Tag Archive | Penguin

REVIEW: Final Girls by Riley Sager

Final Girls by Riley Sager

Read: May 30-June 11, 2017

Format: eBook ARC

My Book Rating: 3.5 Stars

Publisher: Dutton

Release Date: July 11, 2017

Genre: Mystery / Thriller

Pages: 352

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.

Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.

That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.


BOOK TRAILER


REVIEW

I received a copy of this book from Penguin First Reads in exchange for an honest review.

 

Final Girls was a good page turning thriller that had me questioning all of the characters, including our heroine, Quincy. However, I went into this book with really high expectations, having been praised by Stephen King as “the first great thriller of 2017”, and was a little disappointed in the end.

Things I loved: The plot. I loved that Quincy couldn’t remember what happened to her the night her friends were all slaughtered. I loved the very idea of The Final Girls. I loved the depth of Quincy’s character, how she coped with the aftermath of the massacre. I really enjoyed getting to see the full story of what happened to Quincy and her friends at the cabin in pieces scattered throughout the story. It was all very solid.

Things I didn’t care for: The ending. I mean, the ending itself was pretty awesome. But I expected a bigger twist. I had a theory that would have been epic, but it didn’t happen that way. The ending is good, I see how it all tied up in the end, but I recently read Gone Girl and was expecting my mind to be blown. Unfortunately, it was not.

So, do I recommend this one? Yes, because it was an enjoyable ride, even if the ending was a little more predictable than I would have preferred.



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QUOTES

(From an advanced release eBook)

The closest he gets to showing affection is on my birthday, when he sends the same text: Another year you almost didn’t get. Live it.

 

I can’t help but wonder what might have happened if Lisa and I had stayed in touch. Maybe we would have eventually met in person. Maybe we could have become friends.


Maybe I could have saved her.

 

Usually he’s simply Jeff, the boyfriend who doesn’t mind cuddling. Who’s a far better cook than I and whose ass looks amazing in the suits he wears to court.

 

While I make the dough for the tarte, I keep checking my hands for signs of blood, certain I’ll find lingering crimson stains across my palms.

 

Review: Vampire Academy 10th Anniversary Edition by Richelle Mead

Vampire Academy 10th Anniversary Edition by Richelle Mead

Series: Vampire Academy #0.2

Read: January 11 – 16, 2017

Format: Paperback

My Book Rating: 5 Stars

Publisher: Penguin Razorbill

Release Date: November 29, 2016

Genre: YA Paranormal

Pages: 483 (332 pages of VA + 151 pages bonus stories!)

Reading Challenge(s): 2017 YA Reading Challenge, Beat The Backlist 2017

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

Richelle Mead celebrates 10 years of Vampire Academy with an exclusive, never-before-seen collection of stories that sheds new light on the world and its players:

The Turn and the Flame takes a deeper look into the dark stain on the Ozera dynasty…

From the Journal of Vasilisa Dragomir unearths the princess’s private thoughts from a transformative period of her life…

The Meeting gives us a glimpse of Rose Hathaway through Dimitri’s eyes…

Hello My Name Is Rose Hathaway tracks the shenanigans that ensue when Rose and Dimitri become unlikely teammates in a high-stakes scavenger hunt…
St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.


REVIEW

Those who know me can attest to the fact that Richelle Mead is my favorite author. Her characters are amazing and I never want to let them go.

Fortunately for me, with 2017 bringing the 10th anniversary of the original Vampire Academy novels release, Penguin Razorbill put out a 10th anniversary edition.

Who cares that I already have the original paperback (personally autographed last spring!) AND the ebook edition. The cover of this edition is absolutely epically beautiful. I couldn’t pass it up. And as if that weren’t enough for me to throw my money at them, they went and threw in a bunch of bonus stories for us diehard fans to more fully immerse ourselves in the VA universe.

And immerse myself I did.

I didn’t re-read the original story because I’ve read it so many times already, but I did read all of the short stories and they ended far too soon!

 

THE TURN AND THE FLAME

This story features Christian’s aunt Tatiana, just before and shortly after her brother and his wife—Christian’s parents— willingly choose to become Strigoi, the dark and evil undead vampires.

Tatiana is a controversial character in the VA universe due to her relationship with Dimitri and…arm…some poor life choices she makes later in the series. I’ve always found her fascinating so I loved getting this peek into how she went from a young girl questioning her place in society to a strong woman fighting for the rights of the Dahmpires and Moroi.


QUOTES:

Tatiana leaned closer. “You’re only here to look pretty, dear. Not to give your opinions. See that you remember that.”

 There were a million possible responses to that, but there was only one that Tasha was allowed to make: “Th-thank you, your Majesty.”


FROM THE JOURNAL OF VASILISA DRAGOMIR

Throughout the VA series we don’t get to see much from Lissa’s POV, so this was a really interesting look not only at the life she and Rose had while on the run (see quote below), but also of her descent into the madness Spirit causes. Loved this.


QUOTES:

March 25
It turns out you can’t put aluminum foil in the microwave. We have to go shopping again to buy a new one for the house.

 

THE MEETING

This story is SUPER short, but it gives us a small glimpse into Dimitri’s head when he first meets Rose. A must read for Romitri shippers!

QUOTES:

But there was a look in her eyes now that said this was no joke, that she would die a thousand times over before she let anyone harm the princess at her back. She reminded me of a cornered wildcat, sleek and beautiful—but fully capable of clawing your face off if provoked.

 

HELLO, MY NAME IS ROSE HATHAWAY

Hands down my favorite bonus story. Rose takes on the task of winning a covert scavenger hunt on campus. Full of Rose’s loyalty to Lissa, chemistry with Dimitri (Swoon! I don’t even ship them all that hard!), and hilarious antics. With Rose, if it can go wrong, it probably will.

QUOTES:

Mason regarded me with awe and affection—and also concern. “Rose, I love it when you’re crazy, but this might even be beyond you.”

 I stood up, turned around, and found myself looking right at Dimitri.

And not just any Dimitri. Dimitri dressed as a cowboy.



Get the Book here:

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REVIEW: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Series: Me Before You #1

Read: November 17 – December 16, 2016

Format: Paperback

My Book Rating: 4 Stars

Publisher: Penguin

Release Date: January 5, 2012

Genre: Women’s Fiction

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.


REVIEW

Warning – if you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know what this book is about, there will be spoilers. You’ve been warned.

 

With the movie based on this book, I heard about Me Before You everywhere. Everyone absolutely loved it and I had to read it. I put myself on the list at the library – I was something like 685 on the wait list. I ended up removing myself from the list when my mom bought the book for herself, then let me have it when she was done.

I wasn’t so sure at first that I would like the book. I mean, I love romantic comedies when it comes to movies, but but I have yet to find a contemporary romance or women’s fiction that really drew me in. Until now.

Louisa Clark is such an easy to like character. She’s naive and happy to live her simple existence in her tiny town living with her parents, sister, and nephew. But after she loses her job, she realizes she’s not really qualified to do much of anything. On a whim she interviews and is offered a job as a caretaker for a paraplegic. Enter Will Traynor.

Will is an arrogant, depressive, asshole. But I couldn’t really hate him for that. He went from an extremely active and independent life, to being a slave to a wheelchair. The common cold could easily turn to pneumonia and kill him. His existence since his accident has been nothing short of hell for him. Will is not the type of man to rely on others. Yet that is now his reality.

The main issue of this book, the right to end ones own life, is heavy and depressing. I really think Moyes did an excellent job of remaining neutral on the subject. Will is hard set on ending his misery. Louisa, ever the optimist, is convinced she can change his mind and give him something to live for.

The romance in this book is a slow build, but easy to see coming. There were little moments where Will would show just a glimmer of happiness, even if it was just a slight smile, and my hopes would rise.

If you have been living under a rock, I won’t tell you how this ends. I’ll just leave you with my final Goodreads update upon reading THE END: “I’m not crying, you’re crying! *Sniffles* What a beautiful story.”

There you have it.

Bring tissues.


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~ Add to Goodreads ~


QUOTES

 

“Um. . . Have you ever considered joining the entertainment industry?”

“What, as a mime artist? Opera singer?”

“Actually, no. But there is an opening for a pole dancer. Several, in fact.”

 

 “Believe me, when you’ve done shifts at a chicken processing factory, working in Guantanamo Bay for six months looks attractive.”

 

“What the hell else have you been sneaking into my food? You’ll be telling me to open the tunnel so that Mr. Train can deliver some mushy Brussel sprouts to the red bloody station next.”

I considered this for a minute. “No,” I said, straight-faced. “I deal only with Mr. Fork. Mr. Fork does not look like a train.”

 

 Dear Clark,

This is to show you that I am not an entirely selfish are. And I do appreciate your efforts.

Thank you. Will.

 

 “… I cannot for the life of me see how you can be so content to live this tiny life. This life that will take place almost entirely within a five-mile radius and contain nobody who will ever surprise you or push you or show you things that will leave your head spinning and unable to sleep at night.”

 

 “There have been times when I’ve stayed over and he’s woken up screaming because in his dreams he’s still walking and skiing and doing stuff and just for those few minutes, when his defenses are down and it’s all a bit raw, he literally can’t bear the thought of never doing it again. He can’t bear it….”