Review | Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

“A woman who is not liked is a bitch, and a bitch can hardly do anything: all avenues are closed to her.” 4.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: spore prints, ouroboros, cigarettes, homemade medicine, rules, carpools, fires, wedding dresses, graves, mushrooms, creepy walls, family bonds and silver plates.

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemí’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.

Wow… This book was amazing. It starts out nice and slow, and it escalates slowly to a scary horror story. At first the pacing was a bit slow, but it got better and at some point I kept looking forward to seeing what was going to happen next!

I think this book has a very interesting and different approach on the typical “haunted house” horror story. The author was able to create a nice plot with a unique main character and unique setting. I’m usually not the biggest fan of historical books, but I think it worked very well in this book! I really liked how the setting was in Mexico and how atmospheric and rich the story was. A plus for the theme and descriptions!

Noemí was an amazing main character and I was rooting for her all along. I loved how badass and persistent she was even if she was afraid. She decided she would protect and help her cousin, and nothing would get in her way! I thought it was really interesting that our main character was a socialite – you don’t usually find socialites as main characters in horror stories.

I have to warn you that there are some disturbing scenes here and there – I mean, it’s a horror book after all. Not only there are some creepy gore scenes, but there is also a few sexual assault scenes that gave me goosebumps. So here’s your warning if you’re triggered by these topics.

Overall I was very happy with the book! I thought it was very creative and different. It’s worth reading if you’re a fan of horror books!



TBR | April 2021

Hello fellow bookworms!

Another month is gone, and now it’s time for April – and, of course, for a new TBR list! I usually pick ten or twelve books to read each month, but today I planned things a bit differently. I’m currently in a reading slump and I feel like it’s here to stay for a while, so I decided to slow down a bit and pick only six books to read in April.

It’s funny how something so simple such as picking fewer books was such a challenging task! My to-read book list is never ending, and there are so many books I still want to read but unfortunately time does not stretch! So here are the six books I picked for this next month:

  1. A Cloud Can Weigh a Million Pounds by A.D. Stephenson
    A Cloud Can Weigh a Million Pounds
    was kindly sent to me by the author to review in exchange for an honest review. I’m very excited to read this book soon and I’ll be sharing my thoughts afterwards. I’m craving a bit of science fiction, so this will be a treat!
  2. Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge
    My lovely friend Marina was kind enough to lend me this book! I’ve been eyeing it for a while and when I discovered she had it, I immediately asked her if she could borrow it. This is the first book of a mystery/thriller detective series, and I have high hopes because it’s a very popular book here in Portugal. Detective books are not my favorite, but I’m willing to try this one… fingers crossed!
  3. A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas
    I’m loving this series so much and I’m hoping I’ll get to the last book in the next few months! The end of the second book was so good and it got me very curious to know what would happen next. I decided to read only the third book from this series this month because it’s HUGE – but hopefully I can finish it until the end of April. I have a great feeling about this one!
  4. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
    I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while and the time has finally come! I keep seeing this book everywhere and even though there are some mixed reviews here and there, I still want to give it a fair shot and have my own opinion on it. Let’s see what the hype is all about!
  5. Horrid by Katrina Leno
    Something about this book keeps calling me, and now it’s time to answer! I don’t know much about Horrid, but I really want to go into this book without knowing too much. Let’s hope it’s good!
  6. Namesake (Fable #2) by Adrienne Young
    One of my most anticipated reads for this year! I loved Fable so much and I can’t wait to read the conclusion to this story! I’m always in the mood for a good pirate book, and Fable was exactly that – here’s the full review if you’re curious. I’ve read some Namesake reviews online and so far people are really liking it, so that’s good! And seriously… how gorgeous are the covers?

And that’s it! This is my TBR for the month of April! It feels weird to cut my TBR to an half, but I feel like it’s necessary just because I’m not as motivated to read like I usually am.

What about you? Have you read any of these books? What are your reading plans for April? Let me know 🙂

xoxo, Neide

Review | Feeling Like a Beached Whale by Tammy Page

“(…) Once that bottle is in his mouth however, and his tiny hands are squeezing my fingers and his big eyes are looking up at me, I know there’s something special in that bond. I know whatever happens in life, he will always need his mummy and I will always need my son.” 3/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: midwives, pregnancy tests, vomit, psycho cats, salons, name picking, breakups, scans, customers and cups of tea.

Everywhere Sophie looks, she sees babies! From pregnant celebrities in magazines, to glowing mummies walking down the high street, it seems that life is just one giant reminder. With her body clock ticking, and time running out, Sophie makes a life-changing decision. After all, how bad can pregnancy be?

Feeling Like A Beached Whale is a light-hearted, hilarious, fictitious account of one woman’s pregnancy journey, including all the bits that other books won’t tell you! Follow Sophie as she travels down the path to motherhood, dealing with agonising anxiety, meticulous midwives, and everything in between. Will Sophie make it to her birthing day in one piece? Will it be a boy or a girl? And, will she ever get a moment’s sleep?

Feeling Like a Beached Whale is a funny story that follows the pregnancy journey of a woman named Sophie, from wanting to have a baby to actually getting one. Sophie was a very relatable character and I really liked that about her. I haven’t experienced pregnancy yet, but I feel like everything she felt was very realistic. Some people love being pregnant, some don’t, but either way, it’s still a life-changing, energy-consuming experience.

The story itself is very funny and you will find yourself smiling from time to time. There are a lot of funny scenes here, from Sophie participating in her friend’s childbirth to dealing with her psycho cat, but still, some of my favorite scenes take place at the hair salon! I just loved the hair talk and all the insights you get from a hairdresser while working with customers. I know the focus of the book was not on this, but I wish there were more scenes like those!

I admit I wasn’t expecting that dramatic twist at the end. I have to say that I saw it coming, but I never thought that would ACTUALLY happen. Does this mean that a sequel is coming? And if so, will the next book be focused on other things other than being a new mother?

One thing I found interesting is that I feel like this book is partially autobiographical. It’s normal that authors use their personal experiences to write books, but that was very evident here. I feel like not only Sophie has a very similar personality to Tammy, but the pregnancy journey may be based on one of Tammy’s pregnancies too – but what do I know, I could be wrong! Whether that’s true or not, I think the author did a great job portraying what it is like to experience pregnancy.

With that being said, I think this is a fun, light book to pick if you’re experiencing any stage of pregnancy (from wanting to have a baby to being a new mother). Like I said, I can see a lot of people relating to what Sophie goes through so I think this would be a good book to pick up to see that your feelings and insecurities are perfectly normal.

A big thank you to the author for the free copy in exchange for an honest review.


Review | The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

“He thinks we’re what we look like on the outside: nice Southern ladies. Let me tell you something…there’s nothing nice about Southern ladies.” 3.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: true-crime novels, casseroles, book clubs, old photographs, driver’s licenses, ears, rats, blood, license plate numbers, suicides and southern housewives.

Patricia Campbell had always planned for a big life, but after giving up her career as a nurse to marry an ambitious doctor and become a mother, Patricia’s life has never felt smaller. The days are long, her kids are ungrateful, her husband is distant, and her to-do list is never really done. The one thing she has to look forward to is her book club, a group of Charleston mothers united only by their love for true-crime and suspenseful fiction. In these meetings, they’re more likely to discuss the FBI’s recent siege of Waco as much as the ups and downs of marriage and motherhood.

But when an artistic and sensitive stranger moves into the neighborhood, the book club’s meetings turn into speculation about the newcomer. Patricia is initially attracted to him, but when some local children go missing, she starts to suspect the newcomer is involved. She begins her own investigation, assuming that he’s a Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy. What she uncovers is far more terrifying, and soon she–and her book club–are the only people standing between the monster they’ve invited into their homes and their unsuspecting community.

I have to admit, this book was more disturbing than I thought it would be. There were so many twisted and disturbing scenes here! Even though it’s a fantasy book about vampires, I was surprised it still felt realistic to some extent.

I think one of my favorite things about this book was the atmosphere! I think the 90’s are very well represented and I loved how the southern aspect was incorporated. I also really liked Patricia and the other housewives! They were all very sweet and they took take of their families like the good housewives they were. The only characters I couldn’t stand were the husbands. They were terrible! Carter (Patricia’s husband) was very manipulative, abusive and he constantly made her feel small – I really disliked him! The kids were disrespectful too, but not as bad as the husbands in my opinion.

Which brings me to my next point: I loved how empowering this book was. At first I felt sad because one valued their mothers/wives. Everyone took them for granted and they expected them to cook and clean and take care of the houses. And it was sad because the women believed they could never achieve anything great – their husbands already do that every day, right? But in this book, they discovered their true power and they fought for their families together. It was a beautiful and inspiring thing to see.

I think my main down point for this book was the pacing. Sometimes I felt like nothing was happening and the story got a bit too slow for my taste. But it was not constant throughout the book.

There are some tough things here that I think it’s important to address. Be aware of triggers for rape –  I really wasn’t expecting that – and gore. Not only that, but you’ll witness sexism and racism here and there.

I wanted to read this for a while and it wasn’t as mind-blowing as I thought it would be, but it was still entertaining. Other than that, if you like horror books or “realistic” vampire books, you should check this one out!


Review | Away with the Penguins by Hazel Prior

“They’re not just full of wrinkles, they’re full of… stories. And so often we don’t bother to appreciate them till they’re gone.” 4.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: lost family, frozen vegetables, ruby-red lipstick, blog entries, cups of Darjeeling tea, pink guano, wooden boxes, mukluks, lemon cake, old diaries, dandelions, olives and, of course, a lot of penguins.

Veronica McCreedy is about to have the journey of a lifetime…

Veronica McCreedy lives in a mansion by the sea. She loves a nice cup of Darjeeling tea whilst watching a good wildlife documentary. And she’s never seen without her ruby-red lipstick.

Although these days Veronica is rarely seen by anyone because, at 85, her days are spent mostly at home, alone.

She can be found either collecting litter from the beach (‘people who litter the countryside should be shot’), trying to locate her glasses (‘someone must have moved them’) or shouting
instructions to her assistant, Eileen (‘Eileen, door!’).

Veronica doesn’t have family or friends nearby. Not that she knows about, anyway… And she has no idea where she’s going to leave her considerable wealth when she dies.

But today… today Veronica is going to make a decision that will change all of this.

I kept seeing this book everywhere and everyone seemed to enjoy it, so I took it as a sign that I needed to read it too! The concept seemed very different from everything I’ve read before, so I was intrigued to see what it was all about.

And – surprise, surprise – I loved this book! I think what I liked so much about Away With The Penguins is how wholesome it is. Not only the story is fun, but it also talks about topics such as family bonds and it has a huge environmental aspect regarding nature conservation and endangered species. 

Even though this book is fictional, the story feels realistic. You can see clearly the author took her time studying penguins and how researchers work to make this book. Penguins really are amazing creatures and fortunately I learned a lot while reading this book – that was a plus to me!

The characters in this were amazing. I know Veronica is meant to be this difficult, cold character, but it’s impossible not to like her. When I started reading this book I felt a bit apprehensive, but after a few pages she won my heart  and I understood why she acted the way she did. The plot of her getting to know her grandson better was also really nice. They started off on the wrong foot, but their relationship developed beautifully throughout the book!

If you are a romance junkie, I’m telling you right now: this is not a romance book. With that said, there is a mini love story here that even though it wasn’t necessary to the plot, it was still a nice addition in my opinion! It’s not the most amazing love story of all time, but it was still cute.It was a really fun book to read and I think it’s a great option to pick up if you’re looking for something light and heartwarming – and even if you’re not, I would still recommend you this book! It’s charming and you’ll fly through the pages. I mean, what could possibly go wrong with a story with penguins? If you don’t love penguins already, you definitely will after reading this book!


Review | Cut Off by Adrianne Finlay

“You don’t have to fix anything. You can’t, anyway. That’s not how people work, we don’t fix them. If we care about someone, we just have to be there for them.” 3.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: card decks, Skym drones, earthquakes, candy, spiders, hotel rooms, fears, tsunamis and golf carts.

Teens compete to survive in the wilderness for one million dollars on a new virtual reality show. When something goes horribly wrong and the contestants realize no one is coming to save them, they must question their very reality—and how much of the game is really for show.

Each contestant has their own reasons—and their own secrets—for joining the new virtual reality show CUT/OFF that places a group of teenagers alone in the wilderness. It’s a simple premise: whoever lasts the longest without “tapping out” wins a cash prize. Not only that, new software creates a totally unprecedented television experience, allowing viewers to touch, see, and live everything along with the contestants. But what happens when “tapping out” doesn’t work and no one comes to save you? What happens when the whole world seemingly disappears while you’re stranded in the wild? Four teenagers must confront their greatest fears, their deepest secrets, and one another when they discover they are truly cut off from reality.

When I first discovered this book I got so excited. A book about a tv show where teens have to survive on an island? That sounded so good to me! The concept looked really interesting and it would be the first time I would read anything like this. So, needless to say I had high expectations when I started this book. 

It started out really strong and I was loving it… until about halfway through the book. I was loving the survival aspect, but the plot got a bit weird for me. There were some things I didn’t love about this book, and one of them was the romance. Not only did I feel like it was unnecessary to the story, but it was instalove! I swear the kids exchanged a few conversations and then they were in love.

Another thing I didn’t love was the way the author used technology in the second half of the book. I was okay with the drones and the technology for the production of the show, but I didn’t love the rest of it. Now, to be completely honest, I’m not a huge fan of science fiction as it is, but even this felt too far fetched for me. It was a bit too much, in my humble opinion!

One thing I did like was the writing! The writing was really good and I thought the author did a great job creating a book that keeps you constantly interested. I was always looking forward to knowing what was going to happen next! The pace was really good, the characters were interesting, and I loved how their interviews for the show were added – nice touch!

And I admit, not only the sinopsis made me buy the book, but the cover also made me buy it! The cover is absolutely beautiful and I love how intricate and detailed it is. Good job on that, the art is beautiful!

Overall I was a bit disappointed because I expected more survival instead of science fiction, but I still really liked the concept. If you like science fiction and technological books, you should try this one!


Review | My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman

“Only different people change the world,” Granny used to say. “No one normal has ever changed a crapping thing.” 3.75/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: secret languages, superheroes, quality literature, letters, bullying, baby brothers, gryffindor scarves, superheroes, cigarettes, hospitals, fairy tales, chocolate, hand sanitizer, big dogs, monsters and grief.

Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy, standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-men-who-want-to-talk-about-Jesus-crazy. She is also Elsa’s best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother’s stories, in the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.

When Elsa’s grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa’s greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother’s letters lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and totally ordinary old crones, but also to the truth about fairytales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.

I admit this is my least favorite book from Fredrik Backman, but I still liked it a lot. It’s not a bad book by any means, but there’s something about it that I just didn’t connect with. I loved every single book I read from him, but I just felt like the story was lacking something.

The main plot is great. The relationship between the grandmother and Elsa is just beautiful, and it’s any child’s dream. I loved how her grandmother always stood up for her and protected her at all costs, and I thought it was adorable how they had their own secret language and stories. But the rest of the book where Elsa goes on her “adventure” just wasn’t that interesting to me. 

Fredrik Backman writes the most amazing, memorable characters, and this book was no exception to the rule. I admit I didn’t love Elsa as a character, but I really liked her granny, the monster and Britt-Marie – just to name a few. They’re all so unique that it feels like they’re real people!

The writing was amazing as always – I wouldn’t expect anything else, to be honest. And can I just say how much I loved the Harry Potter references? So unexpected, but I loved it! And the ending was so adorable! I thought it was a great conclusion to the story, in my opinion.

I also did not expect this book to mention Britt-Marie! I had no idea there were crossover characters in his books! Fortunately I haven’t read Britt-Marie yet, which is a good thing because this book came out first. I’m excited for that one!

Like I said, not my favorite book from him but I still enjoyed it!


Review | Split Second (Pivot Point #2) by Kasie West

“He sighed. “Does it get tiring?”
“Always thinking you’re right.”
I smiled. “No, not really. It’s other people not realizing I’m right that gets tiring.” – 3.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: advanced abilities, library books, water bottles, bronze bulls, enhancements, soda cans, illusions, modified toasters and lost letters.

Life can change in a split second.

Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too… but not without a price.

When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that.

Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories… once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.

As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot… and a future that could change everything.

This book feels a bit different from the first one. I really liked the first book, Pivot Point, because I liked reading about Addie’s possible futures and you keep on guessing which path she would decide to take… and this one doesn’t have that. 

I once tried to read this book before, but at the time I felt a bit bored and I never finished it. Surprisingly, the same thing happened this time! But to be fair, I don’t think the book is boring or is lacking action, but the dynamics are very different compared to the first one, and that for me was what made it interesting.

What we do have in this book is the continuation of the decision made by Addie, but there are not a lot of decisions made in this, which was a bit disappointing. A cool thing we get in this one is both Laila and Addie’s points of view. Layla is a very interesting character, and I was glad Kasie gave her a spotlight in this book! She’s very different from Addie, so it was interesting to see her own thoughts and opinions.

The conclusion to the story was okay too, but I wanted more. I still liked it, but I definitely prefer the first book!


Review | Pivot Point (Pivot Point #1) by Kasie West

“One person can’t change the future. Do you know how many people and things are involved in every major event that happens? Sure, you might be able to change some of the minor aspects of a day, but ultimately things that are going to happen, if you go along a certain path, do happen.” 4.75/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: comic books, superhero drawings, a new school, friendship, mental powers, murdered teenagers, football games, broken arms, divorced parents, drugs, the F.B.I., mind searches, advanced powers, erased memories, “Norms”, a letter to the future and difficult choices.

Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier…

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through… and who she can’t live without.

Ms. Kasie West… you have done it again.

I have to be honest, I have been avoiding this duology because I knew it is not a typical Kasie West book. I didn’t know what to expect since it is a paranormal book, but it turned out better than I thought! Kasie delivered a very interesting concept with this duology.

I’ve read all of her YA romance novels and I’ve loved most of them, so I was afraid I wouldn’t like this at all. This was her debut novel… with a different genre! Fortunately, it still has her style, so it felt just like her other YA books.

It started like a cute, fluffy story (like your typical Kasie West book), but the second half part of the book was darker and creepy (definitely not like your typical Kasie West book). The plot was super interesting and I really liked the idea that Addie could see her possible futures based on a single future decision. I also really liked all the characters (I know I’m repeating myself here, but again, very typical characters for a Kasie West book). The plot had some holes and it’s not a perfect story, but I was still really into the book. I really liked that at some points both futures crossed (like the football game), I wasn’t expecting that! The ending chapters were crucial to the story, and I was hoping she would pick one specific parent, but at some point I completely understand why she would never pick that parent to live with. To be honest, the end was kind of heartbreaking since one of the futures (my fave) would never happen.

So this was very different from what I’m used to reading from her, but I really enjoyed it. If Kasie decided to write other books like this (other than YA contemporary romances), I know now that I would still pick them up. For my relief, it’s still her and it’s still her style.

I’m excited for the next book, I will definitely pick it up soon!