adult, ARC, mystery, review, three star book, thriller

🤫 Deny Me ARC Review 🤫

🤫 Title: Deny Me
🤫 Author: Karen Cole
🤫 Publisher: Quercus
🤫 Publish Date: April 2, 2020
🤫 Book Form: E-ARC
🤫 Pages: 368
🤫 Genre: Thriller, Adult
🤫 Dates Read: Apr 11 – Apr 14
🤫 Rating: 🤫🤫🤫.5

Thank you to Netgalley and Quercus for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings are my own.

Thirty-two-year-old Jessica is newly divorced and has returned home to live with her parents whilst she puts the pieces of her life back together. But Jessica isn’t the only one with problems, as her mother, Jean, has recently been diagnosed with dementia.

Shortly after Jessica’s arrival, one of the neighbours falls to her death, in what appears to be a terrible accident. However, Jean claims that the woman was murdered by her husband and that she witnessed the whole thing.

With Jean’s memory rapidly deteriorating, her family dismiss her story, believing Jean is confused. But when Jessica learns that the couple next door’s marriage may have been in trouble, she begins to wonder if her mother did see something after all.

Jessica is determined to discover the truth, but soon uncovers much more than she bargained for…

– Goodreads

I was super interested to read this book. My grandfather had Alzheimer’s, so I was excited to read about an MC with it. It’s an awful disease, but I wanted to see how Karen Cole would spin the character. I thought Jean was very believable. I saw parallels to what my grandpa went though. You never know what to believe in those early to mid stages. Sometimes they seem fine, and sometimes they aren’t. It was heartbreaking.

Jessica was a great protagonist. She was smart, questioned everything, trusted the wrong people. It made for a very compelling story. I was gripping my seat at the end! There’s a surprise hero and a ton of action.

I was a little disappointed that the beginning mystery ended up not being the mystery that was investigated. The one that was investigated was compelling, but I wanted closure on the first mystery! I was left with questions and was a little disappointed.

The mystery that was investigated was full of family drama and secrets, one of my favorite things in a thriller. You were left questioning everyone and everything. The ending shocked me! I think I audibly gasped when I realized who the villain was! I did not see it coming.

I would definitely recommend if you are a thriller lover! I was invested from the get-go.

Is Deny Me on your TBR? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time…

adult, contemporary, mystery, Romance, ya

📚 Down the TBR Part 18 📚

Another week! I haven’t gotten near as much reading done as I wanted to, but as I settle into a new routine I’m hoping that I can! Mostly it’s if I can stay off Animal Crossing and my kid lets me…

Let’s get to clearing this tbr! We are starting at 1825. I may do a few extra books today to try to get under 1800! Let’s do this!

✔ What I Kept ✔

Matters of the Heart by Danielle Steel
I am here for obsessive love and sociopaths.

Emergency Doctor by Edward Ziegler and Lewis R Goldfrank
I think I’ve read this one before. But I love true medical stories. Helps to remember why I chose this profession because some days, especially lately, I really wonder.

Breathe My Name by RA Nelson
I’ve been super into YA thrillers lately, and this one sounds amazing!

Two Little Girls in Blue by Mary Higgins Clark
I love MHC. I read my first book of hers in ninth grade. I want to read all of her works.

Silent Night by Mary Higgins Clark
I’ll save this one for this year’s holiday season!

Ford County by John Grisham
This is a series of short stories all set in Ford County, Mississippi! I’m kind of a sucker for books set in MS.

Before I Say Goodbye by Mary Higgins Clark
Maybe I should buddy read some of these with my mom. I bet she’s read them all though.

Kitchen Privileges by Mary Higgins Clark
I love memoirs so of course I’d like to read about Mary!

When Chicken Soup Isn’t Enough by Suzanne Gordon
This is another book I think I have read but could stand a reread.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Isiguro
The synopsis of this kind of reminds me of Girls With Sharp Sticks. I loved that story so I definitely want to give this one a try!

Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler
I think Chelsea is so funny, and I love books like this!

5th Horseman by James Patterson, Maxine Paetro
This sounds great. Mystery involving a hospital and angel of death. But does this series need to be read in order?

6th Target by James Patterson, Mazine Paetro
This one also sounds good. I may as well add the whole series…

✘ What I Deleted ✘

Til Death Do Us Part by Kate White
Good premise, but it’s a cozy and I have to really be in the mood for those. Plus it is #3 in a series.

A Place Called Home by Lori Wick
Girl gets death threats and moves to little no where town. But it’s not a mystery or thriller! It’s a chick fic.

A Song for Silas by Lori Wick
Book two from the series.

Bungalow 2 by Danielle Steel
A typical Steel novel, chick lit fiction.

Late Bloomer by Fern Michaels
I thought about keeping this one, but reviews were meh, so I decided to delete it.

The Rainmaker by John Grisham
I have to really be in the mood for a legal drama. They’re just not my jam.

The Brethren by John Grisham
Another legal drama.

Crown Jewel by Fern Michaels
Another chick lit that just doesn’t sound like it’s for me.

The Revelation by Beverly Lewis
We all know how I feel about Amish stories…

Cat and Mouse by James Patterson
I love FBI, but I’m not a huge fan of books like these. Plus it’s #4 in the series.

Roses are Red by James Patterson
Same as above, but this is #6.

London Bridges by James Patterson
Number 10 in the series.

Mary Mary by James Patterson
Number 11 in the series.

Whelp. That didn’t end how I thought it would. I kept way more than I thought. The most surprising were the James Patterson and John Grisham.

I’m ending my tbr at 1811. I was really hoping to make it under 1800. I may have to do a bonus post later this week!

What did you think of my choices? Have you read any of these books? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time…

contemporary, fantasy, LGBT, mystery, Romance, ya

🤩 April’s Most Anticipated Reads 🤩

Wow. April is kind of slim for me! I usually have to narrow down the list, but this month there’s not a ton I just can’t wait to read. I have three this month!

First off is Crave by Tracy Wolff! I got the arc box for this which I was super excited about. I am also excited about the return of vampy romances!

Release Date: April 7, 2020

Next is Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson. I fell in love with A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder and I have forced many of my friends to read it. They all enjoyed it too! I cannot wait for the sequel!

Release Date: April 30, 2020

Queen of Coin and Whispers by Helen Corcoran. This YA fantasy has a spymaster, plotting, hidden enemies, and of course a love story! Everything I want in a YA fantasy!

Release Date: April 23, 2020

What are your most anticipated releases for April? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time…

ARC, mystery, three star book, thriller, ya

🎠 All The Pretty Things ARC Review 🎠

🎠 Title: All the Pretty Things
🎠 Author: Emily Arsenault
🎠 Publisher: Delacorte Press
🎠 Publish Date: March 17, 2020
🎠 Book Form: E-ARC
🎠 Pages: 352
🎠 Genre: YA, Mystery, Thriller
🎠 Dates Read: Mar 29 – Mar 30
🎠 Rating: 🎠🎠🎠.5

For fans of Sadie and The Cheerleaders comes an all new thriller about a boy who turns up dead under suspicious circumstances and the one girl who may be the key to solving the mystery of his untimely death.

For Ivy, summer means roller-coaster season, spinning cotton candy at the Fabuland amusement park, and hanging out with her best friend, Morgan. But this summer is different.

One morning, Morgan finds a dead body. It’s their former classmate and coworker Ethan. To make matters worse, Morgan is taken to a hospital psych ward only days later, and she’s not saying much–not even to Ivy.

The police claim that Ethan simply took a bad fall, but Ivy isn’t convinced and realizes it’s up to her to get answers. What she finds is unsettling–it’s clear that some people aren’t being honest about Ethan’s last night at Fabuland. Including Morgan. And the more secrets Ivy uncovers, the closer she gets to unraveling dark truths that will change her life forever.

– Goodreads

So, I’m one of those people who reads reviews before I start a book. I don’t know why, it’s just a craving I have. I have to know what others think and if I think the same. I don’t really think it messes with my interpretation of the book. Especially not in this case. The reviews I read said it was predictable and they knew the bad guy from chapter 3. I did not.

Ivy was a likable main character. She seemed genuinely concerned about her best friend, Morgan and solving Ethan’s cause of death. They said he fell, but not everything adds up. She had feelings that I think I would have at 17. She was my favorite character.

The side characters were all interesting and likable too. She had a unique relationship with each of them that seemed well thought out. She seemed like a real girl, which I really liked. Ivy was someone you’d meet in highschool any day.

Ivy’s dad was the worst. He was misogynist, creepy, and said the worst things. I hated seeing him on the page. I cringed every time and just could not fathom having any family member like that. Like, he was the literal worst. He was gross. I just can’t say enough about how much I hated him.

There ended up being two mysteries, neither of which I really figured out. I kind of had an idea about Morgan’s mystery, but not Ethan’s. It was a fast, easy read. It just didn’t quite stand up to other YA mysteries I have read recently.

Have you read All The Pretty Things? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time…

adult, mystery, Romance, thriller

📚 Down the TBR Bonus! 📚

Hey guys! I am deep into The Queen’s Assassin and loving it so far. Today I decided to do a bonus TBR and hopefully I’ll have my The Queen’s Assassin review tomorrow!

Today we are going to clean out all the books added on July 11, 2015. My TBR is starting at 1860 and we’ll be looking at 16 books!

✔ What I Kept ✔

Hand of Fate by Lis Wiehl

I have book one on my tbr this month actually, so I’ll keep for now. If I don’t like book 1, I’ll come back and delete this.

Heart of Ice by Lis Wiehl

Same as above. It stays unless I don’t like book 1 or 2!

Dark Lover by JR Ward

Oh, boy. Here we go. So I was on the fence about this one, but then I saw that a ton of my friends rated this 4-5 stars. This has 19 books in the series, and I have 10 on my list for today. So I’ll just add them all below this one, and they stay until I don’t like them 🙂

The Rest of the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series on my TBR:
Lover Eternal
Lover Revealed
Lover Unbound
Lover Enshrined
Lover Avenged
Lover Unleashed
Lover at Last
The King
The Shadows

✘ What I Deleted ✘

Wake by Amanda Hocking

I was really on the fence about this one, but after reading some reviews I decided to skip. My late teens/early 20s would have been the time to read this I think

Lullaby by Amanda Hocking

Book 2 of the Watersong series, so it goes too.

Tidal by Amanda Hocking

Tidal rounds out the Watersong trilogy.

Forgotten Lyrics by Amanda Hocking

A novella for the Watersong trilogy. #0.5

Well, I honestly thought that would go differently. I only deleted 4, so my TBR is at 1856. I didn’t expect to keep 10 out of a 19 book series so that kind of sucks. But they sound good and my friends liked them so we will see!

Have you read the Black Dagger Brotherhood series? Was it worth keeping? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time…

adult, ya

Down the TBR Blitz!

Since Sunday was the first of the month, I posted my March TBR instead of the typical Down the TBR post. That inspired me to do something a little different. I am going to go through the rest of the books that I added on June 27, 2015. I’m starting my TBR at 1905. Let’s do this!

What I kept:

What I deleted:

What I added:

Wow. That was A LOT. 34 kept, which was more than I was expecting and 54 deleted. A total of 87 books! I ended my TBR at 1854!!!

So. I deleted Nicholas Sparks. There were a lot of series that just didn’t sound great anymore. Apparently in 2015 I was super into zombies and that’s not really the case for me now, either.

I kept the book by Ann Rule – the OG true crime queen. Same with the mystery by Mary Higgins Clark. OG. I’ve loved her forever. Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas – I’ve read it before. But it’s been a few years and I need to reread to finish the series! I was also excited to see some YA I wanted to keep!

Well, that was that. I feel so much better going through those 87 books!

Did you like this way better, or just doing 10 at a time? Did I make any mistakes? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time…

ARC, Historical Fiction, mystery, three star book, ya

Chasing Starlight ARC Review!

Thank you to Netgalley and Tor Teen for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings are my own.

Movies, mansions, and murder in the Golden Age of Hollywood! Teri Bailey Black’s Chasing Starlight is a historical mystery from the award-winning author of the Thriller Award for Best Young Adult Novel.

1938. The Golden Age of Hollywood. Palm trees and movie stars. Film studios pumping out musicals, westerns, and gangster films at a furious pace. Everyone wants to be a star—except society girl and aspiring astronomer Kate Hildebrand, who’d rather study them in the night sky. She’s already famous after a childhood tragedy turned her into a newspaper headline. What she craves is stability.

When Kate moves to Hollywood to live with her washed-up, ex-silent film star grandfather, she walks into a murder scene and lands on the front page. Again. Suspecting someone living in her grandfather’s boarding house is the killer—one of the young men or maybe even her grandfather—Kate searches for clues. Kate’s too sensible to drop out of high school to work at a movie studio, hunt a killer on her own, and fall for a penniless actor with a head full of dreams. But that’s exactly how her stars are aligning.

Part Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, with a dash of Veronica Mars.

– Goodreads

Okay, first. This cover. I love the black and white, with gold writing, and the red hair. Omg. I saw it and immediately wanted to know what it was about. It just popped!

I did a twitter thread of my thoughts while reading! You can see it here! It was my first one, but I’m hoping to continue. It was fun to live react to the book!

Okay, let’s get into this review! The book had sort of a slow start for me. I was excited about an old Hollywood murder, but the first 30% was Kate moving in with her silent movie star granddad and his “unsavory borders”. Her granddad isn’t so famous anymore, and it shows. Kate eventually comes around, but man it takes a while.

At 30% the murder happens. I think it’s about to pick up! Which it did, but it was still a little slow. Also I found it weird the guy was murdered in their house, and they just cleaned up and kept living there like it was no big thing? Like, I would move. I would have to. That didn’t make a lot of sense to me.

The investigation was a little slow going, and at one point it felt like there was more than one mystery. I kept up fine, but it was just a lot happening, but not a lot happening at the same time? I don’t know how else to explain it.

Chasing Starlight is set in the 1930s. I know at that point in time, women were supposed to look pretty and be homemakers. But multiple things were said by men AND women that just made me cringe. Like, don’t talk about your astrology. You’re only as important as your husband. Like I said, I KNOW this is typical for that time, and Kate does fight against it, but it still just made me mad!

The characters were all okay. None of them really stuck out to me except Ollie, the granddad. He was super fun! I would love to hang out with him one day. There was romance, but it didn’t really stick out to me either. I would say it was like a slow burn, enemies to lovers, but like, it’s SUPER SLOW.

I did honestly enjoy this book. If I hadn’t been playing Overcooked 2 all weekend, I’m sure I could have finished it in a day. It’s a quick read that’s a standalone with a nice, wrapped up ending. I loved that I knew who dunnit, why they did it, and where everyone ended up! It’s a super easy mystery to read, and I think it’s worth a try, especially if you like old school Hollywood!

Below is a giveaway hosted by the author! You should definitely enter!

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Is Chasing Starlight on your radar? Do you think you’ll pick it up in June? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time…

ARC, Five Star Book, mystery, thriller, ya

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder ARC Review!

Thank you to Netgalley and Electric Monkey for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings are my own.

The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it.

But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final year project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden. And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pip from the truth?

A debut YA crime thriller as addictive as Serial and as page-turning as One of Us Is Lying.

– Goodreads

Okay, I first featured this book on First Impression Friday. I started this late Thursday night – like 8pm. I read it until my husband begged me to go to bed because the kindle light was bothering him. I finished Friday at around 6pm. And I worked 8-5 on Friday. I read it ALL DAY AT WORK. Luckily we were all caught up. But I could not put this down.

This has so many true crime podcasts vibes I felt like I was listening to one. Going about the case backwards. Finding suspects, finding clues, interviewing people associated with the crimes, the players, the suspect, and the victim. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder is told in present tense, with bits of Pip’s senior project about the crime thrown in. I loved that formatting and really thought it brought a lot to the story.

The relationships in this book really stuck out to me, too. Pip and her dad were really close, which is something I don’t see a lot in YA novels. My dad and I have always been close, so it was nice to see that! She also has a cute relationship with her brother and her dog. Her mom didn’t make many appearances, but it seemed she had a good relationship with her as well.
Pip had many friends that you saw throughout the story and how their friendship changes as she is investigating.
My favorite was with Pip and Ravi. At first he wants nothing to do with her, then they become friends and it makes my heart soar.

The investigation was very well thought out. The clues were interesting, but it didn’t give everything away. There’s even a murder board! Who hasn’t wanted to make one of those?! The ending KILLED ME. I didn’t expect it and it just blew my mind.

I just felt like I grew so close to Pip. I can’t wait to see the next leg of her and Ravi’s journey in Good Girl, Bad Blood releasing April 30! Preorder here.

Add A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder to your Goodreads TBR here. I promise, you want to.
Buy A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder at Penguin Random House or Amazon.

Have you read A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder? What did you think? If not, is it going on your tbr? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time…

ARC, contemporary, fantasy, Historical Fiction, mystery, Romance, thriller, ya

Stacking the Shelves

I did this post last week and loved it so I decided to do it again! Maybe this will become a weekly post. Who knows?

This meme is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. Here’s how it works:

“Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!”

This week I got an amazing arc box! I also got five e-galleys from Netgalley. Let’s see what I got!

Crave by Tracy Wolff

My whole world changed when I stepped inside the academy. Nothing is right about this place or the other students in it. Here I am, a mere mortal among gods…or monsters. I still can’t decide which of these warring factions I belong to, if I belong at all. I only know the one thing that unites them is their hatred of me.

I’ve seen this advertised as the new and improved Twilight. Honestly, I can’t wait.

Open Fire by Amber Lough

A dramatic page-turner that captures the devastating toll of war and the impact of women’s struggles and solidarity, through the lens of a little-known slice of history.

Honestly, the cover freaks me out. This is set in 1917 Russia. A 17 year old girl goes to war – and finds she was very disillusioned.

Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett

In this coming-of-age romance perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen, scandal and romance collide when an ambitious teen returns to her hometown only to have her plans interrupted after falling for the town’s “bad boy”—a.k.a. her childhood best friend.

Honestly, I did not expect to get approved for this. I haven’t read Jenn’s romances yet, so I’m excited to finally try. I’ve heard great things.

The Mall by Megan McCafferty

“The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like, totally fresh. Cassie Worthy is psyched to spend the summer after graduation working at the Parkway Center Mall. In six weeks, she and her boyfriend head off to college in NYC to fulfill The Plan: higher education and happily ever after.
But you know what they say about the best laid plans…”

I was a 90’s kid. I can’t wait to go back!

The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant

Les Misérables meets Six of Crows in this page-turning adventure as a young thief finds herself going head to head with leaders of Paris’s criminal underground in the wake of the French Revolution.

Adventures. Thieves. Set in France. Fans of Six of Crows? This book was written for me.

I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick

For fans of Sadie and Serial, this gripping thriller follows two teens whose lives become inextricably linked when one confesses to murder and the other becomes determined to uncover the real truth no matter the cost.

Again, fans of Serial. That’s me! I love these books. Keep them coming YA authors!

Have you heard of any of these gems? Are you on the lookout for them? What are you most excited for? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time…

ARC, contemporary, mystery, thriller, ya

First Impression Friday!

Another week done! I am super excited for this weekend. We are going to a zoo about an hour and a half away and there will also be a renaissance faire that day! My child, husband, and I all have costumes. My son will love seeing all the animals and I’ll love seeing all the faire!

So today we are going to talk about A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson.

“The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it.

But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final year project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden. And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pip from the truth?

A debut YA crime thriller as addictive as Serial and as page-turning as One of Us Is Lying.
– Goodreads

Okay, see that last, bolded part? As addictive as Serial. I LOVE THAT PODCAST! I am a true crime freak. I’ve been reading Ann Rule forever and have recently gotten very into true crime audios. I also love true crime podcasts. I started with Culpable (a must listen. It happened about an hour away from where I live!), next was Serial, and I’ve just gone down the rabbit hole since. I saw that and knew I had to get this book. I am so lucky to have received an arc! Thanks Netgalley and Electric Monkey!

I read the first chapter pretty quickly. It is Pippa, or Pip, saying why she chose to delve into this murder that was “solved” five years ago. She is researching it as her capstone project for school – kind of like a senior research paper. I definitely got Serial vibes so far. Basically, Andrea, or Andi, left her home about 1030 pm. She didn’t pick her parents up at 1254am like she was supposed to. She was never seen again. They all think Sal, her boyfriend, did it. This sounds like the first season of Serial – which I devoured.

After a little intro, we then see the first part of Pip’s capstone project. We see her interview with a missing person specialist. She writes why she chose this topic and what she hopes to accomplish.

There are rave reviews about this one. I think I will be added to the bunch. The first chapter was so enthralling. I 100% feel this will be a five star read!

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder came out on February 4. Add it to your Goodreads TBR here. Order a copy from Amazon here!

What do you think of my first impression? Have you read this novel? Was it on point? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time…