YVO’S SHORTIES #146 – The Last House Guest & My Sister, The Serial Killer

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around two thrillers I’ve been really excited to read… The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda sadly turned out to be a bit of a disappointment, especially since I have some of her other titles on my all time favorites list. My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite turned out to be very darkly entertaining though.


Title: The Last House Guest
Author: Megan Miranda

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: June 18th 2019
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Finished reading: January 23rd 2020
Pages: 352

“But that was the trick of the place – it lured you in under false pretenses, and then it took everything from you.”


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Both All The Missing Girls and The Perfect Stranger are on my list of all time favorites, so to say that The Last House Guest was on my list of most anticipated 2019 releases is an understatement. I’m not sure why it took me this long to pick it up; it might have been the hype, it might have been the mixed reviews, but I’m actually kind of glad I waited until the hype died down a bit now. Why? Well, let’s just say that somehow I was quite underwhelmed by what I found in The Last House Guest. It’s not necessarily a bad read, but I don’t think it lives up to the quality of especially All The Missing Girls either… I found the plot to be rather dull, slow-paced and predictable most of the time, and the tension took a loooooong time building up. So long, that I found myself losing interest along the way, and this definitely wasn’t the unputdownable pageturner I thought it would be. Likewise, the final reveals were a bit abrupt to me and I felt the ending was almost rushed… After so long of nothing going on, I don’t think the suspense and plot twist reveals were well distributed in the story. I wasn’t a fan of the characters either… In fact, I don’t think I liked any of them and that is kind of a problem when a story is mostly focused on the characters. That aside, I did think the Littleport setting and the contrast between the locals and the visitors were interesting enough. Avery is used to give us an insight in both worlds, although I did feel that something was lacking in the development of both characters and plot even though I can’t put my finger exactly on what was missing. I think as a whole The Last House Guest sadly failed to hit the mark for me, and I’m hoping her next psychological thriller will help me fall in love with her stories again… Fingers crossed!


Title: My Sister, The Serial Killer
Author: Oyinkan Braithwaite

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: July 17th 2017
Publisher: Doubleday
Finished reading: January 27th 2020
Pages: 228

“I lean on the door frame and watch her, trying and failing to understand how her mind works. She remains as impenetrable to me as the elaborate ‘artwork’ daubed across the walls.”


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I confess My Sister, The Serial Killer had me at the title. I have a weird obsession with serial killer thrillers and the promise of having a serial killer right there and center and a sister to the main character at that was all I needed to add this title to my must-read pile. I’m not sure why it took me this long to actually pick it up, but I’m definitely happy with what I found! This is a dark dark but also weirdly funny read. Sounds contradicting right? But My Sister, The Serial Killer almost reads like a satire and murder definitely isn’t taken too seriously in the story… Nor are the characters in general for that matter. It’s a superfast read and extremely entertaining, although I did struggle considerably with the characters. Ayoola is basically a sociopath and I just can’t believe she can act so reckless and basically stupid and nobody has never even suspected her… Korede on the other hand I just wanted to slap for being so stupid and also for her to keep covering for her sister even though she knows her dark side VERY well. I mean, who would not only cover for someone you know is a serial killer and will kill again, but also actively help cover up their crimes? I’m sorry, but my love for someone would never actually be that strong to do that. It was interesting to see the family dynamics though, and even though I hated the whole love triangle vibe, I can’t denied I was still very much entertained by this darkly funny read. This story might not be for everyone, but if you don’t mind dark humor and dark elements in your thrillers, you will most likely find yourself entertained as well.


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WWW Wednesdays #253 – January 29th

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 finally reading When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton! I have superhigh expectations for this one as Next Year In Havana was one of my 2019 favorites. I’m also going to start A Study In Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle as part of a promise to myself to read more classics I’ve been meaning to read for ages this year. My meeting with the original Sherlock Holmes is definitely waaay overdue!

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda (3/5 stars) REVIEW 31/01
I’m not sure why it took me this long to pick it up; it might have been the hype, it might have been the mixed reviews, but I’m actually kind of glad I waited until the hype died down a bit now. Why? Well, let’s just say that somehow I was quite underwhelmed by what I found in The Last House Guest. It’s not necessarily a bad read, but I don’t think it lives up to the quality of especially All The Missing Girls either… I found the plot to be rather dull, slow-paced and predictable most of the time, and the tension took a loooooong time building up. So long, that I found myself losing interest along the way, and this definitely wasn’t the unputdownable pageturner I thought it would be.

2. The Unlikely Escape Of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry (5/5 stars) BLOG TOUR REVIEW 04/02
Look out for my full review during my stop of the blog tour next month!!

3. My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite (4/5 stars) REVIEW 31/01
This is a dark dark but also weirdly funny read. Sounds contradicting right? But My Sister, The Serial Killer almost reads like a satire and murder definitely isn’t taken too seriously in the story… Nor are the characters in general for that matter. It’s a superfast read and extremely entertaining, although I did struggle considerably with the characters.

4. Keep You Close by Karen Cleveland (2/5 stars) REVIEW 07/02
I have heard so many wonderful things about the author’s other book Need To Know and I liked the sound of the blurb of this one, so I couldn’t help getting a copy on Netgalley… I kind of wish I didn’t now. Honestly, I was seriously underwhelmed by this story. The plot and flashbacks are all over the place, I’m not a fan of the writing or characters and I had a hard time to stay invested… I just didn’t feel the suspense at all. Also, the plot wasn’t credible at all and way over the top; the ending open and not satisfying at all either. Oh yes, Keep You Close and me definitely didn’t get along.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’m probably reading Lock Every Door by Riley Sager next as I’m curious to see how I’ll react to it now that the hype has died down a bit. I also want to read the modern classic Perfume by Patrick Suskind as part of my promise to read more (modern) classics. I’ve been wanting to read it for ages now; basically ever since I saw the movie and discovered it was based on a book. Afterwards I will most likely read Death Deserved by Jorn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger for my upcoming blog tour stop in February. My newest TBR jar pick is still What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler; I’m hoping to get to it next month as I haven’t really in the mood for YA lately.


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WWW Wednesdays #252 – January 22nd

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 Last House Guest by Megan Miranda; another 2019 most anticipated title I wasn’t able to get to last year. I’m also finally starting The Unlikely Escape Of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry as my blog tour stop is starting to get closer… The blurb of this one sounds absolutely fantastic so I’m excited to finally dive in.

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (3/5 stars) REVIEW 30/01
I’ve been meaning to read Let’s Pretend This Never Happened for years now, and although I’m glad I finally did, a part of me was a bit disappointed by what I found. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad read, but somehow that spark of Furiously Happy wasn’t really there for me. The snarky, blunt and sometimes sarcastic humor is still there, and I can’t deny laughing out loud more than once. But other parts felt like the author was simply trying to hard to be funny and quirky.

2. How To Be Brave by Louise Beech (5/5 stars) REVIEW 27/01
It’s easy to say that Louise Beech was one of my absolute favorite new discoveries last year and I was blown away by both titles I was able to read in 2019. I had extremely high expectations for How To Be Brave, and those were more than met. What an absolutely fantastic as well as heartbreaking read! There are so many elements I loved that I honestly don’t even know where to begin… Other than saying: just read the damn book.

3. The Silent House by Nell Pattison (3/5 stars) REVIEW 06/02
The blurb of this one sounded absolutely fascinating, as I don’t think I’ve read about a deaf character in a thriller before. I was really looking forward to this one, but unfortunately the story fell mostly flat for me. The pace was quite slow, the characters unlikeable and I had issues with the credibility of certain aspects of the plot… Also, the ending was quite predictable. All in all not my favorite read, although I still think the premise itself is solid and it has been interesting to learn more about the deaf community and everything it entails.

4. Regretting You by Colleen Hoover (4/5 stars) REVIEW 30/01
I’ve been excited to read this one as, while I seem to have a love/hate relationship with her books, I did enjoy her most recent books without exception. While Regretting You isn’t my absolute favorite CoHo book and there were a few things that bothered me (including the whole cheating angle and certain behavior of certain characters), I can’t deny it was still an excellent read and I had a great time reading it overall.

5. Beast by Matt Wesolowski (5/5 stars) BLOG TOUR REVIEW 21/02
Look out for my full review during my stop of the blog tour next month!!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’m taking a little break from ARCs until the end of this month so I can focus on my backlist titles… Especially since I’ll be binge-reading some series in February and won’t have much time for them then. I’m probably picking up When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton next unless I’m in the mood for a thriller… Then it’s probably either My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite or Lock Every Door by Riley Sager next. My newest TBR jar pick is still What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler; it will probably take me some time before I actually read it though as there are a lot of other titles I want/need to read first.


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WWW Wednesdays #251 – January 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’m finally reading Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson, a memoir I’ve been wanting to read ever since I finished Furiously Happy back in 2016. I still can’t believe it took me this long to get to it! I’m also finally starting my next Louise Beech read: How To Be Brave. I’ve been stocking up on tissues and chocolate as I already know I will need both before I reach the final page… I’m superexcited to be reading this one!

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Things You Save In A Fire by Katherine Center (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 26/01
I know I’m not really one of the biggest romance fans around, but I do love a change of genre every once in a while and there are a select few romance authors that can make me actually enjoy the genre. I have now confirmed Katherine Center is one of them. Heartwarming, poignant, honest, brutal and sometimes even shocking: Things You Save In A Fire will take you on a rollercoaster ride filled with emotions.

2. The Electric Heir by Victoria Lee (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 05/03
I enjoyed reading the first book last year, and I’ve been looking forward to read the sequel… The second book of this duology was another interesting ride, and what might be a not all that original dystopian world is filled with heavy elements and deeper meanings that definitely take the story to the next level. Some parts were a bit slow and there are cliches involved, but overall it was a solid conclusion.

3. The One by John Marrs (5/5 stars) REVIEW 28/01
The One has once again reconfirmed that John Marrs deserves to be on my list of favorite thriller authors and this story was absolutely brilliant. I literally cancelled all plans and flew through it in less than a day… The One might be based on the very romantic idea of finding your perfect Match, but it’s definitely mostly a mix of (family) drama and a solid thriller with a healthy dose of suspense and even crime sprinkled on top. A perfect recipe for a perfect read I already know will appear on my list of 2020 favorites!

4. A Dark And Twisted Tide by Sharon Bolton (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 28/01
I decided to go ahead and read the fourth and final book of the series while memories of book three were still fresh… Especially since it ment I would have one less unfinished series to worry about in 2020. A Dark And Twisted Tide wasn’t my favorite of the series and could be a bit slow and chaotic in points, but overall it was still an entertaining ride.

5. The Home by Sarah Stovell (4,5/5 stars) BLOG TOUR REVIEW 22/01
Look out for my full review during my stop of the blog tour!!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’m trying to get my Netgalley shelves under control again and next up is ARC The Silent House by Nell Pattison. The blurb of this one sounds fantastic and I’m looking forward to it! Then it’s back to backlist titles and I’m reading two 2019 most anticipated releases I wasn’t able to get to last year: Regretting You by Colleen Hoover and The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda. My newest TBR jar pick is still What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler; it will probably take me some time before I actually read it though as there are a lot of other titles I want/need to read first.


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YVO’S SHORTIES #11: Fragments Of The Lost (ARC) & Things I Should Have Known

Oh yes, it’s time for yet another round of 2017 backlog reviews and another round of Yvo’s Shorties… This time with one of my most-anticipated releases and ARC Fragments Of The Lost by Megan Miranda and a random YA contempory I picked up on a whim: Things I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik.


Title: Fragments Of The Lost
Author: Megan Miranda

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Mystery
First published: November 14th 2017
Publisher: Crown Books For Young Readers
Finished reading: November 14th 2017
Pages: 373

“Everyone had secrets. Trust is a luxury for fools. The more I discover, the less I trust my own memories, even.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Crown Books For Young Readers in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***


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Megan Miranda’s psychological thrillers All The Missing Girls and The Perfect Stranger are on my list of all time favorites, so of course I added Fragments Of The Lost to my most-anticipated list as soon as I heard about it. And while I still prefer her thrillers, there is no doubt that Fragments Of The Lost is an excellent read. The first thing that stands out is the writing style, which is just as strong and beautiful as ever and makes it really easy to fully dive into this story. I really liked how the chapters and memories were related to the things the character finds during her quest. This is a perfect reference to the title and quite an original touch. Those memories also involve some suspense around what really happened and will help introducing plot twists to the story. There were a few I definitely didn’t see coming! That said, I wasn’t a fan of the love triangle included in the story and I was never able to fully warm up to the characters. Those are only minor compared to the other elements I did enjoy though, and YA contemporary fans will very likely devour Fragments Of The Lost.


Title: Things I Should Have Known
Author: Claire LaZebnik

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Fiction
First published: March 28th 2017
Publisher: HMH Books For Young Readers
Finished reading: October 21st 2017
Pages: 320

“It’s like people have a place in their brain for normal, and they have a place in their brain for something obviously wrong, but they can’t deal with something just a little bit different. And that makes them uncomfortable.”


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I admit I picked up this one on a whim, although I’m always interested in stories with an mental health/illness angle. In the case of Things I Should Have Known the focus is on autism, and thankfully this is not just an empty filler and there is quite some focus on both autism itself and what it is like for people having an autistic family member or friends. I wasn’t a fan of the sappy romance or love triangle, but I did appreciate the central role Ivy and Ethan played. Do I agree with Chloe’s actions and the whole ‘trying to hook up Ivy with Ethan’ thing? No. Did I connect with the main characters? I’m not so sure either. But Things I Should Have Known is without doubt still a fast-paced, engaging and easy to read YA contemporary that sheds at least some light on autism. By all means not perfect, but if you are looking for a contemporary read with a dose of romance and fluff, Things I Should Have Known is an interesting choice.


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ARC REVIEW: The Perfect Stranger – by Megan Miranda @MeganLMiranda @simonschuster

brtheperfectstrangerTitle: The Perfect Stranger
Author: Megan Miranda

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction
First published: April 11th 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Finished reading: January 6th / April 4th 2017
Pages: 352

“The story doesn’t truly begin at first, not when the person disappears. It begins when they are found. Emmy had disappeared, and now I felt like I was waiting for something inevitable, a clock that I had no power to stop.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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Ever since I finished reading All The Missing Girls last year I’ve been an instant fan of Megan Miranda‘s writing style. She was on my list of favorite 2016 discoveries and you might already guess I added her newest thriller The Perfect Stranger to my list of most anticipated 2017 releases as soon as I heard about it. Just imagine my happy-dance when I was actually approved for an ARC a few months ago… And even though I normally read my ARCs closer to the publish date, I just couldn’t resist temptation when I got my copy and decided to make an exception for this one. I read The Perfect Stranger for the first time back in January and it ended up being my very first 5 star read of 2017. Because even though my expectations were set high after her thriller debut last year, Megan Miranda managed to outdo herself with her newest story. Well written, fast-paced, lots of plot twists, suspense, interesting characters… In short an excellent psychological thriller! I decided to wait with my review and reread The Perfect Stranger closer to the publish date, and I have to say I enjoyed the story just as much the second time around. I found myself hooked right from the first page and she is without doubt one of my new favorite authors of the genre. The way the author is able to build suspense, add plot twists and slowly reveal more about the characters is simply impressive. It’s unreliable characters at its best and it took me a long time to figure out what was the truth behind it all as everyone seemed to be having something to hide. There’s no ‘backwards’ plot this time for those who didn’t enjoy that aspect of All The Missing Girls, so if you like the genre there really is no excuse to not grab a copy of The Perfect Stranger. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

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Journalist Leah Stevens finds herself in a tough corner after one of her articles causes her trouble. With a restraining order and the threat of a lawsuit hanging over her head, she needs to get out of Boston and find a way to start over. Then she runs into an old friend, Emmy Grey, by chance and Emmy seems to have been looking for the same fresh start after ending a troubled relationship… She proposes they move to rural Pennsylvania, and Leah decides she has nothing to lose. Leah is able to get a teaching position there and everything seems to be working out, until a woman with an eerie resemblance to Leah is assaulted by the lake… And not only that, Emmy disappears only days later. What happened to the two women?

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If you like suspenseful, well written and plot twist-filled psychological thrillers, you are in for a treat. The Perfect Stranger ticks all those boxes and more… And I’m not even talking about the gorgeous cover. I’ve read The Perfect Stranger twice now and the story still managed to keep me under its spell. Every main character seems to be having something to hide and you don’t get the full picture of what is going on until the very end. Suspense at its best!


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WWW Wednesdays #131 – April 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 currently reading three books; the first two being for the Beat The Backlist challenge because I have been neglecting this challenge terribly in March. The Color Purple by Alice Walker is a (modern) classic I somehow never picked up before and I’m still deciding what to think of it. And I’ve been wanting to read the sequel ever since I finished the first book, so I’m hoping to continue Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken as soon as I finish  the first. Although I might read the ARC sequel Sleep Tight by Caroline Mitchell first, because I’m in the mood for another thriller.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

* I first finished The Yellow Envelope by  Kim Dinan, which didn’t turn out to be as good as I was hoping for. Instead of a travel memoir, it was more of a self-discovery journey and I had a lot of problems with the tone, focus of the story and (negative) cliches. More details in my review
* I then read the collection of short horror stories Silence Under Screams by Collin Henderson, and it sure turned out to be a proper horror read. There are four stories in total and each is unique in its own way and represents a different subgenre. Warning: some of them have very graphic descriptions!
* The last book I was able to finish in March was History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera and I can definitely understand why so many people seem to love this book. I enjoyed reading this book, although it kind of feels bad to say that since part of it is really sad. Excellent character development and loved the prose! Not a 5 star read as expected (it felt a bit messy), but definitely more than recommended for fans of the genre.
* My first April read was an ARC: Blood Moon by John David Bethel. The fact that this story is somewhat based on a true event is without doubt shocking, because the main character sure has to go through a lot. Interesting read with a lot of action and graphic scenes (warning if you don’t like those!), and I liked the use of Spanish even though there were quite a lot of mistakes.
* My last read was actually a reread: The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda. Back in January I couldn’t help myself and had to read this ARC as soon as I got a copy, and I decided to reread it before writing my review, since it’s going to be published soon. I enjoyed this thriller just as much the second time around. She is definitely one of my new favorite authors of the genre. I love LOVE her writing style.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

Next up are three more ARCs… All for the April ARC month. What Doesn’t Kill You by Ed James is a Netgalley ARC and part of a detective series I’ve been enjoying so far. Among Friends: Travels In Cuba by Heather Murray was sent by the author and sounds like an intriguing travel read. Enchanters by K.F. Bradshaw is a Reading Alley ARC and will give me just the dose of fantasy I need (hopefully). I also still want to read Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult , probably after I finish these three ARCs though.


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