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review 2019-12-16 01:15
4 Out Of 5 STARS⇢ House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig
House of Salt and Sorrows - Erin A Craig

 

SYNOPSIS FROM AUTHORS WEBSITE

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve Thaumas girls, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of their lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next. House of Salt and Sorrows is a spellbinding novel filled with magic and the rustle of gossamer skirts down long, dark hallways. Get ready to be swept away.

 

 

THE KEY POINTS OF THE STORY⇣

 

 

⬥RETELLING OF TWELVE DANCING PRINCESSES

⬥DARK & CREEPY STORYLINE

⬥GHOST-LIKE APPARITIONS

⬥FANTASY

⬥YA-ISH

⬥ROMANCE

 

STATS⇣

 

AUDIO PERFORMED BY⇢ Emily Lawrence --she was pretty good, some of her male voices were kind of ruff sounding.

BOOK COVER⇢ The different colors all look like just one color...which makes it kind of blah.

SETTING⇢ Highmoor Estate, on an Island.

SOURCE⇢ Libby Audiobook (Library)

AUDIOBOOK LENGTH⇢ 12 hours, 50 minutes

 

MY THOUGHTS⇣

 

This started really slow...like I had to force myself to listen to it outside of when I was driving. It didn't really pick up until the last quarter of the book...and then all the boring parts of the story I sat and listened through started coming together and forming a rather darkly delicious retelling of the 12 Dancing Princesses. 

 

There's a murder(s) mystery to be solved, ghost-like apparitions, a secret door (kind of like Narnia) to tons of balls, where plenty of dancing is done and shoes are worn thin.  Plus darkly haunting deaths and even some sort of mythology to round out the tale.  Overall, if you can get through the slow parts the last quarter is a favorable payoff.

 

MY RATING 4 STARS | GRADE B+

 

BREAKDOWN⇣

Narration⇢ 4/5

Plot⇢ 4/5

Characters⇢ 4/5

The Feels⇢ 3.5/5

Pacing⇢ 3.7/5

Addictiveness⇢ 3.5/5

Theme or Tone⇢ 4.3/5

Flow (Writing Style)⇢ 4/5

Backdrop (World Building)⇢ 4/5

Originality⇢ 4.3/5

Ending⇢ 4.3/5

 

 

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review 2019-11-30 19:54
4.3 Out Of 5 STARS⇢ Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl
Neverworld Wake - Marisha Pessl
 
 
FEATURING

⬥A Totally Original Premise
⬥Sort Of Like Groundhogs Day (the Movie)
⬥Reliving the Same Day Over & Over
⬥A Sort of Death Limbo
⬥Murder Mystery
⬥Science Fiction w/a Subtle Overlay of Supernatural
⬥With Audio Performed Wonderfully by Phoebe Strole

 

(AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)


MY RATING⇢ 4.3 STARS | GRADE A-

 

 

MY THOUGHTS

 

You meet up with your group of friends that you've estranged yourself from since the death of your boyfriend, Jim.  He was the one who was loved by everyone.  You arrive home, after a night out, and a near-miss accident.  Then you get a mysterious visit from a kooky old man...and the next day...is the same as the last.  And Repeat...again and again.  The Neverworld Wake is insane!

Like Groundhog's Day but darker, way less funny...and with a mystery to solve.  A twisty, turn-y kind of ride that never lets up until the end.  Ultimately, to end the Wake they have to solve the mystery of Jim's death and the farther they dig, the twistier and fantastical things get.  Only one of them can beat death...who will it be.


THE BREAKDOWN⇢

 

Plot 4.3/5
Narration Performance 4.5/5
Characters 3.8/5
The Feels 4/5
Pacing 4/5
Addictiveness 5/5
Theme or Tone 4.3/5
Flow (Writing Style) 4.2/5
Backdrop (World Building) 4/5
Originality 5/5
Ending 4.3/5 Cliffhanger Nope.
_____
 
Book Cover Trippy...just like the story...
Setting Wincroft on the coast of Rhode Island
Source Libby Audiobook (Library)
Length 8 hours, 47 minutes
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review 2019-09-15 20:48
3.5 Out Of 5 STARS for Killing November by Adriana Mather
Killing November - Adriana Mather

 

FEATURING⇢

 

Secret School for A Secret Society
Savvy Teens
Lions, Wolves, & Bears...Oh My!
Mysterious Setting
Murder Afoot
Awkward Romance
With Audio Performed by Cassandra Morris

 

 

Link to Synopsis (Goodreads)

 

 

 

MY RATING⇢ 3.5 STARS | GRADE B-

 


MY THOUGHTS⇢


I want to say that I liked this, but that wouldn't be entirely true...there are just too many elements at play that I'm not sure how I feel about them...I'll attempt to explain...

 

Throughout the majority of the story, I was wondering where this was going...because it didn't seem all that clear. It's steeped in mystery to the point of being slightly annoying.  The Author only hands out a few breadcrumbs of info, and those are really just told to you.

 

This story is definitely different...from the characters to the secret society to Academy Absconditi (what a strange name), this is unlike anything I've ever read about. This secret school is so secret a student is brought in knocked out so they don't know where it is...and its eye-for-an-eye policy is kind of messed up, among other policies/rules. Even the classes they take are off-kilter...they have a class for tree climbing, of which the heroine loves to do. There are many more oddities in this that I'm not going to give away, though.

 

Overall, despite how weird it is, something about this story intrigues me and I may even listen to the second book, in the hope to figure out what that is. Although, I wish that they had picked a different narrator for this...it's not that she was bad...she just wasn't the right voice for this. I have listened to her in other stuff and absolutely loved her.

 

THE BREAKDOWN⇢

 

Plot⇢ 3.7/5
Narration Performance⇢ 4/5
Characters⇢ 2.8/5
The Feels⇢ 2.5/5
Pacing⇢ 4/5
Addictiveness⇢ 3.5/5
Theme or Tone⇢ 3/5
Flow (Writing Style)⇢ 4.3/5
Backdrop (World Building)⇢ 3.7/5
Originality⇢ 3.5/5
Ending⇢ 3.5/5 Cliffhanger⇢ A "to be continued..."
_____

 

Book Cover⇢ I like it.
Setting⇢ Academy Absconditi
Source⇢ Audiobook (Library)
Audiobook Length⇢ 11 hours, 47 minutes

 

 

I Read This For Dark Academia Square (Transfigured from Black Cat)

{This was a perfect fit for this square}

 

 

 

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review 2019-09-01 16:58
3 Out Of 5 STARS for My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
My Sister, the Serial Killer - Oyinkan Braithwaite

 

FEATURING⇢

 

Novelle Length
Dead Bodies
Familial/Sister Bonds
Is Blood Thicker Than Water?
Nigeria Setting
With Audio Performed by Adepero Oduye

 

 

LINK TO SYNOPSIS (AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)

 

 

 

MY RATING⇢ 3 STARS | GRADE C

 


MY THOUGHTS⇢

 

Dubbed as darkly funny...I don't know if I laughed even one time...wait...I might have laughed a little at the very beginning. I didn't find it funny, not even darkly so. While I wasn't completely hooked, I still believe this was a well-written story about the things we do for family, even when we shouldn't. Seriously, Korede's sister didn't deserve that kind of loyalty from her. Overall, this wasn't really for me...but it wasn't awful...either. The narration was decent, too.

 

Sadly, though, sad because my local library switched to CloudLibrary over Overdrive, the reason I possibly couldn't get into it is that I listened to this on the CloudLibrary App. I just kept getting 'Playback Error' continuously throughout the entire book...so thank goodness it was only a little over 4 hours. I just have one question, why can't all Audiobook player apps be like Libby?


THE BREAKDOWN⇢

 

Plot⇢ 3.5/5
Narration Performance⇢ 4/5
Characters⇢ 2.8/5
The Feels⇢ 2.5/5
Pacing⇢ 4/5
Addictiveness⇢ 3/5
Theme or Tone⇢ 3/5
Flow (Writing Style)⇢ 2.7/5
Backdrop (World Building)⇢ 3/5
Originality⇢ 4/5
Ending⇢ 3/5 Cliffhanger⇢
_____

 

Book Cover⇢ It's okay.
Setting⇢ Lagos, Nigeria
Source⇢ Audiobook (Library)
Length⇢ 4 hours, 15 minutes

 

 

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review 2019-08-31 23:00
Just a quick novella that I squeezed in before Halloween Bingo starts...
Sidebarred: A Legal Briefs Novella - Emma Chase
 
Quickie Review for A Quickie Novella --Sidebarred by Emma Chase

Legal Briefs Series #3.5

MY RATING 4.5 STARS - GRADE= A-

 
For something so short...this was absolutely wonderful, plus so cleverly titled. Jake and Chelsea are my fav couple from this series, and I love the little something extra this gave us. With future life happenings on everyone involved in this series. Also, Sebastian York knocks it out of the park with the narration.

 

 

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