Genre: Adult

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Review: Dark Rooms by Lili Anolik

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I received this book for free from William Morrow in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Dark Rooms by Lili AnolikDark Rooms by Lili Anolik
Published by William Morrow on March 3rd 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
Source: William Morrow
Buy on Amazon

The Secret History meets Sharp Objects in this stunning debut about murder and glamour set in the ambiguous and claustrophobic world of an exclusive New England prep school.

Death sets the plot in motion: the murder of Nica Baker, beautiful, wild, enigmatic, and only sixteen. The crime is solved, and quickly—a lonely classmate, unrequited love, a suicide note confession—but memory and instinct won’t allow Nica’s older sister, Grace, to accept the case as closed.

Dropping out of college and living at home, working at the moneyed and progressive private high school in Hartford, Connecticut, from which she recently graduated, Grace becomes increasingly obsessed with identifying and punishing the real killer.

Compulsively readable, Lili Anolik’s debut novel combines the verbal dexterity of Marisha Pessl’s Special Topic in Calamity Physics and the haunting atmospherics and hairpin plot twists of Megan Abbott’s Dare Me.

I don’t even know where to start with this one. I love a good mystery/thriller, and I also love gritty contemporaries. This book is both of those, but I just didn’t feel it. I wasn’t a fan of the MC, and I thought that this was very drawn out and it bored me at times. The mystery really is pretty good, but being the sleuth I am, I did connect the dots before we are given the reveal. I do think that this book had a lot of potential, and there are great parts of the story, it just didn’t have me needing to keep reading. In fact, most of the time I wanted to yell at the MC and tell her that she was a bit crazy and stupid.

Grace is haunted by the memory of her sister. She was murdered and she isn’t buying the story that was told by the authorities. Grace has always been different from her sister. While Nica loved being the center of attention, and always seemed so fearless and knew what she wanted, Grace has always just been the quiet one. She never stepped on toes, or went to parties. Not to say that she didn’t enjoy things like tennis, and want to go to college. Grace just wasn’t into the party scene, or boys, or any of that typical stuff. That is, until Nica is gone. Grace becomes addicted to prescription drugs and even goes to a party dressed to look like Nica. When things happen after that party, her life will be forever changed. She is more determined than ever to find out the truth of what happened with her sister.

There is a bit of a weird romance in this too. Damon, (I think that’s his name anyways) is someone who seems like the bad boy. Grace knew who he was before, but she gets to know him better when she starts working for his uncle. She learns much more than she bargained for with him, but she is also slowly starting to maybe care for him in an odd sort of way. Probably the only way she knows how with how messed up things in her life are.

There are all sorts of issues going on in this book. Prescription drug use, alcoholism, neglectful parents, and some mental issues. Not to say there isn’t a good story here, I just really didn’t care for the characters much at all. If I can’t care about the characters, the story won’t really mean much to me either. It came to the point where I was curious about if I was right in who murdered Nica, and I did want to see if Grace would find out things about the night of the party, but I wasn’t dying to continue reading until the end. You know when you just want to finish because you have already invested the time? That was how this felt to me. Maybe it was just me. I did like the darker tone of the book, and the mystery aspect was done well with not just one mystery, but a few. For that I have to say it was entertaining, but it was just lacking feeling and it felt more like I needed to accomplish reading it, then that I really wanted to finish it. I hope that others enjoy this more than I do.


2.5 Hot Espressos

Review: Jinn and Juice by Nicole Peeler

Review: Jinn and Juice by Nicole Peeler

Posted by on 02/17/2015 • 12 Comments

I love chips. I know they’re unhealthy and will probably shorten my life span and that I will regret it later when I’m old and senile and cranky as frack, but I just can’t help it. I love chips of all flavors – cheese, BBQ, sour cream, cheesy jalapeño – you name it. I see a bag of chips and I brighten up quickly. They’re one of my guilty pleasures.

However, there are exceptions. There are times a bag of chips make me unhappy and unsatisfied. Like, you open one and realize that puffy bag of chips was actually made up of 25% fatty goodness and 75% air.


You’re probably wondering the relevance of my silly “bag-o-chips” drivel. Well, to be completely honest, there’s…

Review: Dead Spots by Rhiannon Frater

Review: Dead Spots by Rhiannon Frater

Posted by on 02/11/2015 • 9 Comments

It’s not often that I get super excited and fan girl over a book, but this is one of them. I read a very early copy of this since I was lucky enough to be a beta reader. I feel like I need to disclose that. Having said that, this is a book that I need to own a physical copy of because it was absolutely amazing!! I need to read it again. (As soon as I can make myself carve out time for it, which will be soon.) The terror was so real, the emotions and feelings were pulling me every which way, and I felt so drawn into it and needed to know what was coming. This book really just hit me hard with the feels and the…

Review: The Forgotten Girls by Sara Blaedel

Review: The Forgotten Girls by Sara Blaedel

Posted by on 02/06/2015 • 9 Comments

It’s been a while since I have read an adult mystery/thriller so I decided it was time and this one sounded good. When I requested it, I didn’t realize it was part of a series, but it seems they are more companion novels so it didn’t matter. I was also interested in the setting of this story since it takes place in Denmark. Overall I didn’t really care too much for the characters, but the story kept me interested. Like almost always for me, I did figure out the mystery quickly, but there was much more to it than just who was the person behind it.

Loiuse is now heading a department for missing persons. She is both nervous and excited about this new venture. I don’t know if…

Review: The Deep by Nick Cutter

Review: The Deep by Nick Cutter

Posted by on 02/05/2015 • 12 Comments

And here I thought I knew what real horror was about… man, this book sure put me in my place, because it took “scary” to the extremes and put “mindfuck” right alongside it for good measure. A bit of warning, folks: this book is not for the faint of heart. Believe what the rest of the people are saying: when they say this book is horror, they fucking mean it.

To be honest, I don’t really know how to review this book other than to say it scared the shit out of me – psychologically, mentally, and emotionally. This is not the kind of horror in which a boogeyman with the physical attributes of a slenderman will suddenly pop out of the shadowy trees, or the kind in which you anticipate a bloody phantom to…

Review: Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Review: Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Posted by on 01/08/2015 • 16 Comments

I was up til 3am to finish this. Holy fuuuuuu…! This was one hell of a crazy ride. I love horror and thriller novels, and this one kept me on the edge of insanity from beginning to end.

It began with strange news stories of sudden killing sprees ending in suicide. A LOT of suicides. From people who were good, happy, full of life. When more and more stories started to pop up, Malorie, once skeptical, started to get very very nervous. She only knows one thing, and it’s that it’s all caused by something you see. Something that your mind either can’t process or understand to such a degree that you lose your sanity. Which means to survive, you need to learn how to live…

Review: On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves

Review: On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves

Posted by on 12/18/2014 • 15 Comments

We’ve all been asked something along the lines of “What would you bring with you on a deserted island”, but for Anna and TJ, this is not rhetorical anymore. And unfortunately they didn’t even get that choice. All they have on the island they’re stranded on, is what has floated in from their plane crash. A suitcase full of mostly useless stuff, but stuff nonetheless. Stories like these really make you appreciate everything we have, here. The choices that we have. For Anna and TJ, they’re only hoping to survive from one day to the next.

One thing I appreciated from this novel is that it isn’t overly dramatic. There’s not a new crisis in every chapter, they don’t have near death experiences and close calls every 3 pages….

Review: Into the Night by Suzanne Rigdon

Review: Into the Night by Suzanne Rigdon

Posted by on 11/24/2014 • 8 Comments

I don’t read a lot of Adult or Vampire novels that often anymore, but this one sounded interesting so I figured I would give it a go. (I am assuming it’s an adult book due to the age of the characters) I did like it, but it wasn’t anything that blew me away. I guess it has to be really unique in order for me to really love it. The characters were done pretty well, and the story was engaging enough, but I just felt like I needed more out of it. I didn’t feel like we got enough back story on any of the characters, especially the main ones. Things also seemed to just be kind of rushed through when it got to the action parts.

Selina was an…