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!

Review: Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones

Publication Date: February 6, 2018   |    Rating: 3.5-stars

Dark and lyrical, Shadowsong, brings to a conclusion the story of Liesl and her Goblin King. This second book in the Wintersong duology picks up a few months after the conclusion of Wintersong. Although I selected 3-stars, I would actually give this a 3.5-star rating if given the option. This is a tough book to describe and I definitely don’t feel it is for everyone. For me, it works; I love S. Jae-Jones writing style. She has a way of weaving together an eerie tale where you struggle to piece together reality and unreality.

Our MC, Liesl, is not really a likable character but somehow I still found myself caring about her. I wanted to shake her out of her funk multiple times but I know, with depression and other mental health issues, it is not that easy. She really struggles in this one, more so than the first, with her decisions, her past, her family relations. She is moody and brooding and honestly, kind of a dark cloud over the whole story, but in a way that contributes to the overall story line, in my opinion. I would say trigger warning for suicidal thoughts and ideation.

I love the atmosphere of this book. In Wintersong, we were pretty sedentary in our action; you were either at the Inn owned by Liesl’s family, or in the Underground. Here, our characters travel from home to find their brother Josef, who resides in Vienna. The city life is quite a change for Liesl and being far from the Goblin Grove certainly doesn’t enhance her mood any. After a swift turn of events at a masked ball, Liesl and Josef, are swept away to Snovin Hall. Their relationship has been under extreme duress and they do begin to form a reconnection of a sort whilst at Snovin.

I loved Snovin Hall – the gothic vibes were a plenty and some of the scenes written while our characters were there gave me chills. Joseph playing in the mirrored ballroom…it still gives me the heebie jeebies just thinking about it! However, this aspect of the story did get a little confusing in places. There is a fine line between being intriguing and being confusing and this one swayed into the confusion zone more than once. That being said, the overall feel of the book was dark and creepy enough for me to enjoy and keep me invested. The last 15 or 20 pages were excellent – I enjoyed the ending and felt that S. Jae-Jones wrapped up a complicated story quite fluidly.

Thank you so much to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy of this book for review. It is greatly appreciated!

Review: Sitting Murder by A.J. Wright

Publication Date: 10/12/2017

Good morning bookworms!  Well, I finished Sitting Murder last night!  (after staying up way past my bedtime in order to do so – I regret nothing!)

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, Endeavor Press, in exchange for an honest review. The first thing that drew me to this book was the cover – it’s beautiful! Luckily, this book is a lot more than a pretty cover. When I started this book I was not aware that this is actually book #4 of a currently 4 book series. I didn’t realize that until about a quarter way in – I loved the writing and thought, why have I never heard of this author before? This is really good. I look it up on Goodreads and that is when I discovered it is actually a full series. I did not feel that not having read the first three books I was missing any information – I think you could easily read this as a stand-alone story or read the earlier ones out of order. I definitely plan on seeking out the other books in this series.

The setting is in a small village in Victorian times which is quite gothic -something I love. You can almost feel the cold streets, the flickering candlelight and the hardships of the characters. There is a girl acting as medium, seances, a murder – what is not to love about all that? This was a completely enthralling mystery, classic in the sense of Christie or Sayers, complete with strong, smart detectives cracking the case. My only slight criticism would be that I wish there had been a bit more character development for some of the main characters, particularly Brennan and Jaggery; that is but a minor thing however and perhaps that is something that was taken care of in the earlier books. I am genuinely happy that I had the opportunity to read this book – thank you to Endeavor Press – I would definitely recommend Sitting Murder to anyone who loves a good mystery!

What are your favorite mystery writers?  I am always looking to discover new series in this genre – there is so much to love about them!

Status Update: Sitting Murder

Good afternoon guys & ghouls!  Sorry, I’m still a bit in the Halloween spirit – Last night I made a lot of progress in the book, Sitting Murder by A.J. Wright.  I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher Endeavor Press in exchange for an honest review.

First off, the cover – that is what attracted me to this book; it’s gorgeous!  This is apparently book #4, in a currently 4 book series called the Lancashire Detective Mystery series.  This being said, I was unaware of the earlier books prior to starting this and I don’t feel that it is inhibiting my enjoyment at all.  I don’t feel like I am missing any pertinent information.

I have noticed there is not a lot of really strong character development – it is a pretty standard police procedural with the classic, whodunit, format.  However, it is a historical fiction mystery, being set in Victorian times which is fabulous!  I love the atmosphere the book has created thus far – it has such a gothic feel with a girl acting as a Medium, seances and a murder!  Seriously, what’s not to love!?

I was surprised when I checked on Instagram that there were no posts regarding this author or this series.  It is really well written, I wish it were getting a bit more attention.  You know I’ll be posting it once I am complete with a review – I am looking forward to finishing this one up!

Happy Reading!