Blog Tour Review: Just My Luck

Title: Just My Luck
Author: Adele Parks
Genre: Thriller, Contemporary
Publisher: MIRA
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: April 6, 2021
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

It was supposed to be the lottery win they’d always dreamed of…

For fifteen years, Lexi and Jake have played the same six numbers with their friends. Over drinks, dinner parties and summer barbecues, the three couples have discussed the important stuff—kids, marriages, careers—and they’ve laughed off their disappointment when they failed to win anything.

But then the unthinkable happens. There’s a rift in the group. Someone is caught in a lie. And soon after, six numbers come up that change everything forever.

Lexi and Jake have a ticket worth millions. And their friends are determined to claim a share.

#1 Sunday Times bestselling author Adele Parks returns with a riveting look at the dark side of wealth in this gripping tale of friendship, money, betrayal and good luck gone bad…

Review:

For fifteen years, a group of six friends have bought a lottery ticket every week using the same numbers. Lexi and Jake always buy them for the group. One night, they have a fight, breaking the group apart. However, the following week, their numbers come up, and Lexi and Jake have the winning ticket. Despite their fight, their four friends want a share of the winnings. This is only the start of a series of devastating events, which they can’t recover from.

Everyone dreams of winning the lottery, but it doesn’t have the dreamy outcome everyone imagines. Once you come into a lot of money, everyone you’ve ever met expects some of it. This happened in this story when Lexi and Jake won the lottery. It was complicated since they had been in a group, buying tickets together for many years. The question is did they really had a fight and dissolve the group or are Lexi and Jake just saying that to keep the money. This prize of 18 million pounds led their lives to spiral out of control, with affairs, a kidnapping, and many betrayals.

This story had some shocking and disturbing scenes. There was some abuse of a teen and a miscarriage. These scenes were intense and made the story suspenseful, but there were many flashback scenes which slowed down the pacing. There was a lot of unnecessary information that gave a full story of all the characters, but wasn’t necessary to understand the whole plot. It would have had much faster pacing if some of the flashback scenes were shortened or cut.

This was an intense thriller that will make you think twice about buying a lottery ticket.

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

What to read next:

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Lies Lies Lies by Adele Parks

Other books in the series:

Adele Parks is the #1 Sunday Times bestselling author of twenty novels, including Lies Lies Lies and Just My Luck, as well as I Invited Her InJust My Luck is currently in development to be made into a movie. Her novels have sold 4 million copies in the UK alone, and her work has also been translated into thirty-one languages.

Have you read Just My Luck? What did you think of it?

Top 5 Saturday – Blood on the Cover

This is a weekly meme hosted Devouring Books. This week’s prompt is Blood on the Cover. Here’s my list:

1. Crave by Tracy Wolff

2. King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

3. Bloodlust and Bonnets by Emily McGovern

4. Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard

5. Blood Countess by Lana Popović

(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?

Review: Secrets of Camp Whatever, Vol. 1

Title: Secrets of Camp Whatever, Vol. 1
Author: Chris Grine
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Oni Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 30, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

“Just the right amount of chills for tweens who enjoy supernatural suspense.” — KIRKUS

Perfect for fans of Lumberjanes and Brain Camp, there’s more than mosquitos at Camp Whatever and Willow will need to face truths about herself and her family as summer camp dread goes head to head with the supernatural.

Eleven year-old Willow doesn’t want to go to her dad’s weird old summer camp any more than she wants her family to move to the weird old town where that camp is located. But her family—and fate itself—seem to have plans of their own. Soon Willow finds herself neck-deep in a confounding mystery involving stolen snacks, suspected vampires, and missing campers, all shrouded in the sinister fog that hides a generation of secrets at Camp … Whatever it’s called.

Review:

Eleven-year-old Willow’s family has moved back to her dad’s strange hometown of Nowhere. She’s going to go to his old camp, Camp Whatever. He enjoyed the camp when he went there, but one of the campers went missing while he was there. As soon as Willow boards the ship to go to the camp, she can see that it is going to be a strange week. She ends up encountering supernatural mysteries, including gnomes, Bigfoot, and a possible vampire, all hidden in the fog of Camp Whatever.

This was such a fun graphic novel. Going to a new camp can be intimidating enough, without the possibility of encountering supernatural creatures. There were a couple of warning signs before Willow left for camp, such as when her dad said a kid went missing while he was there and there was a creepy clown holding a balloon standing on the dock to the ship. I could tell things would get creepy after those two events.

This story kept me guessing until the end. There were so many different supernatural creatures that I didn’t know what was going to happen next. The setting of a camp can be exciting enough, with kids isolated in a space with limited supervision, but the addition of fantasy creatures made it even more exciting.

I really enjoyed this graphic novel! I can’t wait to read more in this series.

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

What to read next:

Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters, Brooklyn Allen

Martian Ghost Centaur by Mat Heagerty, Steph Mided

Have you read Secrets of Camp Whatever, Vol. 1? What did you think of it?

First Lines Friday – April 9

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:

“He struggles to breathe. There’s blood trickling into one of his eyes. His glasses are gone. He can hear the ocean rising to meet him. It wasn’t supposed to be like this.”

Do you recognize these first lines?

And the book is… The Last Resort by Marissa Stapley.

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Goodreads synopsis:

The Harmony Resort promises hope for struggling marriages. Run by celebrity power couple Drs. Miles and Grace Markell, the “last resort” offers a chance for partners to repair their relationships in a luxurious setting on the gorgeous Mayan Riviera. 

Johanna and Ben have a marriage that looks perfect on the surface, but in reality, they don’t know each other at all. Shell and Colin fight constantly: after all, Colin is a workaholic, and Shell always comes second to his job as an executive at a powerful mining company. But what has really torn them apart is too devastating to talk about. When both couples begin Harmony’s intensive therapy program, it becomes clear that Harmony is not all it seems—and neither are Miles and Grace themselves. What are they hiding, and what price will these couples pay for finding out? 

As a deadly tropical storm descends on the coast, trapping the hosts and the guests on the resort, secrets are revealed, loyalties are tested and not one single person—or their marriage—will remain unchanged by what follows. 

You can see my review of The Last Resort here.

Have you read The Last Resort? What did you think of it?

Review: Bridge of Souls (Cassidy Blake #3)

Title: Bridge of Souls (Cassidy Blake #3)
Author: Victoria Schwab
Genre: Middle Grade, Paranormal, Fantasy
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: March 2, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Where there are ghosts, Cassidy Blake follows … unless it’s the other way around?

Cass thinks she might have this ghost-hunting thing down. After all, she and her ghost best friend, Jacob, have survived two haunted cities while travelling for her parents’ TV show.

But 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.

Cass takes on her most dangerous challenge yet…

Review:

Cassidy Blake travels with her parents to New Orleans to film their paranormal tv show. Cassidy’s parents don’t know that she’s a ghost hunter, who is always accompanied by her ghost best friend Jacob. New Orleans is a haunted city, filled with ghosts for Cassidy to hunt down. However, soon after she arrives, she sees a mysterious person with a skeleton mask, who she first saw in Paris. This person is an emissary of Death, who has come to claim what Cassidy stole from Death. She must figure out how to get rid of the emissary before her time is up.

This is one of my favourite series. I love them as an adult, and I know I would have loved it as a young reader. The story is fast paced and creepy, so it flies by quickly.

I definitely want to visit New Orleans after reading this story. Cassidy and her parents visited many haunted areas of the city. There’s a lot of dark history and ghosts stories in New Orleans. They were even more creepy in this story, since Cassidy could look within the veil, where ghosts live, and see the ghosts herself. I love paranormal stories like this one, so I’d love to visit New Orleans.

This is such a fun series! I hope Victoria Schwab writes more Cassidy Blake stories in the future.

What to read next:

Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega

The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Other books in the series:

Have you read Bridge of Souls? What did you think of it?

‘Waiting on’ Wednesday – April 7

This is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. In this post we highlight a book that’s highly anticipated.

The book that I’m waiting on this Wednesday is Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson. The expected publication date is May 4, 2021.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off meets Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist in this romp through the city that never sleeps from the New York Times bestselling author of Since You’ve Been Gone, Morgan Matson.

Two girls. One night. Zero phones.

Kat and Stevie—best friends, theater kids, polar opposites—have snuck away from the suburbs to spend a night in New York City. They have it all planned out. They’ll see a play, eat at the city’s hottest restaurant, and have the best. Night. Ever. What could go wrong?

Well. Kind of a lot?

They’re barely off the train before they’re dealing with destroyed phones, family drama, and unexpected Pomeranians. Over the next few hours, they’ll have to grapple with old flames, terrible theater, and unhelpful cab drivers. But there are also cute boys to kiss, parties to crash, dry cleaning to deliver (don’t ask), and the world’s best museum to explore.

Over the course of a wild night in the city that never sleeps, both Kat and Stevie will get a wake-up call about their friendship, their choices…and finally discover what they really want for their future. 

That is, assuming they can make it to Grand Central before the clock strikes midnight.

What books are you waiting on this week?

Review: Lucky

Title: Lucky
Author: Marissa Stapley
Genre: Thriller, Contemporary
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: April 6, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

For fans of The Flight Attendant​, a compelling and thrilling road-trip novel about a talented grifter named Lucky whose past comes back to haunt her.

What if you had the winning ticket that would change your life forever, but you couldn’t cash it in?

Lucky Armstrong is a tough, talented grifter who has just pulled off a million-dollar heist with her boyfriend, Cary. She’s ready to start a brand-new life, with a new identity—when things go sideways. Lucky finds herself alone for the first time, navigating the world without the help of either her father or her boyfriend, the two figures from whom she’s learned the art of the scam.

When she discovers that a lottery ticket she bought on a whim is worth millions, her elation is tempered by one big problem: cashing in the winning ticket means the police will arrest her for her crimes. She’ll go to prison, with no chance to redeem her fortune.

As Lucky tries to avoid arrest and make a future for herself, she must confront her past by reconciling with her father; finding her mother, who abandoned her when she just a baby; and coming to terms with the man she thought she loved—whose complicated past is catching up to her, too.

This is a novel about truth, personal redemption, and the complexity of being good. It introduces a singularly gifted, complicated character who must learn what it means to be independent and honest…before her luck runs out.

Review:

Lucky Armstrong is a talented con artist. She’s ready to leave her grifter life behind and move away with her boyfriend, when he disappears and leaves her wanted by the police. Lucky goes on the run. Then she discovers that the lottery ticket she bought has won the jackpot. The problem is that she can’t cash it in since she’s wanted for scamming people out of millions of dollars. To avoid being captured, Lucky has to travel around the country to see her father who raised her, her mother who abandoned her, and other people from her past to figure out her future.

This was a gripping thriller from the start. I started reading it before going to sleep and I was tempted to stay up all night to finish it. There were twists that surprised me. Lucky’s past was full of secrets, which were revealed in flashbacks throughout the story. There were shocking reveals right until the last pages.

I loved the ending of this story. There was a part in the opening of the story that didn’t seem related to the rest of the story. I was hoping it would all come together in the end and it did. It was a great ending that left me satisfied with the whole story.

This is such a great thriller! I highly recommend it!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Last Resort by Marissa Stapley

Woman on the Edge by Samantha M. Bailey

Have you read Lucky? What did you think of it?

Top Ten Tuesday – Book Covers with Bodies of Water

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and it is now hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Books I’d Throw into the Ocean, but I decided to do Book Covers with Bodies of Water. Here’s my list:

1. The Last Resort by Marissa Stapley

2. The Safe Place by Anna Downes

3. The Sea Gate by Jane Johnson

4. Her Dark Lies by J.T. Ellison

5. The Siren by Kiera Cass

6. I’ll Never Tell by Catherine McKenzie

7. The Lake by Natasha Preston

8. The Lion’s Den by Katherine St. John

9. You Have a Match by Emma Lord

10. Stranger in the Lake by Kimberly Belle

(All book covers from Goodreads)

What’s your list of books on your Top Ten Tuesday?

Happy Pub Day – April 6

Happy Pub Day to all of these new books!

Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price

The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie Danan

Just My Luck by Adele Parks

House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland

The Duke Undone by Joanna Lowell

Lucky by Marissa Stapley

The Cost of Knowing by Brittney Morris

The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Poison Priestess by Lana Popović

Hello, Cruel Heart by Maureen Johnson

Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin

Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle

Mirror’s Edge by Scott Westerfeld

Oculta by Maya Motayne

Zara Hossain is Here by Sabina Khan

Kisses and Croissants by Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau

The Sky Blues by Robbie Couch

The Flipside of Perfect by Liz Reinhardt

My Epic Spring Break (Up) by Kristin Rockaway

Go the Distance by Jen Calonita

What books are you most excited for this week?

Review: The Wife Upstairs [audiobook]

Title: The Wife Upstairs
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Audiobook
Release Date: January 5, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A delicious twist on a Gothic classic, The Wife Upstairs pairs Southern charm with atmospheric domestic suspense, perfect for fans of B.A. Paris and Megan Miranda.

Meet Jane. Newly arrived to Birmingham, Alabama, Jane is a broke dog-walker in Thornfield Estates––a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives. The kind of place where no one will notice if Jane lifts the discarded tchotchkes and jewelry off the side tables of her well-heeled clients. Where no one will think to ask if Jane is her real name.

But her luck changes when she meets Eddie­ Rochester. Recently widowed, Eddie is Thornfield Estates’ most mysterious resident. His wife, Bea, drowned in a boating accident with her best friend, their bodies lost to the deep. Jane can’t help but see an opportunity in Eddie––not only is he rich, brooding, and handsome, he could also offer her the kind of protection she’s always yearned for. 

Yet as Jane and Eddie fall for each other, Jane is increasingly haunted by the legend of Bea, an ambitious beauty with a rags-to-riches origin story, who launched a wildly successful southern lifestyle brand. How can she, plain Jane, ever measure up? And can she win Eddie’s heart before her past––or his––catches up to her?

With delicious suspense, incisive wit, and a fresh, feminist sensibility, The Wife Upstairs flips the script on a timeless tale of forbidden romance, ill-advised attraction, and a wife who just won’t stay buried. In this vivid reimagining of one of literature’s most twisted love triangles, which Mrs. Rochester will get her happy ending?

Review:

Jane is a dog walker in the gated community Thornfield Estates. The residents are so rich, that no one notices if she steals a piece of jewelry or knickknacks when picking up the dogs. Everything changes when Jane meets the recently widowed Eddie Rochester. His wife and her best friend went missing in a boating accident, and their bodies were never found. Since Eddie is a rich, handsome man, Jane sees him as her ticket out of her thieving lifestyle. As Jane and Eddie fall for each other, the mystery around his missing wife begins to resurface. Jane soon realizes nothing in Thornfield Estates is what it seems.

As soon as I saw the title of this book, I knew it was going to be about Jane Eyre. Jane Eyre is one of my favourite classic novels. Some knowledge of that book would be helpful when reading this one, to notice all of the references. However, it could also be read as a thriller on its own without reading Jane Eyre. Since I knew Jane Eyre, I had predicted what was going to happen at the end, but there was a twist I didn’t see coming.

This audiobook was great. It had three different narrators for the three different characters that narrated the novel. It made it easy to tell the characters apart since they had different voices. I sometimes find that I lose interest in an audiobook while listening to it and I get distracted doing something else. This one held my interest the whole time, and I never got distracted while listening to it.

This is such a great thriller!

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

What to read next:

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell

Have you read The Wife Upstairs? What did you think of it?