The Cousins // Book Review

SynopsisMilly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they’ve never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they’re surprised . . . and curious. Their parents are all clear on one point–not going is not an option.
Synopsis from Amazon

My Rating


My Thoughts
I don’t know how Karen M. McManus does it, but her books seem to have a way of pulling me in right from the start. This story was no different, I was immediately intrigued by the story and characters. In this book, we follow three teenage cousins from the Story family: Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah, who barely know each other. They are all very different from one another, but somehow their personalities worked well together. Each of them must drop everything to spend the summer working at their estranged grandmother’s resort. As the three get to know each other, you can see a bond forming between them while they try to uncover family’s secrets.

They were all likable characters, but didn’t stray too much from the author’s typical character personas. They are each facing issues at home, and even though the book was a crazy mystery/thriller, there was definitely some character growth, which was a nice added touch. The Story cousins aren’t clueless, and were immediately suspicious of their grandmother’s sudden invitation. Personally, I enjoy a mystery when the characters aren’t oblivious to things that seem fishy.

As perusal, we have dual perspectives throughout this book, but we don’t just alternate from Story cousin to cousin. There are chapters that take place in the past, which I found very interesting since it helps you piece together the mystery. In the past, you get a glimpse of the cousins’ parents as teenagers, and find out just how different they are from their kids. Let’s just say that money can’t buy you humility. I mean, the word ‘townie’ was used. More than once.

Besides the characters, the plot and mystery was amazing, intense and a roller-coaster ride. I didn’t know what was going to happen next, because there were so many twists, each just as shocking as the last. There were tons of jaw-dropping moments, making it impossible to put the book down. The story is addictive, and I couldn’t wait until everything came together. However, I will say that I figured things out right before the big reveal. Still, I was pretty stunned by the ending.

“Leave the past where it is.”

Of course, there was a romance which I found to be predictable. And truthfully, I wanted it to go another way. Although, I understand that sometimes the most obvious route is the easiest one to take. But make no mistake, the romance is minor, since the book is truly all about the mystery. And, the ending proved that Karen M. McManus is a queen when it comes to YA thrillers.

Overall, I found the story to be incredible, which you have probably already gathered. And, the newfound sibling type of bond amongst the cousins was charming. The Story family were a very dysfunctional bunch, so it was nice to see that not all of them were heartless. If you’re looking for an amazing thriller, with many surprises, then this is a must read! However, I think that all of McManus’ books are must reads. If you want to know my thoughts on her other books view my reviews here.

Leave me a comment letting me know your thoughts on this book. Did you love it as much as me? Did you hate it? Or, maybe you thought it was sub-par? Before you go, give my blog a follow, so that you never miss a post.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Most Anticipated Book Releases // July – December 2022

Hi Friends,
Back in December of 2021, I posted my most anticipated releases from January to June of 2022. Now, I will be sharing my most anticipated book releases from July to December of 2022. As usual, I am not going to mention all the books that I am excited for (since that will make this post very long). With that in mind, I am only mentioning the books that I am the most excited for.


Frightmares by Eva V. Gibson (July 5th)
“In a Florida tourist trap, a summer acting job turns into a real-life horror show when a cast member turns up dead—then disappears. This nail-biting story is perfect for fans of Fear Street!”

A Heavy Dose of Allison Tandy (A Heavy Dose of Allison Tandy #1) by Jeff Bishop (July 12th)
“You’ve Reached Sam meets John Hughes in a funny and heartfelt debut about a boy’s delirious summertime quest with his ex-girlfriend.”


Long Live the Pumpkin Queen by Shea Ernshaw (Aug. 2nd)
In my Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag that I cannot wait for this book to be released. I don’t think there has ever been a ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ retelling, so this is going to be great. I have such high hopes for this book, which makes me a bit nervous.

12 To 22: POV You Wake Up in the Future! by Jen Calonita (Aug. 16th)
“A smart and funny modern day 13 Going on 30 from New York Times bestselling author Jen Calonita! A tween girl finds out it is like to be 22 when she jumps in time with the help of a mysterious TikTok filter.”

Nothing More to Tell by Karen M. McManus (Aug. 30th)
“Four years ago someone got away with murder. The most terrifying part is that they never left.”


Wishtress by Nadine Brandes (Sept. 13th)
“Everyone seems to need a wish—the king, Myrthe’s cousin, the boy she thinks she loves. And they’re ready to bully, beg, and betray her for it. No one knows that to grant even one wish, Myrthe would pay with her life. And if she tells them about the curse . . . they’ll just kill her anyway.”

Mere Mortals by Erin Jade Lange (Sept. 27th)
“This hilarious, fresh take on a classic vampire tale follows a pair of hundred-year-old teenage vampires who are turned mortal and must face the greatest nightmare of all—high school.”


Pretty Dead Queens by Alexa Donne (Oct. 4th)
“Seaview High’s homecoming queen is dead . . . and she’s not the first. From the critically acclaimed author of The Ivies comes a nonstop thriller about a decades-old mystery, a copycat killing, and the teen who won’t stop until she discovers the truth.”

The Art of Insanity by Christine Webb (Oct. 11th)
“Written from experience, this contemporary YA is a heartfelt and candid exploration into the shame surrounding mental illness and offers an uplifting narrative where the protagonist doesn’t die at the end.”


Friends Like These by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez (Nov. 1st)
“Twisted secrets that will have readers guessing with every flip of the page. Perfect for fans of GONE GIRL, WE WERE LIARS and Karen M. McManus. An end-of-summer party. A prank gone wrong. A body on the beach. Who’s to blame?”

Whiteout by Various Authors (Nov. 8th)
“Atlanta is blanketed with snow just before Christmas, but the warmth of young love just might melt the ice in this novel of interwoven narratives, Black joy, and cozy, sparkling romance—by the same unbeatable team of authors who wrote the New York Times bestseller Blackout!”


Come Out, Come Out, Whatever You Are by Kathryn Foxfield (Dec. 6th)
“On the reality show It’s Behind You!, five contestants competing for prize money must survive the night in the dark and dangerous Umber Gorge caves, rumored to be haunted by the Puckered Maiden, a ghost who eats the hearts of her victims. But is it the malevolent spirit they should fear, or each other?”

So, This Is Love (So, This Is Christmas #2) by Tracy Andreen (Dec. 20th)
“In the sequel to Tracy Andreen’s debut romantic comedy So, This Is Christmas, we follow Finley and Arthur back to Barrington Academy for a swoony semester.”


I always get overwhelmed talking about new book releases, since my TBR is already over 500 books! Reader problems, am I right? What are some new releases are you looking forward to? Don’t forget to follow my blog to get notified whenever I post. I am sure to be doing book reviews on at least some of these books.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

2022 Mid-Year Book Freakout // Book Tag

Hi Friends,
It is once again time for the “Mid-Year Book Freakout” Tag! If you don’t know what this tag is all about, you can check out my ‘Book Freakout‘ tag post from last year. This year I also did the new “The Quarter Year Crisis” book tag that you should read as well. This tag should give you a little insight to how my reading year is going thus far.


100% ‘The Night Shift’ by Alex Finlay. So far this year I haven’t had a lot of 5 stars reads, so this book has continued to hold the spot as the best book that I read in 2022.


I have only finished one book series this year, which is the ‘A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder’ trilogy. I won’t get into my thoughts on the final book in the series, but the second book, ‘Good Girl, Bad Blood’, was really good. It was a solid second book, and was an enjoyable read.


Probably ‘Hide’ by Kiersten White! However, I have heard only negative things about the book since its release. Still, I am hoping to pick it up , but I am in no rush to read it.


I have so many anticipated releases coming out! But I am really excited for ‘Long Live the Pumpkin Queen‘ by Shea Ernshaw to be released. The book follows Sally from ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’, which sounds amazing. Also, ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ is special to me since me and my husband dressed up in Jack and Sally for our 2020 wedding on Halloween. Our wedding rings are even inspired by the movie!


I hate to say it, but that would be ‘As Good As Dead’ by Holly Jackson. That, and the third and final book in the ‘A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder’ trilogy. Let’s just move on.


I am going to go with ‘Radio Silence’ by Alice Oseman. I didn’t know what to expect from this book, but I ended up enjoying it a lot! It had an interesting plot, and an honest portrayal of mental health struggles.


Emily Henry! I haven’t finished ‘Book Lovers’ yet, but right from the start I was in love. This storyline is great, the dialogue is great, and the writing style is, well, great!


Honestly, I can’t think of anyone that I have swooned over lately. Sure there are characters that I find adorable, but no new fictional crushes as of yet.


Ivy from ‘You’ll Be The Death Of Me’ by Karen M. McManus. She reminds me a little of myself, since she is type A and an overachiever. Also, she is petty which is something I use to be as a kid. Let me tell you there’s this one grudge I still hold until this day, just kidding. Kind of.


This year, I have read two books that made me sob. The first being ‘The Night Shift’, and the second was ‘Good Girl, Bad Blood’. If you have read either of these books, then you might know why they gutted me.


Bunnicula! My husband desperately wanted me to read this collection, because he calls me Bunny (and sometimes Bunnicula). Reading this silly and cute book made me so happy!


Omens Bite‘ by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast, which is the second book in the ‘Sisters Of Salem’ series. Do I own the first book? No. Was this a cover buy? Yes.


I don’t have any required reading to get done by the years end, but still, I would love to read ‘Darling Girl’ by Liz Michalski before 2022 is over. I don’t know why this book intrigues me so much, but the idea of a dark/adult retelling of ‘Peter Pan’ sounds so interesting.

This tag is always so much fun, so if you have done it, please let me know in the comments. Or, just feel free to tell me how your reading as been going. Have you met your reading goal? Don’t forget to follow my blog for all things bookish and more!

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

You’ll Be The Death Of Me // Book Review

Author: Karen M. Mcmanus
Published: 2021
Genre: YA/Mystery/Thriller
Rating:Full, star, bookmark, favorite, favourite, like, rating icon - Download on IconfinderFull, star, bookmark, favorite, favourite, like, rating icon - Download on IconfinderFull, star, bookmark, favorite, favourite, like, rating icon - Download on IconfinderFull, star, bookmark, favorite, favourite, like, rating icon - Download on IconfinderFull, star, bookmark, favorite, favourite, like, rating icon - Download on Iconfinder

Synopsis
INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of One of Us Is Lying comes a brand-new pulse-pounding thriller. It’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with murder when three old friends relive an epic ditch day, and it goes horribly—and fatally—wrong.


I went into this book knowing that I was most likely going to enjoy it. And I wasn’t wrong. Unlike McManus’ other books, it didn’t start off with a bang, or dive right into the main story. Although I do prefer books that start with a bang, I found the build up to the murder/mystery refreshing.

The main three characters were similar to characters from other Karen M. McManus books. So, I wish there was more variety to her characters’ personalities. However, I found them each likable, and I can see how their friendship once worked.

There is a romance plot, which is typical when it comes to YA books, but I found the romance to be pretty weak. Although it was a second chance/friends-to-lovers type of romance, and I know that a lot of readers enjoy that trope.

I did feel that there was something off with the plot. It could be because I found the backstory about their friendship a little mundane. But she did manage to easily merge their past friendship into a new friendship. The author always finds a way to weave everything together, and make the story flow.

Unlike some thrillers, ‘You’ll Be The Death Of Me’ had a message to it. Sometimes we forget how deadly our emotions can be, and to not let them get the better of us. We always have to pay a price for revenge. And even if you didn’t intend to hurt someone, you can never truly know how things will turn out in the end.

“We all make mistakes, right? And almost never see the fallout coming.”
I found the fact that, throughout the book, the characters didn’t ignore hard topics, and had open communication with one another. This was nice, especially since they weren’t friends anymore. But it was the way they easily reconnected that made you see how they could have been friends, once upon a time.

The book showcased the many sides to a person, and how even horrible acts can be forgiven under the right circumstances. And that it is perfectly okay to ask for help. It also did, however, have some moments where I felt as though the characters were acting like hypocrites. However, they were rare instances.

I did happen to guess the killer, but every now and again, I find it fun to solve the mystery first. Still, this book has so much to offer, and there were a lot of shocking moments are the end. Plus the ending cliffhanger that I didn’t see coming.

I hope that Karen M. McManus doesn’t leave us hanging, because I am dying to see how the rest of this story plays out. In the comments, let me know if you have read this book, and if would like a sequel as well. Follow my blog for more book reviews!

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

The Quarter Year Crisis // Book Tag

Hi Friends,
I have been seeing ‘The Quarter Year Crisis’ book tag making its way around the bookish community. This tag is similar to the ‘Mid-Year Book Freakout‘ tag. Since I love doing the mid-year tag I decided that it would be fun to do the quarter year one as well. The tag was created by Booktuber Roisin’s Reading, and I recommend you check out her channel.

How many books have you read so far?

I have only read 21 books, which I think is pretty good. I have never actually read more than two books a month, so I am proud of myself for reading more than I every thought I could in a month.

Have you already found a book you think might be a 2022 favorite?

I am not going to lie, but most of the books I have read thus far have been 3 star reads. However, ‘You’ll Be the Death of Me‘ by Karen M. McManus will most likely make it on to my favorites of the year list. This doesn’t really come as a surprise, since her book ‘One Of Us Is Lying‘ was a 2021 favorite of mine.

What was your favorite book you read that wasn’t quite five stars?

Probably, going to have to go with ‘Radio Silence‘ by Alice Oseman, yes she is author of the widely popular graphic novel series ‘Heartstopper‘. This book was really good and the message was amazing. I gave the book 4.5 stars, so it was just barely a 5 star read for me. If you want more of my thoughts on the book you can read my review of it.

Any 1 star books / least favorite book of the year?

I have had a few disappointing reads in the past few months, but the one that stands out the most is ‘You’ve Reached Sam‘ by Dustin Thao. I have also done a review of this book, so I don’t want to talk to much about it. But, this book was such a letdown.

Most read genre so far?

100% contemporary! This doesn’t come as a shock since YA contemporary has always been my most read genre. Yet, I think as the year progresses YA horrors and thrillers might beat out contemporary books.

A book that surprised you?

This would have to be ‘Horrid‘ by Katrina Leno. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting going into this book, but I really enjoyed it. For some reason I didn’t think I would like it as much as I did. I will definitely be reading more from this author in the future.

Book that’s come out in 2022 already that you want to read but haven’t yet?

This is an easy one for me, but that would be ‘Blaine for the Win‘ by Robbie Couch. Technically the book was released on April 12th, yet the audiobook isn’t out until May 10th. As most of you know, I am an audiobook addict which is why I have already pre-ordered my copy of the audiobook. I cannot wait to dive into this book.

One goal you’ve made that you’re succeeding at?

This isn’t a bookish goal, but a blogging one. In my 2022 goal post I talked about how I wanted to broaden my blog content. I think that I have been doing pretty good on posting some lifestyle content in addition to bookish posts. I do ‘Toss-Up Tuesday‘, which is when I usually post my non-book content. I have been liking doing those posts and hope to make them more of a regular things.

One goal you made that you need to focus on?

This is a bookish goal, and it is to read the books that I own. I have been very inconsistent with reading from my bookshelves. There are so many new releases that I want to get to that I forget to read the books I already own. I hope to make my owned TBR more of a priority as the year goes on.

New to you Booktubers/bookstagrammers/booktokers for 2022 that you recommend?

I have just started Booktok so I don’t really have any recommendations there (unless you count myself @bookswithbunny). I do have a bookstagram, but don’t really have any account recommendations since I mainly going on Instagram to see cute comics. As for Booktube, I recommend Julie Janis Books and LiterallyLo. They always make great bookish content.

I hope that you enjoyed this tag. If you like this kind of tag, follow my blog so you don’t miss out on when I post my ‘Mid-Year Book Freakout’ tag. I want to tag all my fellow book bloggers, so leave a comment letting me know if you do the tag.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

The Ivies // Book Review

Author: Alexa Donne
Published: 2021
Genre: Young Adult/Murder Mystery
Rating:Full, star, bookmark, favorite, favourite, like, rating icon - Download on IconfinderFull, star, bookmark, favorite, favourite, like, rating icon - Download on IconfinderFull, star, bookmark, favorite, favourite, like, rating icon - Download on Iconfinder

Synopsis
Everyone knows the Ivies: the most coveted universities in the United States. Far more important are the Ivies. The Ivies at Claflin Academy, that is. Five girls with the same mission: to get into the Ivy League by any means necessary. I would know. I’m one of them. We disrupt class ranks, club leaderships, and academic competitions…among other things. We improve our own odds by decreasing the fortunes of others. Because hyper-elite competitive college admissions is serious business. And in some cases, it’s deadly.


I hadn’t heard or seen anyone talk about this book, but the cover intrigued me so I picked it up. The book started off with a bang, with the first chapter captivating my attention. I wanted to see how the story play out. The book was set up as a murder mystery that shows the lengths people will go to ensure they get into a good college.

Although, the beginning was gripping, I found myself getting bored as the story progressed. The mystery element was there and the plot wasn’t bad, but for some reason the story was weak. It might have something to do with the fact that I have never felt the need to go to an Ivy League school. (Well, there was the small desire to follow in Rory Gilmore’s footsteps and attend Yale.) I don’t really think an Ivy League college is the only way to have a good future.

Olivia, our main character, felt like a typical YA protagonist. In my opinion, books that feature an expensive boarding school usually follow the rich and/or elite kids that attend it. However, there is always the one person that doesn’t feel like they belong. Olivia was that girl in this book. She doesn’t feel like she fits in amongst the wealthy.

Olivia’s friend group includes Avery, Emma, Sierra, and Margot, better known as ‘The Ivies’. You could tell that the girls weren’t genuine friends, as they secretly undercut each other at every turn. They didn’t have each other’s backs, and could be just as ruthless to each other as they were to everyone else. I guess there is some truth to the saying “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”.

I did find myself getting annoyed with Olivia at times, because her and her friends did awful things to people. However, Olivia kept making excuses for their actions. She might have not known about all the things her friends had done, but her hands were far from clean. She was naive, sure, but that’s hardly an excuse. I never really felt like she owned up to any of her wrong doings. And, somehow still turned out to be the victim.

Avery was clearly made out to be a Regina George type character. She carefully picked her friends; going so far as to select their Ivy League colleges for them. However, she wasn’t this mean girl that was obsessed with getting into Harvard. Well, she wasn’t only that girl. There was a softer side to her as well.

“We improve our own odds by slightly decreasing the fortunes of others.”

As for the rest of the group, they weren’t very fleshed out. We only got to know a little bit about each of them. Emma was probably the one we learned the most about, since she was murdered. We got a small glimpse at who Sierra was. As for Margot, the author didn’t really give any information on her. All we learned was that she didn’t care for Olivia. She didn’t think she fit in with their friend group, and was outright a bad friend to her.

Also, there was a side romance plot that, I guess, was cute. But, I didn’t care for it. I felt like there really didn’t need to be a romance in the story. Maybe I would have felt differently if Olivia was already in a relationship, but I’m not sure. I do, however, think that the outcome of relationship was surprising, and was the best twist in the book.

As for the murder aspect, the killer’s motive was somewhat weak, yet still relatable. I could actually see somebody killing for this reason. The story showed that having a high social status and money, doesn’t make you entitled to anything. Money can’t by dignity, or make you a decent person. The amount of energy these kids put into getting into college seemed exhausting. In the end, the teenagers in the book made getting into a fancy college seem like a ‘kill or be killed’ situation.

I had a lot of theories on how the book would play out, and some of my guesses were right. However, most of the time, I was dead wrong. This book had the potential to be on the level of Karen M. McManus’ books, but it lacked her amazing writing style and thrilling plot. The author has talent, but just didn’t hit this book out of the park.

A small thing that bugged me, but probably isn’t a big deal to most people, was the focus on Harvard. The book mentioned a few other big name schools, but getting in to Harvard played a major role in the story. Why does it always have to be Harvard? Is it too much to ask that we have a little more outside the box thinking? Okay, rant over.

I do want to mention that Alexa Donne happens to be an authortuber. This wasn’t something that I was aware of until after I read the book, but she has some great author content on her channel. If you want to get to know the author behind this book, then I recommend you check out her channel.

I hope that you enjoyed reading my thoughts on this book. It was an interesting read, yet not a book I would pick up again. Let me know in the comments below your thoughts on this book. If you like bookish content, then follow the blog before you go.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

The January Book Tag

Hi Friends,
Today I’m going to do a tag that I saw in my YouTube subscriptions. It is call ‘January Book Tag’ and was created by ‘Jan Agaton’ on YouTube. However, the person I saw do the tag was ‘MyThicPages’ on YouTube as well.

What was the last (& first, if you remember) book you read last year?
I did have to check my GoodReads account for this question, but apparently the first book I read was ‘Geekerella’ by Ashley Poston. The last book was ‘The Toymakers Apprentice’ by Sherri L. Smith.

What is your first read this year?
I started the year off by reading ‘Late To The Party’ by Kelly Quindlen. It wasn’t the best book to kickstart my reading year, but it could have been worse.


Share 3 of your reading goals this year.
I have a whole post up on my bookish (and more) goals for 2022. Nevertheless, some are to read more of my owned books, to finish some series, to get around to more backlist titles. Honestly, most of these goals sound pretty simple, so hopefully I accomplish them.

Share 3 of your most anticipated titles.
‘Blaine For The Win’ by Robbie Couch (April 2022): The plot of this book makes me predict that it will be a funny and cute YA contemporary. The story is about a high school boy that wants to prove he’s serious to win back his ex. Anyone else getting ‘Legally Blonde’ vibes? Also, the name Blaine always makes me think of Glee, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

‘I Kissed Shara Wheeler’ by Casey McQuiston (May 2022): This is a surprising pick for two reasons. The first being that I wasn’t a fan of ‘One Last Stop’ by Casey McQuiston, which I read in 2021. Still, I’d like to give her a second chance. The second reason being that the plot is similar to ‘Paper Towns’ by John Green, which I hated. But for some reason I am very interested in picking this book up.

‘Nothing More to Tell’ by Karen M. McManus (August 2022): I know nothing about this book, but I would probably read any book Karen McManus releases. Her YA thrillers are always interesting. Even if the plot is slow moving, there is just something that I love about her books.

Which goals did you reach/not reach last year?
I managed to not only reach my GoodReads goal for the year, but I surpassed it. As for a goal I didn’t reach, I kept saying I was going to finish some book series, but instead I started new book series. So that was a big fail.

Are there 2022 releases you’ve heard of that you have no desire to read?
‘House Of Sky And Breath’ by Sarah J. Mass (February 2022): I never got into all the hype surrounding this author. Especially because she is a bit of a problematic author. Also, I have no desire to read a series with some seriously chunky books.

‘Belladonna’ by Adalyn Grace (August 2022): I have heard some good things about Adalyn Grace books, but this series just seems weird to me. Maybe I need the plot more simplified, but after reading the synopsis, I am confused. I still have no idea what this book is about. I wish that I cared enough to read this, because the title brings back so many memories for me. I played the role of ‘Belladonna’ in my college’s production of “Sleeping Beauty.”

What are some reading habits you want to change this year, if any?
I don’t really have any habits that I would like to change. I have been pretty happy with how I read.

Are there any adaptations you’re excited about?
I did have to look up some adaptations to answer this question, since I don’t typically stay up to date with book adaptation releases. Still, I am looking forward to the adaptations of ‘Daisy Jones and the Six’ by Taylor Jeinks Reed, ‘The Nightingale’ by Kristin Hannah, and ‘Death on the Nile’ by Agatha Christie. I actually haven’t read any of these books, so I would like to do that before seeing the adaptations.

Favourite bookish memory of last year?
Starting my book blog! I am so happy that I decided to start my blog and share my love of books with all of you! Also, early last year I participated in the ‘Tis The Damn Season’ Taylor Swift readathon created by a bunch of wonderful BookTubers. That was my first readathon of the year, and it really gave me a desire to read more.

Carryovers from last year that you still plan on finishing?
For sure the ‘Caraval’ trilogy by Stephanie Garber. I have been wanting to read these books for what seems like forever. I also need to read the entire ‘Twilight’ series by Stephanie Meyer, since I started the first book last year.

Those were all the questions, and I want to tag all of you to do this as well! It was a nice tag to kick off a new year of reading. Please give my post a like and share. And, if you would be so kind, follow my blog as well to get notified whenever I post!

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

My Favorite Books Of 2021 // The Best Of The Best

Hi Friends,
The time has finally come to talk about my favorite books of 2021! I managed to read a lot of books this year. Well, a lot for me. And while I wouldn’t classify my reading year as amazing, some of the books that were top-tier reads. I decided to start at number 11 and work my way down to number 1. Also, I have a review up for, almost, all the books on this list, so if you want to know my in-depth thoughts on any of them, please read my reviews.

1 Number PNG1 Number PNGThe Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee
This is, I believe, the first young adult sci-fi that I have ever read. The premise and character intrigued me, and the ending left me wanting to continue on with the story. I think it was a good way to easy myself into the fantasy genre. It was a cool read that managed to squeak its way on to this list.

1 Number PNG0 Number PNG Legendborn by by Tracy Deonn
I wasn’t to thrilled to pick this book up, since it is a YA fantasy story. If you have read my blog for any length of time than you know me and fantasy aren’t the best of friends. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the plot, and the twist ending was fascinating. I am curious to see where the story will go from here. Overall, the excitement I got from listening to the story was why it got the number 10 spot.

9 Number PNGUndead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson
This is actually a book that I started back a year (or so) ago. But, I put it down and never picked it back up. That is, not until this year. I don’t know why I wasn’t engaged in the story the first time around, because I thought the plot worked well! There were also a lot of funny moments throughout the book. I would love to read more from this author, since her writing style was simple and effective. It isn’t the best book of all time, but I enjoyed it enough for it to become a favorite of 2021.

8 Number PNGOne Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
I read many YA thrillers this year, and many of them were great reads. However, this book was a roller coaster ride, without being too crazy. Truthfully, I felt like I was reading a Lifetime mystery movie, which I am not mad about. I love Lifetime and Hallmark movies, so I think that is one of the reason I enjoyed the book. But the ending is what really too this book to the next level for me. Some might call it predictable; I call it shocking. Which is probably why Karen M. McManus has become a new favorite author of mine, and this book is one of my favorites for the year.

7 Number PNGYou Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
Lucky number seven! This YA contemporary was cute, but not in a cheesy way. I liked how the story played out, and the female-female romance was very sweet. The main character, Liz, was relatable, and by the end of the book, began to stand up for herself. She had a lot going on at home, but handled it with so much strength, while hiding her anxiety. I think it is important to remember that we are the lead character of our lives, not a supporting role, which Liz eventually realized as well.

6 Number PNGOn The Fence by Kasie West
I love me some Kasie West, but I hadn’t picked up any of her older work until 2021. This is your classic best friends to lovers story, which is always a favorite of mine. Who am I kidding, Kasie West’s name on the cover usually means it’ll be a favorite for me. I liked the romance aspect, and that the main character was the typical pretty girl. There was also a mental health plot that was interesting, as well. It was a simple story, and it made me happy so number six it is.

5 Number PNGThe Afterlife Of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand
This was a reread for me, but this year it became one of my favorite books. Hence it being in my top 5 books of the year. Not sure, what head space I was in the first time I read it, but now it has officially become a yearly holiday read for me. It is a YA retelling of ‘A Christmas Carol’ with a unique twist. I think that just about anyone who knows the classic story would surely get a kick out of this book.

4 Number PNGToy Makers Apprentice by Sherri L. Smith
This is one of the last books that I read in 2021, and I am glad I discovered it. It is a middle-grade ‘The Nutcracker’ retelling that jumps right into the story from the get go. The plot is captivating, and I couldn’t put it down. It is such an original take on the classic story, and it keeps you on the edge of your seat. I don’t know why more people aren’t raving about this book. It was very close to being higher on this list, but I read other books that were a little bit better.

3 Number PNGThese Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
This is a book that is getting a lot of buzz, so obviously I had to read it. The book is a take on Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliette’ set in Shanghai. After reading the book, I completely understand the hype. At first, I was a little confused. But once the story got going, it was, in a word, amazing. I don’t know how the author took Shakespeare’s classic story and turned it upside down while still making that connection to the original. I loved it! And evidently, others do too. And, to think I almost forgot to add it to my favorite books of the year. What was I thinking?

2 Number PNGIf I’m Being Honest by Austin Siegemund-Broka and Emily Wibberley
I think it is funny that this book made the list, since I was so close to DNFing it. Nevertheless, this book has become a contemporary favorite of mine. The main character was blunt and confident, but learned to be a better person, all on her own. She thought that she had to “tame” herself to get a guy. But really, she need to be better for herself, and nobody else. As said by Dr. Seuss, “Be who you are and say how you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

1 Number PNGFive Feet Apart by Mikki Daughtry, Rachael Lippincott, & Tobias Iaconis
I don’t know if anyone expected this to be my top book of the year, because I sure didn’t. I think I mentioned this in my review for the book, but this story broke me. The plot is incredible and heartbreaking all at once. Your emotions will be all over the place while reading the book, which was probably the authors intention. I am going to warn you that the ending will make you cry, and probably break you as well. In my opinion, it is a love story that everyone should read.

Those are all my favorite books of 2021, and I am excited to see what will make the list next year. Let me know your favorite books of the year, and don’t forget to check out my reviews on the these books.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

The Bookmas Tag

Hi Friends,
Today, I’m going to be doing the ‘Bookmas’ tag! This tag was created by SophiesSeries on Booktube. Since, I am going to be doing the ‘12 Days of Bookmas’ this year, so I thought this would be a good start to Bookmas.

☸ The Lovebirds: Which two characters would you like to see under the mistletoe?
I have a review up on ‘One Of Us Is Next’ by Karen M. McManus, and I believe mentioned how much I loved the relationship that developed between Phoebe and Knox. Truthfully, I would read a whole book on their friends to lovers story. Although, I don’t really know if I can classify them as friends turned lovers. Still, I think finding them under the mistletoe together would be so cute.

The Mismatched: Which unlikely pair of characters would get stuck under the mistletoe?
It would be hilarious if Selwyn and Nick from ‘Legendborn’ by Tracy Deonn got caught under the mistletoe together. They have this love-hate brotherly type of bond, so they would be pissed if this happened.

 

☸ The Grinch: Which character would spend the day with their face in a knot?
Leda Cole from ‘The Thousandth Floor’ series by Katharine McGee for sure! From what I’ve read she seems like such a negative person. I can just see her being in a grumpy, snarky mood during the holidays.

The Naughty List: Which character has angered so many people that nobody felt like getting them a gift?
Possibly, Warner from the ‘Shatter Me’ books by Tahereh Mafi. This might be a stretch since I’ve only read the first book in the series. And, I do believe that Warner gets more likable as the books go on. However, I still feel like his colder demeanor would rub people the wrong way making them give him coal instead of a gift.

The Fraud: Which character would assign a fake date to the gathering, just so they don’t appear alone?
I would say Avery Fuller from ‘The Thousandth Floor’ series, since I remember her doing something similar to this in the first book. She is seen as the perfect girl, so I think she’d feel like she always needs to attend every event with a handsome man.

The Caroler: Which character does everybody have to yell at to stop singing Christmas songs?
Obviously Lily from ‘Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares‘ by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn! She was literally in a Christmas caroling group. Also, I don’t see her having any problem singing peoples ears off with Christmas tunes.

The Klutz: Which character accidentally knocks over the Christmas tree?
This question was a hard one, but I am going to pick Charlie from ‘10 Truths and a Dare’ by Ashley Elston. He is such a goofball character, so I feel like he would do something impulsive and knock over the tree.

The Snooper: Which character would ruin all of their surprises by trying to figure out what all the gifts are?
I think Kitty from the ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ trilogy by Jenny Han. She is kind of spoiled and nosy, which makes me think she’d peek at the gifts. Also, I don’t think this has anything to do with her being the youngest, seeing as I am the youngest out of my siblings. And I would never sneak a peek at the gifts.

I tag all of you to do this tag, even if you aren’t taking part in Bookmas. I hope that you are all excited for Bookmas! If you have already been reading and watching some Bookmas content let me know in the comments. You wont want to miss any of my upcoming post, so hit that follow button. Pretty please!

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Two Can Keep A Secret // Book Review

Title: Two Can Keep A Secret
Author: Karen M. McManus
Published: 2019
Genre: Young Adult/Mystery
Rating:Full, star, bookmark, favorite, favourite, like, rating icon - Download on IconfinderFull, star, bookmark, favorite, favourite, like, rating icon - Download on IconfinderFull, star, bookmark, favorite, favourite, like, rating icon - Download on Iconfinder

Synopsis
Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.


I didn’t expect this book to blow me away, and for the most part I was right. The plot follows a teenage girl, Ellery. She is sent, with her twin brother, to live with their grandmother in Echo Ridge. Their mother, a small time actress, is doing another stint in rehab, so the twins have to make the best of their new lives. Ellery’s only interest is the murder of the homecoming queen that took place five years prior.

This is a dual perspective narrative, which I didn’t anticipate. We get Ellery’s point of view, but we also get Malcom’s, whose brother was the prime suspect in homecoming murder. I didn’t like one perspective more than the other, which I find is good when it comes to books that alternate narratives. However, I did think that Ellery was always jumping the gun when it came to sharing her theories. She didn’t take the time to think things through fully, and went for the easy suspects.

One thing’s for sure, I couldn’t get behind Ellery and Malcom as a couple. Their relationship started instantly, without any development. I didn’t see the chemistry between the two characters. I was fond of, Mia, who is Malcom’s best friend. And, Ezra, Ellery’s twin brother. It was nice that they were both diverse characters, as Ezra is both biracial and gay. While Mia is a bisexual Korean. I could sense that Mia added some spice to Malcom’s life, while Ezra was more level-headed than Ellery. Also, I cannot get over the fact that his name is ‘Ezra’ and the book is titled ‘Two Can Keep A Secret.’ Pretty Little Liars Easter egg?

“I thought she was your mother.”

Something that I am not a fan of when it comes to books is multiple plots. In this book, we are trying to solve the homecoming murder from five years ago. But than there’s this hit and run accident, absent mother story-line and even some found family side plot. As if that wasn’t enough, Ellery is also trying to uncover what happened to her mother’s twin sister, who disappeared many years ago. All the pieces do come together at the end, but I think that was way too much for one book to handle.

The ending has got to be the best part. I think that somewhere around the last two chapters, you get a sense of whose the killer. Personally, however, I was still shocked at the reveal. The motive was done well, and it was jaw-dropping. At one point, you don’t think the characters are going to make it out of alive. Also, the final page had a major twist that I never saw coming.

Even though the book didn’t wow me like ‘One Of Us Is Lying’ did, Karen M. McManus is still an exceptional author. I probably wouldn’t give this one a reread, but I do wish that it was a bit longer since there was sort of a cliffhanger ending. I needed to know more.

Let me know if you have read this book, tell me your thoughts about it in the comments. Give this post a like and a share, and follow for content updates and more.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny