Category: books

Title: The Ravenous

Author: Amy Lukavics

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Horror

Series: Standalone

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               When I finished the first book I’d ever read by her, Nightingale, a friend recommended The Women in the Walls, Lukavics’s first novel, and I read that. Right after I finished it, I ordered The Ravenous through my library’s interloan system. Since then, it’s been sitting on the top of my library stack, the creepy cover drawing me in. When I realized I was not able to renew it any more, I pushed it to the top of my stack to read after Big Lies in a Small Town. As soon as I finished, I dove in to The Ravenous, and it might be the most gruesome book I’ve ever read by Lukavics. Dark, terrifying, thoughtful and chilling, I loved The Ravenous! I love monster stories of every type, but zombies are one of my favorites; this might be my favorite of all of Lukavics’s work.

The Ravenous tells the story of the Cane family: their military father, who is overseas so much that his daughters barely remember life with him, her alcoholic, moody and distant mother. On the outside, they appear to have the perfect family, and no one reinforces that image more than the Cane sisters. But when a terrible accident happens, their mother uses desperation and a secret ritual in order to bring the youngest sister, Rose, back to life. But her sacrifice has awful, unforeseen consequences: Rose is alive, but not quite. After returning from the dead, she develops a terrible craving for human flesh. When their mother disappears, in search of a permanent cure, the sisters are forced to take care of Rose themselves. But helping their sister may cost them their very souls…

I loved, loved, loved this book! The prose was permeated with suspense and dread, as sharp and cutting as knives. This book was terrifying, chilling, and had a killer ending (pun fully intended, sorry not sorry!)! I finished this book in less than two days, and I’m still stunned by the ending. I was instantly spellbound, hypnotized by the spare, sparse prose. The words were invoked with such a sense of dread. I love monster stories, but especially monster stories full of blood, gore, and body horror! The Cane family was such a strange facsimile of perfect; from the outside, they looked like a well-knit family. But on the inside, they were all falling apart: Mona, the middle sister, has crippling alcoholism, Juliet trying her best to hold the family together, even if it means murder, and Taylor becomes a clone of Juliet, trying not to anger her oldest sister. And there’s Anya, more into her books and her girlfriend, Everly, than her sisters. Rose, though, is the glue that holds the family together, and the Cane sisters must do unthinkable in order to keep her. And that ending! Oh, my goodness, I just finished it last night and I’m still floored over it. I can’t get it out of my head! The Ravenous is my favorite of Amy Ludavics’s work, and I loved it so much! I can’t wait to read the rest of her work! The bottom line: Dark, chilling, and so scary you’ll sleep with the lights on after! Next on deck: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han!

The Last Star (The 5th Wave #3) by Rick Yancey

This was a satisfying and heartbreaking conclusion to this trilogy. It was just as full of twists and turns as the first two books, and just as sad. This is a series I’ve passed along to friends, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone who wants edge-of-your-seat post-apocalyptic YA fiction.

Title: Big Lies in a Small Town

Author: Diane Chamberlain

Age Group: Adult

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Series: Standalone

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               I have a confession to make: Before now, I haven’t read Diane Chamberlain’s work. I’ve had an ARC of The Dream Daughter, but I haven’t read it yet. When I heard about Big Lies in a Small Town through one of my book clubs I’m in on Facebook, my curiosity was such that I just had to order it at my local library. I was lucky enough to receive my library’s first copy! This is my first Chamberlain book, and I can happily tell you all that it most definitely won’t be my last! A rich, compelling mystery, I loved every dark and surprising moment of this beautiful book; it might be one of my favorites of 2020 so far. Tender, compassionate, dark and shocking, I loved Big Lies in a Small Town!

               In 2018, Morgan Christopher is sitting in a dark, tiny jail cell, stewing over the incident that may well have ruined her life, as well as that of an innocent. When a lawyer visits her, telling her that she has a way out, she jumps at the chance. But her freedom is contingent on one thing: She must restore a mural that is sixty years old by August sixth, or she will go back to prison to serve out the rest of her sentence for a crime she didn’t commit. Despite not knowing a thing about painting restoration, Morgan starts the job. But in doing so, Morgan discovers that the mural hides dark and deadly secrets, and what she uncovers will have repercussions that echo through the quaint little town’s history…

               I really, really enjoyed this book! Mysteries and thrillers can be so hit and miss with me; either I don’t see anything coming or I’ll have solved it within the first hundred pages. But this wasn’t the case with Big Lies; I was captivated, and the pacing was spot-on. A sense of suspense and dread had me constantly on edge, and I really enjoyed Morgan’s frank, honest voice. I also enjoyed the way the book went back and forth through time, from 1940 to 2018. It took a little while to get used to it, but once I got the hang of it, I really enjoyed it! Big Lies in a Small Town exposes the often glossed-over underbelly of a very real town in North Carolina. I also enjoyed the way that Big Lies intertwined two different but similar stories, sixty years apart. I also adored every single character in this book, but Morgan holds a special place in my heart, as does Oliver. Anna Dale, the artist who comes to Edenton as a young woman after winning an art contest was also a compelling character; I loved her growth as a character. The only thing I wish had been more fleshed out was her mother and her mental illness. Nonetheless, I loved this book; it is easily one of my favorites of the entire year so far. The bottom line: Detailed, compassionate, and surprising, I loved Big Lies in a Small Town! This may be my first Diane Chamberlain book, but I can promise you all that it definitely won’t be my last! Nothing less than a work of art! Next on deck: The Ravenous by Amy Lukavics!

When a woman and her best friend have to go to a hotel that welcomes dogs, they have to film there for the woman’s cooking show where they made food for different pets. Once there a man dies and it up to her, to figure out what happened since, her friend is the prime suspect.

This is the fifth book in the Outlander series. Jamie, Roger. Brianna, and Claire and settling down in Fraser’s Ridge, when Jamie gets called to help out with fighting with the regulators. Can Jamie keep the peace or will the American Revolution happen early?

When a woman named Jane, has three suitors, she quickly realizes that she is pregnant. She feels like that is her last chance at becoming a mother so she wants to keep it, and she doesn’t care if she find the baby daddy or not.

When Annie finds fake costume jewelry for her friends to use for a mask fundraiser, someone steals them. Annie doesnt know why since their fake, but a shocking discover makes things all come together.

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

The second book in the trilogy continues the adventures of Lila and Kell, endearing them to our hearts even more. I finished this book pretty soon after the first, over a year ago, but I do remember liking it even more than the first book. It’s a pretty solid entry into a pretty solid fantasy trilogy, and definitely worth the read.

Title: The Queen of Nothing

Author: Holly Black

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Folk of the Air, book three

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               Holly Black and I have a bit of a strained relationship: Some of her books I’ve fallen heads over heels for, and others just weren’t my cup of tea. I loved The Cruel Prince and its sequel, The Wicked King. If I’m being totally honest, I put it off for as long as I could because I’d heard that there were quite a few people who disliked the series’ last book. I just finished it yesterday and I’m still shocked that it’s all over! This book had everything: romance, dangerous secrets, political intrigue, magic, and shocking twists and turns! I loved it. I was screaming, crying, tearing my hair out the whole time I was reading it. And I’m more than a little sad that it’s all over! But I enjoyed every crazy, emotional minute of it all.

               The Queen of Nothing starts where The Wicked King left off, with Jude being exiled to the mortal realm and stripped of her title as High Queen of Elfhame. Forced to return to her sister, Vivi, who lives in the mortal world, Jude is resigned to a fate worse than death: to be exiled from Elfhame and the land of faeries forever. But when her twin, Taryn, arrives, pleading Jude for help, she finds herself once again within Elfhame. Forced to disguise herself, she infiltrates the castle, determined to plead her case to Cardan, her husband and former lover. But time stops for no one, not even Jude, and she realizes that while some enemies are closer to home than others, she must force herself to confront the darkness inside, or risk losing everything she’s ever fought for and everyone she’s ever loved…

               I really, really liked this book! As I said, I was nervous (and if I’m being totally honest, I was putting it off), so I held it off as long as possible; I didn’t want to be disappointed. But I’m very happy to report I wasn’t! The pacing was breakneck, and despite not rereading the first two books, within ten pages I knew what was going on. I loved Jude, Cardan, Taryn, and Oak, as well as their parents, Madoc and Oriana. To be honest, there wasn’t a character that I didn’t love in this trilogy’s finale. There were twists and turns, political intrigue that had me gasping and almost full-on screaming, romance that had my heart fluttering, and several other surprises I won’t go into detail revealing, in case any of my readers hasn’t read it yet. I wasn’t upset about the ending; in fact, I really don’t know how Holly Black could’ve ended this explosive trilogy any other way. I loved every single nail-biting moment in The Queen of Nothing, and I’m so, so sad that one of my favorite series of recent years is over! Cue the major book hangover, slump, and the eternal question: What to read next? The bottom line: Richly detailed, meticulously plotted, and surprising, I loved The Queen of Nothing!

This book is about the man that helped King George VI with his speech impediments. But, but the man really cure him, or just simply rewrite speeches that had trouble words in it? You be the judge