Friday, July 8, 2022

#gretchensbooks2022 - June



I've been sick all of July so far, so I'm a bit late getting this out, but June was a FABULOUS month book-wise! Not only did I read 22 books, but most of them were REALLY GOOD!! 


Book #74 of 2022: I’ll Be You by Janelle Brown (4/5⭐️)

📚GENRE: Suspense/Thriller

🗓PUBLISHED: 26 April 2022

As children, Sam and Elli were two halves of a perfect whole: gorgeous identical twins whose parents sometimes couldn’t even tell them apart. They fell asleep to the sound of each other’s breath at night, holding hands in the dark. And once Hollywood discovered them, they became B-list child TV stars, often inhabiting the same role. 

But as adults, their lives have splintered. After leaving acting, Elli reinvented herself as the perfect homemaker: married to a real estate lawyer, living in a house just blocks from the beach. Meanwhile, Sam has never recovered from her failed Hollywood career, or from her addiction to the pills and booze that have propped her up for the last fifteen years. 

Sam hasn't spoken to her sister since her destructive behavior finally drove a wedge between them. So when her father calls out of the blue, Sam is shocked to learn that Elli’s life has been in turmoil: her husband moved out, and Elli just adopted a two-year-old girl. Now she’s stopped answering her phone and checked in to a mysterious spa in Ojai. Is her sister just decompressing, or is she in trouble? Could she have possibly joined a cult? As Sam works to connect the dots left by Elli’s baffling disappearance, she realizes that the bond between her and her sister is more complicated than she ever knew. 

This book was pretty high in family drama, was very character-driven, and was more suspense than thriller.

The first half was completely from Sam (twin 1)’s perspective,  it flipped back and forth between past and present. Then a little over halfway through, twin 2’s perspective pops in as well.

The storyline was unique and engaging. There was a mild twist that I didn’t see coming, but made complete sense with the story.

I’ve always enjoyed this author, and this story was no different!


Book #75 of 2022: Sparring Partners by John Grisham (4/5⭐️)

📚GENRE: Short Stories (Legal)

🗓PUBLISHED: 31 May 2022

“Homecoming” takes us back to Ford County, the fictional setting of many of John Grisham’s unforgettable stories. Jake Brigance is back, but he’s not in the courtroom. He’s called upon to help an old friend, Mack Stafford, a former lawyer in Clanton, who three years earlier became a local legend when he stole money from his clients, divorced his wife, filed for bankruptcy, and left his family in the middle of the night, never to be heard from again—until now. Now Mack is back, and he’s leaning on his old pals, Jake and Harry Rex, to help him return. His homecoming does not go as planned.

In “Strawberry Moon,” we meet Cody Wallace, a young death row inmate only three hours away from execution. His lawyers can’t save him, the courts slam the door, and the governor says no to a last-minute request for clemency. As the clock winds down, Cody has one final request. 

The “Sparring Partners” are the Malloy brothers, Kirk and Rusty, two successful young lawyers who inherited a once prosperous firm when its founder, their father, was sent to prison. Kirk and Rusty loathe each other, and speak to each other only when necessary. As the firm disintegrates, the resulting fiasco falls into the lap of Diantha Bradshaw, the only person the partners trust. Can she save the Malloys, or does she take a stand for the first time in her career and try to save herself?

As always with his, I’ve been waiting months for this book to be published. Though I prefer his full length legal thrillers, I will take a book of short stories by him over nothing at all. This book contained three.

HOMECOMING: This story was a sequel to one of the short stories in Ford County, so I’m glad I read that one last month in preparation. A brief part of this story took place in Costa Rica which really sparked the travel bug in my to want to go back! Such great memories. I loved that this story was mainly set in Clanton and included some of my favorite Grisham characters- Jake Brigance and of course Harry Rex. Overall I liked the story, though as with most short stories, it ended too soon and I wanted more.

STRAWBERRY MOON: This second story was shorter than the first and definitely pulled at the heart strings. It was about a man on death row about to be executed which reminded me of my favorite Grisham book - The Chamber - which would have been this month’s Grisham read had this book not been published. The plot line wasn’t very expansive, but the story was emotional nonetheless.

SPARING PARTNERS: This one was a little longer, and I’m glad it was! I feel like it could have definitely been expanded into a full length novel, or at least a novella. 

Overall I enjoyed the book, though it’s not my favorite. I much prefer his full length legal novels!


Book #76 of 2022: The Heavens May Fall (Detective Max Rupert #3) by Allen Eskens (4/5⭐️)

📚GENRE: Mystery

🗓PUBLISHED: 4 October 2016

Detective Max Rupert and attorney Boady Sanden’s friendship is being pushed to the breaking point. Max is convinced that Jennavieve Pruitt was killed by her husband, Ben. Boady is equally convinced that Ben, his client, is innocent. As the case unfolds, the two are forced to confront their own personal demons. Max is still struggling with the death of his wife four years earlier, and the Pruitt case stirs up old memories. Boady hasn’t taken on a defense case since the death of an innocent client, a man Boady believes he could have saved but didn’t. Now he is back in court, with student Lila Nash at his side, and he’s determined to redeem himself for having failed in the past.

Book two kinda let me down, but the series redeemed itself with this one! The story was very engaging and had the perfect amount of twists. The writing is very clean, and it moves along at a good pace. The characters are well-written, and as mentioned in my previous blurbs about his books, I love that it’s set in Minnesota and that I can picture the setting!


Book #77 of 2022: Faithless (Grant County #5) by Karin Slaughter (4/5⭐️)

📚GENRE: Police Procedural

🗓PUBLISHED: 25 July 2006

The victim was buried alive in the Georgia woods—then killed in a horrifying fashion. When Sara Linton and Jeffrey Tolliver stumble upon the body, both become consumed with finding out who killed the pretty, impeccably dressed young woman. And for Sara and Jeffrey, a harrowing journey begins, one that will test their own turbulent relationship and draw dozens of lives into the case.

Lena Adams is one of them. A Grant County detective for years, she has her own reasons for being drawn to this case and a fierce drive to see justice done. For these three people, who have each seen the darkest side of human nature, the body of the murdered girl is but the first in a series of shocking and sordid revelations.

Now, as Jeffrey and Sara narrow the field of suspects, they must confront their own doubts and indiscretions, while Lena Adams sees herself reflected in the frightened eyes of a battered woman who may be the key figure in the case. As Faithless builds to a stunning and unforgettable climax, Karin Slaughter masterfully brings together strands of interlocking lives, family secrets, and hidden passions with one astounding truth: the identity of a killer who is more evil and dangerous than anyone could have guessed.

Though I like the characters better in the Will Trent series, I like the storylines better in the Grant County one! This was the fifth book in the series, and was just as action-packed as the first four. There is one more book out, but I can only find the kindle version, so I’m looking forward to reading that one!


Book #78 of 2022: Can’t Look Away by Carola Lovering (4.5/5⭐️)

📚GENRE: Romance/Suspense

🗓PUBLISHED: 14 June 2022

In 2013, twenty-three-year old Molly Diamond is a barista, dreaming of becoming a writer. One night at a concert in Brooklyn, she locks eyes with the lead singer, Jake Danner, and can’t look away. Molly and Jake fall quickly and deeply in love, especially after he writes a hit song about her that puts his band on the map.

Nearly a decade later, Molly has given up writing and is living in Flynn Cove, Connecticut with her young daughter and her husband Hunter―who is decidedly 
not Jake Danner. Their life looks picture-perfect, but Molly is lonely; she feels out of place with the other women in their wealthy suburb, and is struggling to conceive their second child. When Sabrina, a newcomer in town, walks into the yoga studio where Molly teaches and confesses her own fertility struggles, Molly believes she's finally found a friend.

But Sabrina has her own reasons for moving to Flynn Cove and befriending Molly. And as Sabrina’s secrets are slowly unspooled, her connection to Molly becomes clearer––as do secrets of Molly's own, which she’s worked hard to keep buried.

Meanwhile, a new version of Jake's hit song is on the radio, forcing Molly to confront her past and ask the ultimate questions: What happens when life turns out nothing like we thought it would, when we were young and dreaming big? Does growing up mean choosing with your head, rather than your heart? And do we ever truly get over our first love?

I was sent an ARC of this book, and went into it with zero expectations. 

I loved the format of the story. I’m a sucker for multi-POV books, especially stories like this that also throw in past- and present-day storylines. 

It did NOT end how I thought it would, but I loved loved LOVED the ending because of that reason. 

There were a couple things that I didn’t like but without giving spoilers I can’t say. They were very minimal though, and overall the storyline was fabulous!


Book #79 of 2022: Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari (4/5⭐️)

📚GENRE: History


From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.” One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us? Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas. Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?

I was a little intimidated by this book at first. Books that contain a lot of information like this one sometimes have a hard time capturing my interest. I love to learn, but I am NOT an auditory learner, so though I had seen this book highly recommended, I wasn’t sure it would be a good fit for me.

I was wrong. I was so engaged for all of the 15+ hours it took to get through this audio. There was a lot of information, but it was so interesting!! If you’re interested in the history of humankind, I highly recommend.


Book #80 of 2022: Into the Dark (Orphan X #4) by Gregg Hurwitz (4/5⭐️)

📚GENRE: Action

🗓PUBLISHED: 29 January 2019

Taken from a group home at age twelve, Evan Smoak was raised and trained as part of the Orphan Program, an off-the-books operation designed to create deniable intelligence assets—i.e. assassins. Evan was Orphan X. He broke with the Program, using everything he learned to disappear and reinvent himself as the Nowhere Man, a man who helps the truly desperate when no one else can. But now Evan's past is catching up to him.

Someone at the very highest level of government has been trying to eliminate every trace of the Orphan Program by killing all the remaining Orphans and their trainers. After Evan's mentor and the only father he ever knew was killed, he decided to strike back. His target is the man who started the Program and who is now the most heavily guarded person in the world: the President of the United States.

But President Bennett knows that Orphan X is after him and, using weapons of his own, he's decided to counter-attack. Bennett activates the one man who has the skills and experience to track down and take out Orphan X—the first recruit of the Program, Orphan A.

With Evan devoting all his skills, resources, and intelligence to find a way through the layers of security that surround the President, suddenly he also has to protect himself against the deadliest of opponents. It's Orphan vs. Orphan with the future of the country—even the world—on the line.

Again, great action in this book! It was very fast paced and packed with suspense. I love the main character, Evan. He’s smart but has morals and principals. I love how his character grows throughout the series (even though I’m only halfway). You don’t have to read them all, you get all the info needed if you read as a stand-alone, but I would definitely recommend the series if you like fast-paced thrills.


Book #81 of 2022: Hopeless by Colleen Hoover (4.5/5⭐️)

📚GENRE: Contemporary Romance

🗓PUBLISHED: 7 May 2013

Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

Oh I loved this! It was so heartbreaking but so beautiful. That’s it. That’s all the words I have to describe this book. Beautiful, but heartbreaking. This story was very emotionally charged and I don’t recommend reading it in a public place unless you’re okay with strangers seeing you cry!


Book #82 of 2022: Cop Town by Karin Slaughter (2.5/5⭐️)

📚GENRE: Police Procedural

🗓PUBLISHED: 24 June 2014

Atlanta, 1974: As a brutal murder and a furious manhunt rock the city’s police department, Kate Murphy wonders if her first day on the job will also be her last. She’s determined to defy her privileged background by making her own way—wearing a badge and carrying a gun. But for a beautiful young woman, life will be anything but easy in the macho world of the Atlanta PD, where even the female cops have little mercy for rookies. It’s also the worst day possible to start given that a beloved cop has been gunned down, his brothers in blue are out for blood, and the city is on the edge of war.

Kate isn’t the only woman on the force who’s feeling the heat. Maggie Lawson followed her uncle and brother into the ranks to prove her worth in their cynical eyes. When she and Kate, her new partner, are pushed out of the citywide search for a cop killer, their fury, pain, and pride finally reach the boiling point. With a killer poised to strike again, they will pursue their own line of investigation, risking everything as they venture into the city’s darkest heart.

Relentlessly paced, acutely observed, wickedly funny, and often heartbreaking, 
Cop Town is Karin Slaughter’s most powerful novel yet—a tour de force of storytelling from our foremost master of character, atmosphere, and suspense.

I took a break from reading her Grant County series to listen to this stand alone novel. I like that it was set in the pre-cell phone era, and it gives the reality to the racism still in play even long after segregation “ended.”

I hated the characters. There was MAYBE one that was likeable, MAYBE one or two that were tolerable, but the rest just sucked. The men were ALL jerks. I had a hard time getting into the story because I disliked the characters so much.


Book #83 of 2022: Losing Hope (Hopeless #2) by Colleen Hoover (2.5/5⭐️)

📚GENRE: Contemporary Romance

🗓PUBLISHED: 8 July 2013

Haunted by the little girl he couldn’t save from imminent danger, Holder’s life has been overshadowed by feelings of guilt and remorse. He has never stopped searching for her, believing that finding her would bring him the peace he needs to move on. However, Holder could not have anticipated that he would be faced with even greater pain the moment they reconnect.

Losing Hope, Holder reveals the way in which the events of Sky’s youth affected him and his family, leading him to seek his own redemption in the act of saving her. But it is only in loving Sky that he can finally begin to heal himself.

Honestly, I could have done without this one (however my goal for this summer is to read the few CoHo novels that I haven’t yet devoured). It was just her novel Hopeless, but from Holder’s perspective. I thought Hopeless was wonderful, and not knowing Holder’s thoughts was part of the reason for that. It should have been left alone. It was written well, I just think it was a really unnecessary book. And the performer of the audio did not have a voice that I felt fit Holder’s character. I also feel like it was partially written to introduce Hopeless 2.5 and 2.6, because the part about Daniel and his Cinderella really didn’t fit in this story, like at all, but that is what the next two novellas are about.


Book #84 of 2022: Insomnia by Sarah Pinborough (4/5⭐️)

📚GENRE: Thriller/Suspense

🗓PUBLISHED: 12 April 2022


Emma can’t sleep.


It’s been like this since her big 4-0 started getting closer.


Her mother stopped sleeping just before her own fortieth birthday.

She went mad and did the unthinkable because of it.


Is that what’s happening to Emma?


The first Pinborough book I read was Bwhing Her Eyes a few years ago (it is now a series on Netflix) and I LOVED it. Then, I was sent another of her books from Goodreads and I LOVED that one too! Now she is a go-to author anytime she publishes something new.

I had no idea where this one was going, though I wasn’t surprised that it ended the way it did. I was rooting for the main character throughout the whole novel, even though I had no idea if she was innocent or not. The story was a bit slow to start, but then picked up speed and was pretty fast-paced throughout the rest!


Book #85 of 2022: The Deep Dark Descending by Allen Eskens (3/5⭐️)

📚GENRE: Police Procedural

🗓PUBLISHED: 3 October 2017

A homicide detective hunts down his wife's killers while struggling between his thirst for revenge and a twinge of conscience forbidding him to take the law into his own hands. Homicide Detective Max Rupert never fully accepted his wife’s death, even when he believed that a reckless hit-and-run driver was to blame. Haunted by memories both beautiful and painful, he is plagued by feelings of unfinished business. When Max learns that, in fact, Jenni was murdered, he must come to terms with this new information—and determine what to do with it. Struggling to balance his impulses as a vengeful husband with his obligations as a law enforcement officer, Max devotes himself to relentlessly hunting down those responsible. For most of his life, he has thought of himself as a decent man. But now he’s so consumed with anguish and thoughts of retribution that he finds himself on the edge, questioning who he is and what he stands for. On a frozen lake at the US–Canadian border, he wrestles with decisions that could change his life forever, as his rage threatens to turn him into the kind of person he has spent his entire career bringing to justice.

Another novel in this Minnesota-set series, and I really enjoyed it. Not a lot to say about this that I haven’t said about the rest of them. I thought the way the story ended was perfect, though apparently this character returns in another novel and I’m not sure how that happens??

I always have a hard time reviewing books in series because it’s like a continuation of what I’ve already started and for the most part, my thoughts TEND to stay the same. You could read this as a stand-alone if you wanted, but I’d recommend reading the series in order to get the full effect. 

This book was less mystery than the previous, and more suspense. The change between tenses threw me off a little bit, and while usually I like that way of story-telling, I'm not sure I did with this story.


Book #86 of 2022: Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt (4/5⭐️)

📚GENRE: Young Adult Fiction

🗓PUBLISHED: 6 October 2015

The two-time Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt delivers the shattering story of Joseph, a father at thirteen, who has never seen his daughter, Jupiter. After spending time in a juvenile facility, he’s placed with a foster family on a farm in rural Maine. Here Joseph, damaged and withdrawn, meets twelve-year-old Jack, who narrates the account of the troubled, passionate teen who wants to find his baby at any cost. In this riveting novel, two boys discover the true meaning of family and the sacrifices it requires.

I randomly came across this book on a thread somewhere and I immediately borrowed it. It’s definitely a YA, or maybe even middle grades novel, which I didn’t expect. The story was equally heart-warming and heart-breaking. It was a quick, simple book, but one with a beautiful storyline.


Book #87 of 2022: What Can’t Be Seen (Dr. Gretchen White #2) by Brianna Labuskes (4/5⭐)

📚GENRE: Thriller

🗓PUBLISHED: 24 May 2022

“Gretchen…What have you done?”

Psychologist and criminologist Dr. Gretchen White, top consultant for the Boston PD, has solved countless cases—but never her own. Since the age of eight, she has lived her life thinking she killed her aunt. After all, she was found standing over the body, clutching a bloody knife. Most people, including Detective Patrick Shaughnessy, believe the little sociopath got away with murder. Thirty years later, Detective Lauren Marconi wants to prove them wrong.

When plucking at the threads of the past unravels a decades-old case tied to the White family, both Lauren and Gretchen grapple with the question, What if Gretchen really is guilty? As old secrets come to light and Gretchen’s lifelong grip on her darkest impulses threatens to erode, Shaughnessy is there watching, waiting for her to lose control one more time.

Everyone thinks they know what happened that night. But the truth is beyond what anyone imagines—even Gretchen herself.

This was the second book in the Gretchen White series, and while you don’t HAVE to read the first one to understand this one, I would recommend it. I believe they’re both available with Kindle Unlimited.

I chose the series originally because the main character’s name is Gretchen, and since that doesn’t happen often, I always read the book when it does! Gretchen is a consultant for the police which is interesting because she is also a diagnosed sociopath. This book kind of when into her origin story which is referenced a lot in the first book (and also why you should start with that one). 


Book #88 of 2022: Into the Fire (Orphan X #5) by Gregg Hurwitz (4/5⭐️)

📚GENRE: Action

🗓PUBLISHED: 28 January 2020

Evan Smoak lives by his own code.

Once he was known as Orphan X. Trained as an off-the-books government assassin and spoken about only in whispers, Evan Smoak was one of the most talented – and most feared – men in the Program. But he broke free and reinvented himself as The Nowhere Man, a figure shrouded in mystery, known for helping the truly desperate.

If anyone is truly desperate, it’s Max Merriweather.

Max is at the end of his rope. His cousin has been brutally murdered, leaving Max an envelope that contains nothing but a mysterious key. However, someone really wants that key, badly enough that Max – and anyone he turns to – is in deadly danger. What seems like a simple job for The Nowhere Man turns out to be anything but. Behind every threat he takes out, a deadlier one emerges and Evan Smoak must put himself in greater danger than ever before as he heads once more Into The Fire.

Another action-filled Orphan X novel! Just when you think the drama is over, it picks back up again. 

I’ve got two more books to go (already borrowed on audio) and just found that an eighth is due to be published in February! I know I’ve said it before, but I didn’t think this would be a series I would get into, and I’ve loved it!


Book #89 of 2022: Ghostly Tales of Minnesota by Ruth D. Neon (2.5/5⭐️)

📚GENRE: Short Stories (Ghost)

🗓PUBLISHED: 30 June 1992

This is a collection of stories about eerie happenings, unexplainable events and mysterious situations. There are tales of moving lights and footsteps in the snow that suddenly stop and disappear. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, Ghostly Tales of Minnesota is reading that is entertaining and thought-provoking!

These stories were very short, and read like someone just sharing a tidbit that they experienced, or like you’re telling a story around a campfire maybe. The stories were fun, but seemed more like a Reddit thread than short stories I’d read in a book. I think the book would have been better if the author had interviewed the story-tellers more, questioned their experiences, in order to provide more detail. Most of the stories mentioned the location, but just barely. I would have liked for a more detailed description of the setting.


Book #90 of 2022: The Awakening of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie (3.5/5⭐️)

📚GENRE: Horror

🗓PUBLISHED: 1 March 2016

Sunshine Griffith has been awakened. Her powers are now fully alive and spirits follow her everywhere, desperate for help moving on to the afterlife. Hoping to get her luiseach abilities under control, she agrees to begin training with her mentor-her birth father, Aidan.

Aidan takes her to an abandoned campus deep in the Mexican jungle, far from her would-be boyfriend and protector, Nolan. But Aidan's work turns out to be more terrifying than Sunshine could have imagined. Is she prepared to finally learn the truth about what's threatening the future of the luiseach and the human race . . . and the deadly part she may play in it?

I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the first one in the series, but I was still actively engaged through most of it! I love the world that the author created for Sunshine and it was enjoyable to learn more about it in this book. I also appreciated how the story ended and I’m kicking myself for leaving the third book at home in Tennessee now that I’m up in Minnesota and want to read it.


Book #91 of 2022: The Shadows We Hide (Joe Talbert #2) by Allen Eskens (3.5/5⭐️)

📚GENRE: Mystery

🗓PUBLISHED: 13 November 2018

Joe Talbert, Jr. has never once met his namesake. Now out of college, a cub reporter for the Associated Press in Minneapolis, he stumbles across a story describing the murder of a man named Joseph Talbert in a small town in southern Minnesota.

Full of curiosity about whether this man might be his father, Joe is shocked to find that none of the town's residents have much to say about the dead man-other than that his death was long overdue. Joe discovers that the dead man was a loathsome lowlife who cheated his neighbors, threatened his daughter, and squandered his wife's inheritance after she, too, passed away -- an inheritance that may now be Joe's.

Mired in uncertainty and plagued by his own devastated relationship with his mother, who is seeking to get back into her son's life, Joe must put together the missing pieces of his family history -- before his quest for discovery threatens to put him in a grave of his own.

This was the second book in this series by Allen Eskens, and while I didn't like it as much as the first, I still really enjoyed it! The storyline is set in Minnesota, so it was fun to hear about locations and landmarks that I know well. There was a lot of mystery throughout the story, and the author keeps you wondering who did what and how tis going to end. I really liked the ending of this story, especially considering what happens with the characters in the first book.


Book #92 of 2022: Finding Cinderella (Hopeless #2.5) by Colleen Hoover (4/5⭐️)

📚GENRE: Contemporary Romance

🗓PUBLISHED: 14 October 2013

A chance encounter in the dark leads eighteen-year-old Daniel and the girl who stumbles across him to profess their love for each other. But this love has conditions: they agree it will only last one hour and it will only be make-believe.

When their hour is up and the girl rushes off like Cinderella, Daniel tries to convince himself that what happened between them only seemed perfect because they were
 pretending it was perfect. Moments like that with girls like her don’t happen outside of fairytales.

One year and one bad relationship later, his disbelief in insta-love is stripped away the day he meets Six: a girl with a strange name and an even stranger personality. But Daniel soon realizes that fairytales don’t exist, and unfortunately for Daniel, finding Cinderella doesn’t guarantee their happily ever after…it only further threatens it.

This short story was very sweet and fun, and I did not expect the twist. It is a novel that accompanies the Hopeless series, and while I don't think you need to read Losing Hope, I would definitely read Hopeless before reading this one. I am excited to see that the sequel to this book is a continuation of the story and NOT just the same story from the other perspective like Hopeless/Losing Hope was. 


Book #93 of 2022: The Whisperer (Nightmare Hall #12) by Diane Hoh (3.5/5⭐️)

📚GENRE: Horror/Mystery

🗓PUBLISHED:  1 May 1994

A mysterious blackmailer puts pressure on a cheating student
Everyone on campus hates Doctor Stark, the severe woman who seems to take sadistic pleasure from doling out D’s and F’s on her infamous chemistry exams. Never before has Shea had so much trouble in school, and never before has she considered something so awful as cheating, but this time she has no choice. Her scholarship is riding on the class, and losing the scholarship would ruin her. Shea sneaks into Stark’s classroom and, terrified, makes a copy of tomorrow’s exam. She thinks she’s gotten away with it until the phone rings. The voice on the other end knows her secret, and promises to keep quiet if Shea follows certain instructions. As her lies overwhelm her, Shea learns that there is a much worse fate than getting a D. 

I’ve been slowly re-reading this series favorite from my childhood and though they’re short, they’re anything but sweet! I remembered while reading this time that the author really makes you suspect everyone, so I didn’t get my sights set on anyone specifically for the chaos-causing. Yet even still, I didn’t see it coming!


Book #94 of 2022: Monster (Nightmare Hall #13) by Diane Hoh (3.5/5⭐️)

📚GENRE: Horror/Mystery


Plunging herself into a busy schedule of work, friends, and an annoying science project, Abby McDonald is prepared to write off rumors about a vicious monster as a fraternity prank or drama performance, until she discovers the truth.

While reading this book I decided not to make a prediction as to who the villan was because the author does such a good job of making everyone a suspect. Good this I didn't, because I don't think I ever would have guessed it! This one took a twist unlike any I’d the previous NH books!


Book #95 of 2022: ¡La Verdadera Historia de Los Tres Creditos! by Jon Scieszka

📚GENRE: Children's

🗓PUBLISHED: 1 March 1996

In this hysterical and clever fracture fairy tale picture book that twists point of view and perspective, young readers will finally hear the other side of the story of “The Three Little Pigs.”

This was my Spanish book for the month, but instead of reading it I decided to listen to the audio. Oof. I know my listening skills are worse than my reading skills, but this was harder than I thought it would be. Thankfully I know the story (mostly) so I could follow what was happening. I did understand most of it, I just can't comprehend word-for-word this fast yet!


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(Summaries are from Amazon, but all reviews are my own!)

Reading Challenge: 95/120 books read in 2022

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