Crushed
 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.

I write reviews for readers...so my reviews are my honest feelings at that time. Fake reviews suck!!! They also defeat the purpose of a review.

Review
3.5 Stars
3.7 OUT OF 5 STARS⇢ THE OTHER MRS. MILLER BY ALLISON DICKSON
The Other Mrs. Miller - Allison Dickson

 

SYNOPSIS FROM AUTHORS WEBSITE

Two women are watching each other.

Phoebe Miller isn’t sure when the rusty car started showing up in the cul-de-sac she calls home, or why its driver would be spying on her. What could be interesting about an unhappy housewife who drowns her sorrows in ice cream and wine and barely leaves her house?

Only one knows why.

When a new family moves in across the street–the exuberant Vicki, who just might become the gossipy best friend Phoebe’s always wanted, and her handsome college-bound son, Jake, who offers companionship of a different variety–Phoebe finds her dull routine infused with the excitement she’s been missing. But with her head turned she’s no longer focused on the woman in the car. And she really should be…

 

THE KEY POINTS OF THE STORY⇣

 

DOMESTIC THRILLER

MYSTERIOUS & SLIGHTLY PREPOSTEROUS

PREPOSTEROUS & SLIGHTLY MYSTERIOUS (SORTA BOTH AT DIFFERENT TIMES)

TO THE POINT OF BEING SLIGHTLY AMUSING

TWISTY & THOROUGHLY TWISTED

 

STATS⇣

 

AUDIO PERFORMED PERFECTLY BY Holly Palance

BOOK COVER It's whatever, not good or bad...

SETTING Chicago area

SOURCE Libby Audiobook (Library)

AUDIOBOOK LENGTH 9 hours, 58 minutes

 

MY THOUGHTS⇣

 

Thoroughly entertaining despite some believability issues, some of the things that go down in this are rather absurd but I still found myself eager to listen.  Actually, the more I think about the story the more dubious I feel about it, so that's my cue to end this review.

 

MY RATING 3.7 STARS | GRADE B

 

BREAKDOWN⇣

Plot 3.5/5

Characters 3.5/5

The Feels 4/5

Pacing 4/5

Addictiveness 4.3/5

Theme or Tone 4/5

Flow (Writing Style) 4.3/5

Twisty-ness 3.8/5

Originality 4/5

Ending 4/5

 

Review
4.5 Stars
4.3 Out Of 5 STARS⇢ Protect the Prince (Queen of Shards #2) by Jennifer Estep
Protect the Prince (Crown of Shards #2) - Jennifer Estep

SYNOPSIS FROM AUTHORS WEBSITE

 

Magic, murder, adventure, and romance combine in this second novel in the exciting Crown of Shards saga from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Estep.

Everleigh Blair might be the new gladiator queen of Bellona, but her problems are far from over.

First, Evie has to deal with a court full of arrogant, demanding nobles, all of whom want to get their greedy hands on her crown. As if that wasn’t bad enough, an assassin tries to kill Evie in her own throne room.

Despite the dangers, Evie goes ahead with a scheduled trip to the neighboring kingdom of Andvari in order to secure a desperately needed alliance. But complicating matters is the stubborn Andvarian king, who wants to punish Evie for the deaths of his countrymen during the Seven Spire massacre.

Dark forces are also at work inside the Andvarian palace, and Evie soon realizes that no one is safe. Worse, her immunity to magic starts acting in strange, unexpected ways, which makes Evie wonder whether she is truly strong enough to be a Winter Queen.

Evie’s magic, life, and crown aren’t the only things in danger—so is her heart, thanks to Lucas Sullivan, the Andvarian king’s bastard son and Evie’s … well, Evie isn’t quite sure what Sullivan is to her.

Only one thing is certain—protecting a prince might be even harder than killing a queen…

 

 

THE KEY POINTS OF THE STORY⇣

 

HIGH FANTASY WITH AN URBAN APPEAL

POISONINGS & ASSASSINATION ATTEMPTS

INTRIGUE

MAGIC

ADULT ROMANCE (DEFINITELY NOT YA)

GARGOYLES

 

THE DEETS⇣

 

AUDIO PERFORMED BY Lauren Fortgang

BOOK COVER I liked the cover on Book #1 better...but it's cool.

SETTING Bellona & Andvari

SOURCE Libby Audiobook (Library)

AUDIOBOOK LENGTH 12 hours, 40 minutes

 

MY THOUGHTS⇣

 

Despite excellent narration, an intriguing plotline, and exceptional action scenes, I found myself not into this quite as much as I was the first book in the series, but only slightly.  The best part and a new addition to this series were the gargoyles...I've never read anything with gargoyles before...and I quite liked this author's take on them.  Who knew a stone could be so lovable. 

 

If I had pinpoint what it was about this book that I didn't care for, it would have to be all the lies and deceptions going on between the two main characters.  I guess I thought Evie wasn't into that kind of drama and whatnot. Overall, I will continue with the series and I'm still hanging in there until the end, Book #3, Crush The King is due out March of 2020.

 

MY RATING 4.3 STARS | GRADE A-

 

THE BREAKDOWN⇣

Plot 4.2/5

Characters 5/5

The Feels 4/5

Pacing 4.3/5

Addictiveness 4/5

Theme or Tone 4.3/5

Flow (Writing Style) 4.5/5

Backdrop (World Building) 5/5

Originality 5/5

Ending 4.3/5

 

 

 

Sadly This Is A DNF for Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin
Saint X - Alexis Schaitkin

STATS

 

BOOK COVER I blame everything on the cover...and my love for palm trees.

SETTING New York, Saint X, California

SOURCE I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

eARC LENGTH 320 Pages

 

MY THOUGHTS

 

At 28% I'm throwing in the towel on this one.  I just can't get into it.  I am not of fan of this Author's writing style.  It's too wordy, in more than one way, almost as if she's trying too hard.  At this percentage, I've already highlighted 11 words that I've never seen used in anything I've ever read.  I'm not saying they aren't actual words, I'm saying why use a word that's so obscure...that it takes someone out of the story trying to figure out what it means.  When crafting a story it should bring the reader in deeper, not take them out completely.  It also has the kind of prose that gets deep into everything, going off in tangents in different directions that loses me too easily.  I just needed her to get on with the story...sadly it took too long to go anywhere for me. 

 

I should mention that others have really liked this.  It's why I didn't DNF at 5% like I originally wanted.

 

NO RATING SINCE I DNF'D

 

 

 

 

Re-Cap

December

11 books total, plus 1 novella.  10 of which were Audiobooks and 2 that were Netgalley eARC's.  Not one of my best months, but I managed to accomplish my # of books for the year goal, which was 155.  I also made my page count goal of 50,000. I slid in with a 50,268-total-page count.  Not bad...I'm not upping it for next year, though...gonna keep it at 50 thousand.

 

⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥

 

 

STARSIGHT BY BRANDON SANDERSON

MY RATING 4.7 STARS | GRADE A

FINISH DATE 12/03

  

FEATURING

Skyward #2 of 4--Book 1 Rating 5+ STARS

Deep Space Fantasy

Science Fiction

YA-ISH

Alien Diversity

Inter-Planetary Travel/Piloting

Doomslug & M-Bot (AI)

New Characters

With Audio Performed A Tad High Pitchedly by Suzy Jackson

 

 

 

THE WICKED KING BY HOLLY BLACK

MY RATING 4.7 STARS | GRADE A

FINISH DATE 12/06

 

FEATURING

The Folk in the Air #2

Book #1 Rating: 4.3 STARS

Fairy High Court

Intrigue & Betrayals

Unforeseen Twists

A Darkly Fantastical Fae World

Sprinkled With Immoral Wantonness

YA-ish

With Audio Performed awesomely by Caitlin Kelly

 

 

 

THE END OF OUR STORY BY MEG HASTON

MY RATING 3.5 STARS | GRADE B-

FINISH DATE 12/09 

 

FEATURING

Young Adult

A Love Story

Coming Of Age

A Tragedy

Domestic Violence

Splash of Mystery

Open-Ended Ending

With Audio Smashingly Performed by Caitlin Kelly & James Fouhey

 

 

 

 

 

DARLING ROSE GOLD BY STEPHANIE WROBEL

MY RATING 4 STARS | GRADE B+

FINISH DATE 12/14

 

 

THE KEY POINTS OF THE STORY

DYSFUNCTIONAL MOTHER/DAUGHTER RELATIONSHIP

ACTUALLY WAY BEYOND DYSFUNCTIONAL

SLOW-BURN PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER

MUNCHAUSEN SYNDROME BY PROXY

NETGALLEY eARC

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF SALT AND SORROWS BY ERIN A. CRAIG

MY RATING 4 STARS | GRADE B+

FINISH DATE 12/15

 

THE KEY POINTS OF THE STORY

RETELLING OF TWELVE DANCING PRINCESSES

DARK & CREEPY STORYLINE

GHOST-LIKE APPARITIONS

FANTASY

YA-ISH

ROMANCE

WITH AUDIO PERFORMED SWIMMINGLY BY EMILY LAWRENCE

 

 

 

 

THE QUEEN OF NOTHING BY HOLLY BLACK

MY RATING 5 STARS | GRADE A+

FINISH DATE 12/17

 

THE KEY POINTS OF THE STORY

BOOK #1(THE CRUEL PRINCE) RATING: 4.3

BOOK #2 (THE WICKED KING) RATING:  4.7

CONCLUSION OF THE FOLK OF THE AIR

THE DECADENT, WICKED FAE

COURT INTRIGUE, CURSES & PROPHECIES

FANTASTIC FANTASTICAL CONCLUSION

WITH AUDIO PERFORMED AWESOMELY BY CAITLIN KELLY

 

 

 

 

THE FAMILIAR DARK BY AMY ENGEL

MY RATING 5 STARS | GRADE A+

FINISH DATE 12/18

 

THE KEY POINTS OF THE STORY

OZARK MOUNTAINS

MURDER OF TWO TWELVE-YEAR-OLD GIRLS

A MOTHER TRYING TO DO RIGHT BY HER DAUGHTERS MEMORY

LIFE IN THE HOLLAR

TWISTED & A LITTLE TWISTY

A NEW FAVORITE

NETGALLEY eARC

 

 

 

 

 

REGRETTING YOU BY COLLEEN HOOVER

MY RATING 5 STARS | GRADE A+

FINISH DATE 12/21

 

THE KEY POINTS OF THE STORY

REALISTIC MOTHER/DAUGHTER RELATIONSHIP

IT'S BEST TO GO INTO THIS KNOWING NOTHING ABOUT IT

WHEN LIFE GETS REAL AND A LITTLE MESSY

MADE ME CRY...

PART YA, PART ADULT CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

A NEW FAVORITE

WITH AUDIO PERFORMED MOSTLY GOOD BY TANYA EBY & LAUREN EZZO

 

 

 

 

THE GIRL THE SEA GAVE BACK BY ADRIENNE YOUNG

MY RATING 3 STARS | GRADE C

FINISH DATE 12/23 

 

THE KEY POINTS OF THE STORY

VIKING INSPIRED

10 YEARS AFTER SKY IN THE DEEP

DUAL POINT OF VIEWS

INTENSE ACTION SCENES

ONLY A SMALL SPLASH OF ROMANCE

WITH AUDIO PERFORMED FANTASTICALLY BY CAITLIN KELLY & DAN BITTNER

 

 

 

 

 

RESISTANCE BY JENNIFER A. NIELSEN

MY RATING 4 STARS | GRADE B+

FINISH DATE 12/26

 

 

THE KEY POINTS OF THE STORY

WWII

YOUNG ADULT/MIDDLE-GRADE

RESISTANCE FIGHTERS

OCCUPIED POLAND

WITH AUDIO PERFORMED SUFFICIENTLY BY JESSE VILINSKY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE VANISHING YEAR BY KATE MORETTI

MY RATING 2 STARS | GRADE D

FINISH DATE 12/29

 

 

THE KEY POINTS OF THE STORY

DOMESTIC THRILLER

A SCATTERED MYSTERY

THAT REALLY DIDN'T WORK FOR ME

ROBOTIC NARRATION PERFORMED BY MADELEINE MABY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOVELLA

THE LOST SISTERS BY HOLLY BLACK

MY RATING 4 STARS | GRADE B+

FINISH DATE 12/10

 

A SHORT INTERESTING NOVELLA SET BEFORE AND DURING THE CRUEL PRINCE (BOOK #1).  TOLD FROM THE POV OF TARYN, JUDE'S SISTER.

 

 

 

 

⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥⬥

 

BEST COVER 

FOR DECEMBER GOES TO

 

 

 

WITH THE QUEEN OF NOTHING RUNNING A VERY CLOSE SECOND…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy New Year!!!

 

 

May the books be with you!

Review
2 Stars
2 Out Of 5 STARS⇢ The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti
The Vanishing Year: A Novel - Kate Moretti

SYNOPSIS FROM AUTHORS WEBSITE

Zoe Whittaker is living a charmed life. She is the beautiful young wife to handsome, charming Wall Street tycoon Henry Whittaker. She is a member of Manhattan’s social elite. She is on the board of one of the city’s most prestigious philanthropic organizations. She has a perfect Tribeca penthouse in the city and a gorgeous lake house in the country. The finest wine, the most up-to-date fashion, and the most luxurious vacations are all at her fingertips.

What no one knows is that five years ago, Zoe’s life was in danger. Back then, Zoe wasn’t Zoe at all. Now her secrets are coming back to haunt her.

As the past and present collide, Zoe must decide who she can trust before she—whoever she is—vanishes completely.

A “dark, twisty, edge-of-your-seat suspense” (Karen Robards), The Vanishing Year combines the classic sophistication of Ruth Rendell and A.S.A. Harrison with the thoroughly modern flair of Jessica Knoll. Told from the point-of-view of a heroine who is as relatable as she is enigmatic, The Vanishing Year is an unforgettable new novel by a rising star of the genre. 

 

 

THE KEY POINTS OF THE STORY⇣

 

DOMESTIC THRILLER

A SCATTERED MYSTERY

THAT REALLY DIDN'T WORK FOR ME

ROBOTIC NARRATION

 

STATS⇣

 

AUDIO PERFORMED BY Madeleine Maby

BOOK COVER Meh...

SETTING New York, New York

SOURCE I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review or Libby Audiobook (Library)

AUDIOBOOK LENGTH 9 hours, 50 minutes

 

MY THOUGHTS⇣

 

This could have earned another star from me if the narration wasn't so terrible.  She continuously voiced the characters with this straight-up robotic voice.   It was seriously awful and it was difficult to get past that and give the book a fighting chance.  Oddly, though, I said she was pretty good on my review of Colleen Hoovers; All Your Perfects, so maybe she improved or maybe it was because it was a CoHo book...I'm not sure.

 

For me, this story was all over the place and lacked cohesiveness.  Like everything, just sort of came together at the end; haphazardly.  That, coupled with the crappy narration and I was not feeling this story.

 

 

MY RATING 2 STARS | GRADE D

 

 

BREAKDOWN⇣

Plot 2/5

Characters 2.5/5

The Feels 2/5

Pacing 2.5/5

Addictiveness 3/5 (only because I wanted to finish before the end of the year)

Theme or Tone 2/5

Flow (Writing Style) 1.5/5

Backdrop (World Building) 3/5

Originality 2/5

Ending 2.5/5

 

 

2019 End of Year Post

 

 

16-20⇣

 

 

 

#20 Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff

 

This book was in my top 20 last year...and this year I listened to the audio version, and I really love the world that Kristoff has created here...book #2 in the series is further down on this page.

 

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#19 Long Live the Beautiful Hearts by Emma Scott 

 

I have loved every one of Emma Scott's books, for me, her books are low on the ever-present drama that Romance books are bogged down with.

 

⇼⇼⇼⇼⇼

 

#18 Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

 

This book was deviously clever without being over-saturated with scientific terms.  Blake Crouch has his own brand of trippy science fiction.

 

⇼⇼⇼⇼⇼

 

#17 Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel

 

The third book and final book of The Themis Files.  I have loved this series and I'm trying to patiently wait for someone to make this into a movie so everyone can experience it's awesomeness since there are so many who can't seem to read books.

 

⇼⇼⇼⇼⇼

 

#16 Star Wars: Most Wanted by Rae Carson

 

My first Star Wars Canon novel.  I loved it, and I'm planning on listening (because the experience on audio is amazing) to a lot more of them.

 

⇼⇼⇼⇼⇼

 

 

11-15⇣

 

 

 

#15 The Wicked King by Holly Black

 

I've read this entire series this past year and it was amazing.  Holly Black has become a new favorite author for sure.

 

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#14 My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

 

This was fiendishly wicked and I devoured it in wicked time.  If you like psychological thrillers with a serial killer bent...then give this one a try

 

⇼⇼⇼⇼⇼

 

#13 Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent

 

This is more of a character study than a thriller, but it was so brilliant and so very twisted that I can't help but add it to my top 20.

 

⇼⇼⇼⇼⇼

 

#12 You by Caroline Kepnes

 

You is an experience, especially on Audio...if you like the TV show, then you should really give the book a listen because it's so much better.

 

⇼⇼⇼⇼⇼

 

#11 Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen

 

Another palatable science fiction story.  This one involves time travel and I found it a well written and heartfelt story.

 

⇼⇼⇼⇼⇼

 

 

6-10⇣

 

 

 

#10 Dev1ate by Jay Kristoff

 

Book #2 in the Lifel1k3 series and they just keep getting better, I can't wait until book #3 comes out.  Truel1f3 comes out on June 30th, 2020.

 

⇼⇼⇼⇼⇼

 

#9 Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone

 

A brilliantly written novel about revenge...the ending was fantastic.  This is chic-lit with finesse.

 

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#8 Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

 

A delectable ending to a decadent series...Faetastic!

 

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#7 The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson

 

I absolutely loved this book...now if the author could be convinced to turn it into a series, or at least a second book.  It was such a unique take on an apocalyptic world.

 

⇼⇼⇼⇼⇼

 

#6 Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

 

This first book in the Skyward Series was phenomenal, I was hooked from the beginning and it isn't a short book.  A sci-fi gem that takes place off-planet in a faraway future... 

 

⇼⇼⇼⇼⇼

 

 

 

1-5⇣ 

 

 

#5 Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

 

One of the last books that I listened to this year and easily one of the best.  So emotional and relateable...one of CoHo's best.

 

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#4 The Familiar Dark by Amy Engel

 

This book gutted me...grit-lit at its best. This is one book that's not to be missed...and it comes out in March of 2020.

 

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#3 The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

 

This book shook me...at one point I literally threw my kindle down, I was so annoyed with one particular character.  But eventually, it really grabbed me and I couldn't put it down.  I have the audiobook on hold currently, so sometime this next year I'm going to listen to it...so, it could make my list next year too.

 

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#2 Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

 

The best Audiobook of 2019, by far.  Phenomenal full-cast narration and the story really resonated with me.  Another one that's not to be missed.

 

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#1 The First Girl Child by Amy Harmon

 

I was blown away by this fantasy with a medieval feel to it.  So, so, so very good.  One of the best books ever.  I didn't think that I would like the narration because it's performed by one man (even the female pov's) and I was so wrong...because he rocked it.

 

⇼⇼⇼⇼⇼

 

These 20 books have one thing in common they are all...

 

 

A BookisObsession Favorite

 

of 2019!

Now...I'm ready for...

 

 

 

so bring on the books...

Review
4 Stars
4 Out Of 5 STARS⇢ Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Resistance - Jennifer A. Nielsen

SYNOPSIS FROM AUTHORS WEBSITE

Chaya Lindner is a teenager living in Nazi-occupied Poland. Simply being Jewish places her in danger of being killed or sent to the camps. After her little sister is taken away, her younger brother disappears, and her parents all but give up hope, Chaya is determined to make a difference. Using forged papers and her fair features, Chaya becomes a courier and travels between the Jewish ghettos of Poland, smuggling food, papers, and even people.

Soon Chaya joins a resistance cell that runs raids on the Nazis’ supplies. But after a mission goes terribly wrong, Chaya’s network shatters. She is alone and unsure of where to go, until Esther, a member of her cell, finds her and delivers a message that chills Chaya to her core, and sends her on a journey toward an even larger uprising in the works — in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Though the Jewish resistance never had much of a chance against the Nazis, they were determined to save as many lives as possible and to live — or die — with honor.

 

THE KEY POINTS OF THE STORY⇣

 

WWII

YOUNG ADULT/MIDDLE-GRADE

RESISTANCE FIGHTERS

OCCUPIED POLAND

 

STATS⇣

 

AUDIO PERFORMED BY Jesse Vilinsky

BOOK COVER The cover is spectacular.

SETTING Throughout Poland

SOURCE Libby Audiobook (Library)

AUDIOBOOK LENGTH 9 hours, 28 minutes

 

MY THOUGHTS⇣

 

Billed as Middle-Grade Young Adult, this holds no punches when it comes to the atrocities inflicted on the Jewish people of Germany and Poland.  This book, in particular, revolves around the country of Poland, more than Germany.  Featuring Chaya (the C is silent when it is pronounced) who I liked and didn't like at different intervals throughout.  Esther...or maybe her name was Hester...was kind of forgettable which is kind of obvious...because I'm not even sure what her name is.

 

The story started out strong for me, I was really feeling it, but somewhere along the way it lost something, it felt bogged down, a little sluggish even...it could be just the subject matter itself, though.  Overall, it was a decent look at the resistance fighters in WWII and how difficult it was for them.  I'm glad I took the time to listen to it.  Jesse Vilinsky's narration was performed very well.

 

MY RATING 4 STARS | GRADE B+

 

BREAKDOWN⇣

Plot 3.8/5

Characters 3.7/5

The Feels 4/5

Pacing 3.8/5

Addictiveness 4.3/5

Theme or Tone 4.3/5

Flow (Writing Style) 4/5

Backdrop (World Building) 4.3/5

Originality 4/5

Ending 4/5

 

 

 

Review
3 Stars
3 Out Of 5 STARS⇢ for The Girl the Sea Gave Back (The Sky In the Deep #2) by Adrienne Young
The Girl the Sea Gave Back - Adrienne  Young

 

SYNOPSIS FROM AUTHORS WEBSITE             

For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse. For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again―a home.

 

 

THE KEY POINTS OF THE STORY⇣

 

VIKING INSPIRED

10 YEARS AFTER SKY IN THE DEEP

DUAL POINT OF VIEWS

INTENSE ACTION SCENES

ONLY A SMALL SPLASH OF ROMANCE

 

STATS⇣

 

AUDIO PERFORMED BY Caitlin Kelly & Dan Bittner

BOOK COVER It is gorgeous...if only the story fulfilled what the cover promises.

SETTING The Fjord.

SOURCE Libby Audiobook (Library)

AUDIOBOOK LENGTH 8 hours, 27 minutes

 

MY THOUGHTS⇣

 

The action scenes were incomparable...but they weren't enough to carry the whole story.  I wanted more than what this story delivered.  I wanted the romantic tension that the first book had.  Instead, there were only a handful of scenes with both the main characters present.

 

I also found it difficult to keep all Viking inspired names straight...after a while, I stopped trying, which also lessened my enjoyment of the story.  The writing was there for a potential higher rating, but unfortunately, the story was lacking.  It felt like it could have been told in a lot fewer pages...more like a novella.  Overall, if you really liked the world-building in book #1 of this series but thought the romance brought the story down than you could possibly really like this.

 

Caitlin Kelly can fall into any role and do it well (she also narrates The Folk In the Air series and several other books I've listened to).  The same can be said about Dan Bittner, I've always enjoyed his narration.

 

 

MY RATING 3 STARS | GRADE C

 

 

BREAKDOWN⇣

Plot 3/5

Characters 3/5

The Feels 2/5

Pacing 3/5

Addictiveness 3/5

Theme or Tone 3.5/5

Flow (Writing Style) 2.5/5

Backdrop (World Building) 2.7/5

Originality 4/5

Ending 3.5/5

 

 

Review
5 Stars
5 Out Of 5 STARS⇢ Regretting You by Colleen Hoover
Regretting You - Colleen Hoover

 

SYNOPSIS FROM AUTHORS WEBSITE⇣    Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.
Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.
With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.
While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.

 

 

A BookisObsessioFavorite

 

 

THE KEY POINTS OF THE STORY⇣

 

⬥REALISTIC MOTHER/DAUGHTER RELATIONSHIP

⬥IT'S BEST TO GO INTO THIS KNOWING NOTHING ABOUT IT

⬥WHEN LIFE GETS REAL AND A LITTLE MESSY

⬥MADE ME CRY...

⬥PART YA, PART ADULT CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

 

STATS⇣

 

AUDIO PERFORMED BY⇢ Tanya Eby & Lauren Ezzo

BOOK COVER⇢ The cover is cute...and the title totally makes sense by the end of the story.

SETTING⇢ Texas

SOURCE⇢ Libby Audiobook (Library)

AUDIOBOOK LENGTH⇢ 11 hours, 17 minutes

 

MY THOUGHTS⇣

 

Another fantastic book by Colleen Hoover.  This could be one of her best books yet.  With characters that feel real (her characters always do...), with a special shout out to Miller, I loved him, he was perfect. Plus a perfectly plotted achingly emotional story, I was left stunned when some things were revealed.

 

As far as the narration goes...Tanya Eby is the voice of Morgan (the Mother) and she was really quite good.  Lauren Ezzo, who is the voice of Clara (the Daughter), I did have some issues with...mostly just her timber when she does a male voice, it has a very nasally sound to it, which always pulls me out of the story.  Good thing this was such a phenomenal story and it didn't affect my overall enjoyment.

 

MY RATING 5 STARS | GRADE A+

 

BREAKDOWN⇣

Plot⇢ 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

 

 

Review
5 Stars
5 Out Of 5 STARS⇢ The Familiar Dark by Amy Engel
The Familiar Dark - Amy Engel

 

SYNOPSIS FROM AUTHORS WEBSITE 

A spellbinding story of a mother with nothing left to lose who sets out on an all-consuming quest for justice after her daughter is murdered on the town playground.

Sometimes the answers are worse than the questions. Sometimes it’s better not to know.

Set in the poorest part of the Missouri Ozarks, in a small town with big secrets, The Familiar Dark opens with a murder. Eve Taggert, desperate with grief over losing her daughter, takes it upon herself to find out the truth about what happened. Eve is no stranger to the dark side of life, having been raised by a hard-edged mother whose lessons Eve tried not to pass on to her own daughter. But Eve may need her mother’s cruel brand of strength if she’s going to face the reality about her daughter’s death and about her own true nature. Her quest for justice takes her from the seedy underbelly of town to the quiet woods and, most frighteningly, back to her mother’s trailer for a final lesson.

 

A BookisObsessioFavorite

 

THE KEY POINTS OF THE STORY⇣

 

 

⬥OZARK MOUNTAINS

⬥MURDER OF TWO TWELVE-YEAR-OLD GIRLS

⬥A MOTHER TRYING TO DO RIGHT BY HER DAUGHTERS MEMORY

⬥LIFE IN THE HOLLAR

⬥TWISTED & A LITTLE TWISTY

 

STATS⇣

 

BOOK COVER⇢ It doesn't do the book justice

SETTING⇢ Missouri Ozarks

SOURCE⇢ I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

eBOOK LENGTH⇢ 256 Pages

 

MY THOUGHTS⇣

 

What makes a murder mystery a favorite?  This is a question I've asked myself quite a few times since I started reading this genre.  Seriously, there's not a lot to love about murder. Near as I can come up with...is a book that really affects you in some way, whether it be fear, loathing or one you just can't get out of your head.  This book is kind of all three of those, and then some.  I also still think about the Roanoke Girls by this same Author.  I've rated both 5 stars and they both totally deserve it.  Deeply affecting.

 

I've read a couple of other books that deal with the area of Central to the Eastern United States Mountainous ranges (Winters Bone & The Weight of This World).  But, The Familiar Dark has been the best one of all three so far.  This book hooked me from the start, I felt like I was on this quest with Eve to solve the murder of her daughter and her daughter's friend.  Experiencing everything she experiences, from the lows to the even lower's and even the few highs. 

 

The beginning of this gutted me and the middle had me transfixed and the end left me gasping and in tears...such a gut-wrenching story. That is not just superbly written but is also perfectly plotted.  I highly recommend.

 

MY RATING 5 STARS | GRADE A+

 

BREAKDOWN⇣

Plot⇢ 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

 

 

Review
5 Stars
5 Out Of 5 STARS⇢ Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #3) by Holly Black
The Queen of Nothing - Holly Black

  

SYNOPSIS FROM AUTHORS WEBSITE

After being pronounced Queen of Faerie and then abruptly exiled by the Wicked King Cardan, Jude finds herself unmoored, the queen of nothing. She spends her time with Vivi and Oak, watches her fair share of reality television, and does the odd job or two, including trying to convince a cannibalistic faerie from hunting her down in the mortal world. When her twin sister Taryn shows up asking of a favor, Jude jumps at the chance to return to the Faerie world, even if it means facing Cardan. When a dark curse is unveiled, Jude must become the first mortal Queen of Faerie and uncover how to break the curse, or risk upsetting the balance of the whole Faerie world.

 

A BookisObsessioFavorite

 

 

  

THE KEY POINTS OF THE STORY⇣

 

 

⬥BOOK #1(THE CRUEL PRINCE) RATING: 4.3

⬥BOOK #2 (THE WICKED KING) RATING:  4.7

⬥CONCLUSION OF THE FOLK OF THE AIR

⬥THE DECADENT, WICKED FAE

⬥COURT INTRIGUE, CURSES & PROPHECIES

⬥FANTASTIC FANTASTICAL CONCLUSION

 

STATS⇣

 

AUDIO PERFORMED BY⇢ Caitlin Kelly

BOOK COVER⇢ Love it...oh the foreshadowing it beholds.

SETTING⇢ High Court of the Faerie and the Human World (Maine)

SOURCE⇢ Libby Audiobook (Library)

AUDIOBOOK LENGTH⇢ 9 hours, 41 minutes

 

MY THOUGHTS⇣

 

I think I love the way this ended...it was quite perfect.  A unique take on Fae...superbly written with kick-ass characters and a kick-ass storyline.  I still don't I like the Fae all that much...but if Holly Black writes about them, I can safely say that it will be totally worth my while.  It would be perfect if Holly Black could explore some more books in her vampire world since I really like her take on vampires too.

 

The Audio Narration performed by Caitlin Kelly is not perfect, but nearly perfect, especially for the voice of Jude.  She also has the kind of voice where she can step into different books and not sound forever like that one particular character from that one particular series.

 

 

MY RATING 5 STARS | GRADE A+

 

BREAKDOWN⇣

Plot⇢ 5/5

Characters⇢ 5/5

The Feels⇢ 4.7/5

Pacing⇢ 5/5

Addictiveness⇢ 4.7/5

Theme or Tone⇢ 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)⇢ 4.7/5

Backdrop (World Building)⇢ 5/5

Originality⇢ 5/5

Ending⇢ 5+/5

 

 

Review
4 Stars
4 Out Of 5 STARS⇢ House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig
House of Salt and Sorrows - Erin A Craig

 

SYNOPSIS FROM AUTHORS WEBSITE

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve Thaumas girls, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of their lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next. House of Salt and Sorrows is a spellbinding novel filled with magic and the rustle of gossamer skirts down long, dark hallways. Get ready to be swept away.

 

 

THE KEY POINTS OF THE STORY⇣

 

 

⬥RETELLING OF TWELVE DANCING PRINCESSES

⬥DARK & CREEPY STORYLINE

⬥GHOST-LIKE APPARITIONS

⬥FANTASY

⬥YA-ISH

⬥ROMANCE

 

STATS⇣

 

AUDIO PERFORMED BY⇢ Emily Lawrence --she was pretty good, some of her male voices were kind of ruff sounding.

BOOK COVER⇢ The different colors all look like just one color...which makes it kind of blah.

SETTING⇢ Highmoor Estate, on an Island.

SOURCE⇢ Libby Audiobook (Library)

AUDIOBOOK LENGTH⇢ 12 hours, 50 minutes

 

MY THOUGHTS⇣

 

This started really slow...like I had to force myself to listen to it outside of when I was driving. It didn't really pick up until the last quarter of the book...and then all the boring parts of the story I sat and listened through started coming together and forming a rather darkly delicious retelling of the 12 Dancing Princesses. 

 

There's a murder(s) mystery to be solved, ghost-like apparitions, a secret door (kind of like Narnia) to tons of balls, where plenty of dancing is done and shoes are worn thin.  Plus darkly haunting deaths and even some sort of mythology to round out the tale.  Overall, if you can get through the slow parts the last quarter is a favorable payoff.

 

MY RATING 4 STARS | GRADE B+

 

BREAKDOWN⇣

Narration⇢ 4/5

Plot⇢ 4/5

Characters⇢ 4/5

The Feels⇢ 3.5/5

Pacing⇢ 3.7/5

Addictiveness⇢ 3.5/5

Theme or Tone⇢ 4.3/5

Flow (Writing Style)⇢ 4/5

Backdrop (World Building)⇢ 4/5

Originality⇢ 4.3/5

Ending⇢ 4.3/5

 

 

Review
4 Stars
4 Out Of 5 STARS⇢ Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel
Darling Rose Gold - Stephanie Wrobel

SYNOPSIS⇢For the first eighteen years of her life, Rose Gold Watts believed she was seriously ill. She was allergic to everything, used a wheelchair and practically lived at the hospital. Neighbors did all they could, holding fundraisers and offering shoulders to cry on, but no matter how many doctors, tests, or surgeries, no one could figure out what was wrong with Rose Gold.

Turns out her mom, Patty Watts, was just a really good liar.

After serving five years in prison, Patty gets out with nowhere to go and begs her daughter to take her in. The entire community is shocked when Rose Gold says yes.

Patty insists all she wants is to reconcile their differences. She says she's forgiven Rose Gold for turning her in and testifying against her. But Rose Gold knows her mother. Patty Watts always settles a score.

Unfortunately for Patty, Rose Gold is no longer her weak little darling...

And she's waited such a long time for her mother to come home.

 

THE KEY POINTS OF THE STORY⇣

 

⬥DYSFUNCTIONAL MOTHER/DAUGHTER RELATIONSHIP

⬥ACTUALLY WAY BEYOND DYSFUNCTIONAL

⬥SLOW-BURN PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER

⬥MUNCHAUSEN SYNDROME BY PROXY

 

STATS⇣

 

BOOK COVER⇢ This cover is perfect for the story.

SETTING⇢ Deadwick, Illinois

SOURCE⇢ I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

eBOOK LENGTH⇢ 320 Pages

AUTHORS WEBSITE LINK⇢ Stephanie Wrobel

 

 

MY THOUGHTS⇣

 

A part of me loved the way this played out and another part of me was exceptionally bored...at least until the last 20%.   More of a slow-burn psychological thriller.  My feelings ranged from sad to disturbed to anger to huh, no shit...I can't believe she did that.

 

This book feels both well written and well researched.  The characters are fleshed out terrifically, the story feels horrifyingly real, even.  Some writers engage a reader right from the beginning and others not so much.  Maybe, though, this author will get there someday.  I feel she has the potential to do so.  

 

MY RATING 4 STARS | GRADE B+

 

BREAKDOWN⇣

Plot⇢ 4/5

Characters⇢ 4.3/5

The Feels⇢ 3.7/5

Pacing⇢ 3.5/5

Addictiveness⇢ 3.8/5

Theme or Tone⇢ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)⇢ 4.3/5

Backdrop (World Building)⇢ 4/5

Originality⇢ 4.3/5

Ending⇢ 4/5

 

 

Review
3.5 Stars
3.5 Out Of 5 STARS⇢ The End of Our Story by Meg Haston
The End of Our Story - Meg Haston
 
 
FEATURING⇢

⬥Young Adult
⬥A Love Story
⬥Coming Of Age
⬥A Tragedy
⬥Domestic Violence
⬥Splash of Mystery
⬥Open-Ended Ending
⬥With Audio Smashingly Performed by Caitlin Kelly & James Fouhey

 
 
(Goodreads)
 

MY RATING⇢ 3.5 STARS | GRADE B-

 

 

MY THOUGHTS

 
The writing is exceptional and the plot has a lot going for it...Two kids who are directionless but likable (they are all mostly directionless, anyway).  A sweet love story with a dubious break-up but maybe they can get it back, or maybe they can find a way to at least be friends...especially when a tragedy hits them.   The tragedy even has a bit of a mystery to it.  With all that it feels like it should be a winner.  But sadly, it was missing something.  For me, that something was an actual ending.  By leaving it the way she (the author) did...with considerably more than an open-ended ending...I feel bereft without some kind of closure.
 
 

THE BREAKDOWN⇢  

 
Plot 3.7/5
Narration Performance 4/5
Characters 4/5
The Feels 4/5
Pacing 3.7/5
Addictiveness 4/5
Theme or Tone 3.8/5
Flow (Writing Style) 3.2/5
Backdrop (World Building) 4/5
Originality 4/5
Ending 2.5/5 Cliffhanger Hmmm...
____
 
Book Cover It's all right...
Setting Florida...Atlantic coast
Source Libby Audiobook (Library)
Length 8 hours, 48 minutes

Review
4.5 Stars
4.7 Out Of 5 STARS⇢ The Wicked King by Holly Black
The Wicked King - Holly Black

The Folk of the Air #2



FEATURING⇢

⬥Book #1 Rating: 4.3 STARS
⬥Fairy High Court
⬥Intrigue & Betrayals
⬥Unforeseen Twists
⬥A Darkly Fantastical Fae World
⬥Sprinkled With Immoral Wantonness
⬥YA-ish
 
 
 
(AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)
 

MY RATING⇢ 4.7 STARS | GRADE A



 

MY THOUGHTS

 
My love for this series keeps growing...and I don't usually like Fae Stories.  This second book in The Folk of the Air Series, I liked even more than the first book, despite not understanding why Jude wants to live in the fairy world, to begin with.  I mean these fairies are evil, just because they can't lie doesn't mean they have to tell the truth.  They could just not say anything...after all... 

Fair warning, this is said to be YA, but I think it's more like risque-YA (I love it when shit rhymes).  Holly Black's fairies are not only mean they are quite naughty, debaucherous, even..  I think this naughtiness is a part of its appeal, at least for me...possibly a few others.

Seriously, though, that ending was hella crazy...I thought I had it figured out, but no.  Such an interesting turn of events...I can't wait to see where she is taking this story next...



I'm starting Queen of Nothing posthaste.
 
 
 
 

THE BREAKDOWN⇢  

 
Plot 4.5/5
Narration Performance 4.5/5
Characters 5/5
The Feels 5/5
Pacing 5/5
Addictiveness 4.5/5
Theme or Tone 4.3/5
Flow (Writing Style) 5/5
Backdrop (World Building) 5/5
Originality 5/5
Ending 5/5 Cliffhanger "To be continued"
_____
 
Book Cover Love it...
Setting Elfhame & the Mortal World
Source Libby Audiobook (Library)
Length 10 hours, 21 minutes.

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