Audiobook Review – Small Favors


There was so much I liked about this book! It’s set in Amity Falls, a small-town of ambiguous timeline or country, though I would roughly call it 1800s pioneer-like, that has a history of monsters in the woods.

If you have ever seen M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village – it feels a LOT like that. People start seeing things in the woods, and disturbing things start to crop up (mutated animals, blighted crops, unexplained occurrences.)

And then of course the main character, Ellery, also starts to fall for a handsome young man that is new to the town (although I will say the romance is very light). The writing is beautiful as the tension steadily rises throughout, putting the slow in slow burn.

But for all that build up, I have to say, I thought we stumbled a little at the end, and the ending was neither was explosive nor as satisfying as I was hoping. Also, Sam just about drove me mad. Still, I liked Ellery and Whittaker, and I’ve now put another one of Erin A. Craig’s on my TBR, so I’d totally recommend for anyone looking for slow-build, creepy paranormal.

⭐⭐⭐⭐¼

Thumbs up for this one! Definitely enjoyed the read!

Thanks for reading!

Audiobook Review – The Rose Code


I’m a big fan of Ken Follett historical fiction and WWII novels, so I can’t help but feel like this book should’ve held my attention more than it did.

It details three women who go to work as codebreakers in Bletchley Park in England in WWII. The story is spliced between them during their time at Bletchley, and them a few years after the War ended… in which they are rather miserable.

Initially the work is freeing for them, each in their own way, and they become close friends. However, as they go on, the story really goes into the sacrifices they have to make to keep their secrets… which ends up tearing them apart and leaving them all with their own invisible wounds.

While the book ends on a positive note, I still thought it was kind of a downer. Specifically there’s an event that happens in the middle that I really just couldn’t get over. (Feel free to Twitter DM me if you want the full rant.)

The author’s notes at the end of where the direct inspiration came from was super interesting, but overall, I thought the book was a bit too long and too slow for my taste. But if you want heavily researched historical fiction about the women of Bletchley Park, than I recommend you give it a look!

Watch out for about the 60% mark though… it’s a doozy.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

My sad, pouty face at 60%. If you know, you know.

Thanks for reading!

Audiobook Review – The Night She Disappeared


The Night She Disappears follows three POVs: Tallulah (a 19yo mother, who mysteriously goes missing along with her boyfriend), her mother, and a mystery novelist who’s just moved to the area.

While the premise was interesting—couple disappears with out a trace—and there were a few little twists and turns I didn’t expect, I had a hard time falling in love with the characters. Particularly, I found Tallulah’s passiveness rather frustrating, and overall I found the tension just a little low. I’m not sure if that’s because it seemed overlong, or because the sense of danger wasn’t really there.

If you’re looking for a solid mystery in the English countryside that takes it time, it might be worth a look.

⭐⭐⭐½

Hmm… do I fear a reading slump coming on?! Surely not!

Thanks for reading!

Audiobook Review – A Deadly Education


Okay… this book was interesting. I loved Uprooted, and also enjoyed Spinning Silver, so I was certainly excited to read another by Novik.

And, I definitely think some readers would love it. But it’s told in first person (which usually I don’t mind one away or another about this), but about 60% of the book really just feels like El telling us about the school in a simultaneously angry and matter-of-fact manner.

The school and the magic system are fascinating, don’t get me wrong, but… the plot itself and the characters both felt rather lacking to me. With such high stakes, the premise felt RIPE for intensity, danger, and some level of angst… but El is so matter-of-fact about everything, it just felt a little flat.

While the relationship between her and her classmates develops naturally, the relationship between she and Orion feels decidedly lukewarm, as does my feelings towards their characters in general.

The premise was awesome, the world-building fantastic and the audiobook was well-performed, but I guess El’s intensely pragmatic narrative just didn’t really work for me. But it might work for you! If you’re interested in a dark school of magic with high stakes, I’d check it out!

I might pick up the sequel if I see the audiobook in the library one day, but I don’t think I’ll be pining for it.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Read on, my friends!

Thanks for reading!

Audiobook Review – If I Never Met You


So, I was expecting a fun romcom about fake dating, and I don’t think this book was exactly what I was looking for. If I Never Met You follows Laurie after her boyfriend (an coworker) of 18 years breaks up with her for someone else, and she decides to fake date the office player to make him jealous. The love interest doesn’t really show up until like 30% in, and the book mostly focuses on the Laurie getting over her 18-year-long relationship, rather than really falling for her fake-boyfriend. Though I liked the two main characters well enough, their relationship feels extremely platonic, and then suddenly at the very end it’s super serious. It held my attention though, so if you’re looking for a tale of break-up recovery and friendship with a sprinkle of romance, this might be for you. Oh also, for those curious: I’d rate it R for language, but the romance scenes are fade to black.

⭐⭐⭐¾

Bring us your silly, tropey goodness!

Thanks for reading!

Audiobook Review – The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo


I picked this audiobook up from the library, and I have to say, it was not what I was expecting. The premise is fairly simple: an aging mega superstar (Evelyn Hugo) with seven late ex-husbands calls up a journalist a little out of the blue in order to write her biography in the time she has left.

So, it’s essentially a story within a story, as the journalist manages her own career and deals with impending divorce, while trying to puzzle out why Evelyn Hugo chose her, and also learning from the powerful woman.

Evelyn Hugo, in turn, spills the secrets of her life. She does not flinch away from her flaws and is unapologetic as she details her choices. She is a woman that did what was necessary to get what she wanted and succeeded.

This book is about the nuances of passion, friendship, and relationships. It’s about the choices we make, regret, and how we value ourselves.

Once again, Reid’s writing pulled me in, making me nearly forget this was fiction. And in that vein, I want to be very clear that this is NOT a romance, and happily-ever-after’s are hard to find here. It is a story that once again seems to fit somewhere between drama and literary and will leave you with a bittersweet aftertaste.

I don’t know if I’d watch the movie, but if you’re looking for an engrossing, complex story, then this is definitely worth the read.

⭐⭐⭐⭐3⁄4

Now, enough of the heavy reads. For the love of god, someone recommend a fun romcom.

Thanks for reading!

Audiobook Review – Rock Paper Scissors


Okay, you got me. I was totally prepared for a twist, but I still didn’t guess it! Love it when that happens. Still, this book leaves a strange aftertaste. The premise follows a couple with a strained relationship that’s won a free vacation in a creepy, restored chapel in the Scottish highlands and are using the getaway to try to put their relationship back together before it ends in divorce.

Meanwhile, we get their history through a series of letters written on every anniversary. We also get the POV of a third player at work here, who has unknown intentions for the couple.

It is really hard to review this one without giving anything away, but suffice to say, all the characters have secrets, and at the end, I’m pretty sure I don’t like any of them. 😂  Still, I enjoyed the ride, and would recommend to anyone looking for a fast-paced suspense. However, I will say, if you already know the twist, I don’t think it would be nearly as fun.

⭐⭐⭐⭐1⁄4

Gotta love a book that keeps you guessing!

Thanks for reading!

Audiobook Review – The Lincoln Highway


Okay, I’ll admit, this book baffles me. I loved A Gentleman in Moscow, so I picked up this audiobook from the library. From the outset, Emmett has just been released after serving time in a juvenile work farm, and he and his young brother, Billy plan to follow their mother’s route on the Lincoln’s Highway to California for a new start. (spoiler: although many words are dedicated to this plan throughout the book, it never happens, which feels really… unsatisfying to me.)

Then two of Emmett’s friends (Duchess & Wooley) show up with a wild-haired plan to go (essentially) steal some money. And I think your enjoyment of this book will somewhat depend on how much you want to strangle Duchess from the moment you set eyes on him.

The book is told from many perspectives, and while their journey/adventure is interesting, I feel like there were so many plot threads that were left unresolved (especially Sally’s. Like what?!), and ultimately the ending left me strangely unsatisfied, and just kind of… baffled.

Beautiful writing, interesting characters, a winding journey, and some strangeness. A lot of people loved this book, so it might be for you, but not really for me.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Here’s a little bird on my mother’s hat to lighten thing’s up amidst this heavy streak.

Thanks for reading!

Audiobook Review – Cloud Cuckoo Land


I remember really enjoying All the Light We Cannot See, so when I saw this audiobook at the library I was curious to see what this was all about it. Although I haven’t read it, this book did remind me greatly of the movie, Cloud Atlas. It essentially follows a story’s journey and the people who love it and try to save/preserve it, from the 1500s Constantinople to an interstellar ship in the nearish future.

This is another one in which 90% of the book is rather depressing until you reach the hopeful payoff in the end, and you wonder if it was all worth it. Each of the characters live intensely rough lives, and they look to the ancient story, Cloud Cuckoo Land, as a symbol of hope and escape that they cherish and must work hard to pass on to future generations. The idea is sweet, but I found this book to be another difficult read from an emotional standpoint. The payoff at the end though was excellent, and honestly I found the author’s historical inspirations to be super interesting.

Some of you will no doubt adore this book, and while it was a bit heavy for me, I’m glad I took the journey.

⭐⭐⭐⭐½ 

What is it with all these heavy books recently!?

Thanks for reading!

Audiobook Review – Malibu Rising


I picked this book from the library, in that random way that I do, without knowing what it was about or what to expect. And, I still don’t really know what to think about it. The story follows four siblings, the children of an absent ultra-famous singer, as they prepare to host their annual, infamous celebrity party in Malibu in the 80s. Interspliced with their story, we also get the history of their mother and father’s story, from their beginnings to present day.

The four siblings really drew me in with their nuanced, fully-fleshed personalities, and also the intense bond between them, forged through a difficult childhood with the abandonment from their famous a-hole father, and their loving but despondent and alcoholic mother. The writing is beautiful, and the story feels so real, you get the urge to google if Mick Reva is a real person, just in case.

However, on the whole, I found this story, for the most part, rather depressing. Both in the family’s story and the nostalgic description of Malibu’s changes. There were a few things that I didn’t quite buy, and honestly I did think about DNF’ing around the 60% mark, just because I don’t tend to go for heavy books that leave you down.

Still, the pay off and catharsis at the end was almost worth it,  I did enjoy the over the top shenanigans of the Reva children’s party, and they do get a relatively happy ending, even though, after several weeks distance, I still think of it as a heavy read.

Recommended if you’re in the mood for a middling to heavy read somewhere in between the spectrums of drama and literary. Some of you will definitely love it.

⭐⭐⭐⭐½ 

And… also kind of makes you want to get out and go surfing.

Thanks for reading!