Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Review: Antisocial


Title: Antisocial
Author: Jillian Blake
Publication Date: May 16, 2017
Genre: Young Adult/Psychological/Suspense
Recommended If You Like: secrets being revealed, a realistic protagonist with an anxiety disorder, exploration of the complexity of relationships and the role of social media

The Book:

When someone hacks into the phones of students at a prep school, suddenly everyone's text messages, internet searches, and deepest secrets could be exposed. As relationships break apart, and no one knows who to trust anymore, everyone fears that their secrets will be the next to be revealed.

What I Liked:

I really liked that this book had a realistic narrator with an anxiety disorder. I think this is something that needs to happen a lot more in literature. Blake really illustrated what it feels like to have an anxiety disorder, and made the readers feel like they were in the narrator's shoes.

The storyline was a really interesting one, highlighting the dangers of technology and social media, and exploring how much of our true selves we show to the world and those closest to us.

Anything I Didn't Like?

I was expecting more mystery to this story, more focus on a big reveal of who was behind the hack, more surprises on that end. I think this just wasn't what Blake felt the focus was, even if it's what I wanted personally.

So...?

This is a really quick read-it took me just a couple of hours-and an interesting one. It's worth picking up for the narrator alone, but the story will keep you hooked as well.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Review: The Special Ones



Title: The Special Ones
Author: Em Bailey
Publication Date: July 18, 2017
Genre: Psychological Suspense
Recommended If You Like: strange and unique reads, books about cults, strong female protagonists

The Book:

Esther has been one of the Special Ones for almost two years. This means she is viewed as a spiritual guide, an immortal being who lives a simple life in an isolated farmhouse and online chats with her eager followers. She is always watched by a mysterious he, the leader they have never met, who decides if they are living up to their true Special potential. If they aren't, they are renewed, and never return to the farmhouse again.

What I Liked:

Like another recent read, Hex, this book is fantastically strange and so unique. I love reading a book where I feel like I've never read anything like it before. This book is so mysterious, which meant I could not put it down. I had to know what was going to happen next.

Anything I Didn't Like?

Towards the middle of the book, I felt like things started to move maybe a little too fast. This is one of those books I think could have been a little longer to flesh out things even more.

So...?

This is a quick, gripping read that will keep you engaged and constantly guessing.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Beat the Backlist 2018!



I'm so excited for this reading challenge to start! It's hosted by NovelKnight, and the challenge starts January 1, 2018. The goal is to read as many books published in 2017 or earlier as possible. I'm setting my personal goal at 125 backlist books, since I can count any books I read from my TBR bookcases.

1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
6)
7)
8)
9)
10)
11)
12)
13)
14)
15)
16)
17)
18)
19)
20)
21)
22)
23)
24)
25)
26)
27)
28)
29)
30)
31)
32)
33)
34)
35)
36)
37)
38)
39)
40)
41)
42)
43)
44)
45)
46)
47)
48)
49)
50)
51)
52)
53)
54)
55)
56)
57)
58)
59)
60)
61)
62)
63)
64)
65)
66)
67)
68)
69)
70)
71)
72)
73)
74)
75)
76)
77)
78)
79)
80)
81)
82)
83)
84)
85)
86)
87)
88)
89)
90)
91)
92)
93)
94)
95)
96)
97)
98)
99)
100)
101)
102)
103)
104)
105)
106)
107)
108)
109)
110)
111)
112)
113)
114)
115)
116)
117)
118)
119)
120)
121)
122)
123)
124)
125)

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Review: The Screaming Staircase


Title: The Screaming Staircase
Author: Jonathan Stroud
Publication Date: August 26, 2014
Genre: Supernatural/Paranormal, Middle Grade
Recommended If You Like: scary books that aren't too scary, ghost stories, strong young characters

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.

The Book:

In a world where the presence of ghosts has become the norm, the young are the ones with the Talents to see and vanquish the paranormal. Lucy, Lockwood, and George form one of many agencies who make a living fighting against the ghosts. As they learn to work together, they must tackle two of the biggest cases London has seen.

What I Liked:

I'm a big fan of books focused on the paranormal, and also a fan of middle grade and young adult reads, so this was a very enjoyable combo for me here. The book was frightening without being terrifying, and managed to be very eerie and suspenseful while still being middle-grade appropriate, not an easy feat.

Anything I Didn't Like?

The book got a little meandering and slow in parts, which caused my attention to drift away, which meant this book took me quite a bit longer to finish than its length would have suggested.

So...?

I enjoyed reading this book, but not enough where I will be in a rush to pick up the rest of the series.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Review: Bel, Book, and Scandal

  


Title: Bel, Book, and Scandal
Author: Maggie McConnon
Publication Date: December 5, 2017
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Recommended If You Like: strong female protagonists, family ties, long-running mysteries with surprise endings, secrets from the past

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 long-running series' mystery of what truly happened to Belfast's best friend, Amy, so many years ago, takes a shocking turn in this latest cozy mystery. Belfast, a chef at her family's Shamrock Manor, spots a newspaper photograph that turns everything she thought she knew about that fateful night upside down. Drawn into a story she has never truly been able to leave behind, Belfast is determined to solve the mystery that has haunted her all these years.

What I Liked:

I love the character of Belfast. She feels so real, as does her family. She's not perfect, neither are they, but they love and drive each other crazy in equal measure. Belfast is funny, and clever, and determined, but still doesn't know where she's going in life. She is relatable, and it's impossible not to like her.

I was so excited to see so much development in the mystery of Amy. It's one I've been following since I read the first book in the series, and I've been wanting to know the solution so much.

Anything I Didn't Like?

I felt like what was revealed, while surprising and shocking and fantastically dramatic, didn't feel like it entirely fit with what had come in the books before. I absolutely adore a shocking twist that I never saw coming, but this one felt a little too out of left field.

So...?

Definitely read the books that came before this one so you can understand the importance of what is happening in this one. This is a cozy mystery series I really enjoy, and I hope that, even though it felt like an ending, this isn't the last we read of Belfast.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Review: Gin and Panic



Title: Gin and Panic
Author: Maia Chance
Publication Date: October 24, 2017
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Recommended If You Like: historical mysteries, strong female protagonists, humor

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 

The Book:

Lola Woodby was a member of high society, but is now a private detective. She and her detective partner, Berta, are called to a mansion to retrieve an errant trophy, but find themselves drawn into a murder mystery with plenty of suspects.

What I Liked:

This book is just plain fun. Lola and Berta are clever, quick, and funny, and they have highly entertaining adventures as they work to solve the mystery.

Prohibition-era New York and its surrounding towns really come alive as well.

Anything I Didn't Like?

There really isn't much not to enjoy with this read. It's just a fun book. If anything, I would say it's not particularly memorable, which doesn't mean I didn't enjoy myself while reading it.

So...?

If you are looking for a quick, fun, historical mystery read, this is a good one to pick up. It won't take you long, and you'll find yourself laughing as you work to solve the crime along two strong women.

Monday, November 27, 2017

COYER Winter Switch!




COYER Switch has 3 components: The Strict, The List, and The One with the Twist. You can choose to do the three components in any order you’d like, but you’ll do each component once.

  • December 16 – January 12 The Strict
  • January 13 – February 9 The One With the Twist
  • February 10 – March 9 The List

The Strict:
This is good old strict COYER. The rules:
  1. Every book you read must be an eBook or audiobook.
  2. Every book must be either free or less than $5.
  3. No library books, borrowed books, or Kindle Unlimited.

The One with the Twist (I'm choosing physical books as my format):
  1. You can read ANY book. ANY price. Obtained any LEGAL way.
  2. The Twist is, you have to stick with one format. If you choose audiobooks, then only the audiobooks you read during this phase will count. If you choose eBooks, then only eBooks you read during this phase will count. ETC….

The List:
  1. Make a list of up to 30 books you want to read.
  2. Every book on the list must be in your possession BEFORE you put them on the list.
  3. You can add 5 new books for every 5 books you read.
  4. Books on the list can be any format, any price, obtained any LEGAL way… so that means library books, KU, borrowed, etc.
My List:

1) The Bride Wore Size 12
2) Missing, Presumed
3) Don't You Cry
4) Into the Wild
5) The Minaturist
6) Troublemaker
7) Under the Egg
8) Three Times Lucky
9) Spinsters in Jeopardy
10) The Panopticon
11) Every Fifteen Minutes
12) Good as Gone
13) Welcome to Nightvale
14) Whiskey Sour
15) Busman's Honeymoon
16) The Last Dead Girl
17) The Marsh King's Daughter
18) The Secrets She Keeps
19) Little Deaths
20) The Marsh Madness
21) Ruin Falls
22) Doom with a View
23) Genuine Fraud
24) The Blind
25) Lie to Me
26) Lies She Told
27) The Lives of Desperate Girls
28) The Devils You Know
29) Lady Killers
30) The Second Sister