Review | Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson

“Books are time travel. True readers all know this. But books don’t just take you back to the time in which they were written; they can take you back to different versions of yourself.” 3.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: blog posts, thriller books, secrets, ginger cats, questions and the dark web.

A chilling tale of psychological suspense and an homage to the thriller genre tailor-made for fans: the story of a bookseller who finds himself at the center of an FBI investigation because a very clever killer has started using his list of fiction’s most ingenious murders.

Years ago, bookseller and mystery aficionado Malcolm Kershaw compiled a list of the genre’s most unsolvable murders, those that are almost impossible to crack—which he titled “Eight Perfect Murders”—chosen from among the best of the best including Agatha Christie’s A. B. C. Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, Ira Levin’s Death Trap, A. A. Milne’s Red House Mystery, Anthony Berkeley Cox’s Malice Aforethought, James M. Cain’s Double Indemnity, John D. Macdonald’s The Drowner, and Donna Tartt’s A Secret History.

But no one is more surprised than Mal, now the owner of the Old Devils Bookstore in Boston, when an FBI agent comes knocking on his door one snowy day in February. She’s looking for information about a series of unsolved murders that look eerily similar to the killings on Mal’s old list. And the FBI agent isn’t the only one interested in this bookseller who spends almost every night at home reading. The killer is out there, watching his every move—a diabolical threat who knows way too much about Mal’s personal history, especially the secrets he’s never told anyone, even his recently deceased wife.

To protect himself, Mal begins looking into possible suspects . . . and sees a killer in everyone around him. But Mal doesn’t count on the investigation leaving a trail of death in its wake. Suddenly, a series of shocking twists leaves more victims dead—and the noose around Mal’s neck grows so tight he might never escape.

I’ve been wanting to read this book for the longest time, and now that I did… I’m underwhelmed. 

In my eyes, this story had great potential. The concept behind the book is incredibly creative: a bookstore owner wrote a blog post about eight perfect murders based on great thriller books, and someone decided to recreate those murders. He then gets to work with an investigator to discover who is responsible for those murders.

The book was okay. It’s the kind of story where you keep uncovering secrets and you don’t know if you can trust the main character. With that said, it’s not the most memorable book, probably because the real plot is overshadowed by the other thriller books it’s based on. I also wasn’t a fan of the ending and the “big” plot twist.

One thing that REALLY bothered me about this book was how some books I wanted to read were spoiled. To be fair, the thrillers mentioned are pretty old, but I still wanted to read some books from Agatha Christie that were mentioned. Unfortunately, this story describes exactly what happens in each mentioned thriller book… including the plot twists and killers! So… thank you for that.

If you like books about books, you should probably give this one a go. Like I said, there’s a bookstore and there are endless references to thriller books, and if that’s something you might enjoy, you should give it a go.

xoxo,

Review | Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Love isn’t always pretty. Sometimes you spend all your time hoping it’ll eventually be something different. Something better. Then, before you know it, you’re back to square one, and you lost your heart somewhere along the way. 3.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: orange juice, trauma, flights, elevators, nurses, long shifts and sweet 80 year olds.

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

Colleen Hoover is one of my favorite authors of all time. I’m so used to her amazing writing and how she never disappoints with her work, so I was very excited to finally read Ugly Love. With that said, unfortunately this is probably my least favorite book from her. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an okay book, but I was expecting more. I personally didn’t love the characters, the story or the “big twist”… but let’s talk about it individually!

The characters and the romance were somewhat disappointing. Tate’s one personality trait was to be obsessed with this guy she just met. Miles was okay, but there was nothing too special about him. My favorite character was Cap, and I wish he had more scenes in the book. He was too precious!

The plot was okay, but it lacked creativity. I kept expecting a big plot twist to happen, but it never did and the plot ended up being very predictable. The story is fast paced, but not in the best way – the romance developed too fast!

One a positive note, the writing is immaculate, as you would expect. I really like the format of the book, switching between the past and the present. I also love how the author changes the format of the text in Miles’ part – being aligned at the center when he is happy. That was such a nice touch!

I have high expectations when it comes to Coleen’s books, and that’s why I was disappointed. Sure, the book is entertaining, but if you never read anything by her, I would recommend picking one of her other books instead.

xoxo,

Review | The Betrayed (The Betrothed #2) by Kiera Cass

“I’d already fallen. And I was in so deep there was no coming back.” 4/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: golden feathers, beautiful gowns, duels, flower crowns, forged swords, sentimental rings, miscarriages and letters.

Can you follow your heart when it’s already broken?

After fleeing Coroa and leaving the memory of her beloved Silas behind, Hollis is unsteadily adjusting to life in Isolte. The Eastoffe family’s affection is a balm on her weary spirit, though Etan, a surly cousin with a deep distaste for Coroans, threatens to upset the uneasy peace she’s found.

While tensions at home ratchet up, disquiet in the kingdom of Isolte is reaching a fever pitch. The Eastoffes may have the power to unseat a tyrannical king—but only with Hollis’s help.

Can a girl who’s lost it all put the fate of her adopted homeland over the secret longings of her heart?

I liked the sequel way better than the first book! When I first read The Betrothed I wasn’t too fond of the story and that plot twist at the end almost ruined the story for me and made me give up on this series. I’m glad I still bought the sequel because fortunately, we get some much needed redemption in this one!

In comparison to the first book, the story here is more linear and predictable, and even though there were some twists and turns along the way, it was nothing as shocking as the first book.

I really like how Kiera Cass writes monarchy, and this book was no exception to the rule! We still have the beautiful gowns, the romance and the female heroine! These elements always make me happy, and that’s why I can’t let go of Kiera Cass.

Even though the ending was okay, it was too short in my opinion. I was waiting for a prologue that would wrap up the story in a nice way, but it ended up feeling incomplete.

I can’t help but think that I wish the books were bigger or this was the trilogy instead of a duology. I say this because I feel like this story had potential to be really good, but it wasn’t explored and developed to its maximum. I wish the author invested more time and energy in the story, because something amazing would come out of it.I keep reading Kiera Cass books hoping I’ll find another gem like The Selection series. In my humble opinion, this duology doesn’t have the same quality, but I still think it’s better than The Siren.

xoxo,

Review | Love & Gelato (Love & Gelato #1) by Jenna Evans Welch

“You know, people come to Italy for all sorts of reasons, but when they sat, it’s for the same two things.”
“What?”
“Love and gelato.”
4.25/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: gelato, scooters, amazing dresses, old photographs, mansions, delicious italian food, diary entries, statues, night clubs, train rides, monuments, history and cemeteries.

“I made the wrong choice.”

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is go back home.

But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires her, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

I liked this more than I thought I would! I have an old dream of visiting Italy, and this book definitely revived that desire within me. I never went there, but I would love to visit all the beautiful cities there and eat all the delicious italian food I can – by the way, just a quick heads up… this book will make you hungry. It’s impossible not to read this and not immediately crave pizza, pasta and gelato! You have been warned!

If you like summery books with some depth, you have to read this book. This book in particular is focused on a trip to Italy, so if you like to read travel books, this is another reason why you should pick this up. According to the author, this story was inspired by her own time spent in Italy. And let me tell you: her love for that trip shows in the story. Her experience really brought this book to life and made the story more credible. I’m also glad Jenna Evans Welch incorporated real history and fun facts about the architecture, statues and monuments. You’ll have fun, but you will also learn some new things about the italian history.

I personally liked all the characters in this, with no exception. There was something about these characters that made them realistic. Maybe it’s because of the relationships and interactions between the characters, or maybe it’s because of how well the author captured the essence of italian mannerisms and strong opinions. Whatever it was, it was well made and made a huge difference in my experience as a reader!

Surprisingly, the romance wasn’t the highlight of the book, but I still really liked it for what it was. It was a very cute and sweet summer romance that developed slowly. It was, in my humble opinion, a very good representation of a friends-to-lovers relationship!

I think people go into this book thinking this a very lighthearted read, but the story has some depth to it. I admit I wasn’t expecting it to be this way, but I was happy with how it turned out. Most beach reads don’t have strong plots, and this is an exception to the rule. I wasn’t counting on reading the entire series before I read this book, but now I’m curious! I don’t even know if it follows the main characters, but I’ll definitely check it out. If you’re looking for a fun book with a traveling theme for the summer, look no further. This is the perfect book for you!

xoxo,

Review | After the Game (The Field Party #3) by Abbi Glines

“For every teenage girl who has made a mistake and those who had no one to believe in them. May you find strength in yourself and realize you are strong enough. This too shall pass, and you’ll become a woman of strength. Hang in there.” 4/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: friendship, football championships, car rides, applesauce, baby strollers, missing cats, affairs, rape, Alzheimer’s, teenage pregnancy, lies, fantastic mothers, cute baby and blonde curls.



Two years ago, Riley Young fled from Lawton, Alabama. After accusing the oldest Lawton son, Rhett, of rape, everyone called her a liar and she had no option but to leave. Now she’s back, but she’s not at Lawton High finishing up her senior year. She’s at home raising the little girl that no one believed was Rhett’s.

Rhett is off at college living the life he was afraid he’d lose with Riley’s accusation, so Riley agrees to move back to Lawton so she and her parents could take care of her grandmother, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. But the town still hasn’t forgotten their hate for her, and she hasn’t forgotten the way they turned on her when she needed them most.

When town golden boy Brady Higgens finds Riley and her daughter, Bryony, stranded on the side of the road in a storm, he pulls over and gives them a ride. Not because he cares about Riley, of course, but because of the kid.

But after the simple car ride, he begins to question everything he thought he knew. Could Brady believe Riley and risk losing everything?

I don’t feel exactly the same way I did when I read this from the first time, but from all the three books so far, Brady is still probably my favorite of the boys. I love how different he was from his friends, and did not want to hide the fact he was seeing Riley regularly. He did what he thought was right without thinking how the other guys and the rest of the town would see them being friends. He wasn’t scared of other people’s reactions.

Just like the other female characters of the previous books, I really liked how strong Abbi made Riley. She obviously went through a lot in the past and she is not a regular 17 year-old girl anymore. It is very sad that nobody believed a 15 year old teenager when she said she was raped, and she had to move out of Lawton to have her baby. Just like Maggie and Willa, she doesn’t like drama (which I appreciate) and is very mature for her age. Also, it was nice to see that Maggie and Willa were very friendly and nice to her, and they wanted to be friends. They made a great friend group. 

One of the things I thought was a bit weird is how Bryony behaved during the book. For a 15-month old child I think she was a bit… overdeveloped. But I don’t know… maybe it’s just me? I think if she was a bit older, her dialogue would make more sense.

There were some shocking elements in the book – especially regarding Brady and Rhett – that I wasn’t expecting, but I really liked how things turned out.

At this point, I don’t think I could pick a favorite book in this series because I really liked all of them so far, but it would definitely be between the first book or this one. 

I reread this for the second time and I still liked it: the romance was good and the story is classic Abbi Glines (which I love)! Incredibly bingeable and so easy and fun to read. Recommend it!

xoxo,

Review | Too Late by Colleen Hoover

“I guess that’s the difference in being loved the right way and the wrong way. You either feel tethered to an anchor…or you feel like you’re flying.” 4.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: GPS trackers, pizza boxes, red dresses, house parties, coconut cake, Spanish classes, swimming pools, gunshots, cookbooks, threats, manipulation, drugs, schizophrenia and miracles.

Sloan will go through hell and back for those she loves.
And she does, every single day.
After finding herself stuck in a relationship with the dangerous and morally corrupt Asa Jackson, Sloan will do whatever it takes to get by until she’s able to find a way out.
Nothing will get in her way.
Nothing except Carter.

Sloan is the best thing to ever happen to Asa. And if you ask Asa, he’d say he’s the best thing to ever happen to Sloan. Despite Sloan’s disapproval of Asa’s sinister lifestyle, he does exactly what he needs to do in order to stay a step ahead in his business. He also does exactly what he needs to do in order to stay a step ahead of Sloan.
Nothing will get in his way.
Nothing except Carter.

This book is absolutely INSANE and I couldn’t put it down until I finished it!

I was really into this story and I was sure I was going to rate this book five stars when I reached the middle of the book. The reason why I didn’t do that is because the story got too crazy by the end and that’s where it lost me. I’m not entirely sure of this, but I feel like this may be one of Colleen’s first books. I say this because you can still tell this is a story written by her – because the drama and the romance elements are there, just like in her other books -, but it’s very noticeable that she was still working on her writing!

With that said, I was really into the romance and how dark the story was. It was so stressful to see how the main girl was dealing with her current situation and how helpless she was – but in a good way, because it was what grabbed me to the story.

It was a rollercoaster of emotions, and even though I didn’t love the second half of the book, I couldn’t put the book down until I finished the story! It’s a very graphic book and it deals with very serious topics such as rape and violence, so I would recommend it only to older readers – be aware of those triggers if you are sensitive to those specific topics.

xoxo,

Review | Verity by Colleen Hoover

“One should only walk away from an autobiography with, at best, an uncomfortable distaste for its author.” 5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: pseudonyms, wheelchairs, knives, old notes, autobiographies, manuscripts, baby monitors, nurses and antagonists.

Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.

Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.

A standalone romantic thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover.

What the… I’m sorry, what just happened?!

To be completely honest, I’m not even surprised by this point: this is another unique, amazing novel from the one and only, Colleen Hoover. What I like so much about her books is that even though she has a very specific style (a lot of drama and plot twists), she writes very unique and out-of-the-box stories.

This one in particular was incredible! I couldn’t put the book down until I was finished with the story and I knew exactly what was going on. There were so many scenes that freaked me out, but I couldn’t stop!

The writing is wonderful: it’s disturbing, wicked and very intelligent. I personally think this is the kind of book you should go into without knowing too much about the story. 

And don’t even get me started on that ending! When the bomb dropped, I had to put the book down, close my eyes and take a quick breath. I’m still processing what I read!

Anyways, this is a must-read if you like Colleen’s books! It’s amazing and very worth it (and probably one of my new favorites from her).

xoxo,

Review | The Push by Ashley Audrain

“A mother’s heart breaks a million ways in her lifetime.” 4/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: maternity, pink gloves, hot coffee, razors, DNA, inheritance, postpartum depression, wigs, unfortunate accidents and parenting classes.

A tense, page-turning psychological drama about the making and breaking of a family–and a woman whose experience of motherhood is nothing at all what she hoped for–and everything she feared.

Blythe Connor is determined that she will be the warm, comforting mother to her new baby Violet that she herself never had.

But in the thick of motherhood’s exhausting early days, Blythe becomes convinced that something is wrong with her daughter–she doesn’t behave like most children do.

Or is it all in Blythe’s head? Her husband, Fox, says she’s imagining things. The more Fox dismisses her fears, the more Blythe begins to question her own sanity, and the more we begin to question what Blythe is telling us about her life as well.

Then their son Sam is born–and with him, Blythe has the blissful connection she’d always imagined with her child. Even Violet seems to love her little brother. But when life as they know it is changed in an instant, the devastating fall-out forces Blythe to face the truth.

The Push is a tour de force you will read in a sitting, an utterly immersive novel that will challenge everything you think you know about motherhood, about what we owe our children, and what it feels like when women are not believed.

Wait a damn minute… this is a debut novel? I’m so impressed with the quality of this book!

I know this book is marketed as a thriller, but I would say this is more of a… creepy family drama? In this story, we follow three generations of women within the same family: the grandmother, the mother and our main character, Blythe. In this story, the focus is on Blythe and her daughter Violet, but the author also shares the two other stories to show the readers how the women in the family dealt with their respective daughters. It’s a book that talks about motherhood, the bond between a mother and a child, and how we can’t escape from our family inheritance!

What really creeped me out about this book was how real and honest it was. It didn’t feel like a fictitious story. It felt like the characters were real people, part of a real family. I can definitely see some readers relating to this book, especially when it comes to the struggles of being a new mother and not feeling a connection with their children.

One thing I really need to mention is the ending, because it gave me chills! It was so creepy and I thought it was the perfect way to end the book (in my humble opinion).

I completely understand the hype around this book! I personally really liked how dark and unsettling the story was, and the writing was incredible. Highly recommend it!

xoxo,

Review | His & Hers by Alice Feeney

“Tell a person they’re wrong, and they’ll cover their ears. Tell a person they’re right, and they’ll listen to you all day long.” 4.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: journalists, friendship bracelets, dementia, cigarettes, broken glass, old photographs, letters, bees, painted nails, school uniforms, hotel rooms, mini bottles of alcohol, knives, surprises, lies and regret.

If there are two sides to every story, someone is always lying…

Jack: Three words to describe my wife: Beautiful. Ambitious. Unforgiving.
Anna: I only need one word to describe my husband: Liar.

When a woman is murdered in Blackdown village, newsreader Anna Andrews is reluctant to cover the case. Anna’s ex-husband, DCI Jack Harper, is suspicious of her involvement, until he becomes a suspect in his own murder investigation.

Someone is lying, and some secrets are worth killing to keep.

Wow, this book was a crazy ride! What I liked so much about this story is how the reader makes new discoveries every chapter. This is the kind of thriller where you find out things slowly with time and where you can’t trust anyone. I think this is a great way to keep the reader curious about the story and to make guesses on who’s responsible. Well, it definitely worked for me!

The story alternates between a journalist and a detective (the main characters in the story), separating “His” and “Hers” points of view by chapters. These characters are investigating the death of the woman found in the woods, but things get… complicated (for spoiler reasons, let’s keep it this way). 

I personally wasn’t expecting this story to be so dark, but I was wrong. There were some scenes here and there that were heavy. Not only that, but the eerie atmosphere of the woods gave the book an extra creepy vibe!

The ending was very surprising and shocking, and I was very pleased with it! I had my theories throughout the book and I suspected some of the characters, but I never thought it would end like that! 

The author did an amazing job with this book. I really liked the story and I would recommend it to all the thriller/mystery fans. It’s a creepy story full of twists and turns, and I guarantee you will be entertained the entire time!

xoxo,

Review | The Patient by Jasper DeWitt

“Don’t all crazy people think they’re the rational ones?” 3.25/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: kittens, diagnoses, tapes, medical records, walls, whispers, monsters and a lot of theories.

“A clever cocktail of psychological thriller and supernatural horror.” Kirkus

The Silent Patient by way of Stephen King: Parker, a young, overconfident psychiatrist new to his job at a mental asylum, miscalculates catastrophically when he undertakes curing a mysterious and profoundly dangerous patient.

In a series of online posts, Parker H., an ambitious young psychiatrist, chronicles the harrowing account of his time working at a dreary mental hospital in New England and his attempt to cure the facility’s most difficult, profoundly dangerous case.

Originally admitted to the hospital as a child, the man has no known diagnosis. Every person who has attempted to treat him has been driven to madness or suicide.

Parker, brilliant and overconfident, takes it upon himself to discover what ails this mystery patient and finally cure him. But things quickly spiral out of control …

Fans of Sarah Pinborough’s Behind Her Eyes and Paul Tremblay’s The Cabin at the End of the World will be riveted by Jasper DeWitt’s astonishing debut.

PRAISE FOR THE PATIENT:

“A stunning debut! DeWitt’s The Patient is a thrilling, compulsive page-turner that will appeal to fans of F. Paul Wilson, Sarah Pinborough, and Alex Michaelides.” Brian Keene, bestselling author and World Horror Grandmaster Award winner

“‘Insidious evil’ is such an overused term, but there is no other way to describe what prowls the hallways of this riveting novella. A compulsive read I devoured in one day. And the ending … it still haunts me.” F. Paul Wilson, New York Times bestselling creator of the Repairman Jack series

The Patient is a fascinating and frightening read that comes at you like the monster under your bed.” Reed Farrel Coleman, New York Times bestselling author 

Heads up: unpopular opinion incoming! So… I was somewhat underwhelmed with this book. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of positive things I can say about this particular story, because the truth is that it just wasn’t a very memorable/special book.

It’s a horror/mystery book with some creepy moments here and there, but I didn’t love the plot. There were some things revealed at the end that I wish were more… realistic? And yes, I understand what the author was trying to do and I’m okay with the direction he decided to take. But with that said, I wish the execution was better. There were so many scenes here that didn’t make sense and didn’t connect to the story well. I’m sorry for not being specific, but I don’t want to spoil the story for you. I’ll just say that even though I understand the mysterious part, I wish it was done a bit differently. A great example of this was the part regarding what happened at Joe’s home (if you already read the book, you probably know what I’m talking about).

On a positive note, I really liked the book’s format. I liked the concept of a doctor writing about his experience with a patient in an online forum. It felt personal and realistic, and it was done beautifully. I was interested in what he was saying and it felt like there was a real online audience for the story.I still think it’s a quick and easy read, nice for a lazy weekend. But it’s not in any way, shape or form similar to The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. So if you’re going into this with that in mind… you will probably be disappointed.

xoxo,