YVO’S SHORTIES #18: As Dead As It Gets & Take The Key And Lock Her Up

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time a double dose of third and final book of a series… Yes, I’ll be marking two more series as finished with this post! Sadly both of these weren’t as good as I hoped. As Dead As It Gets by Katie Alender is a bit stronger than the sequel, but the main character is annoying and I still prefer book one. Take The Key And Lock Her Up by Ally Carter is by far the weakest book of the series and I don’t really care for the ending either… Things have been going downhill since book one. Oh well, at least it’s two series less to worry about right?


Title: As Dead As It Gets
(Bad Girls Don’t Die #3)
Author: Katie Alender

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal
First published: May 15th 2012
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Finished reading: February 1st 2018 
Pages: 448

“Find the people who treat you the way you deserve to be treated. Tell everyone else to go to hell. And don’t look back.”


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WARNING: Possible spoilers! Don’t read my rambles if you haven’t read the first two books of this trilogy yet… You’ve been warned.

As part of my promise to finally start finishing those poor neglected series, I decided to pick up the third and final book of the Bad Girls Don’t Die trilogy while my memories of the second book were still fresh. And while I still think the first book is the strongest, As Dead As It Gets without doubt makes a comeback from what I call a ‘weak-second-book-syndrome’. No more sunny and miss nice girl, because Alexis has another paranormal problem on her hand and things are quickly spiralling out of hand… And things might turn ugly. The writing is engaging and reads superfast as always, making As Dead As It Gets a fun, exciting and speedy paranormal read. The plot is darker than the second book and adds a level of suspension to the story… Without doubt an interesting final adventure, although I’m still on the fence whether I like the ending or not. Strong final words though! I do have to say I still find Alexis annoying with her whole ‘I need to do this alone’, ‘I clearly need help, but I won’t ask anybody even if they are willing’ and ‘I don’t want others hurt, but they somehow do anyway’ attitude. I could have done without the love triangle as well… But there is no doubt that As Dead As It Gets is still a solid and entertaining YA paranormal read.


Title: Take The Key And Lock Her Up
(Embassy Row #3)
Author: Ally Carter

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Mystery
First published: December 27th 2016
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Finished reading: February 7th 2018
Pages: 336

“There are some ghosts that live inside us, and we can never lose them, no matter how far we run.”


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WARNING: Possible spoilers! Don’t read my rambles if you haven’t read the first two books of this trilogy yet… You’ve been warned.

I was a big fan of the first book when I read it back in 2015. I liked the sequel as well, although the main character was realy started to bother me… But still I had added this third and final book to my list of most-anticipated 2016 releases. Why didn’t I pick up Take The Key And Lock Her Up sooner then? I have no idea, other than that it probably slipped between the cracks of my exploding TBR pile. I had forgotten about the details, including the supposedly enormous cliffhanger ending, by the time I was able to get to it… But it was quite easy to pick up the thread anyway. That said, it was by no means the reading experience I was hoping for. Unfortunately, Take The Key And Lock Her Up is by far the weakest book of the trilogy and it’s sad to see a series end on this note as it started out so promising. One of the biggest problems I had was with the main character Grace. I already had these feelings in the sequel, but Grace becomes almost unbearable in book three with her constant whining about just how crazy she is, how she is endangering others by just being close, that she should be punished, that she doesn’t deserve positive things happening to her etc… Yawn. Her whole attitude, dialogue and actions seriously annoyed me and it was one of the reasons the final book didn’t work for me. I wasn’t 100% convinced by the writing either, but this is probably mostly related to Grace and her dialogue. And the whole love triangle and romance put a damper on things as well. As for the plot… If you look critically, nothing much is actually happening during this final adventure, or at least I missed the intensity and suspense. It has some interesting pointers, but overall I was quite disappointed by Take The Key And Lock Her Up.


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WWW Wednesdays #163 – February 14th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

It is likely I’ll actually finish The Art Of French Kissing by Brianna R Shrum before this scheduled post goes up, since I don’t have all that many pages left… But as I’m typing this, I still haven’t finished it yet. 😉 I needed something light and fluffy after Lilac Girls and picked up this title on a whim after browsing the NG Read Now section. YA contemporary romance isn’t really my genre, BUT I can really enjoy them if they are done right or if I’m in the right mood. And this one was definitely a perfect match for me. Sure, it’s a bit cheesy and there are cliches, but it’s easy to read, cute and there is a LOT of food talk involved. Basically, this book makes me crave all kind of delicious food! I also read a few pages of What Blooms From Dust by James Markert, which I will pick up again today. I’m mighty confused so far though!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Take The Key And Lock Her Up by Ally Carter (2,5/5 stars) REVIEW 18/02
Unfortunately, Take The Key And Lock Her Up is by far the weakest book of the trilogy and it’s sad to see a series end on this note as it started out so promising. One of the biggest problems I had was with the main character Grace. Her whole attitude, dialogue and actions seriously annoyed me and it was one of the reasons the final book didn’t work for me. I wasn’t 100% convinced by the writing either, but this is probably mostly related to Grace and her dialogue. And the whole love triangle and romance put a damper on things as well. As for the plot… If you look critically, nothing much is actually happening during this final adventure, or at least I missed the intensity and suspense.

2. Hollo by Devon Michael (4/5 stars) REVIEW 19/02
If you are looking for an endearing, whimsical and magical read, Hollo is a great choice. From the writing style to the worldbuilding, characters and descriptions; you will be enchanted by Hollo and her magical world of Thedes and enjoy her journey. Hollo is perfectly suited for the younger YA fantasy fans despite the magical battles and some details, and it has another bonus in the form of a romance-free story! I can definitely recommend this one.

3. Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly (4/5 stars) REVIEW 16/02
This was actually a buddyread with wonderful Nicki @ Secret Library. I’m so glad I finally got the chance to read this one! I can definitely understand the love for this historical fiction read now, although I do admit it left me with a huge book hangover. Especially the WWII holocaust camp scenes are intense and gruesome! My favorite POV of the three is definitely Kasia, although I did warm up to Caroline as well after a while. Her chapters were without doubt a welcome break in between the other two POVs… I really didn’t like Herta though, although I guess that is kind of natural with her being a camp doctor and doing the things she does? Her POV does add dept to the story. More in my review…

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’m SO excited that after my current reads I’ll be finally picking up my very first Karin Slaughter book The Good Daughter! I know I’m more than fashionably late to the party, but I’m having high hopes of becoming an instant fan of her work. I also need to read The Visitor by K.L. Slater, a title I have been looking forward to a LOT. I also should pick up The Last Star by Rick Yancey to get rid of another unfinished series on my list… I can’t say I was a fan of the first two books, so it will probably be a bit of a struggle reading that one though. And I have a new TBR jar pick after waaaay too long! *drumroll* Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke. This one does have a low rating and a lot of mixed reviews, and this was definitely a cover buy. 😉 I’m curious what I will make of it though.


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WWW Wednesdays #162 – February 7th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m so excited to be finally starting our buddy read of Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly with Nicki @ Secret Library! This title was actually a TBR jar pick months ago, but somehow I never actually picked it up… But no longer! I’m so excited to be finally reading this one. Also on my currently reading list is Take The Key And Lock Her Up by Ally Carter, a 2016 most-anticipated release I somehow never actually picked up either. It’s the third and final book of the series, so I’ll be able to cross off yet another series on my to-do list soon!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (4/5 stars) REVIEW 10/02
I’m definitely happy I finally gave this one a go… I went in completely blind and was pleasantly surprised with the whole dystopian angle being dropped after what seems like a contemporary beginning. The writing is enchanting and I really liked the ‘after’ storyline set twenty years after the disaster… Very intriguing. I did feel the plot felt a bit disjointed with all those different storylines, and things might get a bit confusing with all the different characters in the beginning, but that doesn’t take away I really enjoyed reading it.

2. As Dead As It Gets by Katie Alender (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 18/02
While I still think the first book is the strongest, As Dead As It Gets without doubt makes a comeback from what I call a ‘weak-second-book-syndrome’. The writing is engaging and reads superfast as always, making it a fun, exciting and speedy paranormal read. The plot is darker than the second book and adds a level of suspension to the story… Without doubt an interesting final adventure, although I’m still on the fence whether I like the ending or not.

3. A Castle In Romagna by Igor Stiks (2/5 stars) REVIEW 08/02
I had such high hopes for this story, especially since the blurb sounded really promising, but unfortunately the story fell completely flat for me. Between the writing style, lack of dept and development in both the plot and characters and the failed dual storyline, I had a hard time reading A Castle In Romagna. Although I keep wondering if some of its charm has been lost in translation.

4. The Lot Of A Nobody by Dave Johnston (4/5 stars) REVIEW 11/02
I needed something fun to brighten up my day, and this was EXACTLY the read I needed in my life. I already knew I would probably like it after seeing positive reviews a while back from bloggers with a similar taste, and I will definitely add myself to that group. I was able to take to the main character straight away and the writing style is just spot on. Engaging, quirky, direct, funny, a little blunt… The right kind of tone for a story I didn’t even know I was looking for when I started reading The Lot Of A Nobody. I LOVED the Nobody quotes at the beginning of each chapter as well as the perfect balance of contemporary and fantasy elements. Maybe even magical realism? Although only in the best possible way… Definitely a winner.

5. Black Heart by Anna-Lou Weatherley (4/5 stars) REVIEW 12/02
I couldn’t resist requesting a copy after certain bloggers (hint hint) kept going on about how great this detective thriller was… And I definitely agree. It’s refreshing to follow a male detective again for a change, even though he has the ‘usual’ complicated past baggage with him… And I do have a weak spot for a serial killer thriller. The writing draws you right in and it was without doubt a lightning-speed fast thriller ride… The plot was a bit predictable though and it was quite clear early on who the killer really was. There just weren’t all that many plot twists and surprises? That doesn’t take away I had a blast reading this one and I will definitely look forward to the next book in the series.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’m probably reading Hollo by Devon Michael next depending on what genre I’m in the mood for. It’s another ARC I was supposed to read ages ago… (sorry!) I also want to read What Blooms From Dust by James Markert because I’m pretty intrigued by the blurb. And since I don’t have any pressing NG thriller releases anymore (YAY!!!!), I’ll be finally picking up my very first Karin Slaughter book The Good Daughter. I know I’m more than fashionably late to the party, but I’m having high hopes of becoming an instant fan of her work. I also should pick up The Last Star by Rick Yancey to get rid of another unfinished series on my list… I can’t say I was a fan of the first two books, so it will probably be a bit of a struggle reading that one though.


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BOOK REVIEW: See How They Run – by Ally Carter

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Title: See How They Run
(Embassy Row #2)
Author: Ally Carter
Genre: YA, Mystery. Thriller
First published: December 22nd 2015
Finished reading: May 14th 2016
Pages: 336
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“I’ve been wrong, and I’ve been crazy. But this is the first time I’ve ever truly felt like a fool.”

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I remember loving the first book All Fall Down last year and the wait for the sequel was a long one. But somehow, when See How They Run was finally published, I never ended up reading it straight away. Why is still a mystery, but I’m glad I finally did manage to read the sequel. See How They Run might not be as good as the first book in my opinion, but it was still a very quick and entertaining read. I think the wait for the third book is going to be even more painful after that cliffhanger ending… Without doubt a huge surprise! I liked the conspiracy plot in the sequel, and the prose was just as good as ever. Embassy Row is my first Ally Carter series, but I’m definitely going to pick up more of her work in the future. The story itself is fast-paced and I like the international feel and the history behind the country where the story is set (Adria). What made me like See How They Run slightly less than the first book is that the main character Grace is starting to sound more and more self-absorbed and it is getting annoying. I understand she has had some pretty bad experiences in the past, but it tiring to constantly read how broken and messed up she is and that people should stay away… And I’m not sure about Alexei either. Still, I will be waiting impatiently until the next book is published next year.

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WARNING: Possible spoilers! Please don’t read this summary if you haven’t read the first book yet. I’ll keep the summary super short but it’s impossible to keep it completely spoiler-free…

Grace still isn’t over whatever happened that day her mom died, and it seems like her past has come back to haunt her. She might be in danger yet again, and this time she won’t be the only one who will get hurt if she doesn’t stop it on time. Embassy Row is a complicated place, and one wrong move can completely destroy the fragile balance… Especially between countries with a history like the US and Russia. That one night at a party turns into something a whole lot darker, and soon Grace and her friends will have to work together to find out what really happened before people draw the wrong conclusions and others get hurt. But who can be trusted?

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Like I said before, See How They Run is not as good as the first book, but only by little and mostly because of Grace. The prose itself is easy to read and as good as ever, and together with a solid plot and many plot twists it is without doubt an entertaining read. The cliffhanger ending can be taken both ways, especially since the third book will recently be published in 2017, but it definitely leaves room for another very intriguing story. If you like a good YA spy thriller, make sure to pick up this series.

WWW Wednesdays #91 – May 18th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I haven’t been reading much during the last two days, because I have been trying to reduce the backlog of reviews after the Bout Of Books read-a-thon. Still 5 reviews to go, sigh… I have started reading Hero by Belinda Crawford the other day, which is a very interesting read so far and I’m looking forward to continue reading this story soon. I’ve also picked up Binge by Tyler Oakley on a whim because I was in the mood for a light (and funny) read, and this memoir has been really entertaining so far even though I have to confess I hadn’t heard of the author or his youtube channel before.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I managed to finish is The Reader On The 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent, which was originally written in French. I really enjoyed this story! Part of it felt a bit like Fahrenheit 451, but also completely different… And I loved the fact that the main character read random pages he had saved himself from the Thing.
* I then finished Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult, which I read for the The Revolving Shelf book club. I really liked that this story was a mix of elephant info, paranormal elements and a missing person case. Not perfect, but really entertaining.
* Stars Above by Marissa Meyer was my previous TBR jar pick, and turned out to be just as entertaining as I thought it would be. I liked some stories better than others, but the epilogue was without doubt brilliant. It might be a sappy happy ending, but I really didn’t care in this case. 😉
* I also read See How They Run by Ally Carter, and the sequel was almost just as good as the first book. A really entertaining spy thriller with an international touch that is definitely worth reading, even though the main characters can get annoying.
* My last BoB book I finished was Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy, which has turned out to be yet another ‘unpopular opinion’ book for me. I didn’t really like this story: the way the main character treated the others; the way she was treated by most people; the stereotypes; the bullying… I just wasn’t convinced.
* I also read the classic The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, which turned out to be a really short read and quite interesting.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I just realized that I have actually read or at least started all the books I mentioned here last week! That has to be a first… On to four fresh titles this week it is! First up is another ARC: Housebroken by The Behrg. I haven’t read a good horror story in too long, so I’m really looking forward to it. I also want to read Out Of The Easy by Ruta Sepetys, but I’m probably going to read A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas first since I’m not sure how much longer I am going to be able to resist the temptation. 😉 My new TBR jar pick is The Opposite Of Loneliness by Marina Keegan.

WWW Wednesdays #90 – May 11th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I have been reading Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult, which is this months The Revolving Shelf book club choice. The other book I’ve picked up is The Reader On The 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent, a story originally written in French I’ve chosen as my translated title for the yearly Bookish Bingo challenge.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I managed to finish is The Improbable Theory Of Ana And Zak by Brian Katcher. It was without doubt a very entertaining read and I loved Zak’s chapters with all its awkward, geeky and funny moments, but I wasn’t so charmed by Ana… Still definitely worth reading though.
* I’ve also finished The Strange And Beautiful Sorrows Of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton, which I had mixed feelings about. I don’t think the story actually lives up to the expectations after seeing the gorgeous cover… Some of the prose is more than excellent, but I would have liked to read more about Ava herself and I felt the story lacked cohesion.
* I also finally read Daugher Of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor. I expected to love this story and it started out that way, but this ended up being another of my unpopular opinion titles… Once the insta-love moment happened between Akiva and Karou, I think I stopped enjoying this story. Why o why did a story with so much potential have to be turned into a sappy romance story?!
* The first book I finished during Bout Of Books 16.0 was All The Rage by Courtney Summers, which turned out to be a fast read even though I didn’t find it as good as I thought it would be. The topic is a difficult one (rape and disappearance of a female teenager), but I couldn’t really connect with the main character…
* The last book I finished this week is Love Letters To The Dead by Ava Dellaira, which was my latest TBR jar pick. Not as good as I hoped, but not bad either.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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Hero by Belinda Crawford is my newest ARC that I am really looking forward to read, since it brings the promise of being a YA sci-fi novel without any sappy romance scenes… Which seems to be a rare thing in this genre nowadays. I also want to try to read another classic this month, and The Time Machine by H.G. Wells is on the top of my list. I still need to read See How They Run by Ally Carter as well… And Stars Above by Marissa Meyer is my newest TBR jar pick. I’ve actually read a few of these novellas in this collection last year, so I will only be reading those I don’t know yet.

WWW Wednesdays #89 – May 4th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I started reading The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld on a whim and while the prose looks really promising, I’m not so sure about the story itself so far. I’ve put it on hold as long as I’m reading The Strange And Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton, which is interesting so far even though a bit strange and I’m hoping the story will end up being just as good as the gorgeous cover.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I managed to finish is The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. It actually took me a lot of time to finish this book and while the story is really intriguing, I wasn’t so sure about the characters… Some of their actions and dialogues didn’t feel all that ‘natural’ (especially Vianne and Isabelle), although it did become a lot better later on in the story. That said, it is still a really good WWII historical fiction read and definitely worth reading.
* I’ve also finished The Name Of The Star by Maureen Johnson, which was my latest TBR jar pick. Although it wasn’t what I was expecting, it’s without doubt a very entertaining paranormal thriller with a Jack The Ripper twist… I will be trying to pick up the sequel soon.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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Basically my list of books I want to read next is the same as last week. Oops! My next read is going to be Daughter Of Smoke And Bone by Laini Taylor; I know, I have been saying this for the last few weeks but this time I’m going to pick it up for real! I also want to read The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater, although I should probably get a copy of the fourth book first… And I want to read See How They Run by Ally Carter as well. My newest TBR jar pick is Love Letters To The Dead by Ava Dellaira, although I’m not sure if I would actually like that one since I’ve heard a lot of mixed things about it.