Between a Pick and a So-So
🏖️🏖️🏖️Mini-Review Time🏖️🏖️🏖️ Romance used to be my fav genre...but lately...not so much.
Here is my September Recap w/Ratings. All my books this month are on Audio.
I also had 2 DNFs that are not pictured. They include...
𝑊ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑀𝑜𝑣𝑒𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐷𝑒𝑎𝑑 𝑏𝑦 𝑇. 𝐾𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑓𝑖𝑠ℎ𝑒𝑟...this one I DNF'd mostly because the narration wasn't working for me.
𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝐷𝑒𝑎𝑑 & 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐷𝑎𝑟𝑘 𝑏𝑦 𝐶𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑡𝑛𝑒𝑦 𝐺𝑜𝑢𝑙𝑑...this one was because I couldn't engage in the story.
They both have Dead in the title...Hmmm.
September #bookspinbingo results are in...and I didn't get a bingo...but I was so close (only one square off) in 3 different rows and 1 column. Oh well, better luck next time. Non-transparent are my completed books and halfway transparent are my uncompleted books.
I did complete both my #bookspin (Dead Trees Give No Shelter) and my #doublespin (The Dead and the Dark).
3½⭐ (Between a Pick and a So-So)
This was quite fun…it did get a tad juvenile at times but for the most part it stayed in the “YA that works for all ages” zone. It did have a few gaping plot holes especially once you get to the twisty, but kind of a sucky ending. Like I get what happened…but it seriously opened up so many more questions for me…that didn‘t really get answers.
For a short story, this was quite good. A lot of time short stories don't really get me invested in the short amount of time I spend on them. But this was one of the good ones. I knew, from Ready Player One that I loved his narration...now I know that I really like his writing, too.
This was #bookspin pick for September
Imagine a world where murdering felons are sent back in time to when Dinosaurs walked the earth. It sounds interesting. The time travel aspect, although underexplained, was interesting. But…my biggest disappointment with this is the lack of dinosaurs…I thought there'd be more Dinos. Admittedly, I was kind of entertained despite these issues…I didn‘t love it, but I didn‘t hate it, either.
The premise of this book is a scary one, and I was totally there for that. But the characters didn‘t stir up any real emotion for me; therefore, I was never really invested in the outcome. I still wanted to know what would happen overall from a scientific/educational standpoint but even that was a bit of a disappointment. It should‘ve had additional narrators...maybe then I could've liked this more...especially since it has a prominent female POV.
3¾⭐I didn‘t know that much about “The Widow of LaPorte” before starting this. I only knew that it was based on a real female serial killer from the past. While I knew this would be dark; I was surprised by how dark it actually went. There were so many moments that were really, quite tragic. But my most significant issue is the slow-plodding, sometimes repetitive, plot. Despite this…the story did leave quite an impression on me.
Damn…this story invoked so many emotions…including outrage, sadness, and fear, to name a few. A “Carrie” retelling that was so much more than just a simple rehashing of the classic horror by Stephen King. I was both hooked and shook by this author's ability to tell a story.🔥🤯🙌
This was such a unique take on Zombies. In this, zombies are called The Blight, which by definition; 𝑖𝑠 𝑎 𝑝𝑙𝑎𝑛𝑡 𝑑𝑖𝑠𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑒, 𝑡𝑦𝑝𝑖𝑐𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝑜𝑛𝑒 𝑐𝑎𝑢𝑠𝑒𝑑 𝑏𝑦 𝑓𝑢𝑛𝑔𝑖. Since they are a product of the founding family‘s crops…this would make them aptly named. The writing is lush in a macabre way and pulls you in like a magnet. Also, the characters were shockingly, not annoying to me…since frequently, YA characters are.
This story is fantastic, it has everything you would want in a mystery/suspense/thriller and then some. The world that the author has created here is a future, much like ours, just a little more advanced tech-wise. And while that is an integral part of the story, it isn‘t necessarily the main focus. Although it does lend itself to making this a totally unique experience…making it different from other domestic suspense or psychological thrillers.
Meh…I finished this two weeks ago and just realized that I never wrote a review for it. I actually didn‘t even add it to GR when I finished. If it wasn‘t for my spreadsheet, I would‘ve forgotten all about it. I‘m afraid that just goes to show how un-memorable it was. It had too many loose threads that never came together and sub-par writing. Basically, it kind of left a bad taste in my mouth. And, ultimately I ended up lowering my rating to 2⭐s.
4¼⭐This was a fun little fantastical romp. It‘s the kind of dark horror that almost any age can get into since it‘s not very adult…and yet, not necessarily YA. I would call this light supernatural horror with dark undertones. It has a menagerie of characters, including a bone dog and a demon chicken. They are all on a quest to save a sister from her abusive husband/would-be king. There‘s humor, heart, and even a tiny smidgen of romance.
◾ Post-Apocalypse/Dystopian ◾ Alien Invasion ◾ Walt & Mia‘s POV ◾ Breakers Series #6
Overall, a decent continuation of the Breakers Series…only two books to go. Although it was a tad slow at times. I still wish that whoever was in charge of deciding narrators would‘ve added a female to the roster; since there is plenty of female POVs.
Low Pick - 3½⭐
(◾ Rock Star Contemporary Romance ◾ Lack of communication ◾ Friends with benefits ◾ VIP Series #4 Rye & Brenna‘s story
I liked it, but I didn't love it & it's definitely not my favorite of the series, which is still Managed. It was good to check in on these characters, though.)
2 BINGOs (1st row & 1st column)
#bookspin THE GUEST ROOM by CHRIS BOHJALIAN - Completed 8/6
#doublespin AND THERE HE KEPT HER by JOSHUA MOEHLING - Completed 8/19
3 DNFs including Hide, Providence, & The Mother-in-Law.
Bailed at 61%. I only made it that long because I was driving. This is supposed to be an adult book. It felt like YA and not like YA which is totally doable for an adult. No. For me, this was straight-up cringy YA. The shifting narrative drove me absolutely crazy.
The cover is fantastic and the blurb totally drew me in...but the execution killed it for me. I'm beyond disappointed.
I kept seeing this duet all over bookstagram so I thought I‘d give it a try. Honestly, I‘m rather surprised by how much I liked it. Was there too many gratuitous sex scenes, oh yes. The Hero is basically a Dexter-esque serial killer…so the big question here is whether the author sold this as a romance…and, I have to say, that…yeah, she actually did. The Hero also had some real growth. I also really like her easy-going writing style.
Overall, not a lot of mystery here…since it is the kind of story where the reader is on the “who, what, where”. Despite this, it was so very engaging. I seriously flew through this twisted story. It would make an excellent movie or at the very least a start to a new series.
This wasn‘t even on my radar until I kept seeing it on Bookstagram. This is the kind of story that you need to go into blind…the less you know the better. It was really quite fun, and rather cleverly crafted. All in all, you‘ll have some WTF moments that will leave you confused…but go with it because it‘ll get there in the end.
🎙️Carlotta Brentan 📣She was fantastic at bringing this story to life, she also had some decent accents when needed.
(This was dark, and yet so freaking good. Now I don‘t have a masochistic bone in my body…but that doesn‘t mean that I didn‘t find this freakishly interesting. It was actually quite difficult to listen to but overall worth it. If you have any triggers at all, take caution because this basically has them all. So it won‘t be for everyone. Although it did keep you on the outside looking in, so to speak, instead of fully immersing you within it.)
A Low So-So
(I‘m not going to lie…I zoned out while listening to this and I don‘t believe I missed anything pertinent; since it was so slow and boring. The ending was sorta decent but not enough to carry the whole book. I wasn‘t going to listen to this Author‘s books anymore….but I read a review where someone said this is her best book yet, so I thought maybe it‘d be different. It wasn‘t.)
4¼⭐Lately, I‘ve been picking the wrong books, but this one was a good choice. Packed with indelible characters, and moral dilemmas, I don't believe you can go wrong with this one...as long as you're not put off by its triggers warnings. It even ended with a harrowing conclusion.
@theAromaofBooks (This is my #bookspin for August)
First off this is nowhere near the story that Daisy Jones was…it really didn‘t have the same vibe at all…other than the time period. Overall, this was bogged down by bland characters, and a super slow-moving plot, it really could have been shortened up in length. Its only saving grace was the ending…it wasn‘t enough to carry the whole book but it gave the story the closure that it needed.
A Low So-So...but I do love the cover.
This was a dark little story involving a murder investigation. The main suspect is somewhat dispossessed, he lives on a dirty houseboat and is definitely “off his rocker” so to speak. He was really quite the character. Unfortunately, the spare writing style left me feeling completely lost as to what was going on most of the time.
low pick @ 3½⭐
I think this started out okay but then floundered for a while. But eventually, around the last quarter…things started clicking and I found myself sort of invested in the story, after all. Overall, the reveals were a bit shocking and maybe even unbelievably far-fetched…but what do I know…the author is former CIA, after all.
#bookspinbingo card for JULY (finished books are not transparent, & half transparent are still on my TBR)
11 completed books (+one more that's not on my list)
4 DNFs (The Perfect Ruin, It Dies With You, Nobody But Us, and Dead Dad Club)
and 2 Bingo's: the first is the last column and the second one is / diagonal.
✔#bookspin - Dead Dad Club (dnf'd @ 60%)
✔#doublespin - The Sorority Murder
This is more of a strangely weird kind of plot than a cleverly crafted one. And it jumps right into the crazy rather quickly and then turns rather sinister…but still stays firmly planted in bizarro-land. It definitely didn‘t lack imagination. While the ending did have an air of unbelievability it still gave something resembling closure as to WTF was going on. It was oddly worthwhile.
📣She‘s always fantastic, would‘ve liked a 2nd narrator, though.
This is pretty good, with nearly perfect plotting that both revealed and kept me guessing along the way. I think because of this, I was able to mostly overlook the wishy-washyness of the characters. Did I find the ending a tad preposterous? Maybe… Did I question the wife‘s motives? Sort of…yeah. Was I entertained despite these issues? Quite a bit, actually.
I can't believe it's almost August...here is my #bookspinbingo list for August.
I had my list completed a week ago, and then I got some devastating news. I'm losing my Bklyn Library Card...5 days from today. They are no longer doing out-of-state cards. I'm so sad 😢. My own library has a decent selection but I go thru a lot of books. So I had to take off any books that I was getting from there and re-up my Scribd membership...for a while, anyway.
Overall, I found this to be a worthwhile listen. Just like Jar of Hearts, she relied heavily on the shock factor to reel you into the story. Although I did enjoy this quite a bit more, Little Secrets is still my clear favorite by this author. I can see how others could've found this boring…it does get slow when it slips back in time…although, the narration made that less of an issue for me.
If Twisty and Twisted met up and had a baby…this would be one of their kids.
This would be a smart kid, with maybe a few OCD tendencies. One who might try to mislead you but eventually, they would reveal their truths. Little by little, letting you in on their demented purpose along the way.
Overall, the only thing you really need to know about this book is, that it was rather brilliant, and it gets more so as you brew on its intricacies.
While not adrenaline-fueled like the synopsis states…it did have a near-apocalyptic feel to it. It started out like it might be action-packed but that only lasted for a short bit. Focusing more on what the shelter/tent-city was like in Oklahoma that the family was bused to. I now know I‘m quite happy I don‘t live near the Ocean. If I did, after listening to this book, I definitely would want a better “bug-out” plan. ⬇⬇⬇
This is my second KM book and while I didn‘t really buy into this one as much as I did with Missing…I still thought it was a worthwhile listen…I mean, it was really short, so I didn‘t waste much time on it. I have to say I like that about her books; she doesn‘t waste time on frivolous things. I also like how she draws you into her stories with pure craziness that is deeply shrouded in mystery. I will listen to more of her books in the future.
I loved this…I was completely engaged throughout the entire book. The characters were flawed but relatable. I couldn‘t stop listening, not until I knew who was lying, and who was telling the truth. And the ending…was actually quite perfect. I highly recommend this to everyone…but especially to Jane Doe fans. Like that book, it has just the right amount of right to make the wrong feel totally justified.
While quite a few readers didn‘t seem to like this book, I found it quite engaging. I listened to the majority of it in one day, I was so hooked. You know when they say “no two people read the same book” they are so right. A lot of the complaints say that it moved at a snail's pace and if I hadn‘t listened to it, I would‘ve definitely thought it was overly slow myself. This is one of the reasons I love audiobooks.
I wanted to like this more than I did. I‘m not sure if it was the way it was narrated (by one narrator) or the bleak manner in which it was told. I think, overall, I wanted something different than what I got from this story…although if I look at it a different way…the ending did feel complete like everything came full circle. Of course, it was still completely f*cked up.
Since I DNF'd this, I'm not going to all the trouble to add it to the database. I listened to about 60% of this and realized I couldn't take listening to her robotic voice, anymore. Just because you CAN narrate your own book...doesn't mean you should. I might've kept on listening if the story was interesting but it really wasn't.
This is my #bookspin pick for July. This was Audible Original Fail for me. 😌
While this wasn‘t a terrible story…it wasn‘t super good. A middle-of-the-road…meh, kind of book for me. Maybe this was trying too hard…like how many different types of themes do you need in one book? It felt like it was a story, within a story, within another story. The library's opening scene was good but then the story slowly fizzled out.
Historical is not my go-to genre…so it has to really work hard at holding my interest. With that being said this struggled to do that for at least the first half. Once the story took off though it was very intriguing and yet appalling to think that this sort of heinous activity went on in the past. A lesson in how history got it wrong and how having power over another can turn into something corrupt for some.
I loved that this never felt bogged down and kept up the quick pace throughout. I was totally sucked into this story trying to figure out who was lying and who was not. Also, I really liked how all the little side stories intertwined with each other and then became one with a satisfying conclusion. My only issue...I was constantly confused as to whose head I was in, especially in the beginning. Which could've been solved with a 2nd narrator.
I‘ve been meaning to try this Author‘s work for quite a while now, so this may be my first of her books, but it won‘t be my last. A super quick listen that had me hooked but I feel like I missed something once the reveal came. Like things didn‘t quite add up for me at the end. I had a couple of ‘wait, what‘ moments…I had to rewind and relisten and I‘m still only about 85% sure of what went down exactly.