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!

Book Review – Beneath Her Skin


Beneath her Skin by C.S. Porter follows Kes Morris, a hardened homicide detective called to a small seaside town to investigate a disturbing murder. This a fast-paced murder mystery that hits all the right beats. It’s a gripping story, tugging you along as the time clicks down on the clock with an underlying sense of creepiness laced in with every scene.

Kes’s take on getting into the killer’s head is really interesting, and the intensity increases right up to a satisfyingly finale. Although the murders are definitely disturbing, I wouldn’t classify them as exceedingly gory or gritty, which is about right on my level. The descriptions, setting, and atmosphere of a small town living in the shadow of killer were vivid and drew me right in to the scenes. While I couldn’t predict the plot twists, they felt really natural and were well-executed. . Kes is a smart and no-nonsense character, but I wish I’d gotten to see a little more of the side characters.

Overall, this was a quick read that I definitely enjoyed, and would totally recommend to crime thriller fans! (Content Warning: Child Abuse.) Thanks so much to the publisher for the free review copy.

⭐⭐⭐⭐1⁄2

Tula looks satisfied to me, don’t you think?

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 – Betwixt



Okay, continuing my Darynda Jones marathon. I *loved* the first two books of the Sunshine series, I thought the first two books of her Charley Davidson series were okay, so I picked up Betwixt.

This story follows Defiance as she comes in to a rather large inheritance in the town of Salem with lots of paranormal fun involved.

Once again, the author’s strengths shine here with lots of voice, an interesting world and setting, and lots of banter. But… once again the romance veered into insta-love territory that fell a little flat for me (Although I like Roan more than I like Reyes from Charley Davidson).

To add to that, about 70% of this book is someone telling the MC to do something: watch this video, do this other thing, we don’t have a lot of time and you’re in GRAVE danger – to which the MC finds some way to put off said thing she needs to do, OR she keeps getting interrupted by someone knocking on the door. Seriously, someone interrupts her by knocking on the door probably about 10 times! It was driving me insane!

I didn’t think the MC was quite as likeable as Charley or Sunshine, and some of the plotline (mainly not being able to afford the house) seemed a little contrived. And there’s a cliffhanger, which I’m not super a fan of. Overall, while I think the sequel has potential (there was a lot of set-up in this one) I don’t think I’ll be picking it up. However, the writing voice is fun, so if you’re into quirky paranormal, I still recommend you might try it from the library… although I think I’d point you to the author’s other series first.

⭐⭐⭐½

Curl up with the Sunshine Vicram books first!

Thanks for reading!

Audiobook Review – Second Grave on the Left



Second Grave on the Left has most of the charm of the first book: humor, banter, great voice, and the return of our funny, badass grim reaper heroine. But once again we have another rather forgettable “solving a murder” plot and the insta-love romance with the dark & otherworldly Reyes didn’t really grow as much as I would’ve hoped. The additional world building was interesting with Charley’s powers growing, but although I’d say I enjoyed it (once again the audiobook narration is great), I expect the sequel to be more of the same, so I think I’ll probably stop the series here. If you really loved the first one though, I think you’ll also totally be into this one.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Still good, just not as good as some of Jones’s others.

Thanks for reading!

Audiobook Review – First Grave on the Right



I picked this book after falling completely in love with Darynda Jones’s “A Bad Day for Sunshine.” While this one still sparkled with humor, fabulous banter, and a gutsy, kickass heroine, it didn’t quite capture me like Sunshine. I definitely liked the concept: a sassy grim reaper constantly plagued by the dead to solve their problems uses her powers as a private investigator. I loved finding out more about Charley’s powers and the back and forth with her sidekick, Cookie, but the central “solving a murder” plot seemed less memorable and the insta-love romance from a “bad boy” types didn’t really work for me. (Especially they’re initial meet-cute was just super weird to me) Still, the narration of the audiobook was great, and it kept be interested enough to read the sequel, so I’d definitely still recommend for those looking for a fun, voicey paranormal mystery with a side of bad boy insta-love.

⭐⭐⭐⭐½

Another quirky, fun story from Darynda Jones!

Thanks for reading!

Book Review – As Good as Dead (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, #3)


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!

 ⭐⭐⭐1⁄2 

Creepy quote and drawing from Holly Jackson’s As Good as Dead.

Thanks for reading!

Book Review – Good Girl, Bad Blood (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, #2)


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.

 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 

Tula’s giving her best smile for this fabulous YA mystery!

Thanks for reading!

Book Review – One of Us is Next


This is a sequel, so I’ll keep this review short, but while a pleasant enough YA suspense, I didn’t think this one was as good as One of Us is Lying.

One of Us Is Next follows three kids from Bayview high that are loosely related to the kids from the first book. Basically, someone starts mass texting the whole school in a weird truth or dare game that gets out of hand, and the three POVs are scrambling to find out who.

This book hits all the usual notes of a YA mystery, but it felt a little slower paced than McManus’ other books I’ve read. Maybe I came into this book with expectations high after the first one, but the suspense wasn’t as intense as the first book, the reveal seemed a bit expected, and the characters/romances fell a little flat for me. I got the audiobook from the library, and I thought the male voice was a little annoying, which might have contributed to the problem.

I’d probably still recommend this one if you’re a McManus fan, but if there’s a third entry in the series, I’m not sure I’d read it.

⭐⭐⭐¾ 

And don’t listen to weird texts from rando’s! 😆

Thanks for reading!