Posted in Book Review

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Dates Read: September 8, 2022 – September 14, 2022
Publication Date: August 14, 2018
Source: Owned paperback

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I’m going to start with a quote lifted DIRECTLY from this book that I feel describes this book perfectly. It’s literally all you need to know…

“Oh that’s a long boring story. Mostly I sold mussels, oysters, and smoked fish to Jumpin’.”

There you have it. That’s the book. Ok, well, that’s part one anyway.

Part one: Kya is abandoned by her entire family. Her father is abusive. She starts cooking grits and mussels and selling what she could/didn’t need to Jumpin’, the keeper of the marina where boaters come in for fuel and food.

Part two: A murder trial takes place in court and eventually… the verdict.

Ok, so there. THAT’S it. That’s the book.

“Please don’t talk to me about isolation. No one has to tell me how it changes a person. I have lived it. I am isolation.”

There are some little romance tidbits sprinkled in there but that’s basically it. I sat and read descriptions of the marsh and the landscape and the bugs that flew by. I read about bird feathers and sea shells. I read about the way the marsh grass moves.

Not really my thing.

I did appreciate the way the author stayed consistent with Kya and her personality. Someone who has been living alone and taking care of themselves since they were 6 years old would certainly shy away from the general public and act odd around other people. However, in other aspects of the story, there were inconsistencies that I was just supposed to accept and believe could happen in the short amount of time that they happened.

I’m still giving this book a three-star rating solely for the one paragraph at the end of the book that made me chuckle. Not because I was surprised. Just because of the way things were revealed in the end.

I guess when I see that a book has gone into Reese’s Book Club, I should just skip it. I’m currently 2 for 2!

That’s really all I’ve got you guys.

I also feel compelled to tell you that I just had déjà vu. That was weird.

Until next time!

Posted in Book Review

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

Dates Read: July 21, 2022 – July 27, 2022
Publication Date: May 4, 2021
Source: Owned hardback

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Alright… this book… was not a thriller. This was a tame mystery. A boring mystery even. A man just tells his wife to protect his daughter, her stepdaughter, and leaves a large sum of money and then disappears? Cool. I’m bored.

The rate at which we found out new information in this book was just painfully slow. This book was just reading about a day in the life with a hint of action and intrigue sprinkled sparingly. I found myself skimming paragraphs. I felt like I didn’t need all the information I was being given. At first, I was reading everything thinking there were hidden meanings in the words but I soon realized there weren’t hidden meanings at all and I was wasting my time.

Did I enjoy parts of this book? Sure. But as a whole… not my thing.

I think that’s the thing, this wasn’t my thing. It’s not the book’s fault. It’s the way the book was marketed. The way it was described did not match what it actually was. I love a good thriller but this was not that. Not even close.

The story follows Hannah and her step-daughter Bailey as they try to find common ground as well as information on where their husband/father could have disappeared to and why. What was his involvement in the scandal at his job? The two of them have to work together and learn to like each other as they pick up clues and follow trails to find the truth.

The truth was… underwhelming.

This book was underwhelming.

I was underwhelmed.

I don’t know what else to say.

If you like slow-burn mysteries, yes, this is for you. But if you’re looking for twists and turns and action and moments that wow you, skip it. This is not the one. As I always say, though, just read it for yourself if you feel so inclined. You might like it. It did, after all, win the Goodreads Choice Award for the “Mystery & Thriller” category in 2021. *shrugs*

Posted in Book Review

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Dates Read: July 19, 2022 – July 21, 2022
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
Source: Owned paperback

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WOW. What a pleasant surprise!

This isn’t my typical genre but I really LOVED this book. This one was being read by someone who has the same sort of book palette that I do, so I jumped when she said it was a really good one. She wasn’t lying.

Let’s get into it!

This book is told from the perspective of Tate in the present day and Miles from six years ago. Tate is busy with her career working long hours and doesn’t have time for love. She meets her brother’s next-door neighbor, Miles, who has no interest in settling down or committing… like… ever. But, as these things go, Tate develops feelings for Miles after they start having “casual encounters”. Miles supposedly doesn’t feel the same… but he definitely does. There are signs.  In the chapters told from Miles’ perspective from six years ago, we learn about his tragic past and the reasons for his wanting to stay far away from love and anything to do with it.

His eyes focus on mine for several seconds. “Don’t ask about my past,” he says firmly. “And never expect a future.”

This book was like watching one of those comforting romance movies that you always end up going back to on those rainy nights when it’s storming and you’re not tired and you’re feeling in your feels and you just want to sit and watch a super cute romance movie that you know the ending to because you’ve seen in 1,001 times but you just want to watch it over and over. It’s that book that you think about long after it’s over. It sticks with you because it’s so RAW and EMOTIONAL and full of REAL LIFE emotions and REAL LIFE tragedies.

I know this doesn’t really mean much coming from me anymore since I’ve become a big ‘ol sap after having a child but… this book made me cry real tears. Sad tears, hopeful tears, happy tears… all the tears.

He faces forward and starts his car. “You were right,” he says. He puts the car in reverse and prepares to pull out of the parking lot. “It’s a good thing we weren’t friends first. Would have made this a lot harder.”

I fell in love with this couple and found myself desperate to read another chapter, one after another so I could come to the end and learn of their fate.

I really do love a good romance book that hangs in my head for days, even weeks, after I’ve finished it. This was it. Highly recommend. Seriously, go get it. I’m not a typical romance novel reader (unless it’s paranormal) and I absolutely loved it. I can’t imagine how much someone who DOES love romance novels would enjoy it. Do yourself a favor and don’t skip this one.

It’s the beautiful moments like these that make up for the ugly love.

Posted in Book Review

Death by Laura Thalassa

Dates Read: June 20, 2022 – July 16, 2022
Publication Date: November 9, 2021
Source: Owned paperback

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Oof. Ok. So this one took me a hot minute to read.

I feel like the book didn’t really “start” until part two. I don’t know, man. The first half was just about our heroine, Lazarus, running from Death, even though she immediately wants to jump his bones.

So, Lazarus. Lazarus is an orphaned girl who had a loving and happy family until Death came through her town and killed them all. She, alone, survived. Lazarus, it seems, cannot die. Well, I mean, she can but she always comes back to life. Death’s power is no exception to this. So, when she confronts him on the road coming from a city where he thought he had just killed everyone, Death is intrigued. Naturally.

“You have an exceptional heart, Lazarus,” he finally says. “You shouldn’t apologize for it.”

I think that’s the thing that gets me about this one. The two of them have a thing for each other immediately. It’s revealed from the very beginning that Death knows she is his “kismet” or “fate set before him by God”. But she just thinks he’s really pretty and is attracted to him. Hardly a “feeling of fate” from her.

He doesn’t move any closer to me, but it feels like there’s no distance between us and no air to breathe in. It doesn’t help that he still hasn’t found his shirt, and his glowing tattoos are making him look particularly unearthly.

Regardless, she runs because Death means to keep her. She does not wish to be kept.

That’s part one of the book. Right there. See? Not very riveting, huh?

Before I can answer, Death’s expression turns serious, his eyes intense. “Nothing in this world could part me from you for long.”

Part two is where it starts to get “good”.

So not only is the fate of her heart set on this guy and what he chooses to ultimately do but so is the fate of his brothers and their now wives and children. If he ends the world, he ends them too.

Now his expression is downright wicked. “You and I are immortal. Even if it takes centuries, even if you and I are the last creatures in existence, I vow to you this: I will get you to love me – mind, body, and heart.

I’ll tell ya one thing, I think of all the books, this one has the most “adventure” in it. This book isn’t just us following one couple and their story. This book is us following Death who is chasing Lazarus who is running from Death who is also planning to hunt Famine and finish what they started in Famine’s book. There’s a whole lot going on and a whole lot of little tidbits throughout.

I have to say, though, I did enjoy reading this one. I enjoyed them all and I’ve really enjoyed this series. If you’re not too queasy and enjoy a good raw, unfiltered, gory paranormal romance, this series might be for you.

I really thought this one was going to go a different direction but it kept me on the edge of my seat right up to the very end. I mean, I knew what was ultimately going to happen, at least I felt like I did, but still. The author wrote four unique books that followed the same basic idea but went in four different directions and that is something I can really appreciate.

And I must say, that ending was quite beautiful.

Posted in Book Review

Famine by Laura Thalassa

Dates Read: June 17, 2022 – June 20, 2022
Publication Date: October 1, 2020
Source: Owned paperback

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Ahhh. We’re back to the Horsemen of the Apocalypse and I am SO HAPPY TO BE HERE. Especially with Famine. Is he my favorite? Yes. Yes, he is. Pestilence was my favorite up to now. Now Famine takes the cake.

Famine is the most brutal of all his brothers I would say. All of them are “duty-bound” and are willing to commit some atrocities to see their purpose carried out but Famine… Famine really goes above and beyond. He claims a home for his own and has the owners brutally killed and thrown in a giant hole in their own backyard for heaven’s sake. Famine does make mention of being “the least human of all his brothers.” He says he can “feel everything”. THAT is one consistency I really appreciate about this book.

So, our heroine in this story is Ana. Ana is a worker at a brothel called the Painted Angel. Ana was displaced as a child when her entire family was killed. She was taken in by the madam of the Painted Angel and started working to make money to live. Until Famine comes and takes her with him.

You see, the two of them have history. She first met Famine years before while she was on the way home with groceries for her abusive aunt. She saw Famine in the street, nearly dead from being beaten by villagers. She nursed him back to health and sent him on his way. Once he recognizes this girl, who is now in a woman’s body, he keeps her and refuses to let her out of his sight or become hurt.

And so begins the next seriously messed up love story in the series.

“That’s the difference between me and my brothers,” he continues. “We are all meant to ravage the world but we have our distinctions: War is the most human, Pestilence perhaps next. But even Thanatos – Death – is intimately connected to life.
“I am the one least truly alive. I have more in common with wildfires and clouds and mountains than I do anything else. So to be something that lives and breathes is a stifling, unpleasant experience. I am … trapped in this flesh.”

I really did enjoy these two. I don’t know why but I think they’re my favorite with Pestilence and Sara coming in at a very close second.

I glance over at the horseman, frowning. I’d do all of it again for this man, because wicked or not, violent or not Famine might be the only being who has ever truly seen me and cared for me. And . . . I might be the only person who has ever really seen and cared for him.

Once again, I wasn’t sure how the author was going to give us something fresh being that this is the third book in a series about these horsemen who all have this duty-bound, driven-to-destroy attitude. However, she delivered. Once again. Once again there was a different couple with different mindsets and experiences who ended up with a not-so-happy happy ending.

Famine crouches next to Rocha and laughs. “You’re not going to die Heitor. You haven’t begged enough yet. But you will. And even then I’ll make you linger. Because, believe it or not, you are not the worst thing to walk this earth.” The Reaper leans in close. “I am.”

Technically the first two books end on a “cliffhanger” as well but this one REALLY did. The first two books ended with a happy ending where the couple could live out their lives together with no issues. This book’s ending pretty much depends on the way the next book, Death, plays out. I was excited to read Death already because, I mean, c’mon… that cover. Now I’m even more so excited because I get to see how Famine’s story plays out AND I get to meet a new hunk of a horseman.

Let’s see if Death can top him. (I doubt it.)

“Because around you,” he says, “I feel the oddest urge to use my power to create rather than destroy.”

Just going to jump right into the next one so stay tuned!

Posted in Book Review

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas

Dates Read: April 30, 2022 – May 12, 2022
Date Published: May 1, 2018
Source: Owned hardback

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I thought I wanted this. I really did. More Feyre and Rhys? Yes, please! Not even going to lie. I was bored. I just read a book where everyone is buying gifts for each other and preparing for the solstice. That’s all it was. Nothing else has changed. Not Nesta, not Lucien and Elain, not Rhys and Feyre. Nothing. Nothing has changed. It’s just a book about a giant family, who is kind of broken, getting ready for solstice. That’s it. That’s the story.

I suppose a good bit of it was also about the HEALTHY way Feyre was able to heal at the Night Court as opposed to how she wasn’t able to heal in the Spring Court after the happenings Under the Mountain.

I suppose this book was a way of showing us that Feyre had finally found complete happiness. In every aspect of her life, she has healed and become happy. She found the people who support her in a positive way. People who TRULY love her.

I must admit, I was hoping for some developments with Nesta or Elain but I see now that I am going to have to read a few more books if I want that kind of update on their lives. It’s only fitting that Nesta gets a GIANT novel. I just don’t know how invested I am in her character. Am I invested enough to read another 500 pages about her and her character development? I think I might rather read about Elain. Eh. Maybe. Let’s be honest, that story is likely going to break my heart. There’s no way it can’t.

Anyway, this was still a book with some of my favorite characters and by one of my newfound favorite writers, so it gets a 3-star(cat) rating.

As I said in my notes, “Cute, but kinda boring.”

✌💛

Posted in Book Review

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas

Read Dates: April 19, 2022 – April 29, 2022
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Source: Owned hardback

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Oh. My. STARS. This series just gets better and better. What even? Do you people know how much precious sleep I have lost over this series?!

Ok, so, if you haven’t read the second book in the series, stop right there. Turn it on around and get on outta here because there’s a very large thing that I’m gonna HAVE to mention that happened at the end of book two and it is a WHOPPER of a spoiler.

With that being said, let’s get right into it.

First of all, I am still secretly hoping for a little redemption for Tamlin. I definitely saw the control freak in him and in the way he treated Feyre but he was also willing to listen and became understanding once he was done boiling over about whatever the situation was. And to be fair, Feyre just does whatever she wants and can be a lot sometimes so, yea. I’m in no way defending Tamlin’s little meltdowns but… ya know. Given the circumstances and everything that has happened, I get it and I’m still hoping we get to see more from him down the road.

Tamlin stood there. Staring down at me. Those green eyes swimming with some emotion I couldn’t place.
“Be happy, Feyre,” he said quietly.

I did have a small problem with the beginning of this. Herein lie the spoilers (just skip this paragraph if you don’t want to see spoilers and you’ll be golden)… The few chapters of Feyre “infiltrating” the Spring Court and pretending to be in love with Tamlin seemed INCREDIBLY farfetched. It was not sold to me. Even if I hadn’t known from reading Feyre’s perspective, I still feel I would have been able to see right through that façade. It was awful. Tamlin is seriously as dumb as a box of rocks or maybe just that insanely blinded by love if he couldn’t see right through that nonsense.

This is one of the very few series I’ve read where I have enjoyed ALL of the main and supporting characters. Cassian, Azriel, Amren, and Mor hold a special place in my heart and I really enjoyed the relationships they all share and the banter throughout.

Nesta. Wow. What a character. And what a character development from book one to now. That scene towards the end in the midst of war and certain death… geez. That scene really got me.

Elain even became a bit enjoyable. It was so interesting to see how she and Nesta melded into the Prythian world, albeit a bit tragic, but still very much enjoyable to read.

I really feel for Lucien. He has really grown on me to the point that I really do wish some sort of happiness for him. He’s been given the short end of the stick in most aspects of his life and he deserves happiness, damn it!

No one, however, compares to Rhys. NO ONE. Did we already agree to add him to my list of book boyfriends? If not, let the record show that he is nearing the top. (I should really make an actual list for the day I get called out to reveal the order and contents of said list…)

I see all of you, Rhys. And there is not one part of that I do not love with everything I am.
You bow to no one,
was all he replied.”

Also! Something I HAVE to bring up… can we talk about the library creature!? Like, can all libraries have a library creature? That whole thing was so exciting to me. I don’t really know why. I pictured like a really giant, oversized “dog” from Despicable Me. You know the one I mean, right? Here, I’ll just show you.

Ooo and another thing! How about that little twist at the end!? The captain?! If you’ve read it, you know the one I meant. I was literally weeping. WEEPING. Not just crying… WEEPING.

Last honorable mention here… Feyre’s independence. Ok, so, yes I wanted Rhys to hear her call and come to her aid but how amazing was Feyre finding her own way out of situations and saving HERSELF? Fighting her own fights and WINNING. What a refreshing heroine.

He swiped away the tears sliding down my face. “I believe everything happened, exactly the way it had to . . . so I could find you.” He kissed another tear away.

This book DID ME IN. In some of the best ways possible. I’m going to miss the Feyre and Rhys saga but I’m excited to learn where the other characters go from here. Have I started Nesta’s book yet? No. I’m waiting a while because I have this feeling that the book is going to absolutely exasperate me. I’m hoping I can get in a mental state where I don’t just want to read more of Rhys and Feyre on every page and I can welcome a new couple with loving arms and an open mind. Until then, I’ll be hopping around and reading some titles a little out of my comfort zone.

Until next time!

Posted in Book Review

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

Read Dates: April 16, 2022 – April 18, 2022
Date Published: May 3, 2016
Source: Owned paperback

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Alright, soooo things got heavy, huh? That’s assuming you’ve already read this book and aren’t here to see if this book is worth the read. (It is.)

Tamlin and Feyre are both having nightmares about what happened Under the Mountain. Feyre made a great sacrifice to save Tamlin and now they are both safe but neither one of them is having a good time. They’re falling apart and they have a wedding coming up very soon.

Maybe it’d be a mercy to be ended —
A broad hand gripped my face — gently enough not to hurt, but hard enough to make me look at him. “Don’t you ever think that,” Rhysand hissed, his eyes livid. “Not for one damned moment.

I have to admit, even though I was all about Feyre and Tamlin in book one, I found myself dreading the wedding. Much as Feyre was in this book actually. Lucky for me, Rhys crashed the wedding and sought to cash in on the deal that was made between him and Feyre in book one. Ca CHING.

This book is really just about Feyre meeting and learning about Rhys and all the people in his life. It also happens to be about her finding HERSELF and discovering parts of her that some people meant to keep locked away so that she would remain dependent, mortal, and helpless.

And THAT, my dear friends, is where things get interesting.

I don’t think anyone counted on just how powerful Feyre is. They put a dragon in a birdcage and walked away as if nothing would happen. But BOY DID SOMETHING HAPPEN.

I just have to say, at this point, I am 100% team Rhys.
Taken from my notes whilst reading this book: “Respectfully, Tamlin can go f**k himself. Minus the respectfully.”

So, ok, yes… there’s a bit of a love triangle. But also, not really. The way it’s handled not only by the author but also by the characters is SO GOOD. It makes me love Rhys even more. Towards the end of the book I was literally in tears. Just sobbing into my book over the things that were being said and revealed and UGHHH I just FELT all the things. (Page 517-528… omg just… the feels.)

… “And yet I found myself deciding that if you took his hand I would find a way to live with it. It would be your choice.”
I sipped from my wine. “And if he had grabbed me?”
There was nothing but uncompromising will in his eyes. “Then I would have torn apart the world to get you back.”

Also, without spoiling too much, I really am still rooting for Tamlin not being a bad guy. He goes into some things with some people but I’m still over here rooting! Just not for him and Feyre. That era has ended.

Love — love was a balm as much as it was a poison.

This series just continues to be amazing and I’m here for it. I spent all night into the wee house of the morning of EASTER reading this book and I was quite literally a zombie while I was hiding eggs. I will continue to make terrible sleep choices until this entire series has been consumed. Bet.