Review | Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas

“We’re all ugly, Ryen. The only difference is, some hide it and some wear it.” 4.25/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: black envelopes, silver-inked pens, abandoned theme parks, prom dates, songwriting, siblings, scavenger hunts, movie quotes, cheerleader outfits, watches, swimming lessons and pen pals.

“We were perfect together. Until we met.”

Misha

I can’t help but smile at the words in her letter. She misses me.

In fifth grade, my teacher set us up with pen pals from a different school. Thinking I was a girl, with a name like Misha, the other teacher paired me up with her student, Ryen. My teacher, believing Ryen was a boy like me, agreed.

It didn’t take long for us to figure out the mistake. And in no time at all, we were arguing about everything. The best take-out pizza. Android vs. iPhone. Whether or not Eminem is the greatest rapper ever…

And that was the start. For the next seven years, it was us.

Her letters are always on black paper with silver writing. Sometimes there’s one a week or three in a day, but I need them. She’s the only one who keeps me on track, talks me down, and accepts everything I am.

We only had three rules. No social media, no phone numbers, no pictures. We had a good thing going. Why ruin it?

Until I run across a photo of a girl online. Name’s Ryen, loves Gallo’s pizza, and worships her iPhone. What are the chances?

F*ck it. I need to meet her.

I just don’t expect to hate what I find.

Ryen

He hasn’t written in three months. Something’s wrong. Did he die? Get arrested? Knowing Misha, neither would be a stretch.

Without him around, I’m going crazy. I need to know someone is listening. It’s my own fault. I should’ve gotten his number or picture or something.

He could be gone forever.

Or right under my nose, and I wouldn’t even know it.

For a smutty, quick romance, this was beautifully executed. I read a lot of romance, and I know how hard it is to find a story that doesn’t feel shallow… and this book has a good layer of depth to it!

The romance was really good and entertaining. At first, the main characters are friends, but they become “enemies” before becoming lovers. 

I liked both main characters and their stories, but I didn’t love Ryen at first. I know she had a hard time making friends, but it was hard to see her being mean to others. I adored Misha though! He had a hard time, but he never treated others poorly – well, at least if they didn’t deserve it.

I wish the chapters were a bit shorter, but it didn’t bother me too much. The writing was immaculate and the book is very easy to read.

I enjoyed this a lot! It’s a good one to pick up if you like smutty romances. Penelope Douglas makes great books, I loved every single one I read so far.

xoxo,

Review | The Doll’s House (Helen Grace #3) by M.J. Arlidge

“The ties that bind a parent to a child can never be broken; however awful their relationship might be, those ties just are.” 3.75/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: asthma inhalers, hunger, tweets, bird tattoos, old earrings, cheap makeup, landlords, closed beaches, blue eyes, black hair and cassette tapes.

A young woman wakes up in a cold, dark cellar, with no idea how she got there or who her kidnapper is. So begins her terrible nightmare.
Nearby, the body of another young woman is discovered buried on a remote beach. But the dead girl was never reported missing – her estranged family having received regular texts from her over the years. Someone has been keeping her alive from beyond the grave.
For Detective Inspector Helen Grace it’s chilling evidence that she’s searching for a monster who is not just twisted but also clever and resourceful – a predator who’s killed before.
And as Helen struggles to understand the killer’s motivation, she begins to realise that she’s in a desperate race against time…

Big disclaimer before you pick up this book: if you bought it for the title, you will probably be disappointed. I personally thought the theme for this story would revolve around creepy dolls and doll houses, but it didn’t. The small reference to the title had almost no significance and it didn’t contribute to the story in a big way. This was probably the main reason why I was so disappointed with this book.

But with that said, the book has great quality just like the other books from the series! We are again following the inspector Helen Grace and her current murder investigation. Just like the other books in the series, I have (almost) zero complaints about this book. The writing is amazing and easy to follow, the pacing is great and the story is interesting and intriguing until the very end.

Sure, I got title-baited, but the story is good! I read it in one sitting, and I’m definitely continuing the series.

xoxo,

Review | The Meaning of Mariah Carey by Mariah Carey

“Some of us need to be rescued, but everyone wants to be seen.” 3.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: pianos, Marilyn Monroe posters, legends, toxic family, music videos, whistle notes, acting classes, high heels, long relationships, racism, songwriting and therapy.

It took me a lifetime to have the courage and the clarity to write my memoir. I want to tell the story of the moments – the ups and downs, the triumphs and traumas, the debacles and the dreams, that contributed to the person I am today. Though there have been countless stories about me throughout my career and very public personal life, it’s been impossible to communicate the complexities and depths of my experience in any single magazine article or a ten-minute television interview. And even then, my words were filtered through someone else’s lens, largely satisfying someone else’s assignment to define me.

This book is composed of my memories, my mishaps, my struggles, my survival and my songs. Unfiltered. I went deep into my childhood and gave the scared little girl inside of me a big voice. I let the abandoned and ambitious adolescent have her say, and the betrayed and triumphant woman I became tell her side.

Writing this memoir was incredibly hard, humbling and healing. My sincere hope is that you are moved to a new understanding, not only about me, but also about the resilience of the human spirit.

Love,
Mariah

To say my mother is a hardcore Mariah Carey fan would be an understatement. I personally didn’t know a lot about Mariah other than some of her most popular songs, so I decided to pick up her book and finally learn about her backstory – you know, since she is my mother’s Idol and all.

I have found a few interesting things in this book that I would never know if I didn’t read it. For example, I knew she had a really hard time with racism growing up, but I had no idea how painful and stressful her family life was. Her relationship with her family was what stood for me the most and I was shocked with what I read. I was so impressed to see how she blossomed with almost zero support from her family. If her mother and siblings really are like that, I feel sorry for Mariah. Seriously, that was another level of toxicity!

I also didn’t know about her abusive marriage. Being married to someone who is so manipulative and controlling can destroy an individual. I’m glad she eventually got out of it and she got to be herself again. She deserves better!

Now, to be completely honest, I need to say this: I have read a good amount of memoirs to the point that I can confidently say that if you are looking for an inspirational real story, I would recommend other memoirs – for example Michelle Obama’s memoir. For me this was an okay book, in the sense that even though I learned a lot about Mariah’s life, it wasn’t the most inspiring life story ever. I’m glad I picked it up because it gave me an opportunity to know her as a person and her life, but I can think of more inspiring stories.

I can now share her story with my mother, and I know she will be eager to listen! Her fans, the Lambs, would love this book.

xoxo,

Review | I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll

“Because once you become a parent, you learn that love can involve more fear than you had ever imagined, and you never quite look on the world in the same way again.” 3.75/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: plum cake, anonymous cards, train trips, flower arrangements, part time jobs, ex-convicts, witnesses, creepy photographs, secrets, stalkers and new parents.

When Ella Longfield overhears two attractive young men flirting with teenage girls on a train, she thinks nothing of it—until she realises they are fresh out of prison and her maternal instinct is put on high alert. But just as she’s decided to call for help, something stops her. The next day, she wakes up to the news that one of the girls—beautiful, green-eyed Anna Ballard—has disappeared.

A year later, Anna is still missing. Ella is wracked with guilt over what she failed to do, and she’s not the only one who can’t forget. Someone is sending her threatening letters—letters that make her fear for her life.

Then an anniversary appeal reveals that Anna’s friends and family might have something to hide. Anna’s best friend, Sarah, hasn’t been telling the whole truth about what really happened that night—and her parents have been keeping secrets of their own.

Someone knows where Anna is—and they’re not telling. But they are watching Ella.

This was very entertaining and I read it quickly! It’s not necessarily the most memorable book of all time, but I enjoyed it for what it was: a fun, quick read.

There were a few flaws I found that contributed to my rating, but nothing too serious! One thing I found interesting is that the author’s intentions were crystal clear to me. Let me try to explain what I mean by this! Basically, there are some (not so subtle) attempts to distract the reader from the main suspect, by introducing new discoveries, new subplots and other possible suspects. And even though I couldn’t find out what really happened until the very end, it was easy for me to point out what was just a distraction that I shouldn’t think about too much because it was just an attempt to not focus on what really mattered (and those happened a lot)! A good example of this is the subplot regarding Sarah and her sister. It would be fine to use their story as a distraction for the plot, but the thing is that after it had its purpose their story was left unfinished. I wish some of these “distractions” had some development!

Regarding the writing, it was great! The chapters are fairly short, the story is very easy to follow and the writing is also simple. I’m glad I couldn’t find out who was responsible for the missing girl until the very end, so that was a big positive point to me!

I’m definitely keeping my eyes open for new books from this author. If you like easy thrillers, this is a good book to read over the weekend.

xoxo,

Review | Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot #10) by Agatha Christie

“All around us are people, of all classes, of all nationalities, of all ages. For three days these people, these strangers to one another, are brought together. They sleep and eat under one roof, they cannot get away from each other. At the end of three days they part, they go their several ways, never, perhaps, to see each other again.” 4.25/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: red silk kimonos, smoking pipes, bunk beds, secrets, broken clocks, snow storms, buttons and open windows.

Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside.

Isolated and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must identify the murderer—in case he or she decides to strike again.

My third Agatha Christie book, and it did not disappoint! 

This murder mystery novel follows a crime investigation by the famous detective Hercule Poirot. The murder happened during a train trip while the train was not moving due to a snow storm, and it was Poirot’s job to discover who the murder was amonst the first class passengers. To be honest, I never watched the movie made about this novel so I had no idea of what the story was like, but I was very impressed when I read this.

The setting was incredible. I really liked the idea of a crime happening on a train, while a snow storm is going on. It added a cool, mysterious atmosphere to the story and you know for sure someone travelling was responsible for the murder.

I personally don’t read a lot of murder mysteries in general, but Agatha Christie’s books are probably my favorite within this genre. It was also my first Hercule Poirot book! I heard great things about him and I know he is Agatha Christie’s most popular main character – now I understand why and I became a fan too! 

The mystery was really good, and the story is very original and very well put together. The end and the final explanation was a complete surprise for me, but I was satisfied with how everything came together! I know this is fiction and of course some things were a bit far fetched, but I really think this was very well written.

For a murder mystery, it very smart and well made. I need to check out the movie, I’m very curious to see how the story is portrayed! It really is a very entertaining story, definitely recommend it.

xoxo,

Wrap-Up | What I Read in August 2021

Well helloooo there hot stuff! I hope you’re doing well and I hope you’re currently on a cruise in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean sipping martinis… and if you’re not that’s fine too! I’m dreaming of the vacation days I’ll be taking in September ahah – can you tell?

Anyways, let’s get back on track. Today I’m bringing you all the books I read in the month of August. Even though my TBR list was pretty short – a grand total of 5 books – I didn’t feel like picking up two of them… I just wasn’t feeling it! This is my third attempt to read The Authenticity Project, and I still couldn’t do it. I feel like this is not the right time to pick it up, so I’m moving on to other books without judgement.

With that said, I read a lot of unplanned books! In total I read 7 books this month that I wasn’t planning on reading in the first place. Some of them were disappointing, but I found some amazing books too. But one thing at a time: let’s start with the books I planned on reading in August! Here are the original books from my TBR:

  1. One To Watch by Kate Stayman-London: 5/5⭐
  2. Pop Goes the Weasel (Helen Grace #2) by M.J. Arlidge: 4.5/5⭐
  3. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover: 5/5⭐

So from all the books I planned on reading this month, I read 3 of 5, which I think was okay. I’m not too bothered because two of the books I rated 5 stars and the other one was a high 4. I can’t complain about that!

Now regarding the books I read that weren’t planned, I read:

  1. Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush #1) by Becca Fitzpatrick: 4.25/5⭐
  2. Outwitting the Devil: The Secret to Freedom and Success by Napoleon Hill: 4.5/5⭐
  3. Uncharted (Uncharted #1) by Julie Johnson: 4/5⭐
  4. Normal People by Sally Rooney: 2/5⭐
  5. Making a Play (The Field Party #5) by Abbi Glines: 3.5/5⭐
  6. Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson: 3.5/5⭐
  7. Good Girl, Bad Blood (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #2) by Holly Jackson: 5/5⭐

As you can see, I read a good amount of unplanned books! I’m so happy I finally had the courage to start the Hush, Hush series, because I’m loving it! I only read the first book, but the second book, Crescendo, is on my September TBR. The two most disappointing reads were definitely Eight Perfect Murders and Normal People. The first one because it spoiled a lot of books I wanted to read and the second one because I didn’t love the story. The book that shined this m

As you can see, I read a good amount of unplanned books! I’m so happy I finally had the courage to start the Hush, Hush series, because I’m loving it! I only read the first book, but the second book, Crescendo, is on my September TBR. The two most disappointing reads were definitely Eight Perfect Murders and Normal People. The first one because it spoiled a lot of books I wanted to read and the second one because I didn’t love the story. The book that shined this month was definitely Good Girl, Bad Blood which is the sequel for A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder! I honestly don’t have enough words to describe how incredible this series is, and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series! So overall I’m very happy with how much reading I did this month! It was a great reading month full of many good and bad surprises.

Let me know how your reading month was! Thank you for reading, I’ll see you guys later 🙂

xoxo,