Review: No Exit by Taylor Adams

No ExitNo Exit by Taylor Adams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

Darby Thorne has just received terrible news from her sister. Their mother is dying of cancer and she doesn’t have much time left.

Rushing home to Utah to be by her side, Darby encounters a blizzard in Colorado that makes all roads impassable.

Luckily, she comes across a remote rest stop that seems like a safe space to wait out the storm.

It has to be better than being trapped alone in her car for the night in freezing conditions.

Seeing other vehicles in the lot, Darby realizes she isn’t the only traveler stuck in this horrible situation. Upon entering, she finds three people inside who seem amiable enough.

Then a fourth person pops up who creeps her the f* out.

After his arrival, Darby is on edge and seemingly for good reason. As she is out in the parking lot, she notices a little girl locked in a dog cage in the back of a work van.

One of the people stuck here is a kidnapper and god knows what else!

Now Darby has to figure out how to free the girl, keep her safe and survive the night. All the while, not knowing who the predator is. So, no pressure.

This book was hella fun. Adams did a wonderful job of consistently building momentum throughout the story.

As I was reading, I found my level of anxiety getting higher, higher and higher. In a good way. The fun, edge-of-your-seat, kind of way; not the crawl under a blanket and not leave my house for a week kind of way.

When this book was released, there was quite a bit of hype surrounding it. Happy to report, that hype is legit.

Channeling strong horror movie vibes, this story will stick with me for a while. I loved the different characters and the horrific circumstances just seemed to get more and more dire as the hours at the rest stop ticked by.

Great pacing by Adams. I am really excited to see what he comes up with next. I hope he consistently stays in this thriller/horror zone. I definitely think he’s found his sweet spot!

As an aside, perfect winter read if you live in a climate where you get a lot of snow.

Blizzard coming this weekend? No problem. Just pick up No Exit and STAY AT HOME!!!

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Review: Artemis by Andy Weir

ArtemisArtemis by Andy Weir
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jazz Bashara lives on Artemis, a moon colony with its own social structure and commerce. Jazz, estranged from her father, has been making ends meet by functioning as a smuggler for the black market economy.

Mostly hustling smaller items, one day a very rich man makes Jazz an offer she can’t refuse.

What follows is a story of girl trying to make up for past mistakes and trying to survive the best she can, with a little corporate sabotage sprinkled in.

I really enjoyed this book. The world that Weir created. When you are reading about Artemis, it’s hard to remember that it doesn’t exist. It seemed real and the science is feasible, so A++. The details were described so well. ((applause))

Additionally, the characters all really worked for me. I loved Jazz. She’s super flawed but seriously trying her best and every once in a while, you just have to throw caution to the wind and say, f* it. I liked her attitude and I think she really came full circle over the course of the story.

I guess it is important to note that I have not read The Martian yet and frankly, I’m glad. I know a lot of folks read that first and then didn’t enjoy this as much. Now I think when I finally do get around to The Martian it will impress me even more, and trust me, that is still on the TBR.

I would definitely recommend this to any scifi fans out there who haven’t read it yet.

Who are we kidding though?
I am probably the only one left on planet Earth who hadn’t gotten to it yet!

I am happy to be crossing it off my backlist and thank my TBR Jar for making me read it!

P.S. This could translate into a fantastic, fast-paced movie! Please do, Hollywood. Please do.

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Review: Final Girls by Riley Sager

Publication Date: July 11, 2017

4-stars out of 5
SURVIVOR
Wow, okay, this was a really fun read. A Book of the Month Club pick for July 2017, I am actually sad I waited this long to get to it (damn you, never-ending tbr list!). I am giving this four stars instead of five because I usually only give five stars to books that I would read again and I don’t think I would reread this one. The story for this is definitely one where it is most impactful the first time through.
The structure and storyline reminded me of a B-rate Horror flick and I do not mean that as an insult. I am a person who has sought out the best B-rate horror films my whole life- I love them. I feel this book would translate well into a movie actually. It starts much like many of those movies start, a group of super attractive college kids head off campus for a weekend celebration in the woods at a creepy little cabin…well, you can imagine the rest. Picture Cabin Fever, directed by the insanely talented Eli Roth, but witnessed through flashbacks. So fun, right?!
The beginning of the book was a little slow for me but about half way through the chapters started to get shorter and the flashbacks more frequent as you begin to piece together what the hell is actually going on. You think you know what is happening, you think it is predictable, but then that all gets flipped on its head and the ending was absolutely fabulous. Overall, I think this was very well done and I definitely want to read the book Riley Sager is set to release later this year, Last Time I Lied – if it is anything as good as this, I know it will be a wild ride!

Review: As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner

Publication Date: February 6, 2018

As Bright as Heaven truly impressed me as a work of historical fiction. I loved the format of the book, following three sisters and their mother in the early 1920s, the chapters cycle through each woman’s perspective. Due to this, the book also felt very pertinent as a piece of women’s literature. All of the ladies involved in this book were dealing with issues involving what society expected of them based on their gender – one very interesting aspect of this, is that they were all at different stages in their lives so you really got a feel for issues that arise during all points of a woman’s life.

I was moved by this book – I found it to be an excellent examination of not just women’s lives and issues but also mortality and choices. The book focuses a lot on the choices we make, how they influence the path, or stories, of our lives. Additionally, there was a strong focus on how our choices can also have great repercussions for the lives of those around us. There were some deep and moving passages in this book; passages that gave me pause to reflect on the words and how they hold true even in my life.

I loved the setting of the book and the time – the Spanish flu is not an event I have really heard much about and I love history and reading non-fiction books. This story really brings to light how devastating this flu was around the world and I am definitely interested in learning more history about this event.

I would recommend this book to any of the women in my life but I also think men could really enjoy this beautifully told story – I wouldn’t want to leave them out! Well done to Ms. Meissner! Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Books, for providing me with a copy to review. I appreciate the opportunity to experience this gorgeous story and share my thoughts on it.

Review: Red Clocks by Leni Zumas

Publication Date: January 16, 2018

Bold, topical and completely riveting! Red Clocks took hold of me from the very beginning and never let up. It is honestly like nothing I have ever read before and is hard to describe, really. I received Red Clocks after making it my January 2018 Book of the Month Club selection. Hot on the heals of the recent success of The Handmaid’s Tale being adapted into a television series, readers every where have been prepared for a surge of feminist literature. This book is one of the most buzzed about new releases of that genre. I had to check it out and cannot express how happy I am that I did!

The novel follows 4 women (plus a historical 5th) who are all connected to each other through community and womanhood; these characters all grapple with difficult choices based on their sex/sexuality. I went into this book thinking that it was set in some sort of futuristic, dystopian world but it isn’t; it is very much a present day story but set up and delving into the possibilities of how very different our society could be if just one or two laws pertaining to female reproductive choices were changed. It was very raw, very real and not shy at all about challenging, often controversial, topics. I can definitely see a subset of folks who will not enjoy this book at all (although I haven’t seen any of those reviews yet).

If this is the quality of product we receive in a debut novel from Ms. Zumas, I cannot wait to see what else she has in store for us. She shows such courage in bringing this story to us. I am definitely a fan of her work and will be reading any other books she may publish in the future. Bravo!