Tag Archives: 5 Stars

A Forgery of Roses by Jessica S. Olson

A Forgery of Roses by Jessica S. Olson

I’m not exactly sure where I was expecting this book to go, but it wasn’t where it went. It was so enjoyable and who the “bad guy” really was only hit me a couple pages before it was revealed, though I had a few ideas before then (all wrong). After about the first hundred pages I had so much trouble putting it down and kept thinking about it until I could get back to reading. One character has social anxiety and it was written so well, especially how he evolved to accept himself the way he is. The writing was very descriptive. It’s extremely rare for me to be able to visualize what is happening beyond occasional hazy glimpses (I generally just see words in my head) so I appreciate books with enough words for me to get the idea even though I can’t “see” it. The end was very satisfying and pretty decently wrapped it all up. The epilogue, however, sets up a sequel which I would definitely read if there ends up being one. I highly recommend A Forgery of Roses to teens and up who enjoy urban fantasy.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 47
Pages Read in 2022: 17,184
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Fantasy, Reason: Owlcrate, Reason: We Be Book'N, Young Adult

Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards

Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards

I spent pretty much all of Five Total Strangers totally stressed. It’s clear something is not right in that car and someone might be actively trying to prevent them from getting home. Everyone is suspicious in some way. And the letters scattered throughout the book are so incredibly creepy (as is the man in the yellow cap). They are such an example of someone getting in their head that a simple interaction meant something more and different than it actually did, leading to stalking and finally an “if I can’t have you nobody will” mentality. And as the reader you know that person has been in the car the whole time. I was pretty sure who wrote those letters relatively early on, but I second guessed my theory so many times. The way the author wrote the tension, increasing it as the group got more tired and suspicious of each other was incredibly well done. I very highly recommend this book to teens and up.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 45
Pages Read in 2022: 16,485
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: Literati, Reason: We Be Book'N, Thriller, Young Adult

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Right from the first page One of Us is Lying sucked me in. I think I ended up suspecting every single character, including the police and the science teacher, at some point. I did guess correctly who the culprit was at one point and occasionally circled back to that theory, but then when you think it was everyone at some point of course you’ll be right at least once. I was so absorbed in the story that I had a doctor’s appointment and was reading it in the waiting room and was at a tense point near where everything was revealed when I was called back and for the first time in my life my blood pressure was high (the doctor took it again a few minutes later and it was back to normal). The narrator rotates between the four main characters and I never knew if they were being honest or not or whether I could trust them. The character development, particularly of Addy, was extremely well written. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys young adults books.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 43
Pages Read in 2022: 15,804
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: Literati, Reason: We Be Book'N, Thriller, Young Adult

Genesis by Robin Cook

Genesis by Robin Cook

Robin Cook writes some amazing medical thrillers. I love how he builds the case little by little and keeps the tension going throughout. I had a couple guesses who the killer was pretty early on, and one of those guesses was correct. With a bit left in the book the killer was revealed to the reader and so it was quite fun through the rest of the book waiting to see how Jack (because it’s always Jack) figured out who it was. Seeing that Genesis is the 12th of 12 Laurie Montgomery/Jack Stapleton book, I must admit I was pretty sure he was going to off Laurie to end the series. I highly recommend this book to adults who enjoy medical thrillers.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 42
Pages Read in 2022: 15,442
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: I Like the Author, Reason: We Be Book'N, Thriller

Reached by Ally Condie

Reached by Ally Condie

Reached is the final book in the Matched trilogy and completes the story very nicely. There’s no specific end, nothing wrapped up in a perfect bow. Life continues and it might be a happy ending and it might not, and you are never quite sure if the Rising is good or not or if it’s just an alternative to the Society while being pretty much the Society repackaged, but it still is such a satisfying conclusion. This one is told from three alternating points of view, Cassia, Ky, and Xander, which is very effective. It spurred several very interesting conversations with my 13 and 15 year olds. I highly recommend this book to everyone who enjoyed the first two in the series.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 41
Pages Read in 2022: 15,145
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Dystopian, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Young Adult

A Quiet Life in Bedlam by Patricia Bjornstad

A Quiet Life in Bedlam by Patricia Bjornstad

Reading A Quiet Life in Bedlam feels like listening to your grandma reminiscing about their life. Some of the stories are outlandish, some are sad, some are funny, some are shocking. I found myself wanting to give the narrator, Kate, a hug. She has a lovely self-deprecating sense of humor. Sprinkled throughout are bits of songs and a little commentary on the times (60s through early 70s). I was totally sucked in to the story and couldn’t wait to find out more about Kate’s life. It’s really well-written. I recommend this book to adult women.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 38
Pages Read in 2022: 13,641
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Contemporary Fiction, Reason: Random Choice

A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat

A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat

A Wish in the Dark is a creative twist on Les Miserables. Pong is Jean Valjean and Nok is Javert. I found the story very engaging. I was pulled right in and really cared about the characters and what happened to them. It’s written on a middle grade level with young characters, but it’s very long so definitely for kids on the upper end of that age range. I highly recommend it to tweens and up.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 36
Pages Read in 2022: 12,893
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Middle Grades, Reason: We Be Book'N

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

I was not surprised that I really enjoyed The Sun is Also a Star. I’ve never been disappointed by anything by the author. I was surprised, however, at just how much I enjoyed it. I could barely put it down wanting to know what happened next. I cared so much about the characters. It’s definitely a heart in a blender sort of book. So incredibly emotional. Things are not wrapped up all pretty with a nice bow. Instead, things end up much more like they do in real life. Most of the story is told from the alternating points of view of the two main characters, but every so often there’s a narrative interjected to give explanation or a side character’s story or explain why things are or aren’t the way the main characters think they are. I absolutely loved that writing choice. Those added narratives really added to the story as a whole. I very highly recommend The Sun is Also a Star to teens and up.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 35
Pages Read in 2022: 12,518
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: I Like the Author, Reason: We Be Book'N, Young Adult

In a Dark Land by Christina Soontornvat

In a Dark Land by Christina Soontornvat

In a Dark Land is the second Changelings book, picking up several months after the first one ends. It’s a fun, action-packed adventure. You get to see more very imaginative places and creatures of Fairy and get to know some of the other Changelings as well. Izzy’s very interesting origin story is also revealed. I very much enjoyed this book. I highly recommend it to people of all ages. It would make an excellent family read aloud!

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 34
Pages Read in 2022: 12,166
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Fantasy, Middle Grades, Reason: Literati, Reason: We Be Book'N

The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

I’m going to file this book under “I didn’t see that coming at all!” The Golden Couple is packed with red herrings, storylines that initially seem unrelated, and a cast of characters swirling around the main ones who nearly all seem suspicious at one point or another. The chapters alternate between Avery, a therapist who has lost her license and is now more of an overly involved life coach (first person), and Marissa, half of a wealthy couple who seeks out Avery’s help after she can no longer stand the guilt from a one night stand (close third person). The last three or four chapters were some of the most amazing and shocking I’ve ever read. I really, really didn’t see that coming. I highly recommend this book to adults who enjoy thrillers, particularly with unreliable narrators.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 33
Pages Read in 2022: 11,858
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: Book of the Month, Reason: We Be Book'N, Thriller