One of Us Is Dead: A Review

The Book:

Title: One of Us Is Dead

Author: Jeneva Rose

Published April 26th 2022 by Blackstone Publishing

Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Fiction, Adult

Pages: 272

“Opulence. Sex. Betrayal … Sometimes friendship can be deadly.

Meet the women of Buckhead—a place of expensive cars, huge houses, and competitive friendships.

Shannon was once the queen bee of Buckhead. But she’s been unceremoniously dumped by Bryce, her politician husband. When Bryce replaces her with a much younger woman, Shannon sets out to take revenge …

Crystal has stepped into Shannon’s old shoes. A young, innocent Texan girl, she simply has no idea what she’s up against …

Olivia has waited years to take Shannon’s crown as the unofficial queen of Buckhead. Finally, her moment has come. But to take her rightful place, she will need to use every backstabbing, manipulative, underhand trick in the book …

Jenny owns Glow, the most exclusive salon in town. Jenny knows all her clients’ secrets and darkest desires. But will she ever tell?

Who amongst these women will be clever enough to survive Buckhead—and who will wind up dead? They say that friendships can be complex, but no one said it could ever be this deadly.” –Goodreads

My Review:

The start of this book instantly hooked me. I was so intrigued to hear about these pretentious housewives and their lives.

One thing about the mystery books I have read, or just any book, is they cannot achieve the tension necessary to keep me begging for more. They reveal secrets to quickly. But this book… this book does it so well. It hints at things to come, but you dont know what the wives’ secrets are until it is necessary to reveal them. It keeps you ensconced in the story.

This one also had a play on the language is used. There are very few hints of death or talk of it in the beginning. But as the story grows more tense and more drama unfolds, more and more euphemisms and mentions of death are sprinkled throughout the end. It gave a good symbolism for that growing sense of doom the wives’ felt.

I did love the ending. There was a huge plot twist. I did not expect the ending, but I did, but I didn’t, if that makes sense. I cannot say much without spoiling, but the ending was good.

I have never read a book by Rose but let me tell you I definitely am going to check out more of her books. She wrote beautifully. I have not read a book in a long time that is written about a modern time that uses modern terms but is not cringey or cliche… if that makes sense. A lot of books using modern slang always come off so insincere and make me roll my eyes. This one didn’t though. I really liked it.

This book had everything. It had Real Housewives drama. It was a budding romance. It was about murder. It talked about how sh*tty adult white men are. I loved it so much.

I loved this book. This will definitely be on my top books this year’s list.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 4.5

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Etiquette and Espionage: A Review

The Book:

Title: Etiquette & Espionage

Author: Gail Carrier

Series: Finishing School #1

Published February 5th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Genre: Steampunk, YA, Fantasy

It’s one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It’s quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners–and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, young ladies learn to finish…everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage–in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year’s education.” -Goodreads

My Review:

Wow!

This book was fantastic. I could not stop listening to it.

I have become fully entrenched in this world. I finished the series within a week and I loved it. I thought it was so amazing.

My grandmother tried to have me read these book for the past seven years. Everytime I asked for a book recommendation, she would suggest this book. I always turned her down and now I really regret it.

I had picked this up back in high school and I didn’t like it. But I decided to try it out since it was available on my library app. I am in shock at how good it way.

It was so funny and light-hearted. The series takes us through the whole schooling of finishing school, which I love books about school, and then introduces the act of “finishing” meaning murder and espionage. How cool!

This Victorian age novel immediately trapped me in this world. As I said in my review of Stalking Jack the Ripper, I have been getting so into these Victorianesque novels. I would like to blame Bridgerton, since I have been into that Regency era, and this is similar.

I loved Saphronia so much. She was spunky and loved all things espionage. She was a strong female character, but I don’t think she goes through a lot of growth in the book. Sometimes that is okay, like in the case of this book. That just is a thing I like to see. I like the see characters becoming more. Her growth lies in her skills but not in her personality or character in this book.

All of the other girls in the series were awesome and I loved Soap and the other sooties. They are all so unique and I cant wait to see where they go in the series.

I loved all the funky names in this series. They are all so interesting like Frowbritcher the butler.

It also has vampires and werewolves which was just amazing. Carriger makes her own rules for these individuals. The world-building just with the use of these two species alone is amazing.

This book is such a nice fun light reading. I believe the narration probably made this book 100% better. The narrator is literally so fun and makes wonderful voices for all the characters.

I recommend this to anyone literally. I apologize to my grandmother who I said was wrong for liking this book. Grandma, you were right and thank you for introducing me into Carriger’s novels.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 4.5

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Ten Books I Bought a While Ago but Havent Read

“Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.” -That Artsy Reader Girl

This week’s theme:  

Books I Was SO EXCITED to Get, but Still Haven’t Read (bonus points if you tell us how long it’s been since you got them!)

  1. City of Fallen Angels (and the rest of the Mortal Instruments series)-July 2021

2. Troubled Blood-Winter 2020

3. My Policeman-A month ago

4. The Crown of Gilded Bones-Spring 2021

5. Now I Rise-January 2021

6. A Darker Shade of Magic-January 2021

7. An Ember in the Ashes-2016

8. Wayfarer-2017

9. Legendborn-a few month ago

10. Vespertine-a few months ago

As always, thanks you for reading,

A Bookie

Heartstopper Volume 2 and Show Review

The Book:

Title: Heartstopper: Volume Two

Author: Alice Oseman

Series: Heartstopper #2

Published July 11th 2019 by Hodder Children’s Books

Genre: Graphic Novels, Romance, LGBTQ+

Pages: 320

“Nick and Charlie are best friends. Nick knows Charlie’s gay, and Charlie is sure that Nick isn’t.

But love works in surprising ways, and Nick is discovering all kinds of things about his friends, his family … and himself.” –Goodreads

My Review:

This was so cute!

The book and the show are so good! I have all positive things to say about both, so the review is going to be a mix of both.

Agh!!! I was reading Volume 2 in the library and I kept squealing. Thankfully I was not in the quiet study section.

Literally, Nick and Charlie are my favorite couple ever! They are so cute and unproblematic.

The illustrations are amazing in the book. I love their interactions and all the little leaves floating around. It is just so cute. That was one of my favorite things about the show, that they had the leaves floating around whenever something good happened.

I feel like the show brought so much more to the characters. I was so impressed by the casting. They found a perfect Charlie Spring and Nick Nelson. The background characters, Tao (what was up with his hair?), Elle, Dary, and Tara were all perfect. They literally look exactly like their characters in the drawings.

We also got more background and got to see the characters interact without Charlie and Nick which was so fun. I really love the Tara and Darcy storyline. It was really interesting to see more of their character and more of their coming out as a couple.

All the tension and cuteness of the comic were in the show. It was so refreshing to have such a well-done book-to-movie adaptation. There were a few things missing and there were a few things added, but it was so amazing.

I binged the whole show in a day and I read Volume 2 within a day. I am obsessed with their story and I want a season 2. I cannot wait to read Volume 3.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 5

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Song of Achilles: A Review

The Book:

Title: The Song of Achilles

Author: Madeline Miller

Published August 28th 2012

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, LGBT,

Pages: 369

“Achilles, “the best of all the Greeks,” son of the cruel sea goddess Thetis and the legendary king Peleus, is strong, swift, and beautiful, irresistible to all who meet him. Patroclus is an awkward young prince, exiled from his homeland after an act of shocking violence. Brought together by chance, they forge an inseparable bond, despite risking the gods’ wrath.

They are trained by the centaur Chiron in the arts of war and medicine, but when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, all the heroes of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the cruel Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.”

My Review:

I hate to speak negatively about books a lot of people like, for fear of retaliation. But I did not really get why this book is so popular.

It is very well-written. I am not here to slander Miller’s writing because I think that her writing is amazing.

Books that are this heavily researched usually read like a history textbook. This read like an actual story. Miller used period-accurate wording. She also just wrote really well.

But it was not enough to keep me interested.

I got this book because so many people recommended this book off of TikTok. They said this was one of the saddest books ever. It held them captivated. People were able to read it in one day.

I shed no tears. It took me three months to read. And I honestly was not interested.

The major thing that threw me off from this book was a sex scene between minors. I understand that at the time being 14 was probably of age, but they continually referenced in the book how they were just children, and then I had a very pornographic scene of them having sex. I know, me being mad about spice? How could I? But I don’t want to hear about people under the age of 18 having sex in graphic detail. It is just not my cup of tea.

The next thing that bugged me was just that I was bored. The book covers the span of like 27 years in 369 pages. I just got bored. If you are into huge time jumps or whole years of life being summed up, then that’s great. I just hated how the book read so slow but also was jumping so quickly through their lives.

Again, not my cup of tea.

I thought there was a lot of background knowledge that you needed to have to read this book. Thankfully for people not versed in the Greek culture, there was a lot of information on the back. I knew most of what they referenced in the story, but some things were hard to understand.

I don’t want to say this book was bad. I thought that the writing was good. The ending was also okay. The last 60 pages made up for some of the slowness in the beginning but not much.

In no way do I think that is the writer’s fault; I just don’t think I liked the book.

I do want to give it a decent score though, so I am giving it a 3 star because I do think it was written well.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 3.0

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Want to Read

“Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.” -That Artsy Reader Girl

This week’s theme:  

Authors I Haven’t Read, But Want To (Submitted by Deanna @ A Novel Glimpse)

  1. Diana Gabaldon- the “Outlander” series
  2. Sabaa Tahir- “Ember in the Ashes”
  3. Deborah Harkness- “A Discovery of Witches”
  4. Holly Black- “The Cruel Prince”
  5. Sasha Alsberg- “Breaking Time”
  6. Holly Jackson- “A Good Girls Guide to Murder”
  7. Tracy Deonn- “Legendborn”
  8. Kiera Cass- the “Selection” series
  9. Nicholas Sparks- romance books
  10. Katie Quinn- “The Diamond Eye”

Link your own post below or tell me who you want to read!

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Colleen Hoover’s Newest: Reminders of Him

The Book:

Title: Reminders of Him

Author: Colleen Hoover

Published January 18th, 2022 by Montlake

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction

Pages: 327

“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.” –Goodreads

My Review:

Hoover is a genius. This is the best book I have read so far this year.

I have been on a hoover binge these past couple of weeks with reading Verity, Reminders of Him, and Ugly Love. I am also going to be listening to Heart Bones as soon as I get an Audible credit.

Reminders of Him honestly tore me up. It brought me so much pain and then patched me up one layer after the other. It was so beautiful.

I want to say this is one of her best works. The plot was amazing. You begin with this character, Kenna, that you’re not sure if you should hate or love, but you see her kindness and her devotion to getting the only thing she wants, her daughter.

We then get to Ledger, who is a beautiful soul, that just wants to do right by his extended family.

I think the book balanced both sides of this tragic love affair. Hoover held out information that was vital to the story to keep readers on their toes and waiting for the sweet reprieve to know that our gray character was good at heart.

We get to see two characters cope with their forbidden love while also navigating real-world situations.

Hoover’s writing always paints the most beautiful pictures of everyday life. She always makes me believe in love over and over through every word and every embrace.

I think this book has quite a bit for everyone. At the very least it will urge you to drive more responsibly and to hold your loved ones a little closer every day.

Hoover had me in tears by the end of this story. I devoured every page and finished it within a day. I highly recommend it.

If you have read it please comment, let me know what you think.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating 4.8

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Review: The Midnight Library

The Book:

Title: The Midnight Library

Author: Matt Haig

Published September 29th 2020 by Viking (first published August 13th 2020)

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Contemporary

Pages: 304

“Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?

A dazzling novel about all the choices that go into a life well lived, from the internationally bestselling author of Reasons to Stay Alive and How To Stop Time.

Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?

In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting new novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.” -Goodreads

The Review:

I always seem to slack on my blog when I go back to college. Sorry about that. But, I never claimed to be perfect. That is where I have been for the past two weeks, so please dont judge me.

Anyways…

The Midnight Library was a good book. I was not super impressed. I think the hype surrounding the book made me think it was going to be more. I still would recommend this book.

I think the biggest downfall was the ending was very predictable from the beginning. I knew what was going to happen in the end around halfway through. It was the only thing that made logical sense.

I thought the plot was unique though. When you are near death you get to try all of your different lives you could have lived. I would love to be able to experience that. The story took me through some beautiful storylines, but ultimately was not as exciting as I would have hoped.

The main character was kind of bland. She did not give a lot to the story. Even her “change/shift” was lackluster. It may have been because the plot was predictable.

While this book failed to excite me, it was still a good read and was a great first book to read this year.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 3.5

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Book Review: The Atlas Six

Reading this book will make you feel so smart and so dense at the same time.

The Book:

Title: The Atlas Six

Series: The Atlas #1

Author: Olivie Blake

Published January 31st 2020

Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Adult

Pages: 383

“The Alexandrian Society, caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity, are the foremost secret society of magical academicians in the world. Those who earn a place among the Alexandrians will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams, and each decade, only the six most uniquely talented magicians are selected to be considered for initiation.

Enter the latest round of six: Libby Rhodes and Nico de Varona, unwilling halves of an unfathomable whole, who exert uncanny control over every element of physicality. Reina Mori, a naturalist, who can intuit the language of life itself. Parisa Kamali, a telepath who can traverse the depths of the subconscious, navigating worlds inside the human mind. Callum Nova, an empath easily mistaken for a manipulative illusionist, who can influence the intimate workings of a person’s inner self. Finally, there is Tristan Caine, who can see through illusions to a new structure of reality—an ability so rare that neither he nor his peers can fully grasp its implications.

When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they will have one year to qualify for initiation, during which time they will be permitted preliminary access to the Society’s archives and judged based on their contributions to various subjects of impossibility: time and space, luck and thought, life and death. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. The six potential initiates will fight to survive the next year of their lives, and if they can prove themselves to be the best among their rivals, most of them will.

Most of them.” –Goodreads

My Review:

Beginning this book, I knew it would be a life-changing book, at least according to numerous people on TikTok.

They were right.

While I may not have had an epiphany about the world or life in general, this book left a lasting impression. Olivie Blake discusses ideas about space, time, and thought that I have never heard of. This book has shifted my way of thinking about time and space.

After finishing the book, I wanted to check out books about all sorts of philosophical topics just to understand half of what these characters were talking about.

While the topics seem intimidating, Blake breaks them down really well for the sake of the story. Her ability to show the ideas while still keeping the complex jargon made me feel so smart. ( I still did not understand half the principles the characters spoke about, hence the feeling dense mentioned earlier.)

The plot was superb. I got the perfect amount of information throughout the story. The switching of POVs and the time-skips made sense and did not take away from my understanding or my enjoyment.

The book does focus mostly on 6 twenty-year-olds reading books and barely anything happens within the story, but the mental processes that take place in each character are astonishing; any added action would have made the book too much or too confusing.

Everything was revealed slowly, but surely. I could not put this book down. There are so many theories that I had in the beginning. Some I did not get right and some I did.

This book focuses heavily on character development, so if you are not into that sort of book, this might not be the book for you.

The characters were amazing to read about. I think that they all had their complex problems and successes. Reina and Libby were probably my favorites. I feel like they were so relatable and they had the best grasp on reality.

The other characters were perfect too! Honestly, there was no underdeveloped character in this book, other than Atlas, but we don’t see growth from him because he is barely around.

Some of the characters were unlikeable which was so nice. Blake makes all of the characters act like themselves. They all follow their own moral compass. They do what is necessary to survive. This story was so unique in the fact that no one tried to be someone they weren’t. I cannot say much more about the characters. I want you to experience them for yourself.

The vibe of this book is delectable. I read it in the wintertime. It was cold and I have been into the dark academia aesthetic recently. This book serves readers this aesthetic on a silver platter.

I loved this book. It has been a while since I have texted my reading buddies about a book and begged them to read it.

This book was honestly amazing. I could not put it down because I was so engulfed in the book.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 4.5

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Broken Heart: A Cute Novel with Surprising Adventure

The Book:

Title: Once Upon a Broken Heart

Author: Stephanie Garber

Series: Once Upon a Broken Heart #1

Published September 28th 2021 by Flatiron Books

Genre: Fantasy, YA

Pages: 408

“For as long as she can remember, Evangeline Fox has believed in true love and happy endings…until she learns that the love of her life will marry another.

Desperate to stop the wedding and to heal her wounded heart, Evangeline strikes a deal with the charismatic but wicked Prince of Hearts. In exchange for his help, he asks for three kisses, to be given at the time and place of his choosing.

But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that bargaining with an immortal is a dangerous game—and that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’d pledged. He has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after or the most exquisite tragedy….” -Goodreads

My Review:

Once again, Stephanie Garber has one my heart. The Caraval series was beautiful and then this book, in the same universe and my favorite character, was magical.

Garber’s writing is significantly improved in this book. Caraval was a little choppy and less descriptive. This book had amazing descriptions and was less choppy.

The main character in this book was stunning. I want to dye my hair rose gold to match Ms. Evageline Fox. I think we are very similar in character. We try to do the right thing and are hopeless romantics. She believes in fairytales and wants to be the hero. I adore her.

Jacks, oh my Jacks, has been a naughty little boy, but how can you blame the Prince of Hearts. I wished the ending was a bit different for him, but we will see how it plays out in the sequel.

Since this takes place in an empire previously described in the Caraval series, we do not need a lot of world-building upfront which was nice to get the right pacing in the book. When we do have a change of scenery, we get the world-building while still being able to keep up with the story.

This book makes this Caraval universe become three-dimensional. Caraval and the others would have half-explained government systems, landmarks, and just general setting ideas. This book exceeded the last book, explaining the Meridian Empire and the Northern Empire so much more.

This book was honestly magical. My last thing to say is to Stephanie Garber. Please, please, and please finish and publish the next one already. I want more of Jacks!

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 4

Rating: 4 out of 5.