Then She Was Gone // Book Review

About The Book
She was fifteen, her mother’s golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone. Ten years on, Laurel has never given up hope of finding Ellie. And then she meets a charming and charismatic stranger who sweeps her off her feet. But what really takes her breath away is when she meets his nine-year-old daughter. Because his daughter is the image of Ellie.
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My Rating

I had heard nothing but good things about this book. And, going into it, I was expecting it to be a thrilling mystery-thriller. However, the story wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be.

In the book, we follow Laurel, whose daughter Ellie disappeared when she was just fifteen year old. 10 years later, Laurel meets Floyd, whose daughter Poppy looks almost identical to Ellie.

The plot sounded so intriguing, but predictable from the start. Honestly, there wasn’t many shocking twist in the book. I think even a newbie mystery reader could have figured out where the story was going.

As a main character, Laurel was a classic mother of a missing child, at least as far as pop culture is concerned. She took 10 years to even attempt to move on from losing Ellie. And, she had a strained relationship with her other two kids and husband because of her resentment towards them for Ellie’s disappearance.

“When I read a book it feels like real life and when I put the book down it’s like I go back into the dream.”

It was interesting to get chapters in Ellie’s perspective. Reading those chapters made me imagine what it would be like loosing a child. Nothing can compare to that kind of nightmare. It’s a horrifying, and nobody should have to go through that kind of situation.

However, the writing wasn’t as engaging as I’d would have liked. I found the pacing to be pretty slow. I’ve heard a lot of people mention that it is a quick read, and while I did finish it in a day, I wouldn’t necessarily consider the book to be fast-paced. Still, the story wasn’t interesting enough to keep me reading.

Overall, I would say that this for sure a mystery but not at all a thriller. For the most part, you already no where the story is going to go. Also, I found the book to be very sad. The ending broke my heart. I just felt so bad for Laurel, Ellie, Poppy, and mostly every character by the end of the book.

Before you read this book be sure to check out the trigger warnings. StoryGraph is a great resource for looking up trigger warnings in books. Don’t forget to like this post and follow my blog to get post alerts.

Until The Next Chapter,

Wretched Waterpark // Book Review

About The Book
A middle-grade mystery series that’s spooky, creepy, and filled with gothic twists! Meet the Sinister-Winterbottom twins, who solve mysteries at increasingly bizarre summer vacation destinations in the hopes of being reunited with their parents—or at the very least finally finding a good churro.
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My Rating


I’m not gonna lie, this was a very quick and easy middle-grade mystery-ish book. I wasn’t exactly sure where the plot was going and I didn’t love how the story as a whole played out.

In the book, we follow 12 year old twins, Theodore and Alexander Sinister-Winterbottom, and their older sister Wilhelmina. As they spend the summer with their Aunt Saffronia, and discover a mystery at a strange waterpark.

We got to know Sinister-Winterbottom kids’ personalities, and the side characters were also fleshed out well. And, the writing really is what kept me reading. Kiersten White has a way of making me keep wanting to regardless of how I feel about the plot.

My biggest problem is that I just didn’t care for the mystery. I didn’t find it to be engaging, and I wasn’t drawn into the story. The plot felt very young, so as an adult reader that likes her adult mystery thrillers, I found the book to be very underwhelming. You can tell it was intended for tweens.

“It was the strangest summer.”

I speed read the last half of the book because it was easy to follow and I wanted to be done with the story. However, that’s not to say it’s a bad book. I believe younger kids would really enjoy it. And, I might have been more of a fan if I had read it when I was a kid.

Negative thoughts aside, I haven’t completely given up on the series. If I do end up continuing on with the book it will most likely be do to the writing. And, the fact they’ll be more simple reads. They might even be great to help get you out of a reading slump. However, I won’t plan on any of them being 5 star reads, but sometimes that okay.

Overall, if you do want a fast paced read that’s good to boost your reading goal this year, then I would pick this up. Or, if you know a tween in your life that is into mystery books. It is recommended for fans of ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ and ‘Scooby Doo’, and I completely understand why.

In the comments, let me know if you enjoyed this book. Or, if you have any middle-grade mystery book recommendations. Don’t forget to follow my blog to get notified whenever there’s a new post.

Until The Next Chapter,

Like Sapphire Blue // Book Spotlight

Hi Friends,
I’m excited to have been asked by @BreakevenBooks to participate in the blog tour for ‘Like Sapphire Blue’ by Marisa Billions. It sounds like such an amazing LGBTQ+ coming of age story and the fact that there’s an audiobook version make me so happy!

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About The Book

“Your eyes are amazing. I’ve never seen a blue like that.”

Emma Landry is tough, independent, beautiful, and smart. Being an outcast unable to identify with her classmates, she was willing to do whatever it takes to climb her way out of poverty.

“What color would you say they are?”

Like Sapphire Blue

Having never known a mother’s love, her father “Bear”, raised her on the wrong side of the tracks in a wealthy town.

When success beckons, the woman she’s been in love with is, finally, within her grasp. Life is now worth living and loving.

That is, until a dark family secret is revealed. A secret tied into the very fabric of who she is, and what she spent a lifetime working to overcome.

Faced with a foundation shattering treachery, Emma finds herself at the crossroads. Can she overcome a destiny stronger than death, destitution, and murder, to prove she is more than just her father’s daughter? Or will this new knowledge lead her to destroy the world she’s spent a lifetime building?
Winner of the 2023 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Fiction Book of the Year.

Book Excerpt 

Humble Beginnings
The Present…
Discord, meaning a lack of harmony or unity by the definition. In a relationship it is that moment when the realization hits that there is no turning back and the damage is done. It’s irreparable.
Why won’t she look at me? Emma looked about the room. The table was set with the good china. Their favorite bottle of wine sat corked in the center, and across from her, was her beautiful wife. This was the woman that she spent the last two decades of her life with, and she won’t even look up? There was no way I was ever going to really fall in love with anyone else, you made sure of that. Whenever I thought you were out of my life, you miraculously reappeared every time. With narrowed eyes, gripping the ends of the table she looked around in the dimly lit room.
The dining room was immaculate, crown molding lines the ceiling, and a tapestry of a French courtyard hangs on the back wall. A china cabinet delicately displaying the unused settings on the opposite wall. The dimmer switch was set to low and candles flicker in silver holders (inherited from her wife’s grandmother, who inherited them from her grandmother and so forth and so on). Her wife was sitting, with her thick strawberry blonde hair in delicate waves down her back. Her favorite dress clung to her curves. She has a beautiful body, and not a lot of things look bad on her. Her chin was down, and her beautiful blue eyes are downcast, refusing to look at Emma. She is leaning back against the chair with her head down. She’s there, but she’s not.
Emma sat back, still staring across the table at her wife. One hand rested on the table, the other on the back of her chair. She worked so hard on this dinner. She made their favorite meal – eggplant parmigiana, pasta, home-made garlic bread. Not even an acknowledgement of the fact that the bottle of wine costs what Bear used to make in two weeks working at Jessie’s shop.
Her wife just sat there unmoved. Unimpressed. Not looking. Not speaking. This was her schtick though. The cold shoulder. The silent treatment. It wasn’t the first time she did this to Emma. But still, it was frustrating to her. And to think, this woman has a PhD. You would think she has better coping mechanisms than the silent treatment.
The dinner itself and the beautiful and impressive dining room it was served in, could not be a further cry from Emma’s meager beginnings. To keep from looking at her silent wife, Emma looked around at the room.
“You had everything growing up. This dinner, and what I did to prepare it, probably don’t mean much to you. But to make this, to have this, this is the world to me. What we built together, has meant the world to me.” Emma’s voice was quiet. Tears had welled up in her eyes.

The Past (1976-1991)
Emma Landry never knew her mother. She didn’t even know she had one until she was in kindergarten. She thought she only came to be because of one parent, her dad Frank, who she called Bear, short for Papa Bear.
She lived with her dad in a small trailer near the town. It was behind the auto shop that her dad worked at, which was owned by his brother, her uncle Jessie. The trailer was rundown, and there was a hole in the corner of the floor in the living room where she could see the ground beneath. In the winter time, she would stick a towel in the hole to keep the cold out, but sometimes the mice beneath the trailer would take it. Bear’s room was located at one end of the narrow trailer, and hers was at the other. There was a small living room with a tv that had bootlegged cable running to it. The walls were lined with a dark, faux wood paneling. An old card table with folding chairs was where they ate from dull plastic plates with mismatched silverware and chipped ceramic mugs. The couch was old, cream colored with brown and orange flower print, sagged in the middle and smelled faintly of mildew.
Their trailer and the shop were located on a small, wooded plot of land. They didn’t have neighbors, and she didn’t have friends. Her friends were two plush animals, Teddy (a floppy eared dog) and Brownie (a threadbare cotton tailed bunny).

About The Author

Marisa Billions is a high school English teacher in Southern California. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Criminology. She is the author of the fiction novels, This Too Shall Pass, Like Sapphire Blue, and Into the Blue Again. She is working on her upcoming fourth novel. Like Sapphire Blue was the Reader Views Reviewers Choice Fiction Book of the Year. She lives in Southern California with her wife, Stephanie, and son, Alexander, and two Boxer dogs, Max and Ruby.

If you enjoyed this post below is the entire blog tour schedule!

May 5th, 2023

May 6th, 2023

May 7th, 2023

May 8th, 2023

May 9th, 2023

May 10th, 2023

May 11th, 2023

May 11th, 2023

May 12th, 2023
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Until The Next Chapter,

Friday Reads #16

Hello Friends,
Let’s do a weekend reading breakdown! I love sharing what I hope to read over the weekend with you guys. So, here is my Friday reads and it’s an ambitious one. But, what else is new.

A Magic Steeped in Poison‘ by Judy I. Lin
I’m on a fantasy kick and this book is fulfilling all my fantasy needs right now. I’m not far into it but the writing is amazing. And, so far I’m loving the story.

She Is a Haunting‘ by Trang Thanh Tran
I have been dying to read this book since I got the audiobook on release day. Honestly, I can’t remember the plot but I know that it’s a YA horror. This also happens to be my ‘The Reading Rabbits’ book club pick!

The Way I Used to Be‘ by Amber Smith
If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time you know that I love a good young adult contemporary. However, I haven’t really had the desire to pick any up lately. Yet, I picked this book out of my TBR jar so I would like to read it this month.

The Book of Cold Cases‘ by Simone St. James
I’ve been very intrigued by this book lately and it’s kind of been calling to me. It’s an adult thriller, so I’m most likely going to love it. Although, getting to it this weekend might be a bit of a stretch.

Those are the books I’m hoping to read with in 3 days. Yeah, I might be a little insane. In the comments, let me know what you are planning to read this weekend. Don’t forget to follow the blog for more bookish content.

Until The Next Chapter,

The Babysitter’s Coven // Book Review

About The Book
Adventures in Babysitting meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer in this funny, action-packed novel about a coven of witchy babysitters who realize their calling to protect the innocent and save the world from an onslaught of evil.
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My Rating


I found this book to be very entertaining. It is totally ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’ meets ‘The Babysitter’s Club’. The main character is Esme, who has a single dad, and runs a babysitting business with her best friend.

However, she soon discovers that she, along with the new girl, Cassandra, are basically superheroes. Complete with magic powers and everything. It gave me such ‘Secret Circle’ and ‘The Craft’ vibes.

As a main character Esme was smart and had good instincts. She’s the Buffy of the story, which I guess makes Cassandra the Faith. It did annoy me that Esme swooned over Cassandra’s brother because he was hot and cool. However, Esme’s best friend was great, and was truly her ride or die.

“I’m too far down the rabbit hole to turn back now. This night is too insane to ever be scary.”

The writing was great, and the story kept me interested. There were some funny moments throughout the story and I’d compare it to ‘Undead Girl Gang’ by Lily Anderson. And, seeing as I enjoyed that book, it’s no surprise that I was a fan of this one as well.

The last half of the book was crazy and super good. I loved all the twist and turns. It really focused on how jealousy and grief are powerful motivators. They can make you blind to evil actions.

Overall, I will likely be picking up the sequel. However, the ending was a little cheesy and I didn’t 100% love the last chapter, which is why it isn’t a five star. But, if you’re looking for a funny Buffy-esque book, then I’d for sure give this a read. Still, be aware that this is a YA book, and it does read like one.

In the comments, let me know if you plan on starting this series. As always, like and share this post. Also, you can follow the blog for more posts like this one.

Until The Next Chapter,

Part Of Your World // Book Review

About The Book
It’s been five years since the infamous sea witch defeated the little mermaid… and took King Triton’s life in the process. Ariel is now the voiceless queen of Atlantica, while Ursula runs Prince Eric’s kingdom on land. But when Ariel discovers that her father might still be alive, she finds herself returning to a world–and a prince–she never imagined she would see again.
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My Rating

This Twisted Tales book takes the story of ‘The Little Mermaid’ and flips it upside down. We find out that Ariel didn’t defeat Ursula, and is now living under the sea as a mermaid once again, and the ruler of Atlantica. And, she still has no voice.

Ursula, still pretending to be Vanessa, has married Eric and is using Ariel’s voice. Also, she has King Trident as her prisoner. Although, she has no magic on land she has managed to make everyone forget about Ariel and her being an evil sea witch.

I didn’t really care for this story one bit. The characters didn’t match their original personalities, except maybe Ursula. True, it is mentioned many times that as queen, Ariel has had to grow up, and has changed a lot. And, admittedly, Eric didn’t really have much of a personality in the Disney film.

“There is always magic. Even if you can’t see it.”

Yet, the story just fell flat for me. Everything happened super fast from them realizing Trident was still alive to Ariel getting her voice back. Also, Erica was supposedly so “in love” with Vanessa that he married her but still didn’t really like her. And, he never truly forgot Ariel.

I really struggled to get through this book, but I thought to myself that if I pushed through reading ‘Unbirthday’ (another Twisted Tale book) I can make it through this one. Not so sure if that’s a good reason to finish a book, but it worked for me.

Overall, the writing was good, and I do like seeing these classic Disney stores retold. But, I still wouldn’t recommend this book to other Twisted Tales fans.

In the comments, let me know if you enjoyed this ‘Little Mermaid’ retelling. Don’t forget to like this post, and follow my blog for more book reviews.

Until The Next Chapter,

If He Had Been With Me // Book Review

About The Book
An achingly authentic and raw portrait of love, regret, and the life-altering impact of the relationships we hold closest to us, this YA romance bestseller is perfect for fans of Colleen Hoover, Jenny Han, and You’ve Reached Sam.
Buy The Book:

My Rating


This book has been blowing up on Booktok, which is half the reason I wanted to read it. The other reason is that I heard it was a heartbreaking YA contemporary, and I have been in the mood for a story like ‘Five Feet Apart’.

The story follows Autumn as she details her high school experience and complicated relationship with long time friend Finn. The book is completely character driven. We get to learn a lot about Autumn her inner thoughts and feelings.

The writing was really good, and I was generally interested in the story. However, I can see how a lot of the characters and situations are very immature. I understand that they are teenagers, and generally teenagers aren’t the most mature people. I know that I certainly wasn’t mature at sixteen.

However, the immaturity did hinder my enjoyment of the story. I wanted to shake Autumn for her ignorance and desperation. And, even when she makes big realizations, she still doesn’t do anything about them. A lot of things could have been a avoided if she was just open and honest with people. It was frustrating, to say the least.

“I love him in a way I cannot define, as if my love were an organ within my body that I could not live without yet could not pick out of an anatomy book.”

There are mentions of depression throughout the story and how it has affects people. Also, it touches on toxic relationships. Honestly, I appreciated how it showed a different side to a toxic relationships. Not all of them need to have an element of abuse to still be considered toxic.

Sex, and the pressure to have sex, is a big topic in the book. There is even mention of teen pregnancy. I’m sure sex is a topic that is on a lot of teenagers minds, but in YA novels the main protagonist is always the one to want to wait. This isn’t a bad thing at all, but remember wanting, or having, sex in high school doesn’t make you a slut.

A lot of the plot was predictable and it felt like I was reading Autumn’s diary. Everything that happens seems very relatable, but not in a teen movie way. I’m sure that a lot of teenagers could really relate to the story.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, but wasn’t wowed by it. Autumn wasn’t my favorite main character, but I did like the story as a whole. The ending did make me sad in a heartbreaking kind of way. It was kind of depressing, and I’m not sure if the book lives up to the hype. I guess it doesn’t truly depict how intense young love can be.

In the comments, let me know if you think this book deserves all the attention it has been getting. Don’t forget to follow my blog for more bookish content.

Until The Next Chapter,

Choices: To The Hills And Back Again // Book Review

About The Book
From the star of MTV’s The Hills and The Hills: New Beginnings, a candid and insightful reflection on aughts tabloid fame, the powerlessness and loss of self in toxic situations, and the life-changing power of even our smallest choices.
Buy The Book:

My Rating

I’m a die hard Laguna Beach and The Hills fan, so when I heard Audrina was releasing a “tell-all” book, I knew I had to read it. She offers an inside look at being a reality TV star, her strained friendship with Lauren Conrad and ex Justin Bobby.

The one thing I try to keep in mind when reading memoir type books is that this one person’s experiences. In the book, she describes what it was like becoming a celebrity at just 19 years old. However, I felt as though she complained about her experience while still talking about how great it was to be a celebrity.

Although, I understand that some things can be bittersweet and that’s what it seems like being in The Hills was for her. She liked all the opportunities she was given, but not being on camera 24/7. And, she even mentioned how the producers would edit a lot of scenes and try to create drama.

She describes how she felt like she was playing a character. There was her true self and then there was Audrina from The Hills. I can understand that sometimes it’s easier to just give in and play the part.

There was a complete chapter on her relationship with Justin. I think she handled that topic very well, and didn’t throw a ton of shade at him. She mentioned how he changed a bit throughout filming the show, and fame can really do that to a person. She even mentioned where their relationship stands today.

One thing that was interesting was how she described Lauren Conrad, in the book. Audrina seemed a bit salty towards her. She stated that Lauren was a controlling friend, almost bordering on “Mean Girls” territory. She talk about how they aren’t friends anymore, but friendly to each other. Yet, she also threw shade at Stephanie Pratt as well, calling her a drama seeker and untrustworthy.

“I believe that if you don’t learn your lesson, you’re going to keep circling back to it until you do, going through versions of the same events with different people until you can finally open your eyes to what to do differently.”

However, she has mostly nice things to say about Heidi Pratt and Kristin Cavallari. So, it begs the question if her opinions are skewed towards who her friends are. Remember, there are two sides to every story.

Audrina did touch on her toxic relationship with ex-husband Corey Bohan. From the moment she detailed their relationship you could tell the red flags. But, even she herself admits that she tried to ignore his jealousy and anger. She also talks about being in therapy to help her understand why she accepted the abuse and stayed in the relationship.

The majority of the book was about her time with Corey and all the trauma she went through. I can see how it must have been a form of closure for her to tell her truth. It isn’t easy to share intimate details of one’s private life, even more so the darker parts.

I throughly enjoyed hearing about her experiences and how she’s still working through things. She didn’t play the victim, but instead shared what was going on in her mind at the time. And, she never made excuses for Corey’s bad behavior towards her, or his lack of parenting of their daughter.

Overall, it’s so hard to rate memoirs since they’re so personal. This was an okay read and it made me remember her short lived reality show ‘Audrina’. I can’t believe I watched that. Although, this book would be great for anyone that has gone through or is in a toxic relationship. It was, at it’s core, a letter from Audrina to her daughter Keira, which I found to be incredibly sweet.

In the comments, let me know if you were a bigger fan of ‘Laguna Beach’ or ‘The Hills’. I’m going to say that Laguna will always have my heart, but ‘The Hills’ was where the drama was at.

Until The Next Chapter,

Friday Reads #15

Hello Friends,
It’s time for another Friday reads post! I am going to try and finish a few books this weekend, but as always this is a flexible weekend TBR. I might change things up depending on what my Libby app has available on Audiobook, but I like having options.

Furyborn‘ by Claire Legrand
I’ve been reading this book for months and still just at 30%. It’s a YA fantasy that is apart of my 12 Book Challenge.

A Magic Steeped in Poison‘ by Judy I. Lin
I’m like 4% into this young adult fantasy, but so far I am loving it! I’m really going to try and get this finished but the end of the weekend.

With and Without You‘ by Austin Siegemund-Broka and Emily Wibberley
I’ve read every YA contemporary released by this author duo. But, I have yet to get to their release from last year, which is about two teens trying to navigate a long distance relationship.

Icebreaker’ by Hannah Grace
I posted a poll on my Bookstagram account voting on what ‘smutty‘ book I should read and this was the winner. Guess, I’m going to be seeing what all the hype is about.

Those are the books that I’m planning on picking up, but I’ve been in the biggest reading mood lately. And, right now I want to read everything especially fantasy series. Before you go, hit the follow button to get notified whenever there’s a new post.

Until The Next Chapter,

Spring 2023 // To Be Read

Hi Friends,
Today, I’m going to be doing my Spring TBR! I’ve decided to start doing more seasonal TBRs, since I’m a huge mood readers. However, I’ve been super active on Bookstagram and Booktok. And, on Booktok I’ve started doing a TBR jar, so each month I’ll pick out four books from that jar. If you want to see my picks for April go follow me on TikTok (@BooksWithBunny). Anyways, let’s get on to the books I hope to read this spring!

Mr. Wrong Number by Lynn Painter: I have become a huge Lynn Painter fan, so I have decided to dive into her adult romances. I hear that this is a really funny and cute romance.

Love Wager by Lynn Painter: This is the second book in her ‘Mr. Wrong Number’ series. I don’t know much about it but the color is yellow, which makes me think of spring.

The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston: I’ve read some of the authors YA work before, and admittedly, didn’t love them. However, I’ve heard only good things about this book. It’s a romance with a main character that falls in love with a ghost. It’s giving off major ‘Just Like Heaven’ vibes.

Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon: I have absolutely no idea what this book is about, but it follows a weather girl, so I’m sold. Anyone who knows me in real life knows that I’m obsessed with the weather, so this book is perfect for me.

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez: This is an adult romance that has to do with a women that is infertile. I’m excited to read this because Abby Jimenez is a very popular author, but, as I’m struggling to conceive as well, it might be a very hard read for me.

With And Without You by Austin Siegemund-Broka and Emily Wibberley: I have a love hate relationship with this author duo. I loved their book ‘If I’m Being Honest’ but have hated nearly all of their other books. However, I’m going to give this one a read, and see if they can prove they’re not just a one hit wonder in my book.

She Gets the Girl by Alyson Derrick and Rachael Lippincott: All I know is that this is a queer love story, and it’s written by one of the authors of ‘Five Feet Apart’. Enough said.

Promposal by RaeChell Garrett: This was on my most anticipated romance releases of 2023. As you can tell from the title it’s a young adult contemporary about prom. So, I have to read it around prom seasons.

Tell Me What Really Happened by Chelsea Sedoti: I know nothing about this book, except for the fact that it’s a YA mystery/thriller, but leans more toward the mystery side of things. The cool thing is that it’s told mostly through police interviews.

She Is a Haunting by Trang Thanh Tran: Honestly, I can’t remember what this book is about, but I know that it’s a YA thriller. And, it is said to be perfect for fans of ‘Mexican Gothic’. While I didn’t love that book, I remember being intrigued by this one’s plot.

The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager: I’ve been wanting to pick up a Riley Sager book for sometime and this is the one I’ve chosen to read first. I believe it’s about a woman that thinks she witnessed a murder. However, I’m pretty sure she’s an unreliable narrator.

Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins: This book has mixed reviews, but I still want to read it for myself. It is a ‘locked island’ thriller, which sounds unlike anything I’ve read before.

There you have my somewhat big spring TBR! Let me know what you are hoping to read this spring in the comments. Don’t forget to give my blog a follow.

Until The Next Chapter,