Tag: book rec

If you liked The Grace Year… You might like…

Hey friends! I’m back with another book recommendation post! I really loved doing the last one which was book recs if you liked Truly Devious! Check that one out here if you haven’t already 😊

If you are like me then you LOVED The Grace Year. I have been seeing this one pop up again on social media. I feel like the first wave of people grabbed it right when it came out and now we have everyone else picking it up for the first time and also loving it. So happy to see so many people enjoying this one!!

So anyways, I like to browse around on Goodreads and on others IG and blogs and see what the heck I can read after I read a book and loved it and WANT MORE. Goodreads I find to be the most helpful for this because they have that little side bar with books that people thought were similar or whatever!! Sometimes they aren’t good recs (for me) but other times they hit the mark! I found this time they were on point!

So without any further chit chat, lets get into the book recs!!

IF YOU LIKE THE GRACE YEAR… READ THESE, YOU MIGHT LIKE THEM 😊


Characteristics of The Grace Year that helped me pick the recommendations:

  • YA dystopia
  • Survival
  • Village life
  • Magical ideals
  • Girl who rebels against the village/ government

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

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For some reason Wilder Girls came to my mind right away when I was thinking of books similar to The Grace Year! They are very different but have so many similar elements that my brain just pushed them together!

Wilder Girls is about a group of girls who live on an Island and attend a boarding school. The school is then placed under quarantine due to some mysterious anomaly that hits the Island. The girls and the Island itself start changing and things become quite dangerous. They are waiting for a cure but it seems like a cure may never come. The main character decides to break the quarantine and of course, a lot of horrible things start to happen!

Why you might like it:

  • Survival aspects
  • YA horror
  • Boarding school setting, secluded from rest of the world, group of girls
  • Possible magic/ powers

Beyond the Black Door by A.M. Strickland

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This story sounds SO interesting. It is a YA fantasy. In brief, this story is about a girl who does something she shouldn’t and then negative things start to happen 😂

The story speaks about who everyone has a soul. Some souls are beautiful and others are evil. The main character is a Soulwalker which means she can go into peoples souls when they sleep. When she visits peoples souls she always sees a black door… mysterious right? Her mom tells her to never open the black door, but some events occur and she ends up opening the black door!!

Why you might like this:

  • Fantasy
  • Main character goes against the wishes of her mother and does something she shouldn’t
  • Soulwalking – sounds interesting enough
  • LGBTQ representation

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

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I haven’t read this one yet but its on my TBR!

This is about 3 girls (The Sawkill Girls) who end up coming togethr on an island called Sawkill Rock. There are stories told about the island – the healing waters, the strong people, and about some monsters that lurk in the shadows. The legend says that girls have been going missing on the island for decades… no one has ever tried to do anything about it. However, the Sawkill Girls are willing to fight back and discover what is really going on.

Why you might like this:

  • Female lead characters
  • YA horror
  • Possible magic/ powers
  • Survival aspects
  • Mystery

Divergent by Veronica Roth

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I feel like this one has to be the list! If you have not read this book or series yet…. not sure WHERE YOUVE BEEN?

Divergent is set in a society where people are placed in different factions when they turn 16 based on a particular virtue. We follow Beatrice who struggles when she has to decide being with her family or being who she truly is. There is a lot of action and competition. The story gets darker and darker and often times it seems no one can be trusted.

Why you might like this:

  • Set in a dystopian world
  • Female lead character who is very strong and independent
  • Survival and action
  • Betrayal
  • YA science fiction

The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring

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The legend has it that anyone who tries to settle down at the isolated finishing school in South America will be cursed. Mavi decides that this is a good place for a new start. She wants to teach at the school. Mavi tries to soak up the strangeness of the school – she is told not to roam at night, is receiving threats, and hearing rumors about mysterious Others.

A student then vanishes and teacher begin to act very strangle – almost like they are possessed. Mavi starts to believe the legends and finds out some information that could unravel her existence. She must solve a cosmic mystery and then fight for her survival.

Why you might like this:

  • Psychological thriller
  • Paranormal
  • School setting
  • Legends/ myths
  • Survival aspects

What do you think? Do any of these books sounds interesting to you?

Have you read The Grace Year and want to check these ones out?

Chat with me in the comments!

ARC Review: The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel


Inspired by an astonishing true story from World War II, a young woman with a talent for forgery helps hundreds of Jewish children flee the Nazis – Goodreads

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Title: The Book of Lost Names

Author: Kristin Harmel

Publisher: Gallery Books

Genre: Historical Fiction

Format: eARC from Netgalley

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Pub date: July 21, 2020


SYNOPSIS:

Eva Traube Abrams, a semi-retired librarian in Florida, is shelving books one morning when her eyes lock on a photograph in a magazine lying open nearby. She freezes; it’s an image of a book she hasn’t seen in sixty-five years—a book she recognizes as The Book of Lost Names.

The accompanying article discusses the looting of libraries by the Nazis across Europe during World War II—an experience Eva remembers well—and the search to reunite people with the texts taken from them so long ago. The book in the photograph, an eighteenth-century religious text thought to have been taken from France in the waning days of the war, is one of the most fascinating cases. Now housed in Berlin’s Zentral- und Landesbibliothek library, it appears to contain some sort of code, but researchers don’t know where it came from—or what the code means. Only Eva holds the answer—but will she have the strength to revisit old memories and help reunite those lost during the war?

As a graduate student in 1942, Eva was forced to flee Paris after the arrest of her father, a Polish Jew. Finding refuge in a small mountain town in the Free Zone, she begins forging identity documents for Jewish children fleeing to neutral Switzerland. But erasing people comes with a price, and along with a mysterious, handsome forger named Rémy, Eva decides she must find a way to preserve the real names of the children who are too young to remember who they really are. The records they keep in The Book of Lost Names will become even more vital when the resistance cell they work for is betrayed and Rémy disappears.


MY REVIEW:

Wow. This book has left me speechless with tears in my eyes. This was so incredibly beautiful and haunting.

Eva is a Jewish girl living in Paris during the time of the German take over of France. Eva flees with her mother to escape the Nazis and start a new life in the free zone. On the way, she gets involved in the resistance and forges documents for innocent people to escape France to Switzerland. There are a lot of twists along the way and a lot of heartbreak.

Remy is a man who works with Eva during this time. All I can say is that Remy is an amazing character and he tore my heart out and then brought me back to life. The ending of this story shook me!!

This is such an interesting story of bravery and love. Eva is amazing! She is a hero. She lives all her life with regrets and her story is so sad. This is truly an unbelievable story. All of the people who helped the Jewish population during WW2 are heroes. It is heartbreaking thinking about what happened to people. This story opened my eyes to things I already knew, but took me there to really feel it in my heart.

Read this book. The author is amazing and this story in life changing. So beautiful and full of despair, yet hopeful in a way. The last few chapters will make you go insane. I LOVED this book!

* Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest review!


Do you enjoy historical fiction? Is this something you would read?

Chat with me in the comments 😊

Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes


Ambition will fuel him. Competition will drive him. But power has its price.

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Title: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Author: Suzanne Collins

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Genre: YA, Dystopian

Format: Physical book

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5


SYNOPSIS:

It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capital, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined — every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute… and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.


MY REVIEW:

I have read so many mixed reviews on this book and for that reason I honestly went into it with really low expectations! I was ever questioning this book before reading any reviews at all. I felt like I didn’t need this prequel and just felt that The Hunger Games were over and done and didn’t need to be brought up again.

But you guys… I really liked it! Don’t get me wrong – THIS IS NOT A HUNGER GAMES BOOK. This is before the series and it is MUCH different. Do not go into this expecting the crazy action packed books like before. This takes on a whole new approach and new view of the games.

What I liked the most:

  • Seeing Snow’s character before he is the horrible president that everyone loves to hate
  • Finding out what the Hunger Games used to be like and how it evolved
  • Getting some information about what it’s like to be a Peace Keeper
  • Finding out why Snow is the way he is and piecing it all together!

For me, I like some good background information. This book did just that! We follow Snow while he is a student and also part of the very first mentor program for the games. It was interesting to see how the games unfold and learn how the games became this HUGE event later on. I loved seeing Snow change and evolve. Snow has quite a few personality flaws that really clear up why he is so horrible in the future but also his life was not some simple, easy, perfect life and a part of me felt for him and understood. Snow faces a lot of challenges in this story and a lot of them are moral and ethical dilemmas. As much as I love a character that is out there to make the world a better place, it is also fun to have a morally gray character too. Snow is the MOST morally gray character ever haha sometimes he seems “good” and other times he actually shocks you with his decisions. In the end, none of it is much of a shock because we all know who he turns out to be later on.

While there wasn’t a ton of action I still felt the story to be fast paced enough that I was invested in it. There were definitely sometimes I was on the edge of my seat! There was no lack of suspense at all. I will say though that there is a romance that happens during the story and for me I felt it could have been left out OR not had such a large part. It just didn’t seem important and at the end it didn’t really add anything useful. It was cute though at parts but… meh.

I would say read this book if you loved The Hunger Games and you are interested in seeing it from a different lens. Read this book if you want to know more about Snow and how the heck he became the man he did. Read this book if you like a good origin story! I think overall, if you liked the series, this is worth the read.


Have you read this? What did you think? If not, is this something you want to read?

Chat with me in the comments 😊

If you liked… You might like… [Truly Devious edition]

Hey everyone, welcome back to my blog! I have been seeing a lot of book rec posts on here and also booktube. I always love seeing what people recommend based on other books. It opens up my eyes to SO many other fantastic reads and also makes me think about how books are linked or why someone may like a book based on another book if they don’t seem to have a lot in common. I just love how people think and how people link things in their brains. It is is always such a great way to pass time and get a lot of new books to add to my TBR that is never ever going to end!

I decided to start this series (I guess I will call it a series because I plan on doing these a few times a month… but any-who…). I decided to start with Truly Devious because I really enjoyed that book and I’ve seen it pop up around the internet. I have to say I’ve only read the first book of the series but I do have the second one (Vanishing Stair) on my bookshelf. I have yet to purchase the last book in the series but I will be doing that as soon as I start the second book.

A little bit of a tangent but I used to always get the WHOLE series right from the start. Like if I knew I was interested in a book that was part of a series I would just grab them all. I did this for the Gone series. Its like 6 or 7 books lol I bought them all. Luckily I enjoyed the books or else I wold have had a lot of unread books on my shelf. I tend to only buy the first book of the series now. But I find that I normally finish a series regardless of how much I really enjoy the first book…. I just need the closure 😂

So anyways, back to the post you came here for…. I am going to recommend 5 books you might like, if you liked Truly Devious!

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Truly Devious – some themes/ vibes I got from the book that I will be using as links to the other book recs:

  • Murder mystery
  • Dual time periods
  • Set at a boarding school
  • Sherlock style mystery
  • MC is a true crime expert
  • Kids end up solving a mystery for the adults

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

I will start this one off by saying I may be a little bias because I LOVE THIS BOOK AND SERIES. It is fantastic and if you have been around my blog/ IG for any time at all you will know I talk about this book any chance I can get… sorry (but I’m not really).

Why you might like this book:

  • It follows two characters who are decedents from Sherlock Holmes and John Watson
  • This is a Sherlock retelling
  • The main characters end up solving a murder mystery that happens at the boarding school they are at (another one of those kids save the day style stories)
  • There is a lot of blackmail, multiple generations involved, and power families with lots of secrets!

Deadly Curious by Cindy Anstey

This book is set in 1834 and follows a female main character who desperately wants to be part of a group called “Bow Street Runners” which is a very elite group of detectives in London! Of course, this is looked down upon because she is a lady and during that time there is no way a lady would be a detective. HOWEVER, she ends up being involved in a mystery and gets to prove herself.

Why you might like this book:

  • It is set in the Victornia Era London which is so famous for detective mysteries
  • The female main character goes againist the statuts-quo
  • This is a murder mystery
  • Possible romance
  • A deep twisted family secret

Murder is Binding by Lorna Barrett

If you are like me, you enjoy a good cozy mystery. This story is about a town full of bookstores. All the bookstores are different genres and the main character opens up her own mystery bookstore. There is a suspicious death of another bookstores owner and it seems to be linked back to the main character!

Why you might like this book:

  • Amateur sleuth – the main character has to solve the mystery to clear her name (very similar to Truly Devious)
  • Book about a town full of bookstores (whats not to like about that)
  • Town secrets that make it hard to trust anyone
  • Bookish cozy mystery

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

This is a paranormal story following a main character who comes from a family full of psychics. The main character meets a group of boys that she is supposed to stay away from BUT obviously she doesn’t! She goes on this quest with them to solve some sort of magically mystery and starts to unravel a lot of secrets and also finds out things about herself and her powers in the meantime. There is so much more about this book but I would be here all day to explain it!

Why you might like this book:

  • Mysterious private school boys
  • A quest to solve a mystery + a murder is discovered which is quite a shock
  • A prophecy
  • The main character is stubborn and does what she is not supposed to do
  • Magic, secrets, paranormal

This one is less like Truly Devious but I feel like the mystery solving aspect is still there and with the added magic and prophecies, it takes this on a darker turn.


Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson

This story is super interesting!! This is about a bookseller who writes up a list of the most perfect, unsolvable murders from the books hes read which he titled “Eight Perfect Murders.” He later becomes a suspect of a series of murders that are exactly like the ones from the list. Oh no!

Why you might like this book:

  • The main character is framed and has to do some mystery solving to clear their name
  • FBI involvement
  • Ultimate mystery story as the author ties in iconic mysteries to the book
  • Suspenseful – the killer seems to know so much about the main character that no one can be trusted!

What do you think? Would you read any of these books? Have you read any of them?

I know these lists can be a bit subjective, so let me know if you have any book rec’s that are similar to Truly Devious!

BOOK REVIEW: Wilder Girls by Rory Power

A feminist Lord of the Flies about three best friends living in quarantine at their island boarding school, and the lengths they go to uncover the truth of their confinement when one disappears. This fresh debut is a mind-bending novel unlike anything you’ve read before. – Penguin Random House

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Title: Wilder Girls

Author: Rory Power

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Genre: YA, Horror, Mystery

Format: Physical book

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐/5


SYNOPSIS:

It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.


MY REVIEW:

I would describe Wilder Girls as a mix of YA horror, survival, and dystopia. The author did a great job of writing the gruesome horror aspects! I would say that was the strongest part of the book.

The story follows 3 girls who are at a boarding school on an island. The girls at the boarding school all get sick and start to form all sorts of different deformities. Its unclear why this is happening to the girls and therefore, the island is under quarantine while scientists try to cure them.

The idea of this book is awesome! I really enjoyed the characters. I loved the main character Hetty and her friend Byatt. I have to admit I wasn’t the biggest fan of Reese 🤷🏼‍♀️ I liked that there was little to no romance in this story. There was some hints of romance but it was really kept to a minimal.

Survival was a big part of the story. Probably 99% of the time the story focuses on the girls just trying to survive another day. It was quite desperate at times and did keep me on the edge of my seat.

BUT this story just lacked something for me. Maybe it was the fact that no real action happens until the end of the book. Maybe it was ending that felt totally unresolved and just finished with nothing answered. The characters really kept me in this book. The story itself was interesting and unique but wasn’t AMAZING!


Have you read this one or is it on your TBR? I’d love to hear what you think of this one!! Chat with me in the comments!

BOOK REVIEW: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

“The versatile Johnson is no stranger to suspense, and this twisty thriller will leave plenty of readers anxious for more.” -Booklist

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Title: Truly Devious

Author: Maureen Johnson

Publisher: Harper Collins

Genre: Mystery, YA

Format: Physical

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5


SYNOPSIS:

Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place,” he said, “where learning is a game.”

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder. 


MY REVIEW:

I really enjoyed this book! First of all, I LOVE a good mystery! I didn’t really know what to expect from this one because I didn’t read anything about it beforehand – I just saw so many people liked it and I enjoy Maureen Johnson so I just picked it up! I was not disappointed at all!!

This book was everything I enjoy in a fun mystery. The story is set in a school (Ellingham Academy) that is deep in the forest in Vermont! It’s secluded and hard to reach so OBVIOUSLY it’s the perfect spot for a mystery. The best part is that the school has a past history of bad things happening there and while the story unfolds the reader discovers all these clues that piece together not only the current mystery but also the mystery in the past! I enjoyed that part 😊

Stevie!!! She is MY GIRL. I loved her. She reminded me very much of the female version of Sherlock Holmes (which was totally the point). She was so smart and I loved her confidence in her abilities. She knew she had skills and she didn’t let anyone tell her otherwise. I found myself really cheering her on throughout the book. I especially liked that she stuck to her goal which was to solve the mystery but also let herself explore being a teenager and feelings that come with that.

The book had a little bit of romance (maybe romance?) and it was enough. This was one of those stories that you don’t even need any romance or relationship stuff happening because you are just so into the plot, it didn’t even matter to me what the characters were doing to be honest. I was so engulfed in the mystery, nothing else mattered!

I liked the characters! I think the author did a good job of being descriptive but also leaving enough out that everyone was kind of mysterious and questionable! At times I felt like I was part of the game Clue! I also found that while the mystery was not overly complicated, I was always kept on my toes. I did not see really any of the twists coming and I DID NOT see the last twist coming, I was thoroughly shocked (which is what you want with these books)!

Overall, this was super fun and a great read! I found I was trying to solve the mystery alongside Stevie and I think those are the best stories – where you are so into the story that it feels like you are right there with the character. I don’t really have any negative things to say about this one. The only reason it didn’t get 5 stars is because it didn’t leave me “shook.” It was a good story with good characters and an interesting plot, but I didn’t put the book down and go “woah the heck happened there.” BUT still so good and I’m so excited to read the rest of the series!!


Have you read this book? What did you think of it?