Wrap Up

Wrap Up | June 2020

Wrap Up

Hello and welcome to my June wrap up, wow it feels so weird typing that. Already halfway through 2020. This month was quite an improvement reading wise for me, I actually did some reading. I am not quite sure what happened in May and what put me out of the mood to read, but thankfully it has passed and I ended up reading quite a bit. Here are the books I read, my backlist checkin and my monthly stats!


Read 2

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Overall, I felt that this book was average for me. Not amazing and not bad at all, it was just in the middle. I enjoyed the world, but I was not invested in the plot or the characters. I was just someone following along. Now, this could be because as I stated earlier I don’t read a lot of YA anymore and I am annoying specific when it comes to fantasy. I really did enjoy the world building in this novel and I feel like Schwab has a lot of talent when it comes to this. I will say I am happy that I gave it a try and finally read it. I always had the feeling of “Fear of Missing Out” when it came to this series, now that question has been answered. Thank you for picking my book Melinda!

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UntamedUntamed by Glennon Doyle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A very interesting collection of stories to make up the author’s memoir. I found the stories shared to be heart warming and raw. The author really sharers herself with her readers, but also gives them something to reflect on.

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Twelfth NightTwelfth Night by William Shakespeare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Review to come!

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Prodigal Son (Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, #1)Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Overall, I felt that this novel has a lot of potential, it was dark, twisted and let’s face it inspired by one of the most popular horror novels of all time. I really enjoyed a lot about this book, but what lost me was the characters actions. Sometimes I just felt like, wow, they are meant to be detectives? Their actions just were not believable. That aside, I did enjoy parts of it and I am curious enough to be thinking about continuing this series. That is a big deal for me, because I tend to hate series.

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Full Dark, No StarsFull Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

1922-5/5 psychological and dark real world horror

Big Driver-2/5 the assault is r*ape.

Fair Extension-3/5 – interesting, but I wasn’t really feeling it.

A Good Marriage-5/5 Just when you thought you knew someone completely, another story were man is the true monster.

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Anansi BoysAnansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a really interesting story sett in the same world as American Gods. It was a twisting tale and as always Gaiman has a way with words. As always the writing was done very well and the story was imaginative to say the least. The reason I took a few stars off it because there were a few parts I became bored with, but over all I really did enjoy it. If you liked American Gods, I think you will like this as well.

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Before the Coffee Gets ColdBefore the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this and I really want to read more from this author. I really liked how the author mixed the magical with the mundane to create such a heart warming story.

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Middle Mark Books 2


Beat the Backlist 2

Start of 2020: 51

Current: 6


Reading Stats


What was your favorite book this month?

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TBR

To Be Read | June 2020

To Be Read

Hello and welcome to my June TBR! I am actually excited for the month of June for a few reasons. We are officially in the last month of the first half of the year, which is a bit mind blowing. On top of that I feel like it will be a nice fresh start for my reading since it was a bit subpar last month and I am actually not forgetting about my ebooks for once! I don’t want to ramble this month, but I really feel like it is going to be a great month. On to the books!


Physical Books

The first book is going to be a mystery one that was picked for me by Melinda from Basement Bookcase. It is a new to me author and something that is very outside my normal reading so I am excited to see how it works out.

The first book pictures is Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. Last year I read my first book from him and I really fell in love with his writing style. Plus, one of my goal this year is to read a book recommended by one o my favorite authors and this was on Joe Hill’s list. So, I get to read a book by a great author and cross a 2020 goal off of my list.

Next I have Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King, which is the Stephen King book that I have had on my owned TBR the longest and I am in the mood for something scary so I am picking this up. I am not really sure what to expect because I completely forgot the description at this point. I just remember picking this up at The Strand in NYC at last years Bookcon.

Twelfth Night is my Shakespeare pick for June, I really don’t have a ton of thoughts on this just yet.

Lastly I am buddy reading Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz with Jenna and Reg this month. I have never read anything by Dean Koontz, but I know they are a popular author and I am always seeing their name everywhere so I am excited to give them a shot.


Digital Copies

I have really been neglecting my digital books as of late and I really need to get to them. So, this month I want to read three of these.

The first listed here is The Devil in the White City by by Erik Larson. This story shares some of what transpired around the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, including Americas first serial killer. It is a morbid one, but I really want to know more about the World Fair because I hear about it often, but also about this criminal history.

The second book is I’m Ju I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi. The tag line “Perfect for starting important and meaty discussions about all of the topics your mama told you never to bring up at polite dinner parties.” really sold me.

Lastly, we have Your Goddess Year: A Week-by-Week Guide to Invoking the Divine Feminine by Skye Alexander. I have always been interested in leaning about the gods and goddesses from a wide range of civilizations. I feel like a lot of them are not talked about a lot because they are not part of the major circles of gods we study in school so I am excited to learn about 52 new ones!

I just noticed that all my ebooks were nonfiction! This really excites me because I have been meaning to read more of it since I read none last month.


What are you planning to reading this month?

Have you read any of these books, did you like them?

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TBR

To Be Read | May 2020

To Be Read

Hello and welcome to another TBR post! This month my reading is going to be a bit more relaxed than it was last month with the #OWLsReathaon. I still cannot believe I read so much! Anyway, I just have a few books on my TBR I really wanted to get to. Without more of a delay, on to the books!


Middlegame by Seanan McGuire, picked by Evelyn over at evelynreads.com.  I am really excited to be giving this a go this month. I have read about 4 of their books already and I really enjoyed them. I know this one has met some mixed feelings so I am really excited to see if I end up loving it or not.

The Canary Keeper by Clare Carson, gifted by Adrianna over at romancebookbinge.com. I am so grateful to be able to read this in May. I have been wanting to read this book for months, maybe even over a year? May is the month to get it read!

The Magicians Land by Lev Grossman, buddy reading with Reg from bookishinbed and Jenna from jkimexploring. I cannot wait to see what the last book in this series is going to bring. This series could easily become one of my favorites, I am so glad that we ended up reading this together because I might not have ever read it. Also, with that ending in book 2, I need to know what happens next!

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel, I picked this up at my local bookstore because it was given the title of ‘April 2020 Indie Next List #1 Great Read’ on indiebound.org. The description confused me quite a bit, but it said a few of my key words; ghost, hotel, and island. So, I bought it to support my local store.

The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon, what can I say? This is book 5 in the series and I am ready to get it read!

The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare, this is my May Shakespeare as voted by on my twitter account. I actually know nothing about this play at the time of writing this, but since I loved Macbeth I am more excited about reading his works than ever before.


What are you reading in May? Are there any releases you are looking forward to?

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Reviews

Book Review | Salvation Station by Kathryn Schleich

Book Review

*Book given by the publisher via aWunderkind PR in exchange for an honest review*

Salvation Station
Description: 

When committed female police captain Linda Turner, haunted by the murders of two small children and their pastor father, becomes obsessed with solving the harrowing case, she finds herself wrapped up in a mission to expose a fraudulent religious organization and an unrepentant killer.

Despite her years of experience investigating homicides for the force, Captain Linda Turner is haunted by the murders of the Hansen family. The two small children, clothed in tattered Disney pajamas, were buried with their father, a pastor, in the flower garden behind a church parsonage in Lincoln, Nebraska. But Mrs. Hansen is nowhere to be found—and neither is the killer.

In St. Louis, the televangelist Ray Williams is about to lose his show—until one of his regular attendees approaches him with an idea that will help him save it. Despite his initial misgivings, Ray agrees to give it a try. He can’t deny his attraction to this woman, and besides, she’d assured him the plan is just—God gave her the instructions in a dream.

Multiple story lines entwine throughout this compelling mystery, delving into the topics of murder, religious faith, and the inherent dangers in blindly accepting faith as truth. While Reverend Williams is swept up in his newfound success and plans for his wedding, Captain Turner can only hope that she and her team will catch the Hansens’ cunning killer—before more bodies surface. goodreads.com


What I Liked

I will openly admit that thrillers that involve police detectives are normally not my thing, but Kathryn Schleich has managed to write a book I enjoy that deals with a police captain. The I was drawn in within a few pages, you don’t need to wait for the story to start up. This story has a very ghastly murder of two children and their paster father and a mother that has gone missing. One of the threads through this book follow the investigation. The second main thread throughout this book a church in desperate need and starts to follow the direction of one of its members. 

The main things that stood out to me was the authors ability to portray the work put in by the police to help solve this crime. It felt like the characters care and really wanted to having this murder solved, not just a plot device and the story continuing. The second thing that stood out to me about the plot was the authors ability to deal with the difficult topic of religion. In this story there is discussion of a church that is cult like and the things those in charge will do for power and esteem.

Now, I don’t want to say much about the plot because this is a thriller and it is best to know the least as possible about it to get the full affect. But, I will say the authors writing was surprising. The effort and talent is apparent in the quality of the writing. There was not a point where I was very aware of a plot-hole or where I felt the characters were, well out of character. This is something many talented authors who have many books under their belt sometimes still struggle with. This thriller flowed nicely and I was not jarred by anything or shaken out of the story.


What I Didn’t Like

Honestly, this point is a very personal thing and I kind of mentioned it above. I am not a huge fan of reading thrillers that deal with police. But, like I said earlier Schleich has still written a book so well that I still liked it quite a bit.


Overall Thoughts

Overall, I found this novel to be very interesting and pulled me in very early on. I really enjoyed the different points of view/perspectives and I felt they were balanced very well. It is common when I read a novel that has various points of view and I feel like I want to skip a section, in this novel I did not want to skip at all. I needed to know everything that was happening. The writing was so wonderful that I want to read more of her works. If you enjoy thrillers I would suggest that you look into this one and see if it is write for you. It was enthralling, page turning, and an all around wonderful thriller.

4stars


Author Links


Book Information

Publication Date: April 2020

Publisher: She Writes Press

List Price: $16.95

ISBN: 9781631528

Pages: 256 pages


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Hauls

Unboxing | BOTM February 2020

Hauls & Unboxings

Hello and welcome to my monthly Book of the Month post! This month I picked only one book, I am trying to read all of my backlisted BOTM books so I don’t want to add too many more to the pile. This month I chose something a bit outside my normal reading, but I am still excited about it. Now, on to the haul!


Description

“In this twisty tale from Moore (The Sherlockian), the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of The Imitation Game, young juror Maya Seale is convinced that African American high school teacher Bobby Nock is innocent of killing the wealthy white female student with whom he appears to have been involved and persuades her fellow jurors likewise. Ten years later, a true-crime docuseries reassembles the jurors, and Maya, now a defense attorney, must prove her own innocence when one of them is found dead in Maya’s room.” –goodrerads.com


This month I decided on The Holdout, a thriller of sorts that is driven via the court system. I normally do not read thrillers or mysteries that have a lot of law enforcement, courtroom drama, or themes along those lines. Normally, my thrillers of choice are more domestic and psychological. If there is law enforcement. it is usually towards the end, not the entire plot.  I will say the exception to this would have to be the Mr. Mercedes series by Stephen King, although it. was a mix of a detective mystery and something else.

I am excited to give this one a go because it seems like it’s a mixture of a detective mystery and a domestic thriller. So, I feel like this would be a good way to see if I enjoy thrillers along those lines, just dipping my toes while still in my comfort zone a bit.

I will also openly admit, I loved the Imitation Game, so that was also a bit of a selling point of this book. If you do get the chance, it is a wonderful story, but totally heart breaking and could be very difficult to watch. Do a bit of research to see if it would be triggering for you before giving it a go.


Does this book sound interesting to you?

If you have BOTM what book did you pick this month?

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TBR

To Be Read | February 2020

To Be Read

Hello and welcome to my February TBR! This year is leap year, which means we get an additional day in February to read. So, this month I am thinking about taking on some of my larger books, with one in particular being a goal.


Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann is my Man Booker short list book of the month. As I am writing this I have not finished Girl, Woman, Other, but I am putting the next one on the list on my TBR. This one is truly a hefty book, I could probably use it as protection against a bad person. It is a bit intimidating, but the description sounds really interesting and I am excited to jump in.

Little Children by Tom Perrotta, is on my list this month due Reg picking it out for me to read for my relaunched Someone Picks My Books series. In January I read a book recommended by my aunt, Where the Crawdads Sing and it was a total win, I think this one is going to be as well. If you want to check that out, you can do that here: Someone Picks My Books | Aunt Edition & Series Return!

Othello by William Shakespeare, this is another book I am reading for a series this year. Othello is going to be my Shakespeare play of the month. I have decided this year to read a Shakespeare play a month and really determine if I hate his works because I was forced to read them, or they truly are not for me. Last month I read A Midsummers Night’s Dream, you can see my thought on it here: 2020 Shakespeare Challenge | January

The Langoliers by Stephen King, last but not least is a horror I picked up in January and I am very excited to read it this month. Something about the setting being an eerie train just pulled me in. It also just feels like the classic scary monster vibe I have been missing as of late.

While I have only picked four books for my TBR this month, I am planning on reading more, but these are my priority. After I get through these my mood reading can really take off!


Bonus Books

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo, this was a leftover from last month, I started it and still have to finish it, but so far so good! 

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, I was meant to read this last month, but I ran out of time sadly so I want to get to it this month.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman, I am buddy reading with Jenna and Reg, which I am super excited about. I have been wanting to read it for a long time now and I finally get the chance to read it with two awesome people. 

 


What books are you planning on reading this month?

What book are you currently reading?

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Hauls

Unboxing | BOTM January 2020

Hauls & Unboxings

Hello and welcome to another post! I am excited to share my Book of the Month this month because I ended up with three books. Oops! Since I am a BOTM BFF ( I have been subscribed for more than 12 month, time flies when reading good books!) I get the to pick one of the Book of the Year Nominations for free as a thank you from them. Then I decided to add an extra book, because I had such a hard time deciding on just one. Anyway, here are the books!


As I said, I had a hard time choosing between two books, these two were Things in Jars by Jess Kidd and The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James. Simone St. James wrote the The Broken Girls and I read it last year and I ADORED it, so when I saw another one of her books on here I wanted it. But, I then read the description of Things in Jars. This book is a combination of macabre with ghosts, supernatural elements, but also a Victorian mystery led by female detective. I was sold, so I ended up picking both books, one of thee beauties of BOTM. Now, Recursion by Blake Crouch was my free pick from their Book of the Year finalists. It sounded really interesting and different, so I am also excited to give this one a go as well. Below are the descriptions of all three of the books.


Things in Jars by Jess Kidd Description 

“Bridie Devine—female detective extraordinaire—is confronted with the most baffling puzzle yet: the kidnapping of Christabel Berwick, secret daughter of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick, and a peculiar child whose reputed supernatural powers have captured the unwanted attention of collectors trading curiosities in this age of discovery.

Winding her way through the labyrinthine, sooty streets of Victorian London, Bridie won’t rest until she finds the young girl, even if it means unearthing a past that she’d rather keep buried. Luckily, her search is aided by an enchanting cast of characters, including a seven-foot tall housemaid; a melancholic, tattoo-covered ghost; and an avuncular apothecary. But secrets abound in this foggy underworld where spectacle is king and nothing is quite what it seems.

Blending darkness and light, history and folklore, Things in Jarsis a spellbinding Gothic mystery that collapses the boundary between fact and fairy tale to stunning effect and explores what it means to be human in inhumane times.” –goodreads.com


The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James Description 

“The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.

Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn’t right at the Sun Down, and before long she’s determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden…” –goodreads.com 


Recursion by Blake Crouch Description 

“Memory makes reality.

That’s what New York City cop Barry Sutton is learning as he investigates the devastating phenomenon the media has dubbed False Memory Syndrome—a mysterious affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived.

That’s what neuroscientist Helena Smith believes. It’s why she’s dedicated her life to creating a technology that will let us preserve our most precious memories. If she succeeds, anyone will be able to re-experience a first kiss, the birth of a child, the final moment with a dying parent.

As Barry searches for the truth, he comes face-to-face with an opponent more terrifying than any disease—a force that attacks not just our minds but the very fabric of the past. And as its effects begin to unmake the world as we know it, only he and Helena, working together, will stand a chance at defeating it.

But how can they make a stand when reality itself is shifting and crumbling all around them?”- goodreads.com


So there you have it, the three books I received in my January BOTM! I am so excited about jumping in and read these titles this year.

QOTD: Have you read any of these books? Which one would you have picked? Do you subscribe to a book box? If so which one?

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Lets Talk

Blogmas | Let’s Talk | Disappointing Books of 2019

LetsTalk12:17Hello and welcome to the most disspointing read of 2019 for me persnoally. Earlier this week I talked about the best I have read, which ended up being a list of nearly 10, this one thankfully is quite a bit shorter. If you want to see my favorites you can find that here: Blogmas | Let’s Talk | Best Books Of 2019. Anyway, onto my most disappointing reads of 2019.


Much Ado About NothingMuch Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I have a pretty negative relationship with Shakespeare at this point because I have already read his works while bing forced and for me personally, if you force me to read something as a mood reader, I am not going to like it. I am going to be giving his works more of a chance in the future, but I did not enjoy this one at all. I was bored and just wanted it to end.
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SupermarketSupermarket by Bobby Hall

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I hate to say this, but I did not enjoy this book really at all. The writing was almost childish and gave me Catcher in the Rye vibes, but not in the good way. At first I was enjoying this, but as I read more and more I became bored and kinda just stopped caring pretty early on. I only finished this because the blurb sounded interesting and I was hoping it would turn around and this would just be a lull in the writing.

It is jumbled at times and idk, I feel like it needed to be more flushed out before being published. It also needed a better editor.

I feel like Hall with some practice, studies writing, and has a good editor could write something good in the future, so I am not writing him off.

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The Secret History of Twin PeaksThe Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am giving this book 2.5 stars. I found this tale to be interesting, but at times I found the font to be a real pain in the butt to read (hand written notes in script and sometimes really messy handwriting). I also found that the description misled me a little bit, I thought it was going to focus mainly on one thing, but jumped around a bit. I will say I enjoyed the mixing of fiction and facts to create this story, it really added to the feeling of this book.

If you enjoy reading novels that are made up of a bunch of documents, alien stories, or stories following research I think you will like this.
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The Favorite DaughterThe Favorite Daughter by Kaira Rouda

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The main reason I personally did not enjoy this was due to the narrator. I could not take more than a half an hour at a time listening to her. I am not really sure what to say, the idea is really interesting, but for me this is a case of a really annoying narrator.
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The Woman in the DarkThe Woman in the Dark by Vanessa Savage

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am kind of struggling to pin point why this book didn’t blow me out of the water. I think the main reason is because I was able to predict a lot of what happened from very early in the book. I think once I made an assumption and it started to be proven correct I was just kinda meh about it.

I think if you have not read a lot of thrillers this is a great place to start. It is shocking and has quite layers to it. The writing style itself is good and it flowed for sure. One thing I really liked is the fact that I was debating throughout that maybe this is actually happening or it isn’t happening at all. What is reality?
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So there you have it the five books that utterly disappointed me in 2019. I am happy to say that this list is short because a majority of my reads from 2019 were three stars and up. It is nice to finally be in a reading spot where I really know my taste and I am not just buying books because they are popular or hyped anymore.

What was your most disappointing read of 2019?

Did you like any of the books I listed here?

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TBR

TBR | Spookathon

ToBeRead12:17

Hello everyone and welcome to my second TBR of the month. A few weeks ago I saw BooksandLala’s post announcing her Spookathon readathon, if you want to take a look you can find that here: #SPOOKATHON 2019 ANNOUNCEMENT. Anyway, I have never taken part in this readathon and I was looking for one to join, so I thought, why not?

I just want to take some tine to go over the challenges, time frame, and most importantly the books I plan on attempting to read.


-Dates-

This readathon will take place from October 14th – 20th, a Monday to a Sunday. I don’t know about you, but I love when a readathon ends on a Sunday because it is my day off and I can do a ton a reading and end on a high note.

-Challenges-

  • Read a thriller
  • Read a book with red on the cover
  • Read a book with a spooky word in the title
  • Read a book with a spooky setting
  • Read something you wouldn’t normally read

-My TBR-

The Widow of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox

Outside the Gates by Molly Gloss

Skin Deep by Liz Nugent

The Wicked King by Holly Black

Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones


Are you taking part in this readathon or any readathon this month?

What book did you love that took place in a spooky setting?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | September 2019

Monthly Wrap Up

Hello and welcome to my monthly wrap up! This month was a bit overwhelming, but I read a lot more than I thought I would be able to read and I even read a few 5 star reads! I still cannot believe we are now officially into fall and within the last three months of 2019. It is time to make sure all of these yearly goals done, but before that I need to share what I have read, on to the books!


Read 2

PumpkinheadsPumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The story line was very cute and adorable. I might have audibly said awe a few times while reading this. The illustrations were great, I loved the color choices for the story as well. This was a great start to the autumn seasons.

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The Bad Death of Eduard DelacroixThe Bad Death of Eduard Delacroix by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a brutal one, but it added a lot to the story. I am moving on to the next one right away.

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Night JourneyNight Journey by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am moving on the the next one right away, I need to know how this story ends!

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Coffey on the MileCoffey on the Mile by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This finally installment really had me feeling for the characters a lot more than I had when I first started reading this serialized novel. It came full circle in a way I did not see coming and had an element I did not see coming either, but a very good choice in my opinion. This was a great story even though I hated a few characters with a passion.

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The Favorite DaughterThe Favorite Daughter by Kaira Rouda

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The main reason I personally did not enjoy this was due to the narrator. I could not take more than a half an hour at a time listening to her. I am not really sure what to say, the idea is really interesting, but for me this is a case of a really annoying narrator.

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Middle Mark Books 2


Beat the Backlist 2

Current TBR: 30

Backlist TBR: 1


What was your favorite book you read this month?

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