Review: The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

The Hunting PartyThe Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When Emma’s turn rolls around to plan the annual ‘Friends Getaway’ for the New Years Eve holiday, she is looking to impress. By pairing up with Mark, Emma has, through default, become included with the group but has never felt that she really belonged.

The rest of the crew: Samira, Miranda, Katie, Mark, Giles and Julien, have been friends since their days at Oxford and thusly, have a complex and well-rooted history together. Emma desperately wants to be accepted and this is her chance, by hosting the best getaway they’ve ever had. She goes all out, booking a swanky, private hunting lodge in the remote mountains of Scotland.

Anxious for their holiday, the train ride and first night start off with a bang. Everyone is in good spirits, the champagne is flowing and although there are a few tense moments, all goes fairly well.

But as the days drag on and the friends find themselves snowed in at the lodge, tempers flare, resentments surface and unrequited feelings come to light.

Frenemies.
Murder.
Whodunit?

I loved this book. It was fun from start to finish for me. I enjoyed the format, the dynamic among the friends, the mystery and the reveals. I understand that this book may not be for everyone but if you enjoy atmospheric, ‘locked-room’ mysteries, you should definitely check this out.

This felt like The Lying Game meets Murder on the Orient Express with modern, taboo twists. This seems like an odd mash-up, I know, but it is definitely more of a feeling of all those stories. The format follows multiple narratives and even dual timelines but I never had any issues following it. I think Foley did a great job of weaving it all together. It was tense and compelling and I could not put it down!

Thank you so much to the publisher, William Morrow, for sending me a copy of this book to read and review. I truly appreciate the opportunity and look forward to reading more from Foley in the future. I will definitely pick up anything else she writes!

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Review: Killing Adam by Earik Beann

Killing AdamKilling Adam by Earik Beann
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

With nonstop action and a hella good storyline, this high tech scifi thriller definitely kept me engaged from start to finish.

Set in the not too distant future, our world runs on ARCs. No, not Advanced Readers Copies, but Altered Reality Chips. These chips, inserted directly into the brain, allow people to experience anything they want at any time. They are basically living in their heads in a virtual reality world.

People are so addicted to their ARCs, they are tuned in all the time and thusly, tuned out from our ‘real’ world almost completely. This makes goings pretty tough for the minority of humans who are ARC-incompatible. Our protagonist, Jimmy Mahoney, is one of those few. Due to a head injury he sustained during his career as a professional football player, Jimmy is unable to have an ARC and therefore unable to connect with pretty much the rest of society, including his wife Michelle.

Jimmy’s main interactions come from his time at a support group for other ARC-incompatibles. Here he meets Trixie, a mysterious woman who ends up recruiting Jimmy to join the fight against the singularity running the system behind the ARCs, Adam. This is putting it in the simplest of terms but basically that is how our main action begins.

Overall, I had a really great time reading this novella. It is short, just over 200-pages, and is packed with action and intrigue. The whole story takes place over only a couple of days. It would have been great if it could have delved a bit deeper into the world and the characters but I understand not every book can be 400-pages long.

There were a couple of cringe-worthy sexual comments/jokes towards the beginning that were a big turn off but I am glad I stuck with it because the story definitely deserves to be read. If you are the kind of reader who likes your scifi to be so close to the truth you could see the premise actually happening in our own world in 15-to-25 years than this is absolutely a book you should pick up. It was close enough to home and what is going on currently in our tech sphere that it made it not only plausible but creepy AF.

I would definitely pick up more books by this author in the future and want to thank him for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. I always appreciate the opportunity to provide my feedback!

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Review: The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

Publication Date: March 20, 2018     |     Rating: 5-STARS!!!

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James is pretty much perfection in my opinion. This book exceeded my expectations in every way possible. I went into this book knowing two things: prep school for girls/mystery. This book is so much more than that. The novel is replete with a gothic atmosphere that transports you in time and place into the storyline. It is the perfect blend of mystery/thriller with extra special paranormal goodness sprinkled the whole way through!

The main portion of the story alternates back and forth between 1950 and 2014, following different girls/women in and around Barrens, Vermont, and more importantly Idlewilde Hall. I do not want to say too much about the story itself, as I wouldn’t want to risk giving anything away to potential readers. Just know this – I put off reading this book for many months. I don’t know why – I can’t explain it – it just kept getting shuffled down the ole’ tbr. Now, I can say, I am physically distraught at not having read this as soon as I got it. Okay – that may be taking it a little far but I do wish I would have picked it up immediately. I honestly do not have even one constructive criticism of this. Because of that this will be a very short review: This book is incredible. This book wants you to read it. This book will keep you up nights after…read it!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Publishing Group, for providing me with a copy to review. I apologize to you, as well as to myself, that I didn’t get to it until now. I am even going to run out and buy myself a copy so that I may read it again and share it with others – I love it that much!

Everything’s Coming Up ARC’s

I have been so lucky to have received numerous incredible ARCs (advanced readers copy) to read this summer! I feel so blessed to have so many amazing stories to choose from. Below is a list of my the top ones I am anticipating for the next month:

1. Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman – This book, which was released this past Tuesday, June 5th, is my current read. To say I am loving it is to put it mildly. I think of this book all day long while I am away from it doing serious adult things. This is a debut novel for Ms. Steadman and so far, I am impressed. The style of writing is very fluid and engaging. It follows one POV which feels a change for me – everything I have been reading lately seems to be multiple POVs – so I am happy to sit with this one character for a while and have her tell me her tale. Basically this one involves a young, perfect couple who in the midst of some financial and career hardships go on a dream honeymoon to Bora Bora. Once there they discover something in the water while scuba diving that will change their lives forever. I am almost halfway through this one and can’t wait to discover how it turns out.

2. Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier – This will be by next read – hoping to start it early next week – it releases on June 12th. I am so excited for this one. So many friends of mine in the book community have read this and absolutely loved it. I have seen many, many 4 or 5 star reviews from people whose opinions I really respect. I do not know too much about the story, which is how I prefer to go into Thrillers. From what I can tell, it is a story about three friends, one disappeared in high school and 14-years later her body is discovered and one of the others is arrested for it. The last of the three friends is a police investigator and I believe perhaps she unravels the truth. It sounds exciting – I am all about skeletons being dragged out of the damned closet so this sounds right up my alley!

3. The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager – Riley Sager is the author of one of my favorite novels of 2017 – Final Girls – and this, his second novel under this name, is one of my most anticipated books of the year! My excitement level on receiving notification that I was receiving and ARC of this was skyhigh 10-out-of-10. This book is set to release on July 10th and I know I can get it read well before then. Since this is a Sager, I am anticipating an unreliable narrator of some sort and tons of twists and turns and edge-of-your-seat moments. This story also has a group of young friends that something happens to all of them but one. It has a summer camp setting – which will be the third summer camp book I have read this year – I live for this type of setting. Basically, the survivor of this summer camp debacle returns to the camp years later as an art instructor and while there, she plans to figure out what happened to her friends. I just know I am going to love this! Added bonus: the cover!!!

4. Nyxia Unleashed by Scott ReintgenThis is the second book in the Nyxia Triad series with a expected publication date of July 17th. The first book in this series, Nyxia, I just finished in April and gave 5-stars to…which reminds me, I need to post a full review for that! (stay tuned for more one that…) Anyway, back to Nyxia Unleashed…so, I was so excited to receive an ARC of this to continue along with the series. This is a YA-science fiction series that follows our protagonist, Emmett Atwater, as he travels from Detroit to space to compete for a chance to mine a miracle substance, Nyxia, on a planet called Eden. This series has a great cast of diverse characters, cool sci-fi aspects, mystery and a sinister corporation element. I would highly recommend this to anyone who likes science-fiction; it’s a heck of a lot of fun and I cannot wait to see where this one takes us!

5. The Raging Ones by Krista & Becca Ritchie – This is the first book in a new YA-science fiction/fantasy series that is set to release on August 14th. This one sounds really unique and fun. It is set in a future where the world is frozen and everyone knows the day they are going to die. Three teens somehow escape their death days and are forced to try to flee the planet in order to survive! I mean, does that sound exciting or what!? I am really looking forward to getting to this one – I really do not want to learn anything else about it before I start – I feel like this is definitely the kind of story where it is best to go in blind.

Do you have any of these books on your radar? What are your most anticipated releases of the summer? I’d love to hear about them! Leave a comment below or visit me on my other social media channels – links to the side! Thanks for reading! xo