Sunday, July 21, 2019

H is for Hidden Gem Book

We’re working our way through the alphabet with the A to Z Bookish Survey as created by “The Perpetual Pageturner.”  This week’s prompt is: H for Hidden Gem Book. 


Rachel:  
Gossamer by Lois Lowry. I picked it up in the children’s department when I worked at B&N because it had a sparkly cover and ended up hiding behind the desk during my shift to read it πŸ™Š it was a quick little delightful read and I still think about it every time I wake up from a dream.


Rebecca:  The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye - I honestly have no idea where or how I found this book, but it's an adorable fairy tale and I have to reread it regularly, and each time I follow a little more in love with it!




NaomiRuth: Ooh, I find so many hidden gems. I think I'd go with The Expedition to the Baobab Tree by Wilma StockenstrΓΆm because I just ordered another copy for myself, since I gave my last one away. The Songs of the Russian People by W.R.S. Ralston is also another good one.



Jenn: I stumbled upon this adorable picture book, The Baby Blue Cat Who Said No, by Ainsley Pryor many years ago on vacation. The adorable illustrations and sweet story about a spoiled kitty made for a lifelong favorite. 




What about you? What’s your favorite “hidden gem” book? Share with us!



Saturday, July 20, 2019

The Perfume by Caroline B. Cooney


Welcome to the 8th installment of Summer of Fear,  a weekly series of posts where I will review/revisit a classic YA Horror/Thriller from the 70s-90s. This week I read The Perfume by Caroline B. Cooney which was originally published in 1992. 




When fifteen-year-old Dove Daniel’s friends discover the new perfume called Venom, they become infatuated. They have Obsession and Poison; now they simply must have Venom. When they discover it’s available at Dry Ice, the coolest store in the local mall, they rush over after school. But to Dove, Venom seems inexplicably terrifying, as does the store that carries it. If she breathes in its potent scent, she is sure something terrible will happen. At first whiff, she senses something primitive and dark. Once she’s inhaled the scent, she begins to feel something . . . different . . . and her heart beats in double time. What has Venom’s bite awakened inside her? 
-openroadmedia.com
I am a huge fan of Caroline B. Cooney’s book The Face on the Milk Carton and all the books in the “Janie” series. Prior to reading The Perfume last night, I hasn’t read any of her horror novels. This book is extremely well written but also bizarre. I couldn’t tell if was a commentary on what it may be like to have a mental illness such as Dissociative Identity Disorder or if Dove is truly possessed by an evil Druid spirit.  My heart broke for Dove in the beginning when she first starts to hear and respond to the voices in her head and thinks “she decided against describing what was going on inside her skull. The world did not sound sympathetic.” Ultimately Dove’s workaholic distracted parents take her for mental health counseling at a facility full of the worst bad stereotypes of mental health clinics which was truly horrifying. The resolution is also abrupt. 

🌟🌟🌟/5

Have you read The Perfume? Please share if you have, I’d love for some feedback as I’m still trying to process this book myself. 

The Perfume is currently physically out of print but is available as an e-book. Click on the publisher link above for ordering information. I borrowed my copy through Kindle Unlimited. 




Friday, July 19, 2019

A Stranger On The Beach by Michele Campbell







There is a stranger outside Caroline’s house.Her spectacular new beach house, built for hosting expensive parties and vacationing with the family she thought she’d have. But her husband is lying to her and everything in her life is upside down, so when the stranger, Aidan, shows up as a bartender at the same party where Caroline and her husband have a very public fight, it doesn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary.As her marriage collapses around her and the lavish lifestyle she’s built for herself starts to crumble, Caroline turns to Aidan for comfort…and revenge. After a brief and desperate fling that means nothing to Caroline and everything to him, Aidan’s obsession with Caroline, her family, and her house grows more and more disturbing. And when Caroline’s husband goes missing, her life descends into a nightmare that leaves her accused of her own husband’s murder.  - michelecampbellbooks.com
I loooooved this book!! You have not one but two unreliable narrators. A Stranger on the Beach is told from the alternating POVs of Caroline and Aidan. Caroline says Aidan was just a one night stand who has grown so obsessed with her that he’s begun to stalk her. Meanwhile Aidan claims it’s true love and that Caroline is just pulling away as she’s extremely wealthy and she’s embarrassed by his meager earnings but he’s determined to prove he can please her. So you’re left wondering just who is telling the truth?  I loved trying to figure it out and I’m sure you will too! Definitely pick up this book for your summer reading. You won’t be disappointed with this fun, fast paced thriller. 

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟/5

A Stranger on the Beach releases Tuesday, July 23, 2019. Be sure to look for it at your favorite bookseller or visit the author’s website as noted above for more information. 

Special Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for a fair, honest review. 






Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Summer Bucket List by T.K. Rapp



Today we’re proud to be part of the “Book Blitz” for Summer Bucket List by T.K. Rapp


Recently graduated from high school, Holland Monroe had no expectations for her last summer before heading off to college to be anything but ordinary.
Until she got a job as a waitress at the local country club to make extra money for school.
Milo Davis was smart, cute, and absolutely not interested in Holland. At least that was what she believed. But the day she started working at the restaurant, everything changed.
Finally together, they were left with only three months to spend time together before she moved away.
Good thing they decided to make their time as memorable as possible.
But will they remain friends? Or will checking off items on their summer bucket list lead them to something they didn’t expect — Falling in love.

This was a sweet contemporary YA romance. Holland and Milo made a cute couple. I appreciated that the cost of college was a concern. That’s a reality I don’t see in many YA books but I do wish that Milo’s initial interest in what was referred to as a “junior college” was not stigmatized as being inferior. I obtained an Associates Degree at my local community college and it provided me with the study skills and drive needed to earn my Bachelors. Also, I was a little turned off by all the underage drinking but I was relieved that at least the important of designated drivers was stressed. Overall, the true heart of this story of two teenagers falling in love and really getting to know each other and their families was well done. 

🌟🌟🌟.5/5 

Xpresso Book Tours is Sponsoring a Giveaway for a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card and a Signed Copy of Summer Bucket List by T.K.Rapp.  Click here to enter.


For more information visit the book’s Goodreads page

For purchasing info, check out the following links:

Thanks to Xpresso Book tours and the author for providing a digital copy of the book in exchange for a fair, honest review. 




Monday, July 15, 2019

Meme Crush Monday




Forget about “Man Crush Monday’s,” here #MCM means Meme Crush Monday! For those who don’t have access or don’t wish to use Instagram, I’ll share a bookish meme right here weekly on the blog.


This Week’s #MCM Meme Crush Monday:

I think we can all relate to this one. What’s your TBR pile looking like? 

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Group Post: Glad You Gave This Book a Chance

We’re working our way through the alphabet with the A to Z Bookish Survey as created by “The Perpetual Pageturner.”  This week’s question is: G for Glad You Gave This Book a Chance



Rebecca:  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows - It was one of the "make" books at Borders that we were supposed to talk up to customers, so I figured if I read it, it would be easier to sell. Probably wouldn't have picked it up otherwise and it is one of my favorite books of all time!




Rachel:  The Magicians by Lev Grossman! I borrowed it from Borders but only read a few pages before putting it down. Russ picked it up, read it in a night, and demanded I read it. I’m glad he did because I loved the series, especially the last book.




NaomiRuth: Caraval by Stephanie Garber. I almost didn't read it because of how often I don't like over-hyped books, but I kept seeing it in instagram everywhere so I decided to read the first few pages and I was hooked and fell in love with her world ❤



Like NaomiRuth, if a book has too much hype surrounding it, I’m weary of it but a few years ago I read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and I loved it. It’s definitely the best of the “unreliable narrator” domestic thriller genre that’s permeated the market lately.  





What about you? What book or books are you glad you gave a chance to? Share with us in the comments below. 

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Sweet Valley High Super Thrillers



Welcome to the 7th installment of Summer of Fear,  a weekly series of posts where I will review/revisit a classic YA Horror/Thriller from the 70s-90s. This week I’m looking at Sweet Valley High’s Super Thrillers.  Sweet Valley High by Francine Pascal (who like James Patterson came up with the stories for all the books then got ghostwriters to actually write them) was a publishing phenomenon in the 80s before ultimately ceasing in 1998 with 181 titles in the series. 

My Super Thriller Collection
My favorite Sweet Valley High book, Murder in Paradise, is part of the Super Thrillers collection.  Super Thrillers were special editions that were longer than your average Sweet Valley High book and usually involved the twins in mortal peril. 

In May of 1993, the Sweet Valley High series “jumped the shark,” after the publication of A Night To Remember. After that book, the series was kind of like a telenovella with numerous miniseries following that which took normal high school drama to unbelievable, campy heights. 

All the Super Thrillers prior to 1993 were great because they could all conceiveably happen in reality aside from the fact that the twins had summer internships at the local newspaper for four different summers yet it was still a summer following their junior year in high school. Lol. They all revolved around one of the twins either witnessing or investigating a crime they heard about in the newsroom and then getting into disasterous situations as a result. 

After 1993, the Super Thrillers went wild ultimately producing my aforementioned favorite, Murder in Paradise which was published in 1995. Are you ready for the plot??! I’ve got to spoil the ending for once because it’s just THAT bananas and you’ll want to read the book even more because you’re not going to believe it. 





Jessica and Elizabeth’s mom wins a trip to an all inclusive spa resort and  invites her daughters but  instead of also inviting actual friends of her own she invites Jessica’s best friend Lila and Lila’s mother Grace and  Elizabeth’s best friend Enid and Enid’s mother Adele. Adele can’t attend as she couldn’t get time of work which is the only element of reality here. So the group sets off to the spa. Upon arrival the normal SVH shenanigans ensue. Lila hits on an older man and is embarrassingly rejected, Enid has many “woe is me” allow self esteem moments and Elizabeth sticks her nose in everyone’s business. Liz’s nosy nature leads her to uncover the dark truth about the spa - spoiler alert 🚨 🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨 the spa is run by a deranged former college classmate of Alice’s who is obsessed with plastic surgery. In fact nearly all the teenagers she “rescued off the streets” to employ there have undergone intense (like Heidi Montag) levels of plastic surgery and to top it all off, she wants to murder Alice and STEAL HER FACE!!!  πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚.  After the twins and company finally rescue Alice, the book closes with them all making jokes and getting ready to return home to Sweet Valley while Jessica gushes about what was actually good about the spa. No trauma ever lasts long in Sweet Valley. 

Murder in Paradise 🌟🌟🌟🌟/5 for snark-tastic fun. I must confess that the “newspaper” Super Thrillers are more realistic they don’t quite rock the entertainment scale. Did you ever read the Super Thrillers? What was your favorite?