Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Someone Like Me by M.R. Carey

Someone Like MeSomeone Like Me by M.R. Carey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Won this book in a Goodreads giveaway! Thank you to Orbit Books for the giveaway copy. If you don’t read and review books you win in giveaways, you should. Do the right thing. End rant.

I’m going to give this book 3.5 stars which I’ll round up to 4 stars on Goodreads because… well… no half stars allowed. Come on Goodreads… give a girl some options please!

Any who.. back to Someone Like Me. I really enjoyed the first half of this book. It sucked me in instantly with a concept that was really interesting. Action packed from the start, the book begins with Liz being attacked by her ex-husband when an unexplained force comes over her that allows her to fight back with a strength and anger unlike anything she’s ever experienced. Can you say split personality? Meanwhile, Liz’s son has befriended a girl from school named Fran who has a dark and disturbed past. Liz and Fran’s stories come colliding together in a suspenseful novel by M.R. Carey.

What did I like about this book? One of my favorite things about the book was how the chapters were “numbered” with illustrations that coincided with the character whose story was being told. I thought it was a very clever way to identify the character whose story line was being told via pictures rather than words. I also really enjoyed the characters and felt like they were well developed. And the relationships between the characters were fun to see unfold.

What didn’t I like?

1. It was a tad too long and could have benefited from some editing.
2. The dialogue at times felt a tad juvenile and unrealistic. I had a hard time imagining real life people actually saying the sentences that were presented as dialogue between characters.
3. It took a little bit of a paranormal turn that I didn’t expect. And while it was an interesting turn, I felt there were a lot of questions left unanswered. I think I would have enjoyed the book more if it stuck with a mental health angle rather than a paranormal angle.

Overall, a good book with some intriguing content. Definitely has some unexpected turns that are exciting but at the end of the day, not my favorite book in the world. I’ll put this in the “just okay” camp.

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Audiobook Review, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller

The One by John Marrs

The OneThe One by John Marrs

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You guys! I absolutely adored this book! And this isn’t one I’ve seen blasted across the internet on various social media platforms. I just kind of stumbled upon it through recommendations of friends.

The premise of the book was super interesting. What if you could take 23&Me and match.com and put them together into one mega dating app? Submit your DNA and be matched with your one and only soulmate. Would you do it? Follow the stories of four people who took the plunge. Experience the good, the bad, and the ugly.

As a woman who met her husband on match.com seven years ago, the content of this book really tickled my fancy. I thought the concept was such an interesting idea and enjoyed the variety of plots that evolved from it. Each story had an original spin and each had a super exciting twist or two.

This was a great audiobook with a lot of excitement that held my attention. I couldn’t get enough and found myself walking around the house with headphones on waiting to see what happened next (not the first time…).

If you haven’t checked this one out, I would highly recommend it. It is certainly unique and entertaining.

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Mystery, Thriller

Our Little Secret by Roz Nay

Our Little SecretOur Little Secret by Roz Nay

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Looking for a binge-worthy book? Here it is! This was such a quick read that I read it in one sitting.

So how did I get this book? Funny you should ask. I belong to a group of influencers called BookSharks which is supported by BookSparks (confusing, right?). BookSparks did a holiday book-gram program around Christmas where participants picked a genre and a surprise book was wrapped and sent to them. This happened to be one of my surprises. Good picking BookSparks! You must know I adore virtually everything from St. Martin’s Press.

Our Little Secret was the perfect breath of fresh air after some lengthy novels. At a little over 250 pages I breezed right through it. Beginning with the main character in an interrogation room being interviewed for her suspected participation in the disappearance of a young woman, the story moves back in time to tell the story of what happened leading up to the disappearance.

I really enjoyed this book. As a thriller, it had just the right amount of suspense and intrigue without being too convoluted or over the top. The plot was believable and kept me on my toes the entire time.

If you’re looking for a quick weekend read to give you some reprieve from your TBR, this is it. Bravo Roz Nay!

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Audiobook Review, Mystery, Thriller

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

An Unwanted GuestAn Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Loved this! I just recently read Shari Lapena’s A Stranger in the House and enjoyed it. I had been wanting to read her newest book, An Unwanted Guest, for some time and finally got a copy from the library.

This book is in the vein of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and Shari Lapena gave her a little nod with the brief but appropriate mention of Hercule Poirot. It also reminded me slightly of Liane Moriarty’s book Nine Perfect Strangers with a more sinister spin.

Various strangers descend upon a quaint inn for a weekend away. They all have their own issues, and they’re all a little broken. Somewhere along the way, bodies start piling up as the guests are murdered one by one. The catch? They are snowed in without cell phone service or WiFi and have no way of contacting the police. So they must solve the mystery on their own before it’s too late!

In general, this is my type of novel. I love a good murder mystery/whodunnit. It’s like playing a giant game of Clue which I find super fun and interesting.

Lapena did a great job developing the characters. It is always tricky to introduce such a large cast of characters without the reader getting lost in which is which. But, I felt like each of the characters in An Unwanted Guest had a unique identity and I didn’t have any problem following the story. I could also very clearly imagine the snowy inn, it’s various rooms and dwellings, and the characters moving about.

The only slight let down for me was the ending. I felt like it wasn’t an ending that the reader could have had a chance at guessing and kind of came out of nowhere. So the ending was just okay. I wasn’t dissatisfied, just not “wowwed” like I was hoping I would be.

Overall, this was a very good mystery and I would recommend to the Agatha Christie fans out there.

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Mystery, Thriller

Daughters of the Lake by Wendy Webb

Daughters of the LakeDaughters of the Lake by Wendy Webb

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First off, I was wavering between giving this book 4 or 5 stars but at the end of the day, I really enjoyed it so decided to swing in the direction of the higher rating.

I got this book for free from Amazon First Reads. If you’re an Amazon Prime member and have never used First Reads, you should. You get a free book each month as part of your membership. Check it out here.

Back to Daughters of the Lake. What a fantastic book to read on a gloomy, autumn night (let’s forget that I read it on a beach in December)!

A woman’s body washes up on the shores of Lake Superior in a small town on the coast. Nobody knows who she is or where she came from. And even more surprising is the body of a baby that washes up with her. Who are these lost souls? What happened to them? Meanwhile, a woman in town begins to have strange dreams, but they feel more like reality. And they may just hold the clues to the mystery woman’s death.

Daughters of the Lake really reminded me of Kate Morton’s The Clockmaker’s Daughter. The story spanned over a century. There were spooky, ghostly elements. There were many generations of characters, all with their own stories to tell. And there was a murder mystery element that fit in perfectly.

At first, I found myself having a hard time getting the characters and their generational lines together in my head. There were a lot of names and they started to get a little jumbled. But eventually, it came together for me and the second half of this book was magnificent. I thought I figured out the big mystery even as the answers were unfolding. And then I was fooled by Wendy Webb’s magnificent storytelling. I loved the way everything came together in the end in such a surprising and unexpected way. She certainly tricked me.

This book is wonderful in a lot of ways. I would recommend to anybody who enjoyed The Clockmaker’s Daughter or who is looking for a spooky ghost story to read on a dark winter night!

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