First Lie Wins // Book Review

About The Book
For Evie Porter, identity is everything. Assigned by her enigmatic employer, Mr. Smith, she delves into a town and its inhabitants, namely her target, Ryan Sumner. But as Evie’s feelings for Ryan deepen, so do the risks of her covert mission. With her past threatening to unravel, Evie must navigate a precarious balance between her fabricated persona and her true self. In a high-stakes game of deception, Evie must stay ahead of her history while carving out a path to a new future.
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My Rating

This book dives deep into truth, morality, and self-discovery, but in a way that really grabs you. We follow our main character as she tries to untangle a mess of lies and deceit. The characters within are not just black and white; they’re morally grey, which adds a whole new layer to the story, and makes you question everything.

It’s a perfect mix of gripping plot twists and characters you can’t help but care about. While some parts might seem predictable, the suspense keeps you flipping the pages. It’s not exactly a thriller, but it sure keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Ashley Elston’s storytelling is so vivid that you can easily picture this book on the big screen. Just a heads up, though – it takes a bit to really get going. But once you push through that first chunk, you’re in for a wild ride.

“Mama always said to be successful in life you need to do three things: learn everything you can, try your hardest, and be the best at what you do.”

The book was very entertaining, and I had fun trying to figure out how things were going to end. Speaking of the ending, I didn’t expect things to turn out the way they did, but I thoroughly enjoyed the way the story played out. Being inside these characters’ heads was great, and the plot was very well executed.

Overall, the book didn’t make Elston a new favorite thriller author of mine, but it definitely showed that she has incredible talent. While everyone might not vibe with the pacing, or level of action, I think the book is worth the read. Who knows, you might just find yourself pleasantly surprised.

In the comments, let me know if this book is on your TBR. If you like bookish content, then follow the blog. It is completely free, and you will get notified whenever there’s a new post.

Until The Next Chapter,

Mexican Gothic // Book Review

About The Book
Something sinister is brewing beneath an isolated mansion in the Mexican countryside, and an ancient evil is about to be exposed. From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes “a terrifying twist on classic gothic horror” (Kirkus Reviews) set in glamorous 1950s Mexico. With callbacks to classics like Rebecca, Jane Eyre and The Haunting of Hill House, Moreno-Garcia proves that she is just as consumed by stories of haunted houses as we are in this new gothic horror with a twist.
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My Rating

I’m not exactly sure how to describe this book, but I will say that it was a gripping read. In the book, we follow Noemi whose family receives a letter from her newly married cousin. A letter requesting help. Noemi is basically sent to rescue her cousin from her new family, but this rescue mission is proving to be more complex than she originally thought it would be.

This book was eerie and gothic inspired. As a main character, Noemi was confident and strong despite other regarding her as just a common socialite and a bit flighty. I liked that not only could she be that high society girl, but she also has a good head on her shoulders. And, let me just say, the sprinkle of romance added into this mainly gothic suspense was very well done and a nice touch.

If you are looking for a fast-paced plot, this book has you covered! Also, I love when books give off movie vibes, which is another thing Silvia Moreno-Garcia perfected with this book. Speaking of Silvia Moreno-Garcia, her writing is fantastic. The book was very easy to get sucked into, and often, that stems from the writing.

“We thought monsters and ghosts were found in books, but they’re real, you know?”

As I mentioned before, the story was super interesting. Which, in a way, shocked me. I had heard good things about this book, but I hadn’t read a lo,t if any, gothic style thrillers, so I was unsure of what to expect. Nevertheless, I found myself unable to put the book down. I will say that the book is far more creepy than it is actually scary, if that makes any sense.

The major con I have with book was that there was a lot going on. I had to go back and reread chapters, because I wasn’t sure what exactly was happening. However, some people might think that’s a good thing, when it comes to a thriller book. Sadly, I’m not one of those people.

Overall, I enjoyed the ride that the book took me on. I was shocked a lot of the time, and despite the fact that ending left me confused, I would still recommend this book to other thriller readers. Also, I don’t know if this is just me, but the ending gave me major ‘The Nun’ movie flashbacks.

In the comments, let me know which of Silvia Moreno-Garcia books I should read and review next. Don’t forget to give my blog a follow so you never miss a post.

Until The Next Chapter,

The Final Girls Support Group // Book Review

Author: Grady Hendrix
Published: 2021
Genre: Adult/Horror
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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,

All The Pretty Things // Book Review

Author: img class=”alignleft wp-image-1649″ src=”” alt=”” width=”150″ height=”225″ />Emily Arsenault
Published: 2020
Genre: YA/Realistic Fiction/Suspense
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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 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,