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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Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

** Thanks to Penguin Teen for my copy in exchange for an honest review**

Genre: YA

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

It’s turtles all the way down..

You’re trying to find the turtle at the bottom of the pile, but that’s not how it works.

This was my first John Green experience and have never heard of a tuatara till now. 😜

To be honest, my feelings for this book fall right in the middle. There were things I liked and disliked, but overall, found it entertaining.

What didn’t work for me:

• The bulk of the book was living inside Aza’s head. Based on the description, I was actually expecting more of a mystery and manhunt for Davis’ missing dad. Instead, his disappearance takes a back seat.

• While the author did a great job of representing mental awareness and what it’s like to get lost in your own spiral of thoughts, I also found it distracting and tiresome at times.

• Aza’s self-harm was disturbing (i.e swallowing hand sanitizer).

• Russell Pickett’s disappearance story ends rather abruptly and felt rushed. It was too coincidental in my opinion.

What I enjoyed:

• When I wasn’t lost in Aza’s thoughts, it was an easy read. The characters were well-written, even though I didn’t really like any of them…except maybe Davis and the billionaire tuatara 😆

• I enjoyed the courtship between Davis and Aza. It wasn’t the eye-rolling insta love. I also thought it was refreshing to see that Davis was a total geek and not your cliched rich kid jock.

• I’m SO glad there was an explanation/reference to the title. I was starting to wonder halfway through the book, what the hell the connection was.

While I was hoping for a different outcome, I liked that it wasn’t your typical happily ever after sort of ending. Something you don’t come across too often.

Have you read this one?

It all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward. Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim @fsgbooks @MacmillanUSA @AngieKimWriter

Genre: Mystery & Thriller, Contemporary

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Wow. This book! Talk about a hangover!! I think I found this summer’s IT book! 🤗

Miracle Creek was chosen as June’s book club read with The Traveling Friends group on Goodreads. (You can also follow their blog @twosisterslostinacouleereading)

I had been humming and hah-ing over this one in fear that it was going to be another overhyped story. I’m so glad I decided to join in on this one, cause it totally lived up to the hype.

For all my thriller readers, it definitely wasn’t a thriller. But it did have a hint of mystery and that element of surprise at the end. So if you still enjoy a good court case involving murder (like me), then this one’s for you.

I loved the narration! It was told from multiple POV’s with each character’s version of events. Nothing is what it seems. Each victim has their own personal story and journey, and Angie Kim did a hell of a great job connecting them all. While I don’t have any experience caring for a disabled child or one on the spectrum, I think the author managed to capture the reality of what it would be like and the emotions that come with it.

Every character had some unlikable quality to them (which was probably the whole point), but you still somehow feel that tinge of sympathy for them. I found myself empathizing with Young majority of the time and hoping she’d find some way to rebuild that mother-daughter bond she so deeply yearned for.

The ending..OMG. While I love happy endings, I loved that the author chose to end things the way she did.

I thought this was a really well-written book that kept my focus the whole time! When I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it.

This is definitely going on my favourites list for 2019, and one that I would highly recommend!

Have you read it? What did you think?

In rural Miracle Creek, Virginia, Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine. A pressurized oxygen chamber that patients enter for therapeutic “dives,” it’s also a repository of hopes and dreams: the dream of a mom that her child can be like other kids; the dream of a young doctor desperate to cure his infertility and save his marriage; the dream of the Yoos themselves, Korean immigrants who have come to the United States so their teenage daughter can have a better life.

When the oxygen chamber mysteriously explodes, killing two people, all these dreams shatter with it, and the ensuing murder trial uncovers imaginable secrets and lies.

ADD IT ON GOODREADS

[#BookReview] The Unlikely Adventures Of The Shergill Sisters @WmMorrowBooks @HarperCollins @HarperCollinsCa

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Multicultural

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Balli Kaur Jaswal is such a talented storyteller and has managed to write yet another memorable and captivating story. One that is rich in culture, traditions and sisterhood.

I loved how imperfect Rajni, Jezmeen & Shirina’s relationship was, and how one trip to India brought them together. Their childhood and relationship with each other felt authentic.

I don’t want to give too much away since it’ll ruin the story for those who haven’t read it. But there’s some drama along the way with some despicable characters.

I highly recommend it, especially if you enjoyed Erotic Stories For Punjabi Widows 🙂

Have you read this one yet??

The British-born Punjabi Shergill sisters—Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirina—were never close and barely got along growing up, and now as adults, have grown even further apart. Rajni, a school principal is a stickler for order. Jezmeen, a thirty-year-old struggling actress, fears her big break may never come. Shirina, the peacemaking “good” sister married into wealth and enjoys a picture-perfect life.

On her deathbed, their mother voices one last wish: that her daughters will make a pilgrimage together to the Golden Temple in Amritsar to carry out her final rites. After a trip to India with her mother long ago, Rajni vowed never to return. But she’s always been a dutiful daughter, and cannot, even now, refuse her mother’s request. Jezmeen has just been publicly fired from her television job, so the trip to India is a welcome break to help her pick up the pieces of her broken career. Shirina’s in-laws are pushing her to make a pivotal decision about her married life; time away will help her decide whether to meekly obey, or to bravely stand up for herself for the first time.

Arriving in India, these sisters will make unexpected discoveries about themselves, their mother, and their lives—and learn the real story behind the trip Rajni took with their Mother long ago—a momentous journey that resulted in Mum never being able to return to India again.

[#BlogTour] Birthday by Meredith Russo @RaincoastBooks

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Genre: YA, LGBTQ

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I’m gonna tell him I’m supposed to be a girl, that I can’t stand being a boy anymore, that I feel like I’m dying a little bit more everyday.

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Holy crap, my heart hurts! I loved this book waay more than I thought I would, to be honest. The description was pretty vague, but I was intrigued and delighted to be part of the blog tour!

The story is told in alternating POV’S (my fave), on Eric and Morgan’s birthday from the age of 13-18, which I thought was really interesting and enjoyed. At times it was hard to read with the cringeworthy homophobic remarks. There were so many moments I just wanted to jump into this book and give Morgan a hug.

I really enjoyed how realistic this story was. The rollercoaster of emotions that Morgan went through were so raw and real. It makes you wanna cry. Highly recommend it!

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Two kids, Morgan and Eric, are bonded for life after being born on the same day at the same time. We meet them once a year on their shared birthday as they grow and change: as Eric figures out who he is and how he fits into the world, and as Morgan makes the difficult choice to live as her true self. Over the years, they will drift apart, come together, fight, make up, and break up—and ultimately, realize how inextricably they are a part of each other.

[#BookReview] Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce @GrandCentralPub @harriet_tyce

Genre: Mystery & Thriller

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Oh Alison 🤦‍♀️..seriously, I wanted to shake the crap out of her and slap her. On the surface she has it all: career, husband and daughter. But behind closed doors, not only is she a cheater, but she’s a shitty wife and mother who gets completely wasted and makes a mockery of herself. It’s like you want to feel sorry for her at times, but you really don’t.

To be honest, I don’t think there was one likeable character in the book! But I’m sure that was intentional, which was very well executed. I definitely wouldn’t have deemed this one a thriller though. Yes, there’s a murder case involved, but to me, the story was more centered on Alison’s personal life making it more of a domestic drama.

Even though I had things figured out, I still enjoyed this one and found myself not wanting to put it down. I thought the author did a nice job of tying in the prologue to the ending. 👏

Have you read it?

Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise–she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems…

Just one more night. Then I’ll end it.
Alison drinks too much. She’s neglecting her family. And she’s having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle.

I did it. I killed him. I should be locked up.
Alison’s client doesn’t deny that she stabbed her husband – she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself.

I’m watching you. I know what you’re doing.
But someone knows Alison’s secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she’s done, and who won’t stop until she’s lost everything….

[#BookReview] The Sword And Dagger by Robert Cochran @torteen @RaincoastBooks

Genre: YA

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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I LOVED the TV Series 24, and was really excited to snag a copy of this book. I was interested to see how Robert Cochran’s vision and storytelling would pan out in novel form. I have to admit, I did have my reservations. When it comes to the Crusades, I have zero interest! So this could have gone either way: incredibly well or a total snore fest.

I ended up loving it (no snoring here) and feel like it’s an underrated book. For me, the pacing was perfect with a lot of events that occur, making it an entertaining read.

The Characters..

Prince Conrad

A knight who’s got your typical male ego and doesn’t like to be undermined, particularly by Elaine who was his bride-to-be. He was my least favourite character intially, but warmed up to him near the end. I appreciated his nobility and value of honesty.

Princess Elaine

She was annoyingly stubborn at times, but I loved that she was a fierce female lead. She was fearless and had the heart of a warrior.

Rashid

He’s a trained assassin who finds himself struggling between what he was taught and his own conscience. He was actually one of my favourite characters to watch!

Overall, this story will boil down to personal preference, but I gobbled it up and flew through the pages.

Have you read it? Have you watched 24?

When empires clash,
a Princess, a Knight, and an Assassin
embark on the quest of a lifetime

During the time of the Crusades, an unlikely trio—a Christian princess, her affianced prince, and a Muslim assassin—embarks on a quest to the court of the most fearsome warrior the world has ever known, Genghis Khan.

A rousing tale of adventure and romance about three young people who must grapple with fundamental issues of loyalty, friendship, faith, honor, and courage against the backdrop of conflicts that still resonate today.

[#BookReview] The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo @FlatironBooks @yangszechoo

Genre: Historical Fiction, Multicultural, Magical Realism

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

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Every now and then, I’ll pick up a Reese Witherspoon book selection if the description sounds like an interesting read.

I walked into this one not knowing what to expect. I hadn’t read any reviews on Goodreads (which was a good thing), but had seen the cover pop up a few times on Instagram.

It was a slower read, which I typically don’t like, but Choo has a way of keeping your eyes glued to the page with her writing. It was easy to get absorbed in the storytelling. I loved the mix of Chinese and Malaysian folklore and superstitions. This one had a little bit of everything: history, romance, a hint of magic and mystery.

I enjoyed the alternating POV’s, which is told from third and first person between Ren and Ji Lin.

Fun Fact: Ji Lin’s Chinese name is destined for knowledge and intended for a Male. I too, have the word Ji in my name, hence my name Gigi! And just like Ji Lin, my name was also intended for a male 🙂.

Just like any book, this won’t be for everyone. Some might be put off by the relationship between Shin and Ji Lin. But if you were a fan of V.C Andrews from back in the day, then this ain’t nothin. 😉

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this one and would recommend it to those who enjoy multicultural fiction!

Have you read it? Are you a fan or part of Reese’s Hello Sunshine Book Club?

When 11-year-old Ren’s master dies, he makes one last request of his Chinese houseboy: that Ren find his severed finger, lost years ago in an accident, and reunite it with his body. Ren has 49 days, or else his master’s soul will roam the earth, unable to rest in peace.

Ji Lin always wanted to be a doctor, but as a girl in 1930s Malaysia, apprentice dressmaker is a more suitable occupation. Secretly, though, Ji Lin also moonlights as a dancehall girl to help pay off her beloved mother’s Mahjong debts. One night, Ji Lin’s dance partner leaves her with a gruesome souvenir: a severed finger. Convinced the finger is bad luck, Ji Lin enlists the help of her erstwhile stepbrother to return it to its rightful owner.

As the 49 days tick down, and a prowling tiger wreaks havoc on the town, Ji Lin and Ren’s lives intertwine in ways they could never have imagined. Propulsive and lushly written, The Night Tiger explores colonialism and independence, ancient superstition and modern ambition, sibling rivalry and first love. Braided through with Chinese folklore and a tantalizing mystery, this novel is a page-turner of the highest order.

[#BookReview] China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan @doubledayca @kevinkwanbooks #ChinaRichGirlfriend #ChickLit

Genre: Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2

I finally got around to reading the second installment of the Crazy Rich Asians series!

The way Kevin Kwan writes about Asian food..omg..I was salivating! And the pain au chocolat..how fitting was it that when I took this pic, I was devouring a chocolate danish?! I literally wished I could have tried those delicious pastries Collette had snagged when they were in Paris.

I enjoyed the new scenery, drama and introduction to new characters.

I really hated Michael in this one though. He was such a dick with his new found success, it made me wanna punch him the face and shake the shit out of Astrid.

I found Kitty Pong and Collette the most entertaining!

If you enjoyed Crazy Rich Asians, you’ll enjoy this as well.

Have you read it? Who was your favourite character?

It’s the eve of Rachel Chu’s wedding, and she should be over the moon. She has a flawless Asscher-cut diamond, a wedding dress she loves, and a fiancé willing to thwart his meddling relatives and give up one of the biggest fortunes in Asia in order to marry her. Still, Rachel mourns the fact that her birthfather, a man she never knew, won’t be there to walk her down the aisle.

Then a chance accident reveals his identity. Suddenly, Rachel is drawn into a dizzying world of Shanghai splendor, a world where people attend church in a penthouse, where exotic cars race down the boulevard, and where people aren’t just crazy rich … they’re China rich.

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