Into The Water – Paula Hawkins

Into The Water by Paula Hawkins
Published : May 2nd, 2017

In the last days before her death, Nel called her sister. Jules didn’t pick up the phone, ignoring her plea for help. Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules has been dragged back to the one place she hoped she had escaped for good, to care for the teenage girl her sister left behind. But Jules is afraid. So afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of knowing that Nel would never have jumped. And most of all she’s afraid of the water, and the place they call the Drowning Pool . . .


I wanted to like this book, I really did. I tried to so hard to just redeem itself but…no dice. I couldn’t get into this book no matter how hard I tried. There were too many characters introduced and not in a way that helped the book move along, I felt lost most of the time and I just couldn’t keep it together. I really wished I could though because it seemed like a cool premise to a decent mystery book. With it being a book I didn’t much enjoy, and couldn’t follow really well, I’m not sure there’s much else to say so unfortunately, this review is pretty short lived.

2/5 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

Review: The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

28187230The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Published June 30th 2016

In this tightly wound story, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…

With surprising twists and a setting that proves as uncomfortably claustrophobic as it is eerily beautiful, Ruth Ware offers up another intense read.

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This is my third book from Ruth Ware and to be totally honest, it’s my least favorite. I was actually expecting this to be the best Ruth’s books because I’ve such hype around it, especially in bookstores.
The synopsis (like all of Ruth’s books) sounds amazing and I expected The Woman in Cabin 10 to be an insane psychological thriller that I would read in one sitting. And even though I did read it fairly quickly, it wasn’t as captivating as I hoped it would be.
I loved the concept but I really didn’t like the characters. With the characters always being drunk or constantly drinking, it was annoying and that alone made me want to quit reading the book.
Some of the things through out this book didn’t really make sense to me and I think it could have been edited better.
The pace was a slow burn, which I’m okay with, but when the plot kicked into gear, I really started to enjoy the book so much more.
Overall, The Woman in Cabin 10 was hit and miss with me. For everything I liked, there was two things I didn’t like. I think this book had a lot of potential but it missed the mark with me.

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Review: A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor

29359948A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor

Expected publication: August 15th 2017

We sat at the edge of the ocean—my sister Henri and I—inches apart but not touching at all. We’d been so sure someone would find us by now.

Emma had always orbited Henri, her fierce, magnetic queen bee of an older sister, and the two had always been best friends. Until something happened that wrecked them.

I’d trusted Henri more than I’d trusted myself. Wherever she told me to go, I’d follow.

Then the unthinkable occurs—a watery nightmare off the dazzling coast. The girls wash up on shore, stranded. Their only companion is Alex, a troubled boy agonizing over his own secrets. Trapped in this gorgeous hell, Emma and Alex fall together as Emma and Henri fall catastrophically apart.

For the first time, I was afraid we’d die on this shore.

To find their way home, the sisters must find their way back to each other. But there’s no map for this—or anything. Can they survive the unearthing of the past and the upheaval of the present?

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I was sent an ARC of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

I wanted to love this book, I really did, but there was a few things that I just couldn’t overlook.
The first thing I didn’t like was how dependent Emma was on her sister, Henri. It was so unhealthy and concerning. It was also extremely annoying. Emma was obsessed with her sister and couldn’t think for herself. All she ever thought about was her sister.
The second thing I didn’t like was Alex. I personally don’t think he should have been included in the story. He was so unnecessary and was only there for the sake of romance. I think having the story being about just Emma and Henri would have been much better.
The third and final thing that I didn’t like was how Alex was not written diverse. The opportunity was there and he was written as a white character. He was from Puerto Rico and wasn’t Latino and I think that was very poor on the author. Alex could have been a diverse character so easily and he would have given representation to people who don’t have much representation in media as it is.

I did like the concept of the plot and the writing style a lot though.

Overall, I think this book could have been a lot more enjoyable if better choices had been made about the white washing of Alex and the unhealthy relationship between the sisters. As much as I liked the concept, I couldn’t overlook the things that just weren’t okay.

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Review: No Good Deed by Goldy Moldavsky

32309404No Good Deed by Goldy Moldavsky

Published May 30th 2017

He’s not asking for much. All Gregor Maravilla wants to do is feed all of the starving children on the planet. So when he’s selected to join Camp Save the World, a special summer program for teenage activists from all over the country to champion their cause, Gregor’s sure he’s on the path to becoming Someone Great.

But then a prize is announced. It will be awarded at the end of summer to the activist who shows the most promise in their campaign. Gregor’s sure he has the prize in the bag, especially compared to some of the other campers’ campaigns. Like Eat Dirt, a preposterous campaign started by Ashley Woodstone, a famous young actor who most likely doesn’t even deserve to be at the camp. Everywhere Gregor goes, Ashley seems to show up ready to ruin things. Plus, the prize has an unforeseen side effect, turning a quiet summer into cutthroat warfare where campers stop focusing on their own campaigns and start sabotaging everyone else’s.

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An ARC of this book was sent to me unsolicited by the publisher

I’ve seen a good amount of positive reviews for this book so maybe I’m the odd one out on this but I wasn’t into No Good Deed at all.
I thought the plot sounded really original and it had a lot of potential but the characters prevented this book from becoming likable for me. I was not a fan of the main character at all and because of that, I was never able to get into the book. The main character, Gregor, was so incredibly annoying to me. I also died a few times from second hand embarrassment from Gregor’s awkwardness and sometimes his inner monologue was very strange as well.
I really liked the idea of a teen activists camp but a majority of the kids had a social justice warriors persona and that was not for me.
I did really like how Gregor’s Mexican roots are mentioned early on and had a place in the story. Even if I didn’t really enjoy this book, I really appreciated the diversity.

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Review: Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott

28226839Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott

Expected publication: May 2nd 2017

DOMINO: A runaway with blood on her hands.

CAIN: A silent boy about to explode.

MADAM KARINA: A woman who demands obedience.

WILSON: The one who will destroy them all.

When Madam Karina discovers Domino in an alleyway, she offers her a position inside her home for entertainers in secluded West Texas. Left with few alternatives and an agenda of her own, Domino accepts. It isn’t long before she is fighting her way up the ranks to gain the madam’s approval. But after suffering weeks of bullying and unearthing the madam’s secrets, Domino decides to leave. It’ll be harder than she thinks, though, because the madam doesn’t like to lose inventory. But then, Madam Karina doesn’t know about the person living inside Domino’s mind.

Madam Karina doesn’t know about Wilson.

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I’ve seen almost exclusively positive reviews for Violet Grenade so I feel like I’m the odd one out for not loving it. I’d read one of Victoria’s other books, Titans, and I loved it so I was really pumped to explore her other books.
I can’t really put my finger on why this book wasn’t for me but it just hit me the wrong way. Right away, there was something about the main character and writing that felt off to me. I can’t really explain it but it felt almost… fragmented. Like a rough draft or something. The main character, Domino, was just weird. I couldn’t connect to her at all and she felt unnatural. It was never really acknowledged that Domino seemingly had a mental illness (I thought she had schizophrenia) and her illness was more of a plot device.
The plot was predictable and unengaging to me and I just couldn’t get into it.

Overall, this book wasn’t for me. I’ve seen tons of great reviews for Violet Grenade so maybe I’m just being overly critical. However, if you’re triggered or sensitive to schizophrenia or mental illness not being completely addressed in a book, I would recommend not reading Violet Grenade.

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Review: The Lost Herondale by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman

23380998The Lost Herondale by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman

Published March 17th 2015

Simon learns the worst crime a Shadowhunter can commit: desertion of their comrades. In the early nineteenth century, Tobias Herondale abandoned his fellow Shadowhunters in the heat of battle and left them to die. His life was forfeit, but Tobias never returned, and the Clave claimed his wife’s life in exchange for Tobias’s. Simon and his fellow students are shocked to learn of this brutality, especially when it is revealed the woman was pregnant. But what if the child survived… could there be a lost Herondale line out in the world today?

 

 

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I always say I’m going to stop reading Shadowhunter books but I always get wrapped up in them. I love The Infernal Devices series to the ends of the earth but The Mortal Instruments series dragged on and on for me and I stopped liking them after book three. I didn’t plan on continuing with Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy but I was gifted a copy so I thought I might as well finish it.
I’m not a fan of Simon, never have been, so The Lost Herondale tested my patience pretty much 100% of the time.
I do love the writing style. Cassie Clare has so much talent and her world building is amazing.
I did like The Lost Herondale a bit more than Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy so that was a nice surprise.
Overall, if you’re a hardcore fan of TMI, you’ll probably love this book. But if you’re like me and tired of TMI being dragged out, you should probably pass on this book.

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Review: A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge

31915219A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge

Published January 1st 2012

In the underground city of Caverna, the world’s most skilled craftsmen toil in the darkness to create delicacies beyond compare—wines that remove memories, cheeses that make you hallucinate, and perfumes that convince you to trust the wearer, even as they slit your throat. On the surface, the people of Caverna seem ordinary, except for one thing: their faces are as blank as untouched snow. Expressions must be learned, and only the famous Facesmiths can teach a person to express (or fake) joy, despair, or fear—at a steep price. Into this dark and distrustful world comes Neverfell, a girl with no memory of her past and a face so terrifying to those around her that she must wear a mask at all times. Neverfell’s expressions are as varied and dynamic as those of the most skilled Facesmiths, except hers are entirely genuine. And that makes her very dangerous indeed . . . 

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This book was way weirder than I expected.
A Face Like Glass starts off in cheese tunnels (I kid you not) and it only gets more and more odd from there. With sentences like “the cheeses were Grandible’s only friends and family, their scents and textures taking the place of conversation” and “The child was thriving on the perilous splendors of the cheese kingdom”, I just couldn’t take this book seriously. Maybe it’s just me but I couldn’t get through one page without laughing at something that was said. It felt like a small children’s book about a mouse that loves cheese rather than a Young Adult book.
I’ve seen tons of 5 star reviews for this book so I’m probably the only one who doesn’t love this book.
Honestly, this book just wasn’t for me. I loved the synopsis but I just couldn’t get past the weird cheese talk.

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ARC Review: Road Signs That Say West by Sylvia Gunnery

32171679Road Signs That Say West by Sylvia Gunnery

Expected publication: May 1st 2017

It’s Hanna’s wild idea, of course: take their mom’s car, pack up the tent, and drive across the country. Just three sisters, one guitar, and the Trans Canada Highway. They can be back in Nova Scotia before their parents are home from Europe. She doesn’t say she wants to forget about what happened in Italy, and at university. Claire doesn’t say she keeps having nightmares about her friend’s recent suicide. Megan doesn’t say much, unless it’s a complaint. But maybe they all feel, somehow, that this is their one chance to do something together, something big, before time begins to scatter them. With empathy and insight, Sylvia Gunnery writes an engaging summer read about three sisters navigating the difficult roads of adolescence, trauma, secrets, shame, and fear for the future. Peopled with chance encounters and warmed with fireside heart-to-hearts, Road Signs that Say West is a compelling ride through real life.

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I really love road trip books but Road Signs That Say West just wasn’t for me.
I thought it was poorly written and I hated how it jumped from perspective to perspective. I felt like Megan was a pointless character and she was even less developed than the other two girls.
I was pretty bored through out the whole book and nothing interesting really happened.
I liked the idea of this book but the overall execution wasn’t great.

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Review: Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

23492288Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

Published January 14th 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…

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I read You earlier this year and it blew. my. mind. I was so amazed by it and I ordered Hidden Bodies within an hour of finishing You. I started Hidden Bodies the same day I got it in the mail and it took me almost an entire month to finish it. After the first 70 pages, I had a hard time getting into this book. It just didn’t hit me like You did. I struggled to even finish Hidden Bodies. If it had been completely separate from You, I’m pretty sure I would have loved it. But it just didn’t have the same magic I was expecting after finishing You. Joe is still a creeper and super scary but I didn’t feel as scared of him as I was in You. He was just super annoying in this book. And every girl in this book loved him. They all wanted to be with him. You’re telling me that not a single girl got a weird vibe from Joe? Not one girl? There’s not a single girl in the world who hasn’t gotten a bad vibe from a seemingly normal man. We have a radar for these kinds of things. And not one girl steered clear of Joe. I don’t buy that for a second.
Overall, Hidden Bodies was okay. I didn’t love it near as much as You and I can’t say I would recommend Hidden Bodies. But if you loved You as much as I did and you feel like you need to see what Hidden Bodies is about, I don’t blame you. Just don’t go in with high expectations.

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