Sunday, January 31, 2021

The Survivors by Jane Harper

The SurvivorsThe Survivors by Jane Harper
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Personal Rating: C+

I received this book on Audio from NetGalley for a fair and honest review.

This is my first book by Jane Harper, I have heard wonderful things about her ability to create a vivid atmosphere in her books. This by far is the #1 attribute of this book. The setting of Evelyn Bay, a small coastal town on the Tasmanian Coast, was so beautifully written - i felt I was seeing it first hand. The descriptions were vivid and beautifully done.

As for the storyline and pace, these I was a bit disappointed in and I didn't feel invested in the characters at all. This book was a miss for me. However, I will give Jane Harper another try because I've heard so many good things about her other books, but this one is just not one I would recommend - even with the amazing atmosphere.

#Macmillan Audio #NetGalley

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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

The Late Bloomers' Club by Louise Miller

The Late Bloomers' ClubThe Late Bloomers' Club by Louise Miller
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked up The Late Bloomers' Club because I was in the mood for a feel good Hallmark Movie type of book and it ended up being much of what I wanted and expected. This isn't a book that you pick up if you want to be blown away, but if you want a feel good small town redemption story with some highs and lows and a sense of community along the way (the Hallmark trait) this one will do the trick for you.

I felt like all the characters were relatable (except for Kit), and you could root for them all (in the end even Kit!).

Some of my favorite quotes:
"The antidote of envy is to rejoice in the good qualities of others."

“There is no path to happiness. Happiness is the path.”

"I cried for myself, for all the years I had lost wishing for something to be different, and for all the wasted time not seeing what I had."

I also had the pleasure of being part of the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club with Louise and she was such a joy to chat with. I will read more of her books when I am in the mood for a cozy type read for sure.

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Sunday, January 17, 2021


The Girl with the Louding VoiceThe Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
My Letter Rating: C, AVERAGE

What Adunni went through was tragic and her spirit is lovely. So, while I can appreciate this story for what it is, the overall temperature for this book was very mild for me. I liked it, but didn't LOVE it like some others have. There were a few scenes that stuck out to me as good scenes, but generaly I didn't get excited to pick the book up and read more of Adunni's journey each day. In fact, i believe that if it wasn't for the fact that this is a book club read for me - i may not have continued to read on. Saying that my 3*'s seems to contradict that statement but I stick by it. I am glad I finished it but it was a very average book for me.

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THE WIFE UPSTAIRS by Rachel Hawkins

The Wife UpstairsThe Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
My letter rating: C- BELOW AVERAGE

I received this book on Audio from NetGalley as an Advanced Readers Copy for a fair and honest review.

Psychological Thriller has been my go to genre for some time because I love surprises and twisty turns in a book. However, recently this genre has been fading for me and I feel like a nitpicky customer when it comes to the genre these days, but it's being over run with books that are just 'meh' and this book is just another on the list for me.

None of these characters are likeable, and a good book needs one likeable person to cheer for. But - even so, i continued to read on. Yes, there were twists, but this book does some stretching of the imagination to pull it off and I just couldn't suspend belief in several areas, and this ruined the book for me.

This is where if you haven't read the book and don't want spoilers you should not read on:
1) There is a panic room upstairs that the people inside can't get out. Panic rooms are built for people to not be able to get in NOT to keep people in. If it was built with the intention to keep people in, that is one thing - BUT, in the end it was shown to be a normal panic room - it would have made more sense if Eddie was the "bad" guy and built it with this intention.
2) How can someone shower in the panic room and no one in the house hears running water through the pipes or the water heater kicking on?
3) I get that "Jane" is making a new start but how in the world is she able to take on the inheritance (including Bea's business) from Eddie and Bea with an alter ego, it's not like they left her cash. Wouldn't she need to prove who she was? (SS#,bank accounts, birth cert?)
4) If Bea and Eddie are not dead, how do they move on when "jane" has all their money and now owns Bea's business? it's not like they planned to run away and were able to put money in an account for this.

There are more but these are my top 4.

It had potential with the premise, but it really missed the mark for me - like so many Psych thrillers have these days.


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Saturday, January 09, 2021


The House in the Cerulean SeaThe House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

THE HOUSE IN THE CERULEAN SEA is one of the sweetest and warmest books that I have read in a very long time. It was a feel good story with a fun and endearing group of magical children who you can't help but root for. This was not what I expected but it was exactly what I needed. The characters were fantastic and lovable to the very end. I'm very happy to have this one as my first book of 2021. The author has noted that this is a story of Kindness and this is very clear. Given the craziness of the United States right now, it was definitely the right book at the right time.

My favorite quote: "Hate is loud, but I think you’ll learn it’s because it’s only a few people shouting, desperate to be heard. You might not ever be able to change their minds, but so long as you remember you’re not alone, you will overcome."

I haven't seen anything that officially claims this book is YA, but it reads a bit like YA to me. Trust me it's just very sweet and loveable.

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Friday, January 01, 2021


As 2020 comes to a close, I look back at what worked for me and what didn't last year. I read the most books that I've ever read in a year (at least since tracking) but I feel like the quality has gone down and I have less A reads than ever.

My 2020 Top 10 Countdown
10. One by OneONE BY ONE by Ruth Ware - 4 stars (B)
9. The Last FlightTHE LAST FLIGHT by Julie Clark - 4 stars (B)
8. The Sun Down MotelTHE SUN DOWN MOTEL by Simone St.James (B)
7. Home Before DarkHOME BEFORE DARK by Riley Sager - 4 stars (B)
6. Athena's ChoiceATHENA'S CHOICE by Adam Boostrom - 4 stars (B+)
5. HomegoingHOMEGOING by Yaa Gyasi - 4 Stars (B+)
4. The TestamentsTHE TESTAMENT'S by Margaret Atwood - 4 stars (B+)
3. The Year of the WitchingTHE YEAR OF THE WITCHING by Alexis Henderson - 4 Stars (A-)
2. The ShiningThe Shining by Stephen King - 5 Stars (A)

... And my FAVORITE book of 2020 was ....

1. The Chestnut ManThe Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup - 5 stars (A+)