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Category Archives: books

The Suicide House Review

Title: The Suicide House
Author: Charlie Donlea 
Type: Thriller  
Pages: 356
Rating: 5/5
Method Read: Physical

“What was it about being so close to danger that filled us with adrenaline?”
-The Suicide House–Charlie Donlea

Honestly, this is probably one of the best thrillers I’ve read in a long time. I pretty much read it all in one sitting. It was on the edge of your seat thriller that kept me guessing the whole time. You are also pulled into the story right away when in the first few pages the killer shares how he killed his first victim by pushing him in front of a train and making it look like an accident. It’s not a spoiler. It literally happens within the first two and a half pages in a journal the killer writes in.

There is a secret society on the grounds of Westmont Preparatory High School where only a select amount of students are allow to be initiated each year. On the evening of the initiation two students are killed in a brutal massacre and a teacher is convicted. But a year later it seems like there’s still questions to be answered and some of the students in the elite group are going back to the scene of the crime and jumping in front of a moving train. Rory is an expert in solving cases and is asked to take a second look. The book has two easy to follow timelines, the year the killings happened and present time. The killers journals entries and throughout the book too.

I love a good crime thriller and this one did not disappoint! Seriously this book is fantastic and super fast paced. I could not put it down! A first of mine by this author and won’t be the last!

Category Archives: books

When No One is Watching Review

Title: When No One is Watching
Author: Alyssa Cole
Type: Psychological Thriller 
Pages: 352
Rating: 4/5
Method Read: Physical

“Bad things happen in this world, every minute of everyday. We try to stop them, when we can, how we can.”
When No One is Watching-Alyssa Cole

The Brooklyn neighborhood Sydney Green grew up in is changing. Her neighbors are disappearing from their homes and new neighbors moving in. Several businesses are moving or changing. It’s all very suspicious. Sydney and her neighbor Theo begin to look into the history of the neighborhood and they start to develop a theory. Will they figure everything out before they disappear too?

This story is not your traditional thriller. It’s not a fast paced and doesn’t have a lot of twists and turns. It’s a slow build but has really strong story and character development. It’s worth the read. The author illustrates the reality for marginalized groups on a daily basis and how black and brown people are being forced our of their homes a term known as gentrification. I am guessing this happens more than we think. There’s also some chilling historical aspects included in the story which is pretty neat. I am amazed at how Cole was able to write a thriller but also educate her readers. The last 30% is where thriller elements really pick up and at that point it’s pretty fast paced. It ends up coming together in the end. All in all, I really enjoyed it and I hope Alyssa Cole continues to write thrillers.

Category Archives: books

This Cruel Design Review

Title: This Cruel Design
Author: Emily Suvada
Type: Young Adult, Dystopian  
Pages: 394
Rating: 4/5
Method Read: Audio

“If there is a design that underpins us, Catarina, then it is cold, it is violent, and it is cruel.” 
This Cruel Design-Emily Suvada

***If you have not read the first book, The Mortal Coil please stop now to avoid possible spoilers for the first book in the series***

This is the second book in The Mortal Coil series and it definitely didn’t disappoint. It picks off right where it left off. Catarina finds out that the virus has mutated and they spend a good chunk of the book searching for Lachlan for help apply a patch to the vaccine the had been created. Cat also begins to recover lost memories which makes her question everything.

This story is truly magnificent. Her world building is truly stunning in how she involves futristic technology with coding and genehacking. This story is action packed and oh so good! Love all the characters, including the new ones introduced. Plus that ending?! OMG! Give me the next book NOW! Once again I’m glad I don’t need to wait. I’m probably going to have a book hangover when I finish the series. I highly recommend this series.

Category Archives: books

Safe Review

Title: Safe
Author: S.K. Barnett
Type: Thriller, Mystery
Pages: 336
Rating: 3/5
Method Read: Physical

Jenny Kristal is 6 years old when her mom sends her two houses down to play with a friend. The problem is Jenny never made it. She was abducted. Now 12 years later she escapes her captures and she’s returned home. Shortly after her arrival questions begin to mount. Where has she been all these years. Is she safe?

Did this book keep me interested and was it fast paced? Yes. Did it keep me guessing? Also yes. Unfortunately it also fell short for me. It started out really strong but then it started to feel a little disjointed at times. I would have liked more background on one of the main characters. Certain parts just didn’t make sense which I can’t get into without spoiling the story. Parts of the story also felt a little out of left field. I don’t regret reading it but I was also looking for more.

Category Archives: books

Take a Hint, Dani Brown Review

Title: Take a Hint, Dani Brown
Author: Talia Hibbert
Type: Romance
Pages: 320
Rating: 4/5
Method Read: Physical

“The world wasn’t split into unhappy endings and happily ever afters. There were blessings everywhere and a thousand shades of joy all around him.” 
-Talia Hibbert, Take a Hint, Dani Brown

What a steamy, sweet, funny, and sexy read this was! I enjoyed this one more than Get a Life, Chloe Brown. There were so many things I loved about this book. Dani, PhD to be, has given up love but wants to find a friend with benefits. Enter Zafir, a security guard at the school Dani teachers at. The two are friends who see each other most days when Dani is on campus. When what is suppose to be a campus fire drill causes Dani to be trapped in an elevator, Zaf comes to her rescue and everyone things they are together. They decide to fake a relationship to help Zaf promote his side business. We can all pretty much guess what happens during this fake relationship.

Strong female characters, crushing toxic masculinity, LBGT friendly, dealing with anxiety and so much more! I don’t want to get into too much detail for fear of spoiling it for others but what I will say is that this book had me smiling the whole time and there were parts I laughed out loud. I’m not kidding. At one point, one of my kids asked me what was so funny. If you are looking for a steamy but sweet read then this book is for you.

Category Archives: books

This Mortal Coil Review

Title: This Mortal Coil
Author: Emily Suvada
Type: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 425
Rating: 5/5
Method Read: Audiobook

“It’s funny, that saying—I’d rather die. It’s funny because nobody means it. The truth is that when you’re facing death, there’s no telling what you’ll do.”
-This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

Wow! Wow! Wow! If you are looking for a new dystopian series then this one is for you! Definitely for you!

Gosh this story was pretty incredible. It’s a well thought out story that you won’t be able to put down. It take place in the future when geneticists are able to put software into bodies that allow people to of things like change their DNA or heal themselves. A new virus begins to take the world by storm that causes people to explode and infect others. The only way to survive is to eat those infected (gross) or go in an underground bunker until a vaccine is found. There is only one scientist that can help. Lachlan Agatta, father of Catarina is taken without consent to help find a cure. Two years later Cole, a genetically enhanced solider shows up to tell Catarina that her father his dead and it’s his mission to protect her. Together they try to unlock Lachlan’s work to find a cure for the virus plaguing the world. Like I mentioned, this story is well thought out and will leave you on the edge of your seat. The characters are well developed and badass, including Catarina. It seriously has everything you’d want from a book. I am definitely glad I came across this book in the bookstagram community and don’t think it’s getting enough praise. I am also glad that I don’t have to wait for the next book! I’ll be reading (actually listening because I did this one on audio) ASAP.

Category Archives: books

In Five Years Review

Title: In Five Years
Author: Rebecca Serle
Type: Contemporary Fiction,
Pages: 272
Rating: 3.5/5

“We are like constellations passing each other, seeing each other’s light but in the distance. It feels impossible how much space there can be in this intimacy, how much privacy. And I think maybe that is what love is.”

Dannie is a type A personality. She has the details of her life planned out. She knows what job she will have, when she will get engaged and married. On the night she gets engaged she goes to bed and wakes up 5 years into the future. She’s with another man and has another ring on her finger. An hour later she’s back in present time and thinks it’s all a dream until four and a half years later she meets the man from he dream.

This book was difficult for me to rate. It was a fast read because the chapters were short. I was never bored with the story either. That’s being said, I didn’t feel connected to any of the characters and I would have liked to see more development between the friendships/relationships in the story. There were certain parts of the story I could have done without but I absolutely loved the message of the book. I realize this is kind of a vague review. This is a hard one to share my thoughts in full detail without spoiling the story. I definitely don’t regret reading it.

Category Archives: books

The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes Review

Title: The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes
Author: Elissa R Sloan
Type: Contemporary Fiction, Historical Fiction
Pages: 448
Rating: 5/5

Trigger warning: contents include suicide, depression, disordered eating, body shaming, physical assault, sexual assault (off page), and body dysmorphia. Be gentle with yourself if these topics are difficult for you.

“How do you live knowing the real version of yourself, while every other person in the world thinks they know a different version of you? Can the fake persona eat your real self, mimic so many of your truths that falsehoods become your reality.”

Cassidy is the 4th singer in an all girls band named Gloss. Rose, Merry, Yumi and Cassidy were a huge hit among fans and took the world by storm until the group broke up in 2002. Now, 15 years later Cassidy has died by her battle with mental health and the rest of the group and world are trying to come to terms with it. Told in dual timelines of the past and present you get a little glimpse into life of Cassidy and her life as well as her band mates and band Gloss.

Captivating, beautiful and heartbreaking! This book is such an emotional ride and I found myself invested in both the story and characters. Knowing that Cassidy dies right away at the beginning of the story (its even in the synopsis) is heavy, in a good way. You find yourself wishing the end would be different but knowing it wouldn’t be. Cassidy grew up out of the spotlight in Texas and was thrust into the world of Hollywood after coming in second on a popular singing show called Sing It. At 17, she joins the band Gloss and her world changes forever. I feel like this book touches on a lot of tough topics that a lot of famous women likely deal with in Hollywood. I highly recommend this book. It will sit with me a long time. I can not wait for Elissa Sloan to write more!

Category Archives: books

Mexican Gothic Review

Title: Mexican Gothic
Author: Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Type: Horror, Thriller/Mystery
Pages: 301
Rating: 4/5

“That night she dreamed that a golden flower sprouted from the walls in her room, only it wasn’t… she didn’t think it a flower. It had tendrils, yet it wasn’t a vine, and next to the not-flower rose a hundred other tiny golden forms.”

I finished this book a few days ago and I’ve had to sit on how I felt about it. Noemi and her father receive a pretty distressing letter from Noemi’s cousin Catalina. Noemi decides to visit her Catalina and her new husband, Virgil. When she arrives they have strange rules and the house is a bit creepy. She starts having strange dreams and things start getting weird. Noemi hopes she can figure out what’s going on with her cousin and get out.

Overall I feel like I really enjoyed the story and it’s one I could see being played on the big screen. I was excited to see it was being adapted into a tv series. I thought the plot was clever and well thought out. It was creepy and chilling at times. Hopefully because I’ve read the book, I won’t spend the entire tv series covering my eyes. haha!

I didn’t love the style of writing. Sometimes the author used words that I didn’t know what they meant so I had to look them up. That isn’t always a bad thing, I guess. It got a bit wordy at times but I also found the writing unique. The first 2/3rds of the story feels like your typical thriller or mystery and then things get weird, like really weird and it happens instantly. I think at one point I was like “what the heck did I just read” This is when the horror piece begins to take shape. I had heard this book was disturbing but it didn’t get that way until the last 1/3 of the book. I loved the strong female characters (I feel like I’ve been saying this a lot lately) and I also really liked the ending. I feel like it allows the reader to make their own interpretations on what could happen next.

Based on the fact that my review is all over the place, you can see why it was hard for me to rate. I settled on a 4 because I do think that people who love genre would enjoy it (I put on my “horror hat” when I rated it) and I think the plot was well thought out.

Category Archives: books

He Started It Review

Title: He Started It
Author: Samantha Downing
Type: Thriller/Mystery
Pages: 384
Rating: 5/5

“You want a heroine. Someone to root for, to identify with. She can’t be perfect, though because that will make you feel bad about yourself. A flawed heroine, then. Someone who may break the rules to protect her family but doesn’t kill anyone unless it’s self defense. Not murder, though, at least not the cold blooded kind.”

I loved My Lovely Wife and was so excited when I heard Samantha was coming out with a new book. This was probably one of my most anticipated reads of 2020. I originally requested to read an early release and was declined. Then covid hit and the release date was pushed back from April to July. When I got the email from my library it was available I shrieked.

Samantha Downing did not disappoint! A grandfather dies and an extremely dysfunctional family is set inherit all his money. There’s a twist though. They must repeat the road trip they took as kids. Soon you learn they are all hiding secrets, including having a dead body in the trunk and not only that it seems like someone is following them. Oh and someone is missing. What are these secrets and how is it all connected? Who is following them? Who is this missing person? Will they receive the inheritance?

“I love my siblings, all of them, I really do. I also hate them. That’s how it goes – love, hate, love, hate, back and forth like a seesaw. “

What a wild ride! Shockingly dark, deceptive and full of twists and turn this is a must read! The short chapters make this a quick read. The story goes between past and present and you learn some pretty disturbing things that happened to them when they went on this road trip as kids that helped shape who they are as adults. Lots of twists I didn’t see coming and to say the ending was shocking is an understatement. Read this now!

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