Week In Review

December 2 – 8

Hello and happy Sunday! This has been a busy weekend but I got to watch a BTS concert with my mom, which was a lot of fun! And today will be a nice quiet day, so I’m hoping to get more reading done and do some blog-related work.

New books:

I can’t resist a Kobo deal, so I snagged a few books off my TBR that were on sale:

The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep, H.G. Parry;

The Ten Thousand Doors of January, Alix E. Harrow;

Hollow Kingdom, Kira Jane Buxton;

The Last Book Party, Karen Dukess; and

The Family Upstairs, Lisa Jewell (this is on sale in the Kobo store for $2.99 today only).

Books read:

I only read one book this week! I read my eARC of Chosen (Slayer #2) by Kiersten White.

I ended up DNFing Now Entering Addamsville by Francesca Zappia. I found myself skimming rather than really reading, and I just couldn’t get into it. I loved her book Eliza and Her Monsters, so I wanted to love Now Entering Addamsville, but it didn’t work out that way.

Current reads:

I’m still reading Dead Girls by Abigail Tarttelin, and I’m rereading one of my favourite books, Vicious by Victoria Schwab.

Reviews:

I posted three reviews:

Reputation, Sara Shepard;

There Will Come a Darkness, Katy Rose Pool; and

The Twisted Ones, T. Kingfisher.

Now to watch some more BTS, drink some more coffee, and read. I’m so happy it’s still the weekend!

The Twisted Ones

The Twisted OnesThe Twisted Ones
By T. Kingfisher
Source Library
Published by Gallery / Saga Press on October 1, 2019

three-stars

When Mouse’s dad asks her to clean out her dead grandmother’s house, she says yes. After all, how bad could it be?

Answer: pretty bad. Grandma was a hoarder, and her house is stuffed with useless rubbish. That would be horrific enough, but there’s more—Mouse stumbles across her step-grandfather’s journal, which at first seems to be filled with nonsensical rants…until Mouse encounters some of the terrifying things he described for herself.

Alone in the woods with her dog, Mouse finds herself face to face with a series of impossible terrors—because sometimes the things that go bump in the night are real, and they’re looking for you. And if she doesn’t face them head on, she might not survive to tell the tale.

This premise caught my attention right away. I love a creepy story, and what’s creepier than a house in the woods where things go bump in the night?

I was pulled into this book at first, and it some good creepy moments, but as the story went on and more was revealed, it lost its scare factor for me. And the reveal wasn’t all that interesting or exciting to me, unfortunately.

I really liked the main character though, and the ending was fairly satisfying. So I’m interested in checking out T. Kingfisher’s other works.

three-stars

There Will Come A Darkness

There Will Come A DarknessThere Will Come A Darkness
By Katy Rose Pool
Series: The Age of Darkness #1
Source Library
Published by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers on September 3, 2019

three-half-stars

The Age of Darkness approaches.
Five lives stand in its way.
Who will stop it… or unleash it?

For generations, the Seven Prophets guided humanity. Using their visions of the future, they ended wars and united nations―until the day, one hundred years ago, when the Prophets disappeared.

All they left behind was one final, secret prophecy, foretelling an Age of Darkness and the birth of a new Prophet who could be the world’s salvation . . . or the cause of its destruction. As chaos takes hold, five souls are set on a collision course:

A prince exiled from his kingdom.
A ruthless killer known as the Pale Hand.
A once-faithful leader torn between his duty and his heart.
A reckless gambler with the power to find anything or anyone.
And a dying girl on the verge of giving up.

One of them―or all of them―could break the world. Will they be savior or destroyer?

I loved the premise and cover for this one, and was definitely drawn in by a Six of Crows vibe at first.

But unlike SoC, the characters in this book are (mostly) not a crew or a group or anything, not at the beginning. We get to see them meet as their stories intertwine, and it was fun to see them all wind up so connected in the end.

But it’s kind of a lot for the story to follow five characters, and when it wasn’t my two favourites in the spotlight, my interest waned. I liked the world and the magic system, although I felt like I didn’t learn enough about it, and I appreciated the twists in the story. But the book dragged for me at times (although it picked up in the end).

Overall, this was a pretty entertaining book, and I’m looking forward to the sequel.

three-half-stars

Reputation

ReputationReputation
By Sara Shepard
Source Received from the publisher
Published by Penguin Publishing Group on December 3, 2019

Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

two-stars

In this fast-paced new novel from Sara Shepard, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars, a tight-knit college town scrambles for answers when an e-mail hack reveals life-changing secrets and scandals.

Aldrich University is rocked to its core when a hacker dumps 40,000 people’s e-mails—the entire faculty, staff, students, alums—onto an easily searchable database. Rumors and affairs immediately leak, but things turn explosive when Kit Manning’s handsome husband, Dr. Greg Strasser, is found murdered. Kit’s sister, Willa, returns for the funeral, setting foot in a hometown she fled fifteen years ago, after a night she wishes she could forget. As an investigative reporter, Willa knows something isn’t right about the night Greg was killed, and she’s determined to find the truth. What she doesn’t expect is that everyone has something to hide. And with a killer on the loose, Willa and Kit must figure out who killed Greg before someone else is murdered.

Told from multiple points of view, Reputation is full of twists, turns, and shocking reveals. It’s a story of intrigue, sabotage, and the secrets we keep—and how far we go to keep them hidden. Number one bestseller Sara Shepard is at the top of her game in this brand-new adult novel.

I am so sad that I didn’t love this book! I’m generally a big Sara Shepard fan (I loved the Pretty Little Liars and Lying Game series, but admittedly I have not read as much of her adult fiction).

This book just didn’t grab me. I thought the idea was really interesting but the execution didn’t work for me. There were too many characters/perspectives to follow, but none of them felt distinct from each other. If I put the book down and came back to it later, I couldn’t always tell which character the chapter centered on without going back to check.

The book and pacing picked up steam towards the end, but by then I have to admit that I was so uninvested. So despite my initial excitement to read Reputation, this was a disappointing read for me.

two-stars

Week In Review

November 25 – December 1

This has been a really nice and relaxing weekend so far. I caught up on some shows (The Mandalorian and His Dark Materials), read some books, and played a lot of Pokemon Shield.

New books:

It was a pretty magnificent week for new books:

A big thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for these eARCs:

We Are the Wildcats, Siobhan Vivian;

The Honey-Don’t List, Christina Lauren;

Darling Rose Gold, Stephanie Wrobel; and

In Five Years, Rebecca Serle.

I also snagged some eARCs from Edelweiss:

The Unwilling, Kelly Braffet;

Sisters of Sword and Song, Rebecca Ross;

Seasons of the Storm, Elle Cosimano;

The Fascinators, Andrew Elipulos; and

Parachutes, Kelly Yang.

And of course the only Black Friday deals I was interested in were book related. I found some great deals, redeemed some Kobo points, and used a gift card to treat myself to a whole bunch of books:

Bunny, Mona Awad;

The Lady Rogue, Jenn Bennett;

Remedial Rocket Science, Susannah Nix;

Vermilion, Molly Tanzer;

Strange Practice, Vivian Shaw;

The Visitors, Catherine Burns;

The Past is Never, Tiffany Quay Tyson;

The Right Swipe, Alisha Rai;

We Hunt the Flame, Hafsah Faizal;

Supper Club, Lara Williams;

Nine Perfect Strangers, Liane Moriarty;

The Reunion, Guillaume Musso;

Wakenhyrst, Michelle Paver;

The Starless Sea, Erin Morgenstern; and

Greenwood, Michael Christie.

Phew! I think I have enough books to read for the next while.

And of course, on top of all of that, some more holds came in from the library:

Dead Girls, Abigail Tarttelin; and

Into the Crooked Place, Alexandra Christo.

Books read:

I managed to finish four books this week:

The Kiss Quotient, Helen Hoang (I DNFd this at the very beginning of the year, but decided to give it another try);

There Will Come a Darkness, Katy Rose Pool;

The Stranger In the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit, Michael Finkel (a rare non-fiction read for me); and

The Monster of Elendhaven, Jennifer Giesbrecht.

Current reads:

I am still reading an e-ARC of Francesca Zappia’s Now Entering Addamsville (it has taken me a while to get into it, but I was also trying to prioritize reading my library stack). I’ve also just started to read Dead Girls.

Posts and Reviews:

I posted my reviews of Wylding Hall by Elizabeth Hand, as well as The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary.

I also posted something new: Quick Lit (check out the other posts at Modern Mrs. Darcy), briefly discussing the books I read in October but didn’t fully review.

I hope to get a lot more reading and Pokemon in today! Happy Sunday!

Quick Lit

October 2019

I’ve been reading a lot lately, and not always feeling like I want to write a full review for each book read (or sometimes I just don’t have much to say about a book). So I was inspired by Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Quick Lit posts, as well as Hannah at So Obsessed With‘s monthly Quick Lit posts, and decided to do something similar as a way to briefly discuss the books I read in a month but don’t write full reviews for.

Of the 18 books I read in October, I’ve reviewed (or have reviews coming up for) 11 of them. So here are some brief thoughts of mine on the rest!

Missing Person, Sarah Lotz (library) – 3/5 stars

This was fine, but not as much of a mystery as I thought it would be, and I didn’t really connect with any of the characters.

The Grownup, Gillian Flynn (purchased) – 3/5 stars

This was a short story that was not at all what I expected, but I didn’t love it.

The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson (purchased) – 3/5 stars

This was another quick read, and while I think my reading experience was a bit weakened by knowing so much about the story before having read it, it was still a fun October pick.

This House is Haunted, John Boyne (library) – 3/5 stars

There was definitely a theme with my October reading! I was in the midst of spooky season and wanted to read books to enhance that mood. I thought this one started well but then got a bit silly and I was disappointed in the end, given that I went into it with such high expectations.

The Cabin at the End of the World, Paul Tremblay (purchased) – 3/5 stars

This started quite strongly and I was pulled into it right away, but things went downhill for me the more the story went on. I was hoping for something on par with A Head Full of Ghosts, but this definitely wasn’t that.

The Liars of Mariposa Island, Jennifer Mathieu (ARC) – 3/5 stars

I received an ARC of this from Raincoast Books, and when I picked it up to start reading, I decided not to reread the synopsis to refresh my memory, and went in instead without remembering what the book was about (sometimes it’s more fun that way!). This was a book that I enjoyed while reading, but didn’t come away from it with any stronger feelings than that.

Heart of Ash (Blood and Salt #2), Kim Liggett (library) – 2/5 stars

I read this because I had really enjoyed Blood and Salt a few years ago. But man, this book just did nothing for me. I really tried to find the things I’d loved about Blood and Salt in this book, but I could not.

So that’s my October reading wrapped up! On to November next!

The Flatshare

The FlatshareThe Flatshare
Source Library
Published by Quercus on April 18, 2019

three-stars

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.

But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…

I’d heard such good things about this book from people that I knew I had to read it. The wait for the ebook with my library was very long, and when my hold was finally available, I thought it would make for a nice change of pace from the darker, murder-y books I’d been reading so much.

This was a nice change of pace, but it was also not as fluffy as I thought it would be.

The premise was so intriguing and I think my favourite thing about the book was seeing how Tiffy and Leon could live very separate lines in the same space.

The romance was nice – just that. I didn’t think it was very swoony, but there wasn’t anything I outright disliked about Tiffy and Leon as a couple.

I just didn’t get very pulled into this one, and wasn’t really excited to pick it back up after I’d put it down. I didn’t love any of the characters all that much either, and if I’m going to get invested in a romance or romcom, I need to care about them. It’s possible I wasn’t actually in the mood for a bookish change of pace, but the buzz and long wait at the library had me wanting to finish it despite my lukewarm feelings at times.

The Flatshare was a pleasant enough read, but not totally my cup of tea, and not one that pulled me in emotionally.

three-stars

Wylding Hall

Wylding HallWylding Hall
By Elizabeth Hand
Source Purchased
Published by Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy on July 14, 2015

four-stars

When the young members of a British acid-folk band are compelled by their manager to record their unique music, they hole up at Wylding Hall, an ancient country house with dark secrets. There they create the album that will make their reputation, but at a terrifying cost: Julian Blake, the group’s lead singer, disappears within the mansion and is never seen or heard from again.

Now, years later, the surviving musicians, along with their friends and lovers—including a psychic, a photographer, and the band’s manager—meet with a young documentary filmmaker to tell their own versions of what happened that summer. But whose story is true? And what really happened to Julian Blake?

This was a very quick, absorbing read. I am a sucker for anything set in an old manor or estate, so when I read the synopsis for this, I knew I had to read it.

It’s very short (my ebook was under 200 pages), and is told in an interview format. It reminded me of another story told in interview format about a band: Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, but with a bit of a paranormal twist.

For such a short book, it packed a pretty good punch. I quite enjoyed this one, and found myself wishing it were longer.

four-stars

Week In Review

November 18 – 24

Happy Sunday! It’s another cold day, which is perfect for staying indoors and reading!

I’ve been playing a lot of Pokemon and loving it, and have been watching The Mandalorian and of course would do anything for Baby Yoda:

New books:

There were a bunch of Kobo books on my TBR that were on super sale this past week, so I redeemed some points and snagged some goodies:

Attachments, Rainbow Rowell;

A House of Ghosts, W.C. Ryan (as of writing this post, this is still on sale in the Kobo store for $1.99, down from $23.99!);

Black Bird of the Gallows, Meg Kassel;

All My Friends are Superheroes, Andrew Kaufman;

Labyrinth Lost, Zoraida Cordova;

The Society, Jodie Andrefsky;

The Dark Lake, Sarah Bailey;

Swear On This Life, Renee Carlino;

Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #7), Sarah J. Maas (I’m going to try and finish this series in 2020!);

Home Fire, Kamila Shamsie;

Last Will and Testament, Dahlia Adler; and

Reading People, Anne Bogel.

Phew! Now if only I had more time to actually read all of these! I’m counting down the days until my Christmas vacation starts, which I plan to spend reading as many books as possible.

Books read:

I finished four books this week:

The Memory Police, Yoko Ogawa;

The Beauiful, Renee Ahdieh;

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4), Sarah J. Maas; and

In the Night Wood, Dale Bailey.

Current reads:

I’m reading an e-ARC of Francesca Zappia’s Now Entering Addamsville, and I have just started to read There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool.

Reviews:

I shared two reviews this week:

Gideon the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir (my favourite read of 2019!); and

The Bone Houses, Emily Lloyd-Jones (loved this one too!).

Time for some more coffee and some reading. Happy Sunday!

The Bone Houses

The Bone HousesThe Bone Houses
By Emily Lloyd-Jones
Source Purchased
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on September 24, 2019

four-stars

Seventeen-year-old Aderyn (“Ryn”) only cares about two things: her family, and her family’s graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don’t always stay dead.

The risen corpses are known as “bone houses,” and legend says that they’re the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?

Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them deep into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the long-hidden truths about themselves.

I’d heard some really great things about this book from fellow book bloggers, and when I saw the cover and read the synopsis, I had to add it to my TBR. I was lucky enough to buy the ebook when it was on sale for $2.99.

This book was so good! It was exciting and despite all the talk of skeletons, I don’t think it’s a scary book. It was full of adventure, along with great characters, lovely writing, and it pulled at my heartstrings.

As a bonus, I got a Lloyd Alexander / Chronicles of Prydain vibe. I loved those books as a kid, and so I loved reading the author’s acknowledgment where she talked about those books.

This was a sweet and exciting read. Recommended!

four-stars

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