Giving Under-Rated Books Some Love! ♥ #1

Some of my favourite Youtubers have been talking about under-rated books that they loved, and they’ve inspired me to spread some love! The following books are those I’ve read and have the least number of ratings on Goodreads. I’d like to bring some attention to them so more people can enjoy a great read!

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Shooting Creek and Other Stories is an anthology of short stories written by Scott Sanders. This book only has 2 ratings on Goodreads, so it truly needs more attention. I gave it 4 stars.

Published March 2017 by Down Out Books

Mystery/Horror/Thriller

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I don’t like books with horses, and I don’t typically like romance stories, but somehow I absolutely LOVED Thief of Happy Endings written by Kristen Chandler. I gave this one 5 stars!

Published June 2018 by Viking Books for Young Readers

Young Adult Contemporary Romance

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Together at Midnight is another YA Romance novel that took me by surprise. I gave this one 5 stars.

Published January 2018 by HarperTeen

Let me know about your favourite under-rated books in the comments!

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The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker #SciFi #Netgalley

about the book winter

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Title: The Dreamers

Author: Karen Thompson Walker

Expected Publication January 15, 2019 by Random House

Science-Fiction

In an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a freshman girl stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep—and doesn’t wake up. She sleeps through the morning, into the evening. Her roommate, Mei, cannot rouse her. Neither can the paramedics who carry her away, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital. Then a second girl falls asleep, and then another, and panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. As the number of cases multiplies, classes are canceled, and stores begin to run out of supplies. A quarantine is established. The National Guard is summoned.

Mei, an outsider in the cliquish hierarchy of dorm life, finds herself thrust together with an eccentric, idealistic classmate. Two visiting professors try to protect their newborn baby as the once-quiet streets descend into chaos. A father succumbs to the illness, leaving his daughters to fend for themselves. And at the hospital, a new life grows within a college girl, unbeknownst to her—even as she sleeps. A psychiatrist, summoned from Los Angeles, attempts to make sense of the illness as it spreads through the town. Those infected are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, more than has ever been recorded. They are dreaming heightened dreams—but of what?”

My review Winter

“At first, they blame the air.
It’s an old idea, a poison in the ether, a danger carried in by the wind. A strange haze is seen drifting through town on that first night, the night the trouble begins. It arrives like weather, or like smoke, some say later, but no one can locate any fire. Some blame the drought, which has been bleeding away the lake for years, and browning the air with dust.”

The Dreamers is a stunning third person narrative that takes place near Los Angeles, in a fictional town called Santa Lora, California. Mei’s roommate, Kara, falls asleep, then over a few days her breath and heart rate slow, until she dies. After a few students fall into the deep sleep, their dorm is put under quarantine. The illness slips through the cracks and spreads throughout the town. As hundreds of people fall asleep and began to dream, we meet many people affected by the mysterious illness, who are trying their best not to infect the ones they love.

“This is how the sickness travels best: through all the same channels as do fondness and friendship and love.”

I was hooked after the first paragraph. The characters are extremely well-written. They feel like people I could know in real life. The connection to characters, pacing, mystery, description, and writing style work together to create a fantastic work of fiction.

The ending felt abrupt, and left me with unanswered questions.

The Dreamers is a memorable and entertaining read that I recommend to readers who enjoy character-driven, thought-provoking Sci-Fi novels with an open ending.

Setting: 3/5
Plot: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Writing: 4.5/5
Message: 4/5
Overall: 3.9

Star, Favorite, Orange, Outline, RatingStar, Favorite, Orange, Outline, RatingStar, Favorite, Orange, Outline, RatingStar, Favorite, Orange, Outline, Rating

 

Thank you to Netgalley and publisher for the complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.

*Quotes taken from an ARC copy and subject to change*

Professional Reader

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Karen Thompson Walker is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Age of Miracles, which has been translated into twenty-seven languages and named one of the best books of the year by People, O: The Oprah Magazine, and Financial Times, among others. Born and raised in San Diego, Walker is a graduate of UCLA and the Columbia MFA program. She lives with her husband, the novelist Casey Walker, and their two daughters in Portland. She is an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Oregon.” http://karenthompsonwalker.com/bios/karen-thompson-walker

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December Wrap Up…2019

This wrap up is real late. By trying to reach my goal of reading 75 books in 2018 I was reading one book after another the end of December, which left me behind on book reviews…and sooooo…I wanted to catch up on those book reviews before posting a wrap up. Therefore, not my fault. 😛

In December I read 9 books! I’m pretty sure that’s my best reading month ever. Not 100% sure on that, it might be a lie LOL

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Title: The Psychology of Time Travel

Author: Kate Mascarenhas

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Date Published: February 2019

Genre: Sci-Fi Mystery

🌟🌟🌟🌟 Click here for my review

 

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Title: City of Ghosts

Author: Victoria Schwab

Publisher: Scholastic Audio

Date Published: August 2018

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy (paranormal)

🌟🌟🌟🌟 Click here for my review

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Title: The Girl They Left Behind

Author: Roxanne Veletzos

Publisher: Atria Books

Date Published: October 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Click here for my review

 

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Title: Father Christmas and Me (Christmas #3)

Author: Matt Haig

Publisher: Canongate Books

Date Published: October 2018

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

🌟🌟🌟🌟 Click here for my review

 

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Title: The Glovemaker’s Daughter

Author: Leah Fleming

Publisher: Simon Schuster

Date Published: November 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction

🌟🌟🌟 Click here for my review

 

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Title: Man Gone Down

Author: Michael Thomas

Publisher: Grove Press, Black Cat

Date Published: December 2006

Genre: Literary Fiction

🌟🌟 Click here for my review

 

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Title: Watching You

Author: Lisa Jewell

Publisher: Atria Books

Date Published: December 2018

Genre: Adult Contemporary/Mystery/Thriller

Page Count: 336

🌟🌟🌟🌟 Click here for my review

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Title: The Golden Compass

Author: Philip Pullman

Publisher: Yearling

Date Published: 1995

Genre: YA Fantasy

🌟🌟🌟 Click here for my review

 

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Title: The Best of Us

Author: Robyn Carr

Publisher: Mira Books

Date Published: January 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance

🌟🌟 Click here for my review

 

 

 

 

#Buzzwordathon Jan 14-20

I love Buzzwordathon because it has super simple challenges. This time around the “buzzword” is – Lie! Read books that have Lie, Lies, Lying, Liar in the title.

Hosted by:

https://twitter.com/booksandlala and https://twitter.com/myeyeshadowisod

Check out the Twitter https://twitter.com/BuzzwordAthon

My TBR:

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One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Published May 2017 by Delacorte Press

Young Adult Contemporary/Mystery/Thriller

Hardcover 361 pages

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The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle

Published December 2016 by Mira

Mystery/Thriller

Paperback 334 pages

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The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

Published by Penguin Random House Audio

Audiobook on Scribd

Narrated by Nicol Zanzarella

Length: 12 hrs 15 mins

 

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The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens

Published November 2015 by HarperTeen

Young Adult Contemporary Romance/Realistic Fiction

E-book 336 pages

 

 

 

My Most-Anticipated Books on the Canada Reads Longlist #ThursdayThoughts #CanadaReads

The Canada Reads Longlist has been released and it includes very compelling stories. Here are the books I’m most excited to read from the list:

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Homes: A Refugee Story

Written By: Abu Bakr al Rabeeah and Winnie Young

Published May 1, 2018 by Freehand Books

Nonfiction, Memoir, Autobiography

In 2010, the al Rabeeah family left their home in Iraq in hope of a safer life. They moved to Homs, in Syria — just before the Syrian civil war broke out.

Abu Bakr, one of eight children, was ten years old when the violence began on the streets around him: car bombings, attacks on his mosque and school, firebombs late at night. Homes tells of the strange juxtapositions of growing up in a war zone: horrific, unimaginable events punctuated by normalcy — soccer, cousins, video games, friends.

Homes is the remarkable true story of how a young boy emerged from a war zone — and found safety in Canada — with a passion for sharing his story and telling the world what is truly happening in Syria. As told to her by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah, writer Winnie Yeung has crafted a heartbreaking, hopeful, and urgently necessary book that provides a window into understanding Syria.”

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That Time I Loved You

Written By: Carrianne Leung

Published March 2018 by HarperCollins

Short Story Collection

Life is never as perfect as it seems.

Tensions that have lurked beneath the surface of a shiny new subdivision rise up, in new fiction from the author of the Toronto Book Award—shortlisted The Wondrous Woo

The suburbs of the 1970s promised to be heaven on earth—new houses, new status, happiness guaranteed. But in a Scarborough subdivision populated by newcomers from all over the world, a series of sudden catastrophic events reveals that not everyone’s dreams come true. Moving from house to house, Carrianne Leung explores the inner lives behind the tidy front gardens and picture-perfect windows, always returning to June, an irrepressible adolescent Chinese-Canadian coming of age in this shifting world. Through June and her neighbours, Leung depicts the fine line where childhood meets the realities of adult life, and examines, with insight and sharp prose, how difficult it is to be true to ourselves at any age.”

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An Ocean of Minutes

Written By: Thea Lim

Published July 2018 by Touchstone

Science-Fiction (Time Travel) Dystopian

America is in the grip of a deadly flu pandemic. When Frank catches the virus, his girlfriend Polly will do whatever it takes to save him, even if it means risking everything. She agrees to a radical plan—time travel has been invented in the future to thwart the virus. If she signs up for a one-way-trip into the future to work as a bonded labourer, the company will pay for the life-saving treatment Frank needs. Polly promises to meet Frank again in Galveston, Texas, where she will arrive in twelve years.

But when Polly is re-routed an extra five years into the future, Frank is nowhere to be found. Alone in a changed and divided America, with no status and no money, Polly must navigate a new life and find a way to locate Frank, to discover if he is alive, and if their love has endured.”

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Life on the Ground Floor: Letters From the Edge of Emergency Medicine

Written By: James Maskalyk

Published April 2017 by Doubleday Canada

Autobiography, Medical Memoir

A celebrated humanitarian doctor’s unique perspective on sickness, health and what it is to be alive. In this deeply personal book, humanitarian doctor and activist James Maskalyk, author of the highly acclaimed Six Months in Sudan, draws upon his experience treating patients in the world’s emergency rooms. From Toronto to Addis Ababa, Cambodia to Bolivia, he discovers that although the cultures, resources and medical challenges of each hospital may differ, they are linked indelibly by the ground floor: the location of their emergency rooms. Here, on the ground floor, is where Dr. Maskalyk witnesses the story of -human aliveness—our mourning and laughter, tragedies and hopes, the frailty of being and the resilience of the human spirit. And it’s here too that he is swept into the story, confronting his fears and doubts and questioning what it is to be a doctor.
Masterfully written and artfully structured, Life on the Ground Floor is more than just an emergency doctor’s memoir or travelogue–it’s a meditation on health, sickness and the wonder of human life.

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All Our Wrong Todays

Written By: Elan Mastai

Published Feb. 2017 by Dutton

Fantasy Sci-Fi (Time Travel)

You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we’d have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren’s 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed . . . because it wasn’t necessary.

Except Tom just can’t seem to find his place in this dazzling, idealistic world, and that’s before his life gets turned upside down. Utterly blindsided by an accident of fate, Tom makes a rash decision that drastically changes not only his own life but the very fabric of the universe itself. In a time-travel mishap, Tom finds himself stranded in our 2016, what we think of as the real world. For Tom, our normal reality seems like a dystopian wasteland.

But when he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and—maybe, just maybe—his soul mate, Tom has a decision to make. Does he fix the flow of history, bringing his utopian universe back into existence, or does he try to forge a new life in our messy, unpredictable reality? Tom’s search for the answer takes him across countries, continents, and timelines in a quest to figure out, finally, who he really is and what his future—our future—is supposed to be.”

To see the entire Longlist visit: https://www.cbc.ca/books/here-is-the-canada-reads-2019-longlist-1.4969716

The Best of Us #NewBook #BookReview #ContemporaryRomance #Netgalley

In Sullivan’s Crossing, #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr has created a place where good people, powerful emotions, great humor and a healthy dose of common sense are the key ingredients to a happy life. Sullivan’s Crossing brings out the best in people. It’s a place you’ll want to visit again and again.”

 

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Title: The Best of Us

Author: Robyn Carr

Published January 8, 2019 by Mira Books

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Page Count: 336

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41882190-the-best-of-us

Dr. Leigh Culver loves practicing medicine in Timberlake, Colorado. It is a much-needed change of pace from her stressful life in Chicago. The only drawback is she misses her aunt Helen, the woman who raised her. But it’s time that Leigh has her independence, and she hopes the beauty of the Colorado wilderness will entice her aunt to visit often.Helen Culver is an independent woman who lovingly raised her sister’s orphaned child. Now, with Leigh grown, it’s time for her to live life for herself. The retired teacher has become a successful mystery writer who loves to travel and intends to never experience winter again.When Helen visits Leigh, she is surprised to find her niece still needs her, especially when it comes to sorting out her love life. But the biggest surprise comes when Leigh takes Helen out to Sullivan’s Crossing and Helen finds herself falling for the place and one special person. Helen and Leigh will each have to decide if they can open themselves up to love neither expected to find and seize the opportunity to live their best lives.

My review Winter.png

The Best of Us, fourth book of the Sullivan’s Crossing series, takes place in a small town called Timberlake, Colorado. It’s the perfect place for Dr. Leigh Culver, who recently moved from Chicago looking for a more relaxing lifestyle. She’s selfish, judgemental, and has a lot to learn if she’s going to open her heart for local pub owner, Rob. Rob’s son, Finn, is in his first serious relationship during his last year of high school. Leigh’s Aunt Helen is a retired teacher and author, who raised Leigh after her mother died when she was young. When Helen comes to visit Leigh she strikes up an unexpected relationship. This quick read is a character-driven, feel-good story about friendship, family, and romance.

There are a lot of characters, many mentioned in the first chapter. It felt like an overwhelming info-dump. I almost gave up reading when I was almost a quarter into the book because I wasn’t enjoying the writing style at all, however, something happens and that’s it – hooked till the end (and even shed some tears).

Sullivan’s Crossing, the campground owned by Sully, is a charming place. Sully, a 72-year-old, is my favourite character. He’s smart, gentle, kind, and funny. I haven’t read any of the other books in the series (and had no idea it was part of a series when I requested the ARC on Netgalley), but I would like to read more stories by Carr if they take place at Sullivan’s Crossing.

There were many little things that made this story feel very dated:
1. Referring to salad and diet coke as “girl food”
2. “doesn’t look like he could’ve been the kind of kid to get picked on” because the kid was good-looking.
3. Why in the world would a 34-year-old woman bring her Aunt on a first date?
4. What’s the problem with an unmarried pregnant woman?

I recommend this one to adult readers who enjoy a sweet romance story.

Setting: 3/5
Plot: 1.5/5
Characters: 2.5/5
Writing: 2.5/5
Message: 2.5/5
Overall: 2.4

Thank you to Netgalley and publisher for the complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.

*Quotes taken from an ARC copy and subject to change*

Professional Reader

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Robyn Carr is a RITA® Award-winning, eleven-time #1 New York Times bestselling author of almost sixty novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River series. The third novel (THE FAMILY GATHERING) in her fan-favorite new series, Sullivan’s Crossing, will be released in April 2018. Robyn is a recipient of the Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award 2016 and in 2017, VIRGIN RIVER was named one of the HarperCollins 200 Iconic Books of the past 200 years. Robyn and her husband live in Las Vegas, Nevada.”

www.RobynCarr.com

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My Favourites Books of 2018

Here are the best books I read in 2018 🙂

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The Last Unicorn

By: Peter S. Beagle

Published by Penguin Books July 2008 (first published 1968)

Genre: Classic, YA Fantasy

294 pages

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13124003-the-last-unicorn

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Wonder

By: R.J. Palacio

Published Sept 2017 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published February 2012)

Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary Realistic Fiction

352 pages

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31410964-wonder

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The Astonishing Color of After

By: Emily X.R. Pan

Published March 2018 by Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Genre: YA Contemporary, Magical Realism

462 pages

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35604686-the-astonishing-color-of-after

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Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2)

By Leigh Bardugo

Published Sept 2016 by Henry Holt and Company

Genre: YA Fantasy

546 pages

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27840861-crooked-kingdom

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Thief of Happy Endings

By Kristen Chandler

Published June 2018 by Viking Books for Young Readers

YA Contemporary Romance (horses)

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36304254-thief-of-happy-endings

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All Your Perfects

By Colleen Hoover

Published July 2018 by Atria Books

New Adult Contemporary Romance

306 pages

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38926487-all-your-perfects

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The Hate U Give

By Angie Thomas

Published February 2017 by Balzer + Bray

YA Contemporary

444 pages

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32075671-the-hate-u-give

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The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

By Stuart Turton

Published September 2018 by Sourcebooks Landmark

Mystery Thriller/Sci-Fi

432 pages

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40033006-the-7-deaths-of-evelyn-hardcastle

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Frankenstein

By Mary Shelley

Published October 2011 by Naxos Audiobooks (first published January 1818)

Classic Gothic Horror, Sci-Fi

I listened to the Audiobook on Scribd

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The Raven King

By Maggie Stiefvater

Published April 2016 by Scholastic Press

YA Fantasy, Paranormal, LGBT

439 pages

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Stargirl

By Jerry Spinelli

Narrated by John Ritter

Published May 2002 by Listening Library (first published August 2000)

Audiobook on Scribd

Middle Grade Realistic Fiction

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The Girl They Left Behind

By Roxanne Veletzos

Published October 2018 by Atria Books

Historical Fiction (WWII)

368 pages

My Year in Books 2018 #GoodreadsChallenge Complete!

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In 2017 I read 55 books – 17,819 pages

In 2018 I reached my goal of 75 books – 24,410 pages

The shortest book I read was The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

The longest book I read was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

My average Goodreads rating this year was 3.9

17 Five Star

32 Four Star

21 Three Star

5 Two Star

The majority of my 5-Star reads are Fantasy and Contemporary, which is a little surprising. I’ve always thought I didn’t like Contemporary Romance, but have now figured out I do like it if it’s realistic fiction, or hard-hitting, or sprinkled with a little magical realism.

One of my goals was to try an audiobook, which I did and discovered I quite enjoy them.

I finished the Six of Crows series by Leigh Bardugo, The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, Monsters of Verity by Victoria Schwab, and the Furthermore series by Tahereh Mafi.

Looking forward to starting a new reading year! Happy New Year!

MIA

Just wanted to check in and let you know I’m reading like crazy trying to finish my Goodreads Challenge. I’m one book away from reaching my goal of reading 75 books this year. Once I’m done I’ll be writing reviews for the last four books I’ve read. Here are the books I’ll be chatting about soon 🙂

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The Glovemaker’s Daughter

Written By: Leah Fleming

Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery

Published by Simon & Schuster

ISBN 9781471141003

40942018

Father Christmas and Me

Written By: Matt Haig

Middle Grade Fantasy

Published October 2018 by Canongate Books

ISBN 9781786890689

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Man Gone Down

Written By: Michael Thomas

Published December 2006 by Grove Press, Black Cat

Fiction, Cultural (African American)

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Watching You

Written By: Lisa Jewell

Published December 26, 2018 by Atria Books

Mystery, Thriller

ISBN 9781501190070

 

Thrilling Thriller Book Tag #TagTuesday

Booktag Time! 🙂

1. What was the last thriller you bought?

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2. Show us the thriller you most recently added to your TBR?

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3. What thriller did you have high expectations for but ultimately let you down

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5. Recommend an underrated thriller

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6. Pick three thrillers from your shelves; 2 you’ve read and one you haven’t. Get your viewers to comment which one they think you haven’t read.

Guess which one I haven’t read!

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King

The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins

7. People are often intimated by the thriller genre. Recommend a thriller for beginners.

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8. What is your all-time favourite thriller?

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