YVO’S SHORTIES #158 – VOX & One Summer In Paris

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around two completely different genres I ended up having a similar reaction to… But not in a good way. Both VOX by Christina Dalcher and One Summer In Paris by Sarah Morgan had elements that made me really angry, and sadly enough influenced my reading experiences negatively.


Title: VOX
Author: Christina Dalcher
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia
First published: August 21st 2018
Publisher: Berkley
Finished reading: April 13th 2020
Pages: 336

“Monsters aren’t born, ever. They’re made, piece by piece and limb by limb, artificial creations of madmen who, like the misguided Frankenstein, always think they know better.”

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I’ve been meaning to read VOX for a long time now, and I was honestly really curious to see how I would react to this story after seeing so many mixed reviews. I went in blind and as I started reading I thought I was going to love this story… The writing seemed spot on for and I actually studied Wernicke’s aphasia as part of my Spanish philology degree, which made the topic all the more intriguing for me. The dystopian alternate present is both utterly terrifying and fascinating; it’s the perfect foundation stone to build the rest of the story on. While VOX definitely has that feminism feel, it wasn’t too much for me and I liked how this aspect was incorporated into the story. BUT. Sadly there were also quite a few things that ended up infuriating me. I will keep things short to avoid a full rant, but let’s just say that I wasn’t happy at all with certain characters and how they behaved, the appearance of a love triangle, animal tests, the ending… The character behavior part can partly be explained as something belonging to this dystopian world, but that doesn’t mean my averse reaction was less real because of it. And the ending was kind of an anti-climax for me and didn’t really do the rest of the story justice. It wasn’t a bad read and I agree it would make for a very interesting blog club read and discussion, but I sadly didn’t enjoy VOX as much as I thought I would.


Title: One Summer In Paris
Author: Sarah Morgan
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
First published: April 4th 2019
Publisher: HQ
Finished reading: April 15th 2020
Pages: 464

“Being yourself is the one thing every person should excel at.”

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I know this is not my typical genre, but I’ve been craving a lot of contemporaries lately and I love a travel/foreign setting theme, so I thought this story set (mostly) in Paris would be a good fit. Things started out great (and also a lot darker than expected) and there were a lot of things I did love in One Summer In Paris, including the Paris setting and the dynamics and growing relationship between Grace and Audrey as well as the bookshop, French language learning, explaining of dyslexia and alcoholic parents past and even Audrey romance with Etienne. BUT. I absolutely hate it when the cheating/affair element plays a big role in a story. Especially the reaction of Grace and more importantly Mr. Bastard aka David himself were simply infuriating. Oh yes, this part of the story made me so SO angry!! And not only behavior of David and decisions of Grace, but also how lightly the topic is treated and how Grace and Sophie’s months of suffering and their lives being ripped apart were brushed away like that. Ugh. The ending definitely wasn’t what I was hoping for either and not even Audrey’s POV and bookshop related reveal (which was too predictable as I guessed it straight away) could save the story for me. I guess it’s unpopular opinion time again?


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WWW Wednesdays #264 – April 15th

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’ve been craving more contemporary reads, and I’m currently reading One Summer In Paris by Sarah Morgan even though it’s probably not something I would normally read. We’ll see how things go! I’m also starting my final pending April ARC: The Girl In The Tree by Sebnem Isiguzel.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. The Sign Of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle (4/5 stars) NO REVIEW
I won’t be writing a full review for this one, but I really enjoyed meeting up with Sherlock Holmes and Watson again. I still can’t believe I’ve never read the original series before! The Sign Of Four was short, but sweet and highly entertaining.

2. The Curious Charms Of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick (4/5 stars) REVIEW 21/04
The Curious Charms Of Arthur Pepper is a proper feel-good story and tearjerker in one, and without doubt the exact right read I needed in these strange times. The writing is wonderful and makes it really easy to keep turning those pages… I finished The Curious Charms Of Arthur Pepper in no time at all.

3. The Apartment by K.L. Slater (4/5 stars) REVIEW 20/04
Those who have read a K.L. Slater psychological thriller before will know that it is best to clear your schedule before you start reading one of her stories, because once you have read the first couple of chapters you won’t be able to stop. Her writing is engaging and highly addictive; one moment you sit down to start a new story, and the next suddenly hours have passed and you find yourself staring at that final page. The Apartment is no exception, and another excellently written, suspenseful and highly addicting read.

4. Meet Cute by Helena Hunting (2/5 stars) REVIEW 21/04
I was looking for a cute contemporary romance read to distract myself, and as soon as I saw Meet Cute I thought I had hit the jackpot. I was willing to forgive the sexy part as I really needed a romantic comedy in my life… But I guess the cover was completely false advertisement, as Meet Cute is mostly a considerably dark and depressing contemporary read which deals alternately with grief after the death of both parents in an accident and with a whole bunch of sexy scenes and cringeworthy ‘enemy to lover‘ trope cliches.

5. The Murder Game by Rachel Abbott (4,5/5 stars) BLOG TOURREVIEW 25/04
Look out for my review during my stop of the blog tour!

6. VOX by Christina Dalcher (3/5 stars) REVIEW 24/04
I’ve been meaning to read VOX for a long time now, and I was really curious to see how I would react to this story as I’ve seen mixed reviews. When I started reading I thought I was going to love this story as the writing was spot on for me and I have actually studied Wernicke’s aphasia as part of my Spanish philology degree… But sadly there were too many things that infuriated me, and that includes the love triangle and animal tests.

7. Broken Branches by M. Jonathan Lee (3/5 stars) REVIEW 27/04
I’ve seen this story mentioned in the past and couldn’t resist getting an ARC when I saw it on Netgalley… While I did like the writing, I found the actual story to be rather lacking, as there was no true plot to speak of and the characters were quite unlikeable. The idea of the curse is intriguing and I really wish both characters and the plot would have been more fleshed out. Beautiful writing did not make up for the fact that the story itself lacked development in both those areas… And the ending itself was quite unsatisfying as well.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I have two last Magical Readathon books and exams left pending: The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman and Woven In Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez. I might throw in another contemporary after that, but if I’m in the mood for more thrillers I will probably pick up my next pending ARC The Creak On The Stairs by Eva Bjorg Aegisdottir. I also finally have a new TBR jar pick: Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight. I’ve been wanting to read that one for a long time, so I’ll be looking forward to finally do so.


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WWW Wednesdays #263 – April 8th

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 still going strong with my Magical Readathon reads! I’m currently reading The Sign Of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle for my Potions exam… I’m also reading my physical copy of The Outsider by Stephen King during the evenings for my Astronomy exam. I’m craving a contemporary though so I will probably read one in between.

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie (4/5 stars) REVIEW 13/04
I’m trying to read more Agatha Christie books and I’ve been slowly working my way through the Hercule Poirot books… I really like his character and each meeting so far has without doubt been successful. The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd is no exception, and another very satisfying detective read.

2. Where She Went by Gayle Forman (4/5 stars) REVIEW 17/04
After taking years to finally pick up my copy of If I Stay, I decided to read the second book as soon as possible so I won’t forget about the details in the first. And as I was craving a contemporary, Where She Went seemed like the perfect fit for me… I’ve heard people saying that they enjoyed the sequel better than the first book, and I’m definitely joining that group now. While I liked the first book and was especially intrigued by the whole POV from an unconscious character, there was just something about Where She Went that made me enjoy Adam and Mia’s story even more.

3. Living Dead In Dallas by Charlaine Harris (2/5 stars) REVIEW 17/04
Wait, a vampire book on It’s All About Books?!?! Don’t worry, I’m still very much allergic to vampires, and I won’t be reading another one any time soon… I’ve learned from my mistakes. It’s just that somehow I actually really enjoyed the episodes I’ve seen of True Blood years ago and I remembered enjoying the first book back when I read it, so I had high hopes for the sequel as well. I guess I should have known… Sadly, the TV series is in this case so much better than the book!

4. Sister by Kjell Ola Dahl (4/5 stars) BLOG TOUR REVIEW 11/04
Look out for my review during my stop of the blog tour!

5. Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan (3/5 stars) REVIEW 10/04
I’m still not sure what to think to be honest… The first book was gothic, dark and glorious and I fully expected to love the sequel as well. I might have been better off with a reread of book one first, but the fact remains the foreign names can become rather confusing and I felt the plot was rather lacking here. Ruthless Gods definitely didn’t have that same spark as the first book sadly…

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

As I said before, I’m craving a contemporary so I’ll probably take a break from my Magical Readathon reads and pick up The Curious Charms Of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick as soon as I finish the Sherlock Holmes sequel. I’m also planning on reading Vox by Christina Dalcher soon as it’s the final book I need to complete exams needed for my career in the Magical Readathon... And I want to read my giveaway win The Waiting Rooms by Eve Smith soon as well as it sounds like the perfect read for these strange times. I also need to read The Apartment by K.L. Slater as the NG deadline is coming up.


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WWW Wednesdays #235 – August 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 currently reading the final three books for #NEWTsReadathon2019. I’m hoping to have finished The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson by the time this post goes live… I’m also starting The Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor and The Passengers by John Marrs; both 2019 releases I’ve been super excited about and can’t wait to finally read.

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. The Sleepover by Carol Wyer (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 05/09
I’m a fan of Carol Wyer’s books as her detective thrillers are a garantuee for an entertaining and thrilling ride. The Sleepover is already the fourth meeting with detective Natalie Ward and she is really growing on me… Fast, thrilling and entertaining; this is without doubt another excellent addition to the series. Natalie’s personal story evolved a lot this time around as well and I really hope she will stick with her final decision in the next book…

2. The Cellar by Natasha Preston (3/5 stars) REVIEW  15/09
The premise of this story is absolutely fascinating and I’ve been looking forward to read it ever since. But somehow, I didn’t enjoy the actual story as much as I thought I would. The elements are there: a twisted serial killer, a kidnapping, a prolonged hostage situation… But somehow it was all overshadowed by just how whiny and annoying the main character Summer was.

3. The Old Man And The Sea by Ernest Hemingway (4/5 stars) REVIEW 22/09
Confession: I don’t think I’ve ever read Ernest Hemingway‘s books before. *hides in a corner* I’ve been meaning to pick up The Old Man And The Sea for quite some time now, and to be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m glad I thought of this title when I was browsing for short reads to fit one of the prompts for #NEWTsReadathon2019, because I ended up enjoying it so much more than I thought I would.

4. Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco (3/5 stars) REVIEW 22/09
Warning: it’s unpopular opinion time again! The story started out strong for me and I had high hopes it would be a winner for me… But I guess it wasn’t ment to be in the end. There were a lot of things I loved, but the characters and romance made me enjoy this story a lot less than I thought I would.

5. Keeper by Johana Gustawsson (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 09/09
After so many recommendations as well as loving the first book, I knew I was going to be in for treat with this one. And this story most definitely disappoint. Shocking, harrowing and absolutely brilliant… This sequel again blew me away! I can’t wait to read book three as soon as I can get my thoughts together and finish my review for this one.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

As I don’t think I can squeeze in more #NEWTsReadathon2019 books after finishing my current reads, it’s back to ARC business… First up is The Essence Of Evil by Rob Sinclair as my blog tour stop is right around the corner. Then I’m changing genres and get my dose of romance with Secrets of The Mist by Kate Ryder… I also want to finally read VOX by Christina Dalcher some time soon. And I have a new TBR jar pick! The Museum Of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman, a title I’ve been wanting to read for a while and will be looking forward to.


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