Reviews

Review: Nevernight ~ By Jay Kristoff

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Review: Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicles #1) ~ by Jay Kristoff

429 pages (hardcover) ~ Adult Fantasy

August 2016 ~ St. Martin’s Press

My Rating: 5/5

Click here for Nevernight’s Goodreads Description

My Thoughts:

This book came as such a surprise to me. The first 100 pages or so I kept asking myself, “do I like this?” It was so different than anything I have ever read before that I had to keep checking in with myself. But the more I read, the more I loved it, and here’s why….

  • Jay Kristoff’s writing is so unique. There is so much wit and sarcasm that I had to read certain sections twice to really appreciate all of the little nuances. The structure of the book is also so unique – certain descriptions would be repeated verbatim but applied to very different things. This was such a clever way to connect things and provide so many “light bulb” moments. I freaking loved it!
  • Because I listened to most of the book on audio, the footnotes were really bugging me at first because it was hard to tell when I switched from story to footnote. But after a while, and once I started to recognize the shift, I came to appreciate the footnotes. There was so much world building and history in them, and most of them were just plain hilarious. Some seemed to exist for nothing more than to make us laugh.
  • The Red Church was such an amazing concept. I really loved the sanctity and ritual of it all. I was raised Catholic so these types of rituals will always appeal to me. This “school” is like a bloody version of Hogwarts, where you die if you don’t pass your OWLS.
  • All of the teachers had unique gifts and personalities. I loved Mia’s interactions with each of them. Spider Killer was my favorite.
    Every character, including the minor ones, had intricate and interesting backstories. I loved all of them.
  • The ending took me completely by surprise! I don’t know what I was expecting, but it was not that! The last 100 pages were completely suspenseful and packed full of action.
  • The set up for the next book was complete and tied so well to what Mia went through in book 1 and before.

I would have liked more of the backstory on each of the members of the Red Church. Though, I have a feeling I may get more of this in the next books. I would have also liked more information on the Ashkahi blood magic that Adonai uses as transport. This was such a fascinating concept to me and I just wanted more. But again, maybe in the next book. Overall, this was a perfect start to what is shaping up to be an amazing series!

You can find more information about Jay Kristoff here, on Goodreads

You can find me here SomewhereinPages on Instagram
And here SomewhereinPages on Goodreads

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Reviews

Book Review: Again, but Better ~ by Christine Riccio

Book Review: Again, but Better ~ by Christine Riccio

Wednesday Books

2019 – YA Romantic Comedy 

My Rating: 5/5

Goodreads Description:

This story brought the perfect amount of giddy, warm fuzzy, and lovely feelings into my life. I listened to the audiobook and would practically skip to my car after work so that I could listen to more. 

I went into it a little apprehensive because I have read books by other BookTubers and been let down. But, I was honestly so pleasantly surprised by Christine’s unique writing style and this wonderfully whimsical story.

Christine’s writing embodies so much of her personality. It is open, honest, funny, and energetic. The same energy and passion that you get in Christine’s videos, is here on every page. My daughter and I have been watching Christine’s videos for years now, and this book made me love her even more. So much of Christine’s heart and soul are here for us to read and it was honestly so endearing. 

As an avid reader and all-around fangirl, I have a strong passion for the things that I love. I really fell in love with the heroine, Shane, because she has this same passion and tries to connect with people through the things she loves. Since this is something that I also do, I found it really relatable. I think this is something that most bloggers can relate to.

Pilot: “I’ve never met someone as outwardly passionate about their favorite things as you.” 

Shane: “Well, things inspire me and make me happy and feel more understood…if I can give that to someone else by recommending my things, I want to.” 

I loved that Shane and Pilot developed such a strong friendship founded on mutual respect and admiration. They encouraged each other’s creative endeavors, they had such great witty banter, and they were just adorable all around. 

If you love a good, heartwarming, funny, and magical YA romance, this is most definitely for you! 

For more information on Christine Riccio, you can find her here on Goodreads 

Follow me on Instagram @somewhereinpages & Goodreads @erinrossi

Reviews

Review: Next Year in Havana ~ by Chanel Cleeton

Review: Next Year in Havana ~ by Chanel Cleeton

356 pages (paperback) ~ Historical Fiction, Contemporary Romance

February 2018 ~ Penguin/Berkley 

My Rating: 4/5 

Goodreads Description:

After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity–and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution…

Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba’s high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country’s growing political unrest–until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary…

Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa’s last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth.

Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba’s tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she’ll need the lessons of her grandmother’s past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.

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My Thoughts:  

It’s been a while since I’ve picked up a Historical Fiction novel, and this book reminded me why I need to do it more often. Next Year in Havana was a heartbreaking journey of two women, grandmother, and granddaughter, who are living through similar experiences decades apart and both facing repercussions of the 1958 Cuban Revolution. 

What I loved: 

  • The Cuban History- I knew nothing about Cuban history and this element of the book was absolutely fascinating. It was told through everyday events, struggles, and daily life, so I never felt like I was witnessing something epic, but rather I was witnessing the slow change that had horrific repercussions. 
  • Characters – The pieces of history are given through the eyes of a wide range of characters – a rich upper-class woman, a struggling revolutionary, a teacher who is trying to survive and make a difference, and an outsider who wants so badly to belong to her Cuban Heritage. This gave the history a well rounded and whole view. 
  • Connection to family/heritage – This book really expressed the inherent need to feel a connection to our blood, to our heritage, and to a land that embodies both. This was heartbreaking and beautiful simultaneously and was so well done. 

What I didn’t love: 

  • The romance between Marisol and Luis was pretty lackluster. I didn’t get the feeling that there was any kind of passion or all-consuming love between them. I would have liked as much insight into their relationship as we got from Elisa and Pablo’s relationship.
  • The stories of the two women definitely paralleled each other, but it felt like we got much more insight into Elisa’s story, while Marisol’s was kind of a side note. I would have liked it if both women’s lives were equally fleshed out. 

This was my first Chanel Cleeton book and I’ll definitely plan to read more from her. 

For more information on Chanel Cleeton and her books, check her out on Goodreads 

Click here > SomewhereinPages < to find me on Instagram and here > SomewhereinPages < to find me on Goodreads. 

 

Reviews

ARC Review: Lock Every Door ~ by Riley Sager

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Review: Lock Every Door ~ by Riley Sager

384 pages ~ Thrilling Mystery, Suspense 

July 2, 2019 ~ Dutton

My Rating: 4/5 

Goodreads Description:

No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story . . . until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.

Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s dark past and into the secrets kept within its walls. Her discovery that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing at the Bartholomew pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.

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My Thoughts:  

I am a huge fan of Riley Sager’s other two novels, Final Girls and The Last Time I Lied. The Last Time I Lied is one of my favorite thrillers EVER. So I am very grateful to NetGalley and Dutton Books for allowing me to read Lock Every Door early. Although Lock Every Door didn’t have the same type of “keep you up all night” suspense factor that Last Time did, I still really enjoyed it. It was exactly what you would expect from a Sager thriller. The first half of the book is spent building the history of The Bartholomew building. This layering adds to the very unsettling, lurking evil aura around its past. Halfway into the novel, it beginnings to pick up as Jules starts to dig deeper and deeper into the buildings dark legacy and from that point forward, I was completely hooked. Below are my pros and cons: 

What I loved: 

  • Jules- I found Jules, our heroine, to be super relatable and funny. Her tragic past and resent misfortunes really endeared me to her. She is a loyal friend and morally good despite the horrible situation she finds herself in. 
  • Rich vs. Poor– Sager did such a great job of showing the huge disparity between the rich and the poor of New York City. We see this in Jules’ past, in the homeless shelter, and, most importantly, in the Bartholomew itself. Without giving anything away, the ending also manages to capture this disparity and I felt that it was really thoughtfully done. 
  • History of the building– I loved that Sager went into the construction of the Bartholomew, its dark history, and the unexplained events that have occurred there since its construction.
  • The Investigation– Because Sager did such a great job of establishing a connection to the history of The Bartholomew, when Jules finally puts her investigator’s hat on and gets down to business, it was a really thrilling ride. I loved traveling with her around New York in order to uncover the buildings dark past. 

What I didn’t love: 

  • The “big reveal” (or lack thereof)– Jules, and therefore, the reader, figures out the “who done it” with 25% of the book still remaining. As she goes through the process of investigation and finally believes she has her answer, I was thinking – “this can’t be it, there has to be a twist somewhere.” Well, there was, in fact, a twist, but the twist only related to motive and not to who actually committed the crime. Because of this, there was a lack of suspense in the climax of the book, which is supposed to be the most exciting part. This was a little bit of a let down for me. 
  • Some moments were also a little cliche and had me rolling my eyes. It didn’t take away from the enjoyment of the novel, but it did make it harder to suspend belief. 

Overall, this was an enjoyable and thrilling mystery. Fans of Sager’s other work will not be disappointed. It will be a perfect summer beach or vacation read!

Lock Every Door is out today, July 2nd, 2019!!! 

For more information Riley Sager and his books, check him out on Goodreads

Click here SomewhereinPages to find me on Goodreads.

Reviews

Book Review: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle ~ by Stuart Turton

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Review: The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle ~ by Stuart Turton

432 pages (Hardcover) ~ Thrilling Mystery, Suspense, Time Travel

September 18, 2018 ~ Sourcebooks Landmark

My Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Description:

“Gosford Park” meets “Groundhog Day” by way of Agatha Christie – the most inventive story you’ll read this year.

Tonight, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed… again.

It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed.

But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot.

The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath.

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My Thoughts:  

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This book! I don’t even know how to describe it because it is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. My brain literally hurt when I finished it, but in a satisfying- “I just accomplished something” type of way. I had to start taking notes halfway through because there were so many characters and so much detail. The story is a constant roller coaster with twists and turns and “wait what!?” moments. You are kept guessing the entire time. There is witty banter, a dark creepy house with a sordid past, family scandal, murder (obviously), but there is also a really cool philosophical element to the story that you don’t see coming amidst all the scheming and backstabbing. I absolutely loved this book! While I don’t necessarily think this book is for everyone, I do think there are a lot of readers that will enjoy its dark twists and turns. You will most likely enjoy The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle if you like:

  • Clue – (both the game and the movie) You are basically playing clue in this book except your “character” changes daily
  • Downton Abbey – If you like the upstairs/downstairs drama and intrigue, this is definitely for you
  • Agatha Christie – this mystery is set up just like a Christie novel and Turton does a great job of paying homage to her style
  • Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol – like Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, the characters in this novel have to complete tasks before they are free, these “tasks” are designed to help them become better people- rehabilitation is the goal. A very Dickensian theme

Overall, I thought this was a really smart, interesting, unique, and well written novel. The only drawback for me was that the middle section did tend to lag in a few places. But the reward at the end was definitely worth it. This was an amazing first novel from Stuart Turton and I’m so excited to see what is next for him! 

For more information on Stuart Turton and his books, check him out on Goodreads

Click here > SomewhereinPages < to find me on Instagram and here > SomewhereinPages < to find me on Goodreads.

Reviews

Review: The Song of Achilles ~ by Madeline Miller

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Review: The Song of Achilles ~ by Madeline Miller

352 pages (paperback) ~ Literary Fiction/Greek Mythology  

2011 ~ Bloomsbury

My Rating: 5/5

Goodreads Description:

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. By all rights, their paths should never cross, but Achilles takes the shamed prince as his friend, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But then word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus journeys with Achilles to Troy, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

Profoundly moving and breathtakingly original, this rendering of the epic Trojan War is a dazzling feat of the imagination, a devastating love story, and an almighty battle between gods and kings, peace and glory, immortal fame and the human heart.

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87c5788a-3a47-4cd5-964b-0523170c8e46My Thoughts:  

This book was absolute magic. Reading Circe was a transformative experience, and The Song of Achilles had the same profound impact on me. Though I related to Circe’s story more, mainly because it dealt with so many women’s issues, I really loved the way that Miller was able to give so much depth to a story that I thought I knew. Since there are so many beautiful reviews of this book, I will keep mine short and sweet by listing a few of my favorite elements of the book.

  • The guilt of war – in other stories of Achilles he is portrayed as a killer. I really liked that Miller used his relationship with Patroclus to show his guilt over the lives he was forced to take. This conveyed his goodness and Patroclus’ influence on him.
  • The subtlety of their love story – Patroclus and Achilles’ love for each other is never overtly stated, instead, the reader feels how much they love each other through their actions. Miller does such an amazing job of conveying their deep love and admiration for each other in such a poetic and subtle way.

“He is half my soul, as the poets say.”

  • Concept of fame – the story really plays with the idea of fame since this is something that Achilles chases throughout the book. It brings up questions of fame’s importance to history. One of my favorite quotes from the book addresses this question:

“Fame is a strange thing. Some men gain glory after they die, while others fade. What is admired in one generation is abhorred in another? We cannot say who will survive the holocaust of memory….We are men only, a brief flare of the torch. Those to come may raise us or lower us as they please. Patroclus may be such as will rise in the future.”

I thought this quote was really interesting considering that the book seems to be attempting this very thing.

  • Remembered for his goodness  – The ending of the book was heartbreaking and beautiful. Achilles is a hero who is known for his ruthlessness and his ability to cut men down. However, Miller does an amazing job of attempting to rewrite his history. Instead, we remember Achilles through Patroclus’ eyes. He is remembered instead through this great and epic love story, rather than for death and destruction.

“They do not come as words, but like dreams, rising as scent from the rain-wet earth. This, I say. This and this. The way his hair looked in summer sun. His face when he ran. His eyes, solemn as an owl at lessons. This and this and this. So many moments of happiness, crowding forward.”

I would definitely recommend this book to fans of Greek Mythology, however, I think that everyone would enjoy it. There is no need to have prior or extensive knowledge of mythology before going into this book.

If you have read it, or plan to, leave me a message!

For more information on Madeline Miller and her books, check her out on Goodreads.

Click here > SomewhereinPages < to find me on Instagram and here > SomewhereinPages < to find me on Goodreads.

Reviews

Review: ARC of The Stranger on the Beach ~ by Michele Campbell

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Review: The Stranger on the Beach~ by Michele Campbell

353 pages (Hardcover) ~ Thrilling Mystery, Suspense

July 23rd, 2019 ~ St. Martin’s Press

My Rating: 2/5

Goodreads Description:

There is a stranger outside Caroline’s house.

Her spectacular new beach house, built for hosting expensive parties and vacationing with the family she thought she’d have. But her husband is lying to her and everything in her life is upside down, so when the stranger, Aiden, shows up as a bartender at the same party where Caroline and her husband have a very public fight, it doesn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary.

As her marriage collapses around her and the lavish lifestyle she’s built for herself starts to crumble, Caroline turns to Aiden for comfort…and revenge. After a brief and desperate fling that means nothing to Caroline and everything to him, Aiden’s obsession with Caroline, her family, and her house grows more and more disturbing. And when Caroline’s husband goes missing, her life descends into a nightmare that leaves her accused of her own husband’s murder.

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img_2561My Thoughts:  

Unfortunately, this mystery didn’t hit the mark for me. From the start, there were things that just kept preventing me from getting into the story.

  • I did enjoy the fact that both narrators were unreliable, however, because I was never sure who was telling the truth, it made it very difficult to relate or to sympathize with either character. It also made the story difficult to follow because the timelines and events were completely muddled.
  • I didn’t like either character. I found Caroline annoying and Campbell seemed to go out of her way to make her fit into every stereotypically rich white woman cliche possible. Because Caroline’s POV was flippant and, quite frankly, abhorrent, it made the writing appear unsophisticated. I feel that the style the author used for Caroline’s POV was intentionally done in order to make readers question her credibility, however, it just made the book really difficult to read.
  • There were moments when I liked Aiden, but his character was overshadowed by the ridiculous story Caroline was weaving. He also came across completely unrealistic.

Overall, I did finish the book, which means that I was engaged enough to make it the end and I did actually care about the outcome. The ending does have a twist, but unfortunately, it was a pretty predictable twist.

Despite everything, I really liked the questions that the book posed regarding our desire to automatically place blame based on preconceived ideas- ie: male, criminal record, poor. I liked that it portrayed our desire to ignore guilt when it comes to those who are rich, put together, or from a certain class. This was definitely the most interesting part of the book for me.

The Stranger on the Beach comes out July 23rd and it would be a nice “who-done-it” for the beach or a plane ride. Thank you so much to NetGalley and to St. Martin’s Press for sending me the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Click here > SomewhereinPages < to find me on Instagram and here > SomewhereinPages < to find me on Goodreads.