Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Review: Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

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Review: Little Darlings by Melanie Golding
Little Darlings
Genre: Adult, Psychological Thriller
Publication date: April 30th 2019
by Crooked Lane Books

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“Mother knows best” takes on a sinister new meaning in this unsettling thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman and Grimms’ Fairy Tales.

Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own…creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things.

A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley―to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, These are not my babies.

Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw…she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life.

Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking―and rechecking―your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.
-A copy was provided by Crooked Lane Books for review-

This one messes with your head, guys! I love psychological thrillers, and this had me totally creeped out from very early on. It also had me puzzled with the mystery of the fairy-tale-like storyline. With each new chapter we’re given a new layer of this mystery that makes absolutely no logical sense, but can’t deny that it’s all happening. I kept wondering if this was just a big mind-game with a huge twist that would turn everything on its head. Or if I was just completely overlooking a small detail that would make everything clear. I loved it!

Being a mother myself, I couldn’t help but relate to what Lauren was going through. The exhaustion, the lack of help, the loneliness that comes from having a new born (I can’t even imagine with twins). It’s something almost all new mothers will feel at one point – the loneliness even if you’re never technically alone, not having anyone else understand what you’re feeling. I found Lauren incredibly easy to connect with and empathize with. Her voice is genuine. Her fear, her doubt – even in regards to her own sanity, her love for these new babies in her life were all so palpable. Even though this is written in 3rd person, which I was a bit worried about at first, I found myself engrossed by these characters.

The story is told in alternating POVs. One being Lauren, the other being Harper – the local detective who found Lauren’s story a bit too unusual to leave alone. Harper is also a well rounded, flawed character who has her own issues that make her feel connected to Lauren. Having this second POV makes the mystery all the more eerie – as Harper finds pieces of the puzzle that make your skin crawl. It can’t be all in Lauren’s mind if Harper is seeing it too, right!? AAAAH!

Little Darlings is a gripping and disturbing psychological thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat – and your sanity.

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

Not Bennett’s Best: Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

Not Bennett’s Best: Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

Posted by on 04/16/2019 • 0 Comments

I didn’t think I’d ever read a Jenn Bennett book I didn’t love but… unfortunately… Serious Moonlight just didn’t do it for me. It isn’t that it isn’t enjoyable but over the past five years, I’ve come to expect a lot from a Jenn Bennett book and Serious Moonlight just didn’t live up to those expectations for me.

I think, a big part of the problem was that I didn’t love the characters as much and therefore wasn’t as invested in their relationship. While Birdie’s personality and trust issues make sense given her extremely sheltered upbringing, it really started getting on my nerves when we were almost 400 pages in and still dealing with her trust issues. I also thought it was super weird that Birdie didn’t have a single…

Fresh Batch (April 14th – 20th)

Fresh Batch (April 14th – 20th)

Posted by on 04/13/2019 • 0 Comments

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

Serious Moonlight Jenn Bennett Publication date: April 16th 2019by Simon Pulse

Goodreads Purchase

After an awkward first encounter, Birdie and Daniel are forced to work together in a Seattle hotel where a famous author leads a mysterious and secluded life in this romantic contemporary novel from the author of Alex, Approximately.

Mystery-book aficionado Birdie Lindberg has an overactive imagination. Raised in isolation and homeschooled by strict grandparents, she’s cultivated a whimsical fantasy life in which she plays the heroic detective and every stranger is a suspect. But her solitary world expands when she takes a job the summer before college, working the graveyard…

Gritty Characters: Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

Gritty Characters: Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

Posted by on 04/09/2019 • 1 Comment

CW: Self-harm and manipulative romantic relationship

I was told Wicked Saints would destroy me but I still didn’t realize what that would mean until I read the last couple pages of this book. If you enjoy happiness at all, you will stay far away from this book. If you love gritty characters, none of whom are particularly good (and some who might just be PLAIN EVIL), you will love Wicked Saints.

Right off the bat, we are pushed into the middle of a war with an opening scene where one of our MCs has to watch as many people important to her are murdered. So no, there are no rainbows and puppies in this book. Honestly though, having such a powerful scene was helpful to me because I’ve been struggling…

Review: Dreaming Darkly by Caitlin Kittredge

Review: Dreaming Darkly by Caitlin Kittredge

Posted by on 04/08/2019 • 1 Comment

Gothic mystery novels are a favorite of mine, and Dreaming Darkly is an eerie novel that, albeit a bit predictable and dramatic at times, was an exciting read overall. 

After the death of Ivy’s mother, she’s sent back to her family’s old manor on a private island off the coast of Maine. When she gets there, she finds that not everything and everyone is at it seems, and strange dreams start feeling a bit too real. I found this story really intriguing from the very first page. Ivy’s life with her mom, her mom’s mysterious past, her family’s history are all really interesting. I found myself flying to the pages to find out every detail I could about this ominous family tree. This mystery aspect is done really well, with…

Fresh Batch (April 7th – 13th)

Fresh Batch (April 7th – 13th)

Posted by on 04/06/2019 • 1 Comment

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

Descendant of the Crane Joan He Publication date: April 9th 2019by Albert Whitman Company

Goodreads Purchase

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, dreaming of an unremarkable life. But when her beloved father is found dead, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of a surprisingly unstable kingdom. What’s more, Hesina believes that her father was murdered—and that the killer is someone close to her.

Hesina’s court is packed full of dissemblers and deceivers eager to use the king’s death for political gain, each as plausibly guilty as the next. Her advisers would like her…

2019 Books with Heists and Thieves

2019 Books with Heists and Thieves

Posted by on 04/05/2019 • 1 Comment

If you don’t live under a rock, you’ve probably noticed that there have been a surge in books about heists and thieves this year. As someone who is always on the lookout for a book about some good old fashioned thieving, I thought I’d make a list for anyone else who loves heists as much as me and missed any of these books. 

Note: this list includes two books that came out December 2018 (WHICH COUNTS, IMHO) as well as a book I didn’t personally love but that shouldn’t stop other people from loving it.

1. Death Prefers Blondes by Caleb Roehrig 

Kickboxing drag queens performing heists? HELL TO THE FUCKING YEAH. 

2. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

ITS SET IN PARIS in 1889. ’tis enough. Also…

Atmospheric With Well-Written Characters: The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman

Atmospheric With Well-Written Characters: The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman

Posted by on 04/04/2019 • 1 Comment

The Devouring Gray is a book that requires patience. There is no getting around it. It’s slow, and for the first quarter of the book I could not tell you what the fuck was going on except that the kids were sad, felt betrayed, maybe were trying to take each other down, it was a mess. I stuck with it though because my friends loved it and it turned out to be absolutely worth it.

Violet is new in town, Justin and Harper used to be bffs but Justin betrayed Harper, Issac is a soft boy with a world of hurt inside him. Together, the four of them make up the new generation of the founding families of the Four Paths and are sworn to protect the town from the…