Month: October 2019

Book Review: The Last of August – Brittany Cavallaro

Hi my fellow book lovers 🙂

I hope everyone is doing good. I hope that everyone is getting lots of reading in and that you are enjoying fall. I am starting to decorate my apartment. It is my first Halloween in my new place, so I am VERY excited to decorate. Wish decorations weren’t so expensive though. If anyone knows of some cheaper places for Halloween decorations, please share!!!

Anyways, I just want to start off by saying that I can’t get enough of the Charlotte Holmes series by Brittany Cavallaro. Overall they are just such fun reads that let me escape from reality without having me use my brain too much. So awesome!

Let me know in the comments below if you have read these books!!

Now to the review…


Synopsis

Watson and Holmes: A match made in disaster.

Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are looking for a winter-break reprieve after a fall semester that almost got them killed. But Charlotte isn’t the only Holmes with secrets, and the mood at her family’s Sussex estate is palpably tense. On top of everything else, Holmes and Watson could be becoming more than friends—but still, the darkness in Charlotte’s past is a wall between them.

A distraction arises soon enough, because Charlotte’s beloved uncle Leander goes missing from the estate—after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ring. The game is afoot once again, and Charlotte is single-minded in her pursuit.

Their first stop? Berlin. Their first contact? August Moriarty (formerly Charlotte’s obsession, currently believed by most to be dead), whose powerful family has been ripping off famous paintings for the last hundred years. But as they follow the gritty underground scene in Berlin to glittering art houses in Prague, Holmes and Watson begin to realize that this is a much more complicated case than a disappearance. Much more dangerous, too.

What they learn might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other.

My Thoughts

OKAY – this book gave me a sort of roller coaster emotional feeling. There were times I was so happy and then times I felt angry at the characters or sad about something that had happened. It was a lot honestly. I think I felt way more emotions in this book than the first in the series.

To start it off – this was well written and overall, easy to follow. The book is from Jamie’s perspective, but there were 2 chapters from Charlotte’s perspective which I loved!! We didn’t really get to see much of Charlotte’s thoughts and feeling in the first book so it was really interesting to have 2 full chapters of her!

This time – Jamie and Charlotte find themselves in Berlin (I loved the European setting!!) looking for Charlotte’s lost uncle Leander who was investigating an underground art forgery ring. They work together with Milo (Charlottes brother) and find themselves working with August Moriarty as well. August plays a large role in this book which is nice. I really enjoyed his character. At the beginning I didn’t really like him all that much to be honest. He gave off a weird vibe that I just felt was going to be very negative. However, by the end of the book I had completely changed my mind about him!

The story line was interesting. They are trying to bust an illegal counterfeit painting operation. Charlotte’s uncle was investigating it and went missing which sparked their involvement in the whole operation. I enjoyed this story line for a few reasons. First, Jamie tends to be more on the artistic side so I felt he was more helpful in solving the mystery. Also, there was a lot of the Holmes family involved which I enjoyed because her life begins to open up and make more sense. Lastly, it felt sort of real. It took me into a world where people really do sell fake art to rich people at fancy art galleries. It opened my mind to how that really happens and who does go undercover to figure it out. Pretty interesting!

I have to touch on Charlotte’s and Jamie’s weird relationship. This is going to be ranty…. Sorry! I understand that Charlotte is naturally cold and would push Jamie away from any romantic relationship. It makes sense due to her upbringing and just overall lifestyle she has. She has a hard time getting close to people. However, Jamie is just SO sweet and nice and caring. I can’t say enough nice things about him. It KILLS me that their relationship is so hot and cold. It is also confusing during the story. Sometimes they are just friends; sometimes they are romantic and sleep in the same bed… I can never figure out when they are good or not. It frustrated me because I want them to live happily ever after and solve mysteries and be cute and lovey. But I also don’t really want Jamie to be with her if she is so cold to him. We understand her feeling more during her 2 chapters which made me have some empathy but also I just shook my head a few times at the ridiculousness. *rant over*

There were actually so many twists and turns and I felt I never knew what was going to happen next. I don’t even want to get into how many times I felt I knew a character but then something happened and they were not the way they seemed. It was crazy! By the end of the book I was left in pieces. What I knew at the beginning of the book was just completely different than the reality at the end of the book. I was actually SHOOK by the ending. I was left hanging, confused, sad, angry… it made me want to just throw the book down and then pick the next one up because I couldn’t just leave it like that. I needed to know what the hell was happening!!

I have to say that I did enjoy this book and would 100% recommend this book (and the whole series) to anyone who enjoys mysteries, YA books, or is just generally interested in Sherlock Holmes stuff. I don’t think it was as good as the first book though – I felt it missed the mark just a little bit.

Some random thoughts I had while reading the book:

** Enjoying Jamie’s dad more and more. Still think he’s a little crazy but actually loving the craziness and how much he wants Jamie to be a part of mystery solving

** Holmes’ deductions are ON POINT! She is always just on it mentally. She is so smart and independent. She always amazes me with the things she notices in people and situations

** Jamie a super cute. Love his character. He is my favourite by far!

My Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Monthly Picks: October 2019

Hello everyone 🙂

October is one of my favourite months! I LOVE summer but there is just something about the start of fall and the spooky Halloween stuff that I just can’t get enough of. Wish it didn’t rain so much… but that’s what you get for living in rainy British Columbia.

My all time favourite this about fall though is the fact that over sized sweaters are back and I can just come comfy and warm all the time. Honestly there is nothing better than being comfy, hair up in a bun, hot coffee, blanket, slippers, and reading. Can’t beat it!


I have picked out 10 books that are coming out this month that I am interested in! Hoping to get my hands on a few of them when they are released!! So here we go…

Ninth House – Leigh Bardugo

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

Imaginary Friend – Stephen Chobosky

Single mother Kate Reese is on the run. Determined to improve life for her and her son, Christopher, she flees an abusive relationship in the middle of the night with Christopher at her side. Together, they find themselves drawn to the tight-knit community of Mill Grove, Pennsylvania. It’s as far off the beaten track as they can get. Just one highway in, one highway out.

At first, it seems like the perfect place to finally settle down. Then Christopher vanishes. For six awful days, no one can find him. Until Christopher emerges from the woods at the edge of town, unharmed but not unchanged. He returns with a voice in his head only he can hear, with a mission only he can complete: Build a tree house in the woods by Christmas, or his mother and everyone in the town will never be the same again.

Soon Kate and Christopher find themselves in the fight of their lives, caught in the middle of a war playing out between good and evil, with their small town as the battleground.

The Grace Year – Kim Liggett

Survive the year.

No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.

In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for a chance to grab one of the girls in order to make a fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.

Twice in a Blue Moon – Christina Lauren

Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.

During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.

Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.

Quantum – Patricia Cornwell

On the eve of a top secret space mission, Captain Calli Chase detects a tripped alarm in the tunnels deep below a NASA research center. A NASA pilot, quantum physicist, and cybercrime investigator, Calli knows that a looming blizzard and government shutdown could provide the perfect cover for sabotage, with deadly consequences.

As it turns out, the danger is worse than she thought. A spatter of dried blood, a missing security badge, a suspicious suicide—a series of disturbing clues point to Calli’s twin sister, Carme, who’s been MIA for days.

Desperate to halt the countdown to disaster and to clear her sister’s name, Captain Chase digs deep into her vast cyber security knowledge and her painful past, probing for answers to her twin’s erratic conduct. As time is running out, she realizes that failure means catastrophe—not just for the space program but for the safety of the whole nation.

Into the Crooked Place – Alexandra Christo

The streets of Creije are for the deadly and the dreamers, and four crooks in particular know just how much magic they need up their sleeve to survive.

Tavia, a busker ready to pack up her dark-magic wares and turn her back on Creije for good. She’ll do anything to put her crimes behind her.

Wesley, the closest thing Creije has to a gangster. After growing up on streets hungry enough to swallow the weak whole, he won’t stop until he has brought the entire realm to kneel before him.

Karam, a warrior who spends her days watching over the city’s worst criminals and her nights in the fighting rings, making a deadly name for herself.

And Saxony, a resistance fighter hiding from the very people who destroyed her family, and willing to do whatever it takes to get her revenge.

Everything in their lives is going to plan, until Tavia makes a crucial mistake: she delivers a vial of dark magic—a weapon she didn’t know she had—to someone she cares about, sparking the greatest conflict in decades. Now these four magical outsiders must come together to save their home and the world, before it’s too late. But with enemies at all sides, they can trust nobody. Least of all each other.

Gravemaidens – Kelly Coon

In the walled city-state of Alu, Kammani wants nothing more than to become the accomplished healer her father used to be before her family was cast out of their privileged life in shame.

When Alu’s ruler falls deathly ill, Kammani’s beautiful little sister, Nanaea, is chosen as one of three sacred maidens to join him in the afterlife. It’s an honor. A tradition. And Nanaea believes it is her chance to live an even grander life than the one that was stolen from her.

But Kammani sees the selection for what it really is—a death sentence.

Desperate to save her sister, Kammani schemes her way into the palace to heal the ruler. There she discovers more danger lurking in the sand-stone corridors than she could have ever imagined and that her own life—and heart—are at stake. But Kammani will stop at nothing to dig up the palace’s buried secrets even if it means sacrificing everything…including herself.

Now Entering Addamsville – Francesca Zappia

Zora Novak has been framed.

When someone burns down the home of the school janitor and he dies in the blaze, everyone in Addamsville, Indiana, points a finger at Zora. Never mind that Zora has been on the straight and narrow since her father was thrown in jail. With everyone looking for evidence against her, her only choice is to uncover the identity of the real killer. There’s one big problem—Zora has no leads. No one does. Addamsville has a history of tragedy, and thirty years ago a similar string of fires left several townspeople dead. The arsonist was never caught.

Now, Zora must team up with her cousin Artemis—an annoying self-proclaimed Addamsville historian—to clear her name. But with a popular ghost-hunting television show riling up the townspeople, almost no support from her family and friends, and rumors spinning out of control, things aren’t looking good. Zora will have to read between the lines of Addamsville’s ghost stories before she becomes one herself.

Mooncakes – Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu

Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers’ bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town.

One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home.

Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.

Fireborn – Rosaria Munda

Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone—even the lowborn—a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders.

Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn’t be more different. Annie’s lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee’s aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet.

But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city.

With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he’s come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves . . . or step up to be the champion her city needs.


What books are you looking forward to in October? Do you tend to read spooky/thrillers more during the month of October?

Thanks for stopping by 🙂