Book Haul // August 2021

Hi Friends,
In August, I went a little book buying crazy, which is pretty rare. Typically I wait to receive books as gifts and hardly buy any throughout the year. The only expectation is secondhand and discounted books. Also, I am big about not buying books I haven’t read. Nevertheless, the book lover inside me couldn’t contain themself this month. To be honest, I’m not mad about it.

The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin
This book is giving me all those fall vibes. It has to do with witches, obviously, and a girl that has element magic. Basically, she has different powers in each season (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter). I haven’t seen anyone talk about it, so I am going into it pretty blind. It seems to be a underrated 2021 release.

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
The first book in a YA mystery series about a boarding school, a true crime lover and an unsolved mystery. If you follow the book community than you have probably heard nothing but good things about this series. Also, who doesn’t love a good private school book. I have been on a mystery and thriller kick lately, so this one was an automatic buy.

Finale by Stephanie Garber
This is the last book in the Caraval trilogy. The first and second books were given to me as gifts a couple of years. I was very excited to see a hardback copy for under $10, so now my collection is complete.

Lucky in Love by Kase West
I believe I’ve shared before that I am a major Kasie West fan. I don’t have any of her books, so I was happy to get one at an affordable price. This is one of her releases that I have yet to read. But I did read ‘Windfall’ by Jennifer E. Smith, which has a similar plot. I didn’t care for that book, still I am hoping Kasie West doesn’t disappoint me.

A Whole New World by Liz Braswell
The Twisted Tale books always rope me in, which I’m not sure is a good thing. I have read Conceal, Don’t Feel and Unbirthday, and have reviews for both of them. From the title, you can probably suspect this is an Aladdin retelling. The book tales the story if Aladdin had never found the lamp. It seem like very interesting plot twist that I am looking forward in reading.

Blackout by Various Authors
I didn’t know anything about this book before buying it. But I noticed that Angie Thomas was one of the authors, so I knew it would be a awesome read. After reading the synopsis, I learned that the book is a collection of short contemporary stories that follow black teens. I am all about reading more diverse books, and YA contemporaries steal my heart. My opinion on short story collections vary , but I haven’t written them off yet.

The Girl in the Headlines by Hannah Jayne
This is young adult thriller that I have heard nothing about. It is a Lizzie Burden type story with a interesting twist. Our main character has a seemingly perfect life. But her world comes crashing down when she wakes up on the day after her eighteen birthday with no memory of what happened the night before. She learns that her parents have been brutally murdered and she’s the prime suspect. If that synopsis doesn’t intrigue then you are going to be missing out.

All the Pretty Things by Emily Arsenault
I’m not sure if this will turn out to be psychological thriller, mystery or horror. The plot follows a teenager girl, who’s best friend ends up in a psych hospital after finding a dead body. The murder has been caught, but the main character isn’t convinced they committed the crime. I perdict it to be a mystery with a lot of suspense.

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
This is a young adult mystery thriller series that has been recommended to me countless times. I hear that it is a great for readers new to the thriller genre. It seems to have great a rating, so I am curious to see my thoughts on it.

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Yep another Kasie West book purchases. However, I have read this one and adored it. It is probably one of my favorite book from her. It is a young adult enemies-to-lovers story, which is one of my favorite tropes.

There you have my smallish book haul. I am most likely going to go on a short book buying ban. I can’t remember the books on my wishlist, and with the holidays approaching I would hate to buy a book that I might be gifted. Let me know in the comments any books you’ve recently purchased. Don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to the blog.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

They Wish They Were Us // Book Review


Title: They Wish They Were Us
Author: Jessica Goodman
Published: 2020
Genre: Young Adult/Mystery




Freshman year Jill’s best friend, the brilliant, dazzling Shaila Arnold, was killed by her boyfriend. After that dark night on the beach, Graham confessed, the case was closed, and Jill tried to move on. Now, it’s Jill’s senior year and she’s determined to make it her best yet. After all, she’s a senior and a Player–a member of Gold Coast Prep’s exclusive, not-so-secret secret society. Senior Players have the best parties, highest grades and the admiration of the entire school. This is going to be Jill’s year. She’s sure of it. But when Jill starts getting texts proclaiming Graham’s innocence, her dreams of the perfect senior year start to crumble. If Graham didn’t kill Shaila, who did? Jill vows to find out, but digging deeper could mean putting her friendships, and her future, in jeopardy.
Source: Goodreads



This was one of my first introductions into YA mystery. I figured since I love thriller movies, then thriller books should be right up my alley. I had been anticipating reading this book for a while, but had seen some mixed reviews on it. I’ll start off with the negative aspects of the book, so we can end on a good note. I wasn’t a fan of the slow moving plot. I felt as though nothing had happened, but I was already at the 1/3 mark.

Another problem was that I could instantly tell who the killer was going to be. I feel that a thriller is more interesting when there are a lot of suspects, and you don’t know who to trust. I found all the characters to be fairly shallow, and only cared about their social status. I never went to high-school, so I don’t have any frame of reference on how other teenagers act. But I hope they aren’t as bratty as they were portrayed in this book.

My biggest problem was the female lead’s indecisiveness. For the majority of the book, she bounced back-and-forth between helping or just staying out of it. Even though she had many doubts about her friend’s killer, she tried to talk herself out of helping an innocent person go free. There’s not wanting to get involved, and then there’s just turning a blind eye. Now, moving on to happier things! I enjoyed Goodman’s writing style tremendously. I could see her writing some amazing, lighthearted contemporaries in the future.

I thought that the killer’s motive was done very well. I didn’t expect it at all. One of the most redeeming points is that I find this to be a great first step into the YA thriller, murder mystery genre. It is on the tamer side, but has solid writing and plot. Don’t be afraid to give me some YA thriller and horror recommendations in the comments. Subscribe via email to get notified whenever there’s a new post.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Book Review: The Project by Courtney Summers

*This review might include information that some might see as a spoiler.*

Title: The Project
Author: Courtney Summers
Published: 2021
Rating: 4.0/5.0 Stars

Synopsis: It’s good to be Chloe Wynn Berringer–at least, it was, until the FBI came knocking on her front door, guns at the ready, and her future went up in smoke. Now her mother is under arrest in a massive college admissions bribery scandal. Chloe, too, might be facing charges, and even time behind bars. The public is furious, the press is rabid, and the US attorney is out for blood.
Source: GoodReads

I feel at a lost for words to describe my thoughts on this book. I went into this book expecting a dark mystery thriller, but this story was much more. I would classify this as a psychological thriller that shines a light on cult lives and their leaders. The story kept me guessing at every turn, and although I didn’t love the plot Courtney Summers still managed to make me invested in story. At times, I was angry at Lo for how naïve she was, but I was also upset with her sister Bea for abandoning love for the The Unity Project.

There were times that I understood Lo’s frustration and need for love. I understood Bea’s need to find something, anything to believe in. As Lo and Bea both fell in love with Lev, I too fell for Lev’s charm and wanted to believe in his kindness. Make no mistake he is the villain of this story, but the author does a wonderful job of portraying him in such away that you want to believe in what he is selling. However, that is the thing about sociopathic sadist they no how to manipulate people and the narrative to their liking. They prey on the wounded, lonely, and the weak.

“For that brief period when everything ugly is covered under the sparkle of something so new, the world almost feels like it’s living up to its potential.”

Some of the chapters where a bit painful to read and heartbreaking. This story doesn’t wrap-up into a happy little bow. Their isn’t a true happy ending. I feel sadness for Lo and Bea. This is a story that cannot be explained and isn’t for everyone. It isn’t much of a mystery, but does keep you guessing. I wouldn’t call it a new favorite, but it is memorable. The book is categorized as young adult genre, yet I would say that it is more new adult. I would be interested in picking up other works from this author in the future.

I hope you liked this review, and want to mention that the book does deal with abuse, abandonment and tragedy. You can visit booktriggerwarnings.com to see warnings for many other books. Please like and share this post with other books lovers. Don’t forget to follow the blog to get notified when I post.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny