Everyone Who Can Forgive Me Is Dead // Book Review

About The Book
Nine years ago, with the world’s eyes on her, Charlie Colbert fled. The press and the police called Charlie a “witness” to the nightmarish events at her elite graduate school on Christmas Eve—events known to the public as “Scarlet Christmas”—though Charlie knows she was much more than that. But when a buzzy film made by one of Charlie’s former classmates threatens to shatter everything she’s worked for, Charlie realizes how much she’s changed in nine years.
Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/42PrVri

My Rating

This book was a lot different than I thought it would be. It is a very character driven thriller, with an unreliable narrator. Normally, I don’t mind that, but this book fell flat. Not to say that the story wasn’t gripping – it just wasn’t as engaging as it could’ve been. I feel a lot of that has to do with how the author went about telling the story.

In the book, we follow Charlie, who is living in New York and working as a journalist. Years ago, she survived Scarlet Christmas – a massacre that took place while she was in grad school. Now, with a movie being made about the horrific event, Charlie is afraid that the gaps in her memory from that night might come back to haunt her.

The only character we really get to know in this book is Charlie. There was a heavy focus on Charlie’s PTSD and the gaps in her memory about that fateful night. Understandably, the reader is supposed to follow Charlie along as she tries to fully remember the night of Scarlet Christmas. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like we got to know enough about Charlie, or her past, to really get invested in the storyline.

“Perhaps we have to be incentivized, people like me, to not cause any more death.”

My biggest issue with this book is that it’s told mostly in present day. Although Charlie is actively trying to regain these memories of the past, the book mostly focuses on her current struggles, and whether or not to trust her own mind. It would have been nice to have more than just the here and now. Perhaps, alternating the chapters between the present and her time in college.

However, the author did attempt that closer to the end of the book, but at that point, you’ve kind of already figured out where the story is going. Also, it can be a little bit confusing, since we flip back-and-forth from the past to the present within the same chapter. It was a writing choice that I didn’t enjoy, but the writing in general wasn’t my favorite. Still, I tried to keep in mind that this is a debut novel.

Overall, it’s a decent book, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it a thriller. I found there to be only one major shocking moment throughout the entire book. Especially since I guessed the ending twist when I was only about 70% into the book. If you would like to pick up the book, I would recommend checking trigger warnings since it deals a lot with trauma, trauma bonding, and mental health issues.

In the comments below, let me know if you have read this book, and your thoughts on it. Don’t forget to like and share this post with other readers. If you’re a fan of book reviews, please hit the follow button so you get notified whenever there’s a new post.

Until The Next Chapter,

Clowns In A Cornfield // Book Review

About The Book
Kettle Springs is caught in a battle between old and new, tradition and progress. It’s a fight that looks like it will destroy the town. Until Frendo, the Baypen mascot, a creepy clown in a pork-pie hat, goes homicidal and decides that the only way for Kettle Springs to grow back is to cull the rotten crop of kids who live there now.
Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/3wllqR6

My Rating

I’d heard nothing but good things about this book! Many readers said that it was a good, fast-paced, young adult slasher book. However, I wasn’t feeling the plot from the get-go, and my connection to the characters was lacking. So that might be why I didn’t find it as gripping or as enjoyable as others did.

The plot had the potential to be great, since it centers on a classic horror theme of a killer, or in this case killers. Killer clowns, to be exact. While the concept is intriguing, the book falls short in execution. However, I can see how the straightforward plot and simple rural slasher story may appeal to readers new to the young adult horror genre.

The book’s strengths truly lie with the fact that it is a great introduction for younger readers who are just dipping a toe into the world of horror literature. The familiar premise of a killer picking off their victims one by one would most likely make it a decent choice for those who are exploring the horror genre for the first time.

“Drawing a new line in the sand while nobody else is watching, then wiping away the old one. And the whole time you know . . . You know where it’s all leading.”

Unfortunately, the twists and turns in the story were disappointingly predictable. Which, again, might not be an issue for new horror readers. I found myself anticipating each plot development, and nothing in the narrative genuinely surprised me. The lack of unexpected moments or suspenseful elements made the reading experience somewhat flat and uninspired.

One aspect of the book that stood out was the author’s incorporation of their political views into the narrative. While it’s not uncommon for authors to infuse their work with personal beliefs I have heard some readers say that the heavy-handed political aspect of the book was distracting and even off-putting. Also, the author’s writing style didn’t align with my personal tastes. Sometimes, I enjoy being thrown right into the plot. This was an example of one where I would have liked to get to know the characters a bit more.

Overall, the book is a decent, but forgettable, young adult horror novel. While the plot concept is engaging, the predictable twists, political influence, and lackluster execution make it nothing special. The fact that I could see what was coming in each chapter left me with no surprises from the story. If you are a serious horror reader seeking an immersive and captivating experience, it’s possible that you, like me, will find yourself wanting more from this book.

In the comments let me know if you have read this book and your thoughts. Make sure to like and share this post. Finally, don’t forget that you can hit the follow button to get notified whenever there’s a new post.

Until The Next Chapter,

Some Girls Do // Book Review

About The Book
Morgan, an elite track athlete, is forced to transfer high schools late in her senior year after it turns out being queer is against her private Catholic school’s code of conduct. There, she meets Ruby, who has two hobbies: tinkering with her baby blue 1970 Ford Torino and competing in local beauty pageants, the latter to live out the dreams of her overbearing mother. The two are drawn to each other and can’t deny their growing feelings.
Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/3urFYH4

My Rating

This is a really cute, young adult, queer romance with a lot of depth to it. I honestly wouldn’t call this a light or fluffy female/female romance, because it does cover a lot of heavy topics. That being said, I really enjoyed the story. I didn’t expect it to be so hard hitting, but I really loved the way the author went with the plot.

In the book, Morgan, a new transfer student and star athlete, meets Ruby, who is a beauty pageant queen that happens to love working on cars. Their first meeting isn’t exactly a meet-cute, but they quickly form a friendship that leads to something more. The only problem is: Morgan is openly gay, but Ruby is still trying to figure things out.

Now, I did find that Morgan was a little bit too intense, and wasn’t quite understanding when it came to Ruby’s situation. However, knowing about her path, and why she had to transfer schools, it’s understandable that she wasn’t willing to hide who she was.

“So what if she’s a mess? Maybe we all are. But what if she’s meant to be my mess, and I’m meant to be hers?”

On the other hand, I really felt for Ruby in this book. She didn’t know how she was going to pay for college. She was forced to be a beauty queen, so that her mother could live vicariously through her. And she was truly afraid that no one would accept her as bisexual.

The book was really about self discovery, and how nobody can force you to do anything you’re not ready to do. In the end, all we can do is support and be there for each other. I really loved Morgan and Ruby’s relationship, and also what they learned from each other throughout the book.

Overall, this is a really good read, and the writing was impeccable. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a fast-paced book, since books with heavy subjects seem to take longer, but I still enjoyed it. And, although this book deals with some heavier topics, it is still a contemporary romance at its core.

If you have read this book, leave me a comment telling your thoughts on it. As always, you can like and share this post with others. Before you go, remember you can get post notifications by following my blog.

Until The Next Chapter,

Murder In The Family // Book Review

About The Book
One body. Six experts. Can you solve the case before they do? Mega-bestselling British crime novelist Cara Hunter makes her big American debut with a wholly immersive thriller like none you’ve seen before: written as the teleplay of a true-crime documentary, it has the reader puzzling away, reviewing photos, maps, coroner’s reports and other evidence as they read. Can you tell who’s lying?
Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/3St4EHe

My Rating

I wish I could say that this book was a roller coaster ride, but unfortunately, I predicted the ending twist right from the first chapter. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I really like the mixed media element. In the book, we follow a group of experts in their respective fields, such as journalism, psychology, and detective work, starring in a television show to solve a cold case.

The Director of the show has a true connection to the murder, as the victim was his stepfather. The story dragged a little bit too much for my liking. I felt as though the chapters were too long, and I kind of figured where they were going with the plot. Now there were some moments that were a surprise to me, and I really liked the format of the book.

I can’t generally say too much about the characters, because there are a lot of them, and we didn’t get to really know them personally. However, I thought that case that they were looking into was very interesting, and I liked working with them to put the puzzle pieces together and figure out what happened.

“True crime reality TV, if you like. Judging by the cliffhanger at the end of last night’s opening episode, it certainly shows promise.”

In a way, the book really makes the reader the detective as well, which I think is a very unique concept. As for the ending, like I said, there was no big shock there but I think the author took a lot of time with the plot and wrote everything to make sense at the end.

Overall, I would’ve liked the book to be about 100 pages shorter, yet it was a decent read, and I think a lot of mystery readers could really enjoy this book. Honestly, I think it would make a great book club read, since you could get together and try to solve a crime.

Let me know if you have read this book, and your thoughts on it. If you have other readers in your life feel free to share this post with them. Don’t forget to follow the blog for more book reviews and other bookish content!

Until The Next Chapter,

Yerba Buena // Book Review

About The Book
The debut adult novel by the bestselling and award-winning YA author Nina LaCour, following two women on a star-crossed journey toward each other. At once exquisite and expansive, astonishing in its humanity and heart, Yerba Buena is a testament to the healing qualities of a shared meal, a perfectly crafted drink, a space we claim for ourselves. Nina LaCour’s adult debut novel is a love story for our time.
Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/3SjMSpG

My Rating

This is a beautifully written story that is more than just a love story. The plot hits on some heavy topics and is really the journey of self discovery. The two main characters, Emilie and Sara, are far from perfect, but even through all their hardships in life, they continue to try to be better, and do better.

Their connection is so strong that the universe keeps bringing them back to each other. It really is a story about what commitment, and letting someone in truly means. The book focuses on the girls’ journey, not only together, but apart as well. We follow their lives, and learn a lot about them.

I wouldn’t say that one of the girls lives was more interesting than the other. However, I did find that Sara’s story was a bit more unsettling, since she was a runaway at sixteen. While Emilie still struggles, her journey was more about finding her path.

“So this was how it felt- to be dealt a blow, to pause, to keep going in spite of it. Not to start over but to continue.”

The two girls make a lot of mistakes throughout the book, and as a reader, the story felt very real. I am sure there are many people that can connect with both girls in one way or another. Although, I didn’t have a personal connection with them, I enjoyed the plot tremendously, which I was surprised about.

I am not someone that generally gravitates towards literary fiction, so my fondness for the book came as a shock to me. However, the book was very well written, and it was very fast read. I didn’t want to put it down, which is high praise coming from me! And, the fact that this is Nina LaCour’s adult debut amazes me.

Overall, the book showcases how we can sometimes meet the right person at the wrong time. And, if things are meant to be, we will find our way back to each other. It perfectly displays the ups and downs of all types of relationships, from family to romantic. I would definitely recommend this to readers who are just getting into the literary fiction genre.

In the comments let me know your thoughts on this book. Would you recommend other books by this author?  Don’t forget to like and share this post. As always, you can follow the blog to get notified whenever there is a new post.

Until The Next Chapter,

The Island // Book Review

About The Book
Jagged Island: a private amusement park for the very rich—or the very influential. Liam, James, Will, Ava, Harper, and Paisley—social media influencers with millions of followers—have been invited for an exclusive weekend before the park opens. When the teens arrive, they’re stunned: the resort is even better than they’d imagined. But soon they’ll discover that something’s missing from their schedule: getting off the island alive.
Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/49igyu8

My Rating

I was really hoping that I would love this book, but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. However, I didn’t hate it either, and it had some good qualities. However, the overall plot was missing something, and the writing felt a little lackluster.

The book follows a bunch of influencers in different niches, from books to gaming, getting invited on an exclusive trip to remote island. They are there to test out a new amusement park and promote it, for its billionaire owner.

As you can probably figure, with this being a thriller, things turn deadly. I will say that I was surprised as to how gruesome the book was. The death scenes are intense, and a lot of killing does occur. Also, it’s pretty graphically detailed, at least in terms of a young adult thriller.

“People listen to someone online they’ve never met more than they do to their parents, teachers, doctors.”

The characters were very stereotypical, when it comes to what you think influencers might be like. There wasn’t much depth to them, and although they were getting all this money and had all this attention, they had very poor attitudes. So, I didn’t really care what was happening to them.

This is definitely a page turner. It’s such a fast read you don’t want to put it down. Honestly, I could see reading this in a day, even if you aren’t normally a quick reader. The book is very addictive, despite the plot lacking a certain attachment to the characters.

Overall, this isn’t the most amazing young adult thriller, but it kept me interested. That being said, I do wish that the ending left me a little bit more surprised. And honestly, I’m not exactly sure how I feel about the final chapter. This author tends to leave things open ended, which I’m not sure I love. But, it does kind of work in this case.

In the comments, let me know if you like cliffhangers. Don’t forget to give this post a like and a share. If you would like to get post notifications, then hit the follow button.

Until The Next Chapter,

Borrow My Heart // Book Review

About The Book
When a girl overhears a guy getting verbally destroyed by his friends for being catfished, she jumps in to save the day—and pretends to be his online crush. Suddenly she’s fake-dating a boy she knows nothing about. And it’s . . . amazing. A young adult romance from the critically acclaimed author of Places We’ve Never Been.
Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/3Scapc5

My Rating

I’m a big fan of Kassie West, and a young adult contemporary about a catfishing story just seemed super cute. However, this one sadly missed the mark. It just wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, and the ending made me quite angry.

In the book, we follow Warren, an animal-loving control freak that decides to do a ‘good deed’ by helping out Asher when she overhears his friend teasing him about being catfished. This sparks a cute little romance between Warren and Asher, but it does all start off as a lie, which makes things complicated.

I loved Warren, and found her to be such a great main character. Asher was a really good love interest, too. Even the side characters were likable, as well. Kasie West knows how to write really good characters. Teens that aren’t annoying, stereotypical, or immature. However, this didn’t have that same witty banter that her books normally do.

“That’s what good people with big hearts do.”

As usual, they are more to her plots than just romance. Warren has a broken home life, because her mother left her to go off and do her own thing. The fact that there are more serious elements to her stories, rather than just teen love, make them more impactful. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good straight forward teen romance, but I love the fact that her books have more substance, as well.

My biggest con for this book, and the reason that it isn’t a four or five star, is the ending conflict. There’s always some conflict in romance novels where the love interests pull away from each other, but this one made me so mad and I didn’t like the resolution. Maybe I’m petty, and I hold a grudge.

Overall, I enjoy Kasie West’s writing, and her books are such fast reads. And, I do like how she focused on social media, but how social media can negatively impact someone’s life, and affect them. Although this story wasn’t my favorite, and the ending still drives me nuts, I will continue to read any book she puts out.

In the comments, let me know if you’ve ever been catfished. Is catfishing even a thing anymore? Don’t forget to check out my Facebook page for more bookish updates. And, you’ll never miss a post if you follow the blog.

Until The Next Chapter,

The Legend of the Christmas Witch // Mini Book Review

About The Book
From Parks and Recreation star Aubrey Plaza and creative partner Dan Murphy comes the long lost tale of the Christmas Witch, Santa Claus’s much misunderstood twin sister. The perfect gift for the holiday season and beyond! Gather ‘round the fire to hear a Christmas legend that has never been told before…until now.
Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/3trjgyl

My Rating

I picked up this book because the cover is simply stunning, and I thought that it would be a quick read that would get me in the holiday spirit. But this book is so much more than a short Christmas-y graphic novel.

It tells the tale of two twins, a boy and a girl, one who ends up becoming the holly jolly Santa Claus, and the other the Christmas witch. It is such a fun, unique story that I think anyone would be fascinated by.

“I’m going to ruin this Christmas holiday once and for all!”

The author really made the story come to life, and the artwork was stunning. It was so interesting to hear this tale of this Christmas Witch, and all she goes through over the course of the book. You can read this book cover to cover in one sitting, which is what I did.

Overall, this isn’t just a lighthearted Christmas story, but has a much deeper meaning. Simply because one is different and misunderstood doesn’t mean they have to hide from the world. Also, by the end of the book, the story felt so real it made me wonder if there is some truth to this Christmas witch legend.

In the comments, let me know if you have ever heard of the Christmas Witch. Don’t forget to follow the blog before you go, because your support really does mean a lot to me.

Until The Next Chapter,

Tis The Season For Revenge // Book Review

About The Book
Abbie Keller thought that Richard Bartholemew Benson the Third would be her forever. So she does what every girl does when she’s broken up with: she calls her friends, gets drunk, dyes her hair, and formulates her plan for revenge. It just so happens that the universe supports her efforts and gives her the perfect match to prove to her ex that he made a huge mistake: his boss.
Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/48tEY3m

My Rating

If you’re looking for a bingeable, smutty holiday romance, then you will most likely enjoy this book. I found the book to be very easy to read, and the spicy scenes were done very well. I would give it a 3.5 spice rating. This isn’t a closed door romance at all.

In the book we follow Abbie, who gets dumped by her (jerk) boyfriend that bordered on emotional abuse. Drunkenly, she and her friends decide to create her a dating profile, but when she matches with he ex’s boss, Damien, she decides the sweetest revenge would be to date him.

Honestly, the book gave me Legally Blonde vibes and you could tell that Elle Wood’s was a big inspiration behind Abbie’s personality. It was interesting to see Abbie rediscover herself and take back her power. She let her ex take part of herself, so it was very different look at an abusive relationship.

“A relationship is like the law. It needs balance. If it’s out of balance, if one person sees themselves as less valuable, if another sees themselves as more valuable, the balance isn’t there.”

The romance was fantastic. It was an age gap romance, since Damien is much older than Abbie. And, it is clearly a ‘he falls first’ plot. I liked how they communicated a lot throughout the book, and talked about things such as kids and the future. For a plot that is pretty far fetched their relationship felt very realistic.

The thing I liked most was that the plot wasn’t drawn out, and the story moved at a good pace. The ending conflict was handled really well. I hate when adult romances have characters that act like they’re teenagers. But, I am happy to say, that wasn’t the case in this book.

Overall, this isn’t the most well written book, but I am excited to read more from this author. However, I do wish that we had gotten a longer epilogue, but that isn’t something I’m going to hold against the book. I do think that it makes for a fun holiday read for anyone who is looking for spice, rather than fluff.

In the comments, let me know if you have read this book. It would be amazing if you gave this post a like and share. And, follow the blog before you go.

Until The Next Chapter,

Secret Santa // Book Review

About The Book
Lussi must find the next horror superstar to compete with Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Peter Straub. It’s the ’80s, after all, and horror is the hottest genre. The Office meets Stephen King, dressed up in holiday tinsel, in this fun, festive, and frightening horror-comedy set during the horror publishing boom of the ’80s, by New York Times best-selling satirist Andrew Shaffer.
Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/3NsoNLN

My Rating

If you love thriller and horror books, but still want a holiday read, then this is the perfect read for you. I loved the plot, characters, and how fast the book was paced. It is a good, short, palate-cleanser Christmas horror novel that is not too gory.

When I first read the synopsis, I was nervous that this book would be gruesome and cheesy. However, I was hooked on the first page, and found the writing to be really good. Who doesn’t love a good horror story set during the holidays? In particular, one that takes place in a publishing house.

The book was set in the 80’s, and we follow Lussi, who is tasked with finding the next big name in horror novels in her new publishing job. However, during the company’s annual Secret Santa, she receives a demonic doll. That is, when things start to get a little weird, accidents start happening to her coworkers.

“Authors are God’s neediest creatures, eclipsed only by actors and puppies.”

The 80’s vibes were on point, and I loved all the nods to horror as a growing genre in the book industry. This makes sense, considering that the book is set during the time when Stephen King and Anna Rice were becoming big name authors. It is a really fun read for a horror and thriller reader like myself.

This book is not a feel good Christmas story, and there are not many traditional holiday aspects to the narrative besides the Secret Santa plot. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed it, and the storyline as a whole was intriguing. I liked Lussi as our main character because she was smart and did not ignore all the unusual things that were happening. I think her knowledge of horror novels and movies really helped her.

Overall, this is not a five-star read by any means, but it is a really good horror novella. I would recommend it if you are looking for a book to break up all the romance novels, you might be reading this time of year. I would categorize it as ‘Child’s Play’ meets ‘Rosemary’s Baby.’ For me, this was a one-sitting read, and the ending was fantastic.

In the comments, let me know some of your favorite horror holiday novellas, because now I want to read them all. Don’t forget that you can always like and share all of my posts, and give the blog a follow before you go, because it really does help me grow.

Until The Next Chapter,