Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books


Monday, April 08, 2019

Review: Dreaming Darkly by Caitlin Kittredge

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Review: Dreaming Darkly by Caitlin Kittredge
Dreaming Darkly
Caitlin Kittredge
Genre: Gothic, Mystery, YA
Publication date: April 9th 2019
by Katherine Tegen Books

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Ivy Bloodgood’s mother is dead, and she should probably be sad about it. But she isn’t. Myra Bloodgood was confusing mix of protective and abusive, a manipulative personality who never told the truth—about where she came from, who Ivy’s father was, or why they were living their lives on the run.

Now that Ivy has been sent to Darkhaven, an island off the New England coast, to live with a rich uncle she didn’t know existed, she is forced to reckon with her mother’s past. Ivy can tell right away there are long-held family secrets buried within these walls, but when she wakes up from one of her nightmares covered in someone else’s blood, Ivy fears that whatever demons her mother battled while she was alive have come to roost in her own mind. Scared that she can no longer trust what she sees, Ivy seeks the help of a boy who thinks her episodes are connected to the sordid history of Darkhaven—but what they don’t know might kill them both.

A moody and twisty gothic mystery with an impossible romance, Dreaming Darkly is an atmospheric, fast-paced page-turner written by comics veteran Caitlin Kittredge.
-A copy was provided by Katherine Tegen Books for review-

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 a good combination of twists and turns that are scattered throughout. 

The atmosphere in the book is fantastic as well. The imagery of this secluded island full of secrets and lies and murders is vivid and hair-raising. It makes the story all the more intense as you know these characters are isolated from the real world. Left on their own with family members who are essentially strangers. Strangers that she keeps being warned about…

So why did I not rate this 4 stars? While I enjoyed the moody, dark vibe in this book, I found the story itself to be quite predictable. While I never figured out all the details, I had a good idea from pretty early on what was happening to Ivy – why she was having these hallucinations and lucid dreams. I kept wanting to scream at her for being so trusting, especially after living the life she lived with her mother – she should have known better. I also found her outbursts to be a bit melodramatic. She’s portrayed as a hard-ass, tough-skinned scam artist who lived a rough crime-filled life, yet she reacts like a 6 year old when someone calls her names.

All in all, Dreaming Darkly is dark and cryptic, with a terrible family secret that will leave you turning the pages.

3.5 Stars
3.5 Hot Espressos

Breathes Life Into a Genre I Thought I Was Done With: We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Breathes Life Into a Genre I Thought I Was Done With: We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Posted by on 02/28/2019 • 0 Comments

Currently, I am staring at a blank document trying to figure out how words work because I am not entirely sure how to even begin to describe We Set the Dark on Fire? When I first started hearing about the book, I thought it was a fantasy but then my friend, Shannon said it was more dystopia so I really didn’t know what genre I was diving into. I did go in expecting some badass girls and I GOT SOME BADASS GIRLS.

Upon finishing, I think I can say that while this book isn’t like a futuristic sci-fic novel, labelling it dystopia is not wholly inaccurate. WHICH, if you like me stopped reading dystopia half a decade ago because it was all bland, I promise We Set the Dark…

Truly Clever: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Truly Clever: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Posted by on 01/17/2018 • 6 Comments

I somehow missed that Maureen Johnson had a new book coming out this month and only found out like a month or two ago. That shows you how I’ve been doing on keeping on top of all the new releases. Spoiler alert, its not good.  I actually had not read any Maureen Johnson prior to reading Truly Devious but had heard so many good things about her other books. Plus I am absolute garbage for books that have boarding schools and this one even had a fun murder mystery involved. I am going to be a spoilsport though and start off by focusing on the bad because I really enjoyed the book and would rather end on a more positive note.

Ellingham academy sounds amazing but… I felt like it…

A Book With the Potential to Completely Fuck You Over: Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

A Book With the Potential to Completely Fuck You Over: Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

Posted by on 02/01/2017 • 11 Comments

Holy shit. THIS BOOK GUYS. Allegedly was one of my most anticipated books, but my co-worker who read it before I had a lot of FEELS (not good or bad, just FEELS), so I was a little nervous when I dove in. I had no idea the book would grip me and NOT LET ME GO. I read the 373 page book in a little over 2.5 hours. I GOBBLED IT, all while growing more and more anxious as I could feel something B.I.G. coming.

This book treads all the fine lines ever. There is no easy black and white in this book and it goes to lengths to make sure YOU KNOW THAT TOO. Justice, family, life cannot be put into little boxes and Jackson really explores what is right…

Review: Reckless Hearts by Sean Olin

Review: Reckless Hearts by Sean Olin

Posted by on 07/02/2015 • 2 Comments

Don’t we just love watching trainwrecks happen?

Last year, I read the author’s Wicked Games, a young adult suspense thriller with extremely unlikeable characters who got themselves entangled in a situation that actually spelt complete and utter DISASTER. It was the sort of drama where you know everything was going to go totally wrong, and it was only a matter of watching everything explode. I do admit that the first book was suspenseful, the edge-of-your-seat kind of thriller that would make your heart pound, but because it had extremely unlikeable characters (as in I would have loved to go inside to slap them silly) the connection wasn’t really there. I didn’t feel for them, heck, I wasn’t even scared for them or anxious of what might happen. Don’t get me wrong, I love unlikeable…

Review: Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

Review: Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

Posted by on 05/18/2015 • 13 Comments

So far it’s 2 for 2 for this author. I read and fell in love with The Beginning of Everything last year, and even having high hopes for this one I was not one bit disappointed.

This time we’re taken to Latham House, a place where the sick are sent to try and get better. A place that is pretty much like a very morbid summer camp. Told in alternating point of views, we first meet Lane who’s on the road to achieving his goal of going to an Ivy League school. He’s a straight A student who’d rather study than have to deal with TB. Getting sent to Latham means losing the perfect GPA that he’s been working so hard for. In a way it was incredibly sad…

Review: Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay

Review: Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay

Posted by on 03/02/2015 • 18 Comments

This book was a solid 4-stars at first, but once the intriguing factor wore off I just got bored and then confused. It’s a good premise, but one that was executed much better in a few other books I’ve read: Just Like Fate and Pivot Point. The “what if” is a question that many can’t help but consider. In Fiona’s case, what if she had never had that accident that left her scarred? It’s interesting to see how an event like that changes someone, or how different their lives would be had in not happened. Unfortunately, once this initial curious factor wears off, the novel starts to become quite mundane, with characters who are not easily likeable.

Told in alternating perspectives, we get Fiona’s story who was tragically scarred at…

Review: Twisted Fate by Norah Olsen

Review: Twisted Fate by Norah Olsen

Posted by on 12/30/2014 • 8 Comments

This was one of those books that I was really looking forward to and it sounded like a book I would love. Unfortunately, it was not all that great for me. There were a lot of POV’s and I just had a hard time really getting into it. It wasn’t that it wasn’t interesting. I did want to know the story, I was just kind of bored with it. It took me a long time to read and I almost didn’t finish it, though I am glad that I finally did. The ending is actually really great. This is told from multiple POV’s, as I said before. Sometimes I really like that style, but this one was just a bit too all over for me. I found myself confused at…