Book Chat: Top 5 Disappointing Summer Reads

What were your most disappointing reads so far?

I was really looking forward to these ones, but sadly they didn’t quite live up to the hype or my expectations. 😢

I’ve listed them starting with my most disappointing read:

1) Finale by Stephanie Garber

⭐⭐ 1/2

2) The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda

⭐⭐ 1/2

3) Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

⭐⭐⭐

4) The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

⭐⭐⭐

5) The Arrangement by Robyn Harding

⭐⭐⭐1/2

In all fairness, The Arrangment was still a good read. I just didn’t love it like I did with Her Pretty Face.

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[#Reviewathon] Netgalley TBR @NetGalley

Who else is guilty of going on a request binge on Netgalley, and having a long list of books waiting to be read and reviewed? 🙋‍♀️

Right now Netgalley is hosting a reviewathon challenge to help tackle all those ARC’s, and I have joined in all the fun.

Link: Netgalley reviewathon

It’s still week 1, which is to show off your TBR (To Be Reviewed). Here’s mine:

I’ve completed one so far (The Arrangement). YAY!

I try not to request too many, but it’s hard not to cause 1) there are just too many good books, and 2) I don’t always get approved for all the ones I’m interested in reading.

How do you tackle your eARC’s?

How many books are on your Netgalley TBR??

The Arrangement by Robyn Harding #Netgalley

** Thank you Netgalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for my eARC **

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

Welcome to the sugar bowl.

How far would you go to solve a financial crisis?

This was Pretty Woman meets Fatal Attraction.

I really enjoyed Her Pretty Face, so naturally, I was looking forward to reading The Arrangement. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite have the same effect on me, and was off to a rocky start .

What didn’t work for me:

The writing was a bit underwhelming. It didn’t always feel like storytelling and was lacking a certain quality. I think it may have worked better if it had been told in first person.

The story was slow building. A little too slow in my opinion. I nearly gave up, but really wanted to know how things would go down.

What I did enjoy:

The last 80% of the book was like a rollercoaster ride and the best part. I like the twist Harding threw in there! That wasn’t the person I had my finger pointed at, but I was extremely close!

Overall, it wasn’t a bad read and was a bit of a guilty pleasure..like reading a tacky gossip magazine full of sex and sugar daddies.

Have you read it? Have you read Her Pretty Face?

Natalie, a young art student in New York City, is struggling to pay her bills when a friend makes a suggestion: Why not go online and find a sugar daddy—a wealthy, older man who will pay her for dates, and even give her a monthly allowance? Lots of girls do it, Nat learns. All that’s required is to look pretty and hang on his every word. Sexual favours are optional.

Though more than thirty years her senior, Gabe, a handsome corporate finance attorney, seems like the perfect candidate, and within a month, they are madly in love. At least, Nat is…Gabe already has a family, whom he has no intention of leaving.

So when he abruptly ends things, Nat can’t let go. She begins drinking heavily and stalking him: watching him at work, spying on his wife, even befriending his daughter, who is not much younger than she is. But Gabe’s not about to let his sugar baby destroy his perfect life. What was supposed to be a mutually beneficial arrangement devolves into a nightmare of deception, obsession, and, when a body is found near Gabe’s posh Upper East Side apartment, murder.

We Were Killers Once by Becky Masterman #Netgalley

**Thank you Netgalley and Penguin Random House Canada for my eARC**

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

I had no idea this was part of a series until I added it to my tbr on Goodreads, but it can be read as a standalone, which I liked.

This was kind of like watching an episode of CSI. It was good and kept me wanting to know what happens, but there were also things that didn’t work for me.

What didn’t work:

-While the story is told in multiple POV’s, the chapters aren’t labelled, which caused some confusion as to who was narrating. At one point, the narrative switched from first to third person in the same chapter.

– I felt Brigid’s thoughts on her 2 year marriage and jealousy of Carlo’s first wife, detracted from the story a bit.

– It also annoyed me a little that information was given up so easily by some of the characters.

What I enjoyed:

– I actually liked all the characters. Even though Brigid was much older and retired, she was still pretty badass.

I think I enjoyed Jerry the most. He was a great villain.

I had never heard of Truman Capote and his book In Cold Blood until now. For those like me and in the dark, it’s a non-fiction novel about a true crime. As a lover of fictional work based on true stories, this was an added bonus.

I may not have loved this one, but I did enjoy it!

Have you read this one? Or In Cold Blood? What did you think??

Retired FBI agent Brigid Quinn returns in Becky Masterman’s fourth stunning thriller

In 1959, a family of four were brutally murdered in Holcomb, Kansas. Perry Smith and Dick Hickok were convicted and executed for the crime, and the murders and their investigation and solution became the subject of Truman Capote’s masterpiece, IN COLD BLOOD. But what if there was a third killer, who remained unknown? What if there was another family, also murdered, who crossed paths with this band of killers, though their murder remains unsolved? And what if Dick Hickok left a written confession, explaining everything?

Retired FBI agent Brigid Quinn and her husband Carlo, a former priest and university professor, are trying to enjoy each other in this new stage in their lives. But a memento from Carlo’s days as a prison chaplain–a handwritten document hidden away undetected in a box of Carlo’s old things–has become a target for a man on the run from his past. Jerry Beaufort has just been released from prison after decades behind bars, and though he’d like to get on with living the rest of his life, he knows that somewhere there is a written record of the time he spent with two killers in 1959. Following the path of this letter will bring Jerry into contact with the last person he’ll see as a threat: Brigid Quinn.

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.

Netflix Binge: Stranger Things 3

** Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t watched Season 3 yet, stop right here. I’m about to reveal some major spoilers. **

My Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥/5

This season was full of surprises!!

Just when you think there can’t possibly be anymore story to tell for Stranger Things, guess again!

I’m not even gonna bother doing a recap cause if you’re reading this, you already watched the entire season and know what happens. 😜

Let’s talk characters! What did we think about the introduction of Robin & Suzie?

Admit it, you thought Suzie was made up! I did too initially. Well..okay, maybe not totally made up, but I did think that Dustin had a crush on a girl while he was away and possibly thought it was more than it really was. Who knew Suzie ACTUALLY turned out to be the real deal!!

I liked Robin! And I also liked that she was a lesbian. Ending up with Steve would have been a total cliche.

Poor Steve! He finally wins a fight, yet somehow manages to get his ass beat…AGAIN!

I’m sorry, but Erica mostly annoyed me.

Billy…I loved to hate him cause he was such a shit bag, but Dacre Montgomery plays him so well!! I honestly assumed he was dead as soon as he was caught by the Mind Flayer. I definitely didn’t think we’d see that emotional part of him. Did you? I was kinda sad to see him killed. 😕

How bummed were you when Eleven lost her powers? Do you think she’ll get them back?

Man..Joyce just can’t catch a break! First she lost Bob, now Hopper? Right at that scene when she blows the machine up, I was like WTF?! Did Hopper just die?!! And seriously.. who is the “American” that is in the Russian prison? Is it Hopper? or maybe even Murray?

What did you think of season 3?

July TBR #BOTM

Happy Canada Day! It’s the long weekend over here. I hope everyone’s summer is off to a good start.

I’ve been a bit slow in conquering my reading pile for the last little while..how about you??

Here’s my planned reading for July:

ARC’s

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

Middle Grade

The Monster Catchers by George Brewington

The Remarkable Journey Of Coyote Sunrise by Ben Gemeinhart

Netgalley

We Were Killers Once by Becky Masterman

eBooks

They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera

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

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