book review

Thriller Recommendations| Halloween Reads

I haven’t been reading at my usual pace due to an influx in creative writing. That’s a good thing, right? Since I haven’t done much bookish posts recently, I thought I’d recommend some thriller reads. Halloween is near and I know everybody’s looking for a little scare. Now, these books are thrillers mostly in the psychological sense or mysteries if you will. They’re not haunting horrors and it won’t scare the skin off your bones but they do have twists and turns and I enjoyed them quite much.

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

The book starts with the death of Nel Abbott, allegedly drowned. We get the picture that Nel wasn’t liked very much by her community because she was dredging up all sorts of stories from the past, surrounding the deaths of the women who drowned at the drowning pool. It’s soon learned that a few weeks before, Katie Whittaker, a fifteen year old girl who was best friends with Nel’s daughter, Lena, had met a similar fate in the drowning pool.

Detectives Sean Townsend and Erin Morgan try to find out if there was any foul play in the deaths or if it was suicide, like the many who had died there before.

Past events are tied with current events and there’s themes of love, hate, jealously, abuse, all of the above. I finished this book very quickly and would recommend it to anyone who loves a murder mystery.

The Night Bird by Brian Freeman

The Night Bird Starts with a girl Lucy riding in the car with her best friend. As traffic gets stuck on the bridge Lucy is somewhat getting paralyzed by her fear of bridges. Meanwhile her best friend freaks out for no reason and jumps of the bridge.

Once Frost Easton starts putting the pieces together, it’s revealed that Dr. Frankie Stein’s patients are being targeted by someone called the night bird. Dr. Stein is a psychiatrist that alters patients’ painful memories, for instance if they have a fear of something or a bad experience. The Night Bird is out for revenge and send them on a wild chase, with a lot of plot twists and turns.

Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson

Christine Lucas awakes every morning without any memory of who she is and who she is married to. Pictures tell her that she is married to a man named Ben. She believes herself to be in her twenties but in reality, she is actually in her forties. With the help of Dr. Nash Christine discovers the truth about herself and the disturbing things that accompany that truth.

Happy Reading!

xo Kat

In This Moment by A.D. McCammon| Book Review

In This Moment by [McCammon, A.D.]Book Title: In This Moment

Author: A.D. McCammon

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Summary:  Elizabeth Shea is a widowed mother of two who’s having a hard time healing from the loss of her husband, Xander. She meets Brendon Scott, a school counselor with a disturbing past of his own. Brendon likes Lizzy(as she’s called throughout the book) from the get go, and although it takes her a while to offer her friendship, she eventually does.

My Review:

In This Moment is a sweet, cozy tale about second chances, healing and love. I’m a very character driven reader and I loved the way Brendon’s carefree attitude balanced Lizzy’s restricted one. The story revolves around their friendship which eventually blossoms into more. The author did a great job assessing the feelings of her characters, something I appreciate in the romance genre. It didn’t feel rushed at all, just progressive. Rated four stars on Goodreads, I think this is a great fast paced read for anyone looking for a fulfilling story about two broken people coming together.

Thanks for reading!

xo Kat

Crushed by A.D. McCammon|Book Review

I’ve been lucky this year to have found some well written romance novels. A lot of romances can get cliched and cringey, not any fault of the authors but I believe few of us writers really know how to capture the essence of true love, especially true first love. Well A.D. had no issues doing that. Love and heartache roll off every page in this book. It was beautifully written, and felt and what I loved the most or actually admire, is the author’s ability to keep love alive throughout the book without repeating herself. As a writer, I find this very difficult. I get very repetive once I’ve fleshed out my characters enough so I pretty much fell in love with the way this book was written. 

Here’s a brief synopsis…

Julianna has just returned to her hometown after being separated from her cheating husband. She has negative, and sometimes troubled feelings about returning to Tennessee. Soon after moving back, she meets up with Eric, her best friend in high school. As the book progresses we learn that Julianna and Eric both had a deep love for each other but never acted on it due to circumstances. They’d also broken contact for some time so it took them a few to rekindle their friendship, and admit their love for each other. 

There’s some suspense elements in this book and if you’ve read my blog before you’ll see that’s my favorite recipe for romances. 

Happy reading! Xo Kat

Confess by Colleen Hoover| Book Review

confess colleen

Auburn Mason Reed recently moved to Texas, although we don’t know the exact reason why at the beginning of the book. We assume it has something to do with her harrowing past as the story begins itself with Auburn at fifteen years losing her first love to a terminal illness. New to Texas, and a needing some extra cash as her hair cutting career hasn’t exactly kicked itself of, Auburn lands on the doorstep of Owen Mason Gentry. Owen is a painter (yes, they both have the same middle name), and he needs help for an art opening in his studio, Confess. Owen has a unique way of working which I really enjoyed reading about. Random strangers slip real confessions through his door and he takes his inspiration from them.

They instantly have a connection and it’s written beautifully, not that cringe-worthy typical insta-romance. I must say the author did well in conveying each emotion, thought and feeling to show how genuine humans love. I was convinced during this book of both characters’ feelings towards each other. I gave this book a four star rating on goodreads only because parts of the story were a little too fleshed out causing me to lose momentum. But it ended beautifully. This was my first Colleen Hoover book and I am not disappointed. Next up is Hopeless!

Happy Reading!

xo Kat

 

Alfred: The Boy Who Would be King by Ron Smorynski

alfred cover

Alfred is a typical eleven-year-old boy who spends most of his spare time playing video games on a second-hand computer he was gifted. He is an only child and lives with his mother whom he sees as beautiful and sometimes odd in the way she speaks and dresses. Alfred sees it as old fashioned. Alfred is drawn to books, as well as video games of medieval times, something which has his mother uneasy every time it’s brought up. He also sends his mother into a frenzy when he asked about his father, whom he has never seen or heard of.
One night, Alfred summons an old wizard by saying the name “Bedenwulf.” He believes this to be his father name. The old wizard appears to be out of sorts and has no memory of who he is or what he does yet he manages to transport Alfred into another world, a medieval one. There, they learn the old wizard’s name is Tirnalth, and they meet a faithless cleric, Verbogen.
In the fantasy land, Alfred encounters creatures such as werewolves and gargoyles. He is told that he might be the only surviving heir to rule the kingdom and that an evil witch has driven the entire kingdom into despair. Alfred is determined to fit into the role of King and save his people.
This book was basically advertised as something similar to Harry Potter so immediately it caught my interest. It’s a brilliant middle-grade story and reminded me of Rick Riordan at times. I laughed during this book so the author captures humor well but here’s my concerns about things that could’ve been done differently. Firstly, Alfred is eleven years old and I feel like there are times he sounds more like a preschooler with the excited clapping, and at other times, Alfred is sharing all this knowledge with people. Maybe rework the characteristics for an eleven-year-old boy and the story would work beautifully. With a little editing, this story is a gripping and exciting one for fans of J.K. Rowling and Rick Riordan.

xo Kat

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier|Book Review

*4 stars on Goodreads*

The story begins with Philip, an orphan who was raised by his older cousin, Ambrose. Philip was brought up in a household with no women, so it was odd to him that his cousin Ambrose had gotten married while he was in Italy. They exchanged letters back and forth detailing their days and feelings. Philip began to harbor jealousy in his heart towards, Rachel(also his cousin, who has married Ambrose) since he never had to share Ambrose’s affection before. He loathed the day when Ambrose would bring Rachel home and had a plan set to basically treat her like trash. This absurdity was only heightened as Ambrose’s letters came less frequent.

Philip then decides to go to Italy when he receives an alarming letter from Ambrose but not detailed enough that he knew exactly what was transpiring. He knew Ambrose’s health had declined and was shocked to learn of Ambrose’s sudden death upon his arrival to Italy. His cousin Rachel had already disappeared from the villa where she and Ambrose lived, and Philip was directed to Rachel’s trusted advisor, Ranaildi, the man who handled all of her affairs.

Philip instantly dislikes Rainaldi and goes back home, plotting to do for Rachel should he ever see her. When she finally arrives at his house, he is deeply ashamed, and also surprised by her feeble demeanor. Surely she couldn’t be the villain he had painted her out to be.

As the story progresses, Philips shows himself as a spoiled brat who has become obsessed with Rachel. He enjoys her company so much that he basically demands that she stay with him for a longer time before she moves on to another place. He busies her with decorating the house, and building things around it. His godfather who handles the estate until Philip reaches of age raises concern over how indulgent and insistent he is on gifting Rachel expensive things and allowing her financial freedom to do whatever she wishes.

As per usual I have to cut my synopsis of this book as not to give spoilers. A great, engaging read about deeply flawed characters who you may have a love/hate relationship with. The author’s language was nothing less than marvelous. And I cannot wait to see the movie!

Happy reading!

xo Kat

Into The Water by Paula Hawkins|Book Review

Whooo I’m back with an awesome book review. For a while there I’ve not been choosing books to my taste and it’s been frustrating me, because if I stop enjoying reading…then I’d lose my mind.

Into The Water is a psychological suspense/thriller. Although it shares the same brilliant authorship as The Girl on The Train, it was an entirely different story. Paula Hawkins is awesome at taking you through many plot twists and characters’ personalities go up and down rapidly that you end up feeling sorry for the one you feel suspicious about. It’s really a psychological read.

I was surprised by the amount of negative reviews this book garnered on goodreads because I absolutely loved it and rated it five stars. I rarely rate five. In order for me to rate five, the book has to have me on the edge of my seat, losing sleep and just worked up with all sorts of theories.

Anyways, let’s get into the review….

The book starts with the death of Nel Abbott, allegedly drowned. We get the picture that Nel wasn’t liked very much by her community because she was dredging up all sorts of stories from the past, surrounding the deaths of the women who drowned at the drowning pool. It’s soon learned that a few weeks before, Katie Whittaker, a fifteen year old girl who was best friends with Nel’s daughter, Lena, had met a similar fate in the drowning pool.

Detectives Sean Townsend and Erin Morgan try to find out if there was any foul play in the deaths or if it was suicide, like the many who had died there before.

Past events are tied with current events and there’s themes of love, hate, jealously, abuse, all of the above. I finished this book very quickly and would recommend it to anyone who loves a murder mystery.

This book was also told in eleven different POVs which I thought was brilliant but a lot of people didn’t seem to care for. Some were first person, some where third but they were all relevant. I love the way the chapters are short and conveying without unnecessary clutter.

Hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.

xo Kat

American Gods by Neil Gaiman|Book Review

So I tried hard to like this book mainly because I think the author puts out great content but at fifty percent, I just couldn’t anymore. I like the protagonist and the concept of the story. Ex-con Shadow gets out of jail after three years, his wife is dead and he runs into Wednesday, who is supposed to be Odin. From what I understand so far, the old gods have to battle the new gods(media, tv etc). All well and good so far but what really threw me off the story is all the little stories in between that don’t seem to have a point. I kept reading about people and things with no wrap up. At fifty percent of the book, I would at least like to have an understanding of what is going on, not to be left more confused. Sorry to say but I must leave this book unfinished to get to my sky high TBR pile. Maybe one day I’ll return to it.

xo Kat

Note: As much as I don’t like leaving negative reviews, I do have my own preferences and tastes in books. I do read mostly at night when I am super tired from a busy day and I believe it impacts my will to stick with a book that hasn’t grasped my attention fully.

June TBR list

Hey y’all! What are you reading this weekend? Here’s my June TBR/haul. I’m sure I won’t be getting into all of these by even the end of July as I’m reading slowly. Investing my time in writing so bear with my slow book reviews.

The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter

kept woman pic

Recently I’ve been eyeing this book at my local pharmacy. They have a bestseller section. The cover alone has a certain pull to it.  I don’t want to spoil these books for myself so I didn’t look at any thorough reviews. From what I understand this is a thriller, there’s a murder and it might be connected to a detective’s past. Yeah, that’s what you get from me…I avoid spoilers like the plague because I know I won’t read it if I know details.

Shatter Me by Taherah Mafi

shatter me cover

I’ll be honest, I’m not really interested in this book but there was a hype around it on Booktube so I thought why not check it out at some point? It’s about a girl named Juliette who is locked up for murder who doesn’t touch anyone because the last time she did, she landed up locked up.

Into The Water – Paula Hawkins

into the water cover.jpg

This is one I’m excited about because I absolutely loved The Girl on The Train. Not that it’s the same or anything but when I like an author, I like them a lot. A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

we were liars cover

Friendship between a group of four friends turns destructive.

There are tons of books in my TBR pile that I want to share with you but as I can’t share them all at once, I break them into monthly TBRs. Happy reading and have a great weekend!

xo Kat

Ruby by V.C. Andrews|Book Review

Ruby is the first installment in The Landry Series by V.C. Andrews. This is another series that I could not put down. It really interrupted my life when I picked it up.

Synopsis: Ruby Landry is a teenager who grew up with her grandmother, Catherine in the bayou. Her mother died in childbirth. Her grandfather, Jack is an alcoholic and lives in a shack outside. Ruby soon starts dating Paul Tate, a boy from a classy and wealthy family who doesn’t like Paul dating Ruby. When Ruby speaks to her grandmother about this, her grandmother tells her that Paul’s father is responsible for committing a heinous act against Ruby’s mother which resulted in Paul being born. Jack, the grandfather blackmailed Octavious Tate, Paul’s father which is why Paul grew up with his father and had no idea. Ruby’s views on dating Paul changes and after her grandmother’s death, she escapes being sold by her grandfather to a new life in the big city of New Orleans. She is told that she has a father there but what awaits Ruby is nothing even her wildest dreams could prepare her for.

Happy Reading!

xo Kat