It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? – October 5

This blog meme is hosted by Book Date. It is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

What I just finished:

This weekend I finished How to Get Away with Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce.

What I’m currently reading:

I’m currently reading Kingdom of Sea and Stone by Mara Rutherford.

What I’m reading next:

Next I will be reading Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega.

What are you guys reading this week? Have you read any of these books?

Jill’s Weekly Wrap-Up – October 4

Here are my reviews for the week with my ratings:

I did 9 weekly blogging memes:

How was your week? What did you guys read?

Monthly Wrap-Up – September 2020

I love seeing everyone’s monthly wrap-up posts, so I’ve decided to do one of my own.

These are the books I read in September with their ratings and links to my reviews:

I read 26 books. My favourites were These Vengeful Hearts, A Court of Thorns and Roses, and Jackie and Maria.

What was your favourite book of July?

Sundays in Bed With… How to Get Away with Myrtle

The meme that dares to ask what book has been in your bed this morning? Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed, or which book you wish you had time to read today! This meme is hosted by Midnight Book Girl.

This Sunday I’m reading How to Get Away with Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Before the train has left the station, England’s most accomplished new detective already is on a suspect’s trail, and readers will be delighted to travel along.  

Myrtle Hardcastle has no desire to go on a relaxing travel excursion with her aunt Helena when there are More Important things to be done at home, like keeping close tabs on criminals and murder trials. Unfortunately, she has no say in the matter. So off Myrtle goes—with her governess, Miss Judson, and cat, Peony, in tow—on a fabulous private railway coach headed for the English seaside. 

Myrtle is thrilled to make the acquaintance of Mrs. Bloom, a professional insurance investigator aboard to protect the priceless Northern Lights tiara. But before the train reaches its destination, both the tiara and Mrs. Bloom vanish. When Myrtle arrives, she and Peony discover a dead body in the baggage car. Someone has been murdered—with Aunt Helena’s sewing shears.

The trip is derailed, the local police are inept, and Scotland Yard is in no rush to arrive. What’s a smart, bored Young Lady of Quality stranded in a washed-up carnival town to do but follow the evidence to find out which of her fellow travelers is a thief and a murderer?

What book are you in bed with today?

Review: The Shadows [audiobook]

Title: The Shadows
Author: Alex North
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Audiobook
Release Date: July 7, 2020
Rating: ★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

You knew a teenager like Charlie Crabtree. A dark imagination, a sinister smile–always on the outside of the group. Some part of you suspected he might be capable of doing something awful. Twenty-five years ago, Crabtree did just that, committing a murder so shocking that it’s attracted that strange kind of infamy that only exists on the darkest corners of the internet–and inspired more than one copycat.

Paul Adams remembers the case all too well: Crabtree–and his victim–were Paul’s friends. Paul has slowly put his life back together. But now his mother, old and senile, has taken a turn for the worse. Though every inch of him resists, it is time to come home.

It’s not long before things start to go wrong. Reading the news, Paul learns another copycat has struck. His mother is distressed, insistent that there’s something in the house. And someone is following him. Which reminds him of the most unsettling thing about that awful day twenty-five years ago.

It wasn’t just the murder.

It was the fact that afterward, Charlie Crabtree was never seen again…

The haunting new thriller from Alex North, author of the New York Times bestseller The Whisper Man.

Review:

Twenty-five years ago, Charlie Crabtree murdered his friends. Crabtree inspired copycat murders years later. Paul Adams was one of his friends, who left after the murder. Now, Paul’s mother is sick and he’s had to return to his hometown. Another copycat murder has just occurred, and it has distressed his ill mother. Everyone suspects there may be a connection between this recent murder and Crabtree because he was never seen again after killing his friend twenty-five years ago. The police have to look into this possible connection.

This audiobook switched between two narrators, Detective Amanda Beck and Paul Adams. Paul’s narrative switched between the present and his experience with Crabtree as a teenager twenty-five years ago. Since the current murder and the past one were so similar, I kept getting the two situations mixed up. It was difficult to differentiate between the two murders while listening, but it probably would have made more sense if I was reading it.

I didn’t really understand the ending. Everything happened quite quickly. There were a bunch of quick explanations, including introducing some characters who played an important part in the solution, but weren’t in most of the book. The whole story talked about the murder from twenty-give years ago, yet they were trying to solve the current one. This ending wasn’t as clear and concise as I expect for a thriller.

This thriller audiobook didn’t work for me.

Thank you Macmillan Audio for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Whisper Man by Alex North

Have you read The Shadows? What did you think of it?

Top 5 Saturday – Intimidating Books

This is a weekly meme hosted Devouring Books. This week’s prompt is Intimidating Books. Here’s my list:

1. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

2. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

3. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

4. Fire and Blood by George R.R. Martin

5. It by Stephen King

(All book covers from Goodreads)

If you’d like to do this list too, consider yourself tagged!

Did you make a Top 5 Saturday list?

Blog Tour Review: Confessions on the 7:45

Title: Confessions on the 7:45
Author: Lisa Unger
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Park Row
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 6, 2020
Rating: ★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From master of suspense Lisa Unger comes a riveting thriller about a chance encounter that unravels a stunning web of lies and deceit.

Everyone has a secret… Now she knows yours.

Selena Murphy is commuting home from her job in the city when the train stalls out on the tracks. She strikes up a conversation with a beautiful stranger in the next seat, and their connection is fast and easy. The woman introduces herself as Martha and confesses that she’s been stuck in an affair with her boss. Selena, in turn, confesses that she suspects her husband is sleeping with the nanny. When the train arrives at Selena’s station, the two women part ways, presumably never to meet again.

But days later, Selena’s nanny disappears.

Soon Selena finds her once-perfect life upended. As she is pulled into the mystery of the missing nanny, and as the fractures in her marriage grow deeper, Selena begins to wonder, who was Martha really? But she is hardly prepared for what she’ll discover.

Expertly plotted and reminiscent of the timeless classic Strangers on a TrainConfessions on the 7:45 is a gripping thriller about the delicate facades we create around our lives.

Review:

When Selena Murphy is riding the train home one evening, she tells a woman that her husband is having an affair with their nanny. A few days later, the nanny, Geneva, disappears. Her disappearance is suspicious, and Selena worries about the stranger on the train who knows about Selena’s husband’s affair. Selena hopes that the police won’t make a connection between her husband’s affair and Geneva’s disappearance. When the stranger starts texting Selena out of the blue, she has to wonder if that woman is connected to Geneva.

This story was told from multiple perspectives. It was confusing at the beginning because the first few chapters each had a different perspective. The stranger that Selena met on the train even gave a fake name, which was confusing since it happened right when the characters were being introduced. Some of the chapters only used a character’s perspective once or twice, which I think could have been removed or changed to a main character to make it a little simpler to follow.

The characters did a lot of reflecting on what was going on in the story. Since the characters spent a lot of time thinking about the events, the twists were easy to figure out before they happened. There was also a lot of unnecessary background on the characters. They had detailed life histories, which were thought out and provided motive and connections, but they didn’t really progress the story.

This was a good crime story, but not as suspenseful as I expected.

Thank you HarperCollins for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Someone’s Listening by Seraphina Nova Glass

When I Was You by Amber Garza

About the author:

Lisa Unger is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of eighteen novels, including CONFESSIONS ON THE 7:45 (Oct. 2020). With millions of readers worldwide and books published in twenty-six languages, Unger is widely regarded as a master of suspense. Her critically acclaimed books have been voted “Best of the Year” or top picks by the Today showGood Morning AmericaEntertainment WeeklyAmazonIndieBound and others. Her essays have appeared in The New York TimesWall Street JournalNPR, and Travel+Leisure. She lives on the west coast of Florida with her family.

Have you read Confessions on the 7:45? What did you think of it?

First Lines Friday – October 1

This is a weekly meme hosted by Wandering Words, where you give the first few lines of a book to hook your readers before introducing the book.

Here are my first lines:

“I was the girl who survived.”

Do you recognize these first lines?

And the book is… The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda.

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Goodreads synopsis:

Everyone knows the story of “the girl from Widow Hills.”

Arden Maynor was just a child when she was swept away while sleepwalking during a terrifying rainstorm and went missing for days. Strangers and friends, neighbors and rescue workers, set up search parties and held vigils, praying for her safe return. Against all odds, she was found, alive, clinging to a storm drain. The girl from Widow Hills was a living miracle. Arden’s mother wrote a book. Fame followed. Fans and fan letters, creeps, and stalkers. And every year, the anniversary. It all became too much. As soon as she was old enough, Arden changed her name and disappeared from the public eye.

Now a young woman living hundreds of miles away, Arden goes by Olivia. She’s managed to stay off the radar for the last few years. But with the twentieth anniversary of her rescue approaching, the media will inevitably renew its interest in Arden. Where is she now? Soon Olivia feels like she’s being watched and begins sleepwalking again, like she did long ago, even waking outside her home. Until late one night she jolts awake in her yard. At her feet is the corpse of a man she knows—from her previous life, as Arden Maynor.

And now, the girl from Widow Hills is about to become the center of the story, once again, in this propulsive page-turner from suspense master Megan Miranda.

Check out my review for The Girl from Widow Hills here.

Have you read The Girl from Widow Hills? What did you think of it?

Review: Willa the Wisp (The Fabled Stables #1)

Title: Willa the Wisp (The Fabled Stables #1)
Author: Jonathan Auxier, Olga Demidova (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s, Fantasy
Publisher: Puffin Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 20, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The first book in a magical chapter-book adventure series by the Governor General Award-winning author of Sweep.

Auggie Pound is eight years old and has the greatest job of all time: he cares for all the animals in the Fabled Stables. The Fabled Stables house the rarest creatures in existence–all of them one-of-a-kind. Auggie’s job is to care for these creatures, as well as track down and safely capture endangered magical beasts in the wild. Some mornings, he arrives to find an empty stall with the name of a new creature to rescue. One day, the Stables rearrange themselves out of the blue, creating a new stall. The sign over the gate says, “Wisp.” But what is a wisp and where is it? All Auggie can see is a moonlit swamp stretching out before him. Then a hungry HOWLLLLLLL rings out in the darkness. It’s up to Auggie to go into the swamp to find the wisp before it’s too late.

Review:

Auggie is a little boy who is in charge of The Fabled Stables. The Fabled Stables holds many one-of-a-kind creatures. One day, a new stall appears for an unknown creature. Auggie ventures into the swamp in the new stall and discovers a Wisp named Willa. He has to protect her from hunters, who are trying to capture Willa before she disappears when the sun rises.

I loved the variety of magical creatures in this story. There were some creatures who were based on things in real life, such as a tarantula who was as big as a person named a Garantula. There was a stick-in-the-mud named Fen, who could transform into any item that Auggie needed at the moment, such as a rake. There was also Willa who was a wisp, a creature that is born one day but disappears when the moon sets.

In an author’s note at the beginning of the book, the author says that he wrote this book to be read out loud to children. Some books may read well, but don’t sound the same when they’re read aloud. Sometimes in stories with magical creatures, their names can be complicated and difficult to pronounce. Though there are made-up creatures in this story, their names are easy to say. Some of the dialogue rhymed, which makes it fun to read as well.

This is the great first story in the Fabled Stables series!

Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier

Have you read Willa the Wisp? What did you think of it?

TBR Thursday – October 1

TBR Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly Faye Reads, where you post a title from your shelf or e-reader and find out what others think about it.

My pick this week is The Princess and the Fangirl (Once Upon a Con #2) by Ashley Poston.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The Prince and the Pauper gets a modern makeover in this adorable, witty, and heartwarming young adult novel set in the Geekerella universe by national bestselling author Ashley Poston.

Imogen Lovelace is an ordinary fangirl on an impossible mission: save her favorite character, Princess Amara, from being killed off from her favorite franchise, Starfield. The problem is, Jessica Stone—the actress who plays Princess Amara—wants nothing more than to leave the intense scrutiny of the fandom behind. If this year’s ExcelsiCon isn’t her last, she’ll consider her career derailed.

When a case of mistaken identity throws look-a-likes Imogen and Jess together, they quickly become enemies. But when the script for the Starfield sequel leaks, and all signs point to Jess, she and Imogen must trade places to find the person responsible. That’s easier said than done when the girls step into each other’s shoes and discover new romantic possibilities, as well as the other side of intense fandom. As these “princesses” race to find the script-leaker, they must rescue themselves from their own expectations, and redefine what it means to live happily ever after. 

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?