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Book Review

Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: Every Last Fear

Author: Alex Finlay

Publisher: Minotaur

Publish Date: March 2, 2021

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay

BOOK BLURB

“They found the bodies on a Tuesday.” So begins this twisty and breathtaking novel that traces the fate of the Pine family, a thriller that will both leave you on the edge of your seat and move you to tears.

After a late night of partying, NYU student Matt Pine returns to his dorm room to devastating news: nearly his entire family—his mom, his dad, his little brother and sister—have been found dead from an apparent gas leak while vacationing in Mexico. The local police claim it was an accident, but the FBI and State Department seem far less certain—and they won’t tell Matt why.

The tragedy makes headlines everywhere because this isn’t the first time the Pine family has been thrust into the media spotlight. Matt’s older brother, Danny—currently serving a life sentence for the murder of his teenage girlfriend Charlotte—was the subject of a viral true crime documentary suggesting that Danny was wrongfully convicted. Though the country has rallied behind Danny, Matt holds a secret about his brother that he’s never told anyone: the night Charlotte was killed Matt saw something that makes him believe his brother is guilty of the crime.

When Matt returns to his small hometown to bury his parents and siblings, he’s faced with a hostile community that was villainized by the documentary, a frenzied media, and memories he’d hoped to leave behind forever. Now, as the deaths in Mexico appear increasingly suspicious and connected to Danny’s case, Matt must unearth the truth behind the crime that sent his brother to prison—putting his own life in peril—and forcing him to confront his every last fear.

Told through multiple points-of-view and alternating between past and present, Alex Finlay’s Every Last Fear is not only a page-turning thriller, it’s also a poignant story about a family managing heartbreak and tragedy, and living through a fame they never wanted.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Matt Pine receives the devastating news that his parents and younger siblings died while vacationing in Mexico. This isn’t the only tragedy in Matt’s life. His older brother is in prison for murder. The older brother has maintained this innocence, but Matt isn’t so sure. The deaths of Matt’s family members seems suspicious, so he looks for the truth behind the deaths. Along the way, he also looks into his brother’s case.

Told using multiple points of view and alternating timelines. Though a lot happens in this book, it’s easy to follow. The story is compelling and kept my interest. I enjoy a thriller that keeps me guessing and this one delivered.

A page-turning thriller with complex characters and a smart mystery. A fantastic debut novel. I look forward to reading more by Alex Finlay.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review

The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey [Book Review]

Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: The Echo Wife

Author: Sarah Gailey

Publisher: Tor

Publish Date: February 16, 2021

Genre: Domestic Suspense

Series: na

My Rating: 3/5

The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey

BOOK BLURB

I’m embarrassed, still, by how long it took me to notice. Everything was right there in the open, right there in front of me, but it still took me so long to see the person I had married.

It took me so long to hate him.

Martine is a genetically cloned replica made from Evelyn Caldwell’s award-winning research. She’s patient and gentle and obedient. She’s everything Evelyn swore she’d never be.

And she’s having an affair with Evelyn’s husband.

Now, the cheating bastard is dead, and both Caldwell wives have a mess to clean up.

Good thing Evelyn Caldwell is used to getting her hands dirty.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Evelyn is an intelligent and driven scientist. Martine is a clone of Evelyn, made from Evelyn’s research. Evelyn didn’t clone herself though. Nathan, Evelyn’s husband, cloned her in secret to make a more docile version of Evelyn. Nathan is having an affair with Martine, until he ends up dead. Now, Evelyn and Martine have a complicated mess to clean up.

A character driven novel that combines drama, mystery, and science fiction. The existence of Martine is troubling for Evelyn, in both her personal and professional lives. This novel tackles some ethical questions that could make for interesting discussions.

Enjoyable book, but it didn’t fully draw me in. I don’t mind the unlikable characters, but there were plots holes that took away from the story for me. Recommended for fans The Perfect Wife by J.P. Delaney, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, and The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review

Black Coral by Andrew Mayne [Book Review]

Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: Black Coral

Author: Andrew Mayne

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publish Date: February 16, 2021

Genre: Crime & Detective

Series: Underwater Investigation Unit #2

My Rating: 4/5

Black Coral by Andrew Mayne

BOOK BLURB

For a police diver in Florida, solving a cold-case mystery brings a serial killer out of hiding in a deep, dark thriller by the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Naturalist.

Sloan McPherson and the Underwater Investigation Unit have discovered a van at the bottom of a murky Florida pond. Sealed inside the watery tomb are the bodies of four teenagers who disappeared thirty years ago after leaving a rock concert. To authorities, it looks like a tragic accident. To Sloan, it looks like murder. Every piece of evidence is starting to connect to a string of cold case vanishings throughout Florida. Clue by clue, Sloan navigates the warm, dark waters where natural predators feed, knowing that the most dangerous one is still above the surface—nesting and dormant.

But when a fresh young kill is found in the Everglades, Sloan fears that her investigation has reawakened a monster. How can she catch someone who’s a genius at hiding in plain sight? By acting as prey. The dangerous gambit is working—only too well. She’s being lured into a deception of the madman’s own design. Has Sloan set a trap for a serial killer? Or has he set one for her?


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Black Coral is the second book in the mystery series Underwater Investigation Unit. I enjoyed the first book, The Girl Beneath the Sea, so I was looking forward to reading the latest addition to the series. This continues to be a great series. Black Coral can be read as a standalone, but I recommend starting with the first book.

In Black Coral, the Underwater Investigation Unit is called to the scene of a van at the bottom of a pond. This discovery leads to a suspenseful hunt for a serial killer. A well written story with interesting characters. I especially enjoy Sloan, as she continues to be a strong and complex character.

Exciting and intriguing mystery. A great read for fans of crime thrillers.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Underwater Investigation Unit series:

  1. The Girl Beneath the Sea
  2. Black Coral
Book Review

The Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor [Book Review]

The Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor

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BOOK INFO

Title: The Burning Girls

Author: C.J. Tudor

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Publish Date: February 9, 2021

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

The Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor

BOOK BLURB

An unconventional vicar must exorcise the dark past of a remote village haunted by death and disappearances in this explosive and unsettling thriller from the acclaimed author of The Chalk Man.

A dark history lingers in Chapel Croft. Five hundred years ago, Protestant martyrs were betrayed—then burned. Thirty years ago, two teenage girls disappeared without a trace. And a few weeks ago, the vicar of the local parish hanged himself in the nave of the church.

Reverend Jack Brooks, a single parent with a fourteen-year-old daughter and a heavy conscience, arrives in the village hoping for a fresh start. Instead, Jack finds a town rife with conspiracies and secrets, and is greeted with a strange welcome package: an exorcism kit and a note that warns, “But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed and hidden that will not be known.”

The more Jack and daughter, Flo, explore the town and get to know its strange denizens, the deeper they are drawn into the age-old rifts, mysteries, and suspicions. And when Flo begins to see specters of girls ablaze, it becomes apparent there are ghosts here that refuse to be laid to rest.

Uncovering the truth can be deadly in a village with a bloody past, where everyone has something to hide and no one trusts an outsider.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Mystery, horror, and historical fiction combine in The Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor.

I enjoyed Tudor’s previous books, The Chalk Man, The Hiding Place, and The Other People, so I was excited to read this one. Admittedly, I had certain expectations going into this novel. Fortunately, I enjoyed this one as much as her earlier novels.

A complex story with interesting characters. Sure to be enjoyed by fans of Tudor’s other books. Dark, eerie, and compelling.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books by C.J. Tudor:
  1. The Chalk Man
  2. The Hiding Place
  3. The Other People
  4. The Burning Girls
Book Review

Good Neighbors by Sarah Langan [Book Review]

Good Neighbors by Sarah Langan

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: Good Neighbors

Author: Sarah Langan

Publisher: Atria Books

Publish Date: February 2, 2021

Genre: Domestic Suspense

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

Good Neighbors by Sarah Langan

BOOK BLURB

Celeste Ng’s enthralling dissection of suburbia meets Shirley Jackson’s creeping dread in this propulsive literary noir, when a sudden tragedy exposes the depths of deception and damage in a Long Island suburb—pitting neighbor against neighbor and putting one family in terrible danger.

Welcome to Maple Street, a picture-perfect slice of suburban Long Island, its residents bound by their children, their work, and their illusion of safety in a rapidly changing world.

But menace skulks beneath the surface of this exclusive enclave, making its residents prone to outrage. When the Wilde family moves in, they trigger their neighbors’ worst fears. Dad Arlo’s a gruff has-been rock star with track marks. Mom Gertie’s got a thick Brooklyn accent, with high heels and tube tops to match. Their weird kids cuss like sailors. They don’t fit with the way Maple Street sees itself.

Though Maple Street’s Queen Bee, Rhea Schroeder—a lonely college professor repressing a dark past—welcomed Gertie and her family at first, relations went south during one spritzer-fueled summer evening, when the new best friends shared too much, too soon. By the time the story opens, the Wildes are outcasts.

As tensions mount, a sinkhole opens in a nearby park, and Rhea’s daughter Shelly falls inside. The search for Shelly brings a shocking accusation against the Wildes. Suddenly, it is one mom’s word against the other’s in a court of public opinion that can end only in blood.

A riveting and ruthless portrayal of American suburbia, Good Neighbors excavates the perils and betrayals of motherhood and friendships and the dangerous clash between social hierarchy, childhood trauma, and fear.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

A picture perfect neighborhood with successful and happy families. Of course, not everything is as it appears. Dark secrets, lies, and fears are in every household. Complex characters and an intriguing story combine for an enthralling read.

Good Neighbors is a new domestic suspense novel by Sarah Langan. I’ve read horror novels by Langan before, so I was expecting a creepy read… and I wasn’t disappointed. Good Neighbors definitely has a creep factor that makes it a little uncomfortable to read. However, the horror and discomfort is in a psychological way, not in a monster way. Admittedly, I’m a sucker for books set in neighborhoods/households where everything seems perfect, but is more complicated than it appears.

A slow burning novel. Recommended for fans of Little Fires Everywhere and Big Little Lies. Disturbing, contemporary, and compelling.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books by Sarah Langan:
  1. The Keeper
  2. The Missing
  3. Audrey’s Door
  4. Good Neighbors
Book Review

Possession by Katie Lowe [Book Review]

Possession by Katie Lowe

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: Possession

Author: Katie Lowe

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Publish Date: February 9, 2021

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

Possession by Katie Lowe

BOOK BLURB

The past haunts her. The present hunts her.

Conviction @ConvictionPod · 1m
The investigating officer: “I’ve seen a lot of homicides in the years since, but…that’s the one that keeps me up at night.”

The husband’s best man: “They had everybody fooled. Or at least, she did. But I always knew something was off.”

Hannah, the wife: “I told you. I don’t remember anything. I don’t know.”

That’s all to come, this season, on Conviction. Get ready for our most twisted season yet.

~~~

Ten years ago, Hannah’s husband was brutally murdered in their home, and she (conveniently) doesn’t remember a thing about that night. But the police charged someone else—a stranger—and put him away for life. And Hannah packed up her six-year-old daughter and left London behind.

But now her hard-won countryside peace is threatened. Conviction, a viral true crime podcast known for getting cases reopened and old verdicts overturned, has turned its attention to Hannah’s husband’s murder for its new season. They say police framed the man who was found guilty, and that Hannah has more suspicious secrets than just her memory loss: a history of volatility; citations at the clinic where she worked as a psychiatrist; dependencies on alcohol and pills; and a familicidal grandmother, locked away in a Gothic insane asylum until her death. As Hannah loses the trust of everyone she loves, the only person she feels she can confide in is a former colleague, Darcy, who’s come back into her life—but who may have motives of her own. But Hannah can’t tell even Darcy her deepest secret: that she’s still tormented by the memory of her husband and the crater he carved through her life.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Hannah is haunted by her husband’s murder that happened ten years prior. She doesn’t remember the night he was killed, and is considered a suspect by many. However, someone else was convicted for the murder. After the conviction, Hannah and her young daughter moved away from London. Presently, a podcast has revived interest in the murder. Once again, Hannah’s life is disrupted and she’s thrust into the spotlight.

Possession is a new psychological thriller by Katie Lowe. The story is told using alternating timelines. It is hard to determine if Hannah was involved with her husband’s death. Even she is not sure how innocent she is, making her an interesting unreliable narrator.

A slow burning thriller. Possession is a suspenseful and captivating novel. Recommended to fans of psychological thrillers with unreliable narrators.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review

The Other Mothers by M.M. Chouinard [Book Review]

The Other Mothers by M.M. Chouinard

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: The Other Mothers

Author: M.M. Chouinard

Publisher: Bookouture

Publish Date: January 20, 2021

Genre: Mystery – Crime

Series: Detective Jo Fournier #4

My Rating: 4/5

The Other Mothers by M.M. Chouinard

BOOK BLURB

It’s a crisp spring morning when the small-town community around Briar Ridge Elementary School is shattered by devastating news. Bright and shy five-year-old Nicole has disappeared at recess.

Nicole’s mother, Gia, is lost in her grief. On the same day her baby girl vanished, Gia found out she was pregnant with the sister Nicole had begged for. Gia is also devastated that her best friend Karen was supervising the playground when Nicole was taken. And when Nicole’s body is discovered, Gia can’t help but ask: why didn’t Karen protect her little girl?

Someone knows what happened in school that day and is keeping the truth secret. Gia’s been hiding a part of herself for years and it’s eating her apart. And Karen is definitely lying—but what is more important than finding the killer of her best friend’s daughter?

As Gia and Karen struggle with their guilt, a teacher at Briar Ridge dies in what looks like a tragic accident. But with two deaths in such a short time, one of the parents is lying. In this school, where soccer moms flock to the gates with cookies for teachers, someone is willing to kill to keep a secret. The only question is who.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

The Other Mothers is the latest book in the Detective Jo Fournier series by M.M. Chouinard. In this novel, Jo’s investigation involves a local elementary school. A child goes missing at recess, and is later found dead. Of course, Jo is determined to find who killed the child.

This is a fantastic crime series. I love mystery series with strong female characters. Jo is smart, dedicated, and tough, but she’s also got flaws, making her relatable. Her personal story is interwoven into the mystery story, making for a more enjoyable novel. In fact, all of the characters are well developed and interesting.

This is the fourth novel in the series, and I recommend reading this series in order. However, The Other Mothers can be read as a standalone novel.

The Other Mothers is a complex and intriguing mystery. With a compelling story and entertaining twists, this novel is sure to thrill fans of crime fiction.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Detective Jo Fournier series:
  1. The Dancing Girls
  2. Taken to the Grave
  3. Her Daughter’s Cry
  4. The Other Mothers
Reading Goals for 2021

Reading Goals for 2021

Reading Goals for 2021

Happy New Year!

I’m keeping my reading goals for 2021 simple. Two goals.

  1. Read books on my TBR list.
  2. Participate in reading challenges.

Clear the TBR

In the past, I focused on reading books that I already own and catching up on series. This year, I simply want to reduce the number of books on my to-read list.

Over the past month, I’ve gone over my “want to read” shelf on Goodreads. That list includes books I own, books in series, and any other book that has caught my eye. Instead of tracking owned books and series read separately, I’ll just track the overall number of books read.


Reading Challenges

I like reading challenges, so I plan to continue doing those this year. For yearly challenges, I plan to do three – PopSugar, Mystery Genre Bingo, and Give Me a Clue.

PopSugar is a challenge I enjoy every year. This year’s challenge has 50 prompts, and I plan to do each one.

Mystery Genre Bingo is an altered version of the Genre Bingo challenge I’ve done in previous years. Instead of a variety of genres, I switched it up to be all mysteries – cozy, noir, domestic suspense, legal thriller, etc. Since most of the books on my TBR are mysteries and thrillers, I thought this would work better with my 2021 reading goals. My goal is to read 25 books for this challenge.

Give Us a Clue is a challenge posted in a Goodreads group – 2021 Reading Challenge. This challenge is based on the board game Clue. So, the prompts are based on the suspects, weapons, and rooms in the game. It’s a new challenge, and sounds fun. My goal is to read 30 books for this challenge.

In addition to the yearly challenges, I hope to participate in more monthly challenges. I’ll decide on these challenges throughout the year, but I’d like to do 6-8 short challenges.


Those are my reading goals for 2021. Cheers to the New Year! Wishing you a year of good books and success with your reading goals. Happy reading!

2021 Mystery Genre Bingo

2021 Mystery Genre Bingo

2021 Mystery Genre Bingo

The 2021 Mystery Genre Bingo challenge is new! In the past, I participated in a Genre Bingo reading challenge in a group on Goodreads (2018, 2019, and 2020). The idea was to create a bingo card with a variety of genres and make as many “bingos” as you wanted for the challenge.

I love mysteries, so I thought I would make a bingo card that focused on mysteries and thrillers. While I have enjoyed the variety of genres in the past, this year I want to focus on reading mysteries. By altering the challenge a little, I get the fun of bingo and read lots of mysteries.

The 2021 Mystery Genre Bingo challenge has 25 prompts. I like a challenge, so I hope to read a book for each prompt.


To make a bingo card, visit the Bingo Card Generator. Enter the following information:

  • Card Title: 2021 Mystery Genre Bingo
  • Word List: Amateur Sleuth, Caper, Cozy Mystery, Detective, Domestic Suspense, Golden Age Mystery, Historical Mystery, Hardboiled, Legal Thriller, Locked Room Mystery, Medical Thriller, Middle Grade Mystery, Murder Mystery, Mystery Thriller, Noir, Paranormal Mystery, Police Procedural, Political Thriller, Private Investigator, Psychological Thriller, Romantic Suspense, Spy Thriller, Techno Thriller, True Crime, Young Adult Mystery, Whodunit
  • Free Space: Yes
  • Free Space Text: Any Mystery
  • Free Space Description: “leave blank”
  • Free Space Placement: Center
  • Card Size: 5 x 5
  • Number of cards to create: 1
  • Click “Generate Bingo Cards”

MY BINGO CARD

2021 Mystery Genre Bingo Card
Updated mystery genre bingo card

PROMPTS

  1. Mystery Thriller – Not One of Us by Debbie Hebert
  2. Caper –
  3. Murder Mystery –
  4. Golden Age Mystery –
  5. Whodunit –
  6. Amateur Sleuth – Swamp Santa by Jana Deleon
  7. Political Thriller –
  8. Domestic Suspense – The Shadow Box by Luanne Rice
  9. Historical Mystery – After Alice Fell by Kim Taylor Blakemore
  10. Young Adult Mystery –
  11. Medical Thriller –
  12. Private Investigator –
  13. Any Mystery – The Other Mothers by M.M. Chouinard
  14. Police Procedural –
  15. Detective – NYPD6 by James Patterson
  16. Middle Grade Mystery –
  17. Legal Thriller – Muzzled by David Rosenfelt
  18. Techno Thriller –
  19. Noir –
  20. Locked Room mystery – One by One by Ruth Ware
  21. True Crime –
  22. Romantic Suspense –
  23. Psychological Thriller – The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard
  24. Paranormal Mystery – The Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor
  25. Cozy Mystery – Christmas Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke
2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge

2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge

2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge

The 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge is here! This is one challenge I do each year. I love the variety of prompts. Some prompts are easy, others are more challenging and take me out of my comfort zone.

So far, I’ve had good luck sticking with the challenge and finishing it. I was able to finish it in 2018, 2019, and 2020. Hopefully, I manage to complete this year’s new challenge.

The 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge has 40 standard prompts and 10 advanced prompts. My goal is to complete all 50 prompts. Below is the list of prompts. I will update this list as I work on the challenge.


15/50 completed


2021 POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE PROMPTS

  1. A book that published in 2021 – Good Neighbors by Sarah Langan
  2. An Afrofuturist book
  3. A book that has a heart, diamond, club, or spade on the cover
  4. A book by an author who shares your zodiac sign
  5. A dark academia book
  6. A book with a gem, mineral, or rock in the title
  7. A book where the main character works at your current or dream job – Undercurrents by Mary Anna Evans
  8. A book that has won the Women’s Prize for Fiction
  9. A book with a family tree
  10. A bestseller from the 1990s
  11. A book about forgetting – Brewed Awakening by Cleo Coyle
  12. A book you have seen on someone’s bookshelf (in real life, on a Zoom call, in a TV show, etc.)
  13. A locked-room mystery – One Little Secret by Cate Holahan
  14. A book set in a restaurant
  15. A book with a black-and-white cover
  16. A book by an indigenous author
  17. A book that has the same title as a song
  18. A book about a subject you are passionate about
  19. A book that discusses body positivity
  20. A book on a Black Lives Matter reading list
  21. A genre hybrid
  22. A book set mostly or entirely outdoors
  23. A book with something broken on the cover – The Party by Robyn Harding
  24. A book by a Muslim American author
  25. A book that was published anonymously
  26. A book with an oxymoron in the title – Up the Down Staircase by Bel Kaufman
  27. A book about do-overs or fresh starts – The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  28. A magical realism book
  29. A book set in multiple countries
  30. A book set somewhere you’d like to visit in 2021
  31. A book by a blogger, vlogger, YouTube video creator, or other online personality – How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind by Dana K. White
  32. A book whose title starts with “Q,” “X,” or “Z”
  33. A book featuring three generations (grandparent, parent, child)
  34. A book about a social justice issue
  35. A book in a different format than what you normally read (audiobooks, ebooks, graphic novels)
  36. A book that has fewer than 1,000 reviews on Amazon or Goodreads – Black Coral by Andrew Mayne
  37. A book you think your best friend would like
  38. A book about art or an artist
  39. A book everyone seems to have read but you – Anxious People by Fredrick Backman
  40. Your favorite prompt from a past POPSUGAR Reading Challenge – Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay
Advanced Prompts
  1. The longest book (by pages) on your TBR list
  2. The shortest book (by pages) on your TBR list
  3. The book on your TBR list with the prettiest cover
  4. The book on your TBR list with the ugliest cover
  5. The book that’s been on your TBR list for the longest amount of time
  6. A book from your TBR list you meant to read last year but didn’t – Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
  7. A book from your TBR list you associate with a favorite person, place, or thing – The House Uptown by Melissa Ginsberg
  8. A book from your TBR list chosen at random
  9. A DNF book from your TBR list
  10. A free book from your TBR list (gifted, borrowed, library) – The Fates Divide by Veronica Roth
2020 Yearly Wrap-Up

2020 Reading Wrap-Up

2020 Yearly Wrap-Up

Welcome to my 2020 Reading Wrap-Up!

Whew! We made it through 2020. My reading life didn’t go quite as planned this year. However, I did manage to (mostly) meet my goals. Fortunately, I had set lower goals than usual, but it was still a challenge to get them met.


YEARLY GOALS

1. Participate in reading challenges.
I did two yearly reading challenges (PopSugar and Genre Bingo). Early in the year I did a couple of monthly challenges. I had hoped to do more monthly challenges, but I wasn’t motivated enough to keep up with them.

2. Read more books that I own.
I read some books that I own, but not as many as I had hoped. Still, I made some headway reading the books on my shelves at home.

3. Catch up on book series.
I didn’t track this goal very well. Well… I didn’t track this at all. I did read a lot of books in series though, so I feel like I made some headway on this one.


READING CHALLENGES

Genre Bingo – 24/24 completed in July
PopSugar – 50/50 completed in September


STATS

I read 255 books in 2020! I had an average rating of 3.6, so I mostly enjoyed the books that I read.

My biggest reading months were April and November. My slowest reading months were August and September.

Books Read per Month

I primarily read fiction: 94% fiction and 6% nonfiction. I read 240 fiction books, and I favored adult novels (221 books) over young adult novels (34 books). For adult fiction, I heavily favored mysteries and thrillers (138 books). Other adult genres I read included contemporary (24 books), horror/fantasy/sci-fi (19 books), and women’s fiction/romance (14 books). For young adult fiction, I favored sci-fi and fantasy (24 books). I read 15 nonfiction books. Of those, most were biographies/memoirs (6 books) and self-help (4 books).

I wanted to catch up on some series reading in 2020. I read 91 books that were part of a series. Unfortunately, I didn’t track if I completed any series. I should track that next year.

As for book format, I read 177 books (print and digital) and listened to 78 books.

Format of Books Read

Most books I read were published after 2000. Of the 237 books published after 2000, 140 of those were published in 2020. Clearly, I focused on reading new releases.

My greatest sources for books were OverDrive, Netgalley/Edelweiss, and my own bookshelves.


That’s it for my 2020 Reading Wrap-Up. Hope you met your reading goals for 2020. Happy reading in 2021!

Book Review

Premeditated Mortar by Kate Carlisle [Book Review]

Premeditated Mortar by Kate Carlisle

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: Premeditated Mortar

Author: Kate Carlisle

Publisher: Berkley

Publish Date: December 1, 2020

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Series: Fixer-Upper Mystery #8

My Rating: 4/5

Premeditated Mortar by Kate Carlisle

BOOK BLURB

Contractor Shannon Hammer gets tangled up in murder at a spooky old asylum in the latest Fixer-Upper Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Kate Carlisle. . . .

Shannon Hammer is about to embark on one of the biggest projects of her career. Her best friend Jane Hennessey has purchased one wing of the Gables, formerly the old state insane asylum, located on a bucolic hillside two miles northeast of Lighthouse Cove. Jane plans to turn her section into a small luxury hotel complete with twenty ocean-view rooms, a spa, and a restaurant.

Shannon is raring to get started on the enormous project and is shocked when a group of unruly protesters shows up at the groundbreaking ceremony and wreaks havoc. She’s even more freaked-out when someone pushes her into a pit of bricks in a closed-off room of the asylum. Despite her close call, Shannon wants nothing more than to get back to work . . . until she finds a body not far from where she was pushed. Now Shannon is determined to get to the bottom of the goings-on at the Gables even if it kills her. . . .


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MY REVIEW

Shannon Hammer is back in this 8th book in the Fixer Upper mystery series. Shannon is a contractor who specializes in Victorian homes. Also, she occasionally come across a mystery to solve. In this book, Shannon takes on a renovation project of an old state insane asylum. She is excited to take on the new project, however, protesters and a dead body are hindering her progress.

I previously reviewed A Wrench in the the Works, which was the sixth book in the Fixer-Upper series and the first one I read. However, I have now read most of the books in this series, and the books continue to be enjoyable cozy mysteries. As with most series, it helps to better understand backstories if the series is read in order. That said, Premeditated Mortar can be read as a standalone.

An engaging and entertaining cozy mystery. With likable characters and a charming setting, this was a wonderful light mystery. I liked the renovation aspect of the story, especially the renovation of an old asylum. In short, a recommended read for fans of cozies. Delightful and fun.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Fixer-Upper Mystery Series:
  1. A High-End Finish
  2. This Old Homicide
  3. Crowned and Moldering
  4. Deck the Hallways
  5. Eaves of Destruction
  6. A Wrench in the Works
  7. Shot Through the Hearth
  8. Premeditated Mortar