YVO’S SHORTIES #162 – Pet Sematary & Reconstructing Amelia

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around two backlist titles I’ve been meaning to read; one a dark thriller and one a YA mystery TBR jar pick. Pet Sematary by Stephen King turned out to be a great read, but I somehow ended up having mixed feelings about Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight instead…


Title: Pet Sematary
Author: Stephen King

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Horror
First published: November 14th 1983
Publisher: Scribner
Finished reading: May 2nd 2020
Pages: 561

“It’s like many other things in life, Ellie. You keep on the path and all’s well. You get off it and the next thing you know you’re lost if you’re not lucky.”


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I’m planning on slowly making my way through Stephen King‘s backlist and as I’ve been wanting to watch the new movie adaption I decided to pick up Pet Sematary first… And I ended up having an excellent time reading this story. While I expected the story to be more creepy and full-scale horror than it turned out to be, as a paranormal thriller with psychological horror elements Pet Sematary still aimed to please. The story has got that ominous feel from the start, and while nothing all that much is happening in the beginning, you know things will escalate sooner or later. That ominous feel of danger and the supernatural grows stronger and stronger, and especially once Jud introduces Louis to Ludlow’s secret in the woods… The horror is mostly psychological and slow-building, but well constructed and I liked how the development of this element correlated with the development of the main characters (especially Louis and Jud). There is a lot of focus on the character development in general, and it was fascinating to learn more about the past of Jud as well as the town itself. Likewise, Louis is a fascinating character to follow; especially how he changes and reacts to the different events. If you are looking for a character-driven thriller with paranormal and psychological horror elements, Pet Sematary is a great choice.


Title: Reconstructing Amelia
Author: Kimberly McCreight

Genre: YA, Mystery, Thriller
First published: April 2nd 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins
Finished reading: May 5th 2020
Pages: 405

“All they want to do is to put a label on you. Call you this or that. Then that’s all you are, forever.”


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So… I’m not sure if the unpopular opinion curse has struck again, but the fact is that somehow Reconstructing Amelia and me didn’t get along as well as I thought we would. My reading mood has been all over the place lately, so this might just not have been the best time for me to read this story… But the fact is that I ended up having mixed thoughts about Reconstructing Amelia. It took me a long time to get into the story, especially with all the POV changes and timehops… Keeping track of what happened to whom and when felt mostly like a chore as I wasn’t really connecting to the story in the first place. The idea behind this debut is interesting, but even though I can’t put my finger exactly on the why, I wasn’t all that blown away by the execution. It might have been the ending, which was an anti-climax and too convenient to be honest and I expected more. It might have been the high school cliches and all the bitching and bullying element. It might have been the fact that I don’t think the whole investigation is all that credible, especially with Kate being present as the detective investigates and questions people. It might also have been the fact that I never really connected to any of the characters. But the fact is that Reconstructing Amelia didn’t impress me as I thought I would… I seem to be in the minority though?


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WWW Wednesdays #267 – May 6th

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 need to get cracking on my May blog tour reads, and I’m currently flying through Ash Mountain by Helen Fitzgerald. I really hope to finish it today! I’m also starting Tweet Cute by Emma Lord as I still seem to be in the mood for cute contemporaries.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. The One-In-A-Million Boy by Monica Wood (3/5 stars) REVIEW 08/05
I’ve been curious about The One-In-A-Million Boy ever since I first heard about it a few years back, and both the cover and blurb had me convinced I was going to enjoy my time with this story. Sadly, I somehow ended up having mixed thoughts instead… I’m not sure if it’s just the wrong time for me to read this story, as my reading taste has been all over the place in these strange times, but the fact is that I somehow expected more of this story.

2. Pet Sematary by Stephen King (4/5 stars) REVIEW 14/05
I’m planning on slowly making my way through Stephen King‘s backlist and as I’ve been wanting to watch the new movie adaption I decided to pick up Pet Sematary first… And I ended up having an excellent time reading this story. While I expected the story to be more creepy and full-scale horror than it turned out to be, as a paranormal thriller with psychological horror elements Pet Sematary still aimed to please.

3. Swipe Right by Stephie Chapman (3/5 stars) REVIEW 11/05
I’ve been in the mood for a good romcom and I thought that I had hit the nail on the head with Swipe Right… It’s by no means a bad read and I think romance fans will have a great time with this one, but there were a few things that bothered me enough to end up having mixed feelings about this one. And yes, that includes having more than one love triangle in the mix and basically an overload of cliches…

4. Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight (3/5 stars) REVIEW 14/05
I’m not sure if the unpopular opinion curse has struck again, but the fact is that somehow Reconstructing Amelia and me didn’t get along as well as I thought we would. My reading mood has been all over the place lately, so this might just not have been the best time for me to read this story… But the fact is that I ended up having mixed thoughts about Reconstructing Amelia.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I have one May blog tour read left: This Is How I Lied by Heather Gudenkauf. Afterwards, I will probably either start my Eddie Flynn series binge-read with The Defence by Steve Cavanagh or read Running Barefoot by Amy Harmon depending on what genre I’m in the mood for. I also have a new TBR jar pick: Evil At Heart by Chelsea Cain. I already wanted to continue this series some time soon, so I guess my TBR jar selecting this title is a sign I should do so! Probably not until after I finish the Eddie Flynn binge-read though.


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WWW Wednesdays #266 – April 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 currently reading The One-In-A-Million Boy by Monica Wood as I was craving another dose of contemporary… With the speed I’m reading right now, I’ll probably ended up finishing it before this post goes live haha. I’m also starting (finally!) Pet Sematary by Stephen King, a title I’ve been wanting to read for a while and decided to pick up so I can watch the movie afterwards.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon (2/5 stars) REVIEW 03/05
I really enjoyed When Dimple Met Rishi back when I read it, and I’ve been wanting to try more of Sandhya Menon‘s books ever since. I was craving a cute contemporary, so I decided to pick up From Twinkle, With Love on a whim as I thought it would be exactly the story I needed at the time. I guess I was wrong! Between the high school cliches, love square, despicable behavior of Twinkle and the writing sounding too forced, I really struggled reaching that final page… Oh yes, From Twinkle, With Love definitely didn’t have that spark for me.

2. The Creak On The Stairs by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir (4,5/5 stars) BLOG TOUR REVIEW 09/05
Look out for my review during my stop of the blog tour next month!!

3. Danny The Champion Of The World by Roald Dahl (3,5/5 stars) NO REVIEW
I won’t be writing a full review for Danny The Champion Of The World… I’ve been slowly going through the books of one of my favorite childhood authors, Roald Dahl, rereading old favorites as well as some stories I missed when I was little. I did read Danny The Champion Of The World a couple times when I was little, and although it’s not my favorite I remember still enjoying the story quite a lot. It’s not as fantastical as some of his other stories, but I liked the relationship between father and son and the ‘secret’ and creative poaching ideas. It’s definitely a fun story for kids to read.

4. The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide (2/5 stars) REVIEW 08/05
I’ve been curious about this title ever since I finished The Travelling Cat Chronicles last year and saw it recommended under similar Japanese fiction titles… I think it’s no secret that I’m a huge catlover, so I was looking forward to dive into some cat infused fiction again. It’s easy to say that I ended up to be quite quite disappointed by The Guest Cat instead.

5. Good Samaritans by Will Carver (5/5 stars) REVIEW 05/05
It had been a while since my last 5 star read, and I really needed a story to completely blow my socks off again… I turned to my Orenda backlist and I couldn’t have picked better! Good Samaritans is dark, sexy and utterly disturbing; a complex and well written story that grabbed me from the start and was pitch black and twisted to the core. Say hello to a new favorite! I just can’t wait to read the sequel now.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

May is around the corner which means I need to focus on my ARCs again… I’m planning on reading my three remaining May ARCs next. First up is Swipe Right by Stephie Chapman, and then it’s two blog tour reads with Ash Mountain by Helen Fitzgerald and This Is How I Lied by Heather Gudenkauf. I will also read my latest TBR jar pick Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight somewhere in between.


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WWW Wednesdays #265 – April 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?

It’s another dose of contemporary for me right now with From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon. I’ve been meaning to try more of her books for a while now! I’m also starting blog tour read The Creak On The Stairs by Eva Bjorg Aegisdottir, which I’ve been looking forward to.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. One Summer In Paris by Sarah Morgan (3/5 stars) REVIEW 24/04
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.

2. The Girl In The Tree by Sebnem Isiguzel (DNF 11%; 0 stars) DNF REVIEW 28/04
I was actually really looking forward to The Girl In The Tree, as the blurb sounded intriguing and I always love discovering new international authors. I certainly wasn’t expecting to have the reaction I had when I finally started reading it… But it is what it is I guess. I hate DNFing this early in a story and I feel more than guilty, but I just couldn’t take it anymore… More about the reasons why I decided to DNF this early in the upcoming DNF shorties review.

3. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman (4/5 stars) REVIEW 28/04
I’ve been meaning to pick up The Light Between Oceans for years now. I’m not sure why it took me this long to actually read it, as I’m a big fan of historical fiction and settings that enable me to travel to places I’ve never been… But what I do know is that I regret not reading this story sooner now. The Light Between Oceans is a mostly character driven book with a fascinating setting that gives the story the perfect backdrop to develop both plot and characters. And while there were certain elements/details especially in the second half that started to irk me, I still ended up really enjoying my time with this historical fiction read.

4. Little Whispers by K.L. Slater (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 07/05
K.L. Slater‘s psychological thrillers are must-reads for me, so having the chance to read two new titles in the same month is definitely a huge bonus. As always the writing is solid and it is without doubt an entertaining read, although I did feel the spark was a bit missing in Little Whispers… Or it might just be that these kind of domestic psychological thrillers are not a good match for me right now.

5. Woven In Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez (4/5 stars) REVIEW 03/05
I admit that it was coverlove at first sight when I first heard about this book, but as soon as I read the blurb I was fully convinced that this story would be for me. I love it when stories incorporate foreign cultures and Woven In Moonlight is filled with Bolivian culture and folklore… It’s a story that mixes real life elements with fantasy and I especially loved the magic incorporated into the story. Another bonus: the dose of romance is pretty mild!

6. What Lies Between Us by John Marrs (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 30/04
Holy guacamole, what did I just read?! So dark, so twisted, and oh so glorious! I’m a big fan of John Marrs‘ writing and his newest title definitely didn’t disappoint. I have to admit that I saw some of the plot twists coming very early on, but I was too busy devouring this story to really care. What Lies Between Us is a dark dark and oh so disturbing psychological thriller, but apparently just what I needed right now.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’m taking a little break from ARCs next to focus on my backlist titles again… First up are The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide, Pet Sematary by Stephen King and The One-In-A-Million Boy by Monica Wood depending on what I’m in the mood for. My newest TBR jar pick is also up soon: Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight.


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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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Friday Finds #98 – August 5th

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FRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at Babs Book Bistro and showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during the last week and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads. Below a selection of my newest additions; click on the book descriptions to go to its Goodreads page! 😀

My finds:

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