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The Last Party by Clare Mackintosh

QOTD: What’s the last mystery/thriller that had you guessing till the end?
Genre: Mystery

If You Like:

– murder mysteries Poirot style

– multiple POV’s

* spoiler free review *

This was one of the rare times where I had no clue whodunnit. I had a feeling at about halfway through the book, but even then, I wasn’t entirely sure. 👏 Bloody brilliant! Everyone was sus the whole fucking way!! It was so much fun chatting about it with my reading buddies and trying to guess who it was. I had a whole list and everything!!

Not gonna lie. It was slow to start, and I almost DNF’d it. But it was my first time reading Clare Mackintosh and I wanted to give it a chance. I used the help of the audiobook (on Scribd) to get through the beginning and highly recommend going audio! The narrator was fantastic.

I’d also suggest it as a book club/group read. You’ll definitely wanna have someone to chat about it with while reading.

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Have you read this? Or any of her books?

Just The Nicest Couple by Mary Kubica

Genre: Thriller, Mystery

On Sale Date: January 10, 2023

A husband’s disappearance links two couples in this twisty thriller from New York

Times bestselling author Mary Kubica

Jake Hayes is missing. This much is certain. At first, his wife, Nina, thinks he is blowing off steam at a friend’s house after their heated fight the night before. But then a day goes by. Two days. Five.

And Jake is still nowhere to be found.

Lily Scott, Nina’s friend and coworker, thinks she may have been the last to see Jake before he went missing. After Lily confesses everything to her husband, Christian, the two decide that nobody can

find out what happened leading up to Jake’s disappearance, especially not Nina. But Nina is out there looking for her husband, and she won’t stop until the truth is discovered.

Mary Kubica is a New York Times bestselling author of thrillers including The Good Girl, The Other Mrs., and Local Woman Missing. Her books have been translated into over thirty languages and have sold over two million copies worldwide. She’s been described as “a helluva storyteller” (Kirkus) and “a writer of vice-like control” (Chicago Tribune), and her novels have been praised as “hypnotic” (People) and “illuminating” (L.A. Times). She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and children.

Social Links:

Author website: https://marykubica.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaryKubicaAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/marykubica

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marykubica

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Just-Nicest-Couple-Mary-Kubica/dp/0778333116/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1659696934&sr=8-1

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/just-the-nicest-couple-mary-

kubica/1141697244?ean=9780778333111

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/books/just-the-nicest-couple/9780778333111

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780778333111

Books-A-Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Just-Nicest-Couple/Mary-Kubica/9780778333111?id=8596975801254

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/just-the-nicest-couple

AppleBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/just-the-nicest-couple/id1614424262

If you liked Wednesday (the Netflix series), read this..

Have you watched Wednesday yet?

If you haven’t, you should! It was so good. I’m obsessed!!

I’ve been kinda MIA in the blogosphere. Between Bookstagram (IG), booktok (Tik Tok) & now bookhive (Hive)..I’ve been seriously neglecting the blogging world.

But I’m baaack, and bringing you a list of reads if you loved Wednesday as much as I did. I admit, I haven’t read these yet. But from the blurbs & sneak peeks I’ve taken, I think they have a similar vibe.

1. A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

2. The School For Good & Evil by Soman Chainani

3. The Grimrose Girls by Laura Pohl

4. A Lesson In Vengeance by Victoria Lee

5. The Book Of Living Secrets by Madeleine Roux

Have you read any of these?

The Last Housewife by Ashley Winstead

Genre: Mystery & Thriller, Domestic Suspense

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 (4.5 stars)

QOTD: Do you always read the description before picking up a book? Or do you go in blind?

Gurrrllll..this was some dark shit.

I know it said ‘disturbing’ on the cover, but I honestly thought it was an exaggeration. Let me tell ya. It is not! Even with the content warnings, I was definitely not expecting or prepared for that. 🤯

Kiwi here, may not have liked this book. But I did! It was like crack. That’s all I’m going to say. Less is more. So if you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you go in the same way I did. Blind and only knowing the trigger warnings, which is listed right at the beginning of the book.

Have you read this one?

While in college in upstate New York, Shay Evans and her best friends met a captivating man who seduced them with a web of lies about the way the world works, bringing them under his thrall. By senior year, Shay and her friend Laurel were the only ones who managed to escape. Now, eight years later, Shay’s built a new life in a tiny Texas suburb. But when she hears the horrifying news of Laurel’s death—delivered, of all ways, by her favorite true-crime podcast crusader—she begins to suspect that the past she thought she buried is still very much alive, and the predators more dangerous than ever.

Recruiting the help of the podcast host, Shay goes back to the place she vowed never to return to in search of answers. As she follows the threads of her friend’s life, she’s pulled into a dark, seductive world, where wealth and privilege shield brutal philosophies that feel all too familiar. When Shay’s obsession with uncovering the truth becomes so consuming she can no longer separate her desire for justice from darker desires newly reawakened, she must confront the depths of her own complicity and conditioning. But in a world built for men to rule it—both inside the cult and outside of it—is justice even possible, and if so, how far will Shay go to get it?

One Of Us Is Dead by Jeneva Rose

“Forgiveness is boring, but revenge . . . now, that’s a real thrill! Betray me once, and I will bury you, one shovel of dirt at a time.”

Genre: Mystery, Domestic drama, Chick Lit

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

QOTD: Do you like reality shows? (I.e Real Housewives? The Bachelor, etc)

If you like:

⁃ drama

⁃ Big Little lies by Liane Moriarty

⁃ desperate housewives

⁃ Multiple POV’s

If the real housewives make you roll your eyes, then step away cause this ain’t for you. But if you’re shameless like I am and kinda live for the drama, then add this to your tbr right now!

The hype is real y’all!! I knew very little going into this one. And I suggest you do the same if you haven’t read it. All I knew was that there was a group of upper class women, think Desperate Housewives. And one of them is dead. But which one?

Call it good timing, but this was just the kind of drama and bingeable read I needed! I had guessed who was dead early on, but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of it. If anything, it was fun trying to see if I was right and watching things fall apart.

Highly recommend this on audio for my audiobook lovers. I loved the cast of characters! Especially Olivia. Argh..she was such a fucking cunt. But I loved every moment of hating her. 😆 And Shannon..omg. She was such a hot mess, I really felt for her!

I’m not going to say much more, cause I believe less is more in this case.

Have you read this one?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58482479

Things We Do In The Dark by Jennifer Hillier

Genre: Mystery

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

If you like:

⁃ mystery

⁃ Domestic drama

⁃ Aapi authors

TW: Child abuse, rape, sexual assault

I’m going to try and keep this as spoiler free as possible, and will start by saying this definitely won’t be for everyone. Which is why I listed the trigger warnings first.

This was my first Jennifer Hiller book, and a much heavier read than I was expecting. Not quite the popcorn thriller I was looking for. But that’s not to say I didn’t like it. Quite the opposite actually. It kept me turning the pages and finished it in 2 days! Which is a world record for me.

A lot of the story was centred around Joey’s traumatic childhood, which was hard to read at times. Monster doesn’t even cut it for how awful Ruby was! I wanted her to die a slow and painful death!!

I had things figured out pretty early on, but it was still an enjoyable read.

Will I be reading any more of her books? I’m not sure to be honest. This was heavy, and if her other books are anything like this one, then imma pass.

Have you read this yet? Which books of hers have you read?

Horror Hotel by Victoria Fulton & Faith McClaren

Genre: YA Horror

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

QOTD: Would you spend the night at a haunted hotel for $1M where people have died?

If you like:

✔️YA

✔️Teen horror & slasher movies

✔️ ghosts

✔️multiple POV’s

This was a fun popcorn teen slasher, with ghosts!

You know those horror films where you scream at the screen for the character not to go there or do that?! Like OMG, why are you so stupid?! You’re gonna get killed kinda movies? Yeah..that’s what this was like!

I alternated between the ebook & audiobook.

What I liked:

⁃ the audiobook had 3 narrators

⁃ LOVED the setting of Hearst Hotel! That plus all the ghosts were the highlight of the story for me.

⁃ I enjoyed Chase & Chrissy’s POV. The teenage dialogue & banter made me giggle. If you can get past that, this can be a really enjoyable read.

⁃ I also liked Chrissy’s psychic abilities. I thought that was really cool the way it was described in the story.

⁃ While I saw who the killer was a mile away, I liked that reveal 👏👏

What I didn’t like:

⁃ There were a few times where I got confused between Emmaline & Kiki. Sometimes it was hard to differentiate who was talking, which is why I switched to audio.

All in all, I had a good time with this one! It moved really quickly and kept me entertained.

If you know what to expect from teen horror, you’ll like this like I did.

Have you read this one? Do you like YA horror?

Hooked by Emily McIntire

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3.5 stars rounded up)

QOTD: What is your favourite fairytale?

If you like:

⁃ morally grey characters

⁃ Spicy reads

⁃ Peter Pan retelling

⁃ Happily ever afters

What if Hook was really the hero?

I had fun buddy reading this one!

What I liked:

⁃ I loved this take on Peter Pan and the reimagined characters.

⁃ The spice level was pretty 🥵🥵 and Hook..he was absolutely delicious.

What I didn’t like:

⁃ The chain of events in the last 25% was kinda eye rolling and cheesy. It felt rushed.

⁃ I needed more back story between James & his uncle.

Was it perfect? No. But I’m trash for smutty fantasies, and liked it. Definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a steamy Peter Pan retelling ❤️‍🔥

The Night Shift by Alex Finlay

“The sheep spends its life worried about the wolf, only to be eaten by the farmer.”

Genre: Thriller

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 (4.5 stars)

QOTD: Have you ever worked the night shift?

🎧AUDIOBOOK REVIEW🎧

If you like:

  • multiple POV’s/narrators
  • twisty endings
  • whodunnits

I think the less you know walking into this one, the better.

I had worked at Block Buster once upon a time and loved my time there. Really enjoyed the 90’s vibe! I was hoping the whole story would take place in the 90’s, but it was still a really good read.

Loved the cast of characters and twists at the end! That’s what really sealed the deal for me. The whole time I was questioning: Did he? OMG, is he?

You think you know..but trust me. You couldn’t be more wrong! 😆

Have you read this one? On your tbr?

Indie Spotlight: Reaper by Jonathan Pongratz

Genre: Horror

Happy Bookstiversary to my friend Jonny & his novella: Reaper!! @jaunts&haunts

How do you fight a monster?

Halloween night, 1992. Promised the allowance he’s always dreamed of, Gregory has to babysit his little sister Imogen and hand out candy.

That was before the basement door opened on its own. Before the strange door appeared in the basement. Before Imogen was taken from him by that terrifying monster.

Now, Gregory has to scramble to put the pieces together before it’s too late. Where did the door come from? What was that creature? Can he save his sister, or is she already gone forever?

Links:

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/UtilAuPJdSc

Universal Purchase Link: http://www.books2read.com/reaperhorror

I shined my flashlight on the wooden steps leading below, doing my best to stay calm as a frigid chill raised goosebumps on my arms and legs. There’s nothing down here but your stupid little sister. Monsters don’t exist. You’re being a baby.

Ignoring my own thoughts, I forced myself to begin my descent. Each step on the rickety stairs gave a loud squeak that made my heart pound and skin tingle. My flashlight continued to guide me down the steps, but the further down I went, the more it seemed that the darkness was getting thicker. Was that even possible? It’s all in your head.

By the time I reached the bottom of the steps, my nerves were rattled. Imogen had better be down here, and she better be ready to go. I was done playing these stupid games. 

An awful smell rose on  my left. I turned my light to it. On top of an old wooden table was an ornate black lantern. Wisps of black smoke came off it, but no light. I gave a good sniff and instantly recoiled. 

Who lit this terrible thing? This was ten times worse than the stinky candles Mom lit every year. I plugged my nose and gave the contents of the lantern another glance. Inside was a grey-looking candle with weird flecks of black stuff molded inside of it. My nose crinkled. Whatever it was, I didn’t care. I needed to find Immy. 

I turned back around to the rest of the basement. “Immy? Immy!” I shouted. I thought I heard a scuffle up ahead, so I shined my light that way. 

Numerous toys littered the floor and old furniture covered with large white sheets took up most of the space in the basement. Something about the odd shapes the unwanted stuff created creeped me out, but I couldn’t bring myself to leave. I stood still, listening in the darkness. Was that … breathing? It was faint, but what else did I have to go off of?

I maneuvered around a cluster of covered couches, wiping my sweaty palms on my pants as I ventured towards the back. Ahead of me were small rows of sheeted items, but one stood out to me, one particularly little-girl shaped. 

I smirked. Nice try, Immy.

I crept up on my toes, and as soon as I was within arm’s reach, I yanked the white sheet away. “Aha!” It was a rusty standing birdcage. But I could’ve sworn … Damn it!  I kicked the nearest couch and wandered aimlessly to vent off my frustration. 

What could I do to draw Immy out? Talking to her wasn’t working; I’d already tried that. I could try the candy route, but the bucket was all the way upstairs and she could hide again by the time I got back. I supposed I could knock stuff around until she emerged, but then I’d have to clean it all up or Mom and Dad would kill me. I walked up to an uncovered desk and wiped my finger along the top, inspecting the layer of dust on my forefinger. Maybe I could scare her out. 

Suddenly, something grabbed my ankle from under the desk. I shrieked and yanked my leg back as my heart pounded.

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