“The Last Time I Lied” by Riley Sager Review & Discussion // Summer camp should be fun, right?

After reading Riley Sager’s book “Lock Every Door” last year and LOVING the intensity and the craziness of it, I was really looking forward to reading his other books. Especially after reading reviews for “Lock Every Door” where people said that it was the worst out of all of his books. Damn, if that’s the worst and it was THAT GOOD, I can’t wait to read what the BEST is.

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

This book begins in the present day – where our protagonist Emma Davis is at her opening night for her first gallery. Her paintings consists of scenes from a forest – with trees, leaves, and branches. Each of the paintings holds a secret inside – 3 girls are buried underneath the foliage and trunks. At the gallery’s opening one of the patrons is someone she never expected to see, someone she knew from 15 years ago – Franny Harris-White, the owner of Camp Nightingale. Who comes to invite Emma back.

The book jumps back and forth from the past (15 years ago) when Emma first attended Camp Nightingale to the present where she goes back to Camp Nightingale to find closure. We learn about what information she unfurls that could possibly lead her to what happened to her friends.


This book honestly did not start getting exciting to me until about 50% of the way in. I understand that it is important to really set up all of the information but it took me awhile to get into it. Whereas with “Lock Every Door” I felt like I was enthralled from the beginning but it only got BETTER as it neared the end.

There was a good twist at the end of this book I will admit and this book gave me shivers a couple of times. If you’re looking for a creepy book then it is pretty good. But to me, I preferred “Lock Every Door” more than this one.

What are your opinions? Have you read this book? Have you read Riley Sager’s other books? Let me know in the comments below!

fire, marshmallow, and autumn image

Wild at Heart Review and Discussion

I finally had the opportunity to read one of my most anticipated reads this year!

**WARNING: There are DEFINITELY spoilers from the 1st book – The Simple Wild and this book**

Wild at Heart (2 The Simple Wild) by K. A. Tucker

After reading all of the reviews on goodreads claiming that this sequel was everything they wished for after the first book, I was really eager to read it. I loved the first book – with the whirlwind of Calla reconnecting with her father and falling for Jonah.

This book is a continued with Calla moving to Alaska to start her life with Jonah. It starts off on the wrong foot with her flight to Bangor from Anchorage getting cancelled and having to spend a night in a hotel that was owned by a taxidermist.

While I enjoyed the story and being in Calla and Jonah’s world again – I was really bothered by how the communication and understanding in their relationship seemed very immature.

The people who gawk at that photo and read my loving, playful caption don’t know any of this. They have no idea that there’s an inexplicably odd, hollow feeling blossoming in the pit of my stomach as of late; I’m trying my best to be understanding and supportive, but I’m struggling because I like having him around, because I miss him so damn much when he’s not here.

Page 253, Wild at Heart

Jonah and Calla’s disconnect starts when they are looking for places to live. Calla’s parents encourage her to rent with Jonah first because you never know what may happen in a new relationship while Jonah is adamant on buying. Previously Jonah said that if she moved to Alaska, then he would look into moving closer to Anchorage to compromise. So – Calla is looking at places around Anchorage and Jonah isn’t into it. This already showed me that they have a communication problem and they aren’t able to voice their opinions and concerns with each other – so Jonah just brings her to a cabin that his acquaintance is selling as a SURPRISE – this is where I want to live in the middle of nowhere with my airstrip!

Yet throughout the story, Jonah and Calla both continually say they their relationship is so perfect and life is so perfect right now on one page, then on the next they are in another argument again. This happened multiple times throughout the book.

Also, Calla experienced quite a bit of jealousy about Marie this book and honestly, that is not a good look for her. Despite Calla continually saying “I don’t trust Marie but I trust Jonah” – I think all of the scenes of her jealousy show that she doesn’t trust either of them. Especially after she caught Jonah talking to her in the barn. If Calla was more mature, she should have had a civil talk to Marie instead of just embarrassing her at the bar.

Despite these shortcomings with Jonah and Calla’s relationship, there were some really cute moments between them. I also liked following their lives, moving into their new house, and developing relationships with the other people in town.

What would have made this book better was truly seeing Calla find her niche in Alaska. She kind of did with gardening but we didn’t really see her passion. Maybe if there is a third book this is what will be focused on? Regardless, I would still continue with this series if another book is released.

“Probably not.” Jonah likes to ride this thing at full throttle. As with everything he does in life, it seems. But that’s who he is. He’ll always be wild at heart, and there is no way to tame or change him

Page 417, Wild at Heart

Did you have the opportunity to read this sequel? What were your opinions on it?

Edenbrooke by Julianna Donaldson Review & Discussion

For this blog I want to distinguish between “review” and “discussion”
Review: an opinion about the book without spoilers
Discussion: delving deeper into the book including spoilers

Edenbrooke by Julianna Donaldson
Historical Romance

The sensation grew stronger, convincing me that it was only the distance between us that was keeping me from uncovering the truth. If I leaned toward him, something would happen. I was sure of it. But if I leaned away, nothing would happen. So I stayed perfectly still, balanced between something and nothing, not knowing which way I wanted to fall.


Synopsis: After a tragic event of losing her mother – Marianne, Cecily (her twin sister), and her father are split up to mourn. Cecily is staying with family in London while Marianne is stuck in Bath. After their father not returning or being in contact for over a year, Marianne and Cecily have the opportunity to stay with their mother’s friend – the Wyndhams – in Edenbrooke. Little did Marianne know what the paradise would have in store for her.

Review: This was my first real “historical romance” book and I was instantly pulled into the story. I enjoyed it so much because despite the setting being in 1816, the book was written in modern English so it was easier to follow. I resonated with Marianne’s character in so many ways that it made me rethink some of my passive actions in life.

Recommendation: I would recommend this book to someone who would be interested in reading a more “YA-style” historical romance – the book didn’t contain any intense, sexy scenes which I know some people prefer! I also think this book is especially good for any new historical romance readers because of the easy reading it was!

“I have discovered happiness in being true to who I am. I hope you will give that idea some consideration.”


There was so much waste in hoping for something that could never be yours, I decided. It was better to seize happiness where it was available.

**Spoilers Ahead**

What I loved the most about this book was the turmoil inside Marianne between wanting to be a good twin sister to Cecily versus doing what will make her happy with the rest of her life. I can definitely relate with feeling like I should fall by the wayside while everyone else can fight for what they want – this should not be the case for anyone!

Marianne talks about always doing things differently compared to her sister just so there wouldn’t be a competition since she “knows” that she would lose. There was an example in their childhood with a doll that they were supposed to share. Marianne pretended that she didn’t want anything to do with the doll and just let Cecily have it so they would never have to compete for it.

But with something as significant with loving someone, you should never have to give up on happiness in that area. Throughout the book you could see all of her attempts to shut Sir Philip out of her life – by listing things she didn’t like about him and by disregarding all of his actions towards her as him “being a flirt.”

You stole my heart the night we met, when you sang that ridiculous song and dared me not to laugh. And every moment I have spent with you since then, you have stolen more and more of me until when you’re not with m

Sir Philip loves Marianne for her quirkiness – while others (like Cecily and Marianne’s grandmother) reprimand her for not being an “elegant lady.” This lesson shows that you should always be true to yourself. Why would you want some man to fall in love with you while you’re acting like an “elegant lady” when you would have to act like that for the rest of your life??

I reread my grandmother’s letter and realized with a deep sense of contentment that I had not had to change at all in order to have every hope for happiness in life. I had not had to learn to sing for company or to behave like Cecily or to stop twirling. I could be myself and be loved deeply. I was, in fact, a lot like Meg, who had always been a racehorse. I just hadn’t known it.

What is the most beautiful is when Marianne realizes that she is worth it. She is worthy of having true love for the rest of her life.

Have you read this book? What did you think about it?

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

February Reading Roundup & Life Updates

I’m sick of starting each post with “I know I have been bad with posting….” so I’m not going to do that today and just get on with it 😊

February Life Updates

  • Celebrated by fiance’s birthday ❤️
  • I started to make vision boards for books on WeHeartIt for fun!
  • Volunteered to perform foot screenings on people that are homeless or are going through a hard time at “Don’t Walk By”
  • Travelled to San Antonio for ACFAS 2020 conference – had a lot of fun and learned a lot.
  • Booked and planned a trip to Ireland next month!
  • Started organizing my life with an app called “Notion” that I may talk about on here in the future!
  • Ended the month with going to Find Your Harmony 200 and seeing my favorite DJs – Andrew Rayel & Alpha 9!


  • Read 10 Books
  • 🎧 4 audiobooks
  • 1 ARC

This book was probably my favorite book in the “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” series, until the ending happened. After reading To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before with the subtle asian book club – I knew I had to continue and finish the series!
**Spoiler** I loved all the scenes with Lara Jean and John Ambrose McClaren. I loved that Stormy was his grandma. If Lara Jean ended up with John instead of Peter I would have been much happier. I didn’t really care for Peter in the beginning because of him still being involved with Genevieve. ESPECIALLY after he already knew that Gen leaked the video of them in the hot tub?? Come on. I really got sick of him through this book and knew that Lara Jean deserved better. Check out the mood board I made for this book.

I have been meaning to start this series and I am so glad I did this month! It feels like a more adult, more well put together, more sexy “Twilight” series and that makes my heart happy. I love the passion when a vampire finds their mate and it is mixed in with some humor and light-heartedness.

Too Late by Colleen Hoover

You already know how much I love Colleen Hoover books – that’s why I have been trying to space them out and enjoy them that way. This book is definitely more dark than others she wrote but with the way she writes – you can feel the characters pain going through the situations they are put in. This book is definitely not for the faint of heart but if you want to feel like you’ve got punched in the gut with an excellent ending, I definitely recommend!

I’m glad I got to read the ending of this wonderful series! My only complaint would be that this book felt very long (being over 800 pages). I listened to it as an audiobook so it helped me get through it! There is so many storylines and subplots which keeps the book interesting. I definitely recommend this whole series!

This book was probably my least favorite out of the 3 but it was still good!

**Spoiler** I liked the turmoil when Lara Jean didn’t get into her top choice to continue her perfect life with Peter. I think it is important for girls of this age to see that you need to go where you will be the most happy. I have met so many people who followed their girlfriend or boyfriend to a school just to end up breaking up and being stuck in a place they don’t care about. I loved when Lara Jean and Chris went down to visit UNC on a whim and had a crazy night together – I feel like we don’t get to see many friendship interactions between them in the book since Chris is always out being crazy.

This book immediately drew me in the the whimsical cover with the promise of luck & fortune. This book was cute but it fell flat – I think the budding relationship between Natalie and Daniel could have been more developed. Despite the romantic relationship being a flop, the relationships between the other characters were very interesting! This was my first “magic realism” book and. I loved the prospect of certain foods having specific healing qualities.

I read this book for the subtle asian book club this month! I had high expectations for this book since a lot of people were very hyped about it. The premise is interesting – essentially it is about a camp that children are sent to to learn more about their culture (hopefully…). But there were some aspects that really bothered me:
**Spoiler** First of all, after Ever found out that Xavier was the person who was drawing the beautiful pictures of her, there was no other mention of the pictures after that! I thought she would be more touched and give Xavier maybe some more consideration. Also after Sophie released those pictures of her and they welcomed her back later on – what the heck! After all the humiliation she gave Ever she didn’t get any repercussions for it! Then at the end when Ever was kind of hanging out with Xavier then Rick came back and she straight up ditched him. I felt really bad for Xavier. Wouldn’t you also be suspicious if the guy you’re interested in dumped his girlfriend of 2 years after just meeting you for a couple weeks?? There was just so much wrong with this book that should have been fixed. I loved the representation presented in this book. I also liked how we saw Ever’s parents fiercely deny her of what she truly wanted to do with her life but she fought for it in the end. I enjoyed watching Ever grow up and blossom into her own woman. Check out the mood board I made for this book.

This was my first Tawna Fenske book and I definitely enjoyed it! I have never heard of a smokejumper before this book but they made them sound quite hot 😏🔥 Willa has a rule that she will only go out with someone two times until she breaks it off. She is essentially married to her work and has to devote every day to pleasing clients. After going on a date with Grady everything seemed to change – they fix together perfectly – they were content just sitting home and eating pizza. So they both started dreading their second date since that would make it seem like it was over. They kept seeing each other but don’t call their outings “dates” to get around the rule. What I enjoyed most about this book was that Willa and Grady helped fix each others faults – Willa helped Grady by teaching him to look at the future instead of being scared of it. While Grady helped Willa by teaching her that she needs to take time to herself and can’t have clients dictate her whole life. Check out my mood board I made for this book.

This is another series I have heard only excellent things about and it definitely stands up to the hype! From the beginning of the story you are enthralled with Sydney and Brian and it only gets better and hotter as the story goes on.

This is the 2nd book in J. Daniels’ Dirty Deeds series. I enjoyed the first one more because of the immediate connection with Sydney and Brian. This story is about Sydney’s best friend Tori, who similarly to Sydney was screwed over by a guy as well. Brian’s best friend Jamie is trying to break down Tori’s walls and to get her to admit that she likes him. It was still a great and sexy book but it was hard to compare to the first one!

WWW Wednesday 6

What I am currently reading

You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley
I was lucky enough to receive an ARC for this book from edelweiss+. The premise of this book is really interesting – it’s about a woman named Mia who is going through a period in her life where she is having difficulties maintaining a pregnancy and feeling at home in her new town. Since college a man she has never met keeps showing up in her dreams, especially during periods of turbulence in her life. What does it mean when she actually meets him in real life?
Winter (4 Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer
I finished the 3rd book in this series (Cress) back in October and I decided that I should finish up this series! This book is quite daunting being over 800 pages. I think listening to the book will make it more manageable! I am only an hour or so in but it was already easy to follow and quite an adventure!

What I recently finished

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis-Graves & Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren
This month I have read 4 books with a similar format this month – where they have past and present day scenarios. I do like stories like this because it gives you an idea of exactly what happened with characters in the past.

The Girl He Used to Know is about a woman named Annika (I love her name❤️) who falls in love and figures out what she needs to do in order to be independent. Also by having a high-functioning autistic character, it opened my eyes to how difficult social situations can be for these people.

It’s like everyone around you has a copy of the script of life, but no one gave it to you so you have to go in blind and hop you can muddle your way through. And you’ll be wrong most of the time.

The Girl He Used to Know, Page 161

Love and Other Words was one of those audiobooks that you find any excuse to listen to because you just can’t stop until it’s finished. It’s similar to The Girl He Used to Know because a couple that was deeply in love are meeting again. But in this situation, the hesitation for reuniting has to do with a tragic situation that happened when they were young.

What I am reading next

What am I watching now

Chocolate (Kdrama)

After being bored while watching When the Camellia Blooms (Kdrama) I am happy to be watching Chocolate. There’s still wailing and crying every episode but It’s very touching.

Colleen Hoover Appreciation Post

This year for me was he year of Colleen Hoover. From Verity to Regretting You, Colleen’s writing has been maturing to serious, jaw dropping, heart stopping issues.

Whenever I read her books, I feel like I am friends with the author because of her witty humor and character personalities. I have never felt like that for any other author I have read!


Verity by Colleen Hoover
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book is unlike anything Colleen ever wrote before with its psychological thriller themes. I listened to it on audible and immediately became engrossed in the story – so much so that I found excuses to go on walks that were hours long just to continue listening. It was a wild ride that will make your breath stop. It definitely has less romance compared to her other books but it is seriously incredible. I can’t wait for her to release another book similar to Verity!

It Ends With Us

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book started my Colleen Hoover binge from November to December 2019. I listened to the audio while I was cooking and near the ending I just had to stop from my heart breaking. This is what introduced me to her books about serious heart breaking problems. This book made me feel so much more than any book has made me feel. Colleen has a way of writing about the characters that make you so connected with them, that when something terrible happens to them you feel it in your gut.

All Your Perfects

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was the perfect one to continue my streak of heart wrenching Hoover books. It was more of a slow burn about the characters marriage compared to when they first met. I thought it was such a beautiful way to write a story to experience how much love can change throughout a marriage. I think it especially a beautiful story for people who have struggled to conceive to read because they would be able to connect with the characters even better. It also shows how important communication is in a relationship!!

November 9

November 9 by Colleen Hoover
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Now I delved in to her younger works which I still enjoyed. November 9 was so sweet because of the pure connection between the characters. When something didn’t go as planned, it made me hurt so bad because you know what they have is so important. There was one point where I got so mad for one of the characters but since you hear both of their sides it tears you apart.


Confess by Colleen Hoover
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

It was so cool that the confessions used in this book came from actual readers! I know it adds depth but I get frustrated when characters seem like a bad person on the outside but they’re truly good on the inside. I know a few of her books have those themes but it makes me just want the other character to know how they truly are!! In some part it is refreshing that the perceived “good guy” is bad in reality with the “bad boy” being good in reality.


Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book made me go back and forth from being happy to upset since the relationship was such a ride. The main premise with their love was so beautiful though.

Losing Hope

Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I didn’t realize at first that this book s just Hopeless from the guys perspective. I wish I waited more time to read it because it essentially felt like I was reading the same book that I just read again. The good part was that I could compare the stories to each other. It was definitely important to hear Dean’s side.

Regretting You

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book was very different because instead of focusing completely on romantic relationships, the family relationship was more important. I can’t say I agreed with the mom’s way of dealing with everything but it was definitely still a wild ride. I think it is kind of easy to tell the twist from the beginning but it is still amazing nonetheless.

I recommend Colleen Hoover books to people who like romance. If you like more YA romance I would suggest November 9 and Losing Hope. If you enjoy more mature romances then definitely It Ends With Us and All Your Perfects. If you’re into psychological thrillers, then definitely Verity!

❓Have you read any Colleen Hoover books?

REVIEWS: All We Ever Wanted, The Covenant, Red Queen

December has truly been the month of reading for me! I don’t know if it’s the fact that there isn’t a lot of tests right now or I’m just on a reading spree. I have read about 16 books already this month – I have seriously never read that much! I wasn’t even pushing to do it, I just keep reading book after book. Without further adieu, here’s some reviews!

REVIEW: All We Ever Wanted

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Published: June 26, 2018

If you love to read juicy gossip about Nashville’s high society, this book if for you. A few teenagers that attend an elite Nashville high school get in trouble when an inappropriate photo from a party circulates. The book goes over the difficult decisions made by parents to protect their children, even when the kids would rather forget about it to save face at school. It is told in 3 POV, which in the audiobook all of the voice actors were fantastic. I found the book to be drawn out with not a lot of action. Nonetheless, the book does an excellent job with presenting each characters stance on the issue.

REVIEW: The Covenant (1 Abram’s Daughters)

The Covenant by Beverly Lewis
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Published: September 1st, 2002
Amish, Christian Fiction, Romance

This was my first ever Amish fiction book! I would see other readers post about it can decided to try it out. This book follows an Amish family and their day to day life. Since there are 4 daughters, one of them named Leah is the designated tom boy who helps her dad on the farm while the rest help their mom in the house. The story especially focuses on Leah’s older sister Sadie during her “Rumspringa” where she has the opportunity to see what is outside the Amish community. It follows Leah’s and Sadie’s love lives as they approach the age to get married. This book really taught me a lot about the Amish and after reading more about them, it seems quite accurate. I definitely plan on reading more in the future!

REVIEW: Red Queen (1 Red Queen)

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Published: February 10, 2015
Fantasy, YA, Dystopian

I have had my eyes on this book since it came out in 2015. I have a soft spot of YA dystopian fantasy novels and plus, the cover is gorgeous. But I must admit this book was a little bit of a disappointment to me. I think partially it may have been from listening to the audiobook instead of actually reading it that I started to get some of the characters names mixed up by the end. I felt like the story was not really special either – the main character Mare ends up being special along with some deceit and rebels. All in all I think I will continue with the series but I don’t feel like I’m DYING to read the next one.

I’m Back! + REVIEWS: Big Lies in a Small Town, The Chain, Crown of Midnight

It has been awhile my friends!

I really missed writing in this blog. I would think of posts for the week then it would go by without me posting anything. Life and school would get in the way and in the blink of an eye it went on for about 3 months?

School Update

I am currently in the middle of finals right down (4 down, 3 to go!) and so it’s the fake illusion of having extra time since it’s a break from clinic. I was really upset back in October when I found out we don’t really have much time off for the holidays. I felt like I heard that they had more time last year. I don’t like to travel around the holidays anyway but it would have been nice to have a break since we have been going nonstop since May.

In September my class was applying to places to go for our externships next year. Externships are basically “month long interviews” at hospitals you are interested in going to for your residency. I was so excited that I got all of the places I want to go on the first try and they all picked my first choice month. I look forward to it but I know it will be a lot of work!

I am also working on a research paper for my school’s journal and a poster for a surgery conference!

I finished by surgery rotation back in September and started Ortho/Peds in October. A lot of people would complain about this rotation and I can definitely say that it’s tiring – especially Wednesdays when I am in clinic from 9am to 8pm. Other than that, there a lot my workshops which I really like – it makes me feel like we are learning more instead of being slaves in the clinic (lol). But with more workshops comes more practical exams (I heard they’re not too bad though!). One concern my profession has as a whole is that it’s becoming to surgery focused while forgetting about basic biomechanics and orthopedics. Being in this rotation really gave me an appreciation about how much you can help people by putting something in their shoe rather than cutting them with surgery. It made me realize that when I come out of residency, I want to be able to do everything instead of only doing surgery.

Review: Big Lies in a Small Town

Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Published: January 14, 2020

Synopsis: This book follows the lives of 2 women – Anna Dale (1940) and Morgan Christopher (2018). Anna Dale was chosen anonymously to paint a mural for the post office in Edenton, North Carolina. Being from New Jersey, she decides to visit the small town to learn about what matters to the people who live there in order to make the new mural design. The townspeople are sour because they were hoping an artist named Martin Drapple from their small town would win. Eventually they began to warm up to her an insisted that she stayed while she worked on the mural. Fast forward to 2018 and Morgan Christopher was in prison for a crime she didn’t commit. After being in prison for about a year she is visited by the daughter of her favorite artist saying that there’s an assignment that only Morgan can perform so she can get out of jail early. The job is to restore an old mural. Morgan has been through 3 years of art school but has never taken on a task so daunting. But since it’s her only chance to get out, she willingly accepts.

Review: I was shocked by how much I enjoyed this book. Before I read it, I was in kind of a “reading slump” – not super into the audiobooks I was working my way through and only giving 3 stars max to books I was reading. This book reminded me what a 5 star book felt like – wanting to constantly continue reading, always wondering what will come next, and finishing the story in about 2 days. This book had the perfect amount of mystery to keep you guessing what was going to happen next, was organized with whose POV you were reading, and the ending came together perfectly. This was my first Diane Chamberlain book and I definitely look forward to reading more!

Recommend: I would recommend this book to people who like historical fiction and mystery! But warning – there is some racism and sexual abuse.

Thank you Netgalley & St. Martin’s Press for the ARC!

Review: Crown of Midnight

Synopsis: This book picks up with Celaena doing her work as the King’s assassin. You find out shortly that she’s not so complacent – she has been “killing” people by telling them to run away and change identities while grabbing bodies that were already dead to bring to the king. While training and working for the king, Calaena and Chaol start to get closer. While working on the next assignment, something happens that changes Calaena’s world and outlook forever.

Review: I thought this book was better than the first book in the Throne of Glass series but I still wasn’t as impressed with it compared to ACOTAR. It looks like the 3rd book gets even better so maybe it’s just a slower start to the series to get the reader acquainted with everything? I definitely still look forward to continuing it (once my library book is ready…)

Recommended: For people who like ACOTAR and fantasy.

Review: The Chain

The Chain by Adrian McKinty
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Published: July 9, 2019

Synopsis: It’s not about the money, it’s about the chain. Rachel got a call that would change her and her daughter’s life forever – her daughter was kidnapped. In order to get her back, she needs to pay a ransom and kidnap another child to keep the “chain” going.

Review: I was intrigued with this book just from the synopsis. While reading it, I could easily imagine it as a horror movie. The first part of this book was really good at showing Rachel’s emotions and hardships she was dealing with to get her daughter back. In the second part of the book every other chapter was about the people who began the chain – their upbringing all the way to present. I thought it was an interesting way to let the reader see both sides of it. Thank you Orion Publishing Group & Netgalley for the ARC!

Recommended: For people who like movies like “Saw” or mystery/thriller books.

Moving Forward

I am going to do reviews like this from now on instead of having separate posts for each book.

I aim to post 2-3 times a week – my other posts being about traveling and whatever else I feel like talking about. I would see a lot of people only talking about books on their blog/instagram and having different accounts for different things and I’m not really into that. I tried to do that on instagram but how I see it is that this blog is mine and so you’ll get all the different pieces of me – whether that’s school, travel, cooking, reading, etc.

I missed everyone that takes the time to look at this blog. I hope you are as happy as I am to be back ❤️

REVIEW: The Selection by Kiera Cass // Who will be chosen to be the next queen?

WARNING: Spoilers

The Selection by Kiera Cass
Duration: 336 pages
Format: ebook
Genre: YA, Romance
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“But no matter what, I want you to be loved. You deserve to be loved. And I hope you get to marry for love and not a number.”

Page 26, The Selection


Against all odds, America Singer was chosen out of all of the applicants from where she lived to participate in the selection – a competition for the possibility to be Prince Maxon‘s queen. When America sent in her application, she had no intention of participating because her heart was with a man named Aspen – who was in the caste below her.

When America arrives at the airport, she already gets a taste of how the other girls in the competition will be. She immediately got along with Marlee – a bubbly, kind girl who introduced herself by hugging America instead of shaking her hand. The rest of the girls were not as kind but still formal.

After arriving, America was overwhelmed with all the rules in the palace – not being able to go outside, wear comfortable clothes, and less communication with her family. The first night she tried to get to the backyard but the guards stopped her. This caused her to faint when suddenly Prince Maxon showed up and walked her outside.

As the competition continues, the true colors of the contestants are revealed as the pool gets smaller and smaller.


Cover: All of the covers in this series are beautiful with the elegant gowns – I think that is what made so many YA reading girls drawn towards the series.

Plot: I like the idea of this plot – seeing 35 girls compete for the chance to be the next queen. To have better opportunities for their families and to live a better life. My only problem is, just by reading the official synopsis, you can guess pretty much the whole book. It’s too obvious – you can infer that the main character will be the girl Prince Maxon likes the most and so she will still be around by the end of the book (or else there wouldn’t be so many other books!). I can already guess in the future – she will be the one who wins. There was maybe 1 twist I didn’t see coming, but everything else was too easy. I have heard that the other books get more intense so I am hoping there will be more exciting events.

Writing: The writing was simple and enjoyable to read. It was the aspect of the book that made be not able to put it down.

Characters: I love the relationship between Prince Maxon & America in the beginning with America being his confidant/spy among the contestants. Slowly, America realizes she is falling for him and starts to get upset when he is going on other dates with girls and when she hears about him kissing other girls. I understand America’s anger, but it is also unfair because she was the one who pushed him away originally. Aspen (America’s boyfriend from back home) also drives me crazy when he becomes a guard at the palace because when he spends time with America, she could get in huge trouble if they are found. The other competitors being cutthroat keeps the competition interesting.

Overall: I really enjoyed the easy reading of this book so I will definitely be continuing the rest of the series. Despite the book being completely predictable, I am exciting to read what happens next.

“No, I’m not choosing him or you. I’m choosing me.”

Page 253, The Selection

REVIEW: Across the Universe // A journey to a new life

Across the Universe (Across the Universe #1) by Beth Revis
Duration: 399 pages
Format: audiobook
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

WARNING: Some spoilers


This book starts with Amy and her parents being frozen in cryochambers in the hope to help cultivate a new planet to life. They are put on a spaceship called Godspeed to spend 300 years traveling through space to this new place.

There has been several generations on the ship – made up of a race of people who all have similar characteristics. Everything is orderly – generations are born at the same time and the generations all live and die together. The leader of the ship is named Eldest and his next-in-line is named Elder.

Elder was talking to someone else on the ship who had a suspicion that there was a hidden level on the ship. So, Elder took it upon himself to check it out. This is when he found all of the frozen bodies in cryochambers.

Soon after one of the bodies was found to be thawing. Luckily, Elder and the Doctor were able to get her out of the liquid and she completely thawed and lived. Amy was the one who came back alive about 50 years too early. She is starkly different form the population on the ship with bright red hair and green eyes. She is in shock to find out that she was thawed early and her parents are still in their cryochambers. Eldest doesn’t make it any easier for her by telling the whole ship that she is crazy.

The rest of the story is focused on finding out who is thawing the bodies? And why are they doing that? Will they really make it to the new planet in 50 years?


Cover: The cover is definitely eye-catching with the beauty of space, Amy, and Elder. In the story there is some romance between them but it is confusing for both of them. I hope there is more in the future books!

Plot: The premise of this story is really interesting. At first I was drawn to what it was like being in a cryochamber. I always assumed you were just asleep – kind of like when you are sedated for surgery. But, with Amy it seemed that her mind was pretty lively for all of those years despite being frozen. Then when you experience Eldest training Elder and telling him how they were able to prevent war with each other – I found that fascinating too. This story is very different from anything I have read before.

Characters: The characters in this story definitely keep things interesting. Even seeing how the “normal” people in Godspeed act by having no emotions and mating at certain times is fascinating. You can feel Amy’s frustration when she finds out that she’s not at the planet yet but she somehow kind of comes to turn with it. The dynamics between Eldest and. Elder are interesting too – especially how Eldest can make everyone on the ship essentially worship him.

Overall: I really enjoyed listening to this book and look forward to reading more in the future! It was a really unique plot with enjoyable characters throughout the story. The twists and turns kept the story interesting and enjoyable.