One Of Us Is Next by Karen McManus @DelacortePress @PenguinTeenCa

Genre: YA, Mystery & Thrillers

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

Come on, Bayview, you know you’ve missed this.
If you’re a fan of:

✔ Pretty Little Liars
✔ Multiple POV’s
✔ Plot twists


True, Jellyfish.  He did get caught.
But his inspiration lives on in Bayview.
And he’d fucking love the game I’m playing right now.
-Darkestmind

Always take the dare!

It was a tad slower than the first book in some areas (which you need to read, if you haven’t), but I still found myself not wanting to put the book down and enjoying it!

There were some twists and turns I didn’t see coming, which I love! Cause it’s becoming pretty rare for me in the thriller genre.

I only guessed half the answer with this one, and even then, I still doubted myself!

Well done Karen! 👏👏👏

Have you read it yet? If you haven’t, what are you waiting for?!!

A ton of copycat gossip apps have popped up since Simon died, but in the year since the Bayview four were cleared of his shocking death, no one’s been able to fill the gossip void quite like he could. The problem is no one has the facts.

Until now.

This time it’s not an app, though—it’s a game.

Truth or Dare.

Phoebe’s the first target. If you choose not to play, it’s a truth. And hers is dark.

Then comes Maeve and she should know better—always choose the dare.

But by the time Knox is about to be tagged, things have gotten dangerous. The dares have become deadly, and if Maeve learned anything from Bronwyn last year, it’s that they can’t count on the police for help. Or protection.

Simon’s gone, but someone’s determined to keep his legacy at Bayview High alive. And this time, there’s a whole new set of rules.

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus @DelacortePress @writekmc

Genre: YA, Thriller

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Whose lives are you ruining next Simon?”

I’ve never watched The Breakfast Club, so for me, this was more like Gossip Girl meets Pretty Little Liars and Riverdale.

No one likes Simon. Everyone has a secret and each one is a suspect.. Talk about the perfect mystery!

It’s been a while since I’ve been lead on a wild goose chase!

Nice job Chief! 👏👏

You kept me on my toes the WHOLE time! Even when I kinda figured it out halfway through, I still second guessed myself!!

Karen McManus does an amazing job at throwing curve balls (pun intended), sending you down a rabbit hole. I highly recommend this one for my YA and thrill seekers! 😉

I can’t wait to read One Of Us Is Next!

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

Next Year In Havana by Chanel Cleeton @BlackstoneAudio @PenguinRandomCa

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

My Rating:

Narration: 4.5 ⭐
Story: 4 ⭐

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Audio: Blackstone Audio

🎶 Havana, oh na-na. Half of my heart is in Havana, oh na-na. 🎶

I did it! I completed a whole book on audio! It might sound stupid, but I’m quite proud of myself right now. I don’t typically do audio cause I zone out after a while, but I think I learned the trick to staying focused!! 😜

Cleeton paints such a vivid picture of both past and present day Cuba, I could literally imagine myself being there.

Marisol’s chapters were a bit slow and dull at times, but I liked the alternating time periods and really enjoyed Elisa’s POV.

To be honest, I normally hate insta love, but the story was beautifully written that I was able to look past it.

I haven’t agreed with majority of the books I chose to read which were Reese’s picks, but I actually enjoyed this one! I’m looking forward to reading the next 2 books!

After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity–and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution…

Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba’s high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country’s growing political unrest–until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary…

Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa’s last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth.

Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba’s tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she’ll need the lessons of her grandmother’s past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.

The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley

**Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for my gifted copy **

Genre: Women’s Fiction

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

If you like:

✔ Multiple POV’s
✔ Newfound friendships, enemies to lovers
✔ Stories of personal growth

✔ Flawed characters

Yay! I did it! I finished the last book on my list for February! 🥳

This was a cute and charming read. The kind of book you can enjoy at a coffee shop. At one point, I actually felt like going to Monica’s Cafe, but had to remind myself that it was a fictitious place! Bummer!

I do have to be honest though..about a quarter way through the book was a bit slow and I started skimming a large chunk of it. However, the last 30-40% definitely pulled through for me and I loved the ending! Fair warning, it was a bit sad, but completely satisfying. You’d have to read it to know what I mean! 😜

MONICA

I swear I kept picturing Kate Beckinsale for some reason. I couldn’t help but want a happy ending for her. I also kept hoping she’d end up with Hazard.

HAZARD

Sure he was arrogant and an ass, but somehow I was still rootin for this guy to turn his life around.

JULIAN

Ahh..the ever eccentric Julian. I loved this old man! I feel like he’d be such a hoot to have at the dinner table.

RILEY

The Aussie with a beautiful soul! He WAS such a sweet boy ❤ Good man this one was.

ALICE

I think we could all relate to her on some level, whether you’re a mom or obsessing over your Instagram account.

LIZZIE

The nosy neighbour who wasn’t afraid to admit it either! I think we all have one of those! 😜

Overall, I enjoyed the concept of this story. I loved the six degrees of separation and idea of these characters being brought together by a journal called: The Authenticity Project.

Have you read it? Plan to read it?

Julian Jessop, an eccentric, lonely artist and septuagenarian believes that most people aren’t really honest with each other. But what if they were? And so he writes–in a plain, green journal–the truth about his own life and leaves it in his local café. It’s run by the incredibly tidy and efficient Monica, who furtively adds her own entry and leaves the book in the wine bar across the street. Before long, the others who find the green notebook add the truths about their own deepest selves–and soon find each other In Real Life at Monica’s Café.

The Authenticity Project’s cast of characters–including Hazard, the charming addict who makes a vow to get sober; Alice, the fabulous mommy Instagrammer whose real life is a lot less perfect than it looks online; and their other new friends–is by turns quirky and funny, heartbreakingly sad and painfully true-to-life. It’s a story about being brave and putting your real self forward–and finding out that it’s not as scary as it seems. In fact, it looks a lot like happiness.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer @BloomsburyPub @bloomsburykids @BrigidKemmerer

** Minor spoiler alert **

Genre: YA

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“He acts like a tethered animal that’s learned the limits of its chain—but knows how to lure prey to its death.”

If you like:

– fairytale retellings (Beauty & The Beast)
– Alternating POV’s
– strong female characters

Not gonna lie, I was a bit skeptical walking into this one, cause it was a Beauty and the Beast retelling. Not that there’s anything wrong with the fairytale, but it’s kind of been done already. Know what I mean?

But WOW! OMG you guys! This was SO good!

GREY

Grey..*gush* my hero 💜 How can you not love him?!

He was my fave character. 🙂

HARPER

I loved that she wasn’t your cliched female lead.

RHEN

As much as I enjoyed watching Rhen grow and develop feelings for Harper, I totally shipped Grey & Harper! How about you?

LILITH

👏 She was a great female villain. I love how she appeared throughout the story.

Seriously..there’s aren’t enough words I can conjure up to describe my love for this book! As a matter of fact, I’m reading A Heart So Fierce And Broken right now! And I almost never read a series back to back!

I have to say, I totally saw the end coming as soon as the “twist” was mentioned, but it was a good one!!

Have you read it? What did you think?

Fall in love, break the curse.

Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson @PenguinRandomCA #JustMercy

Genre: Non-fiction, Autobiography

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

It was purely coincidental that I read this, this month, which also happens to be Black History month. 

I had seen Jamie Foxx & Michael B. Jordan on The Tonight Show talking about the movie, which made me wanna read it in the first place! Non-fiction, let alone autobiographies, are sooo not me!  But I’m really glad I decided to pick this one up.

It was an eye opening experience, that explores the history of slavery in Alabama, racism against blacks and judicial system, which made for a much heavier read. 

All the hate crime and police brutality mentioned throughout made my blood boil.  Being Asian, I’ve experienced racism all my life, but fortunately, never to this degree.

I did find myself skimming, since I was mainly interested in Walter’s case and the outcome.  But it was an excellent read otherwise!

Have you read this one? Have you seen the movie?

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.

The Shadow Between Us by Tricia Levenseller @RaincoastBooks @FierceReads

** Thank you Raincoast Books for my ARC **

Genre: YA
Pub Date: Feb 25, 2020

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐



If you like:

✔scheming, scandalous characters

✔a game of clue (murder mystery)

✔ Flirtatious, slow burn romances

✔character driven stories

“They’ve never found the body of the first and only boy who broke my heart.

And they never will.”


I knew from the start I was gonna like this one! I mean, come on. Is that not a killer opener or what?! (Pun intended) 😆

I loved Alessandra! She was the perfect MC: ambitious, cunning, beautiful and unapologetic about her sexuality. A bit of a black sheep.

Her relationship with The Shadow King kinda reminded me of Tella & Legend from the Caraval series.

While I really enjoyed this one, I also wanted to see a bit more action! Particularly from the Shadow King.  I wanted to see much more of his darker side and less of the daily happenings that took place at the palace.

Overall, it was a great standalone with an excellent cast of characters.  I can’t wait to read all her other books!

Have you read it? Is it on your tbr?  Have you read her other books? Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power:

1) Woo the Shadow King.
2) Marry him.
3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it.

But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen—all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?

Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel @stephwrobel @SimonSchusterCA @BerkleyPub

** Thank you Simon & Schuster Canada for my advanced readers copy, and to Berkley Pub for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley **

Genre: Psychological Thriller, Suspense

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Riddle me this: if I spent almost two decades abusing my daughter, why did she offer to pick me up today?If you like:

-Domestic dramas
-Suspense
-dysfunctional characters
-Alternating POV’s

HOT DAYMN! My first 5-star read of 2020 and book I can’t shut up about!!

I knew I was gonna love this one from the very first page! If it weren’t for the need to sleep or care for a baby and my kids, I seriously would have blew through this in one sitting!

I’m still at a loss for words cause I’m currently hungover from this one.  It’s hard for me to fully articulate my thoughts without giving away any spoilers.  But I will say this: if I wasn’t feeling sorry for these characters, I was hating them and loved every moment of it! It took cray cray to a whole other level.

This was an incredible debut. I cannot wait to see what Stephanie Wrobel brews up next!

Have you read it? Is it on your tbr?

For the first eighteen years of her life, Rose Gold Watts believed she was seriously ill. She was allergic to everything, used a wheelchair and practically lived at the hospital. Neighbors did all they could, holding fundraisers and offering shoulders to cry on, but no matter how many doctors, tests, or surgeries, no one could figure out what was wrong with Rose Gold.

Turns out her mom, Patty Watts, was just a really good liar.

After serving five years in prison, Patty gets out with nowhere to go and begs her daughter to take her in. The entire community is shocked when Rose Gold says yes.

Patty insists all she wants is to reconcile their differences. She says she’s forgiven Rose Gold for turning her in and testifying against her. But Rose Gold knows her mother. Patty Watts always settles a score.

Unfortunately for Patty, Rose Gold is no longer her weak little darling…

And she’s waited such a long time for her mother to come home.

After The Flood by Kassandra Montag @HarperCollinsCa @Kassandra_m7

Genre: Post-apocalyptic fiction

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This story starts off exactly how you would picture the world to be if majority of it was wiped out by massive flood and destruction. I kinda felt like I was in a movie!

I usually hate slow burn reads, but I was heavily invested in Myra’s search for Row and wanted to see where her journey would take me.

Jacob

He definitely got under my skin! I hated him from the very beginning and wanted to kick him in the balls! As the story went on, I kept hoping there would be some logical explanation for leaving.

Myra

She was equally as frustrating and unlikeable!  Given the circumstances, the choices she made were understandable.  But she was just so selfish!

Daniel

Aah..I actually liked him, even though he had a secret of his own.

Marjan

The things this woman has had to endure..pull at my heartstrings!

With Pearl being in the picture, we really see Myra’s struggles as a mom.

I had some minor issues with it and wouldn’t normally have chosen a book like this to read, but I found myself enjoying it and it was the perfect choice for our Bookish Ladies Club buddy read.

Have you read it? What did you think? Is it on your tbr?

A little more than a century from now, our world has been utterly transformed. After years of slowly overtaking the continent, rising floodwaters have obliterated America’s great coastal cities and then its heartland, leaving nothing but an archipelago of mountaintop colonies surrounded by a deep expanse of open water.

Stubbornly independent Myra and her precocious seven-year-old daughter, Pearl, fish from their small boat, the Bird, visiting dry land only to trade for supplies and information in the few remaining outposts of civilization. For seven years, Myra has grieved the loss of her oldest daughter, Row, who was stolen by her father after a monstrous deluge overtook their home in Nebraska. Then, in a violent confrontation with a stranger, Myra suddenly discovers that Row was last seen in a far-off encampment near the Arctic Circle. Throwing aside her usual caution, Myra and Pearl embark on a perilous voyage into the icy northern seas, hoping against hope that Row will still be there.

On their journey, Myra and Pearl join forces with a larger ship and Myra finds herself bonding with her fellow seekers who hope to build a safe haven together in this dangerous new world. But secrets, lust, and betrayals threaten their dream, and after their fortunes take a shocking—and bloody—turn, Myra can no longer ignore the question of whether saving Row is worth endangering Pearl and her fellow travelers.

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