ARC Review: The House at Saltwater Point by Colleen Coble

reviews 1

Goodreads // Buy this book: Paperback & Hardback

Synopsis

Ellie Blackmore is making a name for herself as a young house flipper. But when her sister disappears, she can’t focus on anything but finding out what really happened. Blood on the floor might indicate that MacKenzie was killed and her body was removed.

Ellie is at odds with Grayson Bradshaw, the handsome Coast Guard intelligence officer who thinks MacKenzie faked her own death and is off enjoying her ill-gotten gains: billions of dollars in cocaine.

They both want the truth, but truth—and family—is often more complex than it may first appear.

Review

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Going into this book, I didn’t know what to expect. I am not an avid reader of “Christian fiction”, so I was a bit wary, even though the synopsis sounded very interesting. However, I must say I was very pleasantly surprised. I was getting into a slump whilst reading The Night Women by Sara Blædel, but then I picked this one up and finished it in just a couple of days! The writing is so pleasant, it reads like a dream 👌🏼

There are two main points of view: Ellie’s and Grayson’s. Ellie’s sister, Mac, disappears, leaving a trail of blood on her boat. Ellie is worried sick and thinks her sister might be hurt. Grayson, a Coast Guard, is following a lead on stolen cocaine and is convinced that Mac is involved and that she faked her own death. Besides these two, there are occasional POV of other characters as well, which shows us what is happening on all sides of the story.

She pressed her ear to the latch and heard the faint trickle of water. No amount of screaming would lift her voice out of this deep hole, so she didn’t waste her strength.

I really liked the main group of characters that we follow, they were a joy to read about. Oh, and I finally found a character who thinks in tricky situations and doesn’t just act out of their overwhelming emotions. Thank you, Colleen Coble, I love me a smart character🙌🏼

This story involves drug trafficking, terrorism and assassinations, and that makes for a super gripping story that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat. Also, a lot of current themes and issues we’re facing right now are mentioned, which just makes the book even more real and relatable, in a sense.

I’ve never really met anyone who tugged at my heartstrings.” He kissed her palm again, then moved up to her wrist. “Until now, that is.” He lifted his head and reached for her at the same time she moved toward him. His lips covered hers with a gentle yet masterful touch, and she was lost.

Throughout this year, I have barely read anything with romance in it and, to my surprise, this is a mystery with romance!! Oh my, I really missed reading about people falling in love – and now it’s all I want to read… Additionally, this is very good romance. No insta-love, no mental abuse, no manipulation, none of those tropes! The only “trope” that is present here is the “girl who doesn’t realize how beautiful and amazing she is” – but there’s a reason behind that! It was just so wonderful to read about the couples in this, I’m so happy I picked this up 😍

I did find an issue with consistency, namely regarding a character’s eye color. Most of the time, she has “golden-brown” or “amber” eyes but, out of nowhere, someone mentions her “blue” eyes. I won’t hold that against the book though since this is an ARC and I’m sure they corrected the mistake. Also, we’re human! But I did notice it, so I thought I should mention this tiny lapse.

One of my favorite parts of this story was the secrets that were revealed, stuff from the characters’ past. I’m always a sucker for a good book with tragic backgrounds and shocking revelations, and this was no exception, loved it!

I also loved the setting, it takes place in Lavender Tides, which is a coastal area. This makes for a wonderful background, full of houses right by the water, giving us summer vibes. This book is downright refreshing – in every sense of the word!

In conclusion, I am now a fan of Colleen Coble’s writing and I can’t wait to read more of her books. I might pick up the first book in this series, which follows one of the great characters I met in The House at Saltwater Point. I hope my review gets you pumped to pick it up, it’ll be out in the US in just a couple of days! 🎉

4 4/5 stars

Have you read any of Colleen Coble’s books? Which one(s) do you recommend?

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on The House at Saltwater Point and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

Review: This Does Not Leave This House by Julie Coons

thisdoesnot.qxp_dont try coverThis Does Not Leave This House by Julie Coons

Goodreads rating: 4.00

Pages: 186

Genre: Adult, Non Fiction, Religion & Spiritualism, Self-Help

Date published: January 13, 2018 (USA)

My rating: ★★★★☆ 4/5 stars

Goodreads // Buy this book: Paperback

Synopsis

How does a little girl survive an abusive mother, Catholic school, rape, and a near-death experience? Raised by an abusive, narcissistic mother (who once tried to trick her into having an abortion), Julie Coons was also raped in college by a stranger and later married an abusive man who threatened to kill her if she ever tried to leave. Suffering from physical and mental torment resulting in very low self-esteem, Julie often felt so completely alone during the many struggles of her life that she tried to take her own life.

This book is her true story—telling all the secrets she was never allowed to tell to encourage and motivate others to heal their own lives and break the cycle of abuse. Her story shows that there is hope and life after abuse. Now that the secrets are finally out, Julie has found freedom. So can you. This Does Not Leave This House is a raw, poignant, and secret-revealing memoir written to lead a movement

My review

Firstly, I’d like to thank the author, Julie Coons, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

So often I felt so completely alone during so many struggles in my life. I was raised by an abusive, narcissistic mother. I was raped in college by a stranger. I married an abusive man that threatened to kill me if I ever tried to leave. His abuse nearly killed me anyway. My mother tried to trick me into having an abortion.

Reading this book was not easy. Julie’s life is quite a rollercoaster, as you can probably tell by the synopsis and the excerpt above. When I got the book in the mail I thought it would be a very quick read, since it’s less than 200 pages long – but I was wrong! It took me a few days to finish, I was very moved by everything I was reading and I couldn’t bear to read the whole thing at once 😅

Although it is not an easy read, I HIGHLY recommend this little book to everyone – and I mean everyone. This is a story about abuse, and how Julie overcame it, how she broke the cycle. She broke two cycles, actually – growing up, she was abused at home, and she was later abused by her husband as well.

Julie is such a strong woman, I really admire her. She shows that it’s possible to be happy even after you go through hell, you just have to find your strength (in her case, her biggest strength was her daughter) and finally make a move, taking a step towards a better life. This being said, I would love to know her opinion of a couple of Colleen Hoover books, specifically the ones that include abuse and domestic violence. I’m very curious as to what she would think as she read them 🤔

The author also tells us about her experience with spirituality and religion. She had an out-of-body experience when she was still a kid, and she believes that made her receptive to spirits – meaning she regularly has paranormal experiences. She said something that was very interesting, although it really freaked me out: there are spirits that immitate people. She says one time she heard her husband come home and call out her name, heard his footsteps, but when she thought he was about to come in the room she was in, there was nothing. He was never there. Isn’t that fascinating but also extremely scary? I’m not quite sure how I feel about the paranormal, whether I believe it or not, but I do love to hear about people’s experiences! 👻

If you’re expecting a beautifully-written and lyrical book, that’s not what you’ll find. This is a very raw and unfiltered testimony, and it goes straight to the point.

It’s not just a book for people who have gone or are going through abuse, it’s a book for absolutely everyone out there. It might help you plan your own escape. It might help you in the future, prevent you from allowing abusive behavior. It might even open an abuser’s eyes to how their actions affect their victim.

This Does Not Leave This House is an incredibly important testimony. I have no words to describe what the author went through, and how this book made me feel. I also can’t express to you how important her story is, so I’ll leave you with some of the quotes I highlighted as I read.

Another lesson here is, don’t settle. Don’t marry someone thinking you can fix them or change. Protect your happiness, but don’t block the wall off too high either. Don’t miss out on that really good person because you are too blocked off. You don’t have to choose to hate or fear anyone or anything. It’s a fine line and a really intense journey. Just don’t distrust all men or all women. I used to have to remind myself not to paint everyone with the same brush. Abuse throws the abused into this real of feelings of fear and rage all at the same time.

I saved every penny for college because I knew my father was going to help my brother and not me. He felt it was more important for his son to go to college because his daughter could “just get married”, as he told me. I wasn’t raised to feel very strong as a woman. (…) After all this happened and I came out the survivor, I realized: I am powerful, not despite, but because, of my gender.

I hope nobody else knows what this feels like. If you have experienced anything like my experiences, I stand with you. You are not alone. You are not the rape. You are not the abuse. You are not the illness. No matter what it is, you are not that thing you carry around. You are a special person with a sensitive soul who deserves to be acknowledged. You are never alone. I stand with you.

You can’t change anything if you don’t ackowledge it. One person really can make a difference. I want to be that person and create a domino effect, so everyone will join in. I hope we can all join together to start a movement of positive change in the world. Let’s work together to start a movement of positive change in the world. Let’s work together to plant the seed and watch it grow. Life is a beautiful thing when there isn’t any abuse in it. Stop making excuses for the abuser. Stop continuing to enable them. Get it out there and get on with it.
Don’t you cry no more.

★★★★☆ 4/5 stars

Have you read any books about abuse? Are you planning on giving this one a try? Let me know in the comments!

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on This Does Not Leave This House and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

Review: Lies by T.M. Logan

Image result for lies tm logan book coverLies by T.M. Logan

Goodreads rating: 3.97

Pages: 432

Genre: Adult, ThrillerMystery, Psychological Thriller

Date published: September 11th, 2018 (USA)

My rating: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars

Goodreads // Buy this book: Paperback & Hardback

Synopsis

What if you have the perfect life, the perfect wife and the perfect child—then, in one shattering moment, you discover nothing is as it seems? Now you are in the sights of a ruthless killer determined to destroy everything you treasure.

It’s the evening drive home from work on a route Joe Lynch has taken a hundred times with his young son. But today, Joe sees his wife meet another man—an encounter that will rip two families apart. Raising the question: Can we ever really trust those closest to us?

Joe will do whatever it takes to protect his family, but as the deception unravels, so does his life. A life played out without any rules. And a cunning opponent who’s always one step ahead.

My review

Firstly, I’d like to thank St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

I must say I read through this 432-page baby in NO TIME!! I started it last night and finished it today. It was all I could think about, I had to know what would happen next 😍

I hadn’t read the synopsis (or at least I didn’t know anything about the story going into it), so I went in head first, completely oblivious to what was coming my way. I must say I was most definitely not disappointed 🙌🏼

In Lies, we follow Joe, an English teacher who is married to Melissa. They have a little boy, William, who is 4 years old. One day, as Joe drives home, William spots his mom’s car and they both decide to surprise her. So, they follow her as she drives to a hotel parking lot. Then, they spot her as she meets with a man, a very suspicious interaction that makes Joe start to question everything and causes everything around him to fall apart.

This story doesn’t go where you expect it to, not in the slightest. And that’s what I loved about it. I had never read a book with a plot line such as the one in Lies, it felt rather refreshing. It’s a domestic thriller, but through the eyes of a man, unlike what usually happens, and it goes places I never even dreamed it would.

As the title suggests, this whole book is based on lies and secrets, which makes for a read that keeps you on the edge of your seat as you try to figure out what happened and the author keeps throwing revelations at you. You’re constantly finding out new things – it’s absolutely addicting, I could not put this book down! 😋

Since this is built upon lies, I had a ton of theories throughout the book. I took notes and highlighted stuff every time someone said something that didn’t make sense or that seemed suspicious. I wasn’t even remotely right for the most part, and I love that. I love when books aren’t predictable and keep surprising me 👌🏼 I was playing detective the whole time, which is something I love 🕵🏻‍♀️

Although this is well over 400 pages long, it doesn’t feel slow at all – there’s just a LOT of things happening 😅 There isn’t a very extensive list of characters, which is great because you’re not confused all the time. What there is is a whole lot of unexpected twists and turns – as well as inevitable situations – that keep coming at you the whole time, making this a very rich book. The main plot twist really messed with my head. I did not see that coming whatsoever, I could not believe what I was reading! 😲 It reminded me of The Wife Between Us because, although the plot twist is not even similar, I also didn’t see this one coming and I had to go back and re-read it, to make sure I was seeing right 😅

I kept saying on Goodreads that I was stressed whilst reading this. You have no idea!! I literally had to pause my reading several times because I was getting so anxious and aggravated 😨 This book has a lot of injustice in it, and that’s something that really irks me, especially when there’s literally nothing you can do about it. God, this was so damn stressful 😩 – but so worth it!!

Overall, this is a fast-paced book with an intricate and well-constructed plot that makes for a great and engaging read – especially after a bombastic plot twist!

★★★★☆ 4.5/5 stars


Update (June 14, 2018): changing the rating to 5 stars because I realized that it deserves it!

★★★★★ 5/5 stars

Have you read Lies? What did you think about that plot twist? Let me know in the comments! ♡

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on Lies and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

Review: And I Darken by Kiersten White

Image result for kiersten white and i darkenAnd I Darken by Kiersten White (The Conqueror’s Saga #1)

Goodreads rating: 3.90

Pages: 475

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, LGBT, Romance

Date published: June 28th, 2016 (USA)

My rating: ★★★★☆

Goodreads // Buy this book: Paperback & Hardcover

Synopsis

No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

My review

I got and started this book when it came out, back in 2016, but eventually put it down and never picked it back up. Since I’ve been trying to finish the books I’ve started, I decided to resume my reading of And I Darken – and I was definitely not disappointed!

I must confess that, when I first started it, it didn’t really capture my attention, the story didn’t grab me – probably why I didn’t keep on reading. But this time, as soon as I picked it up, I really got into the story. I’ve never been a historical fiction fan, and that’s why I barely read the genre, but this is a great fantasy story with a historical setting. As you probably know from all the hype when it first came out, this story takes place in the 15th century, in and during the Ottoman Empire. Oh, and one of the main characters is based on Vlad the Impaler, which is so cool 🙌🏼

Our main characters, Lada and Radu, are siblings, and they’re from Wallachia, a place in Romania which is under the power of the Ottoman sultan. Their father is the prince of Wallachia, and they are Christian, unlike the Ottomans. One day, something goes wrong and their father basically sells them and leaves them to be raised by the Ottomans as a guarantee, a way to ensure that he won’t misbehave (knowing that his children will be killed if he does). Lada does not accept her fate, and she hates everything about the Ottomans, starting with Islam. Radu, however, is way less of a rebel, and is more accepting of his fate and the people around him, although they are very different and, essentially, his enemies.

Poor eunuchs. Though the chief eunuch said being castrated and sold was the only future his parents had been able to offer him, Radu did not think it was very kind. The chief eunuch was powerful, yes, in charge of the entire harem and privy to the inner workings of the empire, but what a sacrifice!

This is a story filled with political intrigue, as you can probably tell from the synopsis. I actually hate politics, so I never expected to like this kind of plot as much as I did, but it’s amazing!! I was at the edge of my seat in so many moments, I loved how the characters were constantly endangered. Well, I don’t like that they’re in danger, but you get what I mean 😄 Another great part of the plot is the rivalry between Christianity and Islam, which is, unfortunately, still a thing six centuries later.

The author focuses quite a bit on the life of the soldiers, the Janissaries, which I really liked. She focuses on the details from the way they trained to how they behaved amongst themselves and with other people, which shows that White did her research – or at least she was able to convince me that she had done her research 😄 Still regarding historical accuracy, although the book is written in English, the author points out the fact that not everyone in Edirne spoke the same language, and she mentions the switching between languages – depending on who is talking and whom they are talking to. Little details that I really appreciate 😋

The characters are all so great and HILARIOUS. I laughed so many times, everyone in this world is hysterical and I am so here for it! Most of them were absolutely brilliant, but they still made mistakes. I like badass characters, but it’s important that they’re realistic, otherwise, I can’t even relate to them. There are many strong women in the story who know what they want – and use the little-to-no power they have to get whatever it is that they want. That is rather inspiring, and I think it’s a great representation of women. Huma and Lada are, probably, some of the strongest females I have ever read about, I fucking love them ❤️🙌🏼

“I think of you like a sister,” he said. “Like a brilliant, violent, ocasionally terrifying sister that I would follow to the ends of the earth, in part because I respected her so much and in part because I feared what she would do to me if I refused.”

She nodded. “I would do awful things.”

Nicolae laughed. “The most awful.”

“And then I would steal your horse lover, to spite you.”

“Your cruelty knows no bounds.”

Speaking of representation, there are a few LGBT characters which, as you might guess, it not the best thing when you’re in Ottoman lands – or any land really, the discrimination is still present today so I can only imagine how bad it was 600 years ago 😬 Fortunately, fantasy series have been including more and more LGBT+ characters with time – which we all appreciate, don’t we? 😊🌈

Another thing I thought was very well done was Lada’s struggle as a woman growing up surrounded by men. She eventually gets her period and goes through puberty, but she doesn’t quite understand it all, as no one explains it to her. There’s also some sexual harassment, which pissed me off. It made mad and also very sorry for her – but she handles it like a boss, to be honest.

Lada did not know how much longer she could get away with stealing bedsheets. Radu had complained that his bed was stripped of everything but a single blanket. She had to sit with her back against the door to guard against discovery as she ripped his sheet into manageable pieces to staunch the flow.

Kiersten White was able to create the most genius love-triangle type of thing I have ever read. The romance in this is so freaking good, but so unusual and original. That’s definitely one of my favorite parts of the story! 😍

In conclusion, I need the second book NOW so that I can find out what happens next 😋 Maybe I’ll wait until the third book comes out in July so I can binge read them both 👌🏼

★★★★☆ 4.5/5 stars

Have you read this book? What about the other books in the series? Let me know in the comments! ♡

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on And I Darken and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my nextpost♡

DNF Review: Smith by Sam B. Miller II

37832924Smith by Sam B. Miller II

Goodreads rating: 4.56

Pages: 180

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Date published: December 31st, 2017 (US)

My rating: ★★☆☆☆

Goodreads // Buy this book: Paperback

Synopsis

Jake’s Father is an archeologist who is in Israel to complete a dig on King Solomon’s Temple. As an eighteen-year-old American, Jake is unwelcome by the people in the territory. Defending himself against the townspeople is a constant torment.
Through a map Jake finds on his Father’s desk, he and his friend Avner decide to explore a newly discovered chamber. At the end of a dark and deserted tunnel, Jake uncovers the treasure of King Solomon’s Power ring. He puts it on his finger and feels his life changing.
Jake passes off the ring as a replica, but he starts to hear a voice that belongs to Smith. Smith provides him guidance on how to deal with his newfound powers. Jake wants to learn all he can about his new secret ring. Smith encourages him to sharpen his fighting skills by joining the Army.
Is Smith leading Jake to a newfound life where he can become a hero? Or will the decision to join the military endanger his life? Will Jake find out the ring he wears is good or will it be of evil intent? And who keeps trying to steal the ring?

My review

I was sent a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. Big thanks to Sam B. Miller!

Stopped at: 47%

Unfortunately, and I hate to bring you a negative review, I did not enjoy this book. I won’t be finishing it, as I see no point in forcing myself to read something I don’t like.

The premise was cool, and since I’m a history student – and obsessed with ancient history -, I thought this book would be right up my alley. It takes place in Israel, where our American main character, Jake, is currently living. He accidentally finds King Solomon’s ring, named Smith, and later realizes that the ring speaks to him. Then, he starts making decisions based on what Smith tells him to do – such as joining the Army.

It kind of reminded me of Rick Riordan’s books, which I also didn’t finish 😅 I had read the synopsis before going into this book, in which we are told that Jake is 18 years old. However, the whole time I felt like this was a middle-grade novel narrated by a 13 or 14-year-old. I only realized that wasn’t the case when I eventually thought “Wait, how old is he if he is joining the Army?”. So I really didn’t enjoy that, the main character is rather childish for his age.

I wasn’t a fan of the cast of characters either, which sucks because I usually read books for the characters. If a book has a terrible plot but it features characters that I like, I’ll probably still enjoy it. If it’s the other way around, it’s much harder for me to like it…

Unlike I had expected, the whole plot was not of my liking either, so I started losing interest as I read and, eventually, gave up. I think it’s a matter of age. Maybe I’m too old for this shit? We have to recognize it when a book is not right for us, right?

Well, that’s about it regarding what I actually read. I’m really bummed that I didn’t like this book, but such is life. Apparently, a lot of people give it 4 and 5-star ratings on Goodreads, so it can’t be a terrible book – it just wasn’t to my liking!

★★☆☆☆ 2/5 stars


Have you read Smith? Did you like it? Let me know in the comments! ♡

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on Smith and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

Review: The Forgotten Girls by Sara Blædel

The Forgotten Girls by Sara Blædel

Goodreads rating: 3.55

Pages: 312

Genre: Adult, Thriller, Crime, Mystery, Nordic Noir

Date published: February 3rd, 2015 (USA)

My rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads // Buy this book: Paperback

Synopsis

In a forest in Denmark, a ranger discovers the fresh corpse of an unidentified woman. A large scar on one side of her face should make the identification easy, but nobody has reported her missing. After four days, Louise Rick—the new commander of the Missing Persons Department—is still without answers. But when she releases a photo to the media, an older woman phones to say that she recognizes the woman as Lisemette, a child she once cared for in the state mental institution many years ago.

Lisemette, like the other children in the institution, was abandoned by her family and branded a “forgotten girl.” But Louise soon discovers something more disturbing: Lisemette had a twin, and both girls were issued death certificates over 30 years ago.

As the investigation brings Louise closer to her childhood home, she uncovers more crimes that were committed—and hidden—in the forest, and finds a terrible link to her own past that has been carefully concealed.

My review

After a bit of a disappointing read (by a Portuguese author), The Forgotten Girls came to the rescue – a breath of fresh air! This is the seventh book in the Louise Rick series, which I have read completely out of order. I started with the ninth and latest book, The Lost Woman, which I really liked, and now I’ve gone back in time to read the previous books.

So the book begins with a rather stressful and intense prologue, in which a woman is running through the woods, escaping from someone. Then, she is found dead. As you can probably guess, I was hooked right from the beginning – which is why it only took me a couple of days to finish it. This could easily be read in one sitting though, it’s incredibly gripping!

The plot is amazing and very well thought-out. Blædel combines a creepy and cold atmosphere with asylum-related shenanigans. AND she also writes lovely characters that you end up caring for – what more could you want? I don’t know about you, but there’s something about asylums and institutions of the sort that just gives me chills, so they’re the perfect addition to a crime book.

In comparison to The Hypnotist, I enjoyed this one better. Why? Well, mainly because, as I mentioned in my review, The Hypnotist should be shorter than it is. The story drags on for too long and it’s a very descriptive book. However, I was pleased to see that The Forgotten Girls is not like that. In my opinion, a crime book should be short and sweet and straight to the point. Otherwise, you kind of distract the reader from the crime and whodunnit, don’t you? Is it just me who thinks so?

One thing I really enjoyed was how I did not predict how the case would unravel or how the story would end. The Portuguese edition is 300 pages long and I only had a suspition at about page 230. And it wasn’t even right!!! I love that, there’s nothing worse than a predictable book, am I right? Especially a crime book!

There were quite a few moments that made me laugh or chuckle – these characters are everything, I love them all! I also think Louise’s motherly worries are endearing, I liked seeing that part of her and not just the badass detective side. Also, she has such an awful but interesting and intriguing past, and I’m dying to find out more about it in the next books!!

Fun fact: Sara Blædel will be at a book signing here in Lisbon next week and I CANNOT tell you how excited I am to go there and meet her!!

Overall, this book is really freaking good. It’s disturbing. It’s gripping and addictive. It doesn’t drag on, it’s straightforward. It’s everything I want in a crime/thriller book and, for that, it deserves the highest rating!

★★★★★ 5/5 stars

Have you read this book? What about the other books in the series? Let me know in the comments! ♡

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on The Forgotten Girls and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

The Hypnotist | Lars Kepler

Image result for the hypnotist lars kepler coverThe Hypnotist by Lars Kepler

Goodreads rating: 3.65

Pages: 503

Genre: Adult, Thriller, Crime, Nordic Noir

Date published: June 21st, 2011 (USA)

My rating: ★★★★☆

Goodreads // Buy this book: Paperback

Synopsis

In the frigid clime of Tumba, Sweden, a gruesome triple homicide attracts the interest of Detective Inspector Joona Linna, who demands to investigate the murders. The killer is still at large, and there’s only one surviving witness—the boy whose family was killed before his eyes. Whoever committed the crimes wanted this boy to die: he’s suffered more than one hundred knife wounds and lapsed into a state of shock. Desperate for information, Linna sees only one option: hypnotism. He enlists Dr. Erik Maria Bark to mesmerize the boy, hoping to discover the killer through his eyes.

It’s the sort of work that Bark has sworn he would never do again—ethically dubious and psychically scarring. When he breaks his promise and hypnotizes the victim, a long and terrifying chain of events begins to unfurl.

My review

It took me a while to read this one because a) huge book, b) I started it at the worst possible time, when all of my tests were happening, and c) I was already reading a bunch of books simultaneously. So, it’s been like two weeks, but I finished it – I actually read the last half in the blink of an eye!

In this crime novel, we follow detective Joona Linna as he tries to solve the murder of the Ek family – and then a child’s disappearance. Erik, the hypnotist, is called in to help solve the case, as the only witness is in a coma, and his testimony is the only way to get any clue as to who murdered the family. There are, essentially, two storylines, hence the size of the book. Throughout the story, we try to figure out whether or not they’re connected. The book is told in several points of view, which gives us a more thorough understanding of what exactly happened – something I’ve come to appreciate in books!

I found one of the characters to be insufferable – Simone. My god, she pissed me off. As for the other central characters, I thought they were fine, well-built even. Joona is that tormented detective figure we often see in crime fiction – although we don’t really see much of his past in this book. Erik is someone whose bad decisions in the past have tormented him and altered the way he now lives his life.

Mortui vivis docent – the dead teach the living.”

The plot of the book is rather intriguing. It definitely didn’t go where I thought it would. There’s sort of a plot twist right at the beginning, which is probably what got me hooked. It was not at all what I expected from the synopsis, so I just wanted to keep on reading.

Although I read a translation, as probably will you, I felt as though the writing flowed nicely. The only complaint I have is that I felt as though the book dragged a bit. I think there’s unnecessary information, and the only thing it does is just make the book even bigger. Other than that, I thought the book was great, not predictable at all (which is the worst in crime/thriller books!), and well-thought-out.

★★★★☆ 4/5 stars


Have you read The Hypnotist? Did you like it as much as I did? Let me know in the comments! ♡

Overall, I thought this was a good crime book, although it could be even better if it were a tad bit shorter. Will definitely continue with the series – I actually bought the second book recently, and showed it in a book haul 😉

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on The Hypnotist and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

A Court of Frost and Starlight | Sarah J. Maas (spoiler-free + spoilery section)

Image result for acofas coverA Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass #3.1)
Goodreads rating: 4.39

Pages: 224

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Date published: May 1st, 2018 (USA)

My rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads // Buy this book: Paperback & Hardback

Synopsis

The Winter Solstice. In a week. I was still new enough to being High Lady that I had no idea what my formal role was to be. If we’d have a High Priestess do some odious ceremony, as lanthe had done the year before. A year. Gods, nearly a year since Rhys had called in his bargain, desperate to get me away from the poison of the Spring Court to save me from my despair. Had he been only a minute later, the Mother knew what would have happened. Where I’d now be. Snow swirled and eddied in the garden, catching in the brown fibers of the burlap covering the shrubs My mate who had worked so hard and so selflessly, all without hope that I would ever be with him We had both fought for that love, bled for it. Rhys had died for it.

My review

YOU GUYS. IT’S OUT AND I’VE ALREADY READ IT. MY HEART CANNOT TAKE THIS MUCH EMOTION!!

Okay, first of all, words cannot express how happy I am about diving back into this world. If you know me, you know ACOTAR is my favorite series (besides Harry Potter), and you also know that Feysand is my religion. The best couple of all the books I’ve read in my life, hands down 👌🏼💕

Secondly, WE HAVE EVERYONE’S POINT OF VIEW OH MY GOD YESSSSSS!!!!! I cannot tell you how excited I am that I got to read from Mor’s, Cassian’s and Azriel’s POV. Like I cannot handle myself, I LOVED getting a glimpse into their minds and thoughts. Just amazing okay? 😍 The only one that didn’t get a POV was Amren, for unknown reasons. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I don’t really get why, but I’m sure we’ll see more of her in the future – as well as Nesta, who also got a couple of chapters with her POV 🙌🏼

Thirdly… WHY IS IT SO SHORT I NEED A FULL NOVEL!!! I am DYING to read the next book – especially considering the sneak peek at the end. Really, Sarah?? You couldn’t just combine the whole thing and make it one giant book for me to inhale?? God, now I have to wait ANOTHER year 😭 I feel like rereading the whole series when my physical copy of this book gets here, even though I have SO MANY unread books to get through… we’ll see what happens 😅

I know a lot of people felt like this book was unnecessary and that the story was over, the series should have ended with A Court of Wings and Ruin. And to that I say: what the fuck!? There is SO MUCH unfinished business, so many things to explore, so many characters to develop… I honestly could read one of these books every year, I don’t think I would ever grow tired of it ♡♡

This novella takes place during Winter Solstice, which is a big thing in Velaris. We follow the Inner Circle, plus some other characters, as they prepare for the celebrations – with a lot of serious business mixed in there. I won’t tell you anything else because I went in not knowing much, so I wish that same experience on you! ☺️

If you can’t tell, I really freaking loved this book, even though it’s heartbreakingly short 😩 I grinned the whole time, everything just made me so happy, I’m so glad I could read about my babies again 😁

The sneak peek ends on a cliffhanger, and I am so intrigued to see what happens next, I can’t wait to have that in my hands 😍

★★★★★ 5/5 stars

 

Click for spoilery section

Wonderful things I want to mention – illustrated with quotes

Rhys being the usual sweetheart, making sure Feyre was doing alright during her period and caressing her. Also the fact that we now know how periods work for fae women!!

“It’s my job to fuss. And besides, you fuss plenty. Over far more trivial things.”

“Your cycle isn’t trivial.”

“I was in a little bit of pain—”

“You were thrashing on the bed as if someone had gutted you.”

“And you were acting like an overbearing mother hen.”

“I didn’t see you screaming at Cassian, Mor, or Az when they expressed concern for you.”

“They didn’t try to spoon-feed me like an invalid!”

Rhys chuckled, finishing off his food. “I’ll eat regular meals if you allow me to turn into an overbearing mother hen twice a year.”

Tamlin is a goddamned mess and I felt terrible, even though he deserves it. But holy shit is he down, I hope he’ll get over it in the next books, I really felt bad for the guy… the decay was overwhelming.

Tamlin didn’t speak, didn’t offer any explanations for the vacant house. For the rooms we passed, some of the carved doors cracked open enough for me to behold the destruction inside.
Shattered furniture, shredded paintings, cracked walls.

Rhys being deep and romantic and ruining all my standards for boys 🙃

“You were born on the longest night of the year.” His fingers again stroked down my back. Lower. “You were meant to be at my side from the very beginning.”

The humor of every single character had me laughing out loud – I love them all so much, god damnit 😩

“He’d seen Nesta in that particular pose, too. He called it her I Will Slay My Enemies pose.

Cassian had named about two dozen poses for Nesta at this point. Ranging from I Will Eat Your Eyes for Breakfast to I Don’t Want Cassian to Know I’m Reading Smut. The latter was his particular favorite.”

“We have thirty minutes,” he said with remarkable smoothness.

“And it takes you two hours to get dressed,” Mor quipped through the door. A sly pause. “And I’m not talking about Feyre.”

“Pick on someone your own size,” Cassian said to Amren, shoveling roast chicken into his mouth. “I’d feel bad for the mice,” Azriel muttered. Mor and Cassian howled, earning a blush from Azriel and a grateful smile from Elain—and no shortage of scowling from Amren.

The fact that one of the Inner Circle traditions during the Solstice is a snowball fight… warriors in a snowball fight!!! 😂 Also the part that comes after said fight 😏

“Three Illyrian warriors,” I said. “The greatest Illyrian warriors. Are having a snowball fight.”

Mor’s eyes practically glowed with wicked delight. “Since they were children.”

“They’re over five hundred years old.”

THE SEX SCENES LORD HELP ME
THE WALL… THE FUCKING WALL!!

Also the possibility of a FEYSAND BABY!?!??! I am NOT okay

“Last week had been so stupidly busy and I’d been so desperate for the feel and taste of her that I’d taken her during the flight down from the House of Wind to the town house. High above Velaris—for all to see, if it weren’t for the cloaking I had thrown into place. It’d required some careful maneuvering, and I’d planned for months now on actually making a moment of it, but with her against me like that, alone in the skies, all it had taken was one look into those blue-gray eyes and I was unfastening her pants.

A moment later, I’d been inside her, and had nearly sent us crashing into the rooftops like an Illyrian whelp. Feyre had just laughed.

I’d climaxed at the husky sound of it.”

What is there not to love in this book? I can only think of one thing: its length 😅

 


Have you read the ACOTAR series? If not, do you plan on starting it? Let me know in the comments! ♡

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on A Court of Frost and Starlight and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

From the Earth to the Shadows | Amanda Hocking

Amanda_Hocking_FB_Cover_v4

Image result for from the earth to the shadows amanda hockingFrom the Earth to the Shadows by Amanda Hocking

Goodreads rating: 3.52

Pages: 336

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Romance

Date published: April 24th, 2018 (USA)

My rating: ★★★☆☆

Goodreads // Buy this book: Paperback

Synopsis

The epic conclusion to the thrilling Valkyrie duology by New York Times bestselling YA author Amanda Hocking, From the Earth to the Shadows.

While dealing with dark revelations about her life and her world, Malin finds herself with new allies–and new enemies. Her quest for the truth leads her to places she never thought possible, and she’s never been one to shy away from a fight. But for all her strength and determination, will it be enough to save the world before it’s too late?

About the author

Image result for amanda hockingAmanda Hocking is the author of over twenty young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Trylle Trilogy and Kanin Chronicles. Her love of pop culture and all things paranormal influence her writing. She spends her time in Minnesota, taking care of her menagerie of pets and working on her next book.

Social Links:

Author Website: http://www.worldofamandahocking.com/
Twitter: @Amanda_Hocking
Facebook: @AmandaHockingFans
Author Blog

My review

Firstly, I’d like to thank St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Since From the Earth to the Shadows is a sequel, I can’t tell you much about the story. I reviewed the first book in the duology a couple months ago, so if you’d like to get a sense of what this is about, you can read that review here.

This second book is more of a heist and quest book. Our characters have to steal objects, as they were chosen for this mission by a Vanir god. In order to do this, they have to go to Kurgunia, the Underworld, where all immortals live after their time on Earth is done. 💀

Valeska nodded once. “At noon, we go to hell.”

We have way more action in this book than we did in the first one. There are more fighting scenes – and an uprising -, so almost every chapter is action-packed, which makes the book a fast read. ⚡️

I read it in two days, and although I enjoyed it, there was something missing. I can’t put my finger on it, but I liked the first book a bit more. Maybe it’s all the heartbreak this one caused… ☹️

Our main characters are back, and now there are so many new ones!! I really enjoyed meeting Valeska, for one, she’s badass. I mean, any girl that can fly is automatically badass, amirite? But my favorite new character was probably Lyra, she was very sweet and just wanted to do whatever she could for her daughter! 😢

“I don’t want to overwhelm him or scare him off.”
“Overwhelm him?” he asked once I’d closed the door behind him. “This guy alleges to have dated your mother. If she didn’t overwhelm him, nothing will.”
“Fair enough.”

There are LGBT characters in this book, as well as the first one, which I always appreciate. And it’s girls!! Usually, the LGBT books I read are about boys, so I really enjoyed this, it’s a breath of fresh air ☺️ The main romance in this book is very cute, and I loved every second of it! Asher is the sweetest 😍

His voice was low and husky as he stared into my eyes and said, “When they brought me here, they showed me the unimaginable enchantment of the world outside these walls. I have seen beauty beyond anything I could’ve dreamed, the full breadth and majesty of everything their heavens have to offer.” He smiled softly and cradled my face in his hand. “And still, I’ve never seen anything as wonderful and beautiful as you walking through that door in the dungeon.”

As for the plot, I thought it was well-thought-out and -executed, so that is definitely a strong point of this book. I loved seeing Hocking’s interpretation of the Underworld, as it’s something I think about a lot. When you think about the Underworld, what do you imagine it’s like?

Once again, this book was filled with mythology. In this world, all the different mythology from different cultures is mashed together, so you have gods like Bastet, Tsukiyomi, Prometheus, all in the same book. Additionally, there are creatures from many different cultures like a chupacabra, kalanoro, alkonost and wolpertinger. I love how the author combines all of this in one story, it’s very cool!

Along with mythology, there is also magic, as one of the main characters works with thaumaturgy and alchemy. Here are some of the spells she uses:

“Omnium visibilium et invisibilium omnium manemus”

“Lux splendida!”

Overall, it was an enjoyable read, and a nice conclusion to the duology. I am not a fan of urban fantasy, but I like these two books, so if you’re a reader of the genre, definitely give these a try!

★★★☆☆ 3.5/5 stars


Have you read this duology? What did you think about it? Let me know in the comments! ♡

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on From the Earth to the Shadows and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

The Kind Worth Killing | Peter Swanson

1200x630bbThe Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

Goodreads rating: 4.03

Pages: 415

Genre: Adult, Thriller, Crime

Date published: February 3rd, 2015 (USA)

My rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads // Buy this book: Paperback & Hardback

Synopsis

Delayed in London, Ted Severson meets a woman at the airport bar. Over cocktails they tell each other rather more than they should, and a dark plan is hatched – but are either of them being serious, could they actually go through with it and, if they did, what would be their chances of getting away with it?

Back in Boston, Ted’s wife Miranda is busy site managing the construction of their dream home, a beautiful house out on the Maine coastline. But what secrets is she carrying and to what lengths might she go to protect the vision she has of her deserved future?

My review

A few months ago I buddy-read Her Every Fear, also by Peter Swanson. Back then, I already knew people liked The Kind Worth Killing better, but I didn’t know it would be this good.

Going into it, I knew the basics of the story from reading and watching reviews but I had no idea this was where the story would go. I absolutely loved everything about this book, and I wish it was a bit longer so that we could get a glimpse at some of the characters’ lives in the future.

I thought about it constantly, turning the idea around in my mind like looking at a diamond from every possible perspective, looking for flaws or cracks, looking for guilt or second thoughts, and I found none. All I found was the renewed conviction that [character] was a monster that I needed to slay.

This book is quite the ride. The plot twists in it are absolutely delicious and unpredictable (with the exception of one of them, which I saw coming) – and when you think the author can’t surprise you anymore, here comes another surprise!

It is midterms time, but I absolutely devoured this book every chance that I got. It’s so addictive, all I wanted to do was find out what would happen next!

I was fascinated by her raw beauty while at the same time realizing that she would not age well. Her face, rounded and doll-like, would turn puffy, and her pinup body would sag. But she wouldn’t grow old, would she? I was going to kill her, wasn’t I?

It features a few of the things I most love about thrillers: fucked up and flawed characters, secrets, suspense, investigation and stalking. Combine these into one, and add a good plotline, and chances are I’m going to LOVE the book!

I loved how everyone in this book was hiding something. Secrets always make me 100 times more interested and invested in the story. I love learning about a character’s dark past, I feel like it adds a lot to the reading experience.

I’d watched her for an hour one night, as she sat in her red leather chair, her legs tucked up under her, reading a hardcover book. While she read she absentmindedly twirled a long strand of hair in a finger. A cup of tea next to her sent up a ribbon of steam.

The fact that the story is told from multiple points of view makes it a much more thorough read. Not only do you see everything that happens, instead of what one of the characters sees/experiences, but it also enhances how one story can originate such different versions, depending on the person.

As always, Swanson’s writing read very nicely, and his books are quick reads, which I definitely appreciate during exams season 😋

As always, I was amazed by how the author was able to connect everything and bring back tiny details to wrap it all up. It is truly fascinating!

★★★★★ 5/5 stars


Have you read The Kind Worth Killing? Did you like it as much as I did? Let me know in the comments! ♡

Overall I highly recommend that you pick up Swanson’s books – especially The Kind Worth Killing. So far, I haven’t been disappointed by his work, and I am DYING to get my hands on his new book that just came out!😄 Great writing, a solid plot and genius plot twists are some things that perfectly describe this book.

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on The Kind Worth Killing and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡