Review: Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

call down the hawk maggie stiefvaterRating: ★★★☆☆

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

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Ronan Lynch is a dreamer. He can pull both curiosities and catastrophes out of his dreams.

Jordan Hennessy is a thief. The closer she comes to the dream object she is after, the more inextricably she becomes tied to it.

Carmen Farooq-Lane is a hunter. Her brother was a dreamer … and a killer. She has seen what dreaming can do to a person, and the damage that their dreams can do. But those are nothing compared to the destruction that is about to be unleashed… Continue reading

Mini-Review: The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

the hunting party lucy foleyRating: ★★★★★

Categories: Thriller, Mystery

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In The Hunting Party, a group of old friends gets together in an isolated hunting lodge in Scotland to celebrate the New Year, as they do every year. Although they seem to be excited and happy to see each other, old and new grudges escalate the tensions between them, and on January 2nd, a body is found.

This is one of the best mysteries I’ve ever read! I fell in love with the writing from the first chapter, so atmospheric and engrossing. This book came highly recommended from my sister, who is the best source of thriller recommendations, honestly. Each of the characters has secrets, the guests who claim to be friends but seem sometimes to actually hate each other, and also the people working in the lodge. Every story line, every secret, every character was so interesting, I could not stop reading this! It was also super intriguing to not really know who died until quite far into the book, keeping the reader guessing who killed whom and why, suspiciously analyzing the actions of everyone. It was so fun to read and reminded me a lot of the way I devoured Agatha Christie books when I was younger. This was absolutely brilliant and I can’t wait to read Lucy Foley’s The Guest List!

Review: My Name is Monster by Katie Hale

my name is monster katie hale

Rating: ★★★★☆

Categories: Literary Fiction, Dystopia, Retelling

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In My Name is Monster, the world as we know it is over: War and Sickness took over the countries and killed almost all humans – almost. Monster is still alive, and she emerges from the Seed Vault in the Arctic to find food and shelter, surviving.

This beautiful novel is incredibly bold and nuanced – it’s a post-apocalyptic story about society, motherhood, survival, civilization. Its loose inspiration in Frankenstein makes it all the more interesting, too. It took me a few pages to start really getting into the story, but after that it sucked me in. Monster is such an interesting character, so intelligent and cold, sometimes cruel, I could not get enough of her. Continue reading

Review: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

gods of jade and shadow silvia moreno-garciaRating: ★★★★☆

Categories: Fantasy

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In Gods of Jade and Shadow, Casiopeia one days open a mysterious wooden box belonging to her grandfather and accidentally frees the Mayan god of death, linking her life force to him. He wants to re-conquer his throne, stolen decades ago by his twin brother, and Casiopeia needs to help him if she wants to stay alive, but more than that, the adventure calls to her.

In many ways, this book was a breath of fresh air – the main character is a Mexican girl, the Mayan myths which are so underrated in fantasy, the Persephone-and-Hades feel of the story never really gets old for me… and so on. Continue reading

Review: The Body Lies by Jo Baker

the body lies jo baker

Rating: ★★★★☆

Categories: Literary Thriller

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In The Body Lies, our unnamed narrator takes up a job at a University to teach Creative Writing, she is excited about moving to the countryside and being far away from London, where she suffered a violent assault years earlier and could not feel safe again. But when one of her students disappears from class and starts sending her his work, she realizes he’s writing about her, that he’s been watching her in her own home, all alone with her three-year-old.

The Body Lies is a perfect mixture of Literary Fiction and Thriller, the pacing too slow and too character-focused to be called purely a thriller, and still, it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Sharp, intense and an eerie commentary on the violence against women in real life and as depicted in books, it’s completely incomprehensible to me how this has a 3.5 star rating in Goodreads as of now – this is brilliant! Continue reading

Mini-Review: Red at the Bone, by Jacqueline Woodson

red at the bone Jacqueline WoodsonRating: ★★★☆☆

Categories: Contemporary Fiction

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Red at the Bone tells the story of Melody and her family, going through different point of views as they revisit their relationships with each other as the years go by.

It’s hard to describe this book, mostly because there isn’t too much of a plot, except that Melody and her family tell their stories, their dreams and their frustrated ambitions. It’s a book about family versus dreams, about family heritage versus new beginnings. It’s a beautifully written story, which had its moments of brilliancy, but that left me wanting so much more out of it. There was hardly any emotional connection with the characters, the ending felt weird and forced, and there was little development for most of the characters. I loved the story of Melody’s mother, a difficult woman who did not want to be a mother and chose her career instead, but who would like to reconnect with her daughter one day. Who falls in love with a woman but can’t help but lie to her. In the end, I would have loved this book a lot more if it had been through her perspective, a hard-hitting book full of emotion and pain, but as it was, Red at the Bone didn’t leave much of an impression on me. Still, it was a nice afternoon read!

eARC Review: Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb #2), by Tamsyn Muir

harrow the ninth tamsyn muir

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, F/F

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I received an advance copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Harrow is now a Lyctor, and joins God and the other Lyctors in a war they cannot win. Her health is failing and her mind is, too – she is almost sure she’s going mad.

Harrow the Ninth is a puzzle of a book – entirely different from Gideon the Ninth, it starts exchanging between present (second person) and past (person), which I found terribly confusing. For a (fleeting) moment I considered not continuing the book at all because it was frustrating to try to keep up; while book 1 is deliciously addictive from chapter one, it took book 2 almost 70% of the book to feel the same way for me. Harrow is quite different from the first book, and the reader should be ready to be patient with it. It is worth reading through the confusing chapters, I promise, and once you start getting answers (and some of them you can try to guess yourself, which was exciting for me), it’s seriously worth it. The twists blew my mind. Continue reading

Review: Ducks, Newburyport, by Lucy Ellmann

ducks newburyport lucy ellmannRating: ★★★★☆

Categories: Literary Fiction

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Ducks, Newburyport is told through the stream of consciousness of a housewife in Ohio. Her thoughts meander through her daily routine, baking pies, her four children, the current news, the state of the world and memories of her life. It’s a story that gets woven with every page, and as you are literally reading what goes through the mind of the main character for a thousand pages, it’s quite delightful that she’s funny and the book goes so seamlessly into more serious topics or random thoughts,.

It is incredibly difficult to rate this. At times, when it bore me a little, I wanted to give it 3 stars – then the next page I was in awe of this book, the intricate, rich inner life of our protagonist and the impressive writing style and want to give it 5 stars. In the end, I compromised with 4, although I have a feeling I will change it to 5 at some point. Continue reading

Mini-Reviews: Queen of Nothing, The Deep, To Drink Coffee with a Ghost, Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered

queen of nothing holly black Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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I really enjoyed the first two books in the series, especially for how cutthroat Jude was, and all the scheming and twists and betrayals were just really exciting to read. This final book, however, just felt like one long ode to how amazing Cardan is, how worthy of love and how secretly a good guy he was all along. There is not much going on at all for most of the book, and even what conflict is there was too quickly resolved, too neatly wrapped up. I did enjoy the book, just felt a bit disappointed by it. The audiobook was really good, though! Continue reading

Review: Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner

fleishman is in trouble taffy brodesser-aknerRating: ★★★☆☆

Categories: Contemporary Fiction

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Toby Fleishman is divorcing at forty-one, and finds himself suddenly addicted to the easy sex that dating apps provide for a man like him, despite the short height he’s always been insecure about, despite his age and the fact that he has children. When he starts finally enjoying the life as a single man after a miserable and loveless marriage, his ex-wife suddenly disappears, and he has the children over at his place for longer than he expected, and no idea where his ex might be. Is she alive, is she avoiding him, is she ok? As he tries to find her and juggle his job, the children and dating, he’s forced to face some truths about his marriage he might have been ignoring for years. Continue reading