Posted in Horror, Supernatural

Don’t Miss: Bad Dolls

Their eyes are watching you from their spot on the shelf.

Thank you to Penguin Random House Audio for the complimentary audiobook.

This is a fun, spooky collection of short stories perfect for this holiday! Each of the stories is unique, but all have one thing in common… a doll or goblin that comes alive. Read at your own risk!

Posted in Suspense, Thriller

Don’t Miss: Ghost 19

What might you see if you looked out your window?

Thank you Penguin Random House Audio for the complimentary audiobook!

When Ginette’s doctors tell her she needs an environment with less excitement, she moves to a sleepy suburban New York town.

She manages to find her own enjoyment watching neighbors through the window and making up names and stories for them.

It doesn’t take long though for the enjoyment to turn to terror. She begins hearing noises in the basement and her agoraphobia causes her to be trapped with whatever is down there. Or is she just going crazy?

💭 This was my first book by this author. I enjoyed the writing style. Ginette came to life for me even with the shortness of the book.

This trope has been done before in the way of Hitchcock’s Rear Window and Finn’s The Woman in the Window. However I enjoyed the twist of having the house as a character of its own.

I definitely plan to read more by this author!

Posted in Literary Fiction

Don’t Miss: Mad Honey

True love is loving someone for who they are, not what they are. — Mad Honey

Thank you @prhaudio for the complimentary audiobook!

Olivia and her son Asher love a quiet life as beekeepers after Olivia leaves her abusive husband, Asher’s father.
Meanwhile, Lily and her mother land in the same town after running from something in their past.

Asher and Lily find solace in each other until Lily ends up dead and Asher is arrested for her murder. Olivia can’t help but wonder if her son is more like his father than she realized. Or is the secret from Lily’s past the clue to her death?

💭 I went into this one knowing very little. I knew it would be twisty because that is what I have come to expect from Picoult books.

Told in alternating chapters, The story is revealed in pieces. Olivia’s chapters tell present day and also weave in the parts of her past that explain her relation with Asher’s father. Lily’s chapters are told in reverse and slowly reveal the secret that she has been hiding.

This is one that I can’t review without giving away major plot points. However I will say, as always, current, relevant and timely topics are addressed.

Plus, I can give props to any book that makes bees interested since they are a terror of mine!

Mad Honey should not be missed!

Posted in Domestic Fiction, Mystery

Don’t Miss: Remarkably Bright Creatures

When an animal is your most trusted confidante, all your secrets are safe.

Needing something to keep her busy after her husband died, Tova Sullivan took a job working the night shift at Sowell Bay Aquarium. One night while cleaning, she encounters Marcellus, a Pacific Octupus. Only he’s not in his tank. Instead, he’s tangled in cords in the staff break room. This begins an unlikely friendship between the two, and Marcellus is determined to help Tova learn what happened the night her son disappeared.

💭 This was 1000% a Bookstagram Made Me Do It and I am so happy I was influenced. I was so charmed by both Tova and Marcellus from the very beginning.

When we meet Cameron and start learning his story, it took me awhile to adapt to his voice and how he ties in with the rest of the story. Quite frankly, at first I resented the time away from Marcellus that I had to spend reading about Cameron.

However, as we learned more of Cameron’s story, I began to run theories on how he was connected. It kept me reading and guessing!

My only real complaint is there wasn’t enough Marcellus! I can’t wait to read more from this author if all the stories are as charming as this one.

Posted in Psychological Thriller, Suspense

Don’t Miss: The Last Housewife

To control or be controlled… that is the question.

When Shay hears about the death of her college roommate on her favorite true crime podcast, she is suspicious. Laurel’s death was ruled a suicide, but Shay thinks there is more to the story. Facing the sins of her past, and with the help of Jamie, the podcast host and friend, Shay is determined to find out the truth.

💭 Ashley Winstead… check. True crime podcast… check. Cults… check. Going into this book, I was convinced that I was going to love it. Initially, the story drew me right in. However, it wasn’t long before the subject matter took a turn to the… weird. From that point on, I waffled between cringing through and stopping altogether. I did finish because I needed to see it through. It was tough. I’m not ready to give up on Winstead though!

If you plan to read this, you should check out the trigger warnings. Feel free to message me for more details. There are some very sensitive topics covered in this one.

Posted in Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA+

Don’t Miss: Love & Other Disasters

Can you cook your way into someone’s heart?

Thank you to Forever (Grand Central Publishing) and @netgalley for the complimentary digital copy for review.

Dahlia is looking to reinvent herself as a contestant on the popular cooking competition show, Chef’s Special. But she meets London, who is also a competitor and like no one she’s ever met before. When they announce their pronouns on national TV, London’s focus is pulled while trying to manage their family and the internet trolls that feel the need to comment. Dahlia and London grow closer and become support for each other as well as competitors.

Cooking competition shows are a favorite of mine, so it was fun to hear about the recipes and the fails/successes with the food and judging.

This is the first novel I’ve read with a nonbinary character and I loved it. I hope it becomes more commonplace. While there is transphobia and misgendering as a content warning, I love the way it was addressed in the story. Neither Dahlia and London were heteronormative and it was a refreshing take to see the interaction as the main story. The diversity in the cast of characters was phenomenal.

Posted in Domestic Suspense

Don’t Miss: The Favor

How far would you go to protect a friend?

Thank you to Minotaur Books and @netgalley for the complimentary digital book for review.

Leah and McKenna are leading parallel lives. While they have never met each other, Leah recognizes the signs when she sees Makenna in a liquor store. Leah decides to follow McKenna to see if she’s correct and when her suspicions are confirmed she decides to do something to protect her. After all, if she can’t help herself, she can at least try to help McKenna. 

In this gripping debut, Nora Murphy introduces us to two flawed women who are living a life of torture. In the public eye, these women were successful in careers, living in a beautiful community, and had everything they could ever want. Slowly, their husbands isolated and took from them the things that meant most in order to completely control their wives. It was difficult to read about, but it was a reminder that we never know what is happening behind closed doors. 

Told in the alternating voices of Leah, McKenna, and Detective Harrison, and flipping between past and present, there is a lot going on and it takes focus to keep track of it all. The emotion of the characters and the storyline made me want to keep reading. I needed to know if there was going to be a good outcome for the women. 

I think this book would lead to a lot of discussions of “What would you do?” and would be a great choice for book clubs. 

Trigger Warning: Domestic Violence

Posted in Contemporary Fiction, Mystery

Don’t Miss: Big Summer

“You are fine, just the way you are… Bodies come in all shapes and sized. Don’t let anyone make you feel any differently.”

Daphne has been living her life as a plus sized influencer who is being courted by a new plus-size designer to rep her line. It has taken Daphne some time to get to a place in her life where she can put her “mean girl” friend, Drue, behind her. But Drue shows up with an apology and a proposition for Daphne to be in her wedding, and Daphne can’t resist the pull of her former friend. Is Daphne headed for more heartbreak?

When I got this book, it looked like a fluffy summer read, but it turned out to be so much more. The main character, Daphne, is plus-sized, and Jennifer Weiner handled this issue so well. Body shaming that leads to body positivity. Daphne is a true heroine. Parts of this book were hard to read because Daphne was so relatable and her struggles were easy to internalize.

Unbeknownst to me, this also has a great little murder mystery involved too. It reads kind of like a cozy mystery as Daphne and her crew are actually the people who get to the bottom of the mystery. I enjoyed this part of the story immensely.

Jennifer Weiner never disappoints with her real women characters and engaging plot lines!

Posted in Horror

Don’t Miss: Just Like Mother

The power of a mother over her child cannot be denied.

Thank you to Tor Nightlife and @netgalley for the complimentary digital book for review.

Maeve and her cousin, Andrea, escape a cult as children. They were separated and haven’t seen each other since then. So when Andrea finally tracks Maeve down, they pick up where they left off. Andrea invites Maeve to spend time with her at her sprawling mansion and exposes her to her fertility business, which involves lifelike baby dolls. The more time Maeve spends with Andrea, the more disconnected she begins to feel with her real life. Until the unthinkable happens.

All I can say is – What the heck did I just read?! I tend to be drawn to books about cults, even though they really freak me out. Having a cult as the backstory in the lives of these characters made me question the motives of everyone involved. But even in my wildest imagination, I could not have guessed where this one would go. It was horrifying. Beware of Mother!

Posted in Psychological Thriller, Suspense

Don’t Miss: Can’t Look Away

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and @netgalley for the complimentary digital book for review.

When Molly and Jack’s eyes meet across a room in 2013, they fall madly in love. Molly is a barista who wants to be a writer and Jack is the lead singer of a band. Their love allows Jack to write a song that puts his band on the map and their fame is what finally tears Jack and Molly apart. Or so they think. Fast forward to the present, Molly is married to Hunter and a mother. Her dream of writing has faded and she’s lonely. Until she meets Sabrina. Sabrina relates to Molly over fertility struggles and yoga, and Molly is excited to have finally found a friend. Unfortunately, Sabrina has her own motivation for befriending Molly, and it’s not exactly friendly.

The structure of this book is one that really stands out. Molly’s chapters are told in third person, but Sabrina’s are in first person and refer to Molly in second person. Makes one wonder if we’re hearing Molly’s story or Sabrina’s. Which does the author want us to think is the protagonist? I found the writing style and the alternating voices fascinating. There is not much a reviewer can say without revealing too much because the first twist happens pretty early on. What I can confidently share is that Lovering takes you on a ride. The alternating emotions in the chapters keep you wanting to read more. I love the way the author’s mind works and I can’t wait to read more from her.