Fiction/Science Fiction · Thriller/Horror

Pet Sematary – Stephen King

51YOjBvyolL| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis:

The house looked right, felt right, to Dr Louis Creed. Rambling, old, unsmart and comfortable. A place where the family could settle; the children grow and play and explore. The rolling hills and meadows of Maine seemed a world away from the fume-choked dangers of Chicago. Only the occasional big truck out on the two-lane highway, grinding up through the gears, hammering down the long gradients, growled out an intrusive threat.
But behind the house and far away from the road: that was safe. Just a carefully cleared path up into the woods where generations of local children have processed with the solemn innocence of the young, taking with them their dear departed pets for burial. A sad place maybe, but safe. Surely a safe place. Not a place to seep into your dreams, to wake you, sweating with fear and foreboding…

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My thoughts:

“This was actually a lot better than I expected but that ending though. Come on!!”

I’m not easily frightened! Specially not by books but this was really one of those few who made my skin crawl right from the beginning. And it is all due to this skill with taking something real, something you know or could imagine experience and twist it to this ugly, supernatural, frightening thing of reality that just hooks you deep in your soul. And Stephen King has that skill and in The Pet Sematary he excelled.

But however, I have said it before and will say it again, that ramble is my biggest problem with books written by King. He can go on and on about a thing in a middle of a conversation or a suspense filled moment and sometimes it is so extensive that I loose where in the conversation I was or what was happening. It made the suspense simmer down and me come back to reality, which changed the amount of impact it had on me. It doesn’t defined the book and make it a bad one per say and I can honestly say that this is one of the best I have read so far this year. That is just one of the things with King I have a problem with and it takes some of the experience away and in this case, also one star.

Other than that, I enjoyed this immensely and I’m now looking forward to see the new movie who had premier now in April. This was actually a lot better than I expected but that ending though. Come on!!

Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Thriller/Horror

Ritual – Mo Hayder

39784787| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Nine feet under water, police diver Flea Marley closes her gloved fingers around a human hand. The fact that there’s no body attached is disturbing enough—until the discovery of the matching appendage a day later. Both hands have been freshly amputated, and there are indications that the victim was still alive when they were removed.

Newly seconded to the Major Crime Investigation Unit in Bristol, DI Jack Caffery soon establishes that the hands belong to a young man who has recently disappeared. As Caffery and Marley search for the rest of the victim—and for his abductor—they journey into the darkest recesses of Bristol’s underworld, where drug addiction is rife, street kids sell themselves for a hit, and a disturbing occult ritual may be making an unexpected appearance.

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My thoughts:

“… you have lost the touch with Caffery. He is a numb and stiff character, I no longer feel the love toward.”

I’m sorry to say that this is not what you would expect after reading the two home runs before this one. I expected more and not start off with the feeling that I have missed something. The third book about Caffery, did not pick up where the second book ended and that was quite confusing because I did not understand what was going on. And it does take some time before you get to the part which explained it all. Specially since Caffery is the main character but he is written like a sidekick and you follow Flea more or less the whole book.

It is supposed to be a series about Jack Caffery, haunted detective, who tries not to break the rules but still find out the answer on a 30 year old “mystery” while still trying to solve the more fresh today “whodunit” cases. But in reality we are following Flea, a socially awkward, grieving woman who is depressed and keeps focusing on the wrong things which has nothing to do with the main plot. The main story and plot is pretty bland and boring. There is no excitement or the need to find out who did it and why. It started of pretty good with the introduction of Flea, but it never delivered in the end.

What happened, Mo? The pace is slow and in comparison to the two other books, you have lost the touch with Caffery. He is a numb and stiff character, I no longer feel the love toward. I feel disconnected, sad and I missed the page turning feeling.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Romance

A discovery of witches – Deborah Harkness

41952734| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

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My thoughts:

“The only thing I discovered was that no matter what “world” you try to place a romance story in, if you do not decide one thread to follow, it will not succeed.”

At first I thought this would be a solid five star book. But then I got a couple of hundred pages in and the author has completely abandon the original plot. That took away a star but thinking, hey it can still be good. Reading a couple of hundred more pages and now even the “love” story is so over dramatic that I started to wonder, wasn’t this supposed to be an adult romance and not a YA? Goodbye another star. I’m over 400 pages into it and it feels too late to stop now and I keep hoping for Harkness to take her common sense together and save it in the end. It can’t be possible that so many of my people on Goodreads love the book but me however not so much. I feel the need for this to be a success. However that never happens and it even gets worse.

I was hoping for an action filled, non-cheesy, paranormal romance with some substance. What I got was a highly dramatic, slow and puzzling love story, cloaked in the “discovery” of witches, vampires and daemons. Written like an YA book with every angst filled thought possible but with an analytic mind, a lot of history and details. The only thing I discovered was that no matter what “world” you try to place a romance story in, if you do not decide one thread to follow, it will not succeed. It was all over the place and Harkness should have stayed with the alchemical manuscript and the dynamic of the world with witches, vampires and daemons and left it at that.

Even though it ended quite interesting with some time traveling and other loose threads, it is not enough for me to feel the need to pick up the second book in the series. I will more likely watch the series instead, but don’t count on it.

Adult fiction/Erotica · Classic/Historical · Contemporary · Fiction/Science Fiction · Romance

The seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid

32620332| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ’80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

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My thoughts:

“Can an author write so perfect that you in the end, are questioning your very own existence?”

Let me first say that I had no idea what to expect when going into 2018 most mentioned book. What I did know is that it had an interesting synopsis and I kept seeing it in my Goodreads and Youtube feed. Trying not to be caught up in the hype wave I have “ignored” it for some time while it was in my TBR pile. Well I have certainly stopped ignoring it now and joined the hype train. *toot toot* Here I come because wow this was so worth the wait!

Can a book be this perfect? Can an author write so perfect that you in the end, are questioning your very own existence? Can a story be so consummated that you start to wonder “was this really a fiction?”. I know that this is supposed to be a literary fiction but it was read more like a chick lit/true story. A deep chick lit with none of that “hubba bubba” love. It was just about life. From the beginning to the end! Honest from page one. It is the most well- devolved, character driven story I have ever read, where you have it all from the emotion spectrum. Love, hate, delight, rejection, pleasure, sadness, courage, fear, anticipation, hopelessness, willing, anger, grief, strengths and everything else.

There is so many human destiny’s and so much feelings, in so many different ways crammed between the covers that you can’t help but wonder, is it true? I ended the book at work and literally wanted to cry, not suitable for an open office landscape. I could not (off course) cry there and then but that is how strong of impact it had on me. It is so much grief and agony but still so much love that in the end it is worth it. Don’t believe me? Believe the other 33 000 people who have given it a five star rating on Goodreads.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Thriller/Horror

The seven deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton

41807223| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: How do you stop a murder that’s already happened?

At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed–again. She’s been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden’s only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend–but nothing and no one are quite what they seem.

Deeply atmospheric and ingeniously plotted, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a highly original debut that will appeal to fans of Kate Atkinson and Agatha Christie.

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My thoughts: Oh, so many feelings. I was looking forward to be reading this. It intrigued me and when I started, it felt like a mix between a classic Agatha Christie, dinner murder mystery and the movies like groundhog day and the cube. This is one of those books that seem to be impossible to give a deserving rating to. It all depends on what I’m focusing on.

If I would rate the concept, writing skill and character build-up it would be a solid 5 stars. It is just perfect and such a joy reading. Even though we are talking about a lot of characters and a lot of details, it was still fully possible to keep track of them all. At some points I was a little confused to be honest, but Turton skillfully included small details here and there to remind us readers where we were and what it was about.

If I would rate the general plot and ending I would give it a two star. The build-up of the story was so big and thrilling that the ending was just an anticlimactic balloon, losing all its air. Not at all what I had expected and quite frankly a little tame when compared to the rest of the book. And in the middle I found myself stagnant due to that the story didn’t progressed forward. And I didn’t find myself that into it to be honest. Specially since you never really get to know the whole truth outside of Blackheath. I would have liked that.

Then that I also had such problem focusing can also be a reason for my conflicted feelings and low rating. I have had a couple of bad weeks but that is not unusual for me and if a book is good it will keep me captured either way. Anyway, after a lot of thinking and sorting my feelings I land on a solid 3 stars. If possible I would give it 3.5. I did like it overall, but I didn’t love it and it certainly was not amazing in my opinion.

Contemporary · Fiction/Science Fiction

Little fires everywhere – Celeste Ng

34273236| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When the Richardsons’ friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family – and Mia’s.

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My thoughts: So…! First off, Ng is a phenomenal writer and I really liked her writing style. Under the storyline, she quite skillfully included a lot of symbolism and important themes, worth discussing. The writing was easy to read and had a soft and gentle, flowing feeling about it. Almost like waves on a beach. It was lulling in a way where you felt good while reading but didn’t get tired or fall asleep by it. It was quite an eerie feeling to receive but at the same time it just felt so right.

First book read by Celeste Ng and though I did enjoy it, I had some trouble to really connect with it. I was reading, following the plot, but never really invested in it if you understand what I mean. I liked the way we got to follow several characters, there life and thoughts, bounded together around one main event and several smaller ones. I liked how it took place in the 1990’s but unfortunately I wished that the ending would have been more satisfying. I liked several of the characters, understood some of the others and a few could just be left out in my opinion.

There is so much to discuss and talk about and I’m glad we opted for this one to be discussed in the book club I’m a member of. It is a perfect book for that kind of purpose.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Romance · Young, New adult/College

Throne of glass – Sarah J. Maas

40512568| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Meet Celaena Sardothien. Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament – fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

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My thoughts: I’m a little disappointed actually. I know I can’t compare this to the ACOTAR series but it is hard not to. And to be honest, this is not what I expected from an author like Maas, who where one of my top favorite author in 2018. Very underwhelming after years of hearing that this is THE YA series to read. I expected more and not to walk away with an unsatisfying feeling.

Every reviewer and booktuber I follow loved Celaena. I however did not. She is arrogant, mean, lame and high on herself. She is such an over hyped character that it is a disappointment to read the book about her. To be that young, for having had such a hard life and after a year as a slave in the most notorious salt mines, you would expect her to be more humble toward life and not as vain and shallow. Her and most of the characters have no dept, no smooth development and the plot is slow and quite overrated. Maas have been raised to the skies for her strong, female protagonists and deep YA relations, but I saw noting of that here.

There is some attempt to romance and love/triangles but that just fell flat. It is not good. Nothing that got my heart pumping or the need to keep reading. You really get to know Dorian and Chaol and they both are so much better in my opinion than Celaena, which is supposed to be the main heroine character to love and follow. There is nothing unique or original. And the plot is just weird. There is some questionable decisions and there is more of a telling the story than showing the story. All the action and important parts, where jump over and later retell so that we, the readers, knew what had happens since last. No, not good.

To be honest I do not know if I will continue the series. At first I gave the book three stars but after a night’s sleep and the time of writing this review, I realize that I was too generous and lowered it to two. It is not as bad as a one star rating but certainly not as good as a three. It wasn’t as mind-blowing as I expected and it was nowhere near as well written as the ACOTAR series. Both in the character development, plot and settings.

Is it worth more of my time?

Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Thriller/Horror

Ragdoll – Daniel Cole

30259893| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: William Fawkes, a controversial detective known as The Wolf, has just been reinstated to his post after he was suspended for assaulting a vindicated suspect. Still under psychological evaluation, Fawkes returns to the force eager for a big case. When his former partner and friend, Detective Emily Baxter, calls him to a crime scene, he’s sure this is it: the body is made of the dismembered parts of six victims, sewn together like a puppet–a corpse that becomes known as “The Ragdoll.”

Fawkes is tasked with identifying the six victims, but that gets dicey when his reporter ex-wife anonymously receives photographs from the crime scene, along with a list of six names, and the dates on which the Ragdoll Killer plans to murder them.

The final name on the list is Fawkes.

Baxter and her trainee partner, Alex Edmunds, hone in on figuring out what links the victims together before the killer strikes again. But for Fawkes, seeing his name on the list sparks a dark memory, and he fears that the catalyst for these killings has more to do with him–and his past–than anyone realizes.

With a breakneck pace, a twisty plot, and a wicked sense of humor, Ragdoll announces the arrival of the hottest new brand in crime fiction.

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My thoughts: I’m so freaking tired of the same crap over and over again when reading crime/thriller books. Is that genre so used up and impossible to create something new with? Why do you always have to go in the same track over and over again? This one was so hyped up and I saw so much good about it that I’m actually surprised that people have not reacted over how bland and badly written it is.

Here we have all the clichés, crammed onto 380 pages, which may I say, trees gave there life for. We have the unjust system of the government, politically large characters you hate, that dead beat cop who is an alcoholic and breaks every rule in the book. The falsely accused, the skeptical colleges, the ex-wife, the career driven people and off course in the middle, there is that one serial killer with a “personal” vendetta.

I’m so frustrated. All I wanted was a good crime book, that was not predictable and used up. I wanted something exciting with deep and interesting characters without all those stupid clichés you have literally read a couple of hundred times by now.

The story, plot and characters are just unpleasant and unlikable. There is nothing there for a crime lover like me. It is messy with too many POV and a cold, unimaginative setting. There was nothing warm. Nothing that I liked, could connect to or feel that it will get better. It is certainly not worth the hype.

Fiction/Science Fiction · Thriller/Horror · Young, New adult/College

Fire & Ash – Jonathan Maberry

13424356| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Benny Imura and his friends have found the jet and Sanctuary, but neither is what they expected. Instead of a refuge, Sanctuary is a hospice, and the soldiers who flew the plane seem to be little more than bureaucrats who have given up hope for humanity’s future. With Chong hovering between life and death, clinging to his humanity by a thread, Benny makes a startling discovery: A scientist may have discovered a cure for the zombie plague. Desperate to save Chong, Benny and his friends mount a search and rescue mission. But they’re not the only ones on the hunt. The reapers are after the cure too, and they want to use it turn all the zombies into superfast shock troops and wipe humanity off the face of the earth.

In this riveting conclusion to the Rot & Ruin series, the battle to end all battles is just beginning.

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My thoughts: This was supposed to be the last one in the series about Benny, Chong, Lilah, Nix and all the other characters in USA’s Zombie infested Badlands. And what an end. This is how you end a series in a satisfying manner. Now this is no longer the last book and I’m quite frankly glad for that, because I want, no I NEED to know how the story will continue. It was a perfect ending yes, but I have come to know these characters. They are my friends, my brothers and sisters and I love them. I wish to know that it will be even better for them. How can I not? I’m a reader and no others than other readers understand what I feeling right now. And I need more.

I have more or less loved the books in this series. Some more than others. This fourth book I found better than the third one. The reason for that is because all the religious jabber, was a lot less and therefore not as irritating and Maberry also moved forward from the place I felt he stood still and turned the story in a great direction. It was exiting, interesting and it was hard to put the book down. Joe Ledger (my bookish boyfriend) even got a much bigger part which I off course LOVED. For those who doesn’t know, he is a character from another series by Maberry.

The character development throughout the series has been an magnificent work of art. It happens so slowly that you do not even realize how they grow, change and evolve until the end. Overall a great book. Not a full five star rating however. I felt I missed something, maybe it is the whole deal with Chong, because that was not satisfying enough for me.

Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

The kind worth killing – Peter Swanson

21936809| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: On a night flight from London to Boston, Ted Severson meets the stunning and mysterious Lily Kintner. Sharing one too many martinis, the strangers begin to play a game of truth, revealing very intimate details about themselves. Ted talks about his marriage that’s going stale and his wife Miranda, who he’s sure is cheating on him. Ted and his wife were a mismatch from the start—he the rich businessman, she the artistic free spirit—a contrast that once inflamed their passion, but has now become a cliché.

But their game turns a little darker when Ted jokes that he could kill Miranda for what she’s done. Lily, without missing a beat, says calmly, “I’d like to help.” After all, some people are the kind worth killing, like a lying, stinking, cheating spouse. . . .

Back in Boston, Ted and Lily’s twisted bond grows stronger as they begin to plot Miranda’s demise. But there are a few things about Lily’s past that she hasn’t shared with Ted, namely her experience in the art and craft of murder, a journey that began in her very precocious youth.

Suddenly these co-conspirators are embroiled in a chilling game of cat-and-mouse, one they both cannot survive . . . with a shrewd and very determined detective on their tail.

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My thoughts: Wow what a great book. Captivating, exciting, emotionally unstable, unpredictable and mayhem. It brought up the same feelings that YOU also did. Where you know you should not root for the killer/s but in the same time, in your heart, you kind of are. It totally messes with your mind and makes you question your own moral compass. And I LOVED IT. What a ride. Never read anything by Peter Swanson before and now after this, I certainly need to look into some of his other books.

The story is fascinating, the plot engrossing and that ending was excellent. This is one of those books that deserves to be discussed, broken down and discussed so more. There is four main characters and it gives the story several point of views which will be interpreted on so many different levels that it would be pure fun to debate it.

I loved the characters and the settings. The writing is high class and it truly was a great read.

“Truthfully, I don’t think murder is necessarily as bad as people make it out to be. Everyone dies. What difference does it make if a few bad apples get pushed along a little sooner than God intended? And your wife, for example, seems like the kind worth killing.”