Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Uninvited: The True Story of the Union Screaming House by Steven LaChance, 264 pages

Confession time: I'm OBSESSED with anything paranormal related. I have been since I was a kid, and it seems to get worse around Halloween time. I picked up this book because it sounded nice and spooky. It was definitely scary in some parts, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that this supposed haunting takes place in Union, Missouri! I would recommend this quick and spooky read for anyone interested in the paranormal, or just wanting a good scare!

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena, 304 Pages

I'd read two books by Lapena prior to reading this one- one that I LOVED, and the other that I didn't finish, which is rare for me. Needless to say, I had no idea what to expect with this, and I was pleasantly surprised. The book was a little slow for my liking, but I enjoyed it as a whole. 

Caught in a winter wonderland, a group of people are snowed in to a remote Inn. Things get a little worrisome when the power goes out, so the guests hunker down to ride out the storm. Things are gravely interrupted when one of the guests is found dead, seemingly by an accident. But, when a second guest winds up with the same fate, everyone begins to question and turn on each other, aware that there's potentially a murderer amongst them. 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Winter (Lunar Chronicles fourth book) by Marissa Meyer 827 pages

This was the final story of the Lunar Chronicles series.  All the characters come together, get split apart, come back in different groups, separate again and there's no time to register calm or relief for any of them.  The end was hard fought, but well worth it.  If you are looking for a very satisfying, female character-driven, sci-fi, light romance, adventure story, you need to jump into the Lunar Chronicles at your very first opportunity.  This was an incredibly well-crafted series with characters that constantly surprised me with their complexity and depth.  I listened to the whole series read by Rebecca Soler who did a fantastic job.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Zero Day by Jan Gangsei, 368 Pages

I usually shy away from anything politically driven, but this caught my eye. Unfortunately, it fell really flat for me. The entire book was just extremely unrealistic, especially in this day and age.

Eight years ago, eight-year-old Addie Webster was kidnapped. Coming from a very high-profile, political family, her kidnapping was known across the nation. Her father, Richard Webster, is now the President of the United States, and him and the rest of the family have attempted to move on and find a new normal. Suddenly, life is once again interrupted when Addie is returned to her family. Things seem like a fairy tale ending until people start noticing that Addie was acting suspiciously. Was this just her way of coping, or did Addie return to her family for more sinister reasons?

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware, 354 Pages

I'd heard mixed reviews on this book, so I was anxious to read it and see what I thought. The plot was really good, and made the book have great potential... but I found the main character so annoying. She was frustrating to read about, and made it difficult for me to finish the book. Luckily, the plot held up and I was able to finish. I also didn't like that I knew who the antagonist was basically from the beginning. I prefer a book that keeps me guessing until the end!

Nora and Clare were childhood best friends. Their friendship seemed like a friendship that would last a lifetime, until certain events happened that caused Nora to walk away from her life and start over. Ten years later, Nora receives an email invited her to Clare's hen/bachelorette weekend. Nora decides to take a chance and go, hoping this is her chance to start putting the past behind her. But, upon arrival, things start to go horribly wrong.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Breakdown by B.A. Paris, 336 Pages

B.A. Paris is one of my favorite authors on the planet. Her books leave me desperately wanting more. The Break Down was unfortunately the last book she's written that I had yet to read, so I've been painfully putting it off for a while, as I didn't want to be done with her stuff yet! But, I gave in and checked it out the other day, and as usual.... it was fantastic! The Break Down kept my on the edge of my seat. I found the main character unlikable but it luckily didn't change my opinion on the book overall.

While driving home from a dinner with friends, Cass decides to take the shortcut she promised her husband she wouldn't take due to the horrible storm. While on the shortcut, she notices a car stopped on the side of the road with a woman inside. Cass finds herself pulling over to see if the woman needs help, but decides against it when the woman doesn't even acknowledge her being there. She continues home with doesn't think about it again until the next morning, when she hears on the local news that a woman was found brutally murdered in her car on the shortcut. Cass realizes that the woman she saw the night before is the one who died, and the guilt she feels for not approaching the car and doing more is seriously effecting her every day life. She's forgetting things, receiving sinister phone calls where the caller doesn't speak a word, and constantly feels like someone is watching her. Is Cass making all of this up in her mind due to the stress and guilt she feels, or is her life really in danger?

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, 384 Pages

First and foremost, I’d like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for the advanced copy of this book. I was and still am so pumped about it!!
I had really high expectations for this. Hendricks and Pekkanen’s novel, The Wife Between Us, is still one of the best books I’ve read this year. It is so, so good. This follow up didn’t disappoint at all. It was creepy, twisty, and just fantastic. I loved it so much, and couldn’t put it down. I’ve already put in the request for the library I work for to order it when it comes out. (It’s supposed to be released in January 2019.)
Jess Farris happens to end up at a psychology study that is conducted by local psychologist, Dr. Shields. Jess feels herself opening up to Shields, drawn to her. The original study progresses to meeting in person and completing tasks assigned to Jess. Paranoia begins to set in as Jess realizes that Dr. Shield’s intentions may have been way more sinister than what she originally thought.

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis, 240 Pages

Let me start off with this- I despise the idea of “Think happy thoughts and you’ll be happy.” Like, literally despise. The thought of it makes me cringe. I come from a background of mental illness, and specifically struggle with social anxiety myself. I know that I can’t just think happy thoughts and then everything will be butterflies and rainbows. Hollis definitely hits on that mindset, but in a way that makes sense. She makes sure to point out that mental illness is real. So, she earned points with me for that one. While yes, she’s privileged. She lives a nice life with her seemingly cookie-cutter family, she also has worked her you-know-what off to achieve all of her goals. She is self-made, and she is real. This book actually did give me a wake up call. I can’t count how many times I’ve told myself that I’m a bad mom. (I just did last night, actually.) I’ve considered myself too fat, not pretty enough, not successful enough, etc. But when I think about it, as Rachel recommends, none of these things have been said to me by other people. I’m the only one that is spewing this nastiness. I really enjoyed this book and will definitely recommend it.

Keep Her Safe by Sophie Hannah, 384 Pages

I had really high hopes for this book and it let me down, unfortunately. It’s another one that’s been on my “To Read” list for a while. I’m still not completely sure why I disliked this book like I did. I know that I didn’t enjoy the writing style- there was just too much “filler” in there for me. And, I found the main character extremely annoying. Not to judge anyone, but running away from your family, including your kids, when you’re facing a difficult time just isn’t realistic to me. I could maybe see having a night away, but the main character leaving the country for over a week is just too much. 
Cara is facing a life-changing situation and isn’t sure how to cope, so she runs. She leaves without telling her family goodbye (aside from a note left behind) and books a stay at a five-star resort in a whole different country. Upon arrival, she’s sent to her room, or what she thought was her room. Inside, she finds a man and a young woman. Without much thought of the encounter, she goes to her actual room and gets some sleep. But, Cara soon realizes that the girl she thinks she saw in the room that night couldn’t have been there… because she is a very well-known murder victim, Melody Chapa. Cara’s relaxing getaway soon turns into a stressful search of the missing girl who everyone around her believes she is making up.

The Leaving by Tara Altebrando, 432 Pages

This was another book I found on my “Best YA thriller” google lists. It’s also been on my mile long “To Read” list I have going. Honestly, this book was a major disappointment for me. It had so much potential and just really fell flat for me. I found it weird, for a lack of better words. And not a good weird, if that makes sense.
Every parent’s worst nightmare became reality for six families over a decade ago. A group of kindergartners disappeared from their school in broad daylight. Now, the town is still trying to find normalcy in the aftermath, when five of the children suddenly return. Upon the joyous reunions, all five realize that they have no memories from the last decade, including what happened to them, or who took them. They also have no idea who Max is- the sixth child that still hasn’t returned. They are all forced to work together to unfold the mystery.

Ten by Gretchen McNeil, 309 Pages

I’ve been on a Young Adult kick lately. I was having a major "book hangover" after finishing Kara Thomas’s book, so I decided to google “Best YA thrillers”, and this happened to be on a list I saw. There were comparisons to “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie, so I thought it sounded pretty good. I enjoyed this book quite a bit and was actually surprised by the ending, which is always appreciated.

Best friend’s Meg and Minnie were invited to an inclusive party on Henry Island. Meg is already on edge when she arrives, but is catapulted into straight fear once a DVD with the message “Vengeance is mine.” is discovered in the secluded home. Cue the terrible weather and power going out- the teens begin dying one-by-one, and quickly turn on each other, as that is the only logical answer as to what is happening. Meg takes it upon herself to not sit and wait to be the next victim, she’s determined to get to the bottom of things.