Book Review// Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

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Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: October 30, 2007
Book Length: 358
Publisher: Avon
Review: 4/5

My Review:

I only thought I was living before I met you. You’ll love me until you die, that’s not nearly long enough

I’m on a roll this year with starting books whose covers I hate where I end up loving what’s inside. It really is what’s on the inside that counts, I guess.

Cat is a half-vampire with super strength whose eyes glow green – she’s been murdering vampires since she was 16, trying to find her father and avenge him for the harm he caused her mother. One night, while on the hunt, she meets the charming British vampire bounty hunter, Bones. They learn that Bones is hunting some of the same vampires as Cat, except he’s hunting them for information. If Cat kills them all, there won’t be anything left for him. Together, they strike up a deal – he will help her find her father, if he gets to use her as bait to lure the vampires he seeks. Though Cat is wary at first, she agrees to help, but what starts off as a deal between friends ends up being way more than she bargained for.

Okay confession time: The movies are a different story, but I never did get into the Twilight books. However, with this, I was hooked. I thought the plot was so interesting, and the banter between Cat and Bones was very engaging. I also thought they had amazing chemistry, which made the steamy scenes *chefs kiss*. Admittedly though, Cat on her own did annoy me. She was extremely jealous and insecure, and that got on my nerves because she would start petty arguments out of nowhere from it. With that said though, she was nothing if not self-aware:

“I’m saying that I’m a moody, insecure, narrow-minded, jealous, borderline homicidal bitch, and I want you to promise me that you’re okay with that, because it’s who I am, and you’re what I need.”

That quote pretty much sums her up, but Bones on the other hand – oof. I loved him! The parts at the end where it was just Cat and her mother were almost unbearable; he made the book better for sure. There was never a dull moment here; there was always something going on, and it felt really fun to be on that adventure.

– Catherine

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Book Review// It Ends With Us

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Author: Colleen Hoover
Series: Standalone
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Book Length: 376
Publisher: Atria Books
Review: 4/5

Goodreads Synopsis

Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up
— she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan — her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

My Review

Before I read this, I was skimming some reviews on Goodreads and most of them said something along the lines of “it’s so important for people to read this” and I didn’t understand it because how important can it really be to read (what I thought to be) your average romance novel?! Now that I’ve read it, I completely understand. I’m glad I didn’t spoil any part of the plot for myself because I liked that I didn’t see any of what happened coming and I advise that if you are planning to read this, you don’t read too much into the reviews.

The overall message was powerful, the characters were relatable, and I honestly just like the way Colleen Hoover writes. What I wasn’t too keen about were how Lily and Ryle overused their phrase “naked truth?” every chapter (it just bugged me, it seemed inappropriate at times and they said it far too much) and how some parts were a little too far fetched to be believable but this was minor in relation to the big picture. The author’s note at the end was also an added touch; had me close to tears, it was very personal and heartfelt. Definitely would recommend this book to anyone.

– Catherine

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Cover Crush – 2021/10/28

This week, I came across this cover that I am obsessed with. I’ve never heard of this book before or seen anyone on any of my social medias talk about it, but when I found it I was very intrigued!

Goodreads Synopsis:

Born just ten months apart, July and September are thick as thieves, never needing anyone but each other. Now, following a case of school bullying, the teens have moved away with their single mother to a long-abandoned family home near the shore. In their new, isolated life, July finds that the deep bond she has always shared with September is shifting in ways she cannot entirely understand. A creeping sense of dread and unease descends inside the house. Meanwhile, outside, the sisters push boundaries of behavior—until a series of shocking encounters tests the limits of their shared experience, and forces shocking revelations about the girls’ past and future.

Sisters is a one-two punch of wild fury and heartache—a taut, powerful, and deeply moving account of sibling love and what happens when two sisters must face each other’s darkest impulses.

I love a good romance as much as the next girl, but I really enjoy when books focus on something other than that. This cover drew me in because I love how you can’t really decipher what the face looks like, even though all the pieces are right there in front of you. Sometimes, you can be looking right at someone and not really see them, and that is what this cover conveys to me.

8 Top Book Cover Design Trends for 2021

If anyone has read this book, I would love to hear your thoughts 🙂

– Catherine

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Review// Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger

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Author: Lisa Unger
Series: Standalone
Genre: Mystery/ Thriller
Release Date: October 6, 2020
Book Length: 368
Publisher: Park Row
Review: 2/5

My Review:

I realize this is a very niche preference, but something about a book with characters that meet on a train, or where is train is involved in some way instantly intrigues me, so of course I had to read this.

This book follows Selena, a working mother of 2 young boys, who misses her usual train one day after spying her nanny, Geneva, and husband, Graham, cheating on their nanny cam. On the 7:45 train home, she has an eerie encounter with a stranger whom she confides in about what she just witnessed. A few days later, their nanny mysteriously vanishes without a trace. The book goes back and forth between a few POV’s as the reader tries to piece together what has happened.

I have a love/hate relationship with books that have multiple POVs. On one hand, I think this style works so well with mystery/ thrillers because it keeps you guessing for longer and allows for so much anticipation from all the cliffhangers each person’s unique POV leaves you on. On the other hand, when you have too many cooks in the kitchen, the recipe can get messy, fast. Some of the POVs confused me to the point where I had to back track to make sure I was understanding correctly, and while it’s not a huge deal, it can be annoying to continuously feel like you’re not quite caught up on who is who and what is going on. I think half of the POVs weren’t even necessary, which made me so bored when those ones came along.

This book gave off a major ‘man hating’ vibe as well, which was quite strange. How it is that not one man in that town was faithful or trustworthy!?

*MINOR SPOILER AHEAD

Not to mention, how far fetched is it that on the night of the nanny’s disappearance, Selena’s young son who couldn’t have been more than 10 years old had recorded her unbeknownst to her on his iPad? Aside from the fact that it’s highly coincidental and pretty creepy, are iPad-quality videos even that good? * Spoiler ended.

I get that coincidences happen in life, and they have to happen in books to move the plot along, but it was a bit much.

Anyway, this book was okay – it had some interesting moments, but the switching between characters and one character having multiple aliases and names in the midst of all of that really did me in. This could have been better if at least one character was likable, but I was not rooting for anybody in the book. The only person I was rooting for was myself to finish this as soon as possible to get on with something better.

– Catherine

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Books As Outfits – Mini Reviews

I remember when the books as outfits trend was going around last year (or was it this year – I can’t keep up), and I thought it was such a cool trend. I kind of wanted to bring it back in a way, but instead of me dressing up to match the aesthetic of the book, I wanted to find outfits online that both resembled the vibe of the cover / the book’s contents, or would be something I might wear if I were a bit bolder with my looks.

So, here are mini reviews of the last 3 books I’ve read, and outfits I think would accompany them.

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Okay I really liked this one! The whole time I was reading, I was picturing the show (which I can’t wait until it returns for S2). I really like the aesthetic of books or shows set in the 1800s – give me a ball scene and I’m in! The reason I chose this outfit is because the time period definitely gives this book a bit of a conservative undertone, and I think this outfit is both conservative and classy. The sparkly shoe gives me a Princess / Duchess vibe and brings something fun to the whole ensemble; just like the book, it is classy but fun.

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I don’t have TikTok, but I believe this book was blowing up there originally at one point because I saw a lot of people tweeting about it in the last few months. This book was addictive. It does deal with some pretty heavy topics like alcoholism, sex addiction, and sexual assault, but it does not sugar coat them at all. It set the stage well for the other books in the series – I really liked the characters, especially the side characters. I chose this outfit because the colour and cut outs resemble the torn up heart on the cover. Though I don’t know where I would wear it, I reaaaallly like this outfit.

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It had been a while since I last read a classic before this one. Sometimes it can be easy to think that in the grand scheme of things you don’t matter, and that you are just one of billions in the world, which is what the protagonist, Eddie, felt. However, each of us does have a great impact on other people’s lives whether we realized it at the time or not, and that is mainly what this book is about. This book was sad and touching, and made me think very deeply about my life. I chose this outfit to accompany the book because like the book, it is a classic, and you can never go wrong with a monochromatic look. If you told me people wore this outfit in past decades, I would believe you just as much as if you told me you were wearing it today. Just like the outfit, The Five People You Meet in Heaven is timeless.

– Catherine

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