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.”

children · Fiction/Science Fiction · Young, New adult/College

The one and only Ivan – Katherine Applegate

11594337.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all.

Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line.

Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.

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My thoughts: Cute story. It certainly is a quick and easy read, but then again it is a book for children/young adults. It was exactly what I needed after Us against you. Something easy, fast, light and funny. Perfect for that dreadful book hangover.

So as I said, it is a cute story. You follow Ivan who is a Gorilla and some of his friends. It is a touching story who lifts the topic about animals in cages for entertainment and moneymaking, in a nice and sound way. The book is completely from Ivan’s point of view which makes it even better since he is an animal but still tries to communicate with the humans around him.

Touching book who fit readers in all ages but mostly it is written toward children. I can see myself reading this one to my future children one day. And it is suppose to come out as an movie also where, among others, Sam Rockwell is the voice for Ivan and Angelina Jolie as Stella. I movie I certainly is going to watch. I just love animated movies.

Contemporary · Fiction/Science Fiction · Sports/Games

Us against you – Fredrik Backman

36373463.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: After everything that the citizens of Beartown have gone through, they are struck yet another blow when they hear that their beloved local hockey team will soon be disbanded. What makes it worse is the obvious satisfaction that all the former Beartown players, who now play for a rival team in Hed, take in that fact. Amidst the mounting tension between the two rivals, a surprising newcomer is handpicked to be Beartown’s new hockey coach.

Soon a new team starts to take shape around Amat, the fastest player you’ll ever see; Benji, the intense lone wolf; and Vidar, a born-to-be-bad troublemaker. But bringing this team together proves to be a challenge as old bonds are broken, new ones are formed, and the enmity with Hed grows more and more acute.

As the big match approaches, the not-so-innocent pranks and incidents between the communities pile up and their mutual contempt grows deeper. By the time the last game is finally played, a resident of Beartown will be dead, and the people of both towns will be forced to wonder if, after all they’ve been through, the game they love can ever return to something simple and innocent.

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My thoughts: Wow. Just…. WOW! How am I suppose to put words on my feelings toward this book and author, when Backman constantly amazes me to the point where it is almost gut-wrenching. This man is one great author who can write such deep characters, devastating fates, joy and sorrow but still keep a flake of hope, shining it’s bright, warm light throughout its pages. It is sad, heartbreaking, funny, stirs all your emotions and if you do not cry to this one, you are one “dead inside” person.

Us against you is the sequel to the book Beartown. Equally devastating, equally good. If interested you HAVE to read Beartown first. The sequel is about what happens next and thereby, you do need to get it in the right order.

The book is exceptional, emotional and just.. just.. so wonderful. Even though it is dark and is about a small little town in the aftermath of the darkness that has settled upon them it is one great read. You follow characters that are deeper than you can reach. They fight each other and they fight for each other and hell… my heart hurts for them all for different reasons.

The ending could not be more fitting and yes, without a cliffhanger, it is promising more. The story about Beartown is still not yet finished.

 

Contemporary · Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense

The Liar – Nora Roberts

30762017.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: When her husband Richard is killed in a freak accident, Shelby Pomeroy is devastated. But she soon learns a horrible truth – Richard was a conman and a cheat, and their life together was a lie.

Returning home to Tennessee, Shelby discovers a new sense of strength and freedom. And hope, too, in the form of handsome carpenter Griffin Lott.

But not everyone is thrilled to see Shelby Pomeroy back in town. And when a shocking act of violence is traced back to Richard’s shady business, Shelby realises she is still not safe from his lies…

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My thoughts: I’m done with the year 2019’s first book. Well to be honest I have been done with it for several days now, but I have just not had the time to write a review. The new year started of with a bang and my to do list have been huge. But anyway, lets talk about the book instead.

Roberts is a very up and down author for me. I often find her to slow, dragging things out and use way to much details in both appearance, environment and dialog. But this one certainly was a pleasant surprise. It is probably one of the most heavy in the dialog details that I have ever read by her, it is huge and at a few moments it is quote boring. But it still works. She have made such a great job with all the characters that after a while you do not think about it anymore.

The characters are so deep and diverse that it feels real through and through. I did not like Shelby in the beginning but she did grow on me when her true self came forward. The relationships are so deep and interesting that it was capturing me in a way that it is hard to explain.

Other than that it was as predictable as you would expect. But I didn’t mind it this time. I would certainly recommend it to a friend. But do not expect anything new, diverse and exploding. Because this is nothing like that. This is one of those feel good books you read with a cup of tea, some lighted candles and just enjoys.

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

The Fireman – Joe Hill

29875363.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: The fireman is coming. Stay cool.

No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.

Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse as pragmatic as Mary Poppins, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she’s discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. When the outbreak first began, she and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact: they would take matters into their own hands if they became infected. To Jakob’s dismay, Harper wants to live—at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine too. . . if she can live long enough to deliver the child.

Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Jakob becomes unhinged, and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squads—armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. But Harper isn’t as alone as she fears: a mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow fire fighter’s jacket, carrying a hooked iron bar, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted . . . and as a weapon to avenge the wronged.

In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman’s secrets before her life—and that of her unborn child—goes up in smoke.

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My thoughts: This is the type of book you wished Goodreads had the ability to give half stars to. Because I do not feel the book is worth four stars, but it is not as bad as a three stars either when I think about it as a whole. However I do not feel this was a consistent read. After N0S4R2 (which I freaking LOVED) this was a major snoozefest and I’m sad to say that I was so bored some of the parts that I’m now amazed that I actually continued.

The beginning was so good. I loved the whole burning plague, dystopia where the earth is on the brink to unravel plot. It was well thought out, written, interesting, capturing and skillfully described. I loved the characters and the more day to day business you was a part of. Then around two, three hundred pages in, it started to fall. The characters was now even better but the day to day business certainly started to drag. And worse it got, the longer I read. There was some highlights in the middle of the book that did capture me, but mostly I was more or less waiting for stuff happening. I was bored out of my mind some times and this is a great example of the saying “Longer does not equal better” .

And the ending, how am I even going to be able to describe my thoughts and feelings about the ending. There is so much but at the same time so little happening that I can’t wrap my head around it. Not after all that I have already read. And it was by far not satisfying.

So to be honest, I loved some parts of it, others bored me. But I did love N0S4R2 so I know he will make it.