Leah's Bookish Obsession

Leah's Bookish Obsession

I'm a work in progress, I think I'll always be...

 

 Spoiler-free, and smaller, pocket-sized reviews.

All my ratings start at 5 Stars and go down from there.  Because every book deserves to start out at the top.

Review
4.5 Stars
4.3 Out Of 5 STARS for The Reigning and the Rule by Calia Read
The Reigning and the Rule - Calia Read

Surviving Time #2

 

FEATURING

 
Time Travel
Requires A Suspension of Belief
Historical Romance
The Early 1900's
Mystery
Sex-Plicit
Rating for Book #1 - 3 Stars

 
LINK TO Book #1 SYNOPSIS (AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)
 

MY RATING⇢ 4.3 STARS | GRADE A-

 
 

 

MY THOUGHTS

 
I only gave book #1 in this series 3 STARS, I had issues with plot holes and the overall believability of the time travel.  I think my main issue is usually in time-traveling books the person goes through time but remains in the same location.  This has Serene changing locations...like by states and all.  But if I set that issue aside and just go with it, I found this second book to be much better.  Also, the plot holes were filled up, for the most part, and everything started clicking into place for me.  She doesn't just time travel...she changes time and it has some drastic results.

I still loved the connection between Serene and Etienne, which I also did in the first book, their chemistry is what makes the story.  His reaction when she cusses like a sailor or talks about whores and sluts is absolutely priceless.  If any man brought up in that era can go with that kind of talk from a lady...he's a keeper.

This time around, though, I was wishing she would stop waffling on her feelings for him and going over something again and again...I feel like this kind of indecisiveness in romance books is just done for filler, and this book doesn't need filler, it clocks in at 479 pages, after all.  There is enough going on plotwise that fewer pages of it would be welcomed.  The ending has some surprising elements that I won't give away...but they are so significant that I decided to start the third and final book straight-away.
 
 
 
 
 

THE BREAKDOWN⇢  

 
Plot 4.3/5
Characters 5/5
The Feels 4.3/5
Pacing 3.8/5
Addictiveness 4.3/5
Theme or Tone 5/5
Flow (Writing Style) 4.3/5
Backdrop (World Building) 4.3/5
Originality 4/5
Ending 5/5 Cliffhanger Yes! More than one, actually.
_____
 
Book Cover It's really pretty.  I love the new covers for the series, actually.
Setting Present Time Champaign, Illinois &1913-ish Charleston, South Carolina
Source Kindle eBook (KU)
eBook Length 479 pages

Review
3.5 Stars
3.7 Out Of 5 STARS for The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
The Rules of Magic - Alice Hoffman

 

 

FEATURING

 
Prequel to Practical Magic
Spanning the 50s, 60s, 70s...and more
A Long Line of Witches
Family Curse
Romance & Love


With Audio Performed by Marin Ireland

 
LINK TO SYNOPSIS (AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)
 
 

MY RATING⇢ 3.7 STARS | GRADE B



 

 

MY THOUGHTS

 
Full Disclosure:  I've never watched Practical Magic, not that I can remember, anyway...and I've never read the book either.  So, I can't really tell you if this is a good place to start with the series or not.  I  can tell you that I was never at a loss for what was going on in the story...and this takes you right up to when the characters, Gillian and Sally from the movie/book come to live with their Aunts Franny and Jet at a young age.  Although, maybe the fact that I've never read Practical Magic is the reason why I didn't love this, like so many others have.  

Don't get me wrong...it's not at all bad, the story has merit and I even found some of the witchiness appealing here and there...even though witch stories aren't really my thing.    Not enough, that I want to read Practical Magic or anything...but maybe, I wouldn't mind watching the movie.  I did especially love the characters of Franny, Jet, and Vincent. They made the story, for sure.  I think if witch stories are your thing, then you will love this and the Audio is even decently done by Marin Ireland.
 
 
 
 

THE BREAKDOWN⇢  

 
Plot 3.8/5
Narration Performance 4.3/5
Characters 4.5/5
The Feels 3/5
Pacing 3.8/5
Addictiveness 4/5
Theme or Tone 4.3/5
Flow (Writing Style) 4.3/5
Backdrop (World Building) 4.5/5
Originality 4/5
Ending 4.7/5  Cliffhanger⇢ Not really.
_____
 
Book Cover It's okay...I guess.
Setting NY, NY, & Massachusetts
Source Libby Audiobook (Library)
Length 10 hours, 58 minutes

 
 
I READ THIS FOR SPELLBOUND SQUARE
 
Halloween Bingo 2019 | Tracking Post

~10/18/19~

 

Bingo #4 came about today when I finished Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent for International Women of Mystery  I'm trying for a blackout, and only 5 books to go...hopefully, I can get there. 19 books Called & Read and 1 that is only Read.  Only 2 of the 13 calls left are on my card.  

  

Currently Listening

 

The House by Christina Lauren for Terror in A Small Town

 

 

Currently Reading

 

Echoes of Time by Calia Read (A Time-Travel Romance) for a change of pace from all this dark stuff (Not for HB).

 

 

 

Transfiguration Spells are as follows

 

 

 

 

 

MY CARD | For the Bingo's

First Bingo - 10/07

Second bingo- 10/11

third bingo- 10/15

Fourth Bingo- 10/18

 

 

 

 

 

 

CALLED

 

(Green for on my card Pink for not on my card)

 

 

09/01

Ghost Stories

09/02

Genre: Horror

09/03

Creepy Crawlies 

09/04

Amateur Sleuth

09/05

American Horror Story

09/06

Dystopian Hellscape 

09/07

Fear Street 

09/08

 Black Cat

09/09

Relics & Curiosities 

09/10

A Grimm Tale 

09/11

Stranger Things

09/12

Creepy Carnivals

09/13

Country House Mystery 

09/14

Classic Horror 

09/15

Supernatural

09/16

Psych

09/17

Darkest London

09/18

Cozy Mystery

09/19

Southern Gothic

09/20

Read by/Candlelight 

09/21

Modern Noir

09/22

Spellbound 

09/23

Dark Academia

09/24

Dead Lands

09/25

Slasher Stories

09/26

In the Dark Woods 

09/27

Dark Stormy Night 

09/28

Paint It Black 

09/29

Truly Terrifying 

09/30

Locked Room Mystery 

10/01

Raven (Free Space)

10/02

Full Moon 

10/03

King of Fear

10/04

Vampires 

10/05

Halloween

10/06

Sleepy Hollow 

10/07

Diverse Voices 

10/08

Demons 

10/09

Int. Women/Mystery

10/10

Film at 11 

10/11

Cryptozoologists

10/12

Stone Cold Horror

10/13

Baker Street Irregulars 

10/14

Romantic Suspense 

10/15

New Release

10/16

Monsters

10/17

13

10/18

Modern Masters 

10/19

 

10/20

 

10/21

 

10/22

 

10/23

 

10/24

 

10/25

 

10/26

 

10/27

 

10/28

 

10/29

 

10/30

 

10/31

 

 

 

 

 

READ Books

 

 

09/22- Genre: Mystery - Sharp Objects

 

 

 

CALLED & READ

 

09/01- New Release - Before She Was Found

09/03- Dystopian Hellscape (TF) - The Grace Year

09/05- Romantic Suspense - The Conspiracy

09/08- Read by Candle/Flashlight - The Survival of Molly Southbourne

09/10- Slasher Stories - Final Girls

09/13- Dark Academia (TF) - Killing November

09/14- A Grimm Tale - The Girl in Red

09/16- Diverse Voices - The Girl From the Well

09/19- Supernatural - Veiled

09/21- Psych - The Falling of Stars

09/26- Creepy Crawlies - The Salt Line

10/02- Vampires (TF) - The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

10/05- Stranger Things - Dark Matter

10/06- In the Dark, Dark Woods - The Wolves of Winter

10/08- Paint It Black - We Sold Our Souls

10/11- Sleepy Hollow - Bunny

10/13- Baker Street Irregulars - Lights All Night Long

10/15- Spellbound - The Rules of Magic

10/18- International Women of Mystery - Unraveling Oliver

 

Review
4 Stars
4 Out Of 5 STARS for Lights All Night Long by Lydia Fitzpatrick
Lights All Night Long - Lydia Fitzpatrick

 

FEATURING

 
Russian Exchange Student in America
A Coming of Age Story
Literary 
Murder Mystery
The Anguish of Addiction


With Audio Performed by Michael Crouch
 
 
LINK TO SYNOPSIS (AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)
 
 
 

MY RATING⇢ 4 STARS | GRADE B+



 

 

MY THOUGHTS

 
The synopsis sets up this story wonderfully, so I suggest reading that.  A thoughtfully told, heartbreaking narrative with alternating timelines, between the past in Russia leading up to Ilya's exchange trip to America and from present tense in Louisiana where he is determined to prove his brother's, Vladimir's, innocence. While the slow pace of the story left me wanting to rush this...I kept waiting for something thrilling to happen and once it finally did, I kind of missed the mark with me.  It may have also touched on religion a tad more than I'm comfortable with.

Ultimately, this packs more of a literary punch than action-packed punch, with themes of familial bonds, addiction, and dreaming of something better, this is overall, a genuinely heartfelt story and one that is not to be missed.

The Audio performance is well performed by Michael Crouch, as usual, he even pulled off all those Russian words with finesse...I think...since I don't speak Russian.

THE BREAKDOWN⇢  

 
Plot 4/5
Narration Performance 4.5/5
Characters 4/5
The Feels 3.7/5
Pacing 3.2/5
Addictiveness 4/5
Theme or Tone 4.2/5
Flow (Writing Style) 4/5
Backdrop (World Building) 4.5/5
Originality 5/5
Ending 4.5/5
_____
 
Book Cover Love it!
Setting Berlozhniki, Russia & Effie, Louisianna 
Source Libby Audiobook (Library)
Length 12 hours, 3 minutes

 
 
I READ THIS FOR BAKER STREET IRREGULARS SQUARE
 
Review
2.5 Stars
2.5 Out Of 5 STARS for Bunny by Mona Awad
Bunny - Mona Awad

 

FEATURING

 
Mean Girls & Heathers...
Mashed w/Weird Science
Weird AF
Cultish Cliques
New England University
Creative Writing


With Audio Performed by Sophie Amoss

 
LINK TO SYNOPSIS (AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)
 

MY RATING⇢ 2.5 STARS | GRADE D+



 
 

 

MY THOUGHTS

 
The Audio was fairly good...she pulled off the annoying bunny dialogue really well, her Scottish accent felt a tad forced and awkward, but it's not in the story that much, so not too a big deal.

The first third of the story I was really into it, actually...but then somewhere around the middle, I got really confused and then it was like the story was floating up above my head somewhere...and only bits and pieces got through.  While I've never done a buddy or bookclub kind of read, I can see where a person would definitely benefit from someone(s) to bounce things off from while reading this.

Ultimately, I feel like I missed the boat on this one...like maybe somewhere in this f-ed up story was a thought-provoking narrative filled with allegory, satire and all those things that your teacher wanted you to convey in your stories.  But it was completely lost on me...It was kind of like one long-ass acid trip, and the bunnies...don't even get me started on the bunnies.

Oh, bunny...I love you bunny, your so pretty bunny...I love your dress bunny...

 
 
 

THE BREAKDOWN⇢  

 
Plot 2.5/5
Narration Performance 4.5/5
Characters 3.5/5
The Feels 3/5
Pacing 3/5
Addictiveness 2.5/5
Theme or Tone 3/5
Flow (Writing Style) 1.5/5
Backdrop (World Building) 3/5
Originality 3/5
Ending 1.5/5 Cliffhanger ???
_____
 
Book Cover It's eye-catching, for sure.
Setting Warran University, New England
Source Libby Audiobook (Library)
Length 11 hours, 44 minutes

 
 
I READ THIS FOR SLEEPY HOLLOW SQUARE
 
Review
3.5 Stars
3.5 Out Of 5 STARS for We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix
We Sold Our Souls - Grady Hendrix

 

FEATURING

 
Rock N Roll/Metal Inspired
Horror-if-ic
Weird AF
Gore
Devil Worshipping
My First Book By This Author


With Audio Performed by Carol Monda

 
LINK TO SYNOPSIS (AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)
 

MY RATING⇢ 3.5 STARS | GRADE B-


 
 
 
 
 
MY THOUGHTS⇢
 
I loved how the chapters were named after albums of different Rock/Metal bands.  It was the second chapter in, I believe, and the chapter was Appetite For Destruction...and I was thinking, hey, that's  a Gun's & Roses album name (the only truly good one from them, in my opinion.)  After that, I tried to figure out the band from each new chapter name.  Some I knew, some I didn't.  Probably because I was more of a Rock/Hair Band kind of music fan than a metal fan.

Overall, a crazily entertaining listen, with audio performed fairly decently by Carol Monda, her raw, deep voice really captured the true essence of Kris Pulaski.

Although, at times, I was utterly confused and I may have missed the point of the whole story.  I was left wondering if this was a play on metal music poisoning your mind or was the music actually poisoning their minds, like sublimely?  Or, is it both? At other times it felt like it was dipping into a supernatural theme...with the whole, he sold our souls to the devil shit, either that or they were on some serious drugs.  This sort of confusion seems to be a theme for me lately, and what was with those UPS guys?
 
 
 

THE BREAKDOWN⇢  

 
Plot 3.5/5
Narration Performance 4.3/5
Characters 3.8/5
The Feels 3/5
Pacing 4/5
Addictiveness 3.8/5
Theme or Tone 3.5/5
Flow (Writing Style) 3.7/5
Backdrop (World Building) 4.3/5
Originality 4.3/5
Ending 3.8/5 Cliffhanger Nah...
_____
 
Book Cover It's awesome, actually...very Rock N Roll
Setting West Virginia & Las Vegas
Source Libby Audiobook (Library)
Length 9 hours, 2 minutes

 
 
I READ THIS FOR PAINT IT BLACK SQUARE
 
 
Review
5 Stars
5 Out Of 5 STARS for The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson
The Wolves of Winter - Tyrell Johnson

FEATURING

 
Post-Apocalyptic Nuclear Winter
Survival
A Deadly Virus
Bioengineered Humans
An Awesome Dog Named Wolf (who isn't a wolf)
Tiny Splash of Romance
Reads More Like Older YA


With Audio Performed by Jayme Mattler

 
LINK TO SYNOPSIS (AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)
 

MY RATING⇢ 5 STARS | GRADE A+



 
 

 

MY THOUGHTS

 
I loved this, I had no idea it was going to go in the direction it did, and I was so into it once it did.

What starts out as a typical end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it survival story in the Yukon takes a left turn into this secret (possibly government) cover-up.  Think...Dark Angel (you know the show with Jessica Alba) with augmented humans, with super abilities, who have escaped and just want to be left alone.  Mixed with a cold unforgiving backdrop of never-ending nuclear winter, and a super-virus that has killed a large percentage of the population that the government agency is still trying to find a cure for.  I, personally, found this unputdownable.  Other readers have said they found this to be slow, even boring, but I don't get it.  I listened to this, for the most part, in one day.  If that doesn't scream compelling...I don't know what does.

The Audio was seamlessly performed by Jayme Mattler, she fit the voice of the weirdly distinct MC, perfectly.  I hope the author decides to continue with this world he has created because I really want to know where he plans to take it.  I want more Lynn & Jax.  The possibilities this could go in have me stoked.  Please don't do what Dark Angel did and leave me hanging.
 
 
 
 

THE BREAKDOWN⇢  

 
Plot 5+/5
Narration Performance 5/5
Characters 5/5
The Feels 5+/5
Pacing 5/5
Addictiveness 5/5
Theme or Tone 5/5
Flow (Writing Style) 5/5
Backdrop (World Building) 5/5
Originality 5/5
Ending 5/5 Cliffhanger Yes, and the Author hopes to write another book...hopes...I don't know if that's good enough for me.
_____
 
Book Cover It's perfect for the book, but she should be carrying her bow.
Setting Yukon Territory, Canada
Source Libby Audiobook (Library)
Length 8 hours, 54 minutes

 
 
I READ THIS FOR IN THE DARK, DARK WOODS SQUARE
 
Review
4.5 Stars
4.8 Out Of 5 STARS for Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
Dark Matter: A Novel - Blake Crouch

 

 

FEATURING

 
Blake Crouch Kind-of-Trippy
Science Fiction
Mind-Fucking/Defining
With A Love Story


With Audio Performed by Jon Lindstrom

 
LINK TO SYNOPSIS (AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)
 

MY RATING⇢ 4.8 STARS | GRADE A



 
 

 

MY THOUGHTS

 
Blake Crouch has a way of taking you for a ride...one wild and crazy ride with thought-provoking situations and dilemma's that leave you contemplating the meaning of life and love and the pursuit of happiness and such.  He also does science fiction in a way that is easily digestible. 

For the sake of a Reading Challenge (Halloween Bingo), I went into this knowing certain aspects of it, and I don't believe knowing that ruined the story...because ultimately I didn't really know where this was going to end up.   I just kind of let it take me where it would...and wow the taking was intense, especially that ending.  I would have really loved to know what happened to Amanda, though.

The Audio was excellently executed by Jon Lindstrom, who is also an actor, and it shows...he was amazing, really brought the story to life.  FYI, this would be amazing as a TV Show, or a Movie, but I don't think a movie could really get the scope of it.
 
 
 

THE BREAKDOWN⇢  

 
Plot 5/5
Narration Performance 5/5
Characters 4.8/5
The Feels 4.7/5
Pacing 5/5
Addictiveness 4.7/5
Theme or Tone 5/5
Flow (Writing Style) 5/5
Backdrop (World Building) 5/5
Originality 4.5/5
Ending 4.8/5 Cliffhanger I don't even know how to answer that...
_____
 
Book Cover It's trippy...
Setting Chicago
Source Libby Audiobook (Library)
Length 10 hours, 9 minutes

 
 
I READ THIS FOR STRANGER THINGS SQUARE
 
Quote
Grief never goes away. It just changes. At first it's like molten-hot lava dripping from your heart and hollowing you from the inside. Over time, it settles into your bones, your skin, so that you live with it, walk with it every day. Grief isn't the footprints in the snow. It's the empty spaces between.

Tyrell Johnson, The Wolves of Winter

Review
4.5 Stars
4.7 Out Of 5 STARS for The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown - Holly Black

FEATURING

 
Vampires
Dystopian-ish
Like A Slightly Skewed Version of Our World
Quarantined Vampire Towns
Kick-Ass Heroine
A Smattering of Romance
Stand-Alone


With Audio Performed by Christine Lakin
 
LINK TO SYNOPSIS (AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)
 
 

MY RATING⇢ 4.7 STARS | GRADE A



 
 

 

MY THOUGHTS

 
I've had this on TBR for an eternity now, and I should have read this sooner.  The ratings for this are all over the place...and I am one of the readers who found this to be a refreshingly real (and I use that term loosely, of course) take on vampires.  As real as a Dystopian/Apocalyptic/slightly skewed version of our world with a Vampire Virus-like premise can be, anyhow.  We still have electricity and even the internet and teenagers are still trying to find the ultimate party.  So, not so different...just the added element of Coldtowns.

The writing is excellent, the Vampires are scary, the MC is kind of badass, the romance is minimal and lastly, the audio version of this is quite fantastic.  It has music, either at the beginning of a chapter or the end of one.  Scary music gets me every time, what can I say.  Christine Lakin does a pretty good job with the narration, also.  If you haven't read this yet, and you like a totally different vibe of Vampires than the Twilight Series, I highly recommend it.  Especially, on Audio!
 
 
 

THE BREAKDOWN⇢  

 
Plot 4.8/5
Narration Performance 5/5
Characters 5/5
The Feels 4.7/5
Pacing 4.5/5
Addictiveness 4.5/5
Theme or Tone 5/5
Flow (Writing Style) 4.4/5
Backdrop (World Building) 5/5
Originality 5/5
Ending 5/5 CliffhangerIt is kind of open-ended...
_____
 
Book Cover It's okay...but I can't help but think that it may be the reason it's taken me so long to read this.
Setting Mostly Springfield, MA
Source Audiobook (Library)
Length 12 hours, 6 minutes

 
 
I READ THIS FOR VAMPIRES SQUARE
 
September Re-Cap

September Re-Cap

 
I'm a little late posting this, but I've been trying to catch up with stuff since I got back from my mini-vacay.  Unfortunately, my flooded basement has also put a damper on my catching up. Otherwise, it's been a fairly good month...the start of Halloween Bingo and 12 books total finished for the month.  Stand-out read for the month would have to be The Grace Year...by far and wide.

My Bookish Re-Cap - September⇢ 

 
 
(Audiobook) Before She Was Found by Heather Gudenkauf
 
FEATURING⇢
 
Mystery | Thriller | Suspense
Online Solicitation
Urban Legends
Secrets
Middle School
 
Finish Date:  09/01
MY RATING⇢ 4.5 STARS | GRADE A-
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(Netgalley eARC) The Grace Year by Kim Liggett
 
FEATURING⇢
 
Dystopian Setting/Alternate World
Society Where Men Have the Power
Oppression Of Women
Horror-if-ic
Death, Lies, & Betrayals
Splash of Romance
Women Supporting Women
Stand-Alone
 
Finish Date:  09/03
MY RATING⇢ 5+ STARS | GRADE A++
 
 
 
 
 
 
(Audiobook) The Conspiracy by Kat Martin
 
FEATURING⇢
 
Light on the Romane
& Heavy on the Suspense
Romantic Suspense
Missing Persons
The Beautiful People...
Cliché'd Characters & Actions
Sex-plicit
 
Finish Date:  09/05
MY RATING⇢ 2.3 STARS | GRADE D+
 
 






(Kindle eBook) The Survival of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson

FEATURING⇢

Unique Storyline
Creeptastic and Horror-if-ic
The Second Half of A Complete Story
Science Fiction

Finish Date:  09/08
MY RATING⇢ 3 STARS | GRADE C








(Audiobook) Final Girls by Riley Sager

FEATURING⇢

Mystery Thriller
The Final Girl Standing
Twisted and Twisty
Slasher Story
Unlikable & Flawed Characters
You Totally Got Me With Your Twist

Finish Date:  09/10
MY RATING⇢ 4.5 STARS | GRADE A-
 







(Audiobook) Killing November by Adriana Mather

FEATURING⇢

Secret School for A Secret Society
Savvy Teens
Lions, Wolves, & Bears...Oh My!
Mysterious Setting
Murder Afoot
Awkward Romance

Finish Date:  09/13
MY RATING⇢ 3.5 STARS | GRADE B-
 






(Audiobook) The Girl in Red by Christina Henry

FEATURING⇢

Red Riding Hood
On Her Way to Grandma's House
Fairytale Retelling
Viral Apocalypse
Survival
Darkish & Mysterious
Horror-if-ic

Finish Date:  09/14
MY RATING⇢ 4.2 STARS | GRADE B+
 
 






(Audiobook) The Girl From the Well by Rin Chupeco

FEATURING⇢

Ghosts & Possessions
Dark Spirits & Exorcisms
Japanese Folklore
Sort of Horror-if-ic
No Romance Whatsoever
Interesting, but I felt detached...

Finish Date:  09/16
MY RATING⇢ 3 STARS | GRADE C
 
 







(Audiobook) Veiled by Karina Halle

The Veil Between the Living and Dead
Supernatural (TV Show) Vibe
Spin-Off of Experiment In Terror Series
Romance Between An Immortal and A Human
Demons & Ghosts
Sex-Plicit
May-or-may-not Be a Series...

Finish Date:  09/19
MY RATING⇢ 3.2 STARS | GRADE C+
 







(Kindle eBook) The Falling of Stars by Traci Finlay

FEATURING⇢

Teen Suicide
Cyber-Bullying
Mystery
Psychological Thriller
More like Under-Thrilling
I actually paid for this book...
...but thankfully not very much

Finish Date: 09/21
MY RATING⇢ 1.5 STARS | GRADE⇢ D
 
 
 





(Audiobook) Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

FEATURING⇢

Serial Killer
Mystery Suspense
Psychological Thriller
Dysfunctional Family Town
Dark & Deeply Disturbing
Ugly...but Compelling

Finish Date:  09/22
MY RATING⇢ 3.7 STARS | GRADE B
 







(Audiobook) The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones

FEATURING⇢

Apocalypse/Dystopian
Character Driven
Burrowing Ticks W/ A Killer Virus
Light Horror
Suspense Thriller
Survival

Finish Date:  09/29
MY RATING⇢ 4 STARS | GRADE B+ 
 
 






12 Books Total, 9 of which were Audiobooks, and 2 Kindle eBooks plus 1 very good Netgalley eARC (I've been more discerning of the books I request and lately it's really paid off).  With only 1 DNF, Lost Girl by Chanda Hahn...and it has such a pretty cover too...



Best Cover for the month of September goes to

It's a tie between these two...


 
 
 
My Halloween Bingo Card so far...after month #1 (I do have 4 more books that I've read but haven't been called, though)
 
Review
4 Stars
4 Out Of 5 STARS for The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones
The Salt Line - Holly Goddard Jones

 

 

FEATURING

 
Apocalypse/Dystopian
Character Driven
Burrowing Ticks W/ A Killer Virus
Light Horror
Suspense Thriller
Survival
 
With Audio Performed by Hillary Huber
 
 
LINK TO SYNOPSIS (AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)
 
 

MY RATING⇢ 4 STARS | GRADE B+

 
 
 

 

MY THOUGHTS

 
The Tick Apocalypse, where the ticks carry a virus that kills a good portion of the population off, is definitely a different take on this genre or subgenre if you prefer.  I wish it wasn't a very probable one when you look at what's happening with mosquitos...it's oddly prescient when you think about it...they are supposed to be spraying in my county tonight (postponed because of rain from Sunday) to kill off the mosquitos that could be carrying the EEE virus.  And, to top it off, I actually finished this audiobook only hours before they started suggesting the whole mass-spaying in Michigan.  Kind of freaky, actually.
 
Overall, a compelling story that could have been shaved down some because some elements became rather tedious at times...but, the direction the story went in was not at all what I was expecting and I found this to be ultimately refreshing.  The ending was left rather open-ended, but I can live with that.
 
The Audio was fairly well done, especially for having several POV's with only one narrator.
 
 

THE BREAKDOWN⇢  

 
Plot 4/5
Narration Performance 4.3/5
Characters 4/5
The Feels 4/5
Pacing 3.5/5
Addictiveness 4/5
Theme or Tone 4/5
Flow (Writing Style) 3.8/5
Backdrop (World Building) 4/5
Originality 4.3/5
Ending 4/5 Cliffhanger Sorta-ish...
_____
 
Book Cover It's quite striking...and it's what initially drew me in.
Setting The Other Side of the Salt Line --North Carolina/Lower Appalachian Mountains Area.
Source Libby Audiobook (Library)
Length 15 hours, 24 minutes

 
 
 
I READ THIS FOR CREEPY CRAWLIES SQUARE
 
Review
3.5 Stars
3.7 Out Of 5 STARs for Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Sharp Objects - Gillian Flynn, Ann Marie Lee

FEATURING

 
Serial Killer
Mystery Suspense
Psychological Thriller
Dysfunctional Family Town
Dark & Deeply Disturbing
Ugly...but Compelling
 


With Audio Performed by Ann Marie Lee
 
LINK TO SYNOPSIS (AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)

(also has a teaser trailer for Limited series on HBO)

 

MY RATING⇢ 3.7 STARS | GRADE B



 
 

 

MY THOUGHTS

 
What you will get when you read/listen to this book...
 

⇢The writing within this book is not only brilliant but seriously audacious and scintillating in an eww, gross kind of way that will leave you squeamishly uncomfortable.  Flynn doesn't shy away from...well...anything.  It seems nothing is off-limits.

⇢Wind Gap is one darkly twisted town...with pre-teens running amok...having sex, doing ecstasy and drinking. 

⇢The characters are all rather unlikable, including the MC...when you find out what she went through as a kid though...it feels like she is justifiably fucked up. 

⇢The whodunit is rather easy to figure out and I believe it purposely so.  The real mystery is how twisted the truth really is...and it really is, way beyond twisted. 

 
What you take from this book is entirely up to you and how much darkness you can take...me, I'm conflicted, I can do dark and twisted...but maybe this was a little too much of 'all of the above' for me.
 
The Audio is superbly executed by Ann Marie Lee...her voices, her inflections are spot on.  It had to have been weird for her that one of the girls killed has the same given name as her.
 
 
 

THE BREAKDOWN⇢  

 
Plot 3.3/5
Narration Performance 4.5/5
Characters 3.5/5
The Feels 3.2/5
Pacing 4/5
Addictiveness 4/5
Theme or Tone 3/5
Flow (Writing Style) 4.3/5
Backdrop (World Building) 4.3/5
Originality 5/5
Ending 2.8/5
_____
 
Book Cover TV Show Cover...
Setting Wind Gap, Missouri
Source Libby Audiobook (Library)
Length 9 hours, 35 minutes

 
 
 
I READ THIS FOR GENRE: MYSTERY SQUARE
 
Review
1.5 Stars
A Disappointing 1.5 STARS for The Falling of Stars by Traci Finlay
The Falling Of Stars - Traci Finlay

 

 

 

FEATURING

 
Teen Suicide
Cyber-Bullying
Mystery
Psychological Thriller
More like Under-Thrilling
I actually paid for this book...
...but thankfully not very much

 
 
 

MY RATING⇢ 1.5 STARS | GRADE⇢ D

 
 
 

 

MY THOUGHTS

 
Why does Amazon add genres to the titles of books?  This book's title is The Falling of Stars: A Psychological Thriller.  It seriously bugs me...but then a lot of things do...so moving on...
 
The Good:
 
An intriguing premise of Cyber-Bullying...although, the execution was way off for me.
Interesting family dynamic (blended family)
A fairly decent ending...
 
The Bad:
 
Unbelievable actions from characters...so much eye-rolling it made my eyes tired.
Despite the decent ending, everything in the middle was very unbelievable to me. 
The actions to the reactions of the characters came off as malicious or generally off-putting.
And last but not least...for a short book, it felt incredibly long.  I found myself skimming a whole lot.

I for real don't get why this has so many great ratings and reviews. I feel like they all read a different book than me...maybe it's a case of it's not me it's you, oops...I mean it's not you, it's me. 
 
 
 

THE BREAKDOWN⇢  

 
Plot 1.5/5
Characters 1/5
The Feels 1/5
Pacing 1/5
Addictiveness 1/5
Theme or Tone 2/5
Flow (Writing Style) 1/5
Backdrop (World Building) 2/5
Originality 2/5
Ending 2.5/5 Cliffhanger Nope.
_____
 
Book Cover The only thing it has going for it is the palm trees.
Setting Miami, Florida
Source I own on Kindle
eBook Length 264 pages

 
 
I READ THIS FOR PSYCH SQUARE
 
Review
3 Stars
3.2 Out Of 5 STARS for Veiled by Karina Halle
Veiled - Karina Halle

 

 

FEATURING

 
The Veil Between the Living and Dead
Supernatural (TV Show) Vibe
Spin-Off of Experiment In Terror Series
Romance Between An Immortal and A Human
Demons & Ghosts
Sex-Plicit
May-or-may-not Be a Series...


With Audio Performed by Jo Raylan
 
 
 

MY RATING 3.2 STARS - GRADE= C+

 

 
 
The Synopsis is in Italics...my thoughts on the synopsis are in Bold.
 
LINK TO AUTHOR'S WEBSITE (where I pulled this from)
 
She just wanted a normal life.
He had other plans for her.
Would you go through Hell for the one you love?
VEILED is a STANDALONE paranormal romance and urban fantasy from the New York Times bestselling author of The Lie and The Pact.

Death.
It’s something that Ada Palomino has always known so well, having grown up in a house of horrors, surrounded by a family plagued by ghosts and demons and things that go bump in the night.
But after the sudden and tragic death of her mother two years ago, death has never felt so personal.
Or so close.
Now eighteen, Ada is trying to move on with her life and the last month of summer holds nothing but sunshine and promises with her first year at a Portland design school just around the bend.
That is until her increasingly violent and realistic dreams, dreams of other worlds, of portals and veils where her mother is tortured and souls bleed for mercy, start to blend into reality. Ada has to lean on her older sister, Perry, to try and make sense of it all but even then, she’s never felt more alone.
Then there’s Jay. Tall, handsome and deeply mysterious, Jay would be just another stranger, a familiar face on the bus, if it wasn’t for the fact that Ada has met him before.
Every night.
In every single dream.
And the more that Ada is drawn to him in both worlds, the more she’s in danger of losing everything.
Including her heart.
And her very soul.

QUESTIONS ABOUT VEILED: (This is part of the Synopsis)

Q: Is this YA?
A: No. The main character is 18 and there is sex, crude language and violence in the book. Readers sensitive to those components may not find the book suitable. If you are a reader who doesn’t like a lot of the “F” word, this is your warning…. All true.  Luckily, the "F" word and I are old friends.

Q: Is there a cliffhanger?
A: Nope! There’s also no cheating and no love triangle (think I’ve covered the bases there!) All true!  

Q: Do I need to read the series (Experiment in Terror) that Veiled is a spinoff of first?
A: Nope.
Absolutely not.  I disagree...I feel like you would have inside knowledge that would enhance this story since they're a ton of references to that series.
Veiled stands alone from that series...It didn't feel like this is true, although I'm totally guessing since I haven't read it.
Don’t listen to anyone say otherwise. EiT fans are very passionate about their series and want to share the love (and I love them for it) BUT Veiled was written specifically for those people who haven’t read EIT.
And furthermore…most importantly…IF you do decide after reading Veiled that you would like to read EIT, then I promise, promise, promise that your enjoyment of that series will not be spoiled or compromised. Trust me on this. EIT is too epic of a series to be spoiled.
PS if you are a passionate EIT fan, Veiled is a great starter to get people interested in this whole “world.” Also, all your favorites do appear in this story as it takes place right after Dust to Dust.  There are definite instances that feel like spoilers to EIT, especially since it takes place after the 9th and final book in the series.

Q: Is it horror? Your other series was and I don’t handle scary very well…

A: No, it’s paranormal romance (though I promise you there are no vampires or werewolves), and while there are creepy elements to the story, it wouldn’t be classified as horror. You’ll be fine.  This is also true.

 
 

MY THOUGHTS


Overall, it wasn't too bad, if you're into this type of urban fantasy/paranormal romance, this could be your jam...especially if you've read the Experiment in Terror Series.  Sadly, though, after finishing Veiled, I'm not feeling like I want to read the EIT series, myself.  I already know where they (Perry and Dex) end up, and I even know a few mishaps that they get into.  Also since finishing this book, my second by this author, I'm thinking I'm not necessarily a fan of her writing style.  

The narration was acceptable, but it could have been presented or produced better...it was too quiet by far, especially when she whispered.
 
 
 
 

THE BREAKDOWN⇢  

 
Plot 3/5
Narration Performance 3.5/5
Characters 3.2/5
The Feels 2.5/5
Pacing 3.5/5
Addictiveness 3/5
Theme or Tone 3/5
Flow (Writing Style) 2.8/5
Backdrop (World Building) 2.5/5
Originality 3/5
Ending 3/5 Cliffhanger Well...kind of.
_____
 
Book Cover Love the cover, actually.
Setting Portland, OR
Source Hoopla Audio (Library)
Length 9 hours, 43 minutes

 
 
I READ THIS FOR SUPERNATURAL SQUARE
 
Review
3 Stars
3 Out Of 5 STARS for The Girl From the Well by Rin Chupeco
The Girl from the Well - Rin Chupeco

 

FEATURING

 
Ghosts & Possessions
Dark Spirits & Exorcisms
Japanese Folklore
Sort of Horror-if-ic
No Romance Whatsoever
Interesting, but I felt detached...

With Audio Performed by Andy Arndt
 
 
LINK TO SYNOPSIS (AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)
 
 

MY RATING⇢ 3 STARS | GRADE C



 
 

 

MY THOUGHTS

 
This would make for a super creepy movie...but as for listening...I didn't really get too frightened, except maybe in the beginning.  I think this could be due to the fact that it's told from the POV of the Ghost.  That and she only kills people who hurt kids, so that really isn't all that scary.  In that respect, it reminded me of Anna Dressed in Blood (which I rated about the same).  Basically, the effect isn't as freaky scary as it could be if I had actual visuals.  Maybe, it's also why I failed to be fully immersed in the story.

Despite this, it is a unique story steeped in Japanese myths, legends, or lore whichever you prefer to name it.  Rin Chupeco has said that her inspiration for this story is from an old Japanese legend or ghost story called the Bancho Sarayashiki.  Which is also the basis for the movie, The Ring.  BTW, I can't watch that movie...it's too scary for me, lol.  Talk about creepy visuals...

Andi Arndt didn't feel quite like the right fit for the narration, but I normally love her, so I can't say anything too bad about her.
 
 
 
 
 

THE BREAKDOWN⇢  

 
Plot 3/5
Narration Performance 4.5/5
Characters 3.3/5
The Feels 3/5
Pacing 2.5/5
Addictiveness 3/5
Theme or Tone 3/5
Flow (Writing Style) 2.5/5
Backdrop (World Building) 4/5
Originality 4/5
Ending 3.5/5 Cliffhanger Sort of, but not really...and there is a second book.
_____
 
Book Cover I actually had a different cover than the one above (I like the one above better though)...I had the Audio Version of the cover, which is very creepy...

 
35799923
...totally creepy, right?
 
 
 
Setting Japan and somewhere in the US...maybe Maine, I can't remember now.
Source Audiobook (Library)
Length 6 hours, 44 minutes

 
 
I READ THIS FOR DIVERSE VOICES SQUARE
 
 

currently reading

Progress: 74%
Echoes of Time - Calia Read
Professional Reader 80% 25 Book Reviews Flag Counter

My 200 Most Recent's

City of the Lost
A Geek Girl's Guide to Murder
Something In The Water
Any Man: A Novel
All the Ever Afters: The Untold Story of Cinderella’s Stepmother
Speak Easy, Speak Love
Bad Mommy
The Swan and the Jackal
Warcross
The Naturalist
All Your Perfects
Paradox
The Scorpio Races
Ready Player One
The Empress
Like Never and Always
Alex, Approximately
Hero at the Fall
Gentleman Nine
Away from the Dark