Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center Review

4 STARS

Thank you so much to St. Martins Press for the free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

I absolutely loved Katherine Center’s first book How to Walk Away and I was so excited when she came out with this one (and I love how much the covers almost match!). It did immediately entice me from the beginning and kept me interested for awhile and then I found myself almost bored in the middle of the book and for that reason this was almost a 3 star read for me. Then the ending came and it definitely redeemed itself and is well worth 4 stars.

This story follows Cassie who is the only female firefighter at a station in Austin. She loves her crew and they don’t treat her like she’s a girl, she’s proven how tough and fearless she can be. When her mom that left her at sixteen years old calls and says she’s sick and needs someone to help take care of her, Cassie must leave her career and all of her buddies to move to Chicago. She gets hired on at another station and these guys are less than thrilled that a female is working beside them. Cassie must prove that she’s just as good as they are and along the way learn to trust and forgive.

As I said before the beginning of this book really drew me in, a female working in a male dominant career field and having to prove that she’s just as good, any story about females being complete bad asses I’m all for. But then towards the middle of the book I felt that things were dragged on and I was starting to get bored with the story. The romance and everything was not all that interesting to me and really felt like just another trope.

Then I got to the ending of the book and immediately fell back in love with the story and that’s where the romance got better for me. The ending was so suspenseful and I could not tear my eyes away from the page, I had to know what was going to happen next. Katherine Center had me feeling all kinds of emotions; gasping from the suspense, angry at a certain character, sad, happy, then sad again, it was a whirlwind of emotions and I loved it.

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Midnight Beauties by Megan Shepherd Review

4 STARS

Thank you so much to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the free copy of this book for my honest review!

I loved the prequel to this book, Grim Lovelies, and I was so excited to read this. Getting to follow along with the same characters again and see their next adventure after the first book left off on a bit of a cliffhanger had me dying to read it!

This story continues where it left off six weeks prior with the selfless Anouk trying to save her friends. She just recently discovered she has magic, even as a beastie, and has to turn her friends back from animals to humans. All while this is happening, she also somehow has to save the world from time loops and the plague.

Anouk is still absolutely my favorite character and her character gives me all the feels. She’s so genuine, caring, selfless, and has so many dreams, I just love her.

The romance in this book is what I have really enjoyed. Her slow building relationship with Beau has killed me at times with everything they’ve had to go through to be together. There were moments in this book where I honestly had tears in my eyes because I didn’t know whether they were going to make it or not and in the end I was so, so happy.

Megan Shepherd’s writing style is different than other authors I’ve read but in a very good way. Her writing is beautiful and lyrical and you can almost imagine everything unfolding right before your eyes it’s so descriptive. How she came up with the ideas for these books is amazing and I love the fairy tale aspects of it. The goblins were constantly cracking me up, they were a favorite part of the story of mine.

This is the first time I can say a duology has left me wanting more, I’m so sad there won’t be another book after this one. Thank you so much to Meghan Shepherd for writing such amazing books.

Blog Tour & Review for The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

4 STARS

Thank you so much to St. Martins Press for providing me with a free copy of this book and for inviting me to participate in the blog tour!

I’m a huge fan of game-type thriller and suspense novels and I absolutely loved this book!  I went into this book not knowing much about it and I think with this book, that’s what you need to do.  I devoured this book in less than 24 hours and was reeling from it for a while.

This story follows a group of employees that work in the cutthroat finance world and each of them seems to be at the top of their game.  They all live the life of luxury, but luxury comes at a cost.  When they are all invited to participate in an escape room challenge for team-building purposes, they have no idea what they’re in for.

I loved the beginning of this book and how it flipped back and forth between the characters so you felt like you really got to know them.  They were all well developed and I had a love/hate relationship with each of them for different reasons.

If you’ve ever seen the horror movie Devil, it has those types of vibes.  A group of people stuck in an elevator, trying to figure out how to get out, and they start dropping dead one by one with no idea who the real killer is.

The only thing I didn’t like about this book was the incredibility of some of the things the main character did as revenge.  It seemed a little far fetched for me and that’s the only reason I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5.

Review of Season of the Witch (The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) by Sarah Rees Brennan

4 STARS

Thank you so much to Scholastic Inc. Books for the free copy of this book for my honest review!

I grew up in the era of the original Sabrina the Teenage Witch and then when I saw they were making a more modern day show I was really excited. Then they came out with a book and my world was officially complete. Witchy, dark books have always been a favorite of mine (probably because Halloween is my favorite holiday) and this book definitely didn’t disappoint!

This book is based as a prequel to the show on Netflix and follows Sabrina as she’s about to turn 16 and tries to enjoy her last summer with Harvey and her two best friends. Her cousin Ambrose helps her cast a spell on Harvey that shows all of his true feelings. But when a wood spirit deceives Sabrina and the spell goes wrong, Sabrina must decide if she’s going down the wrong path and if all this power is truly worth it.

I loved the Netflix show Sabrina so I knew I would enjoy getting to learn about her life before the show. It honestly makes the show a little better getting to know more about the backstories to everything and it was so well written. The author’s writing style kept me engaged the entire time and I love how she nailed the characters perfectly. All the characters were well developed and relatable in their own ways and the number of times I laughed at Sabrina’s aunts’ tactics made for a great read.

This book had the perfect amount of darkness, humor, with a bit of romance thrown in for a perfect summer read. I can’t wait for the next book in the series!

Review of The First Mistake by Sandie Jones

4 STAR REVIEW

Thank you so much to Minotaur Books for the copy of this book in exchange for my review!

I went into this book without having read Sandie Jone’s first novel (unlike the rest of the world) so I had no idea what to expect or what I was getting myself into.  I was not expecting all of the whip-lashing twists and turns and the constant guessing game of who’s right and who’s wrong.  

The story is told from two different characters, Alice and Beth, and I’m glad that you got to hear the backstory with Beth and what was going on in the present tense with both of them.  Parts of this book were completely predictable while other parts were throwing me for a loop.  I thought I had everything figured out around page 108 but I was way wrong when the book threw another twist at me.  

The dialogue between the characters kept me engaged in the story and I loved each of them for their own reasons, even the “bad” characters.  

This is a very fast domestic thriller and I honestly finished it in less than 12 hours.  I now feel like I need to pick up her first novel The Other Woman and devour that one as well!

Review of A Serial Killer’s Daughter by Kerri Rawson

Thank you so much to Nelson Books and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my review!

I have read many true crime stories but this was my first true crime memoir.  This was a very interesting read for me as it happened in my home state of Kansas and I got to watch it as it unfolded.

Synopsis:

What is it like to learn that your ordinary, loving father is a serial killer?

In 2005, Kerri Rawson heard a knock on the door of her apartment. When she opened it, an FBI agent informed her that her father had been arrested for murdering ten people, including two children. It was then that she learned her father was the notorious serial killer known as BTK, a name he’d given himself that described the horrific way he committed his crimes: bind, torture, kill. As news of his capture spread, Wichitacelebrated the end of a thirty-one-year nightmare.

For Kerri Rawson, another was just beginning. She was plunged into a black hole of horror and disbelief. The same man who had been a loving father, a devoted husband, church president, Boy Scout leader, and a public servant had been using their family as a cover for his heinous crimes since before she was born. Everything she had believed about her life had been a lie.

4 STAR REVIEW

This story hits pretty close to home for me as I live only about 4 hours away from Wichita, KS.  I remember watching the news as it happened and watching the movies based on the heinous crimes, it was stomach-churning.  I don’t know how I would have managed if it was my dad that had committed these crimes.

A few parts of this book were confusing to me as the author touched on things that had happened in the past or memories but didn’t really go into details about them.  

You couldn’t help but feel terrible for Kerri Rawson as she had to go through this.  Her dad was such a well-respected guy in their town, church president, and a Boy Scout leader and he lead this total double life that no one knew about until he was caught.  His daughter had to carry the burden and get looked at funny all because of what her father did and that’s what made me the saddest of all, that she was getting repercussions from his crimes that she had nothing to do with.  

Her writing style and how she explained growing up with her family in Kansas was so well written and I found myself really liking her.  She was so real in her writing and really held nothing back.  

This was a very personal book and I commend Kerri for completely opening up her life for everyone to read.  It was an enjoyable read and I really liked hearing more about the story.

About the author:

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Kerri Rawson is the daughter of Dennis Rader, better known to the world as the serial killer BTK. Since her father’s arrest, Kerri has been an advocate for victims of abuse, crime, and trauma, sharing her journey of hope, healing, faith, and forgiveness. She lives with her husband, two children, and two cats in Michigan.

Review of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Its Terrifying Times by Joseph Lanza

4 STAR REVIEW

Thank you so much to Skyhorse Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Anyone that knows me knows that I’ve been obsessed with horror movies since a very young age (thanks Mom and Dad).  I love that this author wrote basically a tell all about how the movie idea came to be and all of the history behind it.  

When the movie first premiered in 1974 some viewers were engrossed while others were disgusted.  Due to its violence and gore it was actually banned from many countries and pulled from US theaters because of its extreme violence.  Tobe Hooper didn’t let that stop him though and the movie ended up being called one of the most influential horror movies of all time.  

I loved how this book touched on what all went on in the 1970s that inspired certain aspects of the movie.  It incorporated so many political views, other serial killers in the US, and racism and sexism.  It was more than just a horror movie, it included a lot that was going on at the time.

Tobe Hooper touched on such a violent decade and made this book so much more than just about the horror film.  Even though the budget for the movie was slim, he made it work and now there have been numerous sequels to the movie that seems to have made horror movies.

His writing style and details about the history of the 70s were so enjoyable to read and I learned many new things that I didn’t know about then.  This was a great book if you’re into The Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies and want to hear more about the backstory.

PURCHASE LINKS:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-texas-chain-saw-massacre-joseph-lanza/1131267528?ean=9781510737907#/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Joseph Lanza is the author of several books that center on independent film. His book Gravity: Tilted Perspectives on Rocketships, Rollercoasters, Earthquakes, and Angel Food (St. Martin’s Press/Picador, 1997) was well-received and was selected for the Los Angeles Times’ Best Non-Fiction Books list of 1997. Phallic Frenzy: Ken Russell and His Films (Chicago Review Press, 2007) received positive reviews from Financial Times. He lives in New Jersey.