A Question of Holmes by Brittany Cavallaro

GoodReads Summary:
Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson think they’re finally in the clear. They’ve left Sherringford School—and the Moriartys—behind for a pre-college summer program at Oxford University. A chance to start from scratch and explore dating for the first time, while exploring a new city with all the freedom their program provides. But when they arrive, Charlotte is immediately drawn into a new case: a series of accidents have been befalling the members of the community theater troupe in Oxford, and now, on the eve of their production of Hamlet, they’re starting all over again. What once seemed like a comedy of errors is now a race to prevent the next tragedy—before Charlotte or Jamie is the next victim.
A Question of Holmes (Charlotte Holmes #4)Review:
A Question of Holmes is the final book in the Charlotte Holmes series. Part of me is really sad that this series has ended, and another part of me thought it was the perfect ending. This final book is told entirely from Charlotte’s perspective, which is something I wanted in the first two books. But in this one, I mostly just wanted to hear from Jamie again.
Charlotte had grown exponentially in this series. This final book is evidence of that. We see her trying to use the things she’s learned in therapy. She’s trying to not fall back into old habits, even though it would be so easy to do so. I really liked this new version of Charlotte. She’s always been really self-aware, but now was trying to get out of her self-destructive habits.
Jamie has also changed. We only see him from Charlotte’s point of view. But it’s still clear that he sees Charlotte for who she is. He no longer adores her without abandon. He still obviously loves her, but he also isn’t afraid to leave if she starts becoming self-destructive again. He knows she has flaws and encourages her to overcome them.
The mystery in this one was exactly what I was expecting the first book to be. It was a light-hearted, curious but mostly harmless mystery. It was not the life or death matter that the other books turned out to be. I really enjoyed that. The stakes were much lower for everyone involved. I liked that because while the high stakes made the story fast-paced and exciting in the previous books, I don’t think that would have been right for this final book.
Overall, I enjoyed this one so much. I’m still undecided on whether or not I love the ending. I liked it, but did I love it? I honestly don’t know. It wasn’t the happily ever after that I wanted, but I think maybe it’s what was best for Jamie and Charlotte. Not a solid ending, but hope for a better future for both of them. If you haven’t read this series, please stop what you’re doing and go read it now.

Quotes:

“Whatever Watson and I were to each other was our business, no matter how the world leaned in and breathed against the glass.”

“I would be lying if I said I didn’t love these moments—him looking at me like I had in my hands a curtain pull, that I could reveal the underbelly of the world.”

“A secret is something embarrassing. Something compromising, something with power. Secrets are what we make art from.”

“My past made me who I am. There is no way to wipe that clean.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Day Twenty-Three: Thriller TBR

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Hi, lovelies! Last week we talked mystery/thriller recommendations and today (even though the month is almost over) we will be talking about the books that fit these genres that have been living on my TBR shelves. These are all books I already own and just haven’t picked up yet, so let’s talk books!

The Strangers by Margaret Peterson Haddix

S.T.A.G.S by M.A. Bennett

A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor

All The Rage by Courtney Summers

Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl

These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

Jane Anonymous by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

These are some of the books I’m hoping to get through and knock off my TBR list! I might have even read some of them already because I am prewriting this post, but we shall see what I get through when I post my October wrap up! Have you read any of these? Do you want to read any of these? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Blogtober Book Review: This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis

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GoodReads Summary:
Sasha Stone knows her place—first-chair clarinet, top of her class, and at the side of her Oxford-wearing boyfriend. She’s worked her entire life to ensure her path to Oberlin Conservatory as a star musician is perfectly paved.
But suddenly there’s a fork in the road in the shape of Isaac Harver. Her body shifts toward him when he walks by, and her skin misses his touch even though she’s never known it. Why does he act like he knows her so well—too well—when she doesn’t know him at all?
Sasha discovers that her by-the-book life began by ending the chapter of another: the twin sister she absorbed in the womb. But that doesn’t explain the gaps of missing time in her practice schedule, or the memories she has of things she certainly never did with Isaac.
Armed with the knowledge that her heart might not be hers alone, Sasha must decide what she’s willing to do—and who she’s willing to hurt—to take it back.
This Darkness MineReview:
This Darkness Mine was interesting in the sense that I couldn’t put it down and read it in just a few hours. But…that doesn’t mean that it was good. I have loved every Mindy McGinnis book that I have read so far, until this one.
While the story was compelling, it was also kind of screwed up and I hated everything about it when I finished the final pages. I never really like Sasha at any point in the book. She was cocky and not in a good way. She clearly had issues. I also didn’t like how she was to her family. She was stuck up and I just generally didn’t like her.
The one person I did like was Issac. I liked that he was the ‘bad boy’ but he really wasn’t. There was so much more to him than that. I hated how Sasha treated him, like a piece of meat. I also mostly liked Sasha’s friends. Though I don’t even remember their names so they obviously weren’t memorable enough.
I’m going to keep this short because even though this book was a pretty wild ride, I just didn’t like it. It didn’t sit well with me. Sasha was crazy and not in a good way. I don’t like to use that word to describe people, but she was honestly kind of a sociopath and I ended up hating her. I’m unhauling this book and I’m hopefully never going to think about it again.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

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GoodReads Summary:
On the outside, there’s Violet, an eighteen-year-old dancer, days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth of her achievement.
On the inside, within the walls of the Aurora Hills juvenile detention center, there’s Amber, locked up for so long she can’t imagine freedom.
Tying their two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls’ darkest mysteries…
What really happened on the night Orianna stepped between Violet and her tormentors? What really happened on two strange nights at Aurora Hills? Will Amber and Violet and Orianna ever get the justice they deserve—in this life or in another one?
In prose that sings from line to line, Nova Ren Suma tells a supernatural tale of guilt and of innocence, and of what happens when one is mistaken for the other.
The Walls Around UsReview:
I’ve been on a thriller/mystery kick for the spooky season. I’ve also been attempting to make a big dent in my physical TBR, so I’ve only been choosing books I bought a million years ago. This is one of those.
I was really interested in this book for the first half. It was mysterious and suspenseful, but also a little weird. I liked that it was weird. But by the end of the book, I still had no idea what had gone on. The characters were interesting and kept up the pace of the story pretty well. The characters were mostly well developed, and I enjoyed the few different perspectives the story was told through.
I’ve waited too long to write this review. So, I’m going to keep it short and sweet. I enjoyed most of this book. It was weird, I think in a good way. But it wasn’t anything that blew me away. A fun read for this time of year.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Day Seventeen: Thriller Edition

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Hi, lovelies! Let’s talk about the perfect genre for Spooktober: mystery/thrillers. I love me a good thriller as much as the next person, especially this time of year. So, today I’m going to share some of my favorites with you all. I won’t say too much about them, but if they’re on this list I think you should read them.

Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl
I read this one on Halloween last year and it was the perfect book to read. It’s a psychological thriller and things get…weird.

The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer
The twists and turns in this one were so good that I even got my husband to read it, which says a lot.

The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes
This is sort of mystery/thriller combined with historical fiction. It was fast-paced and beyond intriguing.

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus
I loved her first mystery, but this one was even better. Characters to love and a few different mysteries to keep things interesting.

Broken Things by Lauren Oliver
I loved this book. I totally did not see the end of it coming. I loved the characters and the atmosphere. It’s the perfect book for this time of year.

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
I’m sure this is one that everyone has heard of by now. I read this for book club and it was a wild ride.

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
I love this series and I will never stop shouting about it from the rooftops. It has all of the things I love, boarding school, complex characters, the perfect fall read.

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
This story told through flashbacks, is full of suspense and build up. I just wanted to know what the hell happened to Monday.

Sadie by Courtney Summers
Listen to the audiobook for this one, you won’t regret it. Two mysteries in one, as we follow Sadie on her journey.

The Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich
A list of mysteries must always include the Stephanie Plum books. I love these fun mysteries. Plum Spooky would be the perfect one for October.

Under Currents by Nora Roberts
This is the newest of her novels. It did not disappoint. Her books never do. You could pick any of her mysteries and they would be perfect for this month.

Any of these books would be great choices for your Spooktober TBR list this month. Let me know what mystery/thrillers that I don’t have on the list that I should make sure to read this season!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Blogtober Book Review: Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp

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GoodReads Summary:
Best friends Corey and Kyra were inseparable in their snow-covered town of Lost Creek, Alaska. When Corey moves away, she makes Kyra promise to stay strong during the long, dark winter, and wait for her return.
Just days before Corey is to return home to visit, Kyra dies. Corey is devastated―and confused. The entire Lost community speaks in hushed tones about the town’s lost daughter, saying her death was meant to be. And they push Corey away like she’s a stranger.
Corey knows something is wrong. With every hour, her suspicion grows. Lost is keeping secrets―chilling secrets. But piecing together the truth about what happened to her best friend may prove as difficult as lighting the sky in an Alaskan winter…
Before I Let GoReview:
This one was a miss for me. I was really interested in the first fifty pages or so, but after that, I found myself whispering, ‘what the fuck’ way too many times. I thought I was going to get an interesting and maybe creepy murder mystery. We got that, but it just left a bad taste in my mouth. I had high hopes because of the bits of diversity that were included, but it just all around was not good for me.
I’ve put off writing this review for so long that I don’t have any specific things that I’d like to talk about, so I’ll just leave this short and sweet. I liked it at first, but after fifty to one hundred pages, it just started downhill and dumped me at the bottom of the said hill in the final pages.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

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GoodReads Summary:
Kacey is the new girl in Broken Falls. When she moved in with her father, she stepped into a brand-new life. A life with a stepbrother, a stepmother, and strangest of all, an adoring younger half-sister.
Kacey’s new life is eerily charming compared with the wild highs and lows of the old one she lived with her volatile mother. And everyone is so nice in Broken Falls—she’s even been welcomed into a tight new circle of friends. Bailey and Jade invite her to do everything with them.
Which is why it’s so odd when they start acting distant. And when they don’t invite her to the biggest party of the year, it doesn’t exactly feel like an accident.
But Kacey will never be able to ask, because Bailey never makes it home from that party. Suddenly, Broken Falls doesn’t seem so welcoming after all—especially once everyone starts looking to the new girl for answers.
Kacey is about to learn some very important lessons: Sometimes appearances can be deceiving. Sometimes when you’re the new girl, you shouldn’t trust anyone.
Little MonstersReview:
I couldn’t decide what to read, so I brought a stack of four or five books to my husband and asked him to pick one. He picked Little Monsters because he liked the all-black spine. I’m beyond glad he did because what a wild ride this was.
I really like the main character, Kacey. She has issues with her mother which is something I personally relate to because I also have issues with my mother. Not as bad as hers, but mommy issues are mommy issues. I just felt like I understood her and that doesn’t happen all that often for me with books.
Her step and half-siblings were excellent. I love stories with mixed families. This one was the best because it was messy and complicated and so realistic. I have a stepmom that I’ve had a complicated relationship with over the years, so I just loved how Kacey’s relationship with Ashley was shown to be imperfect and messy.
I was a little surprised to find that I really liked her friends, Jade and Bailey too. Right up until I found out who they really were. I thought their stories were fascinating. I went from really liking them to being blown away by the truth. Kara Thomas really told this story and I am awed by her talent to completely take me off guard.
This was a mystery/thriller, so I won’t go too much into the details, but I enjoyed the heck out of this book. There were twists and turns that I never could have predicted. I love being surprised like I was with this book. It was such a wild ride and I just loved every page. This is the perfect thriller for the spooky season and I highly recommend it.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.