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TheReadingRaccoon

TheReadingRaccoon

Joined March 2021

Whatever I can get my paws on
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TheReadingRaccoon
Yerba Buena | Nina LaCour
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Yerba Buena is the adult debut of author Nina LaCour. It is a contemporary “coming of age” novel featuring two young women living on their own terms in Los Angeles. This novel has everything from cocktails, flower arranging, home renovation and Creole culture. I highly recommend it to readers that enjoy gritty stories about complicated young women. 5 stars

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TheReadingRaccoon
The Rumor Game | Sona Charaipotra, Dhonielle Clayton
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Mehso-so

The Rumor Game is a young adult contemporary novel about cyber bullying and sex shaming among the children of Washington D.C.‘s elite. This novel had a lot to say but wasn‘t boring or preachy. The storyline moved along quickly and it was entertaining. Like the authors‘ previous novel (Tiny Pretty Things) I think this would make for an entertaining movie or series.

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TheReadingRaccoon
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Trailed is a true crime novel about an unsolved double murder case at a U.S. National Park in 1996. The writer Kathryn Miles delves into the lives of the victims, their last days and the potential suspects in a case that has shown difficult to solve due to the isolated outdoor setting of their deaths. I found this true crime book to be well written and is an excellent read and I hope it brings attention to this tragic unsolved case.

8 likes1 stack add
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TheReadingRaccoon
See You Yesterday | Rachel Lynn Solomon
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See You Yesterday is a young adult contemporary romance with science fiction and paranormal elements. Barrett Bloom is a college freshman who has a disastrous first day at school. Imagine her surprise when she wakes up the next morning and it‘s that same first day all over again. And again. This a sweet love story about reliving the same day and I recommend it to young adult fans that enjoy contemporary romances with a touch of the extraordinary.

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TheReadingRaccoon
The Latecomer | Jean Hanff Korelitz
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The Latecomer is a fictional family saga that follows the Oppenheimer parents and siblings from the 1970‘s until 2017. This was another stunning novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz. She manages to touch on issues around unresolved trauma, liberal education, art, infidelity, race and religion with humor and intelligence. I highly recommend The Latecomer to readers that enjoy entertaining family sagas that explore current issues.

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TheReadingRaccoon
Dig Two Graves | Gretchen McNeil
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Mehso-so


Dig Two Graves is a young adult thriller inspired by the Patricia Highsmith novel (and Hitchcock film of the same name) Strangers On A Train. Overall, this was an entertaining retelling but there was something awkward about the camp setting and the villain got mustache-twirlingly cheesy.
3 stars

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TheReadingRaccoon
Bravely | Maggie Stiefvater
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This is a quiet little story that is appropriate for both middle grade and young adult. The real story is Merida‘s inner journey and her family‘s gradual shift. There is a lot of food for thought about taking risks, not falling into the trap of apathy. I recommend it to audiences of all ages that enjoy stories about loving and complicated families and hard headed Princesses. There is also a sweet slow-burn romance.

Nute Nice photo! 8mo
TheReadingRaccoon Thank you! Ebooks are always tricky 8mo
5 likes2 comments
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TheReadingRaccoon
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I Am Margaret Moore is a dark fictional novel about first love, sisterhood and betrayal. It has elements of young adult suspense and the paranormal. This is not an easy book to love. The storytelling is non-linear with a poetic style which can be difficult to get into but by the middle I found myself rooting for Margaret Moore. I recommend this one for readers that like moody atypical stories with tragic heroines and strong sisterhoods.

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TheReadingRaccoon
Pay Dirt Road | Samantha Jayne Allen
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Pay Dirt Road is a mystery novel about a young woman who returns to her hometown after college only to find herself wrapped up in a local murder investigation. I highly recommend this slow burn and thoughtful mystery. I hope to see future novels from Samantha Jayne Allen!

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TheReadingRaccoon
Dead Silence | S.A. Barnes
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Dead Silence is a science fiction novel set in space in the year 2149. It leans heavily into horror and the thriller genres when a communication repair team investigates a ship missing for 20 years to try to figure out why everyone on board is dead. I really enjoyed this novel and thought it was well written and engaging. There was just enough action and suspense to keep my interest but it still had plenty of room for character and world building.

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TheReadingRaccoon
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I found this book funny, touching and strangely relatable. Humor is what he‘s built his career on but I actually teared up when he writes about never thinking he‘d be able to legally marry and losing a beloved neighbor and friend of the family.
Check this one out if you enjoy hilarious (but often sweet) musings about life, love and pop culture.

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TheReadingRaccoon
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Panpan

Sadly, I did not enjoy this third installment in the Good Girl‘s Guide To Murder series. Pip was a mess during most of the book, made terrible decisions and it had zero sense of wit. Not even “gallows humor”. It‘s completely overwritten with flowery language and descriptions that do nothing for the plot. There was one scene where Pip is trying to talk with a dry throat and it‘s painful to read. It just goes on and on about the dry clicking noise.

KristiAhlers I loathed the third book. I felt betrayed actually by how messy she made Pip. But the first two books were really good. 10mo
TheReadingRaccoon Such a bummer! 10mo
6 likes2 comments
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TheReadingRaccoon
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Catch Her When She Falls is a suspense novel about a murder that a man may have been unjustly imprisoned for. When the best friend of the murdered girl finds a website covering the case that she thought was solved doubts set in and her life begins to unravel. I recommend this one for true crime fans that like fictional reads and readers that enjoy gritty realistic depictions of what happens to a community even a decade after a tragedy occurs.

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TheReadingRaccoon
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From brief everyday encounters to longer intense interactions these letters “to a stranger” cover everything including love, loss, collisions and dodged bullets. And with locations from all over the world you will walk away from this book with some serious travel envy. I highly recommend To A Stranger to memoir, essay and non-fiction fans that like reading about real people reflecting on their lives.

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TheReadingRaccoon
The Other Family: A Novel | Wendy Corsi Staub
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Mehso-so

This book uses short chapters that end on a cliffhanger or a small reveal to keep the reader invested. There are also plenty of “red herrings” and misdirection but the action felt overwrought and the mystery was too complicated to be realistic. This might make a fun movie but the characters took themselves seriously and there wasn‘t much humor.

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TheReadingRaccoon
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This is a beautifully written middle-grade novel with lots of life lessons about found family and fighting for the people you love even against the odds. It also highlights that despite trying to do the right thing there are often negative consequences and that a child‘s natural curiosity can‘t be smothered for long. I recommend this one to audiences of all ages. It‘s also a fantastic audiobook with amazing narration!

LoverOfLearning I'm still in the middle of this audiobook! The nararrors voices are fantastic. Can't wait to finish it! 10mo
TheReadingRaccoon Best narrator! 10mo
12 likes2 comments
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TheReadingRaccoon
Libertie: A Novel | Kaitlyn Greenidge
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Libertie is a historical novel about a young Black woman coming of age in the Reconstruction era. There is not only beautiful prose in this novel but rich historical research.
I highly recommend this beautiful and thought provoking novel for everyone including historical fiction fans and book clubs.
4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

17 likes1 stack add
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TheReadingRaccoon
Real Easy: A Novel | Marie Rutkoski
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Real Easy is a mystery and suspense novel that takes place in a Midwestern strip club in the late 1990‘s. It‘s told through various points of view and Marie Rutkoski perfectly depicts each character through their backstory and what is driving them. The suspense built and it kept my interest without a lot of mindless violence or relying on the salaciousness of having a strip club as the setting. 4 stars

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TheReadingRaccoon
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I found In A Garden of Burning Gold to be a well-plotted and fantastical entry into the adult fantasy genre. Readers that enjoy high fantasy along with political intrigue, complicated family dynamics and powerful magic will enjoy this novel.
4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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TheReadingRaccoon
The Violence: A Novel | Delilah S. Dawson
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This is a gritty novel that features the darkest parts of the human experience. The author kept The Violence from getting too grim by including some campy elements and references to current pop culture. Overall, this is a book that is hard to put down. There are plenty of disturbing scenes but it‘s also a story about family, resilience and being true to yourself.
4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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TheReadingRaccoon
The Midnight Girls | Alicia Jasinska
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This is a fast paced and enjoyable fantasy novel for audiences of all ages. There is enough humor and action to go around and readers will enjoy the friendship and banter between the characters. The chemistry between Zoisa and Marynka is clear from the start but readers may find the romance rushed. I would have also liked a little more background on the witch‘s magic but would read more books in the world of Lechjia. witches 4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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TheReadingRaccoon
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I highly recommend this novel to readers of all ages who like exciting survival stories with touches of science fiction and a dystopian setting.

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TheReadingRaccoon
In Every Generation | Kendare Blake
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In Every Generation by Kendare Blake is a young adult contemporary fantasy novel and continuation of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A catastrophe at a Slayer meeting has forced a new one to rise and despite her pedigree she is not prepared to save the world. This was a fun and nostalgic read for Buffy fans old and new. I‘m curious to hear the backstory of the missing Slayers and what will happen next for Frankie and the gang.

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TheReadingRaccoon
No Land to Light On | Yara Zgheib
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This is a beautifully written novel about finding love and keeping it against the odds. But it also shows the reader how the refugee and immigrant experience is fraught with both achievements and losses and that in order to move forward they also leave so much behind.

I highly recommend this beautiful modern love story.
4 stars

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TheReadingRaccoon
Calypso | David Sedaris
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TheReadingRaccoon
Calypso | David Sedaris
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Hilarious essays by David Sedaris about his visits to his beach house with his family, traveling the world with his book tours and the fox that used to visit him (named Carol). It also includes darker moments like his sister Tiffany‘s estrangement and death and his mother‘s alcoholism.

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TheReadingRaccoon
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Mehso-so

The Kingdom of Back is beautifully written historical fantasy fiction that revolves around the Mozart siblings and their childhood composing and performing music around Europe.
This book had all the beats of a historical novel with pieces of magic and fairy tales but it was missing a little oomph and the juicy bits that keep me reading. I wanted to love it but I think it would have made a better novella or short story.

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TheReadingRaccoon
Secret Santa | Andrew Shaffer
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Fun holiday themed horror-comedy about a powerful entity and an 80‘s woman trying to succeed in New York publishing. Lots of irreverent humor and thrills.

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TheReadingRaccoon
Incantation | Alice Hoffman
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Beautifully written but tragic story of a family keeping their faith secret during the Spanish Inquisition and a young girl betrayed by someone she loved. There are so many thought provoking quotes in this that I need to highlight in my kindle.

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TheReadingRaccoon
The Lives of Saints | Leigh Bardugo
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Full of beautiful illustrations and short stories about the sometimes brief but always dramatic lives of the Saints that make up the Grisha verse.

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TheReadingRaccoon
In a Holidaze | Christina Lauren
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Fun and thoughtful holiday romance about do-overs. Not my personal favorite kind of couple (friends to lovers) but a lot of cute moments.
3.5 stars

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TheReadingRaccoon
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I loved this beautifully written and illustrated backstory to Cardan‘s history. It contains the missing pieces from the rest of the series plus more Cardan and Jude cuteness. Like the rest of the series it has Holly Black‘s wit and creativity.

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TheReadingRaccoon
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I was lucky enough to have Mr Spanjaard speak to my junior high in the mid 1980‘s. This is a stunning memoir of a boy living in Amsterdam during the German invasion and then forced into a work camp. Written after his liberation while living as a teenager in a military school it has the spare language you‘d expect from someone so young with little bits of humor. It also contains photos and illustrations.

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TheReadingRaccoon
True Crime Story | Joseph Knox
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This was tense novel that really keeps the reader wondering what is real and what is fiction. By inserting himself into the story Joseph Knox broke down the wall between writer and reader that made this book stand out in a category crowded with pretty-girl-in-jeopardy stories. I recommend this one to readers that love both true (and untrue) crime books. Fans of full cast narration should definitely check out the excellent audiobook version 4 stars

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TheReadingRaccoon
The Song of Achilles | Madeline Miller
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Moving novel about the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus first as boys, then lovers and later soldiers in the epic battle against Troy, 4 stars

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TheReadingRaccoon
Hawthorne School | Sylvie Perry
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Mehso-so

Although fairly entertaining I found most of the plot wildly unrealistic and better fitting a TV movie.
This was a just okay and slightly silly contemporary suspense thriller
3 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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TheReadingRaccoon
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Like her previous novels A History of Wild Places has Shea Ernshaw‘s skill with creating a mood and giving unsettling vibes.
Overall, this was a atmospheric and suspenseful read about manipulation, found family and discovering your true place in life. 4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

8 likes1 stack add
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TheReadingRaccoon
Wish You Were Here | Jodi Picoult
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Wish You Were Here is a timely novel about one woman‘s shift in priorities after the world changed in the face of Covid-19. Although entertaining for a large audience this novel presented some serious philosophical ideas about our perceptions of the world and how there is still so much more we don‘t know beyond what we can see. I really enjoyed Wish You Were Here and I will be thinking about it for a long time.

4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

7 likes1 stack add
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TheReadingRaccoon
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Mehso-so

Overall, I liked the concept but the actual book fell a little flat for me. I never connected with Julie or Sam as characters and only in the last pages was I actually moved by anything emotionally.

3 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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TheReadingRaccoon
All of Us Villains | Amanda Foody, Christine Lynn Herman
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All of Us Villains is a new twist on tournament type young adult books. By incorporating curses and spells and a cast of morally grey characters Foody and Herman created a brand new story for YA audiences. All of Us Villains kept me riveted all the way to the end and thanks to the cliffhanger ending I look forward to reading more books in this series.
4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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TheReadingRaccoon
Ten | Gretchen McNeil
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This was a fast paced and easy mystery thriller based loosely on And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. Although I had an idea of the motive behind all the murders it wasn‘t clear who was doing it and that kept me interested.
3.75 stars

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TheReadingRaccoon
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I found The Donut Trap to be a relatable and fun read that mixed the best of contemporary romance with rom-coms and coming of age. Jas isn‘t some helpless ingenue that needed to be fixed but instead a young woman stuck in a role and not sure how to get out of it. Alex is busy building his career and had his own parental struggles but is still trying to carve out time for Jas too. Children of immigrant parents will see themselves in both characters

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TheReadingRaccoon
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This is a dark and twisted story that packs a lot of punch for being under 130 pages. Cassandra Khaw uses vivid descriptions and can truly turn a phrase and there is also a youthful energy to her writing and characters she creates. The story also had unexpected turns as she took what the reader was expecting and purposely pivoted. I recommend this one for horror lovers looking for a fresh haunted house story
4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

7 likes1 stack add
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TheReadingRaccoon
Oh William!: A Novel | Elizabeth Strout
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Oh, William by Elizabeth Strout does not seem like much of a page turner on paper. But, the recollections of the main character (Lucy) and her observations of the people in her life keep the reader interested and I flew through the story. I recommend this one to literary fiction lovers and I look forward to reading more from this series.

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TheReadingRaccoon
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This is a dark and twisted tale of small towns, privilege and what happens when a girl‘s dreams are cut short. I loved the “not everything is what it seems” aspect and the detective‘s contribution to the overall plot. I recommend this one to reader‘s that enjoy both gritty suspense thrillers and detective novels.

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TheReadingRaccoon
Jar of Hearts | Jennifer Hillier
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Despite some of its flaws this was very entertaining and fast-paced thriller. It wasn‘t always the most enjoyable listen because the storyline was so dark and it was hard to root for anyone but the narrator (January LaVoy) did an excellent job.

3.5 stars

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TheReadingRaccoon
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This book is a twisty and fascinating read. Despite the slow start I really enjoyed the last 1/3 of the book and couldn‘t wait to see what was going to happen next. 4 stars

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TheReadingRaccoon
Odd Numbers | JJ Marsh
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Mehso-so

I did the audio of Odd Numbers which was well narrated by the dual voices of Jess Nesling and Paul Panting. The story kept my interest and I enjoyed reading about European locales and the complicated friendships and romances of the six players. The last part of the book and felt a little rushed and it lacked it little oomph for me. Overall this was a solid mystery suspense.

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TheReadingRaccoon
The Orphan Witch | Paige Crutcher
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Panpan

I really wanted the book about the witch who has the ability to destroy people with her gaze, can‘t connect with anyone and desperately needs a cure. Unfortunately, I got a Mary Sue Chosen One witch who spends a lot of time in witchy family interpersonal drama and portals into parallel worlds. I didn‘t enjoy the setting, the characters or the romance.

KristiAhlers Yeah I bailed on this one. Didn‘t even bother posting about it. Thought maybe I just wasn‘t in the mood for it but yeah. I went back later and just no. 1y
TheReadingRaccoon @Katbooklover I had to finish it because it was an ARC but it was rough. Too bad because the cover and cover and concept were great. I wish the author stuck with the storyline about her deadly gaze. 1y
KristiAhlers @TheReadingRaccoon I agree. That would‘ve made for a way more interesting and different read for sure. 1y
3 likes3 comments
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TheReadingRaccoon
The Violent Season | Sara Walters
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This is not a fun thriller or a feel good book and it explores darker and unsettling issues around murder, suicide, sexual assault, revenge porn and drug/alcohol abuse. That being said, the tension never lets up and I found it hard to put down.
4.5 stars