Wrap Up

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon Recap | October 2020

Hello and welcome to my second post of the day. Yesterday I took part in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readahon and I wanted to share my experience and my reading progress. Throughout the day I updated on twitter and instagram, but I did not share anything on here. I thought a recap post would be best.

If you would like to know more about the readathon, you can visit their website, they have been around for a long time, their first readathon was in 2007! They host a readathon 2 times a year, generally in April and October. I have taken part in a few over the years and I have always enjoyed between the mini challenges, games, and reading sprints.


Updates

Starting off hour 1 of #deweys24hourreadathon with an audiobook.

screen shot of Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me audiobook.
screen shot of Between the World and Me audiobook screen

Decided to take part a mini challenge for the #readathon.
Hers is my name in books! Now, back to the reading! P.S. I decided to just make this one big thread for the day.

Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent
The Hunger by Alma Katzu
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy 
All stacked and pictured surrounded by flowers.
Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent, The Hunger by Alma Katsu, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

#readathon update, I finished my first book. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Rating: 5 stars.

Picture of Between the World and Me with 5 stars.

Quick #readathon update for #deweys24hourreadathon. I am 38% through my current read, which is Amityville Horror by Jay Anson.

Holding book open to Chapter 12 with text overlay describing current progress to 38%
picture of the heading of chapter 12 to show progress.

I finished my second book of the #readathon, now I need to figure out what to read next.

I decided my next read of the #readathon will be continuing Cemetery Boys, I am starting at page 41. Let's see how far I get before falling asleep. 😂 I am making more progress than I thought I would during Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon.

Picture of Cemetery yBoys and a green pen on covers.

Originally tweeted by bookishluna (@BookishLuna) on October 24, 2020.

Not pictured is a 8:30 run to go get some caffeine, I started getting really sleepy and my BF and myself took a reading break and went out in search of coffee and tea. Once back I came back and met my main goal of finishing Amityville Horror.


Wrap Up

I ended up finishing two books and 20% of another. The two books I finished were Between the World and Me, which was amazing, and The Amityville Horror. Both I really enjoyed both of these books for very different reasons, but I am really glad I picked them up.

  • Books Read: 2
  • Books Started: 1
  • Pages Read: 478

I had such a blast dedicating the day to reading, especially with all of the stuff going on in my life right now. At this point I plan on participating again in April!


What is your favorite readathon?

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Goals

Reflection | 2020 Goals, 9 Month Check In

Reflection

Hello and welcome to a post where I check in with my 2020 reading goals. I cannot believe that we are already in the final quarter of the year so it really is go time to get these goals finished. So, I am really hoping I have done a good job keeping up and getting some things done!


The List

  1. Read a shortlist: Man Booker 2019 (4/6)
          • The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
          • ✔️Ducks, Newburyport  by Lucy Ellmann
          • ✔️Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
          • An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma (Owned)
          • ✔️Quichotte by Salman Rushdie
          • ✔️10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak
  2. ✔️Read 50 books, 91 books read. 
  3. ✔️Read all backlisted books, 46 books in all.
  4. ✔️ Read 30,000 pages.
  5. ✔️ Read 16 nonfiction books.
  6. Read 16 books from the library. Read 9 so far. 
  7. ✔️  Read a book from each continent 
          • ✔️North America: The Dutch Houseby Ann Patchett
          • ✔️South America Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin
          • ✔️ Europe: Crime And Punishmentby Fyodor Dostoyevsky
          • ✔️Asia Before the Coffee Gets Coldby Toshikazu Kawaguchi
          • ✔️ Australia: The Secret River by Kate Grenville
          • ✔️Antarctica: The Magicians by Lev Grossman 
          • ✔️Africa Don’t Touch My Hair byEmma Dabiri
  8. ✔️Read a book recommended by Joe Hill or Stephen King
          • ✔️Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
  9. Read a Shakespeare play a month, (9/12)
          • January: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
          • February: Othello
          • March: Hamlet
          • April: Macbeth
          • May: The Taming of the Shrew
          • June: Twelfth Night
          • July: The Tempest
          • August: A Comedy of Errors
          • September: Much Ado About Nothing
          • October: Julius Caesar
          • November: The Merchant of Venice
          • December: King Lear

Reflection

Overall, I am doing pretty well with the goals. I am a bit worried about my reading a shortlist one because I really do not want to read The Testaments, but I am still on the fence about doing it because I set out to finish the shortlist. We shall see what happens! Another goal I am a little iffy about is reading books from the library. My library is still limited when it comes to browsing and such and I have holds for digital stuff, but since everyone is using the digital resources currently I have not gotten a ton in. This one might be out of my hands, but I am still going to try.

As for all of the other goals I have already achieved or I am well on my way. I am surprised that I have kept up with my Shakespeare challenge this year that there are only 3 more plays left.


How are your goals going?

Have you decided to change any of yours or introduce new ones?

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Lets Talk · Tags

Let’s Talk | The Hallotober Tag

Hello and welcome to an October and Halloween themed tag. I was tagged by Liza over at The Inharmonious Heroine. You should really check out her blog, she has great taste in books and puts in a lot of effort in her reviews. Without further ado, on to the tag!


Hallotober Rules

  1. Thank the person who tagged you and link to their post 
  2. Put the rules at the beginning or after introduction
  3. Answer the 13 questions 
  4. Tag 13 people to do the tag 
  5. Delete Question 13, add a new number one question of your own
  6. You are free to use the tag image somewhere in the post

What’s your favorite spooky book?

My favorite spooky books are The Shining by Stephen King , The Hunger by Alma Katsu and The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

What’s your favourite thing about October?

The weather, where I live October is the perfect temperature. I don’t need a jacket yet sand I am not overheating as soon as I walk out of my house.

 Are you a big celebrator of Halloween?

I decorate and watch scary movies because it tends to fall on a wok night, but I also dress up at work every year.

What’s your favourite horror movie?

I would say It or Secret Window currently, but it always changes.

Would you rather a cosy night in watching horrors or a big night out in a costume?

I am all for a cozy night with some horror movies.

Which has been your most favourite costume to date?

I loved the one year I dressed up as Rosie the Riveter. It was so comfortable and fun!

Bobbing for apples or pin the hat on the witch?

I have never done either of these! But, I think I would like pin the hat on the witch better.

How do you celebrate Halloween?

I tend to watch some movies, reflect on the year ahead and thinking about those who have passed, and of course have some yummy candy.

What’s your least favourite horror?

In general I really don’t enjoy horror that relies on gore for the sake of gore because they cannot write a plot that is scary on its own.

Do you have a favourite trick or treating memory?

When I was younger I broke my foot so I could not go out, but all my parents friends gave me a bag of candy. So I had candy for MONTHS. These were the 1 lb. bags of mixed candy, not tiny goody bags.

What’s your favourite thing about Halloween?

I just like the energy of halloween. I enjoy that it is a turning point in the year.

Scary costume or silly costume?

I am game for either, but I always love a good laugh.

What’s your favourite Halloween candy?

My favorite would be recess cups.


My Questions

  1. What is your favorite horror novel or short story?
  2. What was the last halloween costume you wore?
  3. What is your favorite fall snack?
  4. Do you carve pumpkins?
  5. Do you prefer horror movies or stories?
  6. What is your favorite halloween memory?
  7. Do you prefer to give out candy or get candy?
  8. Do you decorate for halloween or fall?
  9. Do you have a favorite urban legend? If so what is it?
  10. Would you rather spend a night in a grave yard or a haunted house?
  11. What is your favorite spooky movie?
  12. Who is your favorite character from a horror movie or book?
  13. What is your favorite monster?

I Tag

Jenna @ jkimexploring.wordpress.com

Annelies @ anneliesexplores.wordpress.com

Karla @ anotherbookwormsite.wordpress.com

Leah @ https://leahs-books.com/

Chloe @ https://chloemetzger.com/

Jessica, Emily & Amber over @ thebookbratz.blogspot.com

Misty @ https://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com/

Olivia @ youtube.com/oliviascatastr…

Meeghn @ https://meeghanreads.com/

Julie Anna @ http://www.sincerelyjulieanna.com

Jenna @ https://www.westveilpublishing.com/


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Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | Using a Commonplace Book

Let's TalkHello and welcome to my post where I am sharing my reading notebook and I would love to hear your thoughts! So, a few months ago I came across the idea of a commonplace book while researching different note taking methods on youtube. I came across Amy Landino’s video, which I will link to below and went from there. As someone who loves note taking, notebooks, and the link I am honestly surprised that I have not heard about this sooner. A commonplace book is defined as…

Commonplace Book  – source: Lexico powered by Oxford

NOUN

  • A book into which notable extracts from other works are copied for personal use.


What is a Commonplace Book and What Method I am Using?

Now, there are many ways to organized a commonplace book, some people use notecards and a series of boxes or dividers, digitally create one, or use an old fashioned notebook. I feel like the method you use really comes down to your personality and why you are using it. From the light research I have done, I see a lot of authors using the notecard system, if you want to check that version out, I suggest starting out with Amy Landino video called My Box of Inspiration! How to Create a Commonplace Book. I have not watched any other videos by her or anything, but I felt like she did a wonderful job explaining her version of a commonplace book. Now, as for myself personally, I went for using an actual notebook.

There are a few reasons why I went with an actual notebook. The first being it is the most historically accurate and pays a bit of homage to the history of a commonplace book. This is not to say the other methods are less, I am just a huge history nerd. See, commonplace notebooks have actually be around for a very long time, they were very prominent during the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods (source, source) and a lot of them were almost like scrap books of information.  Just like actual scrap books, they really varied from person to person depending on their lives and interests. It is even featured in some literary works ranging by Virginia Woolf and can even apparently be found in A Series of Unfortunate Events.  (source). As someone who like historical stuff, I am used this in historical context of everything including the kitchen sink. A lot of people who use them now organize them based upon theme and honestly me organizing my months and such is more effective for me. I do not want to create sections in a notebook. Although if I ever do I feel like a travelers notebook would work wonders for that.

Now, that I rambled about the first reason, to be fair the biggest reason for me personally, here are the other two. I have a ton of notebooks. I love stationary so I have it laying around, but it brings me true joy when I actually use them. On top of that I feel like I absorb more when I physically write and then put things into my own words. I feel like this is something I personally can only accomplish with the notebook style. While a notecard system would have me writing, I wouldn’t really have room to reflect or put it into my own words. So, that is how I decided what method I was going to use and now onto the notebook itself and my experience.


My  Commonplace Notebook

Dark brown notebook with tan inserts, one is labeled common place book. Notebook is placed open on a color striped blanket.

So above is a picture of the notebook I will be using as my commonplace notebook. It is a A5 side travelers notebook with a beautiful brown fake leather cover. Inside I have a few dot grid inserts so I am free to format as I please. As some of you might know I am someone who loves bullet journaling and I have fallen in love with dot grid paper.


My Thoughts and Outcome

So, I have really enjoyed using a commonplace notebook. It has been great to keep all the random things such as quotes, ideas, and little tidbits. I have been using it on and off for about a month and half and I feel like it is really beneficial to have an outlet. While I have a bullet journal, I am more worried about keeping it neat and tidy. The coommonplace notebook I am free and happy to doodle, write, and more without having to worry.


Bonus: a bit ago another blogger I follow posted on the topic as well WHAT IS A COMMONPLACE BOOK & HOW TO USE IT

Do you have a way to organize your notes?

Do you use a commonplace book, maybe even without knowing it?

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Reviews

Gifted Book Review | The Canary Keeper by Clare Carson

Book Review

Hello and welcome to a book review! Today I am trying something new where I review books that have been gifted to me. Many moons ago the lovely and wonderful Adrianna, who you can find on twitter as @romancebookbing., gifted me a copy of a book I really wanted. She is such an amazing person with a huge heart and the book arriving was a totally needed surprise at the time and I am still very grateful for. Anyway, if you caught the title chances are you know what book she sent me, The Canary Keeper by Clare Carson.


Picture of The Canary Keeper by Claire Carson in a wreath.

One Sentence Review

A wonderfully written and enthralling historical fiction mystery that kept me hooked.

Description

“In the grey mist of the early morning a body is dumped on the shore of the Thames by a boatman in a metal canoe. The city is soon alive with talk of the savage Esquimaux stalking Victorian London and an eye witness who claims the killer had an accomplice: a tall woman dressed in widow’s weeds, with the telltale look of the degenerate Irish.

Branna ‘Birdie’ Quinn had no good reason to be by the river that morning, but she did not kill the man. She’d seen him first the day before, desperate to give her a message she refused to hear. And now the Filth will see her hang for his murder, just like her father.

To save her life, Birdie must trace the dead man’s footsteps. Back onto the ship that carried him to his death, back to cold isles of Orkney that sheltered him, and up to the far north, a harsh and lawless land which holds more answers than she looks to find…

The Canary Keeper is a must-read historical epic, weaving suspense, adventure and romance into an exhilarating thriller.” –goodreads.com


What I Liked

One of the main things I loved about this story is that it includes real events and such, but the author is able to mix fact and fiction in such a flawless and remarkable way. The murder and the overall plot felt like it could have really happened in the Victorian era. As someone who studied history, this really makes or breaks a book set in the past. But as I said, he author sews the past with fiction in a masterful way.

On top of mixing the truth with fiction, the setting and atmosphere throughout the novel was on point as well. Since I have read a lot of mysteries and thrillers over the years, I often find myself on a rollercoaster of interest when reading a run of the mill mystery, but the level of suspense through this novel was just the right amount. I was pulled in for most of the story, more on that later, but I was also not too anxious while reading. As I said earlier, the setting was just wonderfully done, the novel felt as if it was the Victorian era, it had the perfect feel to it. Which, I think shows the talent of the author.

What I Didn’t Like

As I said in the previous section, most of the story I was really drawn in. But honestly, there was a dip about 2/3 of the way through that I was kinda loosing interest, but then it turned around again.

Overall

Overall, I am so happy that I was able to read this story. It was a really wonderfully done historical mystery. The characters were great, the setting was perfect, the atmosphere really lent itself to the plot in a seamless way. I really think if you enjoy a good mystery and maybe just general historical fiction you should look further into this one!


Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Hauls

Book of the Month | October 2020

Hello and welcome to another BOTM unboxing! I think this month was the first month where I saw a book title and added it as my BOTM without looking at the other books. The book I picked I have been looking forward to for month since it is connected to a movie I love and have sentimental attachments to. Now, let’s talk about the book!


Picture of Magic Lesson by Alice Hoffman with a bookmark that says “Get Lost (In a story, that is).” propped up on pillows.

Description

“Where does the story of the Owens bloodline begin? With Maria Owens, in the 1600s, when she’s abandoned in a snowy field in rural England as a baby. Under the care of Hannah Owens, Maria learns about the “Unnamed Arts.” Hannah recognizes that Maria has a gift and she teaches the girl all she knows. It is here that she learns her first important lesson: Always love someone who will love you back.

When Maria is abandoned by the man who has declared his love for her, she follows him to Salem, Massachusetts. Here she invokes the curse that will haunt her family. And it’s here that she learns the rules of magic and the lesson that she will carry with her for the rest of her life. Love is the only thing that matters.” – goodreads.com


Why This Book

I already hinted a bit as to why I picked this book. But, incase you did not know this book is the prequel to the book Practical Magic. Now, since I was young I watched the Practical Magic movie that is based off that book with my mom and we continue to watch it from time to time. We always had a great time and made wonderful memories surrounding it. So, you can see why I jumped at the chance to know more about the background of the family. It is just one of those tales for me that is ingrained in my memories and has been a part of my life for some time.

Who would have thought sentimental reasons would be the cause for me to pick a BOTM? I sure didn’t think that would ever happen, but here we are. I am hoping to read it before the month is through. October is a good time to read a story about a witch!


Are you interested in the prequel to Practical Magic?

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Writing and More

Bullet Journal | October 2020

Hello and welcome to my monthly post where I share my bullet journal spreads for the month. This month I changed up things a bit because how I use my bujo is changing a bit with everything going on in the world. But, I am so happy with what I created this time around.


Items Used

  • Alphabet stamps
  • Scotch Adhesive Dot Roller
  • Mechanical Pencil
  • Micron 01 in Black
  • Royalty Free Stock Photo: Pixabay
  • A5 Garden Slither Dot Grid Notebook from Olive and Archer
  • Amenti Oracle by Jennifer Sodini

On the left I printed a few diagrams of human hearts on tan paper and on the right I added a misspelt October on a piece of the same brown paper. I added a few lines to add a little bit of detail. Yes, I did redo the October after taking these pictures. This is what happens when I work on this late at night.

This month I decided to make the monthly overview as large as I could and added a print out of a bone on the brown paper you will see throughout this month to add a pop of color.

On the left you will see my monthly oracle card, I scanned it and added it on brown paper. This month is Ground Yourself. On the other side printed a skull and some more line art to add some details again and keep it from looking dull and boring.

On the left of these next pages I listed my monthly TBR and goals I have for myself. On the right I have my “shelves” to glue down the book covers of the books I read throughout the month. I also have a print out of a rib cage to keep with the anatomical theme.

This month I decided to put an entire weekly spread on one page instead of using two pages. I made boxes for each day, and a mini cal and space to add all the good memories. On the extra page I had I added a printout of a skeleton and added even more line art.

Lastly, in October I want to spend less money. So I am doing a no spend, this just means not spending on things that you don’t need. I added the a picture of a ribcage again and a circle for each day of the month. The day I don’t spend money on non-needed things I can color in.


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Life, DIYs, & Cooking

Crochet Talk | May – August 2020

Hello and welcome to a post where I share a few of my most recent crochet projects. In the past I have shared quite a few updates on my projects, my most recent being my post Crochet Talk | April 2020. Since then, I have been working on a few larger projects and some fun ones that were challenging and new to me. While there were some frustrations, I had a lot of fun and I think has really helped me get better. Anyway, here are my most recently completed projects!


This is a scarf inspired by Victorian lace. I used a pattern created by LesiaLittleAdventure on etsy called Victorian Lace High Collar Crochet Pattern. I have never created anything that had such an intriquet pattern and where you can really notice a mistake. Thankfully I did well and I was able to gift this to a dear friend. I plan on making myself one in green, but I have a few things I need to get done soon.


Here is my completed temperature blanket I made for June 2019-May 2020, but I fell far behind and actually finished it on August 20th, 2020. While it took a huge amount of time, so much so that I was about to give up sewing in all the color changes, I really love how it came out!


I also made a sunflower bag, based this off of the pattern SWEET SUMMER SUNFLOWER BAG by Crochet 365 Knit Too. It was fun to make since I never made granny squares before. Between learning how to make the sunburst granny square I also had to work on sewing them all together. While it was challenging, I adore how it came out.


What have you be doing to pass the time as of late?

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Hauls

Book of the Month | September 2020

Hello and welcome to another unboxing of my subscription of BOTM. This month I am happy to say I actually picked two books for my box and both just sound amazing! I honestly had a really hard time between all the awesome choices. One good things was they had Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson and if I had not bought it the day before I would have picked that one so I was able to pick another as well as a book from a previous month. Now, on to my picks and why I chose them!


Descriptions

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

Gifty is a fifth year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford School of Medicine studying reward seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after a knee injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her.

But even as she turns to the hard sciences to unlock the mystery of her family’s loss, she finds herself hungering for her childhood faith, and grappling with the evangelical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation remains as tantalizing as it is elusive. Transcendent Kingdom is a deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanain immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief–a novel about faith, science, religion, love. Exquisitely written, emotionally searing, this is an exceptionally powerful follow-up to Gyasi’s phenomenal debut. -goodreads

The Shadows by Alex North

You knew a teenager like Charlie Crabtree. A dark imagination, a sinister smile–always on the outside of the group. Some part of you suspected he might be capable of doing something awful. Twenty-five years ago, Crabtree did just that, committing a murder so shocking that it’s attracted that strange kind of infamy that only exists on the darkest corners of the internet–and inspired more than one copycat.

Paul Adams remembers the case all too well: Crabtree–and his victim–were Paul’s friends. Paul has slowly put his life back together. But now his mother, old and senile, has taken a turn for the worse. Though every inch of him resists, it is time to come home.

It’s not long before things start to go wrong. Reading the news, Paul learns another copycat has struck. His mother is distressed, insistent that there’s something in the house. And someone is following him. Which reminds him of the most unsettling thing about that awful day twenty-five years ago.

It wasn’t just the murder.

It was the fact that afterward, Charlie Crabtree was never seen again… -goodreads


Why I Picked These Books

When it comes to Transcendant Kingdom, I picked it because I have been really enjoying hard hitting emotional reads as of late. This book really tells the story of a woman who is spending her life trying to find a way to help her family while they suffer from mental illness, addiction, and loss. I think it will also explore the pressure this puts on Gifty and her struggles that come from this. Not only does this book peak my interest, so does the author. I have heard such wonderful things about this authors outstanding gift when it comes to writings and I just felt like I needed to pick up a book by them.

The second book I picked, The Shadows, was added to my book because I have been into true crime and horror a lot lately and this seemed like a fictional combination of these. On top of that, I have heard promising things about this authors works and I have not read anything by them before.


What was the most recent book added to your TBR?
Does this book sound interesting to you?

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Reviews

Book Review | One by One by Ruth Ware

*Book given via netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

One by One

Description: 

Getting snowed in at a beautiful, rustic mountain chalet doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world, especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a cozy fire, and company to keep you warm. But what happens when that company is eight of your coworkers…and you can’t trust any of them?

When an off-site company retreat meant to promote mindfulness and collaboration goes utterly wrong when an avalanche hits, the corporate food chain becomes irrelevant and survival trumps togetherness. Come Monday morning, how many members short will the team be?


What I Liked

First and foremost, Ware has once again shown her talent when it comes to creating an atmosphere perfect for a thriller. Again and again Ware has proven that she can in a short time make you feel as if you are in the story along with the characters. You get suspicious of people right away and you feel trapped right along side them on the mountain top chalet. This has always been my favorite aspects when it comes to reading one of her novels, I fall right into the world because she builds it up perfectly. Another thing I really liked was the fact that the feeling I felt while reading One by One are the same feeling I had when I read Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.

Additionally, I really liked the tech company that was created and used throughout this novel. No only was it used to give structor to the story, it was fun to see a made up company and product that seems like it could really be on the app store. I thought using this company really brings it into modern times and ensures it does not feel like the story takes place long ago. It also lends itself to creating very interesting dynamics that are a key component to this story. The suspicion and high tensions within this story, it really lends itself to the narrative. It leads to emotions getting higher and higher and leads to hidden, deep distrust to come to the surface.


What I Didn’t Like

The only downside was I felt one of the two narrators, I was so happy there were only two main voices in this story, read someone what juvenile from time to time though not consistently. So, it really was not anything that ruined the story or pulled me out of it in anyway. Which, for a thriller to be effective needs to really keep you in the narrative, and this really does.


Overall Thoughts

Overall, I really enjoyed this thriller. The setting was amazing, the atmosphere was palpable, the characters were interesting as well as their dynamics, and the story fully pulled me in. Once again Ware has proven to be an amazing writer and continues to be one of my auto-buy authors. Even though I received this book for free, I am going to go pick up another on publication day. If you want a good secluded thriller that appears to be a dream come true at first, but turns into a horror, I feel like this is one you should certainly look into.

4stars

Author Links

Ruth Ware

Book Information

Publication Date: September 8th 2020

Publisher:  Scout Press

List Price: $27.99

ISBN:  978-1501188817

Pages: 384 pages


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