Sunday, September 11, 2022

ARC Review: I'm the Girl

 



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.

Georgia Avis is determined to aim higher than what she views as her unfortunate circumstances. When she finds herself with the opportunity to defy her mother and achieve her dreams, Georgia jumps in headfirst, not realizing that beneath the facade of wealth and privilege lurks something dark and dangerous. 

This is not an easy read. Summers is not afraid to tackle hard topics, including sexuality, female bodies, power structures, complicity, and violence. Her writing style is unflinching, as she forces readers to confront the uncomfortable nature of the world today through an expertly woven story and painfully realistic characters. 

Monday, September 5, 2022

ARC Review: Strangers to Ourselves: Unsettled Minds and the Stories That Make Us

 


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.

It's hard to describe this book too much without giving away the power of the true stories Aviv shares. Aviv herself has experience with the main theme of the book, and this shows with the way she handles the stories of others. Looking at others' experiences with psychiatry, societal labels, psychoanalysis and self-identity, as well as her own, Aviv truly lays bare the concept of "unsettled minds" and how every one has a story to share.

Saturday, September 3, 2022

ARC Review: All Dressed Up

 



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.

Here we have a mystery within a mystery. Becca finds herself in the midst of a 1920s themed murder mystery weekend, but she also suspects that there is a real disappearance being covered up behind the scenes. Unable to leave it alone, Becca attempts to solve the fake case, all while investigating the real one.

This is a book with a lot of layers. Besides the mystery within a mystery, we've also got Becca's tension with her husband, who has planned the trip after a massive betrayal on his part. The other couples there for the weekend may have secrets they are hiding. On top of this, the staff are also actors playing their roles, but who may just be out of character during some especially mysterious moments.

The last few pages were good instead of great, at least for me personally. But the wrap up of the true disappearance was brilliant, and I really loved this read.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

ARC Reviews: You're Invited, and Six Feet Deep Dish

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



Amaya has just found out that her former boyfriend is marrying her former best friend, and she knows deep in her soul that she has to stop the wedding from happening. But there are reasons these people aren't in her life anymore, and Amaya faces backlash and possible scandal just by appearing at the pre-wedding festivities. Then the bride goes missing, the police arrive, and secrets come to light.

This was a great read. The use of police interview transcripts at the end of every chapter was a really creative technique that worked really well. There is so much suspense, and there are so many twists and turns that work so well. Nothing is what it seems in this book, which Jaytissa handles to perfection, just like she did in her previous work, My Sweet Girl. I highly recommend reading both of these books.



This book will absolutely make you want pizza really badly.

Geneva Bay, Wisconsin is lacking a deep dish pizza restaurant, and Delilah and her fiance, Sam, are just the people to fill this void. But on opening night, Delilah and her fiance break up, and Deliah's aunt's caregiver is murdered. To protect her aunt, and keep her restaurant afloat, Delilah must solve the mystery and track down the murderer.

Seriously, this book made me crave pizza so much-just thinking about it has me wanting to order in. The descriptions of the food are fantastic. Delilah is highly likeable, and the supporting characters are a lot of fun. I'm especially intrigued by the police detective Calvin Capone, who is both exasperated and flirtatious when it comes to Delilah and her investigations. I'm looking forward to seeing where this series goes next.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

ARC Review: A Dark and Stormy Tea

 


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 just might be my absolute favorite cozy mystery series. I love everything about it, from the main characters, to the tea shop I desperately want to visit, to the romance and of course the mystery. And this was an excellent mystery.

A possible serial killer is stalking the women of Charleston, and Theodosia, after witnessing one of the murders, is determined to solve the mystery and stop the killings. Along the way, she juggles running amazing themed teas, her policeman boyfriend, attending social functions, and making readers drool with the baked goods and teas she serves at what sounds like the most darling tea shop on earth.

If you like cozy mysteries, and haven't tried this series yet, do yourself a favor and pick this one up.

Monday, August 8, 2022

ARC Reviews: Blackwater, and Stay Awake

 


I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The ARC's pictures were occasionally choppy, and only contained half the book, so I waited until the graphic novel came out and am reviewing the entire finalized book now.

Tony and Eli are unlikely friends (and possibly something more). Tony is a popular athlete with a father who ignores him, Eli is an unpopular boy with a chronic disease and a mother who doesn't trust him to do anything. But as the boys begin to bond, something supernatural and very dangerous begins happening in their town.

I enjoyed this graphic novel. The two main characters are very likeable, and the third (female) teenager in their group is a great supporting character (the other teenager, a male, is very irritating, but that appears to be the main point of his character up to a certain point). The supernatural and paranormal elements are woven in well, and the story is intriguing. The romance is very sweet and I was definitely rooting for them. This is an enjoyable, quick read.




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 review contains a spoiler.


Liv wakes up. All she's got are notes on her hands, including STAY AWAKE, and a bloody knife. This is the setup for Stay Awake, and it works in some ways. There's heightened suspense because of the bloody knife and mysterious messages, but there's also sluggishness in how Liv resets every time she falls asleep. Readers are forced to go through things again with Liv as she must figure them out every time. This makes the book move a lot more slowly.

The police officers whose chapters alternate with Liv's help move the story along, and give the reader more information than merely Liv can provide. The ending was also a surprise,which is always nice. I just wish the buildup had been a bit more exciting.


Thursday, August 4, 2022

ARC Review: The Paper Caper

 


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. 

When Covington Library, and her dear friend Joseph, host the Mark Twain Festival, Brooklyn is very excited-not only do the events sound fun, but she's been invited to showcase her bookbinding skills. The main event is a Prince and the Pauper contest, where Joseph will trade places with the person who most looks like him. Keeping a careful eye on him is Brooklyn's husband Derek, who works in security. 

But when someone is poisoned, Brooklyn and Derek must now solve a dangerous mystery as well.

Brooklyn is a cool unique character-I've never seen a bookbinder as the heroine of a cozy mystery before. She is strong and smart, and paired perfectly with her gorgeous husband (they are almost too perfect, but come off as just cute and loving enough to ride the line successfully). This book has a lot of suspense, and isn't only for Mark Twain fans. There is so much else going on that there is something for everyone. I look forward to reading more of this series.