YVO’S SHORTIES #147 – When We Left Cuba & Lock Every Door

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time two 2019 titles I’ve been looking forward to… When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton turned out to be just as good as I hoped, but sadly Lock Every Door by Riley Sager took the wrong direction for me and the ending highly disappointed me.


Title: When We Left Cuba
Author: Chanel Cleeton

Genre: Contemporary, Historical Fiction
First published: April 9th 2019
Publisher: Berkley
Finished reading: January 29th 2020
Pages: 366

“The only way to stop being afraid of something is to confront it. To take away its power over you.”


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My first experience with Chanel Cleeton‘s books, Next Year In Havana, completely blew me away last year and it ended up being one of my absolute favorites of 2019. I made a promise to myself to make time for When We Left Cuba in January, and it is easy to say that I had superhigh expectations for this story about Beatriz. And while I admit I did love Elisa and Marisol’s story a tiny bit more, there is also no doubt that I had a brilliant time with When We Left Cuba as well. First of all a little warning: while this is no official sequel, you will be able to appreciate the little references and the Perez family background so much better if you read Next Year In Havana first. It will make you able to get a proper feel for the story from the very first page, as you already know things about Beatriz and her secrets that have been hinted at. And with this background, I found myself completely addicted from the very first chapter. I have always found Beatriz an intriguing character and she is without doubt perfect to describe and show us what happens to Cuba and the Cubans in the years after Fidel Castro took over. The focus in When We Left Cuba is on 1960-1962, which includes the Cuban Missile Crisis as well as the Kennedy Assassination… And I love how this story incorporates historical facts into Beatriz’ fictional story. There are a lot of different elements in play, including high society, forbidden love, politics, revenge, espionage, crime, Cuba and the Cold War. More heavy topics are contrasted with lighter elements such as forbidden love; I’m surprised myself when I say I wasn’t bothered at all by the whole forbidden love trope. I think this has a lot to do with my feelings about Beatriz, as I really like her character despite her recklessness and stubbornness. It was easy to connect to and feel for most characters in general, including of course Nick and Eduardo. The writing is simply wonderful and the plot well constructed; while there are a few chapters set in 2016, the focus is mostly on the past this time and follows Beatriz in a linear way. As you might have guessed, I absolutely loved my time with When We Left Cuba and I can recommend it to anyone who enjoys the genre.


Title: Lock Every Door
Author: Riley Sager

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: July 2nd 2019
Publisher: Dutton
Finished reading: February 1st 2020
Pages: 381

“This place isn’t kind to gentle souls. It chews them up and swallows them whole.


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Oh yes, hello unpopular opinion, we meet again! I know a lot of people love Riley Sager‘s books and I did enjoy The Last Time I Lied considerably when I read it last year, but mostly the hype around his work ends up bringing me down… Sadly, this was once again the case with Lock Every Door and I ended up being considerably underwhelmed by what I found. Don’t get me wrong, the story started out strong and I loved that ominous feeling, the hint at the supernatural and the dark secrets and history of the Bartholomew. The plot almost feels like a locked room mystery, something I always have a weak spot for and I really thought this was going to be my new favorite of his books. Unfortunately, the story lost me somewhere along the way… First of all, Jules was quite a frustrating character. Sure, she is in a hard place in life and basically desperate, but the offer to be an apartment sitter with such a generous pay just sounded too good to be true… Initial lack of suspicion I can understand, but after so many alarmbells ringing and having a friend to help out so she won’t end up on the street Jules still being stubborn and not wanting to see any danger? A bit too convenient for the plot and not credible to me. This is only minor compared to my reacting to the final reveals and the ending. Not only did I guess more than one major plot twist as well as villian VERY early on, the ending was completely unsatisfying and just too plain simple for me. It really let that ominous feeling of the beginning of the story as well as the Bartholomew itself completely down… Thankfully the writing was engaging enough to turn this into a fast read, but I really wished this story would have taken a different and more interesting direction here.


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WWW Wednesdays #254 – February 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 Things In Jars by Jess Kidd, which was way overdue as I won a gorgeous hardback copy in a giveaway last year and somehow never actually picked it up afterwards. The blurb sounds fantastic and I’ll be looking forward to continue it today! I’ll also be starting Death Deserved by Jorn Lier Horst & Thomas Enger as my blog tour stop is coming closer…

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 09/02
While I admit I did love Elisa and Marisol’s story a tiny bit more, there is also no doubt that I had a brilliant time with When We Left Cuba as well. have always found Beatriz an intriguing character and she is without doubt perfect to describe and show us what happens to Cuba and the Cubans in the years after Fidel Castro took over. There are a lot of different elements in play, including high society, forbidden love, politics, revenge, espionage, crime, Cuba and the Cold War, but everything was well balanced and I had a fantastic time reading this story.

2. A Study In Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 28/02
I’ve been meaning to meet up with the original Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson for ages now, and after watching the Netflix series and a recent mention in another book, I finally had the perfect excuse to do so. I must have read various retellings over the years as well as watch more than one screen adaptation, but it was without doubt fun to go back to the roots and see how the original Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle created was like

3. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 28/02
The movie adapation of The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button recently popped up in my mind and I remembered I somehow never read the short story it was based on despite wanting to do so. Since it’s a supershort read with only 41 pages, I decided to squeeze it in between my other books I was planning to read… It is without doubt a quick and quite entertaining read, although it did leave me wanting for more.

4. Lock Every Door by Riley Sager (3/5 stars) REVIEW 09/02
Oh yes, hello unpopular opinion, we meet again! I know a lot of people love Riley Sager‘s books and I did enjoy The Last Time I Lied considerably when I read it last year, but mostly the hype around his work ends up bringing me down… Sadly, this was once again the case with Lock Every Door and I ended up being considerably underwhelmed by what I found. Not only did I guess more than one mayor plot twists as well as villian VERY early on, the ending was completely unsatisfying and just too plain simple for me. It really let that ominous feeling of the beginning of the story as well as the Bartholomew itself completely down…

5. Hotel On The Corner Of Bitter And Sweet by Jamie Ford (4/5 stars) REVIEW 11/02
I think it’s probably known by now that I have a weak spot for WWII historical fiction and this story is able to give us an original angle. Set in Seattle during the war, the focus is on the Chinese and Japanese community and the threats the Japanese community receives as a direct consequence of Japan’s role in WWII. Hotel On The Corner Of Bitter And Sweet is a beautifully written, poignant and sometimes heartbreaking read, but not without a note of hope… And it is able to describe the race problematics and injustice for all those innocent Japanese families perfectly.

6. What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler (4/5 stars) REVIEW 11/02
I knew this wasn’t going to be an easy read with that rape and victim blaming topic, and it is without doubt trigger warning worthy… That said, I thought the author did an excellent job portraying the whole situation as well as shining an all important light on the topic. Sadly the events as described What We Saw are all too real and sadly rape victims like Stacey become victims all over again when nobody believes their story and simply say ‘she had it coming’ or ‘she asked for it with the way she dressed and by being wasted’… It was also interesting to see the whole story from Kate’s POV as she wasn’t directly involved or too close to the victim.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’m probably reading The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harol Fry by Rachel Joyce next as I have been wanting to read it for ages now… For the same reason, I’ll likely read the modern classic Perfume by Patrick Suskind soon as I’ve been curious ever since I watched the movie adaptation years ago. Then it’s finally time for some series binging! First up is Blue Night by Simone Buchholz (and Beton Rouge afterwards) in preparation of the blog tour for the next book in March. And I have a new TBR jar pick too! The Way Back To You by Michelle Andreani & Mindi Scott, which I’ll probably pick up soon as I love roadtrip stories and it would be a perfect break in between my thriller series binges. 😉


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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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YVO’S SHORTIES #78 – The Last Time I Lied & The Painted Veil

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around a 2018 release I wasn’t able to get to last year and a classic I’ve been meaning to read for a while. The first, The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager, went better than I hoped and I ended up really enjoying it. The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham sadly wasn’t really my cup of tea though.


Title: The Last Time I Lied
Author: Riley Sager

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: July 3rd 2018
Publisher: Dutton
Finished reading: January 19th 2019
Pages: 384

“Above all, I’m scared that if I keep digging, I might not like what I’ll find.”


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There has been a lot of hype around The Last Time I Lied, but after my experience with Final Girls I decided to stay away for a while before finally picking it up. I’m not sure if this tactic helped or if I found his second book to be simply better than his debut, but the fact is: no unpopular opinion review this time around. Oh yes, you can say I really enjoyed my time with The Last Time I Lied. (What’s with all those books with ‘lie’ in the title though?) The writing is strong and draws you right in; the descriptions of the art and surroundings are done in such a way that really makes them come alive. This story has a dual timeline, where we slowly learn more about what happened fifteen years ago, what is happenening at the camp right now and how the two relate… Using the unreliable narrator technique and a whole bunch of twists, secrets and lies, Riley Sager will be able to keep you guessing about what really happened all those years ago. And not only that, because things are happening in the present as well that make you wondering what is really going on and who is behind it all. The final twists were definitely a surprise! I’m not sure if Emma and the other characters are exactly likeable, but they feel well developed and the Lake Midnight setting is both eerie and fits the story. This feeling that something is off sets the right atmosphere for a story that will keep you engaged until you find out every last detail about that night the girls disappeared and how everything affects Emma and the others in the present. I can understand the love for The Last Time I Lied now!


Title: The Painted Veil
Author: W. Somerset Maugham

Genre: Classics, Historical Fiction, Romance
First published: April 1925
Publisher: Vintage
Finished reading: January 20th 2019
Pages: 280

“You know, my dear child, that one cannot find peace in work or in pleasure, in the world or in a convent, but only in one’s soul.”


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While I was browsing for something a little different to read, I stumbled upon my copy of The Painted Veil. I was looking forward to a historical fiction read and the promise of a foreign setting in the 1920s sounded great. Add the fact that reading it would mean crossing off my first classic of the year early, and I was fully convinced. What I didn’t expect is just how focused this story is on the romance, adultery and love triangle. This never goes well for me and I guess it’s part of the reason I’m guessing The Painted Veil simply wasn’t for me despite my love for historical fiction. I do have to say the setting was well developed and the many descriptions of especially the Meitan-Fu area were really detailed and made it come alive. The foreign culture is probably the most interesting aspect of this story, and it’s a shame there is not more focus on it. The Painted Veil is a character driven story with especially Kitty in the spotlight. You can guess that being unable to connect to her presented a big problem for me… Likewise, I can’t say I was charmed by the other characters either. I am very curious about the movie though, which I’ve heard lots of wonderful things about. But sadly the book didn’t manage to blow me away.


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WWW Wednesdays #206 – January 23rd

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 one of the last pending February NG ARCs: The Psychology Of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas. I’ve heard lots of things about this story so fingers crossed this time travel experience will be a good one. I’m also finally starting Exquisite by Sarah Stovell. I can’t believe I’ve been posponing it for this long!

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. We Told Six Lies by Victoria Scott (2,5/5 stars) REVIEW
I had high hopes for We Told Six Lies, but sadly I can’t say this story lived up to expectations. Part of this feeling has to do with the fact I was expecting a mystery, not a romantic drama with two unlikeable main characters I couldn’t care less about. Sure, at least Molly wasn’t ment to be likeable in the first place, but it’s hard to stay invested in a story when you can’t stand the main characters. The amount of sexy scenes and (romantic) cliches were likewise a huge turn off. Sadly, the plot was quite predictable as well… The writing does flow well and the story reads superfast. The right person will probably enjoy We Told Six Lies better than I did.

2. Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 28/01
Ghost Boys is such a powerful read! With race problematics and discrimination sadly being all too real even today, this is such an important book for middle graders and adults alike to read… The topic itself is brilliantly handled, well developed without things becoming too political or dull. The power behind Ghost Boys is the twelve-year-old Jerome, who gives the fatal consequence of racism a face and will make your heart break.

3. The Winter Sister by Megan Collins (4/5 stars) REVIEW 25/01
My instincts told me I was in for a treat with this one and it turns out they were right. The Winter Sister offers us a well balanced mix of a family drama, cold case murder and psychological thriller with a focus on the complicated relationships between mother and daughters alike. The writing is solid and the plot well crafted and interestingly developed. The switches between past and present added to the intrigue and suspense around Persephone’s death and the truth what really happened to her… There are a lot of secrets and twists to discover, and while I did see some of them coming, others managed to surprise me. All in all The Winter Sister was a very satisfying read fans of the genre will love.

4. End Of The Lie by Diana Rodriguez Wallach (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 29/01
I love a good international setting where it seems like reading a story comes with free travel. Add the fact that this story visits two places I’ve recently been able to explore and love myself, and it’s easy to say that the international feel of End Of The Lie was a huge bonus for me. I still struggled with the main characters, the bitchiness and the romance (although I liked some of the romantic developments), but the writing reads like a train and once the pace picks up things get interesting. Fans of international YA spy thrillers will have a great time with this trilogy.

5. The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager (4/5 stars) REVIEW 04/02
I really enjoyed my time with The Last Time I Lied. The writing is strong and draws you right in; the descriptions of the art and surroundings are done in such a way that really makes them come alive. Using the unreliable narrator technique and a whole bunch of twists, secrets and lies, Riley Sager will be able to keep you guessing about what really happened all those years ago. And not only that, because things are happening in the present as well that make you wondering what is really going on and who is behind it all.

6. The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham (3/5 stars) REVIEW 04/02
I was looking forward to a historical fiction read and the promise of a foreign setting in the 1920s sounded great. Add the fact that reading it would mean crossing off my first classic of the year early, and I was fully convinced. What I didn’t expect is just how focused this story is on the romance, adultery and love triangle. This never goes well for me and I guess it’s part of the reason I’m guessing The Painted Veil simply wasn’t for me despite my love for historical fiction.

7. Bright We Burn by Kiersten White (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 09/02
I think Bright We Burn is my new favorite of the series. The historical setting, the references to Vlad The Impaler, the worldbuilding, the descriptions, the writing, the characters… There is so much to love here and I have enjoyed every single minute I spent emerged in this world. It’s hard to compare books since it’s been too long since I read the first two, but what I can definitely say is that The Conqueror’s Saga ends stronger than ever.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I still have a pile of ARCs I need to get to, but I’m liking this balance between ARCs and backlist titles I’ve been able to maintain so far. I’m probably reading the ARC How To Experience Death For Beginners by Jessica Branton next, and then I get to read two more backlist titles afterwards as a reward. I’m in the mood for something contemporary, so that will probably be When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon… There has been such a hype around this book that I’m afraid to pick it up, but fingers crossed it will be a good one for me. I’m also planning on making good to my promise to read more Agatha Christie and pick up the second Hercule Poirot book The Murder On The Links. (The fact that this means another classic I can cross off is a huge bonus.) My newest TBR jar pick is still The Shattering by Karen Healey, which I’m hoping to read before the end of the month.


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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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ARC REVIEW: Final Girls – by Riley Sager @EburyPublishing

Title: Final Girls
Author: Riley Sager

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: July 13th 2017
Publisher: Ebury Publishing
Finished reading: June 29th 2017
Pages: 352

“Pine. Cottage. Nothing but harmless words. But when combined they obtain the sharpness of the knife He shoved into my shoulder and stomach.”

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

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Oh hype, oh hype, why do you have to do this to me once again?! I’ve been looking forward to Final Girls for months now and I think it’s easily one of the most hyped thrillers this year. I should have been warned by the mixed reviews… I’ve been in a bad relationship with hyped books for years and it looks like we just had yet another fight. Because while I really wanted to love Final Girls, I ended up having mixed feelings instead. I don’t think it actually lived up to the praise I’ve seen…  Don’t get me wrong, the story wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as mindblowingly good as I thought it would be. First of all, there were quite a few things that I did like. Final Girls is partly a very intense, dark and twisted story and certain parts actually cross the line to horror. The situations the final girls were able to survive were simply brutal and definitely set the tone for this story. Likewise the flashbacks to the Pine Cottage were probably my favorite part of this novel and read almost like a horror movie. Very graphic and well described! And I also can’t deny there are a lot of plot twists and unexpected turns included in Final Girls. There were a lot of things I definitely didn’t see coming. But. And here starts the more negative part of my review… I’m not sure up to what point the plot, actions and characters are actually completely credible. I had a hard time accepting certain things as true and I don’t think some parts of the plot are very realistic. I can’t go into details due to spoilers, but this did put a mayor damper on things for me. The other thing I struggled with enormously were the main characters. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to connect to them and they really started to annoy me as the story unfolded. I felt repeatedly frustrated when they behaved or acted a certain way when it was SO clear something was off. Final Girls does read quite easily though and the horror parts are definitely dark and twisted. I just wish the rest of the story would have been just as strong… All in all I ended up having mixed thoughts about this one, but it looks like Final Girls can go either way.

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Three girls, three victims, three separate massacres. Somehow they are the lone survivors of those horrible events and now they are grouped together by the press and treated like characters right out of a slasher movie. Final Girls they call them, even though the girls themselves didn’t want that name and only want to try and deal with the horrors they have experienced. Lisa is the only one who doesn’t shy away completely from the publicity; Quincy only wants to try and move on and Sam disappears completely off the radar. But then something terrible happens to Lisa, and suddenly the Final Girls are everywhere again and old wounds are opened…

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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…


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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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Teaser Tuesdays #146 – June 27th: Final Girls

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TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme hosted at The Purple Booker. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

I’ve literally had a copy of this one for MONTHS (read: since January) and I’ve been dying to pick it up ever since my request was approved, but somehow I had always other titles pending and had to read those instead. But no longer. I’ve finally started reading Final Girls by Riley Sager and wow what an intense beginning! I can’t wait to properly sit down and read more of this story today.

My teaser (1%):

“It was instinct that made her run. An unconscious knowledge that she needed to keep going, no matter what. Already she had forgotten why.”

What are you reading right now?


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