Friday, May 31, 2019

2019 Reading Assignment Challenge: Summer Semester

Professor AuthorLuv

Professor AuthorLuv used to have her own school, where her students we're required to pick a favorite author and commit to reading all their books over the course of a year (aka The AuthorLuv Challenge). She's decided to make her life a little easier and just host some classes here instead. She still wants you to pick a favorite author and commit to reading a certain number of books by that author each month, but she's letting you set your number based on the level course you sign up for. 

Beginner Class: My chosen author is Ngaio Marsh

Professor Genre

Professor Genre is all about choosing a genre/theme. For his classes you'll commit to reading a certain number of books from one genre each month. Choose your level course to sign up for the number of books you'll read each month.

Intermediate Class: My chosen genre is non-fiction

Professor Mix-It-Up

Professor Mix-It-Up wants you to have the freedom to mix-it-up. For her courses you'll commit to reading a certain number of books from a list that you create in the first month of the course. She's giving you a lot of freedom; The books can be any genre, any author, any format!

Beginner Class: My list is: The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz and The Bride Wore Size 12 by Meg Cabot

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Review: The Mother-in-Law

Title: The Mother-in-Law
Author: Sally Hepworth
Genre: Psychological Suspense
Publication Date: April 23, 2019
Recommended If You Like: character-driven suspense, family stories, surprising plot twists, good use of flashbacks

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:

Lucy has always wanted to be loved by her mother-in-law, but has never been able to reach that point with Diana, and now it is too late. Diana is dead, having left a suicide note behind, blaming her death on the cancer it now turns out she never had. When the police suspect it's a homicide, Lucy and the rest of their family must look back on Diana's life and her death to find the truth.

The Good:

I could not put this book down. This year is already full of great family-driven psychological thrillers and suspense, and this book adds to that.

The characters are really well-developed. Hepworth does a great job of playing around with the idea of trope characters that, in her hands, subvert expectations, upping the suspense and surprises.

Plus, the ending left me completely surprised. I really loved how what I thought I knew wasn't true at all-I always appreciate a book that can truly have a conclusion I don't see coming.

Anything I Didn't Like?

There really wasn't anything not to like about this book. It more than met my expectations based on all the raving I had been hearing about it.


I would definitely recommend this book. This is a gripping, quick, highly suspenseful and surprising story.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

COYER Summer Hunt Reading Challenge!

Here's where I will be keeping track of my progress on the treasure hunt!

ARC Reviews: The Night Before, The Invited, Burn Baby Burn

I received ARCs of these books from the publishers in exchange for honest reviews. This did not affect my opinions of the books or the reviews themselves.

When I started this book, I was immediately hooked. The story is centered around two sisters, one of whom has deep secrets in her past that may have come back into play, as she doesn't return home after a first date. Her sister is determined to find her, and through flashbacks and two POVs, the readers are there along with the characters, learning just enough information to keep the suspense high.

This book was so suspenseful. Walkers is an expert at dropping little hints as to what is going on. The reveals were all completely shocking and I didn't see a single one coming. I highly recommend this book.

I am a huge fan of McMahon's books. I have read every one, and own almost all of them. I go back to them for re reads. I was very excited about this new release, which centers around a couple building their dream home, from materials that are somehow connected to terrible deaths of women from a famous local family.

While I did enjoy this book, I unfortunately didn't love it as much as I have loved McMahon's previous books. I love the way she integrates the supernatural and paranormal with mystery and psychological thrills, and the stories surrounding the women were absolutely fascinating. But these same paranormal aspects began to feel somewhat cheesy towards the end of the book. I was also able to guess the big reveal a chapter before it happened.

This was a good read, but not a great one as McMahon's other books have been for me. If you are a reader new to McMahon, start with her older books before you try this one.

Always intrigued by a fiction book that integrates a true crime, I was interested in this book from the start, and it did not disappoint. Medina has authored a well-written book that managed to both break my heart (some parts were very difficult to read, but also brought to light a very important issue) and uplift me.

Told through the eyes of a young woman named Nora, readers are brought straight into her difficult world, lightened only by her friends and a young man who enters her life. Also impacting her story is the real-life shootings committed by the Son of Sam, who caused fear among all young women in New York at the time this book is set in. This is a smart, well-written, emotional book that I would recommend.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Review Roundup: All the Wrong Places, Guess Who, and The Silent Patient

So sorry I've been gone from this blog for so long-I moved to a new apartment, and then didn't have wireless for two weeks, so haven't been able to update. But my wireless finally got installed today!

Here are some of the books I've read since I last updated:

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.

This was one of those books where I kept turning pages, but I'm honestly not sure why. At various points, I would consider giving it a DNF, but something I still can't identify kept me reading.

I just had a lot of problems with this book. First, I didn't really like any of the characters, or care about them. I know there were some I was supposed to love and some I was supposed to hate, but I just felt blah towards all of them.

Also, there was barely any mystery or suspense of thrills. There were so many side plots, all full of supposed drama, and when the suspense finally came, it was so rushed. The end twist was a good one, but I saw it coming a few chapters away.

Sadly, I just can't recommend this one. I'm still not sure why I took the time to finish it.

This was a book I bought when it first came out because it checked two of my absolute favorite boxes-locked room mystery and killer among us. It is centered around a man who became famous for solving a mystery in  his childhood, who is now as an adult locked in a room and forced to figure out who is the killer before they all die.

I definitely enjoyed this book and couldn't put it down. I loved all the twists and turns, and was genuinely shocked at the majority of them. The ending left me feeling a little let down, it just seemed to be lacking a little something. But I would still recommend this read.

I had waited over two months to get my copy of this from the library (extremely long waitlist!), and luckily, my wait for this highly hyped book was worth it. After a woman shoots her husband, she refuses to speak a word. A highly determined therapist attempts to get through to her, and secrets are revealed even through the silence.

This book had me turning pages so fast! This was such a suspenseful thriller, with twist after twist being revealed, and that final twist was incredible!

I'm always so happy when a much-hyped book does live up to the hype, and this book did not disappoint.