Reviews

REVIEW | The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

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* I received this book from publisher via netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.*  

The Turn of the Key
Description:

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is. –goodreads


What I Liked

Ruth Ware for me has been one of my favorite thriller writers. She has mastered the art of building a world and atmosphere that the reader is just pulled into. In fact, I was so enthralled with this novel, I read it in a single day. It kept me from the first page till the last.

The main part that pulled me in, apart from the atmosphere, was the characters she created. I really was interested in the people she wrote into being.  I always felt like they were hiding something, there was just something I couldn’t understand, even though their character was very distinct and in a lot of cases had a lot of interaction with one another so you have a good handle on their voices. Especially for the main character, I had to say I really loved how Ware decided to tell this story. I don’t want to spoil it, but I think the method really added to it. Not only did I feel like these flushed out characters feel like there was something just under the surface, the way they interacted with one another was interesting.

On top of the development of the characters and the great atmosphere, I have to say the location of the novel I thought was just a wonderful choice, I don’t want to say more because I think others will really enjoy it coming to life as you read.

As for the plot there were a few things I saw coming and a few things I did not see coming. For me that is a true sign of a good thriller. While, I read a lot of thrillers I can say with some confidence that I have gotten quite good at being able to predict what is going to happen. So, if it can surprise me not once, but multiple times, the author has done a very good job.

Also, I must add, this is one of the best unreliable narrators I have seen in some time.


What I Didn’t Like

Uh, nothing. I honestly loved it from front cover to back cover. Ruth Ware truly has a talent and I feel like with every one of her book she continue to get better and better.


Overall Thoughts

Overall, I think this is a fantastic thriller. It has the atmosphere, the setting, an unreliable narrator, and wonderful characters in addition to a wonderful plot. If you enjoy thrillers or any of the things I mentioned in this post, I really think you should give it a try. I will also add, that I liked it so much I bought a final copy of this book so I can tell more people about it.

5stars


Author Links

Ruth Ware

Website: ruthware.com
Facebook: @ruthwarewriter
Instagram: @ruthwarewriter

Book Information

Publication Date: August 6th 2019

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

List Price: $27.99

ISBN: 9781501188770

Pages: 337 pages

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TBR

TBR | September 2019

 

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After all the reading and planning of the NEWTs Readathon last month, I honestly wanted nothing to do with picking my TBR so I decided I was going to let a few twitter polls and you lovely individuals pick my TBR this month. I did add the books I am most excited to get to, so I was excited with whatever the outcome may be. Without more rambiling, here are the books you decided I should read this month!



-The Books-

The Tin Man has been on and off my radar for some time. I actually unhauled it a while back because I didn’t feel like I was ever going to read it. Now months and months later I came across it in a independent bookstore and I reread the description and I felt like I needed to read it. That was last month, so I am so happy I am reading it this month and not putting it off again.

The Salt Path is brand new to me, I have heard nothing about it before picking it up while on vacation this year. I found a really adorable independent bookstore and was browsing the shelves and came across this one. It looks like it is going to be a heart felt story that will make me cry. This nonfiction novel follows a Husband and Wife who drop everything and go hiking across the US when her husband is told he is terminally ill. I feel like I am going to cry, but also feel warm because I feel like these two are very much in love and it will be touching.

Miracle Creek was my BOTM pick from April, I am really interested in this magical realism/ thriller. I have a feeling it is going to be one I am going to fall in love with because the idea of it is so out there and unique to me.

I will also make it a goal of mine this month to finally finish my serialized editions of The Green Mile. I have parts 3-6 to still get to and I am reading them with a lovely group of individuals over on instagram. I am really excited about it!


What are you reading this month?

Are they on your TBR?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark August | NEWTs Readathon 2019

NEWTS 2019

We are officially coming to the middle mark of the #NEWTsReadathon! I cannot believe it is already halfway through this fun adventure of a readathon. I have been having so much fun with my exams, I have been liking my reads more than I had anticipated. Now, I don’t want to make this introduction to long, but I am going to review the NEWTs I have passed, my current scores, and give some mini reviews of the books I have read. I hope you enjoy!

OWLs  Passed: Potions, Herbology, Care of Magical Creatures, Muggle Studies, Charms, Transfiguration, Arithmancy


-Mandatory-

Herbology

  • A: Audiobook: Supermarket by Bobby Hall
  • E: Between 350-390 pages: Bringing Down the Colonial by Patricia Miller
  • O: Flowers on the Cover: Everything Under by Daisy Johnson 

Potions

  • A: Friends Fav: Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman *cough* Jenna, Reg *cough*
  • E: Yellow on the Cover, Yay Hufflepuff!: Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon 

Care of Magical Creatures

  • A: Book that stars with A: The Alienist by Caleb Carr
  • E: Under 300 Pages:

-Bonus-

Arithmancy

  • A: Ends in an even number: Needful Things by Stephen King
  • E: Standalone: Endless Night by Agatha Christie

Charms

  • A: Beautiful Cover: Smashed by Junji Ito
  • E: Read a Comic:

-Current NEWT Scores-

Herbology: O

Potion: A

Care of Magical Creatures: A

Charms: A

Arithmancy: A


-Reviews-

Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe, #2)Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn’t think I could say this about a series, but I liked this book better than the first. I am not a big romance in books lover unless I specifically pick up a book looking for that. I was happy to say that this book had a lot of action and a lot of stuff going on and love took a back seat. I don’t want to say too much, but the writing was good and I really enjoyed where the story went. I am looking forward to the next one coming out.

View all my reviews


The Alienist (Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, #1)The Alienist by Caleb Carr

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was not disappointed by this 1800s historical classic mystery. The length was perfect, I didn’t feel like there were parts that could have been cut. On top of that the pacing was also wonderful. The array of characters of our main group are great great chemistry, but also realistic.

There are some strong characters in here and some you don’t always feel like you can trust. I love when I find characters I adore, but there is just something a little unsettling. I find that leads me to question a lot more and read more intently to see if I can catch anything. I also loved the use of real historical figures and characters in this book, it really made this historical fiction feel like it was real. I have to say it is one of my favorite things when a historical fiction surrounds people who actually lived.

Overall, this was a great adventure and I am very, very happy that this is a series.I recommend it to anyone looking for a good on your toes mystery. I will warn there is some graphic treatment of children in this story. So if that bothers you this might not be for you.

View all my reviews


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.

View all my reviews


Bringing Down the Colonel: A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age, and the Bringing Down the Colonel: A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age, and the “Powerless” Woman Who Took on Washington by Patricia Miller

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this nonfiction account of the trial of Madeline Pollard vs Colonel W.C.P. Breckinridge, which took on the inequality in morality between men and women within US society. The author made this case accessible and I was interested throughout reading. I liked how the author described the history of moral judging through US history how it shifted from equal blame during colonial times, to mainly being a woman’s problem. The coverage of the court case was detailed and I also really liked how the author covered the holes and inconsistencies in both arguments. On top of that, I enjoyed how the author described the effects of the court case on women, Madeline, Breckinridge and the futures they lived.

View all my reviews


Everything UnderEverything Under by Daisy Johnson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is going to be a really weird review. I liked the story, but the way it was portrayed irritated me. There are no ” marks, “You” is used so much, the POV was personally aggravating to read. Now all of these are personal preference and does not in any way mean that the book is bad, but it was very much not for me. Also, why do chapters have the same names? I didn’t know these things mattered go much to me until now.

If you read the first chapter of this book or a sample I feel like you will know right away if this book is for you or not.

View all my reviews


Smashed: Junji Ito Story CollectionSmashed: Junji Ito Story Collection by Junji Ito

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wish I had found this sooner. It is just the right mixture of good imagery and scary plots to fly through. Each story stands out on its own, even the few that are related. I can say that I really enjoyed each of the short stories in this collection, which never happens for me. I normally hate or dislike at least one. Some of these are gory so if you don’t like seeing blood, I would not recommend. I will be picking up more of his work in the near future. I am so happy I found some horror manga.

TW: suicide

View all my reviews


Needful ThingsNeedful Things by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another wonderful novel by Stephen King. I really liked the slow build of this novel that intertwines the entire small town. It is very dark at times and can be quite gory from time to time, but physical horror is not all that is present in this novel. There is a psychological aspect to this that really makes you think about human nature and how easily some people can loose their values and morals especially when their hearts desires are on the line.

TW: suicide

View all my reviews


What is your favorite book so far this month?

How are your NEWTs going? Which exam are you taking now?

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Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | Top 5 Books I Have Read So Far This Year

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I was watching youtube, as one does and I recently subscribed to a booktuber called Katie Wismer. Her newest video, at the time of writing this, popped up into my feed and I loved this little addition to a midyear check in. Last month I went over all of my goal. updates and such in my post called Reading & Blog Goals | 2019 Mid-Year Check In, but after watching her video I thought it would be fun to share my favorite and least favorite reads so far this year. I am going to start with  a gush fest, I hope you don’t mind!


-The Books-

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

I mainly read this because I was hearing so many great things. Then after I picked it up my boyfriend happened to watch the first episode of the Prime series and said I would really liked it. So, I decided to read this and it has easily become a favorite for me. I read this in two days. If I didn’t have work it would have been a single day.

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

This was such a well planned out and very well organized thriller it was able to surprise me so many times along the way. The description I think sells it sort because the plot is so much more. I don’t want to say too much, but wow. I have to say I am really lucky to have been given an ARC for a book that ended up being 5 stars. It is wonderful when that happens.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki, Rosemary Valero-O’Connell

This was such a cute LGBTQ+ graphic novel. I actually read a free sample from the publisher on their website and I read the sample then walked into the library because I needed to know what happened next. The artwork and the words were both beautiful. Sadly not pictured because it was from the library.

Elevation by Stephen King

This is a wonderfully weird novella from King. It was not horror, but more science fiction and I loved that! Even with its short size I became connected to the characters and felt for them. I will admit I teared up at a particular point. This was a very unique story and I will reread it again.

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

Now, there is not much to say about this high fantasy novel/series that has yet to be said. I am started a reread of this series and I am enjoying the adventure so much. I can’t  wait to continue and maybe implement a hobbit style eating habit along the way. The world, the language, and the songs created by JRR Tolkien are all amazing and so detailed it feels so real.


What has been your favorite read of 2019 so far?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | June 2019

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June was a very crazy month for me, I am so I am very surprised at how much I ended up reading this month. I was expecting to read maybe only 4 books, but I ended up reading much more than that.

I will say this month I was very bad about sticking to my TBR, June TBR | 2019, I ended up only reading 1 book on that list until the 24th of the month. Then, I kinda tried to binge the rest of the list. The main reason I did not do to well with sticking my my TBR was my mood reading and the books that became available from my library. Library books always take precedence with me because I can’t keep them and I might not be able to extend my time with it if someone else is in line.

Anyway, I overall liked a lot of the books I read this month, but below is some more details about the books themselves and my thoughts.

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Read 2

The Secret Life of BeesThe Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really liked the time period this was set in and how it was true to that time period. It showed the hardships that African Americans faced and the horrible treatments that were thrust upon them. I enjoyed the writing style and the theme of bees throughout the story.

I think I have come to realize though, that I do not like stories about young girls who lose their mothers at a young age. I think it is because I have read it so many times or what, but I am just not in the mood or enjoy stories with that plot line.

View all my reviews


Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with MeLaura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have not read a lot of books or comics or anything in a while that dealt with HS aged people. But, I am very happy that I read this. I started reading this as a preview from the publisher on their website, when the preview ended I needed more and got it from my library that thankfully had it. I finished it in one sitting.

The story line was heart wrenching, but heart warming at others. I loved that the characters were raw at times, but the issues that were hinted at and full on explored are real issues that are dealt with every day. I really enjoyed reading this.

On top of the storyline/plot being amazing, the art work was beautiful. I enjoy the style that is used and the color pallet and use of color to highlight certain aspects of the story. You can clearly see a lot of time and hard work went into this graphic novel.

View all my reviews


Daisy Jones & The SixDaisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I first started to read this I started to feel like I was mislead by the title of this book, but that quickly turned around for me when I was about 70 odd pages in. This story had me really engaged for a few reasons. The first being the time period, how can you not want to hear a story about a rock and roll group in the 1970? The second being the format of this novel.

I didn’t know that this was set up as an interview the entire book and I think it really lent itself to the story. I feel like the story would not have been as powerful and I would not have felt as much as I did if it was written another way. Also, if you are into audiobooks, I think this is one of the best I have ever listened to. They have an entire cast and it makes the voices so much more distinct, even through they would be without the audio.

This story talks about a lot of different struggles and it really is a roller coaster, but not the one you would expect from a rock group.

View all my reviews


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?

View all my reviews


Much Ado About NothingMuch Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I still don’t like Shakespeare, I am not sure why I keep trying at this point.

View all my reviews


The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great reread and adventure! Not really much to say other than I love this book and this story. It is filled with quirky wonderful characters and takes place in a very imaginative world.

View all my reviews


 

Middle Mark Books 2


Beat the Backlist 2

Current TBR: 45

Backlist TBR: 6

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What was your favorite book you read this month?

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TBR

June TBR | 2019

ToBeRead12:17

Hello everyone and happy June, the halfway mark in the year. So weird saying that, but it seems to be true we are officially halfway through 2019. This month is shaping up to be the month of rereads. Half of my tbr is rereading two of my favorite series and the other half are standalone novels from two new to me authors. I think I am going to really enjoy myself this month!


-The Books

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

  • This is one of my rereads, I read this 4 or 5 years ago for the first time and with Tolkien the movie coming out it has really made me want to reread and jump into his world.

The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer

  • This was my Book of the Month pick, I was pulled toward it because it is based off of the life of Varian Fry who tried to save the lives of Jews during WWII.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

  • Do I really need to explain myself with this one? I miss the magic and I want to go back to Hogwarts!

The Women in the Dark by Vanessa Savage

  • This is the June buddy read for Amy, Jenna, Reg and myself. I am very excited to jump into this haunting thriller I happened to come across in the bookstore a week and and half ago.

-TBR Jar Pick-

This month I actually had my boyfriend pick my TBR jar pick and he did not disappoint! He picked The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer, which I already talked about above. I am really excited to jump into this tome and I think it is going to give me some hope in humanity and I feel like it might also be an emotional roller coaster. He picked very well indeed.


What are you reading this month?

Have you read any of these books before or are they on your TBR?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | May 2019

Monthly Wrap Up

This month has been a really interesting reading month for me. I feel like my reading was all over the place, but at the same time not. I have read a lot of non-fiction or very large books the past few weeks, with only a sprinkling of thrillers from a buddy read and a novel from one of my 2019 reading challenges.

I am not quite sure why I tended to read a lot about Russian history or Russian influenced books, but I think I was really craving non-fiction and historical fiction. As to the big books, I think I have been in a mood to just pick up a book and just dedicate myself to reading it and really absorbing it, not just reading something and flying through it. Either way, I am really happy with the books I have read this month, without more of my ramblings and reflection, here are the books I read!

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Read 2
Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana AlliluyevaStalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva by Rosemary Sullivan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a wonderfully written non-fiction account of the daughter of one of the worlds most notorious men. It was really enlightening to read about her relationship with her father for a few reasons. The first being it really gave insight into Soviet Russian elite, which to me seemed to not be so different with how the elite lived under the tsars, and how Stalin was as a husband and a father.

I also liked how this novel tracked her life following the death of her father and beyond. I think it was a very good nod to her because it seemed like she tried hard to be seen as her own person and this novel really does just that.

As I said earlier, this is well written. The style of writing is story like with a great deal of information, I think this is great for those who want to read more non-fiction but are intimidated by books being to “academic”. In addition to this, the organization and execution of this biography is wonderful. The flow was very natural and I never felt like I was jumping around in her story, even though we cover an entire lifetime in a single book.

This book also inspired me to look into Svetlana’s own books about her story and also read more from this author.

View all my reviews


BecomingBecoming by Michelle Obama

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed hearing her story in her own words. If you have any interest, I highly recommend.

View all my reviews


Behind Her EyesBehind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a very thought out thriller and I can really appreciate that. I just wish one aspect of the story was more explored throughout the novel. While this was a well planned thriller, it is by no means bad, but it also isn’t one of my top ones.

The story will keep you on your toes and just like the dust jacket says, if you think you can guess the ending. I think your guess most likely will be wrong.

View all my reviews


The StandThe Stand by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am still surprised I was able to finish this book in a single month, but I am so happy that I read it. While it was long, I was not once bored and I never wanted to skip a particular part.

Overall, I really liked the wide array of characters in this novel. I was expecting to get them all confused and turned around, but they are so distinct and their motives for their actions are always true to them so I did not have a problem keeping them all straight. There were characters in here that I cried for and I cheered for. There were those I did not care for in the slightest. It really is interesting to see all the different ways humans deal with something like this.

I really enjoy this type of story from king, it is a mixture of ghosts, monsters, but also human nature and what it could be. Making is just enough real to make you uneasy. Also, whenever anyone sneezed I got anxious. I had to laugh at myself a bit, but according to the Stephen King subreddit, I am not the only one who this happened to.

View all my reviews

Middle Mark Books 2

If you want to read my review of the following books, please see my post; Middle Mark | May 2019.

Ask Baba Yaga by Taisia Kitaiskaia, Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Literary Witches by Taisia Kitaiskaia, Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Beat the Backlist 2

Current TBR: 38

Current Backlist TBR: 9Divider 2

What was your favorite book you read this month?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | #OWLsReadathon2019 Update

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So I have been blown away at my progress with the OWLs Readathon so far. I am not complaining in anyway, but I had no idea I would have read so much already. I think taking part in the Magical All Nighter really helped me make a lot of progress as well. Anyway, I am going to hurry and tell you the OWLs I have passed, ones I am working on, and the ones I still need for my profession of choice. Then, underneath will be my mini reviews. Also, if you have no idea what I am talking about, you can read about the readathon and my goals here: April TBR | OWLs Magical Readathon 2019.

-Passed-

  • Charms
  • Herbology
  • Care of Magical Creatures
  • Muggle Studies
  • Transfiguration

-In Progress-

  • Potions

-Magical All Nighter-

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Read 2

The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women WriteThe Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write by Sabrina Mahfouz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the wide array of perspectives that were present in this book. Not did the editor bring together a wonderful collection of writings, the writings were created by an assortment of women of different ages as well. I felt like that created a very interesting dynamic in the writing, but also illustrated that deep feelings can be felt at any age. I felt passion and many deep emotions while reading this book. All the writers are very talented. I think my favorite, if I had to pick, would be Islamic Tinder by Triska Hamid.

On top of the quality of writing, I also enjoyed that there were different forms of writing present; short stories, poetry, and plays as well.

View all my reviews


Fierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your SoulFierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your Soul by Nikita Gill

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second collection I am reading from this author, I am happy to say that I still love her work. Her theme throughout this book was wonderfully represented, but I also liked how the classic fairytales were shifted to tell a unique story as well. The illustrations throughout were very complimentary as well. If the description interests you or you want to try a collection of poems and stories I highly recommend.

My favorites were Lost Boy, The Step Mothers Tale, Shoemakers Son.

View all my reviews


The Virgin SuicidesThe Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the title you can tell that this book deals with the very difficult topic of suicide. If any discussion of this topic is a trigger for you, I do not recommend you picking it up. If this is not a triggering topic, I highly suggest you read it.

Having personally dealt with a family member who has gone through this, I went into this book a bit worried that it would handle the topic badly. I was very pleasantly surprised that it handled not only the girls well, but also those left behind very well. I don’t really want to say much about the story itself, but I thought the writing was well done, the characters done well, and I was very much enthralled by the plot.

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My Sister, the Serial KillerMy Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a page turner with twists I did not expect. I read this in one sitting and I will be looking out to read more from this author in the future. If you want a fast paced family centric thriller I highly suggest this one.

View all my reviews


ElevationElevation by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a really wonderful science fiction novella. I will openly admit I teared up at the end, which surprised me because I did not expect to become attached to any of the characters in the slightest. The novella is so short I expected it to be a good story, but not one that made me feel. This was a very interesting idea and done very well. But, please know this is not a horror, it is science fiction.

View all my reviews


The Englishman who Posted Himself and Other Curious ObjectsThe Englishman who Posted Himself and Other Curious Objects by John Tingey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a well written and feel good fun story of a man who wanted to test the mail system. He ended up being known for this hobby and being one of the “fathers” of mail. The story was fun to read and I found it very interesting and fast paced. The images thorugh the book were beautifully copied added and great detail could be seen.

If you like reading about “oddities” and want a fast paced and interesting non-fiction to read, I highly suggest.

I will say I was drawn to this at first because I collect postcards from around the world, but I feel like anyone would enjoy reading this. It truly is about a man following his hobby and having fun.

View all my reviews
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Currently Reading 2

Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children, #3)

I just started reading the third book in the Wayward Children series, I don’t want to say too much for fear I will spoil something, but I am excited to continue with this series and see what world we are taken to next. The book will cover the requirement for Potions, my last required OWL for Herbology.

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What are you currently reading?

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TBR

March TBR | 2019

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Hello everyone, it is a new month. That means I write another TBR that I may or may not stick too. Last month I did not stick to my TBR in the slightest because I was on the verge of going into a book slump and I decided to be a full fledge mood reader instead of reading a mixture of mood and set TBR. Anyway, I feel much better in regards to the possible slump so I wanted to try something new. I decided to post a few polls to twitter to have you, my wonderful readers, to pick my TBR!

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The Last Hours by Minette Walters

The Last Hours (Black Death, #1)

This book has been on my TBR since July of 2018 and it is about time I get to this book. The main reason I ended up with this book was because I got it as an ARC at bookcon. I explained the types of books I liked and I was given this as a recommendation. As soon as they said historical fiction and black plague I said “I’ll take that”. That does not speak well for my interests, but who cares. It sounds perfect.

Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

Neverworld Wake

This book I am picking up because it was picked by my friend Jenna for our buddy reading group to read this month. I am excited to read this with Jenna, Amy, and Reg and talk about this thriller. As soon as I looked up the description I was so happy about her choice and I put a hold on it through my library at once.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2)

This was another book I put on the poll on twitter to have others help me pick my TBR. I really loved the first book in the series and I am really hoping to enjoy this one as well. I am also really happy that this one won because I feel like I am reading a lot of big books as of late and this small book I think will break them up wonderfully.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

The Priory of the Orange Tree

I preorederd this book months ago and I really want to get to it sooner rather than later. I am excited for this adult fantasy from an author I have really enjoyed over the years. Also, how can anyone go wrong with a fantasy with dragons?!

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What are you reading this month?

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Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up | January 2019

Monthly Wrap Up

Well, here I am to share my first monthly wrap up of 2019. It seems like this month has gone slow, but also thrown by for me. I saw my first snow fall of the season, started playing around with programming and painting once again. I feel refreshed as well as have a drive I have not had in some time. I am not sure why the new year sparked this in me, but it has and I am happy about it.

So, as before, some of these books have been previously shown in Middle Mark | January 2019, but I wanted to post a comprehensive wrap-up. If you wish to skip over the books I already talked about I have no problem with that, but I have quite a few more books I read because I ended up reading 11 books.

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Harry Potter: A Journey Through A History of Magic

A Journey Through a History of Magic by The British Library

4stars

This is a beautiful book, it details so much of the history of magic that influenced Harry Potter’s world as well as a peek into early drafts, edits, and early doodles of the book. Even though I went to the exhibit I still read through this book cover to cover and really enjoyed it. (Originally found here).

Educated by Tara Westover

Educated by Tara Westover

5stars

I absolutely loved this book, I was raw, emotional, and heartbreaking. If you are looking to read a memoir I highly suggest you pick it up. The writing is amazing, there is something about this book that just appalls you, but also inspires you due to the life that Tara Westover has lived. (Originally found here).

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

3stars

Best for beginners and those who are not happy with their current bullet journals. If you already have a bullet journal you are happy with you can pass on this book.

For those who are beginners this is a great way to learn about the process and find out what a bujo actually is. It is well organized and I like the take what works for you and leave the rest mentality of the book. (Originally found here).

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

3stars

I have read and reread quite a few Sherlock stories. I will admit at this point some stories I will continue to rereading, but others I will never pick up again for one reason or another. Mainly because I did not enjoy the  the thrill of the story. It is a wonderful collection to have. (Originally found here).

Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the World

Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the World by Pic Candle

4stars

I recently wrote an entire review of this book, you can find that here: REVIEW | Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the World by Pic Candle / Zainab Khan. But, I will say overall I think this is a really fun drawing book. I think it gives great practice when it comes to learning to draw basic shapes and developing better hand control while drawing. While some of the tutorials take up jumps in the steps as stated before, you can figure it out with some time. As with anything new you are learning with practice, you improve. If you are looking to learn to draw or just want to play around, I think this is an adorable option for you. (Originally found here).

The Familiars by Stacey Halls

The Familiars

5stars

I wrote an entire review of this book, but I will sum it up here. I really enjoyed this novel. I loved how period accurate it was and how the author used real names from the year that this is taking place. I also enjoy how she embodied the time period, but also exposed the issues that and pointed out how unfair the system was towards particular people. It is safe to say that I am preordering this novel. (Originally found here REVIEW | The Familiars by Stacey Halls)

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

The Raven

3stars

Overall, this was a really good short eerie short story. I can see why it is a classic that people talk about time and time again. But, it also did not wow me like other eerie stories  I have read in the past.

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

A Very Large Expanse of Sea

5stars

This was an amazing read, I am kinda mad at myself for putting it off so the last few months. I really loved the conversation that book brings to the forefront. How it shows a different perspective that I really appreciate being shared with me. I also loved how I could relate tot the it me period this book takes place in. I remember the walkmans, start of the iPods and I really relate to the high prices text messages and minuets used to be. I feel like the mixture of highly relatable aspects as well as seeing a new perspective really  made this such a wonderful book. I highly suggest you picking this up. I feel like I am not articulating myself quite right, but I loved this book.

Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and Other Lies by Scarlett Curtis

Feminists Don't Wear Pink and Other Lies: Amazing Women on What the F-Word Means to Them

4stars

I really enjoyed the fact that this book had so many voices and talked on so many topics. There was a mixture of playlists, lists, essays, poetry, interviews and more. It was a wonderful read that allowed me to read the thoughts of some people I know, but also expose me to others I will now be looking into their work.

Another thing I loved was the continued reading section where books are recommended and also a section to workout your own thoughts on feminism. This book doesn’t just talk at you, it starts a conversation. (Originally found here).

From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death

4stars

I really loved how this seemed to be more of an anthropological look at death as apposed to her other book. I really enjoyed how she explored how cultures within the US and around the world pay respect to their loved ones with no judgement. It really is eye opening how we are all the same species, but we have our own ways we pay respect to those we love. It is comforting that we can all find a way to honor those who came before us. I hope to see more writings by her because I have enjoyed both of her books immensely. (Originally found here).

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

5stars

I found this book to be a mixture of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and something else I cannot quite place at this time. I really liked how this book was written, it flowed really nicely and the voices of the characters were clear and definite. The way that the author was able to weave this jumping time frame is masterful! Also, I was surprised quite a few times while reading it. The ending really shocked me and I loved the twist it took. (Originally found here).

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

Washington Black

4stars

This book is such an adventure, it starts with a young boy, age 11. Sadly, he is a slave on a sugar plantation in Barbados run by two brothers. The author wrote a beautiful book that shows the ugly that is slavery. It talks about awful psychological games played by owners and the bad treatment many had to endure unfairly. I also like how the author showed abolitionists and aspects of the underground railroad. The dangers of faced by those who escaped and freed those who did not belong to them. I also really enjoyed the science, art, and almost steampunk elements. I am honestly not doing this book justice, but I will say it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2018 and it is well deserved. I also have to agree with the quote on the front of my book calling it a masterpiece.  (Originally found here).

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