Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
Published September 18, 2018
Summary on Goodreads

Buy Links:
Amazon | Audible | Book Depository
Review:
This was a book that I was extremely psyched for as soon as I saw it before Book Expo. Since then, I have been eyeing this book on my shelf and finally got the chance to pick it up for #ARCAugust. I’m glad to say that this book definitely delivered💕

At first, I wasn’t sure what was going on because the first 60-70 pages were so confusing 🙈. I was immediately thrust into the plot with no context other than the synopsis. However, the main character, Aiden, at least his name, never showed up so I was so confused. Evelyn didn’t even pop up until a few chapters later and at first, the main character (his name unknown in the beginning) was asking for Anna. So I was legit completely lost and honestly thought that perhaps the book that I received was incorrect LOL 😂. I thought that perhaps the manufacturer or something accidentally stuck in the wrong story with the cover of the 7 ½ deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. 
Thankfully though, someone on Instagram mentioned that it was extremely confusing in the beginning but to push through because then it gets good. And thankfully, after overcoming those pages in the beginning, things finally started to fall into place and the characters started to make sense. Seriously though, as a reader, if I didn’t have the patience to push through, this easily could have been a DNF book for me. 

At the same time though, once things started to fall into place and I became very invested in the story, I am glad that the book really drew me in. The author did a fantastic job with creating layers upon layers and adding a ton of suspense. I was always at the edge of my seat because I didn’t know what was coming and just when I thought that just maybe I knew who the culprit was, I found out that I was completely wrong and that there was this entirely different plot going on this whole time. There were just a ton of plot twists going on and I was always left guessing 🕵️. 

I’m also really shocked that this is his debut novel because it’s really good. It’s incredibly engaging and there are tons of suspense and intrigue involved. There are also so many elements wrapped up and the author did NOT leave things tied up in a pretty bow 🎀 which is awesome because you’re constantly second guessing. I did not see that ending AT ALL and it really shocked me because it was just so different than what I had initially imagined. 

If you’re looking for a fantastic mystery and thriller novel then look no further because this book is a doozy! I would still say though that this book can be a bit confusing even after when things started to fall in place because there is a lot of jumping back and forth, in more ways than one, but for me, that just added to the overall intensity of the book. 

I would also recommend that this is a book where one should sit down and try to read as much as possible rather than breaking it up into small chunks here and there. Personally I think the story would make a lot more sense when you read a large portion of the book at a time. Ideally, this can be a one sitting book except it’s quite long so… 

Anyways, overall, I definitely recommend this book! 💕
Rating:



WHAT ABOUT YOU? HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? AND IF SO, DID YOU LOVE OR HATE IT? LET ME KNOW 💕- Stephanie

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Monday, September 17, 2018

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
Published May 2, 2017
Summary on Goodreads

Buy Links:
Amazon | Audible | Book Depository | Audiobook
Review:
To this day, I’m really not sure why her books get so much hype.  I didn’t like her previous book, Girl on theTrain, at all and this latest book won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Thriller and I honestly just don’t get it.  To put it bluntly, this book sucked.  A lot.


Even now, when I check on Goodreads, the average rating is a 3.5*.  Are you seriously telling me that there are no other thrillers out there that can beat that score?  Because that is very sad news indeed.

I had also listened to this via audiobook because I was hoping that by giving this author another try via another means of reading it (I had read Girl on the Train via a physical copy), that perhaps I can finally find out why her books are so highly raved about.  Unfortunately that ended up not being the case at all.  I realized that Paula Hawkins is another author that I simply can’t get behind no matter what kind of format her books are in (the other author being Stephen King).

The biggest problem for me was the number of characters and their POVs.  There were WAY too many and listening to it in audiobook format didn’t work at all in that respect.  I found myself constantly confused as to who was who and how this person was even remotely connected with this case.  It was just a giant mess of confusion. And to top it off, none of the characters were even likable. So I basically felt as if I was reading about everyone and their personal lives but liking no one at the end of the day. Not even a little bit.

As for the mystery itself, I was never really drawn into it whatsoever.  I felt as if I was tugged along for the ride and when the big “climax” occurred, it was more of a “oh, okay” rather than any sort of astonishment which is what I would have expected from a thriller/mystery novel.  Honestly, if I was not surprised in any way for a mystery sort of book, then this book failed to do its ONE job.

Overall, this book is a serious pass for me and I would NOT recommend it.  And after checking out some other reviewers’ reviews, I noticed that those who did not enjoy her first book would likewise NOT enjoy this one as well. So if you want to check this one out regardless…proceed at your own risk.
Rating:



WHAT ABOUT YOU? HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? AND IF SO, DID YOU LOVE OR HATE IT? LET ME KNOW 💕- Stephanie

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Sunday, September 16, 2018

Time Travelling with a Hamster by Ross Welford

Time Travelling with a Hamster by Ross Welford
Published December 31, 2015
Summary on Goodreads

Buy Links:
Amazon | Audible | Book Depository | Audiobook
Review:
This was a very cute book.  I read this one during the BookTubeaThon and enjoyed it.  It was funny and adorable.  I also don’t read that many MG books but this one surprised me.

For me, what I admired most about this book was that despite the young age of the intended audience, there were actually quite a number of very important concepts scattered throughout this book.  It discussed the importance of family, how to treasure your friendships and what constitutes as real friendships as well as trying your best to go after what you are passionate about.  

I was most surprised by the science involved with this book.  You would think that the author would have to “dumb” down all of the terminologies and whatnot for time traveling and how it worked but somehow he managed to provide descriptive details while also wording it in a way that the everyday young reader would understand it.  At the same time, while I was reading this book, I ended up learning quite a bit of science-related topics.  It was an interesting balance of providing lots of great lessons while also wording them in a way that kids can understand it.

The one downside that I have for this book was that the beginning took me some time to get into it but once everything was set in place, it became a faster read for me.  I was also hoping that the hamster would play a bigger role too…

Overall, definitely enjoyed this book.  If you’re looking for a fun, fast and entertaining read while learning about relativity and whatnot then definitely check out this one.
Rating:



WHAT ABOUT YOU? HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? AND IF SO, DID YOU LOVE OR HATE IT? LET ME KNOW 💕- Stephanie

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Saturday, September 15, 2018

There You'll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones

There You'll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones
Published October 3, 2011
Summary on Goodreads

Buy Links:
Amazon | Audible | Book Depository | Audiobook
Review:
I listened to this book via audiobook and LOVED it!  The narrator did a fantastic job in narrating everyone with their respective accents and I absolutely adored that Irish accent.  She made everything seem much more realistic and really made the book come to life for me.

I also don’t read that many contemporaries but have recently been picking up a bit more of them.  I have to say, this is definitely high on my list.  I really enjoyed the interaction between Finley and Beckett.  I especially found the whole “getting her name wrong on purpose” to be extremely entertaining.  It was amazing to see how many names there actually were that started with the letter F. 

In terms of the plot, there were two things that I was surprised about or, at least, I was not expecting the book to lead to that direction.  Originally I thought that the plot was going to focus on Finley and Beckett’s potential relationship while Finley navigated the pressure of the death of her brother and this major upcoming audition.  And I knew she was supposedly going to “break down” but I honestly did not expect the route that the author took.  The author also did such a fantastic job in subtly introducing this dangerous vice that by the time I was made aware of it, Finley had already started down the rabbit hole. 

The second thing that I was surprised about was the amount of God in this book.  I did not realize that this was a Christian-based novel because it wasn’t categorized as such.  However, the mention of praying to God and trusting in him was a major element in this book.  So if that’s not something you’re particularly interested in then perhaps this book isn’t for you. 

Regarding the characters, I absolutely adored Beckett.  I thought he was sweet and funny.  Despite his obvious fame, he seemed really down to earth.  If I could meet a celebrity one day, I would want to meet someone similar to him – one who isn’t super snobby or arrogant from the fame he or she has claimed.  However, I wasn’t a huge fan of Finley to be honest.  I liked her in the beginning but as the book progressed, she changed for the worst in terms of her personality.  I found her to be a bit annoying especially when her friends were clearly worried about her but she was so stubborn and wouldn’t listen to anyone.  It was a complete 180 from how she was in the beginning that I was really surprised. 

Overall, I did really enjoy this book.  I like the romance between Finley and Beckett as well as their dynamic together.  I wasn’t particularly fond of Finley at the end but honestly, I was more invested with the story itself by that point anyways.  I also loved how the story took place in Ireland – it sounds so nice and I really want to visit there one day.
Rating:



WHAT ABOUT YOU? HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? AND IF SO, DID YOU LOVE OR HATE IT? LET ME KNOW 💕- Stephanie

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Alone by Cyn Balog

Alone by Cyn Balog
Published November 1, 2017
Summary on Goodreads

Buy Links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Review:
So right off the bat, the premise sounded really similar to Stephen King’s The Shining that even the author herself knew about it because she referenced the book a few times during her own book.  However, as I progressed in the book, I realized that yes, the initial premise was eerily similar to King’s own classic novel but a little more than halfway through, that was when things started to veer to a completely different path.

Alone is also a really easy book to read.  I managed to finish it in less than a day because the writing style was simplistic and the characters were relatively straightforward.  Similar to The Shining, there were a lot of WTF moments especially regarding Seda and why she was so hesitant to allow the group of teens to enter her house. 

However, the main problem that I had with this book was the plot itself.  At first glance, it seemed to go straightforward but as I continued with the book, I started to get confused with what was reality and what was fake.  It also didn’t help that Seda’s mom prepare this scary “scavenger hunt” which made everything even more confusing.  So after a while, some of the plotlines started to get confusing for me and by the time I reached the ending, I wasn’t entirely sure what really happened at the end.  The ending was definitely one of those where the reader have to figure things out for her/himself and read between the lines. 

That being said, there are definitely some readers who enjoy those types of endings and those who really appreciate the intricacies of the plot.  Unfortunately though, I can’t say that I am one of those readers.  I do appreciate all of the subtle surprises in the plot but because the ending was too open-ended for me, I feel that after finishing the book, I was left with an unsatisfied feeling of a sort.

Overall, I did enjoy the book.  Despite what I said about some of the confusion of the overall plot, I did enjoy the creepy aspect of the book in general as well as what was actually revealed at the end.  I was certainly not expecting that ending because I honestly thought it was going to head in this one direction but that wasn’t the case at all.  I would definitely recommend this book if you enjoy horror/creepy factors as well as an always-changing plot.
Rating:



WHAT ABOUT YOU? HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK AND IF SO, DID YOU LOVE OR HATE IT? LET ME KNOW 💕- Stephanie

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