The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup @HarperCollinsCa

Genre: Mystery & Thriller

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Two dark brown chestnuts placed on top of each other, the top one small and the bottom one large. Two holes have been scratched into the smaller chestnut to make eyes. Match sticks have been poked into the larger one, representing arms and legs.

You know the Christmas song..by Nat King Cole?

🎶 Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.. 🎶

Okay, seriously..now that I’ve read this book, whenever I hear this song, I will have that image (of the chestnut man) in my head! And I will never look at chestnuts the same!!

Bring on the Scandinavian crime fiction, cause this was one hell of a fucking ride! It was gruesome and had my heart racing. The exact kind of crime thriller I’ve been searching for! For the first time, it actually kept me guessing, even when I thought I had an idea who the killer was.

I haven’t seen The Killing, but will definitely be watching it, having read this book.

This won’t be for everyone, but for me, it made my list of favourite reads.

Have you read it? Have you watched The Killing?

If you find one, he’s already found you.

A psychopath is terrorizing Copenhagen.

His calling card is a “chestnut man”—a handmade doll made of matchsticks and two chestnuts—which he leaves at each bloody crime scene.

Examining the dolls, forensics makes a shocking discovery—a fingerprint belonging to a young girl, a government minister’s daughter who had been kidnapped and murdered a year ago.

A tragic coincidence—or something more twisted?

To save innocent lives, a pair of detectives must put aside their differences to piece together the Chestnut Man’s gruesome clues.

Because it’s clear that the madman is on a mission that is far from over.

And no one is safe.

Goodreads

[#BlogTour] Reverie by Ryan La Sala @RaincoastBooks @Ryality @SourcebooksFire

Genre: YA

Thank you Raincoast Books for my ARC

Okay, can we just stop and take a moment to gush over how stunning this cover is?!!

And hello? Evil drag queen sorceress? Where do I sign up?!

I know the description said Inception meets The Magician, but to me, I actually felt like I was lost in a gay musical version of Oz.

After somehow surviving a horrible car accident, Kane loses his memory and needs to figure out what exactly happened. There’s monsters. There’s magic..seriously, the MC may as well have been a unicorn pooping sprinkles!

But who can he trust? Kane is confused, and so are you!

See what I was trying to do there? No? Exactly!

This was probably one of the most weirdest, yet interesting YA books I’ve come across! Nothing like I’ve ever read before! It was one that kept me intrigued the whole time I was reading it!

To find out whether this one’s for you, you can read an excerpt here.

Inception meets The Magicians in the most imaginative YA debut of the year!

All Kane Montgomery knows for certain is that the police found him half-dead in the river. He can’t remember how he got there, what happened after, and why his life seems so different now. And it’s not just Kane who’s different, the world feels off, reality itself seems different.

As Kane pieces together clues, three almost-strangers claim to be his friends and the only people who can truly tell him what’s going on. But as he and the others are dragged into unimaginable worlds that materialize out of nowhere—the gym warps into a subterranean temple, a historical home nearby blooms into a Victorian romance rife with scandal and sorcery—Kane realizes that nothing in his life is an accident. And when a sinister force threatens to alter reality for good, they will have to do everything they can to stop it before it unravels everything they know.

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin @shelbymahurin @harperteen @HarperCollinsCa @HCCFrenzy

** Caution: minor spoiler alert **

Genre: YA

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

You’ll either love this, or totally roll your eyes and call it a day. But if you enjoyed Six of Crows, Twilight or like the enemies to lovers trope then I think you’ll like this one too.

Not gonna lie, there was a bit of eye rolling on my part. As much as I loved the slow-burn romance between Lou & Reid, I also found their union a bit ridiculous..like watching a cheesy, yet addictive daytime soap. It does end up making sense later on in the story, but it was something I also had to overlook. Which wasn’t that hard.

Regardless, I found myself captivated and mesmerized by the storytelling, which is told in alternating POV’s between Lou & Reid. It read very much like a TV series.

Shelby Mahurin really knows how to write a great cast of characters. I loved every single one of ’em, including the ones I hated!

Jean Luc

For those of you who have read it, how much did Jean Luc get under your skin? Didn’t you just wanna sucker punch him?!

Ansel

*gush* And how cute was Ansel? Didn’t you just love him?!!

Reid

As thick headed as he was in his beliefs, his heart was way too good!

Lou

She was a great female lead. I loved her sarcasm and witty banter with Reid.

Coco

She was the kind of BFF you’d want, with beauty other girls would be jealous of.

Morgane

Evil! Picture the evil queen, Lady Tremaine & Maleficent all in one person.

The Archbishop

Tsk tsk..let’s just leave it at that. I don’t wanna say too much or it’ll spoil the story for those who haven’t read it.

My advice/two cents:

– This one is very character driven. The flow is reminiscent of SOC. It may be a tad slow for some to start, but once you get past the first chapter or so, you get sucked right in.

I can’t wait to read the next book: BLOOD & HONEY

Have you read this one? What did you think?

Goodreads

Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

The Institute by Stephen King #TheInstitute

Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi

Oiy..I had to take some time to think about this one, cause I’m a big fan of Stephen King’s previous books and movies, and this is sitting between a 3.5 to 4 stars.

This was part of a buddy/group read on Instagram, so I’m gonna keep this one spoiler free since I finished before everyone else..couldn’t help myself! I was in need-to-know mode.

The story starts off slow (like most of King’s previous books), but picks up at Shots For Dots.

What didn’t work for me..

The story lost momentum at the very end. For me, the last 40% of the book was the best part.

What I enjoyed most..

The setting and characters. Stephen King always knows how to set the stage and create the perfect cast of characters. Some of which, I grew very fond of.

If you’re planning to read this one, here are just some of my two cents:

– If you enjoyed Eleven’s story in season 1 of Stranger Things, you’ll most likely enjoy this as well.

– If you’ve never read any of King’s work, his stories are slow burn with a lot of character building. So that’ll either be something you enjoy or don’t. But if you’re new to his world, this is probably a good one to get your feet wet with, especially if you don’t care for horror.

For my horror & King fans: don’t expect to get scared with one. I would classify this as Sci-Fi and NOT horror.

Overall, it was a good read that kept me entertained and wanting to know what was going to happen next.

In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”

In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.

Rules For Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall @PenguinTeen @PenguinTeenCa @VikingBooks @kmarshallarts

** Thank you Penguin Teen for my ARC **

Genre: YA, Horror

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I don’t believe in ghosts, not exactly. But I don’t believe Becca is dead either. Which means she’s out there, and no one is looking for her but me.

I can’t breathe. There’s something in my throat as solid as stone.

Whose hand am I holding?

Did you ever tell ghost stories at camp when you were young? Well, this was the perfect campfire story!

It’s told in a series of interviews, text messages, recollections and video footage that really bring this story to life.
The whole time I was reading it, I swear my eyes could not move across the page quick enough! I didn’t want to put it down and kept wanting to know what was going to happen next.

The ending..it left me hanging and mind boggled! (Which will either work for you, or it won’t.)

Am I the only one still trying to figure out what happened? Was that it? I NEED ANSWERS!!

I got such a thrill reading this story! It had a diverse cast and I loved all the characters.

For me, this was like Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark meets Ghost Hunters & Coraline, making it the perfect Halloween read!

Have you read it? Is it on your TBR? What’s on your Halloween reading list??

Once a year, the path appears in the forest and Lucy Gallows beckons. Who is brave enough to find her–and who won’t make it out of the woods?

It’s been exactly one year since Sara’s sister, Becca, disappeared, and high school life has far from settled back to normal. With her sister gone, Sara doesn’t know whether her former friends no longer like her…or are scared of her, and the days of eating alone at lunch have started to blend together. When a mysterious text message invites Sara and her estranged friends to “play the game” and find local ghost legend Lucy Gallows, Sara is sure this is the only way to find Becca–before she’s lost forever. And even though she’s hardly spoken with them for a year, Sara finds herself deep in the darkness of the forest, her friends–and their cameras–following her down the path. Together, they will have to draw on all of their strengths to survive. The road is rarely forgiving, and no one will be the same on the other side.

The Girl The Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young @RaincoastBooks @adriennebooks @wednesdaybooks

** Thank you Raincoast Books for providing me with an advanced readers copy in exchange for my honest review **

Genre: YA

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Have you ever chosen to read a book based solely on the cover & title alone? (Without reading the description?)

That was me with this book!

Dum dum me, didn’t know this was the second book to Sky In The Deep, until I already had the ARC in my hands and stumbled upon moonprincess37‘s awesome review. 🤦‍♀️

It didn’t matter though, cause this could be read as a standalone. Phew!

To be honest, I didn’t think Vikings were my thing or my kinda story, but after reading this..it may have changed my outlook on it!

It totally reminded me of season 5 of Game Of Thrones. So if you’re a fan of the show like I was and haven’t read Sky In The Deep yet, I think you’ll enjoy this read.

There’s character building, an epic battle and alternating POV’s. Everything that makes for good storytelling!

Definitely going on my list of favourites for 2019!

Have you read it yet? If so, what did you think? Did you read Sky In The Deep?

For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.

Contagion by Erin Bowman @erin_bowman @HarperCollinsCa @HCCFrenzy

Genre: YA, Sci-Fi

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

This was like Guardians Of The Galaxy meets The Walking Dead. Except everyone on the ship is human.

I’m a newbie to reading Sci-Fi and after the last 2 tragic DNF’s (The Luminous Dead & Aurora Rising), I was starting to lose faith in the genre. But this..It kept me up all hours of the night reading!

I really enjoyed the alternating timelines and POV’s. The last 30% of the book was an intense ride. I had the same adrenaline rush as when I watched Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

The Characters

Toby..
That’s all I’m going to say about him.

Dylan

You know that annoying character in every slasher/horror flick, that you just wanna punch in the face? Well for me, that was her.

I’d have to say Thea and Coen were my favourite characters. I’m excited to see where they take us in the next book (Immunity).

Overall, I loved this story. It felt like I was watching a Blockbuster hit with everything I was looking for: great storyline and cast, actim then I think you’ll enjoy this one!

Have you read? What did you think? Did you read Immunity?

It got in us

After receiving an urgent SOS from a work detail on a distant planet, a skeleton crew is dispatched to perform a standard search-and-rescue mission.

Most are dead.

But when the crew arrives, they find an abandoned site, littered with rotten food, discarded weapons…and dead bodies.

Don’t set foot here again.

As they try to piece together who—or what—could have decimated an entire operation, they discover that some things are best left buried—and some monsters are only too ready to awaken.

Frankly In Love by David Yoon @penguinteen @penguinteenca @davidyoon

**Thanks so much to Penguin Teen for my ARC**

Genre: YA

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“A girl who can make you laugh is worth laughing with forever.”

This was such a cute and fun rom com.

Seriously. The story of my life! Except the fake dating, which was genius. Being Chinese, I connected with Frank on so many levels.

I loved the exploration of cultural differences and stereotypes. It was done in a very respectful manner.

The Characters

There was a diverse cast of characters which was very well-written.

Frank was easy to love. He’s nerdy, funny and witty. You really feel for him with some of the challenges he experiences. It was fun watching him fall in love for the first time.

I really enjoyed the dynamic between Q and Frank. Q was exactly the kind of BFF you’d want!

If you were a fan of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, I think you’ll enjoy this one too!

Is this one on your TBR? Have you read it? What did you think?

High school senior Frank Li is a Limbo–his term for Korean-American kids who find themselves caught between their parents’ traditional expectations and their own Southern California upbringing. His parents have one rule when it comes to romance–“Date Korean”–which proves complicated when Frank falls for Brit Means, who is smart, beautiful–and white. Fellow Limbo Joy Song is in a similar predicament, and so they make a pact: they’ll pretend to date each other in order to gain their freedom. Frank thinks it’s the perfect plan, but in the end, Frank and Joy’s fake-dating maneuver leaves him wondering if he ever really understood love–or himself–at all.

Add it on Goodreads

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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

I’m always nervous walking into a book that receives alot of hype. I usually end up an unpopular opinion. The Last Time I Lied wasn’t successful for me, but I did love Final Girls. So this was a bit of a deal breaker.

As the saying goes, “third time’s a charm”. I was hooked from the start! Even though I had figured out the “who” part early on, I still found myself enjoying the story, especially with that fucked up twist near the end.

I don’t want to say too much since it’s a hard one to review without spoilers, but if you’re a fan of American Horror Story, you’ll like this one.

Have you read it? Have you read any of his other books?

No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story—until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.

Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s dark past and into the secrets kept within its walls. Her discovery that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing at the Bartholomew pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.

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