Weekly Wrap-Up (November 16)

Weekly Wrap-Up

ON THE BLOG

Nov 10 – Book Review: Bill Hodges Trilogy by Stephen King
Nov 11 – Book Review: The Line That Held Us by David Joy
Nov 12 – Book Review: The Last by Hanna Jameson
Nov 13 – Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Items/Merchandise I’d Like to Own
Nov 14 – Book Review: Camouflage by Ivy Keating and Scott Spotson
Nov 15 – Book Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

BOOKS READ

Two books read this week – After Terra: Year 200 and Lying in Wait. Reviews to come on the blog later this month for both of them.

After Terra: Year 200 by Daniel ColdspringLying in Wait by Liz Nugent

BOOKS LISTENED TO

I borrowed three audiobooks from the library via OverDrive – Waistcoats & Weaponry, Manners & Mutiny, and The Life We Bury. I’m trying to catch up on series that I started and never completed… Now I’ve finished the Finishing School series. A review of an Allen Eskens book on Two Sisters Lost in a Coulee got me curious to try a book by him, so I’m starting with The Life We Bury.

Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail CarrigerManners & Mutiny by Gail CarrigerThe Life We Bury by Allen Eskens

NETGALLEY & EDELWEISS eARCs RECEIVED

This week I got two ARCs – The Escape Room and The Suspect. The blurb for The Escape Room sounded good, so I got it on Netgalley. The Suspect was available on Edelweiss, and I wanted to read it since I enjoyed Fiona Barton’s other books.

The Escape Room by Megan GoldinThe Suspect by Fiona Barton

PURCHASED

No books purchased this week.

BORROWED

I borrowed three books from the library this week – All the Beautiful Strangers, Guess Who, and Lying in Wait. I had all of these on hold, so, of course, they all came in at the same time.

All the Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth KlehfothGuess Who by Chris McGeorgeLying in Wait by Liz Nugent

OTHER BOOKS

My Amazon First Reads pick for this month was Rapid Falls by Amber Cowie.

Rapid Falls by Amber Cowie

My reviews can also be found on Goodreads. Thanks for stopping by Nightcap Books. Hope you have an awesome week.
Happy Reading!

Book Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publisher: Atria Books
Publish Date: June 13, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.0 / Community 4.26

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon
Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.


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MY REVIEW
Monique, a magazine reporter, gets the opportunity to interview one of Hollwood’s iconic leading ladies, Evelyn Hugo. Monique is a relatively unknown reporter, so it seems odd that Evelyn would pick Monique as her biographer. Evelyn tells all to Monique about her celebrity life and her love life. As their time together continues, it seems there is a link between the two women, but only Evelyn knows what it is.

This book is about two women – Monique and Evelyn. Monique is at a difficult time in her life. She’s going through a divorce and her career is not where she would like it. Evelyn is older and has had a successful life. Now in her 70s, Evelyn is still a hot topic of conversation because of her films, style, and marriages.

Monique is lackluster, and her story did not pull me in. Fortunately, the majority of the book is Evelyn’s story. She is telling Monique everything about her rise in fame and the loves she had along the way. Evelyn is calculating, cutthroat, and completely self-serving. Really, she’s not a good person, but she’s fun to read about. Lots of drama and deceit.

While I wasn’t as wowed with this book as many others seem to have been, I did enjoy reading about the imagined life of Evelyn Hugo… I kept picturing the different real-life Hollywood leading ladies of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. An interesting look at the private versus public life of celebrity. Devious, complex, and bittersweet.

I borrowed this book from my local library.

Book Review: Camouflage by Ivy Keating and Scott Spotson

Camouflage by Ivy Keating and Scott Spotson

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: Camouflage
Authors: Ivy Keating and Scott Spotson
Publisher: Champagne Book Group
Publish Date: September 23, 2018
Genre: Science Fiction
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.0

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
A missing man, a new police chief and an unexpected New England town mystery.

When Sean Dermott, the newly appointed police chief, sees the report that a popular local high school coach is missing, his growing fascination with the alluring Vanessa Strauss, who reported the disappearance, makes him determined to solve the case.

The investigation leads him and his team deep into Quarry Head Park, a local scenic preserve with nature trails and expansive views. There is no sign of the missing man, but what he does find terrifies him to the core.

From the depths of the park, a deadly prehistoric looking creature emerges, attacks swiftly and silently, leaving devastation in its wake. In the chaos which follows, it is up to Chief Dermott and a team of scientists to fight for balance by ensuring the safety of his town and preserving this remarkable discovery.

He will risk his career, his reputation and even his own life to stand by what he believes to be right. The question is, will he succeed, or will all be lost?


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MY REVIEW
A man is reported missing in a small New England town. While investigating the case, the police become aware of an unusual creature living in the nearby nature preserve. The police chief contacts a local scientist/researcher to identify the animal. As the case unfolds, the police and scientists try to find balance between preserving a prehistoric animal and protecting public safety.

The characters are realistic and likable. The police chief is a little on the young side, and feels he needs to prove himself in his new job. Besides working hard on the two cases – missing man and prehistoric animal – he finds himself attracted to the woman who reported the missing man. A romance develops.

I especially liked the researchers. They were the right amount of excited and academic about a new, or rather, old, species being discovered. The scientists want to help, and the story does a good job with them explaining things to the police as they learn new information.

The scientists want to discover where the creature came from and what happened to its environment that caused it to move near the town. If they can figure that out, maybe they can return the animal back to its natural habitat.The police and scientists are working hard, but there are opposing sides. There are those who want to protect the animal and those who want to destroy it.

A sci-fi mystery with adventure and romance. Entertaining, thrilling, and fast-paced.

I received a free digital copy of this book from Kimberly Costa at Caffeinated PR Services, in exchange for an honest review.

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Items/Merchandise I’d Like to Own

Top Ten Tuesday

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Bookish Items/Merchandise I’d Like to Own.

I tend to spend more time and money shopping books than bookish items, but there are some things that look great. Below are 10 bookish items I came across recently that I liked.

1. Nancy Drew Tote Bag

Nancy Drew tote bag

2. Library bookend

Library bookend

3. Bookish coasters

Book stack coasters

4. Bookish pillow

One more chapter pillow

5. The Great Gatsby infinty scarf

The Great Gatsby infinity scarf

6. Shirt – Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air

Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air t-shirt

7. Custom book stamp

Custom book stamp

8. Library card notebooks

Library card notebook

9. Gear bookends

Gear bookends

10. Bookish linen tea towel

Linen tea towel

Book Review: The Last by Hanna Jameson

The Last by Hanna Jameson

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: The Last
Author: Hanna Jameson
Publisher: Atria Books
Publish Date: April 9, 2019
Genre: Dystopia
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.0 / Community 3.78

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
Jon thought he had all the time in the world to respond to his wife’s text message: I miss you so much. I feel bad about how we left it. Love you. But as he’s waiting in the lobby of the L’Hotel Sixieme in Switzerland after an academic conference, still mulling over how to respond to his wife, he receives a string of horrifying push notifications. Washington, DC has been hit with a nuclear bomb, then New York, then London, and finally Berlin. That’s all he knows before news outlets and social media goes black—and before the clouds on the horizon turn orange.

Now, two months later, there are twenty survivors holed up at the hotel, a place already tainted by its strange history of suicides and murders. Those who can’t bear to stay commit suicide or wander off into the woods. Jon and the others try to maintain some semblance of civilization. But when the water pressure disappears, and Jon and a crew of survivors investigate the hotel’s water tanks, they are shocked to discover the body of a young girl.

As supplies dwindle and tensions rise, Jon becomes obsessed with investigating the death of the little girl as a way to cling to his own humanity. Yet the real question remains: can he afford to lose his mind in this hotel, or should he take his chances in the outside world?


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MY REVIEW
Jon is staying at a hotel in Switzerland when nuclear war breaks out. The hotel is in a remote enough location that the employees and guests of the hotel are safe from the bombs, but cut off from society. Some people from the hotel decide to leave and find their way home, but Jon and 20 or so others remain at the hotel. After a couple of months in the hotel, the water pressure starts to disappear. While investigating the cause, the body of a young girl is found. Jon takes it upon himself to find out what happened to the girl, and he becomes obsessed with identifying the killer. Meanwhile, supplies decrease and tensions between the hotel residents increase.

Jon is an American visiting Switzerland for an academic conference. The novel is told from his point of view using a diary/journal style. Jon and his wife have a troubled marriage, and he feels guilty for how he left things with her. Part of his behavior is a result of his guilt, and his need to make things right.

We never know much about the attacks, just that various cities in the United States and Europe have been bombed. After the attacks, communication (i.e., internet access) is mostly lost. The hotel has resources, so they have basics like food, water, and shelter. It would have been nice to know a little more about the attacks, but that is not the primary focus of the story. The relationships between the survivors is the focus, and is very realistic. The hotel residents are varied in their nationalities, backgrounds, beliefs, and personalities. This seems accurate, and creates a lot of conflict.

This novel is more of a character study, and not a lot of action takes place. Based on the book description, I was expecting more mystery than is delivered. Still, the characters and their interactions were believable and interesting.

Fantastic setting. Interesting characters. Slow paced. Good for fans of apocalyptic stories with a little mystery.

Fun fact: My family and I were vacationing in Hawaii when we received a notification about a ballistic missile threat, so the whole finding out about the end of the world in a notification on your phone is kind of realistic.

Missile threat notification

I heard about this book from fellow book blogger Amy Sullivan @ Novel Gossip. Thank you for recommending this book and sending me the Netgalley widget!

Book Review: The Line That Held Us by David Joy

The Line That Held Us by David Joy

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: The Line That Held Us
Author: David Joy
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Publish Date: August 14, 2018
Genre: Crime Fiction
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 3.7

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon
When Darl Moody went hunting after a monster buck he’s chased for years, he never expected he’d accidentally shoot a man digging ginseng. Worse yet, he’s killed a Brewer, a family notorious for vengeance and violence. With nowhere to turn, Darl calls on the help of the only man he knows will answer, his best friend, Calvin Hooper. But when Dwayne Brewer comes looking for his missing brother and stumbles onto a blood trail leading straight back to Darl and Calvin, a nightmare of revenge rips apart their world. The Line That Held Us is a story of friendship and family, a tale balanced between destruction and redemption, where the only hope is to hold on tight, clenching to those you love. What will you do for the people who mean the most, and what will you grasp to when all that you have is gone? The only certainty in a place so shredded is that no one will get away unscathed.


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MY REVIEW
Darl goes deer hunting and accidentally shoots a man. When he realizes who the man is, and that he is the brother of a very violent man, Darl enlists the help of his best friend Calvin to dispose of the body. The dead man’s brother, Dwayne, starts looking for him and finds the path leads to Darl.

A story about revenge. This novel starts with Darl doing something bad – hunting in the off season – and gets much, much worse. Dwayne’s grief leads him down a brutal path of vengeance.

The characters are compelling, but a little stereotypical. Darl isn’t really likable. He’s the kind of guy who breaks the rules and makes poor decisions, but isn’t necessarily a bad person. Calvin is a stand-up guy though, and I liked him. He’s a hard-working man who is loyal to his family and friends. Dwayne’s got a reputation for violence, but he’s also kind of creepy. He’s a cruel man with a bad temper.

A gritty and intense read about love and vengeance. Dark, gruesome, and suspenseful.

I borrowed this book from my local library.

Book Review: Bill Hodges Trilogy by Stephen King

Mr. Mercedes bu Stephen KingFinders Keepers by Stephen KingEnd of Watch by Stephen King

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK 1

BOOK INFO
Title: Mr. Mercedes
Author: Stephen King
Publisher: Scribner
Publish Date: June 3, 2014
Genre: Mystery – Crime
Series: Bill Hodges Trilogy, #1
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 3.94

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.

In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the “perk” and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.

Brady Hartsfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again. Only Bill Hodges, with a couple of highly unlikely allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands.


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MY REVIEW
A driver plowed into a crowd, killing and injuring many innocent people. The killer drove a stolen Mercedes, and was never caught. Bill Hodges is a retired police officer who worked the Mercedes case. The case has haunted him, and his interest in the case is reignited after he receives a letter from someone claiming to be the Mercedes driver. Hodges starts investigating the case on his own, hoping to prevent another tragedy from happening.

Told from multiple points of view – Hodges and the killer’s. Bill Hodges is an interesting character. He’s depressed and lonely, but also has a desire to help and the determination to solve his old case. The killer is a very disturbed character that is smart and diabolical.

BOOK 2

BOOK INFO
Title: Finders Keepers
Author: Stephen King
Publisher: Scribner
Publish Date: June 2, 2015
Genre: Mystery – Crime
Series: Bill Hodges Trilogy, #2
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.04

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
“Wake up, genius.” So begins King’s instantly riveting story about a vengeful reader. The genius is John Rothstein, an iconic author who created a famous character, Jimmy Gold, but who hasn’t published a book for decades. Morris Bellamy is livid, not just because Rothstein has stopped providing books, but because the nonconformist Jimmy Gold has sold out for a career in advertising. Morris kills Rothstein and empties his safe of cash, yes, but the real treasure is a trove of notebooks containing at least one more Gold novel.

Morris hides the money and the notebooks, and then he is locked away for another crime. Decades later, a boy named Pete Saubers finds the treasure, and now it is Pete and his family that Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney, and Jerome Robinson must rescue from the ever-more deranged and vengeful Morris when he’s released from prison after thirty-five years.


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MY REVIEW
A boy finds some money and wants to give it to his parents to help his family. The boy’s father was injured when the Mercedes driver from, Mr. Mercedes, hit him. The family has struggled financially, especially after his father’s injury, so the money seems like a wonderful find. Unfortunately, the money was stolen from a writer, along with a series of notebooks containing the author’s last works. The thief buried his treasure, but wound up in prison on unrelated charges. Retired detective Bill Hodges enters the story late, with his helpers Jerome and and Holly.

I read Mr. Mercedes first, but this book could be read without having read Book 1. At first, I wasn’t sure how Hodges would come into this story, but it all comes together in the end. This one was as good as, or better, than Mr. Mercedes. Disturbing, intriguing, and exciting.

BOOK 3

BOOK INFO
Title: End of Watch
Author: Stephen King
Publisher: Scribner
Publish Date: June 7, 2016
Genre: Mystery – Thriller
Series: Bill Hodges Trilogy, #3
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.09

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
In Room 217 of the Lakes Region Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, something has awakened. Something evil. Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of the Mercedes Massacre, where eight people were killed and many more were badly injured, has been in the clinic for five years, in a vegetative state. According to his doctors, anything approaching a complete recovery is unlikely. But behind the drool and stare, Brady is awake, and in possession of deadly new powers that allow him to wreak unimaginable havoc without ever leaving his hospital room.

Retired police detective Bill Hodges, the unlikely hero of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers, now runs an investigation agency with his partner, Holly Gibney—the woman who delivered the blow to Hartsfield’s head that put him on the brain injury ward. When Bill and Holly are called to a suicide scene with ties to the Mercedes Massacre, they find themselves pulled into their most dangerous case yet, one that will put their lives at risk, as well as those of Bill’s heroic young friend Jerome Robinson and his teenage sister, Barbara. Brady Hartsfield is back, and planning revenge not just on Hodges and his friends, but on an entire city.


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MY REVIEW
Something has awakened in Brady Hartsfield, the Mercedes killer. He has been in a vegetative state for five years, but he’s slowly recovering,. Along with his recovery, he has developed a special ability. Meanwhile, Bill Hodges and Holly Gibney are staying busy with their investigation agency, and their latest case involves victims of the Mercedes killer. They believe Brady is somehow involved with the new string of deaths, and Hodges is determined to catch him.

I do recommend reading books 1 and 2 in the series first. This last book develops a more supernatural element than the previous books in the series. Personally, I preferred the previous two books, but this was still a good ending to the series. I guess this one seemed more like a Stephen King novel, whereas the other books were basically crime thrillers. Overall, I enjoyed this series. Dark and exciting.

I borrowed these books from my local library using OverDrive.

Weekly Wrap-Up (November 9)

Weekly Wrap-Up

ON THE BLOG

Saturday, Nov 3 – Book Review: A Wrench in the Works by Kate Carlisle
Sunday, Nov 4 – It’s Finally Fall Book Tag
Monday, Nov 5 – Book Review: Death at Whitewater Church by Andrea Carter
Tuesday, Nov 6 – Top Ten Tuesday: Backlist Books I Want to Read
Wednesday, Nov 7 – Book Review: A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne
Thursday, Nov 8 – Book Review: Final Girls by Riley Sager

BOOKS READ

Reviews to come on the blog – Camouflage in November and An Anonymous Girl in December.

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah PekkanenCamouflage by Ivy Keating and Scott Spotson

AUDIOBOOKS

I borrowed these from the library via OverDrive.

Don't You Cry by Mary KubicaThe Lonely City by Olivia LaingDown Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuireBeneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

CURRENTLY READING

I’m currently reading three books – one physical book, one ebook, and one audiobook.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins ReidA Bad, Bad Thing by Elena ForbesCity of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

NETGALLEY & EDELWEISS eARCs RECEIVED

One ARC received this week. I really enjoyed Quiet Girl in a Noisy World by Debbie Tung, so I jumped on the chance to read her newest graphic novel. I got this one earlier in the week, so I’ve already read it. Review to come in December.

Book Love by Debbie Tung

PURCHASED

No books purchased this week.

BORROWED

No books borrowed from the library this week.

OTHER BOOKS

I accepted two review requests from authors this week. I haven’t read these yet, but I should have them read in late November/early December. Reviews to come in December.

The Dagger by Pam AndersThe Mentalist Series by Kenechi Udogu

My reviews can also be found on Goodreads. Thanks for stopping by Nightcap Books. Hope you have an awesome week.
Happy Reading!

Book Review: Final Girls by Riley Sager

Final Girls by Riley Sager

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: Final Girls
Author: Riley Sager
Publisher: Dutton
Publish Date: July 11, 2017
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 3.8

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon
Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls: Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.

Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.

That is until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit; and Sam, the second Final Girl, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.


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MY REVIEW
The Final Girls is a moniker used to label survivors of horror movie style attacks. While in college, Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with some friends. During their trip, the group was attacked and everyone was killed, except for Quincy. Being the lone survivor of the massacre made Quincy a Final Girl. There are only two other Final Girls, Lisa and Sam. Fast forward ten years… Quincy learns that Lisa, the first Final Girl, has died. Lisa’s death hits Quincy hard. Even though they had never met, the Final Girls have something in common that no one else can understand. Soon, Sam shows up on Quincy’s doorstep. As Sam inserts herself into Quincy’s life, she also pressures Quincy to remember the night of the attack. Quincy starts to realize that something is not right with her memories, Sam’s behavior, and Lisa’s death.

The story is told from Quincy’s point of view in the present day, but also contains flashbacks to the night she and her friends were attacked. Quincy had a very difficult time coping with the massacre, and between self-medicating and her desire to forget, she has managed to suppress her memories of the attack. A big part of the story deals with Lisa accepting her Final Girl status and remembering what happened.

A fun and exciting thriller. Unreliable characters. Twisty plot. Good for fans of psychological thrillers who enjoy the final girl trope. Entertaining and suspenseful.

I borrowed this book from my local library.

Book Review: A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne

A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: A Ladder to the Sky
Author: John Boyne
Publisher: Hogarth
Publish Date: November 13, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.21

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
Maurice Swift is handsome, charming, and hungry for fame. The one thing he doesn’t have is talent – but he’s not about to let a detail like that stand in his way. After all, a would-be writer can find stories anywhere. They don’t need to be his own.

Working as a waiter in a West Berlin hotel in 1988, Maurice engineers the perfect opportunity: a chance encounter with celebrated novelist Erich Ackermann. He quickly ingratiates himself with the powerful – but desperately lonely – older man, teasing out of Erich a terrible, long-held secret about his activities during the war. Perfect material for Maurice’s first novel.

Once Maurice has had a taste of literary fame, he knows he can stop at nothing in pursuit of that high. Moving from the Amalfi Coast, where he matches wits with Gore Vidal, to Manhattan and London, Maurice hones his talent for deceit and manipulation, preying on the talented and vulnerable in his cold-blooded climb to the top. But the higher he climbs, the further he has to fall…


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MY REVIEW
A manipulative man, Maurice Swift, makes a career as an author. Maurice has some basic skills as a writer, but he has a difficult time coming up with ideas. So, he takes ideas from others and claims them as his own.

This is a story about a selfish rising author. He can write, but his stories are boring. He gets a taste of fame as a young man, and goes to great lengths to continue his career. The novel is divided into sections, which reflect Maurice’s life – a young man starting out, after receiving a taste of fame, married life, and life as a father. The different sections aren’t all told from Maurice’s point of view, in fact, a good deal of the novel is told from the viewpoint of Maurice’s targets (i.e., the victims).

The first part of this book is great. This is where we are introduced to Maurice, and his manipulative character is developed and his career is started. The second part of the novel is much darker. I was pulled into the manipulative world of Maurice, but the overall story felt somehow off. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, because I enjoyed the book. I think the darker, more sinister turn later in the book took the story in a direction it didn’t necessarily need to go. Still, this is a great read.

Maurice is a psychopath. His actions are somewhat unbelievable, but make for an entertaining read. Tragic, compelling, and frustrating.

I received a free eARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.