And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Published : November 6th, 1939

First, there were ten—a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they’re unwilling to reveal—and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. And only the dead are above suspicion. 


Another book read due to my Habitica guild (Habitica is a great habit tracker and “to-do list app, I HIGHLY recommend it) and this book was the Book of The Month for July. I was a bit apprehensive picking this book up, but I did it and I’m not regretting it. I really enjoyed this “Who dun it?” style mystery.

I only had some issues getting into the plot, the beginning of the book started with throwing a little more than 10 characters at you (the main ones and people who have been involved in their back story) and it confused me a bit but once the main plot started to get in full swing it was actually really enjoyable.

It kept me guessing as to who the murder was and when I thought I knew who it was, I’m telling you, I was sure of who it was. I WAS WRONG. I never read an Agatha Christie book before, but I think I’ll start sprinkling her more and more into my reading list because I really liked the pace, plot and overall experience of this book.

4/5 Stars

The Princess Diarist – Carrie Fisher

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
Published : October 18, 2016

The Princess Diarist is Carrie Fisher’s intimate, hilarious and revealing recollection of what happened behind the scenes on one of the most famous film sets of all time, the first Star Wars movie. 

When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved—plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a (sort-of) regular teenager. 


I’m not much of a non-fiction reader, but I have a habit tracker that has you join guilds and I joined a reader’s guild and one of the challenges was to read a non-fiction book. So I thought, why not? This seems like a great book, and one of my friends had just wrapped up reading it and said it was super entertaining.  So I downloaded the auidobook for this (Non-Fic books read by the writers seem to keep me entertained more than most other formats).

And my god, this book did not disappoint. Carrie did a wonderful job with narration, her great personality and emotion, bringing you into the emotions of all those years past. This book tended to focus more on her relationship/affair with Harrison Ford. Which I didn’t hate, but I wish I got a bit more insight into what it was like on the set/being a star for a movie franchise that no one thought would make it.

It was a relatively quick read as well, which was great. If you’re a fan of Star Wars and want some witty, and some good Star Wars fun, getting to know the true PLO, pick this one up.

5/5 Stars

Scythe – Neal Shusterman

Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Published : November 22nd 2016

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.


DEAR GOD THIS BOOK. TRULY EPIC.

Ok. I have to admit, this book had me just like…in awe. SUCH a great book! The setting, was great, the characters, their voice, their personalities, and just the overall plot. A true epic adventure. And it was so unique and thought provoking even. The way Shusterman brings up overall thoughts/ideas/talk of mortality and what is just and right, I guess moral would be the word to use. But DEAR GOD.

I also really enjoyed the amount of suspense, action and just overall speed of the book. Every single piece of information had purpose. Nothing was left untied and everything EVERYTHING had meaning.

The setting is UNREAL. Like a true utopia where death is conquered, sickness no longer exists and the only way to control population is through Gleaning (a task of killing people, that Scythes are tasked with). And the omnipresent being that is the Thunderhead which is basically the Internet and literally KNOWS ALL.

The characters were beyond amazing. Rowan being super complex, Citra being just overall badass and I think I enjoyed her the best. and DONT EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE SCYTHES. Faraday and Curie were AMAZEBALLS. I loved Curie so much. I thought her and Faraday’s relationship and how they worked. And honestly all the the relationship dynamics were SO WELL THOUGHT OUT.

Overall this book was something I couldn’t put down. Literally had me clutching it until the very last word, it made me feel so many things and was such an great adventure, I think I would read it over and over and over again for all time.

If you’re looking for a gripping, fast paced, adventure. Please PLEASE do yourself the favor and pick up Scythe.

5/5 Stars

A Court of Frost and Starlight – Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas
Published: May 1st 2018

Hope warms the coldest night.

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve. 

Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.


Well…I wish this wasn’t the review I’m going to write but I was pretty disappointed with this book. A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury and A Court of Wings and Ruin were all great! And being a massive Sarah J. Maas fan, I have familiarity with her novellas (*Ahem* The Assassin’s Blade) and I guess I expected more.

The Assassin’s Blade made me FEEL things, I just felt like this was a bunch of mundane just droning to be honest. Like seriously? Just a book about everyone at Christmas time? AND NESTA!? I mean come on, I know Nesta had a hard time turning but let’s be honest, she’s probably the strongest out of everyone will power wise. Personally, I think there was a lot more room for improvement and just overall a better story to be had.

According to goodreads there’s 6 books total, so we’re at the halfway point of the saga, and I hope to god Sarah J. Maas isn’t burnt out on the potential plot points already.

2/5 Stars

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes
Published : February 23rd 2016

Joe Goldberg is no stranger to hiding bodies. In the past ten years, this thirty-something has buried four of them, collateral damage in his quest for love. Now he’s heading west to Los Angeles, the city of second chances, determined to put his past behind him.

In Hollywood, Joe blends in effortlessly with the other young upstarts. He eats guac, works in a bookstore, and flirts with a journalist neighbor. But while others seem fixated on their own reflections, Joe can’t stop looking over his shoulder. The problem with hidden bodies is that they don’t always stay that way. They re-emerge, like dark thoughts, multiplying and threatening to destroy what Joe wants most: true love. And when he finds it in a darkened room in Soho House, he’s more desperate than ever to keep his secrets buried. He doesn’t want to hurt his new girlfriend—he wants to be with her forever. But if she ever finds out what he’s done, he may not have a choice…


Oh, you mean you didn’t know I like torturing myself by reading the sequel to a book that literally almost had me screaming and pooping my pants like 75% of the time?

WELL FOLKS, THERE’S A SEQUEL AND I READ IT. Yep. I did it.

I have to admit, I didn’t like this as much as I did You, but I always go into sequels expecting them to not be as good as the debut book. Hidden Bodies kind of let me down in the sense that I didn’t feel as urked as I did when I read You (WHICH IS REALLY WEIRD TO WRITE I KNOW, BUT IT’S TRUE). I didn’t really see the point to this book. And I guess there wasn’t as much suspense in Hidden Bodies as there was in You. I also felt a little weird about the fact that a lot of the women in this book actually LIKED Joe, like in You he actually had to insert himself into their lives and even then, it took them some time to warm up to him.

All in all with a few bumps in the road. Hidden Bodies makes for an okay sequel. Is it completely necessary? Not really, but still an entertaining read.

3/5 Stars

You by Caroline Kepnes

You by Caroline Kepnes
Published  September 30th 2014

When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.


So, I SWEAR I wrote a blog post about this before but I guess not. Let me just begin with OH DEAR GOD WHAT DID I READ!?…in the best way possible.

HOOKED. SHOOKETH. MIND. BLOWN. I can’t even begin to explain what this book did to me. I felt so weird reading it but I couldn’t put it down. Not for one second. I just kept going and going and Joe was just the worst human being alive but I HAD to know what happened next. To be honest, I had a very big love hate relationship with all the characters honestly…except Peach I HATED Peach. But seriously, this book took me through an emotional roller coaster.

I even got one of my bet friend’s hooked on it and I think she might have hated me for it because it was just one of those books you absolutely love but at the same time CAN’T BELIEVE IT HAPPENED. I’m seriously proud that Caroline Kepnes is local to me here in Massachusetts. I love knowing there’s an amazing author like her around and from my state.

Seriously. If you like thriller/suspense books. Go pick this up. It’s literally a heart attack on every page.

5/5 Stars

Review : Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
Published: September 29, 2015

Sisters. Strangers. Survivors.

More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia’s teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that’s cruelly ripped open when Claire’s husband is killed.

The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: what could connect them? Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth, unearthing the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago . . . and uncovering the possibility of redemption, and revenge, where they least expect it.


Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone had a wonderful few weeks into 2018, and have decided on their Goodreads reading goals (mine is 50 books for 2018) and are well on your way to reaching that goal. I for some reason decided to try and start my year with….a suspense/thriller, which is a bit interesting.

I have to say this book kind of fell flat for me but somehow kept me entertained. I HATED mostly everyone except Lydia. I found Claire to be obnoxious, and I kind of knew what was going to be happening as I kept reading. I just couldn’t get invested into the story because my dislike for Claire. Also, I found that a lot of the scenes were a bit unnerving. Like some seriously graphic scenes that made me feel a bit uncomfortable.

I somehow found myself continuing reading though. It was a really weird reading experience to be honest.  If you’re okay with some really graphic stuff, I’d say this is a good thriller for you, but I guess it wasn’t for me.

 

Review : Into the Bright Unknown by Rae Carson

 Into the Bright Unknown by Rae Carson
Published : October 10, 2017

Leah Westfall, her fiancé Jefferson, and her friends have become rich in the California Territory, thanks to Lee’s magical ability to sense precious gold. But their fortune has made them a target, and when a dangerous billionaire sets out to destroy them, Lee and her friends decide they’ve had enough—they will fight back with all their power and talents. Lee’s magic is continuing to strengthen and grow, but someone is on to her—someone who might have a bit of magic herself. The stakes are higher than ever as Lee and her friends hatch a daring scheme that could alter the California landscape forever. With a distinctive young heroine and a unique interpretation of American history, Into the Bright Unknown strikes a rich vein of romance, magic, and adventure, bringing the Gold Seer Trilogy to its epic conclusion. Includes a map and an author’s note.


OH MY GOODNESS. This was such an entertaining and captivating read. I don’t know how I got sucked into the series because it’s not really in my wheelhouse, but I’m so glad I took a chance on it. This last book was AH.MAZE.ING. This book was like a western Ocean’s Eleven. It was so awesome and kept me so engaged and so invested in the story.

There were so many twists and turns and the end conclusion to all of it was just so satisfactory it was so great. I don’t think I’ve read a book by Rae Carson that I didn’t enjoy.  I think this might be my favorite series by her. She closed everything up SO NICELY and in such an entertaining way. I also love the use of another person with abilities, although I was hoping the series would continue so we could see the possibilities and origin of how people get their abilities etc. But it’s all good, I still got three really great books from this series.

Review: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray
Published : August, 15 2015

The longing of dreams draws the dead, and this city holds many dreams.

After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O’Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. With her uncanny ability to read people’s secrets, she’s become a media darling, earning the title “America’s Sweetheart Seer.” Everyone’s in love with the city’s newest It Girl…everyone except the other Diviners.

Piano-playing Henry DuBois and Chinatown resident Ling Chan are two Diviners struggling to keep their powers a secret—for they can walk in dreams. And while Evie is living the high life, victims of a mysterious sleeping sickness are turning up across New York City.

As Henry searches for a lost love and Ling strives to succeed in a world that shuns her, a malevolent force infects their dreams. And at the edges of it all lurks a man in a stovepipe hat who has plans that extend farther than anyone can guess…As the sickness spreads, can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld to save the city?


I absolutely love this series. Like above and beyond. This is SO GOOD. All of the work with the plot and the intertwining everything it’s so great. I literally could not stop reading this because I kept wanting to continue reading it.  There’s something so amazing about the way this is written and how EVERY character has something to connect with and just makes reading these books so enjoyable. I’ve also read Before The Devil Breaks You, and I’ll be writing a review on that as well, and it’s just as good as this book, even better.

I cannot recommend this book enough, pick up The Diviners if you haven’t and if you have let me know how you enjoy this series.

Taylor’s Gift Guide for Bookworms

With the holidays just around the corner, I’m super excited to be partnering with Redbubble to bring you my quick guide to shopping for the bookworms in your life (or yourself because sometimes you need to treat yo self).

If you’ve never heard of Redbubble before, it’s honestly one of my favorite online stores and truly a life saver when it comes to getting gifts for everyone on your shopping list. Redbubble was created in 2006 in Melbourne, Australia and has since become a platform for over 400k artists and designers across the world to showcase their unique designs for millions of shoppers. No matter what kind of design you’re looking for, chances are, Redbubble has it.

Now when it comes to shopping for the bookworms on your holiday list, it can be tricky. Buying books isn’t always an option because we might already have that book and no one wants to spend hours in a bookstore guessing what kind of book someone might enjoy.

I took to Redbubble to find some of the best designs to gift your favorite readers this year.

Between the Pages 

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Throw pillows are the perfect gift for anyone and a design like this one is a great match for any reader, no matter what kind of books they like to read.

Read More Books

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This is one of my favorite designs in my guild. I think it’s perfect for a mug but honestly, you could get it on anything.

Keep ReadingAlice

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Pouches from Redbubble are absolutely one of my favorite things to give. They’re so versatile! They work great as makeup bags, to keep things contained and organized in purses, and a ton of other things.

Hustle definition

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Laptop sleeves are a great gift for anyone on your shopping list but if you know any writers, these have their name all over them.

Books and Cats and Tea

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I think we all know at least one person that this “Books and Cats and Tea” design was basically made for. I’m a big fan of mugs (because who doesn’t want a super cute mug?) so I think this design is perfect for a mug.

BookshelfBetter than the MovieNow I lay me down

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Prints from Redbubble are very high quality and reasonable priced. They’re also perfect for readers who want to liven up their shelf area like I did.
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If you’re looking for a few smaller, filler gifts, stickers are where it’s at. They can be stuck on pretty much anything and are an easy way to show some reader pride.

The Reader’s Path

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Notebooks like The Reader’s Path design are perfect for anyone who needs to take notes for school or to quickly jot down ideas.

If you’d like snag any of the things on my gift guide or any of the thousands of other awesome designs on Redbubble, you can use “TaylorReads15” for 15% off your order (code is good until December 22)

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