Top Ten Tuesday #29: Favorite Books Released In the Last FIVE Years

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Hey guys! It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday, which is currently being run by the lovely Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl.  We knew instantly that we wanted to take part in this weekly meme because both of us love making list, so this is perfect!

This week’s (May 28th, 2019) topic is: Favorite Books Released In the Last Ten Years. Since there are two of us, we are changing it to: Favorite Books Released in the Last FIVE Years.

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Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday #29: Favorite Books Released In the Last FIVE Years”

Middle Grade Monday: Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #1) by Jessica Townsend

Hey everyone!  We’ve moved Middle-Grade Monday over from our TBR and Beyond Facebook Group to the blog! Hopefully we can bring you lots of great reviews, topics and maybe even some author interviews!
I’m a massive middle-grade fan, and I’m always trying to get people to give it a shot! Hopefully these reviews will give you a better idea if you want to try out the books or not! That is the goal anyway!

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Continue reading “Middle Grade Monday: Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #1) by Jessica Townsend”

Indigo: We Hunt The Flame Unboxing

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Unboxing time! This is a Canadian box from Indigo/Chapters, which is a bookstore that is all over Canada.  Basically a Canadian Barnes and Nobles type of place.  They have started to get into curating these cute little boxes that you can pick up from select YA titles.  This is the second box I’ve purchased, the first one was a King of Scars box and I was pleased with it.  This is a curated box for We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizel.

Continue reading “Indigo: We Hunt The Flame Unboxing”

ARC Review: Wild and Crooked by Leah Thomas

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My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Genre: YA Contemporary/Mystery
Pages: 448
Pacing: Average/Normal
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Published:  June 4th 2019

Trigger Warnings: Bullying, Grief, Death, Violence

 

In Samsboro, Kentucky, Kalyn Spence’s name is inseparable from the brutal murder her father committed when he was a teenager. Forced to return to town, Kalyn must attend school under a pseudonym . . . or face the lingering anger of Samsboro’s citizens, who refuse to forget the crime.   Gus Peake has never had the luxury of redefining himself. A Samsboro native, he’s either known as the “disabled kid” because of his cerebral palsy, or as the kid whose dad was murdered. Gus just wants to be known as himself. Continue reading “ARC Review: Wild and Crooked by Leah Thomas”

Top Ten Tuesday #28: Books That I Refuse to Let Anyone Touch

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Hey guys! It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday, which is currently being run by the lovely Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl.  We knew instantly that we wanted to take part in this weekly meme because both of us love making list, so this is perfect!

This week’s (May 21st, 2019) topic is:  Books That I Refuse to Let Anyone Touch.

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Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday #28: Books That I Refuse to Let Anyone Touch”

Middle Grade Monday: The Changeling (Oddmire #1) by William Ritter ARC Review

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Hey everyone!  We’ve moved Middle-Grade Monday over from our TBR and Beyond Facebook Group to the blog! Hopefully we can bring you lots of great reviews, topics and maybe even some author interviews!
I’m a massive middle-grade fan, and I’m always trying to get people to give it a shot! Hopefully these reviews will give you a better idea if you want to try out the books or not! That is the goal anyway!

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Continue reading “Middle Grade Monday: The Changeling (Oddmire #1) by William Ritter ARC Review”

Game of Thrones Series Finale Hangover Kit

It’s here everyone! Are you all as scared as I am for the series finale tonight? It’s been quite a wild road, for better or worse – it all ends tonight.  I really wish they would’ve given us an extra season because with what all is going on, they really needed to develop those story lines but I digress.  I promised one last Game of Thrones post, so here it is! A post to help you with that Game of Thrones hangover you will be feeling later! Enjoy!

Continue reading “Game of Thrones Series Finale Hangover Kit”

Review: The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

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My rating:
4 out of 5 stars
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 336
Pacing: average/normal
Publisher: Delacorte
Published: April 19th, 2016

 

 

 

The Darkest Corners is a psychological thriller about the lies little girls tell, and the deadly truths those lies become.
There are ghosts around every corner in Fayette, Pennsylvania. Tessa left when she was nine and has been trying ever since not to think about it after what happened there that last summer. Memories of things so dark will burn themselves into your mind if you let them.
Callie never left. She moved to another house, so she doesn’t have to walk those same halls, but then Callie always was the stronger one. She can handle staring into the faces of her demons—and if she parties hard enough, maybe one day they’ll disappear for good.
Tessa and Callie have never talked about what they saw that night. After the trial, Callie drifted and Tessa moved, and childhood friends just have a way of losing touch.
But ever since she left, Tessa has had questions. Things have never quite added up. And now she has to go back to Fayette—to Wyatt Stokes, sitting on death row; to Lori Cawley, Callie’s dead cousin; and to the one other person who may be hiding the truth.
Only the closer Tessa gets to the truth, the closer she gets to a killer—and this time, it won’t be so easy to run away. – synopsis from Goodreads

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“There are worse things in this world than monsters, and somehow, they always manage to find me.” 

While YA thrillers tend to be lacking for whatever reason, I think Kara Thomas did a really solid job at writing an fairly unpredictable and fun page-turner.

I’ve talked about this before, YA really isn’t up to par in the horror/thriller genre at all. I would go as far as to say, it’s the most lacking of any category with this genre. I’m not really sure if it’s because YA readers don’t tend to read scarier books or just that YA is there yet and hopefully will catch up with the genre eventually. I still end up reading quite a few, even if they can get pretty silly.

I was impressed with Thomas’s writing – I thought it was relatable and very easily accessible. I like my thrillers to actually move at a decent pace – I hate when they drag for 200 out of the 300 pages and you barely get any tension at all. I think The Darkest Corners balanced it pretty well. There were some times I could’ve used more tension but for the YA category, I was pleased.

I really liked the relationship between Tessa and Callie. It felt like a fairly real relationship, in that they hated each other one minute and loved each other the next. They had been through a very traumatic experience together and it broke up their friendship at the time so it made sense to me that they would be wary to belong best friends instantly again. These characters aren’t completely likable. They will frustrate you and make you want to pull out your hair sometimes but I kind of like that.

I guess a lot of endings but I only guessed this one about 50%. Even though part of it was predictable, Thomas has such an accessible writing style that it will make you want to keep going. I think that is why I was never bored – her writing is great for thrillers. I wish the bigger twist wasn’t so far-fetched though. I didn’t hate it but it made me roll my eyes some because it was so over-the-top and left field and I didn’t think it was necessary at all. I think writers sometimes get our their trope books and feel like they have to cover their bases and add TOO many sub plots in a book. This book did suffer from that somewhat.

I would certainly recommend the book if you want a light thriller that you could easily read in an evening. Good times.

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E-Arc Haul

Guys, Edelweiss has never been a great source of ebooks to me.  Both Mireille and I have been denied over and over for months – to the point where we had mostly given up.  We kept an eye on it for the stuff you could download for free without getting approved, since we never got approved.  Well. they seem to have changed their system because a lot of reviewers suddenly starting getting approved on the platform! Also, a massive change was Macmillian started letting Canadians request on the platform – before we couldn’t, so that was very exciting! At some point we’ll likely to a post on our experiences with both Netgalley and Edelweiss with tips and stuff but we are still a little new at it – especially with Edelweiss.

Continue reading “E-Arc Haul”

ARC Review – The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

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My rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Genre: Adult Contemporary/Romance
Pages: 352
Pacing: Normal
Publisher: Berkley
Published: July 29th, 2019

Trigger Warnings:  Anxiety disorder, panic attacks

 

 

The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.  When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They’re all—or mostly all—excited to meet her! She’ll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It’s a disaster! And as if that wasn’t enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn’t he realize what a terrible idea that is?

Nina considers her options. 1. Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.) 2. Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee). 
3. Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)
 It’s time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn’t convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It’s going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page. – Synopsis from Goodreads

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“You’re the love child that’s going to derail the whole plot of their lives? … I’m afraid so, I didn’t do it on purpose.  Of course not but how often does one get a chance to be Jon Snow?”

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill was a really cute, quick read. I have to admit that I thought I would love this one more than I did, but I still enjoyed it overall(ish). I mean there are tons of bookish references and our main character is a book snob, of course I’m going to relate somewhat, right?

I decided to broaden my horizons this year and try more contemporary novels, even ones that lean into the romance category. That is very out of my comfort zone but I figured I might enjoy some in the adult genre. This felt like a safe bet since the main character, Nina, works in a bookstore and is all about that life. In some ways it did work for me and in other ways it fell felt.

I mostly adored the character Nina, she was a bit more of an elitist book snob than I am but I still appreciated her great love for a good book and as someone who runs a book club myself, I loved reading about her running various bookclubs at her store for mostly younger kids. It was super cute reading about her interacting with the kids and the books they loved – I’m a huge middle-grade lover, so I was living for all the great book shout-outs and it was also nice that it was a mostly girl’s book club and Nina seemed fairly dedicated to helping the girls with their confidence – I mean what’s not to love about that? Nina also has some really strong female friendships and I’m always looking for that in my novels. There was no petty or catty bullshit, just women who cared about each other – even when they were being a little nutty. Nina is also a strict planner, obsessively so and a complete trivia nerd who takes part in various trivia challenges around town.

Early on, we learn that Nina’s mom was really absent in her life and she never knew her father or even who he was – until she gets a fateful phone call that drops a bombshell informing her that she has a wealthy father who just passed away and has left her something in his will. On top of that, she now has a whole new family – brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and so on – basically an instant family and all the chaos that goes with it. This could’ve been really eye rolling and cliche but it was probably the strongest part of the story – Nina getting to know her new family. Each member is different and not all of them are completely eccentric but, of course we have a couple that are. It wasn’t really heavy and maybe not totally authentic of how something like that would really would out in real-life but that’s ok – in the realm of a light contemporary it was super enjoyable and I could’ve read about her getting to know them for the whole book honestly – maybe even two books!

Ok, so this is a romance and I still haven’t talked about the romance element, why? Honestly, it fell kind of flat for me. Nina has a crush on another trivia geek and they have a few awkward moments here and there but the banter is never really there and the chemistry is always kind of meh for me, so I honestly lost interest. Nina also struggles with anxiety and panic attacks and when she has a fairly bad one and basically tells him to get out – he doesn’t talk to her for quite awhile.  As someone who suffers from severe anxiety and panic disorder, I was not ok with this. Yeah, she was harsh but she was also going through a ton and she did explain why she needed the space and it just didn’t sit right with me. She said what she needed, he refused to listen and made it about him being needed.  I’m sorry but if a woman says for you to leave – THEN GOOOO! I got really grouchy about him after that. I’m sure it was supposed to be cute and all but I didn’t get the romance – I find it bland and I can barely remember the guy’s name already. Sorry bout it….

I think this is a good summer read, something you can pick up in the afternoon and just binge read it. Maybe bring it to the beach or take it out on a nice day on the porch – it’s that kind of read. I loved the family and friendships in this book and that is what makes it still worth a read to me. The cover is also super cute and colorful.

Thank you to Berkley and Edelweissfor the e-arc in exchange for my honest opinion.

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