NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

Genre: Horror

Rating: DNF @ page 90

An old car, at the end of the block, was easing away. A black Rolls-Royce with sideboards and chrome fixtures. Its taillights flashed red in the night and illuminated the license plate: NOS4A2. Then it turned the corner and disappeared, taking the joyful noise of Christmas with it.

When I first started reading this, I was wowed by the prologue. It reminded me of the Christmas scene in season 2 of American Horror Story.

So why did I DNF it?

It wasn’t that the story was bad. It was actually really good..until I met Maggie. She had a striking similarity to Bill from IT. Even though it was a different character and totally different story, I just couldn’t get past the resemblance.

According to some of the reviews I’ve come across on Goodreads, there are other references to King’s work throughout the book. That’ll either work for you, or it won’t (like in my case).

As much as I enjoyed the idea of the Shorter Way bridge, which was like a morbid rabbit hole, I also found it a tad confusing at first.

Aside from that, if I hadn’t read IT, I probably would’ve loved this one like so many others.

Have you read this one? Have you read any of Joe Hill’s other books?

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

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Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff #OverhypedBooks

Genre: YA, Sci-Fi

Rating: DNF ⭐⭐

I was given fair warning by The Book Prescription about this book. But I’ve been on a sci-fi kick and LOVED Illuminae. So I wanted to give this one a try. To be fair, the premise sounded like it would be up my alley and I DID walk into it without any expectations.

Kudos to you @thebookprescription for seeing it through till the end, cause quite frankly, I got tired of hearing about Tyler’s dimples, killer smile, how hot he was and his scar on his right eyebrow. I lasted 6 chapters and could have sworn the story was titled Captain Hotness & his dimples. Seriously. There was not one chapter that didn’t mention them. Or his good looks. Or his tousled hair.

This could have been a great story, cause it was moving quite nicely with Auri and I liked the multiple POV’s. But it was those stupid dimples that got to me.

They were annoying..like Steve Urkle level of annoying!

Still wanna read this one? Then I highly suggest the library.

Have you read it? What did you think?

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

Thriller Thursday: The Luminous Dead by Caitlyn Starling

Genre: Horror, Psychological Thrillet, Sci-Fi

Rating: DNF @chapter 7

I have no clue how this raved about book made it on the top horror books to read for 2019! Did I miss something? Cause there was nothing scary or creepy about it. At least not for me, and I scare easily! I’m afraid of the dark for crying out loud!!

Gyre is in a cave with dead bodies and a tunneler lurking.

Ya, I know, sounds like some Aliens or Predators kinda shit. Interesting! But it wasn’t. It was mostly banter between Gyre and Em, with a crap load of repetitive thoughts and conversations. Oh! And let’s not forget the cave that felt so Earth like, I forgot it was supposed to be on another planet!

Ugh..What a disappointment.

The best parts? The premise and the fact that the story starts off in the dark cave. That’s it.

Sorry, but this SO didn’t work for me.

When Gyre Price lied her way into this expedition, she thought she’d be mapping mineral deposits, and that her biggest problems would be cave collapses and gear malfunctions. She also thought that the fat paycheck—enough to get her off-planet and on the trail of her mother—meant she’d get a skilled surface team, monitoring her suit and environment, keeping her safe. Keeping her sane.

Instead, she got Em.

Em sees nothing wrong with controlling Gyre’s body with drugs or withholding critical information to “ensure the smooth operation” of her expedition. Em knows all about Gyre’s falsified credentials, and has no qualms using them as a leash—and a lash. And Em has secrets, too . . .

As Gyre descends, little inconsistencies—missing supplies, unexpected changes in the route, and, worst of all, shifts in Em’s motivations—drive her out of her depths. Lost and disoriented, Gyre finds her sense of control giving way to paranoia and anger. On her own in this mysterious, deadly place, surrounded by darkness and the unknown, Gyre must overcome more than just the dangerous terrain and the Tunneler which calls underground its home if she wants to make it out alive—she must confront the ghosts in her own head.

But how come she can’t shake the feeling she’s being followed?

The Murder List by Hank Phillippi Ryan

** Thank you Netgalley & Forge Books for my eARC. **

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Crime Fiction

Rating: DNF ⭐⭐

I am going to be a VERY unpopular opinion with this one.

I’m all for courtroom drama, but this…was just drama. It felt like I was reading a daytime soap. The storytelling was slow and repetitive. Hello Y&R!

I could have skipped from chapter 1 to chapter 5 and it would still be the same thing: the mention of Jack being a lawyer who hates losing, his hatred for Martha Gardiner and Rachel the law student, who also happens to be Gardiner’s intern.

I also found it juvenile at times. Rachel was like a melodramatic teenager trapped in a 36 year old’s body.

The premise is what hooked me, and I liked the alternating timelines, but I just didn’t have the patience for this one. Sorry..

Have you read this one?

Law student Rachel North will tell you, without hesitation, what she knows to be true. She’s smart, she’s a hard worker, she does the right thing, she’s successfully married to a faithful and devoted husband, a lion of Boston’s defense bar, and her internship with the Boston DA’s office is her ticket to a successful future.

Problem is–she’s wrong.

And in this cat and mouse game–the battle for justice becomes a battle for survival.

The Last Resort by Marissa Stapley

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

My Rating: DNF

⭐⭐ 1/2

..the average person has thirteen secrets that they live with-five of which they’ve never told a soul. That was our focus, at the resort: secrets

Thrill Level:

Drama: ☆☆☆☆

DNF at 116 pages 🙊🤦‍♀️

Not gonna lie. I wanted to give up much earlier, but I was determined to give it a chance and see how things would unfold.

The author does a good job at leaving a trail of crumbs to reel you in, but unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to get me hooked.

The premise sounded so promising! I even liked the style, which included emails and a Hollywood gossip article. It just took way too long to get into all the couples’ secrets. By then, I no longer cared nor did I connect with any of the characters.

Sorry guys..I really tried, but I just wasn’t feelin it.

The Harmony Resort promises hope for struggling marriages. Run by celebrity power couple Drs. Miles and Grace Markell, the “last resort” offers a chance for partners to repair their relationships in a luxurious setting on the gorgeous Mayan Riviera.

Johanna and Ben have a marriage that looks perfect on the surface, but in reality, they don’t know each other at all. Shell and Colin fight constantly: after all, Colin is a workaholic, and Shell always comes second to his job as an executive at a powerful mining company. But what has really torn them apart is too devastating to talk about. When both couples begin Harmony’s intensive therapy program, it becomes clear that Harmony is not all it seems—and neither are Miles and Grace themselves. What are they hiding, and what price will these couples pay for finding out?

As a deadly tropical storm descends on the coast, trapping the hosts and the guests on the resort, secrets are revealed, loyalties are tested and not one single person—or their marriage—will remain unchanged by what follows.

[#BookReview] When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Genre: YA

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

This was a highly talked about book last summer. I literally saw it on every bookstagrammer’s feed! And of course, I fell victim to FOMO and wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

I alternated between audiobook and ebook, but somehow I still found myself struggling a bit to finish it.

Unfortunately, this was just another overhyped read for me.

What I did like..

It was a cute rom-com and I liked that it wasn’t your typical YA novel. Dimple & Rishi were college bound.

I thought Rishi was really sweet despite his initial treatment from Dimple.

I actually liked Dimple’s headstrong attitude. Yes, she came off as being rude, but it was honest.

What didn’t work for me..

Rishi’s insta love was like a double-edged sword. On the one hand I liked it was the guy who fell in love first, but I just wasn’t entirely convinced. I get the whole arranged marriage set up, but something was missing from this love story.

I also thought this story was cheesy at times. When I wasn’t reading it, I found myself not really caring to pick it back up. I know..that’s bad right?!

Overall, it was still an enjoyable read, but I wasn’t over the moon about it.

Have you read it? Did you love it?

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

[#BookReview] Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Genre: Contemporary

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

It’s as unfair to dislike someone because they’re attractive as it is to dislike someone because of a deformity.

Have you ever read a book where the story turns out completely different than what you thought it would be about?

Eleanor Oliphant was soo not what I was expecting and caught me by surprise.

I liked Eleanor and really wanted to fall in love with this story like everyone else who raved about it did, but I just didn’t.

What didn’t work for me..

– The story was off to a great start, but after about 30%, it started to feel tedious. I felt like I could skip ahead a few chapters, not miss anything, and still know what was going on.

To be honest, I nearly DNF’d this one a couple of times.

– The book was described as “funny” and “hilarious”. I somehow failed to see that. Exactly which parts were funny? 🤷‍♀️

What I did like..

The characters:

Eleanor’s mom was just plain awful and evil! I hated how degrading she was, but I also thought she was a very well-written character.

I enjoyed getting to know Eleanor and Raymond.

Raymond was a good guy and found myself rooting for him.

Overall, this book was overhyped for me. I can see why so many readers loved this one, unfortunately, I wasn’t one of them. 🤦‍♀️

Have you read it? What did you think??

No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

[#BookReview] The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Genre: Chick Lit, Romance

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

I intially started this one on audiobook, but wasn’t enjoying the narration. So I switched to ebook format, which I preferred.

Not sure what it was, but I didn’t love this one as much as I thought I would or wanted to. The romance between Stella and Michael were hot as hell, but there were parts thrown into the story that made it cheesy and unrealistic. I know..it’s fiction. But it just seemed to fall together way too easily and quickly in the end.

Overall, it was a very steamy (that’s putting it lightly) and entertaining read. If you are listening to this on audio, you DEFINITELY need earbuds…unless you’re trying to get your significant other in the mood 😉

Have you read it? How hot was Michael? 🔥

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan — from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

[#BookReview] The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

I had to sit and really think about how I felt with this one! In all honesty, the Prologue and last 30% of the book were the best parts.

After reading the first 20% I almost wanted to give up! There’s a lot of background story on Theo, which made for a slower read and had me thinking at one point whether there was even a point to all this. I assure you, there is! You just have to be patient and keep reading.

I was a bit disappointed that majority of the book was actually centered on Theo. I was expecting to hear more of Alicia’s POV. But I was determined to find out if Alicia ends up speaking or not, and if she really killed her husband which is what kept me going.

Aside from the slow pace, I thought the author did a brilliant job with the big reveal and adding tidbits of information on other characters to second guess yourself.

Have you read it? What did you think?

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him….

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