Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

The Move by Felicity Everett [BLOG TOUR]

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I am very excited to be part of the Blog Tour for The Move by Felicity Everett. Especially on New Year’s Day, finishing the year with a blog tour. Thank you to the team at HQ, for sending me an advance readers copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Karen moves into a new home with her husband Nick. It is a new house and a fresh start. But it is still the same husband. 

I do love myself a bit of family thriller and drama novels. The Move seemed like the perfect choice to get myself cosy, right before saying goodbye to the old year and entering the “new year – new me” attitude. And in the end, it does have this vibe, as our main female protagonist finds her true self and starts making the right choices in her life. 

However, this book was not as exciting as I expected it to be.

There is a woman that is going through a hard time and a mental health recovery, judging by her memories and thoughts. Her husband had an affair and she didn’t handle that well at all. But now, it seems that she is well. Her husband got them a new home, with new neighbors, in the idyllic little village, where she can do the things she loves the most. 

But her neighbors are not the best kind of type – they all seem weird. And her husband is not really listening to her when she speaks. Her child Ethan is here and there, the relationship shattered by the actions of his father. 

And we spend the whole book standing by Karen’s side, watching all the dull things she is doing in the house, talking to her neighbors and being depressed and constantly worrying about everything. 

I felt bad for Karen, because she is still going through a mental breakdown, even though really trying to figure out her life. She is really trying, but her husband, friends and neighbors are slowly pushing her down again. The Move has a very big voice on mental health. How important it is that we have our support network next to us, and I am glad that Karen finds Cath in all that mess of a life. Also, how important it is to trust your own guts. When all your friends keep telling you your marriage is perfect and you are so lucky, only because it looks so from the outside, you shouldn’t always believe them. Don’t ever ignore the little things. And don’t ever stay with a man that doesn’t believe in you.

As far as the book goes though, it was quite monotonous and uninteresting. No major plot twists, no big cliff-hanger. I was reading the whole time, waiting for the big moment to come, and it never did. 

And in the end, even though we clearly know what choice Karen makes for her life, we don’t have a conclusive ending. We have one of those endings that sort of finishes and lets the reader figure out what happens next. I am not a fan of those, and it might be why I am slightly disappointed in how it all wrapped up. 

I would still recommend it if you love family dramas and thrillers. However, if you are expecting for a book that will keep you on the edge, I am afraid you need to still keep looking.

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Book Review · Books

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman (Arc of a Scythe #2) [BOOK REVIEW]

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I thought Scythe will be my favorite book of the year, but then I read Thunderhead. It is a shame that I won’t be able to read The Toll this year – but I am honestly so honored to have a chance to read this series in my lifetime. Neal, please let me kiss your immortality ring!

Thunderhead is a continuation of The Arc of Scythe series, where we follow two characters, Citra and Rowan, in their journey to become apprentices of Scythe Faraday. With many twists and turns, which I don’t want to spoil for you all, Thunderhead begins exactly where Scythe finished. And it only gets better from here!

While in Scythe, the main focus of the book was the introduction to the world of Scythes, their beliefs, their challenges, their destiny, in Thunderhead, we get to know the Thunderhead better. The mind behind all the success of humankind, the brains behind how we managed to beat immortality. The Thunderhead sees everything and it can control everything – except the Schythedom. 

“The end doesn’t always justify the means, dear.” she said. “But sometimes it does. Wisdom is knowing the difference.”

This book was so powerful in so many ways. The bravery of Scythe Citra, now known as Scythe Anastasia. The determination of Rowan. Thunderhead and the power and wisdom it holds, but is unable to share it. The sacrifice of Scythe Curie. The friendship that slowly turns to love and trust between Citra and Rowan and their fights to bring fairness and justice, both of them fighting for the same goal, but in their own different ways. 

Thunderhead was everything I was hoping it to be and more. It was all I ever wanted from it. The writing, the mini entries of thoughts from the Thunderhead or the diary excerpts that keep you engages chapter after chapter are such a refreshing way to read a book.

I think this series will end up being my favorite one of all time, and I cannot wait to get to The Toll and get the ending I am hoping I will get. Thunderhead finishes with an enormous cliff-hanger, that makes you beg for the next book. 

I recommend this book so, so much and in real life I cannot stop talking about it. Please pick up a copy and give it a try. If you don’t instantly fall in love with it, you can glean me.

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Book Review · Books

Moore Field School and the Mystery by Liam Moiser [BOOK REVIEW]

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Moore Field School and the Mystery by Liam Moiser is the first book of the Moore Field School series. We follow the main character Samantha, whose parents are teachers at her school, Moore Field School.

When Moore Field School is about to close down, the headmistress, Miss Moore, moves the school to Lakeview to start again. And Samantha and her parents move too. 

Before the first term, the students go to a camp, where they hear about a haunted house. Samantha and her best friend, Jessica, somehow end up in the middle of this mystery. 

My first thoughts of this book were that I find this little school cute, and the mystery of the haunted house quite interesting. 

However, other than that, I am afraid not many things really appealed to me. 

First of all, Samantha doesn’t look like or act like a little girl. She has conversations with her parents in a very unusual way. Who talks to their parents in such a way, in a middle grade book for children?

“Okay, since you are both insisting, I’ll go and get my musical sheets whilst you settle yourselves down in the living room.” Samantha smiled; she really did want her father and mother to listen to her music. 

Aside from the characters and their language, there are a lot of scenes and acts in the book that I cannot find the logic of: 

Miss Moore, the headmistress, is closing the school down because of the lack of pupils going into the private school. She is then moving the school into another town, which is a few hundred miles away. And she wants the old students to keep going to this school. Why would I want my child to keep going to a school that will now be hundreds of miles away? And yet, parents agree to this…

Both parents and teachers don’t seem to care too much about their pupils. Samatha and Jessica wander off, almost drown, get lost twice, and when they return, they are simply greeted as if nothing major happened. Also, the teacher that was supposed to be guarding them and fell asleep and lost them twice gets out of the whole mess without being in any trouble. 

I really wish I enjoyed this book, but it made me cringe and wince all the way through on how pompous and unrealistic it was. Luckily, it is quite short, so I got through it quite fast. Whew. 

I don’t think I will be reading the rest of the series unfortunately.

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Book Review · Books

Dracula by Bram Stoker [BOOK REVIEW]

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Dracula by Bram Stoker is the ultimate horror classic of all times. This is where it all started. A tale about a creature that feeds on the blood to survive, but also a tale of friendship and love, described and presented in a way we rarely have a privilege to see these days. 

If Vampire Diaries, Vampire Academy, Twilight and the Sookie Stackhouse series pop to your mind when you first think of vampires, this book might feel extremely slow to your taste. However, if you want to experience the real horror and the building tension through many diary entries – you will enjoy this book completely. 
I am a fan of both, and I had moments where I fell in love with the detailed explanations of weather and whereabouts. But the setting of writing many polite letters to people dear to the characters also made me cringe. I suppose a cringe can’t be all bad for a horror book though? 
Through many diary entries of various characters, we follow their experience with the Count Dracula. Young Jonathan Harker is sent to go to Transylvania and arrange for the apartments the Count Dracula  wants to buy in London. During his stay, he faces many unusual things. Meanwhile, his fiance Mina and her friend Lucy are in London, and Lucy is facing some unusual experiences herself, when Dr. Seward arrives to help better her condition.

“How blessed are some people, whose lives have no fears, no dreads; to whom sleep is a blessing that comes nightly, and brings nothing but sweet dreams.”

I knew what I was getting into, and I believe knowing this is a classic, and not a fast-paced romance with a paranormal twist put me in the right mood from the very beginning, so I was aware of what I was going into, and I really enjoyed it!
Dracula as a character is so mysterious, so powerful, very feared and secretly admired. I both loved and hated the fact that we don’t get to really see much of him, but we have to be satisfied with what the other characters are going through. And even though, he continues to be a shadow, a fear, a thought of everything they are doing. He is always there, even when he isn’t, and it requires great skills as a writer to create that presence for a character.
The characters of Lucy and Mina were very interesting – from a time perspective. How things have changed for women in all these years. What women were doing and thinking at that time, and how different it is now. I suppose I could make all the comparisons in the world – but one thing stays true will all classic books – they leave a mark of the time they were written, and this mark always gets better as time goes by. 

“It is really wonderful how much resilience there is in human nature. Let any obstructing cause, no matter what, be removed in any way – even by death – and we fly back to first principles of hope and enjoyment.”

I am glad I read Dracula, and I will try to read more classics in the new year. The writing style, the past of them, they remind you to take a big breath and acknowledge many things you take for granted in today’s world. In a world of page-turners, you sometimes need a slow book that makes you think deeply.

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Book Review · Books

The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters [BOOK REVIEW]

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The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters left me unprepared for what I was about to read.

A perfect blend of mystery, spookiness, friendship and psychological trauma. This book will keep you away from social events until you are finished. And a few days after…

Red Lady, Red Lady, show us your face…

In 1991, Heather Cole and her friends were members of the Dead Girls Club. Obsessed with the macabre, the girls exchanged stories about serial killers and imaginary monsters, like the Red Lady, the spirit of a vengeful witch killed centuries before. Heather knew the stories were just that, until her best friend Becca began insisting the Red Lady was real – and she could prove it.

That belief got Becca killed.

It’s been nearly thirty years, but Heather has never told anyone what really happened that night–that Becca was right and the Red Lady was real. She’s done her best to put that fateful summer, Becca, and the Red Lady, behind her. Until a familiar necklace arrives in the mail, a necklace Heather hasn’t seen since the night Becca died.

The night Heather killed her.

Now, someone else knows what she did…and they’re determined to make Heather pay.

From the beginning of the book, you can feel the intensity, the guilt and the mystery behind it, which was something I very much enjoy in my books. We get to see the life of Heather 30 years after the death of Becca, and we know from the very first chapter that Heather killed her.
But they were best friends. And Heather loves Becca, even now, with every atom of her body. They were those BFFs that were always together, and knew each other’s secrets. They both loved mystery and talking about serial killers. And then things somehow start to go wrong. They are slipping from the friendship slide, and they can’t do anything to stop it…

The heart, the other half of which once hung around my neck, even after, is a cheap thing of nickel, stainless steel, or some inexpensive alloy. Originally affixed to a cardboard square and purchased by two girls who saved their allowance. Best Friends Forever. We meant it, she and I. We meant it with every bone in our bodies and every true and good thing in our souls. We didn’t know forever didn’t always last that long.

This is one of the few stories where I rooted for a killer. I know how horrible it sounds, but I loved that perspective. The innocence behind a terrible act. The belief that what you did might have been wrong, but you still did it for the right reasons. The ultimate friendship and the boundaries.
I loved Heather, and I also loved Becca. I hated all the things that were standing between them, driving them further away from each other.
This is a book about a murder, and about a scary story becoming real. But this book is also about friendship, about psychological trauma, and about the force a person needs to get trough it. The crucial support this person requires to get through the rainy days. Heather was struggling, and there was no one beside her to help her. Everyone she knew and trusted suddenly abandoned her, and this tells a sad and realistic story about the reality people with mental health issues are facing. No one wants a damaged person in their lives, I get that. But when this person is your friend for life, when this person is your life companion, you know. You know how they were before it, and you should always be there to support them, and get them to become their healthy selves again. We all need a person in life that will push our boundaries and be there for us when we are not able to be there for ourselves.
The Dead Girls Club covers so many topics that warm and crush my heart. And I love it for it. If your book taste is similar to mine, I am sure you will love this book too, and I recommend it! 
Huge thanks to Melissa and the team at Crooked Lane Books in the US, for sending me a paperback ARC copy in exchange for my honest review!

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