Book Review: Emma In The Night by Wendy Walker

Emma In The Night by Wendy Walker is a Mystery Thriller about two teenage sisters who vanish without a trace and three years later, one of them returns home.

I loved the mystery in this novel. It had me hooked from the beginning and I had a hard time putting it down because I needed to know what happened. I was completely surprised by the ending. I’ve seen alot of people write reviews saying they guessed the plot twist early on but I didn’t. I was shocked and I thought it was great.

I enjoyed the parent-child relationships. They were not great at all but sometimes that is how life and family works. Nothing is perfect and this novel shows that so well. I hated most of the parental units for the most part but at the same time I also loved how real they were. Although the adults were not in the majority of what actual adults are like in real life, I know that it’s a real possibility for a lot of families.

I just want to talk about Cass and Emma’s mother for a minute. Judy Martin is a horrible woman and mother. She is a narcissist. She’s jealous of her daughters beauty, as she ages. She favors Emma, the older daughter and sometimes tries to turn them against each other. She cares only of herself and her image. She was such an unlikable character, but that made her great in my opinion. I love to hate characters!

The sibling relationship was so good. Emma and Cass were sisters and they loved each other. They wanted to protect each other at all costs. When Cass gets back home, all she wants to do is find Emma. The lengths she goes to learn the truth were some of the best parts of the novel. I loved watching the mystery unfold and when I learned the truth, it was great.

I loved the relationship that Emma and Cass had with their step brother, . He seemed to love them both so much even though they had different mothers. He was such a great brother even as a young boy. When Cass comes back after missing for three years, their first meeting is so sweet. You really find out the type of bond they have in the end and it’s beautiful.

The ending was so good and so satisfying. It tied up everything and explained all that happened so well. There was no weird cliffhanger type thing and I loved where all of the characters ended up.

I gave Emma In The Night 5 stars and think that everyone should read it, especially if you are a dan of mystery thrillers.

Keep reading…Lola

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Book Review: Wrecked by Maria Padian

TRIGGER WARNING FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT.

Wrecked by Maria Padian is a YA novel about a college rape. It is told from two perspectives, Haley who is roommates and friends with Jenny, who was raped and Richard, whose housemate is Jordan, who is being accused of the rape. Between the chapters there are also short paragraphs that tell the story of what actually happened that night.

When I first heard about this book I thought it was going to be told from the victim and the accused points of view which of course would have been she said it was rape, he said it wasn’t, but with it being their friends perspectives I think that changed the way the story came across.

With Haley’s point of view you get Jenny’s side of what happened at the party. You also see how she reacts after and how the girls around her act and what they feel as well. There is also Haley’s thoughts and feelings and you see her trying to figure out what to do and say. She is going through her own stuff but she’s still trying to be there for her friend. She also has this dilemma of whether or not she should even be involved and if it’s even her place to have thoughts about it.

With Richard’s point you get Jordan’s side of what happened at the party. He tells Richard he hooked up with a “hot freshman” and that’s it. With this point of view you get Richard’s thoughts and feelings, especially when he finds out that Jordan is being accused of rape. He gets to this point where he doesn’t know what or who to believe and then just doesn’t want any part of it.

While all of this is happening, Haley and Richard meet and end up liking each other, but then they find out about their connections to Jenny and Jordan. Now they have to figure out not only their feelings about the tape but also about each other. Are they on the same side? Does Richard believe Jordan? If Richard sides with Jordan can they be together at all? Can friendships and relationships survive all of it?

In addition to Haley and Richard’s chapters there are also short little paragraphs in between that tell the story of what happened that night. I thought this was a great addition to the story. You get more details and learn what actually happened that night, which is something that normally doesn’t really happen in real life. It’s always he said/she said and even with substantial proof, the perpetrator can sometimes get away with it. For example Brock Turner, don’t get me started on him, I’ll end up writing a full length novel!

As for the ending, I was a little disappointed with it, but at the same time it wasn’t a surprise. I thought the book in general depicted a very real situation with real feelings and reactions. I loved that they included the consent class in the novel. It was so important and really Informational. I think Wrecked is a very important book for everyone to read. Young adult males and females especially could learn from it and really learn what consent means.

I gave this book 4 stars and obviously I highly recommend it to absolutely everyone.

Keep reading…Lola

May TBR

These are the books that I want to read this month.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. I have had this on my TBR for a while and it fits with one of the prompts for the Popsugar Reading Challenege so it’s time that I check this one off my list.

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green. This is also one that I’m reading for the challenge and it’s the May book for the Goodreads Popsugar Reading Challenge page.

Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser. This follows a group of friends after one of their group disappears.

The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy. I thought this would be perfect to read this month since Mother’s Day is in May.

I’m hoping to get to these and maybe a couple more but we’ll see how it goes.

Keep reading…Lola

April Spearcraft Book Box: Pirates Vs. Pan

This box is everything! The theme was Pirates Vs. Pan so of course I had to grab it…

We got to pins this month. The first is a pin from Swoon Reads. You can find them at swoonreads.com, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr. They also have an app.

The second is a Peter Pan inspired Enamel pin designed by Laura Stites. You can find her on Facebook, Instagram and Etsy at laurastitesart.

Close up of the pins. I love the Peter Pan one.

This months packaging was so cute. The next two items came in these pretty little mesh bags.

This is a Tinker Bell inspired zipper pull with a quote on it. This is one of my favorite quotes and also I dont know if I have ever mentioned it but I love Tinker Bell so this was just great.

This is a Peter Pan inspired metal bracelet. I love this so much. Its silver and has an adjustable clasp so it fits everyone which I love.

I am so glad that they included another candle. This one is Neverland and its green and smells so amazing. This candle was created by Dio Candle Co. just like last month and this is also a Spearcraft exclusive.

We also got a bookmark from Swoon Reads and the monthly magnet has a quote from Pirates Of The Carribean.

This is the back of the bookmark and it just tells you how Swoon Reads works.

Close up of the magnet. I love this movie series and this quote is to die for.

We also got a Swoon Reads promo card.

This is the back and it shows you how it works and a little more about what they do. Definitely go check out their website.

We also got the Author Spotlight. This months author is S. Jae Jones. She wrote Wintersong and Shadowsong.

We also got the monthly Spearcraft photo challenge insert.

Here’s a close up of the Author Spotlight if you want to read it. @sjaejones.

This is the April art print. It was designed by Laura Stites as well (she also designed the pin) and is inspired by Pirates Of The Carribean. I love love love this print.

There were two books included this month. The first book is Traveler by L.E. DeLano. The spoiler card says “What if every mirror was a portal to another life”. That just pulls you right in!

The second book is Dreamer which is the sequel to Traveler and was released this month.

This month they also included a letter from the author which I think is so great and adds a special little touch to the box.

Here’s a close up of you want to read it. It looks like it was typed and photo copied so even in person the writing is a little weird to read. Also check her out on Instagram @le_delano.

And last but not least, a signed book plate! I absolutely love this! I think it’s just so special when a book is signed by the author or a signed book plate is included. It just adds more to the box and who doesn’t love a signed book?!

By the way, both of the books have such beautiful covers. Pictures don’t even begin to show the beauty of these babies!

This is definitely a box that I will be getting from time to time when I love the theme because I just think it’s such a great box. Go check it out if you haven’t already. I highly recommend it.

Keep reading…Lola

April Wrap Up

These are the books I read in April. I read 7 books and enjoyed them all.

The Woman In The Window by A.J. Finn. This is a psychological thriller about a woman who is agoraphobic so she can’t leave her house. She spends her days drinking and playing online chess. She was a therapist before she became a recluse and she has an online forum where she talks to other people with similar problems. She likes to look in the windows of her neighbors and one day while spying on the family across the street, she sees something horrible happen, but when the cops learn more about her past, they begin to wonder if there was a crime at all. I gave this book 4 stars. I really enjoyed the story but I think it started out a little slow. The “accident” doesn’t even happen until 100 pages in, but then it picks up and I couldn’t put it down.

TRIGGER WARNING for sexual assault.

Wrecked by Maria Padian. This is a campus rape story. Jenny says that Jordan raped her at a party. Jordan says that he hooked up with a hot freshman at the party. They were both drunk. The story is told from the points of view of Haley, Jenny’s roommate and friend and Richard, Jordan’s housemate. With two sides to the story, which one is the truth? I gave this 4 stars and there will also be a review up soon.

*PopSugar reading challenge book for a book about a problem facing society today. This is part of the advanced list.

Emma In The Night by Wendy Walker. Seventeen year old Emma and fifteen year old Cass vanish without a trace one night. Three years later, Cass returns without Emma and with a story about being held captive on an island. The psychologist sees that there are some holes in Cass’ story and works with the lead detective to try and solve the case. I gave Emma In The Night 5 stars and a review is coming up.

*PopSugar reading challenge book for a book with a time of day in the title.

TRIGGER WARNING for suicide, self harm and molestation.

Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage. Francesca and Mira are pulled from the Quarry with rocks in their pockets. What could cause two young beautiful teenagers to drown themselves? Ben receives a letter from Mira telling him to search the seven places where he touched her, in each place she has left him a note and when he’s found the last one, he’ll know what made them choose to end their lives. I gave this 4 stars. I liked the story and characters. There were some surprises that I wasn’t expecting. I also wish that we got to see some more of Ben and Mira’s romance.

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert. This book has so much diversity. Suzette “Little” is African American and Bisexual. Lionel “Lion” is bipolar. He is also white and Jewish and Little’s brother. Little and Lion’s parents have been together since they were 6, but they have never gotten married. When Lionel started to get sick, Suzette was sent away to school to give her a break. She comes home for the summer to find that all of their friends have basically cut ties with Lionel and then he tells her that he’s stopped taking his medication and makes her promise not to say anything. What will Suzette do? I gave this 5 stars and have a review coming up for this too eventually.

*PopSugar reading challenge book for a book with an LBGTQ+ protagonist.

TRIGGER WARNING there is lots of murder and torture

Children Of Blood And Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. This is a West African inspired fantasy novel. It was AMAZING! That’s all I’m going to say because there will definitely be a review coming very soon. 5 stars way up high!

*PopSugar reading challenge book for a book by an author of a different ethnicity than you.

His Property by R.R. Banks. This is a New Adult romance that follows a man trying to turn his father’s former mob business legit and along the way he saves a woman from being sold to a sex trafficker. I gave this 4 stars. I liked the story but there are quite a bit of sex scenes.

That’s what I read in April and I can’t wait to get into my May TBR.

Keep reading…Lola

April Nocturnal Readers Box Unboxing

I have wanted to try out Nocturnal Readers Box for a while and decided to just go for it this month. These are the things that I got…

The wearable for April is a hat that is inspired by Dark Tower by Stephen King.

The Can Koozie is inspired by John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Let The Right One In.

APEX Magazine. This contains short stories by various authors and I think they all have some sort of creep factor.

Nocturnal Readers Box Bookmark.

The April pin is inspired by Brian Keene’s The Rising series.

The bookmark.

The pin.

This huge gold coin is inspired by Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. I have not read this book yet but the spoiler card said that it’s Mad Sweeney’s coin.

The art print for April was created by Eric Nyquist. It’s inspired by John W. Campbell’s Who Goes There? You can find more of his work on his Instagram @ericbnyquist.

The previously released novel for the month is Slade House by David Mitchell. This is basically a warped haunted house. Every nine years a brother and sister invite you to go inside their house and at first you don’t want to leave, but then when you do, you can’t. I also really love the naked book.

The new release for this month is Unbury Carol by Josh Malerman. This is about a woman who has a condition where she falls into a coma lasting weeks. It appears that she is dead but she always wakes up. The only people who know about it is Carol, her husband and her long lost love. Her husband decides that the next time carol falls into her sleeping coma, he is going to bury her alive and declare her dead so that he can get her fortune.

All the other unboxings I’ve seen, I have loved so much and when I decided to finally try it, I was underwhelmed. This is not Nocturnal Readers Box’s fault, it’s just my personal taste. The hat and koozie are things that I never use but I found other homes for them. I also thought that the art print would be a little creepier, although I still love this months print. I give this box a 5 out of 10. I am really looking forward to reading Unbury Carol though. Because this box is a little pricey I probably won’t get another one unless I can get a good discount code but you should definitely check out their website and see if it’s something you might like.

Keep reading…Lola

Winter Book Haul

I don’t think I’ve done a book haul since Christmas and I’ve bought quite a few books since then. I have so many I’m not going to do a synopsis for them because you would be reading forever. These are the books that I’ve bought this winter.

Book Outlet:

The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson

The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson

Emoji Movie Novelization

Trolls Novelization

The Illustrated Fairy Tale Princess Collection

Killer Within by S.E. Green

Annie by Thomas Meehan

Anne & Henry by Dawn Ius

Tha Last Summer (Of You And Me) by Ann Brashares

The Breakdown by B.A. Paris

Book Depository:

The Friendship Mix-Up by Jimmy Gownley

Cujo by Stephen King

Four Past Midnight by Stephen King

Tales Of The Peculiar by Ransom Riggs (of course I needed the paperback!)

Thrift Books:

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Looking For Alaska by John Green

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

The Movie Version by Emma Wunsch (I got the ARC and wanted a finished copy but they ended up sending a physical ARC. I have ordered a finished copy though that’s on its way)

Someone Else’s Summer by Rachel Bateman

Wait Till Helen Comes

Pet Semetary by Stephen King

Amazon:

It by Stephen King

A Stranger In The House by Shari Lapena

Amazon Kindle:

Forbidden by R.R. Banks

His Property by R.R. Banks

Rebel by R.R. Banks

The Pact by S.E. Lines

Kindle books I got as a gift for my Birthday in March:

Once Upon A Dream: A Twisted Tale by Liz Braswell. Actually I got As Old Time, I made a mistake on what the first book was. OPPS!

I Never by Laura Hopper

A Lighthouse For The Lonely Heart by Scott William Carter

Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton

Audible Audio Books:

It by Stephen King narrated by Steven Weber

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger narrated by Fred Bermen and Phoebe Strole

Those are all the books I got this winter. Some I have read already and others I can’t wait to get into.

Keep reading…Lola

Book Review: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert is a creepy, dark YA fairy tale.

Alice knows that fairy tales aren’t real, even though they have been a major part of her life growing up. Her grandmother is the author of a collection of brutal and dark fairy tales set in the fictional world of The Hinterland. She publishes the book and then shuts herself off from the world in her hidden estate.

Alice and her mother have been on the go for as long as she can remember. They rarely stay in one place for more than a few months, but when Alice’s grandmother dies, her mother thinks that they are now free to live their lives in one place. One day Alice finds that her mother has disappeared, taken by people who have a striking resemblance to the characters in her grandmother’s stories. Alice turns to Ellery Finch, a classmate and Hinterland superfan to help her find her mother and track down her grandmother’s long list estate.

I got this book in the March Fairyloot box and I’m so glad that I did. It was something that I wanted to read but wasn’t planning on picking it up too soon. I’m happy I picked the right month to try out Fairyloot. I loved this book.

I’ve always been a huge fan of fairy tales. Add a dark twist to that and I’m all about it. This novel had so much packed into it, dark fairy tales, mysterious elements, creepiness, everything I love.

The story was imaginative and whimsical. I loved that there were fairy tales throughout the story. I think the fairy tales were definitely my favorite part. I would love to see a book published with all the tales from Hinterland.

I enjoyed the characters alot. I thought they each brought something special to the story as a whole. I loved the fairy tale characters so much. They were dark and twisted and I was right in my element.

I really liked the friendship that grew between Ellery and Alice but I wish there was more of them. I also wasn’t really satisfied with the way things were for them at the end. The whole end of the novel just felt incomplete to me, which is why I am so excited that there is going to be a sequel. I can not wait for that!

I also really loved the world. The Hinterland was amazing. It reminded me of a darker Wonderland and I was definitely all about that.

I can’t really say too much about The Hazel Wood because I think it would spoil too much, but I highly recommend it so definitely check it out if you haven’t yet.

I gave The Hazel Wood 5 stars.

Keep reading…Lola

Book Review: The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger is an adult novel that follows Claire and Henry.

Claire meets Henry when she is six. He’s a time traveler and comes from the future. He is Claire’s husband.

The story follows Claire and Henry during all of their meetings when Claire is a child and teenager. It follows them as they get married and try to have a normal marriage, even though Henry time travels and sometimes leaves her unexpectedly. The story is told from both Henry and Claire’s perspectives.

I listened to the audiobook for The Time Traveler’s Wife and I absolutely loved it. The narrators are Fred Berman and Phoebe Strole and they were fantastic. There were so many funny parts that I actually laughed out loud at and I’m not sure they would have come across the same way if I had read it myself. They added so much more to my reading experience and I enjoyed it so much more than I would’ve I think.

As for the story itself, I loved it. I saw the movie when it came out and thought it was pretty good but I didn’t buy the book for a few years and then it just sat on my shelf until I finally picked it up, which I’m so glad I did. I liked the book so much more than the movie, which didn’t surprise me at all. I think I’m going to watch it again just to see if my opinion has changed since the first time I watched it. The story is just such a unique one. Who can say they met their soulmate at 6? Who can say they know who they are going to marry? Who can say they know some things about their future? This was unlike anything I have read before.

I really enjoyed the characters so much. Claire is sweet and has this sense of humor that isn’t always there but when it is she’s funny. Henry is smart and considerate and he just adds a little sweetness to everything. Gomez and Charisse are such great side characters and I loved them. They had flaws and their relationship had some issues and it just made them more real and I like that.

I love the romance. Henry and Claire shared so many sweet moments together. They made me laugh so much. Their love story is such a unique one and I loved every minute of it. They work so well together and just compliment each other in all the best ways. I love how Fred and Phoebe brought them to life in the audiobook. It was great.

I would 100% recommend this book and definitely try out the audiobook. It’s amazing. I gave The Time Traveler’s Wife 5 stars.

March Spearcraft Book Box: Passport To Africa

I’ve decided to cut back on Book boxes for a while to catch up on my TBR but I wanted to try out a couple that I’ve had my eye on before I went on a ban.

This is the Spearcraft book box. It’s $29.99 a month plus shipping and each month there is a theme. The March theme was Passport To Africa and the goodies that came in the box were Lion King themed so I had to try this box out. This is what was is the box…

Hakuna Matata pouch by Maddy. They have a selection of pouches on Amazon. I love the tribal print on this pouch.

Lion King night sky button pin from Spearcraft book box. So cute!

Hakuna Matata candle from DIO Candle Company. Scents are Lime, Eucalyptus and Wild Flowers. The label is exclusive to Spearcraft. This smells so good.

Simba Leaf Mane Pop Vinyl Figure by Funko. I love him and have been wanting to get him for a while so it was a great surprise to get this in the box.

The Passport To Africa spoiler card and an African quote art print from Spearcraft book box.

“In the moment of crisis, the wise build bridges and the foolish build dams” – Nigerian Proverb

I love this quote and the print is so pretty.

The March author spotlight and the March photo contest flyer. Veronica Roth, author of the Divergent series is Spearcrafts March author.

Close up of the author spotlight in case you want to read it.

Children Of Blood And Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.

Here’s the synopsis from Goodreads because there is no way I could properly say what this book is about!

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.

The monthly magnet that goes along with the book of the month. I love this quote. It makes me so excited to get to this book.

That’s what came in the March Spearcraft Book Box. I loved this box so much and wish that I had found it sooner. I love the April theme so I’m getting that one too! Watch out for the unboxing and then I’ll stop😁

Keep reading…Lola