Friday, March 26, 2021

ARC Review: The Lost Village by Camilla Sten


The Lost Village by Camilla Sten

Publication DateMarch 23, 2021 by Minotaur Books

Source: eARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review.

Genre: Horror

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Documentary filmmaker Alice Lindstedt has been obsessed with the vanishing residents of the old mining town, dubbed “The Lost Village,” since she was a little girl. In 1959, her grandmother’s entire family disappeared in this mysterious tragedy, and ever since, the unanswered questions surrounding the only two people who were left—a woman stoned to death in the town center and an abandoned newborn—have plagued her. She’s gathered a small crew of friends in the remote village to make a film about what really happened.

But there will be no turning back.

Not long after they’ve set up camp, mysterious things begin to happen. Equipment is destroyed. People go missing. As doubt breeds fear and their very minds begin to crack, one thing becomes startlingly clear to Alice:

They are not alone.

They’re looking for the truth…
But what if it finds them first?

Do you ever stay up super late to finish a book? It’s 2:30 in the morning, and you have work in a couple hours, but you don’t care because you have to know how the book ends!  The Lost Village was one of those books that kept me up into the early morning hours. The story was so engrossing and I had to know how it would end. 

The Lost Village is set in a small mining town where the residents all mysteriously vanished in 1959. What happened to these people? How the heck does an entire town disappear?? The main character, Alice, and her friends explore the village and attempt to find out what really happened all those years ago. As I was reading, I wanted to shout at these characters: “Do not go into that building! Just don’t! Don’t open that door! In fact, just get in the van and get out of there!” It drove me a little crazy whenever one of the characters would barge right into one of the abandoned buildings without really thinking of the horrors that could be lurking inside.

This story is also told in the past where it follows one of the families that vanished in 1959. I loved the dual timelines in this book and it definitely made it a more interesting read. 

The Lost Village was a creepy story, but it also had some really heartbreaking moments. This was more than just your typical horror/mystery/thriller. Some parts were a little predictable, but that didn’t take away from my enjoyment of this book. I can definitely see this being made into a movie! I recommend this book, especially if you love a good atmospheric and chilling story.

Thanks for Reading!

Sunday, March 14, 2021

My Thoughts on: The Hatmakers by Tamzin Merchant


The Hatmakers by Tamzin Merchant

Publication Date: February 2, 2021 by Norton Young Readers

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Cordelia comes from a long line of magical milliners, who weave alchemy and enchantment into every hat. In Cordelia’s world, Making – crafting items such as hats, cloaks, watches, boots and gloves from magical ingredients – is a rare and ancient skill, and only a few special Maker families remain.

When Cordelia’s father Prospero and his ship, the Jolly Bonnet, are lost at sea during a mission to collect hat ingredients, Cordelia is determined to find him. But Uncle Tiberius and Aunt Ariadne have no time to help the littlest Hatmaker, for an ancient rivalry between the Maker families is threatening to surface. Worse, someone seems to be using Maker magic to start a war.

It’s up to Cordelia to find out who, and why . . .

I adore middle grade fantasies! They are always such a joy to read and I had a lot of fun reading this one. I was initially drawn to The Hatmakers because of the gorgeous cover. Middle grade books have some of the prettiest covers I’ve ever seen. The synopsis also seemed fascinating, so I was eager to read this book.

Merchant’s magical middle grade fantasy was a fun and enjoyable read. I loved the fantasy world and the characters in this book. 

In The Hatmakers, there are several families of Makers who weave magic into items of clothing. There are the Hatmakers, Bootmakers, Glovemakers, Cloakmakers, and Watchmakers. These families used to belong to a guild of Makers, but they no longer get along and are now rivals.

The main characters in this story were so adorable. I loved the friendships between Cordelia, Goose and Sam. They became mini investigators as they tried to solve the mysteries of the Makers. Cordelia also sought to find out what happened to her father, who presumably perished at sea. 

I thought The Hatmakers was a fun and entertaining middle grade read, and I think this book would be perfect for kids and adults. I’m really looking forward to the next book in this series! 

Thanks for Reading!

My March BOTM Selections


I recently signed back up to Book of the Month because I have a subscription box addiction and I really love their selections. I can’t wait to read all of these books!!

*This post contains referral links to BOTM. All synopses copied from Goodreads.

Here are the books I chose for March:

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

🟣 Debut

🟣 Historical Fantasy


A female apothecary secretly dispenses poisons to liberate women from the men who have wronged them—setting three lives across centuries on a dangerous collision course.

Rule #1: The poison must never be used to harm another woman.

Rule #2: The names of the murderer and her victim must be recorded in the apothecary’s register.

One cold February evening in 1791, at the back of a dark London alley in a hidden apothecary shop, Nella awaits her newest customer. Once a respected healer, Nella now uses her knowledge for a darker purpose—selling well-disguised poisons to desperate women who would kill to be free of the men in their lives. But when her new patron turns out to be a precocious twelve-year-old named Eliza Fanning, an unexpected friendship sets in motion a string of events that jeopardizes Nella’s world and threatens to expose the many women whose names are written in her register.

In present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, reeling from the discovery of her husband’s infidelity. When she finds an old apothecary vial near the river Thames, she can’t resist investigating, only to realize she’s found a link to the unsolved “apothecary murders” that haunted London over two centuries ago. As she deepens her search, Caroline’s life collides with Nella’s and Eliza’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive.

The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton

🔴 Debut

🔴 Historical Fiction 


A poignant fictional oral history of the beloved rock ‘n’ roll duo who shot to fame in the 1970s New York, and the dark, fraught secret that lies at the peak of their stardom.

Opal is a fiercely independent young woman pushing against the grain in her style and attitude, Afro-punk before that term existed. Coming of age in Detroit, she can’t imagine settling for a 9-to-5 job—despite her unusual looks, Opal believes she can be a star. So when the aspiring British singer/songwriter Neville Charles discovers her at a bar’s amateur night, she takes him up on his offer to make rock music together for the fledgling Rivington Records. 

In early seventies New York City, just as she’s finding her niche as part of a flamboyant and funky creative scene, a rival band signed to her label brandishes a Confederate flag at a promotional concert. Opal’s bold protest and the violence that ensues set off a chain of events that will not only change the lives of those she loves, but also be a deadly reminder that repercussions are always harsher for women, especially black women, who dare to speak their truth.

Decades later, as Opal considers a 2016 reunion with Nev, music journalist S. Sunny Shelton seizes the chance to curate an oral history about her idols. Sunny thought she knew most of the stories leading up to the cult duo’s most politicized chapter. But as her interviews dig deeper, a nasty new allegation from an unexpected source threatens to blow up everything.

Provocative and chilling, The Final Revival of Opal & Nevfeatures a backup chorus of unforgettable voices, a heroine the likes of which we’ve not seen in storytelling, and a daring structure, and introduces a bold new voice in contemporary fiction.

Too Good To Be True by Carola Lovering

🟤 Thriller 



Skye Starling is overjoyed when her boyfriend, Burke Michaels, proposes after a whirlwind courtship. Though Skye seems to have the world at her fingertips―she’s smart, beautiful, and from a well-off family―she’s also battled crippling OCD ever since her mother’s death when she was eleven, and her romantic relationships have suffered as a result.

But now Burke―handsome, older, and more emotionally mature than any man she’s met before―says he wants her. Forever. Except, Burke isn’t who he claims to be. And interspersed letters to his therapist reveal the truth: he’s happily married, and using Skye for his own, deceptive ends.

In a third perspective, set thirty years earlier, a scrappy seventeen-year-old named Heather is determined to end things with Burke, a local bad boy, and make a better life for herself in New York City. But can her adolescent love stay firmly in her past―or will he find his way into her future?

On a collision course she doesn’t see coming, Skye throws herself into wedding planning, as Burke’s scheme grows ever more twisted. But of course, even the best laid plans can go astray. And just when you think you know where this story is going, you’ll discover that there’s more than one way to spin the truth.

Do you subscribe to Book of the Month

Thanks for Reading!

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

My Thoughts on: What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo


What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo

Publication Date: February 2, 2021 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Genre: YA Horror

Source: ARC from the publisher via NetGalley for review 

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ 

Eleanor Zarrin has been estranged from her wild family for years. When she flees boarding school after a horrifying incident, she goes to the only place she thinks is safe: the home she left behind. But when she gets there, she struggles to fit in with her monstrous relatives, who prowl the woods around the family estate and read fortunes in the guts of birds.

Eleanor finds herself desperately trying to hold the family together — in order to save them all, Eleanor must learn to embrace her family of monsters and tame the darkness inside her.

Szabo’s debut novel, What Big Teeth, is a very strange and unique story. I had fun reading this book, but it was definitely a strange read

The book’s awesome cover caught my eye and made me interested in this one. I love that creepy looking cover. Cover art: 10/10!!

I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this story. I thought it would be a horror story about werewolves, and there are werewolves in this book, but it was focused more on the dysfunctional dynamics of this weird Addams Family type family. 

The main character, Eleanor, returns home after being away at a boarding school. She has questions about her family history and she wants to learn more about her monstrous instincts. Her family is literally a bunch of monsters. They are all creepy and strange. I kept thinking Eleanor would have been better off staying at her boarding school! Another strange character in this book is the family friend, Arthur, who is mysterious and creepy, yet many of the family members seem drawn to him. I thought the relationships between Arthur and the family was very odd and awkward.

I’m still not sure exactly how I feel about this book. I like strange books, but this story was a little too out there for me. I did really like Szabo’s writing and I thought this was an interesting and creepy book. If you’re into strange stories, you might want to read this one.

Thanks for Reading!

Sunday, March 7, 2021

February Reading Wrap Up


February was a pretty good reading month!

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh


This was a re-read. I love this graphic novel!

What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo 


This was a strange one! Review coming soon.

Rogue Planet by Cullen Bunn


I wasn’t a fan of this sci-fi/horror graphic novel.

Check out my review here

Secrets of Camp Whatever by Chris Grine


This was a cute and fun graphic novel.

Check out my review here

Martian Ghost Centaur by Mat Heagerty 


This was another cute graphic novel!

Check out my review here

The Ghost in Apartment 2R by Denis Markell


I love creepy middle grade books and this was a fun one!

The Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor 


This was one of my favorite reads of the month!

Check out my review here

The New Girl (Fear Street #1) by R.L. Stine 


Ahh..I love these 90’s horror/mystery books! I started collecting the original Fear Street series and I’m planning to read one every month. This makes me nostalgic.

These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling


I really enjoyed this witchy YA read. I’m actually reading books I own! What?!?! I plan on reading the 2nd book in the series this month.

Elvira Mistress of the Dark Volume 1 by David Avallone


Elvira leaping through time. This was a funny and enjoyable graphic novel.

Welcome to Dead House (Goosebumps #1) by R.L. Stine


I also plan to read a Goosebumps book every month. I liked this first book in the series!

Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay 


This was such a great mystery/thriller!! Review coming soon.

Chain Letter by Christopher Pike


I used to read Pike’s books when I was young and I plan on reading one of his books every month. 

Magic and Other Misdemeanors (The Sisters Grimm #5) by Michael Buckley 


I really love this fantasy middle grade series! I can’t wait to read the 6th book this month.

The Hatmakers by Tamzin Merchant 


This was a cute middle grade fantasy that I really enjoyed! Review coming soon.

Elvira Mistress of the Dark Volume 2 by David Avallone


My final read for the month of February was the 2nd Elvira graphic novel. This one was not as good as the first but it was still enjoyable.

Those are all the books I read in February. Have you read any of these books or do you plan on reading any? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for Reading!