Okay, I really liked this one, and I cannot believe this book isn’t more popular! This is one of those books, I didn’t know I was looking for, and now I need more of them. Like immediately.
Daisies for Innocence follows an aromatherapist as she navigates her flourishing (pun intended) business and life in a small town post-divorce. Which all gets more complicated when her employee and ex-husband’s girlfriend ends up dead on her doorstep.
This book has HUGE cozy mystery vibes, with a mystical feel added thanks to Ellie’s heightened powers of scent & emotion. The olfactory sensation of this book made this such a unique read, and Ellie was an easy character to connect with. Add to that a sweet, budding romance, and this one totally hits the spot.
If you’re looking for a fun, sweet, quick read for the holidays, Definitely check this one out. The audiobook was wonderfully narrated as well, and I can’t wait to listen to the sequels!
What the Knocker-Upper Woke Up combines the darkness of both the modern era and times past into an atmospheric paranormal. The story starts in Victorian-era London as it follows a few characters who stumble upon the darkness awaiting in a derelict mental asylum. Fast forward to present day, and the evil of the place continues to cause trouble for the characters of the present.
The writing style here is both rich and evocative in describing the creepiness of the Sideways and its inhabitants. Tess and the other characters are likable and easy to root for, but I did feel like this one was a bit slower to develop. (However, as I usually prefer breakneck pace, I think this is definitely a personal preference. 😂) The ending was unexpected though, and I thought it perfectly wrapped up this spooky paranormal. Recommended for fans of unique, well-written YA paranormal.
Okay, when I say slowburn, I mean this book is SLOWBURN. Dibs follows Olivia 6 months after a rattling divorce as she goes on a work training trip notorious for hook-ups. Enter Adam, the incredibly attractive guy that her roommate has called dibs on, but who seems much more interested in Olivia.
But after Olivia’s divorce, she’s understandably loathe to trust again, and Adam is reeling from his own personal trials. Both of the characters are likable and definitely have the kind of chemistry that makes you hardcore want to will them together immediately. The slowburn is thick with tension, and ultimately leads to a satisfying ending, but there were times I found Olivia’s self-doubt and their interactions just a little repetitive.
Overall though, a solid romantic read that walks the line of steam, and one I would definitely recommend to fans of slow burn contemporary romances.
I was definitely in the mood for a dark thriller, when Netgalley sent me an email with this audiobook ARC. What Lies in the Woods follows Naomi when she returns to her childhood town where she was the victim of an attempted murder that put a serial killer behind bars.
The tension and dark atmosphere is thick right from the beginning and definitely drew me in with the obvious mysteries lurking in Naomi’s story. However, I didn’t really find Naomi to be a compelling character – she’s super self-destructive and honestly just frustrating sometimes – and I had trouble to connecting to her. Mostly I got annoyed when she kept actually saying out loud “I know I should go to the police BUT…” or “I know I should do the logical thing BUT…”
However, I found the mysteries here to be really satisfying, and there were definitely some twists and turns along the way that I didn’t expect (and some I did). I wish the ending had been a touch more uplifting and less open-ended, but overall I enjoyed the read (and the narration was fantastic) and would recommend to those looking for a dark thriller with few gratifying surprises.
Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC! What Lies in the Woods comes out today!
So Netgalley dropped two thrillers in my inbox on the same happy day, and while I was certainly in the mood for a thriller, this wasn’t my favorite of the two. All the Dangerous Things follows a sleep-deprived mother a year after her son has gone missing as she (understandably) is still obsessing over the very-cold case. The narrative is also interspliced with relevant scenes from Isabelle’s childhood as well as how she and her estranged husband first came together.
First, I found this novel to be rather slow (though disclaimer: I prefer a breakneck pace, so please keep that in mind). With no leads and not a whole lot of urgency, I found the tension hard to feel for most of this book. Not to mention, Isabelle is NOT a good person, so I found her hard to relate to as a character. Even as the story took some interesting twists and turns, I feel like she had a very detached reaction to them. While the books ends on a nice up-note, it still felt like some very messy things were put away a little too cleanly, and I wish we’d gotten some more depth from the supporting characters.
However, if you like psychological thrillers that take their time, this book is well-written and well-narrated with plenty of dark atmosphere and a karmic ending. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC! All the Dangerous Things comes out today!
The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett follows an octogenarian who has had ENOUGH of life. Largely cut off from the world, and very much unimpressed with it, she’s ready to take matters into her own hands when she gets 10-year-old Rose as a neighbor… and new BFF. Their relationship and banter absolutely made this book, and overall I found their narrative to be a very relaxing, wholesome story about life in your last decades, the choices we make, and redemption.
Interspersed with their story, we also get Eudora’s montage of memories of what her life has been like – from her childhood in the midst of WWII London through the present day. And honestly, that was… kind of a downer. While it makes you totally get why Eudora has cut herself off from the world, there were choices she made that were a bit frustrating, and honestly I wish she had at least some happy memories interspersed in there to balance it out and really make her life more “brilliant” rather than depressing.
But that aside, I found this a quick, refreshing read, and really enjoyed Eudora’s proper and unapologetic take on things, especially in contrast to those around her. Recommended for those looking for a thoughtful but fun reflection on life, death, and our connections to those around us.
I absolutely love when a book delivers on its premise, and this one is right on the money! We Could be Villains follows Rosemary, a huge Vigil & Ante (read: Marvel-esque) fangirl as she stumbles into the high-stakes reality behind her favorite movies. With her difficult home-life, cinematic passion, and quirky tagalong co-worker, Rosemary is definitely a character that you can connect with almost immediately, and it’s so fun to follow both her excitement and fear as she navigates the new and dangerous world of undercover superheroes. It was really interesting to see the Vigil & Ante world unfold before her, along with some twists that definitely caught me by surprise.
Interspliced with her narrative is an interrogation of Ironfall, the smooth villain of Vigil & Ante and Rosemary’s blackmailer. I absolutely loved seeing the contrast between his take on events and Rosemary, and the chemistry between them is intense! Let’s just say I’m a big Ironfall fan. The promise of a enemies-to-lovers romance is THICK and definitely has me checking for the release date of the sequel!
Definitely recommend for any superhero fans looking for a fast-paced romp through a world that you’ll definitely will want to jump into for yourself!
This book had so many elements that I enjoyed. The Italian vibes, the creepy darkness of the prose, and a plot of murder, princes of hell, and witches. I was totally on board. But, the MC, Emilia, kind of ruined it for me. Oh boy. Seriously, I could not Even with her. Though the audiobook was beautifully narrated, there were a couple times I had to pause it because Emilia was killing me. Again. The mental gymnastics she goes through to repeatedly end up at the wrong conclusion was exhausting, and her treatment of Wrath (who saved her life way too many times to count) was not cool. Seriously, run, Wrath. I’m sure there have to be other witch fish in the sea. So, great premise, great writing, but a nonsensical MC I really couldn’t find redeemable. But! That’s just my opinion, so if you’re into dark fantasy with strong Italian flavor, maybe give it a look!
The Travelling Cat Chronicles was an unexpected gem. Told from a cat’s perspective, the story follows a sardonic stray (Nana) as he is adopted by a Satoru, a kind, optimistic cat-person with a somewhat tragic backstory. The main meat of the plot follows Satoru as he visits his friends across Japan trying to find a place for Nana to stay.
And it is just incredibly poignant, thoughtful, funny-in-turns, and in the end completely satisfying. The themes of friendship, the journey of life, and closure are so well delivered here, but in such a flowing, peaceful fashion, punctuated by amusing commentary from the sarcastic cat (especially in contrast with his benevolent owner.)
This is one that’s hard to give justice through a review so you really just have to go read it (or listen to it, because the audiobook is narrated fantastically). Definitely one of my favorite books of 2022, and I’m absolutely adding it to my list of books that I shall now go recommend to everyone and their grandmother. A truly beautiful novel. Don’t miss this one.
Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant follows a research vessel and the many characters upon it as they go out to investigate the disappearance of another entertainment vessel whose crew was… well… eaten by mermaids.
And I really enjoyed the first third of this book. The characters are varied and interesting, and as they’re battling their demons and beginning to set off it really gives off Jaws like vibes. We are going to hunt a monster… and we are both excited and kind of scared, but it’s okay because we’re prepared for anything, right? …right?!?
Should’ve brought a bigger boat.
But as stuff starts going down, people are dying and blood is washing the deck, I didn’t feel the rise in tension that I felt like I should have. Mostly because the characters are surprisingly …okay with it? They’re kind of like “oh well, we knew people would die, but we have TO DO THE SCIENCE!” I really felt like there would be more people storming the cockpit to get them turned around. So, I felt like the middle got a little mushy for me and the reveal/climax at the end felt a little underwhelming.
This book had all the capacity to read as a stand-alone (while still part of a larger series), but rather, it feels like it got stretched a little too thin and then just kind of ended. Still! While I don’t think I’ll be picking up the sequel, if you like mermaids that eat people and interesting characters, I recommend giving this a look (or a listen because the audiobook narration is fantastic.)