Nine Lives by Peter Swanson – ARC Review

Nine Lives by Peter Swanson

Series: N/A

Publisher: Faber Faber

Published March 3rd 2022

Genres: Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: ARC

Buy: Book Depository / Amazon

* Received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions are, as always, my own.*

The author of Rules for Perfect Murders is back – with a chilling and fiendish puzzle of a novel everyone will be talking about next Spring.

If you’re on the list you’re marked for death.

The envelope is unremarkable. There is no return address. It contains a single, folded, sheet of white paper.

The envelope drops through the mail slot like any other piece of post. But for the nine complete strangers who receive it – each of them recognising just one name, their own, on the enclosed list – it will be the most life altering letter they ever receive. It could also be the last, as one by one, they start to meet their end.

But why?

The premise is straightforward. Nine people are sent a letter with a list of names that includes theirs… Soon they start dying one by one.

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Sundial by Catriona Ward – ARC Review

Sundial by Catriona Ward

Series: N/A

Publisher: Viper

Published March 10th 2022

Genres: Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: ARC

Buy: Book Depository / Amazon

* Received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions are, as always, my own.*

You can’t escape the desert. You can’t escape Sundial.

Rob fears for her daughters. For Callie, who collects tiny bones and whispers to imaginary friends. For Annie, because she fears what Callie might do to her. Rob sees a darkness in Callie, one that reminds her of the family she left behind. She decides to take Callie back to her childhood home, to Sundial, deep in the Mojave Desert. And there she will have to make a terrible choice.

Callie is afraid of her mother. Rob has begun to look at her strangely. To tell her secrets about her past that both disturb and excite her. And Callie is beginning to wonder if only one of them will leave Sundial alive…

From the bestselling author of The Last House on Needless Streetcomes a stunning thriller exploring the toxicity of the mother-daughter bond, and the power of the past to twist the present.

This is about a woman named Rob. She is married with two children and on the surface everything seems normal. But the family is extremely dysfunctional. When Rob fears that her older daughter, Callie, is not normal, she fears for her life.

Rob and Callie take a trip to Sundial, where Rob grew up. Sundial has a dark and disturbing history… one Rob hoped she left behind forever. But the past has a hold on her family that won’t budge.

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Come Closer by Sara Gran – Book Review

Come Closer by Sara Gran
Series: N/A
Publisher: Soho Press
First published July 1st 2003
Genres: Fiction, Demonic Possession
Pages: 168
Format: Paperback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

A recurrent, unidentifiable noise in her apartment. A memo to her boss that’s replaced by obscene insults. Amanda—a successful architect in a happy marriage—finds her life going off kilter by degrees. She starts smoking again, and one night for no reason, without even the knowledge that she’s doing it, she burns her husband with a cigarette. At night she dreams of a beautiful woman with pointed teeth on the shore of a blood-red sea.

The new voice in Amanda’s head, the one that tells her to steal things and talk to strange men in bars, is strange and frightening, and Amanda struggles to wrest back control of her life. A book on demon possession suggests that the figure on the shore could be the demon Naamah, known to scholars of the Kabbalah as the second wife of Adam, who stole into his dreams and tricked him into fathering her child. Whatever the case, as the violence of her erratic behavior increases, Amanda knows that she must act to put her life right, or see it destroyed. 

Amanda lives in Manhattan with her husband, Ed. They are happy and have a steady marriage. They enjoy their time together going to museums, flea markets and all kinds of restaurants. That is, until the tapping starts. That and the dreams.

First it’s just a tap here and there, then a current stream of tap-taps, or is it foot steps?

One day, Amanda receives a book she didn’t order that has a quiz to know if you are possessed by a demon. She stars wondering about all the slow changes invading her life, things out of character for her – like stealing, flirting with man she would never be into, and the urge to hurt others.

At night she dreams of a red beach next to a woman with black hair and pointy teeth who hugs her and tells her she loves her and will never leave her.

The more changes she sees, the higher she scores in the quizzes, but is she really possessed, or is she slowly becoming insane?

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Meet Me at the Margins by Melissa Ferguson – ARC Review

Meet Me at the Margins by Melissa Ferguson

Series: N/A

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Published February 15th 2022

Genres: Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 320

Format: ARC

Buy: Book Depository / Amazon

* Received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions are, as always, my own.*

Savannah Cade is a low-level editor at Pennington Publishing, a prestigious publisher producing only the highest of highbrow titles. And while editing the latest edition of The Anthology of Medieval Didactic Poetry may be her day job, she has two secrets she’s hiding.

One: She’s writing a romance novel.

Two: She’s discovered the Book Nook—a secret room in the publishing house where she finds inspiration for her “lowbrow” hobby.

After leaving her manuscript behind one afternoon, she returns to the nook only to discover someone has written notes in the margins. Savannah’s first response to the criticism is defensive, but events transpire that force her to admit that she needs the help of this shadowy editor after all. As the notes take a turn for the romantic, and as Savannah’s madcap life gets more complicated than ever, she uses the process of elimination to identify her mysterious editor—only to discover that what she truly wants and what she should want just might not be the same. Melissa Ferguson’s latest—a love letter to books, readers, and romance—will leave fans laughing out loud and swooning in the same breath. 

Savannah works for Pennington Publishing as a new low-level editor – a publishing house for the most prestigious books and non-fic.

She has been using the publishing company’s ARC room to write her own romance novel, which would put her own publishing house to shame. One day, after leaving her manuscript behind, she comes back to find that someone discovered her hidden place, organized her manuscript, and written edits in the margins.

Who is this mystery person? She ends up asking this mystery editor for help editing in hopes it will get published.

The two start exchanging notes back and forth, first regarding the manuscript – and then more personal. Savannah can’t help but start falling for her mystery editor.

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February Wrap-up and March TBR

wrapupandtbr

Hey guys!

How has your month been?

Mine was pretty okay for the shortest month of the year and I can’t wait to share with you what I read!

Check out what I’ve read this month:

February Wrap-up


TOP books of the month:

Reminders of Him was heartbreaking. It was very different from the other Colleen Hoover books I’ve read but as always super emotional and beautiful!

Come Closer was a big surprise for me. I wasn’t even going to read it but after seeing the synopsis I couldn’t help it. It was so freaking good! And short too!

What were your favorite reads in February? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Let’s discuss in the comments below!

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I’m currently Reading:

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March TBR

What’s on your TBR for March? Are you excited for any of these or have you read any of them? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover – Review

Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover
Series: N/A
Publisher: Montlake
Published January 18th 2022
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Adult
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

After serving five years in prison for a tragic mistake, Kenna Rowan returns to the town where it all went wrong, hoping to reunite with her four-year-old daughter. But the bridges Kenna burned are proving impossible to rebuild. Everyone in her daughter’s life is determined to shut Kenna out, no matter how hard she works to prove herself.

The only person who hasn’t closed the door on her completely is Ledger Ward, a local bar owner and one of the few remaining links to Kenna’s daughter. But if anyone were to discover how Ledger is slowly becoming an important part of Kenna’s life, both would risk losing the trust of everyone important to them.

The two form a connection despite the pressure surrounding them, but as their romance grows, so does the risk. Kenna must find a way to absolve the mistakes of her past in order to build a future out of hope and healing.

A troubled young mother yearns for a shot at redemption in this heartbreaking yet hopeful story from #1 New York Timesbestselling author Colleen Hoover.

This book is about Kenna, a 26 year old single mother, who was just released after 5 years in prison – sentenced for involuntary manslaughter of her boyfriend Scott, during a car accident with Kenna driving. On her first year in prison, she gave birth to a baby girl named Diem, who is now with Scott’s parents, who gained full custody of her.

After being released, she moves back to where it all began hoping to reunite with her 4 year old daughter. On her first day back in town, she meets Ledger, who for the first time in 5 years makes her feel something. The two share an intense connection, until Kenna realises that Ledger is Scotty’s best friend. 

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You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin That – Review

You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao
Series: N/A
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Published November 9th 2021
Genres: Romance, Magical Realism
Pages: 304
Format: Hardback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

Seventeen-year-old Julie has her future all planned out—move out of her small town with her boyfriend Sam, attend college in the city, spend a summer in Japan. But then Sam dies. And everything changes.

Heartbroken, Julie skips his funeral, throws out his things, and tries everything to forget him and the tragic way he died. But a message Sam left behind in her yearbook forces back memories. Desperate to hear his voice one more time, Julie calls Sam’s cellphone just to listen to his voicemail.

And Sam picks up the phone.

In a miraculous turn of events, Julie’s been given a second chance at goodbye. The connection is temporary. But hearing Sam’s voice makes her fall for him all over again, and with each call it becomes harder to let him go. However, keeping her otherworldly calls with Sam a secret isn’t easy, especially when Julie witnesses the suffering Sam’s family is going through. Unable to stand by the sidelines and watch their shared loved ones in pain, Julie is torn between spilling the truth about her calls with Sam and risking their connection and losing him forever.

Following Julie after she loses her boyfriend in a car accident. Somehow for some reason, she magically gained a final opportunity to speak to him, but only through phone calls! She has no chance of saying goodbye, but she is far from ready…

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To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara – Review

To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara
Series: N/A
Publisher: Doubleday
Published January 11th 2022
Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Adult, LGBTQ+
Pages: 720
Format: Hardback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

From the author of the classic A Little Life, a bold, brilliant novel spanning three centuries and three different versions of the American experiment, about lovers, family, loss and the elusive promise of utopia.

In an alternate version of 1893 America, New York is part of the Free States, where people may live and love whomever they please (or so it seems). The fragile young scion of a distinguished family resists betrothal to a worthy suitor, drawn to a charming music teacher of no means. In a 1993 Manhattan besieged by the AIDS epidemic, a young Hawaiian man lives with his much older, wealthier partner, hiding his troubled childhood and the fate of his father. And in 2093, in a world riven by plagues and governed by totalitarian rule, a powerful scientist’s damaged granddaughter tries to navigate life without him—and solve the mystery of her husband’s disappearances.

These three sections are joined in an enthralling and ingenious symphony, as recurring notes and themes deepen and enrich one another: A townhouse in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village; illness, and treatments that come at a terrible cost; wealth and squalor; the weak and the strong; race; the definition of family, and of nationhood; the dangerous righteousness of the powerful, and of revolutionaries; the longing to find a place in an earthly paradise, and the gradual realization that it can’t exist. What unites not just the characters, but these Americas, are their reckonings with the qualities that make us human: Fear. Love. Shame. Need. Loneliness.

To Paradise is a fin de siècle novel of marvellous literary effect, but above all it is a work of emotional genius. The great power of this remarkable novel is driven by Yanagihara’s understanding of the aching desire to protect those we love – partners, lovers, children, friends, family and even our fellow citizens – and the pain that ensues when we cannot.

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This book is divided in three parts, between past and future and set in an America different from the one known.

Part One: We have in 1893 New York, one David Bingham. He is set up for an arranged marriage by his grandfather – with whom he lives – to a wealthy widower named Charles Griffith. But while navigating his youth he falls in love with his penniless music teacher instead. Will he do the right thing for his family’s sake or will he go all in on love?

The second part is set in 1990s New York. In an alternate universe, David is a Hawaiian man, with a sick father, having an affair with Charles, a senior partner to his junior paralegal and 30 years older than himself.

The third part has a dystopian pandemic setting set in the 2090s. The book is divided in parts set in present and past (max 50 years before). We have two main characters – Charlie Griffith and David – Charlie’s grandfather. In this setting, homosexuality is no longer encouraged and we also get to see pandemic side effects like sterility.

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The Rebound by Catherine Walsh – ARC Review

The Rebound by Catherine Walsh

Series: N/A

Publisher: Bookouture

Expected publication: February 14th 2022

Genres: Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 334

Format: ARC

Buy: Book Depository / Amazon

* Received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions are, as always, my own.*

A newly single girl. A tall dark handsome stranger. What could go wrong?

It’s 7 a.m. on a Monday morning and Abby Reynolds isn’t where she wants to be. She wants to be in her beautiful loft apartment in Manhattan, drinking a coffee with her fiancé.

Instead, she’s heading back to the childhood home in rural Ireland she swore she’d never return to, with some big old secrets. Namely that she’s suddenly found herself unemployed, homeless, and absolutely 100% single.

She’s feeling all out of luck. Until the first person she meets after she touches down is an absurdly hot guy called Luke, who offers her a lift home. Gazing deep into his sparkling emerald-green eyes, Abby knows instantly that he’s exactly what she needs to take her mind off everything. The perfect rebound.

It’s a flawless plan. Until the next day, when Abby realizes who he actually is. Not just a stranger. He is, in fact, Luke Bailey, aka the boy next door. Luke Bailey who—so help her God—she’s pretty sure she once shared baths with, back when they were kids. Not that she can allow herself to imagine him in a bath now, not without blushing from head to foot.

And judging by the smirk on his face, the same Luke Bailey who’s known exactly who she was the whole time… And who, like everyone in the village, still thinks she’s a high-flying New Yorker… who’s getting married next year.

Abby is certain getting under Luke will help her get over her ex. But the truth is stopping her. Can she admit to everyone back home that she’s single and has lost everything? Because, if she wants the boy next door, she may just have to…

The perfect feel-good romantic comedy that will make you laugh until you cry and fall completely in love. Fans of Sophie Kinsella, Marian Keyes, and Emily Henry won’t be able to put this down!

Abby Reynolds just lost everything. Her fiancé broke up with her after 3 years, the company where she worked in NY filed for bankruptcy and the place she was staying at was also from that company and it’s now gone. She just had the worst luck possible and to add to it, she feels the only way is going back to her hometown in rural Ireland. After 5 years of not going back there, while thriving at work, this feels like the worst thing ever – and she is not in any way excited to see her sister and live with her and her husband in their childhood home.

But having to do so, she arranges to go back, but finds herself in a run down station waiting for a ride to her small town. That’s when a stranger offers to take her there, after she notices she read the schedule wrong and there’s no buses for days.

Surprise, surprise, the day after, she finds out that handsome man that gave her a lift is none other than her old childhood friend, Luke Bailey, not gangly and tiny anymore but a grown-up beautiful man.

Read More »

January Wrap-up and February TBR

wrapupandtbr

Hey guys!

How has your month been? Can’t believe it’s already February!? How come it’s passing this fast??

My reading month started well and then just kinda got into a slump and had to read some middle grade to save me from it.

Check out what I’ve read this month:

January Wrap-up


TOP book of the month:

Dowry of Blood was SO SO Good, fun, gruesome and incredibly gripping! I couldn’t redeemed it more, plus it’s super short and all about Vampires! Read my review here!

What were your favorite reads in January? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Let’s discuss in the comments below!

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I’m currently Reading:

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February TBR

What’s on your TBR for February? Are you excited for any of these or have you read any of them? Share your thoughts in the comments below!