Mini Reviews: Reading Challenge Edition


Hello, reader!

I am, once again, woefully behind when it comes to writing reviews these days. 2022 has been a busy year with loads of change happening and I’ve found myself with less and less time to sit and write reviews. Though I’ve been reading a ton! Perhaps that is the problem 😂

That being said, I thought I would try and catch up with some of my reviews by talking about three books I’ve finished from one of the year long reading challenges I’m doing in 2022. I’ve not been doing great with my 22 in 2022 TBR, but I’ve checked up a good amount from my 12 friends, 12 recommendations TBR! And, today, I’m going to finally review three of them.


Title: Battle Royal

Author: Lucy Parker

Publisher: Avon

Genre: Romance

CW/TW: Death of a parent (past), abusive familial relationship, emotional abuse (past)

Rating: ★★★★

Links:
Bookshop::TBD::B&N::Amazon::
Goodreads


This was such a delightful read! It made me realize that food + romance may just be my thing, because I loved the backdrop of this sweet story. Two rival bakers competing to bake a royal wedding cake while also working together on a hit baking competition is apparently the recipe to win my heart, haha. Not only did I get a cute (and sometimes steamy) romance, but I got to drool over delicious sounding desserts at the same time. Win-win!

I truly enjoyed the chemistry between Sylvie and Dominic, though Sylvie is hands-down my favorite character. Sorry, Dominic… but she has an enchanted forest in her bakery’s basement! That’s a default win! They were both wonderfully written and complex characters, though, and I truly enjoyed getting to know them throughout this book. There were a few plot points that stretched the imagination, but, overall this was a charming and fun romance that left me smiling from ear to ear.

And the steamy bits weren’t half bad, either 😈

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Mini Reviews: Six Stories Edition

Hello, reader!

Last year, I was participating in a readalong for a thriller series that I instantly loved: Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski. This is a series surrounding a fictional crime podcast called Six Stories. In it, the enigmatic podcast host dregs up old cases and finds six people to tell us their version of events. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into the series, but, after reading the first one, I knew I was hooked! I’ve recently finished the fourth book and realized that I never actually reviewed the first three! I’m here to remedy that today.

So, without further ado, let me share my thoughts on the first three books in the Six Stories series!


Title: Six Stories

Author: Matt Wesolowski

Genre: Thriller

CW/TW: For a list of content and trigger warnings, please check out BookTriggerWarnings.com

Rating: â˜…★★★

Links:
Bookshop::TBD::B&N::Amazon::
Goodreads

This is the book that introduced me to this fascinating series. For that alone, I would love it! But this book stands on its own as a great thriller, of course. Else why would I have continued on with the series?

In this first book, we are introduced to the Six Stories podcast and it’s secretive host, Scott King. The story being picked apart in the podcast is that of the discovery of a body in the Scarclaw Fell. The death was ruled as a misadventure, but there are those who wonder if there isn’t more to the story. Scott King is there to hear the stories and let the listeners come to their own conclusions.

As soon as I started reading this book, I loved the feel of it. I’m a watcher of true crime shows and this read like watching one of those felt. I was instantly invested in the story and the investigation. What I wasn’t expected and was a pleasant surprise was the absolutely creepy tale that was sprinkled within the interviews! It was like a horror story and a crime novel all mashed into one and I loved it! I also enjoyed the podcast aspect of this, though I feel it translates better in audiobook form than it does reading it physically. I have yet to try one of the audiobooks, but I really want to! Overall, I truly enjoyed this dark and creepy story and was eager to continue on with the series.

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Mini Reviews: Recent Reads Edition

Hello, reader!

Because of who I am as a person, I am, once again, behind on reviews. I thought I’d take a moment to catch up with another edition of my mini reviews! This time, I’m focusing on three recent reads that I still need to put thought to paper (or keyboard) for since finishing them. These books are an eclectic mix, so there might be a little something for everyone here, haha.

That being said, let’s get to the reviews!


Title: Nothing But Blackened Teeth

Author: Cassandra Khaw

Publisher: Tor Nightfire

Genre: Horror

CW/TW: For a list of content and trigger warnings, please check out BookTriggerWarnings.com

Rating: ★★★

Links:
Bookshop::TBD::B&N::Amazon::
Goodreads

Well, this was certainly… a book. With words. Lots of five dollar words that seemed a tad bit unnecessary, if I’m honest.

At the heart of this story is a ghostly tale of love and betrayal. Unfortunately, the ghost story is not the focus of this novel. I say “unfortunately” because the ghost/ghost story was the best part about this book! The focus, however, is on a bunch of the most unlikeable characters I’ve come across in awhile. I’m not saying I can’t enjoy a book that has unlikeable characters, but these characters came across as caricatures of their unlikeable traits. They all fell incredibly flat for me which, when the whole book is centered around them, didn’t make for an enjoyable experience.

However, where this book shined was in the atmospheric writing and the beautifully creepy ghostly elements. There are some gruesome scenes in this book that fix themselves in your mind as you’re reading with the way they are written. Definitely check trigger warnings before getting into this one! This author has an incredible talent for building tension and setting the tone of a horror novel. As I mentioned, if we had more of that and less a bunch of horrible people being horrible to each other, I probably would have enjoyed this a lot more.

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Mini Reviews: Novellas Edition

Hello, reader!

I’m back with some mini reviews today. As a big consumer of fantasy, I tend to read a lot of longer books. Fantasy writers have a lot to get into a story and, sometimes, that can lead to some chonky books. Lately, though, I’ve found myself really getting into shorter fiction. That’s why I figured it was time to do a mini review of some mini books, aka novellas!

I’ve been having a great time with the novellas I’ve read recently, but am so behind on actually reviewing them! That being said, let’s jump into this post, shall we?


Title: Remote Control

Author: Nnedi Okorafor

Publisher: Tor.com

Genre: Science Fiction

CW/TW: Child abuse, body horror, grief & loss depiction, death of a family member, gun violence, animal death

Rating: â˜…★★★

Links:
Bookshop::TBD::B&N::Amazon::
Goodreads

Nnedi Okorafor has been on my radar for quite some time, but this was my first experience reading her work. Now, I wish to read everything she has ever written!

In Remote Control, we follow the story of a young girl who has lost her name and been adopted by Death. After a tragic event, Sankofa becomes her new name and death follows wherever she goes. She spends her days wandering Ghana with her small fox companion, trying to find answers and an object that fell from the sky and changed her life.

This was such an incredible, quiet read. You would think a book about a girl that brings death with her would be more in-you-face, but this book is much more a character study that was strangely calm. Even when the character was surrounded by death and destruction. I absolutely loved the writing in this story and how it gripped me from beginning to end. I loved Fatima/Sankofa and following her around as she searches for answers to her suffering. Watching her character growth and her interactions with the world around her was a treat! And, even though I could have followed this story for chapters and chapters more, it still felt like a fully formed and finished book in this short amount of pages. I can’t wait to read more from this author!

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