The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

GoodReads Summary:
When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.
What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.
Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.
It was everything.
She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.
The Turn of the KeyReview:
The Turn of the Key was the book that my Bookclub chose for our current read. There’s just a few of us that meet once a month or so, and each month one of us picks the next book that we read together. It’s always a good time.
This book was a wild ride. I always forget how much I like mystery/thrillers until I’m actually reading them. I really liked the format this story was told in, up until the end. We follow Rowan as she takes a new nannying job. We get this story in the form of letters that Rowan has written to a lawyer asking for them to take on her case. She writes them from prison. She’s accused of being responsible for the death of one of the children she was in charge of.
I honestly don’t have all that much to say about this. The twists and turns were wild. Some I saw coming and others I totally did not. There were some paranormal aspects introduced that were definitely a little creepy. The story was gripping and I was eager to know what was going to happen next. It felt fast-paced, but that might have just been the short chapters.
I liked this except for the ending. There really was no resolution. We do get details about what actually happened in the form of a letter written by someone else. But I really didn’t like the ending. Had we gotten more of a resolution or any sort of answers I would have liked this way better.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel

GoodReads Summary:
For the first eighteen years of her life, Rose Gold Watts believed she was seriously ill. She was allergic to everything, used a wheelchair and practically lived at the hospital. Neighbors did all they could, holding fundraisers and offering shoulders to cry on, but no matter how many doctors, tests, or surgeries, no one could figure out what was wrong with Rose Gold.
Turns out her mom, Patty Watts, was just a really good liar.
After serving five years in prison, Patty gets out with nowhere to go and begs her daughter to take her in. The entire community is shocked when Rose Gold says yes.
Patty insists all she wants is to reconcile their differences. She says she’s forgiven Rose Gold for turning her in and testifying against her. But Rose Gold knows her mother. Patty Watts always settles a score.
Unfortunately for Patty, Rose Gold is no longer her weak little darling…
And she’s waited such a long time for her mother to come home.
Darling Rose GoldReview:
As with all my ARC reviews, I will be starting by saying thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Sadly, by the time I finished this book I did not like it. I really enjoyed the first half. The suspense of whether or not Patty really poisoned Rose Gold and made her sick all those years. The mystery of Rose Gold’s life after her mother was sent to prison. But the more I got to know Rose Gold, the less I liked her. She was a liar, for no good reason. I understand she had a really shitty childhood, but after finding her dad, there was so much potential for good things in her life and she threw it all away. Instead of moving on, trying to make a better life for herself now that her mother was in jail, she plotted revenge.
As for Patty, I didn’t like her from the start. I have a one-year-old, and I understand the stress and worry about whether my child is healthy or not, but to purposefully make my child sick? I could never, even when she’s getting four molars at the same time and cries at me to hold her all day long.
I’m going to keep this short and to the point because I’d like to wipe this story from my memory as soon as possible. While the writing was really good, and the story was fast-paced and interesting, I hated both main characters so much that it ruined the story for me. There are likely lots of people out there that will enjoy this, but I’m not one of them.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Night Film by Marisha Pessl

GoodReads Review:
On a damp October night, 24-year-old Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive cult-horror film director Stanislaus Cordova–a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.
For McGrath, another death connected to this seemingly cursed family dynasty seems more than just a coincidence. Though much has been written about Cordova’s dark and unsettling films, very little is known about the man himself.
Driven by revenge, curiosity, and a need for the truth, McGrath, with the aid of two strangers, is drawn deeper and deeper into Cordova’s eerie, hypnotic world. The last time he got close to exposing the director, McGrath lost his marriage and his career. This time he might lose even more.
Night FilmReview:
I’ve honestly been putting on writing this review for entirely too long. I just am still not sure what to say about Night Film. I completely understand now why so many people rave about this book. I am now firmly on the team that will shout about this also.
So, this book follows Scott McGrath as he falls into the hole that is figuring out the secrets of the Cordova family. Things get so bizarre and I honestly didn’t see any of it coming. There were so many twists and turns, I was gripped. I really felt bad for McGrath, but also a lot of the bad things that happen to him are of his own doing. So I felt bad, but sometimes it was hard to feel that way. I’m really glad things wrapped up the way they did.
There were so many little connections between characters. I’m in awe of the author and the clear ability to create a complex and intricate story. As the story progresses, things get weirder and weirder. I loved this aspect. I thought it was really interesting to read the story from the perspective of a non-believer. Having some of the characters believe in the supernatural and some argue against it really made the story just that much better.
I’m going to wrap this up because I really don’t know what to say to explain how much I enjoyed this book. Just please if you like a good, but weird, mystery read this book. I swear you’ll like it.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

GoodReads Summary:
You probably know someone like Shay Miller.
She wants to find love, but it eludes her.
She wants to be fulfilled, but her job is a dead end.
She wants to belong, but her life is so isolated.
You probably don’t know anyone like the Moore sisters.
They have an unbreakable circle of friends.
They live the most glamorous life.
They always get what they desire.
Shay thinks she wants their life.
But what they really want is hers.
You Are Not AloneReview:
What a wild ride this book was. I have to start by sending a thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
I really enjoyed this book. There were parts that were kind of confusing because there were so many characters. Let me explain. We start by meeting Shay. She witnesses a woman, Amanda, kill herself via jumping in front of a train. Shay is understandable thrown by this and through a series of events, meets Amanda’s friends. Enter the Moore sisters. The most interesting thing with this book was that I liked all of the characters. I understood and even cheered for their actions at times. But as the story went on things got darker and it was an uncomfortable feeling to have once cheered for the things these sisters did. Along with the Moore sisters, there were a few others in their friend group. Once we start to meet them, the chapters start to jump around in time to explain how these friends met the Moore sisters. This was where it was confusing. Trying to remember all of the names and the origin story of each of these women was a lot. This was a pretty short book, so to be given so much information about characters whose story would quickly be over was too much. I liked the chapters of Amanda’s final days that were included, but I think the history of the other friends could have just been explained in the Moore sister’s chapters.
This book was fast-paced and compelling. I liked all of the characters and really came to love Shay. I loved that Shay figured out what was going on before it was too late. I liked that the authors made the Moore sisters so likable that when their true colors were shown it was uncomfortable for me as the reader. I’m always impressed by this author duo and You Are Not Alone was no exception.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin

GoodReads Summary:
Elle and her friends Mads, Jenny, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Elle’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Elle as their next target.
They picked the wrong girl.
Sworn to vengeance, Elle transfers to St. Andrew’s. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly.
Foul is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes.
Foul Is FairReview:
Huge thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review. I buddy read this ARC with my favorite twinny, Alana @ The Bookish Chick.
I absolutely adored this story. It was dark and gritty, murderous and magical, fast-paced and captivating. I loved Elle (or Jade). She was vengeful and I freaking loved it. I don’t even know how to explain it. She’s clever and devious in all the best ways. But I liked even more that we still got to see her when she was vulnerable. She was drugged and raped, but won’t take anyone’s bullshit. She and her coven have a plan to get their revenge.
The coven. I adored them. They were magical and loyal. I loved the dynamic between these girls. They were some serious friend goals. I loved all the scenes with the coven doing their part to scare the boys of St. Andrews.
The writing in Foul is Fair was incredible. Even during the slow points of the story, it felt like I was flying through it because of the writing. The author sucked me into the story, chewed me up, and spit me out. The writing was beautiful and dark. Never quite clear about whether the coven was actually casting spells and flying with their wings. I adored it.
Overall, this book was incredible. I loved every single murderous page. I think this one will be a hit once it’s published and I know I will be shouting about it all year.

Quotes:

“Killing hurts worse if somebody you love is holding the knife.”

“It’s beautiful. We’re beautiful. This night, dark and deadly and stained with blood, is a masterpiece too perfect for any museum in the whole world.”

“As soon as I speak they’ll never see that same girl anymore, and knowing that makes my fingernails bite into my skin because I want it so hard, to rip those boys’ faces open. Tear their hearts out and hold them, still beating, in my hands.”

“We’re magic. I can feel it right now in the dark. We’re invisible when we need to be and then so firework-bright no one can look away. We’re patience and brilliance. We never forget. We never forgive.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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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