Book Review: Broken Things by Lauren Oliver

Title: Broken Things
Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: HarperAudio
Release Date: October 2, 2018 Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Rating: ★★★☆☆

With all the intensity and whiplash turns of Sharp Objects and One of Us Is Lying, this engrossing psychological thriller by New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver is an unforgettable, mesmerizing tale of exquisite obsession, spoiled innocence, and impossible friendships.

It’s been five years since Summer Marks was brutally murdered in the woods.

Everyone thinks Mia and Brynn killed their best friend. That driven by their obsession with a novel called The Way into Lovelorn the three girls had imagined themselves into the magical world where their fantasies became twisted, even deadly.

The only thing is: they didn’t do it.

On the anniversary of Summer’s death, a seemingly insignificant discovery resurrects the mystery and pulls Mia and Brynn back together once again. But as the lines begin to blur between past and present and fiction and reality, the girls must confront what really happened in the woods all those years ago—no matter how monstrous.

After seeing a couple of reviews that panned this book, I decided to give it a shot. I just wanted to see what the big deal was. I chose the audiobook version which seemed to be how everyone else was consuming this book. That and I’d honestly never listened to an entire audiobook before. Too bad I kept falling asleep.

The story does tend to seem a bit disjointed. It bounced between Mia and Brynn, Then and Now, and intersperses bits of both The Way into Lovelorn and Return to Lovelorn in there as well. It isn’t a bad book, just a bit confusing and honestly, the person who did commit the murder really is forgettable, but I think this character was meant to be forgettable. It’s the entire reason it is such a surprise this person did it.

Between the slightly confusing mix of past, present, characters, and books, plus a rather boring mid-story, I can see why other reviewers weren’t thrilled with this book. I definitely wouldn’t listen to the audiobook again, although I might read a physical copy if I could get my hands on one, just to see if there was a difference. As far as this audiobook version goes, it’s a 3 star read because I kept falling asleep during the story, meaning there were parts that just weren’t all that interesting.

Book Review: Verity by Colleen Hoover

Title: Verity
Author: Colleen Hoover
Genre: Romance, Mystery, Thriller Publisher: Hoover Ink, Inc.
Release Date: December 7, 2018
Format: eBook
Pages: 333
Source: Personal Collection
Rating: ★★★★★

Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.

Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.

I’m not a big fan of Colleen Hoover. Most of her books are just not my style. I’m not into the contemporary, YA/New Adult romance thing. But this book, self-published because it was such a departure from her normal books, was right up my alley.

I’d seen a review on booktube for this book and new I had to check it out. So I got an eBook copy through the Books app on my iPad and went to town. It didn’t take me long to read it because I couldn’t put it down. This book is so amazing. You get little twists and turns right from the start, but the biggest twist comes at the very end of the book. That twist gave me chill.

The characters are awesome. You’ll come to love Jeremy and Lowen but hate Verity. You’ll come to feel sorry for Jeremy and what he’s had to put up with over the years. But then… you find some things out and discover maybe you hated the wrong person. This book is not for the faint of heart – it has some scenes that are sexual in nature, some scenes that may depict things that are upsetting.

I gave this 5 stars. It was just an awesome book and I absolutely loved it. I hope Colleen Hoover writes more of these books because I will definitely be reading them!

Book Review: The Wicked Deep by Shea Earnshaw

Title: The Wicked Deep
Author: Shea Earnshaw
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 310
Source: Library
Rating: ★★★★☆

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.
Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

At first I wasn’t going to finish this book. I even turned it in to the library early. I’d gotten to Chapter 5 and it was just dragging along. But something kept nagging at me that I should give it another shot, so I downloaded the Kindle version as a library check out. I’m glad I did.

If I hadn’t given the book a second chance, I’d have missed out on an awesome plot twist that I honestly didn’t see coming. The Wicked Deep starts out slow but finishes in a way that makes it hard to put it down. I know. I read from Chapter 5 to the end in about 3 hours.

I recommend this to lovers of witch trials, paranormal, and romance books. I gave it 4 stars because of the slow start, but the writing and character building are awesome.

May TBR Pile + Currently Reading

I don’t have a photo for you because my entire TBR pile isn’t actually here yet. That’s because I’m getting some of this month’s TBR list from Amazon next week. But…. here’s the breakdown of what I’m hoping to get read this month.

Physical Books:
Caraval – Stephanie Garber
Legendary – Stephanie Garber
Finale – Stephanie Garber*
The Shadow Queen – C.J. Redwine
The Wish Granter – C. J. Redwine
The Traitor Prince – C. J. Redwine
The Blood Spell – C. J. Redwine
Gravemaidens – Kelly Coon
Under My Skin – Shawntelle Madison
So those are the books I’m hoping to read this month. I’m also currently reading Broken Things by Lauren Oliver on Audiobook and No Fences in Alaska by Glen Sobey.

Waiting on Wednesday 3

Title: The Queen of Nothing
Series: The Folk of the Air
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: November 29, 2019
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 300
Synopsis from Goodreads:

The finale to the New York Times bestselling Folk of Air trilogy, that started with The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King, from award-winning author Holly Black.

After being pronounced Queen of Faerie and then abruptly exiled by the Wicked King Cardan, Jude finds herself unmoored, the queen of nothing. She spends her time with Vivi and Oak, watches her fair share of reality television, and does the odd job or two, including trying to convince a cannibalistic faerie from hunting her own in the mortal world.

When her twin sister Taryn shows up asking of a favor, Jude jumps at the chance to return to the Faerie world, even if it means facing Cardan, who she loves despite his betrayal.

When a dark curse is unveiled, Jude must become the first mortal Queen of Faerie and uncover how to break the curse, or risk upsetting the balance of the whole Faerie world.

I’ve been wanting this book since I finished The Wicked King. In fact, I pre-ordered it as soon as I looked it up on Amazon and found out it was available. At that time it said The Queen of Nothing was slated for a January release, but now it says November. I can’t wait.

Title: Finale
Series: Caraval
Author: Stephanie Garber
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 496
Synopsis from Goodreads:

Welcome, welcome to Finale, the third and final book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Caraval series!

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…all games must come to an end.

It’s been two months since the last Caraval concluded, two months since the Fates have been freed from an enchanted deck of cards, two months since Tella has seen Legend, and two months since Legend claimed the empire’s throne as his own. Now, Legend is preparing for his official coronation and Tella is determined to stop it. She believes her own mother, who still remains in an enchanted sleep, is the rightful heir to the throne.

Meanwhile, Scarlett has started a game of her own. She’s challenged Julian and her former fiancé, Count Nicolas d’Arcy, to a competition where the winner will receive her hand in marriage. Finaly, Scarlett feels as if she is in complete control over her life and future. She is unaware that her mother’s past has put her in the greatest danger of all.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun―with lives, empires, and hearts all at stake. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win…and those who will lose everything. . .

I have the first two books, Caraval and Legendary but I haven’t read them as I’m waiting for Finale to come out so I can binge read it. Luckily my wait is over because my copy should be arriving on May 7!