Throwback Thursday Book Review: Unbelievable (Pretty Little Liars #4) by Sara Shepard

1537534

Photo via Goodreads.

Synopsis:
Who is A? Who tried to kill Hannah? Secrets will be revealed in the fourth novel (and final arc in the first quartet) of the Pretty Little Liars series.

My Review:
The fourth book in Sara Shedpard’s Pretty Little Liars gave a great ending to one of the many plot lines – who is the first A? I was very happy that this story arc came to a close, since the mystery of A was beginning to become more of a bother than an interesting plot line.

Some of the characters do seem whiny and annoying, at least by an adult’s standards, but it is fitting in the setting of the high school teenagers dealing with a crazy murderer.

This book will get you hooked from start to finish. With the tease of knowing who A is, you’ll be grasping onto this book desperately and not wanting to let it go. Each character has a different chapter and it rotates so the reader gets many points of views within this final novel within the first quartet in Pretty Little Liars.

This book moved at a good, fast paced and the plot line was well thought out. There wasn’t much more I wanted out of this book! The plot arc coming to a close made the four books arc perfectly over. I can’t wait to get the fifth book in this series! This book was not as slow in the movement of plot as the first three were! Sara Shepard seems to be getting better and better with each PLL book that comes out.

If you have watched the television series you must be aware that this series does not follow directly with the show. This series was made first, and thus there was changes.

For readers who are not as impressed with this series as I am – every quartet is a great place to stop if you don’t want to leave things off on a bad ending. Each quartet seems to have a good ending if you felt the need to stop, but there will still be a few unanswered questions. That being said, if you chose to stop here, it would help tie up most of the loose ends.

Five out of five stars! A good, quick read with great movements in plot!

Quick Book Review: Perfect (Pretty Little Liars #3) by Sara Shepard

1651302

Photo via Goodreads.

I am so annoyed at this book but I love it at the same time! I am annoyed at wanting to know who A is and why he or she is going after Spencer, Aria, Hanna and Emily.

This series is continuing to bring me back to the ever frustrating life of the girls after Allison died. The novel is a very quick read and is full of twists and turns that I shouldn’t have expected (except for the fact that I have looked ahead by watching the television series Pretty Little Liars). I cannot wait to get the next novel in the series and start reading it! Hopefully soon A will make an appearance as a character!

The only thing I found wrong with the novel was some of the girls got more ‘screen’ time than the others. I would have liked to see the girls all together in some scenes, or experience more time with each of the girls by themselves. The plot was easy to follow and the chapters moved fast enough that I wasn’t getting bored.

I can’t complain about this novel! It is perfection in my eyes, except for the fact that I am desperate to know who A is! But that’s good for this kind of novel.

Five out of five stars! I love it!

Murderous May: The Girl on the Train – BOOK REVIEW EXTRAVAGANZA!

22557272

Book Review
Book Title: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins

Introduction: I have had this book on my shelf for AGES. I had been dying to read it but I never had the time. And then, with a hint of luck, I had to go sit during a long appointment and I had all the time in the world to read this book! And I read about 85% of the book in one sitting and finished it one day later. I not only wanted to read it because of all the fantastic reviews I had read about it, but because I want to watch the film adaption as well. I always love reading the book before seeing the movie – hence why I haven’t watched many movies lately! So many are based on good books!

Review:

This book has been compared to Gone Girl since it hopped on the suspense/mystery novel scene – and while you can definitely say they are similar (because of, you know, murders and mystery) they are both fantastic in their own ways. They are two separate entities that shouldn’t be compared! Unless you are using them in a list of the best suspense books in the last decade, then list them together!

This book follows Rachel, a drunk, angry, depressed, bitter woman who has been divorced by Tom. Slowly throughout this book we are introduced to her back story – a glorious tale woven so beautifully by Paula Hawkins. Tom is now married to Anna, the other woman in his and Rachel’s relationship, and it all goes downhill from there. When a girl that Rachel has seen is missing, Rachel decides that she has to help this mystery.

Reading this book from Rachel’s, Anna and Meghan’s point of view is truly incredible. Rachel isn’t totally reliable because of her being an alcoholic, Anna sounds like the not-so-perfect housewife Tom probably desired at some point, and Meghan gives an inside view to the outside view Rachel has been watching. These three tales woven together are just so beautifully written that it’s hard not to want to tell everyone to read this book just to show them how three separate characters who barely interact can haveĀ  their lives so entwined with one enough.

So is all this hype worth it? I would say yes. Don’t put this book in some high and mighty place in your mind and then be disappointed. I decided I would read this to see the movie – all the comparisons to Gone Girl made me quite suspicious so I didn’t leave my standards high. But, surprisingly, this book was excellent. If I would have given it silly expectations, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much.

If I could describe this book in a few words, I would give it – insanity, murder, and suspicion. Every time I thought I had an idea of where this book was going, Paula had to go and shake it up like a magic eight ball. Typically I can see the ending from a mile away, and this book was different. I did NOT expect the ending. Will the reader guess it? Potentially, but it’s not a dead giveaway – which is why I like this book! Paula didn’t make it obvious and made the reader work for it if they wanted to guess.

Overall – this fast-paced, mind-blowing novel is definitely what I needed in my life! It lived up to the hype, and I’m excited to watch the film now! The psychological, murderous novel full of absolute insanity is spectacular! I can’t wait to read more by Paula Hawkins! Her and Gillian Flynn need to write a book together…because the insanity between the two of them in one book? That’d be killer!

Five out of five stars.

Positives:
1. Fast-Paced
2. Unpredictable Twists and Turns
3. Unreliable Narrators
4. Well Developed Characters
5. Complex Plot with a Layered Storyline
6. Unique Concepts

Negatives:
1. Comparisons to Gone Girl
2. Over-Hyped? Maybe.

Positive & Negative All Wrapped Up In One:
1. Dual (3 to be exact) POVs
2. Stereotypical Relationships
3. Black-Out Drunk Moments

Quick Book Review: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

66559

Photo via Goodreads.

I love Gillian Flynn and her writing story! I decided to read this novel after I became obsessed with all things Gone Girl.

This novel, from my understanding, was the first one she had ever written that was published. Even for a first novel, it was amazingly thought out and had me hooked at every word. I found it to be a little short and I saw the ending coming, but I still found the book addicting and well planned.

There’s not much wrong that I can critique about the book, other than wanting more action to happen or the book to be longer (but I think that’s because I adore Gillian Flynn and I just want more books and writing by her out right now). I did see the ending coming from the very beginning, but that might be due to the part that I read and watch a lot of books and television shows about crime.

I found this book not to be as good as Gone Girl, but still an amazing read. For me, the book was a five out of five stars. A good crime novel mystery that made me want more out of Gillian Flynn immediately.

Wonderful novel! 5 out of 5 stars!

February Romance Book Review: No Risk Refused by Cara Summers

13263357

Book Review
Book Title: No Risk Refused
Book Author: Cara Summers

Introduction: My friend gave me a whole bunch of random novels she found at a bookstore that she didn’t want to read, so I decided to pick this book up!

Review:

No Risk Refused was a mysterious romance novel that will hit well with readers – it just didn’t with me. Maybe it’s because I’ve read a lot of just mystery books and just romance books, but this book didn’t hit a home run with me. I found many of the plot devices/lines to be stereotypical, and I guessed a lot of the book. I also found it to be quite slow in plot movement, which doesn’t keep readers like me interested for very long. It took quite a long time to finish this book, and when it was over I was left feeling bland and bored.

That being said, it did have some great parts (I just didn’t like it as a whole). The relationship itself between the characters was very sexy and romantic (although the trope or old friendship rekindling into a romance seemed over used within many books). The Scottish legend was a great twist on the typical tropes, and I truly enjoyed it. I don’t often see Scottish legends in books like these. The danger, suspense and lore was a great positive aspect of this novel that I would love to see more of in future books! Also, it was incredibly sexy…Gotta love adult, romance reads!

There were many layers within the novel that kept me continuing to read this novel, but the negatives outweighed the positives for me.

There were sections of this novel that had me scratching my head – secret missions being totally public – what’s the point of a “secret” mission if everyone knows it?

Overall, it was a good read, but compared to other books I wasn’t totally impressed. I would definitely suggest this for romance readers who want a different spin on their novels.

One out of five stars.

Quick Book Review: Sexy in Sarasota (Sun Coast Mysteries #2) by George C King

2480138

Photo via Goodreads.

This mystery is sexy, hilarious and a wonderful read! It’s often hard to find a light-hearted comedy with a splash of sexiness and mystery, but this find is a keeper! When I picked up the book, I found it a little slow to start, but once I was a few chapters in and I learned about our conflicting characters I was instantly hooked!

The reader follows Kathy King as she investigates the neighbors of her parents (with the help of a homeless man who loves movies named George) and learns that some characters might not be all they appear to be. Despite this novel being a sequel, it was very easy to follow (and made me want to read the first book now! I must get my hands on it somehow! I am determined to! If this novel was great, the first novel must be excellent for it to deserve a sequel!).

This novel did a great job keeping the story moving along and not getting to slow or boring. I expected at some points for the plot to slow, but it kept moving at a steady pace, which was a massive plus for this novel! I also found that George C King was great at describing images and the past events within in the story (which was very helpful as a reader).

If anything, there could have been move conflict within the story between the opposing parties (without spoiling anything). I would have liked more conflict before the climax or the end of the novel. Not having more conflict didn’t ruin the novel, but it would have made it a lot more exciting.

Overall, I enjoyed the book! I’d love to read the first novel and the next ones! Anyone who enjoys a good mystery that isn’t gory or horror related should pick up this book! It’s an excellent read in my eyes!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

P.S. I also loved that it was signed (and my name was actually spelled right) and had a little note! That makes this novel so much better!

Book Review: The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events) by Lemony Snicket

In honor of the Netflix release of A Series of Unfortunate Events, here is a throwback review of The Bad Beginning!!

78411

Photo via Goodreads.

Book Review:
Title: The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events)
Author: Lemony Snicket
Date Read: October 4th – October 12th, 2016
Date Reviewed: October 12th, 2016

Introduction: I went to a local bookstore and saw that quite a few books in this series was on sale. Since I read these books a long time ago when I was younger, I figured rereading them now as an adult would be fun. I also figured since a new Netflix series is going to be coming around soon that I should go over this book series so I can watch the show!!!

Spoilers Ahead?: Yes.

Quick Summary: Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire face a horrible tragedy – their parents have passed away in a tragic fire and they must go live with the horrible, no good Count Olaf (who is not only a Count but an actor as well). When Count Olaf finds out that Violet has money from their parents in an account, he tries to marry her to acquire this money.

Evaluations: This book is an incredible children’s read that adults can also find humorous. For children, this book is full of action and adventure, and the situations seem “realistic”. They might have a horrible four times removed third cousin that could take them in!! Reading this book was quite nostalgic, but I find that it still stands. While it’s quite foolish and silly, it makes for a great adventure. Overall, I really enjoyed re-reading this book. It’s hard to imagine anyone but Jim Carrey as Count Olaf since the movie that was made was actually quite funny (and great in my opinion), but this book will make a great television series!

Plot: As an adult, the children seem boring. They have faced horrible circumstances and it seems like the children are to young to deal with it. For a child, this seems like a great adventure story. These kids have been put through terrible times, but they still fight back in child-like ways. If the reader goes into this book expecting it to be like Harry Potter (where it translates well for both adults and children) then the reader will not be impressed. This book was aimed at children, not adults, so most of the plot seems unrealistic and unimpressive. The kids are whiny, they’re constantly wallowing in distress, and they complain how they want their parents back – but aren’t mots kids like that? I work with kids, and when they have a bad day they act that way. Overall, the plot is not written to be a fantastic, adult novel. This is a children’s novel, so adults beware.

Characters: Violet, Klaus and Sunny are interesting characters within the story. I do not relate to them as much as I did when I was a kid (I used to think I was just like Violet, and now looking at these characters I can’t relate at all to any of them). Violet seems to be older and “wiser” in mature situations, Klaus seems to be more intelligent but whinier, and Sunny bites and can’t speak well. To a kid, this is essentially an Avengers roster of your average every day kids. To adults, it’s three archetype children. As an adult, I also noticed that after their parents die the children are almost perfectly fine. How I understood this concept, is that a child cannot grasp that death is forever, but an adult can. An adult understands these intense feelings, but a child cannot grasp it until it happens. So while many of the situations that occur may seem out of place for an adult, you still need to realize it’s aimed towards children. This is simply an adventurous novel for kids to read.

Count Olaf is strange, but I love him. He’s a wacky character and keeps the novel interesting. He brings a lot of the twists and turns about that keeps the reader interested. Yes, he’s inappropriate when you look at it from an adult point of view (why would he want to marry a pre-teen?..) but in a child’s point of view he’s a great, wacky villain. I like to compare him as the child’s Joker (from Batman). Wacky and strange, but they keep it interesting (of course the Joker is more intense and R-rated, but hopefully you get the point).

Themes/Creativity: This book is definitely creative! It brings a crazy and wacky plot together with some relatable child characters and then finishes it off with some silly villains. The only theme I might find in this book is family sticking together, but I’m sure there’s more hanging around for those theme heavy readers.

Uniqueness: Is this book unique? Absolutely! A book with thirteen novels in the series that kept changing it up is definitely unique. It fits in it’s own little category alongside novels like Harry Potter, Eragon and The Wizard of Oz for must reads! I would definitely recommend parents try to get their kids into reading with this series!

Strengths: This novel is definitely aimed at children! It does a great job mixing in child problems, silly villains and adventures for your child reader.

Weaknesses: This book might be considered unrealistic for adults. It definitely doesn’t transcend into the older age groups for a good, relatable read.

Score: Three out of Five.

I find that the relatable-ness factor brings this book down in score, and that the children are sometimes incredibly annoying for an adult audience.