A Lesson in Murder by Augustus Cileone
18) A Properly Unhaunted Place by William Alexander

Peril on the Screen:
1) Shutter Island (rewatch)
2) American Horror Story: Cult: Episode 1
3) American Horror Story: Cult: Episode 2
4) American Horror Story: Cult: Episode 3
5) Scream (rewatch)
6) Scream 2 (rewatch)
7) Scream 3 (rewatch)
8) Scream 4 (rewatch)
9) Lucifer: Season 2: Episode 15
10) Lucifer: Season 2: Episode 16
11) Lucifer: Season 2: Episode 17
12) American Horror Story: Cult: Episode 4
13) American Horror Story: Cult: Episode 5
14) Lucifer: Season 2: Episode 18
15) Lucifer: Season 3: Episode 1
16) And Then There Were None (2015): Episode 1 (rewatch)
17) The Legend of Hill House (1973)
18) Mindhunter: Season 1: Episode 1
19) And Then There Were None (2015): Episode 2 (rewatch)
20) And Then There Were None (2015): Episode 3 (rewatch)
21) American Horror Story: Cult: Episode 6
22) American Horror Story: Cult: Episode 7
23) Slasher Season 2: Episode 1
24) Slasher Season 2: Episode 2
25) Slasher Season 2:  Episode 3
26) Slasher Season 2 : Episode 4
27) Slasher Season 2: Episode 5
28) Slasher Season 2: Episode 6
29) Slasher Season 2: Episode 7
30) Slasher Season 2: Episode 8
31) Mindhunter: Season 1: Episode 2
32) Criminal Minds: Season 13: Episode 1
33) Criminal Minds: Season 13: Episode 2
34) Criminal Minds: Season 13: Episode 3
35) Criminal Minds: Season 13: Episode 4

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Review: Thornhill

Title: Thornhill
Author: Pam Smy
Publication Date: August 29, 2017
Genre: Middle Grade/Graphic Novel/Gothic/Horror/Suspense/Paranormal
Recommended If You Like: quick reads with eerie pictures, books told in diary format, parallel stories that intersect, one side of the story told entirely in pictures

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself.

The Book:

The words tell the story of Mary, an orphan who lived in Thornhill as a ward of the state before it was shut down. The pictures tell the story of Ella, who finds herself alone in the house across from Thornhill after her mother passes away and her father loses himself in work.

What I Liked:

The pictures were so striking, and really captured the eeriness of the story. The use of first person narration through Mary's diary made everything feel very immediate, just like it felt to both Mary and Ella. This book definitely grabbed me, and flew by.

Anything I Didn't Like?

I found not having any words with Ella's side of the story did make things a little confusing for me. I occasionally had trouble following what was going on.


This would be a great read with fall coming up, especially as Halloween draws near. It could scare younger readers, but it definitely has a captivating spooky tale to tell that can pull in adults as well.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Hidden Gems in Mysteries, Thrillers, and True Crime

As always, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish!

This week's topic was hidden gems. I interpreted this as books that don't have as much love as I wish they did, and went with books in my favorite genres to read.

These are the first two books that always come to mind when I think of hidden gems. I love these books so much-they are brilliant thrillers full of unique literary mystery and nail-biting psychological suspense. They are so clever, and so different from other thrillers, and I've re read them so many times. 

With James having a second true crime book coming out, this seems the perfect time to remind people just how good his first true crime book is. It's an incredibly unique and comprehensive look at so many famous and lesser-known crimes. 

I would never have heard of this book if it hadn't been a giveaway at ALA one year, and I'm so glad it was available, because it's so good. It's another really unique read, the true story of the author's friendship in college with someone who later becomes a murderer. 

This is one of my favorite true crime series. There are multiple editions, and it collects what the editing panel considers the best articles and essays about crime from the given year. You're able to read such a great variety, and hit the highlights of that year in true crime writing.

This series is a joy for mystery lovers. Each book is centered around a different famous mystery author, and you get lots of background information on the author and their works while enjoying a fun mystery and strong lead character.

This is a really fun middle-grade mystery with a great female lead detective, and fun illustrations.

A quirky famous detective and his determined ward investigate mysterious crimes that no one else can solve.

To me, this is one of the most fascinating cases of mysterious unsolved death ever recorded, and this book posits a really interesting and well-researched theory.

This book posits a fascinating and captivating theory about one of the most famous psychological cases ever recorded, and suggests that those in charge may have perpetrated a truly tragic crime against a fellow human being.