Book Review: A Girl Named Anna by Lizzy Barber @ByLizzyBarber @HarperCollinsCa @HarperCollins #AGirlNamedAnna #bookreview #bookreviewer #bookblog #bookblogger #partner #booksonthebookshelf

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PUBLISHER: Mira

PUBLICATION DATE: September 3rd, 2019

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Thank you to the publisher for gifting me an ARC copy of this book to read and share my review.

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

If your whole life is a lie, who can you trust?

Raised in a quiet rural community, Anna has always been taught that her Mamma’s rules are the only path to follow. But, on her eighteenth birthday, she defies her Mamma for the first time in her life, and goes to Astroland. She’s never been allowed to visit Florida’s biggest theme park, so why, when she arrives, does everything about it seem so familiar? And is there a connection to the mysterious letter she receives that same day—a letter addressing her by a different name?

Rosie has grown up in the shadow of the missing sister she barely remembers, her family fractured by years of searching without leads. Now, on the fifteenth anniversary of her sister’s disappearance, the media circus resumes as the funds dedicated to the search dry up, and Rosie vows to uncover the truth herself. But can she find the answer before it tears her family apart?

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MY REVIEW:

This book! Wow, where to begin! This book is so addictive, amazing, and all around edge of your seat thrills! I loved flipping through the chapters of this book, and reading about the life of Anna as she grew up with her Mamma, who is very over protective of her not-so-little-anymore daughter Anna. Why is Anna’s mom so against Anna going to Astroland? It is just an entertaining amusement park… and why does Astroland seem so familiar to Anna when she has never been here before?

Anna was a very likable character. She was witty, charming, endearing and loveable. I loved how she was determined in everything that she did, and how she wasn’t afraid to chase after what she wanted, despite the consequences. I also enjoyed Rosie’s character. Like Anna, Rosie was very likable, endearing, and fought for what she believed in. Rosie’s sister Emily had disappeared many years ago when she was just a little girl, seemingly without a trace, and despite all these years that have passed looking for her sister, Rosie is determined to keep looking for her long lost sister, believing that one say she will find her sister.

I enjoyed how the chapters alternated from Anna’s and Rosie’s POV to bring about the full story. A gripping story that you must add to your TBR right now!

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MY RATING: 5/5 stars

 

 

 

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Blog Tour: The Flower Arranger by JJ Ellis @AgoraBooksLDN #TheFlowerArranger #TheFlowerArrangerBlogTour #bookreview #bookreviewer #bookblog #bookblogger #blogtour #booksonthebookshelf

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PUBLISHER: Agora Books

PUBLICATION DATE: September 26th, 2019

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Hi there and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Flower Arranger by JJ Ellis. Thanks so much to Agora Books for inviting me on the blog tour and for the beautiful book and extra goodies to go along with the book.

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

And now he knew what was wrong with the arrangement. It was the Ma… the negative space… There was only one thing beautiful enough to fill it and — finally — she was with him. Ready, if not willing, to play her role.

Holly Blain wants to cover real news. The entertainment beat — pop stars and teen trends — was not why she moved to Tokyo. When she meets Inspector Tetsu Tanaka, head of Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police’s Gaikoku-jin unit, it might just be her big break.

Tanaka isn’t so sure. Always one to do things by the book, he’s hesitant about bringing this headstrong reporter into his carefully controlled investigation.

But young women keep disappearing and Tanaka is given no choice. He and Blain must trust each other if they are to stop a tormented killer from bringing his twisted plan to its shocking conclusion.

Filled with twists and turns, this unforgettable thriller is JJ Ellis’ first novel.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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JJ Ellis was born and raised in Yorkshire in northern England although now lives near London. The author’s interest in Japan was sparked when a family member won a trip there by singing in Japanese at an exhibition in the UK. Several visits followed — to Tokyo and further flung places such as Ishigaki and Iriomote — as Ellis developed the idea for The Flower Arranger. Two more crime novels featuring the team of Tanaka and Blain are planned.

The Flower Arranger is JJ Ellis’ first novel.

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MY REVIEW:

I thought this was a brilliant first novel for new author JJ Ellis. A great twist on crime and thrillers, The Flower Arranger takes you into the unique mind of quite an artistic serial killer. Set in Japan, this book takes you on a whirlwind ride as you read through the chapters. With many twists and turns, this book will leave you wanting to read more as you fly through the chapters.

I enjoyed the two main characters in this novel, Holly Blain and Tetsu Tanaka. I enjoyed reading how they built a working relationship to work together to uncover the mystery of what was going on. Why are so many women disappearing? Who could be responsible? You will have to read the story to find out.

Be sure to add this novel to your TBR!

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MY RATING: 4/5 stars

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FOLLOW US ON THE BLOG TOUR:

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Book Review: 29 Seconds by T.M. Logan @StMartinsPress @TMLoganAuthor @netgalley #29Seconds #bookreview #bookreviewer #bookblog #bookblogger #booksonthebookshelf

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PUBLISHER: St. Martin’s Press

PUBLICATION DATE: September 10th, 2019

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Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for the eARC of this book via NetGalley.

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

“Give me one name. One person. And I will make them disappear.”

Sarah is a young professor struggling to prove herself in a workplace controlled by the charming and manipulative Alan Hawthorne, a renowned scholar and television host. The beloved professor rakes in million-dollar grants for the university where Sarah works—so his inappropriate treatment of female colleagues behind closed doors has gone unchallenged for years. And Sarah is his newest target.

When Hawthorne’s advances become threatening, she’s left with nowhere to turn. Until the night she witnesses an attempted kidnapping of a young child on her drive home, and impulsively jumps in to intervene. The child’s father turns out to be a successful businessman with dangerous connections—and her act of bravery has put this powerful man in her debt. He lives by his own brutal code, and all debts must be repaid. In the only way he knows how. The man gives Sarah a burner phone and an unbelievable offer. A once-in-a-lifetime deal that can make all her problems disappear.

No consequences. No traces. No chance of being found out. All it takes is a 29-second phone call.

Because everyone has a name to give. Don’t they? 

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MY REVIEW:

Wow what a suspensful thrill of a book that will take you on one heck of a ride! Full of dark secrets, deceit, betrayal and lies, this book is sure to be a big hit!

The novel starts off as 2 weeks earlier: The main female character Sarah gets into a taxi with a man she refers to as “him”. He is a co-worker and they have all been out together with friends, having a good time and drinking. Sarah and everyone else says how this man is different when he drinks and she was warned to never be alone with him, ever… especially when he drinks. Unfortunately, Sarah didn’t listen to the rules.

Sarah’s boss at work is Alan Hawthorne, and he can be a mean and manipulative man. He seems to enjoy manipulation and holding power over others, especially his employees who he often bullies to get them to do what he says, especially when they want a promotion in their job. he is ruthless and will stop at nothing to get his way. Alan’s character in the book was a very unlikable one. He was easy to despise.

I enjoyed reading about Sarah’s character. She was a hard worker, dedicated to her job, and appeared to know what she wanted in life. She is faced with a few hard decisions in life that she must decide what to do and in which direction to turn, and she struggled a bit with some of her decisions. She was in no way an innocent character as she had her faults as well, but she was not unlikable.

Overall this book took me on a wild ride as I swiped through the pages, often sitting on the edge of my seat as I read page after page. This book had me hooked and I loved it! Full of twists and turns that I didn’t see coming, and an ending that was on point!

A definite must read to add to your TBR!

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MY RATING: 5/5 stars

Book Review: Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center @StMartinsPress @katherinecenter #ThingsYouSaveInaFire #bookblog #bookblogger #bookreview #bookreviewer #booksonthebookshelf

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PUBLISHER: St. Martin’s Press

PUBLICATION DATE: August 13th, 2019

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Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for the gifted ARC copy of this book to read and share my review.

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s excellent at dealing with other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to uproot her life and move to Boston, it’s an emergency of a kind Cassie never anticipated.

The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew, even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the handsome rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because she doesn’t fall in love. And because of the advice her old captain gave her: don’t date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…but will she jeopardize her place in a career where she’s worked so hard to be taken seriously?

Katherine Center’s Things You Save in a Fire is a heartfelt, affecting novel about life, love, and the true meaning of courage.

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MY REVIEW: 

This book gave me all the feels! Wow, I am getting goosebumps even writing this! This books was seriously amazing, and if you haven’t read it yet you are seriously missing out!

I loved Cassie’s character. Her personality was magnetic – she was witty, brave, sarcastic (which I loved!), fun, and totally badass! She wasn’t afraid to work in a male-dominant field, and held her head high in the face of those that doubted her. She wasn’t afraid to fight for what she believed in, and didn’t let the fact that she was a female stop her from keeping up with the boys. She was fun loving, full of life, but she was sheltered too. She doesn’t fall in love. She doesn’t in fact hang out with friends, let alone have a boyfriend. She definitely doesn’t have time for that. But there must be a reason, right?

When she moves to Boston to help her ailing mother, she has to try to fit in with another firehouse full of males. Will she be able to win them over a second time, like she did in Texas? How will they take to having the first even female in the firehouse?

I loved Cassie’s journey in this novel and watching her grow as you read the chapters. She learned to open her mind and her heart, to stand up and be brave, and to take chances on those who may leave her heart-broken and alone. I loved following Cassie’s courageous journey, and I loved every page of this book! I knew I was hooked from the first few pages and the book definitely did not disappoint.

This book is about love, forgiveness, and letting go of the past and moving on.

This was the first novel by Katherine Center I have read and it definitely will NOT be my last. I need all of her other books, like now! I’ll be keeping an eye on future books she publishes as well, yes she is that good! Go check this book out now, you will not regret it!

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MY RATING: 5/5 stars

Book Review: When I Was White by Sarah Valentine @StMartinsPress #WhenIWasWhite #bookblog #bookblogger #bookreview #bookreviewer #booksonthebookshelf

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PUBLISHER: St. Martin’s Press

PUBLICATION DATE: August 6th, 2019

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Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for gifting me a paperback ARC of this book to read and share my review with others.

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

The stunning and provocative coming-of-age memoir about Sarah Valentine’s childhood as a white girl in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, and her discovery that her father was a black man.

At the age of 27, Sarah Valentine discovered that she was not, in fact, the white girl she had always believed herself to be. She learned the truth of her paternity: that her father was a black man. And she learned the truth about her own identity: mixed race.

And so Sarah began the difficult and absorbing journey of changing her identity from white to black. In this memoir, Sarah details the story of the discovery of her identity, how she overcame depression to come to terms with this identity, and, perhaps most importantly, asks: why? Her entire family and community had conspired to maintain her white identity. The supreme discomfort her white family and community felt about addressing issues of race—her race—is a microcosm of race relationships in America.

A black woman who lived her formative years identifying as white, Sarah’s story is a kind of Rachel Dolezal in reverse, though her “passing” was less intentional than conspiracy. This memoir is an examination of the cost of being black in America, and how one woman threw off the racial identity she’d grown up with, in order to embrace a new one.

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MY REVIEW:

This novel was a compelling story that was interesting to read about the experiences of young Sarah Valentine as she grew into a woman and discovered her identity. Through all the trials and tribulations, and in the face of adversity, this novel grabs the readers attention as you flip the pages and learn more about the many obstacles and feelings  Sarah herself went through on this incredible journey of self-discovery.

Imagine growing up thinking you were white and finding out your father was a black man. That you in face were not white, but mixed race. Would you do everything you could to find out about your true parentage, which race would you identify with?

I enjoyed reading this memoir from beginning to end, and I am sure you will too.

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MY RATING: 4/5 stars

Book Review: The Truth Behind the Lie by Sara Lövestam @MinotaurBooks @sara_lovestam #TheTruthBehindtheLie #bookreview #bookreviewer #bookblog #bookblogger #booksonthebookshelf

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PUBLISHER: Minotaur Books

PUBLICATION DATE: August 27th, 2019

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Thank you to the publisher, Minotaur Books, for gifting me a paperback copy to read and share my review with others.

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

When a six-year-old girl disappears and calling the police isn’t an option, her desperate mother Pernilla turns to an unlikely source for help. She finds a cryptic ad online for a private investigator:
“Need help, but can’t contact the police?”

That’s where Kouplan comes in. He’s an Iranian refugee living in hiding. He and his brother were forced to leave Iran after their involvement with a radical newspaper hated by the regime was discovered. Kouplan’s brother disappeared, and he hasn’t seen him in four years. He makes a living as a P.I. working under the radar, waiting for the day he can legally apply for asylum.

Pernilla’s daughter has vanished without a trace, and Kouplan is an expert at living and working off the grid. He’s the perfect PI to help… but something in Pernilla’s story doesn’t add up. She might need help that he can’t offer…and a little girl’s life hangs in the balance.

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MY REVIEW:

It is every mother’s nightmare – your child disappears and is now missing. Who can you turn to for help? Who can you call for help when calling the police is not an option? This is the predicament Pernilla finds herself in. Her daughter Julia is missing but Pernilla cannot call the police for help. When Pernilla sees an ad offering private detective help, she emails him.

What unfolds is a whirlwind of a story that will leave you breathless and unable to put this book down and unable to stop reading. This novel is full of shocking twists and turns that you will not see coming, and will have to thinking about this book long after you have done reading the last page. I loved this book and I flew through it.

I enjoyed reading about Kaplan and Pernilla and the obstacles they have each gone through in their lives that make them who they are today. A gripping story of one mother’s search for her missing child, and the lengths a mother will go to so they can find the ones they love.

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MY RATING: 4/5 stars

Book Review: The Arrangement by Robyn Harding @rhardingwriter @SimonSchusterCA @simonschuster @GalleryBooks @ScoutPressBooks @netgalley #TheArrangement #bookreview #bookreviewer #bookblog #bookblogger #booksonthebookshelf

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PUBLISHER: Gallery/Scout Press

PUBLICATION DATE: July 30th, 2019

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Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a paperback copy of this book and also for the eARC on Netgalley.

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

Natalie, a young art student in New York City, is struggling to pay her bills when a friend makes a suggestion: Why not go online and find a sugar daddy—a wealthy, older man who will pay her for dates, and even give her a monthly allowance? Lots of girls do it, Nat learns. All that’s required is to look pretty and hang on his every word. Sexual favours are optional.

Though more than thirty years her senior, Gabe, a handsome corporate finance attorney, seems like the perfect candidate, and within a month, they are madly in love. At least, Nat is…Gabe already has a family, whom he has no intention of leaving.

So when he abruptly ends things, Nat can’t let go. She begins drinking heavily and stalking him: watching him at work, spying on his wife, even befriending his daughter, who is not much younger than she is. But Gabe’s not about to let his sugar baby destroy his perfect life. What was supposed to be a mutually beneficial arrangement devolves into a nightmare of deception, obsession, and, when a body is found near Gabe’s posh Upper East Side apartment, murder.

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MY REVIEW:

This novel starts off with Nat calling her father whom she has not seen for years. He left her and her mother years ago when Nat was little but she is desperate and has no one else to turn to, Nat has been arrested for murder. Who was murdered? Is Nat truly responsible?

Jump back 4 months…

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Nat is a College student trying to survive financially and to make ends meet. She is struggling balancing everything, is stressed out, her roommates don’t like her, and she fears being kicked out of her apartment as she is behind on her rent and bills.
One day one of her classmates Ava tells Nat about how she pays for her upscale apartment, which is a penthouse. Ava is a sugar baby and has a sugar daddy. Nat has never heard of this before but Ava tells her all about it and gives her the website address so Nat can check it out for herself. At first Nat wants nothing to do with it, but then desperate for money decided it couldn’t hurt to meet a sugar daddy, just once or twice, for some quick and easy money.
Enter Gabe. An older, successful lawyer, who is very rich, handsome and sexy as hell. Nat figures there is no harm in meeting him just once, as there are no strings attached. Gabe has a wife and daughter, which Nat doesn’t know about. What ensues is a whirlwind of emotions, lies, deception, betrayal, secrets and craziness! I loved it!!
I loved reading about Gabe. Reading things from his POV was very interesting and he had a very interesting life and personality. I literally was flipping through these pages to see what would happen next and I devoured the book and loved every addictive, thrilling second of it.
I thoroughly enjoyed how Robyn Harding referred to several places in Canada in this novel, as I am from Canada and it was nice to read about in a novel.

If you haven’t had this book on your radar, you need to get it ASAP! You will not be disappointed! This book was truly amazing and I LOVED it!!
** Also, did you know I am mentioned in the acknowledgements at the end of this novel? I am @booksonthebookshelf. Thank you so much Robyn, that truly meant so much to me!
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MY RATING: 5/5 stars

Blog Tour: There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool @HenryHolt @RaincoastBooks @KatyPool #ThereWillComeaDarkness #blogtour #bookblog #bookblogger #bookreview #bookreviewer #booksonthebookshelf #therewillcomeadarknessblogtour

Five lives stand in its way.
Who will stop it… or unleash it?
For generations, the Seven Prophets guided humanity. Using their visions of the future, they ended wars and united nations―until the day, one hundred years ago, when the Prophets disappeared.All they left behind was one final, secret prophecy, foretelling an Age of Darkness and the birth of a new Prophet who could be the world’s salvation . . . or the cause of its destruction. As chaos takes hold, five souls are set on a collision course:

A prince exiled from his kingdom.
A ruthless killer known as the Pale Hand.
A once-faithful leader torn between his duty and his heart.
A reckless gambler with the power to find anything or anyone.
And a dying girl on the verge of giving up.

One of them―or all of them―could break the world. Will they be savior or destroyer? Perfect for fans of Throne of Glass, Children of Blood and Bone, and An Ember in the Ashes.

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MY REVIEW:
This book was addictive from the very first page. We are introduced to 5 young people, all with various powers, skills, and abilities. I loved how the chapters in this book alternated back and forth from all 5 of the main characters perspectives. All the characters were fun to read about and learn about their various personalities. They all bring something different and are very likable in their own ways. What do these 5 young people have in common? They are all about to come together in a way they never thought possible or could have seen coming.
As you read the chapters you can’t help but enjoy reading about these characters. They fight for what they believe in, they are brave, bold and very charismatic. They are faced with many decisions that could affect those around them and the world as they know it. Will they make the right choices and be able to save their world?
You will become immersed in this magical world and characters as you fly through these pages. I really enjoyed this book and am very much looking forward to the next book in the serie . With an ending that will leave you wanting to know more, you’ll love this book.
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MY RATING: 5/5 stars

Book Review: The Homecoming by Andrew Pyper @SimonSchusterCA @simonschuster @NetGalley #TheHomecoming #bookreview #bookreviewer #bookblog #bookblogger #booksonthebookshelf

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PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster Canada

PUBLICATION DATE: February 26th, 2019

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Thank you to the publisher for the eARC of this book via NetGalley.

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

What if everything you knew about the people you loved was a lie?

After the death of their absentee father, Aaron and Bridge Quinlan travel to a vast rainforest property in the Pacific Northwest to hear the reading of his will. There, they meet up with their mother and troubled sister, Franny, and are shocked to discover the will’s terms: in order to claim their inheritance they must remain at the estate for thirty days without any contact with the outside world. Despite their concerns, they agree.

The Quinlans soon come to learn their family has more secrets than they ever imagined—revelations that at first inspire curiosity, then fear. Why does Bridge have faint memories of the estate? Why did their father want them to be sequestered there together? And what is out there they feel pulling them into the dark heart of the woods?

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MY REVIEW:

This book was so intriguing from the very beginning. I loved the twisty, edgy, secretive nature of the book as it sucks you into the mystery. I also loved the creepy, edgy, almost supernatural vibe to the book.

I enjoyed reading about Aaron and his younger sister Bridge. Despite being years apart in their age difference, they still had a fun-loving and close relationship and I found it very endearing and fun to read about. Aaron was very fond of his younger sister, and her of him. Their family was full of secrets and mystery especially their father, now deceased. Growing up he didn’t provide them with much attention or affection and he was pretty much as mystery to his entire family – his wife and children.

When the Quinlan’s arrive at the property in the Pacific Northwest, they are shocked to learn of the terms and conditions of their father’s will. In a novel where nothing is always as it seems, and shocking revelation after revelation, you will find yourself wanting to know more as you read along through the chapters.

I enjoyed this book and was shocked at the ending. It wasn’t what I was expecting and I loved that!

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MY RATING: 4/5 stars 

Book Review: The Last by Hanna Jameson

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PUBLISHER: Atria Books

PUBLICATION DATE: April 9th, 2019

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Thank you to the publisher for the eARC of this novel via NetGalley.

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

For fans of high-concept thrillers such as Annihilation and The Girl with All the Gifts, this breathtaking dystopian psychological thriller follows an American academic stranded at a Swiss hotel as the world descends into nuclear war—along with twenty other survivors—who becomes obsessed with identifying a murderer in their midst after the body of a young girl is discovered in one of the hotel’s water tanks.

Jon thought he had all the time in the world to respond to his wife’s text message: I miss you so much. I feel bad about how we left it. Love you. But as he’s waiting in the lobby of the L’Hotel Sixieme in Switzerland after an academic conference, still mulling over how to respond to his wife, he receives a string of horrifying push notifications. Washington, DC has been hit with a nuclear bomb, then New York, then London, and finally Berlin. That’s all he knows before news outlets and social media goes black—and before the clouds on the horizon turn orange.

Now, two months later, there are twenty survivors holed up at the hotel, a place already tainted by its strange history of suicides and murders. Those who can’t bear to stay commit suicide or wander off into the woods. Jon and the others try to maintain some semblance of civilization. But when the water pressure disappears, and Jon and a crew of survivors investigate the hotel’s water tanks, they are shocked to discover the body of a young girl.

As supplies dwindle and tensions rise, Jon becomes obsessed with investigating the death of the little girl as a way to cling to his own humanity. Yet the real question remains: can he afford to lose his mind in this hotel, or should he take his chances in the outside world?

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MY REVIEW:

Imagine multiple places around the world being hit with a nuclear bomb… Imagine also being on the other side of the world from you family when this happens. That is the reality of Jon, the main character in this novel. He is away for a conference in Switzerland, and his wife and children are back at home in the USA. The world as everyone knows it goes into sudden and complete chaos!

2 months later, the hotel Jon is staying at in Switzerland has 20 people in it. Some stay at the hotel, others leave and head to the city in the hopes of reaching civilization and finding help. What ensues is chaotic, some commit suicide, some go crazy, and some do not know what to do. Supplies get short, tempers rise, fights break out, and the story follows Jon’s journey as he deals with the chaos.

A gripping novel that was interesting and terrifying at the same time.

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MY RATING: 3/5 stars