Book Review | Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner

August was a month of firsts.

I created my first ever randomly generated TBR and I read my first piece of crime fiction.

This isn’t the first crime fiction book I’ve read, but that’s because this is a second book in a series. So obviously, I had to read the first book, well, first. I read Missing, Presumed before reaching for this, but I’ll just say this: you don’t need to do this. It helps to understand who Manon’s son is, but you don’t necessarily need to read Missing, Presumed before this.

On to the review!

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

The sequel to Susie Steiner’s bestselling MISSING, PRESUMED

Manon has settled back into life in Cambridgeshire with her adopted son Fly. She’s perfectly happy working on cold cases until a man is stabbed to death just yards from the police station, and both the victim and the prime suspect turn out to be much closer to home than she would like. How well does Manon know her loved ones, and are they capable of murder?

The Writing

I really like Steiner’s writing. It’s engaging and enjoyable. I think she drives her plot with her characters. I don’t need descriptions when it comes to her characters because their personalities really shine through her writing.

For example, the only description of Manon I can remember is she’s not petite. But I don’t need to know that to know Manon is a no-nonsense, take no shit, straight-laced detective. She’s hard and that really shines through how Steiner writes.

This is probably one of the most enjoyable elements of this novel, in my opinion.

The Plot

Okay, the plot for this one was SO MUCH MORE INTERESTING than in Missing, Presumed. I mean, we have one of Manon’s loved ones accused of murdering a man in a park near their house? Obviously, I’m intrigued!

One thing that was hard for me is the mystery element though. I’m so used to reading mystery/thrillers that it was a bit shocking to get so much information up front from side characters. It was interesting to read about the police force trying to solve this murder, but at the same time it was irritating to KNOW who was behind the crime.

However, there was a plot twist toward the end that shook me, so I’m overall pleased with this.

The Characters

I didn’t really like Manon in Missing, Presumed – she just seem too brusque for me to enjoy her character. That changed with this one. I think her being pregnant throughout this novel made her much more likable and human.

Side characters in this were super important as you get a lot of information through these characters – particularly Birdie. But my favorite is, and probably always will be, Davy Walker.

Davy was under Manon on the Hind investigation in Missing, Presumed, but in Persons Unknown he is taking the lead. I loved seeing the growth of his character over the course of this book. I hope he makes an appearance in the next installment!

Fly, Ellie, Solly, Harriet, Bryony, Gary, Mark – they’re all important for telling this story, but I especially loved the snippets of the story from Birdie and Angel’s points of view.

Overall Thoughts

I can honestly say I enjoyed this one much more than the first one. The writing improved, the plot was more interesting, and the character growth was incredible.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟💫

I’d recommend it. It was enjoyable, just wasn’t able to read huge chunks at a time!

Let’s chat!

Do you have a favorite crime fiction novelist? Share in the comments!

Book Review | Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

This book. You guys, THIS BOOK was so well written.

While I gather my thoughts, here’s the basic idea…

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Mary B. Addison killed a baby.

Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a churchgoing black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say.

Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home”—no place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home.

There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted—and their unborn child—to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But who really knows the real Mary?

Life according to Mary B. Addison

Let me just explain something really fast. Mary Addison got out of baby jail and is living in a group home in this novel. I have no experience with group homes or even girls who have lived in group homes. The author clearly has done her research to make the young women in this novel come across as real and believable.

I think that’s probably what I liked most. I mean the writing is phenomenal (I can’t believe this is a debut). But honestly, the realness of Jackson’s characters is what kept me coming back for more. This book is heavy. It was HARD to get through, but guess what? I’m glad I read it. Books have the power to change me and this one broke my heart.

Education as a theme

One of the more interesting themes within this book was Mary’s education. Having allegedly killed a baby, Mary’s options are really limited. She goes to a vocational school to learn cosmetology. But she’s driven to far more than this. She wants to go to college. She wants to take the SATs and build a better life for herself and her family. It was wonderful to see education play such an important role in this book.

Speaking on education is important, but equally important are the women who care about Mary.

Important Figures

Ms. Claire and Ms. Cora are really important to the story. You can’t convince me otherwise. My thought process is that without these two incredibly influential women, Mary would not have been convinced to better herself. I mean, we’re talking about a girl who didn’t speak to anyone for 8 months! These women really played an important role in this young woman’s life. Her Momma wasn’t there for her, but these women were. This is something I found so important within the pages of this book.

Overall thoughts

Again, I can’t believe this is a debut novel. Jackson writes like a seasoned author. This was damn near perfect, in my opinion.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

I can’t give it a 5. It’s hard, but the reason is just because I didn’t like how the book ended. I expected growth and progression and for the truth to come out, but I don’t feel like the ending did Mary’s story justice. In short, it wasn’t the ending I hoped for. Granted, I’m not the author and she’s entitled to do whatever she likes with her story – that’s just my opinion on the ending. 😛 Overall though, this was a GREAT (hard) read.

Let’s Chat!

One of my YouTube subscribers left me a comment I’d like to pass along to you all here! When you’re reading contemporary YA do you look for lighthearted fluffy reads or do you prefer more darker content? Let me know in the comments!

20 Questions Book Tag

You guys, I googled a book series I mentioned in this video and there were actually 75 books in that series. No, I’m not even joking. Like WHY?! I can barely function with 5 books in a series and you want me to read 70 more!! WHO EVEN DOES THAT?!

I’m still losing my shit over this. Is there anyone out there who’s read all of these books? Can you tell me how they end? I can’t invest that kind of time into a series.

Book Review | Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

You know whose writing I absolutely love? Riley Sager.

You know whose books I’ll always buy, before even reading the synopsis? Riley Sager.

You know who might very well be my favorite thriller author of all time? You guessed it.

RILEY FRICKIN SAGER.

This man honestly blows me away with his writing. He hooks me. Ropes me in even, and makes it damn near impossible to focus on anything else BUT HIS BOOKS when I have a crapload of school stuff I should be doing.

So yeah, I guess you can say I’m obsessed with this man’s work, but hey. If you love something, you love something.

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story—until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.

Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s dark past and into the secrets kept within its walls. Her discovery that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing at the Bartholomew pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.

Alfred Hitchcock meets American Horror Story

Let me shoot it to you straight for a second. This book was basically the equivalent of Alfred Hitchcock directing a season of AHS (pre-Coven, of course). It’s scary and disturbing and everything that I would expect in this season of AHS. 

But seriously, it gives off really creepy vibes that I was living for while trying to solve the mystery of the Bartholomew. 

Predictability factor

Look, one of the main things I go into thrillers looking for is predictability. It was not difficult for me to figure out who was in on the secrets of the Bartholomew. What was hard for me to figure out was exactly what was going on in the building. I couldn’t figure it out and it was a definite surprise to me at the end. 

Buuuttt I wish it had ended differently… 

Yep. I didn’t like the end of this novel. There were some open storylines that I didn’t like and I definitely didn’t like the weird, boring turn of events AFTER Jules thought she figured out what was up at the Bartholomew. I wish Sager had stuck with what she thought because it would’ve been a much more thrilling closure to an otherwise interesting novel. I’m not mad, just disappointed. 😝

Character development

As usual, Sager developed lifelike and believable characters. Not only did he spend time developing Jules, it clearly shows he spent time developing characters who don’t dominate the story (i.e. Chloe). This is yet another reason I love his novels.

I would consider this book very character driven and I liked that. I also enjoyed not really getting physical descriptions of characters. It was much more interesting to see the characters through the eyes of Jules in what they were wearing, rather than build, skin-tone, and eye color (i.e. Leslie Evelyn and her Coach suits). I liked this aspect of the story a lot. And sure, there were some physical descriptions, they just didnt dominate the storyline.  

Generally speaking

This story didn’t really disappoint me. I enjoyed the ride. Sure there were things I’d change, but it didn’t really take away from my enjoyment of the novel. I wouldn’t say I love it like I love The Last Time I Lied – I still think about this one every day – but it was enjoyable nonetheless. 

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟💫

It doesn’t quite live up to my expectations to get that 5 star, but it was still soooo good. Mr. Sager still sits firmly on his throne as King of Thrillers for me and I will continue to automatically buy every book he publishes.

Let’s chat!

What books are you most looking forward to in the remaining months of 2019? Have you read any really good thrillers this year? 

Book Review | More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

I fell into a reading slump at the end of my first term of library school. I was stressed about my portfolio – which I’ll be writing about later this week – and worried that I wasn’t good enough to make it through my remaining 5 terms.

This is the vicious cycle my anxiety takes me through. I’m anxious because of school and I’m anxious without school because I’m anxious about grades and new terms and meeting new professors and classmates. It’s endlessly draining.

So when I fall into a slump like this, I always find it best to turn to an author I know I love.

When I discovered Mr. Silvera’s writing, it was not through his debut novel – it was, in fact, through the much raved about They Both Die at the End. I saw it on sale, picked it up, and discovered a new favorite author.

Until recently, Silvera’s other two novels have been sitting on my TBR cart – patiently waiting for my cycle of anxiety to bring me back.

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Part Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, part Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Adam Silvera’s extraordinary debut confronts race, class, and sexuality during one charged near-future summer in the Bronx. 

Sixteen-year-old Aaron Soto is struggling to find happiness after a family tragedy leaves him reeling. He’s slowly remembering what happiness might feel like this summer with the support of his girlfriend Genevieve, but it’s his new best friend, Thomas, who really gets Aaron to open up about his past and confront his future.

As Thomas and Aaron get closer, Aaron discovers things about himself that threaten to shatter his newfound contentment. A revolutionary memory-alteration procedure, courtesy of the Leteo Institute, might be the way to straighten himself out. But what if it means forgetting who he truly is?

Delayed Flight = More Time to Read

This was one of two books I took on my weekend trip to DC to visit my bestie, her daughter, and her dog. The night I left, my flight was severely delayed. The flight was only two hours, but I was stuck at the airport for an extra hour while I waited for my flight to depart. Weather always takes its toll on my plans when I’m flying, haha.

I decided to make the most of this though. Knowing I wouldn’t get much reading done on the plane because the delay reset my departure for close to sunset in inclement weather, I sat my butt down by my gate and read about 75 pages in one sitting.

Yinz… I was hooked.

Character Development

You all know I love a good character description, but the thing I love most about Mr. Silvera’s writing is I don’t need to know what the characters look like to feel connected to them. Immediately, I felt a connection to Aaron that I can’t really explain. He’s just so damn likeable.

Even the characters you’re not meant to like (i.e. Brendan, Me-Crazy) are so well developed. The book is really character driven and I love that about Silvera’s writing. The plot is important, but all of his characters drive the plot along so well.

The Tough Stuff

Look, reading books that deal with suicide and depression are really hard for me – I’m sure they are for most people. But when I got to the third part of this book, I had to take a break from reading before I full on wept in front of a full plane of people. This book is heartbreakingly devastating and I couldn’t bring myself to stop reading for very long. Even through the tough parts of this book, I kept wanting a happy ending for Aaron, Gen, and Thomas.

I’m not even exaggerating when I say it was devastating. This seems to be a running theme in Silvera’s writing.

A Mandatory Read

Yes, you read that right. I’m just going to come right out and say it – if I were teaching English today, I would make this book mandatory for sophomores to read. I don’t care if it’s curriculum or not – THIS WOULD be on my summer reading list for my students.

The thing about this is, I don’t care WHO or WHAT you are, this book teaches about acceptance. Not just of people who are different than you, but it teaches you the importance of accepting yourself for WHO YOU ARE and that is something I see a lack of in a lot of YA I’ve read.

But Did I Cry

No. It was close though. Had I been in the comfort of my own home, I would have straight up bawled my eyes out. I don’t think it’s socially acceptable to sob into a paperback on a plane quite yet.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

This was another great contemporary. I’m so happy to have finally read it and I can’t wait for the day I can discuss it with my children.

Let’s Chat!

When’s the last time you flew somewhere? Are you as unlucky as me when it comes to flights being delayed? Which of Adam Silvera’s books is your favorite? Leave me a comment so we can chat!

Book Review | Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

There’s just something about Rainbow Rowell’s writing that makes me so happy. I loved Eleanor and Park (can’t believe we’re getting a movie) and that in itself prompted me to pick up more works from the author.

Fangirl was not high on my list of Rowell books to read though. Fanfiction really isn’t my thing – I’ve read one fanfiction series and cringed hard – so I wasn’t really tempted to pick this up.

But I found a copy of Fangirl for a really good price at Half Price Books and thought “why not?” I couldn’t find any other Rainbow Rowell books while shopping, so I grabbed a copy of this and put it on the backburner for months.

And then I read (and disliked) The Spectacular Now and knew I needed to pick something that would quickly engross me. Fangirl had been sitting in my book cart since I purchased it and something about the cover called out to me.

I finally read it.

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan..

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Levi + Cath

Since Cath’s relationships seem to be a forerunner of this novel, I wanted to talk about Cath and Levi first. From the moment we’re introduced to him, I suspected he would be a love interest. It was not an unexpected surprise that they ended up together to me.

Honestly, I felt like Levi was the perfect love interest for Cath from the moment we met him. He’s sweet and funny and so supportive of Cath. That she would believe he was dating her roommate was really funny to me because I thought it was so obvious he cared for Cath. I really, genuinely, loved Levi.

Cath + Wren

Ugh. Twins? Cool. Named Cather and Wren – WHY?

I didn’t mind the twin thing. Honestly, Cath and Wren might be my favorite twins since the Weasleys. I did mind that Wren was an absolute jerk to Cath for a large portion of the book. I get it, but I’m still mad about it.

Mental Health, Writing Relationships, and More!

As a young woman who has struggled with anxiety her whole life, it made me happy to read a book that centers around mental health – particularly mental health in college aged students. Mainly my anxiety started to manifest when I went away to college – change is especially difficult when managing my anxiety so reading about Cath and her issues with her mental health made her feel incredibly real to me.

Also, what the heck was the deal with Nick? I’m so confused about his character. He was developed and not important enough to get more about him, but I’m curious about why he is the way he is.

Regan was probably my favorite in how she dealt with Cath. Sometimes we all need an abrasive friend to get us out of our shells (Ryan, if you’re reading, you’re that friend!). I loved the dynamic between these two because the friendship seemed so unlikely – in the very best way.

Concluding Thoughts

Rainbow Rowell certainly is one of my favorite writers. Something about the way she writes helps the characters feel so real. She leaves me wanting more from the characters and I feel sad when her books are over and I know there’s no sequel. Honestly, I feel like as long as she publishes books, I’ll be over here devouring them. Her writing is so dang compelling to me.

In essence, I loved this. It was sweet, smart, and engaging. Relatable on a level I didn’t expect. Honestly, I am Cath, Cath is me.

I didn’t even mind the snippets of fanfiction…

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟💫

Let’s Chat!

What’s your favorite Rainbow Rowell book? How about your favorite character from Rowell’s work? Let me know in a comment.

So far my favorite has been Eleanor and Park with Park as my favorite character. Cath is a close second!

Book Review | The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp

Books can often sit on my TBR for years before I reach for them. I decided to pick up The Spectacular Now when I saw the movie adaptation on Netflix. I wanted to go into my reading experience blind, so I did not watch the movie until after I finished the book (I still haven’t, actually).

I have some thoughts.

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

SUTTER KEELY. HE’S the guy you want at your party. He’ll get everyone dancing. He’ ll get everyone in your parents’ pool. Okay, so he’s not exactly a shining academic star. He has no plans for college and will probably end up folding men’s shirts for a living. But there are plenty of ladies in town, and with the help of Dean Martin and Seagram’s V.O., life’s pretty fabuloso, actually.

Until the morning he wakes up on a random front lawn, and he meets Aimee. Aimee’s clueless. Aimee is a social disaster. Aimee needs help, and it’s up to the Sutterman to show Aimee a splendiferous time and then let her go forth and prosper. But Aimee’s not like other girls, and before long he’s in way over his head. For the first time in his life, he has the power to make a difference in someone else’s life—or ruin it forever.

Miles Teller’s Voice

This is the weirdest part of the review – I promise. The whole time I was reading this book, I could hear Miles Teller’s voice. I know I kept picturing Miles as Sutter because I know he plays Sutter in the film adaptation. It’s weird because at time of writing this part of the review (and at time of reading the book and writing this review) I haven’t seen the movie….

What was the point?

Honestly, this is my biggest qualm with the book. I enjoyed the writing, but when I finished, I was a little confused about what the point the author was driving home was. It seemed… pointless. This is fine, but I take issue with it because this book was a National Book Award finalist. I’d like to understand why. I mean, I get it…

Normally, as a book draws nearer to the end, I feel sad – I couldn’t have been happier to finish this book. I legitimately DID NOT get the point the author was trying to drive home. All I could really see, surface level, was the teenage boy from high school who doesn’t care about anything but drinking and smoking weed. The book honestly made me super sad.

Body image

You might be thinking, “Brittany, why are you bringing up body image on a male narrated book?” Well, reader, I’m bringing it up because I HATED that Sutter kept pointing out that his (ex) girlfriend was fat. Like, he literally references the size of Cassidy almost every time he mentions her and it got on my last nerve.

I didn’t expect this to be such a trigger for me, to be frank. But I just can’t get on board with a male author and male narrator pointing out a woman’s weight every time she’s mentioned. I wanted more about Cassidy (hell, Aimee for that matter) than body or image types. I wanted more about their character – not their physical appearances. Personalities matter too, y’all!

Concluding thoughts

Remember #probablynotforme? This probably fits the bill for that. I think I hated this book. Not quite bane of my existence level hatred, but I did not enjoy this and can’t see myself reaching for another Tim Tharp novel anytime soon. I did enjoy the writing style, but found the characters SO damn annoying; I couldn’t look past this!

Rating: 🌟🌟

Let’s chat!

Did you read The Spectacular Now? Maybe you’ve seen the film… In any case, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave me a comment below!

The Overwhelming Book Sale

As a bookfluencer(™) *cringes*, book lover, and overall hoarder of books, it is important to me that I get good deals on my collection. See, the thing is, I’m not just buying books for myself. I also like to buy books for my children, my husband, and I look for books to donate to a local veteran foundation. Obtaining a deal on books is an essential part of me maintaining my budget, too.

Recently, my mother-in-law and I decided to head up to Milwaukee for a huge Half Price Books blowout sale. Everything – literally everything, including vinyls – was $2.00 or less. Honestly, it would have been foolish NOT to go to this sale.

The thing is, it was actually really overwhelming. Let me paint a picture for you.

You walk into a big warehouse on the fairgrounds. There are hundreds of people swarming tables of books, flocking to sections with carts, baskets, bags, and strollers. There is limited room between each table; as you approach and get a closer look at the table, you notice there is no real organization to the tables. Books are scattered across every available surface and there are boxes filled with more books under every table. The closer you get to the section you want, the more you notice the lack of organization. You find a children’s chapter book mixed in with young adult novels. You start to wonder “how will I find what I’m looking for?”

The more you browse, the more foolish you feel for having brought a list with you, so you stuff your list into your pocket and just go for it.

Clear enough picture? Regardless, I’m still going to explain why exactly this book sale was overwhelming.

Alphabetization

Have you ever been to a HPB store? If you have, you no doubt know their books are organized alphabetically by author’s last name and also by genre. At this book sale, they tried to clump books together into categories (i.e. Young Adult, Fiction, History), but they did not attempt to group anything together. As I browsed through the YA section, I kept stumbling upon children’s chapter books (i.e. Junie B. Jones, Ramona and Beezus, etc) which was simultaneously frustrating and delightful.

It was frustrating because I was browsing YA for specific titles, but couldn’t find anything I was really looking for specifically because there was no sort of organization. I’m not looking for alphabetization, but I would have loved if books were actually grouped together by topic. For instance, I found several Cassie Clare books spread across 6 different tables. Just. Put. Them. All. Together.

The main reason I wasn’t furious about the children’s chapter books mixed in is that I was able to find some of my childhood favorites mixed into the bunch.

People, people, people

I am the type of person who is easily affected by others. Meaning, the actions of a few people can potentially ruin my day simply because I let them. There was two women at this book sale who had the potential to ruin my day. Let me explain why…

I had a cart, but I am the type of person who is courteous of others and aware of myself and others situationally. I kept my cart out of other people’s ways and I made sure I wasn’t blocking anyone’s paths constantly. However, there was one person who approached me, cart stacked to the brim with books. They looked me right in the eye and said, “Could you move, please?” I was pretty taken aback by the brusqueness of the question – why would they not just say “excuse me?” Of course, I moved, but I was really frustrated at that point.

The second encounter with a person was, yet again, odd. Like I said, I try to stay aware in situations like this – maybe that’s the military in me? – but when I noticed this woman, I knew I’d have to pay close attention. She was walking up and down the tables of books, not even paying attention to other people. This person very nearly walked directly into me. As a situationally aware person, I don’t ever understand how people can be so unaware of other people (or themselves for that matter) that they’d be able to almost knock into someone, but here we are.

The Haul

I will not be sharing my haul here. I will, however, let you in on how many books I bought and how much I spent. I ended up buying two reusable bags – which added to my total (they were $1.00 each) and I got one book for free because I donated a can of food to the event and received a coupon. In total, I spent $54 and some change – two books I bought were for my mother-in-law (to make up for her paying for parking) and one book was for my husband to decide what to do with (a history book on “great” battles). The rest of my haul, XX books in total, were books for myself and my children to enjoy.

A haul video will go up relatively soon if you’re interested in that, so stay tuned.

Overall…

I didn’t hate my time at this book sale, I just felt anxious and overwhelmed for most of the time. I could have found more books if I hadn’t felt so anxious and overwhelmed, but I’m happy with what I did find. We spent 2 hours at the sale and both walked away with hefty amounts of books.

Let’s chat!

Can you describe your worst book buying experience? Maybe it was at a sale similar to this one. Share a story in the comments!

Book Review | The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Yikes. That’s all I can say, y’all.

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Mara Dyer wants to believe there’s more to the lies she’s been told.
There is.

She doesn’t stop to think about where her quest for the truth might lead.
She should.

She never had to imagine how far she would go for vengeance.
She will now.

Loyalties are betrayed, guilt and innocence tangle, and fate and chance collide in this shocking conclusion to Mara Dyer’s story.

Retribution has arrived.

Where the hell was Noah?

Hodkin lead us to believe for 95% of the final installment of Mara’s chapter that Noah was dead. I didn’t believe it, and (SPOILER) I was right, but seriously. Where the hell was he? She never really explains to us where he was the whole time – and maybe I’m mad out of turn and that’s the whole point of The Shaw Confessions – but seriously if that’s the case how is him being missing for Mara’s last book going to be drawn out into another trilogy?

I’m mad because I actually like Noah and I wanted to get more of his character to really hone my opinion of him! I get that this was necessary, but like, let a girl know WHAT he is doing while he is missing and HOW he ended up being missing in the first place. Like who took him? Does he remember anything?

Weird boning scenes

The sexual relationship between Noah and Mara built up over two books (Books 1 and 2 obviously) and then she finds him and we get a weird, weird bunch of scenes where they’re describing their encounter through colors. I hated it. It was just super weird.

Also, Daniel was in the house with their inconsiderate selves. Rude.

General Thoughts

It wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t a thrilling conclusion. I wasn’t even that busy while reading this and I still took more than a week to finish this. I was bored for most of it because my favorite character was MIA for most of the book. I like Mara, but she wasn’t as interesting to me as Noah. It was just really hard for me to get through this one. Ultimately, I would read more by Michelle Hodkin though because the concept behind this story is actually something that interests me.

On another note, I liked the flashbacks Mara had. They were almost more interesting than Mara running around trying to kill people with her mind. It was interesting to read about her grandmother, but I am still a little confused. Was Mara’s grandmother’s name actually Mara or is this just her chosen name? If her name wasn’t actually Mara isn’t it weird that Mara’s name became Mara? I don’t know what this was all about, but some ‘splaining would be great!

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟

This was my least favorite in the trilogy. A SHOCKING TWIST. I liked this, but it wasn’t a good enough ending for Mara (despite my weird love/hate relationship with the character).

Let’s chat!

How do you feel about Noah? I understand he’s not perfect, but I honestly think he’s great. Maybe not the best boyfriend material, but I’d definitely befriend him. Leave me a comment letting me know what you think about Noah (or just the Mara Dyer trilogy in general).