5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2018, S

Review: Final Girls by Riley Sager

Final Girls
by Riley Sager

Final Girls

Copyright: 2017

Pages: 339

Read: Jan. 4-8, 2018

Rating: 5/5

Source: Book of the Month

 

 

Blurb: Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie-scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to – a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls: Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.

Now Quincy is doing well – maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-finance, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.

That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam has sought her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.


Review: This was my second read of 2018 and my first 5 star rating! I mean I could gush on and on about this book! It was THAT good!

So basically you’ve got Quincy who acts like she has her act together after surviving a terrible incident which saw her best friends murdered before her eyes. She’s labeled a “Final Girl”. She’s effectively blocked it completely out of her mind and “thinks” she’s moved past it. But can one really move past something like that?! When Sam, another “Final Girl” randomly shows up on her doorstep, things start to spiral for Quincy. She’s not nearly as perfect as she wants everyone to believe. And then she begins remembering what happened that night many years ago …. Maybe some things are better left unremembered ….

I don’t want to give any more plot details about it without getting into spoilers. But really, this book caught me from the very first page and I was absolutely hooked until I finished it. And that ending …. well! It’s a crazy ending that I was not prepared for! I’m so glad that I picked this one up. It had been on my shelf since July when it was my BOTM pick. And when I saw that Samantha had really enjoyed it, I knew I had to pick it up sooner rather than later. I haven’t been caught up in a book like I was with this one in a very long time, so I really enjoyed my time with it.

I know this one has been marketed as a horror novel. I’m not sure I’m entirely on board with that classification. It definitely has a horror movie feel. But I personally think it’s more in the psychological thriller genre than horror. Maybe that’s just because I tend to correlate horror novels with scary books and this was more intense suspense than scary.

And can I just say that I really hope this book is made into a movie ASAP! I know I read online that the rights have been purchased, but I haven’t seen any more information than that. But I know this one will make an awesome movie! And I don’t usually feel that way about book to movie adaptations.

Anyway … I can only give you one solid piece of advice ….. read this book!!

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A, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, F, Fiction, H, Lucas Davenport, M, Mini Review, Nina Reilly, O, Read in 2017, S, SERIES

September & October 2017 Reads

Well….. it’s obviously been awhile 😦 September saw a HUGE reading slump…. I went from reading anywhere from 6-9 books to a whopping 3 in September…. October wasn’t that much better….. Here’s to hoping November is better 🙂

So I’ll do a quick mini-review round up of my September and October reads. It’s so impressive, I tell ya …. ::eyeroll::

Sate of the Onion
Title: State of the Onion
Author: Julie Hyzy
Read: Sept. 3-6, 2017
Pages: 325
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: This is the first in the White House Chef Mystery series …. it was a fun read that I enjoyed! It was cute, but not cutesie …. if that makes sense? I definitely am looking forward to reading the next book in the series!

Where They Found Her
Title: Where They Found Her
Author: Kimberly McCreight
Read: Sept. 10-19, 2017
Pages: 326
Source: Purchased New
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: So this one I found in the bargain bin at Barnes & Noble. I had my eye on it when it first came out because I had read and LOVED her previous book, Reconstructing Amelia, so I think I had high hopes for this one. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t grab me right off the bat and I struggled to really get into it. And when it was all revealed in the end, it wasn’t as surprising as I had hoped for. So good, but not great.
Obstruction of Justice
Title: Obstruction of Justice
Author: Perri O’Shaughnessy
Read: Sept. 20-29, 2017
Pages: 512
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: This is the 3rd book in the Nina Reilly series. I have read and enjoyed the previous two so I was looking forward to this one! I enjoyed it and it definitely left me wanting to read the fourth book … if only they weren’t so long, I often find myself too intimidated by longer books these days….
Her Last Breath
Title: Her Last Breath
Author: Linda Castillo
Read: Oct. 2-5, 2017
Pages: 320
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: This is the 5th book in the Kate Burkholder series. I read and LOVED the first 4 in 2016 and had tried to pick this one up shortly after I read the 5th, but realized that I was a little burned out on the series. In fact, I can recall feeling like the books were all too similar to each other. So I set it aside and decided I’d come back to it later. Apparently a year later I decided it was time …. I’m glad I waited because I thoroughly enjoyed it! I had no trouble jumping right back into Kate’s life and I can’t wait to see where her and Tomasetti go in the future. I definitely recommend this series!
Pop Goes the Weasel
Title: Pop Goes the Weasel 
Author: M.J. Arlidge
Read: Oct. 8-13, 2017
Pages: 390
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 3/5

Thoughts: I read the first book in this series, Eeny Meeny,  back in January of this year and I absolutely adored it! So I had high hopes for this one, but I wanted to let it sit for awhile (series burnout is real!) … and while I did enjoy this one, it definitely didn’t grab me as fast as the first book did. It was gruesome and a roller coaster ride, but I felt like it was a letdown from the first book. Yet I still want to continue on with this series, so it wasn’t terrible either. A solid thriller.
Beautiful Storm
Title: Beautiful Storm 
Author: Barbara Freethy
Read: Oct. 6-25, 2017
Pages: 321
Source: B&N Serial Reads
Rating: 3/5

Thoughts: This book was October’s selection for Barnes & Noble’s Serial Reads…. I don’t read a lot of romantic suspense, mainly because I don’t read a lot of romance. So I was a little unsure going into this one, but I was immediately intrigued by the storyline – the missing person’s case. If only it had been a little more on the intrigue and less on the romance (which really, wasn’t overbearing honestly…) it would have been a lot more interesting to me. So not something I would ever pick up on my own, but definitely a decent freebie read.
Winter Prey
Title: Winter Prey
Author: John Sandford
Read: Oct. 21-27, 2017
Pages: 400
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: I remember very clearly thoroughly loving the previous book in this series, Silent Prey, so I was looking forward to getting to this 5th book in the Lucas Davenport series. Why did I wait so long between books?!? I really enjoyed this book. It was so creepy and suspenseful. I know I’m only on the 5th book in the series, but other than #2 they’ve all been home runs for me! Definitely makes me look forward to continuing on sooner rather than later!

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Grant County, RATING, Read in 2016, S, SERIES

Review: Kisscut by Karin Slaughter

Kiss cut
by Karin Slaughter

 

Kisscut.jpgCopyright: 2002

Pages: 420

Read: Sept. 17-23, 2016

Rating: 4/5

Source: Bought at used book store

 


Blurb
: Sara Linton, pediatrician and medical examiner in Heartsdale, Georgia, knows only too well the horrors that can hide behind closed doors in a small community. But when a Saturday night argument between teenagers at the local skating rink leads to death – and a subsequent autopsy reveals evidence of ritualistic self-mutilation and long-teem abuse – she realizes that true evil is closer than she imagined. Aided by her ex-husband, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, and Detective Lena Adams, still traumatized by her brush with a maniac, Sara’s investigation is frustrated at every turn by the cold silence of the family and friends of the slain girl. But the truth cannot be hidden forever, as Sara inexorably peels back the many layers of an inhuman outrage that goes far beyond mere murder. For an ominous cloud has settled over the young daughters and sons of Heartsdale – and those who would protect them must act quickly before all innocence here is devoured.


Review: So I picked this one up at my last trip to the used book store and I was glad to have found it. I had been wanting to dive back into Sara Linton’s world – since I last read the first book, Blindsighted, way back in 2013 – oops!

This book is gruesome. It’s difficult to read. The subject it deals with is excruciatingly painful to read – especially as a mother. And interestingly enough, I wasn’t turned off by that. I probably should have been, and I have to admit, I was more than a little shocked in some spots throughout the book, but really I enjoyed this one. Karin Slaughter, while I’ve only read a few of her books, is starting to become a real favorite of mine!

I really like Sara’s character. And I can’t wait to see what happens between her and Jeffrey. The one character in this installment that irritated me to no end was Lena. I get that she went through a lot in the first book, but honestly – she really needs to learn to cope with what she went through. She needs help, badly. I can only hope that she finds herself the help she needs, or else I’m going to go crazy every time I read her name on the page.

So yeah, if you can deal with a really touchy and difficult subject matter, I’d definitely recommend this book to you. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait to get to read the third in the series! (hopefully it won’t be 3 years before I pick that one up…)

5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, Lucas Davenport, RATING, Read in 2016, S, SERIES

Silent Prey by John Sanford

Silent Prey
by John Sanford

Silent Prey

Copyright: 1992

Pages: 388

Read: Aug. 22-Aug. 25, 2016

Rating: 5/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

Blurb: Once, Bekker indulged his brilliant obsession with death; now he is in prison. Once, he was hunted by a man who understood the genius of murder; now he wants revenge…

Lieutenant Davenport should have killed Bekker when he had the chance…

Because today, Bekker escapes.


Review:  What. A. Book.

I mean, seriously!! What a freaking book! This is the fourth in the Lucas Davenport and is kind of a sequel to the third, Eyes of PreyI read that one a couple of years ago and remember loving it. So why on earth did I wait so long to pick this one up?! I can’t answer that, but I sure am glad I read it now!

The blurb above doesn’t really do justice to the book. It doesn’t mention that there’s actually a dual storyline. The one with Bekker – who escapes and makes his way to New York City. And then the one where Lucas goes to New York in order to surreptitiously hunt down  the “Robin Hoods” (vigilantes killing criminals in NYC) under the auspices of the Bekker case. I personally enjoyed both storylines – they were both interesting.

So yeah, there’s not much I can say about this book except that I loved it! And I’m looking forward to continuing on with Lucas Davenport!

Highly recommended.

3/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, P, RATING, Read in 2016, S

Review: Private Games by James Patterson & Mark Sullivan

Private Games
by James Patterson & Mark Sullivan

Private Games

Copyright: 2012

Pages: 426

Read: Aug. 16-Aug. 17, 2016

Rating: 3/5

Source: Purchased used

 


Blurb
: Private, the world’s most renowned investigation firm, has been commissioned to provide security for the 2012 Games in London. Its agents are the smartest, fastest, and most technologically advanced in the world.

Hours away from the opening ceremony, Private investigator and single father Peter Knight is called to the scene of a ruthless murder. A high-ranking member of the Games organizing committee has been killed. It’s clear to Peter that this wasn’t a crime of passion but one of precise calculation and execution.

Newspaper reporter Karen Pope receives a letter from a person who calls himself Cronus, claiming responsibility for the murder. He promises to restore the Games to their ancient glory – and to destroy all those who have ruined the Games with lies, corruption, and greed. Now Karen and Peter must work together to uncover a criminal genius who won’t stop until he completely obliterates the modern Games.


Review:  James Patterson is always a go-to for me when I need a quick, easy read. So far I have read a few of these Private books and have enjoyed them.

This one fell a little bit flat in my opinion though. It wasn’t necessarily bad by any means, I just wasn’t all that interested in it. I thought it would be interesting to pick up a book with a storyline revolving around the Olympics during the Olympics (although I literally watched none of the Olympics).

But for some reason this one just didn’t work for me. Like I said, not a bad book, but I could have skipped it and never missed anything.

5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, RATING, Read in 2016, Review Book, S

Review: Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

Pretty Girls
by Karin Slaughter

Pretty Girls

Copyright: 2015

Pages: 573

Read: May 15 – 23, 2016

Rating: 5/5

Source: Publicist for Review

 

 

Blurb: It’s been more than twenty years since Claire and Lydia last spoke. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire; Lydia, a single mother dating an ex-con, struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the disappearance of their sister Julia two decades earlier – and the shocking murder of Claire’s husband brings the horror and heartbreak of the past roaring back into their lives.

The vanishing of a teenage girl and the killing of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: What could connect them? As they form a wary truce, the surviving sisters unearth the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago … and find the astonishing truth where they least expected it.


Review: Oh for the love of everything holy, this book is one hell of a ride! I read Julia’s story, Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes last year and loved it. So when I was given the opportunity to read this one, I knew I had to know what happened to Julia!

Let me just preface this with the fact that this book is gruesome. I mean, gruesome. It’s not for the faint of heart. That being said, I loved every deliciously disgusting moment of it! It sucked me in and spit me back out at the end. It was one heck of a ride. And can I just say that I was chugging along nicely and about the halfway mark the reader is thrown a curve ball that I never saw coming and hit me like a Mack truck. From that moment on I had to know what happened. I had to know how this ended up. It was just that good!

The characters are enjoyable, and some of them will surprise you in the end. You see a lot of growth in them throughout the book. You see a family torn apart come together. You see what a madman can do to one family. The plot is so intricate it’s amazing. Everything is woven together so perfectly. One little thing mentioned could mean something big later on in the book. It’s not a book to skim through, it’s one to devour. It’s just such a great book I don’t know how much more gushing I can possibly do.

This book will definitely be one of the best ones I read all year long. It was that good in my opinion.

Read. This. Book. Now!

**I received a copy of this book for review, all opinions expressed are my own.

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, E-Book, Edelweiss, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2015, Review Book, S

2015.28 REVIEW – Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes by Karin Slaughter

Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes
by Karin Slaughter

Copyright: 2015
Pages: 67
Rating: 4/5
Read: Aug. 22-24, 2015
Challenge: No Challenge
Yearly count: 28
Format: E-Book
Source: Edelweiss via Publisher
Series: N/A

Blonde Hair, Blue EyesBlurb:
 A beautiful young girl was walking down the street?when suddenly…

Julia Carroll knows that too many stories start that way. Beautiful, intelligent, a nineteen-year-old college freshman, she should be carefree. But instead she is frightened. Because girls are disappearing.

A fellow student, Beatrice Oliver, is missing. A homeless woman called Mona-No-Name is missing. Both taken off the street. Both gone without a trace.

Julia is determined to find out the reasons behind their disappearances. And she doesn’t want to be next…


Review: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions below are my own.

It’s funny, I used to avoid short stories at all costs. This is partly because I sometimes feel like you don’t get the character development that draws me into a book as much when the story is so short. But these last couple of months I have been drawn to them more and more because I simply don’t always have the time to commit to a full length novel. But that’s all besides the point of this review…

I was originally offered the chance to sign up for the book blast of this book a couple of weeks ago. I had stated in that post that I had yet to get to reading this one. I finally got to it … and I was hooked!

I guess I should have read the blurb to this one AND the blurb to her upcoming full-length novel, Pretty Girls, to know that this short story was actually a prelude for the later release. Which would explain the twisty ending to this short story. And it definitely left me wanting to pick up Pretty Girls ASAP!!

I really enjoyed Julia’s short story. I found her intriguing and believable. I enjoyed seeing her interact with her college friends as well as her sisters. On the one hand, I suppose I knew where this story was going to end up, but I was unprepared for the feeling of shock I had as I flipped that last page on my Kindle.  I would definitely highly recommend getting your hands on this short story.

Ms. Slaughter is a writer that I have only begun to just recently discover. I wish I knew why, but either way, she’s definitely caught my interest now! Highly recommended and I can’t wait to read Pretty Girls soon!!

3.5/5, AUTHOR, Author Debut, Blogging for Books, Book Review, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2014, Review Book, S

2014.51 REVIEW – The Execution of Noa P. Singleton by Elizabeth L. Silver

The Execution of Noa P. Singleton
by Elizabeth L. Silver

Copyright: 2013, 2014
Pages: 308
Rating: 3.5/5
Read: Dec. 12 – Dec. 21, 2014
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 51
Format: Print
Source: Blogging for Books
Series: N/A

The Execution of Noa P. SingletonBlurb: Noa P. Singleton never spoke a word in her own defense throughout a brief trial that ended with a jury finding her guilty of first-degree murder. Ten years later, she sits on death row in a maximum-security penitentiary, just six months away from her execution date.

Meanwhile, Marlene Dixon, a high-powered Philadelphia attorney who is also the mother of the woman Noa was imprisoned for killing, shows up for a visit. She claims to have changed her mind about the death penalty and will do everything in her considerable power to convince the governor to commute Noa’s sentence in return for the one thing Noa can trade: her story. Marlene wants to understand the events that led to her daughter’s death -e vents that only Noa knows of and has never shared. Inextricably linked by murder but with very different goals, Noa and Marlene wrestle with the sentences life itself can impose while they confront the best and worst of what makes us human.


Review: I received a copy of this book for free from Blogging for Books, all opinions expressed below are my own.

I requested this book months ago from Blogging for Books. For whatever reason, I never got around to it until now. And I have to say that I’m mixed on my feelings of this book.

Here’s the deal. You’ve got Noa – a 35-year-old woman on death row for killing Sarah Dixon. Then you’ve got Marlene, Sarah’s mother, an attorney who comes to Noa six months before her execution date to get the real story of what happened that New Year’s Day when Sarah was murdered. You’ve also got some supporting characters mentioned throughout, Noa’s mother, Noa’s best friend from childhood, Noa’s father whom she reconnected with after high school, and Oliver, an attorney assisting Marlene.

And through all those characters, you the reader has to figure out what really happened the night that Sarah Dixon was murdered. And let me tell you, it’s a wild and crazy web to unweave. As a reader, I didn’t know who to believe. I didn’t know who to trust. I didn’t know which way was up at certain times. This part was the interesting part.

But then there were some issues that ultimately dragged this book down for me. The writing … so over-the-top descriptive and unnecessarily so … it really didn’t work for me. When I went into this book I was expecting it to be a really fast, exciting read. Not even close. Ms. Silver definitely has a way with words … just not one that is to my taste. I’d like to think I’m relatively intelligent, and I am college educated, but there were entire sections of the book that was completely over my head just because of the way they were worded.

Overall, I liked the premise of this book. And really it had a lot of potential. But the writing really took some of my enjoyment away from this one.

So, bottom line … it was an okay book that I don’t regret reading, but it’s not one that I would necessarily recommend to everyone I know.

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, Lucas Davenport, RATING, Read in 2014, S, SERIES

2014.48 REVIEW – Eyes of Prey by John Sandford

Eyes of Prey
by John Sandford

Copyright: 1991
Pages: 358
Rating: 4/5
Read: Nov. 16 – Nov. 23, 2014
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 48
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy
Series: Lucas Davenport #3

Eyes of PreyBlurb: Lieutenant Davenport’s sanity was nearly shattered by two murder investigations. Now he faces something worse … Two killers. One hideously scarred. The other strikingly handsome, a master manipulator fascinated with all aspects of death. The dark mirror of Davenport’s soul … This is the case that will bring Davenport back to life. Or push him over the edge.


Review: This is the 3rd book in the Lucas Davenport series. After loving the first book, Rules of Prey, I was excited to get into the second one, Shadow Prey. Unfortunately Shadow didn’t really work for me, so I was a little apprehensive to pick up the next one.

Stupid move, Tara.

I loved this book! Bekker is one creepy dude! And the ending … well, I don’t want to say too much, but I have a feeling that Bekker could possibly turn up in a future book! And whew, would that be interesting!!

I liked Lucas a lot better in this particular installment than I did in Shadow. My issue with that book was the womanizing … when he had a newborn and a woman he kept trying to propose marriage to. In this installment, he’s come back down to reality. He’s obviously spent some time in a serious depression. And this case somewhat snaps him out of it. I liked that we got to see Lucas a little bit vulnerable. And then we get to see him pulling himself back up and getting back on the right track.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. And I would highly recommend it. I think this series is just one that might be hit or miss. All series are like that to a point, some books are better than others. This particular book is better than the second in the series. But I’m definitely looking forward to getting to the fourth book.

And I’m kicking myself for letting the movers pack it up with all my other books! Boo!

3/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2014, Review Book, S

2014.36 REVIEW – Safe Keeping by Barbara Taylor Sissel

Safe Keeping
by Barbara Taylor Sissel

Copyright: 2014
Pages: 302
Rating: 3/5
Read: July 29-Aug. 2, 2014
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 36
Format:  Print
Source: Galley Giveaway via Shelf Awareness
Series: N/A

Safe KeepingBlurb: Emily Lebay has always thought of her family as ordinary. Sure, they’ve endured their share of problems, even a time of great trouble – what family hasn’t? But when a woman’s body turns up in the dense woods near their home, and Emily’s grown son Tucker is accused of murder, Emily is forced to confront the unfathomable, and everything she believed about her life is called into question.

This isn’t the first time Tucker has been targeted by the police; a year ago he was a person of interest when another woman was found dead in the same stretch of woods. Still, neither Emily nor her daughter, Lissa, can reconcile their Tucker with these brutal crimes. Terrified, convinced there’s been a tragic mistake, Emily and Lissa set out to learn the truth about Tucker, once and for all. And while his life hangs in the balance, what they discover proves far more shocking than their darkest fears…


Review: I received a copy of this book for free via a galley giveaway through Shelf Awareness, all opinions expressed below are my own.

Last year I read and reviewed Evidence of Life by Ms. Sissel. I *loved* it. Like, really, really loved it. So I was excited to see this latest book come through a Shelf Awareness ad. I was excited and put a request in for a galley. I received a copy and then let it sit. For 4 months! (I have a really bad habit of doing that). So I picked it up hoping it would be just as great as last year’s book.

Unfortunately, it didn’t quite meet those expectations. But that’s okay, I had extremely high expectations for it, probably to the point of unattainable to be honest. Overall this is a good book, but I think my main problem with it is that I have to use the one word I absolutely hate … predictable. I wanted there to be a twist. I wanted someone other than Tucker to be a murderer. I even considered Roy and Evan both as possible murderers!

And can I just say that I was absolutely disgusted by Lissa? I am a firm believer of a woman’s right to choose an abortion … but her “reasons” were ridiculous in my opinion. And the way she fawned over Tucker? I didn’t get that either. She was his sister, but the way she acted you would have thought she was his mother. I just didn’t like Lissa at all to be honest. Her character irritated me to no end.

Other than my issue with Lissa and the predictability of the book, it really was a decent read. It kept me turning the pages and was easy to read. It moved very quickly and was very well-written. I think I just would have preferred some sort of twisty, unexpected ending. But that’s okay, I’ll be on the lookout for Ms. Sissel’s next book anyway!