The Death Of Mrs. Westaway By Ruth Ware #NewBook #Thriller #Mystery #Netgalley

๐Ÿ““ย The Death Of Mrs. Westaway is a new atmospheric thriller from best-selling author Ruth Ware. I received an advanced copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley, for allowing me to review. This review is spoiler-free ๐Ÿ“š ๐Ÿ˜Œ

36373481

 

Title: The Death Of Mrs. Westaway

Author: Ruth Ware

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press

Date published: May 29, 2018

Page Count: 384

 

 

synopsis

On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong personโ€”but also that the cold-reading skills sheโ€™s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.

Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceasedโ€ฆwhere it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it.

Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Wareโ€™s signature suspenseful style, this is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.”

 

My Review

Gypsy Caravan, Tarot Wagon, Seaside

 

The Death Of Mrs. Westawayย is a mystery novel about dark family secrets that takes place in England, during November (the perfect dreary weather for a thriller). The story is told from Harriet’s perspective in present day, and by journal entries from the past. After her mother is killed in an accident, Hal takes over the family business reading tarot cards on a pier in Brighton. I became attached to Hal pretty quickly, and found myself hoping she’d be able to pull off the fraud of walking away with someone else’s inheritance. Mrs. Westaway’s family is a loveless group of people who barely have anything to do with each other. I especially enjoyed cranky Mrs. Warren who helped run Mrs. Westaway’s ancient mansion for many years. Her sharp, uninhibited tongue reminded me of Lady Crawley from “Downton Abbey”.

Tarot Cards Magic Fortune Telling Gypsy Es

The setting of the Westaway mansion, Trepassen, is my favorite character. I loved how the five-sense descriptions of the house helped me feel like I was there, causing the creaks and secrets to haunt my dreams after reading late into the night.

I kinda saw the twist coming, but I almost always guess the “surprise ending” for books and movies. The secondary characters were one-dimensional for me. I would have liked to have been given more opportunity to get to know Mrs. Westaway, and Hal’s mother. Mrs. Westaway seems like an entertaining character that would probably make a great protagonist for a prequel ๐Ÿ™‚

There was some fact repetition and I feel like one more big edit could have polished this one to a 5 star read for me.

The Death of Mrs. Westawayย is a suspenseful thriller that is a slow-burn, however, it will keep you turning the pages. I definitely recommend you pick up this new book by Ruth Ware.

About the author.jpg

“Ruth Ware grew up in Sussex, on the south coast of England. After graduating from Manchester University she moved to Paris, before settling in North London. She has worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language and a press officer. She is married with two small children, and In a Dark, Dark Wood is her dรฉbut thriller.” https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9013543.Ruth_Ware

Find her on twitter at www.twitter.com/ruthwarewriter, on facebook at www.facebook.com/ruthwarewriter or via her website – www.ruthware.com

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May Wrap Up [2018] #reading

I read 6 books in March:
2 Young Adult (Fantasy, Contemporary Romance)
2 Adult (Anthology/Fantasy, Mystery Crime Thriller)
2 Middle Grade (Fantasy Graphic Novels)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I follow the Goodreads rating suggestions:
๐ŸŒŸ= did not like it
๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ= it was ok
๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ= liked it
๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ= really liked it
๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ= it was amazing

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

32075662

Title: Our Dark Duet

Author: Victoria Schwab

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Date Published: June 2017

Page Count: 510

My Review: ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ Our Dark Duet By Victoria Schwab #BookReview

 

 

 

32905900

Title: Some Of The Best From Tor.com

Author: Various

Publisher: Tor.com

Date Published: January 2017

Page Count: 667

My Review: ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸย  Some Of The Best From Tor.com 2016 #BookReview #Free #KOBO

 

 

 

36632316

Title: Find You In The Dark

Author: Nathan Ripley

Publisher: Text Publishing

Date Published: April 2018

Page Count: 352

My Review: ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸย  New Thriller by Canadian Author #Findyouinthedark #Netgalley

 

 

 

10537195

Title: The Last Council (Amulet #4)

Author: Kazu Kibuishi

Publisher: Graphix

Date Published: September 2011

Page Count: 219

My Review: ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸย  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10537195-the-last-council

 

 

36373464

Title: From Twinkle With Love

Author: Sandhya Menon

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Date Published: May 2018

Page Count: 336

My Review: ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ New Teen Contemporary Romance #BookReview #Netgalley #FromTwinkleWithLove

 

 

13436384

 

Title: Prince of the Elves (Amulet #5)

Author: Kazu Kibuishi

Publisher: Graphix

Date Published: September 2012

Page Count: 203

My Review: ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2400981523?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

New Teen Contemporary Romance #BookReview #Netgalley #FromTwinkleWithLove

๐Ÿ“šย “Told through the letters Twinkle writes to her favorite female filmmakers, From Twinkle, with Love navigates big truths about friendship, family, and the unexpected places love can find you. ”ย  ๐Ÿ“š

36373464

 

Title: From Twinkle, With Love

Author: Sandhya Menon

Genre: Teen Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Date published: May 22nd, 2018

Page Count: 336

A Junior Library Guild Selection!

A Barnes & Noble Most Anticipated Sophomore Novel of 2018!

Available in Scholastic Book Clubs starting Fall 2018!

An Indie Next Summer 2018 Pick!

One of Popsugarโ€™s 10 Exciting Summer Releases!

synopsis

Aspiring filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle Mehra has stories she wants to tell and universes she wants to explore, if only the world would listen. So when fellow film geek Sahil Roy approaches her to direct a movie for the upcoming Summer Festival, Twinkle is all over it. The chance to publicly showcase her voice as a director? Dream come true. The fact that it gets her closer to her longtime crush, Neil Royโ€”a.k.a. Sahilโ€™s twin brother? Dream come true x 2.

When mystery man โ€œNโ€ begins emailing her, Twinkle is sure itโ€™s Neil, finally ready to begin their happily-ever-after. The only slightly inconvenient problem is that, in the course of movie-making, sheโ€™s fallen madly in love with the irresistibly adorkable Sahil.”

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36373464-from-twinkle-with-love

 

My Review

From Twinkle, With Love takes place in June, Colorado Springs, told from the perspective of sixteen-year-old Twinkle Mehra, who feels like an invisible “wallflower”.

A refreshing, modern, coming-of-age story about learning from mistakes and discovering your true self. This story has a diverse cast of characters, which is always nice to read. Sahil, the twin brother of Twinkle’s crush Neil, is my favorite character. He’s an adorable, ideal example of how young modern men should treat women.

I enjoyed the use of letters, text messages, emails, and blog posts to tell the story. It made for an interesting, quick-read, which is great for the hesitant reader.

Despite a few plot holes, From Twinkle, With Love is a light, funny,ย  charming novel for readers 12 and up (no sex, drinking/drugs). A great summer read ๐Ÿ™‚

I received an advanced copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley, for allowing me to review.

About the author.jpg

Author of light, bright, diverse YA. Hiding behind my coffee cup, eavesdropping on your conversations.https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14834224.Sandhya_Menon

http://www.sandhyamenon.com/

New Thriller by Canadian Author #Findyouinthedark #Netgalley

๐Ÿ““ Find You In The Dark, Canadian author Nathan Ripley’s dรฉbut novel, is an Adult Thriller (Crime, Mystery).ย  I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley, for allowing me to review.ย  ๐Ÿ“š ๐Ÿ˜Œ

findyouinthedark

 

Title: Find You In The Dark

Author:ย Nathan Ripley

Genre: Adult, Mystery/Thriller/Crime

Publisher: Text Publishing

Date published: March 2018

Page Count: 352

 

 

synopsis

Martin Reese has a hobby: he digs up murder victims. He buys stolen police files on serial killers, and uses them to find and dig up missing bodies. Calls in the results anonymously, taunting the police for their failure to do their job.

Detective Sandra Whittal takes that a little personally. Sheโ€™s suspicious of the mysterious caller, who she names the Finder. Maybe heโ€™s the one leaving the bodies behind. If not, whoโ€™s to say he wonโ€™t start soon?

As Whittal begins to zero in on the Finder, Martin makes a shocking discovery. It seems someoneโ€”someone lethalโ€”is very unhappy about the bodies heโ€™s been digging up.

Hunted by a cop, hunted by a killer. To escape and keep his family safe, Martin may have to go deeper into the world of murder than he ever imagined.” Goodreads

 

My Review

 

Martin Reese and his wife, Ellen, have a teenage daughter named Kylie. Ellen’s sister is missing for twenty years. The serial killer charged with her disappearance is dead. After selling his tech company, Martin starts buying info from a dirty cop about missing women, trying to find his wife’s sister, and during the process he becomes obsessed with digging up the bones of murdered women. Find You In The Dark made me ponder the gray area between right and wrong, and ask myself just how far I would go to find someone.

The Ragman! Oh how I enjoyed his character. I wanted to read more of his dark, twisted, thoughts, motivations, and actions. What an interesting monster he is.

This is a slow burn, but somehow I found myself longing to read it, wondering what was going to happen next, and staying up way past my bedtime trying to figure out who Martin Reese really was. I now realize I love to read stories about people who live a secret life.

I disliked the clichรฉ rich-man-not-paying-attention-to-beautiful-wife story line. Ellen is a spoiled, selfish woman. I didn’t care about her at all. She is overprotective when it comes to her daughter, yet doesn’t wonder what her own husband is doing on overnight solo camping trips.

The pace is slow for a thriller over the first half of the book, and I felt like the characters didn’t come to life until the last quarter. If you like a fast-paced thriller, this is not the book for you. However, if you’re into a slow burn with a sprint to the finish, then be sure to check this one out.

About the author.jpg

According to a note from the publisher on Netgalley, Nathan Ripley is the pseudonym of Naben Ruthnum, a winner of Canadaโ€™s prestigious Journey Prize for best short story published by an emerging writer.

“Originally from Kelowna, British Columbia, Ruthnum is of Mauritian descent.[5] He has a master’s degree from McGill University, where he wrote his thesis on the role of Oscar Wilde in the development of the ghost story in British literature.” Wikipedia

“Nathan Ripley is the pen name of literary fiction writer and journalist Naben Ruthnum. His stories and essays have appeared in The Walrus, Hazlitt, Sight & Sound, and Ellery Queenโ€™s Mystery Magazine, among other places. He lives in Toronto.” Fantastic Fiction

Nathan Ripley on Twitter

Some Of The Best From Tor.com 2016 #BookReview #Free #KOBO

๐Ÿ““ย Some Of The Best From Tor.com is a collection of 25 stories, each with a beautifully illustrated cover, published in 2016. I stumbled upon this free KOBO ebook while searching for a book by Caighlan Smith, who has a short story in this anthology. Keep scrolling to see my rating for each story (P.S. quite a few were a 5 star read for me!)ย  ๐Ÿ“š ๐Ÿ˜Œ

32905900

 

Title: Some Of The Best From Tor.com 2016

Author:ย Anthology

Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror

Publisher: Tor.com

Date published: January 2017

Page Count: 667

 

 

 

My Review

 

“Clover” By Charlie Jane Anders ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

“The Art of Space Travel” By Nina Allan ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

“The Destroyer” By Tara Isabella Burton ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

“Traumphysik” By Monica Byrne ๐ŸŒŸ

“The High Lonesome Frontier” By Rebecca Campbell ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

“Lullaby for a Lost World” By Aliette De Bodard ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

“A Dead DJinn in Cairo” By P. DJeli Clark ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

“Breaking Water” By Indrapramit Das ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

“Autobiography Of A Traitor And A Half-Savage” By Alix E. Harrow ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

“The City Born Great” By N.K. Jemisin ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

“Everything That Isn’t Winter” By Margaret Killjoy ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

“The Weight Of Memories” By Cixin Liu ๐ŸŒŸ

“The Maiden Thief” By Melissa Marr ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

“The Caretakers” By David Nickle ๐ŸŒŸ

“Your Orisons May Be Recorded” By Laurie Penny ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

“Meat + Drink” By Daniel Polansky ๐ŸŒŸ

“The Three Lives Of Sonata James” By Lettie Prell ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

“The Great Detective” By Delia Sherman ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

“Finnegan’s Field” By Angela Slatter ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

“The Weather” By Caighlan Smith ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

“Terminal” By Lavie Tidhar ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

“Her Scales Shine Like Music” By Rajnar Vajra ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

“La Beautรฉ Sans Vertu” By Genevieve Valentine ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

“That Game We Played During The War” By Carrie Vaughn ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

“A Fist Of Permutations In Lightning and Wildflowers” By Alyssa Wong ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Places to get this book:
https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780765391957

https://www.amazon.com/Some-Best-Tor-com-2016-Original-ebook/dp/B01MS8EZ9X

https://www.tor.com/2017/01/10/free-ebook-giveaway-of-some-of-the-best-of-tor-com-2016-edition/

https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/some-of-the-best-from-tor-com-2016

Our Dark Duet By Victoria Schwab #BookReview

๐Ÿ““ย Our Dark Duet is the conclusion to the Monsters of Verity duology. If you haven’t read This Savage Song, then be warned – spoilers ahead! ๐Ÿ“š ๐Ÿ˜Œ

32075662

 

Title: Our Dark Duet

Author:ย Victoria Schwab

Genre:ย Young Adult Fantasy

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Date published: June 2017

Page Count: 510

 

 

synopsis

THE WORLD IS BREAKING. AND SO ARE THEY.

KATE HARKER isn’t afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she’s good at it.

AUGUST FLYNN once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

THE WAR HAS BEGUN.

THE MONSTERS ARE WINNING.

Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new monster is waitingโ€”one that feeds on chaos and brings out its victims’ inner demons.

Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?” Goodreads

 

My Review

Six months after Kate Harker left Verity, she is now a monster hunter living in Prosperity. She comes face to face with a new kind of monster. This shadow monster has Malchai red eyes and Corsai claws. It feeds on chaos and violence. The “Chaos Eater” leaves a piece of itself in her eye, giving her the ability to know where it’s heading. When Kate realizes that it’s heading to Verity she decides to go back and find August.

Our Dark Duet is a story about the moral gray area that lives between the dark and light. If we can see a guilty soul glow red, does that mean we get to end their life? Can people (or monsters) change?

 

Kate Harker is the daughter of Callum and Alice Harker. Kate is a stubborn, fearless fighter with a strong personality. She has strong feelings for August Flynn.

Callum Harker, who was the leader of North Verity. In This Savage Song, Kate shot him and August reaped his soul.

Sloan: a Malchai. He caused the car crash that killed Kate’s mother, Alice. Sloan was made when Callum committed a sin.

Henry Flynn: leader of FTF (Flynn Task Force). Married to Emily. Adoptive father to Ilsa, Leo, August, and Soro.

Ilsa Flynn: August’s sister, also the first Sunai. My favorite character. She is strong, but gentle. Graceful, yet deadly.

Leo Flynn: August’s brother, was also the second Sunai. August reaped Leo’s soul, and now August seems to be hearing Leo speak to him in his mind.

August Flynn: the third Sunai to be created. He met two other Sunai, Isla and Leo, after he was adopted by Henry and Emily Flynn.

Soro Flynn: the fourth Sunai created. Androgynous and prefers gender-neutral pronouns (is referred to as “they” in novel).

Alice, is a monster born when Kate committed a sin. Alice purposefully named herself after Kate’s dead mother. I particularly enjoyed Alice. She is ruthless, cunning, devious, and strong.

Our Dark Duet is filled with action, suspense. A very fast read for a book with over 500 pages. If you feel attached to any character, prepare to get your heart ripped out.

I didn’t like this book as much as This Savage Song. I can’t quite explain why, but I felt more connected to the characters while reading the first book. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it were from one perspective. The ending wasn’t quite enough. It didn’t resolve any of the big problems. It left me wanting more, and not in the good way.

In summary, this is a mediocre plot with great characters. If you read This Savage Song, then yes, go ahead and read this. You may end up feeling disappointed, but at least you get to let your mind wander to this fantastic world with interesting characters.

About the author.jpg

Victoria is the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, she has been known to say “tom-ah-toes,” “like,” and “y’all.”

She also tells stories.

She loves fairy tales, and folklore, and stories that make her wonder if the world is really as it seems.”

https://twitter.com/veschwab/

The Broken Girls

๐Ÿ““ The Broken Girls is a suspenseful, ghostly, mystery novel about two murders that took place at a girl’s boarding school. I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley, for allowing me to review. This review is spoiler-free ๐Ÿ“š ๐Ÿ˜Œ

35533431

 

Title: The Broken Girls

Author:ย Simone St. James

Genre:ย Mystery/Thriller/Ghost Story

Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group

Date published: March 20th, 2018

Page Count: 336 pages

 

 

synopsis

“A suspense novel from the award-winning author of The Haunting of Maddy Clare…

Vermont, 1950. There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants–the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it’s located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming–until one of them mysteriously disappears.ย .ย . .

Vermont, 2014. As much as she’s tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister’s death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can’t shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past–and a voice that won’t be silenced.ย .ย . .The Broken Girls: Goodreads

 

My Review

The Broken Girls tells the story of a journalist named Fiona trying to uncover the truth about her older sister’s murder. Followed by the ghost of Mary Hand, Fiona uncovers the tragic story of Sonia, a student at Idlewild Hall boarding school in Vermont.

Some of the creepy Mary Hand ghost parts left me on the edge of my seat, all of my senses heightened in fear of hearing tapping on the window and the voice of a girl asking to come in. I enjoyed the Gothic feel to this read. The Broken Girls is a character-driven story, leaning more towards mystery than thriller. Idlewild Hall, looming over many souls for over a hundred years, was a character on its own.

There were some facts repeated multiple times which makes me feel like the author thinks I’m not smart enough to remember that particular fact after it’s mentioned the first or second time. We are also given a character description when she looks in the mirror. This info could have been woven into the story elsewhere (and it was, multiple times). The whole journalist dating a cop thing was a predictable relationship. For me, there was a lot going on, and maybe some editing could have made this a five-star read.

Chilling, unpredictable page-turner about overcoming hardships and the power of truth. I suggest this one to mystery fans who like a dollop of supernatural with a big spoonful of romance.

About the author.jpg

Simone St. James is the award-winning author of The Haunting of Maddy Clare, which won two RITA awards from Romance Writers of America and an Arthur Ellis Award from Crime Writers of Canada. She wrote her first ghost story, about a haunted library, when she was in high school, and spent twenty years behind the scenes in the television business before leaving to write full-time. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and a spoiled cat.

http://www.simonestjames.com/

The Man Who Died #Thriller #BookReview #SpoilerFree #Themanwhodied #Netgalley

๐Ÿ““ I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley, for allowing me to review.ย  ๐Ÿ“š ๐Ÿ˜Œ

The man who died

Title: The Man Who Died

Author:ย AnttiTuomainen

Translated from Finnish by David Hackston

Genre:ย Adult Mystery/Thriller

Publisher: Orenda Books

Date published: May 1st, 2018

Page Count: 245

 

 

synopsis

“A successful entrepreneur in the mushroom industry, Jaakko Kaunismaa is a man in his prime. At just 37 years of age, he is shocked when his doctor tells him that heโ€™s dying. What is more, the cause is discovered to be prolonged exposure to toxins; in other words, someone has slowly but surely been poisoning him. Determined to find out who wants him dead, Jaakko embarks on a suspenseful rollercoaster journey full of unusual characters, bizarre situations and unexpected twists.

With a nod to Fargo and the best elements of the Scandinavian noir tradition, The Man Who Died is a page-turning thriller brimming with the blackest comedy surrounding life and death, and love and betrayal, marking a stunning new departure for the King of Helsinki Noir.”ย Goodreads

 

My Review

Setting:ย Hamina, Finland

 

Jaakko Kaunismaa: CEO of mushroom business. After finding out he is dying, he walked in on his wife cheating on him with one of his employees. Jaakko suspects his wife, Taina, she is poisoning him and decides to embark on an investigation to discover the truth. I often found myself chuckling to Jaakko’s dark sense of humor.

The other characters were pretty boring for me and lacked personality. This story focused more on plot than characters, which is often the case for thrillers. I couldn’t put it down and read it quickly. I just HAD to know if his wife was trying to kill him, what the guys from the new mushroom company were up to, and if the cop would figure out what Jaakko’s been up to.

The Man Who Died is a dark, odd, funny thriller about a quirky mushroom business man.

โ€œFinnish author Tuomainen has come up with an irresistible crime comedy caper /โ€ฆ/ More than just a whodunit, but a gripping tale of self-loathing, investigation and desperate floundering /โ€ฆ/ Both a thriller and a dark laugh a minute journey that will keep you hanging on to the end. The story of a man investigating his own death has been done before but not with such gusto. โ€ โ€“ Crime Time (UK)

About the author.jpg

“Antti Tuomainen is the award-winning author of seven novels: A Killer I Wish, My Brotherโ€™s Keeper, The Healer, Dark as My Heart, The Mine, The Man Who Died and his latest โ€“ Palm Beach Finland. He has been called โ€˜The King of Helsinki Noirโ€™ by the Finnish press and his writing has garnered attention worldwide.

In 2011 his third novel The Healer was awarded the Clue Award for Best Finnish Crime Novel and has subsequently been published in 27 countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Brazil, China, Iceland, Turkey and Greece, among others.

His fourth novel Dark as My Heart was optioned for feature film in 2013 and is in development at Making Movies Ltd., the production company behind the Finnish film sensation Black Ice. Dark as My Heart has been voted the best crime novel of the past decade by the readers of a Finnish crime fiction magazine. The novel was also nominated for the prestigious Petrona-prize in the UK in 2016.

His sixth novel The Man Who Died was published in Finland in September 2016. The novel has been optioned by Finnish production company Luminoir and is currently in development for feature film. Publishing rights for The Man Who Died have been sold to the UK, France and Germany, among others.

Anttiโ€™s seventh novel, titled Palm Beach Finland was published in September 2017 in Finland.

Antti has been a featured guest on numerous literary festivals, events, panels and book tours in the UK, Germany, France, the United States, Spain, Italy, Romania, Iceland, Norway, Hong Kong and Northern Ireland.

Antti was born in Helsinki, Finland where he lives with his wife. In addition to novels, he also writes short stories and magazine articles. You can find him easily on Facebook and he will be happy to hear from you.”

http://anttituomainen.com/

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) #BookReview #SpoilerFree

Crooked Kingdom, the conclusion to the Six of Crows duology, is an epic Fantasy novel that has the magic ofย Harry Potter andย Sword of Truth, mixed with the friendships ofย The Lord of the Rings, the adventure of The Wheel of Time, and the sneaky, twisty plot of Game of Thrones. ๐Ÿ“š

Crooked Kingdom

 

Title: Crooked Kingdom

Author:ย Leigh Bardugo

Genre:ย Young Adult Fantasy, LGBTQ

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Date published: Sept 2016

Page Count: 546

 

 

synopsis

When you can’t beat the odds, change the game.

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streetsโ€•a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.”

My Review

photography โ€“ READING UNDER THE RAIN

After hearing I didn’t need to read the Grisha Verse trilogy before reading Six of Crows, I decided to go ahead and give it a go. The first book of the duology, Six of Crows, was great, but Crooked Kingdom mashed together everything I love about all my favorite books.

Let’s start by talking about the beautiful cover, and unique red pages which clearly represent bloodshed and love. The maps at the beginning of the book help immerse the reader into this world. Crooked Kingdom is divided into six parts: Forsaken, A Killing Wind, Brick By Brick, The Unexpected Visitor, Kings & Queens, and Action & Echo.

Mohammed Arabeyโ€™s review of Crooked Kingdom

Angela Jones-Cuรฉllar on Twitter: "I'm so pumped for ...

Crooked Kingdom starts one month after Kaz Brekker and his crew left Djerholm. They have been back in Ketterdam, a city on Kerch island, for a week. Told with multiple perspectives, I enjoyed learning more about each character through another’s eyes.

The Six of Crows

Kaz Brekker, 17 year-old gang member of The Dregs, ruthless, resourceful, devious Leader of the Six of Crows, focused on getting revenge against Van Eck and Pekka Rollins. I love his witty sarcasm: “It was that or snap her neck and make it look like she fell down the stairs, Wylan. I think I showed remarkable restraint.”

 

 

 

 

 

Inej: 16-year-old tenacious, talented, and nicknamed the Wraith. She has a strong connection to her Suli heritage. To one of her captors, also a Suli, she said, “You are forsaken. As you have turned your back on me, so will they turn their backs on you.”

 

 

 

 

Jesper: 17-year-old carefree, comical, Grisha sharpshooter with a gambling addiction. Crooked Kingdom gives us Jesper’s heart-breaking story of losing his mother as a child. He moved to Kerch to study at University, but was drawn to the other part of town where he met Kaz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nina: 17-year-old confident, beautiful, Grisha Heartrender. In Six of Crows, Nina was able to make Wylan look like Kuwei by using jurda parem, an addictive drug that boosts a Grisha’s power. The withdrawal from the drug almost took her life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matthias: 18-year-old big, tough, former Grisha hunter, in love with Nina. She helped open his mind so he could better understand the good of Grisha abilities. He helped her through the jurda withdrawal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wylan: Van Eck’s 16-year-old son, illiterate, with exceptional demolition skills. His father tried to have him killed, he ran away and joined the Six of Crows.

 

 

 

 

 

Other Characters
Van Eck: powerful, Ketterdam mercher (Wylan’s father).

Pekka Rollins: leader of the Dime Lions (another gang in Ketterdam) who swindled Kaz and his brother Jordie when they were new to the city.

Kuwei: Grisha Inferni. His father helped to create jurda parem, a powerful drug that enhances Grisha power, and now that his father is dead everyone wants to know where Kuwei is so they can gain access to the recipe.

Colm Fahey: Jesper’s father, jurda farmer.

Throughout Six of Crows I struggled to care about Wylan. Crooked Kingdom gave me everything I needed to add him to my long list of favorite characters. We get to see just how horrible his father treated him and it broke my heart.

“The letters from his father continued to arrive, once, sometimes twice a week. Wylan didn’t know what to make of them. Were they threats? Taunts? He stashed them in a stack beneath his mattress, and sometimes at night he thought he could feel the ink bleeding through the pages, up through the mattress and into his heart like dark poison.”

I will also admit that I wasn’t a fan of Kaz after reading the first book. Crooked Kingdom unveiled a new Kaz that I fell for.

โ€œHe was going to break my legs ,โ€ she said, her chin held high, the barest quaver in her voice. โ€œWould you have come for me then, Kaz? When I couldnโ€™t scale a wall or walk a tightrope? When I wasnโ€™t the Wraith anymore?โ€
Dirtyhands would not. The boy who could get them through this, get their money, keep them alive, would do her the courtesy of putting her out of her misery, then cut his losses and move on.
โ€œI would come for you,โ€ he said, and when he saw the wary look she shot him, he said it again. โ€œI would come for you. And if I couldnโ€™t walk, Iโ€™d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, weโ€™d fight our way out togetherโ€”knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because thatโ€™s what we do. We never stop fighting.โ€

Jesper + Wylan โ™ฅ I love how Bardugo wrote about the attraction between Jesper and Wylan. It’s always refreshing to see LGBTQ representation in popular Young Adult books.

My one and only complaint is that there was too much romance for me. Nina + Matthias, Wylan + Jesper, Inej + Kaz…did they really need to pair up romantically? However, they are a group of teenagers, so it is realistic for them to pair up I suppose.

Quotes

“Sometimes,” said Kaz, “a proper thief doesn’t just take. He leaves something behind.”

โ€œWhen fear arrives, something is about to happen.โ€ – Inej

Suspenseful, surprising, and filled with action, Crooked Kingdom weaves important topics such as race, freedom, and slavery within a story that will keep you thoroughly entertained and leave you heart-broken, but satisfied.

About the author.jpg

Leigh Bardugo is the #1 New York Times bestselling and USA Today bestselling author of the Six of Crows Duology and the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, as well as the upcoming Wonder Woman: Warbringer (Aug 2017) and The Language of Thorns (Sept 2017).

She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, and graduated from Yale University. These days, she lives and writes in Hollywood where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.

http://www.leighbardugo.com/index1.html

https://twitter.com/Lbardugo

Blue Lily, Lily Blue โš˜ (The Raven Cycle Book 3) #BookReview

๐Ÿ““ Blue Lily, Lily Blue, the third book of “The Raven Cycle” series by Maggie Stiefvater, is Young Adult Fantasy with a sprinkle of paranormal and magic.ย  ๐Ÿ“š ๐Ÿ˜Œ

blue lily, lily blue

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: Blue Lily, Lily Blue

Author:ย Maggie Stiefvater

Genre:ย YA Fantasy/Paranormal/Magic

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Date published: October 2014

Page Count: 391

 

 

synopsis

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things, though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.”

My Review

2,700+ Free Toploader music playlists | 8tracks internet radioThis series takes place in a fictional town, Henrietta, Virginia, on top of an ancient ley line, near a magical forest called Cabeswater. In the previous book, The Dream Thieves, Adam had given himself to the ley line, which helped to restore its power. Adam can now feel and hear Cabeswater, his friend Persephone is teaching him how to communicate withย the enchanted forest so he can learn how to repair the ley line, makingย the mysterious woods strong enough to help their friend Gansey wake the Raven King (Glendower).

THE RAVEN BOYS by itsnucleicacid on DeviantArt

Their friend Ronan is the Greywaren, the Dream Thief, able to bring objects and people back from his dreams. Blue can increase paranormal power. She’s recently discovered that not only can she amplify abilities, she can also block them from being able to use her power. Adam, Gansey, Ronan, and Blue receive help from Noah (ghost friend), Calla, Persephone, Mr. Gray, Dr. Roger Malory, and a few new characters, on their quest to find Blue’s mother, Maura and wake the Glendower.

“How ungrateful they’d become, how greedy for better wonders.”

ย I even enjoy the unlikable characters, like Greenmantle’s spoiled wife. I really hated her, but she man she’s hilarious.

Persephone ("the Raven Cycle" by Maggie Stiefvater) #art # ...

 

My favorite character throughout the series is Persephone, followed closely by Adam, Ronan, and Blue. I also enjoyed the new character Jesse Dittley quite a bit. He reminded me of Haggard from Harry Potter. Likewise, I appreciated another new character, Gwenllian, a crazy woman with raven black hair who claims to know Blue’s father Artemus.

 

I am incredibly interested to see what happens between Ronan and Adam.

“Queens and kings
Kings and queens
Blue lily, lily blue
Crowns and birds
Swords and things
Blue lily, lily blue”

Blue Lily, Lily Blue is a driven by a suspenseful plot with fabulous characters. I found myself holding my breath, wanting to read “just one more chapter”, and yes…even shed a tear.

100+ ideas to try about The Raven Boys | Boys, Maggie ...

There isn’t much I disliked. I will say that I am not a Gansey fan. I find him annoying, and not worthy of being the “leader” of their group. I don’t see what Blue sees in him. I also have a problem with how all the characters accept the fact that Mr. Gray murdered people as a hitman, and yet, that doesn’t change the way they feel about him. I don’t get it. Shouldn’t they have a hard time trusting him? What has he done that made them believe he’s become a better person?

Blue Lily, Lily Blue is an imaginative story about friendship that broke my heart. I can’t wait to read the last book of the series,ย The Raven King.