Okay… this review is going to be a little different than the one I posted on Goodreads, because honestly, I’m still mad about the ending. While what I wrote on Goodreads still stands… I’m going to add a little extra because I just need to vent (but I’ll still refrain from spoilers). So here’s my Goodreads review:
A wonderful historical fiction of the forgers in the French resistance in World War II. I loved the characters, their romance, and their story but this definitely left me feeling heavy (which I suppose should be expected from a WWII novel). I picked up the audiobook from the library, and the narrator did a wonderful job with the accents. Although I think the ending technically would be classified as a happy ending, it was super bittersweet, and I still felt really sad for the MCs. I just loved them so much, I was really hoping for more for them. 😭 (No actual tears shed, but definitely a sigh.) Now I need to go listen to something happy. 😭
Okay… now here are my thoughts after stewing over it for a few days. Did I say bittersweet? I meant BITTERsweet. I mean, I did love like 95% of this book… but the whole time, I was basically twisting myself into a knot, saying: This BETTER have a happy ending. They can NOT just build me up like this. There has to be some kind of twist. Etc. Etc. Etc. And then the ending came and… it just wasn’t enough. The near-misses almost seem cruel, and with so much other sad stuff that happens in the book, we couldn’t just have one wonderful thing to hold onto?! I was talking to one of my other author friends… and basically I’m still not over it. If you’re into bittersweet… sure, give it a shot. Or, just stop at the 95% mark and make up your own ending.
This was definitely an unexpected read! Neha’s Mother follows a single father as horrific, paranormal things start to occur in and around his young daughter. This book does NOT hesitate to jump right into the demonic, creepy possessed child thing right from the start. And from there, the demonic possessions continue at a pretty intense rate. This book definitely nailed the tension and gore-filled terror of the demonic onslaught, and I loved that it didn’t pull punches in intensity or pace.
While the writing flowed really smoothly, I did have a hard time connecting with the characters. The story fluidly jumps from one to the other, including some lengthy flashbacks, but I didn’t feel like any of them, particularly the MC, were really likeable, and the MC’s complex relationship with Lakshmy was a little tough for me to follow.
This books is definitely rated R for violence/murder, gore, sex, and extensive profanity, and I’d also throw in a trigger warning for references to kidnapping, prostitution, and pedophilia. I’m not sure this book was really for me, but if you’re interested in dark, gory horror that leans heavily on the demonic and spiritual, then you might want to give it a look!
Thanks so much to Hellbound Books for the free ARC!
Well… that did not go as expected. 😂 Which… in itself is always kind of cool, right? It’s fun to go into unexpected territory… but I don’t feel like As Good As Dead quite pulled it off.
I will do my very best not to give away any spoilers… however it may come off like Joey Tribbiani talking in “code” about The Shining. You have been warned.
So at the start of Book 3, Pip is reeling from the events of Book 2 and is NOT in a good place. She falls into another investigation, intricately connected with the last two… and you will probably be able to guess the murderer almost immediately. She and Ravi are still going strong, but… their relationship still feels lukewarm/platonic to me (which is consistent from book 1 & 2), but I felt like it affected this book more.
Up until the 50% mark, this book is a perfect continuation of book 2, and I absolutely devoured it, sitting on my couch just reading the day away. And then… we hit 50%, and we pretty much went off the rails into the deep end. I probably would’ve been okay with the events, if I didn’t feel like they were just two extreme to be plausible for the two MCs. I understand that this had been heavily foreshadowed for Pip, so I’ll give her a maybe, but Ravi?! No. Way. Not buying it. And I honestly can’t believe Pip called him in the first place.
And all I can say is that if Pip was messed up after the events of Book 2, she will be ROYALLY messed up after Book 3 (as will Ravi, thanks for that, Pip), and I felt like the conclusion tried to gloss over that. Like everything has been righted in the world… and it just felt rather weird and off to me. Even the day after, I’m still wondering: Um… what exactly is the morale of this story again? 😂
So… while an interesting and unexpected conclusion to the awesomeness of Books 1 and 2, based on the darkness level, I’m not sure I would recommend this to younger YA readers. Honestly, it’s definitely worth reading just to discuss, but your satisfaction will 100% depend on if you buy that mid-book plot twist. Still, Holly Jackson’s ability to weave an engrossing story is undeniable, and I’ll definitely still read more from her in the future.
Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publisher for the free ARC! As Good as Dead launches on 28 Sep!
Loved the first book, and the second did NOT disappoint. Once again, I listened to the audiobook, and for the most point (with the exception of Ravi’s voice which was a bit annoying) I thought the cast did a wonderful job bringing the story to life.
The story follows Pip as she falls into another investigation, and also as she deals with the fallout of the last book. This book definitely takes Pip down into darker territory, and the storyline felt so relevant and true-to-life, while maintain the tension of the first book. While I had the suspects narrowed down, the climactic reveal definitely still surprised me! The only thing that felt a little flat for me was Ravi and Pip’s interactions. I wish there was more depth to their relationship, and as much as I *love* a good romantic subplot, this one felt like it was missing something. Maybe it’s because they almost feel platonic? But that could just be me.
While this book is very similar to the first in its podcast-like narrative, it builds on and evolves from the first book, really showing the ripples effects of these intense events. This is definitely Not a stand-alone, and while it technically wraps up this mystery, it will leave you clawing for the next one. Highly, highly recommend to all fans of YA or mystery.
I really can’t get enough of Nick and Kate—the smooth conman and intense FBI agent. I love how through the books, they are ever so slowly drawing closer together, their comfort level increasingly growing, and even their attitudes leaning toward one another. The capers are always fun, the banter sharp, and it’s always good to see the recurring side characters staying on their entertaining different brands. I will say, the books are starting to become a bit formulaic… the ending of this one was almost exactly the same as book one, which was a little disappointing. But I totally plan to listen to the books 4 and 5 (the last two written by both Evanovich and Goldberg.) After all, who doesn’t love good clean fun?! I’m definitely along for the ride!
The Interstellar Slayer is a fun science fantasy adventure that takes us into a thoroughly interesting and detailed universe. In a way it reminded me a lot of The Mandalorian in the way that the story follows this rather taciturn assassin as he navigates through this rich new universe on a mission from his guild. There’s plenty of action to show off his interesting, magic-like abilities that make him so effectively deadly, and we also got a glimpse of some colorful side characters and lore which I’m sure get more facetime in future books.
Honestly, the only criticism I have this book is that it packs of lot of info into such a short book, and we didn’t get to know the characters as much as I would’ve liked. But with lots of sequels to follow, there’s still so much to explore and see through Hozark’s adventures. Definitely recommend for anyone looking for a fun new space-fantasy world to explore with a fresh new magic system and lots of action. Thanks so much to Booksirens for the free ARC!
Darling there are Wolves in the Woods by LV Russell follows Teya as she enters an enchanted, dark wood to find her sister who was stolen by the fey ten years past. As she struggles to survive the horrors of the wood, the complex fey, Lathaniel, become inextricably entwined with her journey.
I really loved the writing style of this book. The descriptions were incredibly evocative and painted such a vivid picture of the darkly magical wood. I also super loved just how dark this fairytale-like story was. It was just the right amount of creepy and disturbing without feeling like anything was added for shock value or out of place. Even though the woods are obviously a death trap you wouldn’t want to find yourself in, they sounded so beautiful, I could see how they would draw someone in. And I loved all the interesting descriptions of the dark magic that exists in this world.
I found Lathaniel to be a very interesting, complicated character… which, after countless years as a fey, a cruel race, and with his a thorny past, makes a lot of sense. Even though he’s very forward about his flaws and is dangerous in so many ways, I can see how Teya would be drawn to him. Teya though, was a bit frustrating to me. Teya has definitely had it rough too in life, but I found her to be rather mercurial in her relationship with Lathaniel, and I had trouble understanding her motivation for some of her choices. But I was definitely still rooting for her, and since there are sequels there’s still a lot of room for growth.
Totally recommend to anyone looking for a unique, dark fairytale with complex characters and beautiful writing.
Suffer Little Children by Freda Hansburg starts out as Robin begins a new job opportunity in cancer research, and struggles with her relationship with her boyfriend Ben over his unruly children, Amber and Jaden. Enter Gloria, a concerned friend of Ben’s trying to get her son into the cancer research study.
I had trouble starting this one, because Amber (one of the POVs) and Ben really grated on my nerves. Which is pretty much how Robin feels too though, so it’s easy to connect with her. The plot thickens as Gloria, an incredibly well-spun character, goes from irritating to unhinged, and the last half is quite engrossing as the characters’ lives start to unravel. As the twists are thrown at them (which were definitely surprising), Robin and Amber both evolve in satisfying ways, ending in a well-executed conclusion. I was a little thrown off by the prologue, which I thought was unnecessarily spoilery, but I would still recommend to anyone looking for a satisfying psychological thriller! Thanks so much to the author for the free copy in exchange for my honest review.
A Storm of Silver and Ash follows a young thief as she gets caught up in an assassination plot. Written in first person, Storm’s voice and personality pops off the page, and I really enjoyed the world building of the underworld guilds and the lore of the elves. I did think Storm’s light/young tone seemed a bit at odds with her image as an intimidating master thief and killer, but I’m not a huge fan of this style of first person that breaks the fourth wall, so this could just be me! Although there’s no romance in this story, I can see the outlines of the relationships that could be developed in the future sequels. Overall, a solid fantasy recommended for fans of voicey YA fantasy!
Another fabulous impulse check out audiobook from the library! Still reeling from her fiancé’s suicide ten months ago, Anna takes off in his sailboat on a trip they were supposed to take together, and quickly realizes she’s going to need a guide. Enter the handsome Irishman, Keane, who’s still recovering from his own loss.
This is the perfect beach read. Beautiful storytelling, gorgeous imagery of sailing the Caribbean, a lovely romance, and a powerful message about healing. Although I found Anna irritating at some junctures, and I felt like the ending was a little rushed, overall I absolutely Loved listening to this story. The narrator really brought the characters to life, and I would Definitely be on the lookout for more books by Trish Doller. Totally recommend for anyone looking for a beautifully told story of healing, love, and running away to the gorgeous Caribbean.