As Good As Dead // Book Review


Synopsis
“She’s used to online death threats in the wake of her viral true-crime podcast, but she can’t help noticing an anonymous person who keeps asking her: Who will look for you when you’re the one who disappears? Soon the threats escalate and Pip realizes that someone is following her in real life.”


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

Before I get started, I would like to mentally prepare you for a rant filled, and quite lengthy, review. (Although most of my reviews do seem to be pretty long). This is the third and final book in the ‘Good Girl’s Guide To Murder’ series – and when I say it was a disappointment, I mean it was a complete and utter fail! I was positively enraged by this book. So much so, that I don’t even want to write about it.

Nevertheless, here we are. The book takes place right after the second installment. So, if you have yet to read the second book, please be aware of spoilers. Pip is struggling with PTSD, which she isn’t actually dealing with at all. She has turned to using drugs, and insists on carrying the weight of the aftermath of ‘Good Girl, Bad Blood’ all by herself. It is clear that Pippa has changed in so many ways. Not only was her drug use shocking, she was a much darker version of herself.

For someone that seems so smart, she was totally blind to her self destructive behavior. And similarly, to to the fact that the only way to move past trauma is to deal with it head on. The rest of the characters stayed practically the same, and Ravi was both supportive and protective of Pip.

What makes this book so different than the previous two, is that the case involves Pippa herself. Before this, we have seen her trying to solve mysteries for others. This time, she is the target. The big question of the book is, “Who will look for you, when it’s you who goes missing”? It is a very interesting question, and, I think we all have our own answer to it.

The key to these books is that you have to remember all the little details. This final book connects all the books together. It is seriously a full circle moment. I loved how everything tied in together. Also, how Andy Bell had a nice redemption arc.

“All these ambiguities, these contradictions, these grey areas that spread and engulfed all sense – how could Pip rectify that? How could she cure herself from the after effects?”

This case follows a serial killer, rather than a solo murder – think of a Criminal Minds sort of case. However, the plot was none too thrilling to me. Also, it was strange to see Ravi being more involved in the case, and being smarter than Pippa at times.

I had many suspicions as to the killer, but kept bouncing around. Still, my first instinct was ultimately correct. And, by the halfway point, the book picked up the pace. It was an intense roller coaster ride from that point forward. However, right as the story got good, I was completely in shock as to what I was actually reading. I didn’t even recognize these characters. It was as if Pippa had no moral compass at all. And, everyone was so quick to jump right on board with her.

It was insane – I wanted to throw the book in the trash. I was livid! Okay, maybe I’m overreacting. But this book was unnecessary, and the characters developed in the worst way possible. I understand not trusting the justice system, but Murder, then framing someone else for that murder? Come on. Let’s face it, Pippa’s actions in this book prove that PTSD is the least of her issues.

However, something that I do love is that Holly Jackson’s book are easy to get into. She has a style of writing that I have become a fan of. And, as I have mentioned multiple time that even though the book got my blood boiling I couldn’t stop reading.

Overall, I wasn’t very satisfied with the the conclusion of the book or the trilogy altogether. My favorite book would have to be the first in the series, with book two being a close second. It really should have been a duology. However, I have noticed that this book has polarized opinions – you either love it, or you hate it. There really isn’t any middle ground. Can you guess which team I’m on?

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Caraval // Book Review

Author: Stephanie Garber
Published: 2016
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
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Synopsis
Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over. But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.


This book was interesting from the get go, and the plot never slowed down. The whole idea behind a magical carnival was awesome, since I find books that revolve around carnivals to be fascinating. Although, I haven’t read any other carnival books, so my opinion might change in the future.

The main character, Scarlett, was always second guessing herself, and was afraid to break rules. This was understandable, given her horrible home life. However, I found Scarlett likable, and didn’t mind her more annoying traits. I could, however, see how some people wouldn’t be a fan of her. Her sister, Tella, on the other hand, was a bit reckless and immature. Still I understood her desire to want a better life for herself and her sister. I think she was a lot stronger and smarter than the book actually showed.

The book kept you guessing at every turn, and you never knew who to trust. At one point, I thought I had everything figured out. But then something happens, and now I have know idea what to expect next. I am generally more inclined to like books when the plot isn’t so predictable, which I feel is true of most readers.

The world building was outstanding. The author made Caraval come to live, and made me feel like I was playing the game along with the characters. The author didn’t spend a lot of time describing this magic carnival, but the little details told about the world were enough to make me wish it was real.

I found the book to have an underlying sisterhood/relationship theme, but it was more of a background element. The book was dark and whimsical, and I think the touch of whimsy made the book not feel so long. The story also strives to prove that everyone has an agenda, and that everything comes with a price.

“Hope is a powerful thing. Some say it’s a different breed of magic altogether.”

Control, and being controlled, were a big part of the book. It seemed most people were out to control Scarlett – even Tella. I didn’t like how Tella tried to get Scarlett to do things she was against, because she wanted to protect her sister. Sure, Tella was doing it out of love. Still, it felt underhanded. By the end, I felt pretty bad for Scarlett. And speaking of the ending, there was a minor cliffhanger that has me intrigued. I’m curious to see what comes next!

Despite all the good things I had to say about the story, it didn’t quite make it to 5 stars. I will say that Julian, the love interest, was a highlight of the book, because he was very swoon-worthy.

There are a few trigger warning for the book, but I wouldn’t worry too much about them. First and foremost, this is a fantasy book so it doesn’t really focus on heavy topics. However, you can visit the books page on Book Trigger Warnings if you would like. Don’t forget to give my blog a follow, because it makes me smile.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

12 In 2022 // Yearly TBR

Hi Friends,
I knew that I wanted to do some kind of 2022 TBR, but I decided not to include any new releases. Of course, I will be reading many 2021 and 2022 releases throughout the year, but I wanted to do more of a backlist TBR for the year. If you read my resolutions post, then you know that one of my bookish goals is to read more older titles. I want to read all the books that came out years ago that I have forgotten about. So, here are the 12 books I would like to read this year. Also, keep in mind that I am counting a book series as one book.

Divergent by Veronica Roth: I have heard a lot of mixed things about this series. But, I really want to read it this year. My husband read the entire trilogy, and we’ve seen the first two movies. I would like to read all the books, and possibly the companion novel ‘Four.’

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: I started this series a while ago, but never finished it. I attempted book two, ‘Catching Fire,’ but I put it down and never picked it back up. Now I think it’s time to see if all the hype about the series is true. I have seen the final two movies in the film adaptations, weirdly enough, so I kind of have an idea on how the books end.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer: In 2020, I got the boxed-set for Christmas. Last year, I started the first book on audio, but I loaned it from the library, and had to return it before I was finished. I would like to at least read two or more books in this vampire romance series.

Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian:

I haven’t read a Jenny Han book in a minute. I would love to see what this trilogy is all about. It is the only Jenny Han series that I have yet to read, yet my opinions on her books have been fairly mixed. I hope that I enjoy this one as much as I did the ‘To All The Boys’ trilogy.

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi: I have heard nothing but good things about this book, and love the premise of it. This book follows a Muslim-American teenage girl. Although, I was born in American, I was raised Muslim. Today, I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself Muslim, but it was a big part of my upbringing. We don’t get a lot of Persian and Muslim representation in books, so I’m excited to read a book that deals with a character that I can relate too.

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo: I have been very intrigued by this author since I discovered that she writes some books in verse. I am trying to learn more about this type of writing, because it is something I am very interested in. Now I don’t know much about this story, except that people love it. I would also like to read ‘With The Fire On High’ from her as well.

Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali: This is a Muslim teen romance that sounds very sweet and wholesome. I have had this on my overall TBR for a while, but never got around to it. However, I would love to pick it up this year if only because I just learned that the female character is named Zayneb. Fun fact that is my older sister’s name just spelled slightly different.

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord: I am shocked that I haven’t read this yet. It is an adorable YA contemporary that I know I am going to love. I need to read this as soon as possible, because I love all things cute and contemporary. Honestly, I haven’t seen one negative review of this book.

House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland: I used to be in love with this book cover, because it is so different. But then I found out the plot, and knew it was going to be a crazy read. It has sister and mystery elements, with maybe a touch of horror. I haven’t seen too many people reviewing it, so I will be going into it with an open mind.

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig: I am going to be honest, but this book sounds an awful lot like the one before. However, I have been wanting to read it since it was released two years ago. It is supposedly a ‘Twelve Dancing Princess’ retelling with a dark twist. I have become a big fan of horror and thriller books, and this one sounds pretty good.

American Royals by Katharine McGee: I cannot explain why I desperately want to read the series. Everyone in my life knows that me and royal plots don’t mix. But for some reason I am dying to jump into this trilogy. I have heard that the first book is great, but the second book falls flat. All I know is that this book has a cute romance and drama, and I am here for it.

Lore by Alexandra Bracken: This book was very hyped, leading up it’s release in January 2021. After the book came out, I noticed the hype died down quite a bit. There have been a lot of mixed reviews, with some recommending the book. Others, not so much. It is a YA Greek Gods story, that, despite the polarized opinions, I would still like to read.

I am going to stop myself here, so that this post isn’t novel length. Let me know any of the books on your yearly TBR in the comments. Don’t forget to follow my blog before you go to get notifications on all my new content.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Bridge Of Souls // Book Review

Title: Bridge of Souls (Cassidy Blake #3)
Author: Victoria Schwab
Published: 2021
Genre: Middle-Grade/Paranormal
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Synopsis
Nothing can prepare Cass for New Orleans, which wears all of its hauntings on its sleeve. In a city of ghost tours and tombs, raucous music and all kinds of magic, Cass could get lost in all the colourful, grisly local legends. And the city’s biggest surprise is a foe Cass never expected to face: a servant of Death itself.
Credit: GoodReads


I was sad to finish off this trilogy, but excited to see how things would end. In my opinion, the previous books were slightly different from each other, but followed a similar format. The first book was spooky and interesting. While the second book was gripping, it was quite sad as well. I was curious to see where this book would fall.

For me, the story was a bit underwhelming. As the reader, you could tell that the author was trying hard to make the story spine-chilling and exhilarating, but something about it didn’t work. I wasn’t as invested in the plot, and characters like with the other books. In this book, we aren’t following a ghost mystery, but being chased by a soul eater. Personally, I missed the simple story of helping a ghost move on.

One of my major issues with the book was Cassidy’s personality. In the earlier books I had nothing against her, but this time around she thoroughly annoyed me. It is possible that I was more critical this time around, with it being the final book. But she acted reckless and immature throughout the book. She wouldn’t listen to anyone putting others lives in danger.

“Once, I stole from Death. I’m ready to do it again.”

I was glad to see that Lara was back, since she is my favorite character. Not only do I love her accent, but her intellect as well. As always, Jacob is a treat and adds the much needed comic relief. I did feel as if we didn’t see many of the side characters in this book. Cassidy and Jacob were alone a lot of the story until Lara joined them. I could be wrong, but I remember Cassidy’s parents being more prominent in the other books.

One thing’s for sure Schwab had a way of bringing each city to life. This time around we are in New Orleans, yet the author didn’t utilities the city as she did with Scotland and Paris. The only thing that was talked about was New Orleans cuisine.

Don’t get me wrong, the book wasn’t all bad. I do enjoy Schwab’s writing and storytelling. However, the energy in the story was off, and it didn’t read like the first and second book. The ending to the series was satisfying, but there was something missing in the plot.

These are good middle-grade ghost stories that I can see fans of Neil Gaiman enjoying. The author left the series somewhat open-ended, so she might revisit these characters in the future. If you asked me to name my favorite book out of all three, I’d pick ‘Tunnel of Bones.’

Let me know if you have read the Cassidy Blake trilogy. Did you like the final book? Please like and share this review. Don’t forget to follow my blog for more bookish content.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

My 2021 Must Reads

Hello bookish friends,
I wanted to do a post about my must reads of the year. There are so many books from past years that I have never gotten too, so this year I am making a yearly tbr, of sorts, for myself. These are the books that are my top priority of the year, but I am not putting in pressure on myself. I find that I read better when I am doing it for fun instead of need. However, I would be very proud if I got to all of these books by the end of the year. I want to quickly note that the last two on this list are authors and not specific books that I want to get too.

Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao: This trilogy is about Anastacya Mikhailov, a crown princess, who has the ability to control blood, a power she has kept secret for years. However, her lifes turns upside down when she becomes the prime suspect in her father’s murder. She must turn to a crime lord, Ramson Quicktongue, to help clear her name.

This series is completely out of my comfort zone, but the cover has me sold. The first book, in the series, was released in 2019 while the second was released early this month. I haven’t heard practically anyone talk about these books, so I will be going into them pretty blind. I will for sure do a review on each book or the trilogy as a whole once I read them all. I would really like to start this series soon.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: This is the story of the March sisters Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. We follow the girls as they grow-up, fall in love and face tragedy. I don’t think this book needs much of a description since it is a classic and has had countless movie adaptions released. I am a big fan of the Little Women story and movies, but I have never read the actually novel. I am not the biggest classic books fan, yet I hope to get to this one. I am giving myself a break if I don’t complete the book by the end of the year, still I would like to have started it.

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig: This is a dark retelling of the twelve dancing princess. The main character, Annaleigh, grows suspensions when four of her sisters lives are tragically cut short. Each of their deaths written off as an accident and the villagers think that the family is cursed. Once Annaleigh meets a mysterious stranger she decides to uncover the truths about these death before her life is taken as well.

Honestly, I know nothing about the twelve dancing princess story, so I am not really looking at this book like a retelling. I have been intrigued by this novel since it’s release. It is a dark, twisted tale that I don’t typically pick up, but I want to get into horror and thrillers this year. I will probably be reading this in October for Halloween, yet I might get to it sooner if I am in a spooky mood.

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan: This trilogy follows Lei chosen as one of the king’s Paper Girls. Each year, 8 girls are selected to serve the king, but this year is different because there is a ninth girl, made of fire. This series is all about secrets, revenge and forbidden love.

I am mix of emotions when it comes to starting this trilogy. I haven’t heard a lot of good things about it, still the synopsis sounds interesting. However, I feel like the plot could be a bit slower and not as fast paced as I would like in fantasies. I haven’t read anything from this author before, so I am willing to give it a chance. Also, there is supposedly LGBT representation in the book, which is awesome.

Kasie West: I have been a fan of hers for the last few years and usually love all her books. She has quickly become one of my favorite YA contemporary authors to read. I know for some people her books fall short, but for me they are fast, lighthearted reads that I enjoy. I have read three of her books, yet there are so many more that I haven’t had a chance to get too. I would love to pick up some of her older titles this year. She is mostly known for her contemporaries, but she does have a fantasy duology out that I am interested in reading. I am not sure how many of her books I will be able to get to by the end of the year, still I am going to try to catch up on her works.

Jenn Bennett: This is another author I am hoping to get to in 2021. As you probably know by now my love for contemporaries run deep, and people rave about Jenn Bennett’s contemporaries. I am a slightly nervous to read one of her book, because she gives me Sarah Dessen vibes, which is an author I don’t typically enjoy. However, people tend to hype up her books so I am going to try to give her a chance. I am unsure of what book I will read by her, yet I was leaning towards “Serious Moonlight” since it is a contemporary with a mystery element to it. I would love suggestions from other readers about which of her books I should pick up first.

Those are all the books on my yearly tbr, but don’t worry I will still be doing my monthly tbrs. I have so many other books that I am hoping to read this year and plan to have a very fun year of reading. Please support my blog by liking and sharing this post. You can follow the blog to get notified when I post.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny