Maybelline ‘Sky High’ Mascara Review // Toss-Up Tuesday

Hi Friends,
I wanted to try the ‘Sky High’ mascara from Maybelline, since everyone was raving about it a few months back. This product got popular do to TikTok, or at least I believe that is where all the hype began. I haven’t tried many Maybelline mascaras, but not for any particular reasons. I just find that Maybelline isn’t a brand that I necessarily buy from. But, let’s get on to the review! The mascara retails for around $9 (at Walmart), which is pretty comparable to other drugstore mascaras.

The mascara wand is very thin and long, and I was pleased with how much I enjoyed a smaller brush. I liked how much volume and length the mascara provided. It didn’t make my lashes spidery looking at all. I would say that this is more of a natural looking mascara. It doesn’t change your lashes drastically, and I think most people might find the product to be underwhelming. However, if you have naturally long and black lashes like me than it is a great everyday mascara.

Also, I enjoy the brush so much that I have been using it in other mascaras, which probably is silly. I personally think the hype is well deserved, and I would be interested to try more TikTok recommend products. Let me know your opinion on this product, and if you agree with the hype surrounding it. Please follow my blog for mainly bookish content and occasionally beauty posts like this one.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Buy From Maybelline

The Holiday Plan // Book Review

Author: Emma Lyndon
Published: 2022
Genre: Adult/Romance
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Synopsis
A heartwarming romance that will whisk you away to a magical winter wonderland and have you reaching for the hot cocoa and box of chocolates long after the holidays.


*I want to thank Hapeth Road Press for sending me a copy of the book for review.*
I was unsure to make of this book, because adult romance and I have a very love/hate relationship. In the beginning, we are introduced to our female lead, Verona, who is a down on her luck author. She is also recently single, and having the worst Valentine’s Day ever. Skip forward a year into the future, where we meet Troy, who is a single father and professional match maker. The two come face to face during Valentine’s Day weekend, at Troy’s biggest match making event of the year.

This is a Hallmark style dual-perspective story. It is filled with romance and predictability, and I ate it all up. It was very cute, and had some witty banter between Troy and Verona. They were both struggling with their own personal issues that went far beyond just work and Valentine’s Day.

Verona was dealing with the feeling of loneliness, due not only to the fact that her romantic future fell apart the previous Valentine’s Day, but she is still reeling from the loss of her best friend and biggest supporter, her aunt Teoni. Troy can’t move past the death of his wife, nor all the guilt he carries from of it. Not only that, but his business is crumbling around him, thanks to a PR nightmare.

“Magic in the mistakes.”

The two weren’t super complex characters, but they felt real. Like everyday people with everyday problems. As you read about these two characters and watch them grow closer, you get butterflies in your stomach. Anyone who has ever been in love should know that feeling pretty well.

The writing was good, and it was an easy read. A straightforward romance, which was neither messy nor over the top. The book sparked a lot of thought provoking questions, one being simply why do we make such a big deal about Valentine’s Day? Is it really necessary to celebrate a holiday that makes others feel even more lonely than they might already? Shouldn’t we tell people we love them and do romantic things all year long? Do you think the whole celebration of Valentine’s Day is an antiquated idea?

Another question the book indirectly asks, is if one should go looking for love. The entire book centers around a Valentine’s Day ‘looking for love’ event. Basically, a giant week long singles mixer. People pay tons of money in hops of finding their other half, which, in Verona’s opinion, is ridiculous. Is it better to let love find you? Or to go searching for it?

By the end, both Verona and a Troy learn that you don’t have to go actively looking for love – you just have to be open to the possibility of it. And, you risk the chance of getting hurt, but some people are worth that risk. Honestly, the book couldn’t get anymore sappy, but in a good way. I am not by any means calling this book’s sweetness a bad thing, because I was all for it.

However, there was this small found family side plot that didn’t really fit in with the rest of the story. I understood what the author was trying to do by including it, but the story would have worked just as well without it. I would have preferred it without, actually. Nevertheless, the ending wrapped everything up with a neat little bow, and was very delightful.

If you are a fan of Hallmark movies and your stereotypical adult romance books (think Debbie Macomber) then I would give it a read. Also, if Hallmark does adapt it into a movie, I would make the perfect Verona, just saying. Before you go, share and like this post. Also, don’t forget to follow the blog so you will never miss a post.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Frostheart // Book Review

Title: Frostheart
Author: Jamie Littler
Published: 2019
Genre: Middle Grade/Fantasy
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Synopsis
Boy called Ash waits for the return of his parents, singing a forbidden lullaby to remind him of them. And doing his best to avoid his very, VERY grumpy yeti guardian, Tobu. But life is about to get a whole lot more crazy-adventurous for Ash. When a brave rescue attempt reveals he has amazing magical powers, he’s whisked aboard the Frostheart, a sleigh packed full of daring explorers who could use his help. But can they help him find his family.


I was slightly nervous going into this book, since middle grades can be hit or miss for me. This book was an okay read, but nothing too special. The overall plot was interesting enough, and was engaging at times. But I did find my mind wondering quite a bit while listening to it. And, that lead to a much slower reading experience.

The main character, Ash, was way to naive and stubborn. Sure, he is a young boy but he kept ignored the warnings of the people closest to him. When I was a kid, it was nice to know there were people looking out for me. It seemed as though his only agenda was to find his parents, and he didn’t care who lead him to them.

The supporting characters were a fun bunch. I enjoyed the character of Tobu, Ash’s yeti guardian. I would love to learn more about him and his past, especially since the story only gave us a little glimpse into his life.

“Gather round, children, and you will see something so awful it may turn your hair as gray as mine.”

Besides the fantasy aspects, the book had some funny moments. I wouldn’t say there were a ton of laugh out loud scenes, but there were some parts that did make me laugh. However, it was primarily a mystery and fantasy story that left you with way more questions than answers.

Still, the story as a whole was super predictable. Within a few chapters I could tell what was going to happen. There was a twist ending that I didn’t see coming. But it was neither a jaw dropping twist, nor very shocking. It was more like an interesting turn of events that is supposed to make you want to pick up the sequel.

This is a trilogy, but I can’t defiantly say if I will read the other two books. On the one hand, I want to see how the story ends. However, I don’t feel that I am all too invested in the story to continue with it. This isn’t a bad book at all, and I know that it is some people’s favorite trilogy. It just wasn’t something I would read again, but I’m still glad I picked it up.

Have you read and liked the ‘Frostheart’ trilogy? Should I read the rest of the books? Let me know in the comments below.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

The Holiday Switch // Book Review

Title: The Holiday Switch
Author: Tif Marcelo
Published: 2021
Genre: YA/Contemporary/Holiday
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Synopsis
A bookish Filipino-American girl who crosses paths with the innkeeper’s aggravating nephew–but when they accidentally switch phones, their newly discovered secrets draw them together.


With a title like ‘The Holiday Switch’, you’d think this going to be some swap story. However, it has little to do with an actual switch. The main character, Lila, has worked at the cozy local inn for a while, and fancies herself as their best employee. But everything changes, when over winter break, she has to train a new employee, Teddy, who happens to be the nephew of inn’s owner.

First off, this is not some cute enemies-to-lovers swap story. The switch happens fairly early on when the two accidentally swapping phones. However, this gets resolved in a day. That being the end of any switch plot line. While they have each other’s phones, for literally just a few hours. They learn each other’s most deepest secrets.

Lila is hiding her book blog from her overprotective, non-social media loving parents. Teddy has a secret passion of rock climbing that he is very serious about, but he is afraid his family will think it is too dangerous.

“Sometimes it takes a snowstorm to bring two people together, but sometimes it takes one person—and someone you least expect—to help save the day.”

The plot took awhile to get into, and for the first half of the book, I wasn’t invested in the story or supposed romance that was going to happen. I didn’t feel any connection between Lila and Teddy. Sure, Teddy wasn’t the best worker, and was preoccupied with his rock climbing training. But, I found that Lila judged him right off the bat. It seemed that she didn’t like him, because he took away her chance to get extra hours working at the inn. In short, she was just being petty and bitter. Didn’t she ever hear not to judge a book buy it’s cover? Which is ironic seeing as she is a book blogger.

Speaking of her book blog, throughout the book there were review excerpts that she wrote on her blog. It was a nice touch, yet most the books where rated 4 or 5 stars. A little more diversity ratings would have been nice, since not every book can be a 4 star read. However, if all her books are that good, then she is one lucky reader.

This book does focus a lot on both their secrets. And, sharing these secrets help them form a bond. Still, I felt like their friendship and relationship came out of nowhere. Did they even like each other? Or did the mutual agreement to keep each other’s secrets make them want to be together. It really seems like it could be the latter.

As for the side characters, they were all very one dimensional. The author put less thought in everyone surrounding Lila and Teddy. I know a book needs it’s lead, but I like a well round group of supporting character as well. It wasn’t necessarily a bad book, it just wasn’t anything new or exciting. It was pretty forgettable. And overall, there was rather little romance involved in the story.

Also, one of my biggest pet peeves in books is the portrayal of writing as a career. In most every book where a main character wants to be a writer, there is one person that doesn’t believe it is a real career. Seriously, it’s 2022, if people can make a living on social media, then you can be a successful writer. Than again, maybe these authors were judged for their career choice, and are speaking from personal experience.

Please keep in mind that this solely my opinion. I try to be transparent and honest in my reviews. But, I would never want my reading experience to shy you away from reading a book that interests you. If you have any positives about the book, leave them in the comments. If you want to like and share this post, that would be amazing. And, follow my blog for all things bookish, and more!

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

One Way Or Another // Book Review // Bookmas 2021


Title: One Way Or Another
Author: Kara McDowell
Published: 2020
Genre: YA/Contemporary/Holiday
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Synopsis
Sliding Doors meets To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in a sweet, smart holiday romance about a girl who decides to stop letting her anxiety stand in the way of true love.


I saw this book in stores last holiday season, and the cover intrigued me. I went into the book completely blind, since all I knew was that it is a YA contemporary that’s set at Christmas time. But, this book threw me for a loop. We jump straight into the plot from the get go, and learn all about the main character, Paige. She is an extreme worrier, who is paranoid to make a decision. She overthinks every choice, and gets anxiety when thinking about the effects her choices can have on her life.

In the book, we follow Paige as she spend Christmas with her best friend, and long time crush, Fitz. However, we also follow her to New York where she spends the holiday with her mom. The book showcases alternating time lines where the reader gets to see the outcome of both choices. At first, I was completely confused, because she was on a plane to New York. Then suddenly, Fitz was picking her up so she could spend Christmas at his family cabin.

As the book went on, I got use to the dual storylines. It was a cool concept, and with such an indecisive main character, I understood why the author chose to go this route. Still, I didn’t feel like the whole dual timeline works in a book. I have seen movies with this type of plot, and prefer it in films and shows rather than books. Yet, even in live-action, the lines between both paths can become blurry.

This was supposed to be a friends-to-lovers story, which I think got lost along the way. At one point, I was rooting for her to end up with another potential love interest. Paige was way too invested in Fitz, which was slightly annoying. Her crush wasn’t subtle or cute, but obsessive and desperate. She was pining so hard for her best friend, who was a serial dater. We do learn a lot about Fitz and the reason behind his relationship habits, but by then, I already wasn’t a fan of his character.

Something that the author did remarkably well was the mental health representation. Like Paige, I suffer from mental health disorders, anxiety being one of them. I completely understood her thoughts and worries in a way that only someone who also feels that way can. She thought that her brain was broken, and was scared that her illness was a burden to those around her.

“Rabbit holes are my specialty. I live and breathe in them.”

There are many times when I have felt the exact same way. It took me a long time to understand that my brain isn’t broken, but it does work differently than others. If anything, this is a self love story about coming to terms with your mental health struggles, and realizing you don’t have to let them control your life.

As for the two time lines, I’m not sure which one I enjoyed more, but I did find the ending thought provoking. It begs the question that all things will ultimately turn out the way they’re supposed to, no matter the path to you chose. It’s an interesting concept. One really has to wonder if fate does play a big part in our lives and decisions.

As a whole, the characters and plot weren’t my favorite, but I wouldn’t categorize the book as a disappointment. Have you read this book? Do you like alternating timeline plots? If you are a fan of reviews, give this post a like and a share. And make sure to follow the blog for all my post notifications.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Dash and Lily // Series Review

Title: Dash and Lily
Network: Netflix
Released: 2020
Genre: Series/Romance/Holiday
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Synopsis
A whirlwind Christmas romance builds as cynical Dash and optimistic Lily trade dares, dreams and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations around New York City.


After reading the book, I knew that I had to watch the Netflix adaptation. First off, I want to say that the book and series are fairly different. I have seen a few of Netflix book-to-movies, and suspected that the series wouldn’t be exactly like the book. However, in this case I think that the changes that were made worked well.

The movie did have the same major plot as the book, which I have reviewed. Lily and Dash meet during the holidays, through a red notebook left by Lily at their favorite bookstore. By exchanging the notebook, the two getting to know one another. And, every pass of the notebook has a dare the other must to complete.

I found the show to be adorable, and definitely something that I would rewatch every holiday season. I enjoyed the acting, and connected with the character in a way that I didn’t with the book. A change that I liked was how they met (before they actually met). In the book, I felt that it took too long before they met in person. It was nice to see Lily’s quirkiness in real life, and Dash was far more relatable in the series.

I liked how Dash wanted to meet Lily, and he couldn’t even think about any other girl. He was all in with Lily. One of my major dislikes of the book was changed in the series, which probably added to my enjoyment of the show. One being, Lily seemed stronger and didn’t apologies for her mistakes, because she’s a teenager. Making mistakes is part of the job description.

“Sometimes Words Aren’t Enough.”

As for the family aspect, it was interesting to actually meet Dash’s dad in the series, since we didn’t get much info on his parents in book. The scene with his dad though brief explained a lot about Dash’s cynical personality. I noticed that Lily and her brother had a lot more scenes together than in the book, and seemed to have closer relationship. He was even the one to encourage her to leave the notebook, and wrote the first dare. This is a major change from the book, since Lily did it all on her own due to her lonely Christmas. It was refreshing seeing their close sibling bond.

Some of the characters in the series were pretty different, but still really likeable. And, there were some other relationships that I liked seeing develop as well. The ending wasn’t exactly like the book, which you can probably tell by now is a theme with the series. However, I absolutely preferred the series ending over the books. Honestly, it made my heart swoon and even my husband was a fan of the show.

I didn’t hate the book at all, but out of the two I completely favor the series. It fixed all the issues I had with the book, as slight as they may have been. It was such a heartwarming holiday teen romance show that I would recommend to everyone. In all honesty, I would even say that you could skip the book and just go for the series. Also, Nick Jones produce the series, which I find to be interesting.

Let me know if you agree with me on the series vs. book comparison. Please share this post, and like it as well. And, give the blog a follow to support my blog!

Until the Next Chapter,
Bunny

The Final Girls Support Group // Book Review

Title: The Final Girls Support Group
Author: Grady Hendrix
Published: 2021
Genre: Adult/Horror
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Synopsis
In horror movies, the final girl is the one who’s left standing when the credits roll. The one who fought back, defeated the killer, and avenged her friends. The one who emerges bloodied but victorious. But after the sirens fade and the audience moves on, what happens to her?


This book had been extremely hyped up, which made me eager to pick it up. As a horror movie lover the plot sounded right up my alley, yet I did have my reservations about it. The plot centers around a group of the last girls standing. Each girl has faced some horrific event, but made it out alive. They all attend a support group, because nobody understands the struggle of being the one that survived, except others that have done the same.

This book did take a bit to get into, but I think that was a personal thing. Adult fiction isn’t something I  generally read, so I was going into it with a young adult reader mindset. We follow Lynnette Tarkington, a final girl that survived a massacre as a teenager, essentially by playing dead. Because she didn’t fight to survive others don’t see her as a ‘true’ final girl. She was a decent character, with a lot of dimensions to her. You could tell that out of all the girls in the support group, she struggled most with reintegrating into society. I wouldn’t say that she was a protagonist that I enjoyed reading about, but I did understand her issues.

As for the other girls, they were a diverse bunch, and each had their own emotional scars from the fearful events they had to face. Some of them tried to put the past behind them, while others tried to do good. One used substances to cope with the nightmares. Throughout the story, it was evident that despite all the time they spent together, they weren’t very close to each other. I attribute this to girls not wanting to get close to people and having to risk losing them.

“Isn’t the point of therapy that one day you don’t need it anymore?”

There were many nods to classic horror movies that I know and love. However, it wasn’t as if the author took these events right out of the movies. And, though one could spot the movie similarities you could tell that they were used solely as inspiration. My favorite horror movies have actual plots, and not just killing for the sake of killing. This book balances mystery and horror well. The mystery was interesting, and had me changing my suspects throughout the story. When I thought I knew who the killer was, the author would add something that made me rethink my initial guess.

The book wasn’t necessarily slow, but it wasn’t fast paced either. It fell somewhere in between. However, the second half of the book picked up the pace significantly. The last half was probably the easiest to get through, too. In all honesty, I would most likely have DNF’ed this book if not for the hype surrounding it. But, I’m glad that I stuck with it, since the ending really shocked me. The author did a great job, with a twist ending that I never saw coming. I found the moral of the story to be about tragedy, and it’s effect on people. We cannot guarantee that bad things won’t happen, but when they do, we only have two choices. Live in fear that they will occur again, or try to move on and live life. The author did a fantastic job conveying such a heavy message.

I wouldn’t call this a favorite book, since I expected a lot more from it. Also, I can also say with fair certainty that I won’t reread it, but I am happy that I gave it a chance. It will be interesting to see what this author will release next. I might read another one of their books in the future. In the comments, tell me know if you agree with the hype surrounding the book. And, be sure to give this post a like so that I know you enjoy my reviews.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

All The Pretty Things // Book Review

Title: All The Pretty Things
Author: Emily Arsenault
Published: 2020
Genre: YA/Realistic Fiction/Suspense
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Synopsis
For fans of Sadie and The Cheerleaders comes an all new thriller about a boy who turns up dead under suspicious circumstances and the one girl who may be the key to solving the mystery of his untimely death.


This was interesting read, and I didn’t except the story to go this way. From the synopsis, I thought that it was going to be a psychological-mystery thriller. However, it was more of a drama/contemporary/mystery, but with other serous topics woven into the story. I don’t mind when stories deviate from the description, but it was a shock to me. I think that one reason that I didn’t mind the plot difference was the fact that the writing was very nice. It wasn’t to info dumpy or mystery heavy. Those things don’t bug me, but it was a welcome surprise that worked well in this case .

Ivy, who is the main protagonist, at the beginning of the book, has returned home from summer vacation. Her best friend Morgan is having a hard time after discovering the body of her special needs co-worker Ethan. When Morgan starts to withdraw from Ivy, she tries to do everything in her power to help her friends. Morgan’s only request is that she find out more about Ethan’s death. Ivy, Morgan, and Ethan worked at Fabuland, which is owned by Ivy’s dad. Her parents are divorced, and she has one older brother that has become more estrange from his family.

Fabuland – and Ivy’s dad – are both a major factor in the story. We got to learn a lot about her dad, and also her parents’ relationship. Her dad is selfish, condescending, arrogant, and unethical. As for Ivy, I didn’t find there to be much depth to her character. The author told us a lot about her family life (which plays a big part throughout the plot). However, I didn’t get good sense of Ivy’s personality. Sure, I learned that she was hard working, loyal and timid. But, I wanted there to be more to her character.

“In my dream, it only hurt for a second and then it was over.”

The supporting characters were mundane, and like Ivy, there wasn’t much depth to them. They all just blended together. I didn’t necessarily hate any of them, I just didn’t get a good sense of who Ivy’s brother or mother were. The most well written character was Ivy’s father, which I understand, since he is very significant to the story. I had never read a character like him before, and it was interesting to see the author’s take on that ty. He was horrible person, but she wrote him as someone that thought they were one of the good guys.

The plot jumped around a lot, and there were times that I had no clue where the story was going. I didn’t know how the author was going to connect everything, but she managed to make the multiple story-lines come together. The ending wasn’t jaw dropping, but it was at least slightly unexpected. It felt very ‘real world’ in my opinion, and the plot kept things down-to-earth. I sympathized with Ivy by the end of the book, since her life unraveled right before her eyes. The story leaves you wondering how someone can be a bad person, and yet you still love them? Is it right to love someone that has done atrocious things? I think that the answers to these questions aren’t black and white. You will never know if the choice you make is best. All you can do is make a choice and live with it.

I always want to mention the trigger warning for books with sensitive subject matter. This story has many important trigger warnings, so I recommend you visiting BookTriggerWarnings.com to see them all. Let me know if you have, or want to read this book. I know that it hasn’t been well received, but don’t let that scare you away. If you want to make my day, follow the blog to get notifications about new posts.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein // Book Review

Title: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
Author: Kiersten White
Published: 2018
Genre: YA/Gothic/Retelling
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Synopsis
A stunning and dark reimagining of Frankenstein told from the point-of-view of Elizabeth Lavenza, who is taken in by the Frankenstein family. As the years pass, Elizabeth’s survival depends on managing Victor’s dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost…as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.


I heard mixed things about this book; some people thoroughly enjoyed it, while others didn’t care for it. I’m not particularly well versed in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, so I was going in completely unbiased. However, I will admit there were a few times throughout the book that I looked up cliff-notes on ‘Frankenstein.’ I found the book very easy to read and follow. The plot was straightforward, and even the ‘flashback’ moments were incorporated well.

It wasn’t a book that I was dying to finish, at first. But once we got into the meat of the story, I wanted to keep reading. The plot was captivating enough to keep me invested in what was going to happen next. I wouldn’t say that I couldn’t put it down, but I did want to know out how the story would end.

Elizabeth was a complex character, with lots of worries and insecurities that she kept hidden. Before meeting the Frankenstein family, her childhood was depressing, and she thought that she came from nothing. She wanted to have a place in society and desired to fit in. She was smart, and crafted plans that would keep her out of the poor house.

I think that Elizabeth’s best quality was her heart. She had a sensible and tough exterior, but would do anything for her loved ones. This did get her in trouble at times. Especially when it came to her devotion to Victor. I am unaware of the ‘original’ Elizabeth’s personality, but I still liked White’s take on the character. She seems like a simple girl, yet there are many layers underneath.

“Death is never allowed to touch you.”

Personally, I enjoyed the slower pace of the story. I think that a more atmospheric telling worked well in this case. However, I understand how some people would consider the book to be boring. The story was primarily character driven while still being plot focused. There were secondary characters that played big roles throughout the story, but the focus and storyteller was Elizabeth herself.

It wasn’t a scary story, which I believe is unlike ’Frankenstein.’ It is more of a sad story about protecting the people we love versus seeing the real them. Elizabeth could only ignore the truth for so long before it came crashing down on her. It was frightening to see the situations that Elizabeth, Justine, and Henry ended up in. Elizabeth’s predicament was the most unsettling, since it was something many women in 19th century faced. Men would silence women through manipulation, which is horrifying and despicable.

As for Kiersten White writing style, it was very familiar to me. She wrote with such class, almost melodic, if that makes any sense. It was almost as if this book was actually written back in the 1800’s. Her writing was poetic, but still plain. I don’t mean plain as an insult by any means, because I quite liked the writing. But I can see that she drew a lot of inspiration from Mary Shelley and the 1800’s era.

I don’t know if I will ever read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, but the fact that she wrote it on a dare is inspiring. Women back than were seen as subservient, but she freed herself from the box society put her in. White took a classic novel and made it her own, while still writing it in the image of the original story. Amazing.

Let me know if you have read this book, or the original ‘Frankenstein’. Which do you prefer? Like and share this post with all your friends, family, pets, etc. And follow the blog if you want to get notifications for all my posts.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Two Can Keep A Secret // Book Review // Spooktober Day 9

Title: Two Can Keep A Secret
Author: Karen M. McManus
Published: 2019
Genre: Young Adult/Mystery
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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