Time for another round of Yvonne’s Shorties! This time around a novella that was interesting enough, and a contemporary romance that sadly ended up being a total dud for me.

Title: Ghost 19
Author: Simone St. James

Genre: Novella, Thriller, Horror
First published: January 3rd 2023
Publisher: Berkley
Finished reading: February 27th 2023
Pages: 80

“I’m saying that agoraphobia or not, I think something happened to make you this way. Something happened in this house.”


It’s true that I don’t exactly read a lot of novellas, but there was something about Ghost 19 that caught my attention. I’ve been meaning to read more of Simone St. James‘ backlist, but I decided to read this short story first to mix things up a little. And it turned out to be an entertaining enough little story! Sure, it did have those The Woman In The Window vibes people complain about, and sure, it did lack dept and had a bit too much focus on misogyny and sexism in the 1950s. I would have loved to have the story solely focus on the house and its mysteries instead, but as a whole I still enjoyed my time with this novella. One of the strongest aspects of this story is that the lines between Ginette’s mental health and the paranormal are blurred, and you are kept wondering if what is happening is real or just inside Ginette’s head… I also liked how everything was wrapped up in the end, and I definitely didn’t see the full truth coming. If you are looking for a short and fast read as a palate cleanser, Ghost 19 might just work well for you too.

Title: The Roughest Draft
Author: Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka

Genre: Contemporary, Romance
First published: January 25th 2022
Publisher: Berkley
Finished reading: March 4th 2023
Pages: 336

“It can be both. Fiction is fiction, and it’s real. They’re not opposites. They live within each other.”


WARNING: yet another unpopular opinion ahead!!

I’ve seen this book being compared to Beach Read (which I loved), so when I was browsing the list for a book about divorce for the POPSUGAR challenge I decided to give in and read The Roughest Draft. I always love a story with a bookish angle, so having two writers as main characters was a bonus… And I liked the sound of the blurb itself. I was fully expecting to have an excellent time reading this story, but unfortunately this wasn’t the case. Instead, it made me so SO angry! I’m keeping this short because I don’t want to turn this shorties review into a full blown rant, but there is no denying that The Roughest Draft was able to provoke some strong emotions, and none of them good. Things started out promising enough, but this changed rather quickly once I realized just how big of a gaslighting and self-absorbed piece of trash Katrina’s fiancé Chris really is… Just ugh. Basically as soon as he forced her to co-write another book, told her it was ok to cheat if she needed to, and if she didn’t do it he was going to look for another wife I was ready to throw my kindle against the wall and DNF. Katrina is just such a doormat! I couldn’t stand Nathan either, and I felt neither character was fleshed out properly beyond a few basic descriptions thrown in and put on repeat. Yes, I get that Nathan drives a Porsche, and yes, I get that Katrina has bee-stung lips!! Now leave me alone and stop tormenting me with it. To make things worse, there is a lot of emotional cheating going on, and this made me like the characters even less (if possible). The fact that both are cheating at some point in time makes it even worse; maybe if Katrina had dumped Chris there and then when I said those things in the beginning and wrote the book for herself instead, things would have been different. As it is, I couldn’t care less about what happened to them or if they would resolve their issues, and I started skimreading long before the halfway mark. And oh joy! There is even some active cheating and cringeworthy SMUT involved, driving another nail in the coffin of The Roughest Draft. All in all this turned out to be a rough read for me indeed…

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