Book Reviews

Book Review: Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco

Happy Monday bookish people! I promise this is the last book review for today. This book review is for Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco, the third book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. The cover of this book is absolutely gorgeous I can’t get over it.

As usual in this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Escaping From Houdini Plot:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Okay I’ll say it now so that it’s out of the way – this was my least favourite book of the series. It was only because of personal preference. The book is mostly set on a ship and there is a circus type performance group there and I did enjoy this part and how the performers were entwined in the mystery of this book. Honestly I’ll pick up any book that has carnival/circus themes in it – they are very much my type of books. Mostly I did enjoy this plot however (*SLIGHT SPOILERS COMING*) there is a love triangle in this book that I felt impacted my enjoyment, simply because I don’t like love triangles in books, it’s not a trope I like reading. If you do enjoy love triangles then you will probably like this book more than I did.

Escaping From Houdini Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’m still giving the characters four stars because they are amazing characters that I would protect with my life. Audrey Rose Wadsworth I like a bit less in this book than I usually do just because she makes some decisions that I don’t think represented her character that well but these were only a few occasions and for the rest of the book she was her lovely sassy self.

And again, Thomas Cresswell shows me just how great he is. He is witty and intelligent – slightly annoying I’m sure Audrey rose would say but that is how he has been throughout the whole series, nice and consistent. I won’t go on too much I promise… seriously I could talk about him all day -ask anyone who knows me or get to know me and find out for yourself..

Escaping from Houdini Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Kerri Maniscalco is a master, even the scenes that I didn’t enjoy I could feel myself wanting to so badly just because of how good the writing is. If I was even half as good as her I’d be happy.

Escaping From Houdini Overall:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

As I said before on the Stalking Jack the Ripper book review, I rated all these books at the same time. I couldn’t give Escaping From Houdini four stars the same as Stalking Jack the Ripper when my enjoyment wasn’t on the same level. So unfortunately that means Escaping From Houdini only gets three stars.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are en route to New York to help solve another blood-soaked mystery. Embarking on a week-long voyage across the Atlantic on the opulent RMS Etruria, they’re delighted to discover a traveling troupe of circus performers, fortune tellers, and a certain charismatic young escape artist entertaining the first-class passengers nightly.

But then, privileged young women begin to go missing without explanation, and a series of brutal slayings shocks the entire ship. The disturbing influence of the Moonlight Carnival pervades the decks as the murders grow ever more freakish, with nowhere to escape except the unforgiving sea.

It’s up to Audrey Rose and Thomas to piece together the gruesome investigation as even more passengers die before reaching their destination. But with clues to the next victim pointing to someone she loves, can Audrey Rose unravel the mystery before the killer’s horrifying finale?

That’s it for this book review, I hope everyone enjoyed it! Let me know in the comments.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Happy Monday bookish people! It’s time for another book review, well… three book reviews of which this is the first! Really it should be four because there’s four books in this series but I haven’t finished processing the last book yet so once I do I’ll do a book review for it.

Anyway, today’s review is for Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco! I loved this book, I read it while I was on the train travelling to YALC in London about two years ago and I was so annoyed about having to put it down to get off the train – obviously I finished it in the hotel room that night.

As usual in this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Stalking Jack the Ripper Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Where do I even start? I have a fascination with Jack the Ripper – not in a weird way I promise – and as soon as I saw the synopsis for this book I knew I had to have it. Instantly the plot intrigued me, a girl in Victorian London wanting to work on autopsies of corpses.. sounds like something I’d love. Throw in a distracting, charming, mysterious Thomas Cresswell and the book had me completely.

I enjoyed how the investigation was played out throughout the novel. Twists and turns, characters being accused left and right. If a book can confuse me even for part of it then I think it’s done brilliantly, I’m not bragging or anything I just do usually figure out books endings quite easily, and yes I did think the ending of the mystery was a bit predictable but it didn’t stop me enjoying every second of it. I liked that Kerri Maniscalco didn’t shy away from the details of the Jack the Ripper investigation and the autopsies and everything else – I could tell there was a lot of research put in.

Stalking Jack the Ripper Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Okay I’ll try not to get too excited over these characters but I bring them up a lot in everyday conversation…

Audrey Rose Wadsworth. First off I really like the name.. that doesn’t have any bearing on the book I just wanted to say it. She’s daring, she’s brave (maybe a little hardheaded sometimes.. but then I’ve also been described as that many times) and she’s intelligent. She’s a girl who wants to break out of society’s mould and I am all for that in my protagonists.

Thomas Cresswell… ooh I really love him. If you ask my boyfriend he’d probably say that Thomas Cresswell is his biggest competition.. and he’d be right but yes, unfortunately Thomas is ficitonal and I don’t live in Jack the Ripper Victorian London. He’s sarcastic and witty, very mysterious and charming and I could go on but I won’t. All I’ll say is his introductory scene is one of my favourite scenes in this book.

Stalking Jack the Ripper Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I have to give Kerri Maniscalco five stars for her writing. It’s so smooth and fluid. I actually forgot I was reading a book at one point. If you’ve read some of my other book reviews you will know that dialogue is one of the things I look closely at in a book, and in Stalking Jack the Ripper the dialogue is excellent. It feels like the characters are actually there in front of me, none of the lines felt out of place for them to say. I have nothing else I can say here.

Stalking Jack the Ripper Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Now, I gave this book four stars. And yes I loved it and yes I really wish the characters were real, but I rated the books in this series all at the same times and this wasn’t my favourite book in this series… so I only gave it four stars but that could definitely change after a reread. (I’ll be rereading very soon!)

Blurb/Synopsis:

Presented by James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion…

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling, #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.

So that’s the end of this book review, I hope you enjoyed it and I really reccommend this book to everyone!

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas Book Review

Happy Tuesday bookish people! It is time for another book review. I would usually put up book reviews on a Monday however yesterday was my Partner and I’s first anniversary so I spent the day with him. Today’s review is of a book that I have had on my shelf for forever, I have the whole series on my shelf but it took me so long to get around to it. Then finally I did and I loved it.

In this book review I will give star ratings for four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The plot of this book intrigued me, I kept seeing it described as a Beauty and the Beast retelling, and after reading it I agree it does have some similar elements which I enjoyed. I read this book in one sitting because I couldn’t put the book down until I’d found out what happened next – and then until I found out how it ended. If I’d had to I would have stayed up all night to finish it.

Personally I felt that the first 100 pages of the book is slow and didn’t keep me that interested but after the pace begins to pick up my interest returned as well. I felt that the plot had enough substance that there was always something happening, no page felt out of place in the story. Where the beginning was slow, I also felt the ending was slightly rushed, the big event at the end of the book I personally feel would have been better had it been explored further. Saying this I still enjoyed it and I did not predict most of the things that happened throughout the book.

Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

There are plenty of characters in this novel, some have larger parts than others however all are important to the story. Starting with the antagonist of the novel, it was unclear for most of the book who the real antagonist was as there were a few possible contenders. I think the villain was just the right amount of cruel and mysterious for this book while leaving space for one of those other contenders to become the antagonist in later books in the series.

The main protagonist, Feyre, is sharp-minded, fierce, and loyal. She is a character that I felt connected to because of how relatable she is. Feyre’s family is briefly mentioned however from what I know, they become more important throughout the series. The character of Tamlin, I did not like him at all to begin with in this book. I felt he was distant and cold and as a reader I had no connection to him but as the book went on little pieces of information about him and his backsotry were given and by the end of the book I liked him better than I did at the beginning. I will admit that because the series has been around for a while and is popular on booktwitter, booktube and bookstagram I have heard things about this character that has influenced my opinion on him throughout the firs book.

Finally, Rhysand, he is exactly the kind of character I always get drawn to, cheeky and witty, he isn’t in the first book that much however I already know I’m going to love him in the next books of the series.

Writing and dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The writing in this book is cleverly weaved with interesting dialogue. It is clear, fast-paced and easy to read. The dialogue is one of the main features that made me enjoy this novel as much as I did. It felt natural and completely fitted each of the characters.

Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Overall I gave this book four stars because I enjoyed it and I am very excited to get the next book in the series onto a TBR as soon as I can.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

That’s it for my book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Cousins by Karen M McManus

Happy Easter Monday bookish people! I’m back with another book review. This time it’s for a Young Adult Mystery/Thriller book that I received in my December Illumicrate box. My copy has beautiful sprayed black edges and I was very excited to finally get to read it. So excited in fact that I couldn’t even wait for the 1st of April to start reading so technically I read it in March but it is part of my April TBR.

In this book review I will give star ratings for four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Cousins by Karen M McManus has a fast paced and thrilling plot. Practically every chapter had a twist that I was not expecting and scattered throughout the book are small hints of information that lead up to the climax of the mystery. I was hooked from the very first chapter of this book, It is told from different points of view throughout and I felt that this added to the tension of the book because it allowed me to see into the thoughts that make those characters do what they choose to do. There were so many unexpected twists in this book but I will say I did manage to guess the climax of the mystery which didn’t impact my enjoyment of the book. The only thing I would say is that there is a lot of focus on the relationship between two of the main characters, I won’t say which ones, and personally I didn’t enjoy this part of the novel because I felt that the focus was too much on them rather than the overall mystery.

Characters:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

In this book there are plenty of characters that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle in this Young Adult Mystery book and for me I felt there were too many characters. As it focused on the main characters, the cousins, their parents, their grandmother, the staff on the island, the people who were on the island when the parents were teenagers and the mystery that surrounded them. Because of this I felt that some characters did not have a clear enough purpose. Again this didn’t take away from the book as a whole and didn’t have much of an impact on my enjoyment of the book,.

Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The writing style of this book was smooth and clear. It was very easy for me to become caught up in the story because of the great writing and how the complexity of the mystery was presented throughout, given to the reader in tiny hints that all come together at the end. The dialogue gives the characters personality. It also was the perfect blend of showing and telling, it didn’t give away the mystery which happens with some books.

Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this book four stars overall because it was a great mystery book. Apart from a few small points about the book I really enjoyed it. I felt that the ending was very satisfactory and it felt right for this book.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they’ve never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they’re surprised… and curious.

Their parents are all clear on one point—not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into Grandmother’s good graces. But when the cousins arrive on the island, it’s immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious—and dark—their family’s past is.

The entire Story family has secrets. Whatever pulled them apart years ago isn’t over—and this summer, the cousins will learn everything.

That’s it for this book review, I hope you enjoyed it!

Monthly TBRs

April TBR 2021

Happy Wednesday bookish people! It’s already April and the spring flowers are starting to bloom. I read a very good amount of books in March, twelve I think, and I’m hoping April will be just as successful. I’ve already read one of the books off my April TBR yesterday and I enjoyed it. Once again I’ve given myself a huge TBR, because of course. Outside of my TBR I have some books to read for some exciting book tours that I can’t say anything about just yet…

Onto my TBR!

  • Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles – I’ve realised pretty recently that anything to do with circus elements and I’m already excited for the story so this could end up being a new favourite!
  • The Cousins by Karen M McManus – I read this yesterday evening because I was drawn in by the blurb and I really enjoyed it, I ended up giving it four stars and if you’re interested in reading my thoughts on it I’ll be putting a book review up very soon.
  • The Strange Case of the Alchemists Daughter by Theodora Goss – I saw Meg With Books on YouTube talk about this series and I thought the premise sounded so interesting, I can’t wait to start reading this series!
  • Furyborn by Claire LeGrand – I’m not sure on this book, it’s a chunky book.. anyone else find big books intimidating?
  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas – after reading A Court of Thorns and Roses earlier this year I’m so looking forward to reading the next book in the series – I need more Rhysand!
  • Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin – Oh I’ve been looking forward to this one! I’ve heard such good things about it and also from what I’ve heard the dialogue between Lou and Reid sound very cheeky, which I know I’ll love, and it’s enemies to lovers (one of my favourite tropes).
  • Wicked Saints by Emily A Duncan – I must admit I don’t know much about this book, at all. I don’t know the plot or the character names… this is going to be an interesting read..
  • Blood Heir by Amilie Wen Zhao – Again I don’t know much about this book but I got it in one of my previous Illumicrate boxes and the cover caught my interest.
  • Save the Date by Morgan Matson – after how much I liked Fangirl I’ve decided that I obviously need to give contemporary books more of a chance so hopefully I’ll enjoy it.
  • The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller – this book caught my attention because of the first line and I think the protagonist is going to be unusual and probably morally grey. I love morally grey characters.
  • Master of One by Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett – I’m thinking this could be a five stars for me because Fae, and it gives me big Six of Crows vibes…
  • All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace – Pirates. That’s all I’m going to say about this one.
  • The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – I love a good mystery book and I’ve heard really good things about this one.

That’s it for my April TBR, let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you thought of them! At the end of April I will post a wrap up and we will see how well I did or not.

Monthly Wrap Ups

March Wrap-Up

Happy Wednesday bookish people! It is the last day of March and today I’m bringing you my March wrap up! This was such a good reading month for me. February put me in a big reading slump and for the first half of March I was still feeling it a bit but I did manage to read some books and then there was the Becca and the Books 48 hour Bookopoly reading challenge where I read eight books in one weekend!

Also this month I had more appointments, I got a new teacher for my dramatic writing University module and he’s not much better than the previous one, I completed my first case study for my new job and I’ve started my second one so that’s going well and I still haven’t heard back about my PhD application so that’s a bit worrying but hopefully I’ll hear soon.

It was my birthday in March! I’m now 22 and I keep forgetting and telling people I’m 21… I got a couple of books as presents so I’m happy with that, my sister got me an art set and my boyfriend got me an Alice in Wonderland teapot which I love! I didn’t do any reading on my actual birthday but I’ve read one or two books since – I actually skipped ahead and read one of the books of my April tbr already…

Anyway, I didn’t finish my March tbr but it has been my best reading month so far this year so I’m still pretty happy with how I did. This was my tbr:

  • What A Way To Go by Julia Forster – I did read
  • Uprooted by Niami Novik – I did not read
  • The Ravens by Kass Morgan and Danielle Paige – I did read
  • The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman – I did read
  • Rules for Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson – I did read
  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – I did read
  • The Once and Future Witches by Alix E Harrow – I did not read
  • Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty – I did not read
  • Map of Days by Ransom Riggs – I did not read
  • Lives of Saints by Leigh Bardugo – I did read
  • The Library of the Unwritten by A J Hackwith – I did not read
  • Ever Cursed by Corey Ann Haydu – I did read
  • Chain of gold by Cassandra Clare – I did not read
  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely – I did read

What I read: so from my TBR I managed to read eight books which is much better than February but I also read four books that were not from my March TBR which were: The Cousins by Karen M McManus, The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh, Bridge of Souls by Victoria Schwab and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I have put up the book reviews for all the books I read this month except for the Cousins and Lives of Saints so check those out if you’re interested in what I thought of them.

There were also two five star reads this month! Those were Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell which I didn’t expect to enjoy as much as I did and A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer. They were my favourite reads this month.

Most disappointing reads: It’s actually been a really great month, there’s only one book I didn’t enjoy which was What A Way to go by Julia Forster. It just wasn’t for me.

Current reads: well I read the Cousins off my April tbr last night so today I’ll be choosing a new book off my April tbr to start reading and I’m very excited about it.

That’s it for my March wrap up I hope you enjoyed it!