Review: Clown in a Cornfield 2: Frendo Lives by Adam Cesare

Clown in a Cornfield 2: Frendo LivesClown in a Cornfield 2: Frendo Lives by Adam Cesare
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


In my opinion, Clown in a Cornfield 2: Frendo Lives suffered a bit from middle-book syndrome.

Based upon the rumor mill and the way this one left off, I am guessing there is going to be a third book and it’s going to knock this one out of the park.

It’s been a year since the bloodbath in Kettle Springs. Quinn Maybrook finds herself back in Philadelphia, attending college and trying to recover from the horrors she survived.

The public reaction to the Kettle Springs events are mixed. There are factions of online warriors who believe the whole thing was a hoax and some who believe that Quinn and her friends, Cole and Rust, were the actual perpetrators. Frankly, it’s been difficult trying to navigate that atmosphere.

Quinn is a tough egg though, she’s getting by the best she can, just trying to blend in.

Back in Kettle Springs, her father is now the mayor, doing his best to get the damaged town back on track.

The town has become a bit of a tourist attraction for fans of the macabre, general looky-los and unfortunately, a few crazies. All the day in the life of an infamous town.

One weekend when Cole and Rust go to visit Quinn at college, they’re suddenly attacked by a familiar figure. This isn’t their first rodeo, however, and our trio is able to fight off their attackers.

Then Quinn gets the most disturbing call of her life. Something is going down in Kettle Springs and her father seems to be the latest victim. The three must return and seemingly relive the worst night of their life all over again.

Is it a copy-cat? Is it a conspiracy? How were the attacks coordinated? Quinn’s not sure yet, but she definitely intends to find out.

I loved Clown in a Cornfield. I started it on release day, read my hardback copy and enjoyed every moment of my reading experience. It was the exact book I needed to kick off the start of my Spooky Season 2020.

I loved the new girl trope we had happening with Quinn as she first arrived in Kettle Springs. The set-up was fantastic, including details as small as the view from Quinn’s bedroom window. I see you, Frendo.

The social commentary was fantastic as well and the kill scenes were a ton of fun. I marveled at Cesare’s creativity.

While this reading experience was quite different for me, I’m not mad at it.

This time around, I listened to the audiobook, while preparing for and traveling for Thanksgiving. Because of this, I feel like my mind wasn’t 100% committed and had the tendency to wander.

In fact, I listened to the last 40% twice, just trying to determine my opinion on it. One issue was that I found the multiple perspectives difficult to track.

Additionally, I found the build-up to the climax to be a bit muddled. In fact, it was confusion city there for me for a while.

Obviously Quinn’s personality has completely changed as well. At least it felt that way to me. While that’s understandable after all she’s been through, I did find it a little more challenging to connect with her.

While Cole and Rust’s relationship/angle was a bit of a mess for me, I did enjoy the inclusion of a new character in Kettle Springs, Jeri. Meaning new, as in we get her perspective multiple times in this installment.

Jeri lost her sister in the first book and had a very close call with Frendo. I really enjoyed learning more about her and her experience in the aftermath of his sister’s death and the town’s sudden infamy.

Personally, I don’t think the audibook did me any favors either. It’s not like the narration was bad. It really wasn’t. It was great in fact. I just think this could have been a better experience for me if I had read my hard copy.

Regardless, this was still a solid book. The themes involved were well-expressed. Particularly relevant in the aftermath of the Alex Jones / Sandy Hook trial. Cesare did a good job channeling those types of real-life issues into this.

I like that. I always enjoy some social commentary in my Horror. So, while this wasn’t great for me, I’m still enjoying this series and would absolutely pick up a third book!!!

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Review: Nothing More to Tell by Karen M. McManus

Nothing More to TellNothing More to Tell by Karen M. McManus
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Karen M. McManus is back and her latest novel, Nothing More to Tell is my favorite yet!

I have been so hyped about this book for over a year and apparently, for good reason. I’m not sure if it was my level of excitement that pushed this one over the top for me, but this was pretty much a perfect YA Mystery for my tastes.

And that Epilogue?! Are you kidding me, McManus!? I want more of this story and these characters so much. Fingers crossed there will be an announcement soon, if there hasn’t been already. It’s possible I missed something. Nevertheless…

This story follows Brynn and Tripp, long-time friends from Sturgis, Massachusetts, who had a falling out and were then separated for four years after Brynn’s family moved to Chicago.

Due to a change in Brynn’s father’s job, they’re back in Sturgis, right back in their old house. Brynn is nervous about going back to Saint Ambrose School. She didn’t leave under the best terms, after her ex-best friend, Tripp, embarrassed her in gym class and then socially shunned her with zero impetus or explanation.

More tragic that all that though is the fact that just prior to their move, Brynn’s favorite teacher Mr. Larkin was murdered and found in the woods adjacent to the school. Three student discovered his body, her ex-friend Tripp being one of them.

Now upon their return, Brynn is determined to get to the truth behind Mr. Larkin’s death. She even pitches the case to a popular True Crime podcast, at which she has secured a dream internship.

Back in school, Brynn’s pretty determined. Let the investigation begin. She knows someone is hiding something about Mr. Larkin and it just may be Tripp.

The Reader also gets Tripp’s perspective and there are some scenes set in the before, surrounding the time that Mr. Larkin was killed.

I absolutely adore how McManus unrolled this story. The shifting perspectives, the mini-reveals along the way as Brynn gathers more and more information, it was perfectly paced in my opinion.

I loved Brynn’s investigation. Amateur sleuths are one of my favorite tropes and I found both Brynn’s motivations and her methods believable.

I also thought there were some great red herrings and the way this wrapped up was smart. As mentioned earlier, I am fairly sure there will be another book to follow this one, but since I have heard nothing official in that regard, I will just say that I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Personally, I would love more content with Brynn and Tripp!! There’s more to explore in this town.

As an aside to long-time McManus fans, you’ll find entertaining Easter Eggs, or references to her previous works cleverly placed throughout. Every time I came across one, it would just bring a ridiculous smile to my face.

Also, it made me want to reread everything she has ever written. Frankly, that shows you just how clever this one really is. Well played, McManus. Again. Well played.

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Review: The Wakening by J.G. Faherty

The WakeningThe Wakening by J.G. Faherty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

Greetings Geeks & Ghouls!

Halloween Weekend is FINALLY upon us. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Am I right?!

If you love possession stories, if you love an exorcism, if you love an exorcism gone wrong, may I present J.G. Faherty’s, The Wakening, for your consideration. This could be the perfect weekend read for you!

This story follows a group of individuals, pulled together through an eerie set of circumstances, trying to save one small New York town from the grips of an ancient evil.

The story actually began over 50-years ago in a remote Guatemalan village, when a young Father Leo Bonaventura was called to assist a friend with a complicated exorcism.

Spoiler alert: it doesn’t end well. In an effort to learn from that day, Bonaventura brings some evidence of that exorcism back with him to the United States to be studied. Ultimately depositing the objects at a University in upstate New York.

The University is in the small town of Hastings Mills. Over the years the town witnesses multiple atrocities, including an extremely vivid scene taking place in the abandoned attic room of one of the University buildings, when a group of students gathers to perform a seance.

I’m talking, extremely vivid. This was honestly my favorite scene of the entire book. It got my pulse racing. It seriously creeped me out. I could picture it all and the horror imagery was absolutely fantastic!!

It’s a little difficult to explain the set-up of this one, but after the background of the paranormal activities of the town, we begin to follow a group of paranormal investigators who get called to assist with a young girl, Abigail, who appears to be possessed.

Stone Graves is their leader and he is the host of a reality paranormal show. The group gets to Abigail’s home, much to the relief of Abby’s father, a single-parent, and immediately begin filming.

It’s clear that Abigail’s issues are no farce, the adults find themselves in a true battle, not just for their lives, but for the lives of the entire town. How can one little girl be so powerful?

Father Bonaventura, now well past his prime, just may be the key to it all.

Dun, dun dun. Y’all, this book was pedal to the floor the entire way through. I hope I have given an intriguing enough synopsis to get at least some of you Horror fans interested.

I don’t think it gets enough love yet, but we can change that. I appreciated the set-up of this so much. You can literally watch the timeline unfold of the horrors of this town.

And trust me, there are a lot of horrors happening with Abby’s house being the center of it all. When I mentioned above it is pedal to the floor, I meant it. There are no pages and pages of nonsense waiting for something paranormal to occur, it is in your face all the time.

Sometimes, maybe it was too much. I can see how some Readers may feel that way. My one small criticism would be that I did feel it was a touch too long. There was so much happening at Abby’s house that on occasion it began to feel a bit repetitive.

Also, this didn’t bother me at all, but I feel like I should provide a caution for others, the entity involved is sort of a demon of lust and chaos. Therefore, their power seeping over the town can cause blatant acts of hyper-sexualization.

To be clear, you will find that on page. Again, didn’t bother me, but if you feel you are sensitive to highly-sexual content, this may not be the book for you.

With this being said, I did love the build-up, including the set of characters that were brought together to battle the evil and the entire possession element. Even though it was a touch too long, I feel like it was worth the investment of my time.

I absolutely plan to pick up more of J.G. Faherty’s work. I was impressed by the imagery he was able to evoke with his words. Yikes.

Overall, The Wakening is an entertaining, pulse-racing, toe-curling, gag-inducing possession story!

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Review: The Prisoner by B.A. Paris

The PrisonerThe Prisoner by B.A. Paris
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


When Amelie was a teenager, her father passed away after struggling with an illness. She had already lost her mother, so suddenly found herself alone.

With no money and no desire to go into the state system, Amelie disappeared to London, where she set about making a life for herself.

She works hard at it too. It’s a struggle. Sometimes with no other options, she was forced to sleep on the streets. She works in restaurants mostly, but that industry doesn’t necessarily equal security for a young woman still in her teens. Nevertheless, she pushes on.

Her luck seems to turn around on the day that she meets Carolyn. Carolyn is a successful business woman, recently separated from her husband, who sees something in Amelie and offers her a job as a live-in housekeeper.

That’s how Amelie’s world changes. She now has friends she can count on, a safe and comfortable place to live, as well as a good salary. She begins to live the life that other, more privileged girls, her age are living.

Soon she is moving up in the world and it’s through a new job that she meets Ned Hawthorpe, a business man, technically her new boss and the heir to a vast fortune.

Whilst on a business trip to Vegas, Ned offers Amelie a deal. If she marries him, he’ll give her something she really desires. Who would think that something could go wrong from this?

Thus begins the spiral for poor Amelie.

There’s a kidnapping. There’s a hostage situation. There’s much back-and-forth filling it all in. Why has Amelie been kidnapped and will she be able to make it out of this horrible situation alive?

As with all her other novels, this book begins with a bang right out of the gate. That’s one thing I always appreciate about Paris’s writing. There’s no beating around the bush, or wasted eons of build-up, her stories start very, very quickly.

Usually within the first few pages, you’re in it. This book is no exception.

Then the narrative alternates between the present, which includes Amelie being held hostage reflecting on her situation, what could have lead her here and how she can get out of it, and the past, which fills the Reader in on Amelie’s life from the time her father died, up to the present.

I generally enjoy when stories are formatted this way and I did enjoy it in this case as well. I also enjoyed the short chapters, which made the pace feel very quick. I literally read this in a day.

Unfortunately, not all elements worked as well.

This sort of felt like an early 90s-Lifetime movie. Now, let me be clear, I love a good Lifetime movie now and again. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Lifetime movies. Please don’t come at me.

However, this was forced drama and way over-the-top. I usually love over-the-top, that’s sort of my brand. Even things that are fairly unbelievable, but for some reason the tone of this, the feel of some of the circumstances, just did not work for me.

All the male characters were practically indistinguishable from one another. I was almost at the end and one of them was mentioned and I thought, who the hell is that? It took me completely out of the story. I’m still confused about who he was and he played a pivotal role in the plot.

With all of this being said, it was suspenseful and it did keep me fairly engaged, but I have read all of B.A. Paris’s works and when I see her name on a cover, I get excited.

Admittedly, I expect a lot and maybe that’s on me, but honestly, this one disappointed me a bit. It is a good book, there is a fun story within these pages that will keep a lot of Readers on the edges of their seats. Sadly, for me, it just wasn’t as great as I was expecting.

Don’t take my word for it though, pick it up for yourself. If it sounds intriguing to you, absolutely give it a go!

Thank you so much to the publisher, St. Martin’s Press and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review. I’m glad I read it and am already looking forward to seeing what B.A. Paris will come up with next!

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Review: Well, That Was Unexpected by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Well, That Was UnexpectedWell, That Was Unexpected by Jesse Q. Sutanto
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


After Sharlot Citra’s mother walks in on her clumsily exploring her sexuality, her mother freaks out. Things are going to change around here!

After George Clooney Tanuwijaya’s father walks in on him clumsily exploring his sexuality, his father freaks out. Things are going to change around here!

For Sharlot, this change includes leaving her life in California behind, getting dragged onto an international flight, and flying to her mother’s native Indonesia where they will remain for the rest of the Summer.

For George, the change isn’t quite as shocking to the system. As a member of one of the wealthiest and most prominent families in Indonesia, George isn’t going anywhere, but he will have his family meddling a lot more into his social life.

Unbeknownst to both teens, Sharlot’s mom and George’s dad have begun quests to find appropriate romantic partners for their children. They cannot sit by and let their teens deviant behaviors progress any further.

Thus, they do what any good parent would do and they both begin cat-fishing potential love interests via social media.

And that’s how Sharlot and George ultimately end up on the most uncomfortable date ever, in one of the most beautiful coffee shops ever, struggling to live up to whatever ridiculous things their parents invented about them.

For example, Sharlot’s fake hobbies include cooking strong bone broth and hopefully one day being a good wife, while George’s hobbies include math and someday taking over the family empire.

As the teens are forced to continue the charade for a number of different reasons, they begin to get to know one other on their own terms.

Will they like what they find? And if so, how will they ever clear the air about the truth behind their meeting in the first place? What other terrible things could go wrong?!

With these two families, literally anything and everything.

Y’all, I loved this with my whole heart and soul. I was so invested in these characters. Sharlot and George have to be two of my favorite characters ever.

Well, That Was Unexpected got unexpectedly under my skin. While the humor kept me giggling throughout, certain emotional aspects got me deep in my feels. It was everything I wanted and more.

I knew going into this that Sutanto’s sense of humor meshes really well with my own. I love how realistically she writes her characters thoughts, which are always so darn on point and witty.

This story is told via alternating perspectives from Sharlot and George. It was so fun seeing both of their sides to this unbelievable situation they found themselves in. I also liked being able to see both of their thoughts involving the evolution of their feelings towards one another.

100% satisfying start-to-finish!!

This is definitely my favorite Romantic Comedy of the year and in fact, is one of my favorites ever.

I would fall on a sword for it. I would shout from a rooftop for it. I would fly to Jakarta to defend its honor…and might as well get some delicious coffee whilst I’m there… ๐Ÿ˜‹โ˜•๏ธ

Thank you so much to the publisher, Delacorte Press, for providing me a copy to read and review.

I am a Jesse Q. Sutanto stan and this novel is the perfect example as to why. I can’t wait to pick up whatever she serves up next!!

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Review: Blackmail and Bibingka (Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery #3) by Mia P. Manansala

Blackmail and Bibingka (Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery #3)Blackmail and Bibingka by Mia P. Manansala
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

When her estranged cousin, Tita Rosie’s son, Ronnie, returns to town, Lila anticipates that trouble will be close behind. It’s shocking how right she is in that assessment.

Ronnie has purchased the local Shady Grove Winery along with a his best friends, Izzy and Pete, and some other investors, most notable being, Denise Sutton.

It literally feels like Ronnie has been back in Shady Grove for mere moments before the first body suspiciously drops.

Then the blackmail begins, stating that they know what Ronnie did in Florida and that he’s up to his old tricks again. The blackmailer threatens to bring evidence against him unless they are paid a large sum of money by Tita Rosie.

This threatening message coinciding with Ronnie now being suspected of murder does not shine a positive light on her cousin, but Lila feels like she has to do whatever she can to clear Ronnie’s name.

This requires Lila putting her mistrust of Ronnie behind her, at least temporarily, in order to help him. Family is complicated after all, but Lila feels obligated to help.

As Lila digs into Ronnie’s partners and investors, she discovers they’ve actually woven themselves quite a twisted web. The dynamics amongst them are all over the place.

Will Lila be able to figure out the who done it before it’s too late? And what if it actually is her cousin? How does this play out for her family?

Blackmail and Bibingka is the third installment of the Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery series. I had so much fun with the first two books in this series and this one was no different.

I have loved getting to know the Macapagal family over the course of these books. I was also stoked when Manansala mentioned in her Author’s Note at the conclusion of this, that we will be getting three more books in the series.

Personally, I never want them to end!

These books are full of food and family. If you aren’t hungry by the time you are done one these of books, you have no soul. I’m sort of kidding, but not really.

I love Lila as a character and her friend group. She has surrounded herself with a great group of women and I love how supportive they are of one another. We love to see those types of strong female friendships in our stories.

This book is marketed as taking place during Christmas time, but honestly, if it wasn’t for the food, I would have no clue this was supposed to be set during the holiday season.

It didn’t bother me as such, I only mention it because I know how strongly people feel about their holiday stories and I don’t want anyone to be disappointed.

Overall, I found this to be an engaging mystery. At times, I did get a little confused trying to keep track of all the bad actors Ronnie had surrounded himself with, but that totally could have been my headspace at the time of reading and not the story itself.

I think if you have enjoyed other books in this series, or if you enjoy Cozy Mysteries that incorporate a solid food element, you should definitely check this one out.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I’m very excited to continue on with this series!!

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Review: The Girl in White by Lindsay Currie

The Girl in WhiteThe Girl in White by Lindsay Currie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Mallory has felt out of place ever since her family moved from the bustling city of Chicago to the small seaside town of Eastport in New England.

Certain aspects of the town’s local culture drive Mallory a bit crazy if she’s being honest, like the fact that it feels like Halloween 365-days a year.

While this may sound absolutely fantastic to some of us, Mallory feels very differently. The constant reminders of local ghost stories and lore weighs on her last nerve.

Her parents, who own and run a cozy restaurant known as The Hill, have bought into it hook, line and sinker. Her mother even regales visiting guests with spooky tales during meals at the restaurant. It’s like dinner and a show.

As time goes by, instead of getting better, Mallory feels like things are getting worse. She’s having a difficult time sleeping and feels like she is being watched.

The nights are the worst. She’s losing time and waking up dirty and wet; that’s how Mallory initially starts to figure out that she’s actually been sleepwalking. That paired with the nightmares, make Mallory’s nights something to fear.

When a neighbor boy, Joshua, confesses to Mallory that he has been sleepwalking as well, the two begin to share stories. It seems they are even plagued by the same dreams.

What is going on? The more they compare notes, the more they begin to fear that what is happening to them may be connected to one of the town’s most infamous legends, that of Sweet Molly.

Together with Mallory’s other friends, Emmie and Brianne, the kids begin a deep dive into the real story of Sweet Molly.

They feel like she’s connecting with them for a reason. Even though it’s scary, maybe she just needs their help. They hope that with enough information they’ll be able to help Molly achieve peace, so that she can move on and they can finally sleep through the night.

The Girl in White was my most anticipated Spooky Middle Grade release of the year and it did not disappoint.

Currie knows how to deliver that perfect, cozy, spooky small town atmosphere, all while pairing it beautifully with likable, strong-willed, curious and determined characters.

This was such a fun story and definitely had some top-notch creepy moments. I liked the investigation the kids undertook, following clues and trying to get to the truth behind the legend of Sweet Molly.

I also enjoyed the message at the heart of this story. Without giving too much away, let’s just say that it shined a light on doing the right thing, even though it might be difficult.

I did feel the ending to be a little abrupt, but that’s most likely because I didn’t want it to end. I definitely recommend this one to all Spooky Middle Grade Readers.

You know who you are…

Thank you so much to the publisher, Sourcebooks Young Readers, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I’m obsessed with Lindsay Currie’s stories. They are so cozy, spooky and fun. All the the things I love in my Middle Grade. I’m looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next!

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Review: Mina and the Slayers (Mina and the Undead #2) by Amy McCaw

Mina and the Slayers (Mina and the Undead, #2)Mina and the Slayers by Amy McCaw
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


((…screams in 90s-pop culture…))

Mina and the Slayers is the follow-up to Amy McCaw’s 2021-debut novel, Mina and the Undead.

This super fun YA-series follows 17-year old, Mina, who moves to New Orleans from Whitby, in England ((incidentally, the town that inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula)), to live with her older sister, Libby.

A lot goes down in the first novel, where McCaw does an incredible job setting the stage for what I am hoping is going to be a long running series. The New Orleans atmosphere is completely on point.

Mina and Libby work at a Horror Mansion, with interactive live scenes from some of your favorite horror movies, and that continues on into this second novel.

I had so much fun reading the first book. It was such a nostalgic treat and this one was no different. The first book definitely left off in a great spot for a sequel, so I’ve been anxiously awaiting this release for a year.

I’m happy to report, not only did it not disappoint, but it actually exceeded all my expectations. McCaw’s writing and character development has continued to grow and we absolutely love to see that!

In this installment, we have a few new things going on in Mina’s life that really helped to build out this story.

First, and my favorite new aspect, is that Mina is now job shadowing with the local police department. She’s paired up with an Investigator named Cafferty and when mysterious stabbings begin plaguing the city, she’s along for the ride and the subsequent investigation.

I love investigations of any type of violent crime, so this was such a pleasant surprise. I had no clue this was going to be a new part of Mina’s life.

We also find Mina a bit estranged from her boyfriend, Jared, due to something that happened to him in the first book.

Regardless, the couple is working on their relationship and I enjoyed watching that evolution over the course of the story.

Finally, y’all know this is a vampire book, right? Did I mention that?

Well, with that in mind, let it be known, there is slaying in this book. There are bad ones in the city, killing humans and of course, you need people who know about the existence of vamps to be willing to fight to save human lives.

Someone has to do it. When vampires walk amongst us, things can get dangerous real quick. I mean, just ask the residents of Santa Carla, California…

Yeah, so overall, I had an absolute blast with this. It was intense, with high stakes, great character development, a fun mystery and nostalgic vibes for days.

I’m not sure, but I am getting a feeling that we’ll be getting a third book and I am absolutely here for it.

Thank you so much to the author, Amy McCaw, for providing me with an early copy. This sequel would make John Carpenter, John Hughes and John Stamos proud, so I certainly hope you are proud as well!!


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Review: Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney

Daisy DarkerDaisy Darker by Alice Feeney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When Nana is turning 80-years old on Halloween and invites you to visit her at her tired, gothic-feeling home on a tiny, tidal island, you go. Even if you can’t stand the rest of your family, you go.

And that’s indeed what happens for Daisy Darker’s family, assembled via Nana’s wishes for the first time in years.

Nana’s been a little fixated on her 80th ever since that palm reader told her it would be her last birthday.

In fact, it may be because of this that she has chosen this birthday to gather her entire family, including her son, Frank, ex-daughter in law, Nancy, three granddaughters, Rose, Lily and Daisy, one great-granddaughter, Trixie and a man named Connor, who has been a sort of unofficial member of the Darker family for years, to air some things.

This also may be the reason why she decides to read her Will to them all that night.

All are not necessarily pleased by Nana’s proclamations, but what can they do. What’s done is done, isn’t it?

As the clock strikes midnight, Nana’s crumpled body is then discovered on the floor of the kitchen. She’s dead, but was it an accidental fall, or did something more sinister happen?

After Nana’s death, everyone is panicked. It’s creepy being trapped on a remote island with a dead body, but there’s literally no way off and a storm has halted communication with the mainland.

The fun doesn’t stop there though, think And Then There Were None. No one is safe…

Daisy, the youngest of the granddaughters, has always been Nana’s favorite, even though she’s been mistreated by the rest of her family for years.

Well, that’s not necessarily true, Trixie, Lily’s often-neglected daughter, is always kind to her Aunt Daisy, so at least Daisy has two allies within the family; not a total loss.

This story is actually narrated entirely by Daisy, so getting insights into the family from her perspective is quite interesting indeed. She doesn’t hold back any punches when describing her relatives, that’s for sure.

In addition to the present drama, we also get a past perspective, taking us through Daisy’s childhood and most memorable times at the Darker seaside manor.

Connor, the man mentioned above, is a large part of these childhood memories, as that’s when he first came on the scene and essentially became a member of the family.

I had a fantastic time with this book. The audiobook absolutely enraptured me.

There was so much about this that I loved, from the classic-feeling mystery vibe, to the over-the-top family drama, bad-acting characters and claustrophobic setting.

This is my favorite book of 2022 so far and something superbly jaw-dropping would have to come along to change that, I think. This is next level.

I loved how this story was told. The set-up at the house with Nana was terrific, the use of the creepy poems to enhance the mystery, as well as the alternating timelines helped to build-out this story beautifully.

If I were to wish upon a star, I would wish that I had written this book. Alas, I am pretty sure that doesn’t work and Alice Feeney beat me to it. Perfection.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Macmillan Audio, for providing me with a copy to read and review. This blew me away. What a delight!

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Review: All of Our Demise (All of Us Villains #2) by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman

All of Our Demise (All of Us Villains, #2)All of Our Demise by Amanda Foody
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

All of Our Demise is the finale to the All of Us Villains duology.

This Dark YA Fantasy, featuring a magical competition to the death, is penned by the dream duo of Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman.

If you haven’t read the first book, please proceed with caution. There may be some things mentioned in this review that some would consider spoilers.

I will not be hiding them.

After the conclusion of Book 1, the limits of the tournament are beginning to erode. The status quo shaken.

The public is now more involved with the process than ever before, with Reporters flocking to the historic battlegrounds, turning the pain and misery of the Champions into entertaining fodder for everyone else.

It’s basically the Capital during the Hunger Games. The magical contestants are bona fide celebs.

Additionally, a dead boy has returned, now influencing the tournament and out of nowhere a new champion has entered the ranks, looking to dismantle the tradition entirely.

The champions end up divided into two groups: those who wish to proceed as normal and those who wish to break the curse, thus ending the tournament forever.

This book was freaking intense. I reread the first book, All of Us Villains, just prior to starting this and I am so glad I did.

This is quite a detailed world and it is very fast-paced. Therefore, I have a tendency to race along, excited to get to the conclusion of the action. Occasionally this causes me to forget fine details.

The first book is really where we are learning the bulk of background on our main characters and their families. I was super glad to have that refresher before getting into this one.

Luckily, I loved that one so much and really had fun revisiting the story. This installment builds beautifully off of everything that occurred there. It was a seamless transition from one book to the next; very well done.

I loved how in this one, our main characters shift themselves into essentially two opposing teams. There are those who want to end the tournament and those, mainly those whose families have gained the most from the tradition, who want things to remain as they are.

This seems relatable to the real world, doesn’t it?

We do follow the same characters here as we did in the first book. I was glad for that. I was a little concerned we were going to move on to new perspectives, as sometimes happens. I’m glad the authors stuck with the characters we already know and love.

I did see so much character growth for each of these mains. As they interacted with one another more, it helped to reveal a deeper side to their personal wants and motivations. There were some great arcs; particularly for me, Allistair and Gavin.

I think this is such a fun duology, dripping with dark atmosphere, engaging characters and non-stop action.

My head was left spinning. There was so much covered in this book alone. Overall, a great continuation, with a more than satisfying conclusion!!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Tor Teen and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review.

I seriously hope this isn’t the last collab we see from Foody and Herman. All of Our Demise releases tomorrow, Tuesday, August 30, 2022.

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