Book Review: One by One by, Ruth Ware

A tech company selling a social media music app has come to the mountains to debate the possibility of a buyout.

The premise of Ruth Ware’s latest novel, One by One, has all the promising things a classic suspense thriller needs: a group of people that aren’t particularly likable, a remote location, and a circumstance keeping any of them from getting away as people begin to be knocked off.

I scream. I do the only thing I can, even though it is stupid. I fall to my knees with my arms over my head, as if that pathetic gesture might protect me.”

Is it weird for me to say, I wish more people would have died? I don’t know. With the set up that we got for this book, I expected it to feel more like characters we knew were running for their lives and then being knocked off one by one, but that wasn’t the feel I got actually reading this book. Instead, only a couple of people died, and we never felt their fear or suspicions.

The book was a quick read and well written. Nice escapism, easy to get into. Just lacked a bit of the suspense I was hoping for. But I love Ruth Ware and I’ll be back for the next one.

First Review of Moving Forward Optional is in!

I’m so excited to say the first review for Moving Forward Optional is in and @outsidewithbooks on Instagram loved it! Yay! ❤️

Check out her full review on Insta HERE

The nerves I had going into sending out the ARCs (advanced reader copies) were out of this world. It’s so scary knowing that you’re asking for honest reviews of your book child from people who read as many books a year as I do, or more. 😂 Because I really respect these reviewers and I know they’re going to tell the truth, because their reputation depends on it.

So, the elation I felt when @outsidewithbooks messaged me and told me she truly loved it, was some of the best feel goods I’ve ever had.

Thank you, book reviewers!! ❤️

The Age of Witches Book Review

The Age of Witches is an 1890’s historical fiction, with both magic and feminism woven in. The hardback is 437 pages, a bit on the longer side because the writing is charming and decorated with descriptions of herbs and food. But don’t go into it thinking that means it’s going to be fast-paced. It’s very much a slow burn.

“That’s a silly question. Women can’t manage their own money. I will not hand over your inheritance just to see you fritter it away.”

Annis is a strong-minded young lady with ambition and determination, in a world that expects her to have neither. Her only love is horses, but her love doesn’t matter because she is a thing to be owned and bread as well. And besides, breeding horses isn’t ladylike.

“No more,” he said coldly. “I’m not going to argue with a hysterical girl.”

This book reminds me of Jane Eyre in a way, a woman so clearly stuffed into a time where she doesn’t seem to belong. However, Annis has strength, she discovers, from her bloodline. A relative hung two hundred years ago as a witch.

I recommend this book to those who are into herbs and plants, a bit of magic, and feminism in a time when feminism doesn’t exist.

The Space Between Worlds Book Review

4.5 stars

“It doesn’t matter how you got it. If you have it, it’s yours.”

Cara’s from the slums of Ashtown with an opportunity. An opportunity because she’s rare. As in, she’s only a handful of versions of herself left alive across the multiverse.

The Space Between Worlds is a sci-fi stemming from the idea that we live in a multiverse, where many versions of ourselves exist in the universe, depending on choices that have been made. Adam, an inventor in the city, has created a way for people to travel to the different versions of our world and gather data. The catch is only one version of a person can exist on any given Earth at one time, so Cara is plucked from the slums to be a traverser, which is where her destiny begins.

I loved this book. It was a fun read and I get into a multiverse plotline. I love seeing what this author did with the flexibility of many Earths for her plotline to traverse.

Sci-Fi by definition is generally a progressive genre and this book was no different. If you’re in search of a particularly progressive read, this one will serve those needs. Delivered with a bisexual person-of-color as the protagonist as well as a side character with the pronoun they, this book checked all the boxes and gave the LBGTQ+ community a book they could adore.

This was a near 5 stars read for me with just a few glitches in the complicated plot that bothered me, but at 4.5 stars, I highly recommend, and it was a joy to dive into. If you liked Blake Crouch’s Recursion and Dark Matter, this is in the same lane, so enjoy.

Book Review: The Better Liar by Tanen Jones

“The more you know someone, the more someone’s you know. They kaleidoscope outward before your eyes.”

Leslie is looking for her long-lost sister. Not because she misses her, but because she needs her to collect their father’s inheritance. A stipulation of the will. But Robin is dead by the time Leslie arrives so her and a stranger hatch a plan and spin a few lies, and there begins the rabbit hole.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Better Liar is a nice, slow burn psychological thriller, debut from Tanen Jones. The writing style reminded me a lot of a Ruth Ware novel and since Ruth Ware is auto buy for me, I’ll be picking up Tanen’s next book as well. It wasn’t too intense, but the mystery style questions kept the pages turning and, in the end, I enjoyed it as a light read.

I recommend this for readers who enjoyed, The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. I’m looking forward to what’s coming next from this debut author.

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Also Titled THE SEVEN DEATHS OF EVELYN HARDCASTLE

This book is so fun to read. It’s a book I didn’t want to end. At 458 pages, I found myself secretly rejoicing about its length. I had moments where I was in the middle of reading it, with hundreds of pages left, and I just quietly cheered in my head, “Yaaasssss.” It’s that fun to read.

Beyond just the enjoyment of this book, I found myself continually impressed with the uniqueness Stuart Turton brought to the table. This isn’t your typical mystery; it’s a body hopping, time twisted, who dunnit, my life depends on the answer, action packed, clue riddled, masquerade ball having, good time. I LOVED it.

‘“Trauma,’ he says abruptly, raising a finger in the air. ‘That’s what it’ll be. Very common, in fact.’”

Aiden Bishop doesn’t know much, he doesn’t know anything about himself; what he does know is Evelyn Hardcastle will die at 11:00 p.m. every night and he has eight days, and eight host bodies, to figure out who it is that kills her.

This is no pleasant walk in the park for Aiden people, this is a crazy ride. I loved it. It kept me up at night. It kept me turning pages. It kept me thinking about it while I was showering. All the qualities I love in an engaging book. Thank you Stuart Turton. 

I liked the ending. Still, I kind of had that, “Wait this is the end? Noooooo,” feeling. But in general, considering how many questions the book makes the reader ask oneself, it did do a fantastic job of wrapping up most of those questions. I had a couple left, not many, but that’s probably on me. It’s the kind of book where I was hoping for an epilogue, and was sad that I didn’t get one. I might be a spoiled reader. If Turton writes a follow up epilogue somewhere, like for the kindle or his website, I won’t be mad. And I hope someone points me in that direction.

I would highly recommend this book. I applaud the great work, the uniqueness, the engaging qualities, and the writing. I will definitely be looking for Turton’s next book.

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

This book is everything I want from a light romance novel. The characters are sweet, intelligent, and imperfect. The romance isn’t easy, but it’s lovable. There’s some hot scenes, but it isn’t dripping in sex like The Kiss Quotient. I really think Helen Hoang nailed The Bride Test, and the author’s note at the end was such a lovely added bonus.

“He shook his head at himself. That took “delayed reaction” to an extreme. But he was an extreme kind of person.”

Again, I don’t think it can be understated, what Helen Hoang is doing in the romance genre on a deeper level, for autism. The talent to be able to write these characters so perfectly, so genuine, so human; the gift she shares with us is insight and understanding; what she’s doing is bringing us all closer to one another. People who fall somewhere on the spectrum, and people that don’t know quite what that means because they don’t have experience. As an extremely talented, own voices writer, she’s giving insight to that experience. And it’s beautiful. I absolutely love her for it, and for her bravery to be an own voices writer. Because she didn’t have to be. She could have written about anything and not opened herself up to the inherent vulnerability. But she chose to write about what she knows, she connected with her family and with herself, and gave us something that matters.

I love that Khai is different from Stella, Stella being the high functioning autistic protagonist from The Kiss Quotient. By having two characters on the spectrum, in two different books, she’s showing the diagnosis doesn’t define a person; it’s just a piece of them. 

“His heart wasn’t made of stone, after all. It just wasn’t like everyone else’s.”

The Bride Test is a book that really makes you think about what it is that defines love. Is it the way we express affection? Is it the way we remorse when it’s gone? Is it the need to not lose something we can’t live without? What is the illusive definition of love between two people, and who has the right or power to define it? And how many of us have the same definition? Does it just come down to the ability to say, “I love you,” or “I love?” Is it just claiming the love.

These questions are going to be with me long after I shelve this book. The insight into life experiences different from my own are going to be with me long after I shelve this book. And let’s not look over the insight into immigration either. Because there was a good deal of that as well. 

Thank You Helen Hoang. Another wonderful gift to the romance genre from this brilliantly sweet writer.   

Book Review: The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Enemies to Lovers Trope.

“I’m taking Ami’s spot. But you keep to your space, and I’ll keep to mine.”

Olive is the unlucky twin, while her sister, Ami, wins everything. However, things change at Ami’s wedding when everyone comes down with food poisoning except Olive and her nemesis, Ethan, the groom’s brother. So the all inclusive trip to Hawaii goes unused, or they go together.

Christina and Lauren are fantastic romance writers who know how to keep a book moving. The pages turned quickly and the book was over before I knew it. It was light and fluffy with little emotional investment from the reader.

Some readers might find this one a little too predictable, and it very much sticks to the typical enemies to lovers plot line.

But for those looking for something that’s not going to make them think too hard or hurt too much, but instead deliver a little much needed romance, then this is the book for you.