Book Reviews

Penpal (Dathan Auerbach)

Author: Dathan Auerbach
Goodreads Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.88)
Pages: 243
Published: June 2012 | 1000 Vultures

Goodreads Synopsis:

How much do you remember about your childhood? In Penpal, a man investigates the seemingly unrelated bizarre, tragic and horrific occurrences of his childhood in an attempt to finally understand them. Beginning with only fragments of his earliest years, you’ll follow the narrator as he discovers that these strange and horrible events are actually part of a single terrifying story that has shaped the entirety of his life and the lives of those around him. If you’ve ever stayed in the woods just a little too long after dark, if you’ve ever had the feeling that someone or something was trying to hurt you, if you remember the first friend you ever made and how strong that bond was, then Penpal is a story that you won’t soon forget, despite how you might try.

My Thoughts (5 Stars)

I have never been so afraid to live in the middle of the woods … until now. 

This is a book that a friend of mine; Brittany over at @brittreads recommended to me. It’s a book I was looking for during the Halloween season that I never really got around to reading. Finally I ended up picking it up and now I wish I hadn’t.

This book is realistically terrifying. Not only did it have me on the edge of my seat, I was afraid to read it alone. IN MY OWN HOUSE. This book gives stalking and child predator a whole new meaning.

When I first picked up the novel, I could not figure out if this author himself went through this or if this was strictly a made up story. Part of me is still on the fence but I was reassured this was truly fiction. Fiction or not though, I have never been so incredibly pissed off in a book nor have I ever felt so sick to my stomach.

Penpal looks into a young boys life and consistently stays around his kindergarten age while the story is being told. Only the last two chapters are told during his high school/adult life. During these times the narrator talks about the friendship he made with a specific child and how they were so adventurous. You watch them as children play imaginary games, explore imaginary places but what you don’t expect to find is them being stalked by someone you never get to understand completely.

The ending to this story is very hard to swallow. I expected the ending but not in a way that it was laid out. The synopsis was not kidding when it says “Penpal is a story that you won’t soon forget, despite how you might try,” because I would love to forget what I read.

This was the most terrifying, horrific, scary and effed up story I have read in my lifetime. All 27 years of it at least, and I recommend it to everyone who is brave enough to enter his life.

How far can you go into the woods? 


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Book Reviews

The Couple Next Door (Shari Lapena) @sharilapena

Author: Shari Lapena
Goodreads Rating: 
★★★★☆ (3.74)
Pages:
308 
Published:
August 23, 2016 | Pamela Dorman Books

Goodreads Synopsis:

You never know what’s happening on the other side of the wall. Your neighbor told you that she didn’t want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn’t stand her crying. Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You’ll have the baby monitor and you’ll take it in turns to go back every half hour. Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She’s gone. You’ve never had to call the police before. But not they’re in your home, and who knows what they’ll find there. What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?

My Review (4 Stars)

I wholeheartedly enjoyed this novel. This book had me on the edge of my seat and I could not read it fast enough. As in my last review most of you learned I went through a tough couple weeks when it came to reading books and doing bookish things. I’m so glad I finally read through this entire novel. It was very fast paced, has a lot of twists and turns and has the craziest ending!!

This was the first of Shari Lapena’s work that I have read and I can easily say that I enjoy her writing style. I love the way she led all of the clues in one direction at the beginning of the book. I indefinitely thought I had it all figured out when it came to the culprit and she threw in this tiny curveball that sent me back to square one trying to figure it all out again.

The character relationships and the characters backstories was something that didn’t please me the most. This book did not allow you to form a relationship with the characters, it didn’t give you time to decide if you liked a character or not. This book came down to figuring out the truth and getting justice for baby Cora. I did however, love Anne’s backstory. She was an emotional wreck and gave the reader quite the thrill ride!

At about half way through the novel, I figured out what was going on inside the story. From then on, it was a race to finish the book to get the answers to why this person did what they did. Why go to such an extreme of kidnapping a child?!

This was also a book that gave me a hard time deciding what to rate. I teetered on the fence for a 3 1/2 star and a 4 star. The reason I chose 4 stars is because I was significantly entertained through most of the book. I never thought that it was dragging or lagging very much to disinterest me. Would I recommend this novel, absolutely. It’s every parent’s nightmare.


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Wrap Ups

Weekly Wrap-Up: October 29, 2017

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Good morning bloggers!

As I sit here on my couch, cuddled up in blanket with a coffee beside me and a candle burning I just can’t help to think about what a great life I have. I am so sorry that I have been absent so much lately in the blogging and the book world. My job right now is very busy and I have been working from home a lot. I try to steer away from bringing work home with me but lately it has been a must. So with that being said, it’s good to be back and hopefully I’ll be back more consistently now!

Below you will find my week in books!

NetGalley Approvals:

I have not received any approvals yet but I just requested four new books through Bookouture, so they should be coming soon!
Books requested were:

Now You See Me by Kierney Scott
Mother by S.E. Lynes
The Mistake by K.L. Slater
No-One Ever Has Sex on Christmas Day by Tracy Bloom

Bookstagram:

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Quote of the Week:

“If you’re changing the world, you’re working on important things. You’re excited to get up in the morning.” – Lary Page


There you have it bloggers! My week in books. Not a lot going on but we’re getting back into the swing of things! Have a great week this week!

Happy Reading! xx

Book Reviews

The Missing Girls (Carol Wyer) @Bookouture @carolewyer

Author: Carol E. Wyer
Goodreads Rating:
★★★★★ (4.43)
Pages:
392
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ublished: September 14th, 2017

Goodreads Synopsis:

One girl found dead. Another girl gone… Long shadows danced on the tin walls. Inside the trunk lay Carrie Miller, wrapped in plastic, arms folded across her ribcage, lips sealed tight forever. When a girl’s body is found at a Midlands storage unit, it is too decomposed for DI Robyn Carter to read the signs left by the killer. No one knows the woman in blue who rented the unit’ her hire van can’t be traced. But as the leads run dry another body is uncovered.

This time the killer’s distinctive mark is plain to see, and matching scratches on the first victim’s skeleton make Robyn suspect she’s searching for a serial killer. As Robyn closes in on the killer’s shocking hunting ground, another girl goes missing, and this time it’s someone close to her own heart. Roby can’t lose another loved one. Can she find the sickest individual she has ever faced, before it’s too late?

My Review: (5 Stars)

This novel blew me away! I was hooked on page one! This is my favorite DI Carter book in the series so far!!! 

The Missing Girls was read as a buddy read with my bestie Megan over at Coffee By the Novel. This book was a novel that was completely devoured and very hard to put down. The DI Robyn Carter series has been one of my favorite series. It has currently surpassed the Helen Grace series written by M.J. Arlidge in my eyes.

I love everything about Robyn Carter. I love her work ethic, I love her thought process, her instincts, her devotion to not only her job but to her colleagues, and most of all I love DI Carter for the way she still loves her husband after his passing.

When decided to read this book, both Megan and I had already been huge fans. This book could not have added more suspense to our lives along with more love we could give Wyer.

The Missing Girls had me hooked from page one. I had life happen in the middle of this book and could not read it as fast as I would have liked but the times I was reading, I was completely captivated by Wyer’s writing. The story line, writing style and character development were on point in this novel.

There are just the right amount of twists and turns. Especially when you’re not ready for them. I can say that the culprit I had in mind was definitely not who it turned out to be. Even with this books’ incredibly dark side, it had a very light emotional side as well. With Robyn giving more light into her married life, her relationship with Amelie and her new found work relationship with Shearer, it contains the perfect amount of “awe” moments for this twisted psychological thriller.

This book deserves a 5 star rating and a lot of praise! If someone asked me for a recommendation, the series would be a definite first thought while recognizing this book as my favorite! December cannot come fast enough to get my hands on The Silent Children.

Make sure you stop by Megan’s blog to read her review of The Missing Girls (DI Robyn Carter, #3)!

Thank you to Carol Wyer, Bookouture and NetGalley for allowing me to read this book for an honest review!


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Book Reviews

Blog Tour: Without Merit (Colleen Hoover) @colleenhoover @AtriaBooks

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Welcome to my stop on the Without Merit blog tour! I am so excited to be participating in my first blog tour today for an amazing author that I adore so much. I fell in love with her writing when I first read Confess. I have been under Colleen Hoover’s spell ever since!

So let’s start off with the synopsis of her new novel!

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Synopsis:

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines, when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.

Poignant and powerful, WITHOUT MERIT explores the layers of lies that tie a family together and the power of love.

My Thoughts: 

After reading strictly crime thrilling novels for a whole year, this was such a REFRESHING read that I needed. I have been a Colleen Hoover fan for last 2 1/2 years. Her first novel I read was Confess. Upon reading that book, she put me under her spell. I spent the next several days, weeks, and months binge reading all of her novels she had published back then. Along the way I have purchased every physical copy and have my own shelf dedicated to her.

I was so excited to read Without Merit when I found out she wrote a new novel. But I was not as excited as when I finished it. This book guys and ladies is hands down my most favorite one she has written. I have never felt so many emotions in any other books than a Colleen Hoover book and this book hit all my feels. I laughed, I became angry, I sympathized, I cried, and I was thankful. This will be a book I will recommend over and over again.

I do want to warn readers though, without giving anything away, you will read about depression, you will read about anxiety and you will read about attempted suicide. I personally have never had depression symptoms but I’ve definitely have had bursts of anxiety. This book does not come across as dark and dismal. This is a book about a family coming together when they learn that secrets and lack of communication are not the key to life. I loved the way the book referenced each of these mental health issues and how they handled it as a family. It broke my heart in so many good ways.

I know some of you may now be thinking that this is going to be a dark read that may put off readers. I’m here to tell you now that it’s not. Even though it touches on some dark issues, it is a light read that will have you falling in love with the Voss family.

Without Merit was a fast paced, captivating read and I encourage any Colleen Hoover fan to buy this book NOW! If you have not read a book by her yet, please choose this one to be your first. You will not regret it and if you do, well this will be a subject we disagree on! 🙂

It is so hard for me to sit here and talk about a novel that I am going to deem as my most favorite of 2017 and not talk about the characters and give away spoilers. This is a book I wished characters were real life because I would surround myself with these people to not only learn from them, but to learn how to love with them.

Well done Hoover. (5 Stars)

Thank you to Atria Publishing for providing me with this advanced readers copy, and thank you to Colleen Hoover for bringing out the ugly cry in me once again! It was an absolute joy to provide my honest thoughts on this novel. 

About the Author:

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Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, This Girl, Point of Retreat, Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella, Maybe Someday, Ugly Love, Maybe Not, Confess, November 9, and It Ends with Us. She has won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance twice – for Confess in 2015 and It Ends with Us in 2016. Confess was adapted into a seven-episode online series. In 2015, Colleen and her family founded The Bookworm Box, a bookstore and monthly subscription service offering signed novels donated by authors. All profits are given to various charities each month to help those in need. Colleen lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. Please visit ColleenHoover.com.

FIND COLLEEN ONLINE:

Website: www.ColleenHoover.com

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/ColleenHoover

Twitter: @ColleenHoover

Instagram: @ColleenHoover

WITHOUT MERIT

BY COLLEEN HOOVER

http://www.withoutmeritbook.com

Atria Books Paperback | 384 pages | ISBN: 9781501170621 | October 3, 2017 | $16.00

eBook: 384 pages | ISBN: 9781501170638 | $7.99

  

ORDER WITHOUT MERIT:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2wiVRyr

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2vtqsL8

Books-a-Million: http://bit.ly/2wTAhCc

iBooks: http://apple.co/2xrD7ie

Indiebound: http://bit.ly/2gqKTBG

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2xgXDBh

Google: http://bit.ly/2eRebFr

Nook: http://bit.ly/2gXsDA2

 

Now for the fun….the #WithoutMerit Contest!

Enter the Rafflecopter to win a limited edition signed hardcover copy of WITHOUT MERIT! (5 winners in total) Contest is open until October 30th!


Thanks for stopping by! I had an amazing time writing this review and I hope you enjoyed it just as much as I did! Don’t forget to let me know how you enjoy this book when you read it!

 

Interests

Throwback Thursday (September 21, 2017)

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It feels so good to finally have the school year a little less hectic so I can start being a part of the book community again! I have missed blogging so much!

The Throwback Thursday meme was created by Rene over at It’s Book Talk. She made this meme to share some of our old favorites as well as sharing books that we want to read that were published over a year ago. Lord knows we all have a big enough TBR pile, but this is such a great way to share recommendations!

My Pick This Week:

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Published: April 7, 2015

From the internationally acclaimed author of the Harry Hole novels – a fast, tight, darkly lyrical stand-alone novel that has at its center the perfectly sympathetic antihero: an Oslo contract killer who draws us into an unexpected meditation on death and love. This is the story of Olav: an extremely talented “fixer” for one of Oslo’s most powerful crime bosses. But Olav is also an unusually complicated fixer. He has a capacity for love that is as far-reaching as is his gift for murder. He is our straightforward, calm-in-the-face-of-crisis narrator with a storyteller’s hypnotic knack for fantasy. He has an “innate talent for subordination” but running through his veins is a “virus” born of the power over life and death. And while his latest job puts him at the pinnacle of his trade, it may be mutating into his greatest mistake…


After reading The Snowman by Joe Nesbø, I cannot wait to read another of his books!

Happy Reading! xx

Interests

Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR List

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“Top Ten Tuesday” is an original feature that was created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. For each week, the list is a new topic and the feature was created to share lists with other bookish people! These are a great way to get to know other bloggers and they provide a sense of fun to our blogs!

This weeks theme is Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR. I am so excited to make up my list right now that hopefully will get followed through the fall season!

The Missing Girls by Carol E. Wyer

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Close to Me by Amanda Reynolds

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3. The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer

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4. Local Missing Girl by Claire Douglas

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Penpal by Dathan Auerbach

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Baby Doll by Holli Overton

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The Trunk Key by Carolyn Nash

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Safe With Me by K.L. Slater

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The Stepmother by Claire Seeber

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The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

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There you have it! My Top Ten Fall TBR! I am so excited to get this list started and so excited for this fall season to begin!

Happy Reading! xx