Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Sutanto – Review

Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Sutanto
Series: Aunties #1
First published April 27, 2021
Genres: Fiction, Romance
Pages: 298
Format: Paperback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

1 (accidental) murder
2 thousand wedding guests
3 (maybe) cursed generations
4 meddling Asian aunties to the rescue!

Wedding photographer Meddy Chan has always wanted to make her overbearing family happy. And there’s nothing they want more than to see Meddy happily married.

But when Meddy accidentally kills her blind date that they set her up on, she calls her meddlesome aunties to help her. Although hiding a dead body is going to be harder than they thought, especially when their family business has its biggest event yet – and at a hotel that just happens to be managed by Meddy’s ex boyfriend, Nathan, aka the one that got away.

Meddy Chan works as the photographer for her family’s wedding planning business. It’s not her ideal job but since the men in the family have all left, Meddy feels a responsibility to stay with her Ma and Aunties.

When her mother fixes her up on a blind date, she in the end agrees to go. I mean, how bad can it be?

As it turns out, bad.

Her date ends up dead. Meddy freaks out, and puts in him in the trunk back to her house.

Fortunately for her, she has her Ma and Aunties to rescue her.

Unfortunately the body of her dead date ends up being accidentally transported to the island where the billionaire’s wedding they are working on is being held.

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Shatter Me Series Review (spoiler free)

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me (1-6 + novellas)
Publisher: HarperCollins
First published November 15th 2011
Genres: Fiction, Demonic Possession
Pages: 338
Format: Paperback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Let me start by just saying one thing. I’m SO ridiculously late to this series. Buuuuuut it finally happened!

The main character Juliette has this (super cool) fatal touch, anyone she touches just dies in agony. She has been in an asylum for almost a year when she is captured by The Reestablishment who wants to use her as a weapon in their warfare.

But soon after being taken to the Reestablishment quarters she learns that an old childhood friend may help her escape. With no other choice, she is on the run!

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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


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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