Wednesday, September 30, 2020

{I've Been Reading} The Nesting

The Nesting by C. J. Cooke

Lexi Ellis, a young woman with no place left to go and no one left to turn to, impulsively steals another young woman's resume and applies for a job as a nanny. She'll be living in an isolated house in Norway, taking care of a widower's two daughters while he builds a high concept house hanging from a steep cliff.  She knows that what she is doing is a bad idea, but she's immediately drawn to the two little girls who recently lost their mother. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book. Haunted houses always appeal to me and there are some chilling scenes with muddy animals prints in the house and  an apparition one of the girls describes as "the sad lady." It includes an intriguing mix of environmentalism and folklore, along with the fact that Lexi is trying to determine whether what she sees is supernatural or a hallucination brought on by her mental illness. She's a likable character who took the job out of desperation and is doing her best to be a good nanny to the children. I did have a hard time accepting the author's description of  the young children and the rigid academic schedule they're supposed  to be keeping, to the point that I had  to stop and look up whether 9 month olds can drink almond milk. (It's not recommended.)

Disclosure -- The publisher provided me with an advance review copy. This post contains affiliate links. 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

{I've Been Reading} You Are Invited

One by One by Ruth Ware 

Eight employees of a hot new tech start up gather for a retreat in a luxurious ski chalet. There's tension in the group even before they become stranded on the mountainside and an avalanche partially buries the building -- then members of the team begin to die. This book was chilling, partially from the suspenseful plot and partially from the vivid descriptions of the snow and ice. I don't understand the appeal of Snoop, the app that they all work for, but I really enjoyed the mystery and the way the author conveyed information about the company through the housekeeper. I learned about the company and its employees along with her, instead of in huge chunks of backstory. The ending had me racing through to the end, anxious to know what would happen to the remaining characters. I haven't read many of Ruth Ware's books but I'll definitely be tracking them down as soon as I get the chance. 


You Are Invited by Sarah A. Denzil 

Five influencers have been chosen to travel to a Transylvanian monastery to participate in The Event, a highly publicized month long livestream. Before she even arrives at the building, Cath's driver tries to warn her away from the place. Terrible events have happened there in the past and as soon as the streaming starts, unsettling things begin to happen. Cath's medication goes missing. Viewers report seeing shadowy figures on the streams. One anonymous follower offers a million dollars to whichever participant is willing to murder one of his or her companions. 

I had high hopes for this one, but the plot is slow, mildly entertaining, and definitely not scary.

The Corpse Who Knew Too Much by Debra Sennefelder 

The latest food blogger mystery has Hope teaching a blogging class and exploring the world of podcasts, especially the true crime podcast created by one of her childhood friends. After building an audience, Devon has returned to her hometown to cover the unsolved disappearance of her own mother. Not long after she asks Hope for help, Devin is found murdered, all of her carefully compiled notes missing. I enjoy this series, which focuses almost as much on Hope's daily life as a food blogger as it does on the mystery in each book. 

Disclosure -- The publishers provided me with advance review copies. This post contains affiliate links. 


Thursday, September 17, 2020

{I've Been Reading} The Remaking


  The Remaking by Clay McLeod Chapman 

No one can forget the Witch Girl of Pilot Creek. Years ago, Jessica was burned to death with her mother, then buried in the local cemetery under a thick layer of concrete, her grave  surrounded by an iron fence made of interlocking crosses. No one wanted that little girl getting out. and no one will stop telling her story. There was that awful movie from the seventies and the remake two decades later that went terribly wrong, then the podcaster who decided to revisit the site with the actress who starred in both movies...

I absolutely loved the first three-quarters of this book, but the ending fell flat and left me disappointed. The author has a wonderful way of vividly describing things and bringing them to life and he perfectly captures that love for old horror movies and the independent video stores that came long before Blockbuster and Hollywood Video. 

The Prized Girl by Amy K. Green

This book has the feel of those young adult "problem novels" from the 1970s, this time written for adults and with a much bleaker outcome. A young pageant queen's murdered body is found in the woods and her estranged half-sister won't accept the official explanation. Virginia's life is wreck, but Jenny was seemingly perfect. The book alternates between Virginia's investigation and Jenny's life in the days leading up to her death and it had me holding my breath and trying to figure out what was going to happen. I loved this one.

 Disclosures -- The publisher provided me with an advance review copy of The Remaking. I got The Prized Girl from the library. This post contains affiliate links. 

Friday, September 04, 2020

Let's Make Baby Quilts! {9/4/2020}

Let's Make Baby Quilts Linky Party Rules: 
Link directly to your post or specific Flickr photo. Your post can be about a baby quilt that's finished, or in progress, or you can be writing about what you have planned,  as long as it's about baby quilts. You're welcome to link to baby quilt posts that aren't brand new, but please don't submit the same post or picture more than once. I'd love it if you linked back to my site, either with a text link or the Let's Make Baby Quilts! button.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

{I've Been Reading} The Stepdaughter

The Stepdaughter by Georgina Cross

Mia was swimming laps in the backyard pool while her stepmother prepared dinner. Then she was gone, and all eyes were on Vanessa. Why wasn't she watching the thirteen-year-old more closely? How could the girl have vanished without a trace?

I'm a sucker for domestic thrillers that involve parenting and this one had me asking a lot of questions of my own about how much supervision a teenager does or doesn't need. I wanted to like this one, but Vanessa is hiding things from the reader and the first big reveal jarred me right out of the book. How could she not bother to mention THAT?! The plot twists and turns and what I was absolutely sure I saw coming wasn't how things turned out.

Disclosure -- The publisher provided me with an advance review copy. This post contains affiliate links. 


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