Death (C.M. Radcliff)

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Surrounded by violence and hatred, I was born with a target on my back.
The monsters sought after me, slowly tainting my soul.
A person can only withstand so much before they snap.
I’m a grenade and they pulled the pin.
Tick, tock; the clock’s running out.

We all come into this world, sentenced to death.
And when he calls, we have to answer.

As for me, I’ll be making the calls.
I am Death.


Death was not my typical read (I have to throw that out there right now) but I do have to say: once I started reading it, I had a hard time putting it down. I think since reading the first set of books from C.M. Radcliff that I had read, her writing (especially for this genre) has improved immensely! That’s always a plus for me. Growth.

The story itself was quick paced and sharp. It was told in past and present POV and in my opinion, that fit this story and Curtis perfectly. Especially the way that he tells his story. I liked that he told it in a way that didn’t make us wonder what made him the way he was, no holds bar. AND! adding in the reporter’s POV was a nice touch as well.

Not having a HEA was my fave thing about this book. Curtis didn’t deserve it. No matter how much I wanted to think that he did, I couldn’t bring myself to root for him. Life handed him a shitty hand, true, but he chose to be a product of his past. He had choices– he chose the wrong one.

If you like to dip into the dark genre and like to have a quick paced read, I think Death would be a good one for you. It doesn’t consume too much of your time and I think the elements inside of the story make it readable in one sitting. At times it’s gritty, cringe-y, and hard to read but I think it’s what made the story what it was as a whole.

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Fangirl (Rainbow Rowell)

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Buy link: https://amzn.to/2lyfPm7

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan..

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?


“I’m rooting for you.”

I am not a huge YA reader, not because I dislike them or have some type of prejudice against them but just because they aren’t typically the genre I like to pick up and read first. But I think Rainbow Rowell has a way with words that most YA authors do not have. I think she writes in a way that most YA authors don’t. And for that reason every time I read one of her books, I fall in love with YA genre one book at a time all over again.

I loved the characters in this one. If I were to pick one favorite part of this story, it would be all of them. All of the characters. I am not picking just one. From Cath’s quirks, to Levi’s heart, to Reagan’s friendship development, to Wren’s journey, to their father’s endeavors and adjusting: I loved it all.I do not have one single person who was my favorite. And that is the great thing about Rainbow’s books. They include not one but multiple people who ultimately find their way into your heart.

I think I will keep this review short and sweet and end with: Fangirl was an absolute joy to read. It was refreshing to pick up a genre that I do not typically read and fall in love with reading all over again. I mean, isn’t that why we as readers read in the first place?

Teofila’s Guide to Saving the Sun (Cynthia A. Rodriguez)

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We’re all saving somebody.

Since the day she met Elijah, Teófila’s been the one being saved. 

The girl whose darkest shadows live inside her head and the boy who hides his own with a smile and a song.

But after a terrifying encounter precedes his skyrocket to fame and fortune, the tables turn.

And while attempting to forget his close call with another life—
another end
—he loses his way back to her.

Now, years later, it’s Teófila’s turn to do the rescuing, even after he’s left her behind. 

We’re all saving somebody, but what if we can hardly save ourselves?

What happens when best friends become forgotten lovers?

Or when it’s the moon’s turn to light the sun?


When I picked up this book, I had no idea what to expect. The title threw me for a loop and I had ZERO idea where Cynthia was going to take this one. But once I started reading, everything kind of just fell into place. The title meaning, the story meaning, the characters, all of it. It was a fantastic journey.

I think my most favorite part of this book was watching Teofila and Elijah grow and evolve over the years. They took turns. While one went through something, the other was there to help and vice versa. I think the balance of it all was executed nicely. Not only that, bu the time span of this book is 20 years. Not many people can pull this off in one book, but Cynthia does an incredible job of making it all flow together nicely.

This book contains some of Cynthia’s best writing. To date. It was sharp and articulate. It was delicate and all engaging. No line was left untouched. Every line I read packed a ton of feeling. Whether it was short or long, the words in this book will hit someone in all the right places. 

If you are looking for:
Two unforgettable characters.
One unforgettable story line.
A best friend that is a true ride or die for Teofila.
 (I freaking LOVED Miley)
A book full of self-discovery, love, second chances, and hope.

Look no further– I think Teofila’s Guide to Saving the Sun is just the book for you. I know it was just the book for me.

A Nearly Normal Family (M.T. Edvardsson)

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Buy link: https://amzn.to/2S9pcoj

Eighteen-year-old Stella Sandell stands accused of the brutal murder of a man almost fifteen years her senior. She is an ordinary teenager from an upstanding local family. What reason could she have to know a shady businessman, let alone to kill him?

Stella’s father, a pastor, and mother, a criminal defense attorney, find their moral compasses tested as they defend their daughter, while struggling to understand why she is a suspect. Told in an unusual three-part structure, A Nearly Normal Family asks the questions: How well do you know your own children? How far would you go to protect them?


“I’ll never understand people who open up like shaken champagne bottles.”

A Nearly Normal Family was easily one of the best thrillers that I have read this year. It seemed like when I first started it, that it would be a long and tedious read but once I got started it really didn’t feel like that. It flowed together very nicely.

I thought that the writing was smooth and the pacing was nice. The two of them combined was refreshing. With me saying that– I enjoyed the twists that were strategically placed throughout and the execution of them. I think the story structure and the writing helped a lot with that.

I also really loved the concept and multiple POVs that we received throughout the book. Stella’s POV was some of my favorite parts of this one. I think that what the others lacked, Stella’s really picked up on. It was all very crucial to the story.

At times this one was a tad predictable, but all in all I really enjoyed the book as a whole. The characters were questionable as was the plot at times but that didn’t slow me down one bit.

The Wives (Tarryn Fisher)

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Pre-order link: https://amzn.to/2JmknFx

Imagine that your husband has two other wives.

You’ve never met the other wives. None of you know each other, and because of this unconventional arrangement, you can see your husband only one day a week. But you love him so much you don’t care. Or at least that’s what you’ve told yourself.

But one day, while you’re doing laundry, you find a scrap of paper in his pocket—an appointment reminder for a woman named Hannah, and you just know it’s another of the wives.

You thought you were fine with your arrangement, but you can’t help yourself: you track her down, and, under false pretenses, you strike up a friendship. Hannah has no idea who you really are. Then, Hannah starts showing up to your coffee dates with telltale bruises, and you realize she’s being abused by her husband. Who, of course, is also your husband. But you’ve never known him to be violent, ever.

Who exactly is your husband, and how far would you go to find the truth? Would you risk your own life?

And who is his mysterious third wife?


After the books I have read of Tarryn’s recently– The Wives was such a huge refresher for me. After being so (not so patiently) waiting and excited to read this one, when it was all said and done I think I was satisfied.

Now please don’t get me wrong: I did struggle with this book. There was some internal dialogue that really droned on and on for me. It got redundant and it got to be very incessant. Especially the first half of the book. I think had Thursday’s internal dialogue not rambled and went on as much as she did, I would have been less distracted and finished the book way sooner than what I did.

Also, someone please explain to me why the hell every one loved Seth so much? I just don’t see it nor do I get it. What made him so special to these three women? Because reading about him did not make him appealing in any way shape or form. Trash.

Other than the internal dialogue at times, I ultimately enjoyed the story and the concept of it and I especially loved Tarryn’s efforts. I felt like she was writing the type of book that she has been wanting to write. Which brings me to my next point: This is the type of writing from Tarryn that I love to read the most. This is what I’m looking to feel every time I open one of her books for the first time. I want to feel HER while I am reading it and The Wives did just that. The jarring writing. The unpredictable plot line. The unreliable narrator (hello Margo!) I felt like I was truly reading some of Tarryn’s great writing again and I loved that.

As with the other reviews that I have read— the ending really lost me. It was like there were still some pages missing. Abrupt. Unfinished. I can really appreciate what Tarryn was trying to pull off with it, but I just wasn’t feeling it.

Despite the droning and somewhat rambling POV from Thursday– it was refreshing to read this type of book from Tarryn, I’d like to do it more often.

 

 

The Chain (Adrian McKinty)

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Pre-order link: https://amzn.to/2XppJss

You just dropped off your child at the bus stop. A panicked stranger calls your phone. Your child has been kidnapped, and the stranger explains that their child has also been kidnapped, by a completely different stranger. The only way to get your child back is to kidnap another child within 24 hours. Your child will be released only when the next victim’s parents kidnap yet another child, and most importantly, the stranger explains, if you don’t kidnap a child, or if the next parents don’t kidnap a child, your child will be murdered. You are now part of The Chain.


“The darkness keeps its own carousel.”

Chances are, you just got a huge amount of anxiety just from reading that blurb. But hey, don’t you worry! Once you start reading the book, you will be consumed with anxiety almost the entire way through! How exciting, right?!

I actually loved it. I loved being on the edge of my seat and watching how things would play out. The Chain was actually very entertaining and fast moving for me. I thought the plot of the entire story as a whole was well executed, both of them! It was the type of book that I was looking for the moment I picked it up.

The story-line was something that I have never read before. It was very original not played out or over-exaggerated. I mean seriously think about it– Victim or abuser? Which one is actually worse? And what if you had to play the role of both? What would you do? Do you even know what you would do? Because I didn’t! I kept trying to put myself in both situations and just couldn’t even fathom. I would much rather just be the observer as a reader, thank you very much!

The story was riveting. The writing was riveting. The plot was riveting. I thought The Chain as a whole was brilliant. Point blank. If you’re looking for a story that will keep your attention, on the edge of your seat, you anxiety cup filled, and still move quick enough to read in one sitting– then The Chain is for you!

Dear Wife (Kimberly Belle)

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Buy link: https://amzn.to/2YkLPsw

Beth Murphy is on the run…

For nearly a year, Beth has been planning for this day. A day some people might call any other Wednesday, but Beth prefers to see it as her new beginning–one with a new look, new name and new city. Beth has given her plan significant thought, because one small slip and her violent husband will find her.

Sabine Hardison is missing…

A couple hundred miles away, Jeffrey returns home from a work trip to find his wife, Sabine, is missing. Wherever she is, she’s taken almost nothing with her. Her abandoned car is the only evidence the police have, and all signs point to foul play.

As the police search for leads, the case becomes more and more convoluted. Sabine’s carefully laid plans for her future indicate trouble at home, and a husband who would be better off with her gone. The detective on the case will stop at nothing to find out what happened and bring this missing woman home. Where is Sabine? And who is Beth? The only thing that’s certain is that someone is lying and the truth won’t stay buried for long.


“People don’t just fall off the face of the planet. They run, they hide or they are taken. I should know, because I am one of them.”

Great twist, great writing, great execution, great everything. This book was just GREAT! LOL! That is what I am tag-lining Dear Wife. GREAT!

Normally books that follow the “mystery/thriller/domestic violence” trope are never really fully developed for my liking, but this one was an exception. I think the prose and presentation of the story-line helped with that. The ole’ bait and switch. It got me! It got me good!

The three different POVs were a great addition to this book! It helped that we had some unreliable narrators and even reliable narrators that added to the story rather than took away from it. Also, I think I was pretty partial to the location and setting of this one. It was awesome to read a book that took place close to where I live also– always fun putting locations in real time. It was very vivid to me the entire time I was reading.

Dear Wife was a great read for any one looking for something quick-paced and not too long. It doesn’t drag out, you don’t really ever lose interest, and I think at the end of the book you will really enjoy the twist and the way the author constructed it! Also– if you’re into reading about domestic violence tropes I think this one will satisfy your liking.