WWW Wednesdays #145 – July 12th

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 only started reading The List by Patricia Forde yesterday… Just look at that gorgeous cover! It’s one of my first middle grade reads this year and I’m having a feeling I will be able to finish it very soon. I’m picking up The Breakdown by B.A. Paris straight after since the deadline is only 6 days away; I’ve been putting it off since I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews, but we’ll see how it goes I guess. And I’m actually going to read Sister by Rosamund Lupton in Dutch! Yes, I’m finally going to keep the promise I made in January and try to read a book in Dutch… Fingers crossed it won’t take me too long since my Dutch is preeeeetty rusty. xD

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Court Of Lions by Jane Johnson (3/5 stars) REVIEW 
I was looking forward to read Court Of Lions as soon as I read the blurb. This novel seemed to combine two of my favorite things: historical fiction and Spain. I have wonderful memories of the city of Granada and this story without doubt triggered them. I enjoyed reading the many descriptions of the city and I loved the historical storyline and its characters. I probably would have given Court Of Lions a much higher rating if it would have been just that storyline… Because I wasn’t as charmed by the contemporary chapters. I couldn’t connect to Kate or the other characters, had a negative reaction to the adult content and wasn’t sure about the cliches either. Her history is without doubt both frightening and intriguing, but reading about it just didn’t work for me. Such a shame!

2. Jeopardy In July by Barbara Venkataraman (4/5 stars) REVIEW
I normally prefer my mysteries to be a little more ‘thrilling’, but every once in a while I like to endulge myself with a cozy mystery. Jeopardy In July turned out to be just the highly entertaining, fast and easy read I was craving and I had a lot of fun reading this story. The writing style is very enjoyable and the case in Jeopardy In July is quite interesting. I’m enjoying to see Jamie Quinn’s character evolve over time and the ending definitely made me wonder what’s next in store for her!

3. Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe (4/5 stars) REVIEW
I know it took me way to long to finally read this book, but I’m definitely glad I did. Although I didn’t LOVE love it myself and some parts were a bit slow, I can’t deny that both the characters and writing style are wonderful. Things only got better in the second half ofAristotle And Dante and I really loved to see their characters develop. The ending was exactly what I wished for while reading this story, although it did feel abrupt and I will be keeping my fingers crossed we will be able to read more about these characters in a sequel soon.

4. Slip by David Estes (3/5 stars) REVIEW TODAY
There is no doubt the concept behind Slip is very interesting even though I’m not sure if the story is actually all that original. With so many storylines and characters the plot feels a bit chaotic at points and it can get a bit confusing, but I guess it does add some dept to the story. The tone was a little off for me as well, but in general this was still a solid dystopian read. Plus, not having to deal with a huge dose of sappy romance was an added bonus!

5. Reported Missing by Sarah Wray (2/5 stars) REVIEW 13/07
I was really looking forward to Reported Missing, but unfortunately I ended up having a completely different reading experience. While the concept sounded really promising, there wasn’t much happening during the story and the pace is considerably slow. This psychological thriller is mostly focused on the character development, but I found myself unable to connect to the main character and this made it really hard to keep interested in the story. In short unfortunately not what I was expecting at all.

6. Little Monsters by Kara Thomas (?/5 stars) REVIEW 16/07
After hearing raving feedback I couldn’t wait any longer and decided to pick up Little Monsters before going back to my regular ARC schedule. And I completely agree this is a highly entertaining and superfast read! I’m still getting my thoughts in order so no rating yet, but I guess you might have already guessed it’s going to be a high one. 😉

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’m slowly trying to get rid of my NG ARC mountain so I have three more ARCs coming up next: The Lost Book Of The Grail by Charlie Lovett, Girl In Snow by Danya Kukafka and Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine. I have high hopes for all three so fingers crossed they will be good! And my newest TBR jar pick is still Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard, which I’m hoping to read before the end of this month.


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ARC REVIEW: Jeopardy In July – by Barbara Venkataraman

Title: Jeopardy In July
(A Jamie Quinn Mystery #5)
Author: Barbara Venkataraman

Genre: Mystery, Suspense
First published: March 27th 2017
Finished reading: July 6th 2017
Pages: 220

“The thought of discussing Fifty Shades of Grey with women who reminded me of my grandmother sent shivers down my spine. You couldn’t pay me to join that book club, not even for a million bucks. Well, maybe a million. Hell, I’d eat a cockroach for half that.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I read the first four Jamie Quinn books last year and I have grown to like both the main character and the writing style, so it was really easy to say yes to a copy of book number five. And I have to say that Jeopardy In July might just have been my favorite Jamie Quinn adventure yet. I’m not sure if it was because this story was exactly the fast, entertaining and easy read I was craving at the moment, but I literally read this cozy mystery in one sitting and enjoyed every single moment of the ride. It’s true that if you look critically at Jeopardy In July not everything about the plot is exactly all that credible and some of it might be over the top… But trust me, in this case this will lead to only more laugh-out-loud funny moments and situations Jamie Quinn will have to find a way to get out of. The writing style is very enjoyable and fun to read and I literally flew through the pages. The whole Kip-romance thing still wasn’t my thing, but the many La Vida Boca scenes mostly made up for that and the case Jamie Quinn finds herself in the middle of is very interesting. In short a highly entertaining cozy mystery with a healthy dose of humor and funny quotes… Reading the previous books is recommended though since it will help you understand the characters and their evolvement over time better.

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

La Vida Boca is a posh assisted living facility in Boca Raton, Florida and seems to be a true paradise for the older generation. Recently they have been having an alarming amount of deaths though… While none of them are considered suspicious at first, things start to get strange when members of the same small poker club are starting to die under suspicious circumstances. Jamie Quinn has once again found her a mystery… Will she be able to find out what is really going on?

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I normally prefer my mysteries to be a little more ‘thrilling’, but every once in a while I like to endulge myself with a cozy mystery. Jeopardy In July turned out to be just the highly entertaining, fast and easy read I was craving and I had a lot of fun reading this story. The writing style is very enjoyable and the case in Jeopardy In July is quite interesting. I’m enjoying to see Jamie Quinn’s character evolve over time and the ending definitely made me wonder what’s next in store for her!


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WWW Wednesdays #144 – July 5th

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 actually almost done with Court Of Lions by Jane Johnson, which is probably a good thing since the publish date is tomorrow and I should have finished my review by then. Oops? It’s a historical fiction read partly set in the 15th century and partly in the present and takes place in Granada. I really like the historical chapters and the many descriptions of the Spanish city, but the contemporary storyline isn’t convincing me for various reasons. I’ve also finally picked up book 5 in the Jamie Quinn series: Jeopardy In July by Barbara Venkataraman. It’s a cozy mystery and has all the promise of being a fast and entertaining read!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Quirky Essays For Quirky People by Barbara Venkataraman (4/5 stars) REVIEW 
Last year the author pointed out her collection of essays was available for free on Amazon I decided to add it to my collection, especially since I enjoyed her writing style in her cozy mystery series. The title and cover spoke to me and it sounded like a fun read, and Quirky Essays For Quirky People was just that. This bundle is packed with short humorous essays about quirky situations that will make you smile. They are very easy to read and perfect for whenever you feel like a light read

2. Final Girls by Riley Sager (3/5 stars) REVIEW
I had high hopes for Final Girls, but I guess I should have known to stay away from hyped books. This story wasn’t bad and I was impressed when I found out it was a debut, but that doesn’t mean I was blown away with it either. There were parts I loved (the Pine Cottage flashbacks, how dark, intense and twisted the horror parts were, the surprises), but in general I had my doubts about the credibility and I couldn’t connect to the characters. I’ve seen others who loved Final Girls though, so this could be just another case of me being allergic to hyped books resulting in an ‘unpopular opinion’ review…

3. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (2,5/5 stars) REVIEW
I feel actually quite bad I wasn’t able to enjoy Little Women better. I had really high hopes for this classic, but I found myself struggling to continue instead. This is definitely me and not the story, because I could see Little Women was well written as well as its appeal to many readers. I guess I just wasn’t one of them in the end. I don’t think I will ever read the second part, but I’m glad I at least now know what everybody is talking about when they mention this classic.

4. Devastation Road by Jason Hewitt (2/5 stars) REVIEW
I really wanted to enjoy Devastation Road, especially since it is a combination of two topics that fascinate me: WWII and amnesia. Unfortunately I found it extremely hard to connect to the writing style, characters AND plot… And honestly I think I would probably have opted for a DNF if this weren’t an ARC. I seem to be in the minority though since most reviews have been really positive, so give this one a chance if this sounds like your cup of tea!

5. The Stolen Girls by Patricia Gibney (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 06/07
There is no doubt that The Stolen Girls is just as strong as the first book and one hell of a ride. The books of this series are a bit longer than average, but besides the fact that the stories are very well written they have the added bonus of having a complex, rich and intriguing plot and different storylines without slowing down the pace. Some of the themes might be potentially shocking/intense, so a little warning if you aren’t up for that, but I personally had a great time reading The Stolen Girls. I just loved the complexity of the different storylines, how everything connected in the end and the Kosovo flashbacks in general!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’m picking up Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz as soon as I finish my current reads; no more excuses! Right afterwards I’ll be reading Reported Missing by Sarah Wray since the publish date is coming up soon… And the same goes for The Breakdown by B.A. Paris. And after months of collecting dust (because it took me THAT long to read Little Women), my TBR jar is back in action! My newest TBR jar pick is Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard, which I’m hoping to read before the end of this month. The cover sure is stunning!


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BOOK REVIEW: Quirky Essays For Quirky People – Barbara Venkataraman

Title: Quirky Essays For Quirky People
Author: Barbara Venkataraman

Genre: Non Fiction, Humor, Essays
First published: May 13th 2014
Finished reading: June 28th 2017
Pages: 71


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Last year the author pointed out her collection of essays was available for free on Amazon I decided to add it to my collection, especially since I enjoyed her writing style in her cozy mystery series. The title and cover spoke to me and it sounded like a fun read, and Quirky Essays For Quirky People was just that. This bundle is packed with short humorous essays about quirky situations that will make you smile. They are very easy to read and perfect for whenever you feel like a light read. As always with short stories (even though I don’t read/review a lot of them), my review is different than usual. Below you can find a list of the 24 stories included in Quirky Essays For Quirky People in chronological order with a quote and short description:

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WWW Wednesdays #143 – June 28th

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 actually almost done with Quirky Essays For Quirky People, an essay bundle written by Barbara Venkataraman I’ve had pending for a long time now. I’m glad I finally picked it up. I’m also still reading Final Girls by Riley Sager, an ARC I’ve been wanting to read for months now even though the hype around it did make me a bit afraid to actually start reading it. The third I haven’t actually started yet, but with a little luck I will be able to start Devastation Road by Jason Hewitt some time today. Fingers crossed, because the review is due next Monday! (And for those who wonder: I won’t mention Little Women again until I have actually started reading Part two.)

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. The Merchant’s Pearl by Amie O’Brien (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 
My favorite part of The Merchant’s Pearl is hands down the existence of many detailed descriptions of the inner workings of the Ottoman palace and empire of that time. It was really interesting to see how things worked back then and how life was for a concubine… The pace was a bit slow, but the writing style was beautiful. I liked most of the characters as well, although some of their actions started to annoy me during the second half of the story. But that might just have been me and my aversion to anything too overly romance/drama in the first place. If you like historical fiction and romance, you will enjoy reading this one!

2. Each Little Lie by Tom Bale (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 29/06
There is no doubt I really enjoyed reading Each Little Lie even though it wasn’t as dark and intense as I would have liked. The writing style is very enjoyable to read and manages to draw you in straight away; the plot and plot twists well executed to the point that you really have no idea who is behind it all for a very long time. And while I guessed some things right, there were also a lot of things I didn’t see coming at all.

3. What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 30/06
Forget the fact that the whole contemporary romance scene normally isn’t my thing, forget the fact that this story in a way could be described as cheesy: I absolutely loved this story! Julie Buxbaum has done it again and is proving to be an exception to the rule… Because David won over my heart right from the very first chapter and is without doubt a new addition to my list of all time favorite characters. He is just so unique, adorable and well developed!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I have a lot of ARC publish dates coming up, so unfortunately I still don’t have time for other reads… I still need to read The Lost Book Of The Grail by Charlie Lovett, an ARC that was approved a day before it was archived so naturally I didn’t get to it on time haha. I also need to read both Court Of Lions by Jane Johnson and The Stolen Girls by Patricia Gibney, although I’ll probably read the second first. What’s up with all those historical fiction ARCs publishing soon just when I’m in the mood for a good thriller?! I do want to finally read Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz some time soon though. I still can’t believe I haven’t picked up that title yet!


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WWW Wednesdays #104 – September 28th

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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?

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I started reading Empire Of Storms by Sarah J. Maas a few days ago despite the mixed reviews, and I think the warnings have paid off because I’m enjoying this fifth book better than I thought I would so far. I’m also about to start another pending ARC: Ivy Feckett Is Looking For Love by Jay Spencer Green. So many pending books, so little time!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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I’m not going to mention all the books I’ve finished since my last WWW post because that would be a looooong list haha. I’m glad to be back!

* The first book I finished since last week is Trouble Is A Friend Of Mine by Stephanie Tromly. This book was recommended to me in the past and while the whole plot and story was a bit too absurd and unbelievable, somehow I still managed to enjoy reading it. I’m not sure if I actually like the main characters though…
* I then read one of my ARCs: Engaged By Danger by Barbara Venkataraman. It’s the fourth book of a cozy mystery series and definitely just what I needed. The perfect easy and entertaining read for fans of the genre!
* I also finished We’re All Mad Here by Claire Eastham, which I requested on Netgalley on a whim. It turned out to be a really interesting read that is both easy to read, funny and has some interesting pointers for those who want to learn more about social anxiety. (As an introvert, I could really relate to some of the author’s stories.)

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I need to tackle my ARC pile ASAP, so I’m going to try and read both Faithful by Alice Hoffman and Lemon Sting by Collin Henderson next. I also want to read Ink And Bone by Rachel Caine; a series that has been on my wishlist for quite some time now. A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas is still my latest TBR jar pick… I know, I know: I should have read that one ages ago, but somehow I haven’t been feeling like rereading ACOTAR first even though I loved it the first time around.

ARC REVIEW: Jamie Quinn Mystery Collection – by Barbara Venkataraman

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Title: Jamie Quinn Mystery Collection
Author: Barbara Venkataraman
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Crime
First published: September 3rd 2014
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Finished reading: August 2nd 2016
Pages: 360

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“It’s strange how technology enhances life and diminishes it at the same time.”

*** A copy of this collection was kindly provided to me in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I can always enjoy a good cozy mystery read, so when I was approached by the author if I wanted to read and review her collection of three Jamie Quinn stories it was easy to say yes. And Death By Didgeridoo, The Case Of The Killer Divorce and Peril In The Park are without doubt fast-paced and entertaining cozy mysteries that are perfect vacation material. A huge bonus: since important character background is repeated in each sequel, it’s really easy to read them separate as well. The main character herself, Jamie Quinn, is a family law lawyer in a town called Hollywood and I liked the way her character develops during the three books. She sure has some surprises in store for her that are not related to her cases at all! The balance between the cases, PI work and Jamie’s personal life is well done, especially in the first and third book. Peril In The Park is without doubt my absolute favorite of the three, but the other two stories are good as well. If you like cozy mysteries and are looking for a fast-paced and entertaining read, this collection by Barbara Venkataraman is without doubt recommendable.

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Death by Didgeridoo: 3,5/5 stars

Family law lawyer Jamie Quinn is still struggling to deal with the death of her mother, but she is forced to get back to action when her cousin is wrongly accused of murder. Adam is autistic and the whole experience is highly traumatic for him… And the worst part is that the police seem to think he is guilty. It is up to Jamie to find the real murderer before it’s too late, because the case is getting a lot of media attention. The victim is a former rock star with a lot of enemies… But who killed him? Jamie asks for the help of an old client and PI, Duke Broussard, but the clock is ticking.

The Case of the Killer Divorce: 3/5 stars

Jamie Quinn has returned to her family law practice after she had to deal with her cousin’s case. Things are going well enough, until a bitter divorce case turns into a murder investigation. Jamie’s client becomes the prime suspect, and she decided to yet again hire Duke Broussard to try and clear her client’s name. There are a lot of lies floating around, and it is getting difficult to find out the truth… And it’s not the only thing that goes around in Jamie’s head, since she is also trying to find her long-lost father.

Peril in the Park: 4/5 stars

Someone is trying to make things difficult for Jamie Quinn’s boyfriend. Kip Simons is the new director of Broward County Parks, but it seems like not everybody is happy to welcome him. Someone has been vandalising the parks and there are a lot of unhappy people on the list of suspects. An angry supervisor that wanted the job himself, fired employees… They will have to figure it out soon, because someone has even threatened to do harm if Jamie and Kip don’t back off. Jamie has to call in the help of Duke Broussard yet again to solve the mystery before it’s too late.

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If you like the genre, you will without doubt enjoy these three cozy mystery stories as well. They turned out to be easy to read, fun and fast-paced. All three stories have the perfect mix of contemporary, mystery and legal thriller elements, although the third story Peril In The Park is my absolute favorite. Without doubt recommended for fans of the genre!